Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wrapped Up

Dave is overjoyed. He gets to cuddle without exerting himself by tiring out his arm muscles.
(To be rotated later when we have the correct tools...)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Aizay is hanging out with Gabriel (L) and Coraline.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The 2007 Baby Summit in Geneva...

...has begun. They're hammering out an agenda in this photo, and their aides are scurrying to and fro with important diplomatic communiques about ways to keep their parents awake without violating strategic arms limitation treaties. Or something.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Smug isn't he?

He knows how superior he is.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas comes but once a year...

...unless you're an Etler, and then it comes early and often. Stay tuned for more Christmas photos over the next two weeks.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Aizay's Christmas shopping list

I sat in front of the computer today and this is what I found. Aizay accidently left this Walmart page up. I see he is getting me a blender and he's getting Dave a TMX Elmo (but we really know who's going to be playing with that).

Monday, December 10, 2007

This is my first day on "reduced effort" (officially, anyway), to take care of Coraline. She's rewarding me with smiles.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Are you going to watch the New England Patriots vs the Pittsburgh Bad Guys today?

I was just reading sports news and Aizay pointed at a picture of Randy Moss and said, "Is that a Patriot?" I said, "Yes, you can see it says 'Patriots' here," as I pointed to his jersey. Then Aizay pointed to a picture of Ben Roethlisberger and said, "Is this the bad guy? Is the words 'bad guy' on his helmet?"

Friday, December 07, 2007

Teaching Gracie new things...

Special thanks to Linda S. for helping the Etlers out this week by covering some of the gap in our daycare situation. She's a real friend. She even sends us pictures and movies during the day to keep us entertained.

This is one she sent to us today. She secretly listened in and transcribed Coraline and Grace engaging in girl talk.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

If you don't think this is cute, you're dead inside.

If I were Grace's parents, I'd be concerned about some older boy who runs around with his diaper showing chillin' with my daughter.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Aizay and baby Hans.

Tonight we heard Aizay cry out joyfully from his room, "Hans, I missed you!" He came into the living room with his baby Hans, and soon demanded that I take a picture and put it on "my email".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs find you with a lack of decorative tabletop storage

Sometimes you just can't sleep unless you have your nice cuddly wicker basket to snuggle with. I'm sure anyone can understand that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

Aizay wants to know--what's under the hooter-hider? Let's investigate...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

In the waiting room

*the first time they weighed her, they got 12lbs which was a little unbelievable. When the weight was corrected, I didn't note the percentile.

As you can see, Coraline and Aizay have similar growth histories.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Potty success!

Aizay is rockin' the model vibe during his professional photo shoot. We were amazed at how handsome he looked...I mean, we knew he was cute, but not this cute. Coraline just looked annoyed. Christine was compelled to spend lots of money on prints. Framed prints, even.

In other news, Aizay had amazing success with the potty this weekend. Twice he peed in the potty, although at this point it requires that he wear no pants around the house. But this is progress people, so let's see some love in the comments for our big boy. Even better is that he suddenly was able to anticipate the need to pee and hold it until he got to the potty. Special thanks to Grandpa (with credit to Great Grandmom) for suggesting the no pants technique.

Also, we discovered that the reason he runs around like a demented chimp in the evening is because he's bored. If you actually play a game or do a puzzle with him, he calms down. I know, I know, we are geniuses for figuring this out. No need to praise us. But last night I wasn't feeling my best, and Christine was feeding Coraline, so Aizay was jumping about like a crackhead lemur. Finally, he got yelled at, so he slouched away, moaning, "I'm sad. No one will talk to me, and I'm frustrated and mad..." Then he sang a long dirge about being sad and frustrated and ignored. I'm serious. It was heartbreaking...and kinda cute, 'cause it made no sense.

Aizay saves big money at Menards

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Aizay had a hard night last night, puking all over the place. We thought he'd recovered this morning, so we gave him a big sippy cup of water (but not his usual milk, thank god). This he promptly geysered all over our bed--Christine had just changed the sheets last night--and his sister's head (they were cuddling with me at the time, so I got a full soaking as well). So we're all staying home today, although I think he really is fine now. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

pronunciation guide

say "core align"

say "A-zay", both syllables rhyme with "say" and the z is the z in "zebra", not "azure".
Aiden Xavier is "A-din Zay-vyer". (His Xavier is not pronounced "egg-zay-vyer"). Notice that his nickname is comprised of the first syllables of each name...

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I think Aizay beleives he's posing for a dauguerrotype in 1887, which explains his blank expression.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Wide awake

Cora is wide awake after having slept 5 hours in a row.

In the past two weeks she's gained almost 2 pounds, and managed to clog her right tear duct. Hopefully that will clear up as it does in most babies (it's very common), but infrequently requires surgery.

She's now starting to hold her head up and look from person to person, and gives us the occasional smile. She likes looking at Aizay very much. And I think her hair isn't going to fall out, as it looks like there's just as much as when she was born.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'll post this, but...

...I haven't posted a picture in days, and Annette at work has been bugging me for one.

I don't really like it...too posed and too sentimental, and heavily photoshopped. Not my usual style. Coraline's cute, though, eh?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My only labor and delivery regrets

1. I wish I had brought more chocolates or treats to the hospital.
2. I wish we had known about this website:

Regarding #2, you don't need to stay connected to the internet to use it. It would have been so helpful.

I am not sure about the epidural. I think it possibly was a good thing I didn't get it because I was asking for it too late. They do a combined spinal/epidural and the spinal would not have worn off in time to push. That could have kept her stuck sideways and/or made pushing much longer...

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's not easy you know.

Being a baby isn't all eating and sleeping, you know. Tummy-time, for instance, is hard work. All those muscles to build up.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Belly Button!

Bonding with my child will now commence now that the rotting umbilical stump has fallen off.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tub over troubled waters

When I took this picture, I didn't realize that not only was I capturing Aizay's image, but the image of a criminal act. Only when I walked in and got my socks wet did I realize what was going on.

What caused this puddle? I'll give you a hint: it was not caused by anything in this picture that isn't human and three years old.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Amnesia setting in...

First, I want to apologize to any future-birthing Audiologists for my previous alarming post. Unlike Camille's case, I was "prepared" for the possibility I would "miss" the epidural because I chose to wait. I knew I wanted to wait as long as possible because I wanted to be able to walk around and not be hooked up to anything (IV, monitors) and the staff were awesome and they made sure I knew what I was (possibly) getting myself into. And in the end, that freedom I bought myself made me very happy.

Ways not to "miss" your epidural: 1. ask for it before you get to transition and 2. Remember that external monitoring sometimes doesn't work (It failed to pick up Camile's contractions and also, many of my contractions during Aizays birth.) Don't let the staff tell you you are not having contractions based on the monitor.

As I suspected might happen, I am having amnesia of the physical pain of delivery. I think it's harder to forget mental pain than it is to forget physical pain. It's still easy to remember panic attacks and anxiety from Aizay's birth and short bursts of panic from Coraline's. Fortunately for me, I was happy during labor and delivery and that really helped. I actually was able to relax between contractions. I couldn't do that during the worst part of Aizay's labor. Another pleasant surprise was that I had substantial breaks between contractions. I was perfectly fine laboring before I got to 7-8cm. In books and childbirth class, they say contractions during the end of labor (transition) can be 90 seconds long with 30 seconds off. This is what I was scared of when I asked for the epidural. But thoughout my labor, I had "long" breaks between contractions-all the way to the end! That really saved me from going insane, I think.

The pain I haven't forgotten yet-the 3 or 4 really bad contractions right before I started pushing. Coraline was faced the wrong way and she was basically aiming straight for my left femur instead of out. I lost the feeling in my leg during the contraction and my hip felt like it was being pried apart. And I was panicked because I was imagining she might not turn and there'd be, at the least, hours of pushing, or more forceps, or the worst nightmare of all: c-section under general anesthesia.

It turns out she turned in about 7 minutes and then got pushed out in another 7 minutes. That made me happy.

I feel very good now physically. I am not really injured and I didn't lose a lot of blood (I lost a lot with Aizay). I am just tired out and my muscles ache like I went on a long hike.

Other details:
-I labored (active labor) for 7.5 hours.
-Coraline came out with the cord wrapped around her neck, which could explain why she had a hard time flipping head down when she was breech.
-My nurses and midwives were so good to me. They worked out a way to not give me pitocin...And I had better nurses than last time (even though they were pretty good with Aizay, too). Maybe there is something to my theory of better nurses being on duty during the weekday shift. Or maybe they just treated me well because I gave them chocolates...
-It was an unusual day/night in labor and delivery the night Coraline was born. There were 4 emergency c-sections transferred into labor and delivery from other hospitals. Plus they had "planned" sections too. There were pre-eclamptics, gestational diabetes patients and a breech c-section. I think the staff were probably happy to have us there for some "normalcy". It was a crazy night and it goes a long way in explaining where all the anesthesiologists were.

Step 1: assemble your materials

Here are the essential materials used for cleaning babies:

  • Chunky clam chowder (the brand you use is unimportant)
  • Empty Haagen-Dazs container.
  • All purpose cleaner with bleach (for the smelly umbilical cord stump).
  • baby

Sunday, October 14, 2007

She's got it backwards

The girl's nights and days are reversed. I hear this is common but Aizay didn't have this problem.

Babys sleep all the time...except at night.

Christine had a rough night last night. Cora kept her up, constantly demanding to be fed. The longest Christine slept was about an hour. At one point, around midnight, I took Cora and tried to get her to sleep, but it was obvious that she just wanted to be fed. She and I struggled for a while, but eventually we all gave in to the inevitable--more feeding. At 6:45 I took over again, and of course Cora fell asleep immediately for me...just in time for Aizay to wake up.

Aizay loves his sister, I think. Although sometimes I think I can see in his eyes a bit of sadness, especially when we have to tell him not to do something because of Cora.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Coraline and Grace

Like her brother, Coraline is not used to sharing the spotlight. "Let them eat cow's milk," she says. But she agreed to make an exception in this case for Grace.

My little girl.

No heat

Dave called. There is no heat at our house and it got to 60 degrees inside the house last night (I enjoy sleeping in that temp but that's not the point). I say even if Davey can't get the furnace fixed, it's a blessing. Our child has been subjected to this body-heat-regulating mass hysteria that has infected the mother-baby unit. If I am comfortable in my room in a hospital gown and underwear, I was told my baby should be comfortable in the same but with "one more layer". I assumed a hospital gown and underwear would be analogous to a diaper and onesie. And apparently "one more layer" equals heavy one-piece pajamas, 2 blankets and a knit hat. This is what she gets when one of the staff dresses her. And when I unwrap her, she feels like she came out of the microwave. Personally, I am going with the one blanket and one hat because I don't want my child to spontaneously combust before I get a chance to bring her home.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Okay I guess she's kinda cool...

Oh so that's what 'baby sister' means

Coraline and daddy are having a quiet moment together.

Following Aizay's visit this morning, during which he got to see his mother interacting with the new baby, I took him to daycare for a few hours. As we neared the end of the ride, Aizay started to cry, saying that he wanted hugs from Mommy. By the time we'd arrived. he'd lost control, sobbing "Mommy, mommy, mommy" ad infinitum. Eventually, after much consoling, I left him there, still sobbing for his mother.

I think he suddenly grasped the finer implications of having a new sibling...and wasn't happy about it.

Still beautiful

I am in the mood to post more pictures because things have slowed down here. However, since our camera is also Dave's phone, he took it with him so I can't. Just so you know, though, Coraline is still very beautiful (and not noisy-she doesn't have the ringwraith cry that Aizay did).

Meeting at last

We're busy!

Many of you are probably looking for an update but you'll have to wait until later. We have big plans for a busy day...We have to fill out birth certificates, subject myself and our child to countless exams and tests, change meconium diapers, nurse, see visitors, etc. For now, I am ravenous, so I am going to eat and shower. And Dave is going any minute to pick up Aizay. We'll be ready for visitors and updating blogs around 10AM-ish (Central).

Baby girl

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Warning to all future-birthing Audiologists

The latest trend at UIHC labor and delivery seems to be Audiologists "missing" their epidurals. (And by the way, Camille, I was not the one to make this observation, Laura the midwife was.)

In my case, the selfish anesthesiology resident decided to respond to two simultaneous emergencies right after I signed my consent. Saving human lives was more important to him than my comfort. Everything worked out wonderfully in the end but I have decided not to talk about my experience until my delivery amnesia starts to kick in.


She's pretty cute, eh?

APGAR: 8-9
height: 20.5 inches
weight: 8 lb 12 oz
born at 7:47 p.m.

I think she's a mellow baby, as she really hasn't done much screaming, even when she came out. Except when rude people keep poking her with their sharp things and generally making her crazy.