Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This is sweet Asher, on a rare awake moment. These elusive moments do tend to happen daily, but certainly for no more than an hour - at least until he wakes up at 8pm and decides to stay awake for four hours... we're working on that!

Asher is doing really well with his eating - he's gained almost two pounds so far! (And that was at last count - at the pediatrician appointment last Thursday.) Tonight he gave me 2 real smiles, which were so beautiful I can't wait to see more! Music seems to really calm him. His favorites right now are Bobby McFarrin (okay, okay - he only knows one song, but he really loves it - it's called "Common Threads", not "Don't Worry, Be Happy"), and The Innocence Mission (he really seems to like the entire "Now The Day Is Over" album). He is kind of a sensitive baby, so I'm not really ready to introduce him to his big brother's Funk Dance Parties... yet...

Yay! It's CSA season! We are members of the Ten Mile Creek CSA. Today was our first box! We received red kale, green kale, baby beets, radishes, Swiss chard, green onions, and broccoli. I looked up recipes today for the kale, beets, and chard. It's going to be a fun week experimenting with new foods! (The Swiss chard is not pictured here, as it was on the stove being turned into a wonderful side dish at the time the picture was taken.) We are all looking forward to the season!

Here is Joel with his vegetables. He loves learning about fruits and vegetables, and apparently enjoys being pictured with them as well. I have an incredibly awesome two year old! (There were a few weeks a couple of months ago when we got lots of children's books from the library about fresh produce and what foods are good for our bodies. He's been hooked ever since.) Seriously, he loves it. My mom took him to the grocery store the week before I had Asher, and they came home with a pineapple, cherries, peaches, avocadoes, and some other fruit. Really. This is how people can best spoil my kid. Rock on.

This is pretty much what I'm looking at right now. Asher had a rough night as far as his belly goes, and spent a lot of time uncomfortable. I love*love*love the Moby Wrap - he gets in it and falls asleep pretty much instantly. This is a nearly 100% sort of deal. If he's been up for 3 or 4 hours, I pop him in and off he goes. (I just figured this out a couple of days ago...)He is so, so sweet looking!

What a great kid! Joel is continuing to learn how to be a big brother and live with a sometimes squawky and often nursing brother. He is so wonderful. I am incredibly proud (and relieved... let's be honest here!) at how well he's doing. Tonight was a craft night, and we made lots of animals and other things with construction paper, (lots of) glue, googly eyes, and cotton balls. Bliss.

Two year olds tend to imitate. Here is Joel imitating me - he was "looking for nipples" the other day, and found his baby to nurse. What an amazing kid.

As for me, I'm trying to get the three of us out of the house on a pretty near daily basis. It keeps us all occupied and not frustrated with learning to live together. We're doing well, but I know that getting out is helping all of us. (Well, Joel and me, anyway... Asher's at a wonderful age where he'll go along with pretty much anything!) Also, my Bell's Palsy seems to be starting to get better. I am starting to feel a couple of muscles in my eyelids. I'm hoping it's all a good sign!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My three guys... I love having two boys!!! (And one grown up one...)

An "Adventures in Great Parenting" picture. Joel wanted to get his dad beer for Fathers Day, and this is Neil trying to share it with him, to no avail. (Joel really doesn't like beer - I should be very happy about this!) The other neighborhood dads were pretty jealous of Neil's gift - Neil was pretty happy, too! (What 2 year old wants to get his dad beer?) It's definitely a step up from Joel wanting to get him battery operated monster trucks for his birthday, at least...

This is pretty much how everyone gets to see Asher these days. He is a crazy sleeper! He is either sleeping or eating. His favorite place to sleep is in the Moby Wrap or the Hotsling. (I'd love to put him in the Peanut Shell, but I have absolutely no idea where it is... I'll probably find it as soon as he doesn't want to be in it anymore...) Sometimes, though, Mama simply needs to have no baby attached to her. At these times he is usually in this bassinet.

Asher is doing very well. He is two weeks old today! Wow! He seems to me to be chubbing up pretty well - we go to the pediatrician later this week, so I'll know for sure how he's doing on Mama's Milk.

Joel is very good at being a big brother. He is learning to be gentle (with little lessons every day...), loves hugging and kissing his brother, and doesn't get too annoyed when Asher wants to cluster feed a lot. (We're due for a growth spurt this week, though, so we'll see how that holds up...)

I'm doing well, too. I'm no longer engorged (yay!!!!!!!!!!!), I'm dealing well with new baby sleep deprivation (I had forgotten about this, though... wow), and I'm getting out with both kids in tow. Amazing. I even cleaned one of the bathrooms yesterday! (That's what I should post a picture of...)

I'm a little concerned about the pediatrician appointment this week, though. We chose not to have Asher vaccinated at the hospital for Hepatitis B, and the receptionist on the phone seemed very offended by our choice. I'm not concerned about my son sleeping around or becoming a needle addict in the next couple of years, though - it seems silly to vax for this quite yet... I hope they don't start pushing this particular vaccine yet. They've been okay with our choice of no varicella vax with Joel so far.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A quick saga of my illnesses over the past couple of weeks, just because I'm so incredibly done with being sick. Writing about it may be sort of therapeutic...

Two Thursdays ago (something like the 23rd or 24th?) I came down with a fairly high fever. (102) I had it for two days, and then it turned low grade and went away. At my midwife appointment, she took a throat culture just to see that everything was okay in there.

A couple days later it turned into the nastiest cold I've had in years. (I still have it...) My culture came back with a very slight trace of Strep A, but I thought I'd kicked it.

On my due date (the 30th), I knew around 6:30 that I was coming down with an ear infection. I started on some antibiotics that night. I also cried like crazy that night, because I couldn't imagine going through labor with an ear infection. I have often said that I'd rather go through labor than have an ear infection - but I never imagined having to do both at the same time... (ha!)

I went into labor three days later - everything went fine as far as the ear goes. Labor was lovely, and sweet Asher was born.

Later that day I stopped being able to hear well, and my ears plugged up, feeling like descent on an airplane - I kept wanting to pop them.

Then, on Saturday, I came down with Bell's Palsy. Thankfully, I knew a little bit about it already - Neil's mom had it a few years ago, so we learned all about it then. It is a condition where the 7th cranial nerve, which controls the muscles of the face (one on each side) is blocked/traumatized/otherwise affected, and you lose the ability to control half of your face. The result is slurred speech, not being able to smile correctly (although Joel does a pretty funny impression of me...), not being able to close one eye, and generally freaking out everyone you come into contact with. Happily, it's temporary, but there's no telling when it will actually get better.

So, I'm now on a new antibiotic for the recurring ear infection and sinus infection, doing some muscle exercises, and trying to get over my vanity when I leave the house. Bah. I'm so, so, so ready to not be sick anymore!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

With a little bit of down time comes lots and lots of pictures! I've never posted pictures from picasa before, so I'll try to describe the pictures that are below...

1. The new dad and son. Neil is completely smitten.
2. a few minutes old, warming up on Mama
3. about an hour or so old
4. Joel picked out flowers for me and a balloon for Baby Asher
5. Joel touching Baby Asher
6. Joel and Mama snuggling - we have to make lots of time for this so our transition to Big Brother continues to go well...
7. sleeping in the light of the Red Wings game (the only light in the room that night)
8. Joel opening his presents from the baby (a couple of really hip instruments from Ten Thousand Villages)
9. beautiful, beautiful boy
10. Asher with his present from his big brother - Joel chose a bear for him
11. on the table after being born - probably about 20 minutes old

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A family of FOUR! This is us and our brand new Asher Michael Berg, born Monday, June 2nd at 8:07am. He weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz. It was a wonderful birth, and I'll be sure to update about that later. For now, though, a couple of quick pictures before adhering to the "sleep when the baby sleeps" wisdom.
The flag my dad made to announce to the neighbors that we had a boy!
Joel meeting his Baby Asher. He is enthralled by him, but less enthralled that he takes up quite a bit of Mama's time... the transition might be a little rough, but he really does love his Baby Asher. Joel says "He's kinda little."

We came home this afternoon. It was a great experience. More on that later. Tired parents need to sleep in their own bed!