Nathan's Message from Santa

This was one of the greatest things I have ever seen.  Watching it made me get teary eyed!  I wish I could save it and keep it forever.

Click here to watch Nathan's Message from Santa!

I am so excited for his first Christmas.  It is an incredible feeling that I have never felt before.
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Daycare Disaster

At this point it is more likely that our child will be accepted at Harvard before he is accepted at a daycare here in France.  The situation here is absolutely horrible!

In May, when I was around 10 weeks pregnant we went to the Daycare that is subsidized by our office.  The director told us we were a little late in registering and that there would probably not be any openings until September 2010, not March like we would need.  We put our name on the waiting list anyway in hopes of something opening up before hand.

At the same time, we went to the Daycare runned by the city in which we live (there are no such thing as private daycares).  We were basically told the same thing, but yet again we put our names on the list in hopes of something opening up.

Well, now that Nathan is here we decided to check back with the daycares to inform them that the baby was born, and to determine what our chances were of finding a spot in either of the daycares.  The answer completely SHOCKED me!  We were told that there would probably  not be an opening for at least 2 years!  Seriously???  At that point the baby will be almost old enough to enter pre-school.  Are there seriously that many children born in France, that people register before even becoming pregnant!  I mean at the rate this situation is developing I feel like I should go ahead and register for my future imaginary children, and go ahead and start registering Nathan for pre-school through college!

The situation became much worse.  We were told that since the daycares are not an option that we should consider getting a private nanny.  We were given a list of private nannies in the area, but the idea of leaving our child in a stranger's home is too much for us to handle.  There would be no way of knowing what kind of care she would be giving our child, or worse off what kind of education and values she would be enlisting in our child; not to mention that the price is almost twice as much as daycare and we have to pay for five weeks vacation!  What is that about?  I have to pay her to NOT watch my child!?  Not that it would make much of a difference, since these women also have NO VACANCIES until MAYBE September 2010...maybe!

So, without any further options, we have decided that I am going to take the extended maternity leave offered by our company at 60% pay and stay home with Nathan until September.  While this is not the ideal situation for us, I am glad that I will get to spend an extra six months at home with Nathan.  I just hope my boss understands.
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1 Month Old





I can't believe that Nathan is one month old already! Where has the time gone? I feel like he is going to go off to college before I know it. It has been a wonderful and exhausting month filled with many firsts! I still can't believe that my little guy is here, especially since I should be writing his birth story right about now. 

The first few weeks were very trying for me. Nathan was born premature with jaundice and very underweight. It is very trying as a mother to see your son in an incubator and not be able to hold him against you like most new mothers get to do. It was also hard to be in the hospital for so long and to watch your son get poked with needles and see his little hands and feet bruised from the needle marks. Luckily now, he is healthy and growing and seems to be a happy baby.

Coming home was wonderful! It was so amazing to finally have the baby in the room we had worked so hard to prepare. He fills the house with his cries, coos and his toys have taken over the entire house. I wonder how we ever lived in a quiet house, I cannot imagine the house looking any different. Adjusting to the late night (early morning) feedings has also been very hard. There are times when I wish I could just ignore the monitor and go back to sleep. Luckily, they are becoming fewer and I am able to get a little more sleep at night. I have also been blessed with a wonderful husband who stays up with Nathan when he is awake to let me sleep as much as I can before waking up for the next feeding.

This month Nathan also met his Nana Beatriz (grandma) for the first time, and I am just hoping that she doesn't spoil him too much with all of the hugging and kissing! 

We went to the pediatrician a few days ago and Nathan seems to be progressing very well considering how small he was born! Here are a few of his stats

Age - 1 month 2 days
Weight - On Monday he weighted 3.3 KG's, or 7lbs 4 oz ( a 2 pound weight gain)
Height - 51 cm or 20.08 inches (a 3 inch gain)
Eating - I am currently nursing, but since he is not an effective sucker we have to give me supplements of formula. This has been extremely difficult for me. I feel like a horrible mother since I can't properly feed my own son. I am pumping after each feeding and trying to give him the expressed milk as a supplement to limit the amount of formula that we give him, at least for the first few months.
Sleeping - It has gotten much better! He is only waking up about twice at night and averaging a feeding about ever four hours. It makes such a difference on my sanity to get four straight hours of sleep.

There haven't been to many other changes this month, it is just amazing to see how much he has changed in just four weeks. His face has completely changed and he is so much more alert! I can't wait until I can start playing with him.

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Nathan's Jungle Nursery

Since Nathan came a month early I never got to post pictures of his little nursery finally finished.  At first we struggled to find a theme that we both agreed on that was appropriate for a little boy.  Cornel wanted the moon and stars for the nursery, which I really loved.  We even found the perfect bedding set at Pottery Barn Kids, however we never ended up finding the sheets.

Finally, when we were back in the states we found the cutest jungle sheets, and so it was decided - a jungle nursery.

The first step in creating this wonderful jungle masterpiece was getting rid of the purple wall that was in the  room.


Once that was done, we decided to paint the room a very light green.  I am not sure what the exact color is, since we had the store mix a special color for us, but it is a lighter version of a lime green.



It came out great.  Cornel had decided that he wanted to paint a mural on the wall.  Since I had never seen him draw, I was very skeptical and scared of what this room would look like in the end.  After he drew a rough sketch on a piece of paper of what he hand in mind for the nursery, we were back to the paint store to pick out the colors for his jungle mural, which consisted of two monkey, a giraffe and a palm tree.

Since the wall color was so light and pencil would show up through the paint, he drew out the sketch in chalk before painting on the wall.  After all the sketches were done, the painting began.









The transformation was amazing, and the jungle took shape quickly.  Due to my lack in artistic skills, I was not allowed to help paint the mural (a very wise decision on Cornel's part).  I was able, however, to participate and paint the wooden letters that would go above the changing table.





The painting took a couple of days since it was mainly done in the evenings.  After it was all finished, the room finally looked like a jungle.





The next step was moving in the furniture and putting up the jungle themed curtains and light!

We had found this great palm leaf at Ikea, and knew that it was perfect and we had to have it for the nursery!  We added it above the crib for the perfect accessory, and of course the stuffed elephants for the baby to play with, and VOILA...the room was perfect and ready for it's new little occupant!









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