Saturday, September 29, 2007

Quickie update

In my exhaustion, I will attempt to do a blog posting now. I had a lot of energy today surprisingly. I swept up the cobwebs in the carport, cleaned the kitchen, did a gazillion loads of laundry...quite amazing considering all the round-the-clock feedings. Stefan needs to eat every 1.5-3 hours. Actually, I do know why I had a burst of energy. John was away for nearly a week for work and I was just barely surviving. He got back home late last night, and I expressed my need to get out of the house without Stefan ASAP! So this morning, Maylin and I had a little shopping trip for an hour and a half at Bay Street (an outdoor mall in Emeryville). I would've gone alone except that Maylin was set on getting some nail polish like her friend's at school. I know, I know -- she's not even five yet...why give in to her? Well, I don't see any harm in it as long as it isn't dark-colored and is in the spirit of little girlhood. That is, only a pearly light pink that looks really natural would get by me. We found the perfect shade at Sephora -- we were all really pleased...even Grandma and Grandpa who came to visit us later today liked it.

I gave myself a little shopping spree since all I can wear now is my maternity clothes. It'll be awhile until I can fit into my regular wardrobe. I'm still looking like I'm 3-4 months pregnant. So, two empire-waisted sweater vests from Old Navy and one long, empired-waisted sweater/jacket from H&M (ah, a little bit of Paris is here now -- we had many H&M stores in the City of Light!) were my two happy additions to my bare closet. Fitted on top and loose around the middle is perfect for my body's present condition.

I felt a little guilty after coming home because John had suffered for the entire time we were gone. I had nursed Stefan right before leaving, but for some reason, he didn't sleep right afterwards like he usually does and fussed quite a bit. I got over the guilt pretty quickly though. After all, I have to care for Stefan 95.9% of the time. John just got a little taste of what my life is like on a daily basis.

I'm starting to have a routine now, so I'm going to start opening the home to visitors (I've only had a couple so far because Stefan and I had some breastfeeding difficulties that are finally getting resolved.) And I'm going to start answering e-mails, too! If you don't hear from me, drop me a note again, okay?

Maylin's been having a wonderful time in kindergarten. She says the kids in her class look up to her. They try to emulate her. I guess it's because she really knows what she's doing (two years of French preschool will do it -- eight hours a day, four days a week, of structure, discipline, and deskwork). Maylin also said that she's the tallest in her class. So the kids are literally looking up to her, too.

She takes the bus to school and she's loving it. She feels like a big girl, and it gives me one less thing to worry about. I love how we wave to each other and blow each other a kiss as the the bus pulls away from the curb.

And Maylin is very loving and helpful with regards to her baby brother. She never says "no" when I ask for a diaper or a nursing pillow. She loves looking at his face and is often disappointed if he's facing the wrong direction. She also loves holding him in her lap. I don't think she's experiencing much jealousy or sibling rivalry, but yesterday she did seem to be more cuddly than usual -- reaching out for more hugs. I can understand. Stefan and I are glued to each other much of the time. I'm glad, too, when I get a chance to cuddle with my big kindergartener.

You know, this may sound ridiculous, but I had never thought that after the birth of Stefan, that I would be a "mother of two." Somehow, in my head, I saw myself as simply Maylin's mother, plus baby. It didn't really hit me what a big change this was until I saw Maylin and Stefan sleeping next to each other so comfortably, so peacefully, on Maylin's full-size bed. It's not Maylin and baby. It's my daughter Maylin and my son Stefan. I felt very joyful and content after this simple, yet mind-blowing realization.

Goodness, I've stayed up way too long. I just know my shower tomorrow isn't going to happen until after lunch now. Okay, signing off. Much love to everyone!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More photos of angel-face

Dozing angel
Originally uploaded by Caroline in Paris.
I've posted a few new pics of Stefan at 10 days old on flickr. Just click on the photo to be sent to the site.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Announcing the arrival of Stefan Jou Armitage!

Maylin's little brother, Stefan, was born September 4, 2007, 8:59 a.m., in Berkeley, California, weighing in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20 inches long. The repeat caesarian section went very smoothly and I am recovering much more quickly than I did the first time around with Maylin. We are all at home now, with Stefan being an incredibly cute, incredibly good baby, and Maylin being a very excited big sister -- so eager to help whenever possible. She does have a tendency to run away when I announce the changing of a dirty diaper. I am totally exhausted from the round-the-clock nursings, but oh so happy. And it's so nice to see how John is so loving and tender with Stefan. We're all in love with the little guy. More photos to come!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Self-portrait at 38 weeks

38 weeks
Originally uploaded by Caroline in Paris.
I am just a few days away from my c-section! My sister-in-law Maria requested that I post a photo of my bump, so here it is, before it's gone!

First day of kindergarten

On Wednesday, August 29, 2007, 7:40 am, I took this picture of my big kindergartener before heading off to the bus stop with her 0.2 miles away. She was so very eager to start school, make new friends, meet her new teachers, and bring her first lunchbox along. And you won't believe this, but she reported to me after school that day that she spoke to the adults there. Unheard of! She barely spoke a word to her teachers in France -- is it just that she's more comfortable with her mother tongue, English?

Maylin also carefully chose her outfit. All pink.