Monday, August 30, 2010

Introducing Sean Hiroki Flood...

Sean Hiroki Flood, just born (Hiroki means "a big, wide tree" in Japanese)

On Thursday, Aug. 26th, 2010, our second boy, Sean Hiroki Flood, came into this world.
It was quite an "out of blue" for all of us, because he came out almost a month earlier than the due date. He is tiny and feels so skinny (especially compared to his big brother ;-) ... We have been always treating Benjamin as a small person till now, but all of a sudden Benjamin looks like a real grown-up boy, and looks almost "huge" next to Sean.

The labor and delivery was quite speedy and safe (after 2-3 hours of active labor without any sort of medications nor painkillers, and I only had to push twice to deliver him), and he was born safe and sound, albeit he is such a tiny little thing. (His birth weight was 5 lb. 11 oz = 2580g, which is just above 2500g, the weight considered "premature baby"). Actually he didn't have any problems and never had to go to a special care nursery - and stayed with me all the time during our 2-day stay in the hospital (you are allowed to stay in the hospital for up to 48 hours after the birth).

But as you can see in this photo below, his legs are so tiny and skinny... he looks and feels so fragile each time I pick him up or change his clothes.

I guess I just have to work hard to nurse him as often as possible, to fatten him up! ;-)

My water broke early in the morning (7 am) of Thursday, 26th, and it happened that Amar had been away in Boston for a conference that week. But luckily enough, it was the last day of his stay and he flew back right away, and he made it just in time for my active labor and delivery.

(And luckily again, we had arranged to have a birth doula [= who provides a mental support to a woman in childbirth] this time too, so Susan, our birth doula, came right away to my place to help me, and she drove me to the hospital after a friend came to pick up Benjamin to look after. I was so grateful that we had a birth doula, and that it was Susan, who was also a birth doula for Benjamin's birth --- because I feel very much at ease with her and thus I didn't worry too much about not having Amar right away - I knew he would come in time, and I just needed to wait his arrival calmly.)

Amar arrived at the hospital around 2 pm, just when my active labor started, and Sean was born at 5:10 pm. How lucky we all were!

Benjamin has been coping with this totally new situation/experiences quite well, and he seems to be accepting and adjusting to the fact that now we have a newborn baby at home.

However, this does not mean that days go without any turbulence of his emotions of course: the first day I came home from the hospital, Benjamin wouldn't go to sleep without me (although he had been fine sleeping by himself for a long time now), woke up in the middle of the night crying out for Mommy - he held on to me like a baby koala, cried so hard saying, "I want Mommy, I want Mommy!" and wouldn't let me go. My eyes welled up as well, and after holding him tight for a good long while, I put him to sleep again by lying side to side with him on his bed - until I heard a cry from another baby of mine from a different room. So I was shuttling between two boys that night...

But next morning, there was another incident which welled up my eyes, this time with a smile: when I heard Sean's little cry in his bassinet and I saw Benjamin doing something reaching over Sean, I ran to the bassinet, almost about to say, "Benjamin! Don't wake up your little brother!" ... But then I found that Benjamin was patting Sean gently, saying "That's alright, that's alright" --- and started singing his favorite lullabies, "My Bonnie" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," to him. So it was a very lovely, sweet moment.

*********** *********** **********
But such perfectly sweet moments are rather rare: most of the time it is quite a challenge to keep Sean safe from cheeky Benjamin's curiosity... I have to be constantly vigilant, and it's hard!

Benjamin loves to put his finger in Sean's mouth (though it sometimes terrifies his parents: Benjamin sometimes puts his finger too far, and many times his hands are not too clean, and Benjamin wants to do it regardless whether Sean is awake or asleep, and well, most of the time he is asleep...**)

Fireman Benjamin

"I'm a big brother now!"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Handcrafted Farm

A few days ago I finally finished a handcrafted farm for Benjamin, which I started making 2 weeks ago inspired by a set of farm animal miniatures sent by my mother-in-law (Benjamin's "Nanny").

These fences and animals were the original set

To my pleasant surprise, Benjamin fell in love... with this farm instantly and he could spend hours (!) playing with it by hims...elf, putting/arranging animals, farm house, barn, tractors, fences, little people, and even sport cars and trains ;-)

I guess it is partly because this is, for him, a "small world of his own" - in which he can exercise his autonomy.

 As you can see, he is putting a family sedan right in front of the red barn ;-)

Anyways, I'm glad I made it, and thank you, Christine, for sending these farm animals to begin with, and thank you, Amar, for making a second red barn after Benjamin broke the first one that I made, by using it for his hat!

After the roof coming off from the barn, Benjamin found another way to enjoy it --- to wear it as a hat!