Friday, February 26, 2010

Two Weeks' Notice

Wow. Two weeks old tomorrow. I'm afraid she's going to be 16 before we know it. Scary. Until then, however, we will continue to adore her. Our little Jolie.

{{ Side note: On the name... we wanted to name our little girl something French. I was a French major and therefore speak French as well. We both are madly in love with Paris (and had possibly our most romantic adventure there in '06). And really, a French name would be pretty rockin' for a sweet little girl. Unfortunately, French names are very French, and we didn't think "Fran├žoise Anderson" would cut it. I liked Margot, but Derek said it was too old-lady and wouldn't even consider it. (I still like it; tell no one.) And one day (pre-James, actually) I thought of using a non-name as a name: Jolie.

In France, "jolie" is not a name. It's an adjective. It means "pretty." I suggested it, but Derek embraced it. Pretty much the man has veto power and lacks any suggestive creativity. But once he likes a name, he sticks with it. (Though I suppose he came up with James Russell... so maybe the "lack of creativity" comment is unjust.) Anyway, we liked Jolie... but what middle? Or would Jolie BE the middle?

We played around with lots of names and eventually decided on Elizabeth as a middle. Naming a kid "pretty" is nice, and you hope your daughter is... But I was hung up on the paranoia of what if she thinks all she IS is pretty? I wanted a middle name of substance. Elizabeth fit. I mean, really... Queen Elizabeth I was uber-substantial. A hugely important monarch. Amazingly independent and strong. Loved by her people even today... and not cause she was pretty. It worked. Then there's Elizabeth in the Bible. And Elizabeths throughout time. It's a name with a good amount of history behind it. It makes her name more classic, so that James Russell and Jolie Elizabeth don't sound too clashy. And Elizabeth Ann was my doll's name as a child. She's currently napping in my hope chest in New Mexico. Really, it's totally fitting.

Other side-notes to my side-note (which is very long; sorry): My mother's middle name is Joanne. Derek's mom is called Julie. Joanne + Julie = Jolie (nice to conclude since James is absolutely and undeniably named after his grandpas).

So Jolie Elizabeth it is. }}

Okay. Dang, I'm long-winded. Here are pictures. I'll go easy on the commentary.

Post-bath (first one at home)
She loves her fingers... especially for dinner.
Here she is sucking on her index finger and thumb.
The posh sleep set-up. (Our kids are spoiled.)
She sleeps with us, either between us or in our arms.
I know she's super spoiled that way, but shoot- if
she'll sleep 4-5 hours at a time that way, she's
spoiling us, too! It's only fair to return the favor. :)
I LOVE this series of photos.
James + Jolie = Best Friends Forever!

What's up with the nudie cop? Hm... (Cute, though, no?)
This is how we roll. :)
Here's a super-cute video of my kiddos. If you can't hear
clearly, at the beginning James is saying, "Smile! Cheeese!"
He doesn't get that she can't ham it up like he can. Also,
apparently Jolie is Momma's Darling and James is
Daddy's Good Boy. Glad we sorted that out. :)
Jolie and her adoring fans
Yes, I painted her nails. Already.
Cherubic. Man, I love this girl.
Daddy feeding (and dabbing drool off) Jolie.
Derek really is wonderful. He wakes up when I do.
He feeds her, changes her, loves her... and still
does all the "manly provider stuff" too. I'm a lucky girl. So is she.
Thank you, Grandma! :) Grandma Marilyn came
and stayed with us for a couple of weeks and was AMAZING!
Really, she deserves a post of her own. I didn't know she
(or anyone, really) was capable of being absolutely and
totally devoted to taking care of other people. She put
110% of herself into helping us... and I really don't know
how we'd have done it without her.
Anyway- I love you, Mom.
And thanks.

Here are James and Jolie with a few gifts my mom got
while out shopping. James "gave" Jolie her present.
Luckily he knew not to put it right on her face!
Here's Grandma Marilyn with our kids. (Weird... kids.)
And here is perhaps my very favorite pic of Jolie so far.
She. Is. So. Beautiful.
Like I said before, we're all quite smitten.
Really, though, can you blame us? :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

LABOR Day (aka: Jolie's BIRTHday)

Wow. It's been 11 days since my little Jolie was born. Where has the time gone? I can honestly say the past week and a half has been a blur. Sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance, craziness we now call "life with two kids"... not sure what the culprit is, really, but wow- what a ride!

Finally, however, I have a story to tell (and even better- pictures to share). Here ya go.

We called the hospital at 6am (possibly 5:58am... impatiently speaking) on Saturday, February 13th. They asked if we could come be there by 7:15am. We said, "heck yes!" I showered, did my make-up, shaved my legs (as much as possible; you have to remember the huge mass I had inside of me), packed our bags (and/or supervised as Derek did) and drove the whole three minutes it takes to get there.

Here's the "before" picture at the hospital, prior to IV or anything.
Notice the massive bulge I called a stomach...
keep it in mind for the next time you see me.
Then possibly you'll think I look less pregnant now! :)

We got to the hospital and got checked in. The paperwork and question-answering took a while, and I didn't even get an IV and Pitocin until around 8:45am-ish. I was already contracting and dilated to a 3, so they didn't have to fully induce me- just get me going on harder, more efficient contractions. By 10:30-ish, I gave them the go-ahead on the epidural. I wasn't really hurting too badly, but the nurse was pretty convincing when she mentioned that if I dilated too quickly it'd be too late. I kept saying, "well they're not making me cry or anything." She mentioned that they didn't want me to cry at all-- and that sooner was better than later. The epidural request wasn't a minute too soon. By the time the anesthesiologist showed up, the contractions were pretty strong and pretty painful.

The anesthesiologist did a great job... I don't think he was incompetent at all. But he was grinding the needle against my spine. And holy OW! It hurt. A lot. I cried. This was the most painful part of the labor experience. My contractions were really, really painful- making me cry. And holding still through them (balled up- for the epidural administration) while having a needle battle my bones was hard. I didn't swear or scream or say, "You did this to me!" I wept. As loud as I am in regular life, in labor- I tend to weep.

Once the epidural kicked in, life was MUCH better! With James, my epidural had left me feeling paralyzed from the waist down (minus one critical part of my stomach- ow), but this time I could feel and even move my legs and feet- just not with super great coordination. I could feel pressure, but not really pain. It was nice. I actually felt the urge to push like everyone talks about... not just the urge to die like before.

I got my epidural around 10:30-11am. At about noon-ish, they checked me and... dun du du DUN... I was ready!

Wha??? I had expected a baby by dinner, not by lunchtime. This labor was much faster than my last one. By 12:30ish, Dr. Fxx was there (and none too soon... I swear {so sorry for the icky description} I was "prairie-doggin it"). About 5-6 intense-but-fairly-painless pushes (and a bit of snipping and ripping) later, our little Jolie Elizabeth was born.


Here is Daddy admiring (and showing off) his little one.
Mother and daughter- meeting each other "officially"
Skin to skin (sorry for the nudity)
Jolie's first bath
Isn't she beautiful?
James seeing "sister" for the first time... mwah!
Meeting Jolie- a video
The greatest treasures of my life... really, how I love these three.
Going home. (Please focus on her double chin, not mine...
or, you know, on that handsome hubby of mine.)
A welcome-home hug for sister (looks comfy, doesn't it?)
We're so, so happy to have this little one home with us. I still have to hold her a ton. I think I have separation anxiety if she's not in my arms. I mean, hey- she was in my tummy for a LONG time! We're a pair, you know? James has done really well with her and hasn't shown any resentment at all - which is a beautiful thing. He really loves her and adores her, and it's touching to see. We're all very happy that she's here at last. Happy BIRTHday, Jolie!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Jolie Elizabeth Anderson
Born 02/13/2010
@ 1:05pm
9 lb 8 oz
21 in. long

Note: Thanks to Mindy for taking (and posting) this pic. I totally stole it because I'm just too sleepy to upload my own. :) More to come... I promise. Just probably not today.

Note#2: Our little Jolie is the cutest, most wonderful little girl ever! We are all quite smitten. I just can't stop holding her. I guess we'll keep her after all.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Much-Needed {Though Anticlimactic} Update

Wow. It's been ages since I posted on this thing! {Though to be fair, I have posted some on both my food blog and my craft blog.} Sorry for those of you who actually care to read it. Also, sorry that although I will be posting an update today... there will yet again be no pictures. Boring. Sorry.

The update is again an excerpt from my journal, though this time it's a much shorter excerpt. You're welcome. Here you go... written today, Friday the 12th:

"I can't even believe I'm writing today. The famous Feb. 12th. I had planned on being induced by now- or today itself. Unfortunately, my doctor had other ideas (dang rule-keeper!). So, we won't be being induced... until TOMORROW! Ahh! When Dr. Fxx told me "no" on Wednesday (I very truly was ready to be induced that day... my toenails were pedicured; I was wearing a nursing bra for goodness' sake, and I had even shaved my legs!), I cried. Lame. But still- no cave. He just handed me a tissue and talked a little softer to me. I know he wants what's best- for the baby if not for me, but DANG it's hard to wait. On the way home, I ran a few errands. It's good that I did, because the alone time helped me calm down a bit and see any sort of perspective. What's 2 1/2 days, really? And Derek would be able to do his test on Friday (today- good luck, babe) without worrying about retakes, etc. Also, Wednesday was a "red air day" (bad inversion/pollution), and who wants to suck in pollution in her first breath? Not my lil' one! And I knew we were due for some snow on Friday (got some yesterday, too) which usually clears the air a bit. So really, Saturday was perfect.

We'll see if it is.

I'm supposed to call the hospital at 6am tomorrow and see when they want me. It's possible they'll tell me to scoot on in at 7:30 or so. It's also possible they won't have room for me until late that night (ugh, please no). My fate- once again- is not in my hands. And let me tell you, I do love having no control. (Grr.) So we'll see. Less than 24 hours to go. Exciting... and scary."