Tuesday, October 29, 2013

J1 is 3!


Dear Little Miss J,

Sorry for the belated birthday letter this year. With everything that has been going on, it was difficult finding the time to sit down and focus on the past year with you. You are still my favorite little girl and your non-stop chatter is both amazing and crazy making. Since you will only take a nap in the car these days, we tend to plan our errands and trips around an appropriate nap time for you. I often feel as though I am held hostage in the car by your napping schedule. Thank goodness for smart phones and Candy Crush. On a recent nap ride, you talked non-stop until you passed out, and an hour later woke up and started in jabbering right where you left off, as if you had never taken a break. Sometimes the silence of sitting at home with your baby brother is a welcome change from the incessant asking of "WHY?"

You are such a girly girl. You love dresses, princesses, ballet, Hello Kitty, sticker earrings and gymnastics. Appah is pretty happy J2 is here and he can see the light at the end of the tunnel - the tunnel being playing tea party, ballet teacher, and dancing. You are also such a good little helper. You like to help me cook and bake, and you help with the dishes and the laundry. Sometimes it actually makes the task more difficult, but I hate to discourage the "helping." You make me laugh (and want to cry) every. single. day. You know what you want and you want it instantaneously. You lack patience, which in part is not really even your fault. Both your Appah and I have no patience either so we figure it is genetic.

I am so proud of the big girl you are becoming. You are finally potty trained! Hallelujah!  You know how to spell your name and you are starting to be able to recognize letters and numbers. You are quite the little smarty pants and know how to work your Umma and Appah. When you are asked to do something you don't want to do, your typical response is ... "I have a deal ...," and we usually end up in a lengthy negotiation. You are quite the good listener - as long as it isn't one of your parents telling you to do something. But for the most part, you are a very good girl.

I am looking forward to all the amazing things you will do in your life. You truly make this world (and my life) a better place. While I could imagine a life without your whining, I can't imagine a day without your smiling face! I hope you will always know how much we love you and that we will support you in anyway possible. You are the best thing I have ever made and my proudest accomplishment.

love you to the moon and back,

your Umma

Saturday, October 26, 2013

he loves me he loves me not

After four weeks of a brand new baby, I can definitively say that I still have a love hate relationship with newborns. Nevertheless, this time around has been completely different. With Little Miss J, we went from just the two of us to the neediest creature one could ever imagine. On top of which I was exhausted, sore, and felt like I never had a chance to catch my breath let alone recover from her birth. Pretty sure I actually resented her existence.  I hated getting up at all hours of the night and I hated sitting there holding her because she refused to sleep in any other position. As irrational as this sounds, I felt like Little Miss J was trying her best to ruin my life. I loved and resented her in equal measure. Not going to lie, I still hate getting up in the middle of the night, I am completely over changing diapers, and being attached to a pump feels like a special sort of degradation that you don't get just anywhere. But this time around, it definitely feels less personal. The love hate relationship is more with this stage of life and not with my actual child. And really, part of it could be the relief of knowing that this is the last time I am going to go through the newborn stage ... of course the fact that J2 sleeps independently definitely doesn't suck either. This is it. I  won't miss the round the clock every 2-3 hour feedings but little J2 is just what we needed to complete our family, and I am certainly glad we have two perfect little munchkins. I definitely love them more than not (most days).

every child is an artist

And here is how far mine has come in the last year ...

Last January Little Miss J drew a balloon. Yes, I know. Don't say it.

Just this past week, however, she drew a mouse ...

I would say that is quite the improvement, no?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

birthday x 3

With J2's due date looming so close to Little Miss J's birthday, I planned her party for Sept. 28. Of course, as luck would have it J2 was born on Sept. 27. Since Sept. 28, Little Miss J has had a little more than three weeks of birthday celebrations, which finally ended last weekend.

She had a birthday party with her friends from preschool at her gymnastics studio the day after J2 was born. I hung out in the hospital, while Little Miss J and her friends jumped, flipped, and played. Thanks again to Auntie Rachael for all her help!

On her actual birthday (October 9), we had birthday cupcakes.

Auntie Rachael also took her to Disney on Ice a few days after her actual birthday. She got to wear her crown and princess dress and see Tinkerbell and some "naughty pirates."
Then this past weekend, my parents and some of Gus's extended family were in town for a visit and we had a third 3rd birthday celebration for the little princess.
Little Miss J is one well-feted three year old!

wordless wednesday

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

another year

Dear Mom,
Juliet is turning 3 and you've been gone for another year. We all miss you so very much and wish you were still here. As I continue on my journey of parenthood, you are always in the back of my mind. My wish is that my kids will always know the kind of love that I felt growing up with you.

I don't have quite the magic touch that you did - for example ... I can't sew for crap and so all Halloween costumes are either purchased on Etsy (which is quite the useful website for handmade items that you didn't make yourself) or held together with hot glue, but I have done my best to never put them in store bought Halloween costumes for fear you would turn over in your grave. I remember desperately wanting a store bought costume as a kid, and it wasn't until I was older that I realized all the thought and care that went into the costumes you created for me.

Birthday parties are another area where I have had some big shoes to fill. This year, we did Juliet's birthday party at her gymnastics studio. I wanted to do a full blown at home party, but being almost 9 months pregnant it just wasn't going to happen. I hope you understand. As it turns out, little Jonah Roger was born two weeks early, the day before Juliet's birthday party. I spent her party in the hospital, while Gus and Rachael did all the heavy lifting.

I know you met Gus back when we were in college and I am glad for that. Back then you probably never would have guessed that he would turn out to be the amazing husband and father that he is. He makes me so happy and the lengths he is willing to go for his kids (and me) - such as throwing a birthday party on his own despite it not really being his thing - fills my heart with joy.

The biggest news this past year is the arrival of Baby Jonah Roger. He's the sweetest little baby, Mom. The complete and utter opposite of Juliet. You would have loved snuggling him and seeing his perfect little sleeping face. He is so content and I can already tell how handsome he is going to be.

If you asked me what I thought my life would be like, this is what I would have imagined (without all the student loan debt, of course but that's another story). I have a perfect little family - two healthy kids who have parents who love them and each other very much. After law school, I think I really struggled with feeling successful and wondering where I went so far off track from the little girl, who thought she could accomplish anything. But over the past year or two, things have just felt like they have fallen into place. Career-wise and family-wise, I don't think I could ask for anything more. To put it simply, I'm happy.

You not being here doesn't actually seem to get easier, in fact seeing the things that you miss sometimes even makes it harder. But I know that both my precious children have an angel in heaven watching over them, and I can only hope that I am making you proud of me.

Missing you always,


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

big sister

Evolution of a big sister ...

Despite what can best be described as her initial ambivalence, Little Miss J has stepped into her big sister role beautifully. Of course, it helps that her little brother isn't as high maintenance as she was because then it may have been a completely different story.
Little Miss J seems to really like being the big sister, when it is convenient. When J2 cries, she is quick to run to him and tell him that everything is OK. She likes to touch him, but needs consistent reminders to "be gentle." When she comes home, she asks where her baby brother is. Last night, she helped give him his first bath and comforted him as he screamed his little lungs out.
She's been a bit whinier than usual, but we've been trying to give her some extra attention. We do something special with her each day. Gus has taken her to the park, the pumpkin patch, out for ice cream, and yesterday we all went to a local fall festival.
petting zoo at the pumpkin patch
children of the corn?
Little Miss J certainly loves that both Gus and I have been home. She told me that she didn't want me to go to work anymore. That I should just stay home and play with her. I'm not even the fun parent, which just goes to show how much your children love you!


Thursday, October 3, 2013


Recall how I wondered if I would love my first baby, and then recall how I wondered if I would love my second one after being fully committed to fiercely loving Little Miss J for three years. Once again, people are right. You just love them differently.

My first experience with this was the first time I laid eyes on J2. When Little Miss J finally came out after hours and hours and HOURS of labor and 2 hours of pushing, I actually started sobbing and thought she was the most perfect beautiful creature in the entire universe. Looking back on photos, however, she was a wrinkly little alien. As soon as J2 came out, I didn't feel that same rush of love and emotion, I saw right through it to the wrinkly little alien part. That being said, he won some mommy nice points given that he came flying into this world with less than a half hour of pushing. Bonus points for easier recovery on mommy too. Since his birth, he's been an exceptional baby - exceptionally the opposite of Little Miss J. He is a good sleeper, cries only when you change his diaper, and is an all around easy baby.

They say (who's they? IDK) you get the baby you need. After paying our dues with Little Miss J, we definitely needed this baby. I'm not entirely sure I needed the three years of not sleeping and the emotional rollercoaster of a love hate relationship with your newborn, but Little Miss J taught me I was capable of a love that I never imagined. She has turned into this funny, creative, smart little girl, who amazes me everyday. But J2 and his mellow little soul is just what this little family needed.

My friend, Jenn, asked me if I felt bonded with him already. Honestly, I can't really tell. He's been so easy so far, that he makes it easy for me to like him. He doesn't keep me entertained or make me laugh like Little Miss J (yet), but he's so sweet and snuggly and I could stare at his sleeping face for hours. I love watching his little brown eyes taking in his surroundings and his little facial expressions. I definitely don't feel the same kind of love, but there is at least a strong sense of like going on. Of course I am being moderately facetious. I love this little boy, but it's impossible not to compare my feelings between the two. Maybe I do love him just the right amount and it is just in comparison that it seems like not quite the same.

Whatever it is, I'm really just thankful he's such a sweet little boy giving this mommy a bit of a break. I have definitely been enjoying my leave and my bonding time with this guy. I shudder to think what it would have been like to have the easy baby first followed by a Little Miss J. Our family got just what it needed ...


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

and then there were four ...

humans that is.

J2 is here! He's little and perfect and so much easier to like than Little Miss J, but we can get to that in a minute.

The whole labor thing got off to a bad start. Let me preface that by saying that for Little Miss J we went to the hospital when my water broke so I have no idea what non-Pitocin induced contractions actually feel like. That being said, we had a couple of false alarms since I had no idea what I was expected to experience.

After a full day of work on 9/26, where I was timing contractions for the entire afternoon. Not an easy task when trying to finish a legal research memo. If you check the app, I may or may not have had several contractions that lasted for more than 12 minutes. Then after work, we headed to after school night at the preschool where I was joking with most of the parents that Gus was going to have to throw a three year-old birthday party on his own, while surreptiously trying to continue timing contractions.

Basically, I suck at timing contractions and so finally Gus took over and we just sat on the couch to focus and I would tell him when they started and stopped. The hospital's advice was to come in when they were 3-5 minutes for two hours so when they got to 4 minutes apart for an hour we headed to the hospital because I was really not going to be precluded from the option of an epidural.

I got to the hospital measuring a whopping 3.0 cm. I waddled the hallways for an hour and a half with frequent breaks to ride out the contractions - the entire time I was wishing that I was sleeping. All that waddling bought me another 0.5 cm. Apparently, 4 cm is the magic number that buys you an admission ticket to the hospital. The nurse suggested that we might go labor at home and I was thinking ... SERIOUSLY? NO. SERIOUSLY? I mean with contractions 2-3 minutes apart what other indication was I going to have to know to come back to the hospital? Was I going to shove my own arm up there and see if I was at 4 cm? Or was I just supposed to waddle back in with a baby head hanging out of my crotch? I mean really. Both Gus and I told them that we were not leaving the hospital until we had a baby.

About 2:00 a.m., I got admitted to the hospital and immediately got the epidural. I was exhausted and just wanted some sleep. Seeing how slowly I was progressing, I was pretty sure I was going to be there for two weeks until my actual due date and I was going to need some drugs to get some rest. By 6:30 or so, I had only moved another cm despite having Pitocin.

And then all of sudden ... wham! I went from 4.5 cm to 6.0 cm in an hour. My doctor finally showed up and she broke my water and less than an hour later, we were ready to push. The pushing thing was a piece of cake after the 2 hour nightmare with Little Miss J. There was really only one way to go after that - I mean it couldn't be worse. I pushed for less than a half hour ... definitely more than a 4 pusher but significantly less than previously.

J2 was born on September 27 at 9:07 a.m.! His head and face were so perfect that the nurse who examined him later asked if he was a c-section baby.

I can't get over how handsome he is ...