Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Baby is Two? How Did that Happen?

My baby is two and boy does she like to tell all. She’ll run right up to you, arch her back and come in close—face-to-face-- and yell in the sweetest, most innocent voice “I Anni. I two!”

How on earth did she turn two—already? It truly feels like yesterday that she was born. I cannot believe how quickly time has passed.

I have to admit that I have a lot of sad feelings with witnessing Annika grow up versus seeing the same with Alexandra. When I think of Alexandra growing up, I get excited. I am eager to see her try new things. Growing up for her is exciting. With Annika, it’s somewhat sad. She’s my baby, and always will be no matter the age. I often wish I can freeze time.

I remember my mother telling me a story about when I was young. It was about how she would hold me in her rocking chair each night before bed. As an infant, my legs were curled tightly toward my belly and I fit my mother’s arms naturally. Later she recounted how sad she’d feel as my heels rested on her thigh, and how much sadness she would feel as the weeks passed and eventually my legs were over hers—my legs dangling below. I always remember that story when I hold my baby and now understand the sadness my mother felt because I feel it too every night I hold her tight, singing her favorite song and gently pushing her hair aside. Her legs are so close to dangling below.

Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way suggesting I will limit Annika in anyway. I will afford her every opportunity I do with Alexandra. And I do. Annika has a way of keeping up with the older kids as if she’s completely bypassed two and went right on to four. She’s a trooper and there is no stopping her. She’s determined. Her curly hair bouncing behind her as she quickly runs to catch up to the older kids. She’s just precarious, adventurous, and above, precious.

As with my pregnancy with Alexandra, I kept a journal of my pregnancy with Annika so as not to remember any detail of that very short time if your life when you’re carrying a life. Here is the entry from the day Annika was born. A moment I am sure never to forget.

…Wednesday, May 16
Happy BIRTH-Day!
It’s 2 a.m. and I am awoken by a strange feeling in my stomach. I automatically figured it was my stomach feeling funny from having eaten a lot at dinner so I tried to use the bathroom several times but nothing happened. In fact, I continued to get some strange crampy feelings every few mounts. So I headed on the computer to do a search about real labor vs. false labor and was timing the cramping I felt. I did this for about 45 minutes to an hour, when I finally woke daddy up and told him that I believed it was real labor. We called the doctor and explained how I was feeling and she said to head over to the hospital. So we called Gee Gee and she came over at about 4 a.m. I headed into the shower, and grabbed my already packed bags and stopped into your sister’s room. I gently picked her up from her crib and held her tight, crying. I have never been away from her ever and am feeling overwhelmed by that, and by the fact that you will be a new addition to us just any time now.

Well, we headed to the hospital and took Rt 202 assuming we’d get to Paoli Hospital in no time. Funny things happen when you least expect it. There was traffic!!! At this point my contractions were 4 minutes apart so daddy had jumped the car into the center island and turned around and got onto Rt 30 and took that the rest of the way. I am feeling pretty good at this point but am feeling contactions for sure.

When we got to the hospital, they took me in the triage center and checked my dilation. Much to my surprise, I was a whopping five centimeters dilated! Half way there! I really thought they would say three…

My contractions are three to four minutes apart still and I feel pretty good I am admitted and now in a great room and just watching some TV, taking walks to see the newly born babies and talking with the doctor. At 7 a.m. the Dr. Wheeler asked if I wanted my water broken to speed things up, so I agreed. No meds, please. J

The doctors started getting your bed and exam table ready and asked if we though the blue card or pink card should be first—meaning boy or girl. I say blue, daddy insists on pink. We’ll soon find out who’s right!

I sat up the rest of the time in a semi-squat position and just waited for each contraction to past. I really am feeling pretty good at this time, and daddy seems to be calm. The nurses are really nice and making me feel comfortable s everything seems to be great. I am watching the Today’s show so I am happy about that too!

All of the sudden contractions started getting intense and I want to get up and go to the bathroom. Now I feel like I need medicine so I asked daddy to get the nurse, but she’s gone to get the doctor. You are on your way!!! The nurse checked me again and I am 9 ½ centimeters. I am advised to just push. So I did, lying down. Not sure why… Then they sat me up and told me to push again. I could swear you’re going to weigh 9 lbs so I pushed with every single inch of energy I have in one-two-three pushed you were HERE at 9:31 a.m.!!! Daddy yelled out that you are a girl! I can’t believe it! A girl!!! I am sooo excited, though I would have been happy if you were a boy too. Just the idea that you are a girl and we already have Alexandra is so exciting! You weighed in at 7lbs, 5 oz. I am amazed! I really thought you’d be so much more since you were late! I am asked if you look like Alexandra and I am amazed that you really do! Holding you for the first minutes was so surreal. I live that experience and feelings each and every time I hold you now. I am so in love all over again J

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thanks, Easter Bunny!

The girls had a terrific Easter this year. Our tradition starts with making terrific colored eggs which are used Easter morning for breakfast. We usually have Easter dinner with my side of the family who visits the night before Easter. Then before bed, the girls leave for the Easter bunny a plate with carrots and, this year, lettuce, thanks to Alexandra and her quick thinking of what bunnies like to eat. Radishes were next on her list but we didn't have any in the house...
The Easter bunny comes at night to nibble on his treats and in return, delivers treat-filled plastic eggs and a very special note to the girls! Most of the eggs contain stickers, and some have small candies and chocolates, and a gift for each of the girls. This year he left a terrific baby doll for Annika and a butterfly house and larvae for Alexandra!

This year our Easter was grand. It started with an egg hunt at home with grandma, grandpa and Auntie Jen. Then after church we headed over to pop-pop and GeeGee's to have dinner with the cousins. Getting together with the cousins is always a treat as there are SO many! This is only a sampling of the total. Below are Brittany, Emily, Trey, Christina, Katie and Olivia. Not pictured are Lili and RJ, both of whom are infants. And to top it all off, this is only from Andy's one set of step brothers and sister! The girls have another cousin in Michigan, Trevor, from one of Andy's other step-brothers, not to mention the many second cousins in Connecticut, Maryland and North Carolina.

With six step siblings on Andy's side, and one sister for me, we have a terrific family and are so delighted that our girls have such an amazing group of kids with whom we hope they will be close. We only wish we could see everyone much more often...

The girls and their cousins

Annika checking out her treasures

Alexandra sitting pretty

So big, and so pretty. :)