Monday, July 31, 2006

snaps: cute and quirky vol.10

Ivan helps mommy make brownies. He was trying to drink the batter out of the mixing bowl after we had already wiped it clean with our fingers, tongues and heads. How can you break it to him that it's all gone. The other night I made lasagne (which made me feel like wonderwoman, I was bathed, the kids were kinda clean AND I made a real meal- these are amazing events now). Ivan was all excited about the baking food, but sorely disappointed when he went to eat it. The top had browned beautifully (like a cake), but when we cut into it, it was not cake, but lasagne. Everytime I tried to get Ivan to eat some, he'd cry and point to the lasagne in the pan, indicating he wanted the (nonexistant) cake. He ended up eating a few bites of the top crust, in other words some lasagne noodle with nicely browned cheese.

Ivan and his daddy play bass.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

we send our love

Today is a sad day for the MacLeods and Gittins. Mom and dad are still in Europe and although it's dad's birthday today, it is also the day he finds out that his only sister, my aunt Laveena, passed away. She had cancer, as did my grandmother (dad's mom) who neither I or even mom ever met as she passed away when dad was still in high school. We are thankful that aunt Laveena didn't suffer much or long. I didn't get to see her recently, but I got to talk with her on the phone a week ago and she said she wasn't in pain and was quite enjoying all the visitors who were coming to see her and the conversations they were sharing about their lives.

I believe the word that best describes aunt Laveena is vibrant. Even as I talked to her on the phone, as she faced her own death, she had a cheery disposition. She had a very unique voice that rang with vitality even as she lay sick in bed. Aunt Laveena came to both my and my sister's wedding, which meant a lot to us. She was the only daughter of my grandparents, dad's only sister and as you can see from the above picture (of her and her brothers), she lit up a room with her smile and presence. I really enjoyed in the last few years, at weddings, hearing stories of them growing up. Dad explained that his view of growing up was tainted by the pain of his mother's illness and his parents being older by then. Aunt Laveena, being many years older shared stories of happier and younger days. It was good to hear her perspective and know about extended relatives through her storytelling.

While she is not with us physically, I know that her vibrance lives on in our memories and in our love for her. May we remember her and cherish our relationship and love with her. She will always be that shinning beauty in the MacLeod family, if only in our hearts and minds. My love goes out to aunt Laveena's family, to Wyn, Sion and Rhian as well as to her brothers: Donald, Duff, Archie, Peter and Dad. We are sorry for your and our loss and pray for comfort and peace through this time. I wish I was there with you, to cry with you and hug you and show you that I am with you in your sorrow, but all I can do is send my love and assure you that she is a part of all of us and will not be forgotten.

Friday, July 28, 2006

sleep, need sleep

Small nine pound wonder, full of beauty and poise, renders grown, once energetic parents into walking zombies. Yup, she's only two weeks old and she's already got us beat. Dominique likes to eat little snacks every hour through the night and while a 3 hour nap during the day may seem like forever, that same time at night seems all too short. Last night I managed to have her sleep two long stretches from 10:30pm to 1:30am, then from 2:30am to 5:30am, which were awesome. I tried to get her to eat lots during that 1:30am feeding. It took me an hour to get her to eat for 17 minutes (my goal was 20 min., but I gave in). I had to rub her vigorously with lotion the entire hour, turn on the light and talk to her to get her to stay awake those 17 minutes to eat. It seems like insanity to try to wake her so badly at night to eat, but the alternative is 3 minute feedings every 45 min. which I'm sure is some kind of ancient torture tactic. Then came 5:30am when I erroneously thought I could lure her into a good eat and more sleep like before. She ate good, but wouldn't sleep. So we "hung out" for several hours.

Now it's day and she is still unsettled. Normally she sleeps great in the day, but instead, she stayed up through Ivan's nap and wants to be held and rocked constantly. I remember this with Ivan, but it is so much more tiring when there are the two of them. Brian has saved me today, he took Ivan while he worked outside this morning and now when he went off to visit Big Buddy at the hospital.

I feel bad for Ivan. Normally I would be doing activities with him like coloring, painting, reading, swimming, going on a walk or to the library... Now he gets zombie momma, but in the long run it will be good. He enjoys all those activities, but he enjoys them so much more with a playmate. In a couple of years, Dominique will be able to swim with him and I may wake out of my stuper.

What are your sleep habits? Are you a night hawk or early riser? Do you get up in the night and if so, why on earth for?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

he did it again!

My cousin Wendell called up yesterday and breezed into town with his son in tow. He's a trucker and realized a couple of years ago that Abilene is on the interstate, so now he stops whenever he's hauling a load through here. It's always good to see him, although brief. This was our first chance to meet his son. Ivan and Davion had so much fun together and Davion taught Ivan that salad is delicious.
I sat gawking at my son as he served himself and ate the greenery. I hope he'll keep this up! It's a wonder what an older kid can get Ivan to try, without even meaning to while I try in earnest and get absolutely no where. Really, some teen should start up positive role model services. They could come over, eat vegetables, put their dishes away, pick up toys and read books in the presence of an impressionable toddler. Of course you'd have to find a teen that eats vegetables, cleans up and reads!

We realized that Wendell beat my siblings to seeing our newborn first. He saw Ivan at a week old or so and now Dominique! I guess trucking does have a few perks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Too fast!

Every one said he'd be grown before we knew it, but this is ridiculous! hee hee Ivan in a roadster at the museum. The only problem was that they let the kids sit in this one and not all the other fancy speed cars.

Try explaining that to a not quite 2 year old!

We've taken a bunch of this pose, but I'm not sure if I've posted one yet. Ivan holding Dominique.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ivan and his buddy Andy

I had thought of getting a doll for Ivan when the baby came, so he wouldn't be jealous, having his own baby to hold and take care of, but Nana had a better idea. She brought Ivan a buddy. It's a giant raggedy Andy doll and Ivan loves it! He gives Andy kisses and bit his eye. I hope he doesn't greet all his new friends that way!

Ivan has made some indications he is ready for potty training so direct lots of prayers our way! He took off a poopy diaper the other day and another time sort of told me he was wet. The conversation went something like this... "ewwwww" as he pulled at his diaper. I asked: did you go pee? his reply: ewwwwwwwww!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Starring Dominique and Ivan

It's a little long, so while you load this video you may want to clean the house, paint a room or read a novel. If you press the load button, then pause, it won't be half playing all the time, then when it is fully loaded press play.

Ivan is becoming a big boy. He has officially moved into his room. We thought we'd try him sleeping in the big bed when he got back from Houston and he just loves it, sleeps through the night. So far nap time did not go as smooth (too short), but that should come. Now just potty training and we really won't be able to call him baby anymore! Although he is in the crib for time out as we speak. Maybe we all keep a little baby in us. I hear myself whining from time to time.

Ivan loves holding Dominique and identifying the body parts he knows. The other day, he pointed to and said: hair, eyes, nose, mouth, flower and wee wee wee. The flower was on her dress and the wee wee is not a private part, but her toes, since we do this little piggy, he calls toes wee wee wee in a little high pitched voice.

Gotta clean house. What is your favorite part of cleaning and least favorite?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Snaps: cute and quirky vol.9

I'm almost back to normal physically and am discovering the wonderful and challenging world of being a mother of two! It has it's priceless moments and tear your hair out moments, but I'm excited about what I am finding. Ivan is slowly learning the art of cleaning up and avoiding spanking over the myriad incidents each day that warrant disciplinary action, so that is awesome when it works! Dominique is learning to sleep and thrive in her new world with all its noise and clamor. She had her first doctor visit today and has gained back any weight loss plus put on an ounce. She is very healthy. She has not taken to eating as good as Ivan did, but is getting there bit by bit, or should I say slurp by slurp!

Our hearts are broken that Big Buddy has to go back in the hospital again. They want to do IV antibiotics for his feet. That place is like a torture chamber for him. May he get out quickly. The doctor ok-ed us to visit with Dominique.

I am constantly amazed at how sweet Ivan is with his sister. It's one of the most beautiful events I've ever witnessed.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the sweet sound of silence

I'm definitely a people person, always have been, always will be. I love gatherings of friends in a bunch or just one on one. I really, really enjoy my family and the sounds of my family. I don't think there is anything more delightful than your own child's laugh or attemps at communication. This is one of our favorite "Ivan expressions". He says: ready go, only it sounds more like weddy doe. Not sure where he picked that up. I think his dad.

Today however, I have been entranced, captivated, enthralled with another sound: the sweet sound of silence. Ahh, no screaming, no power struggles, no two people or more wanted my attention, just quiet shattered only momentarily by the tiny squeals of our precious new daughter.

She's a week and a day old and I'm stunned by her existence, her beauty, her wholeness. Thank you designer and friend!!! Thank you, thank you.

Also thanks to Brian for this hiatus. I think every mom again should have an experience like what I've had the last two days. Time to just be with baby, to hog the bed, hang out during those night time wake hours and sleep in late, eat chocolate and pre-made foods, catch up on fun stuff like e-mail and reading. I so needed this.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My hardest easy day

I had mixed feelings this morning. I had been looking forward to today, when Brian and Ivan go with Nana to Houston for a quick turn-around trip (they return tomorrow). I was thinking I could catch up on rest, e-mailing, laundry, baby projects like her baby book and painting her name on her clock. Then today arrived and I watched my husband and first born drive off to
ANOTHER CITY! I held in my tears. I've never liked being away from Brian. When we were first married, I was in school, so it was good that he was gone all day, I'd work on school stuff and we had most evenings together. Then we started in ministry together and I had the coolest experience. We drove to work together and saw each other sporadically all day. It's so nice to have these little glimpses of each other and moments to connect as we do what we are up to. Even now, if he's away for a long time and especially if he's out of town, I look forward to when he'll be back. Add to that, sending Ivan off with him and it was a bit traumatic. I'm glad they are getting to spend quality time together though. I noticed the other day when he woke up from a nap, he called for his daddy, not me. I'm glad to have my husband here to help during this transition time, so that Ivan doesn't get jealous or feel neglected while Dominique and I figure out nursing and sleep times. Talking about sleep times, after they left Dominique and I had an hour long nap and the panic of letting the guys leave waned a little as a feeling of queenhood overcame me.

I tried to get a nice "home studio" shot of Ivan and Dominique, but they all turned out horrible. This is not as easy as I thought. Dominique was either crying or falling over, so you couldn't see her well and Ivan has a tendancy to half shut his eyes with the flash, so getting them both looking ok may take a few dozen more tries. Thank goodness for digital!

We did manage an ok first family pic.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Nana's here!

It's always a joy when family comes and having a child seems to attract family ;) Nana came from Houston for a quick trip to meet her first grandaughter. It is so amazing to me how much it helps to have an extra person to help. Both Dominique and Ivan are enjoying her attention and we are getting treated too.

Our little treasure got her own birthday cake from Big Buddy. He made it in his special heart shaped pan. So if it's for her and she eats at momma's, does momma eat it for her? ha, ha.

Nana brought tons of gifts from friends in Houston. Thank you to all these dear people who showered us with clothes, books, toys...

Ivan enjoyed some toys for the big brother too and really got a kick out of the ball we made from all the wrapping trash. Isn't that just like a kid?

I haven't asked a question in a while... what is your favorite memory with a grandparent?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

All about her

Now that Dominique is here, I can drag out all the decorations I made for her and work on her baby book... (when I have a chance- ha! like about midnight. I'm such a night hawk!) One problem is that I hid the letters of her name for her clock so well that I can't remember where it is. I had already picked out the perfect font and size... I was thinking that MAYBE with Nana coming tomorow I would have an extra set of hands to be able to work on it, but she won't be here long, so we may just want to hang out and play with the kids. I finished Dominique's door decor and her name letters for our alphabet board pre-birth, so that helped.

We've had well wishers stream in and out, so that has been fun. What has been equally fun is that a bunch of them bring food! I love this tradition! I haven't had to cook yet and we are eating like kings and queens. There are snacks and meals in fridge and freezer and I'm soooooooooo thankful!

Jaime and Christian are kind of regulars around here. Summers are usually fun here since I try to hang out with the neighbor kids and do activities with them. Not much activities this year except gazing at the baby, which they are quite pleased to do. They also like to play with Ivan, so that is awesome. He loves them and I find he learns so much from interacting with older kids. We are so happy to be raising him and Dominique on a street that ripples with young life. They are all so good and full of joy and fun. It seems like peer pressure is mostly refered to as a bad thing, but there is good peer pressure too, and this street is just full of a lot of goodness. One can look as far as my fridge to attest to that.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Inspector Ivan and doted on Dominique

Ivan making sure Dominique's car seat passes approval.

He was not too pleased with how her bath went over, but she was happier once she was all cuddled up again.

I placed Dominique in the recliner and big brother just had to get in next to her.

One of our biggest challenges for the big brother is letting her sleep. While Ivan had much peace for sleep, Dominique has had to adjust to a house full of noises (and I mean FULL). Ivan dragged this box over to take a closer look at his sister and exclaim (loudly) that she had gone night night. He also likes to shake her bassinet. I wouldn't mind him rocking her if she was trying to fall asleep, but he prefers doing this when she is already down for a nap.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Twins 20 months apart?

I don't even know how to put into words all that we are feeling and experiencing at this time as we welcome our daughter home. We have definitely been blanketed in love from friends and family. We have food piling up in the fridge as friend after friend brings cooked meals to us. This is such an incredible treat so that I can just try to get through the day adjusting to feedings and having two little people to see after, plus getting to share the joy with well wishers and not have to worry about cooking- no one wants to cook at a time like this, but I sure do want to eat! Brian has been awesome, helping get the house back in order some and helping with the twosome so that I can spoil myself with a shower or snack!

Ivan has blown my mind with his love for his sister. He has this cute little smile (that I have yet to catch on camera) whenever he sees his sister. He started the morning calling for nanna, but found solace in the muffins she left in the fridge, which he gladly helps himself to. Then he realized that the baby was still here. He always showed me where the baby was (under my shirt), but he knows now that the baby is Dominique and he gets that little knowing smile, like this in person way is so much better. He reaches for her throughout the day and gives her kisses, plus inspects and tries out all her baby tools (he squeezed into her car seat and tried to get in her swing- not recommended). When he takes her in his arms, he gets very serious, like he is contemplating the awesome responsibility of being her older brother. I am thrilled to find how natural it is to have this infectious love for Ivan grow in me even as I experience the rising tide of attachement to Dominique. Love really does multiply and there is always enough for everyone. I'm awed at this new dimension to Ivan and so very honored to hold, nurture, love and know our precious Dominique.

While we don't want to constantly compare our second to our first, it's hard not to see a resemblance. Can you guess which baby is which? All these pictures were taken shortly after Ivan and Dominique's arrivals.

Each day, Dominique already looks different to me as she becomes her own person. This picture brings out her baby blue eyes, but they will most likely change as well as the resemblances to her brother. As I think back on my siblings, who also looked like 3 year apart twins at different times in their growing up, similarities will surely wane in and out for Ivan and Dominique as well. It is eerie looking at her face, because sometimes it transports me back to Ivan the newborn and I have to remind myself I'm holding my girl, not experiencing some weird wripple like flashback in time. This also brings home to me how fast it all goes, how precious each and every day is and how critical it is to love and nurture these little gifts from heaven so that they can become all they can be, which is of course more than I could ever dream or imagine.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

grand French lessons

Grandpa Ian and Grandma Ruth are headed to France, so Ivan and his grandpa thought they would brush up on some French with Ivan's Einstein video.

Thanks to all for the wellwishes and prayers. We are so thankful for everything. Labor went well, the Dr. broke my water around 7 and a couple of hours later, I was having good contractions, so I was able to avoid pitocin. She gave me some demerol for pain and fenagan for nausea, but I shouldn't have gotten the second, I wasn't getting sick this time and it made me too loopy. When our daughter was born, I felt like I wasn't there, it was hard for me to focus or follow conversations. I like having a more clear head better. But eventually I came out of my fog and they moved us to a room. It was very booked that day, and we had to share a room. My roomate was nice, but it was pretty loud, since she had a huge family and lots of friends who kept calling and coming in. But then, since I kept Dominique with me, I kept them up half the night and they were very understanding about that too. We both got to leave the same time. Our babies were born the same day in the same hospital, about an hour apart and shared their first day together. With Abilene being so small, we may see each other again. Who knows what connections may have been made!

We've had a steady stream of visitors and well wishers. It feels a bit like a zoo. Mom was baking and cooking when we got back. She made food for that night and the next, plus muffins so that I'd have snacks, plus she was trying to wash clothes and pack, then they had to decide if they should actually go to France since my aunt is really very sick. My aunt told dad to keep their plans and they felt like they should, so they left early this morning.

Sorry no pics yet. Trying to keep up with stuff like eating and bathing in between visits ;) Maybe tomorow.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July 11: a day in the life

by Brian

Birth anouncement

Dominique Celeste Courage Baggett
9 lbs (even)
20 inches

Mom (Angela) is tired, but doing real well.

More later.

- Brian

Monday, July 10, 2006

OK, OK, she's coming!!

Well, I'm at a 4. At this rate of dilation, I could give birth to a baby in 6 more weeks. Just kidding! My doctor would never let me go that long. In fact, she didn't want me to go this long as it is. We had a decision to make today. Either have tests done to make sure the baby is ok and growing and the placenta is well (which I'm sure they are), or schedule an induction for the morning or even this afternoon. I really wanted to let things go naturally, but mom and dad leave Thurs. and I'd hate for them to have come all this way and never meet her. So, we are scheduled for an induction in the morning. The thing is, if nothing happened this week, we'd have to induce by Monday anyways and then mom and dad would miss it all. I'm still not sure we made the right decision. Part of me has peace about it and part of me is wondering if I'm settling for less. Please pray that it will all go well or best of all, that we'll beat them to the table and start labor on our own today or in the night. Thank you for all the support and well wishes and we'll be telling you all about her soon ;)

Maybe it's a good thing

I don't know why we are still here waiting, but I'm thankful for all these days we've had with my parents. At least they are here and that has added excitement and connection time. In fact, things would have been much different if our daughter had arrived earlier, and while that would have been great, we would have missed out on other connecting opportunities as well.

This has been such a special time for Ivan. He's gotten to know his grandparents in a way he's never been able to before and they him. The other morning, both myself and grandma showed up at his door after he woke up and he reached for grandma first. It didn't make me feel bad in the least. I was pleased that he feels so comfortable with her to want her near and I know it made her feel like a million bucks. Grandpa has been able to take Ivan on lots of walks which Ivan loves. There is something incredibly precious about seeing a little grandson and grandpa walking down the street hand in hand together. It would not have been the same at all for him if little miss was here. Maybe we are stocking up on quality time now while we can. Dad and I stayed up to 1:30am last night talking. That was great since we haven't talked like that since I was in high school I'm sure. I think in some ways, these moments of togetherness have been more important than having our daughter here a few days (or weeks) earlier. She will come eventually, at the right time. And may that time be today or so, since they leave Thurs. am and I'd love for them to see her face, give her kisses and hold her precious little body. But then again, if not this visit, maybe there will be another day, to meet, to be family (in all our ugliness and beauty), to know each other and love.