Thursday, February 28, 2008

35 years, 3 kids and a gorgeous husband

This morning I was awakened by 2 super enthusiastic faces, forcing greeting cards into my hands. "Happy Birthday mommy! Can I open your card for you?? I wanna do it!" Robert and Esther were loud, boisterous and sweet and Cecilia slept right through all their chatter. She has already learned to selectively block out noise. The card that Rob gave me is worth sharing-
"Dear mom, for your birthday your deserve to get away from it all." Inside- "love, it all."
I must confess, I am ready to get away from at least some of it all. Mostly, I want to escape to my bed for about 10 hours. Rob has guaranteed me a nap this afternoon. Hooray!

We took Cecilia for a 2-week check-up this morning. That little lady has gained 1lb and 2oz. in the 16 days since she was born. And she grew an inch. Hopefully that translates to many pounds off mom and at least an inch off around the middle. How does that math work? Rob and I took her together while R and E were at school. Wow- it reminded me of when Robert was a babe- just the three of us.

I am a mother of 3 now. Sometimes that can take on the most banal of implications. For instance, after drinking her chocolate milk yesterday morning, Esther sat on my lap for a cuddle. With no warning, she threw up all over me. At the close of my day, Cecilia had apparently had too much milk before bed. She threw up all over me too. The double throw up day. That will be hard to beat. I am just glad that yesterday was not my birthday.

Mom and dad came down in the late afternoon to lend some moral and physical support. Dad held CC while mom and I played for hours with Esther (whose energy level was undeterred despite the stomach bug.)

Speaking of Esther, BIG NEWS. She has been wearing big girl panties for 4 days now. There have been a few accidents, but she is very proud to have beautiful panties! Just in time for b-day number three.

Thanks to everybody who has called or written me today. JP's rendition of Happy Birthday warmed my heart. "I didn't get you a card so this is your happy birthday wish!" :) Now, for a winter nap.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

super chic birthday dinner- mom, dad and Cecilia hit the town

On Saturday night we celebrated the L and G birthdays in style at Repast- Mom and dad made the trek into town to join us. Rob has since begun referring to this place as "a hidden gem." The atmosphere is hip but casual, the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable and we met the (young!) owner on our way out. CC was "the youngest diner they ever had there." She dined on my Scottish salmon wrapped in grape leaves at around midnight anyway.

Today is Gloria's birthday. Atlanta treated her to beautiful blue skies and 65 degree weather. We all packed up and spent early afternoon at Piedmont Park. A CC debut! Funny, we saw at least 5 or 6 other moms with tiny tiny babies making their first park trips of the season. By the time we left at 4pm or so, people were pouring into the park in droves. Atlantans love to be outside!

Rob had to be away this morning so I got really creative and used up some old shaving cream making a mess on the sidewalk this morning. Shaving cream+water+pine cones+flowers+bubbles = fun. Robert approved, "I am gonna stay out here forever today mom, all the way til dark!"

Last night we dined elegantly at home. Tim and Beth Frilingos brought dinner of cornish hens with a tomato and lemon gravy and homemade bread. Oh man. We first tasted this dish when I was pregnant. I wanted to swim in the gravy. I loved every bite last night just as much as the first time- but it was accompanied by a LOT of noise- the children transformed themselves into (loud) superheroes during our entree. That's real life folks.

I encountered a baby poop blowout at around 2am that defied the laws of physics. CC was next to me making plenty of noise as she nursed. It became clear to me that a diaper change was my next move. As I lifted my sated baby to the changing table I was startled and amazed to see that my child was befouled on her back up to her neck , down her leg to her toes and up her front to her chest. One must laugh. Laugh and go back to sleep.

Quotes: "Mommy, I like your smell the best."- Esther
"How old is Gloria mom? (me-33) Holy cow!!"- Robert
"Hello little baby, DOT COM!!!"- Esther
"Daddy, will you make my dinner now? I am hungry, I wanna eat now Daddy!"- Esther

Friday, February 22, 2008

rain, a honeymoon, and Jesus

Actually, we are glad for the rain. It didn't stop us from packing up our van with all three kids last night for a quick pop-in at Beth Frilingos' b-day party. Esther and Robert were beside themselves with excitement to share their baby sister with friends. We all napped til 5:30 in the afternoon so having a party destination was a great end to our Thursday. Just before bed Cecilia's umbilical stump came off. Little milestone.

She seems to prefer breastmilk from the breast. I fed her lying down last night and we slept for 4 hours. Yippee!

This morning Robert held CC for an entire show, fed her and burped her all on his own (with us close by.) Esther came upstairs looking for her sister first thing this morning. At this point we are all on a big family honeymoon with this bundle of love. Sigh. Forgive me, I gush. And now for a nice quote from Hallmark via Ray and Beth Chenault:

"Slowly, starting now, a thousand stars in the sky will become clearer, a thousand notes in your heart will blend into song, and all the love you have ever given will be returned to you a thousand times better by your baby girl."

While listening to our friend Mark Miller sing beautifully arranged hymns with guitar and violin, Esther waxed theological in the van. "Why did Jesus die?" "Why did the man say Jesus die again and again?" And Robert inquired, "Did you see it when Jesus died?" I never imagined that a minivan in the pouring rain on the connector in Atlanta would be a forum for me to share the story of our faith. Crazy.

Rob is considering how to expand his job search as spring approaches. I see how relaxed and happy he is to be home with us for a while and am thankful yet again for the 6-week paternity leave policy at All Saints'. But naturally, it sure would be nice to know what the next career move will be soon, like tomorrow, or today, or yesterday. All will be well.

How about more photos?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

3 hours of sleep in a stretch

I experienced some golden rest between the hours of 4 and 7am. Soon the stretches will grow longer, right? Today I have heard from some of the fam out there. Glad you like the blog! Today I add photos. Don't worry JP, I will have plenty to say about Rob too.

Here's a great start: When we were in Oban, Scotland this summer just before getting to Iona, we scrawled a few thoughts to ourselves on a card. One of the sponsors on the trip mailed us the cards in January. Mine note was long, arduous and careful. Rob, however, was succinct and hopeful- "Having a third child is a blessing. All will be well." That's fridge material people!

Now to some photos.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

five burlingtons, a week ago

We have been a family of five for a week now. That blows my mind.

About Cecilia: she was up 3 times last night. She feeds voraciously, poops like a pro and cries rarely but with great gusto. She did a classic baby maneuver 2 nights ago around 2am. The sequence follows: eat, major poop blowout up the front and back, change diaper and clothes, eat more, throw it all up down mommy's pj top with just enough on her sleeper to merit another clothing change, still hungry, ate again, fell asleep. That ain't easy to pull off folks. She is gifted. All that merited a lovely 1st bath for her yesterday. A little soap, a sink full of water, a little baby and a soft towel made for the most heavenly smell. Ah. She stared into my eyes late last night. I could see such thought and perception in her little blue eyes. I fell in love, yet again.

About Esther: she has become a real girlfriend. She calls everybody sweetie, uses her eyes like a professional flirt, can conjure up an imaginary castle in the blink of an eye, and loves sophisticated foods. pink pink pink, sweetie. She drew her first picture of a person (mom)today- complete with eyes, cheeks, arms, hands, hair and legs. (not hair on legs, hair on head!)

About Robert: he is hopelessly attached to Cecilia. He cannot wait for her to wake up so that he can hold her, feed her, or just stare at her. He laid in the bed watching her sleep for 1/2 hour this morning. When asked by a friend what it's like to be a big brother again he replied, "It's change-y." He spun a long time in a swing today at OT. It reminded me of all the spinning I loved to do every day after school in Omaha. Maybe I was regulating myself too. When he has had too much at OT, he let's us know. Today, it was by drawing words in the air. In this case "stop."

In general: I introduced the kids to the Burlington Store yesterday. I created a bin with goodies and coupons in it for them to spend the tokens they earn with their chore chart. BIG HIT. Esther couldn't stop thanking me. She grabbed me spontaneously for a hug when I handed her a pack of gum in exchange for 10 tokens. "Thank you thank you thank you!" As for Robert, he had a spending spree! He bought gum, two MARTA rides, a play date and a trip to the dollar store. He patiently counted up to 40 tokens at a time. He asked me to keep the store open all the time, PLEASE. What gratification was mine for scraping together some gum packs, stickers, coupons with a little clever marketing!

Quotes to remember:
"Throw it away! That was living in the garbage with the poop!"- Rob
"Where is Cecilia?"- Robert, Esther, Robert, Esther, Robert, ESther etc.
"Feeding a baby is a lot of hard work!"- Robert
"Mom, Cecilia peed all over the changing table!"-Robert
"Where is God mom? Who is Jesus? (me-"God's son") No, mom- the sun is up there in the sky!"-Esther