March 20, 2013

Lily's Dedication - March 2013

Dear Lily (10 months),

Lily, you were dedicated at Unity Unitarian Church in St. Paul, MN on March 3, 2013 at the 11:00 AM service.  Daddy, Mama, and big sister Rose were there.  Grandmas and Grandpas were all in attendance, as were Aunt Katie, Uncle Joe, cousin Lucia, Aunt Sarah, Adam, and Ross and Christopher!  Several church friends stopped by to say congratulations, too.  There were three babies dedicated that morning; the church community promised to love you and our family, to support you as you grow, to remind you how wonderful the world is, and encourage you to live your life fully.

After the service and reception at Church, we went to Fabulous Fern's for a delicious brunch with everyone.  You slept through the entire meal!

All of our out-of-town guests soon departed and we went back home to pack to leave for Hawai'i the very next day!

All my love,

July 30, 2012

Dear Lily (Three Months) and Dear Rose (Thirty Months)

Dear Lily and Dear Rose,

What a wonderful month!  July was full of delightful experiences, lots of love and lots of laughs!  Lily, you are now 13 lbs., 2 oz.  Growing so big and strong!

At the beginning of the month, we traveled to Dubuque, IA to see lots of family.  We stayed at Grandma Jan's house and had a lot of fun all camped out!  Rose, you and I shared a big air mattress together, while Daddy slept in the bed and Lily in her bassinet.  Rose, you would wiggle around at night and put your head on my pillow.  While it was nice to hear you breathe, there were many moments when you would kick me!  Everyone enjoyed seeing you both and spending time with us!

It was incredibly hot and humid during our trip to Iowa, too, so we spent a lot of time indoors.  We did make a trip to the National River Aquarium and Museum, and spent lots of time with Grandpa Barry, Aunt Carolyn, Uncle Chris, Aunt Lisa, and cousin Jake.  Aunt Sarah came for a visit too, and we saw Uncle Joe and Aunt Katie and cousin Lucia before they left to go visit Aunt Katie's parents.

One of the highlights was playing in the "sprinkler" that Grandpa Dewey rigged together - the hose turned upside down, propped up against two bricks and set to a gentle spray.  Rose, you were a little nervous about this at first, but when Dad and I ran through it with you, you became a big fan!  Lily sat with Grandpa Dewey and watched us run through!  The ice cream truck came by and we all had a tasty snack!  Uncle Chris and Aunt Lisa and cousin Jake brought up their inflatable pool and we loved sitting in it, cooling off.  Even Aunt Sarah joined us!

After we came back to Minnesota, the fun continued.  We celebrated Bastille Day with some french food on an outdoor patio; Lily and Mama visited food trucks with our friend Ross; and Rose, Lily, Mama and Aunt Sarah went to a very cool splash pad!

Rose, you had your very first dance class.  You wear a little pink dress with a floaty piece covering your midsection and bottom and big girl ballet shoes.  You love the shoes!  Your first dance class, you were a little unsure of what was going on.  The other girls danced and you carefully observed them.  I am so proud of you for just going and being in the room and trying something new!

We had a play date with Eva, and Elisabeth and Evan, and Grant, too.  We went to story time at the library, and played at a gymnastics gym.  Rose, you were able to try out all of the different elements - you played on the parallel bars, jumped off of a balance bar into the foam pit, and bounced on a trampoline.  We've been busy and have had a ton of fun!

The summer Olympics in London, England started a few days ago and we (well, Daddy and I) are enthralled, as is the rest of the world.  Rose, the Olympics holds your attention for a few minutes and you point to the TV and say "water" and "pool" during swimming, but you would much prefer if we would turn on your beloved Caillou.

Lily, you have begun to laugh hysterically at random things, which is so beautiful!  Rose, you are speaking a lot more and it is wonderful to hear your voice and your observations about the world.  Mama's heart is so full of love and joy with the two of you, it couldn't be any better!

We are looking forward to August now.  More dance classes, a visit from Uncle Luther, Lily's Red Egg and Ginger party, and the state fair!

I love you both very much and look forward to the spending more time with you both!

All my love,

July 2, 2012

Dear Lily (Two Months) and Dear Rose (Twenty-Nineish Months)

Dear Lily and Dear Rose,

Mama here.  I am writing to the two of you because whew! life is busy with the two of you!  I would not change a single thing, except the possibility of more sleep.

I'll start with you, Rose, since it has been a few months since I wrote to you.  You are now a little over twenty-nine months old.  Your world was just turned upside down two months ago, with your sister's arrival.  I have to commend you, though, beautiful daughter, for learning to share your Mama and Dad with her.  In this past month, you have become more loving towards your sister, kissing her, touching her, and wanting to help with caring for her.  We have diapered many of your stuffed animals and the reports from Montessori indicate you are very much into baby play there - feeding, rocking, putting dolls in strollers, diapering, and loving up on the play babies.  You and she will become good friends, I think, in the future, and I truly hope that you will take care of her throughout your lives.

Something else I want to tell you Rose, and I hope you remember for a long time:  we went to an indoor play place and it had all of these fun things to climb on, and slide down, and jump on, and run around in.  You enjoyed being there, and you were a great explorer.  And then you saw the large climbing and exploring tower.  You were interested and excited by it, and as you went up, you were very nervous.  Cautious, you tried climbing over a bridge and the first time, it took you quite a while.  I cheered you on from below.  After that first try, you were more and more brave until finally you were flying over that bridge and scooting down the net slide to see me again!  I was so proud of you.  I love seeing you try new things, testing them, to see if it's something you can do, something you want to do, and once you try it out, you go at it with gusto!  I love that about you, Rose, and I hope you carry this curious and brave spirit with you throughout your entire life.

And now, you, Lily.  Well, two months old!  Tomorrow is your two-month check-up and we anticipate  a good weight gain as you are growing out of your 0-3 month clothes (your newborn outfits are a thing of the distant path!) We realized that you will need to be in larger diapers shortly, too.  In this past month, you were much more alert and awake, taking in the world around you.  You spend more time awake during the day (punctured with lots of naps and eating, of course) and you started to sleep longer stretches (YAY!) at night too; five-six hours is more common and Daddy and I are very grateful for this.  You are able to roll from your tummy to your back during tummy time.  Your eyes are so big, Lily with a gigantic smile to match.  You coo and talk to me during the day too.  You make us all laugh with your squeaks and snorts and toots.   Rose delights you.  You watch your big sister very intently and are fascinated with her.  We love that you are so into your big sister!  You are a great baby and are so easy-going.  Mama is so happy to have you in our lives.

And together now, girls.  June was a wonderful and busy month for us! During the second weekend in June, your cousin Jake came up from Iowa, along with your uncle Chris and aunt Lisa.  Grandpa Barry and aunt Carolyn came up too!  Along with your cousin Lucia, uncle Joe, and aunt Katie, and aunt Sarah we had Farberfest and spent some great time together!  Rose, you and Jake had a fun time together, playing, laughing, and dancing.  We were so happy to see so many family members together.

We also celebrated Father's Day with Daddy too.  We spoiled him with some nice gifts (Rose you made a guitar for him, with your handprints) and had some brunch together.  Later that afternoon, uncle Joe and Daddy went to a movie tougher and then we all had dinner together, with aunt Katie and Lucia too.  It was a nice day.

We've been busy too, with lots of playing and exploring.  We are excited to travel to Iowa in July to see more family and we are making plans for Lily's red egg party in August.  This summer is flying by so quickly and we are so happy to be enjoying our first summer together as the four of us!

All my love,

May 30, 2012

Dear Lily - One Month

Dear Lily, 

Welcome to the world!  You arrived on Monday, April 30 at 10:48 am.  You weighed 7 lbs., 15 oz. and measured 21 inches long.  You have a full head of dark hair and have been a great eater since then!

Before I get started into describing our first month together, I want to share your birth story with you.  On the Sunday before you were born, Mama felt a little funny and knew that you would be arriving soon.  You had dropped very low and Mama had trouble moving about because you were so low in my pelvis.  I made sure my hospital bag was ready to go.  While I had been having contractions all month long, I did not have any on Sunday.  About  11 pm that night, I threw up and I knew you would be coming soon.  I fell asleep about 11:30 pm and woke up with strong contractions about 2:30 am.  I woke Daddy up and we started to practice breathing and some relaxation postures.  We called your Aunt Sarah and she came over right away to watch Rose.  We also called our doula, Nancy, and she said she would be over soon.

We continued to labor at home and the contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and were strong.  We called the hospital at 3:30 am and Nancy arrived then too.  We described what was happening to the nurse who told us that we could continue to labor at home or we could come in.  Mama wanted to labor at home as long as possible and Nancy said that we could labor at home a little while longer.  After about three more contractions, though, Nancy announced that we should probably go to the hospital!

Daddy loaded the bags into the car and Mama climbed in.  Right as Daddy got in, though, and started the car, I had another contraction and had to get out to breathe through it.  After it passed, I climbed back in and told Dad to DRIVE!  Thankfully, the hospital is only a few minutes away from us and just as we pulled into the drive, another contraction arrived.  I breathed through it and then got out and went into the hospital.  The security guard saw us come in and asked what we needed.  Nancy announced, "She's having a baby!" and the maternity ward nurse was already there to greet us.  She asked if I wanted a wheelchair and I declined - it was much easier to walk and stand through the contractions.  So I walked down the hallway to the elevator bank and up we went to the maternity ward floor!  As the elevator doors opened, another contraction started, so I held on to the elevator handrails and breathed through it.  

We then went to our room and I had to be attached to the monitor which meant laying down in bed.  They got everything attached and checked me out.  I was about 5 cm dilated and definitely having contractions.  I was asked several questions and finally!  they were done checking me and I could get up and labor.  I felt most comfortable sitting on the toilet so I could open up my pelvis.  Nancy suggested the tub and I thought that sounded great!  She began to run water into the tub and Daddy continued to be there to help me breathe and relax through each contraction.  I threw up one more time and then I was able to climb into the warm water and breathe and relax through each contraction.  The water was so warm and soothing and made the next few hours pass smoothly.  The contractions picked up and I eventually got out of the tub and sat on a ball so the nurse could check you.  They had trouble telling your heart rate from my pulse, since my pulse was racing as fast as your little heartbeat!

After a bit, I crawled into the bed so they could check me again.  There was a lot of pressure and we decided to pop the bag of waters.  There was a warm gush and a sense of relief.  Then the contractions really picked up!  I had definitely made more progress and I could feel you pushing down.  I got onto all fours and continued to labor.  They attached an internal probe to your little head to keep track of you. I was on all fours and started to push.  Lily, I don't really remember too much of my labor at this point, although I do remember Daddy being next to me, holding my hand and whispering in my ear.  Nancy was behind me, providing counter pressure to my hips.  And I pushed.  I know Dr. Mahan was there, waiting for you.  I just kept pushing and then I felt your little head crown!  Everyone in the room yelled out, "Look at that hair!"  A few more pushes and Dr. Mahan guided you out into this world.

I looked down at you and your eyes were wide open.  You were so alert and quiet, just looking around at the world.  As I looked at you, I could see such a strong resemblance to your sister.  I asked to let your cord continue to pulse which it did and then they clamped it off.  Daddy cut your umbilical cord and you were scooped up and taken to the table to weigh and measure.

After that, we cuddled for a bit and you nursed for the first time.  You were very good at it from the beginning, hungry and willing to latch on!  After a little bit, we were told that due to a "stork attack" (many babies arriving all about the same time!) we were going to be moved to a different room.  Before we moved, though, we took a bath - your very first bath.  And then we moved to a new room.  

Once in the new room, we settled in and Daddy and I started to make some phone calls and let everyone know the good news that you had arrived!  Later that day, Aunt Sarah brought your big sister Rose to meet you for the first time.  It was exciting to see the two of you meet finally!

Your Aunt Sarah was also very excited to meet you!

Later that night, Uncle Joe, Aunt Katie and your cousin Lucia came to visit (and bring Mama and Daddy some egg salad sandwiches!)

After a few days in the hospital, we went home!  We were so excited to finally be home.  

Your Aunt Carolyn came to stay with us for a little over a week.  She took good care of us, cooking many meals, playing with and helping to take care of Rose, and keeping Mama sane!

Your Grandma Jan and Grandpa Dewey and Grandpa Barry and Grandma Michelle came to visit too!  And lots of other people have been so excited to meet you and have brought us great gifts of clothing, food, and laughter to help take care of us during this time.  We are so lucky to have you, and to also have this wonderful community and family of people who love all of us!

This past month has flown by.  You are a great eater and continue to grow big and strong.  You were 10 lbs, 2 oz, this morning at your weigh in!  You are a wonderful baby, filling our hearts with joy and our minds with wonder.  I was so worried, before you came, about how you would fit into our family.  You appeared and our hearts grew larger and overflowed with love and joy.  I love you so much.  Your Daddy adores you and your sister takes good care of you!  

Our family is that much more complete.  You bring us joy.  Laughter. Delight.  Contentment.  Thank you, Lily.  And welcome to this wonderful, amazing world!  

All my love, 

January 4, 2012

Farewell 2011 and Hello 2012!

Oh, 2011!  What a year!

Our highlights and significant events included:  Rose's first birthday and Rich's first birthday as a dad.  Unfortunately, my aunt Gail passed away at the end of December 2010, so the first few days of 2011 were filled with travel and funeral arrangements.   I traveled to Philadelphia for work and enjoyed good food.  Started this blog.  Our first CSA (community-supported agriculture) with Eener's Farm experience.  Traveled to Hawai'i in July for 10 days to celebrate Rich's Mom's 81st birthday.  We spent a lot of time at the zoo and eating shave ice!  And, the biggest news of all . . . Pistachio!

Welcome, 2012!
We eagerly anticipate the arrival of baby #2 (aka Pistachio) and preparations (for the house, for Rose, for all of us) are well underway.  I recently purchased a sewing machine, so be on the lookout for potential hilarity there.  We are enrolled for another CSA this year, so more vegetable deliciousness awaits!

All in all, we are happy and fortunate for our good health, our friends and family who surround us with love, and, of course, our big fat juicy brains!
Happy New Year, everyone!

August 29, 2011

Dear Rose - 19 months

Dear Rose,

My little snugglebun!  What a great month we have had!  We returned from our Hawaiian adventure, recovered from the jet lag, and have enjoyed the last part of August.

On the first weekend in August, we held our annual Farber-Lau BBQ!  Lots of friends, family, and neighbors came to enjoy a beautiful summer afternoon, and we ate delicious food, hung out on the hammock, and talked to everyone.  You had a fun time, running around with all of the other kids, and eating yourself silly.     

You have more words now; my favorite one is cheese!  You say it like this, "cheeeeeeeeeze" and get so excited whenever we offer you some.  You are also saying "shoe" and "doggie".  Tonight we went to the park and you said "play!" very clearly.  We have spent some time on the front porch, too, with the sidewalk chalk and bubbles.  You are learning how to blow bubbles, but they mostly drip on to you!
We have been spending more time in water together, too.  You are sometimes nervous in the water, but it appears that each time we go to the pool, or hang out in the "warm" tub, you become more confident.  We are signed up for swim lessons this fall, Rose!  I hope that you learn to enjoy the water, and how to be safe around it.  The water can be so much fun to play in!  I want you to feel comfortable and confident around it and in it. 

You and I went to Como Zoo and Park and had a great time visiting all the animals.  It was the first time I recall you actually noticing the animals, pointing, talking about them, and showing your excitement to see them.  After the zoo, we went over to the Como Town, where they have rides and you rode the little cars - twice! and the tea cups, too.  At first, you were not sure what to make of this thing, but then, once it started, you were smiling and enjoying the ride.

Sweet Rose, let's enjoy this fall - the fair is coming up, and apple picking, and lots of fun!
All my love,

30 Days - First Project

My first 30 day project, doing (at least!) one fun thing a day concluded a few days ago.  It was a wonderful experiment, and reminded me to be present during my daily life.  Some days, the fun was spontaneous and just happened as events unfolded, like Day 7, having an afternoon treat at Starbucks and Day 20, going to Hudson to have dinner with Rich.  Those fun things were good reminders that there is always fun to be had, each day.  Other fun things were planned events, and so the anticipation was almost as fun and joy-inducing as the actual event, like the annual Farber-Lau BBQ and my day off with Rose.

Here's a quick list of the 30 fun things.  Whee! 

Day 1:  Dinner with Amy; made a list!
Day 2:  Swimming at neighborhood pool with Rose and Aunt Sarah, followed by a sushi date with Rich.
Day 3:  Hair cut!
Day 4:  Swimming with siblings, Rose, and Rich, followed by nachos!
Day 5:  CSA delivery.
Day 6:  National Night Out in the neighborhood with Rose.
Day 7:  Afternoon Starbucks coffee treat.
Day 8:  Taco night!
Day 9:  Shopping for popsicle molds - power hour!
Day 10:  The Annual Farber-Lau BBQ!
Day 11:  Diner at IKEA with Rich and Rose.
Day 12:  Final lunch of the summer with Sarah.
Day 13:  Winning on my scratch-off Slingo game!
Day 14:  Eating lunch outside, enjoying the sunshine!
Day 15:  Dinner with Breanna, discussing my business idea.
Day 16:  Dinner at Tanpopo with Rich and Rose.
Day 17:  Breakfast with Rich and Rose, winning two games of Scrabble.
Day 18:  Homemade strawberry ice pops!
Day 19:  Hanging out in the "warm" tub with Rose. 
Day 20:  Spontaneous trip to Hudson, WI to have dinner with Rich and Rose.
Day 21:  Lunch on the rooftop of Crave in Minneapolis.
Day 22:  Realizing that Thursday was my Friday!
Day 23:  The entire day with Rose:  we went to the zoo, rode rides, had lunch, napped, went to the pool, dinner at Eddington's, laughed in the hammock, bathtime, books, bed. 
Day 24:  Waking up early, having the house to myself.
Day 25:  Grocery shopping with Rose, seeing how excited she was to ride in the race car shopping cart and have a FREE COOKIE.
Day 26:  Dinner on the patio.
Day 27:  Eating homemade pickles.
Day 28:  Talking with Sarah about teaching a community ed class.  Also, visiting the planners at OfficeMax.
Day 29:  Trip to Costco.
Day 30:  Staying up late to watch a movie with Rich.

Now, the next adventure begins!