Friday, October 14, 2011

Week of Life 1

Jon and I have been looking forward to our maternity/paternity leaves for quite some time now.  I couldn't wait to relax, enjoy my new baby, and spend some time with the boys without being interrupted by the phone or without having to divide my attention between the laptop and the trucks driving across my legs.  And Jon had an ever-growing list of house projects he was just waiting to find time for.  And we both were looking forward to Marmie and Poppa's visit that would make all this possible!

Ironically, our little girl's first week of life ended up being one of the most productive and eventful weeks of our year!  Marmie made all the meals, Jon kept the house clean and Poppa kept the little guys occupied with bike rides, the playground and soccer games.  So I had ample time to rest and hold my precious baby girl. 

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The first few days we laid low since I was still recovering.  Uncle Jared came down after work for Marmie's good cooking and some Julia snuggles.  And Uncle Micah came the next night to lend a hand as well. 

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The weather has been just beautiful.  Cool enough to keep the windows open and to dress the boys in jeans.  And ideal for bonfires and ooey-gooey s'mores.

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And perfect for teaching little boys how to ride their bikes.  Marmie was all excited about Jack's new skill and wanted me to take a video.  Naturally, he suddenly loses interest once the camera comes out.  His seriousness is overwhelming.



On Friday, Marmie and I took Julia on her first girls' shopping trip.  After being cooped up in the house for a few days I was more than ready to get out and walk around.  And the mall was calling our name!  Except for the time I nursed her in the Sears dressing room, Julia slept the whole time.  Sometimes I forget how easy newborns are ... at least, compared to older babies and toddlers.  You can lug 'em anywhere and they barely flutter an eyelash.  Like any woman who has spent the last 9 months confined to a limited wardrobe, I really wanted to buy some new clothes.  Because that always makes me happy.  But this isn't exactly a good time for me to be adding to my wardrobe.  So I settled for two forgiving tops from the clearance rack and lots of tasty mall treats to keep my caloric intake up.  By the time we got home the men had both boys fed and down for a nap and were busy painting the back deck.  Well done Daddy and Poppa!

I think my favorite event of the week was the Fall Festival at a local farm.  I slipped the little lady into the Moby and, again, other than some lunch under a shady tree, she peacefully slept the entire time.  These Moby wraps are confusing and hot, but I do love them for newborns.  It reminds me of being pregnant again, so I can only imagine what it feels like for the baby. 

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We had fun visiting all the craft stands and picking up a few local wares.  There were plenty of animals to see and pet, and lots of games to test out.

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Jude loved petting the llama...


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... until it head-butted him.


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Our crazy man.  I think he was trying to walk like Poppa.


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Fearless.


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Shooting corn cobs.  Check out that intense focus!


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The kind of games where everyone's a winner!


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Trying his hand at milking a cow.

Oh, here's another big event - Julia's first bath.  I will not tell you how old she is in this picture.  But according to the nurse "it's not like she's been crawling around in dirt or anything."  So yeah, "several days" after arriving in this world, Julia had her first tubby.  And other than an initial squawk, she really enjoyed it.  Don't let the disgruntled look fool you, I believe she takes after her oldest brother and his "serious face."

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Sunday was church.  I was determined to get there early so we could get the boys settled into Sunday School and I could maybe nurse the baby right away.  Surely with 4 adults in the house we could do it!  Nope.  Instead Julia got hungry before I could even finish getting ready.  And then after she ate she spit up all down my dress and hair.  After a quick change I ended up doing my make-up in the car at each stoplight, and we rolled in to church 5 minutes late.  Better luck next time.

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As you can guess, Baby Girl slept through the entire service.  Since she's such a tiny little thing, she doesn't fit in any of her 0-3 clothes yet and I hardly have any newborn clothes.  Thankfully, Marmie just happened to have one dressy/non-sleeper newborn outfit in her latest yard sale goody box, so I made it a point to pull Julia out of her carseat for the second half of the church service just so people could see how cute she was.  And then the pastor announced from the pulpit that we were there with our new baby and that the story of her arrival was "very interesting" and that you "have to hear it."  So she got a little more attention after the service.  And I feel a little better that at least a few people saw her in her cute clothes since they probably won't fit her by next week.

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Ugh newborn pictures.  She's always either sleeping, looking out of the corner of her eyes, or yawning.

We have a tradition in this family that involves taking our newborns out to waterfront restaurants during their first week of life.  Okay, not really.  But it has worked out that way in the past.  And we didn't want our daughter to feel left out.  So I did some digging on Tripadvisor and found a place that reminded me of our favorite restaurant in Virginia Beach. 
 
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So many options, what do I choose?!

 
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We have another tradition, it's called "Jon grows his beard out during paternity leave because he can."

Jon and I rarely take our kids to nice restaurants anymore.  The mess and noise is one thing, but we spend so much time trying to feed and settle the small fry that we don't really get to enjoy our own meals.  But Marmie and Poppa were along to assist in that area, so we just made sure we chose a casual setting with outdoor seating.  It ended up being perfect.  We ate along the water and, while waiting for food, took turns walking the boys around the docks and showing them the boats, fish, moon, etc. 
 
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We also had a great server who, when she saw that we were teaching Jude sign language, started "talking" to him with her hands.  She was way more advanced than we are, but Jude was thoroughly impressed.

Like most parents, we like to feed our kids lemons and then take pictures of the process:

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He took that too well.

Oh, and Julia slept.

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Next stop, the BO Train Museum.  Tuesday was our last day together when Jack didn't have preschool, so I wanted to do something fun as a family.  We decided over breakfast to check out the BO museum and didn't know until after we got there that it was Fall Free Day.  Score!  It's a great museum and very kid-friendly, but I probably wouldn't have wanted to pay full-price for it myself.  Then again, I'm not that much in to trains.

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And Julia, well you know ...

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Wednesday was our final day with the grandparents. Jack's preschool had a field trip to the local pumpkin patch so Marmie and Poppa took both boys with strict instructions from Mama to find some nice pumpkins for our front stoop.  Besides pumpkins there were animals, tractors and a hay ride!  Meanwhile I enjoyed some quiet time with my daughter. 

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After the field trip, and after emptying the dishwasher, scrubbing the rug and doing all the ironing ... Marmie and Poppa left. It was a sad goodbye, one that left Jack chanting over and over, "They come back, Marmie and Poppa come back."  Oh yes, I'm sure they will.  But in the meantime we need to get through the school of hard knocks, the parenting 3 kids 3 and under bootcamp.  And I'm just a little nervous about that whole experience.  But for now, we're just thankful for Marmie and Poppa getting us off to a good start ... and leaving us with a freezer full of meals!

2 comments:

Whitney said...

So glad you guys are able to get out and have fun and enjoy being together as a family. Love little Julia in the Moby, looks so comfy and cozy =)
Anytime my hubby has leave, the facial hair automatically gets to grow out.. men ;-)
Julias so precious... you make me want another baby already haha!
Btw we got stationed in Va beach =)

JSS said...

You are busier than most people I know! That is a lot of fun jammed into a week! You look awesome, btw :)

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