Happy 4th of July

We heart patriotic holidays!  The somewhat brief but solid unity that surrounds our nation on these days is becoming more and more rare and something to be cherished.  The flags that line our neighbors yards, the gathering of masses for parades and salutes and celebrations.  If nothing else, we are all grateful as a nation for the sacrifices of those who made it possible.  Also there are so many adorable patriotic outfits for the littles.

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We celebrated the 4th in our usual low-key ways.  In the morning we hung out at our favorite park with Pawpaw before he headed back to Louisiana.

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In the afternoon we swam at a friend’s pool and enjoyed watermelon and barbeque and visiting with all the littles.

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We skipped the fireworks and will likely continue to skip them for the foreseeable future.

I have some personal qualms with fireworks and will likely continue to avoid them whenever possible.  Ike is more or less in agreement with me, being that he has always been rather sensitive to loud noises.

Fireworks are beautiful displays and a wonder to watch.  The problem is the audible similarity that they bear to a battlefield.  Holidays like the 4th of July and Memorial Day are meant to honor serve men and women and thank them for their sacrifice to ensure our freedom and pride in this nation.  However, service men and women who have given the ultimate gift in serving in the line of fire often return home with severe PTSD as a result of their experience.  The sounds of fireworks akin to bombs and gunfire can often set off episodes of traumatic fear and anxiety in our veterans.  These brave countrymen (and women!) have given so much so that we can have and celebrate these patriotic holidays, far be it for us to create any more suffering to them by the way in which we choose to celebrate.

This is my soapbox PSA and only my opinions and views.

Eleanor Hope

Eleanor Hope Salinas has arrived.  Slightly ahead of schedule, a little bit teeny, absolutely perfect.  She was born early in the afternoon on February 23rd, weighing 6 pounds and 13 ounces.  She has the exact same jet black matte of hair that her brother did upon his arrival.

IMG_1707The first month with her has been a whirlwind.  Two kids are a challenge.  Life in general over here has been an even bigger one.  But she is a tough girl and she has done amazingly to roll with all of it.

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Eleanor is a great sleeper, she totally ignores her brothers loud, but admiring, cries to her. “HI BABY SISSY!  HI! HI! WHAT YOU DOING BABY SISSY?!”.  She could care less about the incessant bike horn beeping or constant crashing noises or quick paced toddler stomping around the hardwoods.  She’s amazing when she’s cuddled close to me in her carrier.  She curls up even tinier and lays her head down and is completely content.  Whether we are hustling through the grocery store for yet another round of milk and applesauce or out in the bright sunshine watching Ike play outside or at the park.

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Ike and I struggled with a breastfeeding relationship from day 1.  We figured it out, through a mix of shear will, pain, and many many tears; but it took a long time.  And looking back, I don’t think we ever had it completely figured out, we powered through, but it was a tough 15 months for the whole family.  Eleanor on the other hand, latched expertly the very first time and has not looked back since.  Sure there was some pain and some soreness for the first few weeks.  Sure we had to wait an exceedingly long time for the real milk to start flowing (SIX DAYS of Colostrum!).  But we are in a groove and that is how I know, Ike and I never got it quite right.  This is the breastfeeding relationship that those happy people talk about, this is actually something I enjoy.  Not something I pretended to like so as not to be judged by the hippies and granola moms.  This is not something that requires powering through.

She has a bit of a temper though, and she absolutely HATES being naked.  This includes changing clothes, changing diapers, and baths.  All give her a glow of fire red anger and wild eyes and screams of utter torture.

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It’s all soon forgotten though, as soon as that teeny tiny newborn sleeper is buttoned securely and she is safely back in loving arms.  She forgives me every time, although her bright gray eyes (for now?) still look pleadingly at me as if to say “please oh PLEASE never do that again mommy!”.

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If we had a chance to create the perfect little person to add to our family, to choose every trait and aspect of her, she would beat all those qualities without even trying.  She is the best daughter, little sister, and grand-daughter anyone could ask for.

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