Archive | May, 2014

the ham

28 May

20140524 - Ari and Evie 005

Yogurt…mmmm….

20140524 - Ari and Evie 006

Oh, are you watching me?

20140524 - Ari and Evie 007

Let me show you what silly looks like…first I eat with greater enthusiasm:

20140524 - Ari and Evie 008Then I use the tip of my tongue, just ’cause, and tilt my head to the side, because I know you find that adorable…

20140524 - Ari and Evie 009And I like to finish with the inverted, handless method of food consumption:

20140524 - Ari and Evie 010Little sister is not amused:

20140524 - Ari and Evie 001What I can tell you is, as we enter the terrible twos, it’s sometimes tough disciplining this mischievous munchkin (thicker skin has been ordered):

20140524 - Ari and Evie 032that face

I am in trouble.

(With the exception of the last photo, taken at Longwood Gardens this weekend by my very significant other, all pictures captured by our good friend Jon.  This weekend he and his wife brought over all my favorite foods and their camera, because they are some of the most considerate persons I’ve ever known.)

 

 

caught

27 May

kisses

She puckers her lips and leans forward, begging to smooch her little sister, at least twenty times daily.  The littlest one constantly has food remnants, dried milk and yogurt caked into her hair.

Yet my heart both stops and swells just a little.  Every time.

sisters

22 May

photo 2 (22) photo 1 (23)

I’ll try to get some better pictures of us soon…for now, this is what we’ve got.

When I asked John, teary-eyed (those hormones!), what he thought Ari honestly felt toward her sister at this point, he replied, “I think she thinks Evie is something cute she gets to kiss from time to time.”  Sure enough.  Most every time I bring Evie into the same room, Ari leans towards her and starts puckering her lips.  Oh my heart!

Just two days before Evie was born, Ari came down with a wicked fever.  My normally not-so-cuddly, all-too-independent (is there such a thing?) little girl became a pathetic, adorable mess who wouldn’t leave my arms.  (A febrile kiddo is one of the saddest things.  Motrin = wonder drug!)  Luckily she turned around pretty quickly, but we are certainly worried about daycare germs getting our newborn sick.  The idea of having to take Evie to the ED to get a spinal tap, urinary catheter, blood culture, chest x-ray, and antibiotics makes me pretty sick (though of course the alternative is worse).  We asked the neonatologist who examined her in the hospital for suggestions, and I thought her advice was simple and awesome.

There’s really no way to isolate a newborn from her toddler sister if they live in the same house.  Sure, regular precautions like hand sanitation go a long way.  But it also helps to encourage the toddler to lightly touch (or kiss as the case may be) her little sibling on the top of the head and the bottom of the feet.  That way she doesn’t feel completely forbidden from contact, but she avoids the face and hands (which go straight into the mouth), the most direct routes for transmission of disease.

Luckily, Ari could not be happier with her brief contact with the top of Evie’s head…I think she likes the funny feeling of Evie’s fur-like hair against her lips.  And a recent thing: when Ari gets home, after she takes off her shoes, she likes to press the bottom of her feet against the bottom of Evie’s–makes her (and us) giggle!

happily surviving

21 May

photo 1 (22)

In the wise words of Love Actually: “To me, you are perfect.”

Can I say, so far, I’m enjoying the whole newborn-in-May way more than newborn-in-October-during-Hurricane-Sandy routine.  Better for moral!  And cluster feeding at night is easier when the nights are shorter.  (I have a feeling I’ll be singing a different tune status-post week 4 of life.  And this is not to say that I haven’t had many personal meltdowns, mitigated by a kind husband, patient friends, and ridiculously generous neighbors.)

Unfortunately, in John’s line of work, one doesn’t really get paternity leave, and I might have picked the worst time to deliver, as most of his colleagues were at a huge conference in Texas at the time.  So, just like last time, he was back to work 48 hours after the birth of our child.  And I, completely panicked, tried to figure out how to manage this weekend, keeping Ari happy and Evie alive (big sister just wants to crawl into the rock-n-play with “Eee-vah,” as she calls her), all the while still moving slowly and occasionally dribbling breast milk in my wake.  I am so appreciative of the friends who’ve dropped by, brought chocolate and other goodies, watched my daughters as I brushed my teeth, and read books to my eldest as I fed the younger.

Early Sunday morning, John got home from an overnight shift just as Ari was waking.  Evie had fallen asleep after dinner #11 (she is, in fact, a barracuda), so he gave me an extra 30 minutes to snooze while he started Ari’s morning routine.  He then retreated up to bed.  Normally I have until 8:15 am before Ari starts beating down the door, urging on the next adventure.  Unkempt, with teeth a little fuzzy, I strapped Ari into her stroller, and tried to finagle this sillily long wrap thing-y I had once attempted and failed when Ari was a newborn.  I’m sure it could have been more masterfully and efficiently executed, but the wrap seemed secure enough, and Evie slid right in.  With both girls in tow, a few diapers, wipes, sippy cup, and wallet stashed in the crevices of the stroller, I made it down our porch front steps without my pelvis prolapsing and felt a huge sense of accomplishment.  (Seriously, hats off to all the parents who make this parenting thing look easy, or at least routine…I am constantly a “hot” mess [those hormone fluctuations are no joke!], and I’ve already had some of my med school friends tell me that I’m an excellent form of birth control.)  I barely made it 8 steps when my lovely neighbor waved from across the street…at which point I took my opportunity to hijack her entire morning.  “Oh!  What beautiful weather!  We were just going for a walk.  Please, join us.  JOIN US!”

All I can say is thank goodness Evie makes cute little squeaks, smells good, and sleeps well in arms that know how to hold babies.  I think that was what convinced this sweet unassuming neighbor that a walk-turn-into-coffee-and-pastry-run-to-keep-the-hubs-asleep-and-the-toddler-entertained, which might have last 3+ hours, was exactly how she wanted to spend her morning.

 

photo 2 (21) photo 3 (11) photo 4 (6)

evelyn

16 May

photo (99) photo (98)

Evelyn Adelina Jesus.

a.k.a. Aurelia’s little sister.  Ari and Evie.

We got to meet our littlest girl at 12:41 PM on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, all 7 lb 6 oz of her, with a very similar hair style as her older sister.

 

10256708_10101488230101756_1885057150055828256_o10272744_10101488230096766_5846650331628407159_o

And suddenly our hearts grew ten sizes, and any semblance of our lives before her arrival seems so very far away.

We’re home, everyone is happy and healthy.  Her birth could not have gone better, and I look forward to sharing it, hopefully, in the next couple days.  For now, Evie is still passed out in the carseat after her first pediatrician’s appointment, so I’m going to shut my eyes for a few minutes as well.

Thank you all for the support throughout this pregnancy and in the last few days!

xoxo,

Evie, Ari, Anna, & John

 

on mother’s day

12 May

Thinking of my mother.  Still.

In many ways, Mother’s Day is easier now that I have almost two daughters of my own.  And I can think of and celebrate my mother–she really was the best.  But I wish she could be here, know our family as it is now.

Jesusfamily2014_0146 Jesusfamily2014_0342 Jesusfamily2014_0324Jesusfamily2014_0123Especially these two–I love them so!

Jesusfamily2014_0059

 

Happy Mother’s Day!  I have too many shining maternal examples in my life to recognize, so know that I am grateful for and inspired by you, constantly.

Thank you again, Yana & Chita…and for the sweet post.

two bright lights

9 May

Our family is touched and honored (and altogether surprised) to be featured in Two Bright Lights, though we’re fully aware that it’s entirely due to Julie Napear‘s raw talent and thoughtful eye.  We are humbled by the kind and encouraging words included in the post, and I admit they’ve given me a bit of a boost during the final days of this pregnancy.

John commented, “It’s bizarre to see our daughter with a nearly toothless grin!”  I replied, “It’s weird that we once had to support her to standing!”  And now we’re about to bring in another jiggly, squishy little girl–have a feeling we’ll feel just like fish out of water again, in a good way?

Jesus-family-portraits-Meadowlark-Botanical-Gardens-Vienna-Virginia-022 Jesus-family-portraits-Meadowlark-Botanical-Gardens-Vienna-Virginia-021

where we are now

6 May

2014Jesusfamily_Raw1_0036

It’s a trite expression, but I can’t think of a better sound in the world than that of children’s laughter–especially our child’s (I’m biased).  The unrepressed joy, it’s enough to make my heart feel like it’s going to explode out of my chest.

Though in many ways it’s happier, more sincere, and more abundant than the laughter of an infant, a toddler’s laughter doesn’t seem to come on cue as easily.  So when we met with Chita and Yana of How’s the Married Life? last week to document this flash in our family timeline, I found myself apologizing.  Whereas Aurelia was almost entirely smiles and giggles during our August photo shoot with the beloved Julie, she rarely revealed her happy face this time around and instead clutched her snack cup of raisins as though it was a security blanket.  *Sigh*  I think we’re parents of a toddler.

But then I’m reminded that these expressions are exactly what we hoped, a representation of where we are.  And part of where we are is our little independently-minded child choosing when she wants solemn and when she wants to be nothing but fits of giggles.  And if it’s 6pm and her usual supper time, she will not let you sneak her snacks away without a fight, and if you brought stale bread to feed to the ducks at the local pond, she’ll eat that too!

I’m really thankful that Yana and Chita were kind enough to take our pictures.  A couple weeks ago, I started getting nostalgic.  We are so poor at remembering to take pictures of our family, I don’t think we have any of the three of us from the last eight or so months.  And then I thought about the next couple years.  Although we would love to have another child, and I would certainly love to be pregnant again, we know there are no guarantees.  And, given the time and energy demands of residency, I think it would be best for our family if we held out for a bit.  Thank you, Chita and Yana, for capturing some beautifully representative moments of our last weeks as a family of three (3.1?) and celebrating this pregnancy with us as well.

2014Jesusfamily_Raw1_0052 2014Jesusfamily_Raw1_0059 2014Jesusfamily_Raw1_00722014Jesusfamily_Raw1_01022014Jesusfamily_Raw1_03632014Jesusfamily_Raw2_00632014Jesusfamily_Raw2_0185 2014Jesusfamily_Raw2_0193 2014Jesusfamily_Raw2_0241

the papoose

2 May

Only in the world of pediatrics would there be a most adorable word for what is essentially a child-sized, makeshift straight jacket.  John first told me about it when he rotated at Children’s during residency and I was horrified.

“Why don’t they just sedate the kid?”

“Well, that’s an awful lot of risk for 4-5 stitches on the face that the kid is numb to anyway.  We do give them topical lidocaine.”

One of the many reasons I swore I would never go into pediatrics: the horror of the horrified child, bound and trapped, and the poor parent probably shuddering in a corner.

But then I sort of surprised myself last week.  A toddler came in with a vertical laceration on her forehead caused by a typical toddler-toddler collision.  She was happy and doodling, not in pain and without signs of brain injury.  The cut was clean and sharp, and the two sides easily fit together.  But, due in part to its vertical nature, tension kept the two ends apart such that, left not sutured, it would make for a not-so-glamorous scar in the middle of this kid’s face.

I was given the task of sewing this little lady back up with what had to be the thinnest, hair-like dissolvable thread imaginable (though probably not even close–I’m not sure I want to know the fragility of the sutures they use of fetuses).  On the first attempt it became clear that this toddler, though calm and cool when we were only examining her, would not maintain her composure when we were physically restricting the movement of her head and going at her forehead with a needle.  She also somehow developed ultra-human strength that far surpassed what was possible from her 25- to 30-pound frame.

I saw the attending mouth to the nurse, “The papoose?”  And in what felt like seconds, our patient was rolled up like a little burrito and screaming her head off.

As I was trying to maneuver this hair-like thread through the layers of skin, my face was fairly close to her’s, my ears inches from her mouth, which kept emitting deafening cries.  Two sutures in, it occurred to me that this would be an appropriate time for me, the mom who cowered and cried uncontrollably during her daughter’s two-month vaccines, to pass out.  But I didn’t.  After a few more stitches, we were done, and our sweet patient was wrapped up in her mother’s arms, completely tear-free.  Not gonna lie, a little proud that I didn’t vomit, faint, or run from the room screaming myself, but perhaps I’m setting the bar a bit low…

soon…

1 May

IMG_5420

I feel so completely unprepared and terrified, yet also overwhelmingly joyous with anticipation.  I cannot wait to get to know our second daughter better.

We found out that I’m Group B Strep positive this go-round.  It’s not typically a big deal.  I believe something like 20-40% of women are colonized with it, and it very rarely causes disease in immunocompetent hosts.  However, it can cause serious disease in newborns, like bacterial sepsis, meningitis, or pneumonia.  In order to prevent maternal transmission of disease, IV penicillin G is given to the mother at the onset of labor, and then every four hours thereafter.  The first dose should be given at least four hours prior to delivery.  My first labor didn’t last four hours, and I only got to the hospital about 30 minutes prior to delivery.  So I’m a little concerned.  Poor second child is going to have to be stuck and urine bagged and monitored for signs of sepsis as well as for congenital CMV.  Builds character?  She’s gonna be one tough cookie!