May 9, 2018 § 2 Comments
I’m back after a long blog hiatus because of two of my favourite things: Harry Potter and Henry.
This morning at breakfast, Henry asked me if Dumbledore was a “good guy”. He had been playing a LEGO Harry Potter video game at his friend’s house on the weekend. Also, at Henry’s age, he and his friends are very into “good guys” and “bad guys”. I said, yes, he’s a good guy and a great wizard in the books. Henry asked who the bad guy was, so I reminded him about Voldemort. (We haven’t read the books yet, but of course, I love to tell him anything he wants to know about Harry Potter whenever he asks ;) )
Henry’s next question was a good one and proof that kindergarteners can really make you think sometimes: why is Voldemort bad?
In school this year, Henry’s really paying attention to the other kids’ behaviours and trying some of it on for himself, experimenting with what behaviour gets what kind of reaction, but in the end, Nick and I like to remind him that we like Henry the best, and he’s back to himself shortly after. He tries to tell me that some kids are bad, but I like to ask him questions about why he thinks his classmate was acting that way. Were they sad or tired or grumpy? Maybe they were having a bad day. Can he remember a time he felt like that?
So I was faced with this question about Voldemort that I’ve never really stopped to think about before, despite being a huge Harry Potter fan. In a movie or book you just accept that the villains are the villains and the heroes are the heroes. But I wanted to give an empathetic answer, so I told him how Voldemort had no parents and no friends and maybe that just made him a sad and angry person. Then I told him how Harry actually told Voldemort how he felt sorry for him because he will never know love or friendship in the big fight scene at the end of The Order of the Phoenix. It sounds so cheesy, but it really is what life is all about and Henry got it immediately. He teared up and came to me for a hug.
Four year olds ask the best questions sometimes. And I cannot wait to read these books full of great life lessons to Henry and Charlie.
August 10, 2017 § Leave a comment
We have been adjusting to life as a family of four and I think we’re just really starting to find our rhythm. Nick went back to work full time this week and Henry’s been hanging out with his sitter & her son Monday through Thursday for about 6 hours a day. This is great for Charlie and I being able to have some time together, even if it means him crying and fussing and nursing til he falls asleep. Things are pretty loud in a two bedroom apartment with a nearly-4-year-old and so it’s nice to have some time where it’s just the two of us, Charlie sleeping peacefully and me being able to shower/read/re-apply for Canadian Citizenship Certificates, etc.
The time between babysitter leaving and Nick getting home where I have both kids usually involves a TV break (so we can all hang out on the couch happily) or me carrying Charlie around in the Ergo so he doesn’t fuss and I can play with Henry. Making dinner is still an adventure, but I’m figuring it out, even if it means Charlie crying a bit because I can’t hold him all the time.
Nick has been taking “Summer Fridays” off for the month, so we can spend them together as a family. Last Friday, we actually made it into the city to go to the Museum of Natural History! Sure, Charlie and I had to make an emergency evacuation of the planetarium show because he wouldn’t nurse and wouldn’t stop crying, but it was all worth it! He just wants to sleep on you for a good part of the day right now, so we might as well carry him around in the Ergo (which he MUCH prefers to his stroller at the moment) anywhere we need to go.
Charlie is a champ when it comes to eating, so he’s grown a ton in the past month. His head and face are filling out along with the rest of his body. In the photo above he looks so much like my dad and brother! Also his skin is peeling, his baby acne is clearing up, and his darker hair seems to already be falling out in his bed while he sleeps. He’s also starting to wear some of his 3 month-sized clothes. I can’t wait to see what he’ll look like in the next couple months.
We’ve found a pretty good balance when it comes to spending time with both kids too. Whenever possible, Nick will take Charlie for chest naps in our bedroom while I hang out with Henry. I also do bath and bed time with Henry every night while Nick takes Charlie after I give him one last feeding for a while. Up until this week, Nick and I have had from about 8:00-9:00 to hang out in the living room and watch Netflix and eat popcorn together, but the last few nights, Charlie has refused to sleep until we both go to sleep at 9:30 or 10:00. The lack of time of having both kids asleep at the same time kinda sucks, but it’s worth it because he has been sleeping much better – only getting up 2 or 3 times a night to nurse! Such an improvement from Henry who would wake me up about 6-7 times a night.
I also caved and bought a Dockatot after Julia praised its magic. I’m sure that has something to do with the improved sleep ;) Thanks, Julia!
July 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
We have officially been a family of four for two weeks now! We already love Charlie so much that it seems like he’s been here for a lot longer, although we are still regaining our footing and figuring things out with this big change. The two biggest things we’re adjusting to are Henry’s new role as a big brother and the fact that we are pretty much bursting out of our apartment!
Henry has been used to having my full attention for his whole life since I work from home and he only has a babysitter part time so he’s had his ups and downs. Whenever I can, I make sure to put Charlie down or hand him to Nick so that I can just sit on the floor and play with Henry for as long as possible, giving him my full attention. I still do bedtimes with him too, which seems to really help. Despite the good and bad days, we are proud of how welcoming he’s been with Charlie. He just wants to hug him ALL THE TIME – sometimes a little too enthusiastically ;)
Charlie spends most of his time sleeping, eating, and as Henry likes to make sure to point out, pooping. He’s already gone from his birth weight of 7 lbs 14 oz to over 8 lbs 8 oz (as of last Tuesday)!
Charlie’s already been going out and about with us and has also met a few close friends like Unckie Paul!
They also took Henry to our amazing neighbourhood toy store and told Henry he could pick out one thing, whatever he wanted! Of course he chose an enormous and loud, but pretty cool truck crane.
Nick has been working from home for the past two weeks and will be home with us for another two weeks. With no family living around us plus Henry’s big adjustment to our new addition, it’s so helpful that he’s doing this. If it weren’t for my amazing husband and awesome sitter, I don’t know what I’d do!
The sleep deprivation isn’t as bad as it was with Henry, mostly because between already having a kid who goes through good and bad stages of sleeping, plus not sleeping well during the last trimester of my pregnancy anyways, I am kind of used to bad sleeps at this point. Also, as a second-time parent, I know that everything is a phase and in just a few months, things will get a lot better. Also getting up three or four times a night would be a lot harder without that cute face to look at!
July 15, 2017 § 1 Comment
Introducing Charles Wolfe Storch, 7 lbs 14 oz, born Monday July 10 at 6:30pm!
After my friend Julia – my pregnancy partner/good friend who was due just 10 days after me – gave birth to her son on Saturday within hours of having her water broken, I knew I was over being pregnant. I was ready to meet Charlie and get this whole birth ordeal over with. Sunday morning and afternoon, Nick, Henry & I spent at two birthday parties in the hot sun, wrangling our excited kid. I was 5 days past my due date at that point and definitely exerted myself a bit in the heat, but by dinnertime, I was finally starting to feel contractions!
Around 9:30pm, I was suspecting that my water broke after a contraction. Getting ready to have a baby when you already have a 3 1/2 year-old is so different than your first time around. This meant that we had to have Henry’s babysitter on-call and ready to come over when my contractions were close enough together to go to the hospital, which also required a tricky balance of giving her enough notice to come over, but not going to the hospital too early and being sent home. We had also hired Aimee to be our doula again so Sunday night consisted of communicating with my midwife, doula, and babysitter in addition to giving my parents a heads up so they could think about booking their flights to come visit. It was a lot of texting! In any case, by 11:00 pm Henry was asleep in his room, but our sitter Valerie and her 10 year-old son Caylan, plus Aimee’s back up doula, then eventually also Aimee were all over while I was dealing with contractions. It’s a good thing we have a big sectional couch because Valerie, Caylan, and Aimee ended up sleeping over on the couch, waiting for me to get to the point of being ready to head to the hospital.
Of course, in that type of pressure, I never did. As soon as I heard Henry wake up early in the morning, my contractions had stopped altogether. (Apparently this is a common occurrence with moms when it’s not their first baby and they have other kids to worry about.) My midwife did call to let me know that because I thought my water broke the night before, I had to head down to the hospital around 10am to check it out. This actually worked out perfectly because I just needed to get out of my crowded apartment (thankfully Valerie took Henry with her to drop off Caylan at his soccer camp) and concentrate on going into labour.
I arrived at triage in the hospital and they ran the tests to see if my water had broken, which were inconclusive. I was still having contractions, but only when I’d move – sitting and lying down were not doing me any good. The doctors wanted to put me on an IV in bed on pitocin which I refused, and thankfully my awesome midwife called me directly on my cell after speaking with the hospital. She recommended we go get lunch and go for a walk for 2 hours, then come back, which seemed like a much better option than what the hospital wanted!
Nick, Aimee, and I got egg & cheese bagels, iced coffee, and walked around Fort Greene Park for two hours. Thank goodness there was a hilly park right beside the hospital – a much better place to deal with increasingly strong contractions than a busy Brooklyn sidewalk! By the time we returned at 2pm, I was 5 cm dilated, almost fully effaced, and Charlie was very low. Before Aimee arrived, my drug-free birth spirit was a little broken and I was just so tired I thought I’d have to get the epidural this time. By the time we were back at the hospital and things were happening, plus with Aimee’s great communication and encouragement, I was back on track. After all, with Henry I gave birth without an epidural, but on pitocin to make my contractions worse – if I wasn’t on pitocin, it wasn’t going to be quite as bad.
Well things were intense and I did so much yelling that my throat was sore by the end of it, but Charlie was born at 6:30 pm that day! Despite a bit of a scare of his heart rate dropping and the umbilical cord being wrapped around his arm on the way out, everything went well. My midwife on call, Beth, doula Aimee, and the nurse on staff were awesome and it was nice to have just those three people, plus Nick, in the room.
We spent two nights recovering in the hospital and came home on Wednesday afternoon so Henry could finally meet Charlie. He had been telling everyone he’d run into that his brother was on the way! Charlie “got Henry a gift” – a truck he’d has his eye on – and when Henry got back with Valerie, Henry didn’t even know what he should be more excited about. Finally meeting his new little brother was an adorably special moment and although we’re still adjusting to our new situation, we’re so happy to be a new family of four.
[Read about Henry’s birth story here.]
[Charlie’s middle name is a family name to pay homage to my awesome grandparents.]
May 30, 2017 § Leave a comment
Memorial Day weekend is always the best because it’s the first long weekend of the year with (relatively) nice weather! Last year, we rented a house in the Poconos with my parents, but this year, we decided to stay a bit closer to home.
We were really lucky to basically have a 4-day weekend since Nick had Friday off. Henry had his morning preschool class, but we both went to pick him up and were able to play at the park with some school friends afterwards for a while. Above is their first band promo shot.
It’s always so hard to get Henry to leave his friends at the park (we’re always the first to leave since we have a half hour walk home), but the ice cream truck that appeared across the street just as we were telling him it was time to go for a soft-serve search definitely helped!
I bought a ticket for Sharath Jois‘ 7:30am Led Ashtanga class months ago, without quite realizing I’d be 8 1/2 months pregnant at the time. It ended up being a great goal to work towards though and the class was awesome. There’s nothing quite like practicing with “The Boss” himself, especially beside my amazing teacher Amy, and a couple hundred other Ashtangis. And yes, I had to get a photo with him and say hello/thank you as I’m not sure when I’ll get to practice with Sharath again! I then spent the rest of the day sitting because my hips and pelvis were so open I was afraid I might have a baby if I kept going.
Sunday morning, we made the trip Henry’s been waiting for his whole life – the 2 hour drive to Diggerland in New Jersey!
We rented a car and listened to “Life Is A Highway” about 100 times, by Henry’s request. (He’s really into the Cars movie right now.)
Once we got over the initial overwhelming moment breakdown/refusing to eat lunch/sad he couldn’t bring in his own water bottle, Henry had a blast.
Diggers, dumptrucks, and big trucks everywhere!
He even waited patiently in line for about 40 minutes to drive an excavator with Nick. Check out those faces!
There was a playground with a three-story slide and swings…
…and a dumptruck ride that he’ll be able to go on once he grows 2 more inches.
Unfortunately for us, we didn’t escape their gift shop unscathed. I mean LOOK AT THIS STUFF. We may or may not have bribed our way into getting over bedtime fights with a giant flatbed truck…
It just hit me that my due date is the next time we have a long weekend! :O My last day of work is tomorrow, so I will hopefully be revisiting this blog more often. See you soon!
January 19, 2017 § Leave a comment
Since I’m 35 years old, despite living in NYC where many people have their first child at 40, I am right on the cusp of geriatric pregnancy territory. This sounds kind of insulting, but along with it comes more attention AND a genetic blood test that can also tell you the sex of your baby much earlier than normal. I’ll take it!
So everyone, we’re having another boy! Introducing Charlie. Nick and I got to visit with him this morning at my routine anatomy scan and he waved to us, yawned, and also wiggled his toes. He’s already adorable.
Remember when we found out we were having a Henry?
And this was me this time last pregnancy: 16 weeks.
January 5, 2017 § Leave a comment
I wanted to break the blog silence by writing about our Christmas!
As usual, we drove up to Canada for about 5 days. This was our fourth road trip to Ontario with Henry and he’s really a champ about the long drives. He insists he never wants to fly on a plane again – only drive! (The above photo is actually a rare moment when we actually had to put Storybots on a phone to keep him going.)
We drove all the way to Niagara Falls, Ontario the first day and stayed in a falls view room at the Marriott that night. It was freezing there, but beautiful!
Because we drove about 9 hours the first day, we had just under two hours left to drive to my parents’ house in Woodstock the next day. It was very snowy.
We settled in quickly with a jam session with Grandpa in the basement and later on, helping Grandma shovel snow off the deck.
The rest of the visit was great, including many visits from family members and even dinner out to a Woodstock fish & chips favourite.
Grandma also helped Henry build an enormous “tractor trailer” with 26 wheels out of old coffee boxes. He just realized yesterday that we hadn’t brought it home, but that will give him something to look forward next visit.
What made this trip better than those in the past was that Henry happily slept in his own little bed beside ours! Here he is, watching two Spiderman videos before lights out.
On Christmas Day, my sister’s family The Martins came over which bumped our kid count to 6!
Things got a bit crazy by the end of the day, but they all had so much fun. A special shout out to my Mom who made such a delicious dinner while dodging children all day!
…also to the Dads who policed the kids’ table full of 2 and 3 year-olds. (My brother-in-law is literally a policeman after all!)
The next day, we said goodbye to my parents, grandparents, and Aunt Deb who lives next door, and drove two hours to my sister’s new house in Port Perry. The weather was not great, but their house is beautiful!
Henry was thrilled to play with his cousins – jumping on beds with Ben and playing in the playroom with Jillian – before getting in the car to begin our long journey back home.
Thanks for another great visit, Canada, see you soon!