Friday, March 8, 2013


Waiting at the bottom of the stairs with Grandma. None of us kids are allowed to go upstairs to the tree until we're all gathered together, at which point, in the old days, Dad would stand at the top of the stairs with a video camera and torture us with things like, "Looks like Santa's been here, guys. Too bad you have to wait till Mom's out of the shower before you come up." And then we'd finally process up the stairs in single file from youngest to oldest and excitedly turn the corner and see the piles of presents radiating from the base of the tree.

Santa usually leaves a present or two unwrapped for each person (You can see Aunt Weese's mission luggage in the foreground). Kate loved this caterpillar toy from Grandma and Grandpa.

Happy as a kid on Christmas morning.

Kate was just as into tasting the presents as she was into playing with them. 
Wrapping paper and bows + the present inside = double the fun.

While opening this present from Grandma Fae, Kate was so excited. She had this open-mouthed look of wonder as she peered into the box. She loves her new books!

I didn't take any specific pictures of them, but I made a few of Kate's presents this year. I like the idea of homemade gifts, and while I'm far from creative or crafty, I wanted to give my child some things I had invested some of my time and some of myself into. I made her some fabric balls and a ring-stacking toy.

Kate got this puzzle from Santa. She loves tasting the animals and pulling them out of the puzzle. Eventually she'll get the hang of putting them back in their places.

She was so precious in her pajamas. 

It was so fun to spend Christmas with Kate! She is such a sweet, happy little thing. It is so weird to think back to last year when I was very pregnant and to think ahead to next year when Kate will be running around and talking.

Happy first Christmas, Kate. Here's to many more.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was pretty low-key for us this year. We celebrated on the 13th and had a delicious dinner. In years past we've made elaborate meals, but this year we kept things pretty simple: grilled salmon, grilled asparagus, Costco rolls, and a spinach strawberry salad. Served on our beautiful china with a tablecloth, candles, and the star lilies Jay got me, it was a gorgeous spread.

Absolutely delicious!

And what was our little ragamuffin Valentine doing?

Making messes, of course! 

Every time she sees me get down on the floor with the camera, she scoots toward me as fast as she can.

Which generally means I don't get a lot of pictures before she's climbing up my legs.

I don't mind, though.

Past Valentine's Days: 2009, 2010, 2011 (Last year I was so pregnant we didn't do much for V-day...)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Kate: A Birth Story, Part V

I'm telling my birth story this week. Part I herePart II herePart III here. Part IV here.


After what felt like hours but was probably only 20 minutes, they handed over my baby, a striped hat on her head.  I laid her on my chest, her warm skin against mine.  I looked her over, saw her swollen little face and her long arms and legs.  She looked huge to me--a fully formed little human that had been folded up inside of me.  I couldn't believe I'd been sharing my body with such a large visitor.  

Amy helped me with nursing my baby for the first time, and then all the nurses left and it was just me and Jay and our baby.  We were exhausted (Jay was sick with a cold and feeling quite ill) and sat there in shock that our family was now three and that they left us unsupervised.  We held her fragile form with awkward tenderness and looked at each other in amazement.  

Other than my fever, the birth went better than I could have hoped: I went into labor on my own and was able to progress without the aid of pitocin until the end. I always knew I wanted an epidural, but I also wanted to experience some of the pain, and I was able to do that. I got an effective epidural that allowed me to rest but still allowed me to be an active participant in what my body was doing. I had a supportive midwife and a fantastic partner in Jay. The pushing was minimal and the birth was peaceful and complication-free. I am so grateful.

{First bath}

The next few days were a high--a "babymoon" of sorts. I was ridiculously proud of myself. I know it sounds silly, but I don't know how else to describe that feeling--it was a warm, all-encompassing sense of accomplishment that dulled the pains of my healing body.

On February 24th, 2012, in a beautiful and bloody sequence of events, Kathryn Fae made me a mother.