Monday, July 30, 2007

Morning Trek

I haven't had time to download pics from my camera so here are a few that I stole from Shannon's blog. :)

I just finished an approximately two mile walk (round trip) to the post office, the canal to let Meredith feed the ducks, the grocery store to buy bread and milk, and Starbucks (because I figure I deserve a treat after all that). We only have one car so I love living in a borough of the city where I can walk to these types of places. It was my first time pushing the double stroller, which was heavy but not too bad. The worst part was lifting it to get it down the stairs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Thoughts from Mom

Clara came really fast, after full day. Fortunately it was one of those restfully-full days and not a hectic-full day. We went to church, had a leisurely brunch of waffles, strawberries, and scrambled eggs with Kevin’s family, I took a long nap while Kevin watched golf on television, then we played a game of croquet with Colin, Megan, and Kc on the back lawn. As we were getting ready to head back to church for evening service (5:30), I had my first contraction. Clara was born exactly four hours later (9:30).

Short labors are nice but (for those of you who think it’s all dreamy), they are very intense. Your body has to go through the same thing in getting ready to deliver a baby, regardless of how long it takes to get there. When Kevin and I were limping across the hospital parking lot (okay, I was the one limping) to get to the maternity ward, I felt a big contraction coming on. In order to get more comfortable I got on my hands and knees on a patch of grass in front of the hospital. (Seriously, when you’re in labor you don’t care what other people think of you!) Suddenly a woman rushed over to us and said, half joking, “Don’t do anything on the front lawn! It’s bad for business!” She ended up being a really nice doctor who got a wheel chair and wheeled me to the third floor. I had four or five more contractions on the way up there and she kept patting my back reassuringly as we went. She seemed like an angel to me. Maybe she was.

It’s amazing how much we love this new baby already. I’m definitely more relaxed as a mom this time around. I was so uptight with Meredith that I wasn’t able to enjoy her as much, I think. Also, I appreciate the perspective I have now with a second baby. I realize that these first few weeks are ultimately fleeting. As hectic as they are, they are precious and irretrievable. I can’t stop hugging and kissing on both my little girls.

Maybe it’s in response to MY being more relaxed, but Clara seems so laid back to me. Like this sweet “whatever” attitude that I don’t remember Meredith having. At all.

I forgot how small newborns are. Her feet, hands, and little bottom. It’s amazing.

I also forgot how naturally sweet a newborn’s skin smells. Like Kc said, “She smells like vanilla!” I can’t stop kissing Clara’s chubby cheeks and the crook of her neck. I want to savor each moment.

Meredith is doing fairly well adjusting. Her disposition toward Clara is very sweet and gentle. At the hospital she was all smiles and kept saying, “I hold her,” “I hug her,” “I kiss her.” But she is also more emotional than normal. She’s had a hard time sharing a few things. For instance, her box of wipes. Can you believe it? Today I asked her to help me and get a wipe. She clung to this stupid box of wipes and said, “This is Meredith’s wipes!”

When we first got home from the hospital I started to worry about how I was possibly going to be able to love both my children equally. It was overwhelming. They are both distinct persons with their own unique set of needs. They say that a mother’s love grows when another child is born and this is so true. But I’m still overwhelmed. I will pray for grace and just keep on loving as best I can.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Welcome... the world, Clara Faith Koons! She arrived safely and quickly (a 4-hour labor from start to finish) last night around 9:30 p.m. She weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. and measured 20 3/4 in. long. Amy and Clara are both doing fine. Pictures forthcoming...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

500-Pound Man Rescued After 12 Hours in River

Did you guys see this incredible story on Drudge today?

I’m still trying to figure out why this man ever tried to go tubing in the first place.

“The aircraft that found him [stranded] said they could not lift that amount of weight.”

If an airplane couldn’t handle him, why on earth did he ever think an inflatable device could?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Local Touring and Second Deliveries

Over the weekend we decided, once again, to be tourists in our own town. Honestly, lately I’ve been wanting a vacation SO badly but with a baby coming and school starting, that’s not an option. So we’re doing the best we can locally. And it’s been fun.

We went to White River State Park and walked around the canal downtown. At the end of the day we were going to see an IMAX movie but thought that Meredith would be too scared of the 3-D sharks and 3-D dinosaurs. Or that maybe she wouldn’t keep the glasses on and then wouldn’t be able to see anything anyway. So, we opted for a movie back at the house.

I’m definitely ready to shed my big belly. Although the weather was nice on Saturday, it was still exhausting to lug around this pregnancy weight during our long walk.

Now that I’m near the end of this pregnancy, I’ve finally started thinking about labor and delivery. Unlike last time, I haven’t read any books on the subject and we didn’t take the child birth prep class (which was a waste of time and money anyway).

Because I had such a great experience with Meredith, I hope I’m not disappointed this time around. With Meredith, everything happened very fast and, thanks to that beautiful thing called the epidural, I was rested, relaxed and really (honestly) enjoyed the process of welcoming my daughter into this world.

Although most people apparently have easier deliveries their second time, I know of two examples where things were significantly worse. So, I’m trying not to be overly hopeful.

When you’re going into your first delivery, everything is “unknown.” When you’re going into your second delivery, it’s not that much different. Although I now know what a contraction feels like, I still have no idea what lies ahead with baby number two’s delivery. It’s hard for me to not let my first experience taint my views of this upcoming experience since they say each one is different. Right?

I’m glad Kevin has a sterling memory ‘cuz I sure don’t. The other day I started worrying that I wouldn't remember how to breathe, when it would be time to go to the hospital, etc., etc. After vocalizing these concerns to Kevin, he immediately piped up with all the relevant information to respond to my questions.

How he remembers all this stuff from two years ago, I’ll never know. But I’m glad.

Recently I read a statistic—one in 300 women in the U.S. has given birth in a car. Doesn’t that figure seem high to you? I personally can see the advantage of having a baby that fast (aside from the bloody mess in the car, of course). Kevin, I’m sure, would rather it not be quite that fast.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fabulous Book

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is the best book I’ve read in a long time. It was this month’s featured book with our book club and we had a great discussion last night. The book is beautifully written and deals with intriguing subject matter. I highly recommend it.

Although I thought it would be a depressing book because it entails a father abandoning his newborn handicapped child and lying to his wife—and, ultimately, this family secret has repercussions for everyone involved—I found it to be redemptive and thought-provoking and I’m glad I read it. The book was especially interesting because it followed and contrasted parallel lives—the man who abandoned his child and the woman who raised her. The author has tremendous insight and ties everything together beautifully. It was a definite page-turner for me.

So, check it out!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Two Wonderful Years

We are so blessed. God has given us a precious little girl to love for two whole years now. I figured it would be the case but parenthood has caused me to experience the depths and heights of the wide range of emotions like I never had before. Who knew it was possible to love this much, or be this frustrated, or this happy? Who knew that I would laugh so much every day or cry more than I ever had my whole life? When I signed up for a baby, who knew that I would have a toddler so soon? In the blink of an eye, my baby grew and became her own person, independent and free-thinking, loving life and living every day with passion.

I love you Meredith Grace Koons! I’m so happy that God gave you to daddy and me!

The birthday girl.

Playing doctor with Aunt Megan.

Gift from mom and dad … a new sandbox! Unfortunately the sand had mosquitoes in it. Can you believe it? Our little girl was eaten alive. The next day the mosquitoes were gone, so we ended up not having to get new sand.

Family of Four

Meredith has been singing Happy Birthday to herself and blowing out imaginary candles for nearly a month now! She was so excited to get to do it “for real.”

Sand and Cake. What could be better?

Who says 9 months pregnant isn’t sexy? (On second thought, don’t answer that.)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fun Fourth

Gettin' Ready

"I like this."