One hand typing here. Crazy life. Busy busy. Hazel is fantastic and amazing and beautiful and perfect. She is the best and most loving and helpful big sister there ever has been. Not a trace of jealousy or anger at all. She is talking full sentences all the time and busy as can be. She made a great escape from her crib, so we took her to Ikea to test out all of the new big kid beds. She picked out a red one with a dog and cat on it and has been sleeping wonderfully at night but not so wonderfully during the day. Elias is still getting up twice at night to eat which isn't so bad considering he has been eating almost every 2 hours in the day. He is chunking up nicely, weighing in in his 8 week appointment at a whopping 11 pounds, 13 ounces- more than a pound heavier than Hazel at the same age. He is stuck to me all day, every day and we spend a lot of time sitting around. Everyone comments on how clingy and cuddly he is, but thankfully learned this month to sleep in the co-sleeper instead of on my chest at night. He is like glue, and kind of cranky most of the time. He is also very hot and sweaty! The other big news is that we are the most recent victims of the recession-almost-depression; Jamie was laid off because of restructuring in his company the week he returned from paternity leave. It's been a month now with both he and I at home and we are still reeling and trying to negotiate this whole, huge, scary unknown but hopeful that we will land on our feet someplace better than where we were. Keep your fingers crossed. It's a mixed bag- scary to have things be so uncertain with a new baby, but lucky to be able to spend so much time together when the kiddos are little. We will see.... For now, it's time to go to bed because Mister will be up in a few more hours, hungry as a hippo, and Hazel will be up at 6:00 screaming, "DADA! COME!"

Testing out one of the beds at Ikea. This one was a no-go. We decided to go with the Kritter model because of the "picture of the dog and cat. On it."

Grouchy Elias. In a vest.

Crabby Elias. In a hat.

Hazel's haircut with pigtails.

Two minutes ago, crashed out on dada for a change, showing off the chunky wrists and pudgy cheeks.


And Beginning

Welcome to Elias James Donovan, who born January 28th, 2010 at 10:31 PM. Weighing in at a measly 7 pounds 15 ounces after my fears of a 12 pound baby were thankfully unfounded. Apparently I was measuring 43 weeks pregnant when I was 39 weeks pregnant not because of a large baby, or too much fluid, but because of a gigantic umbilical cord that was a whopping 2 pounds! The clamp didn't even fit around it. I was admitted to labor and delivery at 8pm with mild and irregular contractions and two and a half hours later was holding my baby. No pain medications, not like there would have been time even if I had wanted them, and I gave birth standing up, like a cow in a field after pushing for twenty minutes. It was very intense, and very cool. Elias did great, and has a bit of facial bruising as a badge of honor of his Bad Ass Birth. He looks just like Hazel when she was born, but with a lot of black hair and darker eyes.

So far he has been even more mellow and sleepy than I think Hazel was, and that's saying a lot. I don't know that his eyes have been open for more than ten minutes total today, and he has only cried twice. He has already been sleeping for five hours at a stretch at night, and I have to wake him up to feed him. He is a great eater and has been working hard on his pacifier and is the jumpiest baby I've ever seen, startling constantly, wether or not there is even a stimulus. Keep it up, kiddo. I hope he is as good of a sleeper as his big sister.

We came home from the hospital today, and Hazel has been having a difficult time. She is very fussy, sensitive and hyper. She has not removed her pacifier from her mouth for even a second, and has not put her "beeko" down. She has been vacillating between clingy and angry with us, curious about the baby and jealous that he has socks. Things will be ironed out in time, but this is not going to be an easy transition and the poor thing is breaking our hearts in the meantime. My mother took this picture of her in the hospital room, paying me a visit. Heartbreaking, no? Especially wearing her big sister cape, and big sister shirt.

We are trying to get her back into her regular schedule as soon as possible, back to normal life. She has been "helping" as much as she can and getting lots of extra attention. Thats really all we can do at this point! Someday she will be happy with her little brother. Unless she is like me, that is... cross your fingers, folks.



Dear Hazel,

This is hard for me to write. Today I'm 39 weeks into this terrible pregnancy and it may be ending today and you will have a new brother in the house for the rest of your life. It's never going to be the three of us again. I don't do pregnancy well- I hate it, in fact. I hated being pregnant with you, and I hate being pregnant now, though this is a hundred times worse than before. I'm in much more pain, sleeping even less, have a bigger belly and no muscle tone left to hold it up. It's pretty awful. But the worst part of it all, and I cry every time I think about it, is that I have not been able to give you the attention and love and time that I want to. It's hard for me to pick you up, I have no lap to sit on, you watch a lot of TV these days, and I can't even get on the floor to play. It breaks my heart, because you are so amazing and incredible and all I want to do is focus myself entirely on you.

You are going to be two years old in a few weeks, my girl and I couldn't have wished for a better kiddo. Your dada and I are in awe of everything you do, and after you go to bed at night, he and I swap stories about all the cool, funny, brilliant, sweet things you did that day. You talk constantly, and say such funny things, and you have got to be the happiest kid I've ever met. You are totally fearless; I can't think of a single thing that you are afraid of in this world. Scary for me, but I know it's going to serve you well in the future and that it's a sign of great intelligence to be so curious and outgoing. You are very physical and kinesthetic; we go to a tumbling class at the Y with your friend Bea, and the two of you tear the place up. You are obsessed with the older kids who are training in there at the same time as you. Kids on the parallel bars, kids climbing ropes 30 feet into the air, doing back flips. You watch them intently, then march right over to try and do it yourself. No fear. You love watching the show Yo Gabba Gabba, sing along to everything, and are on your feet dancing away through the whole thing. You love your friends, and talk about them, kiss and hug them, and get so excited and happy to play with them. You dance. All the time. You climb everything. You run and jump and fall down and crack yourself up. In fact, you never, ever cry when you fall. You love swimming in the Y pool with your dad and recently you love snuggling up (alone of course, since you hate being contained in any way) in the big armchair with your blanket, whom you recently bestowed with the name, "BEEKO". And oh my goodness you love to draw. You call it "eyes" because we showed you how to draw a face with "eyes, nose, mouth, head, ears, hair", etc. You get very frantic when you don't have a chalkboard, paper, crayons, markers or something nearby with which to draw eyes. You even draw them on the glass door when you shower with dada in the morning. You sleep with your mini Magna Doodle, the best four bucks I ever spent. You crack me up.

Since I've been so disabled and lame the last couple of months, and since you are so social and independent and active, I thought it was time for you to go to daycare twice a week. We found a fantastic home-based place here in Ipswich on the recommendation of a friend, and I signed you up for two days a week, hoping to get you settled in there before the baby comes. We took you there for an informal "interview" on a Saturday morning, and you immediately marched off away from us, in a strangers house, and started to play. When we left about twenty minutes later, you threw a fit. I knew you would love it. I started slow and put you in for a half day at first. You did great, of course and again threw a fit when I picked you up. You have been for a few full days now, and just love it. I'm so happy, but it's bittersweet. Every milestone is a separation, and this was yet another one that flew by without a chance to even process it. Per usual, you are off and running. It's a beautiful thing, and I wouldn't have it any other way, but I miss you, too- terribly.

I'm not one of these mothers that wants you to cleave to me, live with me until we are both elderly ladies out of some selfish need to OWN your soul. "Your children are not your children," and so forth. I know that. I want you to be exactly who you are. I want you to go out into the world whenever you feel you are ready and I want you to see and do everything. I want you to work a totally crappy job and try to support yourself on minimum wage. I want you to get so drunk you swear you're never going to drink again- several times. I want you to have beautiful lovers that whisper secret things in your ear that will make you blush, and I want you to get your heart broken...and break a million hearts. I want to see you discover your path and get so excited about whatever it is you were put on this earth to do. I want you to live in a roach-infested, peeling-paint, cracked-window, too-hot, drafty old apartment and love it because it is yours. I want to see what you do to that apartment to recreate your idea of Home. I want you to learn, and travel, and stumble and pick yourself up because you are one of the toughest people I know, and you have already been through so much. I want to see you get mad after paying for a terrible haircut. I want to meet you for lunch and listen to you go on and on and on about all the exciting things in your head, too wrapped up in it all to even ask me how I am. I feel so blessed that I can watch you do these things and that your dada and I get to be the point from where they all started. We love you more and more every moment of every day to the point that we think we couldn't possibly love you any more. But we do. It's crazy.

(I can hear you downstairs right now saying my name, looking for me and my heart is literally melting at the sound of your voice. Perfection.)

Soon, as in this week, you're going to have a brother, and I'm sorry. I know it's going to be hard for you, but I'm hoping that in time the good will outweigh the bad. I'm hoping that your heart opens and it will be another person for you to love and depend on, another person to anchor your home, a person you can turn to when you can't turn to us. I hope that the two of you will have each other after you have moved on from your dada and I. In the best world, that's what will happen. I hope for as much. I hope he will be the best man at your wedding, and will be a playful uncle for your kids. I hope you'll love each other, and that you someday get over the "When do we send him back?" phase of your relationship. It's a wild experiment, you silly wonderful girl.

Things went by too fast, my love. I enjoyed every damn second of it, and have felt blessed from the moment I met your eyes. I've never taken you for granted, and I pray that I never do.

So full to bursting with love for you,


Summer Vacation in Sebasco, Maine

This summer we took a little family vacation to this cool old-fashioned family resort place straight out of Dirty Dancing but without all the drama. It's called Sebasco Harbor Resort, and it was the perfect place to go with kids- very child-friendly and tons of activities for all ages, a self-contained little resort right on the ocean at the southern tip of a peninsula near Bath. We had a suite with a porch and kitchen, there's a playground and ice cream stand, three restaurants and ginormous salt-water pool. Anyway, we highly recommend it- there was even a full service spa on site pour moi.

Enjoying her post- clam bake watermelon.

A biologist brought some animals over for the kids to have a "touch tank" experience. Some of the poor deprived kids from the midwest and New York had never seen a starfish before! Hazel found the hosts secret stash of un-banded baby lobsters in a bucket under the table, and bravely reached in, picked one up, and tossed it into the tank all the other kids were playing in. She screamed, "Everyone get your hands out of the tank!" when she saw it in there. We are just lucky no one lost a finger. She is so fearless!

They did the clambake up right.

Eating watermelon and watching the Acadian music.

So much fun.

Stunning deserted beach.

Her first real clam-bake.

Self explanatory. Nothing better than lobster on a beach in summer.

A disastrous nap-time three-hour cruise around Casco Bay.

The view from our room.

Updating Pictures While Snowed In with a Sleeping Baby

I realize how far behind I am. Frankly, I hate being pregnant and it's doubly hard with crazy toddler Hazel Porkpie, so I spend all my free time sleeping. Or staring at the wall. I really need to update some pictures. We had a lot of adventures this summer, and no I'm not going to post any pictures of my belly.

Goggles and splashing in the dog bowl.

In the woods one afternoon.

A rare sighting of mama.


Roasted corn at the Tunbridge, Vermont Country Fair

Always so happy...

Splashing around in the shallows at the Lake House in Maine.

Picking blueberries.

A summer afternoon walking around at Appleton Farms Grass Rides with friends.

Hazel and Gage exploring.

A reggae concert in town to benefit our local wolf sanctuary, Wolf Hollow.

Hazel's favorite summer past time.

Very serious about mowing the lawn.

A minke whale.

Hazel's first whale watch was a disaster- too long, too loud, too much. This was right after she puked in her dads shoes.

Beautiful Thatcher Island off the coast of Rockport.

The Cox Reservation in Essex has an art show to benefit the Trustees of the Reservations every year.

Making friends with some bug sculptures.

"Oh, hi!"

With dada, one of many days this summer at the wading pool in Bradley Palmer State Park.

Playing with cousin Owen.

Armenian eyes.

The lawn can't be mowed enough.

Leaving the wading pool after a long afternoon, and stopping to look at a snake on the path with her friends Liam and Beatrice.

With her friend Henry on July 4th.

Calling for back-up with cousin Owen.

A luncheon with cousins Owen and Lorna.

Stuffing cake at cousin Lorna's first birthday party.