Monday, December 29, 2008

A really great day....

All kinds of excitement today... all baby related, of course! The quick update goes a little something like this.

Sofie has decided that using a fork to feed herself is quite possibly the AWESOMEST thing EVER!
She spent most of dinner tonight giggling at her new found skill and showing off for daddy!

Carter had his very first bath today- and much to my surprise- actually seemed okay with the whole thing. I was convinced (based on his complete disdane for diaper changes and clothes changes and changes of any kind) that he would, hmmmm... what's the expression.... FREAK OUT! But, No. Quite the opposite. He was a very happy relaxed little guy. and adorable, did I mention adorable?

And here's the big one: BOTH of my babies were simultaneously, and at the same time, in the mood to snuggle- without protest! And because you certainly wouldn't believe me otherwise, here's the proof.

OH, happy day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

kinda makes me wanna do a little jig....

... I'm pretty sure that I'm on some kind of post-partum. hormone-induced, emotional-lovey-lovey- baby-high.  That said, I'm willing to divulge the following confidential information:  toilet paper commercials featuring either puppies or bare baby bottoms (& heaven forbid, BOTH) in addition to any small act of kindness or expression of love, is, at this time, enough to turn me into a mushy puddle of tear-filled mess.  
And, as if xerox advertisements and tiny little baby socks aren't enough to sabotage my good intentions to get up and actually rinse the dishes- there's this

It would be ridiculous to assume that anyone who is more than 2 weeks post-baby would tear up quite like I did- But I do hope you appreciate the "we're all one people" message.  And also- can you please pass the tissues... *sniff :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas Story

What a wonderful day. What a busy, busy, wonderful day.
I may have mentioned that I'm on a super post-baby high- but in case I didn't: I'm on a super, post-baby high! Add to that a huge helping of family and a dash of the good-old-fashioned Christmas spirit and what do you have?... One seriously happy, greatful, and slightly weepy mommy full of love and warm fuzzies.
We had such a perfect Christmas- we had the opportunity to spend a little time participating in holiday traditions from both sides and (most importantly) to spend time together as a family of four!
The day actually started (for me) the night before... We dressed our babies in their new Christmas Jammies and Pat read the 'Night Before Christmas' before putting our big girl down for the night. Carter was very cooperative as well, and sans the normal "IT'S TWO AM, WAKE-UP AND FEED ME" moment, it was a peaceful and almost silent night :)
We woke in morning to find that Santa had stopped by to fill stockings and took the opportunity to peek inside. Sofie found a few little treats that she actually enjoyed more than the stocking itself and spent a fair amount of time pursuing the new books and playing with a new puppet. Before their first naps, the kids (OMG- the "KIDS") opened a few presents and what a sight that was. I knew not to expect much in the way of excitement or any actual tearing into of gifts- but boy was it cute to see Sof's get all caught up in ribbon and little bits of paper, all the while completely ignoring the totally awesome music set I was giddy to see her play with. *UPDATE: she's gotten over the ribbon and has engaged with the music set- thank you very much.
After nap #1, We bundled up and headed over the river and through the woods to Grams' house, where Santa apparently made an extra long stop! We had a wonderful time with Grams, Gramps and Uncle Lucas and, boy, did we score some serious loot! We also spent some time with the Greatgrands having the traditional McConnell family Christmas breakfast. yum.
After nap #2, we re-bundled up and headed over to Aunt Denise's for the Demers Family Christmas. It was a lovely evening. Denise, Diane, Karen and her kids as well as Angela, Abby, Mark and his kids were all present.
Dinner w as delicious and it was wonderful to spend the evening with the family.
The most poignant part of the day for me was in the details and in the emergence of our f amily's little traditions. Again, as a lady all hopped up on baby-lovey-dovey hormones, it was easily the most beautiful of all holidays to date. Joy to the world, and all that jazz.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Week One... Check.

Well, we've made it a whole week with two (count 'em, T-W-O) children and have maintained at least most of our sanity. Don't quote me, (I have PLENTY of time to change my position on this one...) But, I think this whole family of four thing might just work out :)
Carter is endlessly amazing. For a little thing that mostly just eats, poops and sleeps- it's remarkable how awesome he is. He's adapting quite nicely to life outside the womb and is even finding himself in a comfortable 2 hour routine. Patton and I are both getting a reasonable amount of sleep and spirits are registering high.
Sophia is (as always) the most incredible child in all of world. She's being an angel, maintaining her fabulous schedule and is quickly showing what a fantastic big sister she is and will continue to be! She's completely concerned about her little brother and gets excited each time he makes a little gurgle or squeak. Sofie even doles out kisses before naps and when Carter starts to cry.
If I'm being completely honest, I spent the last few months preparing myself for the worst. I was truly worried that having our babies so close together would be, on some level, just too hard. Again, I reserve the right to rescind the following statement at anytime, but, Not only does the current situation seem manageable, I really kinda dig it!
happy mommy. check.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Carter's Birth Story (AKA- The Longest Post EVER)

We started the day as a family of three...
Tuesday morning we got up at the normal time to begin the day- Sofie decided to sleep in just a bit, so Patton and I finished up some last minute tasks before showering and getting ready to leave for the hospital. Diane and Denise were on hand to watch Sophia, so by 10:00 we were off to start the process.

We arrived at the hospital at 10:30 and checked in. We were directed upstairs to the Labor and Delivery triage, where we had the exact same bed as we did with Sofie! The nurses were great and the process of monitoring and pumping me full of IV fluids was smooth. All the participating parties stopped by for an introduction (the LDR nurses, the anesthesiologist and Dr Rhymers, of course) and by 12:10p I was making my way through the halls down to the operating room. The nurses and doctors quickly prepped me and I was given the spinal that would block all feeling for the operation. Just a few moments later, everyone was poised and ready- They let Patton in from the hallway and as soon as Dr Rhymers arrived the c-section began.

Much like the last time- I could feel nothing but a very surreal pressure as they cut and pushed and began to extract our little guy.
Unlike the last time- the anesthesia seemed very strong and made me both nauseous and feel as though my lungs were swimming in fluid.
In what seemed like a fraction of a second, and also an eternity, all at the same time (really it was 12 minutes)- I heard the first little gurgle of our newborn baby boy. What an incredible moment. It would be impossible to explain how fantastic that first little sound is- but I'm pretty sure it was in that moment that I grew another heart, all for loving this little baby.
Carter came out looking just like his sister did 14 months ago- perfect little head with button nose and the most beautiful lips ever. His cheeks, while noteworthy, could not possibly rival hers, but their expressions seem identical.
He scored high on the APGAR and all weights and measurements were in the very healthy range. Carter and Dad stayed in the OR for a few photos and then left for the recovery area. I had a few more moments of nausea (and either passed out or fell asleep) during the remainder of the surgery and then met up with my boys.
The recovery process was very quick this time around- Feeling returned to my legs and feet much faster than with Sofie and we were soon able to snuggle and stare and make all the necessary comparisons :)
It was while we were in recovery that the nurses noticed that Carter had a bit of a heart murmur and so quite a commotion was created over whether or not he should be admitted to the NICU- thankfully he was not. However- it was at this point that all the additional poking and prodding of our little guy began.

We were taken to our room by 2:30. It happened to be exactly the same room we were in last October with Sofie! It was oddly comforting to have the same room (and may of the same nurses) throughout our stay. My family was waiting to greet us and to meet Carter. [Insert 'oooohh'-ing & 'aaahhh'-ing here *] It was lovely.

Carter began making some pretty unusual noises, of the grunting variety, which was cause for some concern by our nurse. She ordered a battery of tests and had us all on pins and needles for most of the evening. After the results of the blood-test, the echo cardiogram and the chest x-ray were evaluated by the NICU doctor- Carter was give a clean bill of health- with the simple explanation that he had some residual fluid in his lungs left over from the c-section and that the heart murmur previously noted was likely an un-closed PDA (similar to what Sophia had until about 6 months). Healthy baby. Check.

We had plenty of visitors (the grandparents, aunts and uncles, Great-Grands and most notably one very big sister). I was very excited to see Sofie and to introduce her to her new baby- she however was not so impressed and, shall we say... less than excited. All told- it was a pretty uneventful introduction (*though I should say, she's coming around nicely :)
We stayed in the hospital until Thursday afternoon (a full day less than last go-round) but were home and fully immersed in the REAL WORLD (of having two babies, at home, by ourselves, holy crap!) by dinnertime.

I am happy to report that every bit of this process has been smooth so far... here's hoping we stay this lucky.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Carter Greyson Demers

Our Beautiful Boy

Born Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
7 pounds, 8 ounces
20 inches long

(He looks just like his big sister!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

"...our son will come out, tomorrow.."

This post is me procrastinating the final few items on my "to do before baby2" list. It's a little crazy that, in less than 15 hours, our family of 3 will be a family of 4. And, no matter how hard I try to remember all the little things that I NEEDED to do before going into the hospital- all of it seems trivial and unnecessary now that our little boy is mere hours away. The carpet in the basement remains un-vacuumed, the tiny Sofie hand prints on the glass door are still there, and the dust bunnies who have set up colonies under the wine rack are procreating at an alarming rate. BUT- The nursery is ready, the clothes and diapers are washed and, ready or not, we're having a baby tomorrow. My bet is that we're ready (or as ready as we can be without access to a crystal ball) and, I must admit- VERY EXCITED.
So many questions are swimming through my brain- what will our little guy look like? Will he have those fantastic Sofie-cheeks? His daddy's beautiful blue eyes? Will he have my temperament or Pat's? What do those pokey little knees and elbows look like out from under my belly? The closer we get to meeting him- the more anxious I get to find all of these answers. But- soon enough, right!?!
I hope tonight is a quiet one, it'll be the last one for quite a while. And when I get up in the morning, it will be baby day :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Bit of Crazy-Pregnant-Lady Grumbling...

So, I went in to get the "hey-I'm-having-a-baby-no-maintenance-mom-haircut" the other day and what I got was this:

The"Hi!-please-don't-mistake-me-for-your-local-freaky-bartender-because-I-have-dark-ass-PURPLE-HAIR!!!" haircut. In the spare moment's I'm not spending fussing and tugging and washing my hair with ridiculously harsh shampoo, I'm busy-ing myself trying to figure out how asking for a "warm brown color, that resembles my natural color" equals "Dark-freaking-brown in the key of PURPLE!"
So, yes... I did make the mistake of not going with the very nice color I got last time, instead hoping for something a little softer and (here's where I think I went wrong) warmer. Because, apparently, to this particular stylist warmer means GOTH!
I, of course, expressed my concern while at the salon, and then went home to see if perhaps it was just this particular establishments insanely harsh lighting (yeah, right) only to find the color worse upon my arrival. So, I went back, and the lady graciously offered to "fix" it. Fix, in this case, was to do a color rinse which should have muted the red (PURPLE!) highlights. Should have, but didn't.
Another trip to the salon yesterday only yielded the option of applying baby mutating, industrial strength chemicals to strip the pigment from my hair- so, bottom line. I have ugly, dark, purple locks until such time that I am not "with child."
I'm sure I have better things to worry about (what with war and famine and OH YEA, A BABY IN 3 Days!)- but, I'm over all of those things so I plan to grumble about this for a while.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Look at this cheeky little monkey- all sweet for Santa, as if he's gonna bring her something good this year :)
I mean, com'on, how adorable can one little person be... I swear sometimes I just feel like I'm playing house with a really freekin' precious doll-baby! I'm such a proud mama :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All things big and round...

So we all remember the frightening display that was my belly on the last go round. I am, to this day, haunted by the hushed murmuring of "...ohhh, twins, RIGHT!?!", or "... how many weeks past due are you?" all before I was even 7 months pregnant. So, Okay, I was freek-ish with the torpedo shaped, poke-your-eye-out belly. But really, it wasn't that bad right? Let's refresh our memories shall we... This was Sofie about 24 hours before birth:

Okay, yikes that was a little...ummmm... scary. But how about now? With out the previa complication I must be significantly smaller, right? Hmmmm.....

What a difference an inch makes. Somehow this time around no one is quite as worried that I will spontaneously explode, or my favorite metaphor: "POP" at any moment. Perhaps I'm just a little more adept at carrying around my girth this time- or maybe that inch really does make a world of difference. Either way, damn that's a lot of baby in there!

Here's the update: Baby two is all set to arrive shortly after noon, next Tuesday. Um, NEXT TUESDAY- which is technically really REALLY soon. To add the scientific terms- wow-wow-wowzer! 7 days, we are no longer talking weeks here, people- just days! Also- based on all kinds of uber-scientific doctor measurements and equations and stuff- Our OB seems to think this baby will be at, or around, the 8 lb mark- just like Sofie. Since the c-section is already scheduled, I am taking this as very good news- the bigger the baby, the better they eat/sleep/stand up to the flailing limbs of an older sister.

So, I think I am beginning to see why second children always seem to get the shaft. This poor child is not even born yet and somehow he already gets the "eh, he'll be fine" brush-off. "Prepare for the new baby?? Us, noooo.... eh, he'll be fine." With Sofie, I was on top of every single pregnancy detail- two or three weekly updates, subscriptions to all the 'what-not-to-do/eat/think/come with in a square mile of'-newsletters, I could rattle off exactly what this little growing baby was up to at each moment of each day ("today she's growing eyelashes, honey). And Now!?! Not so much. Some one asked me, not long ago, how far along I was and my best response was "Um.... I'm due in December" but eh, he'll be fine.
I do, however, know two things: 1. this time around we're having a boy (in a mere 7 days- did I mention that?)- which dramatically changes the game, and 2. once you have a second kid- all the rules change. I already love this little guy more than I ever could have imagined- it just seems to look a little different this time. I know that he may not get quite as many uninterrupted hours wide-eyed adoration from mommy, or months and months of nothing but constant attention- but maybe that's a good thing. I just can't wait to see how this all works out- and yet I know that it will. I guess what I'm getting at is that I'm really starting to get excited.... and it's a good thing coz there's really only 7 days of coherant thought left before all hell breaks loose!

BTW: this blog post by Amalah is by far the most encouraging thing I've come across throughout my entire pregnancy- In a world full of people who seem to want to make sure I am acutely aware of just how hard having 2 babies is... this is a sweet baby-breath of fresh air.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


What a fun and crazy holiday we've had. It was such a different experience this year (as I imagine will be the case for at least the next few years, as Patton and I continue to through monkey-wrenches [... I mean, babies] into the mix). For the first time since Pat and I have been together we didn't host the Demers for Thanksgiving- Instead, we made the family rounds. On Thursday, we headed over to my parent's house for a traditional McConnell family T-day feast. It was very nice to spend the evening with my Mom, Dad, Lucas and BOTH sets of grandparents. It was also nice to enjoy all the flavors of Thanksgivings past- the sweet southern dishes that I've missed over the last 4 or 5 years; carrot pudding, jello salad, pineapple soufflé and cornbread stuffing. Sofie seemed to really dig the eats as well- she had both a perma-grin and the roundest little baby belly I've ever seen!

On Friday, we headed out to Denise's for the Demers Family Thanksgiving. The traditional Demers fare was a wonderful way to round out the T-day festivities- I love that sausage stuffing!! We really enjoyed spending Friday with Diane, Denise and Matt (and missed seeing Karen and the kids).

As if TWO thanksgiving dinners in a row was not enough- we decided to fill up the weekend with more visiting- On Saturday night we took a trip out to Herndon to catch up with the Devine's. It was so nice to see Lea, Chris and the kids; who all seem to be doing exceptionally well. They are quite possibly the most adorable family on the planet :)

Whew.... Thanksgiving always seems to come with an exceptional amount of planning, prep and clean-up. We send may thanks to all three familys who hosted us this past weekend. And somehow, while we ourselves didn't actually do any of the hosting this year- we still ended the weekend pooped from all the activity. And for reasons unrelated to pilgrams or turkey there was still plenty of planning, prep and clean-up :)
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