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Monday, March 23, 2015

Life Recently

A pitiful bunch of people. #sickday #instaluther #instasinclairHe's not going to take too kindly to the news that we don't have a VHS player. #instaluther #thrifting  #oldschool #timewarp
We've all been sick; yes, even me. 
Went thrifting for the first time as a family of four where Luther discovered the obsolete world of VHS. 
Coming soon to the shop! |1984 McGovern campaign posterMy recent vintage finds for the shops. I just created two separate IG accounts, @vintagesoupshop and @vintagesoupclosetshop, where I'll be postings more pics like this and of newly listed items. Follow along if you like being bombarded with awesome vintag
Vintage finds for Vintage Soup and Vintage Soup Closet
Bathing the baby. With my #1 helper. #instaluther #instasinclair #babySmitten. #instaluther #instasinclair #bigbrother #littlesister #children #siblings
The ever eager helper. 
"You're my girl Sinclair. You're my girl."
No doubt. #nodiggity #instasinclair #baby #babygirl #geniusMaking a card for our landlady upstairs (he calls her Nee-Nee) who is 94 years old today! #instaluther #happybirthday #preschooler #childhood
Modeling her girl power shirt from Auntie Kelly. 
Making a birthday card for our beloved landlady who turned 94 last week. 

Ugh, the Sickness. I'm typing this right now with a sore throat. At least Pierce and I alternated our sickest days so we were at able to care for each other. And the kids. Sinclair got a real nice eye infection, and Luther developed a fever, a runny nose that rivaled Niagara Falls for sheer volume, and then managed to puke all over our bed. 

On Saturday we tried to make it to our church's rummage sale, only to miss it by about 10 minutes. So instead we went to Boomerangs in Roxbury and totally scored. Also, Roxbury is super cute; would love to live there. 

Luther and Sinclair really have this whole sibling thing down. L. dotes on her, excessively. And S. doesn't seem to mind. She seems fascinated by his antics, and if she's fussy, she tends to quiet down when he gets up in her face. It's really quite adorable. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Welcome to the World: Sinclair's Birth Story

Sinclair's Birth
Sinclair Elizabeth Oliver, born February 4, 2015 at 7:30am at Mount Auburn Hospital (Cambridge, MA)
Sinclair's Birth
Our doula, Phoebe McKee, with Luther. 
Sinclair Elizabeth
My mom holding Sinclair the day we came home. 


This pregnancy was hard. The various discomforts started much earlier and were more severe than when I was pregnant with Luther (for Luther’s birth story, see here). During the final weeks, I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions frequently, and my midwife kept telling me that she thought the baby would come before the due date of Feb 4; however, by the day’s end on Feb 3, there were still no signs of real labor activity except that I was leaking a fair amount of watery fluid.

Around two or three in the morning, Luther woke up crying. We got him settled again, but I couldn’t go back to sleep.  I was worried that my water had broken enough to pose a danger to the baby. I was having the occasional contraction, but that was nothing unusual. I laid awake in bed until about 5:00am when I noticed that my contractions were becoming more intense and occurring with some regularity. I started to time them, and they were lasting around two minutes each, six minutes apart. By 5:30am, they were becoming intense, and I woke Piercen up so that he could help me relax through them.

Two contractions later, I started to moan in a low tone (Pierce says this is when he knew we needed to start heading to the hospital), and my next contraction ended with an urge to push. In between contractions, I put in my contacts, and slipped on my shoes and jacket, while Pierce got Luther up and loaded into the car. In the midst of all this, I bizarrely felt the uncontrollable urge to dance through each contraction; it seemed to help take my mind off the pain. So I danced my way to the car (Piercen: “Kelli, get in the car!” Kelli: “I can’t! I have to dance until this contraction is done!” Piercen: dumbfounded).

Once in the car, I tried my best to focus on relaxing every muscle as I dealt with the waves of agony. At one point, I noticed that Piercen was taking a different route to the hospital than I had anticipated, but I didn’t think much of it. However, fifteen minutes later, I realized that we were in downtown Medford, not Cambridge where the hospital was located. As a frazzled Piercen pulled out his phone to start the GPS app, and with each contraction ending with a stronger and stronger urge to push, I silently begged God not to let me have the baby in the car. We slipped (literally) along poorly plowed roads (re: Jan 27 Blizzard), and Piercen ran a red light or two.  As we made the turn for the hospital, I began to have doubts about my ability to handle the rest of labor without medication (according to the Bradley Method curriculum, self-doubt is a normal part of the transition stage and is embraced as a sign of progression).

We arrived at the hospital at around 6:30am and went straight up to triage. The nurses and midwife met us there with the water birth tub ready for us, but I was told that I had to lay on the table for twenty minutes so that they could run the fetal monitor. The midwife then asked to do an internal exam and found that I was fully dilated and that the baby was at -2 station.  I asked the midwife if I could push now; she smiled and replied “absolutely.”

Pushing felt so much better than not pushing. After a couple of good pushes, I felt this uncontrollable explosion of agony; my water was breaking.  I had no idea what was happening though, and this was the first and only time during either of my two labors that I lost control. For a few seconds I could not stop screaming, all the while thinking to myself “Get it together Kelli, this is not how you handle labor!” Finally the pain subsided. The midwife told me that the baby was close to coming out and asked if I wanted to move to the birthing tub, but added that it would be harder for them to coach me as she crowned if I was in the tub. I declined. A few more pushes, and they told me that they could see the head. The midwife asked me to move onto my back and hold my legs up so that the nurses could support my perineum as the baby crowned. With Phoebe our doula helping me hold up my legs, the midwife instructed me to give gentle, short pushes. A few seconds later, our beautiful baby girl was born at 7:30am, weighing 7 lbs 3 oz and measuring 19.5 inches long. We named her Sinclair Elizabeth Oliver, a name Pierce and I had picked out in our junior year of college.

The minutes and hours after her birth were radically different from my experience with Luther. I came away from this birth with only a first-degree tear, two stitches, and no dazed feelings of trauma. Sinclair started showing interest in nursing almost immediately, and breastfeeding has been successful. By the end of the day, I was able to get up and move around unassisted, and we left the hospital a day earlier than anticipated.

Our new life as a family of four has also been easier than expected. So far, Sinclair is a good sleeper, and doesn’t seem easily upset by all the loud coming and goings of home life. Luther dotes on his little sister and revels in helping me take care of her. Pierce has the little girl he has always wanted, even if he is still kind of terrified of the fact. As for me, my initial reservations about having a girl have fled. We have so many strong, smart, feminist women in our lives who will serve as excellent role models for her. And while I still have strong fears for a girl child growing up in a world that holds an overbalance of dangers for the female sex, I have learned to put my trust in God’s goodness, knowing that he loves both my children far beyond my human capacity.   

* Major kudos to the midwives and nursing staff at Mt. Auburn Hospital; I cannot recommend them enough. They had studied my birth plan before we arrived and knew exactly what we wanted and what sort of help I needed. It’s because of their gentle coaching and support at the end that I sustained only a first degree tear.

**Major thanks to Phoebe our sweet doula who braved the Patriots Superbowl Parade traffic to arrive just when we needed her and who was such support for Luther during the whole experience. Having her as part of our birth team put our minds at ease from the very moment we met her!   

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A January in Massachusetts

January in MassachusettsJanuary in Massachusetts
Family walk in Menotomy Park on Jan 1st.
Sledding at Robbins Farm Park Sledding at Robbins Farm Park
Sledding at Robbins Farm Park. The foam baby bathtub did not work as well as was hoped, so Piercen became the sled for Luther.
Sledding at Robbins Farm Park Sledding at Robbins Farm ParkSledding at Robbins Farm Park Sledding at Robbins Farm Park
We should really get Piercen some snow pants.
Blizzard Jan 27, 2015
Blizzard of Jan 27th; over 19 inches of snow in Arlington.
Blizzard Jan 27, 2015Blizzard Jan 27, 2015 Blizzard Jan 27, 2015Blizzard Jan 27, 2015 Blizzard Jan 27, 2015

January started out cold and dry, and ended very cold and very wet. Luther has actually enjoyed playing in the snow, a far cry from last year, and I did go out and buy a couple of real sleds so that Piercen doesn't have to continue to sacrifice his body and jeans to the cause of winter sporting. The Great Blizzard of January 27th came and went, dumping more snow on the ground than I have ever seen before. We all were impatiently hoping for an early arrival of Baby Girl Oliver, but she has decided to be a February baby. February is a good month to be born in. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tea Party with Luther

Luther and Mama's Tea PartyLuther and Mama's Tea Party Luther and Mama's Tea Party Luther and Mama's Tea Party Luther and Mama's Tea PartyLuther and Mama's Tea Party

It occurred to me recently that I was doing Luther a grave disservice by not having tea parties with him. Boys like dressing up and having tea and sandwiches and cake just as much as girls do. So we went to the grocery store and picked out some pastries, made cucumber and cheese sandwiches, brewed some decaf tea, put on our "fancy dancing" outfits (as Luther calls any dress I wear or any tie I put on him), and had a delightful party for two. He was a very proper little gentleman, making sure that I always had plenty of tea in my cup, insisting that we "Prost!" or "Cheers!" after every sip, and even nibbling on a cheese sandwich before asking if we could move on to the desserts. A wonderful boy at a wonderful age. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thrifted What I Wore: Late Pregnancy Edition

Thrifted What I wore, Pregnantly: everything on me was thrifted; L's two shirts were thrifted. #wiw #twiw #thrifted #thrifting #thriftfashion #thriftedwhatiwore #whatiwore #kidsfashion #kidsthriftedfashion #instalutherThrifted What I Wore, Pregnantly: everything on me but the yellow tank and the jewelry is thrifted. On L, all the clothes under his space suit are thrifted. #thrifted #thrifting #thriftfashion #thriftedwhatiwore #whatiwore #instaluther
Dress: Motherhood, Sister Thrift in Watertown
Shirt: About a Girl, Savers in Madison (WI)
Leggings: not thrifted
Scarf: gift from mother-in-law
Boots: unknown brand, Savers in Madison (WI)
Earrings (which you can't see): Sister Thrift in Watertown

Shirt: Ann Taylor Loft, Sister Thrift in Watertown
Jeans: do not remember if thrifted or not
Shoes: unknown brand, Savers in Madison (WI)
Glasses: no brand, Sister Thrift in Watertown
Necklace: gift from Piercen
Thrifted What I Wore, Pregnantly: everything on me but the sweater is thrifted. You can't really see them but I'm wearing killer earrings. On L, everything is thrifted but the shoes. Also, his sweater has elbow patches. #instaluther #whatiwore #thrifted #Pre-Messiah posing next to the Christmas tree. #merrychristmas #messiah #friendship
Sweater: not thrifted
Jeans: Indigo Blue, Savers in Madison (WI)
Shoes: unknown brand, Savers in Madison (WI)
Necklace: made by me from various thrifted and salvaged pieces

Dress: Forever 21, St. Vincent De Paul's, Madison (WI)
Leggings: not thrifted
Boots: unknown brand, American Family Thrift, Hellertown (PA)
Necklace: gift from Piercen

Some of my more recent thrifted outfits; there have not been as many as I would like. For a month or two after the move, I was too scared of Massachusettian driving habits to venture beyond the beaten paths I knew in search of thrift stores. This meant that when I really, desperately needed more maternity clothes, I was left only with Old Navy as it was right next to the grocery store. Not one of my finer shopping or fashion moments. However, Luther and I have ventured out since then to both Watertown's Sister Thrift and Somerville's Goodwill without any traffic incidents, and I've been able to ease my way back into the good graces of the thrifting gods and into clothes that actually cover the Great Expanding Belly. 

On a weather-related note, we survived yesterday's Great January Blizzard of 2015, and for the first time in two weeks, I'm grateful that Sinclair decided to not make her entrance into the world just yet. 




Monday, January 26, 2015

Cloud Mobile for Baby Sinclair

Sinclair's Crib Mobile Sinclair's Crib MobileSinclair's Crib Mobile Sinclair's Crib MobileSinclair's Crib Mobile

I finished up the cloud mobile for Sinclair last week, and Pierce hung it above the crib in our room. Luther's mobile has been hanging above his toddler bed since we moved, and he's pretty excited that Sinclair gets one too. I was a little concerned that the colors would be too "bohemian circus tent," but I really like how they work together, especially in our slightly lavender painted bedroom. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Prepping for Baby: Luther Gets a Baby Doll

Luther's Baby Doll: Maya Luther's Baby Doll: MayaLuther's Baby Doll: Maya Luther's Baby Doll: Maya Luther's Baby Doll: Maya Luther's Baby Doll: MayaLuther's Baby Doll: Maya Luther's Baby Doll: Maya Luther's Baby Doll: MayaLuther's Baby Doll: Maya

When I was 2 yrs old, my aunt and uncle gave me a baby doll right before my brother was born to help me adjust to upcoming upheaval. I have no idea how I took brother Tim's arrival, but Baby Joey was my favorite toy for a long time.

To prepare Luther for his baby sister's arrival, we bought him a Corolle doll, and I altered some old newborn clothes for it and made some cloth diapers. Piercen put together a doll bed we bought from Ikea, and we set it all up for him to wake to on New Year's Day. He was pretty thrilled, promptly named her "Maya" (after we vetoed naming her "Raisin"), and after taking her clothes off and on multiple times, he introduced her to his Duplo legos. Since then, he insists that she sleeps right next to his bed (just as we have the crib set up in our room), and that he be the one to put her in her "car seat," a wooden basket outfitted with blankets, every time we go somewhere. I think he's going to adjust to the new baby just fine. 
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