Sunday, December 29, 2013

On Phil Robertson, From a Straight Woman Herself

On the heels of the Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty fiasco, a blog post entitled "A Gay Man's Take on Phil Robertson" has gone viral on Facebook. The post starts with the phrase "from a gay man, himself." The post copies a comment from a self-identified conservative gay man who is not offended by the comments made by Mr. Robertson. He goes on to say that the reason his "fellow homosexuals on the left" are offended is that they "haven't come to terms with what it means to be gay." Nice. Super tolerant of difference there, Sir.

The gay community, like any demographic, is complex and diverse. Finding a gay man (or ten or one hundred) does not a blanket statement make, and it doesn't complicate the issue any further. Any sentence that begins with "My gay friend says..." or "My gay friend thinks..." only demonstrates that the speaker does not see gay people as individuals thinking independently and differently from one another. If one gay man thinks what Phil Robertson says was okay, they all must, right? Wait... Lots of people are offended by Phil Robertson's comments in Rolling Stone. Lots of people aren't. The notion that any one person gets to speak for a community is problematic to say the least. The notion that freedom of speech equals freedom of consequence, particularly from a privately-owned business, is inaccurate.

When I hit the stage in life when I began learning that people I loved identified as gay, lesbian, and bisexual, I started looking at these issues through my care for the individual; I saw statements like that of Mr. Robertson's as affecting people in my world and that was why it mattered to me. Now I see it as a larger human rights issue; while I still associate loved ones with the LGBT Rights/Equality Movement, it's also apparent to me that this is about a community of people deserving a quality of life that does not include being slammed by a celebrity who is then defended with national vigor. I hope for this not because the celebrity doesn't have the right to freedom of speech or opinion, but because we all deserve to live free of the ignorance that Mr. Robertson displayed in his interview--and yes, it was ignorant.

This is me, speaking from my personal, local, and immediate as a white, straight, middle-class woman, as someone who grew up heavily involved in the Lutheran church and takes her daughter to Sunday school every Sunday morning, as a member of several diverse, complex communities of people, and as someone who, after seeing several posts from friends, family, and acquaintances in defense of Phil Robertson, suggesting that I "tolerate difference," needed to put out there that I found his statements offensive.

So here, from a straight woman herself, the day I "tolerate" hateful speech that lumps homosexuality in with bestiality and terrorism, the day I "tolerate" a gross misrepresentation of the complexity that is sexual orientation that reduces sexual attraction to which body part is more aesthetically pleasing, the day I "tolerate" the implication that you can love someone and turn around and insult them and their community in the name of Christianity and believing in the bible--I hope that day never comes.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lydia's Thoughts on Santa and Being Good

This morning, Robin told Lydia she should write a letter to Santa and ask for one thing she really wanted for Christmas. Lydia wanted to ask for a lot of things. Robin explained to her that there are a lot of kids and she should only ask for one gift so that everyone gets something. Lydia thought on this and then said, "But a lot of the kids are naughty, so they won't get gifts." The conversation then shifted into what Santa thinks of naughty kids. I asked what Santa would think of Lydia's mischief of this morning--sneaking sweets out of the cupboard before breakfast. She thought on this and said with confidence, "Santa doesn't need me to be PERFECT, just GOOD."

That's my girl.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Parenting: Round Two

I once read an argument that siblings are different largely because they are parented by "different" parents--that the passage of time, experience, and circumstance cause us to evolve to the extent that the mother I am to Lydia is not the mother I am to Holden. When I read this, I thought it was a silly argument. While yes, we change with time, I couldn't fathom that I the way I would mother my second child would be so in contrast to the way I parent Lydia.

Enter Holden.

Holden is experiencing a very different childhood. He is growing up in a different city, surrounded by an extended family, and with two full-time work-outside-the-home parents. Lydia's infancy was spent surrounded primarily by friends-that-were-like-family, far away from the Midwest, and with a dad that cared for her two days a week.

Lydia's first years were documented in great, great detail. I blogged multiple times per week--often more than once daily. Thousands of pictures were taken. Her wellness checks were spot-on in regards to her monthly birthdays.

On one hand, I feel badly that Holden doesn't have the same copious record. I'm trying, but I just can't come close to recreating it. I am trying to be better about pictures, but most of the time, my hands are so full between the two kids and their stuff that I can't also manage the camera or I'm too preoccupied to think of it. Robin is not well-versed in the SLR model nor does it occur to him to take pictures.

On the other, though, we are so much more relaxed and confident in our parenting this time around. Parenting Holden has made me realize just how much we have "learned" on Lydia, not in the sense that we have become brilliant parents with one try but in that we knew absolutely nothing when Lydia was born and through numerous mistakes and rough gos, we have garnered some experience. Holden may not have near the number of photographs as Lydia but he has a substantially more mellow, patient set of parents. Let's hope he continues to be such a easy-going fellow and forgives us for the lack of keepsakes and photos, the (still) unfinished nursery, and the absence of rigid "developmental practice." In the same vein, let's hope our learn-as-we-go process with Lydia won't scar her for life.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Early last Spring, I was hit with some shocking news. In order to keep my Minnesota teaching license, I had just over two years to earn 28 credits: 15 of them graduate courses in Reading, 12 in Communications, and 2 in Methods. I wasn't sure how it was going to work. I didn't know where I would find the time or the money, and the thought of going back to school felt like a mountain I just couldn't climb.

One year, one baby, and 28 credits later, here I am. Mission complete.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lydia Reads to Holden

Lydia can be a lot to handle. Sometimes, I swear her mission in life is to test every last boundary that exists, and I want to lay down on the ground and go to sleep just for a dream-induced break. Then, I remember moments like this, and I can't believe how much I love her.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Permission to Work It

On Holden's six week birthday, I headed to the midwife's office for my postpartum appointment. I brought Holden along with me, because over Holden's pregnancy I got to know the nurses and midwives at our office quite well, especially toward the end when we were going in for weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests.

It was so great to bring him in. The nurses all know our story, and the nurse who was with me the morning I went in way back in September was there, too. They oooohhh-ed and aaaahhhh-ed and thanked me and congratulated me. So fun!

The check-up itself went well. I was given the all-clear to begin exercising (which was especially good since I had started my new workout plan two days prior ;), and not much happened other than that. As far as working out, I am embarking on Couch-to-5K (again) and have a race scheduled in July. I finished Week 2 of the plan this weekend--no small feat, especially since, as Robin pointed out, this time I actually am starting at "Couch." I also went to my first barre class post-baby today and am signed up for another on Wednesday. I'm feeling the need to get stronger, especially in my core. I have lost most of my baby weight, but I don't feel fit, so it feels good getting into a workout routine.

My favorite thing about running is that we live a handful of blocks away from Lake Harriet. I have taken to putting him in the stroller (in an adorable fleece snowsuit), and walking down to that trail. I know that this will prove to be a major pro to our new location, and I'm excited to take my body back and get moving!


Last Tuesday, I took Holden to the Baby Weigh-In at Blooma. Gone are the days that we worry about his milk intake and weight gain, but I like knowing where he's at; when 100% of his nutritional intake comes from me, seeing the numbers creep up on the scale provides me with validation and pride.

At 6 weeks and 5 days, Holden weighed in at a whopping thirteen pounds, four ounces. He and Lydia are neck and neck for who will be the bigger baby. Because Holden (just like Lydia) is exclusively breastfed, we are not worried about the possibility of overfeeding. It seems I just grow large children.

Lydia's weight is something that I haven't talked much about, largely because it has been a source of stress for me. We try really hard to walk the line with Lydia of feeding her healthy foods and allowing her treats in moderation. We don't want her to develop a difficult relationship with food and her weight, but we also want her to be healthy.

For Lydia's whole life, people have been telling us that she would "stretch up," and she has. At her four-year appointment last week (with her new pediatrician--the same as Holden's), she measured 44.5 inches. She weighed in at 52 lbs., quite heavy for a four-year-old. Her weight was referenced by her pediatrician at her three-year wellness check, and when I realized she was gaining weight quite rapidly between then and now, I brought her in to talk with another doctor about it. Both times, I left feeling somewhat helpless. While both doctors gave us some pointers on nutrition, in general, we have done a pretty good job. We continually work to find healthy vegetarian recipes that aren't only pasta-based, Lydia gets her "Sweet of the Day," and makes food choices accordingly. She is in yoga, will return to gymnastics soon, and gets outside at school nearly every day. When let loose at the park, Lydia will run for upwards of two hours. We limit screen time to well under the APA's limits, even through a Minnesota winter with a pregnant mom. As we approached this wellness check, I was still quite worried--partially about her weight, but almost as much about seeing her doctor. There's nothing quite like trying so hard to instill healthy habits in your child only to be told (either directly or implicitly) that you must be doing something wrong since your child is heavy, and it's difficult not to think, "What am I missing? How can I be putting her at risk for health problems when we are working so hard?"

Last week, for the first time since we left our beloved Dr. Bell in Austin, we were validated for all that we have worked to do for Lydia's health--not because her weight or BMI dropped, but because her new pediatrician considered Lydia's diet and exercise over her weight. For the first time in two years, we heard, "Keep doing what you're doing. You're doing a great job."

A dear friend and health professional who knows us as parents quite well told me something on the day before Lydia's appointment that really resonated. I was confiding in her my fears and anxieties about Lydia's weight and seeing the doctor. I told her that I felt there wasn't much more we could do in terms of Lydia's diet, exercise, and overall health. And then, I heard something that finally, finally registered. She affirmed our choices for Lydia and told me that we are conscientious parents and said this: "You are going to go into that appointment with confidence, because you're doing a wonderful job. And if the doctor tells you otherwise, you'll leave and say, "I guess that's just another person we disagree with." Fortunately, the appointment went well, and we feel comfortable with this new pediatrician and her views on health, weight, and nutrition, and fortunately, she understands that BMIs are not foolproof in assessing well-being and respects us as parents. Mostly, though, I feel fortunate that I have finally found some confidence in my parenting and advocating for my child.

We're Going to the Zoo!

And not just our house.

The Minnesota Zoo was one of my favorite places as a child. I have vivid memories of my dad taking my brother and I there during Spring breaks. Apple Valley is quite a hike from Forest Lake where I grew up, and I didn't realize that the Zoo is actually quite close to where we live--less than a twenty minute drive! When last Friday, Lydia's school was closed, I knew that a day cooped up with Lydia and Holden would not be very fun, so I called my mom and asked if she wanted to come join us. She came up with the idea of going to the zoo, and a great idea it was!

We ended up being at the zoo for three hours. We did an insane amount of walking, but Lydia was so excited to see everything she could, we kept on trucking. I wore Holden in the Moby wrap for most of the time, and Lydia walked. Her favorite animals were the otter, the flamingos, the snow monkeys, the penguins, the shark, and the stingrays. It was so fun to see her experience something that I loved so much!

One thing I will say: the Minnesota Zoo actually provides nursing space, which is nice. The area was tucked back in a corner, and I originally thought that by "Nursing Area" they meant "Chair in Bathroom," but I was wrong. I ended up nursing Holden on a bench, which was fine, especially after another mom sat down and nursed her daughter next to me. (We had a lovely conversation about teething.) Next time, I would probably seek out the nursing area just so that Holden could have some quiet and a break from all of the stimulation. And by "Holden," I mean me.

Lydia and Grandma Jeanette watch the flamingos. (Notice that Lydia isn't looking at the camera. She was so excited about everything around her, a focused photo was impossible!)

Holden loves the Moby wrap! It has been lent to us by Mike and Brittany. Thanks!

Lydia climbed up to see the penguins. I think Happy Feet is in our future.

Road Trip to Madison!

The weekend before Easter we jumped in the car and headed to Madison. Robin's sister, Elise, moved to Den Bosch in the Netherlands last week and we wanted her to meet Holden before she left, and Holden's great grandparents on the Ganser side were pretty excited to see him, also. We also wanted to meet our newest little buddy, Linden--Robin's longtime friend Lissa's little girl, and we got the chance to see the Skelly family (minus Daniel and Beth) for a lunch. (Lissa and I shared due dates, but Holden came a bit early, and Linden came a bit late.) We had a great weekend in Madison, and Holden did beautifully in the car. Lydia is definitely more of the travel challenge when it comes to long drives.

Holden is the twenty-sixth(!) great-grandchild in the Ganser family, and with his birth, the great-grandchildren outnumber the grandchildren! One of my favorite things about introducing our children to their great-grandparents is the memories that babies elicit for them. The cyclical nature of child-rearing is really incredible to me, and the privilege of introducing our children to our grandparents drives this home. I love that motherhood is this timeless, shared experience.
Great-Grandma Georgiann hasn't lost her touch!

Four Generations of Ganser Men: Robin, Holden, Great-Grandpa Hugh, and Grandpa Dale

A rare photo of Holden and me. Since I'm the photographer in the family, photos of me and Lydia or Holden are few and far between.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Best Bottom

During Holden's second week, we celebrated a milestone that my childless self would have scoffed at. Holden lost his umbilical cord stump, and we started him in his cloth diapers! We have a full set of Best Bottom diapers with snaps and so far, they have been a smashing success. We've been doing laundry about every other day, and while our system needs a bit of refining, it is working pretty well in general.

We are really liking the Best Bottom system; everything feels super secure. Also, I was amazed that, upon starting with cloth, Holden's diaper rash vanished. Pretty cool!

Finally, I've been loving the purse-turned-diaper-bag given to me by Robin's mom. It is a beautiful, beautiful bag and it happens to be big enough to serve as a diaper bag. I loved my Petunia Picklebottom bag that I carried with Lydia, but after carrying a diaper bag for a few years, I was ready to just carry a great normal bag that happened to have diapers inside!

Some of our cloth diapering specifics, for those that are interested:

We have eight shells and eighteen liners. This gets us through two days easily, and we'll see how this shifts as Holden's digestive tract continues to develop.

When diapers or shells are dirty, they go right into a wet bag kept in a drawer in our changing table. As of now with Holden only consuming breastmilk, we haven't found the need to immediately rinse out the diapers. We do have use a product called "Shake It Up" from Rockin' Green in the wet bag to keep smells at bay in the nursery, and it works well. When ready to wash the diapers, we rinse them in the laundry sink next to our washing machine. I'm sure this will evolve as Holden's diet evolves.

We are using Rockin' Green soap, largely because I am a sucker for yummy smells and cute packaging, plus it came highly recommended.

I keep my diaper bag stocked with an extra shell and 2-3 extra liners along with a small wet bag and a handful of wipes.

We are using wipes cut from fleece. I figured if we were washing diapers, we could easily wash wipes also. I'm rethinking the use of fleece, though, and may make some wipes from flannel when I get some time. (Do you think Holden will still be in diapers come 2016?)

On the rare occasion that Holden is showing signs of diaper rash, I toss a fleece liner over the microfiber liners so that we can use diaper cream without clogging up the microfiber. This has worked well, though Holden's skin stays pretty happy with the cloth.

SO far, this is very doable. We'll have to work hard to stay in our routine once I return to work, but I really think we can do it.

Lydia's Birthday Party: Friends Edition

Lydia had the first of two birthday parties last Saturday. This party was full of friends; next Saturday, we will celebrate her birthday with family members. As is now our Minneapolis tradition, we reserved Michelangelo's Master Pizzas and let the kiddos loose while parents were able to snack and mingle. This year we added a new element to Lydia's birthday. In lieu of gifts for Lydia, her friends brought books to donate to a local charity via Milk and Bookies, an awesome non-profit that facilitates book donations to kids in need. We collected over twenty books, and Lydia will deliver them to our local Boys and Girls Club this week. Lydia had so much fun at her party, and so did we; singing "Happy Birthday" to our little girl has yet to stop bringing tears to my eyes, and it is so fun to set aside some time to celebrate all that is Lydia.

Goodie bags filled with bookmarks, balloons, and cookies.

Our book donation box.

Craft table for decorating book plates and a Fancy Nancy craft.

Lydia read about decorating butterfly placemats in Fancy Nancy: Tea Parties, so we decorated placemats at her party!

The kids could've crafted for the entire two hours, I think.

Listening (kind of) during story time with Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist, a gift from Lydia's godparents, Mikey and Mimi.

A cake per Lydia's request: chocolate with lavender icing and blackberries on top.

Listening to "Happy Birthday."

Holden slept nearly the entire time.
Guests, minus Marit, Avery, Sam, Elliott, and Harrison.

Mike and Britt, aka Mikey and Mimi, and Harrison made the trip from Chicago to celebrate Lydia's fourth!
Lydia and her friend Avery (who was not in the group picture.)
Sam took his spot under the table during the group pic, but I had to document his presence. :)

Holden: One Month

Holden is now one month old! We have settled into somewhat of a routine; his sleeping and eating patterns have become predictable (for the most part) and we are figuring each other out. Holden is such a sweet, sweet baby. He loves to be held and snuggled, and when he cries, he is easily pacified, often by nursing or rocking and walking. In true second child form, he has been out and about for much of the past month; he has been to the Children's Museum, the Edinborough Indoor Playground, lots of brunches and lunches, and both Mom and Dad's places of work on multiple occasions. I am currently wrapping up coursework for my K-12 Reading Specialist license, so if knowledge can be acquired through osmosis, Holden will be a literacy expert by toddlerhood. I have held him in my lap while doing much of my reading and homework and held him through my required reading intervention sessions with a ninth grade student.

Holden continues to be the apple of Lydia's eye, and while she has definitely struggled with decreased attention, she has never directed any resentment toward him. Instead, she will frequently interrupt what she is doing to run over to Holden and hug and kiss him.

Holden has survived his first cold and his first fall on the ice; he was in his carrier and quite cushioned--my rear took most of the hit. He continues to become more alert and is now giving us the sweetest little smiles that have yet to be caught on film. He has broken in his cloth diapers, and due to the extra bulk, is already starting to move out of his newborn clothes and into 0-3 month duds. He is a champion eater and for the third and fourth weeks of his first month, he gained ten ounces a week.

We are continuing to adjust to life as a family of four; while I knew that adding a second child to the mix would bring its own challenges, one never really knows what they are in for when it comes to babies and parenthood. While the past month has presented lots of opportunities for growth and learning, any frustration is quickly countered by our sweet little boy. Happy one month, Holden!


Friday, March 15, 2013


Four years ago today, I was laying in bed having just spent my second night home as a mother. Lydia had been awake crying for so much of the night because, as we later learned, my milk hadn't fully come in and she was hungry. My mom had taken her downstairs and rocked her so that Robin and I could get a bit of sleep and regroup.

Today, Lydia is at preschool, where yesterday, for show and tell, she read a book to her classmates--not just reciting the words but actually decoding them. I am rocking her one-month-old little brother and preparing to pick up her godparents (and Fousin Harrison) to celebrate at her birthday party tomorrow. It will be the first party where there will be more children than adults, because we realized that Lydia's birthday parties are now more about her than about us. Times have changed...

Lydia is such a little girl. She has a multitude of opinions, she negotiates, she sings songs, plays make-believe, gets herself snacks out of the refrigerator, and uses the bathroom alone in coffee shops (when I can see the entrance clearly of course.) On Monday, while at Caribou before her yoga class, she excitedly led me to the sofa and found a pillow so that I could nurse Holden because he was crying and opening his mouth, so she knew he was hungry. Her birthday gift was a "big girl bike" and she is so proud.

On the other hand, when we got home after yoga, she was told no and threw a remote at her brother and me, informed me that she didn't like me, and physically kicked me away when I went to kiss her goodnight. The next day at lunch, on her actual birthday, she uninvited me to birthday cupcakes. I drove home in tears, so hurt and frustrated with both her behavior and my lack of ability to give her the attention she needs.

The past month has been hard on Lyds and I. I have had hardly any one-on-one time with her, a drastic change from before when it was frequently just the two of us from the time I pick her up at four to the time Robin gets home between 6:30 and 7. Now I have both Lydia and Holden during those hours, and Holden has started his cluster feedings before bedtime. By the time Robin gets home, Holden wants to nurse round the clock, so I can't really hand him off to Robin and be with only Lydia.

On Tuesday afternoon, after she had told me she didn't want me to come share cupcakes with her, Lydia was clearly exhausted. I put her to bed for a nap, even though naptime had long passed. I tickled her face with the silk tag on the same blanket she has slept since she was old enough to sleep with a blanket. She yawned and snuggled and fell asleep. Maybe times haven't changed so much... our little girl was exhausted, she needed rest, and needed her mom. That's the thing about four. Depending on the day, she's the best (or most frustrating) of both worlds. She's going through so much change that, on some days, her growth and development is the most amazing thing to watch and, on others, it leads to situations that make me want to curl up in a ball and hide.

The rest of the night proved to be much smoother sailing. We enjoyed Lydia's chosen birthday dinner: pasta with peanut sauce and brussel sprouts followed by angel food cake. We watched Angelina Ballerina and went to bed. It was a different birthday for sure, but one that represents exactly where we are right now--in the midst of change, adjustment, and celebration, all at once. Happy birthday to my brave, strong girl. We love you, in all your four-year-old glory!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weight Check

Due to our breastfeeding struggles, we brought Holden back to the pediatrician to check on his weight. We wanted to insure that he had hit his birth weight and find out that we had indeed established a decent breastmilk supply.

On Tuesday, Holden and I braved the snowy roads to pop him on the scale. I had 9 lbs. 13 ozs. in my head as a goal. This would be a 1 oz. a day gain since our previous Tuesday appointment, so imagine my surprise when I put him on the scale and 10 lbs., 1 oz popped up! Turns out the little stinker gained ELEVEN OUNCES over seven days. My milk supply is DEFINITELY established, though yesterday I paid for my premature celebration of the end of breastfeeding drama in the form of a very plugged right side. (Thanks to the Facebook Lactation Consultants aka fellow breastfeeding mom friends for their awesome advice on that one!) We are still not totally out of the woods with breastfeeding issues; I've got some latch issues to straighten out at our Lactation Consultant appointment tomorrow, but things are much better and, at the very least, Holden is getting lots of milk, is sleeping well, gaining weight, and seems generally content.

Hipster Holden

I thought turning thirty(-one. Okay, thirty-one.) and having children erased any risk of hipster-dom, but apparently, I was misled.

I love, love, love the name Holden for several reasons. I like it aesthetically, and I love the homage to The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger's moody, grumpy, protagonist, in my opinion, was a catalyst for the kind of coming-of-age books that play such a huge role in my job as a champion of teen literacy and reading enthusiasm. Holden Caulfield, for some, was a misfit character that let real-life teen misfits feel as if they weren't alone. Our Holden's name receives two main reactions: about half the people who have met him say, "Holden... that's unique. Where did you get it?" and the other half say, "Great name. Catcher in the Rye?" While I cringe a little when I think of our Holden eventually reading  the book and feeling a little weirded out when coming across Holden Caulfield's dicier moments, hopefully he'll embrace the importance of Salinger's work and understand its significance to me.

Anyway, back to my original thought. It has been brought to my attention that, when checking name popularity charts--with both children, we have made sure to choose names that were not in the top 100, popularity wise, though "Lydia" has since broken through. (What can I say? She's a trail-blazer.) "Holden" was nowhere close. Except for this article on "Top 24 Hipster Baby Names":

And this advice column on "How to Avoid Giving Your Baby a Hipster Name": (See #3.)

And then, to top things off, we caught Holden like this: 

He's already rocking the faux-hawk? Let's just call him Hipster Holden.

Inventive Spelling

This morning, Lydia asked us to write some things down for her. In an effort to encourage her literacy (and because honestly, when Robin needs to be out the door in ten minutes, Holden's eating, and Lydia still needs her hair brushed, sitting down to write together wasn't so much an option), we said that she should try writing on her own and then could tell us what it said. She protested initially, but eventually sat down to write. She came up with this: 
When asked what it said, she said it was, in order from top to bottom, the words to "Away in a Manger," "Some Nights" (by Fun.), and "Call Me Maybe."  She then used her writing to stand on the table and perform each song. (Yes, my almost-four-year-old knows the words to "Some Nights" and "Call Me Maybe." If you have never heard a preschooler sing pop music, you are seriously missing out.) On the learning side of things, this was the first time Lydia has used letters to make words. In the past, she has used scribbles and dashes. I love that Lydia is in this new stage of print awareness!

Our Village: A Thank You

Today, Holden is three weeks old! The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of cuddles, nursing ups and downs, and visits, visits, visits! It has been so exciting (and even a little overwhelming) to give birth in my hometown and so close to Robin's. Over the past three weeks, we have enjoyed visits from so many wonderful people, devoured dinners and delicious lunches provided by friends, family, and coworkers, and generally felt loved. I have benefited from Facebook's unofficial lactation consulting services and would like to extend a serious "Thank you" to everyone who has provided support to us in the form of food, visits, errands, sharing knowledge and advice, taking Lydia out for a playdate, and just general love and enthusiasm for our little guy. Second time around is funny; on one hand, we are so much more confident in our parenting abilities. We are not constantly worried that we'll break Holden when moving him, and we know that babies are pretty resilient. On the other, a new child presents new challenges that are different from round one--in Holden's case, mainly nursing issues--as well as the new balancing act of caring for an infant while parenting Lydia. We will continue to rely on our village and are so grateful for all of you!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Holden - Two Weeks

Happy Two Week Birthday, little guy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Holden Meets His Minnesota Great-Grandparents

Last Thursday, Robin, Holden, and I took a trip to Forest Lake to meet Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Laqua. They were so excited to hold their new great-grandson (great-grandchild number six for them). I couldn't help but think of my Grandma Gloria and how much she would have enjoyed Holden; my Grandma Lovella immediately commented on the same thing. I do, though, feel fortunate that Lydia was able to meet five of her great-grandparents, and Holden will meet four; I never met any of mine.

These photos are priceless, yes?

We spent about three hours at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Robin swears he didn't take a nap.