Gabriel Has Arrived!

Gabriel BirthGabriel Connor was born Saturday April 27th at 1:35 PM. He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and measured 20″ long. He came 3 weeks before my daughter and two weeks before his due date, so its obvious he was quite impatient and wanted out!

Theresa started labor at 11PM Friday night. Surprisingly, less than a half hour after labor began, her contractions were happening periodically at 5 minutes, lasting 45 second each. This is the frequency/duration criteria for heading to the hospital. Her labor lasted a total of 14 hours which was roughly half the time of Siena, though the labor was more intense.

Since our last visit, the hospital has been remodeled with a new family birthing center. The new rooms are spacious with a built-in Jacuzzi tub for labor. The postpartum rooms are also roomier and have an amazing view of the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Adams. We’ll be bringing our son home tomorrow since he’s healthy and Mamma is recovering beautifully.

Then And Now: Bridesmaid Dress

As I alluded to in this post, my friend Michelle was my Maid of Honor, and looked lovely in her dress. (Be sure to click the thumbnails to view the pictures bigger.)


Almost a year later, she attended my baby shower with this adorable gift, made by her mom out of the same dress. She even used the tiny seed beads and the little buttons! I was so excited to try it on my baby girl.

So just two days after she was born, and much to the delight of the nurses, we put Siena into her beautiful dress as her going-home-outfit.

Now, three months later, we tried it on her again and it fits much better.

They say every bride thinks she’s chosen the perfect dress that her bridesmaids can wear again… but I sure wasn’t expecting my daughter to be the one wearing Michelle’s dress!

Sweet surprise

As my mom put it, “That’s probably the most expensive dress she’ll ever own…at least until she’s a bridesmaid!”

Saturday Night Out

Hawk in Winter and I have spent many of our waking hours lately working on a website for our photography business. Siena has other ideas for how she’d like us to spend her waking hours, however, so it’s been difficult to find a block of time when we’re both available.

Our friend Jillian had kindly offered to watch Siena for a few hours this weekend if we wanted to get away for an evening alone. In the past, Siena has slept through her trips to restaurants so we hardly noticed we had her along. We chose to take Jillian up on her offer, but to use our time without Siena to work on the website, then take Siena with us to Mass and dinner out.  Things didn’t go quite as planned, however! (I seem to be using that phrase quite a bit since becoming a Momma…)

We picked her up from Jillian’s and learned that she was hungry and fussy, but had refused the bottle. Jillian suspects she’s starting to teethe, so we’re bracing ourselves for that adventure. I fed and burped her in the back during Mass. Not ideal, but she was quiet and alert after that. Previously, she’d slept through most Masses. She still earned her usual praise from those in the pews around us once Mass had ended.

On our way out of the church, the parish priest asked if we could help him with something. When we first met with him about Siena’s baptism, he was delighted to discover HiW’s technical abilities and has asked for help with a few projects. He is interested in the latest technology, but not quite proficient. A few months ago, for example, he asked HiW to teach him how to check the voicemail on his iPhone. He had a couple hundred unheard messages, but instructed HiW just to delete them so he “could get caught up.” (!)

Saturday night’s impromptu project was setting up Father’s new computer, which then evolved into securing the WiFi network for the parish and connecting the printer. This time, I had an assignment too. Once I mentioned our aspiring photography business, he ran to a back room and emerged with another new purchase – a Nikon D60 camera, two lenses, and a flash. Siena was mostly content on a blanket while I took things out of their boxes, put them together, and tried not to drool over it all as I jotted down some instructions for him. After about an hour,  he had to go meet with some other parishioners. Once we finished, we locked up as instructed, and headed off to the second part of our evening – dinner out – almost two hours after we’d planned. Here are some blurry cell phone pictures of our adventure:

We have become accustomed to two things when we bring Siena to a restaurant.

1) Waitresses and other customers come up to us and gush over Siena.

2) We are offered a high chair, turned upside down, so her carseat can rest on the wooden dowels that make up the base.

Both things happened this time. Even a couple of truckers came over to adore our daughter! What made me laugh out loud, though, was reading the sign attached to the underside of the highchair’s seat, visible only when the whole thing was turned upside down. Click the picture to see it bigger:

Highchair warning


That’s okay. Siena didn’t sleep anyway, and didn’t want to be in her carseat. She wanted to be held, preferably in either a sitting or standing position, thankyouverymuch. It looks like her days of extreme portability are over. Which means we’ll be having far fewer Saturday Nights Out.

Double Tiggers = Double Trouble

Car SeatBefore Siena was born, HiW was working on getting the car seat ready. I thought it would be helpful to practice using the straps and buckles if we had a life size doll. I looked in my hope chest and found a beloved baby doll from my childhood. It was made to look like a newborn, complete with wrinkly fingers and toes (and was lifelike enough to play the starring role in a number of Christmas pageants). I found it ironic, as I pulled her out of my hope chest a week or so before Halloween, that she was dressed in a Tigger costume.

The doll served her purpose quite well, but the Tigger costume was too big for our newborn come Halloween. When Siena was ten weeks old I saw a Flickr album of our friends’ baby London wearing a different Tigger costume, and remembered the babydoll again. Siena fit hers well enough at that point, so off we went to London’s house for a Tigger photo shoot. We started off with both babies on the floor, but quickly abandoned that plan in favor of the couch. Never quite got them both smiling at the same time, but ended up with some pretty cute pictures nonetheless, don’t you think?

Cross My Heart Crafts

Siena has been very lucky to have such a varied (and stylish!) wardrobe, thanks to many generous gifts and hand-me-downs. Some of her most special clothes, however, have been custom made just for her! My friend Michelle has given me bridal and baby shower gifts that her mom, Theresa, made for me. (Theresa also shortened and bustled my wedding dress for me. Michelle was my Maid of Honor, and you won’t believe what her mom did with her dress after the wedding! Go here and scroll all the way down.)

I Love this BibI love the full sized hooded towels she makes (cuz hoods are a great idea, but don’t they always seem to be on teensy towels?) and now that HiW has dubbed Siena our “little spit-up fountain”, we’re loving our giant bib, too.

Anyway, back when I was pregnant, I didn’t spend much time eating (unless saltines and flat Sprite count) but I did spend dinnertime online researching baby gear for my shower registry. I came across plenty of cute little onesies that would have cost over $20 with shipping and handling figured in, but I knew HiW would get a kick out of many of them with their technology puns and sayings. So I collected the various sayings and asked Theresa if she could embroider some onesies in a variety of sizes for HiW’s birthday gift. They cost WAY less that way, and he loved them!  Go check out Theresa’s site for some of her great crafts, or ask her to custom make something for somebody you love, too.

Seven Out of Eight Ain’t Bad!

Siena met seven of her eight grandparents in the first five weeks of her life!

She met her Grandma Betty and Grandpa George at the hospital the night she was born.

Five days later her great grandparents, Nona and Papa, came to the house to meet her.

At three weeks old, her Pappy and Grandma Tootsie drove up from California for Siena’s baptism.

Two weeks after that, we three flew to California for Uncle Pat’s funeral. Siena never got to meet her Godfather Pat, but did get to meet her Great Grandma Gee Bee who was unable to make the drive for the baptism.

Now we just need to visit her Great Grandma Connor in Montana, and she’ll have met all eight!

Siena’s First Bath

Here are some pictures of Siena’s first tub bath from early November. Her umbilical cord stump fell off on her third day home, so we just skipped the sponge bath stage. Most of the time now we just fill the baby bath tub, but sometimes we take a bath together like we did for this fist bath.

Siena's First Bath

Siena and Portland Snow

LRH’s parents shot some adorable pictures of Siena and the recent snowstorm that hit Portland and the gorge. The pictures can be viewed in a Kodak gallery here.

Happy First Thanksgiving Siena!

Grandma Betty bought Siena a bib that says My Little Turkey, partly because my Aunt R used to call us “little turkeys” as kids. My sister J spent the day with us the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and took some photos of Siena in that bib and an orange dress…which I *thought* would be her Thanksgiving outfit.

Then on Wednesday a package arrived from my friend Tricia and it included a different turkey bib, a Thanksgiving sleeper, plus a rubber duckie dressed like a pilgrim! When Thursday came, both bibs came in handy and the outfit was a hit!

Ultimate Hat Hair

My little newborn has quite the collection of hats. She has hats that her Grandma Betty crocheted for her, hats that match her sleepers, and a hat from the hospital. For the most part she is a pretty easygoing baby, but can get VERY fussy if even the teensiest part of a hat touches a single eyebrow, let alone covers her eye.

So it made me laugh aloud in disbelief when I glanced over at my silently swinging baby, about two feet from my perch here on the couch, to see THIS:Hat over face

Her hospital hat had worked its way down to completely cover her face! And she didn’t make a sound! So what did her mother do? I took a picture with my cell phone. And then I rescued her. I just had to share it with you all first.