Monday, May 30, 2011

17 Months

Enzo is 17 months old today. He is celebrating by taking his sister to her first A's game. I saw him lean over and kiss his sister on the cheek a couple of days ago. That was super sweet and super adorable and left me a little stunned as I didn't expect that level of expression from my son yet. Then yesterday he leaned over so that I could kiss his forehead. Thinking about this, he's coming a long way with kissing. He blows kisses with his hand over his mouth and makes the kissy-smack noise when he blows kisses straight into the air. I wonder if his kisses to mom and dad will change. Those usually involve a laugh as his entire mouth goes over our nose or cheek. I do enjoy those kisses. It's impossible not to smile thinking about them. It's good to see he can adjust as needed for his little sister's little cheeks though. He's probably too young to appreciate how beautiful she smells with her baby scent when he kisses her but he'll have his chance to notice that, perhaps with his own baby, when he is older. It is a delicious and comfortable smell that compliments her cuteness and softness perfectly. Enzo has a beautiful smell as well though it has already changed from his original little baby smell. It is still as addicting to inhale though.

He really is growing. Yesterday he slept in, played a bit and went back to sleep for a long nap. The whole family did the same and it was very nice and needed. When he woke up he looked like his own older brother; appearing taller and feeling heavier as he casually stretched himself awake. My little baby boy is changing.

The older I get, the more cliches I hear in my head, told to myself spontaneously and in ernest. They grow up so fast.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two and a Half

(Sleeping Ana.)

Ana is two and a half weeks old. It feels like she has been part of the family for months. It is odd to think she was born just three Fridays ago. She is doing great, looking beautiful, super gorgeous and sweet and adorable and lovable. She is in that early phase of life where she is mostly asleep or eating and so I consider it a special gift when she is perfectly content and awake and I get to hold her. Asleep is ok too. Her head is SO soft with her silky hair. I think it is the softest surface I have ever touched. Her cheeks and head are delightful to kiss as is her neck and I try to get in a full ration of kisses every day.

(My beautiful girls.)

Ana Uku is, in other words, so incredibly beautiful and perfect. And I love her.

(Monte the recliner.)

Enzo continues to be gentle and sweet with his sister "baby." They get along well. I've also been watching Enzo and our dog Monte and realizing that Monte is becoming Enzo's dog instead of mine or Tami's. There are times now and then when Monte would like a short break from all of the attention Enzo gives during their playtime and that can sometimes include Monte being hugged and poked and kissed/bitten and adored by Enzo for quite a while. Enzo loves his dog. He also likes to play in the cloth dog kennel in the living room, with or without Monte, but especially with. Yesterday Monte got in trouble and I sent him to his kennel. You would think that Enzo just received the coolest prize ever. His smile became huge, he screamed out in excitement, and ran the fastest his little 16 and a half month old legs could run to join Monte, and then dove in to the kennel. Poor dog got more than he bargained for but he certainly didn't get time to reflect on his misbehavior. Enzo eventually calmed down in there and he and I blew kisses to each other through the mesh windows. It was a fun way to spend time after work. Speaking of Enzo looking as though he just received the coolest prize ever, he only looks that excited about people at this point and that is awesome.... especially when it's for me.

(He is such a happy kid.)

Someone told Tami that Ana would have me wrapped around her finger. Tami replied yes she would but she couldn't see how Ana would have me any more wrapped then Enzo has already. I like that story. I adore these kids. They can have me wrapped around their fingers all they like, so long as I still know when to dig my heels in for their own well being and happiness. Otherwise, I have never been happier at the service and whim of others.

(Tami taught Enzo to smell flowers and here he is giving her a flower petal to smell.)

(Enzo and Papi on the beach.)

As I said, it feels like all four of us have been together for longer than the two and a half weeks since Ana has joined us on the outside. In that brief time, I have a couple of new treasured family memories. Twice now we have spent the day at the beach. Once we were at Twin Lakes beach in Santa Cruz and Ana spent the time in the shade with her Mama while Enzo "swam" in the sand and explored the beach. He wasn't interested in the ocean itself on that day. The other time was in Capitola with Nicole and Shea. Ana stayed snuggled up with Mama In one of her baby wearing carriers and Enzo explored ocean and beach and had a great time chasing around Shea's orange beach ball. It was great for me to see him playing with the water rising up his legs, watching him run away and into the water, looking and picking up rocks and kelp, and loving him right where the great big ocean of the world meets the land. My other new memories involve staring closely at Ana Uku in my arms and kissing her gently on her head, neck, and cheeks. I can recreate the memory perfectly of how soft and beautiful she is as I sit here miles away right now. And I know that someday I will not likely be able to do that, memories being imperfect as they are. I'll have to be satisfied knowing that I treasured the experience absolutely while I had it to live.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Enzo Grows Up

Enzo grew up in one night. It was the first night he spent away from us, the night his sister was born.

He stayed with his Auntie Tia (Tami's sister Traci) when we went to the hospital for delivery. He spent two nights away from us as we stayed at the hospital for two nights. That was not easy for us; we had never stayed the night away from him before. We were so happy to have our Ana with us that first night but it was difficult to not have our Enzo with us. The next day we knew Traci would bring Enzo to visit and meet his sister. We were both curious how he would take having a sibling. He is 16 months old. Would he be jealous? Angry? Tami and I talked about this but mostly we were looking forward to seeing him when he visited.

And then The Kid arrived. He had grown up over night. I don't know for sure how much he had actually changed in a night as a result of being away from us or returning to a new family dynamic. Maybe a little. I don't know how much of this change was only perceived by me. Maybe most, maybe all.

But Enzo had grown up. I picked him up when he came in and he was sooo much heavier. I had only been a day without lifting him. His legs are so much thicker. He seems more thoughtful. In one day he had become more mature, bigger, more responsible. I don't know how much of this is in his body or in my mind, but the results will be the same very soon. When you change your perspective about someone, changing expectations of them, the way you speak to them, the way you listen to them, then that someone changes. And so Enzo will be more responsible, mature, and grown up now because something changed for me.

When Enzo walked in to the room at the hospital, it at first appeared our worst fears were true. He was sad, unhappy, didn't look at his sister and was avoiding us. He just looked at us with a sad face. But it wasn't a problem with his sister. Traci said he was very good with her. But, seeing us again, I believe, made him realize that he missed us and I suspect he was dealing with some trust and abandonment emotions at that point when he found us in front of him again. It took a few minutes of sympathy, a whole bunch of kisses, sweet words and playfulness, but Enzo came back to loving comfort that day and met his sister. You want to hear sad? He was crying when he left as we were to stay one more night. That was pretty much the worst good bye ever with him.

The next day, we were together again as a family, a bigger family.

Enzo has definitely met his sister now and taken on a sweet role as brother. I look forward to watching this relationship develop over the years. When I placed Ana in her swing, Enzo started rocking it for her all by himself. When I gave Ana her first sponge bath, Enzo stood next to me and quietly watched even as she began to fuss and cry out in hunger before I was finished. When Tami and I played with her and watched her last night, Enzo ever so carefully walked around her, sat down, and said "baby" as he touched her belly with one finger. He calls his sister baby. When she called out in hunger from the other room this morning, Enzo told me it was baby. He is grown up. He is more mature. He is more responsible. And thankfully, he has mostly forgiven us for not being with him for two nights.

I love our Enzo. I love our Ana.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ana Uku

Our beautiful daughter was born on May 6th. Her name is Ana Uku. Both are Taíno words; the language of the native people of Puerto Rico. Ana means flower and Uku means earth, land, soil, terrain. As Tami said, she is our flower from the land. I think of the words Ana and Uku. They are beautiful words and my daughter deserves a connection to them. The ideas and mental images of the words are impressive in my mind. I think of her and images of flowers and earth and I feel good and I like the essence of my thoughts. How Ana Uku decides to interpret her name will be up to her, of course. I do hope she takes into mind the idea of nourishing land; a basis for sustenance and a frame to life. I do hope she takes into mind the idea of a flower whose functional beauty is purposeful but goes beyond that requirement to make the world better and more alive with it's poetry and beauty in being. These are good concepts to consider when developing values and relationships to places in her time and life; when defining her existence through being and adding meaning to her name through her own existence.

And so now there is Ana, my Ana Uku, out of the womb and sharing this great world. She is beautiful, loved, and calm. Yes, she seems to have the calmness and demeanor of her brother so far and there will be no mistaking that they are related by looks either. And they are adorable. We couldn't be luckier to have such adorable children to care for and love.

Our two children were born 16 months and one week apart on the same floor of the same building, within an inch of each others height and within an ounce of each others weight. But there were certainly differences in the experiences. Tami recalls that for Enzo she labored three days before going into Labor and Delivery (5th floor at the hospital) where she then spent 19 hours (I had written 15 hours in my blog but that may be a typo) helping her son find his way out. Exhausting, yes. Ana took 4 hours in Labor and Delivery and Tami labored for a total of about 24 hours. Huge difference! I won't say easy for an experience so demanding, but certainly less time was involved in a challenging part of baby making this second time around. And here is something super interesting..... Ana was delivered while her mother was standing! Yes! Standing! Tami was rocking and swaying and squatting, feet planted on the ground, while resting her hands on the bed to help Ana finish her preparations to join us on the outside. At one point the midwife checked on her and Tami said it's time, she is coming now, I feel her. The midwife checked and said yes, get into bed you are about to have a baby. And Tami said no, she is coming now. And that she was. So, the second midwife slipped down, asked our doula (Stephanie was our doula for both of our babies' births) to place a pillow on the floor under Tami, just in case, and Tami delivered our beautiful Ana right there, without issue, while standing. It was AWESOME and somehow perfect and now I can't imagine any other way for Ana to have been born. The midwives just passed Ana through Tami's legs, helped Tami into bed and placed our baby on her chest where Ana found herself quite happy. The midwife who received Ana as she was born thought it was cool because she so rarely gets to be part of deliveries with a standing mother. After a while I cut the cord, as I had with Enzo, and we spent time getting to know each other and Tami and I took turns holding our baby skin to skin.

As I said, Ana is similarly tempered to Enzo which is to say; calm and easily made comfortable with being held. They are both very beautiful. I can not help but be so impressed with Tami for bringing our babies through 9 months of pregnancy and then delivering them. It's an amazing and impressive accomplishment to have a child. We are quite lucky to have these two. Everything since has been perfect with Ana Uku. She is lying on my chest now, one of the best experiences to me, sleeping peacefully and smelling of newborn-happy-baby goodness. I love her and kissing her is a large dose of happiness.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Our Daughter Is Born

Our beautiful daughter is born! Ana Uku. Happy birthday. This is a picture of her resting after her big day. Ana Uku was born on May 6th beautiful and healthy. She is so gorgeous and wonderful to hold and love.