Thursday, October 30, 2008

Worth a Thousand Words

Thank you to everyone for all your good wishes, compliments, and blessings!

I may have mentioned that when Celia was born, my sister came down from Ventura and took Viva back with her for a few days until we got out of the hospital (I may have mentioned it, I may not have, and I'm too pressed for time to go back and check). At any rate, we got home from the hospital Saturday afternoon, and my sister brought Viva back the next day. Here is a picture of Viva holding her sister for the first time, about 2 minutes and 30 seconds after she walked in the door:

It's a little blurry because it's a still picture pulled from video, but you can clearly see how thrilled Viva is. It makes me a little weepy to look at it.

Here is a close-up of Celia trying to eat her hand:

We are all thoroughly in love with her.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Lovely Miss C

I promised you pictures, and here they are!

Miss Celia, just a few minutes after birth...

Little Miss C, after a feeding yesterday...

Up close and personal!

Sorry to Keep You Waiting

Goldang free Wi-Fi!


I have been Internet-access-free since Wednesday and haven't been able to figure out how to send so much as a text message to the blog. The Wi-Fi at the hospital evidently doesn't work and yet keeps telling me I'm connected. What the bleep??


THE NEWS:  I am thrilled to announce that the latest member of the Blah Blah Tribe has indeed arrived: Celia Lucy came into the world on Wednesday, October 22 at 3:51pm. She weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz and measured 19.25 inches long. All is well now, but it was rough at the beginning. She is, as I write this at 3:07am Saturday morning, still in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit because she had trouble breathing when she first got here. Happily, I have been able to breastfeed her (my milk is coming in with a vengeance!) – she latches on well and seems to have managed to get some colostrum, that really nutrient-rich pre-milk. 


I have to say Thursday was the worst day, mainly because I'd been told they'd keep her in the NICU only overnight and then bring her to my room in the morning.  That was a big fat lie. I was awake and waiting for her and unable to get any real information due to a nurse shift change. Sweet Dub was home with Viva because my mother-in-law ended up having to go to work and couldn't stay with her. Viva was distraught because she hadn't been able to see the baby yet, and she has a nasty cough anyway so we knew they wouldn't let her into the ward. I had talked to Viva and she was crying over the phone because she wanted to see C. so badly, which made me feel worse. When I finally got to talk to the doctor in the NICU, she told me that because C. was on oxygen and an IV, they'd have to gradually wean her off of both and she probably wouldn't come out of Intensive Care until Saturday morning. Since at that point I was hostage in my room because I had both a catheter and an IV stuck in me, I did not yet have the option of going up to see her.


I hung up the phone and started bawling. Let me just say that there are few things more painful than crying when you have an abdominal incision, which led to this ridiculous vicious cycle of crying because I couldn't have the baby and then crying because it hurt and then crying some more just on principle.


To add insult to injury, my cell phone battery had died and the charger was at home (!!!). So I spent most of Thursday isolated, watching crappy TV, trying to get on the Internet, reading crappy magazines, and jonesing for my baby. Finally, they unhooked me from everything and I got to go up to see her at around 3:30pm. By that point, Viva and Sweet Dub had arrived and they went up with me. Viva was able to see her through the window of the less intensive area of the NICU – the section where they put the babies who won't be there long. Her face lit up just at the sight of her.


Words are completely inadequate to describe holding a newborn. Celia is so small, and so warm, and so Zen.  It is like holding a hug in your arms, if that makes any sense at all.


By the way, the name? We decided on as we were driving to the hospital Wednesday morning.  So that will evermore be part of family lore, that somewhere between Echo Park Animal Hospital and Jack in the Box on Glendale Blvd., we finally agreed on what to call Miss Thing.


"She looks just like you," Sweet Dub says. But then I must tell you she has dark, very straight hair, and beautiful dark eyes. Right now her skin is very pink. It seems she will be lighter in complexion than Viva, but one never knows with babies of color. Viva started "getting her chocolate" just a few days after her birth, so in the early "home from the hospital" pics, she is already quite brown.  It's hard to tell with Celia. I am fascinated by the recombination of our genes. She resembles Viva but she has her own thing going on. Shorter arms and legs – Viva was very long and leggy (and still is). Noses are similar, as are lips and chin.


I am writing this in the wee hours of Saturday morning to post later today. I've been told we should both be able to be discharged from the hospital today. Update at 8:27am: It appears that I have a few seconds of connectivity and I'm trying to post this. I will post pictures when we get home…


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

High Alert

I've been having contractions since 5:30 or so this morning. They have been intensifying but are still not at the magic "every 5 minutes, 1 minute in duration" level. Nonetheless, we've kept Viva home from school while we wait to see what happens and we've got all local family members on standby. I am cramping, hips are extra sore, back is killing me. It feels like this is it.

FYI: I'm using to time contractions.

Stay tuned...

P.S. If you can believe it, we still have no name for the baby. Trying to decide between two - I guess we'll wait until she gets here!

P.P.S. Cross-posted at Belly Overwhelmed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ever So Slightly Busy

I'm on maternity leave and to most people that seems to mean that I must be lying around with my feet up, watching home shows. Perhaps that is what I should be doing, but alas, I am also one of those people who can't sit still when I have a big block of time in front of me and major life changes on the way, to wit: having the baby and moving to a new house one week later.

One week from today, at about this time, I should be in the operating room having a human being removed from my uterus. While it looked like Miss Thing might come early, now I am of the opinion that she was just teasing us, as her sister did five years ago, and she will come exactly on the day she is supposed to. If she does come slightly early, I am hoping for Thursday - which is two days from now, and is my stepfather's birthday. Since he has been having numerous health problems, I think that would be kind of nice.

In the meantime, I've been trying to tie up every loose end possible:

* Viva's Halloween costume is almost done. She will be Barry B. Benson or my name ain't Mama Blah. (Well, technically, it's not. Whatever, you get the gist.)

* I have researched all of our state propositions and figured out how I am going to vote on each one (I vote by mail, so all I have to do now is fill out my ballot).

* I am halfway through online traffic school for that damn "did not come to a complete stop" traffic ticket.

* I've paid all my bills.

* I have completed all maternity leave paperwork.

* I have done an insane amount of laundry (in fact, I have a load in right now).
* I've drafted the birth announcement, created labels and bought stamps for the mailing, and bought the announcement cards to be printed when the baby arrives.

* I've packed almost all the books in our living room.

* I've packed all unnecessary bathroom items. Today I'm moving on to the kitchen (upper cabinets - all the dishes I use for entertaining, mixing bowls, wineglasses, etc).

* I created a "baby countdown" for Viva whereby I bought 7 small gifts for her (squirtgun, Play-Doh, SpongeBob cap, etc.) and placed each in a brightly colored bag, numbered 1 through 7. She gets to open one each night starting tonight and then cross the day off on the calendar. She does not know this yet.

* I finalized my hospital bag items. Bag is packed and waiting. All I have to do is throw my toiletries in and I'm good to go.

* I went back though my emails and finally found pictures of the house for you to enjoy:

Here's the exterior...

...the living room...

...and the patio.

* And now, I think I deserve a pedicure. Quick, to the Blahmobile!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Casita de Blah

I am very pleased to announce that the Blah Blahs have secured a house! We put a deposit down yesterday on a two-story, three-bedroom, two-bath Spanish-style house about five minutes from where we currently live. We will be paying a bit more than we pay now, but we will double our space, and we are two minutes from amenities like the post office, library and a very good public school. I called the school this morning and got all the registration information to get Viva transferred into kindergarten there in December.

We will be moving about a week after the baby is born, and while this sounds hellacious, I don’t even care because at least I will be off and have time to settle in.

Sweet Dub had told Viva he’d take her to the zoo yesterday, and I had told her in the afternoon we’d do arts and craftsy type activities. What happened instead is that we came home from seeing the house again all wired up, we talked a hundred miles a minute, we ate, set Viva up on the computer with a video game, and then we both crashed. We slept for a couple of hours while Viva rotted her brain and ruined her eyes at This is not, needless to say, something we would normally do.

“Why am I so wiped out?” I said to Sweet Dub.

“You know what it is?” he said. “Relief.”


P.S. Viva had the nerve to tell me she would be happy not to be sharing a bathroom with me in the new house because my soaps and things get in the way while she is taking a bath. Like I am thrilled to have to scoop up at least 15 little toys and action figures out of the tub before I take a shower every day. The feeling is mutual, sister!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Which Will Come First?

The house or the baby? Place your bets now!

As I get closer to maybe actually having this baby, you'll find I am posting more over here and less here at Mama Blah, just because I am a wee bit precoccupied.

But let me let you in on the latest with the house search. We have one house semi-finalized -- i.e. the owners have approved our credit and offered us the house, but we haven't signed a lease yet, and the house wouldn't be ready to move in until Nov.5th, after the baby is born, while I'm recovering from a C-section.

Today, Sweet Dub found another house, further away, but for $300 less per month. We are hoping to see it tomorrow afternoon and make a decision about what to do in less than 24 hours. Hopefully you will not have to hear any more about our agonizing over our housing issues for much longer.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Search Continues…

Regular readers know that our landlord wants, as soon as possible due to his impending divorce, to move back into the house we’ve been renting from him for the last two years. If we have to move, we’d like to move before the baby is born --although that is now in 24 days. So, we’ve been looking at houses and duplexes and apartments and everything. As usual, when home-hunting, I am appalled by how much money people want for some crap. But here’s the latest wrinkle: at a couple of places, the owner wants to leave some of their stuff in the house. Then they don’t understand why that would be a problem.

I don’t feel comfortable having your father’s treasured grand piano in a house with two small children. Not only because we're paying for the whole house, including the large area of the living room that the piano occupies, but also because God forbid it should get damaged while we live here with two small children. Note: the response to this was that we could just cover the piano with something. So we should just walk around this hulking covered-up thing in the middle of our living space. By the way, no one in the house plays piano. Sweet Dub took lessons long ago, but you know how that goes…

Last night, we saw a house which was really well-suited to us. The owners want to leave a console table in the entryway, a china cabinet in the dining room (they’d take the china with them), a large Mission-style bookcase in the living room, and a 5-burner gas BBQ on the back patio. Again, we'll be living there with two small kids. I know they’re going to wreck something, and I’d rather it be something we already own so we don’t have to hassle with the landlord over it.

Well, we’re looking at another place tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.