Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet Ember

I'll admit it: I completely missed Ember's birth. Slept right through it. I had talked to Dana a couple of hours before I hit the sack where she told me that her appointment went well, and they were planning to have a baby within ten days. She mentioned nothing of contractions or impending delivery so I went to bed. Woke up the next morning. Took a shower. Got ready for the day and grabbed my phone. At that point I saw '2 text messages from Dana' and my heart skipped a beat.

First one at 12:09am: Havin' a baby...now go back to bed. :)

Second one at 5:46am: Ember Lee Neu 3:28am 7lbs 15oz

I texted back at 7:48am: Holy crap! I completely missed it!!

And promptly dialed her cell phone.

I will give Dana the opportunity to fill in from 12:09am-3:28am if she chooses, but suffice it to say it was relatively boring, with the grand finale of Ember Lee.

Flash forward to Kim meets Ember meets Kim's camera.

The blanket in these first two belonged to Dana when she was growing up. So SO cool!

This little piggie went to market...

This blanket came from Smith's Drug in Lemmon. They have the best baby blankets - just ask Max who was gifted one by Dana almost two years ago. The tutu was also a gift and if I remember correctly the giver was afraid it was terribly impractical and left the tags on in case Dana wanted to return it. Um, no. Besides, it is now forever enshrined as The Outfit Ember Wore When She Met Kim.

Sap Alert: You guys, Dana and I grew up together. We played house. Wrote each other letters smothered in puffy stickers. Chased boys at recess. Learned French. Sang duets. Burned many meals in her mom's kitchen. She taught me how to drive a 4-wheeler. But this? Watching my best friend hold her newborn baby girl? This takes the cake.

Here's my observation about motherhood. When baby #1 comes, the new mom is working so hard to make sure everything happens according to plan. For some, it is kind of like fumbling for a light switch in the dark. For others (like me) it is more like fumbling for a light bulb in the back of the closet wearing a clown costume. What I'm trying to say with that baby #2 is often times (not always) much easier. And while Dana breezed through the birth and adjustment after Easton came, watching her with Ember was pretty amazing.  She's amazing. And this picture below? My all time favorite picture of Dana. This moment has been there all along, for 28 years of her life, waiting to happen.

So here's to Ember.

May your beauty stand in the shadow of your compassion, generosity and kindness.

Welcome to the world baby girl.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Lot of Catching Up To Do

Flashback to 6 months ago and our 'typical' night:
-Put Max to bed 8:30-9pm in his crib. Leaps from our arms to get into bed. Doesn't make a sound when we leave the room.
-Read books to Gage.
-Get Gage a snack.
-Get Gage a drink.
-Read more books to Gage.
-Let Gage watch an episode of chosen show (Dora, Diego, Dinosaur Train, The Cat in the Hat, etc.)
-Tell Gage, one more episode.
-Gage falls asleep on the couch sometime between 9:30pm and 11:30pm
-Carry him to bed.
-Crash and burn in my own bed.
-Sleep for a few hours to wake to Gage screaming through a nightmare.
-Calm him down, get him a drink, put him back to bed. Takes anywhere from 60 seconds to 15 minutes depending on severity of nightmare.
-Sleep for a few hours to wake to another nightmare from Gage.
-He crawls in our bed, I wake up at some point and stumble to the couch for the remainder of the night.
-Gage up for the day at 6am.
-Max up for the day about 7am.

I understand that there are approximately 746 things we did wrong, but honestly I didn't have the energy to deal with it. I had been shorted my nightly sleep for 4 years and we had tried everything recommended or claiming to work. Temporary success at best.

Here's how it went down tonight.
-8:30, I get home from taking rodeo entries. Knowing my kiddos haven't seen me all day we visited until 8:45 when I tell Gage that he has 15 minute to finish up what he wants.
-8:50 he comes to get his pajamas. Change him and Max into PJs, fill water cups.
-8:52, Max wants to "nuggle a bit" and is stalling (be it ever so slightly).
-8:53, Gage from the top bunk, "I'm sleepy. Can you turn off the light?"
-Grab Max's blanket and binky, lay in his toddler bed to "nuggle a bit".
-9:00, Cover Max up, walk out, close the door. He cries for 15 seconds and then silence.

We've had a similar scenario for a couple of months now.

Crap. We did it. My four year old sleeps through the night.

Sure he sleeps with two stuffed PBR bulls and a stuffed cow to protect him from nightmares. Sure he insists on being covered up with a quilt I found at a garage sale for 50 cents. Sure he still get up between 5:45am and 7am. But he lets me sleep all night. And for that, I am thankful.

How did we do it?

I have no idea.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

She's Here!

We are thrilled to welcome Ember Lee Neu to the world! She arrived early this morning weighing just under 8 pounds. Baby, Mama and Dad are doing great, and Easton will be meeting his little sister shortly.

She was born on Dana's favorite day of the week: Wednesday.

More details, and pictures forthcoming. In 11 days I will get to meet her. Stay little baby girl!!

Congratulations to David, Dana and Easton on a precious bundle of joy.