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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coming out of the first haze...

Just a swingin'. (He was so slumped that you can see him through the leg holes of the swing).

Well, the past week and a half has of course been crazy. I think we are coming out of it and surviving. Wally's mom came last week and took care of us. Boy, do we miss her! She cooked, cleaned, and took care of Rhianwen while we looked after Alden and tried to rest. Grandaddy and Aunt Clara came on Thursday for the day and Rhianwen was in heaven with so many people around! We also celebrated Aunt Clara's birthday.

Grandma Nanny Kim was supposed to come this week, but alas, she got a cold which she didn't want to pass on to any of us. So we must wait until she is better. This really freaked mommy out for about a day and a half. I just didn't see how I could survive, but somehow we are still alive and the house does not look like a tornado came through...at least not at the moment.

Breastfeeding is still and issue. We have an awesome LC who comes to our house (SO nice not to have to travel to her!). Monday the Dr. said Alden was not gaining as quickly as they would like, but today we had him weighed, and he has increased his weight-gaining speed. We'll see if it continues. The LC put me on shields b/c he seems to get more with them and I get a break from all the creasing. She feels it's something he is doing with his tongue, and eventually he'll grow out of it. Hm, Rhi never did...well at least not by 8 weeks. I thought the shields made my milk supply go way down with Rhi, but perhaps it was something else. We're seeing a chiropractor who is doing some gentle tension release techniques on Alden. She says if in 3-4 sessions things don't improve, then the problem lies elsewhere. So we need a lot of prayer in the feeding camp. Yes, does this sound a bit like farm talk? I sure feel like a cow sometimes. I've been reading All Creatures Great and Small, what a wonderful book, and totally sympathizing with all the poor mommy animals he has to treat :)

If only it was that easy!

Having fun with Grandaddy and a neighbor's sitting charge.

Happy birthday dinner for Aunt Clara.

Having fun with Grandmama and sidewalk chalk.

Alden's first sponge bath at home. His umbilical cord has fallen off, so we can now introduce him to the big bath. That may be 6 months down the road...ha ha!

Our first walk...technically he's not big enough for the stroller, but oh well, he didn't seem to mind.

My name is Mr. Snugglesworth...

Wally hung up some hammocks in our backyard, and we have all enjoyed them, even Alden!

Alden is gaining more control of his head movements, getting stronger and able to lift it up for longer periods of time. He's also following people with his eyes and loves to stare at the bars of his crib and out the window. He's a pretty happy little man and sleeps really well at night...a little too well perhaps. We have the hardest time trying to get milk into him...talk about grueling sessions. And I swear he's already smiling, especially when he sees Rhianwen.

Rhianwen has taken everything in stride. She's been amazing with mommy the past couple of days, for which I am so thankful!

What could be more fun than 2 sheets of stickers?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Alden Wallace Is Finally Here!

After lots of waiting and wondering, Alden came naturally on Sunday, July 20 at 12:31am. He was 8lb. 2 oz and 21 in. long. We are all doing well, and came home Monday night. It was so good to get back to our own beds. Wally had to sleep in a recliner at the hospital, and my bed kept deflating and reinflating if I changed position. We couldn't figure out how to change it! The only issues with Alden so far are that he is a little jaundiced because his blood type is different than mine (somehow that can cause some jaundice), and breastfeeding is still a learning process though everyone seems to think he will learn it. Let's hope so :) He has an appointment tomorrow for them to check his color. We have yet to figure out who he really looks like.

All tired out.

"Is this what we've been talking about? Hm."

Rhianwen seemed more excited about spending time with grandparents than having a new baby brother. I guess I don't blame her. After all, the grandparents obviously adore her, Alden...well, he's just kind of there. When she came to see him in the hospital she said, "Baby Alden pop!" My mom had told her that Alden had popped out of mommy's belly. She held him for a little while and then said, "Mommy hold baby Alden." aka done with that!

So far he's been really easy, but since it's only the third day, all that could change. He's still that sleepy typical newbie. He is showing increasing signs of alertness though. Today, Rhianwen drew his interest with a tower of multicolored legos, and he seemed to enjoy his bouncy seat toys too. Rhianwen has also had fun giving and taking the soothie from him and patting his back.

We're laughing because Alden is pooping yet again.

Yes, isn't life exciting with a new baby? Sleeping, eating, pooping. Repeat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Getting Antsy

Still, by all appearances, a family of 3!

I don't know if Rhainwen has noticed, but we have been getting a bit antsy around here waiting for Alden to come. My doctor scheduled an ultrasound and non-stress test for July 22 just on the off chance that Alden doesn't make his debut by then. That way they can tell if he is doing fine. She said that OB's are very superstitious and that if I went ahead and scheduled it, then I wouldn't need it. Well, let's hope she's right :) My mom has even gotten antsy and called or emailed every day and started making my dad rearrange her furniture yet again!

Rhianwen and I spent our week shopping for household and baby stuff and basically staying close to home, taking some long walks, working in the garden, cleaning, and potty training etc. Wally spent his week asking me every few minutes if anything was happening. Alden spent his week kicking and squirming perfectly content inside his little bubble.

We've been enjoying many big thunderstorms in the evening, and one night after Rhianwen went to bed there was a big rainbow over the trees in our backyard. This was the first rainbow we've seen since being here (as opposed to Pgh where rainbows were almost commonplace). So, we had to get Rhianwen back up to show her. It was kind of funny to see her look a little confused as we took her out of bed, back to the deck where it was still sprinkling. But she did get to see the rainbow and started talking about the colors.

On Saturday, we took a little outing to Locopops, a place that sells paletas (the Mexican version of popsicles). It's nationally known but only a little local store. They were great. Very fruity and natural and not too sweet. And just when you thought you finally got away from the blackberries, we got a Very Berry flavor for Rhianwen which had lots of blackberry juice in it unbeknown to us! She LOVED it. And we got to use the nifty popsicle holder that my friend Leslie gave us. It was funny b/c as we were eating, the male customers who came to get a popsicle just thought the holder was the best invention in the world. What is it about men and things like that? The women customers just noticed a cute toddler really enjoying a popsicle.

Enjoying our paletas in front of Locopops.

She still managed to get messy.

Rhianwen has been doing a great job with potty training. It's taking time and a few accidents, but she's really done well. This week was the first week that she's wearing "big girl" un*di*es except for during naps and at bedtime (when she usually takes advantage of the diaper to do her No. 2 business....little smarty-pants). I haven't trusted her enough to take her on long (2h) outings without a diaper though. So I decided to buy pull-ups for those occasions. We did this at church today, and came to take her for a potty break b/t SS and worship. She stayed dry the whole time and used the toilet at church and the Bjorn porta-potty on the way home (how convenient, but I'm proud of her!). I'm sure you are all thrilled to know of these little details, but that's been a lot of our week. :) She has a chart with stickers to show her progress, and at the end of the day before bath she gets a reward of one M&M per sticker on her chart. Some days are better than others.

I'm sure Rhi will be thrilled to one day discover this online...

Wally just asked, "Anything going on over there?" Nope. "Poo, guess I have to go to work tomorrow." he says. It's also our anniversary tomorrow!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Well, the Fireworks Didn't Go Over Too Well

We decided to keep Independence Day low key and stay at home. Mostly because mommy was just feeling tired and lazy and fat and didn't want to navigate crowds with a big belly. Thankfully, this was the right decision! Not only because Rhianwen hated the noise of the fireworks that we did do, but also because it rained torrents at just the time the fireworks would have gone off at a show.

The sparklers weren't so bad...

We had set off an M60 and a string of firecrackers before this video, which is why she looks so upset. She's been talking about it ever since...poor oo. But she is SO matter-of-fact about it now, as if it doesn't bother her to remember it. Just that she does remember it. After the fireworks were over, Rhianwen slid off my lap and high-tailed it to the house saying, "Fireplace DONE!" I didn't get this captured in the footage below b/c my computer is acting haywire and dropping frames like crazy (hence all the transitions too...sorry!).

Wally's family has a tradition of picking blackberries on July 4th and making blackberry cobbler. So, since the berries were right in our backyard, we did this too. This, unlike the fireworks, was a hit with Rhianwen, although she much preferred the ice cream to the cobbler. Talk about easy to make; Southern Living had a quick recipe, and it was good too! (Are you tired yet of hearing about our blackberries?) :)

Digging in.

Rhianwen really enjoyed the extended weekend with Daddy. He introduced her to the highly addictive world of gaming. She even got to play a bit of a FIFA soccer game.

On the edge of their seats!

In the world of Alden, we are just waiting around. I've stopped gaining weight (hooray!), so I guess I am as big as I will get. So we took a belly picture on Sunday to catalog how big I am. At yet another appointment today, Alden is doing well, heartbeat great (gets faster when he moves...good) and I'm doing well too. No signs of pre-eclampsia. The doctor actually told me to do a lot of walking...and other things. I had convinced Wally all that was old-wives' tales. Hm. Well, it is, according to What to Expect. I'm just glad we made it through the holiday weekend! Tonight our friend Mary volunteered to watch Rhianwen so we could go out to eat. We took her up on her offer and went to the Twisted Noodle, a Thai restaurant. Boy was it good! We had Thai during a Lamaze class when I was pregnant with Rhianwen, and it's always been a good memory. So, we decided to make it a tradition for every baby.

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