Monday, July 21, 2014

Cora and Ruby

I am almost three weeks into parenting two kids thing now, and I can safely say that I am quite terrified for tomorrow, when my amazing husband will be going back to work.

I've been trying to find a few minutes to post for more than a week and it always feels impossible.  At the moment Nick and Cora are at the grocery store, while I rock Ruby in her vibrating chair with my left foot, snuggle the cat and type at the same time. Impressive mostly because she usually only likes to sleep in my arms or in the sling.  And not quite as impressive as yesterday, when I swept and mopped one-handed while nursing her in the sling, but still.  And Cora was napping at the moment.... But I am learning to give myself high-fives whenever I can, considering that I am definitely getting taken down a few rungs pretty regularly, and I need a little boost to get through the rest of today on the four hours of sleep that are fueling me.

I've been wanting to post pictures, and write about the cuteness of Ruby's sleepy smiles and laughs, or about the amazing and shocking things she is so precociously doing.  (Oh, she's sleep-laughing right now, in between pirate-eyed peeks at me through her little left eye!  So cute!) 

But we'll see.... lowering my expectations for myself is the most reasonable thing to expect right now.

So instead of the post with reflections on the birth... perhaps I'll just offer a sweet little glimpse of Cora's little love fest with her new sister. 

She's been pretty sweet and mostly very gentle with her.  She is always asking to hold her, by holding up her hands to me.  When I ask if she wants to hold Ruby she answers, "Kay," with a smile.  But most of the time she will shy away when I actually try to put the baby in her lap.  Lately she's been getting a little braver, and actually holding her sister for a few seconds before she starts wanting to escape.  And I managed to finally capture the sweetness on camera. 

I am smitten with these girls.

We'll see how I feel about them by the end of the week, after a few days of being the stay-at-home parent alone once again.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Welcome Ruby Elizabeth!

Ruby was born on Tuesday, July 1st at 6:21 pm.  7 lbs, 14 ounces, and 20 inches of strawberry blonde girl.  She was born in our guest room in a birthing tub on a crazy hot 97 degree day, after a fast and very intense labor.  For those impressed with a natural unmedicated birth, I will be the first to say that for much of the labor I definitely questioned that decision.

But, oh, am I happy now.

Cora has been quite a lovely big sister.  Although she seemed excited to talk about "Baby Ruby" when she was inside me, I often wondered if she just thought that we called my big belly a baby.  I wasn't sure how surprised she would see to finally meet this little sister we'd been telling her about face-to face.  But she surprised me by not acting too surprised at all.  She came running into the birthing room to check out her new sister.


Getting a closer look.

The last couple days have had a couple ups and downs for Cora.  While she seems excited about Ruby, and wants to kiss her and touch her, we have to make sure to watch very closely, since she isn't very careful and can get a little bit rough.  She's also had a few outbursts that are likely related to the changes around here.

Ruby and I have been snuggled up in bed for the past three days, with Ruby demanding to nurse constantly, and Cora wanting to lay on me and "help."  

Cora was very excited to celebrate Ruby's birth day with a little party, complete with her favorite song, "Happy Birthday!" and its must-have accompaniment: cake.

She's still singing "Happy Birthday" over here.  She was very excited that Ruby gave her a Frozen coloring book.

Cuddling with Daddy and "holding" her sister.

Being a great helper and putting on Ruby's socks.

Some glimpses of our newest girl.

I expect she'll be giving this look to Cora quite a lot.

For now, we are taking some time to settle into this new family of four, cuddle in at home and actually get some time to rest, recover and get used to the newest member of our family.  So far the differences between Cora and Ruby's introductions have been fairly dramatic.  But there is no doubt that as we were with Miss Cora, we are indeed, in love.

I will share more of her birth story and my thoughts as I have time to process them.  In the meantime, I am going to continue enjoying my new baby girl.