Sunday, March 30, 2008


I still have my first Winnie the Pooh. I don't think this requires a visit to a therapist. I love stuffed animals. I always have. When we discovered we were expecting our first child, it seemed only natural to purchase a bear for him. Bears (and other animal buddies) have always been a part of play time, and the all important snuggle time.

Everybody Loves Mommy's Bear!

My bear's name is Snowbeary. I usually just call him Bear. Clever, I know. One day Evan was snuggling and kissing Snowbeary. I said, "That's Mommy's Bear!" He said, "My bear!" and gave me a sneaky look and grin.

Evan Shares Storytime with "Monkey" aka Gowilla

Monkey was a gift from Justin's friend, Ryan. I took one look at him and thought, "That big gorilla is going to scare the crap out of our little boy!" But it was quite the opposite. Evan loved Monkey, and toted him around, in spite of his enormous size.

Bouncing with the Buddies

When Duncan was born, we purchased the bouncer firetruck. We told Evan it was a present from Duncan. He loved it. He jumped with glee. It's no fun bouncing alone, so Justin and I were often pulled in (although, we do exceed the 100lbs weight limit!) If Mommy and Daddy wouldn't do, Evan would go get his stuffed animal friends. He'd come down the stairs, arms packed with stuffed animals, and say, "Got my buddies!" He'd throw them all in the firetruck and jump to his heart's content.

Bear Bear Helps Clean Up

Evan's first bear was named Cloud. We actually purchased Cloud for Evan's cousin, who was born about six months earlier. We fell in love with this little white bear so much, that we decided to get our new nephew a little something different.

Evan and his bear were inseparable. Once he took his bear along to the nursery at church. When we picked Evan up to go home, the lady asked Evan if he had his Bear Bear. He had named his bear! It was Cloud no more, but Bear Bear. If it was bedtime, and Bear Bear was missing, we'd go around the house calling out, "Bear Bear, where are you?" You can imagine how cute it is for a little boy to be calling for his bear. One night we couldn't find Bear Bear. Evan went on to bed, much to my surprise. Justin found the bear, and tucked him in Evan's arms while he slept. The next morning Evan ran into our room and said, "I found Bear Bear!"

Best Friends

An End to the Madness

I'm not really a basketball fan. The month of March does not inspire dreams of tip offs and 3 pointers. I turn on the TV and think, "Why is there basketball on so many channels? Oh yeah, March Madness." I was lucky enough to flip through and find an occasional Spring Training game this month. I even watched a Yankees game out of desperation to see some baseball. Tonight the Braves take on the Washington Nationals in Washington. They are playing at The Nats' new stadium, with President Bush throwing out the first pitch. The Braves will have their home opener tomorrow. So, all I gotta say is:

Play Ball! And, oh yeah, Go Braves!

Catching Up

I want to get my journal going by listing some of the things blooming around my yard now. I'll start with February and March, so I'll be all caught up.


Daphne odora

Daphnes are a wonderfully fragrant evergreen shrub. I have this one planted adjacent to the steps down to the backyard. I make special trips over there in winter to take a whiff.


Magnolia stellata Royal Star

We planted this Magnolia tree in honor of my second son's birth. We've had it for less than a year, and it bloomed well already.

Mertensia virginica Virginia bluebells

I have a small Mostly Natives/Woodland garden in the back corner of our property. It's planted next to Evan's Memorial garden. One day I may try to make these gardens connect with a pathway.

I also have a Butterfly/Hummingbird garden in the backyard, and two symmetrical beds in front. The grass up at the street was looking poorly after the drought last summer. I decided to replace the grass with Daffodils for spring and daylilies for summer. The Daffies have bloomed, and I missed my opportunity to get any photos! Oh well.

I have many little gardens, but I've always been at a loss when it comes to design. I look at magazines, blogs, and TV shows, and think to myself, "That's fantastic. I should incorporate that idea in my own yard." Unfortunately, I've felt a bit of a failure when I get out there and try to put things together. The combinations that work are usually ideas of other people. I'm ok with that. I imagine that one day experience will help me choose what works. I also hope to be more bold in my plant selections one of these days. I've always been a bit of a chicken. I buy small plants when I should chose something big and architectural. I'm hoping that I will be able to envision my future gardens as I become a more experienced gardner.

Friday, March 28, 2008


1. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged and to ask them to play along and to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago
Working at UGA, dating Justin, and playing with a great woodwind quintet.

Five things on my to-do list today
1. Get through the day without totally losing it.
2. Finish the laundry I started yesterday.
3. Go by the church--done!
4. Get a nap.
5. Have some fun with the kids.

Five snacks I enjoy
1. Chocolate
2. Mixed nuts
3. Fruit
4. Whatever Duncan's eating
5. Did I say chocolate already?

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire
1. Buy a child friendly house with a child friendly yard.
2. Pay our bills.
3. Pay loved one's bills.
4. Start a meningitis research foundation in memory of Evan.
5. Be an anonymous giver.

Five of my bad habits
1. Knuckle cracking
2. Procrastinator
3. Feeling sorry for myself
4. Complainer
5. Being a can't do person (feeling pretty pathetic here.)

Five jobs I’ve had
1. Information specialist (at UGA)
2. Stand in Musician for an Early Music group (I got to play crumhorn!)
3. Flutist
4. Librarian type person
5. Mommy

If anyone wants to do this meme, it's up to you. Everybody in my church has already done it, I think! Now, about that nap...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

3 Weeks Old

Compare these pictures of our three kids all around 3 weeks old (including the Miranda "Faux Hawk" pic.)

Duncan and Mommy

Evan and Daddy

Faux Hawk

Monday, March 24, 2008

Babies, Boobies, Boo Boos and Bribes

Today is my first day with just the kids--no helpers. It's 10am and we haven't had any major catastrophes. Woohoo! Justin finally installed a gate at the bottom of the stairs (so, Duncan can't sneak upstairs or worse, fall! while I'm feeding the newbie.) So far it's been a source of entertainment, as well as vexation for Duncan. Last night the gate was in pieces on the floor, and Duncan decided to go up on his own. Of course, I was feeding Miranda (do I do anything else?!!) Justin was at the store, so I detached the Barracuda, and tore after Duncan. Somehow I stepped on a sharp part of the gate, and cut my foot. So, now I've got a boo boo. Today is supposed to be on the chilly side, so we probably won't hit the park. In order to stave off cabin fever, we purchased a Thomas canopy/tent thing for Duncan's bed. This is actually something we bought in hopes to lure Duncan in to his big boy room, and leave the nursery behind (for Miranda.) Justin set it up yesterday, and Duncan loves it. He played in it for what seemed like hours. (Time moves slower with toddlers.) Wish me luck today, and until Miranda turns, oh I don't know, 2 or so.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Now That's More Like It!

I'm not sure what kind of magic Grandma and Grandpa's house holds, but Miranda slept for a 4.5-5 hour stretch last night (or maybe it was the absence of a snoring Daddy in her ear!) This is much improved over the 2.5-3 hour stretch she's been doing at home. I actually feel somewhat rested today! Of course, I will probably pay for this bragging tonight. Justin and I have had Miranda sleeping in between us in our bed. She starts off in the middle of the bed, but seems to migrate towards the nearest warm person. I've woken up with her wedged under my arm. It's incredibly sweet, but a little scary. The "family bed" is considered unsafe (because of parents rolling over on the child), and there are more SIDS incidents because of soft bedding. So, we're thinking we should move her to the cradle. It was a smooth transition for Duncan. He seems to like having his own bed. We kept Evan with us longer, and I think the transition wasn't quite as smooth. So, maybe it'll be easier to do it sooner. We've joked about putting a hot water bottle in the cradle with Miranda, so she'll have something warm to snuggle up to. I know they sell teddy bears with a heartbeat. Do they sell a warm teddy, too? I don't think we should expect a full night's sleep for a month or more. But the longer the better! Here's hoping for another good night!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So Very Sleepy

An Oh So Charming Picture of Me and Miranda in Need of Some Zzzzz's

Parents of newborns are sleep deprived. It's not just a rumor. Justin keeps telling me today how tired he is. If only he could see the daggers shooting from my eyes as he snores away while I'm nursing Miranda at 3am and again at 5:30am. Oh yes, you're tired. What's worse is the loss of my bedside lamp. With previous babies, I had a lamp and a book to help while away the nursing period. This time, however, my lamp is somewhere out of Duncan's (and unfortunately, my) reach. Now that we're having more success with the latching on, perhaps I can sneak my lamp back in, if only for night time.

Duncan Checks Out the New Kid

Duncan has actually done fairly well with his new little sis. He mostly does his own thing. He's always been good at independent play. He also likes to grab my hand and lead me to the front door to go outside. He's starting to notice that he may have to wait a little longer. He's had a few meltdowns lately. I'm trying to make sure he gets Mommy time, too. I've had a lot of grandparent help these last couple of weeks. We'll see how it goes when it's just us. I hope I can help him see how special he is.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bloom Day

We had some pretty tumultuous weather today. I awoke to the sound of rain falling on our roof. Not the gentle drops that coax one back to Sleepytown, but the hard driving rain of a downpour. We had rain throughout the day, some watches, some warnings. We were lucky enough not to get any severe weather here.

The heavy rain left nice mud puddles in the back yard. Duncan loves to play in puddles. And, thanks to his LaLa, he now loves to make mudpies. Thanks for the messy laundry, LaLa! We even went and bought him some little boots. Unfortunately, they're a little on the big side, so the mud sucked them right off!

Today is Bloom Day for real garden bloggers. I've had precious few blooms in recent months. Today, however, I have something to show for my um...lack of gardening? I can't say that I've actually done any gardening lately, so these blooms are a gift.

Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata "Royal Star") aka Duncan's Tree

My parents purchased trees in honor of our sons (we'll be getting one for Miranda this year.) We have a Crape Myrtle for Evan and this Magnolia for Duncan. I noticed this tree shortly after Evan died. Justin and I frequented a nearby botanical garden to walk and just be together. In spring I saw these fantastic blooms, and wondered what the tree was. The garden doesn't have a lot of markers on their plants, so I had to do a little research. I found it and did some arm twisting on my mom, and now we have a beautiful little tree in our back yard.

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

These Virginia Bluebells are in my Woodland/mostly natives garden. The flowers are a true blue that's difficult to find in nature. They're graceful little natives that die back in summer.

Loropetalum chinensis "Purple Diamond"

I've always thought of Loropetalums as being extremely tough plants. They take a lot of abuse, drought, hard pruning, etc. I dug up the plants I used to have here. One died, and the other barely came back. I was going for a symmetrical look, so I ended up digging up the surviving Loro, and giving it to my mom. I replaced them with two "Purple Diamond's." I don't plan on moving them, so maybe they'll live up to my expectations this time! This variety is supposed to have nice dark purple foliage year round.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


This has been an interesting week already. The time changed to Daylight Savings Time, and that's always interesting. Who doesn't like more sunlight in the evening? Although, the early waking part is tough at first. I had a hard time getting up yesterday morning. I had been hungry throughout the night, but figured I'd be ok until breakfast (not a good idea for someone with occasional low blood sugar issues.) And I kind of wondered why I was so cold. It didn't occur to me until I got up to use the bathroom after 8am, that something was wrong. I was shaking horribly and still really cold. I stumbled out into the hall and lay down on the floor. I thought if I kept standing I'd either throw up or pass out. I called to Justin for help. He came running up the stairs in a panic. He felt my forhead, and said, "I'm getting the thermometer!" He came back, took my temp, and it was 103+ in one ear and 102+ in the other. I said, "I was just under the blankets, so it may be a little off." I'm brilliant like that. We got downstairs and he took it again a few minutes later...102+. After getting something to eat for my bloodsugar, and Tylenol for the temp, I called my doctor's office. It all meant one thing to me...sore boobs + red streaks on boobs + temperature = Mastitis. Again. I've had it with each child I've nursed. Twice with Evan. I would have thought that having more experience breastfeeding, that I could avoid it this time. It doesn't seem to work like that, tho. After all, the baby doesn't know how to breastfeed. She knows how to suck, but not how to do it and not hurt Mommy. And Mommy forgets what to do when she's been out of practice. So anyway, I'm now on antibiotics and feeling much better. Thankfully, we have people coming over to help this week, or I would have been in real trouble. Can you imagine a woman with a 102 degree temperature driving to the pharmacy with two small children? Justin told me later that he had been mad at me for oversleeping, and almost left before I got up. I told him to not get mad, just wake me up. Geesh! I think we were both glad he was there, so I didn't have to go through that on my own. Great way to start the week, huh?

Duncan seems to be happily tolerating his little sister. Once we don't have helpers around, he may start to be more aware of how needy newborns are. So far, he's doing great, and I'm really proud of him. We have a few cute pictures of the two of them that I'll post later. For now I think I'll go have some dessert. You know, that's required when you're having booby issues.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Dreaded Question

Maybe I stayed home a little while longer the last two times. Or maybe I traveled out with the new baby then. But I don't remember anyone asking the Dreaded Question: "When's the baby due?" after the baby came. I've already been asked three times this time. It's not like I'm sporting a watermelon sized tummy anymore. And, honestly, when a person who saw me a week ago asks, I have to question how observant this person really is. My belly does still have a rounded shape to it, but I thought I was looking pretty good. I've tried not to be completely mortified. But I'm a girl, after all. Even movie stars need a few weeks before they show up looking fabulous. Those of us without Hollywood salaries and personal trainers deserve a little more time. Am I right?!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Story of Miranda's Birth, or How to Lose 10lbs Overnight

Here are the details of how we got our little girl. We got to the hospital at 7:30pm on February 29th. I was having second thoughts about the whole induction thing, and said as much to Justin. I was pretty much terrified that it would end in a C-section, and surgery just plain scares me. We signed the paperwork, and got sent back to the Labor/Delivery area. I got set up in a room, asked a million questions, and by 8pm I was on Pitocin. We found Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone on TV, and settled down to watch and wait. The contractions weren't bad at first, and I started to think, "Maybe I should go natural, and not get the epidural." I had remembered all of my friends' advice, however, so I kept an open mind. By 9:30 the contractions were pretty bad, and the anesthesiologist showed up. Hooray! I got the epidural, and things were a-okay. I got checked for dilation, and I was still at 4cm! I had thought the Pitocin would have inspired some change. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

I asked the nurse, "What if it never changes from 4cm."

"Oh, you'll just get a C-section." Ho hum.

"I don't want a C-section!"

She went away, and I started to cry, and told Justin how afraid I was. It was definitely a low point. We watched the rest of the movie. Then the Late Show, then the Late Late Show. And I think we may have even caught the Late Late Late Show. My doctor came in around 1-1:30am to break my water, and I was still 4cm. The nurse told me to let her know if things started to feel any different. About an hour later I swear I felt the urge to push. I recognized it from last time when I didn't have the epidural. This time it was less intense, but still there. I let it go for several minutes making sure I wasn't imagining things. I called the nurse and let her know. She checked me out, and I was 10cm! Hooray! I pushed a little bit, and the nurse called my doctor. My mother in law had predicted the baby would come at 3am. The doctor walked in the room about that time. With all the draping and covering and moving things around, I thought to myself, "I coulda had this baby already!" Finally at 3:12, with a few controlled pushes (that's the great thing about a good epidural!), Miranda made her appearance into the world. My doctor thought she was close to 10 lbs, because she was "solid." Justin has an amusing little video of me talking to Miranda in those first few minutes. She's crying lustily, and I'm shushing her. I told her it was traumatic for me, too. She gets quiet.

I say, "You've got a big brother."

Mwah, wah wah!

"It's ok. He's really sweet!"

And now after too many days in the NICU, we're all home.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Miranda Update

Sleepy Miranda

Miranda graduated up to the Baby Annex. That means she's no longer in NICU...yeah! She will be discharged some time tomorrow.

Miranda Already Loves to Nap on Daddy

Meanwhile, we've been visiting the hospital every few hours for attempts at getting breastfeeding going and to visit. The nurses told us how much Miranda likes to be held. So, we took advantage of this new knowledge and got all kinds of baby snuggles today.

Lovin' the Snuggles!

The breastfeeding is going ok. Some sessions better than others. Unfortunately for me, we're having some technique issues, so my boobs hurt already. Hopefully, this won't last too long. I told her she needs to nurse, so I can lose all that baby weight!

Duncan Blissfully Unaware of What the Future May Hold

Duncan is hanging out with his grandparents, and more than likely wearing them out. I hope he likes being a big brother. He has such a sweet nature. I think he'll take good care of his little sis.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

She's Here

Miranda Evangeline
03/01/2008 at 3:12 AM
9 lbs 3 oz
21 inches long
14.5" head circumference

She is in the NICU right now because of a grunting sound she makes when breathing. This is largely a precaution, as some times this can indicate an infection, but so far all the testing for that has come back negative and all her vitals look great.

Posted by Justin