Thursday, November 25, 2010

2 Months - Lilian

My Sweet Lilian,

Last week as Papai was admiring you in his lap, he turned to me and said, "She just gets more beautiful everyday, don't you think?" You are filling out and getting chubby baby cheeks and the tiniest little fat rolls on your thighs. You rock a fauxhawk like no one else can. And that smile. Oh my gosh, how your grin lights up a room! You are still a little stingy with the smiles, but you love to stare at faces and will usually smile back when someone smiles and talks to you.

The first of this second month, we dressed you up as a ballerina and took you trick-or-treating at the mall on Halloween. You slept through the whole thing. Then you stayed home to pass out candy with me while Gabs and Papai hit up the neighbors for candy. You slept through all that as well.

We put you through the child-of-E&E test this month and you passed with flying colors. (Which is good because I'm afraid we'd have to send back any kid who wasn't a good traveller!!!) The three of us girls decided to drive down to Georgia on November 17 and surprise your Grandpa for his retirement reception the following day. A 14-hour car ride with two babies would probably intimidate most people, but I had full confidence in you and Gabriela. And you both did awesome! We left at 8:00 am and arrived 15 hours later with only two stops (and very minimal crying/whining) the whole trip! Thank goodness for hands-free pumping, having long arms that can hold a bottle in the backseat, and absorbent diapers. Oh, and two very-content-in-their-car seat girls!

Papai flew down on Saturday and we have spent the week, including Thanksgiving (also your 2-month birthday) in Georgia with family. Everyone was super excited to meet you and enjoyed lots of "pass the baby around."

You have spent much of our time in Georgia with a sour tummy and have started spitting up a lot. Up until now I could literally count on my hands the number of times you've spit up. You have been busy throwing up on lots of the family this week though! Your uncles are especially appreciative.

As of the last two weeks, you are sleeping completely through the night every day now. We put you to bed drowsy, but awake, around 8:30 most nights and you sleep until ~8:00 the next morning. You'll usually wake up, nurse, and then go back to sleep until after 10:00. You haven't been napping much during the day, except when you're in your car seat (you always fall asleep there) but I'll take it for a full night's rest! The last week in Georgia you have been a bit more of a night owl staying wide awake until after 10:00 most nights (probably partly due to the hour time difference), but you make up for it by sleeping later the next morning. You aren't on much of a "schedule" yet, but you are predictable at least!

Gabriela remains completely obsessed with you and spends much of her day smothering you with hugs and kisses. She has also started trying to pick you up off the floor (which we're trying hard to break her of.) She regularly asks to hold the baby and will rock you and sing to you. You're a good sport and tolerate her well. I keep hoping that will last.

You have outgrown all of your newborn clothes now and are wearing 0-3 month. Your size 0 shoes finally fit your little narrow feet now too. You are up to 10.1 pounds (20th percentile) on our scale at home and, though I haven't measured you, seem to have gotten a lot longer.

It's funny how quickly I've become used to being the mother of two. I hardly remember what it was like to leave the house with only one little munchkin now. You are such a happy, content baby, and we all love you so much. Having you here has brought even more love and happiness into our home.

Eu te amo, minha querida!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Restroom Adventures

The end of October, when the girls and I accompanied Eric on a business trip to Burr Ridge, I decided to take the kiddos to the Chicago Children’s Museum one day while Eric was working. Eric questioned my judgment on driving into downtown Chicago and hauling a 1 month old and 18 month old around Navy Pier alone. I had taken them both out for an uneventful girls lunch at Olive Garden and stroll around the mall the previous day though, so I assured him I was up to the challenge and we’d do just fine.

After we parked at Navy Pier and made our way to the museum (with Lilian in the Baby K'Tan sling and carrying Gabriela on my hip), we had to stand in a short line to buy our entry tickets. It was time for Lilian to eat, but I had pumped a bottle to give her once we got inside and found somewhere to keep Gabriela busy for a few minutes.

No sooner than we get in line, Lilian fills her diaper. In a major way. Which is always a little extra discerning when you are "wearing" your baby. Having an accessory leak poop all over is never good, but it's a risk you get to take regularly when you're a mother. (You young girls have no idea how easy you have it . . . when was the last time a cute scarf or fabulous necklace ruined your outfit?) And while she never is very tolerant of a poopy butt, Lilian is even less forgiving of a dirty diaper when she's hungry. So my 1-month old child began to scream at the top of her lungs and refused to be comforted.

Meanwhile I need to get my wallet out of the diaper bag so I can pay. I tried putting Gabriela down, but she was lured by the fun things inside and kept trying to run away. So I am wrestling a toddler who wants down to go play, attempting to shush a hungry, poopy newborn, and dig out my credit card. I got more than one "what the heck does she think she's doing here by herself?" looks from onlookers, including the woman behind the counter. I debated turning around and returning to the hotel. But I had already paid $20 to park. We were going to the museum, dadgumit. Once inside, we immediately found the family restroom so I could get Lilian changed.

Of course, someone was occupying the family restroom and I didn’t dare try to contain Gabs inside the large normal restroom with the propped open door. So we sat down on a bench and I pulled out Lilian’s bottle hoping to distract Gabriela by letting her help me give the baby a bottle and get Lilian to quit crying by getting some milk in her belly and hoping she would forget about the mess in her pants.

Eventually, the family restroom door opened and a lady exited. A very able-bodied lady. Alone. Let’s take a moment to discuss one of my biggest pet peeves since becoming a mother: family restrooms are generally intended for those of us with, oh I don’t know, a “family” en tow (or those who need assistance in the restroom). It’s not just some giant luxury stall for those whom deem a regular restroom insufficient for their pottying needs.

Anyhoo, I take the two kiddos into the now vacant family restroom and start changing Lilian. I was pleased to discover that the diaper had contained the entire poop and, despite the grandeur of the bowel movement she had just experienced, none of it leaked out onto her clothes nor mine. And that’s how I knew the rest of the day was going to be just fine.

After getting the baby cleaned up and put back into the sling and telling Gabriela 142 times to please stop touching the toilet and not play in the trash and to stop licking the wall, Gabriela and I each used the potty (since we were already there and all). I washed Gabs hands very well and then applied some hand sanitizer, since she found the toilet and the trash way too enticing to leave alone. I opened the door to exit the facility and was half way out the door when Gabriela turned back around and darted to the toilet. Before I could stop her, she plunged both hands into the water, turned around, held both toilet-water-covered hands up in the air, and, with a disgusted look on her face, said “ssshhhhh, ssshhhhh” (which would be sujo: dirty in Portuguese.)

The rest of the visit to the Chicago Children’s Museum was great. Lilian spent most of the visit asleep against my chest. Gabs had a blast and didn’t want to leave even after three hours! And, so far, it seems she didn’t contract any fatal diseases from her bathroom antics.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boat Lessons Learned

I mentioned Eric's little boat purchase last month. He has high hopes for the 13-passenger deck boat and big dreams about the hours of family fun on the water. It needs a little engine work though. After putting it on the muffs in the driveway and it running just fine, he decided we needed to take it to the lake and give it a run to try to recreate the issue the previous owner told him about. Some valuable lessons were learned that lovely Sunday afternoon.

Lesson #1: If you are taking your boat out on the water to try and diagnose why the engine stops running after a few minutes, make sure there is someone else on the lake. If the place is deserted, you have no one to help give you a tow in when your boat, predictably, dies and refuses to restart.

Lesson #2: After buying a used boat, confirm that the anchor rope is actually long enough to reach the bottom of the lake.

Lesson #3: It's hard work to paddle a deck boat to shore by yourself on a very windy day.

Lesson #4: Your wife will refuse to take your two babies out on a deserted lake in a boat the you expect to die. Also, your wife will laugh at you once you're stranded in the middle of the lake with a dead engine, an anchor rope that is too short, and nothing but an oar to get yourself back to the boat ramp.

Lesson #5: No matter how many times you try in vain to crank the engine between paddling back, it will crank right up once it is back on the trailer.

Monday, November 15, 2010

When things slow down a little . . .

I need to stop ever using that phrase and just accept the fact that life moves at a ridiculously quick pace and things won't be slowing down any time soon. And while the girls are good sleepers and on paper it seems like I should have plenty of "free" time during naps and such, there still just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do.

Blogging is one of those things.

I'm not a scrapbooker, and I don't have baby books for the girls. I don't keep a journal, and I'm horrible about keeping up with friends. The blog has been my substitute for all that. I want to have a written record of things that happen around here and remember milestones that the girls reach. I want to give friends and family a way to find out what's been happening with us and show off pictures of my growing little family. And sometimes I just want to share a funny story or vent a little bit. But here lately I just can't hardly manage to carve out enough time to sit down at the computer and write. And I don't like that. I want to work on making more time to blog. No promises, but I really do want to do better!

A few things that have happened around here lately:

Eric needed to be in Burr Ridge, a suburb of Chicago, October 25-28 for a training. Since it was only about a 3 1/2 hour drive, the girls and I decided to load up and go with him for a little change of scenery. We enjoyed playing in the hotel room, lunches out, shopping, and a day at the Chicago Children's Museum. For my first major solo outing with the girls, I thought the Children's Museum went well...after the initial 10 minutes anyway. (More on that later.) In the evenings, we went out to supper with Eric and three colleagues. Everyone teased Eric about turning his business trips into family vacations, but they enjoyed the evening entertainment provided by Gabriela!

We hired a babysitter for the first time so that we could go to a Halloween Party. A friend's 13-year old step daughter came over to watch Lilian (we put Gabs to bed before we left) so that Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy from Dancing with the Stars could attend the Relay for Life Costume Party Fundraiser.

Can you tell which is us and which is the real Erin and Maks? ;)

We had a UGA cheerleader and ballerina to take Trick-or-Treating on Halloween. Since Gabriela doesn't really get to eat candy yet, we figured that we'd confiscate her loot for ourselves. She opened up a sucker while we weren't looking though and, since it was Halloween and all, we let her lick on it a while. She seemed to enjoy her first taste of sugar fine enough, but mostly kept trying to offer it to Eric and I.

The next week, Eric spent Tuesday-Friday in Austin, TX with work. The girls and I survived, but were awfully excited when he got home Friday afternoon. It made me super thankful to not be a single mom, and made me realize how much Eric helps out around here!

Last week we worked on a few little projects around the house before spending the weekend in Urbana with Eric's folks.

Since Lilian is sleeping through the night and life is as "settled" as it gets, I am back to pursuing my certification as a birth doula. The only component left to complete is to actually support clients at three births and have them, their doctors, and their nurses evaluate me. I have two births already lined up for the first of the year and another five people who are interested in using my services. And I haven't started advertising nor am I listed anywhere as a doula - this has just been from people hearing that there is someone in Burlington working to become a doula! I should be certified by spring. I am really, really excited!

And along the lines of excitement: Eric has a new toy/project. He bought a 13-passenger deck boat that is in pretty good shape, but needs a little engine work. He's already learned a couple important lessons, but I'll have to dedicate a different post to that. Admittedly, I did want a boat for our family, but wasn't exactly looking for a "project". So while Eric is pretty stoked about the great deal he got on it and is excited about re-working the engine, my enthusiasm will be postponed until the thing is running and I feel confident enough to take the girls out in it.