2 weeks in...

and we are all doing well. The two to three transition has gone much smoother than I anticipated - at least so far. I'd love to tell you about it but alas, see that brace on my wrist?

Apparently, mommy thumb has struck! So I'm typing this by hunt and peck. Not fun - or fast. But I'm on the mend and hope to be able to type again before too long. Until then, enjoy some baby cuteness.


Welcome Norah! - A Birth Story

Men's version: Baby Norah arrived yesterday morning. Mom and baby are doing well. Everyone thinks she's the cutest thing they ever saw. The end.

Women's version: Baby Norah arrived yesterday morning. All along my guess was for her to be born between the 10th and the 15th but the three days of the 10th and beyond were so hard for me mentally. I had things planned for the 13th and 14th just in case but I went to bed on the 12th thinking this might be it. Then I woke up at around 4:30 and said to myself "you are in labor" except I hadn't had a contraction or anything to tell me that (unless one woke me up without my realizing that was what did it). It seemed weird to wake Craig up based on instinct. So I waited. And a few minutes later I had one, not horrible but much stronger than the previous weeks. I still felt weird waking him up so I waited about 10 minutes and once I had a second, I woke him up. Then I wandered aimlessly around the house not knowing what to do but really anxious to do it. After a third, he called our midwife to tell her I thought I was in labor but they weren't as intense or close together as I normally start with so I was unsure. I really have no idea what she told him, I never asked. But after that, they started coming more quickly so a little while later, he called her back and I guess she started on her way then.

I always see these different laboring positions like standing or leaning over a counter but for me, I've got one option. Laying down one my side, breathing through them. If I'm ever in a different position when one starts for some reason, its agony. That's been the case all three times. But this labor was also different in that I needed Craig a lot more. I really wanted him around for Lucy's birth but I didn't want him talking or touching me during a contraction. And he was obviously very important in Jonah's delivery but not as much as a support for me as for a baby catcher. But this time I needed him to be rubbing my back or touching me so I knew he was there. The few times he had to step away I really wanted him back. It's funny to me what things stay the same and what things change each time. Another thing that doesn't change is how protective the cat seems to be of me. She stayed right there even when all the midwives were first coming in and getting things ready. Even now, she's at the foot of the bed. Our little guard cat.

So by the time the midwives (I had two midwives and a student midwife here this time) started arriving I think they were 5-7 minutes apart but not very consistent. They would ask me how I was and I could do was complain about waiting in between the contractions and I think they tried not to laugh because, waiting between contractions is pretty normal, just not what I was used to. But I just wanted to move on to the pushing part and felt like it was taking forever - in reality, it really wasn't.

Lucy woke up around 6am I think but didn't want to leave so she stayed in bed talking to herself for a while. Once Jonah was up, Craig fed them and tried to hustle them out the door to Neighbor J's. I didn't mind them being around at first but as things got more intense, I needed them to be gone. Jonah was still half asleep, cranky and overwhelmed so I actually got out of bed to help Craig put clothes on him. I'm not sure if that was the best idea but I knew that they were slowing me down and I wanted to get things moving. Once they were gone, the midwives were all here and done prepping so they just hung out the in living room quietly while Craig helped me, only checking on me and baby every once in a while but there if I needed them. That's what I seem to like. And the calm and quiet helped me a lot, things got more intense but I felt like I was handling it okay as long as I didn't think about timing. They must have come in around 8am because I promised myself I wouldn't ask the time but I did then.

I had tried to prepare myself for a longer birth the past month or so because I didn't want to get discouraged and even thought it had only been 3.5 hours, this was the first time I had gone so long in labor before transitioning. I didn't have too many classic transition symptoms but I did start shaking a little while after that and I remember telling myself I'd probably have a baby by 9am.

I was still wondering when transition would start when all of a sudden the midwives came in and starting getting things ready for me to push. Honestly, I was a bit confused. Was I that far along? Then I realized, yes I was. The contractions had spaced out considerably. But again, I didn't feel the urge to push yet. I absolutely hated pushing without the urge with Lucy. I just felt lost and started to panic. We waited a bit, she checked me (the first time in the entire pregnancy) and said I didn't have a lip so whenever I wanted to, or didn't want to, they'd just wait on me. I pushed a bit then tried waiting I couldn't find a comfortable position and I wanted to be done but frankly, pushing hurt so that seemed like a bad idea too. Eventually, I had to have a little pep talk with myself. No really. I just told myself the only way out was through so I started pushing. After 2-3 pushes, I could really feel the baby descend and the instinct took over.

My one prayer with Jonah's birth is that I would feel the urge to push - and that certainly happened. My one prayer this time was that I wouldn't tear so I really wanted to try and breathe and relax through the end instead of just getting it over with and paying the price for it with stitches. And the midwives really helped me do that this time but it still wasn't too long before the water broke (first time on it's own, the first two needed breaking by midwife/Craig) and the head was out. At this point I thought I was almost done but I guess she had a bit of a sticky shoulder so all of a sudden I had some help and was moved about but they got the rest of her out too at 8:53 am. I had said before 9am and I guess I meant before 9am! So while it was my longest first stage labor, 4.5 hrs total is still pretty fast I guess.

I was on my hands and knees and they didn't immediately hand her up but after 30 seconds to a minute (timing is hard) they told me she was fine but just need a bit of help clearing out some fluid. Once I got her she was starting to pink up but still a bit raspy so she hung out on me with some oxygen for a bit while I bragged about how I was now three for three with knowing/guessing the gender. Eventually she nursed and I cut the cord. Yep, me! Craig never wants to and I hadn't thought about it but they offered and I thought, well, why not? Since they wanted to hang out with her a bit longer than normal I think, we just took our time getting things cleaned up and everyone checked. They first checked me and not only no stitches but no tears at all. I can already tell that recovery is going to be a lot easier this time around. And Craig's big prayer was that he wouldn't have to do it alone this time so we both got our prayers answered! By 11 am, we finally got around to measuring her - 8lbs, 7 ounces. Our biggest baby by 7 ounces! I was totally surprised by that.

Eventually everyone left and Craig brought the kids down to meet her. Lucy's first reaction was "she's so much littler than I expected!" and Jonah just started a bit confused then told me her name was Norah because Daddy told him before running off to play. He's having a bit of a rough time adjusting to daddy over mommy although he knows the rule is "Miss Alison said momma has to stay in bed" and following it but that doesn't mean he has to like it.

But by the end of the day, he was smitten too. He likes to touch her head with one finger or kiss her cheeks. And keeps saying "I'm the middle now! I'm the middle!" (in an excited way!). Lucy loves everything about having a sister. Norah was hardly awake in their presence yesterday (just all night when I was ready to sleep :-) but this morning they got so excited that they could see her eyes! And she kept turning her head towards them while they were playing and they starting shouting "it's because she recognized our voices, she knows us!" But she doesn't seem all phased by their loudness or Jonah's tantrums. For now, she just sleeps right through them even if they are only a few feet away. All in all, I think she's gonna fit in just fine around here.


A Mother's Daybook - October 12th

This is pretty much gonna be the still here, still pregnant edition of my mother's daybook but I will try and keep it from being a list of complaints.

Reading - Nothing. Well, technically I started Far from the Madding Crowd last week after I'd finished all my other reads and my poor goodreads currently reading pile was starting at me, all empty and sad. It's probably a fourth of the way into it and its good so far but I just can not read right now. I'm way to antsy.

Feeling - Antsy. I've always had lots of "Braxton Hicks" or pre-real-labor contractions and this time is no exception but what is new is the weird anxious, not really nesting but more walking aimlessly around the house feeling I've got. Not a fan. I think a good deal of it is being stuck in the house just sitting around waiting for the baby. That's not really the best way to handle the 39th/40th week but everyone had been sick so it's really the only choice. Lucy was feeling better and Jonah wasn't quite sick yet (but I could tell it was coming) so on Saturday we took a short hike and just let him ride in the stroller. Getting out of the house felt really good. The kids and I had to skip church yesterday because by then he was feverish and really sick but I was busy tending to his needs and distracted so that wasn't bad either (emotionally at least, having him repeated cough or sneeze on me wasn't the best). His fever broke last night and we all finally got some sleep but we're not quite up to getting out of the house so we canceled our pumpkin picking plans and its another sit around and wait day. Boo.

I'm also feeling annoyed. And annoyed by my annoyance. I do fine during the day but by the evening I'm so tired and antsy and contracting a fair amount (yes, every night I have contractions!) and can't really stand to be around anyone. Craig is great about handling most of the stuff from dinner to bedtime and I can normally come out of hibernating in my room to read them bedtime stories and tuck them in but anything more than that it too much. I can't stand the noise, I can't stand the touching and pushing on me. And I hate it. I really want to enjoy these last few evenings with my two bigger ones and use this time wisely but I can't. I do have nice mornings with them though and am trying to soak that all up.

Watching - Apparently I'm too antsy to even watch k-dramas right now so I've been alternating between  two other more "reality" type shows. The first is The Great British Baking Show which is now on Netflix. (H/T to Karen, thanks for the recommendation!) Although I am annoyed that they call it season one when its not and have changed the original British name of The Great British Bake-Off. Are we Americans too stupid to understand what that means? Why change the name? I've only got a few episodes of season one left on Netflix but I think I can watch season two on pbs.com. I'm really enjoying it. It's fast paced and fun and I love watching them cook all sorts of things I've never heard of. It does tend to make one hungry though.

The other show is Fixer Upper. I used to love HGTV back in high school but we don't have cable now and even when we can watch, like when I visit my dad, most of the shows are overly dramatic and have such ridiculous budgets that it has lost its appeal. But I'm really liking this one. I love fixer uppers to start with and seeing the potential in older homes. The married couple that stars in it is really cute and I appreciate seeing them work with budgets of $100,000 and $150,000 for a family of 4-5 with realistic expectations and doing really awesome stuff with that. Much more impressive than seeing someone take $500,000 and make a nice home for a retired couple. And it doesn't make me hungry - but being Waco based, it does kinda make me miss Texas. Can't have everything I guess.

Eating/Drinking - All the elderberries! Chugging down this elderberry syrup to hopefully ward off or lessen the effects of the cold the kids have been trying their best to share with me. I had a bit of tickle in my throat yesterday and I'm slightly snuffly today but nothing too bad - so far. Lucy's version was very mild, I kept her home to save others but she was full of energy and playing, just whinier than usual so if I do get sick, I hope I get sick like she did. Jonah got hit much harder and as much as it pains me to say it, I'd like baby to hold on at least another day or two so we can have a bit more separation between fevers and birth giving.

Enjoying - The kids pretend play. I'm not sure if its coincidental or because I've been less active in playing with them but they are playing some really fun involved pretend games together. They have their fair share of arguments but overall, it goes well (thanks mostly to Jonah's willingness to go with the flow). I just love watching them play the same game for hours over a day and then picking it up again the next day or talking to each other at meal or bed times about what they should do later and how they will change it.

Also, coloring. I printed some free adult coloring sheets I found on pinterest for the kids and I. They don't normally do much color book type coloring (as opposed to drawing, which they do a lot) except for when Jonah colors while Lucy is in her dance class every Wednesday but we all had fun. Lucy really enjoyed the challenge of the more intricate designs and both kids worked on it over multiple days for quite a while at a time. I thought it was quite relaxing as well so I think its something we'll try again.

Planning and Preparing - To not be pregnant! Okay, there isn't much preparing left to be done but I do plan on at some point in the near future being done with this pregnancy. I'm hoping I can tell you all about it in the next post!


Tooth Fairy Fun

It's no secret that Lucy has bad teeth. After this experience over a year and a half ago, we've been able to maintain what she's got fairly well. But at her last appointment she had for one small cavity and an infection under one of her crowns that would need to be pulled. Since is older now, we could fix these things in the office. I was worried about the extraction. It was a molar and I remember having baby teeth pulled with intact roots and it wasn't fun. Craig, who was the one back in the room with her while Jonah and I waited up front, said it was a bit rough on her and she cried but was very brave. I had stopped by redbox on the way to the dentist and gotten the new Cinderella for her and then she reminded me that when she has to have cavities filled she gets a milkshake (wow, what a memory!) and once she was settled in my bed with those things, she was happy enough again. She did think it was funny that I made the milkshake myself, I guess she thought I could only get them at Chik-fil-a.

But the biggest surprise of the whole event was that in all my worries about how she would be at the dentist, I completely forgot that this was the first tooth she would be "loosing" which meant - tooth fairy!

Now, we don't "do" Santa or the Easter Bunny around here so I guess it wasn't a given that we would do the tooth fairy. So there Craig and I were, staying up later than I would have preferred the night before to talk about how we would handle it. It wasn't a long or hard conversation, we agreed fairly quickly, it just struck me as funny because I definitely tend towards way overthinking this sort of thing.

We decided that just as we love all sorts of fairies and unicorns and make believe things around here, the tooth fairy wouldn't be any different. But I also wasn't going to lie. Every once in a while she asks me if unicorns are real (because, really, the idea that horses and zebras are real but unicorns aren't is a bit tricky) and I tell her, "No, not really real, but they are fun to pretend." So when I told her we needed to put the the tooth under her pillow and she asked if tooth fairies were "really really real?" I said the same thing. She looked at me for a second then ran off with an "okay" but then spent the rest of the day reminding me that we needed to put it under her pillow that night and telling me all her theories on where tooth fairies live,what they eat (flowers), how many their are and if they have wands and wings and whether their are boy fairies or not. And a few days later I was making something with a unicorn for her and she told me "I just love things that are magical and make-believe. Like unicorns. And the tooth fairy - even if it is just really you and daddy. I just love them all so much" So my truthfulness obviously did not spoil her fun.

And, in what was a very nice coincidence, a friend had recently shared with me the idea of fairy doors. At the time I wasn't even thinking about how Lucy was loosing a tooth the next week but once I made the connection, I knew it would be a lot of fun. I had to run out that afternoon of the dental work for a chiropractic appointment anyway so I stopped by Hobby Lobby to get some fairy door supplies. If I had been thinking ahead, I may have painted and put it together myself and just hung it that night the fairy arrived but I didn't have time for that. Instead I put the door and knob and paint in a baggie and placed it next to a note with her dollar saying that the fairy had a bit of trouble getting in this time so could Lucy make a fairy door with the supplies left so fairies could visit more easily.

The next day Lucy was so excited. We painted it together.

 If you want to do this, try and get a door without windows, that would be a lot easier. Hobby Lobby didn't have any so I worked with what I had and she let me do the tricky parts around the window. Then I gave it a coat of mod podge and Craig super glued the teeny tiny doorknob on.

A few command adhesive velcro strips and bam - fairy door! (And by bam I mean it took about a week in all, but just a few minutes at a time. Most of that was drying and mom procrastinating)

(And her mouth looks funny here not because of her teeth but because she's got a cough drop)

I think it's so cute! And using Hobby Lobby coupons and stuff I had on hand (mod podge, white paint and brushes), it only cost about $15.


Classics Challenge Completed! (Kristin Lavransdatter)

I saved my translation book, Kristin Lavransdatter (I picked Nunnally's translation) for last. And boy was it a book to go out on. This thing is huge. It's actually three books in one but you really can't just read one. It's a saga and you need the whole thing.

And now I'm supposed to talk about it. I waited a whole week to do so thinking I'd come up with something to say but I'm still at a loss for words. It's good. Very good. I mean, a book doesn't win the Nobel Prize for Literature for nothing. And it was very thought provoking. As evidenced by the fact that I'm still thinking over it.

On the surface, it's the story of a women's life in medieval Norway. After over a thousand pages of fine writing, you really do feel like you've been immersed in that culture. It's so different from ours but through Undset's writing, I just saw read felt all the similarities in her life as a wife and mother and mine.

But it was also so sad. Not in a train wreck sort of way, which I almost expected to occur as I was mid-way through the first of the three books. It just captures the difference between living a life trying to appease God and living a life to please God.  The characters were flawed, but it wasn't any one sin that stands out to me as the downfall of Kristin or Erland but that their overall lives were less than they could have been. There is a great quote near the end that I really wanted to put in my commonplace book but I was already in bed and didn't have my book nearby but forgot to go back and write down before I returned the book to the library. It's killing me and I've searched online but can't fine it but it so perfectly sums up the tragedy of the story. Kristin is looking back on her life and seeing how she always prayed to God to let her have her will and how she almost always got it, but what she should have been praying for was for his will to be done. And therein lies the tragedy.

But tragedy aside, it's a beautiful story and one that is well worth reading.

And that's my classics challenge! Below are the links to the other classics I've ready for the challenge this year. I've really enjoyed stretching myself with book choices this year. I read several that I had been meaning to get to for a while but kept putting off but also many that I wouldn't have even heard about or considered without this challenge and most of them I really liked. I hope to do it again next year, wanna join me? Be sure to visit Karen's page to see what other people have been reading this year.

1.  A 19th Century Classic A Tale of Two Cities

2.  A 20th Century Classic Cold Comfort Farm

3.  A Classic by a Woman AuthorThe Glimpses of the Moon

4.  A Classic in Translation. Kristin Lavransdatter

5.  A Very Long Classic Novel Middlemarch

6.  A Classic Novella The Europeans

7.  A Classic with a Person's Name in the Title.  Lady Audley's Secret

8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic.  Three Men in a Boat

9.  A Forgotten Classic.  The Shuttle

10.  A Nonfiction Classic. The Small Woman

11.  A Classic Children's Book.  Understood Betsy

12.  A Classic Play.  MacBeth


Pick a date, any date

I'm, hopefully, just days away from the baby's birthday. It's so odd to think that there is a this very special date coming up but we just don't know what it is yet. But we have lots of pretty cool options.

Today: The fifth day of the tenth month of the (two thousand and) fifteenth year. Cooler when written euro-style: 5-10-15 than american, 10-5-15, but either way, not a bad birthday. Hear that baby?! It's a good day to be born! Sidenote: I grew up writing dates in the european format. I have no idea why but it wasn't until college that I switched. Did my mom teach me that way? Did I just do it "wrong" on accident for all those years? But it still makes much more sense to me that way and I have to deliberate think about writing dates down to this day. 

But there are more coming if today isn't the right one, and I'm guessing it isn't.

October 8th - I met Craig on October 8th, 11 years ago. So that would be cool in a sweet and sappy kinda way.

October 10th - 10-10-15 and my first due date (yes, I have two this time. It's complicated. But this is the more accurate one)

October 14th - Craig's birthday. Sharing seems like fun...but that might mean one less cake we get to eat every year. Not sure how I feel about that.

October 15th - 10-15-15 and my second due date.

October 20th - My dad's birthday. The same birthday as grandpa means all the fun of sharing the date without the need to share the cake. But I really really really don't want to be pregnant 15 days from now. So let's not aim for this one, okay baby?

So we have lots of pretty cool options and considering Lucy came on her due date and Jonah came 5 days late, the odds are good for many of them. Of course, at this point, any day that the baby wants to come is okay with me.


The Things They Say

Jonah, playing with his playdough creature and having it pretend to eat me....I'm a poisonous snake. I'm going to poisonous you!

Jonah: Can I have a tortilla chip?
Me: One for now, you can have more with dinner in a few minutes
Jonah: That's not enough
Me: You get what you get.
Jonah: How 'bout 5?
Me: silence
Jonah: How 'bout 2?
Me: silence
Jonah: Okay. (Breaks it in half). Now I have two!

When Classics meet K-dramas:
Jonah: Would you read to me?
Lucy: Okay, I'll read you this one (St. George and the Dragon - and by read she means look at the pictures and tell the story). Once upon a time, there was a brave knight named St. George and he was traveling with the beautiful princess Noona. (Name of the Princess should be Una. Noona is the name for big sister in Korean :-)

Lucy: Look at another way I can make a 1! I can push all my other fingers down and leave just the middle one up and that's 1! (We've been working on ordinal numbers and she really likes the middle finger now that she realized its the third from the left AND the third from the right! I just can't bring myself to burst her little middle finger loving self with any news of its impoliteness)

Craig: Look Jonah, you got a birthday card in the mail.
Jonah: Oh, thank you daddy!
Craig: Well, it's from great-grandma, I just brought it up from the mailbox
Jonah: Oh, thank you daddy for bringing it up from the mailbox for me!

Lucy has recently started American Heritage Girls and on those nights she doesn't come home until after Jonah's asleep (or supposed to be). It didn't take long to realize that her being in the bunk above him was a big stabilizing factor in terms of keeping him in bed until he falls asleep.

Me: Okay, you're all nice and tucked. Now go to sleep
5 minutes later Jonah walks into my room. He doesn't say anything, just stands there looking at me.
Me: Why are you out of bed?
Jonah: Well...I needed you to tuck me in again because I got out of bed.

It is no secret to those that knew my mother that I am definitely her daughter, in many ways. But even so, I still get caught off guard with certain situations that seem eerily familiar. A few days ago I had a rough night (as in, lots of contractions that did not end with the birth of a baby) so I slept in a bit and instead of making a nice heart breakfast of eggs or oatmeal or pumpkin pancakes like I had every other day that week, the kids got frozen waffles from Trader Joes. Their response:
Jonah: Thank you for this breakfast mommy. I really like it.
Lucy: Yes, this is a wonderful breakfast. So delicious! 
At least no one has asked for sugary cereal for a Christmas present - yet. But that's only because they probably haven't though of it.

Lucy only has a few words she still consistently mispeaks or words she misuses and I'm missing them as they go away. Two that remain are

livering room = living room
orders = directions (east, west, etc) She'll ask me "what order are we driving now? North?"

Jonah's got more but my favorite is bowl-a-bar for granola bar.

Me: Okay guys, it's tea time!
Lucy: Yay! Tea time!
Jonah: I want tea that's milk and chocolate
Lucy: Uhm, Jonah, I think that's really hot cocoa, not tea.
Jonah: No, it's tea. Tea that's milk and chocolate!