26 February 2009

Clara Grace Boone!

I just wanted to let everyone know that Gabriel is now a wonderful big brother!!!

We brought Clara home today, and we are all well. She was born on Monday, February 23, 2009 at 8:36pm at Frederick Memorial Hospital. We both had a fever when she was born, so Clara had to stay a few days in the NICU while they ran some blood tests to make sure she didn't have an infection. She received the all clear last night, and she was released today at lunchtime. She was born at 7lbs. 8oz. and 21 1/2 inches long (almost as long as Gabriel, who was 8lbs. 2oz. and over 22 inches long). She has very dark hair and dark eyes. Her skin is much more olive than Gabriel's, so they don't look anything alike! Luckily, we dressed them both in maroon for coming home day, so Gabriel was thrilled that they both had maroon and white shirts on.

Clara is wonderful! She is calm and quiet, and she doesn't fuss unless there's something to fuss about. She impressed the nurses by holding her pacifier in by herself (all the NICU babies have them), and they all loved her fuzzy dark hair. She has long fingers and toes, and her eyes are big and bright. And she loves to have her mouth open, even when she is asleep! She loves to nurse and sleep, so she is an ideal baby!

Gabriel was sooooo excited to bring her home, and he has been covering her in hugs and kisses since we got here. He made me sit in a chair with him and Clara and he wanted to show her his High-5 Magazine. He would intermittently pat her head, hug her shoulder, or squeeze her hand to make sure she was paying attention. He only got annoyed once: he wanted me to "put Clara on floor: play trains!" He really wanted her to come play with him, but we decided to cuddle as a family instead! He is wonderfully gentle and loving, and just so proud to have his little sister home. I am really pleased with his understanding of everything and joy about the new situation. Thank you, God!!!

Gabriel has been such a superstar since this whole fiasco began on Sunday. I was miserable all day, but he was very patient and loving. We were at the hospital until midnight, and he did his best to be a very good boy. After going home for a few hours of sleep, we all decided it was time to go back to the hospital. We dropped him off at a friend's house at 5:30am, and he cuddled with Maureen until her kids got up, then he got to play all day long. Once Clara was born, we called to say that Jake could come pick him up. Maureen had already put him to bed, and he'd been asleep for an hour and a half already! So Gabriel got to have his first sleepover party!!! He was so proud, and he had so much fun. I am so proud of him for being a big boy and playing nicely with his friends.

While I was at the hospital, Jake came home with Gabriel a few times. One naptime, Gabriel was not in the mood for a nap. Jake put him in his bed, but Gabriel threw his pillows all over the place and hopped off the bed to play with his toys. Jake was exhausted and just let him do whatever, but he had to stay in his room. An hour later, Jake went to free him from his confinement, but Gabriel was in bed asleep with all his pillows back in place! He's never done anything like that, and it makes me even prouder of my big boy.

One more note: our blog will be changing soon! We'll have a new address that will be a bit more fitting for our family of four. It'll be an easy transition, but Jake will post all the details once it's ready to go. Also, we'll have tons of pictures up as soon as we can. We need to develop a few rolls of film, and we have lost our phone-to-computer cord, so we'll do our best to get pics up quickly!

UPDATE: We'll pick up our pictures from the lab tomorrow, but here are some phone pictures to tide you over :).

20 February 2009

Party Videos

I know it's been way too long since we posted any videos, so here are a couple from Gabriel's 2nd birthday.

18 February 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Gabriel!!!

What a wonderful day! Gabriel is now two years old, and we had the best birthday ever! He woke up cheerful and excited, and he went to bed cheerful and excited... in a big boy bed in his big boy room, might I add! We had some Stroller Strides friends over for a lunchtime party, and G just loved it. We ended up with 6 kiddoes (5 girls and a boy) coming over to play, eat dino-nuggets with fruit and a super-yummy chocolate cake, and decorate flowerpots and plant some seeds. Gabriel got some really great presents and looooooved having his friends over to play. His tool table was especially popular. I think there are a few little girls that will be getting little tools for their birthdays :).

Gabriel was such a little star. He woke up a little early, so he and Daddy had breakfast downstairs while Mama got a some extra rest. He was Mr. Happy, and it was so great to wake up to his little smiling face this morning. He got two early birthday calls this morning from his grandparents (which so delighted him), then he helped me finish making his birthday cake, and then he got to watch Peter Pan while he danced around in his Indian Moccasins and reorganized his presents -- what a fun morning for the little guy.

We didn't get around to opening all his presents at the party, so we decided to wait until Jake got home to finish up. Instead, he helped me clean up (he insisted on helping me clean before he took his nap!!!) and then we curled up on the couch for a cozy Mama and baby snooze. When we woke up, he almost immediately wanted to open presents, but I said that we needed to wait for Daddy. We started cooking dinner when Jake walked in the door. Gabriel yelled "Daddy is home! Let's open those presents!!!" With that, he zoomed from the kitchen to the living room, completely ignoring Jake and diving into the rest of the gifts. It was the funniest thing he's done all day!

As for other random info, G can count to 16 now, and he's starting to recognize his letters better (although he picked up a letter A from the floor today and said "A is for Gabriel." We'll work on that one!) He is a puzzle-working machine, and he still loves to read books. He is pretty good at identifying dinosaurs, and he knows the names of half of the Thomas Trains! I catch him singing all the time, and I'm always surprised by how many of the words and tunes he remembers correctly. And of course he's usually singing AND dancing. That is the cutest thing you'll ever see, especially when we are out in public and he just HAS to stop, dance, and sing! If he gets tired of singing, he'll just stop, shake his head and say "can't sing that song" and continue on his way. He is such a little person now, and we can have real conversations about things. It's just amazing to see his little brain working. Unfortunately, he's figured out that if he cocks his head to the side and says "pweeeeese," it's very hard for grown-ups to resist him!!!

As for Clara, she is still doing fine and we are still waiting for her to arrive. Two weeks left until the due date, and I still feel good. I'm a bit tired at times, but I'm still active and comfortable (mostly, as long as I am careful about how much I'm on my feet and how much jumping or side-stepping I'm doing). I still go to my exercise class 3 days a week, and I just feel so grateful to have those women in my life! Although we are so far from family, these ladies make us feel safe and at home here in Maryland. It's so nice to have Christian friends that are in the same phase of life and even live in the same town... it's a first for us!!! And I can't neglect to mention our awesome neighbors that love us like family. We may not be thrilled about renting a little back-to-back townhome sometimes, but I love our neighbors (as well as Jake's 4 minute commmute to work).

Happy Valentine's to you all, and we'll let you know when little Clara Grace decides to arrive! Whoopee!