20 March 2008

who's who?

I've been enjoying all the comments about how Arden looks like Nicky (or like Rowen, or like Max, depending on who's commenting), so I thought I'd post pictures of all four kids at about the same age (approximately 3 months) and see if everyone knows which child is which. ;) (No fair clicking on the pictures and seeing the caption!)

09 March 2008

20 February 2008

two calendar months, already!

Parenthood is such a strange career to get into. Time does very strange things when you're a parent ... it doesn't follow the rules any longer. A day can last no more than a few hours. Weeks pass by in a blink. Months begin to seem like no more than a series of a few days. It's unnerving, I tell you!

And now we're confronted with the fact that Arden is two calender months old. No matter how I look at it, December 20th was ... two months ago. I'm pretty sure that someone stole a bunch of days out of there, somewhere. It just cannot have been that long already. On the other hand, Arden is such an integral part of the family, so deeply entwined in our hearts, that surely it's been years and years since he joined our ranks. I mean, with a new car after 2 months you're still unable to locate it in a parking lot because you haven't yet gotten used to its appearance, right?

Looking back on that wild and weird day that he was born ... we won't even get into the weird days that preceeded it ... it's just astonishing how much living, how much life, can get packed into such a brief period of time! December 20th lasted about a full week for me ... we had to report to the hospital at 7 am, which meant getting up around 5:30 in the morning. Such a surreal experience, getting up so early. And the hospital at that early hour is like another place - quiet, empty, rather disorganized. It's like suddenly finding yourself behind the scenes at a play, when you thought what you'd been experiencing was reality.

The time lapse between the first and second applications of the cervical gel was like an eternity. I was trying so hard to bring on some sort of activity, when it was so obvious that nothing was happening. I walked, I rocked, I did all the things that are supposed to bring on labor. Nada. When the doc came by in the mid afternoon to check on my (nonexistent) progress, I was worried he'd just send us home. Luckily he didn't ... the second application of the gel began having an effect almost immediately. I walked up and down the corridors without cease, determined not to lose the momentum ... my legs got tired, my feet hurt! But it was worth it! By dinnertime, it was obvious to everyone that a new person would join the human race that day! :D

The days and weeks since then have each been filled with their own unique joys and trials. It was very hard to hand Arden over in the hospital when he had to have an IV and remain on the children's ward; on the other hand, it gave me a glimpse into what it is like to have a seriously ill child. Very humbling and frightening. I'm ever so much more grateful than I ever was before for the simple fact that my kids have been healthy. It was such a joy to have him "all to myself" when I was home again - I didn't leave the house for days on end because I just wanted to soak him (and the other kids, who I'd missed terribly while in the hospital) up.

We've been doing alright, I think, making sure that everyone gets a reasonable share of attention and in paying proper homage to the Big Deal Events that have arisen, such as Nick and Rowen's birthdays and Rowen's first days of school, Max's swimming exam, and each other's needs. Some days are a little more rough around the edges than others, I know, but overall I think I'm pretty safe in saying that we're happy most of the time and that there are far & away more good days than bad.

On this, Arden's 2-month birthday, I'd just like to say thank you. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to become a mother again. I'm so grateful for my amazing children (even when they drive me to distraction!). And I'm so grateful for my amazing husband, who makes it all possible. :D

17 January 2008

four weeks old (plus one hour and counting)

FOUR weeks old today (2)

Dear heavens, where have the hours gone? Already, my little traveller looks so much bigger and older, so many things have already progressed from 'newborn' to 'infant'. He feeds on a (mostly) four hour schedule. He sleeps well. He's alert and tracks both our faces and our voices. He loves being placed on his belly so he can do baby push ups. He doesn't cry often, but when he does he sounds so much more robust than the thin mewling he made when he was in the hospital. He's gone from barely being able to hold a 20 - 30 ml feeding every three hours to lustily demanding a 125 - 150 ml feeding every 4 hours. His little legs are long enough that his feet finally reach down to the 'footie' part of his snowsuit. My baby ... is a baby. I'm so glad that I barely slept in the hospital, using every moment we were together to memorize his face, the sounds he made, the way he moved ... it's all passed by. He's so much bigger, stronger - and he looks different!

13 jan 012

Dear Arden, if ever you read these words, the last four weeks with you have been among the happiest in my life. Each of you children has brought out something new in me, and you'll forever be the baby who showed me that I am not in control. It's a lesson others have tried to impress on me but I remained certain that if only I followed the right rules in the right way, I'd still be holding the reins. I did follow all the rules, all the right way, but everything went topsy-turvey anyway. Together I hope we'll urge each other on, support one another, cheer on our successes and sympathize with our failures in this big, unpredictable world.

sweet koppie

The physical aspect of yours that has struck me most deeply during the past four weeks is your steady gaze. You look at a person as if nothing is hidden, and as if there's no need to hide anything. You radiate a calm certainty that speaks of strength and of acceptance. It is quite remarkable.

sweet feet