Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet Loves

A picture of my sweet loves, Avery 3 yr 6.5 months. Landon 1 week.
Of note, the headband Avery wears in all these pictures is from her friend Ella at school. She received it in her cubbie on the last day of school before we left for maternity leave. She misses her friend Ella who clearly has an excellent fashion sense and understanding of Avery's fashion preferences. She literally wears it every day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Real Baby!

Avery got a very special gift when Landon came home from the hospital: her very own baby doll. She really had to work at first to be gentle, she just loved him so much she wanted to squeeze him. Jon compared her to Lenny from "Of Mice and Men". "I will name him (Landon), and I will hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him". She would literally shake, trying to keep herself from squeezing him too hard, so excited to have her very own baby. These pictures are of how she introduced him to all her friends. She loves to cover him with her blankets. We have had lots of lessons about the fragility of babies, soft spots, not covering baby's head, etc. It is a work in progress but she is a quick learner and loves her baby brother so much.

Monday, January 24, 2011

He's Here!

Our sweet boy, Landon James, was born this morning at 1032 AM. He weighs 6 lb 7 oz and is 19.5 inches long.
We stopped at the 7-11 down the street so Jon could get a giant Icee, after all we knew it would be a long night. I was only 2 cm dilated when we got to the hospital. They offered that I could go home, I said no thank you! We did some walking around to get things going and by 4 am I was demanding the epidural. It was crazy painful going in but worked like a charm within minutes. I was worried that my water did not break all this time through all these contractions. But in the end it was protective and meant to be.
My doctor broke my water, which was meconium-stained which is an indicator of stress for the baby, at 7 or 8 am. Once I started pushing around 930am the baby began having decelerations where the heart rate drops with contractions and did not improving as quickly as it should. They put oxygen on me, put me on my side, said "I am suspicious that the cord is wrapped around your baby's neck", insisted I stop pushing for a short time, they brought out the vacuum just like with Avery, there was very loud, insistent encouragement from everyone in the room and NICU was there. Our nurses Stephanie and Polly were incredible. The baby had the craziest 'growth' on his head as they carried him to the warmer but fortunately it was just fluid displaced by the vacuum and within an hour or 2 it was gone, thank goodness.
The cord wrapped around his neck 3 times (quite rare according to our OB). He had apgars of 8 and 9, which to me as a neonatal nurse practitioner tells me we got lucky and that cord was not too tight. He already loves to eat. Avery came to see him this evening. I could not have scripted a more perfect first meeting, she said the sweetest things, hopefully one day we will be able to post the video. She was holding him for a while and he started to fuss because he was hungry and she was so so sad that I had to take him back. She wanted to feed him a bottle. It was sweet and sad. I had to tell her we didn't have a bottle to give him yet. But there will be plenty of bottles to come.
We are so happy to have this precious addition to our family. Now to sleep while I can. The nurses are taking him for his first bath and to let me get a little rest until the next feeding. The second child is so different. Jon and Avery went home and it is just me and my little guy, whereas with Avery Jon never left our side.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back in the Saddle of Blogging

Whoa, I cannot be more behind in my blogging and so much has happened in the past several months, so I am picking a day to start again, letting the months in between go. If I ever find the time to go back to those months I will but for now I will touch on a few highlights up to the day before our second child entered this world. January 23.

The first is not a highlight, but a confirmation that it was time to get out of Venice... December 5th we discovered that Jimmy our homeless neighbor for the last 7.5 years had died.

Sidewalk memorial for Jimmy, we spotted it walking down our street to the farmer's market, right where Jimmy's brown van was always parked. We knew immediately he must have died. We got the details by Jon talking to some other homeless people in the neighborhood, he had been hospitalized with pneumonia and was found in his van just days after being discharged. Quincy will always miss Jimmy's belly rubs.

We signed the papers on our new house in December 3rd and closed on our new house December 8th.
Closing day - the keys were finally ours!

I went out on early maternity leave after chest pain landed me in the CHLA ER and SM-UCLA L&D... (let's be honest: stress-related) in mid-December. I semi-successfully french-braided Avery's hair for the first time.

We celebrated Hannukah and Christmas.
Avery lit the Hannukah candles herself every night after saying the prayer. She is growing up!

Rugelach for Santa
Happiness Christmas morning

The moving truck came to Rose avenue Jan 7th. We spent our first night in Redondo Beach that night, very very late that night after moving all day and going back to clean Rose that night.
Grancy stayed with Avery that first night without heat and I couldn't sleep at all on our new mattress in our new house with new strange lights outside and new noises.
Last meal at 544 Rose #3, PB&J and Whole Foods salads

Grancy and Avery on the way our new park moving day afternoon

Avery did great with the transition, never looking back, happy to sleep on the floor for a week before we found a special big girl bed on Craigslist.
Pretty new bed.

We settled in like crazy for the next 2.5 weeks. We unpacked the last boxes around Jan 21st.

Jan 15th: We went to check out our new pier, Hermosa pier. I barely made it back up the hill to the car!

Jan 20th: Avery and I went to Mission Viejo to see Grancy and met up with some very special high school friends at the park. They were all so sweet to meet us there. Amy, Shalimar and 2 of her kids Wyatt and Amaiah, & Amanda (and some random kid at the park).

On Jan 23rd GG arrived to hopefully be around to take care of Avery if I went into labor. Originally she was coming Jan 25th but I decided the 23rd would be better; what a fortuitous decision. We all finished cleaning up the garage that afternoon, scrubbing old baby toys/swing/etc. That night both cars were parked in the garage for the first time. I had a feeling labor was coming so I took a nice shower and did my hair at 8 pm and at 930 pm, when I lied down to rest, my contractions were 2-7 minutes apart. Around 1130 pm we headed to the hospital, relieved that GG was there to be with our sweet girl. We went in to say goodbye to her, that we were going to the hospital because the baby was coming and she didn't say a word, just got a big smile on her face and went back to sleep.