Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy 3 months V!

End of the fourth trimester - and Vera is definitely showing more signs of "tiny human" and a lot less "large warm bean":

  • She bobbles her head and almost has enough neck control
  • When you hold her, she can squirm or nestle in to you at will
  • She babbles a little bit - you can hear what her voice sounds like
  • Cries are more distinct and you can tell when she's gassy/hungry/tired/bored instead of just "wah"
  • Peanut just passed her driver's test - with motorcycle endorsement! (j/k.  lol.)
  • You can see emotion on her face - curiosity, frustration, happiness, bowel movement

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crazy Genetics!

Sorry for the duplicate pictures as I just posted these on Griff's blog too.  It's crazy how similar Vera and Griffin look... oh genetics!

First Head Butt

Last night, Griffin head-butted Vera for the first time.  She cried hard after a brief moment of looking stunned, the poor thing.  His giant head had whacked her mostly on purpose; this earned him a firm scolding, a time out for hitting his little sister, and a threat from Mom that if he hit again, Super Soft Cubby would be taken away.  I made good on this threat a bit later last night Griffin proceeded to hit me...  Good times. 

Other notable instances of Griffin hurting Vera to remember in the blog...

Griffin poked Vera in the eye just hours after she came home from the hospital. 

In her 2.5 months of life, Griff has become fond of pulling her arms and legs and hug/rolling on her, which has always ended in my frustration and their tears (real ones by Vera, fake ones by Griff).  He is also really fond of squeezing the top of her head and twisting it back and forth.

Also, a few nights ago after arriving home from daycare, as I was in the driveway about to get Griffin and Vera out of the car, I heard a loud scream.  It was so clear but distant at the same time; it sounded like our backyard neighbor girl outside.  Anyway, I heard it again and thought nothing of it.  I then opened the car door and saw that Vera was crying.  She stopped when the dome light of the car turned on.  It was then that I connected the dots and realized that it had been Griffin screaming from inside the car, purposely trying to make his sister cry, which clearly worked... When he saw the disapproving look on my face, he put on a devlish grin, and did it again.  He let out a 2 second, super high pitched shriek before I could cover his mouth.  A full second went by before Vera's lip quivered and she burst out into a terrified cry.  It was 99% sad but 1% funny as I know he loves his sister.

Here are some cute pics of them:

LiL Sis

Here's Vera wearing her "Lil Sis" shirt, a headband and a big whole-face smile. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

YAY!  At exactly 11 weeks old, Vera officially slept through the night.  Last night she was down for the count from 8:30pm-6:10am (night of 12/4-12/5). And of course I did a terrible job getting myself to bed at a reasonable time, so I missed out on the long stretch of sleep; my boobs also hurt by 5am so they woke me up instead of the babe.. Congratulations on being an awesome sleeper, my sweet little girl.  I'm so proud of you.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Just missing the peanut

Cause its Wednesday and I'm in North Carolina.  She's in Marblehead.  Sigh.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A few things

We just got back from thanksgiving in Maine.  Vera likes to sleep on people - she took two separate naps with Grandpa Hendrix and with me in the recliner at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Vicki turned her face-out in the baby bjorn the other night, but it was still a little early.  She has just enough head control to get herself into trouble.

Still pooping about every 3rd day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vera Grunting

I got this email from Vicki.  Just sharing it with the world:

"Our lovely and sophisticated daughter is currently grunting with her poop face.. it is smelly.. and i hear farty poo noises.  not gonna lie, not the most ladylike thing i've ever seen....


Lovely and sophisticated indeed.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vera's First Wedding

We brought Vera to Pat and Yu-Ting's wedding at the Museum of Science.  Tom loved having his 2 favorite ladies as his wedding dates.  Here are some pics from our big night out:

Coolest wedding favors ever.
Caught a pic of Vera smiling.
This is a really sweet pic with Dad.  He loved having his sweet baby girl as one of his wedding dates.

A sacrificial dinner for T-Rex.
Photobooth fun.  (2nd strip, with Brandie!)

6 Week Post Baby Body

It's a miracle what Spanx can do... here I am at Pat Dingle's wedding, sucking in as hard as possible for this picture.. this is 6 weeks post C-section.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

辣子鸡: Vera Nicknames Update

When it comes to nicknames, I've been sticking with "V" and "Peanut" pretty closely.
One minor modifier is "Spicy Chicken", which is a nod to one of my favorite dishes at one of our favorite restaurants  Spicy Chicken Peanut at Su Chang's.

So I'll say something like "Hi Spicy Chicken.  How's your day going?"  or "I love you Spicy Chicken.  Want to hear about tomorrow's weather forecast?", for example.  

In Chinese, Spicy Chicken is written "辣子鸡".  And its pronounced "zhong tsai chjoun".  Just kidding, I made up that pronounciation.  But the characters are right.  But you believed me about the pronunciation right?  Vera didn't.  So I looked it up on google translate and its actually pronounced "là zĭ jī".

"She's Smiling!" Also cooing.

I miss the fam.  Vicki said tonight on the phone that Vera is smiling back a lot and doing some cooing.  Vicki pointed out to me last weekend that if you listen to Vera, you can hear her voice start to show through.  Its cool 'cause her collection of noises has expanded beyond just "normal cry" and "goat cry" and its fun to try and predict what her voice will sound like when she actually starts talking.  I'm betting its a lot like Griffin's, only girly-er.

First Halloween

Vera was a little cow for her first Halloween.  It was the only cute, non princess/fairy/uncomfortable costume I could find in her size.  She was not a fan of me getting her dressed, but she tolerated it once it was on, as it super snuggly, and so adorable I might add.  I toyed with the idea of putting Griffin in a farmer costume, but couldn't convince him that being a farmer was cool... plus, I'd found a funny blue monster costume that he was really into wearing...

In classic newborn fashion, Little Vera Cow slept through all of the fun parts of Halloween.  She was passed out through Griffin's entire school party, woke up for a quick feed when we got home, and then fell back asleep in the Bjorn for another 2 hours while we went trick-or-treating with the neighborhood kids.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Not Small

Vera had a check up at the doc today.  12lbs 11oz.  99th percentile for weight (!)  Height-wise, she's in the 74th percentile.  Nice job V - that's some serious growing.  We couldn't be more proud.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


When we were getting the Halloween decorations out, Griff did this:  (tee hehee)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Forest River Park, Salem

Vera was our only child cooperating for pictures this morning at Forest River Park.. 

My Girls

Good Sunday with the fam going to forest river park and ba da baba ba McLunch.

Friday, October 19, 2012

We both turned 31 today

Vera in days.  Me in years.  So happy to have our sweet little girl.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Goat Cry

Vera didn't settle very well tonight at bed time.  The kinda funny thing about her crying is that she "bleats" like a goat when she's really worked up.  We gotta get a clip of it and post it - it's very sad and cute at the same time.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Perhaps the happiest I've ever been?

When Griffin woke up from his nap this afternoon, I put Vera in his crib for a few minutes so they could hang out.  Vicki got back from coffee a few minutes later and we got some amazing snaps.  More on Picasa later. I really like having two kids.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ashley does it again

Awesome awesome gifts for big bro Griffin and Lil sis Vera.  Thanks ashley!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First bottle

Vera had her first bottle last night at the 11:00 feed.  I fed it to her, about 4 oz total.  It was a little adventure because i thought that the bottle warmer was broken but it turns out i just didn't press the button long enough.  There's nothing like the convenience of the "always warm" boobs.  But the fast acting automatic bottle warmer is second place. 
Anyway its a really good thing for mainly two reasons:  Vicki gets to sleep from 7 or 8pm until 2 or 3am (once we perfect the pumping pattern) and I get the extra bonding time with the littler VCH.
Last night i patted, swaddled, and comforted Vera back to sleep all by myself.  Sigh of happiness.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ferry Beach

We went today for a walk.  I had Vera in the baby bjorn and then we stopped for a photo op with V, big brother Griff and cousin Cameron.  
V was very relaxed on this, her first trip to the beach, which made Vicki think even more strongly that Vera is a Hawaiian child.

Cute Tummy Time

In my humble opinion.  Vera was digging the inside of the boppy pillow this morning.  She lifts up her head a ton.  I'd even go so far as to say she has the neck of a 4 week old linebacker in the body of a 2.5 year old dainty half asian baby.  Go V!  (Note we didn't catch any of that action on the photos, but still, you can imagine it with her head up right?  Am I right?)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fort Williams

We were there this morning.  Home of Portland head light, the most photographed lighthouse in the world.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Some of the Baby Basics and Milestones

Here's a few stats and things about Vera:

  • We swaddle her at night with both arms out.  The thriller thing (see previous post) is really her thing - she likes having her hands.
  • Size 1 diapers.  Size 0 (newborn) pretty much lasted just the first week.
  • The newborn size clothes are really tight - most of what she wears is 0-3 months.  
  • She weighed in at 9 lbs 4 oz at her 1-week checkup.  (And seems to be ganing more even since - after 1 night away this week I think I actually saw her bulk up a little.
  • She's stroller ridden around the block 2 or 3 times (including with Griffin right behind her on the add-on skateboard thing for the stroller).
  • We still hold her head all the time, but she's got one of the strongest necks of any 17 day old I've ever known and she uses it to throw that big head around.

First Night Away

We're at Grandma and Grandpa Hendrix's house up in Maine.  Vera's Uncle Jim, Aunt Kate, and Cousin Cameron are all here.  Its awesome to be around family.  And its Vera's first night away from our house since she was born.

We left the house in Marblehead at 12:44pm.  Not bad considering when we got in the car both kids (still getting used to saying/writing that) were fed and ready to sleep.  Which they did.  For about 30 minutes.

First Strike

Vera peed on Vicki yesterday, making Vicki the first officially "tagged" parent.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Feels like home

I just got back from my first trip since V was born.  I slept pretty well at the Garden Inn but i can't tell you how nice it is to come home to a full house of sleeping family and then Vicki and Vera getting up for the 11pm feed.  It puts the joy in diaper changing and burping.  Perspective is awesome.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Biggest blowout of her life

Happened today.  All up her back.  You know its bad when its on her arm.  Or when Vicki says "why is this part of the pillow wet?  I didn't think babies sweat that much."

Also happy two week birthday peanut.  We love you so dearly.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vera's sleeping in the rock and play

Which is a small sling type cradle thing that rocks and we didn't even know existed when Griffin was less than this product's stated maximum weight limit.

It looks really cute with her in it next to her empty crib.  Its all good.


The two most common questions I get about Vera's arrival (and their answers) are:

  • Are you absolutely nuts for having a second kid? Didn't you learn your lesson on the first one?
    • Just kidding.  No one asks this.  And if they did, I'd be all:  "No way - we're stoked to have a second kid."
  • Is she sleeping well?
    • Yes for the most part
    • Last night was a little rough - she seemed to be awake 1/2 the night after a tough day Sunday of trying to keep her awake at all during the day.
    • Vicki does much more of the night time waking.  I'm ill equipped   I wish I had boobs sometimes so I could be "a really useful engine" as Thomas, Percy and co. would say.
    • ...and I sleep through a lot of the crying.  Actually I sleep through a lot of the everything.  In fact, one night in the hospital after Vera was born I slept straight through two or three nurse visits and my wife in the most pain of her entire recovery in the hospital.  
  • How's Griffin handling it?
    • I think pretty darn good for a 2.66 year old.  Keep in mind this is the same kid who's afraid of the sound of a public toilet flushing, so, you know, things are scary for him sometimes.
    • He's tested the waters a few times with a smack here and a poke-in-the-eye there, but we nipped those in the bud and he's really pretty gentle.
    • To date, he's specifically asked to hold Vera like 4 or 6 times, which I think is pretty good.  
    • I'm getting a lot closer to him having spent so much time 1:1 while Vick is feeding and otherwise tending to Vera. 
Keep the questions coming!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Life in the hospital

In short, it was great.

In slightly-longer: 
  • Vera met these people before she even came home:  Grandpa Victor, Grandma Cathy, brother Griffin, Grandpa Tim, friends Martha, Carrie, Carrie, April, Cate, Bren (also the world's best babysitter).  Maybe some more - sorry if I've missed any visitors.
  • The nurses at Salem hospital birth place are awesome.  Full stop.  
  • Vera stayed with us in the room from 7am until about 10pm each day.  Then we put her in the nursery between night feeds.  We love her and want to be the best parents we can for her, so sleep when we can get it is good.
  • Vicki was up on her feet within 12 hours of the surgery.  She walked around the maternity wing on day 3 and did multiple laps on day 4.
  • Vera bottomed out on weight after about 2 days (something in the 8lbs and change range) and then started gaining again.  Woo hoo!  V and v are both good at the feeding/eating relationship.
  • I stayed with Vicki all the nights she was in the hospital after delivery.  On the first night, she was in pretty bad pain and said it was just nice to know I was there.   And, this is one of the only times in our lives that its likely to be Vera/Mom/Dad for a while.

How to have a peaceful dinner

Vicki is doing this to keep Vera quiet.  Go bouncy seat and some vigorous tapping.

The belly button fell off today

For those of you non-parents out there, this is like the parental pride equivalent of college graduation for twelve day olds.  Nice job v.

About Girly Colors

I didn't think I'd like them on Vera.  But pink and purple are awesome in the hands of today's baby clothes designers.  Hooray for three things:

  • Not being condemned to a life of greens and yellows just to avoid shockingly girly girl clothes.
  • The color brown, which looks great with pink (who knew) and is also one of Griffin's favorites, creating a more favorable impression of the new one.
  • The Hale family - nearly all of Vera's current wardrobe is right from them.  Thanks guys!  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vera Nicknames

Here's some names I've "test driven" while addressing Vera over the first 11 days.  Note that what I call her at any given moment has a strong correlation to the words that Carters, Gap, et. al. print on the front of baby onesies and pajamas. 

  • V
  • Peanut
  • Sweetie
  • Flour (We used to call Griffin our lil sack of potatoes, so Vera is our lil sack of flour.  Plus it sounds like flower)
  • Cutie
  • Cupcake
Yikes (if I may):
  • Petunia
  • Rosebud
  • Doo doo (we had a vet who called one of our cats this, endearingly)
  • Sweet Angel (great nickname, but its what I call Vicki)

The Thriller

Vera does this thing with her arms where she holds them out in front of her face like she's dancing to the number one album of the 1980's.  Its so freakin' cute.  We usually swaddle her with her right arm out, just because she seems to like it so much.

About the Delivery

Vera's 11 days old on this, the day I started bloggin'.  So here's a back-dated recap on the delivery, which for the record was.....

September 18, 2012, at 10:10 AM

This is the first blog I've ever written.  But its not the first one that I've every read, so I'm using a "jump break" so that you don't have to read this whole post if you don't want.  It could get long.  Short story:  the delivery was text book c-section.  9lbs 3oz.  Vera and Vicki both did beautifully.  Click "Read more" below to, well, you get the idea.

We left the house at 6:40 AM for Salem Hospital.  It was a Tuesday. 

About the Sequential Birthdays

In my immediate family growing up, we had "pairs" of birthdays, which was kinda cool:
  • Dad and Chris are the 25th and 26th (of Aug and Feb)
  • My brother Brian and I are the 19th and 20th (of Oct and Sep)
  • Kate and Mom are the 11th and 12th (of Dec and Oct)
And now, this continues with the Hendrixes of 20 Willow:
  • Vera and I are the 18th and 19th (of Sep and Oct)
  • Griff and Vicki are the 11th and 12th (of Jan and July)
Neat Neat, as PK would say. 

Before she was born....

Vera's already 11 days old, so here's some of the background you might want to know about from before she was born:

Her name:
  • We decided on the name a long time ago (when Vicki was 3 or 4 months pregnant), and we've been telling people about it for 5 or 6 months since then whenever they ask.   
  • Vera is with long "E" sound.  Like "veer", not like "very"
  • Charlotte was Vicki's mom's name.
  • Hendrix is a nice way to end a three part name, IMHO
  • Vera and Vicki have the same initials:  VCH
  • The name Vera reminds us of Vera Wang and Vera Bradley, both of whom we think of as entrepreneurial creative driven women.  I think I'd like to have a Vera Wang suit sometime.  
  • Some names we didn't use but considered:  Violet, Clare, Kate, Clara, Chistine, Catherine, Elizabeth, Lila, Meadow.  Okay, not Meadow.      
The Pregnancy:
  • Was good.  Nothing crazy to report.
  • Vicki did have itchy feet, some early-on queasiness, and a giant, giant, giant (yes, triple giant) belly which appeared to be one of those over-sized playground balls that they used to sell at Kmart and Walmart from those really tall metal cage things
  • The playground ball sized baby made Vicki's abs very very sore in the final few weeks.  
  • We were really debating vaginal vs. C-section for this delivery, until the nurse called with the 38-week ultrasound results.  Vicki played the voicemail over the speakers in the car and we laughed and high-fived as the nurse described the results. 
"Hi Vicki its Nancy.  I think you were calling about the results of the ultrasound from last week.  So they're in....   Now, keep in mind this is preliminary and there's about a plus-or-minus error of 1 pound.  But the baby's measuring about 4200 grams, or 9 lbs and 1 oz.  So that puts her in the 96th percentile.  So that's the result.  See you for your office visit later today."
  • You could tell she was trying not to laugh or sound a little surprised.
  • About an hour after this voice mail was received, Vicki had a checkup, a conversation with one of the OB's, and Vera's scheduled C-section date, time, and doctor.  Thank goodness for modern medicine and very supportive doctors. 

Vera's got a big brother, Griffin, whom you can read all about on his blog.

The Opener

I am so stoked to have a daughter.  Every parent just wants a healthy baby, and I'm no exception.  And I'd be lying if I told you I didn't really want a girl for baby #2.  Vera melts my heart.  In so many ways, she's the perfect addition to the other three of us (and the cats).  

Vicki is still the blog master of "Adventures With Griffin", and I've always enjoyed guest-posting.   So I'm doing the blog one for Vera.  Here it is.  

My intent is a few things.  I suppose these are typical blog fare, but lets just review so we're all on the same (web) page to start:

  • Archive for v (that's what we've been calling her) to read when she's older
    • Yeah also I'm pretty sentimental, too
  • Organize my thinking and process the father-of-two role as it happens
  • Practice my creative writing, including building my funny muscles
  • Prevent idle conversation about "how the kids are" so my regular blog readers and I can talk in person about the details too cumbersome, embarrasing, or disgusting to write in the blog.

The title is based on a famous Jimmy Hendrix song, only I slightly tweaked it. I think it evokes the type of confusion that I will foresee myself experiencing while raising a daughter.  Such as which folds are you supposed to wipe, when, and in which direction.  

Also it was the most creative thing that I could come up with 11 days after she was born.  I'm a lil' tired.

Welcome aboard, blog reader!  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What we emailed when Vera was Born

Here's the email that we sent out when Vera was born.  Just posting it to the blog for the prosperity sake.  We sent it to about 138 people and got almost as many well wishes in response, which I would read to V and v while we were on vacation with free babysitting I mean, still in the hospital after the delivery.

Also, if you ever have a kid, do like we did this time around and compose this email (and add its many addressees) before you go to the hospital.  Then after the kid pops out, snap a pic and just pencil in the weight, date, and length, and you're good to go with just a few minutes of distraction from your newly expanded family.
Subj:  Just a normal Tuesday..... :)

Hi Everyone,
    Griffin's little sister has arrived!  Vera Charlotte Hendrix.  Born Tuesday Sep 18 at 10:10 AM,  9lbs 3oz,  21 inches.(thank goodness for c-sections). Vicki and Vera (both VCH!) are both healthy and happy.  Thanks so much for prayers, thoughts, and well wishes.
-The Hendrixes
PS:  Vera is pronounced with a long E sound, like Vera Bradley or Vera Wang.  Like the word "veer", not like "very".