Tuesday, July 30, 2013


finn has this absolutely adorable way of saying "more" - he adds an "ah" just before "more" and it sounds just like amore.

so I get to spend my days with a beautiful little boy who says "love" all day long.


and speaking of love, this kiddo could not be cuter with his new little sister ("MY baby") - showering her with kisses and insisting to hold her whenever he gets a chance.

in other words, there's LOTS of love around here these days.
not a lot of sleep, but lots of love, thanks to this little pipsqueak...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

thank you, but...

to those of you who seem very concerned about the fact that i'm "out and about" over the past week:

my labor was extremely short and lorelei's delivery very fast. i have a two-year old and a husband, who is the breadwinner of the family, who only had one week to spend with us before going back to work. i felt and continue to feel fine and it is not in my nature to sit back and be waited on. i wanted my husband to spend as much time as possible with his two children without also having to worry about me. i am very grateful for your concern, but am completely capable of running a few errands in town without exerting myself too much. i am delighted to be able to share my newborn with the town i am so fond of and was excited to get her to know as many people as possible, just as we did with her big brother. please understand that i do appreciate your worries, but i am just fine. promise. so when you see me downstreet, please just say hi and feel free to fawn over my beautiful daughter and my gorgeous, crazy son. i can't get enough of that :)


Friday, July 19, 2013

sunsets and fireflies and hoot owls, oh my!

so sunday started just as any other day...
except it didn't.

i guess it all started on saturday night, when i was consumed by a need to clean the house. like, CLEAN clean the house. like maybe i should clean in between the rungs of the spindles on the kitchen table chairs kind of clean. chad definitely noticed, especially when, after i said i didn't want ice cream, he returned with his mint chocolate chip and i was STILL cleaning. i guess that was the first clue that something was afoot.

in the morning, i popped the baked oatmeal i had made the previous evening (like i said, i was CONSUMED the night before), and after eating, my sister and her partner came by for a visit with finn. i felt SO WEIRD, but couldn't quite place it, denying the fact that i could be in early labor. i was less than entertaining during that visit, though, and am pretty sure my sister's partner thinks i'm a total bore now (sorry, cat - really, i was just having a baby!!).

throughout the day, i was definitely having contractions, and started timing them around 8 minutes apart. but i was still totally sure that they were braxton hicks contractions. like TOTALLY sure. once finn went down for his nap, i tried calling the midwife on call, but found out that there WAS no midwife on call, and instead a DOCTOR was.

OK, so i've been working with this team of midwives for the past nine months and some dude doctor i don't know is going to be delivering my baby? no, i don't think so. i'm so obviously NOT in labor.

in the meantime, i receive a call from my step-mom, who informs me that my cousin, who is a week late, is in labor in wiscasset - yay!! obviously i can't be in labor - this is her moment to shine! i tell my step-mom about my contractions, and she's a bit more sure that i'm in labor than i am and suggests i find out when the doctor goes off call...i do as she suggests and am told that he's on until the following day.

le sigh.

so finally, i break down and ask him to call. i tell him my contractions are 5-6 minutes apart, about 20-30 seconds each, but that, as i'm on an island, i'm trying to "make a call" about whether i should head off on the last boat or stay put. in the meantime, my doula arrives and we chat. she doesn't think my labor will really get started until after finn goes down for the night and the sun sets.

she is a smart cookie.

so i forgo the last boat, and continue with my evening plans of a quarry swim and dinner with my dad and step-mom. the contractions continue, but are pretty mild and i'm convinced that this is going to take a while, if indeed i AM in labor. the swim is lovely and dinner is delicious, but by the time we're done eating, i've made the call that it's time to make the trek across the bay.

the race is on. putting operation: birth into action.

first, call and make sure the captain is ready to ferry us to the mainland...not only is he ready, but he's secured a totally sweet speed boat that makes the normally 1 & 1/4 hour ride a mere 20 minutes.
second, call hope, our doula, who arrives with her bag packed moments later.
third, call the woman who is going to watch finn overnight. she's difficult to track down, so my step-mom comes over until she arrives a couple of hours later.

it's just after 8 at this point, and it's time for finn's bedtime. i go up, read him stories and sing him songs like any other night, in the midst of contractions, now coming about every 4 minutes apart, but still pretty mild, all things considered.

at 8:45, we're pulling in to park at the wharf where the boat stands ready and waiting. moments later, we're speeding across the bay, into the setting sun. it is the most beautifully calm night, and the balmy air whips past us as we head for the mainland. i'm able to enjoy almost every moment of this ride as there's only time for about 5 or 6 contractions along the way.

by the time we get to rockland, the sun is almost set and it's just after 9. little do we know, we'll be meeting our daughter in just over two hours...

once we're on the mainland, we make the executive decision to postpone our arrival at the hospital and i'll labor as long as i can at hope's mom's house, which turns out to be just 10 minutes from the hospital, a gorgeous octagonal cabin in the woods with no running water. we walk through a field of fireflies and can hear owls hooting in nearby trees. it is a truly magical place. i wish i could stay here, but know there are two days of room service waiting for me at the hospital if i can get there ;)

about an hour later, we're ready to transition to the hospital. things are getting pretty intense, and i'm pretty sure i'm fully dialated as i'm feeling an urge to push already, but for some reason want to slow down the process. i spent so much of the day pretending that i wasn't in labor that i want to take a minute to wrap my mind around the idea. lorelei has other plans.

we arrive at pen bay at about 10:45. we have to stop twice along the way to the maternity ward for a couple of contractions to pass, and we land in the delivery room. i'm disappointed that the room with the birthing tub is already occupied, but to be honest, there was no time to fill it up. my initial hunch about being fully dialated is confirmed, but for some reason, no one mentions pushing. i'm lying down now, which is not helping things, but i just suddenly got scared. it was a "this is it" moment - i realized that as soon as i got up into my laboring position (which for me happens to be on all fours), our lives were going to change drastically. it wasn't the pain i was afraid of, but of the unknown - how this was going to affect our family, which is pretty awesome as it is - and why mess with perfection? once i was able to verbalize my fear, i think it helped me get over my stage fright and "assume the position" as it were.

i don't want to say what followed was easy - there is no way to describe it as that, but as soon as i let go of my fear, i feel like my focus really shifted - i was still having intense contractions, but they didn't hurt as much because now i was in control, i was doing something about them - namely pushing my baby out! it was an incredibly liberating feeling to let go and take charge all at the same time.

after all the concern about the doctor delivering my baby (and really, i think it was pretty clear who was doing the delivering), he showed up with enough time to put on gloves and catch miss lorelei as she entered the world 35 minutes after our arrival at the hospital.

july 14th was literally the most magical day of my life and i can't imagine it having been any different... lorelei joined us in exactly the right way at exactly the right time. we were absolutely blessed by everyone we encountered that night and in the days to follow (one particular nurse at the hospital made our stay an absolute dream - thanks, alicia!). as bittersweet as it was to finally leave the hospital, we were SO missing our little boy and couldn't wait to unite our family for the first time.

finn, as i'm sure many of you are wondering, is the most spectacular big brother. he is so gentle and sweet with her and i just know they're going to be the best of friends. it literally brings tears to my eyes to see them together - they're both such dreams.

as for miss l, she's the most mellow, chill baby i've ever met. she eats, she sleeps, and she makes us all ga-ga for her during the short hours she's awake and shining those big beautiful eyes on everything she can see (which, admittedly, is not much quite yet).

so there we are. the arrival of miss lorelei angeline. there may be more to come in the next few days. i feel like i have a lot to say. blame it on the hormones.

oh! and lorelei's cousin, harper eden, arrived just a few hours later in the early hours of monday morning. so many blessings.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Miss L.

She's here.

Miss Lorelei Angeline Crossman-King arrived on a most magical night and in a most timely fashion on Sunday, July 14 at 11:20pm. She weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long.

Big brother Finn is enchanted, and - to be honest - so is absolutely everyone she encounters. Full birth story coming very, very soon, but wanted to share our little miracle.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

dead bug!

so there's this game we play at our house. it's called dead bug.
what? you don't name your family snuggle game after expired insects?

it all started when my husband was having a rough time sleeping, dealing with sciatica and hip joint issues, so we had the futon in the living room permanently unfolded in it's "bed" position for a few weeks. finn, of course, thought this was all for him and took it upon himself to perform all sorts of outrageous gymnastics on it (which mostly consisted of him slamming himself down face-first into the cushions). over the course of a week or so, it became "the" place to be while i was cooking dinner - close enough to keep an eye on the kitchen, but fun enough to keep the kiddo happy and out from underfoot.

during this time, finn and daddy spent a lot of time snuggling and rough housing on the futon, ultimately resulting in chad sticking his legs and arms up in the air and yelling "dead bug!" thus, the name of the game was born.

over the months, the game has evolved into anything resembling snuggling, and has now migrated to the parental bed - finn wakes up in the morning, pads over to his door, opens it, comes into our room, and demands, "up! mommy, daddy dead bug". what follows is utter delight, for the most part - creating a tent with our bed coverings for him to burrow into, lots of snuggles, tickle parties, and "this little piggy" playing. often, dead bug is uneventful, but sometimes there's a particularly unpleasant head butt or bonk into the headboard. like i said, though - more often than not, it's a great opportunity to have some quality family time without leaving the comfort of our bed, which is pretty sweet. it's been busy around here, and i'll take all of that stuff i can get.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

some highlights and an update

oh my...
the number of times i've thought about coming to this space and spilling my guts...and then haven't.

some highlights of the last few months:

finn moved into his new "big boy bed", and apart from falling out twice since, he's slept better than ever...i had such a fun time re-doing his room and will give that its own post (no, really!). i was surprisingly un-emotional about the whole affair - my little boy leaving his crib, etc etc etc, and i think that's helped the transition.

finn is now using the potty on a regular basis, of his own accord. he super randomly told me he wanted to use his potty one day to poop, and i obliged, where he proceeded to do the deed, much to our delight and surprise. yet another awesome thing about having our kiddo enrolled, even part-time, at day care, where he sees his peers doing the same. we're by no means potty trained, but he at least tries every day and we don't pressure him to do anything he doesn't want to do. our plan wasn't going to be even starting to try potty training for another 6 months, so this is huge, and every diaper i don't have to wash is a gift :)

finn turned TWO last week! more on that soon...

i am now officially 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant...8 days more pregnant than i've ever been, and feeling great. no swelling, no high blood pressure, no urine tests, no 3 week early baby. in fact, this little girl is so high (read:crushing my lungs), she may not come out until after her due date of the 24th, which is just fine with me - i haven't been loving the heat, but i do want their birthdays to be spread out as much as we can AND now that i have a 2 year old, i'm in no rush to add another kiddo to the mix. we're enjoying these last few weeks as a family of 3 and are very much looking forward to meeting the person who's going to complete it, but we know it'll be hard for a while. luckily, chad gets to stay home for a week or so, then my mom comes up for a week or so, depending on when baby girl comes along, and chad's mom comes up for a week or so. hypothetically, there will be lots of support around, and i'm stocking the freezer so we can all just settle in to new babyhood with as little stress as possible.

I'll be back in this space again to share photos of the two kiddos bedrooms - hopefully within the next couple of days. But then again, I might take a nap...  ;)