Sunday, March 28, 2010

Brynja Leigh and the Contest Winner

Hidee ho.  I had a baby!

Most of you already know that thanks to the wonders of Facebook, but I did post a little contest on my blog a while ago and some of you might be wondering who the winner of that contest is! 

This was a tough decision for me.  I sat in my bed in the hospital making a chart of all the guesses, and figuring out who got what right.  I was hoping that some soul would have guessed two of the three right, but sadly, no.  Anyone who got any correct only got one.  There were many guesses for girl, and INDEED, we got ourselves a girl!  The most angelic little girl I've met.  She's so sweet and mellow and I can't kiss her enough.

So, good job to all those who guessed girl, namely Polly, Maria, Jenn, Holly, Emily, Ginny, Jen, Kristin, and Marci!

Then we have the date... March 20th was it.  She was born on the first day of Spring, which really fits somehow.  Why didn't I think of that before?

We had one correct guess for the date and that was by my friend Beth.  Good job, Beth!  :) 

And then the weight... my biggest baby yet!  She weighed in at 8lbs 3oz.  I could tell the moment they set her on me that she was bigger than my other kids.  She just looked fuller in her skin.  Ella came later... 11 days overdue, but she only weighed 7.13, Mac was 7.6 and Rohan was 7.3. 

We also had just one correct guess on the weight and that was Miss Stevie Kay!  Good job, Stevie!

But, alas, there was no one, not ONE person who guessed more than one correct "stat".  I was in a quandry!  I didn't know what to do.  Dustin and I hashed over a few ideas and then I kind of forgot about the whole thing for a while. 

And then the winner came to me.  My exact words in the contest rules were: "The person whose answers come closest to the actual stats will win some homemade treats from me. "  And guess what?  Marci came the closest!  She had one correct guess, GIRL.  And then, her other picks were March 19, just one day off, and 8 lbs., 4 oz., just one ounce off!  So, she was the closest to the actual stats! 

Congratulations Marci!  You are the winner of some homemade treats!  I will get them to you some time in the next couple weeks.  :) 

Thanks to everyone for playing!  It made that last little bit of overdue-ness more bearable to have more than just me guessing at when the baby would ever come.

And for your viewing enjoyment...

Miss Brynja Leigh
born March 20, 2010 at 7:14pm, weighing 8 lbs., 3 oz., 20 1/2" long.
(and her head and chest were both 14 1/4")

 Mom and Brynja 
(by the way, her name is pronounce BRIN-ya... Scandinavian J...)

Dad and Brynja

I want to write more about the labor, etc., but I will have to do that another day.  My kids have been so sweet with their new little sister.  They can't get enough of her!  These pics are of her first day home from the hospital.  She was not quite 48 hours old. 

We are so blessed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


My due date has come and gone.  It was a happy day for me, if you recall from yesterday's post.  Today I'm feeling a little grumpy.  Ok, VERY grumpy.  I can't pin why... I think it had something to do with my dream this morning before I woke up, because I woke up grumpy.  I am short tempered with my kids and my husband and I've worked the morning away dipping pretzels while my ears were stuffed with my newly purchased earbuds (that don't hurt my ears!  I ♥ you, SkullCandy!) blaring Imogen Heap.  Every question presented to me by my children gets the same answer today... "Go ask your Dad" or "Talk to your Dad about that."  Nice.  I'm just escaping into my iPod.

As I was dipping and thinking of how I'm still pregnant and everything, I decided that I'd have a little contest.  I really don't like to enter this type of contest, but some people do.  So, if you're like me, just ignore and continue with your day.  If you're not... have fun with the following contest.

Contest has three factors.  Answer all three in a comment for your chance to win!

1- What day will this baby be born?
2- How much will it weigh?
3- Will it be a boy or a girl?

The person whose answers come closest to the actual stats will win some homemade treats from me.  Treats like chocolate/caramel covered pretzels, or maybe a caramel/chocolate apple, or perhaps a Caramel Pecan Bar, or some combination of all three.  It'll depend on how I feel.   
Gourmet Apples

Caramel Pecan Bars

Sorry... no picture [handy] of the pretzels...

Sound fun? 

Well, it makes me feel better, anyway.  In fact, it put a smile on my grumpy face.  Amazing!

So, I guess I'll close the contest Wednesday the 17th at midnight, MST.  You can only enter once.  If I have the baby before the contest closes, then the contest will close when I have the baby.  Make sense?

Start guessing!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Due Date

So today is my "due date"... whatever that means.  Just thought I should jot down a few thoughts about this pregnancy, pending labor and our up-and-coming baby.

I woke up this morning at 6:50.  Dustin has been working out of town since Tuesday of this week and he often calls me right at 7:00 to wake me (just in case I don't wake to my alarm) so I can wake up Ella for school. (that's normally his role when he's home.)  But today, Ella didn't have school, so I didn't want him to call because the phone would ring which would potentially wake up the kids and I had dreams of them sleeping in.  So, I beat him to the punch and called him first.  (which, by the way, kept the kids asleep for an extra twelve minutes... hooray.)

I could tell as soon as he said hello that he had been asleep, and, today being my "due date", he said hello in a bit of a panic.  I couldn't believe I woke my husband up from a dead sleep at 6:50 a.m!  He's ALWAYS awake by then.  He's what you might call a morning person.  (huge understatement)  I assured him that I was not in labor and offered my apologies and expressions of shock that I woke him up.  And then I got off the phone and promptly fell asleep again.

During that extra bit of sleep, I had a dream that I had my baby.  It was a boy and I had it at home (but really in some sort of swimming pool... you know how dreams are).  After the birth I got up, leaving the baby in the water where it was gently floating (I wasn't worried... you know how dreams are!), and went somewhere.  I remember feeling disappointed.  Not that it was a boy, but disappointed that it was so big!  The baby looked like it was about 8 months old rather than newborn.  It could sit up and it was wearing overalls and a striped T-shirt and looked like someone else's baby that I know.  It didn't feel like my baby.

Then, in my dream, it was the next day and I was laying in my bed with my very large baby.  I realized that I had no idea how much it weighed because we didn't have a scale to weigh it on.  I was guessing this baby weighed about 18 pounds.  I was trying to get used to this baby who felt like a stranger to me and I realized that it had my coloring.  It even had freckles.  (none of my kids have my coloring which is very fair and freckled, not to mention bright pink when exposed to the sun.  My kids all brown up nicely in the sun, but none are quite as dark as Dustin who gets so sun-darkened he looks like he could be some another nationality)  Seeing that it had my coloring was a small step toward feeling like it actually was my child, but I was still sad that I didn't get to have a newborn baby.  I also realized that we had the baby 24 hours ago and we hadn't called anyone!  So, I got out of bed to find the phone to call my mom and just then, in real life, Rohan called out to me and I got out of bed to help him with something.  I was still looking for the phone to call my mom after I was really out of bed and it took me a good thirty seconds to realize that it was all a dream.  I was actually still pregnant.  I was going to get a newborn out of this deal after all, and I would get the chance to love it from that newborn-mother connection point rather than that strange baby that looked like it was 8 months old.  My baby would weigh somewhere in a normal, I'm guessing, 7 pound range rather than an 18 pounder who already had freckles, teeth and the ability to sit up on it's own!  I was so relieved!

I tell that story because, in all honesty, I've been very nervous about this baby... in all aspects.  I've been nervous about the birth.  I've been anxious about the change my lifestyle is about to take.  I've been in a state of constant disassociation with the whole thing like it's not really real.  Like it's someone else's life that's about to change, not mine.  Even with my very large belly and very awkward body, I have continued to feel a sense of denial that this is actually happening to me... and soon.  VERY soon at this point! 

However, this dream was reassuring to me somehow.  When I realized it was just a dream and that I would get my sweet, tiny little newborn rather than that big baby that didn't feel like my own, I was SO relieved!  And I was excited!  Excited to see what it would really look like.  Would it really be a boy or would it be what Dustin has been so sure of all along, a girl?   I was happy that I would be able to experience the birth and wonder of this brand new resident of Planet Earth!  I couldn't stop thinking of that baby in my dream, but I didn't want to think of it anymore.  I just wanted to see my own baby!   I wanted to see that newborn one whom I will fall in love with... when we are both covered in all the stuff of birth that goes completely unnoticed in that magical moment of connection of mother and child.  With those thoughts, I felt a thrill that I have not felt, except perhaps vaguely, in the last 9 months.  

I think today I finally feel ready.  Maybe that's what my "due date" was for this time around.  It was the scheduled date for this reality to find it's way into my heart and become something tangible and exciting for me, rather than a nebulous, anxiety riddled unknown in my life.  And it's really interesting to me that I can write this and express it now.  I haven't wanted to write anything!  And here it is... cohesive thoughts forming and flowing and wanting to find their release.  

Dustin is on his way home right now from working out of town, and I feel like I can do this now.  Dustin will be home. (having him gone so close to this date has made for several anxious days)  I can cope with natural childbirth one last time, with my sweetheart's incredible help and his strength and power to lean on.  I can have this baby come into my life with complete joy, excitement and acceptance rather than the reserve, fear and denial I've been experiencing off and on up to this point.  Of course there will still be an adjustment period.  Of course!  There always is.  A whole new element is being added to the dynamic of our family and that takes adjustments on all levels and for all of us involved, but I feel a thrill at the thought of it, rather than the skewed sense of fear I've been experiencing. 

And I might, just might, even miss this body when it's all over.  Dustin keeps reminding me that... to enjoy this for this last time.  Enjoy those internal kicks and thumps... the continual reminders of the miracle occurring within me.  He also watches me and tells me all the time how beautiful I am, how he loves my round belly, and how I am the embodiment of feminine power.  (Golly, I love that man of mine.)  I will try to enjoy this complete expression of feminism for however long I have left, despite any pain and awkwardness I feel.

Thank you, Due Date for this gift, and thank you to the unknown baby of my dream who allowed for this expression and excitement to find it's way into the dark fear-places of my heart and bring light. 

And for posterity... some photos of the belly.  These were taken two weeks ago.

This is my "I feel like a retard standing here smiling for the camera" face! 

For this picture Dustin climbed onto the arm of our couch for an 'arial' view... 
hence my look of "what the heck are you doing?"

Happy Friday everyone, and Happy Happy Due Date, me! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Guess what?

Yesterday's contest at my friend Mag's blog?  Remember that?  I TOTALLY WON!!  I'm so excited!  So, in the next few days I'll be receiving a spectacular lemon friendship cake in the mail.  :)

Maybe it will arrive just after I have the baby and it will be like Mags dropping off a little gift for me to say Happy New Baby!  I'd like to think of it like that anyway, because Mags is my friend of several years that I've never met.  :)

Thanks, Mags, for the contest!  My day has been made.  Not to mention the tulips that I saw peeking their little red/brown heads out of the cold ground this morning!!  Along with the lovely sunshine and the almost complete lack of snow in my front yard!  Bless you, Spring!  And Bless you, Mags!

Oh, Happy Happy Day of March the 10th!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Go visit my friend Mags today!  She's having a giveaway just for today... ends tonight.  All you have to do is answer her fun questions and, if you're chosen, she'll send you one of her fabulous baked goods!  (she's a trained chef and you don't want to miss out!)

Click here to enter...

And click here for the why and how of the giveaway! 

Happy 100K, Mags!!!

Oh, yeah... please be sure to tell her I sent you!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Our basement is largely unfinished.  Remember back about a year ago when we finished the two bedrooms in my basement?  That was a great day.  Now, the time is upon us where we should be able to finish the family room and the bathroom and the hallway too (or, in other words... all the other rooms in our basement)!!!  Isn't that exciting?  I think so.

As I'm writing this post, my Ella is wearing my Rollerblades (she wears mine because she doesn't have any of her own because her feet grow like mad.  MAD, I tell you!  The child is seven years old and she wears a size 4 or 5.  I wore a size 5 when I was in 5th grade... she's in 2nd!).  She is wearing my blades and zooming from her [finished] room, through the [unfinished] family room, down the [unfinished] hall and into Mac's [finished] bedroom.  My children have done this every day for the past month or two... strapped on their blades and zoomed around on our concrete, unfinished floors.  What a blessing this has been through the dreary months of winter when outside play on concrete sidewalks is just a memory, and the dream of Spring dances in front of our closed eyes as we cuddle in front of gas-forced-air heat.   

If that wasn't enough, Rohan spent a good hour yesterday doing drawings with sidewalk chalk on our concrete basement floors while Mac and I were doing school.  We've had a few ants in our basement as the weather is starting to change and Roh drew "traps" for them in addition to a large, Rohan-sized arrow that pointed toward the invaders with the word "DEAD" written after the arrow.  He had to let the pesky ants know that their fate was sealed...

And so, when the time comes (soon!) to enjoy carpeted floors and real walls rather than our own in-home skating rink/chalk-drawing board, it will be a bittersweet thing.

But mostly sweet.