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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas pictures! :)

The three musketeers ride again!

N&N enjoying the funny pages together.

First pony ride!!!

If only we could get a picture of the four of us at once.....:)

Look at that crowd of grandchildren!

Cute bonnet, eh?

Mother & daughter

GG & her youngest great-grandchild.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cool map I found

Blue is where I've been, red is where I've lived, and green is where I want to go someday. :) Cool, eh?

Get Your Own MapView Larger Map

Friday, November 27, 2009

Is she a good baby?

This probably tops my list of questions not to ask a mother. Why?

*What the asker really wants to know is, does she cry a lot, does she sleep through the night, is she colicky. So why not just phrase it that way?

*Mostly because it implies the inverse is true if you say no. No, she's a bad baby. Have you ever heard a mother say that? And yet we expect to hear that if a baby is fussy, doesn't sleep through the night, won't go to other people, etc, etc.

*This is right up there with the whole "He's an easy baby" thing. So if you don't have an easy baby, you have what? A hard baby? A difficult baby? Do you really want to label your kid from infancy in that direction?

This all came to light for me when I was working with my Roots of Empathy class on Wednesday. Our topic was crying, and they asked if Niamh cries a lot. Well, I said she doesn't cry as much as she used to because we've mostly figured out what she wants when she fusses/cries. But she still cries. A lot more than Edmund ever did. So the instructor asked the class "Does that make her a bad baby?" Well, when you put it that way, it's very obvious. No, of course she isn't bad. She just has a need that I haven't figured out how to meet. She has different needs than her brother. She has a different perspective on the world.

So why I am asked this inane question every time I'm out in public with her? Why are we so eager to know the temperament (because that is what it comes down to) of every stranger's baby? To seek advice for one's self? To offer advice? To smile smugly and feel better about the baby who never cries and goes to bed easily and takes a pacifier?

I guess this bugs me because at first I really didn't know what to say about Niamh. She is SO different from Edmund. I'm learning now that this is a good thing and it means she has different strengths, which is good because she was born for a different purpose. It has been harder for me this time because my firstborn took a pacifier whenever it was offered, went to bed without a fuss, slept regularly at earlier hours at night (although he got up a lot more frequently to eat than she does), and if he cried for more than thirty seconds put together, I was climbing the walls FREAKING OUT because that was so outside of his personality and I needed to figure out what was wrong with him NOW.

And now I have Niamh. Niamh the strong. Niamh the determined. Niamh who is trying to stand up on her own. Niamh who can sit unsupported at the ripe age of almost four months. Niamh who rolled over at three weeks. Niamh who wants to be where the people are, who will smile at anyone who smiles at her, who giggles just watching her brother play nearby. Niamh who has taught me I don't know everything about newborns and infants. Niamh who has taught me to pray throughout my day instead of just when I think about it sometimes. Niamh the dancer--she danced in the womb and I know once she's vertical on her own there will be a rhythm to be tapped out. Niamh who is mostly very willing to nap when her brother does and give me a chance to sleep/blog (no promises). Niamh who doesn't think a pacifier is any replacement for Mommy. Niamh, my bright promise who will very likely change the course of history. I can promise you that there will never be another girl like her in all the earth. I don't think the world could take two forces of nature on this scale. It's already being taxed enough having both of us in the same room 90% of the time. :)

What do you think about the labels we give to babies? Have you ever thought about it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pictures! Oh yeah, that's what I said!

For those of you who only follow me in blogville, we had the baby! She arrived three and a half months ago. Wow, time goes faster the second time. Also, there is less free time, although I seem to be up more hours of the day now that I have two to contend with. :) Edmund is great with Niamh--almost always remembering to be gentle and not to poke her eyes and we're working on sharing the cars now. I'm trying to teach him that she's a person too, and that soon she'll be his best playmate so let's learn now to share and include her in our games.

She is a surprise a minute! Niamh started rolling over at three weeks old--and is now so proficient at it that I often find her in a different spot if I'm out of the room for more than half a minute. She is determined to go somewhere.....wherever the people are. She doesn't like being alone.

We just moved her into the nursery and the crib this week. The first night was rough, but last night was a lot better, and tonight I put her to bed at 7:30--a new record! We'll see if she gets up again before I hit the hay, but you know, it's a good start. Tonight we were all playing together on the floor--she was rolling around on a play mat and grabbing hanging things and then trying to crawl away and rolling back and forth and giggling as she watched Edmund drive his cars nearby. Tonight's been a good night. I'd love them all to be like this.

In other news, Edmund is potty-training and doing a great job of it. Maybe because his great incentive is a cookie for every successful trip to the potty. I've started giving him half cookies, which is good because somedays he's gone four or five times (whoo-hoo!). We had one day in which we used no diapers whatsoever; well, had a diaper on him for naptime but he woke up dry and we kept going until bedtime. I am so proud of my little hobbit.

Okay, on to the pictures. I know that's what you came for. :D

Edmund holding Niamh for the second time (the first time I was home alone and it only lasted about ten seconds).

It starts early--who needs the presents when you can play with the wrapping? She spent probably twenty minutes crinkling the tissue paper.

Niamh on the blanket Auntie Amy made for her.

Niamh in a watermelon outfit--so cute!

Smiling at Daddy in a cute heart hoodie.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Getting ready for baby

The countdown is officially at seven weeks today. "Officially. There, I'm covered." (Name that movie!) We won't talk about how these little hobbits choose their own birthdays despite our best efforts. I think I got that one hammered home to me with Frodo. I'm not putting any expectations on Pippin.

In other news, oh my goodness the baby is almost here! I can tell because I think I've reached my grumpy stage. As Jason put it so well yesterday--when someone said, "I thought Judy loved being pregnant?", I love about six months of pregnancy. The three months that don't fall on the "total love" scale are that month near the beginning with the nausea that I can't complain about since we're keeping a secret, and the last two months when I'm too big to do anything comfortably and sleep becomes difficult. I've totally noticed in the past few weeks that I can barely pick up Edmund, which is hard at this stage of parenting a toddler where most discipline has to be physical prevention of the crime. Of course, it's easy enough to pick him up when he's willing, as I tell him in the morning that when he wants to get out of the crib he has to stand up, and when he wants to read books he gets a book, then backs up to me where I'm sitting on the couch/recliner and I can pick him up fine that way. It's just hard when I need to carry him away from something, or get him upstairs. I'm always glad to have Daddy the Enforcer around when little hobbits are too tired/hungry/willful to obey. I love Daddy the Enforcer.

Although I will gladly say the part I like the whole pregnancy is this little person inside of me--how we can interact a lot better now, and I can feel little feet and knees and bum and fists as Pip dances across my abdomen. How when I eat a bagel with honey the baby is woken up by the blast of blood sugar. How other people can see my stomach roll like waves of the sea when Pippin swims some laps.

We have a midwife appointment today where I will likely be told I've gained another nine pounds and am experiencing "just a growth spurt". LOL Well, maybe not nine pounds this time as it's only been a week and a half since the last visit. Today is my second meeting with my second midwife. (This midwifery practice assigns a first, second, and third midwife, so that you're virtually guaranteed to have two people you know at the birth, and one at the least because of rotating days off and weekends.) I haven't met my third midwife yet, but I think they'll have me meet with her next (probably a good idea, although when I'm honest, I don't much care who's there to catch the baby as long as someone shows up to do it). And then it will almost be time for the home visit, where they figure out exactly how to get to my house, and scope out the room we've chosen for the birth, etc.

Tomorrow I am so looking forward to a massage I have body is angry these last few months. Mostly it's the fact that my pelvis has been in pieces since about month four of this pregnancy--something that didn't happen until a few weeks before Edmund was born. This is the biggest part of my trouble sleeping--I'll be comfortable in a position for a while, but then when I need to change position I am in such agony. Fortunately, the rest of my spine seems to be doing well through this pregnancy--I've been to the chiropractor on two different occasions where nothing has been out of joint all along the middle, and just a few adjustments to my neck and sacrum have done the trick. That's really encouraging, considering how much weight I've put on with this babe. Let's just say I'm not going to meet my goal of gaining only forty pounds this pregnancy. I'll give you the finally tally when Pip gets here. But I comfort myself by reminding me that I lost it all with Edmund, and am likely to lose it faster with this one being born in the summer and still having to chase after Edmund routinely.

Hopefully we will have a few friends attend this birth. My dear friend Amy is coming up from Maryland to be here for the big day (we hope). Jason's mother will also be here, either to chase Edmund or to be in the room with us (if she wants to) if he's asleep at the time. I've also asked another friend who lives in town if she would be willing to come, in case Amy's not here at the time, and especially while we're waiting for Jason's mom to drive up (as I'm not sure how much warning this one will give us--Edmund came two hours after the midwives arrived at our house). She was very enthusiastic and said she'll be my pray-er anyway, regardless of whether she's watching Edmund or in the room with us. I was trying so hard to think of who I could ask to look after my son, and most of my friends have small children and/or full-time jobs or live in another country, so I was feeling a bit stuck. And then yesterday the inspiration just struck me to ask her, and she was totally into it and meets the necessary criteria (kids a bit older, not currently working outside the home, and a REALLY good friend). I feel like I pretty much have everything in place.

I hope.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oh my goodness, another post and it's only been a few weeks!

May 11, 2009

New video addresses unethical formula marketing

Our IBFAN partners in the United Kingdom have produced a video to mark Breastfeeding Awareness Week, which is being celebrated this week in Britain. The 10 minute online video by Baby Milk Action outlines how formula companies market their products in violation of World Health Organization rules, and what is being done to combat unethical formula marketing. Baby Milk Action’s Mike Brady expertly addresses current issues such as the sterility of powdered formula and the newest health claims being made by the companies. Click on this link to view the video and learn what you can do to help IBFAN’s efforts. The video is great for anyone who wishes to better understand the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

The video also reminds you to join the One Million Campaign. If you haven’t already signed the petition, please visit to show your support for breastfeeding mothers and babies. This is a global campaign spearheaded by our partners in India, who are on the frontlines in protecting infants from the deadly effects of formula marketing. Help show our solidarity and support!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I'm a bad hobbit

For those of you who only follow me in the virtual world, the good news is I am alive and well. :) So well, in fact, that there are two of me (if you didn't already know, that's because I'm pregnant). In August sometime we will be seeing the face of the little one who has already brought us so much joy and so much weight gain. LOL

I've been back at work for seven months now--whew! It's a lot harder when there's someone at home I'd rather be spending my day with. But Edmund's adjusted to the changes really well and for the most part, he spends a good chunk of the day with either Jason or I.

I've been bugged for pictures of my little hobbit, who (can you believe it!) is already eighteen months old and poised to become a big brother. So here he is:

Getting suited up to pick up mommy from a late night at work (Daddy was able to get him out of the crib, into his snowsuit, and into the car before he woke up).

Looking like a hobo before his first haircut (16 months).

Mommy, don't ever do that to me again! But he looks so good. Like his father. :)

In other not as good news, my sister's firstborn, Caleb, is in the hospital, having apparently suffered a stroke on Thursday. He just turned three. Here's a link to their site if you are interested (you will have to register to read it):

To sum up, doctors don't know why he had a stroke. His CT scan, MRI, and EKG all look good (on the MRI they saw the spot they say was the stroke), and the blood work they've gotten back so far has been normal. He is going to be moved to a children's hospital soon so he can start physical therapy to regain the normal use of the left side of his body. He has already shown quite a bit of movement and improvement over the last few days, and all the doctors are very hopeful. Please pray for my sister, Melinda, and their family at this time. She also has a nine-month old, Peter, at home who has been missing them while they've been staying with Caleb. As far as the plan still stands, we are all going to be meeting up in Albuquerque in a month, and I just can't wait to see them all.