Saturday, February 28, 2015

When Mommy's Away...

...Daddy will become a superhero!

As my previous post attested, I took 2 full weeks off and traveled to NY to be with my sister when she had her baby.  Apparently, this sounds strange to some people, but this is totally normal for us.  Cheri and Alex live hundreds of miles from family, she did the same thing for me, and even if neither of those were true, I still would have done it because I love my sister.

Anyway, this was obviously the longest I have ever been away from my own kids.  I was a bit worried about that, but they are big enough now that they don't actually "need" me over Brian, so really it was just emotional.  Is it also bad to say that I was totally looking forward to shirking all mom duties for 2 weeks?  Cause I was.  A lot.

It is important to note that the only reason I was able to take this trip and mostly not feel bad about it was because of one pivotal person.  I really have the most amazing husband in the world.

Brian is already a stay at home dad/writer.  He does all of the wonderful yet exhausting child-rearing in our household.  He paints, he crafts, he builds Lego monsters, he has tea parties, and he plays video games with a 7 year old (which is awful if you have never done it).  But, for these two weeks, he also packed the lunches, dropped off at school (he always picks up), helped with the class Valentine party, and did bedtime each night (usually my role after I get home from work - don't knock it - bedtime takes at least an hour and encompasses cleaning the house, baths, teeth brushing, pajamas, books, prayers, etc).

Not at all surprisingly, he did it all perfectly!  The kids were happy, healthy, and educated while I was gone.  The only thing I can think of is that Violet's hair never got "fixed", but she hates that anyway, so really, it was an upgrade in her life.

I talked to them all multiple times a day, and Brian sent me a bunch of pics.  Here are a few of the many I received during my time away:
the night I left - hence, the hairdo
that tooth hole cracks me up
in her Anna dress, a gift if she uses the potty properly
hahaha, I think she looks like a feral beast here
they met Teddi and her kids at Chuck E Cheese
always a racecar
they went to Puppy Zone to play with puppies - which Violet LOVES - I can take or leave the dog, but how cute are those other two?
Huge thanks to my better half for not only holding down the fort, but actually elevating it while I was gone.  I love you for understanding how important it was for me to be with Cheri and for loving our kids so much.  Thanks for being a better parent than I will ever be, and for simply being you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Penelope Pilkington!

The world is a better place now that Penelope Pilks is here!  Seriously.  She is the best little thing ever.  I love her.  I miss her.  These pics are long overdue, so here you go!  (Warning: long post!)

I arrived in New York on a Sunday and we were planning to have the baby in a few days.  Hahahahaha.  I love us.  It took over a week for that little nugget to make her appearance, but we had fun playing in the city and trying to induce labor.

We rode the subway a lot.  I had to learn how to get from Brooklyn (where Cheri and Alex live) to Manhattan near Central Park (the hospital) using public transportation by myself.  Fun fact: Cheri lives 6 miles from the hospital.  That is over an hour of travel time.  CRAZY.
This is the day we were asked if we were twins.  Reminder: I am a foot taller than Cheri.  And I am waaay prettier.

We visited Cheri's office and campus.  Dr. Carr, PhD is super important.  LaGuardia Community College is lucky to have her!
Dr. Carr's very important office

Penelope's future school - the Early Learning Center at LaGuardia

We danced to shake the baby out.  It did not work.

We played with all the baby stuff to entice her to join us.  Nada.

We ate tons of food.  Baby did not seem to feel like this was a bad thing and stayed put.
steak salad at home with my chef sister
Cheri just "whipped up" this homemade pizza
Chili cheese fries and hot dogs in Brooklyn
Tapas bar in Manhattan!
Pho in Chinatown!

We went to a Comedy Club to laugh the baby out.  Shockingly, this also did not work.
Free comedy show with stand up comedians and writers from the Late Show, etc.  SO fun!

We went to the OB/GYN to ask him to just take the baby out.  He said no.  Poop face.
How cute is she?

We had a spa day and cocktails to relax the baby out.  Blissful, but not effective.

Sister bonding.

Vi picked out my colors before I left home.  She is that serious.
Yummy.  I miss cocktails.

We played Cards Against Humanity and watched hours of the X-Files, but she did not want to come out and join in the fun!  That girl is stubborn!

Cheri went into labor in early morning on Tuesday, February 10th.  I was downstairs but I kept hearing Cheri and Alex moving around, so I time it from about midnight.  She battled increasing contractions until 5am when we jumped in an Uber car and headed to Manhattan!

We got to the hospital and Cheri the Awesome dealt with more big labor pains for six more hours before getting some medicinal relief.  She was really amazing.  She never even yelled.  She would just take deep breaths.  Later, Alex and I had to press her little pain med button for her because she refused to do it herself.  She is just too darn strong!

cookies for the nurses

Much like her cousins before her, little lady did not want to do things the simple way.  After making her mom deal with labor for more than 20 hours, she finally demanded an emergency c-section.  This was obviously not in Cheri's birth plan, but she handled it like a pro.  Once that decision was made, we had a baby girl in about 15 minutes!
Pic of a pic from the operating room

And what a baby girl she is!  6 pounds, 13 ounces, 19 inches long.  Born at 9:17pm.  And she loves her Aunt Jeannie.  I know this.  She told me.
Happy Family!!
My first time holding her.  Ahh!  I miss her!

I can't even.  She was smiling at me.  I love her so much.

View from hospital window

What is this perfectness?

I only got to spend a few days with her before I had to head back to my own babies, but I was immediately followed by both grandmas.  How loved is that little girl?!
I have to craft wherever I go.
I made a banner with the few craft supplies I could find.
Welcome home!!  (Traffic was so bad, they had to take the subway with a newborn!)
Nona and her newest baby girl!
Cheri and Alex are already amazing parents.  I am sending them all the love, patience, and perseverance in the world.  The first weeks with a newborn are hard, tiring, and life-altering.  Some moments will be startlingly amazing and wonderful.  Some will be precious, some silly, and some embarrassing.  But most will simply be exhausting and hard.  If any two people love their baby girl and will make the best of it, though, it will be these two.  Congrats on your new little monster!!  I love you!!