Thursday, November 6, 2008


Behind father Shaun is a couple of photos of Shaun's grandfather, who passed away before Saraphina was born. Perhaps it's no coincidence that his image has been captured in this photo. He would have been very proud of Shaun and of Saraphina.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Today

Do it for Saraphina!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grandpa Time

Saraphina has been delighting all her grandparents this week. We've all been lucky enough to have a little time with her while Kris and Shaun try to get a little work done.

Here she is snuggling with Grandpa Dave.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Outgrowing Everything

Kris and Shaun found the perfect Halloween costume for Saraphina. But then we realized that by October, she will be too large for it so she is wearing it now in anticipation of Halloween.

You can tell she really likes it. During happy colic-free moments, she makes baby gurgling sounds and focuses on near and distant objects. Her favorite focal point is anything with lights.

She recognizes Mom and Dad and has given Grandpa Dave a couple of really big smiles.

Kris and Shaun are getting longer periods of sleep at night. That means Grandma Nan gets a little more awake time with Saraphina during the day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Team Seraphine

Oldest cousin visits youngest cousin. What a lucky girl Saraphina is to have her two cousins closeby.

I have 12 cousins and a sister on my mom's side and every one of them is a special friend because we spent a lot of time together as kids. We played together and got into trouble together. Sixty years later, we still laugh about how clever we were.

I see some really fun family celebrations ahead.

Buddha Baby

I don't think this one needs any explanation.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Saraphina's Song

Shaun has already written a children's story for Saraphina and has composed a couple of songs. Here he is sharing his latest song with his musical inspiration.

While Shaun's dedication awesome, it's providing fodder for a lot of teasing from his friends... some of who are awesome fathers themselves.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Picture of the Week

This was the week of the bath. Saraphina handled it well, as did her parents.

A visit to the pediatrician confirmed that Saraphina is progressing nicely with a healthy weight gain of one pound. He also noted that in addition to being lovely, she was very tolerant while he examined her.

She has had many visits from friends and family, during which she coo'd adorably. Each day her awareness of her environment is growing. She likes light, especially if it blinks like the rubber ducky Grandma Rose got for her bathtub.

She giggles in her sleep and she has a big dimple in her left cheek.

She is sleeping a bit longer at night and entertains us with longer wakeful periods during the day. Right now she is pretty much the center of our Universe.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Saraphina Sleeps

Yesterday was Saraphina's 1 week birthday. She spent the week sleeping and getting to know the Oster household. Shaun has taken her out to smell the mint and given her jazz appreciation sessions.

Kris has spent the week feeding her, holding her, and sleeping whenever possible.

The dogs think she is interesting and smells nice.

She met her cousin this week and had visits with her aunts and more grandparents.

She has been trying on some of her new clothes but mostly she's happy in her onesies and sleepers. She, of course, looks beautiful in everything because she is the most beautiful baby in the world.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Settling In

Saraphina watches patiently as Mom looks for fingers in the sleeve of her going home outfit.

Everything checked out fine with both Mom and baby so they were released from the hospital yesterday afternoon.

It didn't take too long to get settled at home. Dogs Amber and Ladybug got quick introductions to Saraphina. Amber is especially interested. Dave thinks it's because she hopes that Saraphina will spill things when she eats so that Amber can lick them up.

Shaun says no good kitchen would be complete without the Amber 2000 to clean up splatters and spills.

Speaking of Amber. Shaun invited her out into the living room for a closer look. After sniffing Saraphina, she sat down to watch Saraphina's new learning toy.

We figure by the end of the day she will be able to recognize several different animals... well maybe not the actual animal, but cartoon versions anyhow.

Shaun has put a sign on the front gate requesting that you call our cell phones before ringing the bell since Amber and Ladybug love to greet visitors in their own special way... lots of barking. This way we can put the dogs in the hall before they realize you are there. Thanks!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Coming Home Today

If all goes as planned, Saraphina and parents will be home this afternoon. Then we will get our camera back and get to post more photos.

I spent yesterday driving back and forth to the hospital with supplies (really I just wanted to visit with all of them). Saraphina had bonding time with all her grandmothers and grandfathers yesterday.

The maternity ward was completely chaotic because so many babies were born yesterday. We were warned that c-sections and inductions had been planned so that babies would be born on 8-8-08. I guess it was true because the nursery was packed and the nursing staff was stretched pretty thin. I took a batch of sticky buns and some chocolate chipotle brownies which Kris and Shaun gave out to the nurses. The news spread pretty fast and some nurses came back for more.

Shaun especially is looking forward to getting home to a proper bed and better food. I think Kris is looking forward to being in her own private space again.

Friday, August 8, 2008

First Release

Prepare for many more photos. She has glowing skin, red cheeks, and dark eyes. I'd write more but I want to get back to the hospital to see baby and family.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Whew! She's Here.

Saraphina made her grand entrance at 4:20 pm this afternoon. She is beautiful! Unfortunately you will have to take my word for it because Shaun has the camera with all the pictures on it at the hospital. I suspect he won't get them downloaded tonight.

Kris did not need a c-section. Both she and Saraphina are doing well and resting happily. Saraphina weighs 7 pounds 6 ounces and is 21 inches long. She looks a bit like Shaun and I see glimpses of Dave's mom in her right now. She absolutely has Kris' fingers, feet, and hair. It will be fun to see how she changes as the days pass.

Shaun sang Saraphina's song while they checked her out in the nursery. She is bright-eyed and curious. Mom and Dad are glowing, as are all the grandparents. We are so lucky... and very very tired.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have photos.

Thursday Morning

It's morning. No baby yet but Kris' contractions are 3 minutes apart and getting harder. Not much sleep last night for Kris, Shaun, or family but we're in good company. Kris' doula, Kim, is awesome and the nurses have been nurturing and attentive.

Keep Kris in your thoughts, she's doing great with all your love and support.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

At the Hospital

Kris is now at Cottage. Shaun is massaging her feet and we are listening to birds and flute music. Her water has broken but her labor is still fairly easy. At 5 pm she was almost 5 cm dilated. Saraphina is on her way.

Post for Cindy

Update of the hour. Kris' contractions are still erratic. She came back from the beach walk tired out and took a rest. No contractions for about an hour. After a sticky bun and some roast, she felt a bit better and started having contractions again (I think it was the sticky bun). The range seems to be 7 to 10 minutes apart when they get going. Since the magic number is 5 minutes apart, we aren't quite there yet, but we're getting closer.

A Good Day for a Birthday?

Kris' contractions restarted about midnight. She is timing them now and then going out for another walk with Shaun. When she comes back, we plan to bake muffins.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Walking Coach Danielle

Well Saraphina's due date is here but Saraphina is still enjoying her birthfree existence. Today is also Kris and Shaun's anniversary (note the beautiful necklace Shaun gave her).

Kris had a relatively contraction-free day so her sister, Danielle, came over to take her for a real beach walk. Off they went with Kris' mom and Danielle's youngest daughter (who was born soon after just such a beach walk almost three years ago).

Well as of tonight, there are still no contractions. Saraphina has now officially entered the Leo phase of the Zodiac and we think making us wait for her grand entrance is certainly Leo behavior. Although she is not really late, we're just very anxious to meet her.

Shaun and I have made an anniversary dinner lasagna with homemade basil pasta and pannini-grilled eggplant. At their wedding we served gnocchi, polenta, and mystery meatballs. Hmm, I think I even have some chocolate chipotle mousse cakes in the freezer we can add for dessert.

Yes, this baby is going to come, just maybe not today.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Day of Rest

Contractions slowed down during the day today so Kris is looking a lot more rested this evening. Looks like Saraphina is not one to be rushed. Tomorrow is Shaun's and Kris' 2nd anniversary and Kris' due date. Maybe a birthday too, we'll see.

Amber Alert

On the readiness scale, I think we are at Amber (since I'm writing the blog, I get to make up the scale). Kris was at 3 cm this morning after a night of some hard irregular contractions. Her doctor confirmed this morning that Kris is in early labor. That could mean two days or less until delivery. She told Kris to rest now, while she can. That's what she is doing... except for when we wake her up to see how she is feeling. The doctor says she will dilate more easily if she is relaxed and rested.

Grandma Rose and Grandpa Bill were just here delivering some snack foods and will be stopping back in later. We are charging our cell phones and finishing up our baking tasks so we'll be ready for the welcoming.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Quiet Sunday

Kris had harder contractions this morning but they went away. She spent most of the day resting but was feeling much better than yesterday.

Dave, the roast master, went out to Costco to get a beef roast. We called up Rose and Bill to join us for an informal dinner.

No contractions during dinner, but we are all expecting to be together again real soon.

I made an apple pie for dessert with apples from our tree and Shaun's homemade pistachio toffee ice cream. (I'll spare you the photo this time.)

After dinner, Kris and Shaun looked at an album of Kris' baby pictures to get an idea of what Saraphina might look like.

Kris and Shaun are out walking, in hopes that a walk might restart her contractions. She was beginning to have some again when they left.

Time for us to get some sleep in case we have to get up during the night.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Tired Day

Here's the dress we promised to show you. Kris hemmed it last night.

Kris woke up this morning feeling a bit dragged out, so Shaun took her for a quick visit with her doctor. Turns out her blood sugar was low. Hmm, we can fix that. (Click on photo below for more detail.)

Sticky buns are probably not exactly what Kris' doctor had in mind when she mentioned the blood sugar, but we plan to do some baking for the hospital staff, so we're doing a little testing in the meantime.

While some women crave pickles and ice cream, Kris has been craving Chicago-style pizza. She found her favorite Chicago pizza on the web and showed Shaun what it should look like. Shaun has been trying to recreate it. This was tonight's version.

We're hoping that he doesn't get it right too soon, as we are happily enjoying the experimentation.

When Kris got home this afternoon, she was still feeling pretty tired and uncomfortable. The doctor said the baby is definitely moving into position and Kris' contractions are rhythmic, but not close enough or regular enough yet. So this is probably a good time to be resting.

Here is a photo of Kris' resting companion.

Frankie (named after Old Blue Eyes) lives next door with Molly, but Frankie likes to spend some of her outdoor time in our secret garden with Kris and Shaun. Today was a good day to have a cat purring next to you. Thanks Molly for sharing her with us.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Day of Walking

Kris started the morning off with contractions but they were about 12 minutes apart. Labor is defined as 5 minutes apart (lasting about 1-1/2 minutes) for at least 2 hours. We went out shopping (mall exercise). When we got home, she timed her contractions and they were still 12 or more minutes apart (lasting about 1-1/2 minutes).

I ran across the street to find out how Barbara's daughter was doing. Hmm, we're still racing towards grandmotherhood. They both have the same doctor who is predicting soon for both. We may be walking the halls together.

I took Kris for a beach walk this afternoon. Maybe that will help. If not, I don't think Barbara has a trampoline... but I do.

Grandma Rose is on call, but Kris' doctor says even when labor officially begins, Kris can stay home a while since we live so close to the hospital. It's Grandma Rose who has to get a head start since this is Fiesta weekend in Santa Barbara and the traffic into town is pretty horrible.

Stay tuned.

P.S. I'm working on that dress I started last night. If I get it done soon, I'll post a photo. It's pretty sweet.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Visit to the Doctor

Kris and Shaun went to the doctor today. The baby's head is down. Tired of predictions, Kris is resting up and just enjoying herself. She will see the doctor again on Monday... if not before.

So while we're in a holding pattern, we thought we'd share some pictures of a couple of dresses we've made.

Fluffy Bunny couldn't wear the hat, so Henry graciously offered to be our model. A little note on Henry. He is a child of the 70s. My sister gave the first Henry to my daughter Michelann. He eventually fell apart after too many visits to the washing machine. We found this Henry in the attic. We unstuffed him, ran him through the washer and breathed new life into him. Anyhow, Henry looks quite cute in our hat and jumper.

Not to be outdone, Fluffy Bunny agreed to model one of our first dresses... one that doesn't have a hat. This is a Frieda Kahlo type fabric that Kris bought on Olivera Street in Los Angeles.

As you can see, Saraphina is going to be a very well-dressed baby. In fact, the longer she waits to come, the more clothing she will have to wear.

There are lots more fashions to model, but we'll save them in case we need to fill in more blog space while we wait for Saraphina.

In the meantime know that Kris is doing fine.

P.S. If Shaun makes me a latte tonight, this will be a dress by morning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fluffy Bunny Acts as Stand-In

After pacing a bit, Kris decided to try out the baby sling. Turns out Fluffy Bunny is just about the right size. Hmm, okay, that's done. Maybe we should wind up the mobile or play with the light-up rubber ducky.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Waiting for Saraphina

Yup, we're still waiting for the miracle baby. Actually Kris' due date is next Tuesday, it's just that "they" said Saraphina would probably arrive a lot earlier. Guess they were wrong... again.

As you can see, Kris is in good spirits and Saraphina is growing nicely. Kris and I have been sewing clothes for her. If she doesn't arrive soon, she will have more clothes than she will ever be able to wear in the first six months. We should probably move on to size 1. As a part-time quilter, I have lots of fabric to use up.

At the last doctor's appointment Kris was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced, the same as the week before. She has been having contractions, but they are irregular. Next doctor's appointment is tomorrow so we'll find out if Saraphina has moved into position.

Kris may or may not have a c-section. A lot depends on the fibroid near the birth canal. It could move out of the way. Kris will likely go into labor first and then the doctor will decide.

Turns out Kris is at about the same point as my friend Barbara's daughter and they have the same doctor. Barbara lives across the street, so we're thinking maybe the grandma's can carpool to the hospital. We're taking bets on who will become a grandmother first.

Kris says she can't re-organize the baby's room one more time, so maybe we'll make a blanket today. We also might do a little baking... just in case we need something to eat at the hospital.

I'm planning to post a daily update to let our friends and family know what's happening here in babyland.