Monday, May 7, 2012

Older sister goes back to baby days

I've spent the last couple days making a baby book for Isabel on Shutterfly, where there is, appropriately, a Mother's Day sale going on. Since Isabel's baby brother was born, she's liked hearing the stories of her birth and babyhood, and instead of asking for stories about ponies or ducks from an improvising Mama or Daddy at bedtime, wants to hear about when she was a baby, especially about the part where she was in the hospital for a while, and Mama stayed with her.

Isabel on the day she was born
Baby Bjørn had to stay for a while, and I stayed with him, as I did with both of my other kids (they've all needed more care in intensive or intermediate care nurseries after birth). I was glad I was able to stay this time, too, but it was hard for the kids. So Isabel, especially, likes to hear about how she wore an eye shade and lay under the lights to help her with jaundice, and how James and Daddy would come to visit.

It isn't just the stories--she likes to alternate being a baby, drinking milk out of a bottle, with being a mama, who always breastfeeds (the disconnect doesn't seem to bother her!). She cries more in general and makes "Curious George" sounds more instead of talking, but she's also very helpful--fetching the "C pillow" (Boppy nursing pillow) at opportune moments without being asked, and getting a wipe wet in the sink. Even the dolls are getting a lot more milk than usual, and more walks in their pram around the house, even if they do get toted around by the hair quite a bit.

Isabel now!
She's been very nice to Bjørn--kissing him and gently stroking his forehead, insisting on his right to more milk even if he just finished eating 2 minutes before (she's usually right!), and also wisely refraining from doing anything when she can't cope (she closes the door to where he sleeps if he starts crying, and sits on the couch with her hands over her ears). We've spent time together just we two while Bjørn is napping-- reading books, painting, and playing with toys. I think, though, she still needs a bit more help with the adjustment. Any good ideas for helping older siblings?

(Right now James doesn't seem to be having very much trouble, and he's incredibly soft and gentle and interested in Bjørn, but I remember he didn't have any trouble with Isabel either, not until she started sitting up.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Baby Bjørn

Bjørn Diego Matta, born April 25th. He was 9 lbs 15 oz!

Bjørn had a little infection, so we didn't get home until Sunday. He's a very sweet, calm, and alert little baby.
We're so happy to be home, all together again!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How not to handle a snake

Isabel and the nature documentary are a match made in heaven. Occasionally something will make her run out of the room, and not always the most predictable thing--"spiny flowers with eyes!", anyone? It's all I heard as she ran out--but she is pretty unfazed by the standard scary animals.

Today we saw some of Jeff Corwin's show on Arizona, which was mostly about SNAKES! As we were watching, I noticed Isabel was playing with her spaghetti more than usual (a felicitous choice of lunch), and heard her muttering about the "queen snake" and how you had to handle him "just right" and how he'd "squeeze his prey like this". (Pretty sure she was thinking about the king snake, but am not sure whether she misheard or was making a statement by changing it to a queen. It was still a "he". You decide.)
As Jeff moved on to the next animal, Isabel demonstrated the next step of snake handling.

The world may not be ready.