Thursday, December 30, 2010

Justin's First Tea Party

....any boy with an older sister knows that they will be subjected to many, many tea parties in their life. Justin got to attend his first (well, second if you count the Family Holiday Tea during Christmas) this morning.

As a reward, he got to experience one of life's greatest pleasures when Percy came to check out the all-you-can drink water bar-- rubbing your bare feet on a warm kitty. Priceless!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 2: On our own!

Justin pretty much rides around in his carrier for most of our morning routine. After breakfast Alex and I were tidying the kitchen to get ready for a playdate when she got her Ergo Baby out and got Nikki all cozied up for some cleaning too.
Alex was so excited to have Emma over, and the girls played for the entire morning. (Thanks Megan for watching Al so that Justin and I could run some errands!! Soooo much easier with one kid in tow!).
After a successful baby trip this morning, Alex and I decided to try our first solo outing with Justin in the afternoon. We went to the library to pick out some books on tape to listen to while Mama nurses the baby. We brought Alex's old stroller, and he slept peacefully through our visit. This two-kid thing might work out, after all! :-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shakopee ECFE Reunion- 2010!

It seems like it'd been forever since we'd made contact with Alex's original ECFE buddies from Shakopee, so we were all really excited to visit with the 'babies' (and their subsequent siblings) this morning. As a side note, this was my first full day 'on' as a stay at home mom of backup!! It went great-- sometimes I think it's easier if we're out and about! The three of us only had a couple of last-minute delays before leaving the house, and I had worked in enough 'buffer' that we arrived at the playdate exactly on time!!

The kids that we've known since roughly 6 weeks of age...
Isaiah, Mason, (Grady-- Mason's little bro), Emma, Alex, Sadie... We had a lot of fun, but I think after three weeks in the house we were all a bit overwhelmed and exhausted after a crazy morning of play!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hanging out with 'the Guys'

Dave's roomate from Olaf, Garrick, was in town for Christmas, so we had a few Ole friends over for pizza, beer and baby-meeting. Josh, Garrick, Cory and Dave spent some time catching up whilst Justin slept soundly through the reunion... Oh-- and poor Alexandra had been put to bed about 15 minutes before our guests arrived, so she didn't get in on any of the fun!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Quiet Christmas Morning!!

Our Advent garland and activities are done for this year-- it seemed like Christmas came so quickly, what with having a baby and all! Alex woke up at 6:30am, excited to see what Santa left her. (Although she did say "I didn't see a flash! Saint Nicholas just came and dropped some presents off..." when she woke up)

Saint Nicholas did leave a few presents under the tree-- a new jacket, coat and scarf for Alex's American Girl doll, and a doll-sized Ergo baby carrier for Alex to wear (it's the same brand that we have to carry baby Justin around in). He also filled the stockings with small stuffed toys and a few snacks. Nothing like the glut of presents we had last night, but simple and perfect for a quiet Christmas morning.

Friday, December 24, 2010

"i don't want Santa to come. I don't want to see the flash", we're the last, nervous, words Alex said to me as she fell asleep while keeping a death-grip on my fingers, preventing my departure after putting her to bed tonight.

"flash? What flash?", i kept thinking.

...then Amy reminded me Alex has been listening to The Night Before Christmas fervently these past few days:

"A way to the window I flew like a flash...."

Christmas Eve

What a wonderful Christmas Eve. We had a literal mountain of presents, and Alex (with Auntie Rorie's help) got to hand out all the gifts. Some favorites of hers were her bunny slippers (wrapped and presented individually by Auntie Rorie and Uncle Willy- I think the quote was "but I wanted two bunny slippers!" when she opened the first one), pony shirt from Grandma Mary and Papa Bob (which necessitated a wardrobe change in the middle of the events), and beautiful barn from GranMama and GranPapa. Justin received some gorgeous natural wood 'boy toy's (a tractor, trailer and bulldozer) and beautiful pj's and winter wear.Both kids received storybooks which played recordings of GranMama and GranPapa reading the text. These will be treasured for years to come!

Skiing again!

Dave and Uncle Willy took Alex out to Afton Alps for Day 2 of 'Training' today. They said that Alex did an amazing job (especially after the positive reinforcement pack of M&M's was revealed). She stayed out for 1 1/2 hours! Let's just say naptime was successful today as well.

2010 Holiday Tea

Every year, on Christmas Eve day, Alex hosts a Family Holiday Tea. This is quite the process, and starts with the invitation making. She especially enjoyed hand-delivering the invites this year, as she is able to recognize people's written names!
Then it's time to decorate the playroom. Alex and I take this quite seriously, and no one is allowed downstairs before tea-time!Guests are required to dress in their finest tea-time attire. Even the cats wore ties (complements of Uncle Willy).And, finally, the gourmet food and libations satisfy even the most finicky epicurean.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gingerbread Girls

Among other things, GranMama and Alex worked on making gingerbread cookies this afternoon. There's nothing quite like baking with Grandma to put a smile on this girl's face. She loved it!

Justin's First Bottle

Since I want Alex to continue to be excited about having a little brother (and since I selfishly would like to be able to leave the house on my own in a few weeks), I decided to let her introduce Justin to his first bottle this morning. She was so excited to be helping! He was a bit confused at first, but took to it like a pro and has no nipple confusion issues. *Yea!* Now all I have to do is create a stockpile of expressed milk so that everyone can help feed him, and I can leave Dave in charge to make blissful Target runs sans children!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Waiting for GranMama...

Auntie Rorie arrived yesterday, and has spent every waking moment juggling Alexandra's playtime demands and soaking up a sleepy baby Justin. We were pretty much just killing time until GranMama, GranPapa and Uncle Willy arrived this afternoon. Let the Christmas festivities begin! Alex refused to nap until AFTER they arrived (which was around three pm), and promptly passed out in the library surrounded by a pile of books!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Visiting Santa

Well, against my better instincts to protect my newborn, we packed up and headed to the local Valley Creek mall to visit Santa this morning. I swear I was just going to send Alex with Grandma Mary, Daddy and Auntie Carrie, but after I got both kids in their matching Christmas outfits I couldn't resist. After all, Alex had a 'baby' Santa photo, so who was I to deny that to my son? :-)
This Santa was the real deal! He was the cutest Santa I've seen in a long time and guess what-- there were no 'elves' taking photographs to sell you-- it was a 'bring your own camera' deal! Alex was a bit hesitant to sit on his lap, so it worked out that Justin got to hang out there for a little while.
BONUS: they had two live (if slightly stinky) reindeer to visit with afterwards.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Gingerbread House

Alex and Justin are soaking up the last of Grandma Mary's visit (she leaves tomorrow-- sob!), and Alexandra is engaged in 'projects' from morning to night with her 'crafty' Grandma!Today the agenda included her gingerbread house. Note to self: $4.99 gingerbread house kits are SUB-PAR....the kit I had purchased earlier in the season not only expected the user to 'clean up' rough edges, but mix their own frosting and provide an array of cookie tools. Grandma Mary ran to Sam's Club to get a more user-friendly version, which we attacked with glee. Alex got to benefit from having TWO kits worth of assorted candy, and ate waaay too many Chinese-manufactured gumdrops for my liking, but she had a great time and I guess that's what matters in the end :-)

Justin slept through the whole event-- in fact he slept so much today that I'm a bit worried about what the night might bring. For the past week and a half he's been a fabulous night-sleeper-- giving us an average of 3-4 hours of sleep between feedings!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Caring for the Karen

The week before Justin was due I (characteristically) approached Dave with the idea to adopt a newly-arrived Karen refugee family through our church. I had finished the last of my quilt orders and had a week on my hands with "nothing to do". Alex and I spent that week running around from consignment store to consignment store searching for winter gear for a family of six! We also went to Wal-Mart and Alex got to pick out toys for each of the four children in the family. We have a photo of them up on our fridge, which she has enjoyed studying and thinking about. Whenever we are in a store she'll turn to me and ask "Do you think those kids have (insert item- for example- 'toothpaste'), mom? We should get them some toothpaste" It makes me so proud that she is able to think about other people, and not worry about things that SHE wants!Last night we spread everything out and wrapped as a family. Justin even obliged by napping in Grandma Mary's arms through the process, so both Dave and I could work with Alex. An hour later it was all done-- what a fun Christmas tradition to start this year!

Floor Time

It's still a bit surreal that I have two beautiful children at home to spend my days with! Alexandra has been handing this transition wonderfully, as well (many thanks to the extra 'hands' of Grandmas). Yesterday we decided to find the 'perfect spot' for Baby Justin to have some floor time, and she spread out his blanket very carefully. Then she disappeared with an "I'll be right back. Don't start playing with him until I come back". She reappeared moments later with her own special blankie and snuggled in next to him on the floor.
I'm the luckiest Mama in the world!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy One Week Birthday, Justin!

Justin had his one-week appointment with our pediatrician this morning. She couldn't stop gushing about how beautiful, healthy, and "perfectly colored" his is (apparently she's seen a lot of jaundice recently, and was so happy to see a healthy pink baby!). He got rave ratings as well-- he's up to 8 lbs 4 oz (over his birthweight of 8.2, discharge weight of 7.12). This puts him in the 50-75% for weight. Head circumference is now 14 1/2" (50-75%), and he is 21 1/2" long which places him WAY above average in the 97% for height. He's going to be a tall boy like his Daddy! She was also very pleased that nursing was going so well-- she mentioned being surprised that I had had a c-section only a week ago! We're all doing great--

I kind of thought that she was just giving me the normal "he's so cute" talk she gives every new mom, but when she left I heard her comment to the nurses' station "I just saw the most dog-gone perfect baby!" One of the nurses replied- "I know just which one you mean-- he was precious".

Here's to our precious, perfect baby boy-- :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in the saddle...somewhat

OK- so it's just under a week since Baby Justin made our family complete, and I think I'm up to blogging again....sporadically at least! Thank you Dave for keeping friends and family informed for the past few days-- Thank you Mom and Claude for keeping Alexandra happy and secure during this huge transitional time-- Thank you Rorie and Carrie for coming up to play games and fix meals-- Thank you Mary (and Bob) for taking over for GranMama and GranPapa and helping our home run as smoothly as possible for the next week!

Here are some highlights from the past week- in photo format:

Reading stories with Alex and Daddy-- it's never too early to start early literacy skills :-)
Meeting Grandma Mary and Papa Bob
We bought tickets for Alex to take two adults to see Disney on Ice a while back, thinking it would be a great 'big sister treat'. Umm....well.... we were wrong. I don't know whether it was solely a product of her media-free year, but she was NOT enchanted. In fact, she was scared-- so much so that Daddy, Grandma Mary and Alex watched a portion from the stairway (instead of their row 12 seats) and then decided to come home early. It was 'too loud' and too overwhelming for her. Interesting, huh?
Alex decorating a MONSTER cookie with Auntie was wearing lederhosen!
The Blizzard of Aught 10. Honestly snowed about 13" and Alex wanted to play in the middle of it!
Proud Grandparents!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Only 3 feedings last night. Went well. 12, 3 and 6.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heading Home :)

Hurray for early discharge! We should be home by ~3:00PM today.

We figured we have family at home (thank you Annamaria and Claude), and Amy and Justin are doing very well.

Circumcision went well. According to the doc, Justin complained the most when they undressed him. He liked the sugar water - had a real sweet-tooth. According to the nurse, Justin did pee on the doc.
Two dirty diapers in a row. When he goes, he goes...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010