June 28, 2005

Denial

I can't believe my mom is leaving me tomorrow. I just can't believe it.

She's part of the routine....part of our household. The idea of facing the day without her is so foreign. It hit me tonight that I've never given Kulia a bath without Tutu. I took Leina up to her crib today alone without my mom and Leina looked at me perplexed and asked, "where's tutu?" Even she has come to expect her. For the first two weeks after Kulia's birth, I wasn't suppose to lift anything heavier than Kulia. This ruled out Leina. So my mom would come upstairs with us at nap time and lift Leina into the crib for me. The first few times she did this, Leina look at me with confusion and maybe a little fright. This was not how nap was done. By the end of the first week, Leina would run to Tutu and say "up...up" when naps came. Leina had totally accepted my mom into her daily life. At dinner, she names chairs. "Momma, Daddy, Tutu!" she exclaims pointing to each seat in turn. I feel the same. I just know that tomorrow, after Tutu has headed out the door, there will be a giant hole in this house and in all our hearts.

Posted by Chrissie at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2005

Mind Over Baby

Kulia continues her descent into the realm of sleeplessness. She is following in her big sister's footprints. She awoke last night at 2am and we haven't been able to get her back to sleep for more than 20 minutes. It is now noon. This means my youngest daughter has been awake and fighting sleep for about 10 hours. When I named her Kulia, which means endurance or to stand firm, I never imagined she's stake her ground so early in life.

So my mom has been watching me slowly freak out over the last week as Kulia slides from sleeping sweet newborn into overtired and shrieky baby. She says I have to change my mind set and tell myself to think positive. So instead of saying, "I can't make it through six months of this", I need to say, "It's only six months, that isn't very long." Easy for her to say, she leaves in two days. I'm the one stuck waking up three times a night for the next six months and dealing with an overtired screaming infant all day long. But, in a way, she is right. I don't have a choice. Kulia is Kulia. She doesn't sleep during the day and only sleeps for two or three hours at night. This is just who she is and all the panic attacks and anxiety won't change her. It will just change me. So I guess for the forseeable future there will be two sleep deprived and crabby people in this house.

Poor Kevin. Poor Leina. They're going to be stuck with two grumps for quite a while!

Posted by Chrissie at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2005

Moved

Kevin managed to find a moment today and moved the computer into our bedroom so hopefully we will now be able to do things like read email, blog, and surf the web in all our abundant free time. HA!

Kulia is fulfilling her role as unpredicable newborn. Some days she naps for three hours, some days she decides to stay up for five hours straight. Sometimes she goes down for the night at 5pm, sometimes she's up until 10pm fighting sleep. It's just so unpredictable it freaks me out. I'd forgotten how crazy-random a newborn is. I'm used to my little Leina Jane who's as regular as clockwork. I shudder to think I have to go back to the chaos of never being able to plan my day but I guess that's just reality.

Leina is taking everything in stride. Of course, she has Tutu to spoil her rotten with lots of book reading and outdoor play. The gloves come off on Wed when it will just be good old mom. I have a feeling Leina might have more of a problem sharing me once my reinforcements go back home.

It's only been three weeks but already it feels like Kulia has been part of our family for a long long time. I know it's going to go quickly and before I know it she'll be three months old or six months or a year but right now, each day is a battle in and of itself. So far, so good... but who knows what tomorrow will bring!

Posted by Chrissie at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

So Much Easier With Two

No, not two babies. Two adults. Namely, mom and grandma. With Tutu here, I feel invincible. If Kulia is fussy and having a hard time, I can take her into her darkened room and nurse, rock, and love her down to sleep no matter how long it takes because I know Tutu has Leina. If I need a break from fussy newborn-ness, I can hand Kulia off to Tutu and head outside with Leina to explore the wonders of our backyard with a two year old. It's heavenly. Then, when Kevin comes home at night, there are actually three of us! This means we can cooks, clean, run laundry, and each little girl has her own adult playmate during the whole evening. Heavenly.

The thought, however, of losing Tutu is too much. The other night, Kevin, Tutu and Leina all went to the store leaving me alone with baby sister and the strangest thing happened. Call it hormones or post partum depression or just after birth craziness but I suddenly began to panic. Before I knew it, I was having a full blown panic attack. My heart was racing, my stomach was tight and I was sweating. All over the thought of being alone with Kulia. I was terrified that when she woke up, I wouldn't be able to care for her. I was convinced she was going to start screaming and I wouldn't be able to stop it. Irrational, I know, but there it was. I was afraid of my own child.

Of course, she did, in fact, wake up. And I nursed her and loved her and everything was ok. But that gut churning anxiety is still here. Every time I pass a calendar and mentally could how many days of my mom I have left I feel it stir and start to boil. How am I every going to handle all this by myself? How does any mom juggle two kids all day long? When Kulia needs to go down for a nap, who's going to watch Leina for 30 min while I put down baby sister? If Leina needs help, who's going to cuddle Kulia while I'm busy? When it's time to nurse Kulia, who's going to watch Leina? I've run all the possible senarios and there is only one conclusion.

Tutu is going to have to live with us.

Sorry dad, but I need her more than you. Maybe we'll just fly her back to you for a weekend or two. Or maybe, we'll just keep her here with her sweet little grand girls. I'm sure she wouldn't mind one bit!

Posted by Chrissie at 02:24 PM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2005

Two Weeks

Today, Kulia is two weeks old. We celebrated by taking her to the doctor where they gave her a shot and drained blood from her heel. Needless to say, she was not very pleased with this celebration.

Her latest stats are: 8lb 8oz and 21 inches long. She is in the 75th percentile for both weight and length but her head is in the measily 25th percentile. Yup, she has her dad's little noggin.

Kulia is beginning to turn the corner out of newborn land and into infant. Already we are noticing the start of the 5pm fussies. Ick. But this house is much larger and better sound proof so you can escape the screaming for a while. Hopefully, she'll pass quickly our of this phase and onto cute chubby baby-dom.

Leina still loves Kulia. When I have to change Kulia, Leina will fetch her a diaper and then put her hand on Kulia's chest and say "it's ok Kulia, Leina's gotcha...Leina's gotcha." Of course, Kulia still cries like mad but Leina doesn't seem to mind and will sit by her until she calms down. Do I have a sweet girl or what?

Even though it's only been two weeks, it feels like Kulia's been home for months. Then I look at her and she seems so little, I can't believe she's already two weeks old. I guess it's just my sleepy mind playing tricks on me but I can't decided if time if flying by or barely moving along.

Posted by Chrissie at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2005

Ok, This Is Crazy

Whoever decided that two kids was managable was lying.

Kulia is a great little newborn. She sleeps well and nurses like a champ. But like all newborns, she gets into that wierd 5pm fussy period where all she wants to do is scream. All she wants is to be held and cuddled for a while. Normally this is not a problem except 5pm is also Leina's fussy time.

Yesterday, both my girls decided to wake from their naps at the same time in the same mood. Miserable. Even with Tutu we had our hands full. By the time we quieted one down, the other would start crying which would set off the non-crying one. It was crazy! I thought it was tough having one screaming kid on my hands. Let me tell you, having two is near impossible. And forget trying to cook dinner or eating. No sir-e, it's all babies all the time here.

Crazy, crazy, crazy!

Posted by Chrissie at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2005

Kulia Update

Chrissie was at the lactation nurse today and got to a quick checkup for Kulia.

She's doing great, new weight: 7 Lbs 8 oz - up 1 oz from the hospital, way to go baby!

Kulia still has some of that post-birth jaundice though and the nurse reccomended the usual little bit o' sunlight everyday for the next week.

"Does the nurse know what state we live in?" I asked> We're not due for sunlight until July. Oh well, Kulia will get introduced to the June gloom. This will probably make her love the cold and rain, causing her to settle in Alaska when she's allowed to the leave the house (at age 25).



7 Lbs 8 oz!

Posted by Kevin at 09:15 PM | Comments (0)

Grandparents are the best

You know there's nothing better than grandparents in general. They shower love, attention, time, food and money on their grandchildren with abandon. Which means of course you get some much needed time to catch up on all the stuff that needs doing around the house. With out grandparents I don't know where we'd be.

But, there's something to be said for that extra special grandparent who's willing to get down and dirty to play with your daughter. I give you exhibit A:



Now, when the grandchild rolls out the "Cata-pilla" tunnel, how many grandparents will immediately jump out of their seat and stick their heads into it? Not many, I'd be willing to bet. But without a thought to her own safety Carla was down on the floor in a flash and Leina just loved it. She couldn't stop laughing (both Carla and Leina!). Thanks for making Leina's day so special Manny.

Posted by Kevin at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2005

Some More Pics

Here's a couple of fun shots, I'm getting better at capturing Kulia's essence:



I can't believe I'm posting this while Kulia's sleeping in her bassinet across the room. Once that girl hit's her "heavy" sleep stage she will sleep anywhere. She slept for two hours in my Mom's arms today - and my Mom is not a very quiet person :)

Hopefully this bodes well for our future...

Posted by Kevin at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

Quick Thoughts

I can't believe this but Kulia is taking a nap ON HER OWN. Wow. I don't think I managed to teach Leina this until she was something like 3 months old and it involved lots of crying. Could be a fluke but I'm taking advantage to quick type a few thoughts before they disappear into my sleepless mind.

Kulia is so different from Leina. She sounds like a little mouse when she wakes. She has a little "squeek" noise she makes to announce she's fussing up. That squeek quickly turns to a high pitch catterwails if left unattended. She's a great nursers but, like her sister, she's hard on the boob but at least I know how to grin and bear the pain. Besides, Kevin says bloody boobs are sexy. (What a great guy, eh?)

Kulia loves to be held. Like Leina, if you hold her, she'll sleep hours. I'm trying to make sure and put her down so she learns how to sleep on her own but it's hard. Last night, we put her to bed around 10:30pm and she slept on her own till 12. Then, then fun began. I'd nurse, rock, and put her down and she'd sleep for about 20-30 minutes and then fuss up. When I picked her up and settled into the nursing chair she'd be back asleep in my arms witholut a sip! So, I'd put her back down and she'd wake again 30 minutes later. We did this little dance until 3:30am when Kevin took a turn. He went in, picked her up, and rocked her down. He then popped the foot rest on the Lazy Boy chair, grabbed a blanket, and slept with her. She didn't fuss until 6am for her morning liquid refreshment. Yup. Just like her sister. So I think we're going to split the night for a while. Spend part of it putting her down and letting her doze alone and part of it holding her so we can all get some sleep. We'll see. I've learned it's best to only try and plan about 15 minutes ahead with a newborn 'cause anything else is wishful thinking!

Leina is doing great. She's such a wonderful girl. I missed her horribly at the hospital and my time with her is done with new eyes. She's so big and smart and self-reliant. I just watch her and think, "she started so small....where did this big girl come from!" I think she's a bit frustrated with us about Kulia. Leina wants to hold her, and feed her, and change her diaper. She doesn't quite understand why we are denying her this fun of playing with her baby sister. She's still a little freaked out when Kulia crys but she's getting better. I have no idea how I'm going to survive on my own with these two girls. Each requires three hands a piece which means I'm constantly understaffed. Maybe a live in nanny....or tutu?

Kulia managed to "surprise" me by being born on her due date. Quite a feat really but I woke up Wed expecting a quick doctor check-up and then a day of Target and laundry but instead ended up giving birth to my sweet little mouse. So much for the best laid plans.

Oh yes, and one parting thought, epidurals are mana from heaven!

Posted by Chrissie at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2005

Another Update

Another quick update...

Baby and Mom are doing great. Leina and I went over to the hospital this morning and all the nurses were excited to have Leina (aka Ruffle Buns) back for a second day.
Kulia's had already gotten a reputation for being a "loud" baby due to her highly developed lungs - and a dislike to being un-swaddled for any reason.
She's now at 7 Lbs 7 oz, so she's lost almost half of a pound. Mom's hoping to stop that trend as soon as her milk comes in.
Both Chrissie and Kulia got a clean bill of health from the doctor and are now home. It's so nice to have the whole family here. Many thanks to Dad and Carla for helping out in the last few days - we couldn't have done it without them!

Here's a couple more pics of Kulia at home and with her big sister at the hospital.




Posted by Kevin at 08:10 PM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2005

A Quick Update

A quick note:

Mom and baby are doing great. Chrissie is up, walking around, playing with Kulia and in chipper spirits. Hopefully tonight she'll get a few more hours of much needed rest.

Kulia did well today. She had several "dirty" diapers already, made it through the first shots and has had great check-ups including the initial physical and a hearing test tonight. She's going to get weighed again in just a few hours so, hopefully, I'll have an update for tomorrow.

Important Vitals:

Birthday: 6-2-05, 5:20am
Weight: 7 Lbs 12 oz
Height: 20.5 inches

If all goes well Chrissie and baby will be home tomorrow afternoon. We'll keep you posted and put up some more pictures then!

Posted by Kevin at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

Kulia has arrived

Just an update to let everyone know that Kulia Victoria McLaughlin arrived early this morning in good health.

Labor "officially" started last night at ~6:15 after a long and test filled day at the hospital. Kulia was born at 5:20am today and both mother and daughter are doing excellent.

Here are a couple of pics of our new daughter:



Posted by Kevin at 09:46 AM | Comments (2)