Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daddy, Papa, Father...

Speaking of Daddy... David is still considering options for what he would like his children to call him. Here in the US, Mommy and Daddy and then Mom and Dad are the default. They're okay, but we've enjoyed considering other possibilities. In the UK, moms are called Mummy and then Mum - that's just weird! Mother and Father seem distant to me, so those are out. I've long liked the term Mama and would really like for my children to call me Mama as long as possible. But Papa would be a bit more difficult to instill because so few children call their fathers Papa these days (in fact, it seems more and more grandfathers are being called Papa). David often calls his dad "Old Man" - that's probably not something we want to pass on!

Although we have quite a bit of time before Teresa will be language-capable, it would be good to make this decision soon because we'll need to practice referring to one another by our name of choice (e.g., "you're such a good Daddy" and "Mama's ready to feed you now").

I'd be very interested to read about your thoughts and experiences with this topic.

On a side note, Teresa's grandparents will also have an interesting mix of relational names. On David's side she has a Nana and a Pampaw. On my side she has a Memere (pronounced "MEM-ay") and a Grandpa. What's most important is that we all love her very much!

Nurse Daddy

What's not to love about a man in a uniform, holding a baby? :D

And if you zoom in, you can see the little sheep all over Teresa's sleeper - so cute!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

11 Days Well Baby Visit

Today we saw a well-reputed nurse practitioner at our pediatrician's office (actually, the doctor we chose for Teresa is a family practitioner who also has a great reputation for his work with little ones).

Teresa's stats (at 11 days old):

Weight: 7 lbs 8.5 oz (50th percentile)
Height: 20.5 in (85th percentile)
Head circumference: 13.5 in (39th percentile)

The NP looked Teresa over very thoroughly and gushed at her cuteness (the way she scrunches up her forehead, her momentarily crossed eyes, and her special crookedy toe). In addition to discussing bathing (Teresa's cord stump fell off last night - yay!) and skincare, breastfeeding, and the probable future of that toe, we talked very candidly about vaccinations. The NP recommended The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library) for a solid education about the nature of vaccines, their importance, and possibilities for delaying their administration to children. David and I still have more research to do (so we're very grateful for her recommendation), but we're pretty sure we'll delay several vaccinations and skip a few others (for a variety of reasons). We're very fortunate to have found a care provider who will allow us the freedom to make these decisions for Teresa. Interestingly, the NP admitted that she is obliged to advise us to get Teresa vaccinated according to national standards even though she did not follow them exactly with her own children. She said what she is required to say about vaccines but made it clear to us that we could ask her what she chose to do as a mom herself. Cool.

Wordless (Ash) Wednesday

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Initiating the cloth diapers

Teresa's first cloth diaper (made by my mom). She promptly soiled it.

Teresa's second cloth diaper (not shown). She wet it while we were putting it on her.

Teresa's third cloth diaper. It didn't stay dry long, either.

Challenging though the transition to cloth diapers was (we had - and still have - lots to learn), I am very grateful that we didn't go through 3 disposable diapers in the space of 30 minutes. Yesterday continued to be a "high production" day and we had over 12 diapers to wash this morning. (David did a fabulous job with the washing in our apartment laundry center, by the way.)

More posts on this adventure to come!

Mastering the art of one-handed typing

Okay, so I'm not so good at it yet. But I'm going to have lots of practice, I think. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

She looks like David

We're of the opinion that Teresa got most of her good looks from David. She has his eyes and mouth, cheeks and eyebrows. She has the same high forehead that wrinkles just so when she moves her eyebrows in oh-so-many cute expressions.

Here's a baby picture of David (that survived Hurricane Katrina, thanks be to God) followed by a picture of Teresa for comparison's sake:

We do see a few features that resemble mine, though: perhaps her chin; definitely her long hands/fingers and feet/toes. I was told that I had "piano hands" and "monkey toes" when I was growing up. Although I haven't picked up an instrument in some time, I did put those fingers to use playing the flute, piano, and guitar for many years. I can't wait to see whether Teresa is interested in music, too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Bili" blanket Teresa

On the second evening, Teresa was diagnosed with jaundice. The doctors prescribed the bili-blanket, which was a new tool at that hospital. The light breaks down unconjugated bilirubin in the blood while the baby is allowed to remain in the mother's room. Thankfully, the bilirubin levels decreased and Teresa was cleared to go home on Monday without any further complications.

Teresa explores the world

In the hospital, Teresa remained fairly quiet and took to exploring her surroundings. Enjoy.

Introducing Teresa Marie Liberto...

Our daughter, Teresa Marie Liberto, was born this past Saturday, Valentine's Day, at 4:33 pm, weighing 7 pounds and 11 ounces. She’s 20 inches long, successfully breastfeeding, and displays a wide repertoire of facial expressions.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers as we really needed them on Saturday. God provided strength to Frances through 14 hours of hard labor, 3 hours of pushing, and choosing not to use pain medications. It was only by God's grace and His amazing gift to women to bear children that our daughter was born without complications. Praise be to the Lord.

Videos and pics will follow. Frances will return to posting soon. Peace be with you.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Frances with a Big Belly

At Shannon's request, here's a recent belly shot:

I'm loving this fuzzy sweater I found half price at Target last week.

Frances as a Baby

I asked my mom to scan some pictures of me as a baby so I have them ready for a side-by-side comparison with Teresa. Unfortunately, she didn't find too many and they're a little dark. But there are some cute ones!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Things about Frances

Writing 25 random factoids about oneself is all the rage on Facebook right now. I posted my own list there yesterday and thought I'd share it here as well...

1. I like grammar. I edit everything I read and love finding typos. I even edit others’ speech when they are talking . . . but I usually keep corrections to myself (unless it’s my husband – I edited his speech during our very first phone conversation).

2. For my high school career project I gave a speech about being a book editor.Ten years later I became a book editor (technically, an Associate Editor for a Catholic book publishing company). It was pretty cool.

3. For my high school's senior superlatives, I was voted “Most Likely to be Found in the Library” (tells you what my peers thought of me: ultimate nerd). Funny how I worked in my college library for two years (as a writing tutor in the Writers’ Workshop) and in a public library for another two (as an Administrative Support Coordinator).

4. I will always try to respond honestly to any question I’m asked, although I do believe withholding information is sometimes appropriate.

5. On the flip side of the same coin, I am extremely gullible – I usually believe people are telling the truth and find it difficult to discern when someone is being sarcastic.

6. I am (overly) analytical. If you propose something to me, I will consider every reason NOT to do it (or why it won’t work) before I agree/approve. Just ask my husband.

7. I believe that “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and striving to live in a way that has the least negative impact on the environment are all part of good stewardship of the resources God gives us. I recycle everything I can, I love to acquire needed items secondhand, and I try to get by with less.

8. I use handkerchiefs all year long, clean with washcloths and rags, and plan to cloth diaper our children as much as possible.

9. I’m allergic to fresh pineapple. If I eat it or anything it touches my mouth tingles and my tongue swells up. But I can eat most canned pineapple – something about the canning process must neutralize whatever triggers my reaction.

10. I still sleep with a stuffed raccoon puppet named Ginger. My excuse for keeping her with me in the bed is that she holds useful things inside: handkerchief, eye mask, earplugs, etc.

11. I have lived in 7 states and England. I like North Carolina the best of them all and am very grateful that God led David and me to Charlotte (half way between where we were living when we met online: me in NJ and him in FL).

12. Soft, fuzzy things make me happy, so I’m having a heyday with these baby blankets and toys.

13. I discerned my vocation to marriage and motherhood at a young age (late teens). I had to wait a long time to find my husband, but God’s timing is perfect and I am now eagerly anticipating being a mom to Teresa and any more children God blesses us with.

14. I really like my curly hair. When I’ve straightened it in the past I didn’t feel like myself.

15. Singing is one of my favorite ways to pray.

16. My favorite chore is putting away clean dishes.

17. I really enjoy word games like Boggle and Balderdash. I am not very good at Scrabble, though.

18. I use a Palm Pilot to keep track of my calendar, contacts, and lists.

19. When I lived in a Benedictine monastery for 7 months, I loved the daily flow of prayer and work. I wonder if my life as a stay-at-home mom will be anything like that.

20. I love to lector at Mass. There’s nothing better than asking the Holy Spirit to come and help you proclaim God’s love letter to His children.

21. My husband had “Peace be with you” inscribed in my wedding band. Sometimes just remembering that helps me calm down.

22. I like chocolate, and I think it tastes good with most anything. Chocolate, caramel, and nuts (turtles). Mint chocolate brownies. Chocolate liqueur. Chocolate chip pancakes. Mmmm.

23. I bribe and reward myself with food – at school, at work, at home . . . “you can have a cupcake after you wash all the dishes” etc.

24. I can sing “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” in 3 languages (English, French, and Japanese).

25. I can make the dimple on my chin go in and out by flaring my nostrils. My other weird human trick is tucking and releasing my lips in a wave – you have to see it to know what I mean. :)

PS Sorry the picture is a little fuzzy - I scanned it from my high school yearbook. Now it occurs to me that "I went by Frankie for 11 years (ages 13 to 24)" would have been a good item to include on the list for anyone who came into my life after that time.