Thursday, April 30

Aries & Taurus

I am not normally one to follow horoscopes, but during my pregnancy everyone kept saying, "Oh, two Aries kids - you guys are in for trouble!" Since Porter was late and squeaked into the Taurus category I felt compelled to see what that meant for us. The excerpt below summarizes kids with these two signs and seems fairly accurate to us so far - especially since Matilda has been a bit extra firey the past week since Porter's arrival. We have so far been afraid of speaking out loud about Porter's disposition. He seems so chill and easy compared to Matilda as a newborn. Possibly it is our new, calm second-time parent approach, possibly it is that we are still in the newborn breaking-in period and he's yet to show his true colors, or MAYBE he's just a chill little guy who'll stay like this. 

"Talk about a mixed bag! Your Aries and Taurus children are as different as night and day. Young Aries is impetuous, restless, and full of energy. This kid leaps before she looks and gets into plenty of trouble as a result, but her courage is inspiring. Her need to be number one gives your Aries child plenty of drive, and little can stop her from pursuing her immediate desires.

Achieving long-term goals is another matter altogether -- and this is where your grounded, steady Taurus child excels. This robust youngster moves methodically and steadfastly toward his intended goal. He won't get distracted, even by his fiery Aries sibling.

While your Aries child has a short fuse and must learn to control her temper, your Taurus is gentle and very slow to anger. Despite their differences, these two can become great friends. "

Wednesday, April 29

Hard Numbers

Same shirt, one week difference:

Today, at one week, Porter is just about back at his birthweight. I cannot believe how big this kid is that was in my belly. I guess I can forgive him the stretch-marks that he gave me ONE DAY before he was born. It seems cruel the only stretch-marks I got appeared so late in the game but I will count it as another badge of motherly pride or something. And really they were mild so I have no business complaining. 

Now it's time for some facts. Maybe if I lay the numbers all out with the public it will motivate loss a bit better.

Total pounds gained: 33.5
Pounds lost at delivery: 11.5
Pounds lost at 1 week postpartum: 17.5

So far each morning I wake up and have lost 1-2 pounds more as the water weight falls off but I think that period is soon over. That means 16 pounds left to lose the hard way. Time to stop indulging in multiple desserts per day and start taking some walks again.

Tuesday, April 28

"Little Tim"

Porter and his Dad get some quality time. Several people have remarked how Porter looks just like a little Tim. Here's Tim (in his baby toupee) at 3 weeks for comparison:


Lounging on his new quilt from the Arizona Greats. 

Let the Comparisons Begin

Porter, it seems, is a car sleeper. Who knew, a baby that sleeps while riding in the car. Matilda was only ever content to scream her disapproval while riding. 

Monday, April 27

Dorothy's Newest Fan

Matilda has been very generous sharing her toys so far. Tonight at bedtime (for Matilda) Porter joined the story & song party in bed. 

In the past two days Porter has really turned into an eating machine. He spends almost all his time nursing or asking to nurse. Anything that comes near his mouth (blanket, fingers, etc.) will remind him how ravenous he is & start a mouthing frenzy. At the pediatrician today he weighed 8lb 3oz and is well on his way back to birthweight after the typical drop. Porter was cuddling Dorothy when he apparently remembered how hungry he was feeling.Or maybe he wasn't trying to eat Dorothy and is just really suave; he was maybe whispering sweet nothings. 
In the meantime, Matilda maintained her vigilant watch for toe jam. 


Sunday, April 26

Saturday Events

In between watching the baby sleep yesterday we kept ourselves busy with lots of additional fun:

Porter was tortured with some sunbathing to ward off any possible yellowness from jaundice. He was happily awake before I laid him in the sun but refused to open his eyes - he has no tolerance for bright lights. 
Porter tried out the sling for his first time and seemed to approve. 
Grandma and Matilda baked a treat!
Matilda read my palm for me while Porter nursed. 
Sarah & Gaurav came over to eat said treat in celebration of Gaurav's new green-card-approved status. 

Yawning, Not Yelling

Taken at dinner last night. I think there will be more of this action today since Matilda got everyone up at 4. She & Tim are back to sleep but the rest of us are still working on it. 

Saturday, April 25

The Plotting Begins

Matilda & Porter making some plans yesterday afternoon. 

The Score: Porter 1, Tim 0

So squeezing in at just under the three day mark, Porter scored his first victory in the pee column tonight. We knew it was just a matter of time before someone was peed on around here.

Friday, April 24

Matilda & Porter Meet

As with the birth of any baby, we were terribly excited to meet this new little person. However, what I didn't expect was how much I would anticipate Matilda meeting her new sibling. We had all sorts of ideas about how we wanted Matilda to get to see the baby. We made all our friends who were watching Matilda keep her in the dark about the baby's name and gender, we 
made sure to not be holding him when she came in the room (per the pediatrician's recommendation), we even bought a present for Matilda from Porter to sweeten the deal. (Matilda is under the impression Porter arrived from the womb complete with a ViewMaster!)

When the actual moment came for Matilda at the hospital it was funnier and went better than we could have imagined. She shoved Tim aside at the hospital room door to get by him and see "our new baby." After looking at him for a moment she quickly assessed the room, noted that I was a "little bit naked" in my hospital gown, and then demanded to hold her new sibling. The transition continues to go well now at home and we are all getting used to our status. Matilda's enthusiasm hasn't waned yet and she is showering him with kisses and Wizard of Oz dolls and love, mostly of the gentle variety. 

A Few Early Pictures of Porter

A handsome head of hair. We're thinking of booking him for some hair grease commercials. 
Recharging. Looking like his sister as a newborn here.
6 hours old  - looking a bit like baby Uncle Brian here I think. 
25 minutes old here, still looking quite puffy & very grey in the hands. I love his elven ears, pushed down by the hat. His head is rather large (Thanks, Dad.) and so none of the hospital hats would stay on - they just slide right up every time.  

Thursday, April 23

A Family of Four

Brief Update

We are home now & settling in. Matilda is being super sweet with Porter. Porter is being a nursing machine. Tim & I are hanging in there, exhausted but so happy. Grandma Marge is being a rock star and picking up the slack all over the place. 

Wednesday, April 22

It's A Boy!

Matilda's little brother, Porter, finally decided to join us today at 2:58 am. 8 lb 7 oz, 20.5 in. We are all thrilled & doing well.

Monday, April 20

Penmanship Drills

Matilda & I did some practice letters at the playground today & she really wowed me with her skills. We haven't attempted any writing practice in quite a while. 

My "H" in green and hers in orange.

The scarecrow sits with Matilda's "A."

I love how she has her tongue out in concentration here. 

So You Can Pretend

Some sweet video of Matilda holding Stella after dinner last night. Matilda cannot get enough of Stella and will be quite happy when she has her own sibling to manhandle a little more freely. 

Actually, Matilda is not really holding Stella so much, as she is leaving Stella propped on her lap. We need to work on the actual holding part I think. I am also not sure what M is doing with her mouth open....imitating Stella possibly or just plain trying to gobble her up. 

Sunday, April 19

Move Along

Nothing to see here folks, just keep moving. 

Friday, April 17

Yet Another Hike

All these hikes really seem to be doing nothing towards coaxing the kid out, but at least we are getting lots of fresh air & staving off any excess pounds. Today, Stella & co. joined us for a slow march up the hills behind Griffith Observatory. Here's the ever-expanding belly overlooking downtown and the Observatory, quite near the point where I called "uncle" and we turned around. Matilda was fast asleep by this point having been worn out by a busy morning at the playground & hiking around with Gaurav during our picnic lunch. Posing with a big cheese smile near the trail head. Matilda really likes wearing her new Dodger hat. However, she prefers it backwards which kind of defeats the sun-protection intent. Matilda also told me this afternoon that our new baby will come in two weeks. Let's see how her prediction fares. 

40 Weeks

Anytime now, kid. We are all anxious to meet you. 

Wednesday, April 15

Enjoying the Day

I am trying to relax & savor these last leisurely days with Matilda, rather than spending all my time freaking out about when the new baby will (ever, finally, alright already) arrive. Today we spent a good chunk of the day at the playground, breaking for a lunch of spicy, spicy thai noodles (no ulterior motive there), followed by more playing outside. 

Highlights of the day included swinging with the Tin Man and a ladybug friend we found while walking home from Matilda's possibly future preschool. (This was after picking up the most enormous registration packet, which contained a terrifying earthquake plan. I think I would rather not think about who will pick Matilda up from preschool in the event of a catastrophic earthquake, thank you very much.) 

Tuesday, April 14

Best Bird Show Ever

Matilda is a serious regular at the Zoo's Bird Show. She knows all the birds by name and species, knows who comes out when, notices if something in the routine is changed, and never tires of watching it. Last week when we were there for the special "hawk talk" she surprised the trainer by announcing to her (we were in the front row) "that's Nima, the African Fish Eagle" before the trainer had a chance to start the presentation. This was more impressive to the trainer since Nima is a new bird that we only see on occasion as she's training to become a permanent fixture in the show. 

A regular part of the show is when Blackjack, a raven, is brought out on stage to demonstrate how well he can find a hidden soda can. The can is always hidden by a young volunteer, chosen from the audience. For months now Matilda has been squirming in her seat, raising her hand and saying "I want to volunteer for Blackjack" for the entire 5 minutes leading up to that segment. Usually the trainer chooses kids that are a bit older, but finally yesterday Matilda got her chance with the bird! She ran right up there once chosen and never hesitated, it was so fun to witness. The video only shows the portion where M is on stage and I do wish I had thought to keep rolling so you could all witness Blackjack's skill. He found the can in seconds flat - maybe next time M can stump him better. Regardless, she was thrilled.

Monday, April 13

What Not To Wear

In an effort to encourage Matilda in the self-dressing department, we recently labeled all her dresser drawers with little pictures of the clothing item found within. It is working remarkably well & she's now really into getting clothes on herself, which just two weeks ago she had no use for. The related perk is that now we get to witness the awesomely mis-matched outfits that she creates.

Today's choice - purple paisley shoes, striped knee socks OVER black leggings and a Godzilla shirt on backwards. If Matilda spots these black leggings at any point in the day she will strip off whatever other bottoms she is wearing in order to change into the leggings. 
Another recent outfit: Wild tie dye tee obscured under blue hoodie, too short jeans, striped red & pink socks, shiny red "wedding shoes" and a backpack full of Wizard of Oz dolls. 

Sunday, April 12

Happy Easter

We all had a great Easter here with lots of candy and not too many contractions. I attempted to get a picture of Matilda in her new dress for Easter but she had already eaten way too much candy by that point and was not taking direction well:

Casting Shadows

39 Weeks

Yesterday we decided to kick things up a notch in the labor-induction game and we went to Caioti Cafe for "The Salad." Gaurav had missed eating there when Sarah went to coax Stella out so their entire family came along to witness the historic occasion, made even more significant by the fact that it was Stella's first restaurant visit. I expect that the renowned vinaigrette will start working any moment now & we'll have a baby by the time the Easter ham is ready.

In other Saturday news we went to travel town yesterday for some train climbing & riding. Rather than post a traditional weekly belly shot, I thought this one by the train was nice. The scale of the enormous engine makes my belly look so petite, don't you think?

Friday, April 10

The Definition of a Good Friday

Today was pretty much a perfect day for Matilda, thanks to Marie & Molly. We went over to their house for a play date and in addition to romping in Molly's amazing play room we got to dye Easter eggs. Then Marie had bonus fun planned for us with a visit to a neighbor's house who raises chickens and bunnies in the backyard. The girls all got to pet the bunnies, chase the chickens, and everyone left with a dozen fresh eggs! The pastel colored eggs below from his chickens are maybe more beautiful than the brightly dyed ones that we made. 

The Golden Ticket

Matilda just told me that she wants to go to Adam & Alwyn's house and take her sleeping bag when Mommy & Daddy go to the hospital and get a ticket to push out the new baby. 

I am now quite concerned since my hospital bag currently has no ticket packed in it! Where do I get this ticket?

Thursday, April 9

Enjoying the park with Stella

For my daily dose of labor inducing exercise today we joined Sarah & Stella for a hike in the park followed by a  game of soccer-keep-away. Matilda took great joy in kicking the ball downhill and then watching me run my slow-self down the hill in a panic before the ball went into the road. 

Pre-hike, Stella sports her mom's hat and is greatly amused by something. 
M hikes with Downtown in the background. She's busy hunting for caterpillars. 
The entire time you play soccer with Matilda she is yelling,"You come back with that ball!" 
Matilda can't get enough of Stella, but thankfully Stella takes it pretty well.