Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Goodbye bilirubin!

Don't be fooled by these next two pictures of Erik's lovely olive complexion-- it is actually jaundice! Or at least it was. Erik's bilirubin (yellow pigment poorly broken down by his immature liver) level continued to climb after he left the hospital, forcing us to have his poor little blood drawn daily. Finally they sent us a bili-bed, a home tanning kit that took care of the rest. He only had to be under the lights for a day and a half (out only for feedings and diaper changes), but the four of us were pretty miserable about it the whole time. Erik struggled against the insecurity of his naked limbs having full range of motion. Kyle and I hated having to leave him there, blinded by fuzzy goggles as he cried. It was probably hardest on Ellie, though, who was not allowed to lay eyes on the blue lights, but was clearly concerned for her brother's welfare and spent a lot of time pounding on the door calling "Dee dee! Dee dee!" (Since Ellie struggles with 'r's and 'k's, we let her call him Deedee, which means little brother in Chinese.) Alas, it is over now and he is glowing in pinkish splendor again.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Coming Home Pics

Although she enjoyed the free meals, room service and especially the Lorna Doone cookies, Tiff was more than ready to go home when her 48 hours were up. Hospital gowns and a closet-sized living space lose their appeal pretty fast.

Our newest family picture!

Generally, Ellie gives Erik lots of spontaneous kisses. She also likes labeling his facial features, especially poking him in the eyes. Here she shows her affection with a nice head butt.

Introducing... THE MIDDLE NAME!

We were able to catch this shot in the half hour he was awake during his hospital stay.

Well, there has been a lot of speculation... and the guessing prize goes to Jeff. His middle-name guess "Thered" (as in Erik The Red) put him far ahead of the competition for: (1) creativity and (2) being the only guess we were actually informed of. He has won the privilege of calling the newest dude "Thered" during his embarassing puberty years. Besides, if you take "Thered" and switch the letters around, add some more, and then take some away, it spells out Erik's real middle name:

君明 Junming

We were a little nervous to give him a Chinese name ourselves because of our limited knowledge of Chinese. We didn't want to be the equivalent of those Asian immigrants in the States who name their newborns "Freedom" or "Chrysanthemum" just doesn't sound right. We spent a lot of time on the web the past few days experimenting with name combinations that are legit, look good, sound good, and have a meaning that we love. Tiff vetoed my first two choices because of her English bias (Kai-yun, which she claims sounds too much like a kid's show Caillou that she hates, and De-ming, which she claims sounds like Dummy).

An over-simplified translation of Junming (pronounced similar to Joon-ming) could be Bright Gentleman, but its historical meaning is much deeper than the English words have to offer. In Confucian China, the highest honor was to become a Junzi, or a "gentleman." Confucius taught that through education and a lifetime of experience, people can become the embodiment of virtue and humility. Because of their superior example, their morality would "trickle-down" through all social classes creating a society of order and respect. In terms of the gospel, one of my professors explained a junzi as somebody who has "no more disposition to do evil," and therefore is free to do as he pleases because his desires are so unalterably pure. Ming is very complementary; it means bright and intelligent.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Erik, day 2

Ellie, at least so far, seems to be nothing short of enamored with her baby brother. We don't think she's realized that her reign as only-child is over forever. At any rate, she loves his sweet little babyness just as we suspected she would. She wants to hold, hug, kiss, and coo at him (mostly exclaiming "whoa! whoa! whoa baby!") at all times. Even when we left Erik at the nursery to eat at the cafeteria for half an hour, she spent much of the time pointing back in the direction we came asking "baby?" and making worried faces. We hope and expect that she will be a nurturing sister and, most importantly, a big help to Mom. =)

As for the little babe himself, we couldn't be happier with him. He is just perfect--never crying, eats and sleeps wonderfully, makes those cute little puffs and wheezes, and reminds us of the happiest and most important mission in our lives. Kyle and I are overwhelmed with gratitude and love. I am already beginning to forget what the labor and delivery felt like! Despite having several of my requests (typed and handed to the doctor as a birth plan) completely disregarded by my doctor (next time, midwife!), the whole process went so smoothly (I definitely do recommend hypnobirthing to any moms out there. No, it could not eliminate the sensation of pain near the end, but it undoubtedly made the the majority of the labor much more comfortable, enjoyable, and meaningful) that I really cannot complain. Kyle's mom has mentioned to me several times over the years how every baby's birth is just a miracle. I have to agree. There's just nothing else that could compare to the experience of peacefully bringing a baby into the world. I am truly blessed to be a mom to such beautiful little angels.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Erik (something) Larsen is born!

Well, the time finally came: 1:12pm May 16th 2007. Tiffany was amazing and I am so proud of her. I was pretty frustrated at her this morning, though- I wanted to go to the hospital when she picked me up from work where I was happy to leave the latest tile project in the BYU Cougareat Dishroom. Tiff was averaging contrations at 2-3 minutes apart; I was freaking out. As Tiff took an extended shower, typed up her final birth plan, changed Ellie, and found extra stuff for her hospital bag, I was prepping for birthing at home.

When we finally made it to the hospital at about 10:30am, she was dialated at a 6+. Though our doctor was far from the hospital, he strolled in a little later in Harley Davidson garb, but soon changed into his green IHC scrubs and poofy hospital shower cap. After a couple hours of enduring painful contractions, it took Tiffany 4-5 strong pushes to give birth to the sweetest and smartest and most masculine and loudest new baby on planet earth! Tiffany and Erik are in perfect health (minus the lingering pains and effects of birth, of course)!

Erik is 7 pounds 7 ounces, 19 inches long, has dark hair and long Thompson toes. We are so grateful for all of your prayers and love.

OKAY- here are some pics (we will add more later):

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mommy Day

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ellie and her BFF Kimberley

This week Ellie said goodbye to her best friend Kimberley (the daughter of Tiffany's old roomate who has been in town since Februrary). It's sad because they've shared so much the past few months: dolls, pacifiers, shoes, germs, vocabulary (waawee- water; upbi- up please)...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pony Ride

Here is the video of Ellie's pony ride. Unfortunately, the clip does not include her chanting "neigh" all three laps, or her 10 minute ear-deafening, yet somewhat endearing, screams when we took her away from her new love. I am picking up a more lucrative job so we can buy Ellie her own pony named "neigh."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

More (of Ellie) from family visit

The weather suddenly turned beautiful near the end of the week so we took advantage of a couple of Utah's abundant parks and Kyle's parents did a superb job of capturing Ellie's every emotion as she explored the great outdoors.

Kyle celebrated his 26th on the 25th with a homemade ice cream cake/volcano. It was liquifying at a rapid rate, but thankfully I happened to find two perfect candles for the occasion (plus an extra to make it accurate). Kyle notes that the highlights of his birthday were spicy chicken wings with ranch sauce, 3 bags of chips, chicken enchiladas with "the works," and the ice cream cake, of course.

We also made it out to a petting zoo, which was probably the highlight of Ellie's life thus far. She even came away with a nice farmer's tan. Although Ellie delighted in the pigs and cows, no experience compared to the pony ride. Kyle says she exclaimed "neigh! neigh! neigh!" for the entire ride and was inconsolable when it ended. Since then, she generously bestows the name "Neigh" upon every animal she likes.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Oh happy day!

Eight years, an undisclosed amount of student loans, 360 college credits, and two babies (the second one coming soon!) later, Kyle and I have finally graduated from BYU! (Kyle just has one more Chinese film class to finish up this spring.) Both sets of parents were able to make it for the blessed occasion (April 27th) and we hadn't seen Kyle's parents since last August, so it was a wonderful reunion filled with sunshine, farm animals, free babysitting and good cookin'!

Since my college's convocation is about two hours too long , I opted to walk with Kyle in the International Studies convocation so we were announced and received our diplomas together. Ellie even got to "walk" with us, a common allowance at BYU convocation ceremonies.

I couldn't have asked for a better graduation gift from Ellie: she tolerated wearing a bow in her hair all morning for the first time since her arms grew long enough to pull them off.

Group hug with Kyle's parents, Ron and Judy Larsen.

The Goodwin gang: Michelle, Bryce, Dad, (me, Ellie, Kyle), Mom, and Bob

We honored an unofficial Goodwin tradition by topping off the celebration with an all-you-can-eat buffet and then a long nap. In this shot Ellie is giggling at Noelani, a good friend of ours and also my former supervisor and Kyle's academic advisor. She is the one who put on the graduation ceremony and bought us those beautiful leis.

Raking in the big bucks!

Well, after decades of loyalty to the fine art of garage-sale-ing, we resolved to contribute to the supply side of the market and had our very first garage sale (in March). It was mostly stocked by the abundance of baby clothes I had collected. I had been considering starting a small, out-of-home baby clothes resale business, but after accumulating almost 500 items, I knew it was taking away too much time from the momhood that I love even more than cute clothes. So it was time to sell it all! Mish whipped up several batches of cookies and lemonade, the proceeds of which went toward her college fund, and we had great fun sorting through our junk in terms of how much cash it could translate into. We sold a couple pieces of baby furniture and assorted junks, but mostly it was the baby clothes, and we were pleasantly surprised to have a non-stop flow of customers for the first few hours. Thankfully, I made back three times what I spent on the clothes. It was a fun adventure we look forward to duplicating in August before our big move. At the end of the day, Kyle enjoyed a rewarding, lucrative nap.