Thursday, January 29, 2009

growing and growing

June's newborn wrinkles are smoothing out and filling in.  She is quickly turning into a chubby little cherub.  Look at those cheeks!

Babies are so wonderful! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

this will brighten your day...

It's Ruby... up close... and shining like the sun on this cold day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

not much cosmetics, but lots of make up

Life with three little girls is good, though every now and then I can hear the song "Little Girls" (sung by Carol Burnett in the movie Annie) playing in my mind.  I am adjusting... with lots of help!  I am sticking to the basics right now (as you may have noticed, the blogs are falling behind a bit).  Tonight Alli and Ruby went to sleep early and June is napping, so I am making up for lost blog time.

June has brought lots of love to our family.  She is sweet as can be!  She is mellow and patient with her sisters.  Lots of love.  Other things she has brought: laundry (wow... this little gal gets stuff dirty!) and diapers (I don't want to think about what we are doing to the landfills).  Mostly love though.

June is sleeping 3-4 hour stretches throughout the night.  Not bad.  I am a little extra tired... sometimes a lot extra tired.  She is holding her head up now and interacting more and more.  She doesn't like the pacifier (though Alli and Ruby like to see it pop out of her mouth, so they give it to her often).  The hair on top of June's head sticks straight up.  June's thighs are starting to get chunky!  She is already growing way too fast!

Alli still loves to hold June.  She loves to feed her a bottle.  She is by my side for diaper changes.  She is a great helper.  Alli is starting to read.  She can sound out words... now I can't skip parts of books.

Ruby has declared June "her best little, little friend."  Ruby is sweet with June.  This week Ruby has begun to draw amazing little happy faces.  If you sit near us in church she will probably hand you one of her drawings and you will see what I mean.  With the cold, dry weather, Ruby has been sporting some fabulous static-induced hairdos. 

My parents came to visit us two weekends ago.  Having Grandma and Grandpa Ohio around was such a treat!  Uncle Ben came too... also a treat.  They brought my sister Marissa who will be staying with us until spring... and helping out with everything.  She is so wonderful!

Andy and I celebrated birthdays this week... one day apart.  We kept celebrations very low key this year.  Andy took June on the morning of my birthday so I could sleep in.  Deluxe!  Then he made breakfast.  He's a keeper.  We went out for a lunch date on his birthday.  It's fun sharing our birthdays.

Life is good here.  Stay tuned... even if it takes me a little extra time to post again.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Got milk? Adventures in lactation.

June is two weeks old today.  I know.  Two weeks already?!  Those two weeks flew by in the wink of an eye, yet the pregnancy seems like so long ago.  I was a completely different shape only two weeks ago (I'm thinking blimp shape in the middle). 
So my body has reinvented itself.  No longer am I the oven for the bun.  I am less of a bakery and more of a dairy. 
I had forgotten how much time a nursing mom must sit still to feed her baby.  It is wonderful!  A tiny part of me feels a tiny bit guilty for not getting anything done for those 20 minute spells spread throughout the day.  In total, at least two hours of my day are devoted to milk.  But I am over that already.  Twenty minutes of staring at my suckling child while I sit is a treat I relish over and over again.
Alli and Ruby have adjusted well to my new feeding duties.  They are fascinated with it all (it is pretty amazing how lactation happens).  They aren't clamoring for my attention too much when I am occupied with breastfeeding... it helps to have my sister staying with us.  They have asked some very good questions and made some very astute observations about breastfeeding.  "Does the milk taste like what you eat?"  "Mom, you are leaking."  They are fascinated with the breast pump.  It looks like much more fun than it really is. 
Alli's friend came to our house the other day while I was breastfeeding June.  Alli invited him in and said, "Do you want to watch my mom nurse June?"  Luckily I have a nursing cover.  I don't need questions and commentary from neighborhood kids.

Monday, January 19, 2009

June in January

June is our little sunshine this cold month.  She is peaceful and precious.  Alli and Ruby love their little sister.  They are adjusting well.  The hardest part is sharing June.  Alli loves to dress June up and accessorize her (see headband below).
It seems like she has always been a part of our family though she is not quite two weeks old.  She fits in beautifully. 

We've learned that babies grow up way too fast, so I am savoring every moment with this sweet newborn.

the birthday girl

Alli had a birthday last week.  My baby is five.  FIVE!
We stretched out her birthday celebration over a few days.  On Monday she took cupcakes to school.  Her friend Elijah came with us to pass out cupcakes.  What a surprise!  On Tuesday we took the family to the Choo Choo Diner.  Lunch came to our booth on the model train.  Alli got a special birthday cupcake complete with a train whistle on top... that came on the train too.  Alli's party was on Wednesday.  Grandma Utah dressed up like a clown and painted all the kids' faces.  Ruby was a puppy... and then a lion.  Alli was a clown like Grandma.  There were also a few butterflies, another clown, and spiderman.  Grandma made a darling carousel cake.  She also made balloon animals.  (Andy's mom is AMAZING!)  All in all, a very fun birthday for our sweet little Alli!

I can't believe Alli is five!  She has grown up so quickly.  I love her spunk and intelligence and humor. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

because you just can't get enough...

June is five days old already!  Her baggy newborn skin is starting to fill out.  She will be a chunk in no time!
She and I were home alone today with great lighting and an empty camera card... and she had just pooped, so we did a little photo shoot.  Yes, she did pee (luckily it was on the towel). 
June looks like a little piece of candy in the pink blanket.  Yum.  I love all those wrinkles... and the newborn fuzzy skin. 

PS- Did you notice her fingers are always by her mouth?  I think she will be a thumb-sucker once she masters the movements of her hands.

Andy is awesome.

I love this man.

He made breakfast in bed for me!  He even let Alli and Ruby help (which often times makes the task more difficult).  And breakfast was divine!  They made whole grain pancakes, blueberry muffins, and granola served with orange juice and milk!
Alli must have taken this picture...

Plus he makes cute kids.

Hospital recap

The hospital stay was lovely.  I must say, Prentice is a fine hospital!  The facilities were deluxe.  The staff was wonderful (special thanks to all of my nurses: Kelly, Donna, Jonna, LaTasha, and Chris and to my midwife Ariel!)  I stayed for two days and got plenty of rest.
Andy brought the girls and Grandma each day for a visit.  Ruby loved my bed... especially the buttons to make it move!  She also enjoyed playing hide-and-seek in my room.  Ruby and Alli brought me some artwork.  This is a drawing of me wearing a crown and holding June with a pillow Alli made for us.

Alli couldn't get enough of June.  She held her for about 45 minutes before June got fussy... and Alli wanted to hold her some more.  Andy got a little rest too... and a tiny bit of work wrapped up. (Did I mention the hospital had a wireless network, internet on the flat screen monitor in front of my bed, and room service-style meals?  Nice.)  Mostly Andy loved on me and June... he even stayed with us one night.

June got lots of love.  LOTS.

June spent much of the hospital stay like this...

or asleep.  Or eating.  Or trying to stuff her fingers into her mouth.  (Lots to do.)
She came home in a vintage-inspired dress with tights (very baggy) and a silk cardigan.  I didn't get a picture of that ensemble.  Oops.  But here she is all bundled and ready to go home.  Her legs did not fill the snow suit, they were bunched up in the suit.  It is hard to believe that she will fill that suit and that carseat... but I know all too well that little girls grow up way too quickly.

And so I am savoring this tiny bundle, freshly delivered to our family... from Heaven, of course.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Pictures

Welcome June Emilia Nicoll

We had a long night last night. Contractions kept me from sleeping, and they got very uncomfortable around midnight. By 4am we were heading to the hospital. Chicago is so quiet at 4am, just us and the snow swirling gently outside.
I arrived at the hospital dialated to 6.5cm. Not bad. By 6:30am, I was at an 8. Andy did a great job applying pressure to help relieve pain (ask him, and he can show you pain-redusing pressure points). My midwife broke the amniotic sac and then contractions really got fun. (That was a joke, by the way.) Minutes later I was pushing. Hard work! Andy got so excited when he could see her head, his encouragement was just what I needed. But what I moment when I opened my eyes and looked down and saw this little baby emerging all slippery and plump! Oh how I loved her! June Emilia was born at 6:55am. She weighed in at 7 lbs 3oz and was 20 inches long.
She was so alert! She didn't really cry, just a lamb-like bleating every so often. She moved her eyes around the room as different voices spoke. Her tongue was going in and out of her mouth like she was trying to figure out how to make it work. She smiled a heavenly little smile. So peaceful. She stretched her arms and legs for the first time and startled herself. Babies are just so wonderful! I am in love with this tiny little girl.

I am feeling good now (except for where I am not feeling good). I have had a little nap and a lot of food!

June likes to suck on her hands and fingers. She is so calm... and soft, fuzzy, wrinkly, darling! She reminds me of both Alli and Ruby as babies. They will be quite a trio.

The hospital is great. I have a computer monitor and internet access at my bedside! A skyline view of downtown. I have a menu to order from whenever. The outfit is not so cute, but I guess I can't have everything.

It is 4 am...

and we're going to the hospital.

Stay tuned.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I am due today.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Still pregnant

I am a licensed driver again.  On Friday I went to the DMV to get a new license... that other one is still at the car dealership in the 'burbs.  I would have gone out to get that one, but it expires this month anyhow.
Alli and Ruby came with me.  I came prepared with snacks and paper and pens for drawing.  Unfortunately, there was a big sign in the waiting area (a.k.a. the ENTIRE DMV) prohibiting food, drinks and sanity (or something like that).  No snacking.  Luckily the girls stayed busy drawing pictures. 
Folks were quite nice to me.  I got sent to the front of two different lines (I think we had to wait in five lines to get a completed license). 
No, I didn't have to put my full gestational weight.  I put my ideal weight.  :)

Only an hour.  No meltdowns.  The kids were good too.