Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Love Lucia

It has been almost 2 weeks since my mad dash to the hospital, and the quickest delivery known to man. Two weeks since my life changed dramatically (again). Two weeks of getting to know a new addition to our family. Two weeks of staring at the face of a baby girl that is amazingly, my daughter.

I do have to admit that it has been easier this time around. For those of you out there with one child, contemplating a second, it is just like riding a bicycle. Except for the fact that I haven't ridden a bike in like 15 years, and the last time I rode one, I fell into a ravine. But, I digress.

Taking care of a newborn just comes naturally. I am not scared this time around that she may break. Diaper changing is a breeze. I can handle the not sleeping. Her crying doesn't make me cry. Last time, it was very difficult for me to accept help. My mom was over all the time, and we would get into arguments, because I felt like I could do the housework, and take care of the baby, and I didn't need any help! I didn't want to eat the endless amount of soup and smoothies and teas she would make me eat.

With Lucia, I am completely taking advantage of my mom. She has come over everyday since I have been home. She makes me soup that I happily eat. I have been drinking star anise tea that she makes me because it is supposed to be good for the baby. When she tells me to take a nap, so that she can do all my laundry, I say ok, and go to my room to nap with Lucia. When she gives me advice, I don't roll my eyes behind her back, but I listen and nod appreciatively. I must have matured or something. Or Lucia has mellowed me even more.

Today, while Alex and Gideon were at church, I spent the morning ignoring dirty dishes in the sink, and instead spent time taking pictures and a video of the baby girl Soto.

Here is her signature glare. She looks just like my dad does when he is furrowing his brow. She gives us this look alot.

More glaring.

Here is she is sleeping in her bassinet. Don't let her chubby cheeks fool you. She is really tiny and skinny.

She is showing you her foot. In case you want to eat it. Because it is so cute.

She is obviously vogueing.

And the video. Ignore the dirty laundry in the background. You know I can't be bothered with laundry with Miss Cuteness taking up all my time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Giant Cookie
A gift from my crazy co-workers, who are actually the greatest friends a girl could have. The cookie is literally over a foot high, and a foot and half wide. I don't want to eat it, yet I don't want it to go to waste. And I guess, technically, it's for Lucia. Should I save it for her? Should I eat it when I am up at 3am? How can I eat a cookie that is staring at me? Would you have the heart to eat this sweet bear?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gideon & Lucia

The picture we've all been waiting for! Gideon gives a cute sigh when he rubs his cheek against Lucia, kind of like a high-pitched "awwwww." Very cute.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2 Kids

Those of you who have followed our blog from the very beginning are probably wondering why we haven't updated it as frequently as we did when Gideon was born. Simply put, it's very different to be parents of two kids, rather than just one ... and in my case, let's not forget Miggy the cat.

When planning the rest of our mornings, Alexa and I discussed a change in roles. They aren't drastic, but just enough modifications to make everybody's life a bit easier. For example, bathing Gideon is something I have done like on 3 occasions, but now, it's mostly mine to do. I also do the getting Gideon from the crib every morning, changing him out his diapers and pajamas and then giving him his morning milk routine.

This helps Alexa as she constantly has to be with Lucia. Breastfed babies eat more, about every two hours and this keeps Alexa very busy. She also poops a lot more. I don't think Gideon pooped as much as she does. For now, Alexa takes care of this. I've done it once thus far and am a bit comfortable because Lucia is much smaller than Gideon at 4-5 days old. I'm afraid to hurt her with my clumsy, giant hands. I told my mom how I'm hesitant to change Lucia's diaper and she tells me how an older cousin of mine, who now lives in Puerto Rico, mistakenly squished a bird with his monster hands, much to his dismay. Well, that certainly makes me feel better mom! Thanks!

So, we're much busier and tired these days. And our 2 bedroom apartment has become one big toy box with the curious smells of baby and toddler poop and chinese food. Oh yeah, who has time to cook anymore. We just order whatever we're in the mood for. I'm sure this is temporary and if it wasn't for Alexa's mom, we'd probably be a little insane right now. Here, she is putting Alexa's hair into a ponytail, a task I tried many times unsuccessfully ... with Lucia here I'll be an expert in no time.

At least, I get to spend a lot of time with my son now. Work will have to fit in somewhere and I haven't figured that out yet, but I will have to soon. During the last weeks of Alexa's pregnancy I took Gideon out to walk, to my mom's or her moms, to the playground (Van Saun in Paramus is one of my favorites) and to IKEA.

IKEA is such a wonderful place. Personally, I love interior design. I read home & garden magazines while waiting in supermarket lines. Most people find this odd when they meet me and realize that I also love football in a barbaric, grunting way where actual words don't come out when I watch Jets games, but rather noises and uncomprehensible rants ... and I don't drink so it's not alcohol. Anyway, I love looking at furniture and how they are arranged and matched with colors and patterns. But the best thing about IKEA are the strategically placed play kiosks and areas.

Here are pictures of one our most recent outings.

Ridem cowboy

Spinning rings on his fingers

Intensely studying a toy

In a spinning capsule

Jumping in an air filled mattress

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Isn't She Lovely

Welcome to the newest member of the family, Lucia (pronounced Looseea) Ana Soto, born September 16, 2008 at 1:07 pm ET. As always, there is a story with the Soto Family. This is my side.

At about 9:30 am, Alexa starts to feel pains. She assures me that they weren't Braxton-Hicks, so I start the countdown. A minute later she breathes a sigh of relief.

10 minutes later. Gideon pretends to be a bunny rabbit, hopping around the house. Alexa yells, "Hunnie," which is my cue to record the time and measure the contraction. A minute later, a sigh of relief, from the both of us. I was hit with the reality of what was going on.

I continue working. Alexa contemplated going to work today. Thank God she didn't. Another contraction. No doubt, a yet to be born Lucia was on a mission, which was to leave her familiar, cozy and warm world to one where it's a bit colder and much meaner.

Several contractions later .... Alexa decides to take a bath, yelling, "Hunnie" from the tub so that I can record the time between contractions and how long they lasted. I yell back, "There still 10 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. We have plenty of time left." So I continue working.

As Alexa's 12pm appointment with her OB/GYN was approaching, I wrapped up work stuff and got ready to head out. By this time, Alexa's mom had already picked up Gideon, who was a bit cranky. Before leaving, Alexa embraced him and her eyes began to tear. I ask her what wrong? She answers, "This is the last time that we'll be a family of 3."

I drive to her OB/GYN. During the drive she experienced 2 contractions. The office is 7 minutes away. I didn't need a watch to do the math. The contractions are now less than 10 minutes apart, closer to like 6 minutes.

We arrive at the office and Alexa signs in while in the middle of one her toughest contractions. I'm not sure what she signed, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't her name. They take us in immediately and Dr. Robert Gallo sees her and does his thing to find out what's going on. To our surprise, Alexa was 8 centimeters ... only 2 centimeters to go.

Well, I was told to get the car and take Alexa to the hospital immediately. Dr. Gallo tells us that we'll have our baby by 3pm.

We get to the hospital's front entrance. I run out of the car and help Alexa in. The receptionist gets a wheel chair and we're off. We get to the 3rd floor. It was there that I remembered that I had left the car running, right in front of the main entrance, where parking wasn't allowed. Despite my worries about getting a ticket or worse, having my car towed, I took this problem out of my mind and focused on Alexa.

She was admitted and the nurses get to working with her immediately, getting her ready for an epidural. The pain, no doubt, at this point must have been excruciating for Alexa. After she was ready for the epidural, the Anesthesiologist comes in. This meant that I had to leave the room for I wasn't allowed in there.

I took advantage of the opportunity and raced downstairs to the main entrance to park my car in the garage. No ticket and the car was not towed away. I find a parking spot and I impatiently wait for the 2 elevators. Dr Gallo himself was in the elevator with me to get to Alexa's room. We go to her room and the story was dramatically different.

About 5 nurses surrounded Alexa and everyone was running around. Dr Gallo who was dressed in a nice suit, didn't even have time to get comfortable. Alexa was waving to me to hurry. So I did and stood by her side holding her hand. In the middle of one of her first pushes, Alexa moves her lips with hardly a word coming out, saying "No epidural"

"Oh my goodness. Are you kidding me?" I exclaimed. She nodded no. I was fearful that the pain of a 100% natural child birth would be too much for Alexa. But, about 10 minutes and 2 hard pushes later, Lucia Ana Soto was born.

We were admitted at about 12:20pm ET and Lucia was born at 1:07 pm. In other words, labor was less than 50 minutes. Compare that to the 14 hours for Gideon.

Isn't she lovely? I mean aren't they lovely?

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Word of the Day: Roseola

Gideon was feeling pretty sick all last week. Really high fever, a sore throat, a traumatic visit to the pediatrician's office, and then to top it all off on Friday, a rash all over his body. Woo-hoo! Umm...not.

I had never heard of roseola, nor had I anticipated it. It is apparently, really common, and the worst part of it was the super high fever that just wouldn't go away.

Hey! Want to see a picture of the rash? You do? What a coincidence that I took one:
The rash!
This is Gideon scratching said rash.
You can't really see the rash on his face that well, plus he looks really happy in this picture. He should look miserable. I know I would, with a rash all over my body.

In other news, Gideon has officially entered the "terrible twos". I had a Cracker Barrel craving today (yes, I don't have food cravings, but entire restaurant cravings), so we drove down to Clinton, NJ to our "local" Cracker Barrel. Can you say full out temper tantrum at the table? We were absolutely floored. He has never acted that way in public, and we honestly did not know what to do. He kept saying "No, no, no, no!" and threw things on the floor. People were LOOKING at us. Finally, Alex just took him out to the store area, and then I took a turn with him. He ran around, played with some toys, and came back and acted completely normal again. But really, I almost didn't know what to do. Here is a picture of him when he doesn't get his way:
Lovely, right?