Sunday, July 25, 2010

who finn is today. (or tomorrow if you want to get REALLY specific.)

hey baby boy,
we may not celebrate a multitude of tradition around our household ... but ... since mama has embarked upon this here blog one tradition has held strong ...

the half-birthday tradition of telling you who you were on this exact day ...

except ... the really funny part is ... your mama is usually at least 3 months late with this sorta thing!  BUT ... imagine this ... your mama is writing it the! night! before!!  crazy-talk, huh?

my dear finnamon ...
(like cinnamon.  only better.)
today ...
or tomorrow if you want to get all specific about it ...
you are six months oldseriously.  it blows my mind.

i feel like it was just last week that i realized ... after a nasty bout of french fry aversion ... that you were joining the family.
and it feels like just yesterday that i found myself unable to comprehend the blue that was joining our house of pink.
and i remember that day 6 months ago, when i pushed you into my hands ... like it was a mere moment ago.

and yet?  at the exact same time ... i feel like you've been here ... forever.

... little boy blue ...
this is who you are today.

--  you are the king of razzberries.  you get all spitty and drooley ... and absolutely adorable as you blow those razzberries like no-body's business.

--  you love the sound of your own voice.  and if it echoes (as was so LOUDLY displayed in target today.  thankyouverymuch.) ... ALL THE BETTER.  apparently.

--  you spit up.  so much.  happily.  butstill.  we use a lot of burp cloths.

--  and if i drink milk? wow.  you are not a happy camper.  so i don't.  still. 

--  you are finally FINALLY! a good nurser.  you always wanted to be.  and you always appeared to be successful ... but finally i feel like we've made it through the constant thrush and latching issues. 

--  you are a chunk.  and i mean that in a very good way.  the cellulite on your chunker little thighs is too cute.  (i only wish mine was that cute.)

--  tonight ... after much prodding to say mama ... you repeated the name boppa ... as he slept on the couch next to us.  figures.  (i'm just going to go ahead and tell myself that b's and p's are so much easier to say ... and that it isn't a REAL word yet.)

--  you can sit.  for a little while.  you still need a spotter.  but you are getting so strong.

--  you love to roll around.  i can walk out of the room having left you in one position ... and a mere moment later you have completely flipped around and are facing the opposite direction approximately 3 feet from where i left you.

--  you giggle when daddy plays peek-a-boo on skype. 

--  tickles can bring fits of giggles from you.  especially on the secret spot on the side of your neck.

--  your sisters can make you laugh just by jumping.  it's amazing.

--  maybe it's a third baby thing?  however ... you sleep better when it's noisy.  (but for the record, i usually tell the sisters to be quiet because it gives me a break.)

--  you just completed your 5th airplane ride.  to, within and from new york.  whew.
--  you slept through every single one of them.
--  you love cats.  and dogs. 
--  you laugh at the monkeys at the zoo.
--  you stare in awe at the aquariums.
--  you love other babies.
--  you hit your head with your toy hammer when you play with it.
--  you are curious and happy and inquisitive and full of joy. 
--  you love exploration.

--  you are definitely a mama's boy.

--  but ... you sure do love your daddy too.  unless he tries to give you a bottle

--  you don't love bottles.  still.  unless they have water in them.  apparently you feel very strongly that mama's milk really should just come from mama. 

--  you have LOVED every food that you've tried.
--  and don't tell your pediatrician ... but you've pretty much tried everything.  (i think that might just be a third baby thing too.)

--  blue is definitely your color.

--  there are constant extended family discussions about who you look more like.  mommy?  or daddy?

--  you are so sweet.  and definitely have the laid back surfer dude personality that i was expecting from you.

--  you. are. loved.


a birth story ... my last.

confession time.  i judge books by their covers.
i walk into bookstores ... actually i prefer the used variety ... books that have a history ... books with folded corners and coffee spills ...

i wander aisles ... glancing for colors that jump out at me. 
magentas and purples.  turquoises and yellows.  black and white photograph-ish pictures tend to all capture my eye first.  i gently pull them off the shelf and sneak a look at their first sentence. 

it may be the cover that catches my eye.  but the first sentence is what urges me to read on.

for me ... that's what my writing is about too. 
it's all in that first sentence.

and that first sentence isn't coming easily to me this time.

i want to tell my little guy about how he came into this world.  and i can't entirely capture every ounce of emotion in a first sentence.  nothing sounds right.  i've typed.  and retyped ... so. many. sentences. over the course of the last 6 months.  and i just keep erasing them.  letting them slide into the oblivion of the recycling bin ... so i guess ithe best thing to do ... is to just start.  and let it be what it is. 

i thought i was ready for you ... for weeks.
i packed my bag.  i made sure you had a coming home outfit.  i tried to plan details for your big sisters.
i worked.  attempting to finish up last minute reports and evaluations.


see?  that's wrong.  i wasn't.  i wasn't ready for you.  at all.  i had no idea.


contractions ... came in waves.  for days at a time.  never getting stronger.  never (really) getting faster.  just there.  i dilated.  to a three.  and walked around for 2 weeks.  working.  and waiting.

my midwife promised me a baby by march.

i visited the midwife on january 25th.  at 4:00 in the afternoon.  i wanted to know if i was any closer to having you ... i knew that it wouldn't make a difference in the grand scheme of things.  but i just needed to know if my body was working with me.  or if i was destined to be pregnant into february.  i was a good 4 1/2 ... she said.  i mentioned that daddy's baby-waiting-vacation was over on the 31st.  she urged things along while down there ... figuring that if my body was ready ... it might do something.  but then again ... it might not. 

i was so uncomfortable that whole night.  i had to eat dinner standing up.  the contractions were pulsing through me.  though not yet strong enough for labor.  i made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  and didn't ... couldn't ... eat any (weird.). 

i kissed my girly-girls goodnight.  and went to bed.  ready to work again tomorrow.  and keep up the waiting.

at 4:45 am i awoke.  to more contractions.  stronger.  quicker.  different.  i tiptoed into the living room and sat on my yoga ball.  watching infomercials about making money and losing weight.  rocking through contractions.  figuring that this insomnia would fade and i could make it back to bed for a little more sleep before the alarm's obnoxious clatter.

20 minutes old.

at one point ... stella woke up ... sauntered out to the living room ... and asked why i was awake.  i quietly took her back to her bed.  kissed her forehead and helped her climb back in. 

i went to bed too.  and couldn't sleep.  i asked daddy to pick up the shampoo bottles on the shower floor for me.  i needed a shower and i didn't want to trip.  i wanted to feel the warm water on my back.  so he did as he was asked.  with a questioning look in his eyes.  he asked if he should call your boppa and have him come over.  i said no.  this will probably just fade and i'll be at work in a few hours.  i showered.  the contractions stayed the same. 
i came out.  and i moaned through the intensified contractions.  daddy told me that i couldn't go into work.  he said those noises just aren't conducive to a work atmosphere.  (he apparently hasn't been into our special education office during the school day ... i'm pretty sure no-one would have noticed.)
i emailed everyone at work around 6:15 am.  telling them i probably wasn't going to be in right away.  but that i'd probably be in later that afternoon.

a picture daddy took while i was being stitched up. 
i think the finger is totally appropriate.

daddy called boppa.  asked him if he could come and watch the girls.  i called kathrine.  my midwife.  told her i felt like coming in.  she asked how long.  i said 20 minutes or so. 

daddy started the car to warm it up.  the intensity kept increasing within my body.  you were coming.  sooner rather than later.  i called boppa.  he said he was on his way. 
and then ... boppa called back.  he blew a tire.  and was parked a few miles away.  (if you know my dad ... this doesn't surprise you.) seriously.  daddy was going to run and pick him up.  daddy shut the door behind him.  it immediately reopened.  and he said i'm not sure i should leave you here.  let's get the girls. 

daddy shook stella awake.  and after a few complaints and questions about what was happening ... she jumped into her pants and ran to the door.  i heard her say, "oh yay!  baby finn is coming!"  cora was bundled in her footie jammers and snuggled her blankies ... and her nuk-nuk. 

my baby.  for now.
she asked why mama was making that noise. 

we quickly picked up boppa and drove to the emergency room door of the hospital.  luckily ... thankfully ... just a few miles from the house.  daddy claims he wasn't driving fast.  he was.  (and because i'm writing the story ... i'd like to state for the record ... he hit every pothole too.)

two slightly stunned.  and more likely ... EXTREMELY tired new sisters.

and then ... i saw kathrine.  my midwife. i heart her.  she asked if i wanted to be admitted.  it was around 7:30.  i was at a five.  (which caused me oodles of panic.  seriously?  i've only moved from a 4 1/2 to a 5?  in a whole day?  i didn't think i could do this forever ...)

i said yes.  because i didn't to go home and worry your sisters. 

she walked me to a delivery room.  i asked the nurse what pain medication options i had.
kathrine came back in ... and i asked her to tell me why i didn't want any of those options.
i spent the next hour and a half thinking about which option i wanted to consider.

i was in so. much. pain.
i felt uncontrolled.  i felt scared. 
my brain was having arguments with itself about if i should ask for an epidural or not.  back and forth.  back and forth.
i tumbled through contractions.  squeezing daddy's shoulder.  watching the sun's rays burst through the blinds of the windows.  i stood in the bathroom because the sun was too bright.
at one point i heard kathrine say, "she sounds different."
she knew me better than i knew myself.  from across the room.

she urged me to the birthing chair.
i was still weighing the option of an epidural.
i thought she was crazy
thinking that she was putting me on there ... way. too. early ... you weren't coming right away.
but you were. 

i screamed "get out of here!" and scared the nurse.  (i was talking to you.)
i screamed at daddy to leave the camera alone.  (for the record ... i wasn't against letting daddy touch the camera.  i just needed him next to me.)
and sometimes ... i just screamed.

not in the screaming ... fearful.  out of control.  way.
but in a wild.  primal.  natural way. 
i had to muster up energy and strength and courage to enter you into this world. 
i had spent so long worrying about adding your little spark of blue into my life and my family ... without realizing that you were meant to be here all along.

i pushed at 9:04 am.
and you tumbled out into my hands.  and you were a boy.  and you were ok.  and you weren't scary or different and i loved you.  already.  i did.  i just didn't know that i could stretch my heart this much.

kathrine found me a sandwich.  because any mama knows that food and birthing go hand in hand. 

your sisters only had enough time to eat a quick breakfast before they were quickly ushered back to the hospital to meet you. 

you did. not. like. the cold.  you were only happy when bundled up and snuggling.

thank you for being fast. 

i remember little things about our first moments together. 
... your sisters singing twinkle twinkle to you while i cried in the shower.
... your daddy excitedly calling them to tell them of your arrival.
... pulling your bassinet as close to my bed as i could so that i could drape my hand into it to touch you while i attempted sleep. 
... your eyes staring at me with complete trust.
... how everything felt just right.
... grandmas and grandpas and aunties rushing into the room with outstretched arms.
... how you couldn't latch on.  and that i had to trust that i knew what i needed to do.
... and how i also had to realize that you would not necessarily be the same as your sisters.
... the constant "can i hold finn now?" and watching you be passed back and forth between big sister
... and probably a gajillion other things that i will think of after hitting publish.

you.  my son ... that arrived as the sun rose in the sky. 
never in a million years did i think that i would have you.
and now i can't imagine my life any differently.
you.  are.  so.  loved.

Friday, July 23, 2010

free. three.

dearest little middle ... my cora.  coconut.

you. are. three.
(and you have been for oh ... about ... 2 months and 20 days.  but we all know how good mama is about getting these done on time, don't we??  moving on.)

you are three.  and you are so incredibly proud of it. 
you are proud of how close your feet are to touching the floor.
you are proud of how high your fingertips can reach on the countertops, the mantel, the fishtank.
you are proud of how you can climb to the top of the play area.
and you can sleep at grandma's.  all. night.
and you like firetrucks now too.


it's like two.  but with more attitude.  and opinions.  and smarts.

in other words?
frustrating.  with quite possibly a capital F.  and i don't do that a lot around here - so you know it's big.

but even through all the Frustration ... there are so-very-many things that i do LOVE about you. 
and if i could narrow it down?  these are the three things that i would choose ...

one.  your giggles.
when you get tired, you get a potty mouth. 
you start to say pee.  and poop.  about EVERYTHING. 
what you want to eat.  what finn might say when he gets big.  what you see outside the window. 
and you find yourself to be absolutely hilarious. 
there are few things that can set you into a fit of giggles.  maybe a good tickle torture.  or a game of "try-to-get-me-stella!"
but your chosen vocabulary at a moment of exhaustion can certainly create the most adorable round of belly giggles.  so much so, that i cannot help but smile, too.  (and i will probably regret it someday.  i know.)

two.  your heart.
you love.  unconditionally.  you care about everyone and everything. 
you are the first to react to someone getting hurt. 
you are the first to kiss someone's owie.
and you are the first to run up to see if they are ok.
i love that you love ... so. much.

three.  your ideas.
as of late, you are always coming up with "great ideas!"  which are always preceded with the phrase ... "i know!  i've got a great idea!!" 
and then you come up with a mostly long.  often complex.  idea of how we can solve our current problem. 
we don't always use your ideas.
but we should.
and i'll try to remember that.  k?

you are my heart. 
i love you sosososo much. 
super huge.
super big.

and tonight ... when i'm sitting here while you are staying at grandma's?  i miss you more than you will ever know. 
i love you
my sweetheart. 

my sweet daughter that on her third birthday ... her golden birthday ... requested a pink and purple bounce castle in the backyard. 
and so?  her daddy found one.
and on a chilly day in early may ... we bounced.  and bounced.  and bounced. 
until the bounce-people took it away.
and we waved goodbye to it as it drove off.
and we may have cried just a little. 
and if you ask ... this was NOT a bounce tent.  it was a BOUNCE CASTLE. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

eleventy-bajillion hours.

were spent in airports.
and we are FINALLY home.  i love love LOVE home.

and i hate airport food.  just for the record.  i have NO idea how jeremy does this day in and day out.  suckiness.

can't wait to show you the pictures.  and the memories. 

new york with three kids under 6 is kinda awful ... but there were some really good parts too.  i'll share soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

presenting ... my ... six year old.

whew.  i'm tired.  this year has been a whirlwind of changes and adjustments and crazy.  a whole lotta crazy

and in the midst of it all ... you are growing up. though six didn't scare me as much as five did.  i haven't begged for you to stay five.  (and i'm pretty sure at this point, i'm not going to be begging for six to stick around either.)

and can i just start all of this by saying ... you, my dear?  are driving me to crazy-town. 
please oh please tell me that this isn't a glimpse of what our teenage years are going to look like.  because wow.  you are drama in a handbasket. 

(dear reader ... yes you ... with the toddlers and the babies? ... just. wait.)

and dearest belly ... i hope you use it.

does that make any sense? 

use what you have.  use the who of who you are. 
use it to make this world a better place. 
because, darling.  this world scares the bejeezus outta your mama some days. 
and i can only hope that i'm raising you to be a person that will make it better for everyone

because you will.  i know it.  i've known it since you were a wee-babe.  you are someone that is going to do something.  something grand.  it's been there in your eyes.  in your heart.  in you.
that something grand may ultimately be seemingly little.  it may be hugely big.  but it will be something.  and i can't wait to be there to see it unfold.

and with that? 
i present to you ... the six things that i love most about you.  right now. 

which is ultimately a bit late ... because of course i didn't have my shit together on time. 
and the reason why i'm publishing it tonight ... approximately 3 months and 10 days past your sixth birthday?  because your little brother is going to be six months at the end of july.  and i needed to get this done first. 

one.  your heart. 
you care so much about people and things.  about people you don't know.  about people you've only heard about.  you care.  i watch you interacting with friends at school.  including some of mommy's kids ... and you are so patient and loving and careful.  you are kind. 

two.  your singing voice.
most of the time ... i'm sorry ... but it's awful.  though carefree ... and you belt out your favorite tunes like nobody's business.  half the time ... you don't really know the words.  but who cares?  it's the emotion that counts, right?  and you love music.  all music.  laurie berkner, the okee-dokee brothers, jack johnson, frente, hannah montana, jason mraz ... and you know the number of your favorite song on every cd. 

three.  your memory.
you?  are an elephant.  kinda.  you never forget.  anything.  keep this going.  this will SO come in handy someday. i promise.

four.  your creativity.
you are a creative soul.  you love color.  it shows in your art and in your clothing choices.  i try really really hard not to corral it.  i want you to grow up being proud of yourself and of who you are.  not second guessing yourself.  live it up baby.  someday?  you won't be able to pull off the striped pants with a polka dot skirt and a ruffley top. 

five.  your smile.
you have the most beautiful smile.  i want you to smile more.  it breaks my heart knowing that you are a little stress bucket type-a personality.  because that's just kind of who you are ... but when you smile?  you light up the room.  and i want all the light i can get.  we'll keep working on it together.  i promise.  that glass is ALWAYS at least half full.  mm-kay?  and if it doesn't look like it?  i'll find a way to make it half full.

six.  ok ... fine.  i love your drama.
and i'm not saying that it doesn't drive me absolutely bonkers most days.  but i love it because ... dear god ... you are a spit fire.  and someday?  someday ... that will make me so proud. 

you are my heart. 
you were the one that finally gave me the name, mommy.
and that is the most beautiful gift that i have ever been given.  thank you for that.
i love you.
as big as the universe ... baby girl.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

happy 4th.

parade, originally uploaded by jenniferlivolson.

to all of you.