Friday, May 31, 2013

Feelin' like home

I'm learning quickly that at this stage of parenting, flexibility is key. I have ideas of what I want to do in a day, but if I hold on too tightly to those ideas, I'll likely be disappointed. The collage above? Totally not planned. Just happened to feel like doing it while Louisa and Cora happened to be asleep at the same time. Yesterday it couldn't have happened because Louisa didn't nap. Tomorrow? Maybe!

My intent on putting a collage together was to look at how Cora has changed. I think it's easier to see if you take pictures in the same position/lighting/alertness/clothing. That sounds hard, so I'll just stick to taking pictures period.

Our family getaway to Santa Barabara was great. Nate's team took third place and he was thrilled to be playing ultimate again. It was fun to hear people cheer, "Bosscher!" and to cheer it myself from the sidelines. It made me feel like we're really making a home here in California. It was also a good because not only did we get to see Abby, but Matthew came up from San Diego on a train to meet Cora. Any other friends or family want to move to CA? We'd love it if you did!

I spy half a baby face
Someday I'll be tall like my daddy

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Venturing Out

It's a big week in the Bosscher house: Monday was my last "all day pajama day." Sure, there will be more opportunities to stay in my pajamas all day, but I don't think it's good for my mental game, so I declared Monday the last during this post-baby season.

Tuesday was my first day of work. I'll be offering nutrition counseling to employees at an animation studio and I'm super excited about it! I think this 8-hour per week gig will really give me the balance I'm looking for between the professional me and the stay-at-home mom me. Louisa seems to adore our new nanny, Nelly, and Cora handled six hours away from mom really well (i.e. she took a bottle and refrained from scaring Nelly away with spit-up).

Today, Wednesday, was my last moms' group meeting until fall and also my first long walk with Louisa, Cora and Ries without another adult. Don't laugh! The walk was kind of a big deal. We went to the dog park and returned 1.5 hours later without shedding any tears, changing any diapers or stopping to nurse a crying Cora. Hooray for mini-adventures! And hooray for MOPS...for the wonderful women I've met and the way it's helped me to grow this past year.

It's funny. This morning I put Cora on our bed while I got dressed, and Ries jumped right up and curled up next to her. It made me think that Ries probably likes Cora better than she likes Lou right now because Cora can't chase her and doesn't try to touch her eyeballs. But this afternoon at the dog park, Ries and Lou were best friends...

Thursday happens to be the birthday of the eldest in our household. Happy 33rd birthday Nate! Tomorrow also marks six weeks of life for the youngest in the household. Happy 6-week birthday Cora! To celebrate, we're all going to Santa Cruz for a Patagonia sale, my 6-week post-baby appointment, and breakfast at The Buttery.

Finally, on Friday, we're venturing to Santa Barbara for an ultimate frisbee tournament where Nate will do his best to throw some sweet hucks to his new teammates. Other than cheering for Nate, we're planning to explore the city, which is supposed to be fantastic, and meet up with Nate's cousin Abby, a recent transplant to Los Angeles.

Friday, May 17, 2013

For You, We Give Thanks

When Nate and I pause long enough to realize the amount of support we've received around Cora's arrival, we are absolutely amazed and overwhelmed. Between family who've sacrificed time to visit and new friends in the area who have cooked meals and helped with Louisa, it's been a HUGE blessing. As I type this, Louisa is out on a playdate with my college roommate, Megan, and her two twin boys. I'm still in my pajamas, drinking a latte that Megan brought when she picked Lou up. Why am I so lucky!?

My mom returned to Campbell last week via San Diego where she met my dad and brother, Matthew after their cross-country road trip. Matthew is a helicopter pilot now and will be stationed in San Diego for a couple of years - yay for us! The newest pilot in the family had to move into his new place and start work, but my parents flew up for a visit. A painted fence, secured towel rack and hours of baby soothing later, my dad flew home on Mother's Day afternoon while Belle stayed until Thursday.

I can't even begin to list the wonderful things my mom did because there are so many, but the highlights include helping Lou through some tough constipation issues and managing both the girls so I could get out for an interesting documentary, Girl Rising, my first two runs post-Cora, and a nail appointment.  While none of these things seem crucial to our family's inner-workings, I'm learning that occasionally taking time for myself is pretty important. In-fact, that lesson has been ringing through my head since our doula from Louisa's birth responded to my "admission" that got an epidural during Cora's birth.

Here's what she said:

go alicia! good for you for taking care of yourself. first step to being a good mom, right?!:) i'm thrilled the epidural worked well for you. love the name cora.  sorry the nurses couldn't be as present for you, but, yes, feel great you got a sweet healthy cora out on your terms. epidurals can be beautiful assisting tools. 

It meant so much to me because at the time, I think I was feeling slightly guilty for not being "heroic" this time around. Boo to that sort of thinking. Not helpful. I loved birthing Cora with the help of an epidural, and now, have no regrets. They both turned out okay!

One cute story to close this post. Lou's constipation was intense enough to cause tears, and yesterday, after pooping (in her potty!) we were reading this book - a favorite for sure. On the C page, Louisa pointed at the crybaby and said, "Lou." I said, "yeah, how come you were crying so much today?" She answered, "poop." Nice work Louisa. It's nice to know you're in touch with your feelings and bodily functions!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Looking Up

Before Louisa was born, I had prepared myself for completely sleepless nights, breastfeeding complications and a constant wail from our new baby. Aside from doing laundry every day and a surprising slow recovery from the so-called miracle of childbirth, things were not nearly as hard as I had imagined.

So because I over-prepared last time, I think I failed to prepare myself for life with a newborn and a two year old. I thought I knew everything about "staying calm and carrying on" with a baby. Well, I have to say, it's way harder this time. What I still have to learn relates mostly to having patience when two little beings need my attention. Thankfully Cora has not forced us to endure completely sleepless nights or feeding challenges, and she doesn't even cry that much. But WOW - these first four weeks have been a wake-up call regarding my ideas of child spacing. Louisa is doing fairly well with the transition, but there are definitely challenging moments. For now, the way I cope is by having low expectations of what I can accomplish in a day.

***24 hour distraction***

Last night was difficult but then marvelous. Let me explain. My parents are in town and last night we took the train downtown San Jose for dinner. We went out for Cuban food and Cora wasn't a happy camper on the way there. Riding along in her Ergo carrier on my chest, she was sleeping, then POOF - awake and very unhappy. I tried nursing her, then we changed her diaper. Then I think I nursed her again. I blame belly discomfort. We all survived by taking turns walking outside with her until she got back in the Ergo for the ride home and was happily asleep. The night became marvelous eventually because she must have tired herself out so much during dinner that she only woke up once between 9 pm and 8 am. I won't go around bragging that my 4-week old only wakes up once each night, but I will remember last night fondly. That little miracle and having my parents in town makes me feel that things are looking up.

Here's my recent favorite photo of little Corabean, a.k.a. Towa...

Hanging out on the front porch with Belle
For laughs, here's a funny one from Thursday morning:

I asked Cora to potty train her older sister
 And one last sweet one...

Tummy time on the dining room table. Totally against the rules.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Louisa!

Louisa turned two last Monday, April 29th. It's about time, since she's been saying that she's two for many months now. Nate's been trying to get her to say "one" for a very long time, and while we're pretty sure she is capable, she's not willing. He sort of gave up this week and started teaching her "uno" instead, which she said immediately. Ah, two year old humor.

To celebrate the big day, we invited friends to a nearby park on Sunday. It totally wore us out since we're still sleep deprived, but it was a really nice afternoon and for the first time we were able to pull together our various CA friends so they could meet each other. When picking my favorite Evite invitation for the party, I saw this one, which gave us the idea to ditch the typical birthday cake tradition and serve ice cream cones (with sprinkles!) instead.

See Where Our Pictures Were Taken