Baby love

2011 is the year of the baby girl in the Lollypop Zodiac. It’s also the year young Prince Jude had to contend with two usurpers to his crown, something he has handled with his typical grace and charm, and only a wee bit of “Hey, watch what I can do” jealousy. He’s a good boy.

Baby girl No. 1, Princess Annabelle Rose, arrived January 11. Her mother, Elizabeth, who is son Ben’s wife, called at 3:45 — a.m.

“Laura, my water just broke,” she with impressive calm for a first go-round.

We decided John and I would go back to bed for a while since we live fairly close to the hospital and they’d call me when it was time to shower and get there. Ben called at 5:30 and said, “Mom, you’d better come on.” Into the shower and out the door.

Being the mother of the father can be very different than being the mom’s mom — so I’m told. Elizabeth graciously welcomed me to wait with her and her mother and Ben. We waited. And we waited. And some more. By mid afternoon, we became suspicious we were waiting a bit too long, and just before 4 the doc kicked the moms out.

Text from Ben at 4 p.m. “C-section.” Text from Ben at 4:10ish. “Out.” Modern medicine is amazing.

Annabelle Rose weighed in at 7 pounds but grew in a flash.

Annabelle was tiny and perfect — 7 pounds, 20 inches and a week early. But, my, how she grew! At 1 month, she was up to 10 pounds, the same thing her dad weighed at a month. (But her big old daddy weighed in at 8 pounds 11 ounces, by scheduled C-section a week early.)

Jude was excited about his new cousin. He loved her from the start but would only kiss her when he thought no one was looking. After awhile, though, he was openly kissing her and helping care for her when she stayed with Lolly.


Annabelle gave Jude plenty of practice being the big boy and  sharing the love and his world.

Jude thought Annabelle needed her photo taken with her hat and purse for her 4-month birthday.

He even decided she needed to dress up and  have her picture taken for her 4-month birthday. (He got her ready, and, as you can see, was pleased as punch about it.)

He was also pleased as punch about his baby sister, Princess Sylvia Frances (also known as 2011 Baby girl No. 2), who arrived a week early on June 14, two weeks before the little prince’s 5th birthday.

My phone rang at 3:45 a.m. “Mom, I’ve been having contractions all night and I think it’s time to go to the hospital.” Liz and Brent swung by to pick me up and to drop off a very excited Jude with an excited but sleepy Pop and two VERY excited dogs. (Well, an interested Tess and a bouncing off the walls Zuzu. “My boy is here!! In the dark! Let’s play, let’s play, let’s play.”)

We got to the hospital and quickly ushered into the same room. One of the nurses looked at me confusedly and said, “Weren’t you here earlier this year?” I assured her that I was indeed, but that time for my son’s daughter’s birth.

Things progressed rapidly, so rapidly the epidural wasn’t fully working when Sylvia made her appearance at 8:25 after four pushes. She was tiny and perfect, 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20 1/4 inches long, and literally squirming and raising her head to look around. Unlike her brother, she immediately let everyone know that she had an excellent set of lungs and that she did NOT like that washcloth. But she settled down and settled in, and within a very short time, Pop brought the excited big brother in to meet his baby sis.

Hi, Sylvie, it's your big brother, Jude.

Now it’s baby girl central and the family couldn’t be happier.

At 3 weeks, Sylvie weighs 9 pounds 1 ounce.

Sylvia Frances grows and changes every day.

Like Annabelle, she’s not staying tiny long. (Her mother, who debuted at 8 pounds, 9 ounces, also weighed 10 pounds at a month. Seems to be a family trait.)

Like Jude, neither of them will stay little very long. Life has a way of preventing that. But for now, it’s baby love, our baby loves, we need you, oh how we need you ….

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