Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What a fun day...


The post Christmas sigh is so wonderful. The sign that once again, you have survived the holiday and all its' craziness. Yes, this one was crazy, but also fantastic.

Max awoke and couldn't wait to find out if Santa had been here. He was delighted to find the cookie plate with only crumbs, but was worried about the fact that Santa left his hat here. He was amazed by the tree with all of the gifts underneath, but at the same time was content to not dive in and open everything. He enjoyed his stocking, and opened his gift from Aunt Erin and Uncle Alex. We then had a great video chat with Erin, Alex, and my mom and dad - it made being apart a lot easier.

Mid-morning Marian, Tom, and Carrie came over, and after eating breakfast, we set to opening presents. Max loved delivering them, even if he didn't always care if the right present got to the right person. Midway through present opening, a remarkable thing happened - it began to snow. We took a break so Max could go outside in his pjs and rain boots to frolic in the giant flakes. (It snowed for quite a while, covering things in a thin blanket of white, before it began to rain and melt everything) We continued opening gifts until 1:30, and everyone received things that they were very excited about. Well, except Luke, who slept through most of the morning.

The afternoon and evening were spent hanging out and snacking, eating the delicious dinner that Carrie made, and watching the Blazers beat the Sonics (adding to their streak of now 11 wins in a row!). It was a wonderful day - magic to watch Max find such delight in his gifts (favorites were a harmonica, play food, a bike helmet and a pair of cowboy boots). Luke was a dream, and we all just enjoyed the day together.

I'm so lucky to have joined this family.....

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

With Luke's birth, this month has flown by. The holiday season has really been a blur of becoming a family of four. It has been a wonderful gift, but I'm not sure I've ever felt less prepared for Christmas.

At the same time, it has been so fun to watch Max start to understand the magic of the season. I'm not sure how much he understands - and have been even less sure about how to tell him about all of the stories and legends of Christmas. He knows that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, but is still unsure about who Jesus is. Santa brings presents, and is a nice man who sits at the mall.

I was sure that this year we would have to work really hard to convince him to sit on Santa's lap. But, as we were walking through Washington Square this week, he saw Santa sitting there. He had just been talking to the interactive electronic 10-ft. bear, and that was good, so now he wanted to go see Santa. He was totally willing to hop right up on his lap with a sleeping Luke. He asked for a bike helmet and grinned for the picture.

Now we are watching the end of "It's a Wonderful Life", the presents are under the tree, and crumbs are all that are left of the cookies we set out for Santa. We are ready for tomorrow. And I can't wait to see it all through Max's eyes. No matter how much the rest of the season has flown by, I am going to be present tomorrow morning. After all, that's the magic of it all...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Trying to explain Christmas.....

Ah, the challenges of a "mixed-faith" home....

From the beginning of our relationship, Dan and I agreed to disagree where religion was concerned. We did agree, though, that our children would be exposed to religion and encouraged to make their own decisions. But I have been a slacker in my role as "sharer of the Catholic religion". In fact, Max hasn't been to church since Easter - and in the life of a two-year-old, that might as well be forever.

I didn't want to go to Christmas Mass without having talked about church, Jesus, and the real reason for the holiday. So this morning was it - my first time to take both boys to church. On the way there, I decided to have a little talk with Max about where we were going. But where do you start? The Catholic faith, and religion in general isn't particularly simple!

We started talking about the fact that Christmas is baby Jesus' birthday, and church is a place where we go to celebrate that birthday. Ok, fine - babies - check, birthdays - check. He's got it. This makes sense. But then, "We go her house?" Her who? "Her Jesus?". Ah, no - Jesus is a boy. "We go Jesus house?" Well, kind of...hmmm. This is harder than I thought. And when we got there, he really wanted to know where the baby Jesus was, like physically, right now.
Since we haven't alked about death yet, that's too hard, too.

Lots of questions. But, he seemed to enjoy watching all the goings-on. Luke slept most of the time, so that made that part more simple. But what it really made me realize is that church can no longer be a once-in-a-blue-moon thing, if I want Max and Luke to grow up with a background of faith. And while I struggle with my own faith, I really do want it to be an option for them.

Plus, I need someone else to answer those questions....

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Just plugging along....

We have been home from the hospital for a week now. Slowly we are adjusting to our "new" life - or at least trying to figure out what that is. Luke has been off of the bili-blanket for a couple of days now, and that has made life a lot easier. I go into work tomorrow to teach my sub how to use the gradebook program, and then I need to do report cards this weekend. After that, I am done with all school stuff for a while, and can concentrate on our new family of four.

Luke has been a pretty easy baby so far. He sleeps a lot right now, and fusses rarely. The bigger challenge has been helping Max adjust to the shift. He is very sweet with Luke - gives lots of kisses, makes sure that we are going to take him with us when we go somewhere, and talks to him all the time. The regular refrain has become, "Hi Luke. You ok? Good." It's all very sweet. But it's the other stuff - like not listening to directions and playing really roughly with Dan and I, that are so frustrating right now. We feel like we are walking the tightrope of giving him a little extra TLC and attention to offset the loss of focus as the only child and being consistent with expectations for appropriate behavior. Plus, it's more than a little strange to have both Mommy and Daddy home all the time, and much less playtime with Abby. It's all a little weird for him, and I don't blame him for acting confused. I am too!

Right now he is avoiding sleep. He's been in bed for over an hour....

This too shall pass, right?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sometimes it isn't what you thought it would be....

The last couple of days have felt a little strange. I know that a lot of it has to do with the surge of hormones that are coursing through my very confused body right now. But then there's that other part - the part that is dealing with things different than expected.

Anyone who knows me will attest to my difficulty dealing with change or reality not being the same as expectations. So having children has been a great lesson in learning to be better at adapting. Max was a great first teacher - and Luke definitely has his own lessons to inspire. To this point, they are very different babies - Max never slept, and was always very loud. Luke has been very quiet and sleepy - to the point of almost being able to forget that he is there.

I don't think this jaundice situation has been helping our situation or Luke himself at all. I eagerly await the call from the doctor every day, hoping that his levels will be low enough that we can get rid of the bili-blanket. Instead every day it has been the "bring him back in for another blood test tomorrow" call. His poor feet look like hamburger, and having a child that plugs in to an electrical outlet is really no fun at all. In so many ways I feel like we are on hold with him, waiting to get to know what he is really like when he is a healthy baby.

But at the same time, we had a great postpartum appointment today. He is back up to 8 lbs 13 oz (after a low of 8lbs 9 oz) and he breastfed like a champ getting 2.3 oz in 15 min. The nurse thought we looked great, and was very complimentary about how well things appear to be going. And that's how I feel for large parts of the day - capable, happy, and in-tune with my family.

But there are still those times when, for one reason or another, things just aren't what you thought they would be - and I'm left trying to figure out why that's so hard for me to deal with. Got lots to learn, that's for sure!