Snowy thanksgiving

We had a lovely turkey day in Killington Vt at Chris’ sister Jen’s rented ski house. It was a very nice house, complete with a roaring fireplace and hot tub. We didn’t end up using the hot tub but we sure enjoyed sitting by the fire! So did Renee.
Jen shares the ski house with 4 Irish guys who were hilarious! Wednesday night they each polished off a case of Long Trail Ale, a couple glasses of wine and a glass or two of scotch and they weren’t even buzzed. That’s the Irish for ya. Good thing Chris didn’t even try to keep up with them! They were all really nice people and pleasant to talk to, you just had to listen hard to understand the accent at times.
I really enjoyed chatting with one of the guys’ girlfriend, Tonya, who just turned vegetarian. We let her try our soy turkey (NOT a tofurkey but a “quorn” turkey–SO much better!), she loved it. She brought her bulldog, Bella, who was adorable but a big scaredy cat. She was afraid of the baby! And she snored REALLY loud (the dog, not Tonya :)).
The whole Thanksgiving dinner was a laid back affair but the meal was amazing. Jen and her friends really outdid themselves preparing. Even though we’re vegetarian, the turkey looked incredible. Chris’ parents got it from a farm down the street from them, freshly killed. Jen’s friend prepared it from a Martha Stewart recipe and it looked fresh out of a magazine, surrounded by cranberries, sage and glazed pears and stuffed with an orange rind brine–wow. Chris’ mom made some amazing pies and everyone else made some awesome sides, all outta this world.
We enjoyed relaxing and chatting. Everyone wanted to hold Renee so much that we barely got to see her at all that day! No one wanted to give her up. We’re extremely lucky that she was so good and tolerated the 2 hour drive up north so well. Maybe Jen will let us visit her ski house more often!
if you could believe it, it snowed 5 inches that morning too! good thing we came Wednesday night.

hope everyone else had a nice day too!

one month already!

It’s hard to believe that our little Renee is a month old today. already she’s really grown, so much so that she no longer really fits into her “newborn” onesies and diapers. She’s even got a double chin. She was always a very alert baby, the doctors were even surprised how alert, but now she’s becoming even more so, it’s like she’s a real little person starting to interact with the world around her. She cracks us up with her constant grunting and squeaking. She loves the bath and her little fishy swing. She also loves staring at our big kitty Cosmo and the stripes on our couch (probably because they are both black and white). She loves to pump and wiggle her little legs in the air like she’s a little bicyclist, and wave her arms in the air like she’s conducting an orchestra. If, while she’s asleep , a sudden noise or movement startles her, her hands will go high into the air as if to say ” I surrender!”.
She falls asleep in the car and when you take her for walks in the baby carrier (but she hates being put into the car seat and baby carrier at first!). she does NOT like having her hands or feet tied down.

She’s generally quite good natured but can have a short temper, like if she can’t latch on right away while nursing (she tries to suck on her hands too and gets frustrated when she can’t). Usually around 7 to 8:30 p.m is her crankiness time, she just generally is a bit out of sorts.

I love holding her over my shoulder while she’s sleeping and hearing her little breath in my ear. I love everything about her, even her occasional crankiness and constant farting like an old man!!

it’s cheesy, i know, but i find myself getting a bit teary eyed and thinking “they grow up so fast”…

i’m enjoying it all while i can.

hope everyone has a lovely turkey day!!

A date? Great!

This Wednesday, Chris and I had the luxury of being able to go on a real “date” in the afternoon. Chris’ parents were kind enough to watch Renee for a few hours and we went out to lunch and did a little shopping. We missed our little Renee, but it was nice to have a good stretch of some “us” time, too.
We went to CT Tuesday night and Renee had her first sleepover at her Papa and Noni’s house. Chris’ parents seemed excited to be with her, they even put a little sign on the door to “her room” (formerly the guest room) that says “The Princess Sleeps Here”. Ya think she’s gonna be spoiled by them much? Chris Grandpa came over on Wednesday and got to hold his great-granddaughter for the first time. It was a pretty tender moment. He was almost as mushy as Chris’ Dad is when he held her.

We were a bit nervous at first how Chris’ parents’ 2 collies would react to her, but the dogs simply adored her. Brody, the male collie was her instant protector. He didn’t want her to be out of his sight for more than a minute, even when he looked really tired like he wanted to sleep. When she cried, he would cry and act very concerned. Mollie, Brody’s sister, came over to Renee when she was sitting in her little bouncer and laid her head right on the bouncer. Both dogs played “sentry duty” all night long, walking back and forth to the room to “check up” on her. They would give her kisses, but not the big slobbery kisses they’d give me and Chris-they’d only give her ever so gentle, tiny little licks. How do animals know how to treat babies so well? It was pretty sweet.
It was really, really nice that Chris’ family wanted to help watch Renee.Chris’ Mom even came into our room early in the morning and said she would watch Renee for us so we could sleep a little (she kept us up all night just “talking”. Lately Renee has been “talking more and more, always waving her hands in the air (so she MUST be Italian!).
I’ve been pumping a couple of times a day and she drank from a bottle, she’s doing pretty good with it (we try it once a day at least). We’re looking forward to going up to Killington for Thanksgiving (Chris’s sister rents a ski house up there and is hosting turkey day there this year) and having a relaxing day with people who want to spend time with her too.
I can’t believe already that she is over 3 weeks old! Already she is changing so much. She’s always been really alert for her “age” and held her head up pretty good, but now she even tries to roll over when we put her on her tummy. She is starting to smile more to the point that it isn’t just gas, so cute. She eats like a pig, burps and farts like a frat boy, and grunts like a cavewoman. That’s our little girl!

Baby update

Renee had her 2nd week Dr’s checkup today. She gained 11 ounces so far since we brought her home from the hospital! She’s been eating like a little piggy–literally, snorting and all.
She had her first “real” tub bath last night. We thought she would hate it, but she loved it! She was wiggling her feet in the water, making grunting noises. It must’ve reminded her of the womb.

So far things have been awesome with Renee, Chris and I are enjoying every moment, poopy diapers and all. I never thought I’d enjoy being a Mommy this much, or love a little tiny person this much!

In other news, we’re very concerned about a particular friend who called us the other night in a time of crisis. She has bipolar disorder and it was very obvious she had gone off her meds and was having a manic episode. She left her family to go get help. We’re hoping right how that she’s at the Brattleboro Retreat–unfortunately there is not much we can do for her because she can’t be contacted–we can only hope and pray she’ll be getting the help and medication she needs!

Hospital Thank yous

Before we forget names, we want to thank the following staff from Bratt. Memorial Hospital:

Leah– for being by our side when contractions began and comforting us when we were scared about what was happening. Also, for hanging out at night with us in our room and joking with us after Renee was finally born.

Gloria–for working me through hypnobirthing when contractions got really strong, and for being sweet and reassuring.

Raine–the first midwife on call, for her calm and sweet and comforting nature, especially when things got frustratingly slow.

Kim–for holding my hand when contractions were so strong I couldn’t sit still, and for giving me back massages while Chris held on to me and I cried.

Amy–for rearranging our room to look nice and welcoming in the middle of the night, and keeping vigil by my side when things started to really progress and pushing began.

Lois–the most wonderful midwife! She is truly called to be in this profession. For being motherly, sweet and ever so comforting, guiding me through the extreme frustrations. When we finally broke down and did the epidural, I felt like a failure; Lois spoke up and said she was so proud of me and that the epidural had nothing to do with being a failure. At 5 in the morning, Lois had been on an almost 48 hour shift but you would not know it by her demeanor. She joked with us and encouraged us when we pushed, and she was the first to hold Renee and put her right up to my chest! She cried and said the baby was so beautiful. We are so happy that she was on call for Renee’s birth, she made it so special.

Caroline–the grandmotherly nurse who held screaming Renee to do her Apgar test, and who enjoyed every minute of it and was laughing and joking around.

Patricia and Dawn–both excellent lactation consultants who sat with me through the first frustrating hours of trying to get a hold of the breastfeeding thing. They popped in and out on a daily basis to see if I had questions or they could help. Both of them had an excellent sense of humor and undying patience. I’m not sure I could have done it without them!

Elizabeth–the pediatrician who first saw Renee and oohed and aahed over her. We now have her as Renee’s primary care provider and at her first checkup the day after we brought her home, Elizabeth helped us to see that a lot of the things we had worried about were normal and Renee was healthy and O.k.

There were many more people at the hospital who were great, but unfortunately we don’t remember names! I was so impressed with the hospital and that they allowed us to have as much time one on one with the baby as possible; even when they needed to do tests and checkups, they did it in the room with her right in my arms. It really helped us all to bond.