Tuesday, December 29, 2009

White Christmas

Hi everyone. This is Nate typing. Hilary was uploading photos for a post that she intended to write later and I guess I must have hit the publish button or something before she was done. Hilary is busy at the moment and so she wants me to explain what is in these photos.


That sums it up. But in greater detail, we have here approximately 24 inches of snow covering everything in the mid-Atlantic seaboard. And I had to shovel it. And it seems like I'm the only one in Virginia who feels any kind of moral obligation to shovel his sidewalk. But I digress. The snow-shoveling habits of my fellow Southerners are not the point here--the point is the snow itself.

Snow. And a lot of it. Enough to keep roads closed for days. Enough to close the federal government two full days afterwards, and give a "liberal leave policy" after that. Enough snow to make Hilary push the stroller through the street because people are too lazy to shovel their sidewalks. But I digress.

On a happier note, snow can be lots of fun. See the exhibits below as evidence.

Here's a little snow house I built on our back porch. This is after a week of melting, by the way.
Here is our back yard as seen from the dining room.

Same location, closeup of what's right outside the door. Notice the 24-inch strait edge ruler sticking out of the snow.

This photograph was not faked. That is indeed a 24-inch strait edge ruler pushed up to the hilt in snow.

And this is the cutest little yuminess in the whole world playing in the snow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Double Stroller Dilemma

Knowing I would want to get out with the two girls as soon as possible, I decided to get a double stroller before Emiko was due to be born. I thought. I fretted. I researched. I started to dream about them...double strollers dancing through my dreams. I even considered NOT using a double stroller and relying on my fabulous Ergo baby carrier (featured below) to carry Emiko.

But finally I decided on the Phil and Ted, which I obtained used. I won't say how much I paid for this pricy bit of metal and fabric...it is AMAZING how expensive these babies are. Below is Emiko in the bassinet seat...you have to look cosely to see her!

Here's Mayumi in the top seat. You'll note that the special 'point' of the Phil and Ted stroller is that it is neither double WIDE nor double LONG. The seats are 'in-line.' Some say the kid in the back gets the shaft...but I have high hopes.
Mayumi's paternal grandmother Rosalie (Mimi) was concerned that Mayumi might want her own baby to match mine. She kindly rushed off a package containing a baby doll complete with all kinds of accessories. Mayumi loves it (her?) and takes (and puts) her everywhere:
This is where we found her one morning:

Monday, December 14, 2009

One cute meets another

Our good friends recommended that we get a photograph of Mayumi meeting Emiko. While we tried, our shutterspeed just could NOT keep up with her wild excitement. She jumped. She spun. She laughed. She clapped. She danced. We TRIED to capture the moment but I am afraid we failed. What I DO have are a few photos that are 'classic yumi' (if you ask me) and one short little video clip.

Here we Mayumi offering Emiko Emi's own pacifer. Very considerate of her, I felt, and quite auspicious. Mayumi, you should know, is addicted to her own pacifier.

However, in classic fashion, she changed her mind shortly thereafter and tried to take it back for her own use.

Honestly, my favorite moment was when Mayumi offered Emiko, still snuggly tucked into her car seat, her favorite pink ball. That, too, we were too slow to capture on film. Here, however, we DO have Mayumi doing something she hasn't stopped doing since the moment Emiko came home: kissing her new baby sister.

Many people have noticed that most of my pictures of Mayumi are of her with Nate (and not me). This trend will probably continue--but how can I help it? Nate and his girls are so photogenic.

Emiko's Grandma Glo was very much a part of this experience, but for some reason I don't have any good photos of her with Emiko (yet...I trust she got plenty on her own camera and will send them to me shortly...). I DO have a GREAT one of Papa Astroland giving Emiko her first sponge bath at home.

Emiko so far has proved to be a very calm and contented little girl. Or are we just more confident this time? Who knows. But she is sleeping well through the night and is calm during her wakeful periods. Excellent!

Finally--just a little clip of Emiko at her first doctor's visit (and a nod to Grandma Glo who, along with Papa Astro, were HUGE helps before, during, and after Emi's birth).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Emiko Leila Ayer, Age 20 hrs

Emiko is here!

The following is a pretty detailed description of her birth. Not for the squeamish. :-)

We decided to induce labor so that she could be born well before my parents needed to return home. I knew it would be a lengthy process; it wasn't a short one by any means last time around, and I was definitely 'in labor' when I showed up at GWU Hostpital to deliver Mayumi.

So, we checked in at 7am and by about 1pm I was experiencing quite painful contractions. I was advanced enough to make me think that I could hold on and have a 'natural' birth (although why I thought of doing that after having been induced I have no idea...). But by the time I was 'at a seven' I was in agony. If the doctor thought it could be any minute then I may have held on longer. But the positioning of Emiko's head suggested that I had some ways to go. We ordered the epidural but had it turned on 'light'--allowing me to still feel the peak of the contractions. I was still in pain but it was do-able.
Finally it was time to push. This was (by far) the worst part for me last time; I had no idea that it could take so long (it took well over an hour last time...much longer than the three pushes they show in the movies). I had been discouraged and even angered by everyone's instructions (push harder!) or encouragement (just one more like that, good job!) because it JUST DIDN'T SEEM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

Well--I ended up feeling the same way this time. Once again, I started to cry when tons of pushing seemed to yield no results and just further instructions.

But alas--it WAS faster this time. I started once, took a break, and then she was born after 25 additional minutes of pushing. Last time, Mayumi was crowing for many minutes and many pushes....but Emiko came right out more or less after she crowned. That is, she came out and got a little stuck (V. PAINFUL), but eventually made her way through.
She weighed in at 7lbs6ozs, almost one pound heavier than Mayumi! Wow. I knew she'd be larger...she felt heavier. She is 20 inches. Dark, short hair (not as much as Mayumi had) and that glorious natural suntan.

And now we have her! I feel just fine--more or less back to normal. She is sleeping, nursing, etc. We are authorized to stay in the hostpital for two nights but I'd like to go home today. It isn't very restful having someone barging in every five minutes, and I can't WAIT for Mayumi to meet her baby sister.

There you have it! We have a few pictures and a video for you to enjoy. Naturally, more will come! (But not necessarily soon...I may not have ANY time now for blogging...we'll see).