Friday, April 23, 2010


Samuel Norman Schulz
9:56 am
7lb 6oz

See that mama in the photo? She did AMAZING! A real. life. superhero. And hers is a beautiful story of labor....

Last Wednesday, Kelly learned she'd go to the hospital that evening for an induction. Although disappointed to not start labor at home, at 41 weeks she was ready to get the ball rolling. All along we planned that I'd fly to North Carolina when she went into labor and hopefully (fingers crossed) make it on time. An induction made that possible. I flew down and arrived around midnight. Kel had Cervidil (a cervix softener) inserted earlier in the evening, and they'd planned to start Pitocin (synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin, used to start and intensify contractions) the following morning. She never even needed the Pitocin. The Cervidil alone kick-started her labor. By 2am she was having intense contractions and by 3am her water broke on its own. I'd gone to Kelly's house after I arrived in NC, and planned to head to the hospital in the morning. We didn't think her labor would start until they got the Pitocin flowing. Wrong! She called me when her water broke and I headed over.

When I walked in Kelly's room and saw her, it was a total deja vu' to my own labor with Theodore nearly 2 years ago. She was in agony. Lying on her side in the bed, gripping the rail. Upon thinking about my role in the delivery room prior to arrival, I had lots of things planned to say, ways to help her cope with the pain....but when I saw her face scrunched in that all too familiar, completely encompassing pain, my mind went blank. All I could do was rub her forehead. Thank goodness, right after I arrived so did her doula. She was a Godsend!

From that point forward, Kelly and Doris Ann (her doula) worked as a wonderful team. Doris Ann immediately got Kel out of bed and on the birthing ball. She spent the early morning rotating between ball and squats. Kyle and I spent the time on ice chip duty. We kept a constant flow from cup to mama's mouth. ; )

She did wonderful. Truly, truly amazing. She had incredible control throughout the transitional phase...quiet, posed, and breathing. When the time came to push she was focused and ready.....and about 40 minutes later little Samuel was born. What a miracle! It was such an awesome, indescribable moment to see him born! And he was SO CUTE from the beginning. If there were any dry eyes, I didn't see them.....mine were blurry with tears.

Sammy modeling the shirt and quilt I made him. :)

Thank you, Kelly and Kyle for inviting me to be a part of such a miraculous day! You are a beautiful family. Baby boy is so very blessed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Oh happy day

blurry baby.

Teddy Ryan has grown and changed so much in the last few weeks. I want to wrap my arms around, hold on tight, and float in his sweetness. A few bites of random yumminess to share:

1.) I've never written about Poohka Louka, but you may remember a blog post last summer with photos of Teddy holding onto his white blanket lamb...? Well, that little lambie is T's most adored friend. A baptismal gift from Auntie Diane, Teddy hasn't gone to bed without it...ever. Poohka has to be washed at least twice a week due to all the sucking on his ears and arms during the night. The thing is pretty disgusting. We've been so nervous that Poohka would get lost one day that I had extras sent to us in New York, just in case. The "new" Poohkas were never a hit though, he'd smile at them and then happily reach for his old smelly, fur-matted chum.

On Monday all that changed. It was moments before nap and Poohka was no where to be found. Gasp, I know! I checked every nook and crannie in our small apartment to no avail. Oh heavens, I thought, how in the world can I put Teddy down for a nap without Poohks? Thankfully, he understood Poohka was missing and was on the hunt with me. When we realized he wasn't going to turn up before naptime, I pulled out the new Poohkas, along with a couple other blankies and told Teddy he needed to pick a new Poohka for nap today. And get this....HE DID! No tears, no crying. He just reached out and took one of the new Poohkies, brought the brand-new arm into his mouth and off to bed he went. Smooth as silk. I couldn't believe it. I thought we were going to have a disaster on our hands....but nope, he dealt with the change wonderfully. He must be getting older! :)

(Side note: Last summer one of my most favorite mommy bloggers wrote this post about her son's "Poohkie". I was totally giggly at the similar situations.)

Woofta, that first "tidbit" turned out to be so long! I'll keep the others under control. ; )

2.) Teddy started using the word "have" yesterday. Huge development because with the word comes actual sentences. Yesterday's sentence was "Ganpa (spelling like he says it) have a farmall tractor." We were so impressed! This morning he used the new verb again by saying "Geta Ousies (translation: Greta Lousies) have geen-eyes. Why yes, she does! LOVE the new vocab!

3.) This morning he also started to really enjoy board puzzles for the first time. We received a lot of puzzles last year at Christmas, but he'd struggled in understanding the goal. Today, it clicked. We sat on the living room floor as he whipped through puzzle after puzzle. No prob. Down pat folks.

4.) Teddy is about to have a new friend! My dear kindred spirit, Kelly is being induced tomorrow. Teddy will have a new playmate very, very soon! I'm flying to North Carolina this evening to be with her for the birth. I'm so very honored, thrilled, and excited that she invited me to be a part of this special process. I'm weepy just thinking about the miracle that tomorrow will bring...better save my tears, don't want to get the computer wet. :) I promise to share more once her sweet bundle arrives. I should be back home to my own sweet treats by Friday evening.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

sing song boy

Teddy and I are a routine-directed dynamic duo. For the most part, we do the same things at the same time each day. Reading and then singing before bedtime is one example.

In the last week he's been singing along so enthusiastically. Yesterday, I snuck my camera in his bedroom to capture those sweet, sweet baby vocals. So cute!

* It's pitch black for bedtime so you can't see us on the video, but don't can sure hear us! ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Me (about the same age as Teddy) and my dad at Elm Creek Park Reserve, Maple Grove MN

My father has written me wonderful little notes over the years. I keep them close.

December 7th, 1982

This is the best thing that could have happened to us - having you. We love you.

December 7th, 2006

It's hard to believe this is your last birthday as just mine. It seems like just yesterday we were going to Marilyn's together, then basketball games and dance recitals...watching Dances with Wolves together every other weekend.
You've been the greatest delight in my life. I'm so proud of our relationship - you're everything I could have hoped for...I love you very much.

Mother's Day, 2009

I love watching you and Teddy together. He's such a lucky little boy to have you as his Mom. Katie, I think we are what we become because of our mothers, and you are an incredible mom.
Love you and miss you.

So that's my dad. Always so sweet to celebrate me. Tonight though, I want to take a moment to celebrate him and say how very much I love you, Dad. I hope you had a wonderful, joyous birthday last week. You are always in the very center of my heart. Everything I do, every way I grow, comes from that place. See you in two weeks, Teddy and I will take you out for a belated slice of cake.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter in the Catskills

The Alcott trio arrived back in Albany following a wonderful weekend in the Catskill Mountains. We left last Friday to meet my cousin and her adorable brood for the Easter holiday. The Cook family lives in Pennsylvania so we picked a half-way spot, found a gorgeous old farm to rent, and had a blast!

The Cook boys: Joey, Tommy, and Jude
That dark-haired cutie on the left is my Godchild. :)

Daddy bear/Baby bear.

A hike with Mr. Alcott.

Looking for Teddy? Check the barn.

Jude may be in there too.

Emily with her sweet little one.

Handsome Alcott angler.

Fisherman of the hour.

Rick, Tommy, Sam, and Ryan.

Worm scavengers.


Checking out the chickens.

Friends forever.

Mail call.

It sure is good... be together.

The last week of April we will be leaving New York. Ryan's project here is coming to a close. The trip to the mountains with my most favorite cousin was an awesome way to spend one of our last weekends here. There is no greater gift than time together.