Monday, September 27, 2010

See How they Grow

I put a little Miracle-Gro in Bianca's bottle. (Just kidding. She refuses to take a bottle. I had to use a medicine dropper.*) Look at the results.

She's a pro at smiling.

She has also mastered the art of "moody eyes." And Alex thinks he is a super model.

While I'm not a fan of pomp and ceremony, I agreed to dress Bianca in a christening dress my mom made for her granddaughters' baby blessings. Alex attended his blessing in a blue shirt and brown corduroys. This dress was much more complicated than Alex's outfit--the dress extended a couple of feet below Bianca's toes. I felt like I was holding Queen Elizabeth.

* The lawyer in me compels me to make this disclaimer: Come on, people. Of course I didn't give my baby Miracle-Gro.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

¡Bienvenida, Bianca!

Meet Bianca Sofia. Born at 7:54 pm on June 22, 2010, Bianca emerged from my body fiercely protesting her eviction from the weightless bliss of fetal existence. Three weeks later, she is still mad about it. I take part of the blame, since I agreed to have labor induced. Maybe Bianca wasn't quite ready.

But Bianca's due date had come.

And gone.

And I remained inconceivably and magnificently pregnant. Every day, I searched the universe for some sign, some hint, that labor was imminent. But a watched pot never boils. So I agreed to be induced with pitocin, and, sure enough, the pot boiled. I passed the time in the delivery room reading Us Weekly (so perfect for these occasions) and chatting with the nurses and my doctor about whether I should read the Twilight series or at least watch the movies. (End verdict: skip them.)

It was all very pleasant. There were ice chips to chew, a World Cup soccer game to watch, a middle name to pick out, and a new iPad to play with (a belated gift from Kendall, who had been out of the country on Mother's Day). Then it became unbearable. Every contraction came two seconds too soon, stayed four seconds too long, and felt eight times as strong as the last one.

Enter the epidural. Although it took multiple adjustments from the anesthesiologist over the course of an hour and a half, the epidural worked its magic (plus a little extra "magic"--I was completely numb from my rib cage down for nine hours after the birth) just in time for Bianca's debut. Three pushes, and an eight-pound, two-ounce Bianca was here, angry as hell about it.

I had no idea newborns could be so loud. The way Bianca acts, it must have been cotton candy, unicorns, and rainbows inside my womb. She often looks wistfully into the distance, remembering her prior charmed life, and then, shocked by the reality of her new situation, screams in horror. Nursing is her one consolation. Bianca nurses until she's delirious, even drunk. Hello, her name is Bianca, and she is a lactaholic. As a result, Bianca gained one pound in the three days after leaving the hospital, a feat the pediatrician could hardly believe.

As for Kendall and me, we are adjusting to post-partum life. Recovery has been much easier for me this time around, but I must admit to missing the hospital, where angels dressed in scrubs parade through your room with drinks, Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, blood pressure machines, and narcotics. In exchange for your dignity, you can even get help in the bathroom or getting dressed. (Dignity is overrated--it is for heads of state, Barbara Walters, and maybe Julie Andrews.)

Our household is a comedy of errors as Kendall and I figure out how to juggle two kids, which, for a split second, caused us to consider the advantages of a minivan. But we are not ready to grow up yet, so we will continue to stuff Bianca, Alex, strollers, etc., into our "family car," a cozy Toyota Corolla. (Kendall's Civic is the "date car.") Alex relishes being a big brother. He has a new room, a new bed, and a new defiant attitude to go with them--we have so much fun watching him grow up.

Despite the craziness and ordinance-violating decibel level, we love our little Bianca. We are intrigued by her examining eyes and can't wait to discover the mysteries that lie behind them. We think you'll love her too.

Bianca Sofia
June 22, 2010
8 lb 2 oz, 20.5 inches

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Diagnosis: Adult-onsent Dyslexia With Hypochondrial Complications

My latest self-diagnosis is adult-onset dyslexia. My rational self (who occasionally visits a small corner of my frontal lobe when not on vacation in Bora Bora) says I suffer from pregnancy-induced bad eyesight. I disagree with my rational self and offer into evidence Exhibits 1, 2, and 3.

Exhibit 1. A sentence in a Sunday school manual: "Prayerfully read the following passages."

Instead, I saw "Playfully read the following passages." I immediately realized my mistake, but I read the passages as playfully as possible anyway because I thought the story of Noah's ark would be much better that way. It was.

Exhibit 2. A New York Times headline:* "Cities Prepare for Life With the Electric Car"

Instead, I read "Cities Prepare for Life With the Electric Chair." I clicked on that link, giddy with horror, expecting the story of how rogue city counsels are purchasing used prison equipment to "persuade" local trouble-makers into compliance with recently-passed ordinances requiring individuals to sort their recycling into 37 different bins. I was perplexed by the actual text of the article, which described how business owners are installing electrical outlets in their parking lots. I thought long and hard about how the title might come into play (will the electric chairs be available for use just outside the local tanning salon?) but finally decided that the author of the article had consumed one too many packets of Splenda and was therefore suffering from a misfiring neuron. I realized the next day, when perusing the news, that I had misread the title of the article. Electric cars. Not as exciting, but much more practical.

Exhibit 3. Another online headline: "It's Not Political, But More Canadians Are Lefties."

I read "It's Not Political, But More Candidates Are Lefties." I scoffed. How can it not be political if political office is at stake? And how can most candidates be left-leaning? That's ludicrous. I didn't even click on that link. It turns out the article is about Canadians who use their left hands in hockey. (Is that still an Olympic sport? I prefer curling. Did you know I once considered putting together a Venezuelan curling team for the 2010 winter Olympics? I even found someone to coach the team. But then I conceived Alex, which put a crimp in my anticipated training schedule. I sacrificed an Olympic medal for you, Alex. But I digress.)

I will be monitoring my condition closely. I cannot afford to misread drug labels or street signs, even if it is more convenient to drive 51 miles an hour instead of 15. (Provo Center street, I'm talking about you.)

*I freely admit that virtually all my news comes from the "Most E-Mailed" list on the New York Times website. It's a populist approach to staying informed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Maybe It's Because I'm Pregnant

Or maybe it's because I love naked baby bums.

I need to see this movie.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 entered with a bang as Carolina spent most of the night in pain and throwing up before we finally went to the hospital at about 5 a.m. After a few hours of tests in the ER, she got rehydrated and medicated to the point where she could start holding things down again. The diagnosis? Possibly a gall bladder attack, but they can't run more detailed tests to confirm while she's pregnant.

Yep, you heard right - we're expecting a baby girl in June!

Anyway, here's our annual New Year's Times newsletter to catch you up on our lives (although you probably already know most of this if you read our blog):

We hope for great things in 2010. Happy New Year!