Friday, October 28, 2011

Where everybody knows your name

After a nearly sleepless Monday night, it was clearly time to take Miss Emma to the pediatrician. It was nearly sleepless for a variety of reasons, ranging from an attention-starved kitty who loves to knock things over to refilling the humidifier in the middle of the night while forgetting to plug the base (hellooooo 2 gallons of water leaking onto the carpet) but the worst of it all was a clearly uncomfortable and not consolable baby. Finally at the witching hour of 1am she got about 4 consecutive hours worth of much needed sleep.

Yes, this nurse mommy has a stethoscope and knew that Emma's lungs were clear...but with all the fuss she made flying flat and miserable bouts of crying at night, I felt like something was not quite right. So off to the pediatrician's we went, despite the fact that she was a pretty spunky, happy girl in the morning (far more happy than her parents, I assure you).

Ok time for a little waiting room griping--why ask a parent bringing in a sick kiddo to fill out....four pages of paperwork while waiting? Who has time to do that? Especially when all your sweet kiddo wants to do is be held so she can examine those fascinating fish?

So of course by the time they called Emma's name, I'm still madly scribbling. They don't actually send a person out to get you--the receptionist gives you a little card with a photo and a number, and you follow that photo set (plastered on the walls) until you get to the assigned room. Definitely a cost-saving measure, I'm sure.

I'm in the back of the waiting room, trying to finish up my 'homework' and tell the guy calling Emma's name that "I'll be there in a second."

Emma looks at me, looks at the receptionist and calmly toddles through the waiting room, The receptionist practically heaves himself onto his stomach to pass the card down to her over the high counter. Everyone in the waiting room just got real quiet and stared for a few minutes. Emma turns around and comes back to me card in hand with a great big smile on her face.

Yup, that's our girl--ever observant and aware. Keep in mind the last time we had been to the office was nearly 2 months ago and that was the first time they started using those corny "find sailboat number 3" cards.

And what was causing all the nighttime fuss? A small amount of fluid in her right ear (uninfected) and probably a result of the slow recovery she's had from a nasty cold/flu-like bug we all had at the end of September. I don't want to even imagine what the drama of a real ear infection might be like.

Monday, February 21, 2011

little bits

Here's our little rabbit, almost 1 year old now (about 10 months when this photo was taken.)

I had all sorts of ideas spinning around for an exciting, all-new, hook-em-in blog post, and now I'm not sure where they went.

My one somewhat humorous observation for the week is that cat food is apparently enticing to everyone. Everyone being:
1) the cat
2) the dog and
3) the baby

Sophie knows she's not allowed in the kitchen (where we keep the cat food) Emma kind of knows...except she'll just grin at me over her shoulder when I tell her, "no babies in the kitchen!" Then she'll scoot her little keester as fast as she can over to that enchanting dish of kitty food, reach out her little chubby hand and....

Luckily this mama is still fast enough to move that kitty dish. For now, at least. We've had several incidents with the kitty's water bowl, but that's another story altogether.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

All baby, no blog

It's been a record-breaking blog hiatus, but things have been very sweet and well here at the Niculescu household. I'm thankful to report that this little girl is starting to get the hang of the sleeping thing, usually allowing us one 5-6 hour stretch of sleep at night. This makes the world look much kinder! (And allows time for things like blogging rather than napping.)

Baby Emma continues to delight, enchant, and amaze. Her latest trick is to grab her own belly the second the diaper comes off, turning it rosy shade of pink and giggling in the process. At 3 1/2 months she is holding up her own head. We can observe her daily discoveries--the movement of her hands, the delightful squishiness of her own feet, new sounds, new faces, new places, the list is endless. We can definitely see some preferences emerging: she would much rather stand than sit (of course with a bit of support under her arms), face out and say hello to the world than face in, be walked or rocked to sleep instead of chilling in her bassinette, and watch Layla the black kitty than Sophie the fuzzy dog.

While the majority of our news is baby-oriented we've managed to make a few small home improvements. Andrew's parents visited for about a week in May and spoiled us with a new couch and TV...we also (after many trips to JCPenney's which had hands-down the best selection of the many stores we tried) have graced our living room with curtains which instill a new sense of 'homey-ness'.

I think this photo about sums it up: Look, Ma, I've got hands! And fingers! The home improvements are also included in the background. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two weeks, two cousins

Remember this photo? Me pregnant at 25 weeks with gender unknown baby, my sister Bree at 21 weeks with a boy?

Now add another 15 or so weeks, another 15 or so pounds, a couple of trips to the hospital and...

Now you too can see what Grandma was all smiles about this Easter...turns out our little ones were born exactly 2 weeks apart. Cody Jay came a bit earlier than his due date because of his size. Due to all the baby-oohing and aahing, Bree and I never managed to get a photo together with our babes! Next time for certain...what fun it will be to see these two grow up together!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bits o' baby alphabet

A is for awake...

Emma's daytime alert periods are definitely increasing in length and frequency. Airbaths, short walks in our early spring weather, and normal water baths are some of her favorite 'awake' time activities so far.

B is for bullet...

As in 'baby mullet' or 'bullet' for short. Some day we'll get around to fixing that, when handling sharp objects is not quite so hazardous.

C is for cuddles and chocolate milk...

Although our life is sorely lacking in routine at the moment, we have managed to combine the amazing glass-bottled Twin Brook Creamery chocolate milk with our Keurig frother for...ta da! some truly delicious hot chocolate. This is the sweet nectar that allows two somewhat sleep-deprived parents to unwind at the beginning of another night in newborn-land. One of us is usually cuddling the miss Emma to sleep at the same time.

D is for Daddy...

One congratulatory email I received from a friend who recently gave birth to twin baby boys noted that it is amazing to watch as the husband 'becomes' the daddy...and I wholeheartedly agree! The way Andrew holds Emma, talks to her, comforts her when she is cranky, and generally just adores her--all these things melt my heart.

E is for 'eatey, eatey, eatey!'...

Emma has been growing ferociously! At her public health nurse check 3 days after discharge, her weight was down to 6 lb 4 oz. Then just 4 days later (after many 'sharkie' frenzy feeding nights) she weighed in at 6 lb 13 oz...that is 9 oz in 4 days, which explains why this mama felt like that girl was ALWAYS eating... "Eatey, eatey, eatey" is also what I coax Emma to do when she is a bit sleepy at the breast...

F is for 'furry nanny'...

We think Sophie is adjusting well to sharing attention with the little miss. She is often noted to 'guard' our upstairs bedroom/nursery from crazy kitties and is almost always quite interested in what we are doing with the little miss.

G is for...I have to go now! :) Time for me to eat as baby will be waking up soon...hopefully will be posting more often as Emma grows and becomes more accustomed to a diurnal life.

Daily photos
available on my flickr site.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Welcoming miss Emma Sophia

It is with great love and joy in our hearts that we share with you the news of our daughter's arrival at 3.52 pm March 4th at the University of Washington Medical Center. The labor was long and exhausting as it began around Tuesday evening with a Wednesday evening admit to the hospital. (Now we know why Emma was a bit late, she was giving Mommy a chance to rest up!) When my thoughts have settled a bit, I do intend to blog about her birth.

Aside from the use of pitocin to encourage stronger contractions it was an unmedicated birth. We were rewarded with a darling baby girl weighing 6 lb, 8 oz who nursed immediately following birth and was very watchful of the new world around her for quite some time. (In other words, she watched us and we, in awe, watched her. And may have changed a diaper or two in the process :)

We decided to discharge home early, which was Friday evening. She is nursing well, letting us sometimes sleep for as much as a luxurious 2 hours at a time overnight and is steadily adjusting to this new world. We are becoming acquainted with our little lady and have already given her a few nicknames which speak volumes of the personality shining through this little being:

"Sharkie" for the nighttime feeding frenzies (see above, looks cute but WATCH OUT!)
"Miss Poopenmeyer" for the funny faces she makes while making poo

"Angel" for the angelic sleeping faces.

Thank you for all of your heartfelt congratulations, home-made dinners, baby items and shared excitement in our new adventure as a family. Attached are a few of our favorite photos so far... We will be posting daily photos on flickr, raecgirl is my username if you'd like to see them just request to be my friend. Also, occasional updates will be available on my blog,

With love and Emma baby coos,

Andrew, Rae, and Emma

Thought for the day...”The first cry of a newborn baby in Chicago or Zamboango, in Amsterdam or Rangoon, has the same pitch and key, each saying “I am! I have come through! I belong! I am a member of the Family!”.”

--Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Last of the nesting days

My official due date just passed yesterday and our little bear (or "spoonie" as Andrew has started to call baby) has been a little shy to just yet make an appearance. The encouraging news at my 40 week + 1 day check up today was that my body has already begun some of the preparation for labor, including a significant bit of dilation (2.5cm) and effacement. My last official day of work was February 19th and I have been so, so grateful for this extra bit of time to settle into a rhythm at home, rest more, and just play a little before our days transform into newborn-land.

I'm also grateful to be still relatively comfortable in this final stage of pregnancy. I did have some terrible back/sacral pain starting about 3 weeks ago which seemed to coincide with baby dropping deeper into the pelvis. It seems like in the past 3 days that has finally started to alleviate. I suspect not sitting at a desk for 5-6 hours a day, naptime whenever I please, looser joints from all those pregnancy hormones, and twice weekly massage has been immensely helpful! Does this look like the face of a miserable past-due pregnant lady to you? :)

So, what is an almost-mommy to be doing with the last of her nesting in days? Let's see....time has been spent introducing Sophie to baby toys (that also appear suspiciously like her very favorite B-A-L-L-S)

Catching up with friends and family, the most lovely gathering recently being that with my Mom, Auntie V. Unfortunately little sister Bree missed out on this one, due to the appearance of Bell's Palsy a few days ago. (We are all expecting a full recovery for her, but I think we'd all agree this recent turn of events is just a drag in more ways than one.)

The best part of enjoying tea with the ladies is usually aahing over the pretty teacups and of course, dessert! None of us quite had the appetite for the full tea service, but we did order a nice dessert sampler...which still (as lovely as it looked and tasted) was not the best part.

The best part was being served tea by Aunt Victoria, whom as many of you know was involved in a near fatal accident Sept. 2008 with multiple, severe fractures, internal injuries, a bruised heart-just an overwhelming list of injuries. Despite many serious conversations with the excellent physicians at Harborview about the possibility of having to fuse her elbow, today that elbow is a functional! (she will always have weight-lifting limitations, but you have to imagine we thought initially she was facing--at best--a fused elbow for the rest of her life)

And here she is today, our family's very own miracle, in more ways than one:
The more domestic side of nesting in has, of course, been full of preparations for baby. I won't bore with you with all the mundane details...but I will give a shout-out here to my patient friend Jenna, and her sewing tutelage which enabled me to finally finish a very simple pillowcase which will serve as our third basinette sheet. I guess with these babies things tend to get, ahem....messy from time to time!

I've also been doing quite a bit of knitting and a few baking endeavours, but that will be a topic for a different kind of post! Thanks to fellow blogger/college friend Deanna and her idea of OPAW (one project a week) I have been inspired to finish a few more things lately.

So, until next time friends...wishing for a smooth delivery and more stories to share with you all soon.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Let's not forget

While packing my bag for the hospital, I realized there were some essential items I couldn't stash away until that much anticipated time of night or day day comes since I used said items on a daily basis. So I waddled downstairs to make myself a 'don't forget' list.

When I came back up, this is the sight that greeted me:

I imagine the conversation went something like this...

Sophie: I've been smelling some strange things around here lately...and notice how Rae never takes me out anymore? It's like...I get Andrew ALL THE TIME. And I actually have to behave when he takes me out. And when she does take me out, we go sooooo slow.

Layla: Yeah, I know...and did you notice how big her belly is? It's sooo nice to cuddle up to. I wish Andrew had a big belly like that too. Actually, there's some stuff in here that's pretty soft, but it's way to small for either one of our humans.

Sophie: Maybe you better scout it out for us....

Layla: That's exactly what I intend to do....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almost like twins

I have neglected this blog terribly, but for very good reasons, let me assure you! And in no particular order, they are...

1) We've spent the past month or so used car shopping from private sellers, and now have a nice 2006 Toyota Sienna to tote around our new baby and furry baby Sophie. Many thanks to some very generous help from my Dad, or else we'd be driving a much older and head-ache inducing vehicle.
2) We've taken 2 snowy trips to Leavenworth and this pregnant lady managed to snow-shoe--on flat ground, nothing dramatic here--for about an hour and actually enjoy the event. I think Sophie enjoyed it the most out of the 3 of us.

3) I've taken up knitting again and have made several cute baby hats. I believe my 2nd grade knitting teacher (scary old Mrs Scott, who smelled like mothballs and garlic) would be proud of this endeavour.

4) My baking obsession lately has been cupcakes, cupcakes, and more cupcakes...basically trying to replicate as closely as possible the famed yumminess and prettiness of Trophy. I think I'm getting pretty darn close. Some of my esteemed taste-testers are beginning to agree.

And finally, probably the most intriguing tidbit of all--no, we're not having twins, but almost. My little sister, Bree, is due to deliver a big ol' baby boy about a month after me. As you can imagine our parents (as first-time grandparents) are completely astounded at this turn of events.

If you don't believe me, here's the proof!

A little friendly belly competition, I am at 25 weeks, Bree is at 21 weeks.

And we're both just smiles for the camera here...future Grandaddy is working that Nikon.
Lastly, here's the most recent belly shot, taken in the same outfit just for comparison's sake...this is me at 31 weeks. And now I'm 34 nearly 35 weeks so guess it's time for yet another photo...

And that's all for now, time I get around to posting, at the rate I'm might be more baby-centric than ever. :) Just don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

About the belly...

Sticking it out
Originally uploaded by raecgirl
It's week 23 and it has now undeniably popped out. I experienced my first near-stranger belly touching encounter just a few days ago, so I guess yep, it's finally official that I appear to be with child. I used to be a bit incredulous whenever I witnessed this as an outsider, but I actually don't mind. I totally get that it's exciting, even if you have no clue who I am or will not be coming over to make food, change diapers, or do laundry.

I would normally be the sort of person to be photographically documenting this momentous expansion but something about recently being sick, then back to work, and in the midst of many small home renovation projects (with our computer stations very disrupted ) has made regular blogging (and photographing!) a near impossibility.

SO, dear patient readers, I leave you with this one from September. Yes, terrible, I know... I think I am at 14 weeks and my friend Jen at 16 weeks. You'll notice that I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to appear equally belly-licious.

Now I can finally issue a challenge to Jen for a rematch. Just hop on a plane, will ya? =) More photos to come when our computer situation is improved...