Monday, July 27, 2015

Our littlest daughter is here!

Introducing Beatrix Sonnet Kautzi:

Fashionably late, she missed her due date by 13 minutes.  She was born July 17, 2015 at 12:13am after a crazy fast labor.  She was 19" long and 8 lbs 13 oz (a full pound heavier than her biggest sister!) and had a full head of curly (!?) hair and crooked pinkies like her mommy.  

We've had a bit of excitement in her first ten days on the outside.  Because her labor was so fast, she didn't have time to clear her lungs well enough and earned herself a trip to the NICU due to fluid on her lungs and a high respiratory rate.  She ended up spending five days in NICU - the first three days on IV fluids and antibiotics and the last two under the Bili lights when her bilirubin levels shot up on day 3.

It definitely wasn't the beginning we hoped for, but we are so grateful that she is healthy and home now.  I have a new empathy for families whose little ones spend even an hour in NICU.  Nothing is more frustrating and heartbreaking than seeing your new baby hooked up to wires and being told you can't hold her.  

The big sisters did so well - even with a few extra unexpected days at my parents' house.  Lila is over the moon and Faith wavers between genuine interest, ambivalence and wary concern about the new (loud) person who has taken over youngest child duties in her place.  

I plan on writing a post about her birth story and one explaining the meaning behind her name, but I didn't want one more day to go by without introducing her to you!

So here she is, our sweet little Beatrix:

She's absolutely dreamy and we are in love.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dilemmas and Keeping Busy

Dilemma Number 1: How to help five-year-old have empathy for 9 month pregnant mama whose sense of humor must have been absorbed into her swollen feet and who does not find it funny or cute when five-year-old continues, after many requests to cease and desist, to stick her bottom up in the air at a crowded restaurant and holler, "Look!  My straw is like a tail!" whilst holding said straw precisely between her butt cheeks.

Dilemma Number 2: How to convince two-year-old that no matter how much she pats, pushes, shoves or leans, there is no rearranging the contents of my lap so that she can fit on it.  It should also be noted that growling and whining are also ineffective means of belly shrinking.

Dilemma Number 3: How to convince youngest daughter to COME OUT.

Dilemma Number 4: How to avoid going to the bathroom 7 times each night (that's not a hyperbolic exaggeration - that is an average).

Dilemma Number 5: How to keep one's sanity when the heat index is 110 degrees and the children are restless and the ankles are swollen to the point where they barely function as joints and the in utero child is making her mama gasp in pain with every movement.

I'm very pregnant.  Very. Pregnant.  My due date is in two days and I really can't believe she's still inside me considering I've had contractions since April.  Her big sister made her entrance two days early so I keep telling her today would be a good day to be born.  Every time I sneeze I have the irrational hope that I'll hear an accompanying "POP!" and feel a rush of my water breaking.  I'm getting desperate over here, people.

In an effort to distract myself from the pregnant-ness of my body, I've been keeping us pretty busy.  Here's a little recap of what we've been up to, Bullet-Point Style.

- Pregnancy Selfies
I realized I don't really have any pictures of me pregnant which, at the moment, I am totally okay with, but I think I will regret not having them down the line.  Lila loves looking at pictures of my pregnancy with her so I figured this baby would be sad to not have ANY documentation that I indeed suffered through lovingly carried her.

So one day during nap time, I attempted some pregnancy selfies.  And here's what I learned: I am inept at selfies.  I didn't know where to hold the phone.  I didn't know where to put my other hand.  I didn't know where to look.  I didn't know how to get the right angle or the right lighting.  Most of them the angle was totally weird, the picture was blurry or too dark, or I had the phone in a weird place that either blocked my head or another important part of my body.  And then there were the ones in which I was making a weird face because I was concentrating so hard on all the other factors.  In the end, this one was the only one that turned out:

 And even in that one, I am bothered by the fact that the mirror is clearly covered in tooth paste and hand-washing debris.  But there you go.  That's what I look like pregnant, Internet and future daughter.

- Fourth of July
We completely overdid it for the 4th of July this year.  We went to a parade in the morning, our friends' house in the afternoon and to another friends' house for fireworks that night.  The result was we all were completely toast the next day and grumpy as all get-out.  Faith threw herself on the floor in slow-motion tantrums and whined more minutes of the day than she didn't, and Lila flip-flopped between being completely reckless and wild (her M.O. when she's really tired) and giving Faith a run for her money in the competition for Whiniest Child.  In short, we were really fun to be around on July 5th.

But on the up-side, Lila drew this adorable picture of her and Faith at the parade.  The fat flower petal fingers! the grass and the sky! the flag and true-to-life representation of the clothes they wore! Faith's Chinese eyes!  Ugh. She's so cute.


- Adventures in Multi-Cultural Open Adoption
I got this string of text messages from First Mama the other day and I really didn't know what to make of it.

I think she was maybe trying to use a translation app and it came through in emoticons and other images.  I texted her back to see if she needed anything and sent her a few pictures of Faith and got another indecipherable text back so I'm still not totally sure what's going on.  But that woman is resourceful, so I trust she'll find a way to get in touch with me if she needs to!

November by Jvkbvbbn.
Him.
Nonbank.

Anyone have any kind of clue what that might mean???
Me neither.

- Treasure Maps
The other day I took some cookies out of the freezer and put them on the counter.  Then a few hours later, I poured myself a glass a milk with the intention of having a few cookies.  Only I couldn't find them.  I distinctly remembered putting them on the counter.  Or did I?  My 9 month pregnant brain has been leading me astray recently, so I looked around for somewhere else I may have put them absent-mindedly.  I check the fridge, the medicine cabinet, the pantry, the kitchen island.  I even checked to see if I had put them in the sink.  Convinced I really was losing my mind, I found something else to eat and gave up.

Then, later that day, I happened to glance at Lila's little dollar section dry erase board:


Me: Lila? Did you take my cookies?
Lila: (with a sly grin on her face) You'll have to follow the treasure map to find out!
Me: Lila, I thought I was going crazy!  I was looking for those cookies!
Lila: (clearly delighted that her little plan had succeeded) I told you, follow the treasure map!
Me: WHERE ARE THEY!?
Lila: (pointing to her map) Through the gate, around the corner, into the dining room, by the shelf.
Me: SIGH.

- Best $12 Ever Spent
We bought a kiddie pool at Target and it has been worth the money 100 times over.  The first time we filled it up, we were still having unseasonably cooler weather and Faith was very back-and-forth about how she felt about the cold water.  She would giggle and splash and dump water on her head and then gasp and sign "all-done" emphatically, but when we'd help her out of the pool, she'd turn around and climb right back in.  It's kind of like when you've had too much dessert and you feel sick to your stomach, but it's so delicious and you paid $8 for a slice of cheesecake so you MUST finish it.  Related: as soon as I'm in the clear from gestational diabetes, I am hitch-hiking my way to Cheesecake Factory pronto.


- My Little Reader
Lila's reading so well and it's so fun to see her explore this new independence.  For all the ways she is so unlike me, I get kind of fluttery in my stomach and teary in my eyes for this way she is just like me.  My only fear was that she wouldn't want me to read to her anymore, but thankfully, she still likes me to read to her, too otherwise I might be in mourning a bit.


- Faith's Newest Quirk (I'm not a fan)
A few weeks ago, I got Faith up from her nap and noticed that she had something on her face.  Then I noticed it was also on her clothes.  And in her fingernails.  And on her sheets.  And spread across the slats of her crib.  It was brown.  It was smelly.  It was poop.  After a bath, a good Clorox wipe-down of the crib, a change of sheets and a thorough scrubbing of my hands and hers, we were poop-free.

I hoped it was a one-time thing, but then the next day, Lila yelled from their room, "Mommy!  Faith threw her poop on the floor and I stepped on it!"  And then a few days later at dinner, Faith stuck her hand down her diaper, withdrew a few turds of poop and then purposefully plunked them down onto her dinner tray looking pleased with herself.
No amount of correcting, scolding, or hand spanks seemed to keep that girl from excavating her diaper.  A few days later, I was lamenting our latest diaper-diving incident to a friend and she looked at me with all of the wisdom a mom of four kids can offer and said simply, "Onesies."  

I went to Target that night and bought 24 month onesies and ever since then Faith's poop has remained in her diaper where it belongs.  Hallelujah, Amen and Amen.

- The Much-anticipated Royals Game
When we had finally marked off the last day of our countdown to the Royals game, Lila was beside herself with excitement.  I packed a bag of treats, picked out blue outfits for the girls and we excitedly made our way to the stadium.  When we got there and found our seats, Lila was giddy, but Faith was positively freaked out.  From the minute we emerged out of the tunnel to the section of our seats she began waving "all-done" with a terrified look on her face.  I think it was a combination of the noise, the height and all the people that was too much for her to process.  She ended up burying her head in the Husband's chest and falling asleep.  Poor over-stimulated baby.
I told Lila she could have one treat from the stadium.  She chose an ice cream cone that cost more than a half-gallon of the good stuff at the grocery store and melted all over her face and dress before much of it could get in her mouth.  But, she was one happy camper which was totally worth $6.


- Accomplishments
Lila has been working so hard on being able to do a pony tail.  She understands the concept, but her fingers are frustratingly uncooperative.   But the other day, I heard a squeal from the other room and she came bounding in yelling, "I made a pony tail!  I made a pony tail!"

 I love the look of pride on her face.  And the bows.

There's no real story behind this picture except that my friend Holly watched the girls and she put Faith's hair in the cutest little braids.  So naturally I took about 35 pictures of her that day.

- Baby's Room
We are nearly done with the baby's room.  There are still a few extra decorations I want to put up and I'll probably end up rearranging the dresser top and the shelf above the changing table, but here's the current set-up.

 I think I mentioned before that a sweet family from my school gave us the crib and changing table which was a huge gift to not have to spend money on another crib.  You wouldn't think that having our third girl we would need to buy much, but we've had to buy several big ticket things for this baby either because Faith isn't done using the one we have (crib and mattress) or because we gave away the stuff we had when we thought we may never have a newborn again (car seat, breast pump, etc) or because we needed something to meet a need in our new bigger house (the deliciously soft rug I found at HomeGoods).  But we've also been able to use a lot of what we have (the white dresser was Lila's dress-up dresser in our old house, the rocking chair is the one the Husband built for Lila, and most of the artwork is borrowed from other rooms in the house) and we've had some really generous friends lend us necessities or hunt consignment sales for us.

In the end I'm really happy with how the room has turned out.  I often go in there and just sit in the peacefulness of a room that's not being used yet and therefore isn't in a constant flux of various degrees of messiness.  It's my happy place.

- The Farm
Our dear friends moved to a farm about the same time last year that we moved into our new house.  Lila LOVES it there.  They've done a ton of work to the house and I hadn't seen it in awhile so we took a day to go visit.  Lila was in heaven with the chickens and bunnies and cats and dogs.  But mostly the bunnies.

 Faith loved the bunnies, too, but I was terrified she was going to murder them seeing as she kept trying to grab them by the brains.
 Jude showed her how to pet them gently, but the lesson was lost on her.

 This one finally wised up and made a break for it.

- Faith's Predicament
Faith has gotten very adept at taking her clothes off.  It's the pesky business of getting them back on that gets her into trouble.

- Dancing Queen #2
When I was pregnant with Lila I took a video of her moving around in my belly.  The other day, Baby Sister was doing some impressive acrobatics so I took a video of her.  I'll end this random post with that video and a plea to the little Dancing Queen to show us her dance moves on the outside!  Come on Baby!