Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's All a Blur

I  can hardly believe that Ari was one month old on Wednesday and that Riker turns two tomorrow!  Parenthood has somehow accelerated the overall passage of time yet strangely, some groggy days can seem to drag on for eternity.  I've been frequently reminding myself of a mantra I heard recently that sums it all up pretty well:

The days are long, but the years are short. 

That always reminds me that in no time at all I'll be looking back longingly at these sleep deprived days with a newborn.  The photo below captures well the blur that is life at the moment  Messy house. Me on a comfy chair with my trusty nursing pillow.  Baby in arms.  Toddler trying to get in on the action.  Cuddles.  Sleepy haze.  Moments that make it all worthwhile.

Babies Don't Keep


Mother, O' Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek - peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo.
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

~ Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coral

Riker adores his nanny, Coral, and I just recently realized that I didn't have any photos of them together!  Here they are sharing a laugh:


Coral joined us in November of 2010 when I went back to work part time and Riker was about thirteen months old.  I'd never been a fan of group child care and having been a nanny myself to the fabulous Oscar and Zuzu when I was in college (uni), I knew the benefits of the arrangement and thought it would suit our family well.  Add to that the difficulties of getting a place in an inner north child care center here in Canberra (on five waiting lists for a year and a half with no offers!) and hiring a nanny became even more appealing. 

While a nanny does cost more than group care, the benefits of having one on one loving care make up for it many times over.  Not to mention the fact that I never had to wake the baby if he was sleeping or force him to eat breakfast and get dressed in order to get to work on time.  No getting him into the bike trailer or car, making an extra stop on the way to work or having to deal with separation anxiety issues.  And perhaps the best part was sparing him (and us) from the seemingly constant illness that comes with group care - which of course translates to fewer days of missed work.  Knowing he was well cared for in his own home made my return to work a really great experience for me.  When a spot in a child care center did open up a month or two after we'd hired Coral, we turned it down. 

It's meant the world to us to have someone so reliable looking after our dear little boy and we are all sad to see her looking for a new family now that I'm on maternity leave.  Many thanks for everything Coral and we hope you won't be a stranger - Riker talks about you all the time and clearly misses you already!

Friday, October 21, 2011

McMunchkins

A few photos from week three:

Asleep in the capsule after a visit to ANUgreen

Riker loves to hold his brother, until he doesn't :)

Trying out the new bike seat on a ride with daddy

What is cuter than a sleeping baby?

Two sleeping babies of course!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mums Again

I adore my mother's group.  It's been great getting to know a group of really awesome women and watching our chubby cherubs grow into adventurous toddlers together.  It's also been really wonderful that a few of us are sharing the experience of expanding our families once again.  Here's a photo of my friend Jess and I, both about seven months pregnant.


And here we are with Baby Ari and Baby Gideon, born two weeks apart.


It's also somewhat helpful to know that someone else is up feeding and rocking a wakeful baby at all hours of the night!  Ah, camaraderie!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Birth Story of Ari Jaden McMillin

I've just finished writing the complete birth story and while I've decided not to make it publicly available for the world to see, I'm more than happy to share it with any readers who'd like to read beyond the quick version from my original announcement.  Just leave a comment here or on facebook or send me an email and I'll forward on the pdf.

I didn't manage to get a photo of the entire birth team together on the night, but have since got photos with both our midwife and doula. Can't rave about them enough!

Our midwife Helen

Our doula Janette

I might also mention that I put lots of time and research into writing a birth plan when I was pregnant with Riker and I only made a few minor modifications this time around.  I'm happy to share it as well if any of you would find it useful at some point.  Some people think birth plans are useless as of course things often don't go to plan, but I think it's extremely useful to have considered all possible outcomes and to let one's carers know your expectations and desires in relation to pain management, interventions, breastfeeding, etc. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

HELLO MY NAME IS

Ari Jaden McMillin



Whew! After much deliberation we've finally settled on a name for our sweet little man.  We ended up going with Ari, which is a common male name in many languages.  Some of its meanings include "lion" in Hebrew, "brave" in Armenian, "eagle" in Old Norse, "gorgeous" in Kurdish and "visible and clear" in Maori.  Grandma Betty suggested the name Jaden and I really liked it so it became the middle name.  Clearly we take this baby naming thing seriously as it took seventeen days to select Riker's name and now twenty one days for baby Ari!  Okay we might just be indecisive, but we've found that we really need some time with the baby before we can select a name that fits.

Some of you may have heard another name tossed around as the probable winner but after hearing that particular name at the playground about a hundred times yesterday, it fell out of favor along with all the others on the short list.  I, for one, will be very happy to think about something other than names for a change!

Happy three weeks little Ari!

Postscript:  We just learned from our friends at the Turkish restaurant in Lyneham that Ari means "bee" in Turkish.  Fitting for a family of mead makers

We've since been told that Ari means "cute" in Hungarian.  Also fitting!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Daddy and His Boys

BIG thanks to Brian for being such an awesome guy! Not only was he (once again) amazingly calm and supportive through the whole labor and delivery, he is now doing all the dishes and cleaning around the house and is cooking and baking up a storm! We've had pumpkin pie, apple pie and apple crisp, quiches, banana bread and more! Add to that most of the Riker care duties and you've got one appreciative mama!


Love you!

Introducing Baby McMillin

This post is long overdue but it's been a busy time and I kept hoping that we would have a name to accompany the official announcement!  Alas, you'll have to stay tuned for that bit of news while we reach a consensus. 

We are very excited to announce the birth of our second son at 12:30 am on Monday 26th September (AEST). He weighed in at 3.64 kg (8 lbs) and is 53 cm (20.8 inches) tall. 

Here's the quick version of the birth story.  On Sunday afternoon, we went for a walk and returned home at about 6pm to cook dinner.  As I was cooking, I realized that I was having fairly regular contractions, about five minutes apart from the beginning.  We ate dinner and cleaned up and I put Riker down to bed.  By the time I left the room, I was having contractions every three minutes or so and we called our midwife and doula to let them know what was happening.  Our doula (the friend who was away all of last week and thankfully back in time) came over and found that I was 4 cm dilated at 11pm.  She thought we'd better get to the Birth Centre so we called Riker's nanny to come over and spend the night at our house and then got in the car for the twenty minute drive to the hospital.  We arrived just before midnight and I was ready to push almost as soon as we arrived.  The midwife had drawn a warm bath and about half an hour later, the baby was born in the bath.  It was an amazing and empowering experience and I am extremely grateful to the baby, my body and my support team for the quick and efficient birth!

We have had a wonderful first week at home and we LOVE being a family of four.  Riker is adapting well and loves to kiss the baby though he has clocked him in the head a few times too!  When he's had enough baby time, he asks that we put him back in his bassinet - I think he thinks that's where he goes when he's finished with him :)

Here are a few photos from week one:


Just arrived!

The boys meet for the first time

A mama in love

Happy to finally meet

Proud big brother


Sweet slumber

Still slumbering

Kisses

Cuddles

Squeezes

Snoozing in the bassinet Riker slept in

Too cute!

Thanks to everyone for all of your kind words and warm wishes. I can't respond to all of you personally but we appreciate your thoughts!