Happy Due Date!

Today is Molly’s due date.

We were supposed to be in the hospital today extracting Molly from her mom’s belly, but instead she is two weeks old!  I guess she just wanted to get an early start on things.  So far, the outside world seems to be treating Molly well.  She is small but growing, she is surrounded by friendly company, and she just plain looks good.  Most importantly, she has plenty of space to stretch out and do her thing.

I think this was a good deal for Kit, too.  I mean, would you want this in your belly?

Happy Due Date, Molly!

Bye Bye Potty Seat, Hello Diapers

Claire now uses the toilet exactly like an adult.  She has graduated from all props, including little her step stool and her toilet seat topper.  She just hops up on her tip toes, does her thing, and hops back down.

This new independence started almost exactly when we first came home with baby Molly.  Perhaps the arrival of baby Molly inspired Claire to demonstrate her maturity.  Or maybe Claire is just trying to drive home the irony that we are starting the whole potty training process all over again.  Yes, even as we clear the various toilet accessories out of our bathrooms, we are in the other room changing dirty diapers.

Claire Awaits Her Baby Sister

While Kit and I were at the hospital delivering Molly, life went on somewhat normally for Claire.  Of course, we did need some help while Kit, Molly, and I were in the hospital.  Claire is pretty responsible, but she is not old enough to take care of herself yet.  If she did, I would just love to see what kind of dinner she would make herself, and when she would put herself to bed.  I picture her asleep on the living room floor, covered in chocolate ice cream with Horton Hears a Who playing on the TV.  But we will never know, because Kit’s parents came down to help out.  😉

Claire went to school today as normal.  Her daily note from school read as follows:

Note that Claire was “super excited” about her baby sister, for whom we had not officially picked out a name yet.  Also, it just so happens to be Mexican Independence Day, which is neat.  And who is this Pinky?  What happened to her today?  Pinky is the class hamster, and she died today.  Claire got the next door neighbor, Aubry, back in Atlanta when she was born.  And now Molly seems to have gotten Claire’s class hamster.  It is the circle of life, I suppose.

    Special Addition!

    Molly arrived today!

    Kit and I showed up at the hospital this morning for our 5 am appointment, which had been set for a couple of weeks before Molly’s original due date. After a brief wait in the lobby, the hospital staff took us to the delivery room where some additional staff poked and prodded Kit for a while, eventually hooking her up to some tubes to help get things rolling. The gynecologist checked in. Besides that, the morning was mostly uneventful.

    Kit’s parents took Claire to school at her normal time and then joined us at the hospital mid-morning to wait for Molly. Kit was not dilating very much, and in general not much was happening. After a couple of hours, Kit’s dad and I made a lunch run to Wendy’s and picked up some hamburgers for everyone except poor Kit, who was otherwise engaged. Walking down the hall towards Kit’s delivery room, we heard some absolutely awful screams coming from one of the other rooms. This was a panicky, sustained, primal scream. Kit’s dad said, “That scares the crap out of me.” We did not mention it to Kit when we got to her room.

    Kit was starting to dilate more, which was really good. And then she just kept going, dilating more and more! Even before we could finish our hamburgers, they doctor said, “Let’s do this. We’re going to have a baby, people!” About 15 minutes later, Kit pushed hard three times, and out popped Molly!

    Little Molly was covered in a thick layer of what was described as alternately “wax” or “cheese” by the nurses. It took a while for the nurses to wipe Molly down enough to see a baby under there. We knew Molly would be small, but it was surprising to see just how small she was in person. We could barely feel any “heft” when holding her. She was so small, in fact, that the standard newborn shirts did not fit her. Instead, she wore little pants, turned backwards and upside won, as a shirt. Of course babies are small, and they often come a lot smaller than Molly. Either way, she was adorable, and her vitals all checked out fine. Meanwhile, Kit was in good shape and was cleared by the gynecologist relatively soon. Kit got a big smile on her face as she got to hold Molly for the first time.

    It took several more hours to get everyone together in our assigned hospital room. There was a lot of waiting around. I spent a lot of time in the nursery as Molly’s surrogate while Kit waited around in the delivery room. Kit’s friend Clarissa, who works in the hospital with Kit, dropped by and saw Molly through the glass. (We saw another of of Kit’s peers later as we were leaving the hospital.)

    We were not 100% sure about the name Molly for the first few hours. When people asked us her name, we said, “Maybe Molly”, so people started to call her that: Maybe Molly, or Molly Maybe. We did finally settle on that name over the next day or so.

    The hospital stay was a blur. We struggled somewhat to feed little Molly, and breast feeding was a challenge. We were supposed to feed her every three hours. Finally when she had gone for five hours without food, the nurses suggested a bottle of formula, which Molly took happily. We were forced to stretch the feeding again the next few times but eventually sort of got breast feeding figured out, although not perfectly.

    During the night, nurses were in and out, there were tests and checkups and forms to fill out, and a few trips to the “nourishment room” for snacks. Unfortunately, having gotten up at 3:30 am that morning, and having trouble getting to sleep the night before, and not getting enough sleep for several weeks before that, and Kit going through the trauma of labor, it turned out that staying up all night to work with Molly was tough. Were were both exhausted, and we were just getting started!

    The definite highlight of the hospital stay was when Claire came by for a visit. Somehow I had the honor of picking her up from school and driving her to the hospital. She was so excited to see her little sister. To set Claire’s expectations, we had been telling her that babies can’t talk or walk or sit up or even smile. All they do is sleep and drink milk and poop and pee. Claire did not care; she was absolutely thrilled to meet her sister. From the first minute, Claire was all smiles and extremely gentle with Molly. She introduced herself by saying, “I’m your big sister!” several times and patting Molly gently. She patted Claire’s back, talked to her, and enjoyed some cookies. She also got a big sister present, a brand new kid’s Dora the Explorer watch.

    So Claire was off to a great start as a big sister, and Molly was off to a good start as a baby! Now the real adventure begins…

    Happy birthday, Molly!

    TODO: Make and add a video

    Show Time!

    At our latest sonogram appointment this last Wednesday, we learned that we will be delivering our new baby a little early.  We are scheduled to induce this coming Wednesday, in fact, about two weeks early.  There is no serious problem, but the sonogram suggested that things may be getting a little bit too tight in there for the baby, and it might be wise to go ahead and induce early.  Not ones to argue against the prudent advice of a doctor, we quickly agreed to the plan.

    So that gives us one weekend and a couple of weekdays to roll out the red carpet for the new little baby.  Fortunately, we actually were expecting to have a baby, just not quite this soon.  But we did have a bit of a start on the whole baby thing.

    With news of the early delivery, Kit’s parents literally drove half way across the continent from Washington state to Texas in about two days.  They wanted to be here in time to help out with any final preparations and just to support us any way that they could.  At first glance, it may not seem that there would be a whole lot to “do” except sit around and wait for the delivery on Wednesday.  But we wanted to get everything “just so” before the baby comes and everything goes to hell.  If you are going to have a mess on your hands, it at least helps to start out with a good baseline.  We ended up getting the house cleaned stem to stern by a dedicated crew of three maids for three and half hours, we got the cars cleaned and maintained (including an airbag error light), the refrigerator stocked, and countless other details.  Kit arranged her early leave at work.  I tried to get as much done as I could at work before going “off the grid” for a week.  It is not often that you get everything arranged “just so” in life, but we are getting pretty close today.  Based on what people have told us about having a second kid, we really need to get everything squared away if we want any shot at sanity for the first couple of weeks.

    Coco & Zoey

    One of the best things about our new house in Austin is that, by complete coincidence, we are just down the street from some friends of friends names Paulette and Richie.  Paulette and Richie are always having their adorable grandkids over to their house.  Coco and Zoey are about six months younger than Claire, but they are loads of fun.  Claire has been invited over many times to play on Sunday afternoon.  The afternoon is a dream for Claire, who gets to go nuts with the other girls.  There are games and books and snacks.  But mostly there is running around and yelling and just being silly.  It is probably the most fun Claire has all week.

    Paulette and Richie are also very nice.  Paulette jokes that, since they live a half mile down our street, I should just pin a note to Claire and send her down on her own.

    Miss Polite

    Tonight I noticed a pile of Claire’s toys piled at the top of the stairs leading up to our bedroom.  When I approached Claire about the mess, I was expecting some sort of fight, or maybe a look of shame or guilt.  But her response surprised me.  We had the following conversation, almost verbatim, and without a hint of sarcasm from Claire.

    • Pat: “Hey Claire, there are a lot of toys on the stairs.  That is pretty dangerous.  Somebody could slip on them.”
    • Claire: “I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have put them there.”
    • Pat: “That’s okay.  I just wanted to let you know.”
    • Claire: “Okay.  I shouldn’t have put those toys there.  I really should have asked you.”

    I don’t normally have conversations that civil with mature adults!  I should savor this moment.  I am sure we will be back to somewhat less mature exchanges again tomorrow.

    Rolling Out the Carpet

    With my parents here this weekend, we took the opportunity to finally get some basics in place for the matter of the new baby, due at the end of the month. We made countless trips to the local strip mall to pick out a crib and a mini-crib to fit in our bedroom and changing table. We also generally stocked up some baby supplies, although we did not have a good “feel” foe what exactly we needed. We had actually forgotten a lot in the last four years since we had Claire. Uh, what do we need? Diapers, I guess? Don’t we need some wipes or something? What do babies wear? It is too early for baby food?!?!

    We spent the rest of the weekend assembling and arranging said crib and changing table. The crib was not too bad to assemble, just standard please-assemble-this-at-home stuff like you might expect from Ikea. The changing table was another story. It looked simple enough in the store, but I was dismayed to find that it consisted of 128 separate parts and something like 68 different screws, all packed neatly in a deceptively simple looking flat rectangular box — an extremely heavy box. It took both me and my parents a lot of grunting and gasping to move the box from the car to the front door. I could not carry it up the stairs by myself. The simple act of unpacking the box and taking the outrageously heavy components upstairs individually took about 45 minutes. From the instruction booklet, it appeared that if I were to accidentally put one of the irreversible screws in the wrong place, then the whole thing would be ruined and we would have to go back to the strip mall and start the whole process over, probably after dumping another $300. Fortunately, I was astute enough to complete the project, after some sweating and cussing, without incident, and we did end up with a functional but disappointingly understated changing table, considering the effort put into it.

    Kit, being pregnant and all, was mostly able to offer moral support. And my parents entertained Claire, although she wandered up from time to time just to see what I was yelling about. Anyways, we sort of have a place to physically put a baby now, which is good since she is due just around the corner. I don’t think it would have been appropriate to ask her to crash on the living room sofa at this point.