August 29, 2012

Birth Weight Re-achieved

Elliott is back to his birth weight!

It took two weeks to get there but we made it. Elliott has a habit of falling asleep while feeding, so getting him the food he needs requires a few tricks. Alden did the same thing to us when he was a newborn so we had some idea of what to do.

Elliott will also likely lose his umbilical-chord-stump in the next day or two... which seems like another important milestone. 

August 26, 2012

Hurray For Alden

Alden has been doing GREAT since Elliott came on the scene. He was very excited to meet the new family member and that enthusiasm has only increased over time. He is still not sure about the best way to engage baby E, but likes to pat him on the head like he were a cat. Alden is not fond of Elliott crying and will usually leave the room if it is sustained for more than 20 seconds. But even with that Alden wears his big brother status with pride and we cannot complete a diaper change without him rushing in to ask if it was a pee or poo. Here is a picture Alden drew of Ilana and Elliott.

The birth of Elliott happened during the last week of Alden's summer school, and since Joseph and Sandy had just arrived for their visit we took Alden out of class (turning a 2 week school break into a three week break). I think Alden has started to miss the school structure and all of his friends, but he has been having a terrific couple of weeks with the family and grandparents. 

Going to and from the airport is always a treat for Alden due to his love of elevators and escalators... so he has been doing that when guests come and go.
Alden has been playing sports like bocci with folks and going swimming in the lakes of Maine when the weather gets hot.
Another great hot weather cure is the slip n' slide that Grandma Barbara brought from California. Despite the terrible water pressure of our house we managed to make it work using two hoses.
 We also managed a few trips to the Portland Children's Museum, which is still on top of the list of great places to visit.
When Scott came up for a visit, he brought Alden a new bike and helmet. Before this, Alden would use his trike and we didn't have a helmet... so this is better in many ways.

We also did a backyard camp out for a night in our tent and Alden has been getting so many sweet treats it is a wonder he is able to sleep at all.
Alden is also fascinated by Elliott's check-ups and seeing the doctors examine someone else for a change.  He has been super attentive to Ilana and frequently asks if he can bring her food or water. Both Ilana and I are very proud of Alden and his helpfulness with the new baby. Hurrah for Alden!

August 22, 2012

Baby Elliott - Day 8

Whew, we made it past the first week with our newest family member. It is always a puzzle in making the right accommodations for a new person. Elliott has been a real champ and is integrating with the family well. His sleep schedule is synching up with ours in a very positive way. We had two nights of difficulty, but now he only gets up about twice per night. As I remember it, Alden put us through the ringer for months with sleeping related difficulties. This is a terrific surprise.He likes being held best of all, followed by the car seat and a distant third is the bassinet. He does well being swaddled but is strong and can break free... even from the velcro swaddles. He also likes sleeping warm, despite the August high temps.

Now that there is a regular sleep schedule Elliott is only awake (and not feeding) for a few hours each day. We are still working on getting him back to his birth weight. This was difficult with Alden as well. It seems like we are ahead of that curve with Elliott's nutrition, but will have to dig a little deeper to boost the current results. He is still 9 oz shy of his birth weight. 

On Monday we had a BBQ with/ for all the grandparents. It was a real treat to have them all at the same place at the same time.  We are still thankful for the support and help they have given and continue to give.

August 18, 2012

Grandparents are awesome!

We've been really fortunate to have Kerstin's parents and stepmom at the house this week. They've been patiently wrangling Alden all week long, showering him with lots of love and attention and taking him all kinds of fun places. They've also been stoically cooking and cleaning around the house and are willing to hold the babe to let me get in a few winks of sleep in the morning. I don't know how we would possibly manage without them. They are the greatest!

Not a grandparent shot, but so cute I couldn't resist.
Karen, Sandy and Alden even made oatmeal almond cookies to help me usher in the milk. They were efficacious and delicious!

Joseph taught Alden to play bocci in the backyard yesterday. They had a nice long fantasy play session yesterday with a box of kinder toys that Kerstin's collected over the years. They also invented a new game that prominently features a dinosaur Pajo calls Diddy Dino.

August 17, 2012

Home Again Home Again

 We made it Home! So far everything is good. We checked out of the hospital around noon and had an uneventful drive back to the house. Elliott cried for the first five minutes in the car, and then decided sleeping was a better option, clever boy.
Alden was super-psyched and interested in little brother. He was also really excited to have Ilana back a home. I think he was starting to worry.

 Here is the latest evolution of Elliott

August 16, 2012

Baby Name = Elliott Beckett Gilg

Little Brother came home today! Before they let us keep him we had to name him... so we finally decided upon Elliott Beckett Gilg. More on this later...

August 15, 2012

Day 2 - Baby's Birth Story - EDITED

Things were different with the birth of the second child, relative to Alden's birth. Alden was born in the middle of the night and was what the midwife characterized as "precipitous".  It went stunningly fast and was a little scary.

This time around, my contractions started at 5:30 in the morning, but were mild and far apart and so I had time to take a long shower, get Alden breakfast and clean the kitchen a little bit before leaving for the hospital. It also gave us a chance to explain to Alden what was happening and what the plan was for him. This was my biggest worry, that it would all go down  at night, leaving Alden to wake up without us and have a freak out in front of his poor groggy grandparents. This was a much more civilized approach. We got to the hospital around 7:30, with plenty of time to get settled in and relax before things really got going.

The hospital was boring from 7:30 to 9:30. Low level preparations and examinations. Kerstin and I walked around the halls to keep things moving. At 9:30 things felt like they were about to get serious so we returned to our room and I had them attach a stint to my arm in case I would want drugs for the pain. From my recollection of the last time around, I figured I would.

By 10:00 it started for real. I made it for about 20 minutes and decided I needed some drugs. I think the hospital conspired against me because they kept getting sidetracked for one reason or another. First the nurse had to page someone or another, then the anesthesiologist came in, and got called away almost immediately, then OB paged the nurse and she left the room to give her a progress report, etc. In the meantime another nurse hooked up me up to an IV line, which I thought was a phentanyl drip since that was an option we'd discussed before things got bad. It turns out it was just saline, which in retrospect made complete sense since it certainly didn't ease any pain.  By the time everyone on team pain management was ready to deal with me, it was already too late. From maybe 10:40 on, it was full on crazy town and I don't remember much. Mercifully it was short, although that was the very same reason I missed out on pain relief when I had Alden. I was punked again by my overly eager body.

When the baby was born he did not give a lusty cry. He made some "eh, weh" noises but in more of a conversational manner rather than shock or surprise. He was quite purple, but they got him to the baby station with the heat lamp, toweled him off and gave him straight oxygen. Then he had vitamin K and eye ointment and the mucus bulb and the rest of it. We kept being told everything was fine and I guess things were, but I came to find out later (after pressing the on-call nurse for my labor details) that the cord was wrapped around his neck when he came out. After his brisk towel rub and prodding he made a bit more noise and was declared healthy though. The only real concern the staff had was because of his weight. Since he was over 9 lbs, they had to check his glucose at regular intervals for the next 12 hours to make sure he was not diabetic. He's not, his glucose was stable and all was well in his little world and ours.

August 14, 2012

Baby Pictures - Day 1

 I'll write something about this soon

New Baby!

Born today at 10.51am
9lbs, 3.6 oz
21.5 inches
head = 13.5 inches

No name yet.
More soon

August 8, 2012

Summer Swarm

 The bees did it to us again!

This time it was the Ponyo colony that swarmed (Alden named it after the movie he loves so much). Sometime about two weeks ago Queen Ponyo decided to take half the colony and swarm. We noticed a decline in productivity (bees flying in and out) but were busy doing other things so we didn't check it out. Needless to say we were unable to retrieve the swarm like we did earlier this year with Queen Sally.

Today we opened up the hive and saw some queen cells that were empty... so a new queen hatched and is now (hopefully) running the colony. We could not find the queen so we will have to check back in a few weeks and see if there are babies. If so, this is merely an unfortunate population dip that will hopefully not effect the colony preparing for winter. If there are no babies then there is no queen and the colony is doomed... Maybe we could merge the remaining workers  with another colony, but that is about it. It is too late in the season to re-queen.

August 3, 2012

Add one cat to our trapped animal count

"When you try and catch skunks, you are bound to get a few cats" I want this quote to catch on.

August 2, 2012

Japanese beetle belt

"This is my safety Japanese beetle belt that saves me from being creepy"

Hurray for creative play!
(safety Japanese beetle belt = BBQ tongs)