Thursday, June 30, 2011


Johnny is in love with keys. Not just any keys, but especially car keys with a key fob attached. He likes my keys since when he presses the "lock" button my car beeps. He likes Grandpa's keys because when he presses the "trunk" button the trunk opens. And he loves Daddy's keys because he can make all the windows go down when he holds the unlock button. Even more spectacular than car keys, however, are the cars themselves. He loves to get behind the wheel and press all of the buttons and pull random levers. He loves it so much, in fact, that he spends a good hour each day playing in the car... supervised, of course.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Anyone who spends time with Johnny is surprised by how many words he knows. And now he has a new party trick! He knows colors!!! (Most of the time, that is.)

Okay, Blogger isn't letting me embed this video for whatever reason, so here's a link to view:

Monday, June 27, 2011


We've been trying to get Johnny to be "gentle" with Hank, but that's proving rather difficult. He really likes to grab Hank's chest and pat his head too hard, but it's pretty cute how interested he is in Hank already. In the morning he comes into our room and says "Hank?" and then gets on his tiptoes to peek into the bassinet to look at Hank while he's sleeping. When he hears Hank cry, Johnny says, "Hank? Cry?" Freaking adorable. Oh, and at night, when John's putting him to bed, Johnny does a roll call of names, asking where everyone is and Hank has been added to his list. Now if only we could get him to actually be gentle with Hank...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A day in the life

I made this post awhile ago with the intent to add some more to it about our bedtime routine, but then I went and had another kid, so this isn't how our life goes anymore, but it's still cute. 

Okay, I tried really hard to do a "day in the life" post (as stolen from my sister-in-law's friend Stacey), but I have the hardest time remembering to take pictures... so I made it until right before bedtime and then stopped. Oh well. Johnny was having a tough night and probably didn't want to be documented anyway.



















Saturday, June 25, 2011


Since we were only at the birth center for a short time (got there at 4:15PM, Hank was born at 5PM, and we went home at 9PM), everyone came and visited us the next day at our home. Most came bearing gifts of food, which were eaten in short order.
My friend Renea, whom we call "Aunt Nea"
My sister-in-law Leslie
My Aunt Teri
My mom
My "little" brother Dylan
John's brother-in-law Sim
My mother-in-law
My brother Scott
It was nice to have so many people come visit, since I was still totally high off my childbirth experience and couldn't nap, even though I was supposed to take it easy all day. So I took it easy, staying in bed for most of the day, only going downstairs to eat, and let people come to me. Thanks family and friends!

Friday, June 24, 2011

And the comparisons begin

One of the nice things about having two boys is that I will get to compare them. Not in the, "Your brother never pulled crazy stunts like this!" kind of way (because those comparisons happen regardless of gender), but more in this kind of way:
Hank is on the left and Johnny is on the right. They are about the same age in these pictures, though Johnny was 10 days early and Hank was 3 days late. Look at how much bigger Hank is than Johnny! He's got chubby cheeks and a double chin going on, not to mention how pink he is... which could also be lighting, but Johnny was jaundice, so he was more yellow than Hank. However, I think they look like they're related, don't you?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Family of Four

On Saturday morning, Johnny met his baby brother for the first time... and he couldn't have cared less. Hank "gave" Johnny a Little People fire truck with blocks and Johnny was fascinated by his truck, which I guess is a good thing, but he was so fascinated that he wouldn't look up and smile for a picture. Either that or he was really pissed about Hank being there... already.

We're pretty cute, no?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hank's birth story: Part II

The car ride wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected. Yes, I was uncomfortable, but it felt good to sit and recline a little since I had been bending over practically the entire day. About halfway there, I started tensing up like crazy during the peak of a contraction even though I had gotten pretty good at relaxing through each one. John gently tried to soothe me and tell me to release the tension in my body to which I replied, “But I feel like I have to push!” So John drove a little faster.

We arrived at the Best Start birth center at 4:15PM, walked into my first choice birthing room (no one else was there that day) and Ashley, the midwife, took one look at me and said, “Okay, let’s have this baby!” I immediately stepped into the bath she had prepared and it felt heavenly. I still felt like I had to push, but not as badly as I did in the car, so I got checked by Ashley and she said I was at 9 cm and had to wait a little before I could do any pushing. So instead of pushing through the contraction (like I wanted) she said to blow air out through each contraction… which was hell. It wasn’t too hard at first, but after a few contractions it got harder and harder to keep from pushing. Finally, I abandoned all pretenses of blowing through my lips and just pushed long and hard. Somewhere in there I said I wanted to get into a squat position, so John and the team helped me up so I could hold onto a bar and still be in the tub. After a few good hard pushes, I could actually feel the baby’s head with my fingers! Of course, at the time I felt like I had been working forever and said, “That’s as far as we are?” The next thing I knew, the head was crowning and I was told to stop pushing for a little bit and breathe out in short breaths so that I could give my tissues time to stretch. At the time I felt like I wasn’t doing it well, but I was reassured later that I did a great job pausing when I was supposed to. One big push and the head was out, so I reached down and felt my baby’s face, which was incredible. Then I was told to give one more big push so the rest of the body could come out, so I did… but nothing happened. That’s when I felt the midwife turning the baby a little more to get the shoulders out because the shoulders were really wide. After that, the baby slid out and was handed to me between my legs and I pulled him out of the water and onto my chest. I was helped back into a lying position on my back (still in the tub) and I just admired my little baby boy with John.

Henry “Hank” Robert Durso arrived at 4:58PM, about 45 minutes after I walked into the birth center at 9cm dilated. He weighed 9lbs, 4oz. and measured 21.5 inches long. Quite a big boy! Despite his size, I didn't tear a single millimeter and have only been slightly sore, compared to last time (which probably has more to do with it being my second time) and I experienced "birth euphoria" for more than 24 hours afterward. Right when I got out of the bath I was all smiles and completely high, which lasted until the next evening. It was an incredible feeling to have brought my child into the world naturally.

John was an amazing birth coach, doing all the right things so I never had to instruct him or snap at him; while I was pushing, he was encouraging me and never took a hand off me, making sure I always knew he was there. And now, he's being a great dad of 2, which enormous help from my fantastic mother-in-law, but that's a different post for a different day. 

Thanks to everyone for all of their well wishes on facebook, email, phone, and texts! 

Now here's Hank!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hank's birth story

Considering how short the whole birth thing really was, I wrote a really long story to publish... because it was an incredible experience. So, I'm going to take a page out of my sister-in-law Lisa's, book blog and publish in two parts. That way it won't be so boring. :)

Well, my labor probably began at about 3AM on Friday morning, when I continually woke up with back pain that felt like menstrual cramps. The cramps continued all morning, but I was pretty convinced that it was just “false labor” since I had been told by many a mother to expect many false starts. So I just ignored it.

 Johnny and I went on a one-mile walk with a friend of mine in the morning and I figured that since the cramps weren’t slowing me down, I was definitely not in labor… but then I had trouble keeping up with Johnny when he was running around the playground. So we went home and I called my doula to let her know what I was feeling, but this definitely couldn’t be labor because I was only feeling pain below my navel and in my back. I remembered having contractions that were much more violent and covered the entire abdomen when I was induced with Johnny. She said to keep her updated, which I promised to do.

Then sometime around 12PM I decided to time these “cramps” which turned out to be lasting about a minute and coming about 3 to 4 minutes apart… but I was still sure this was a just a false start, so I waited until later to call anyone. Luckily, my mom had come over for a planned playtime with Johnny, so I got to take a warm shower and walk around to distract myself from the pain. Finally, I called John around 2PM and asked if he could come home a little earlier than usual just in case. He asked if I had called the midwife yet and suggested I should just to give her a heads up. The midwife on call, Ashley, spent a few minutes asking me some questions about the contractions and timing and all of that. I had a few contractions while we were talking, so she got to hear my lovely vocalizations and she convinced me that I was in labor. She told me to give her a call when I was ready to come in because I wanted to stay at home as long as possible. About fifteen minutes later, things got much more intense and I called John to tell him to come home ASAP.

During the next half hour, I labored on my own using low vocalizations and counting in my head.  I spent most of my time lying on my side or on my hands and knees to keep the baby from turning to a posterior position and thus, avoid back labor. John got home a little after 3PM and helped me through a couple of contractions before I told him he should pack up and get us moving. It’s amazing how much having him around helped me get through each contraction, he followed my instructions well and never took a hand off me unless I told him to get lost… and then he took those instructions well too.

While John packed the car I labored on the birth ball and called the doula to let her know we were leaving for the birth center. She was a little skeptical, considering I had called her a few hours earlier saying I wasn’t in labor, but she said she’d finish up the placenta she was preparing for encapsulation and head on down. Meanwhile, the contractions are getting closer together and more intense and I started crying at the peaks and in between for no reason. I had been hoping to go through transition after the car ride, but it looked like I would be transitioning in the car. John managed to pack me into the car, with a few intense contractions on the way from the house, and then on to the birth center. 

We'll finish up tomorrow with the grand finale and some pictures! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

He's here!

Allow me to introduce Henry "Hank" Robert Durso! He joined us on Friday, June 17th at 9 pounds 4 ounces and 21.5 inches. I'll post the whole story later, but it turned out to be the greatest birth experience I could ask for, going quickly and smoothly without pain medication or any medical intervention. Hank and I (and John and Johnny!) are doing just fine with the help of lots of family and friends.

Friday, June 17, 2011

About to have a baby!!!

This is a pre-written post to let everyone know that we are on our way to the birth center. All details of labor and delivery (including the gender of baby #2!) will be posted later. Send good vibes our way!!!

Still a goofball

I'm not sure how he discovers these alternate uses for his various toys, but it sure is amusing!

P.S. Can you see the crazy amount of droolage going on? It's like he's an 8-month-old again. Come on, kid, learn to swallow your saliva!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


... my due date was two days ago and I didn't post a picture! So John took a picture of me last night (only one day overdue) and I have now posted it for your enjoyment. John also took a picture of the measuring tape around my belly, but I don't really want to post a close up of my belly button right now. I know pregnancy is beautiful, but up close it can be a little freaky. I'll just tell you that the measurement is at 44.5 inches. Unfortunately, I have nothing to compare that to since I rarely measure my waist, though I do remember that Scarlett O'Hara had an 18-inch waist... which means that I can't compare myself to a fictional character.

Anyway! No new developments on Baby #2. I had a great burst of energy on Monday and Tuesday where I actually did things during Johnny's nap time and then paid for it yesterday when I just could not get enough sleep. The fact that Johnny fought his nap tooth and nail yesterday may have had something to do with it. Maybe.

I'm still hanging in there and just playing the waiting game. Whoo-hoo!

Monday, June 13, 2011

40 weeks... and doing okay

I really thought that by this point in my pregnancy I'd be ready to pull the baby out through any orifice just to not be pregnant anymore... but I actually feel good. Surprisingly good. Considering how awful I felt at 36 weeks, 40 weeks is pretty great. The baby has dropped considerably, so I no longer have excruciating rib pain (which I may not have complained about before, but believe me, it was quite uncomfortable). My back pain has been replaced with pelvic pain, which I actually don't mind. It doesn't wake me up at night, at least. I still get the restless legs thing every once in awhile and after trying a few things, it seems that bananas + nettle tea = best results. That doesn't mean it works every time, but I tend to have less intense restless feelings if I have that combo of potassium and iron before bed.

So... yeah. That's it. We were really hoping for a baby today (the 13th), but it is now 2PM, so I don't think that will be happening. Bummer. Now I'm just hoping for a baby before June 27th! Preferably without induction, of course. I'll keep you all posted on the baby watch!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Joe Cool

John and I have been through a few pairs of sunglasses since Johnny developed grasping skills. John finally gave up and purchased a whole slew of cheap ones off of the Internet, while I still fight with Johnny if he ever grabs mine. Well, I figured since he was so interested in ours, perhaps he would want some of his own (and they could protect those precious baby blues too!). So I got him some Spider-Man (his choice) sunglasses from Target a few months ago but he hasn't been interested in wearing them until recently. And he looks SO COOL in them, right?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


When Johnny was younger, I was really diligent about putting a hat on him to protect that little head of his. I mean, he's about as white as it gets, so I figured a hat would be a good idea. Johnny, however, was not a fan of hats, so the second he could pull them off his head, he did so. Every now and then I try to stick a hat on him, but it always ends up getting pulled off 1.2 seconds after I put it on. Luckily, he got more of John's skin tone than I had thought, so he tans quite easily and has yet to be sunburned... Yes, I know I'm tempting fate by putting that it writing. Oh well!

I brought a couple of hats along with us to the park last Sunday just in case Johnny decided to wear one. And look! He wore one! And what's more, he seemed to enjoy it!

This is his model pose. Not bad, eh?
John wasn't surprised he was wearing a hat. He pointed out that the one I usually try to put on him is super dorky since it has a gigantic brim and fabric in the back that keeps his neck out of the sun. Who knew one-and-a-half year olds had such fashion standards? Or, rather, who knew that a child of mine and John's would have such fashion standards?