Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter -- Part Two

After everyone dug into their baskets, Norah went behind them and took what she liked from the shrapnel on the floor.

Lu got nail polish. Their MUST be a real Easter Bunny because mom doesn't allow that stuff

Norah decided she wanted Jacob's balls.

Derek was showing Jacob where some candy was and look who decided to try and WALK over to help out. She only managed one step before she fell down, but I am still getting used to her standing.

Hunting for eggs outsides wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. My kids aren't really into candy and the idea of finding eggs with candy in them wasn't enough to motivate them at all. Finally, we turned it into a sibling war and be Cubby that he would find more than Lauren. They were OFF.

In the end, they only found about half of them and Derek and I had to go after them and clean up the rest (in fact, we found more candy this morning...). Next year, we are just going to cut to the chase and hide money.

It was such a beautiful day outside that day we just hung out. The big kids got into the hose and got soaking wet, Norah just tried to keep up. It was so nice to sit on our chairs in the backyard. I was holding the little one (who was only 4 days old and now seems SO MUCH BIGGER) and Derek studied. A house, a yard, the baby, healthy kids..there was much to be thankful for this Easter.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter -- Part One

The kids in their Easter outfits. Remember how I was the mom that had them in matching outfits all the time? I think that mom is on vacation.

I keep hearing everyone say how Easter snuck up on them this year. I knew I would be (possibly) having a baby right around then, so I shopped early. Then I moved and put everything in a "safe place". So safe it was never to be seen again. So, when Easter REALLY snuck up on me a few days after getting out of the hospital, I had to start all over again. I used my superhuman mom skills to make Lauren think it would be a good idea for the Easter Bunny to come during church in case I was up at night with the baby.... Here is the note she wrote. It is priceless.
Dear Easter Bunny (I corrected the spelling)

Please skip our house if mom is up with Grace and if not, hurry and do it quick before mom wakes up and if mom is up come back when mom is at the doctor and we are at church between 9:30 and 12:00 am. The almost eight sister (it was mom's idea), Lauren.

So, the Easter Bunny left this note on the door

Lu wanted to check and see if he ate the carrots she left

This is what they found (Jacob can make the greatest gasping sound...)

Lauren is a believer, I think

While the kids were at church, the Easter Bunny got cracking. I kept the two little girls home that day (we still have to take Gracie J in to the doc every day). Norah "helped" me.

The kids Easter baskets are these metal buckets I have had forever. During the rest of the year, they hold craft stuff, but they get to come out once a year and be Easter Baskets.

These plastic pinwheels were in the garden section of the dollar store, but they are pretty sturdy and haven't been destroyed yet. Plus, the matched the baskets, so I HAD to get them...

This year, Easter was brought to us by the Japanese dollar store that is next to my ped's office. Not kidding. I spent 30 dollars and had Easter DONE.

I also had some candy. I was very happily putting candy in the plastic eggs to hide. Norah was just as happily opening them up, tasting each piece and spitting them back in the egg. We make a good team. For the record, she likes jelly beans but isn't a fan of those marshmallow circus peanut things (these were Tigger shaped). I only had about 20 eggs because the kids found the eggs earlier in the week. They very carefully lined them up on the back deck and hit them with their golf clubs. Bye bye eggs. It is a good thing that our back fence is 12 feet tall and covered in spider vine. I can imagine that we will find ALL KINDS of good stuff in there when we finally get rid of it. Norah also got one of those Fur Real chickens. My MIL has one and she spends lots of time carefully feeding it the bottle so it will make sounds. I let her have it while I played Easter Bunny.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The one and only picture

....of me pregnant. I think my sister has one of me at Disneyland a few months ago, but I just didn't take any. Now I know why. This proves that no matter how small you are at the beginning and how "well" you carry and how good you feel...we are all huge by the end.

I didn't feel as big as I looked. Yikes. I also wore black a lot, but did the white thing so you can see the real size. No wonder the baggers at Safeway always wanted to unload my cart for me. Sheesh.

This was on the way to the hospital and Gracie J was here just a few hours after this photo. It has only been 6 days but I already can't believe that she was ever in there....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Photo Tapas....

My new favorite picture. Lu can always get her to wake up!!!
Derek's sister gave us this doll after she saw Gracie for the first time, twins! She also pinned what Grace looks like all swaddled up. A glowworm!

I am uploading more, but we have to go back to the doctor. This girl doesn't seem to want to gain weight. Little does she know that we have done this before--so it is full fat greek yogurt for this one soon.....

More pictures and stories by the end of the day, I promise (and this is mostly for my family that have only managed to see the ones on the blog.... ).

Right as I took this picture, Jacob was reaching over to touch her face and I heard him say "oh, cute Santa". He calls her Santa, still. :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Friday = A good Friday

Hey there!

Thank you for all the nice messages on Wednesday. I had my new fancy schmancy iPhone in the hospital so I could read all the comments and e mails. I didn't respond because the keyboard on that thing is too annoying to type on. I also have a million pictures, but I am trying to figure out how to download give me another day or so. Until then, I wanted to put a few things down before I forget them.

--The labor was really fast and easy as labor goes. My Dr. is awesome. I checked in dilated to about a 3. At about noon the pitocin kicked in and I got the epidural right away (again!!). I was only dilated to a 4..but her theory is "why be in pain?" That is lucky because that happens to be my theory too. She lets you get the epi whenever you want it. About 30 minutes of wonderful, epidural bliss the contractions REALLY started hurting. I called the Dr. back and I was at a 10 and ready to go. It took all of 30 minutes. She let me get another shot of pain meds and waited for it to kick in and then we had a baby. It was pretty painless (except the last few minutes, nothing really can take that away) but all in all, easy peasy. I am thankful for that. The nurses were so nice and everyone took really good care of me at the hospital. I even got a private the stars lined up. I got smart this time and banned all visitors (except those bearing In N Out --thanks Suzi) and just had quiet hospital time. Derek's family was so great to stay with the kids an awful lot, allowing him to be there a lot too. We got home yesterday and it is so far so good. I am feeling REALLY good and it is tempting to be up and about, but I am going to take it easy for a few weeks so I don't crash a month from now....

--A few minutes after Gracie was born, we called Lauren to tell her. She asked me "what is she doing?" I told her that she was crying a little bit and getting checked by the doctors. Lauren then told me "She is probably hungry. You should try nursing her. Did you think of that?" She wasn't being flip....just "helpful". Bless her little heart. It hasn't stopped since then. Lauren is #1 mom. According to her, I don't feed her fast enough, or put her in the car seat right, etc, etc. It isn't in a bossy way, so don't get the wrong idea. She is just VERY invested in this baby and wants to hold and feed her and be the first responder. I am making sure (and will have to continue to be careful with this) that she doesn't feel responsible for her or feel that she has to mother her. She can just do it if it is fun.

--I talked to Lu about Gracie's Down Syndrome. I knew that she would start to overhear things from people and doctors (she has begged to come to the Dr. with me for the baby and so far we have let her). She seemed pretty non plussed. I told her that she could tell the family and ask them if they had any questions about it. I asked her how she would explain DS to someone. She replied that people with Down Syndrome have "faces that are squished". Um, no, that is a new baby thing. That was pretty funny.

She called my mom and told her about Gracie. My mom was talking to her about it and Lu piped up "I just hope that she doesn't grow up to be a sociopath".........


My mom told her that sociopaths are people who are really crazy and she said "I know and I hope that isn't how Gracie turns out". S0 there we have it. The DS was nothing, there are much bigger things that she is worried about. Funny, huh?

--Jacob and Norah have been so fun. I know it is the honeymoon period with them but still. When we brought Gracie home, Norah crawled to her and said "my baby" over and over. If I am holding Grace, she alternates between hitting her and stealing her bottle and trying to hold her and rock her. She does always call her "my baby". It is amazing to see her even be aware of what is going on. Nothing turns your baby into a toddler faster than bringing home a new one. When she sees the car seat she says "car? car?". Also, this girl only has about 12 words, but she did a 4 word sentence today. It was "My baby Jacob, NO". Good girl.

--In the hospital, Derek brought the big kids to see Grace. Jacob was a whirlwind of energy (and we just feel lucky no one accidentally got unplugged while he was there....). A nurse came in and said asked him what his name is and he replied "my name is Baby Grace". Then the nurse said "No, I think that is the baby's name. What is your sisters name?" and he quickly replied "Santa".

Tomorrow there will be pictures of the kids, Easter photos, new baby Grace pictures (cheeks and all) and some fun hospital stories including: why nurse Leslie almost got the smack down, how I feel about pebbled ice and the all time favorite "Breastfeeding...will she or won't she?"

Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Grace Jane Bingham made her debut today, March 19, 2008, at 4:15 p.m! She weighed in at 7 lbs. 11 oz. (big for a downs baby, but small for a kinsel one...!) She was able to breathe on her own right away and last we heard, she was working on nursing. So, things look really good so far! Bek is also doing well, and my guess is that she is enjoying a diet coke right about now. If all continues to go well, Bek will be home on friday.
bek sent this email last night with the above photo:
"No nursing yet and haven't seen baby since about six pm. She was not able to hold her body temp up or maintain oxgn levels. No one is too worried yet. But we hope she gets it soon."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Baby Day...

We are all set for tomorrow. I think.

Today I bought some clothes for the baby (we needed those, I got rid of the rest and can't find the packed stuff), a car seat, some diapers and a few blankets. That is all I need, right?

The camera is charged, the DVD player is charged (DVD's to be packed later), the iPod is charged..... and I finished the laundry. I got a haircut (but didn't make time to and Lu and I had a pedicure today. Check and check.

There is something to be said for leaving things to the last minute. The kids are actually being good today (granted, I haven't had them inside much, I even ordered pizza and "encouraged" them to eat it picnic style outside). Jacob also said for the first time "there is a baby in my mom's tummy". He hasn't really gotten it. Then he went on to tell the listener that it was a dragon with fire in it's mouth. So, maybe he really doesn't get it.

Lauren is convinced that the baby will have red hair (I wish), I think she might be a little white haired/blue eyed like Lu. Maybe she will be black :-). Mostly we just hope she figures out the whole eating/oxygen thing in a timely fashion. Stanford doesn't have more than a few private rooms and it isn't one of those hospitals that has birthing suites. It is a hospital... so going home is a good thing....

My sister will update the blog as soon as she gets info. I even have a new iPhone and can e mail pictures (I am a total techno-dinosaur). So check here. Prayers are always appreciated, but I know that most of you have done this before and millions of women have done it before me. I don't look forward to the actual LABOR part of labor, but at least by tomorrow, it will be over.

I am also thankful for knowing this diagnosis before. It would be so shocking if after all the delivery stuff of tomorrow, I had to deal with the initial shock and trauma. It has only been 5 months, but I still remember it. What a small blessing to have tomorrow be just about anticipation and joy.......

Talk to you soon, wish me luck.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


So, my sister just left and she managed to get the whole house unpacked.

BRAVO. She has officially earned her place in heaven.

I am going to be induced on Wednesday, if she doesn't show up before then. My belly button just popped out, so if we use the turkey thermometer as a guide, I am officially cooked. Someone asked if we were keeping the name a secret. Not really (we aren't those people who don't tell) but I figured that since the whole wide internet already knows her story, including the state of her actual chromosomes, we might as well have SOMETHING to tell when she comes....

I just found my camera, so pictures are coming. I don't have a single picture of me pregnant, so I better take one of those......

Have a good weekend. Update on Sunday for sure...........

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stick a fork in me....


I feel like I have spent that last few weeks just hoping and praying that the baby would hold off coming "until" (the MRI, the move, etc, etc). It has only been about 16 hours since it would have officially been OK in my mind to have her, and SHE ISN'T HERE.

Um. I am ready not to be pregnant anymore.

The boxes with food, laundry soap, videos and clothes are unpacked. You know, the necessities. I can go to the hospital and let someone else do the rest. Right?


(cue the crickets...).

Actually my husband is out of town, so it is ok if I don't have this baby right now. Granted, it could be a great story and something fun to hold over his head for a few years ("remember how you missed the birth of your child? I think that it is YOUR turn to wrestle Cubby in the ER"), it would be nice if he was there. So, I will wait. BUT, my labor coach in waiting is my friend Suzi and I have always loved the name Susannah, so if he misses it, I am changing her name to Susannah....I figure that if you aren't there to fill out the birth certificate, you loose your vote.

My sister, Nie, comes tonight. She is going to help me get the rest of the house settled and play with my kids. Like all my sisters, she knows how to show my kids a fun time. I hope she likes sleeping on an air mattress in a room that STILL smells like dog (any suggestions? There is no fiber in the room, it is all wooden--even the walls and can it still smell like dog?). It might make getting up at all hours with her 18 month old seem like fun again.... Lu is so excited for her to come because Nie does her hair and plays with her toys (she only has boys so far).

Anyway, that is us. As soon as I find the camera I will take pictures. I get Lu registered for school tomorrow, Norah is sleeping just fine while sharing a room with Jacob and we are all getting into a rhythem. Oh, Jacob has already broken the bathtub drain; and actually left the plumber speechless. It took him (the plumber) an HOUR to dismantle the entire thing and fix the spring loaded drain. He kept telling me "I don't know how such a small person could have done so much damage..." Yes, well, read the blog buster and you will also think yourself lucky that it only cost 200$ and a new drain. It could have been MUCH worse. The 48 hour talley-- House = 0 / Jacob = 3. He has also already figured out how to unlock and open our new, screenless windows (the beautiful kind that crank open). The goal for the next 48 hours is to keep him from falling to his death from his bedroom. Good times.

Acutally, Jacob is thrilled with the new place. There are a million boxes outside and he gets to spend all day OUTSIDE, hitting the boxes with a big stick. In fact, all three kids have been outside most of the day. I knew having a yard was going to be good, but this is REALLY good. Our wonderful nanny, Emma (who tag teams with our other wonderful nanny, Erin) has been taking the kids to the park each day, walking them everywhere, making brownies and even taught them about sour grass (a yellow flower that kids love to chew on... I had never heard of this, but apparently I am the only child on earth that hasn't....). What am I going to do when she is gone? She is going to Nepal for a few months to work with children there. Emma, I don't believe that those kids need you more than MY kids (just kidding). Good thing we have Erin, but she is leaving me too shortly to go have a fun and exciting life starting her own business and being awesome in the Pacific Northwest. Whatever. Actually, we are VERY blessed to have both of these people in our lives right now. The kids love them and they are helping me out so much. I am just glad I get them while I do.

Wow, off to go find the woodland creatures and make some sort of dinner (lets see.... mac and cheese, or mac and cheese? Or Girl Scout cookies. No wait, we had those last night...). I will find the camera someday......

Saturday, March 08, 2008

We did it!!

We got the house packed (and mostly loaded) thanks to the nicest Pacific Islander guys ever. They even managed to not kill the peanut (who was underfoot more than I would have liked). We used an excellent moving company from this area that is woman owned. They came it at a higher estimate, but there are NO hidden costs. They will move my furniture 11 times if necessary for me to get it where I like it. They even know the names of the hermit crabs. They just might be our new best friends....

No one cried. No one had a baby. Victory on both counts (for me).

Today it all gets put in the new place. This is such a relief. Even with all the running I have done I am feeling great and not having any more contractions. I think the stress of anticipating moving was worse than the actual chore. Go figure.

Our cable and Internet won't be up until Monday. I did a half hearted attempt at sending the new address and phone number to my phone book, but like all things these days, didn't manage to get most people. Drop me an e mail if I missed you and I will send it right out. I will be sending a "we've moved/baby announcement" as soon as little G shows up, but if you need it before then, let me know.

Have a great weekend everyone and we will catch you early next week.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

News is news...

I am happy to say that playing the odds FINALLY worked in our favor. We got a call back from the Neurologist tonight (how great is that? She called us this evening...) and there is no mass. That is the good news. Pretty much rulering out anything in her little noggin besides what is supposed to be there is good news. The bad news (if you can even call it that) is that it doesn't explain the behavior that made them think it was there in the first place. It also doesn't give us an "easy" answer for the delays. But, we will keep looking.

I have seen some great progress in the peaknuckle over the last few weeks. She will now point to (and recognize) her nose on a semi consistent basis, she decided to stand up all by herself last night (she just got on her knees and stood up...but she hasn't done it since), and she is pretty much constantly yelling "Jacob, NO". She may only have 8 words, but she puts them that is something. She also is acting more and more toddler like each day; getting into mischief, dumping out boxes of things, playing in the toilet, getting into the shoes (and pretty much always going for the Gucci first, so she IS a smart girl) and throwing tantrums when she doesn't get her way. Totally normal (and in the tantrum department, might I even say ADVANCED) behavior.

I'll take it.

I am too tired to put a picture up, so this is another boring word post. I have stopped having contractions despite all the running around I have been doing. The house is mostly packed and what I don't get to, the packers will do. By Saturday it will all be moved to the new house. All the utilities are ready to go, we signed the papers on the house today and close on Friday, the cleaners are all lined up and I even managed to weed out unneeded books/papers and clothes. I am on FIRE.

How much do you want to bet I have this baby Sunday once everything is done? My OB is already down for 100$.... any takers?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The word of the day is prayer..

*** Update. We got the MRI and it all went smoothly. N didn't have any reactions to the meds.. in fact, I have never seen her SO animated. She was singing like a drunken sailor. I have a good idea of what she would be like drunk (the best part? She kept taking a toy car and would push it in wobbly circles on the bed with a very loud, very wet "vrrroooomm"). Even when she was going under, the nurses warned that some kids get very agitated. Norah just laughed like an evil genius. Coming out, she just sang and sang. I guess all the prayers worked. We should have results on Thursday. THANK YOU for all your prayers and thoughts. It worked!! ****

Even if you aren't a "prayer" please keep our little Norah in your thoughts. Tomorrow is the big day, the MRI. This is what we have been waiting for since we heard the words "we suspect there may be a mass in your daughters brain" over two months ago.

We have had many appointments leading up this with all kinds of experts trying to pin down exactly what is causing the delays (my vote is still on "stubborn diva with an attitude" but that is another story). The MRI will tell us, or rule out, tumors, cancer, etc, etc. That is the big one.

The test is at 1:00 pm PST..... keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't suddenly get a cold (they won't do it if she is sick) and that everything goes smoothly. I was in early labor all weekend and have been on official bed rest.... so my goal was to make it to Monday. At this point, after the test, the baby can come any time as far as I am concerned, though it would be nice for her to wait until after the weekend so we can move...

I'll let you all know....