Saturday, April 30, 2011


Oma and Grandpa come to visit.

The "bucket" is back!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby carrier

Little Kate seems to be growing more each day. She's got hair coming in on her head. Her sleep is getting a little tiny bit more organized. On good nights she sleeps in three-hour blocks, occasionally waking for only 10 to 20 minutes for feedings then right back to sleep. (Other times it's an hour or two, but who's keeping track?) She's more alert in the day, too.
We've discovered a trick to settle her down when she's crying, too -- a front carrier. That's something Molly never really liked. Kate loves it! She fusses sometimes for a minute or two when you put her in but then almost always falls asleep. It's like magic. We've been taking a walk around the neighborhood with Kate in the carrier every afternoon this week, which is fun for Molly, too. We tend to see her friends on the walk and bring them with us to play in our yard. Yesterday we had five kids back there, all playing nicely together.

The carrier also lets us get work done. Jim wore it for a while on Easter morning while we all worked in the garden.

She likes this one, too.

Look, isn't she getting strong? And big, too!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Morning

Kate in her Bunny pajamas for the occasion - Molly in PJs of her choice

Molly begins to inventory the candy from her Basket.

Hunting the living room for eggs from Ganny and Papa

Hunting the neighbors' back yard for eggs as part of the neighborhood egg hunt. No idea who the other girl is.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good morning

I had the girls by myself for a couple hours this morning (Jim had a dentist appointment) and it went way better than I expected. Kate took a nap (finally!!!) and I was able to take a shower and get a bunch of other stuff done. Maybe it's just that if Jim was here I would have been sleeping instead. Doesn't matter. It feels good, anyway. Maybe everything won't fall apart when he goes back to work after next week.

We had a good time with my mom visiting earlier this week. She and Molly dyed Easter eggs.

Kate is getting a little bigger. She doesn't fit in her newborn sleepers anymore. The doctor weighed her at a little over 9 pounds on Tuesday at her two-week check-up. She's starting to look a bit like her own person, too, and not just like a clone of baby Molly.

Kate has been cranky for the past few days. Her tummy gets upset so easily. I'm going through the process of trying to eliminate certain foods from my diet to see if that's what bothers her. I think she might be sensitive to chocolate just like Molly was. Good thing to figure out before Easter.

Here are the girls this morning playing on a mattress. Molly is fantastic at entertaining Kate. I guess they entertain each other, really. I'm just waiting for Molly to get fed up with the crying and the nursing and the baby taking our attention, but she hasn't so far. She gets a little weepy herself once in a while, but she still seems to think her baby sister is the best toy ever.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Baths and Playtime

Kate's first (partial) submersion bath - no tears!

"Hey, can I be in the picture too?"

A new doll to play with

Kate is concerned

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Noisy sleeper

Not much new to report -- lots of sleeping, eating and diaper changes. After two rough nights (taking hours to get Kate back to sleep) we had a really good one again last night. She really is a good sleeper when nothing is bothering her.

Now we're having a lovely morning. Kate has been asleep for two hours. The next-door neighbor invited Molly over to play outside for a little while. Jim and I are cooking lunch and catching up on chores. When Kate sleeps, life around here is really, really good.

Speaking of sleep, one of the funny things about Kate is that she's a noisy sleeper. She grunts and snorts and makes all sort of weird noises as she's falling asleep. It makes it pretty hard for us to sleep in the room with her. For a while I would pick her up right away when she was making noise, thinking I was heading off a crying spell. But I think she's actually happier just snorting away until she falls into a deeper sleep. Last night Jim had the brilliant idea of putting a fan in our bedroom for white noise. I think that had a lot to do with us all sleeping better -- it helped us sleep through all Kate's weird noises.

More Kate:

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Kate meets Alan, Tessa, Lex and Eve

And Molly has a good time with good friends

Other scenes from Kate's first week:

Sister bonding (Molly's "reading" a story to Kate, which is actually an old camera manual)

 We got out for a walk a couple days ago. Molly wanted to push Baby Doll in her own stroller.
 Group snuggles. Molly likes to climb up and cuddle in close whenever Kate's on the nursing pillow.
 Kate likes to sleep in a lot of places, including the laundry basket. She's a pretty good sleeper so far (unless something's bothering her tummy, then she can be really hard to soothe).
 Ducky baby.
 Sisters yawning.

Daddy holds her in the sun (jaundice is fading, hooray!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quick Update

We're working on getting into our new routine and by and large everything is going pretty well. We had our first appointment for Kate with our family practice doctor today and everything looked good. Kate is eating like a champ and sleeps occasionally as well. Julie is recuperating nicely and is feeling quite well. We're all making sure to catch naps whenever we can.

Molly is doing a great job as a big sister. She is very helpful in bringing things like blankets and clean diapers, and will read books and sing songs to Kate as well. She's very excited for her little sister to be more interested in toys and things so she an play with her more - there are an awful lot of rules about the baby right now (no toys in the crib, no feeding the baby, etc.), but she's doing fantastic.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baby Kate

Here she is...

Katherine "Kate" Genevieve Kirkwood, born April 2 at 4:55 a.m.

Contractions started Friday night after Molly went to bed. They felt the same as the ones I'd been having all day so I didn't think much of it. I got a couple hours of sleep before the contractions were strong enough to wake me, then I started timing them in bed around 11:15 p.m. An hour later they were still strong and regular so I got up. As usual, walking made them closer together but weaker. I told Jim to go back to bed. I figured I'd time a few more then go back to sleep. While I was waiting between contractions, I looked at some stuff about how lying in certain positions during contractions can jiggle the baby into a better position to kick-start labor, so I decided to try it. It took about an hour -- long and boring waiting for contractions while lying weird ways in the dark on the living room floor. When I got up, the contractions changed almost immediately. They were stronger but more irregular, so I still thought this was another false alarm. Fortunately, in retrospect, around this time I thought I felt my water break. We called the midwife and she told us to head to the hospital and they would decide whether it was time to be admitted or not. My contractions were very intense in the car but I was still worried they would stop at any moment. While we waited to register I was pressing my head against the wall and leaning over on chairs during contractions. This was around 3 a.m. They hooked me up to the monitor in a delivery room and I had to wait through several contractions sitting in the bed while waiting for our midwife, Amy -- not fun. When Amy finally checked me she found that my water hadn't broken but was trickling. Then she checked my dilation and announced that I was almost fully dilated! Wow! So I stood up and pressed my head against Jim's chest through some more contractions. Then totally instinctively the pushing started. I felt like my legs were going to give out so I got on my knees on the chair that they had put next to the bed for Jim, leaning my hands on the bed. The doula gave me a cold wet washcloth for my forehead. Amy let me labor there for a while before deciding it could get dangerous and suggested I climb onto the bed in the same position. They raised the back of the bed and leaned against the back. Everybody was saying encouraging things, like that we'd have our baby in our arms before breakfast. Pushing was intense and hard and awful, but I didn't feel my body fighting it as much as it did during Molly's labor. I just wanted it to be over so badly I felt myself giving extra pushes at the end of each surge. Kate was born in her amniotic sac -- my water never broke. They handed the baby forward to me through my legs and laid her on the bed right in front of me. It was amazing!!!! I could get such a good look at her that way. So less than two hours after arriving at the hospital we had our baby.

Everybody in the hospital was very supportive of letting us leave after just a day, so we were able to check out this morning. We decided to keep Molly home yesterday to give her a little more time to clear the germs before seeing the baby. This morning she came in and escorted her little sister home.

It's so nice to have our little family together. Kate is sleeping, Jim just made dinner and the rest of us sat down to eat, just like are usual routine. It feels so good to be home and to be done with all the worries of the past week. Ahhhhh.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools

Another night, another false alarm. This one was really convincing -- contractions as close as 5 min apart, fairly strong for a couple hours. We had the snow brushed off the car, waiting just a couple more contractions to call the midwives. And again, close to dawn the contractions got a little farther apart, a little weaker and I decided to try to get a little more sleep. By the time I woke up an hour later they're gone. Now they're happening at completely irregular intervals, sometimes a half hour or more in between.
Poor doula. This is the third time this week we've called her in the middle of the night. She says this happens sometimes, labor starts at night and stops in the morning for several nights in a row before the baby is finally born. Great. At least her other mom had her baby yesterday (hooray!!!), so that's not an issue anymore.

So our April Fools Day is off to a perfect start. And of course there's this:

So the waiting continues. Molly ate some real food this morning, so at least that's promising.