Thursday, June 26, 2008

Newborn Funk

Today Susannah is officially 4 weeks old, and I am officially a little stir crazy! I am so dying to get outside in the nice weather and do fun things with my kids, like go to the zoo, or a movie, or swimming. I'm anxious to get back on a tutoring schedule with Spencer, to keep working with Ethan, to teach Jack how to do "money chores". I need to do laundry, shopping, cooking, pay the bills. But, instead I am trying not to "over do it" and doing a lot of "nothing" instead. Really, really boring. And lonely. It would be helpful if Jared was in town, but he's not. I have watched more DVD's in the last 4 weeks than the last 8 months. (Due to the fact that there's not much else you can do while nursing a baby or trying to settle her)

I really love holding her and looking at her, and not HAVING to do anything, so why is it so hard to just "do nothing"? Why can't I just "let go" of the laundry, the dishes, the phone calls, or church responsibilities? Why do I feel this rush to get up and moving again, to get on with the routine of my life? Why is it so hard just to BE? I am really not very good at that. I often wish I could suspend those sublime moments of motherhood so they would stay tangible and retrievable forever, and yet here I am fighting to rush past those moments in the hopes of attaining...what?

There's a song that Jared has on his ipod, and had I the skills I would make a link to it, but the lyrics say:

(Yes, that is a COUNTRY song, Jennie)
Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thanks to Grandma Damiano and Aunt Shauna!

I failed to mention you by name, sorry! We love you and all you do! THanks a million!

A Domestic Goddess

This week marks the sad end of my having a personal Domestic Goddess. I used to think the term was "Domestic Helper", but having had one for the last 3 weeks, I have decided they should be promoted to near deity status. You see, another upside to a c-section was the tremendous outpouring of sympathy from my Mother-in-law and sister-in-law who stayed 2, and 1 weeks respectively to help out. Yes, the math is correct if you are thinking "What?! She had THREE weeeks of help?!". Lucky me, I know. Perhaps a little too profoundly do I know.
For now you see, I am on my own. YIKES. If I had only known how much I would miss them I would have abandoned the restraint I used to stop myself from physically throwing myself at their feet, begging them to please stay, while weeping piteously.
Even as I read this my pride and indepence cringe at the honesty of my despair, but I don't care! All those times I thumbed my nose at those lucky women who hire out domestic help, I can only now say I have been humbled. Yes, I am now just downright envious.
Forget the joy and satisfaction of hard work. Forget the joy of discipline, the satisfaction of independence. I just really, really want to sleep in and wake up to breakfast in bed, with the freshly washed laundry put away.
I guess I'll just have to have another baby...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Okay, here's the deal-ee-OH. We have had a hard time deciding on a name for this baby since the start of this grand adventure. Much like the baby herself, there has been a great deal of flipping back and forth, with a true direction not being easy to find. But after 2 weeks with the truly beautiful name of "Elizabeth", it became apparent that it just wasn't working. In part due to the fact that the two female chidlren in our home were becoming known as "Olivabeth". So, at the risk of causing permanent psychological damage to practically everyone involved, we took the leap and have now officially "re-christened" her Susannah. (Susie being an acceptable alternative, anything else, not) Thank you for your cooperation in this matter, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Click to play Susannah
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Birthday Pictures

Ethan's 6th Birthday!

Yesterday was Ethan's 6th Birthday, and we make every other year a "Family Birthday" so I don't have to do the whole party thing. (I have to say, the other may be less taxing, and possibly less expensive...) We did have a lovely time though. We dropped Grandma Damiano off at the airport (Thank you grandma for all your help!) then we went to The Original Panacake House for breakfast- super duper yummy! Then we went BACK to the airport to pick up Aunt Shauna! What a fun filled day, and it wasn't even noon yet!

Then we went to the Mall of America to let Ethan pick out a special toy from the Lego Store and a new pair of Crocs. Then home for some geo-caching adventures and cupcakes! Then he got to go to a FRIENDS birthday party at a bowling alley!

Aunt Shauna reportedly asked Ethan this morning if he felt different, being six. Older perhaps?

He responded, "Yeah. I almost feel like I have hair in my armpits."

I just love this boy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I just love abundance. I love the secure feeling of having lots of something, especially things like toilet paper and tape and batteries. Of course, having an abundance of some things, like say, debt, is not so fun, but in general, I love abundance. I'd like to try an abundance of cash sometime as well, I'm pretty sure that'd be fun.

But the type of abundance I really like these days is looking around at our family of 5. It just feels so much more satisfying than 4. Four never really felt like a lot of kids to me, but now with 5, it is a pleasant size little crowd of folks. An abundance of love, of kisses, of cute smiles, and big hugs. I just love having a lot of those.

Friday, June 6, 2008

So much to say, so few words to say it...

It is always interesting to bring home a new baby. Things are so different, but so right, so happy, yet so tiring. Each experience is unique, and each takes a big adjustment. Yet at the same time, it seems as if life without the new baby never really existed before, and you can't imagine that she hasn't always been a part of your family. That being said, we haven't tried to all leave the house and be punctual anywhere yet, so I'm sure it will feel a lot different at that point.

Thankfully, in the most lifesaving of ways, Jared's mom is here and is a tremendous help. Better yet, she is staying until next Friday, at which point Shauna will come and help for another week. Altogether, I can't say I've ever had so much help, for so long, and so it has been a really great transition. I am trying to let go of feeling lazy and self concious about someone else doing everything I'm used to doing, and just relax and enjoy it, which, most of the time, I am. I feel very lucky I've been able to spend so much time just sitting with Elizabeth and enjoying her. That is always the best part of a brand-new new born, and after your first, you usually don't get that again, so it is a huge blessing. I suppose that has to be the upside of a c-section, you have the doctors blessing to really not do anything.

As far as the c-section goes, I am not a fan. I really had no idea before (though I didn't care to find out) how much more of a pain it is to recover, literally. I kept asking the nurse at the hospital, "Is it always this bad?" To which I got my favorite answer, in so many words, that "Advanced Maternal Age" makes everything harder. I should have seen that one coming.

I have always (as crazy as it may sound) really enjoyed the labor and delivery part of having a baby. (Epidural as my friend of course) I just felt like it was me actively participating in bringing this child into the world, and I never realized how bonding that was for me to the baby. I remember with Jack the exhilaration I felt when he finally came out, and that I had done this for him as his mother. It was the culminating experience where all the misery of pregnancy was finally accomplished, and I was able to feel the reward of my efforts. I guess its like the exhilaration of finishing a marathon, or so I've heard... only so much better because you have this whole new person to show for it. Plus, you get to hold them instantly, and watch and see everything that is going on with the baby.

Jared on the other hand, hates that scenario. He can't stand the uncertainty, the feeling of being utterly powerless to help or control anything going on, and most especially, the "smells and the mess". He hates seeing me in agony and not being able to do anything about it, and holding my hand and counting just doesn't cut it.

So, I was very concerned for him going into the c-section, because if the blood thing grosses him out, the O-R was not going to be a great place for him. He kept insisting however that it would be great. I personally knew I would not like it. I do not like feeling like a third party to my body, and having everyone in the room see and know what was going on except me was very disconcerting.

However, there was simply no other option. The day was a very emotional roller coaster of "she's breech, now she's not, she's breech, now she's not..." I even opted to give it one last effort of a version, which is where the doctor turns her from the outside. We did this a few weeks ago, and it wasn't hideous, so I wanted to try again and see if she'd stay this time. Well, this time, it WAS hideous. I can see now that I was the only person in the room who had any hope that this would work, given the baby's history, but at least they were very kind in supporting my decision to give it one last try. I just sat there and cried when I realized it a c-section was unavoidable. I tried to come around and just face the music, but I was still so very disappointed when I went into the O-R. It is very difficult to have, and look forward to, one version of events, only to have another come to pass. It is all good though, the most important thing being that she was perfectly healthy. As a result of her flipping so much in the womb, she had the cord wrapped all around herself, including her neck, so it's a good thing I didn't get my way.

It was interesting though, that for Jared, the experience was his best yet. For once he felt like things were orderly and controlled, and he watched with wonder as she was pulled from the uterus, got to hold her first, and participate actively in the nursery with her. I am grateful that if it wasn't exactly what I had hoped for, that he at least got to have a really great experience. Out of 5 kids, I suppose its only fair he have one birth experience that he felt was really special for him. Thankfully, he did videotape her being "pulled out", which I am really grateful I can watch. I really hated missing that part, and it was nice to see, even if I missed it the first time. I'm also highly impressed he didn't pass out.