Thursday, December 31, 2009

Big Sister

Being a big sister is an important gig and although Anni has had some rough moments of obvious acting out for attention she is pretty much a rockstar. She is very gentle and protective of her and wants to share her new toys with her ( I found her trying to shove a ring on Evy's tiny fingers today:). She helps a ton, even bringing us the car seat before an outing (that thing is heavy!) and constantly tells everyone "Evangelini (her nickname for the baby) is the BEST." Of course all adults reply with oodles of comments about how fabulous Annikah is as a big sister which she eats up. I had to post a few pictures and comments Anni has made in adjusting to her new role lest I forget them.....these moments are too sweet and need to be savored.
After I was done nursing Evy I explained "Anni, now I have to burp Evy." To which she replied "you put her up like that and then you burp on her?" Well, not quite.

My mom got Anni a kid's digital camera for a big sister present and Annikah LOVES taking pictures of everyone. In the hospital she was taking pictures of Evy but was a bit disappointed in her subject's willingness to be cooperative. After snapping some pics she said "Mama, she don't smile for my picture!!"

Anni also got a diaper bag for her baby and it included a small jar of baby food. While I was nursing Evy she announced "after I feed my baby the applesauce and peas then her gonna eat my boobies." I swear I never told her that but she calls it like she sees it!

feeding her baby
nursing her baby...in Anni lingo "my baby eats my boobies"
meeting her sister in the hospital

sista love!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

playing princesses with papa

I thought Jason would be a great father when I married him and my hopes were confirmed the first time I turned the baby monitor up to listen in on him whispering "I love you" to 3 day old Annikah as he rocked her to sleep. Watching the man you love and share your life with love your children is amazing and only makes me fall deeper in love with him. He is now outnumbered around here 3 to 1 but he is such a great Papa to his girls. On Christmas he helped Miss Anni set up her beloved and much requested Princess castle (complete with a bath tub for Ariel) and then played with her for at least an hour. Princesses came and went in the carriage, Ariel took a bath and dried off, Princess Aurora got dressed and checked "to make sure she is pretty" in the mirror, Tiana took a carriage ride "to the play place at the mall," and they generally enjoyed partying it up in the castle. Even though he would rather be building towering sky scrappers with Lego's he makes playing princesses with Anni of the utmost importance. And that makes him a fabulous father.

Because I am often nursing Evy Jason and Anni have been playing together a ton and he took her "sledding,' well he pulled her around the front yard of my parent's house because the snow was irresistibly fluffy. Papa pulled Anni who was clad in borrowed snow gear through the front yard. She loved going fast until she was launched off the sled and face planted in the snow. Despite the stinging burn she begged to continue dashing through the snow. Precious time with her Papa....


Saturday, December 26, 2009

fun at Bibi's house

Bibi has been helping us keep busy while we were waiting for Evy's arrival. She has been treating Anni to some special Bibi time while we rested, got work done, attended doctor appointments, and now take care of Evangeline. It is awesome to have support and for Anni she is loving the spoiling and extra attention (especially now that Babu, Uncle Rob, and Auntie Katy are around too).
Ever since we arrived from Africa Bibi had promised Annikah that she would take her to see the Princess and the Frog (new princess movie...and we all know how Anni feels about princesses)when it came out and Anni would frequently ask "when we go see that?" Well, Miss Anni's big date with Bibi finally came last Friday and the two of them had a special outing complete with smuggled apple juice, Twizzlers, and Skittles to see the newest princess movie. It was pure bliss for Annikah.Thanks Bibi...you are the best!!!

Here are some pictures of some other adventures at Bibi's house (some recent and some from a couple weeks ago).....

after seeing the "new princess Tiana movie!"
making a snow angel in the front yard
Uncle Rob shows Anni how it is done
first snowman
kissing her "snow guy"
cookie decorating at a craft fair
that is one decorated cookie!

family outing for REAL Chicago style pizza

Anni loves Uncle Rob

Bibi & Auntie Katy helped Anni decorate her very own gingerbread house
Bibi gave up the battle with the frosting after a bit for time to hold baby Evy
the finished product...nice job Annikah!!

Merry Christmas

Jesus Messiah
Name above all names
Blessed Redeemer
Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah
Lord of all

Having a newborn in my arms makes the Christ child even more real this year.....Wishing you a blessed Christmas with time to reflect on the gifts that cannot be wrapped or placed under the tree, rich time with family and friends, and the joy of the child born unto us.
Krismasi Njema!!
some of our best gifts this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Going Home-ish...

We left the hospital today and it was weird not to be really "going home" as we are homeless wanders at the moment. Thankfully we are well taken care of at my parent's house and Jason even got a steak dinner tonight! The hospital experience this time around was so different. First, because we made complete use of the facilities and took all the help of the amazing nurses and staff when offered. Evy slept in the nursery during the night and only came to me when she needed to nurse so we are actually not that exhausted (the real test starts tonight). We loved the room service, relaxation of not having many visitors, and had a chance just to be with each other and get to know Evy a bit. After leaving we hit Target in the nastiest sleet and ice for some needed meds we made it home and have been trying to settle in here. So far Miss Anni bounces between moments of being the most helpful and sweet little girl and moments of acting out for attention and whining. Never a dull moment......We shall see what the night brings....

Evy loves her car seat as much as her sister did.....
NOT AT ALL! Annikah was very proud of the poster Bibi and Auntie Katy helped her make

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

morning after

While I have not fully assessed the damage to my girly bits I am now wearing gauze grandma chupis with a gi-normous mattress pad, ice pack, and 'riod pads on my stitches. Every time I use the bathroom it looks like the set of a horror movie, I am dead tired, and have the postpartum jelly belly. And I need a shower.

But......(wait for it)............(wait for it)........I did not throw up this morning!!

I did not have to grip the side of the bed until the room stopped spinning, I did not have to bolt to the bathroom, I did not puke so hard I peed my pants, I turned on the lights in our room and am NOT wearing sunglasses, I did not gag, and I did not have to think about where or when I will puke next. The doctor said many women with HG feel relief almost immediately after birth since most cases it is a hormonal issue having to do with the placenta. When I did not feel better right away yesterday I was a bit bummed but I knew it would resolve soon. This morning is the first time in 40 weeks and 2 days I have not felt nauseous. I woke up and felt sort of normal and I had forgotten what that feels like. I started crying because not only do we have this beautiful little girl (who as an unofficial poll on facebook confirms looks just like Annikah) but I am not pregnant anymore. I feel more like myself than I have in months and I am so grateful. Grateful. I drank tons of water and even juice and am probably properly hydrated for the first time since last May. It is amazing to not be sick. I am Grateful. Thanks for the prayers, emails, comments, and calls everyone!! And I am open to lunch and dinner plans soon:) Watch out Chicago area eating establishments......I am coming and making up for lost time. As an added bonus to my non puking self I have this view.....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Karibu Duniani mtoto mchanga

Welcome to the world newborn baby!!
Evangeline Imani was born today December 21st at 1:05pm
weighing in at 6 lbs, 10 oz, 18 3/4 in.
Her first name means “Bearer of Good News” and her middle name means “Faith and Trust” in Kiswahili. We’ll call her Evy for short.

She was born after only 4 minutes of pushing (Jason almost missed it)!! Well, 9 months of the WORST pregnancy ever and then only 4 minutes of pushing :)
Annikah already loves kissing her and seems ready to dive into her new big sister gig.
Details to come later...for now I am enjoying this new little girl asleep next to me.
Happy Birthday Evy baby and welcome to the world!!

the big sister meets the little sister
lovin' her big sister presents
our first visitors

Sunday, December 20, 2009

end in sight

We are at the hospital! We went in tonight at about 5:45pm (a bit late because of a huge accident blocking the street where my parents live) crazy! I started having more regular contractions this morning at church but they seemed to go away so we planned to just go in as planned tonight. We prayed with Annikah before we left and she was adorably cute and excited about meeting her sister soon. She is now at home watching a movie with Auntie Katy and Bibi. By the time we got here I was having more contractions that felt a bit stronger (after a trip to Target as that was where I started labor with Anni and figured it couldn't hurt to try:). The doctor was going to start Cervadil but since I am having regular contractions as of now we wait a while and see what will happen. I also needed fluids as I am still dehydrated from the vomiting so I am stuck in bed getting my second bag of fluids. So, we wait but the end of this pregnancy is in sight! Not to mention we get to meet our little girl soon-ish:)

Friday, December 18, 2009

waiting for mtoto mchanga

we are trying to keep busy waiting for this little girl to arrive.
Bibi had a fabulous idea today......gingerbread cookies!
And Auntie Katy is home so Anni is one happy girl!




free tastes of designer original cookies available at Bibi's house

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

consider this notice

I am repo'ing my uterus.

I have been more than generous I think considering in the last 9 months I have had 16 days I did not puke. I count because I am bitter. And I am done. Like stick a fork in me.......DONE! This week I had 2 days in a row where the nausea was sooo bad I threw up on and off all day, had to wear sunglasses inside everywhere I went (I seriously think people must wonder "who is that big prego who thinks she is Paris Hilton?"), and generally was weepy and sad. I also have had a couple days that were not so terrible and overall I am still doing MUCH better than a few months ago and can eat and keep food down everyday so for that we are grateful. Anni is so sweet as she asks "Mama, you feel better? and then says out loud "thank you Jesus!" But although things are generally improved I am still NOT myself and my daughter and husband would like the old me to return. Me too! Ironic that we came home from Africa because a premature baby was a possible risk and now it seems she is more than comfy in there. I feel huge, uncomfortable, pee every 5 minutes, cannot sleep, and have wicked legs cramps. I am due on December 19th and if we have no baby by then I will go in for an induction on the 20th. My doctor said with as sick as I have been he could push it up to this week but I can survive and at least give this little girl a chance to come on her own, it is the least she could do right?:) I also went into labor with Miss A 2 days early so I am hopeful. But if not consider this notice that she will meet the harsh (freezing cold may I add) world very soon and I am positive we will fair much better as a pair when she is not occupying real estate inside my body. We are excited to finally meet this little girl, Anni wants her sister home for Christmas, and I want to EAT and begin this new chapter of our life as a family of four!

Prayers for her to come asap and a safe delivery appreciated!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

all in a winter's day

My idea of a perfect winter's day goes something like this....
Wake up and tell Annikah we are going to Chicago on the train to have a fabulous family adventure. Riding over in the car to the train station (a 3 minute ride) she announces
"I already love this adventure!"

take Metra into Chicago

walk to the German Kris Kringle Market at Daley Plaza
& admire the "bigger tree"

we found a stall from near where our team leader's family lives!!
sample some German food...Anni even liked the spicy mustard!
stop and see the baby Jesus
check out the windows at what was formerly known as Marshall Field's (as a true Chicagoan I cannot bring myself to say the current name...... too painful)
charm some Firemen singing Christmas carols outside
check out the "even bigger tree" from above the Walnut room
walk to Millennium Park to try free ice skating (Anni & Jason that is, I sat that one out) Anni was so excited they had "ones for my feet" & Jason and I were even more excited they let us rent them for free!!
watch & wait patiently for the Zamboni man to clean the ice
ice skate for the first time with the best Papa ever! Fall a lot, get up and try again, and enjoy the ride as Papa whizzes you around the rink.
take a rest when needed
enjoy the view of Chicago and the fabulousness of being in our city!!

run to catch the train just in time and enjoy some Mint Frango mints on the ride home

Yep, that is pretty much what I consider a perfect winter's day. Plus, if walking about 25 city blocks at 39 weeks preggers does not get this baby moving I do not know what will!!

my little ice skater: