Friday, July 27, 2012

Margot's Monthly Pictures

I ordered some of those cute onesie stickers to use for monthly photos, and I CAN'T FIND THEM!  I'm sick over it, so here's Margot at one month, in a plain white onesie, which, if you ask me, is every bit as cute, so I might just stick to this plan.  Enjoy some of the best facial expressions ever seen on a baby!

Her Neltner face.

Sleepy.  Always.

Arrggg!  Thar she be!  The elusive newborn pirate-eye!  Ahoy!


The yawning one is my favorite because:
1.  She's always yawning.
2.  Look at those long, little, baby legs!

At her one month check-up, Margot was 45%ile for height and weight and 50%ile for head!  She weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces (up from 7 pounds at her one week appointment)!  She's perfectly perfect in every imaginable way...

...except for sleeping.  She has no idea how a normal person is supposed to sleep.  We're working on it.

Love you, Miss Margot!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

One Month

Dear Miss Margot,

You are one little month old today.  Sometimes it feels like you've been with us forever, and sometimes it feels like you're so new to me that I just don't know what to do with you!  I'm still learning how to decipher your cries and figure out what you need.  Every day you get a little more awake and a little more aware.  You want to spend time with me instead of going to sleep.  I get it, I'm a really fun person to stare at when it's 2:00 in the morning.  I'm doing the best I can to make sure you know that I am here.  Always.

Today, Sylvia and I were watching you squirm around on your play mat, and you suddenly made a brand new noise.  It wasn't a cry and it wasn't a grunt (you grunt a lot).  It was your very first, on purpose, coo!  It was faint and it was short, but darn it, I'll take it!  It was beautiful.  You're also discovering your hands and feet, slowly but surely.  I don't think you know they are part of your body yet, but you think they are amazing, and frankly, so do I!  I can't stop kissing your feet and your head for some reason.  And Sylvia likes to nuzzle her forehead against your arms and your hands.  I think she's waiting for you to respond somehow.  She thinks you're "touching" her face or her hair and she loves it.  She's a big fan of "snuggling" and I'm sorry if she's manhandling you more than you'd like,  but you might as well get used to it.

Everyone is so glad you're here, sweet girl.  Your Daddy does all kinds of daily experiments on you to see what you can and can't do.  Your grandparents are finding all kinds of excuses to see you and hold you.  We all just think you are so amazing!  Such a miracle.  Such a gift.  We are all so blessed to have you.  I am so grateful that you are here and you are healthy and you are mine. 

I do miss being pregnant, but seeing your face is so much better.  We still share plenty of moments that no one else will ever know.  When you were a few days old, I felt your hand turn against my skin and it gave me goosebumps because I knew that feeling already.  I remembered that little tickle from when I felt it on the inside!  No one else will ever know what it's like to nurse with you, to rock you to sleep in the middle of the night, to snuggle you close and watch your eyelids droop and your mouth start to smile.  It's absolutely precious and I am honored that you share those moments with me.

I love to sit with you in the dark, and while I watch your face, I dream of all the wonderful things you'll know as you grow.  I dream about the girl and the woman you will become.  I look at your sweet mouth and nose and tiny little ears, and I know that someday, you'll do great things.  And you won't remember these moments because you're just too little.  But I'll remember them, and when you're too big to be rocked, I'll still stare at you, amazed, like no one else will.  Because you'll still have that same mouth and nose and ears, and I'll still be awestruck at your wonderfulness, no matter how big, or how old, or how far, or how different you think you are.  You'll always be my baby, who fit so neatly in my arms, and I'll always, always, always love you more than you'll ever know.

Forever and ever,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Margot's Movie

Before you watch the most adorable movie ever made, let me just say that I heard this song on the radio when I was going through my crazy anxiety-ridden phase of pregnancy. It made me cry for about three days straight, so of course, I had to look it up on iTunes and buy it.  I was extremely disappointed to find out that it came from the Twilight soundtrack, so if you already knew that, pretend you didn't; and if you didn't already know that, then you'll like this movie a lot because you won't already associate this song with that movie.  Enjoy!

The song really spoke to me at the time, because I was so incredibly scared of the unknowns that accompany parenthood.  My head was full of questions wrapped in doubt.  Will she be healthy?  Will Sylvia be happy?  Will I know what to do?  Will Sylvain think I'm good enough?  The two lines about being brave hit me sqaure in the heart and remimded me that being a parent does, indeed, require a large amount of bravery...and an even larger amount of faith. 

"Darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you..."

It was like God was speaking directly to me, and my sweet little girl.  And it made me feel so much better!  This video played in my mind for months before she even came along, so I couldn't wait to put it together.  Now that she's here, and she's healthy, and we're all happy, I watch it every day and thank God for such a beautiful baby, and pray for all the bravery I need to make it through the next 18 plus years.  I really don't know how parents do it.  They're the bravest people I know!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Fun Fact:  I was born in the same hospital as Margot, but I was born thirty-one years ago and she was born three weeks ago.  She doesn't look a day over two weeks old, though, does she?

One thing I've really been looking forward to is the World Choir Games in Cincinnati this July.  To be honest, I was a little bummed when I realized that the dates for the WCG were so close to my due date because I wanted to be a volunteer and score some free tickets to the competitions and concerts.  Earlier this week, I reserved some tickets for today's Children's Choir competition and I really, REALLY wanted to take Sylvia with me.  I thought it would be fun for her to see kids singing and it would be a great thing for us to do together on my birthday.  I understood that she may not sit through all of it (especially since I know she can't even sit through church on Sundays), so I was prepared to leave if we had to.  Well....we had to. 

It was no fault of hers, though.  We waited in line for an hour before the show started, and even though I had an arsenal of snacks, new toys and even a book about trains in my bag, I just couldn't keep that sweet girl as quiet as she was supposed to be.  She wasn't bad AT ALL, she was just an excited two year old, and after the first couple of songs, she had no business being in a small auditorium during a choir competition.  She has absolutely no idea how to whisper, especially when she's excited.  After the third song, an usher said to me, "Ma'am, if you want to take her to the lobby until she calms down, I can let you back in for the next performance?"  I felt bad for her.  She felt bad for me.  I decided it was best for us to just cut our losses and go home.  I didn't want Sylvia to think she was bad, so when we got to the lobby I said, "Yay!  Wasn't that a fun show?!  Did you love it?  What pretty music!  Now, let's go home."  And she was totally down with that.  I didn't mind one bit, either, because my body was telling me to GO HOME AND FEED YOUR BABY!!  We sang show tunes in the car and I was completely satisfied, because in the end I knew that I got exactly what I wanted - some musical one-on-one time with Sylvia.

We gave it the ol' college try...

...but she had much more fun outside with the pigs.

After I came home and fed Margot, I took a nap, then we all had a lovely lunch together.  Sylvain took Sylvia shopping, then put her down for a nap, and I held a sleeping Margot on my chest while I watched more consecutive minutes of TV than I've been able to watch in a very long time.  After naps, we loaded up the car and headed to my Dad's house for pizza and birthday pie!  Sylvia loved singing Happy Birthday and blowing out my candles for me.

I missed the opportunity to photograph Sylvia riding around the backyard in my Dad's wheel barrow, but I didn't miss the chance to snap a picture of Dad and The Girls after dinner.  Margot woke up for the occasion!  She sat on my Dad's lap (and Sally's lap) for a good solid hour without falling asleep!  She's getting so big.

Fun times with Grandpa!
All in all, it was a marvelous birthday!  I certainly can't complain about my age when I have two beautiful girls and a sweet, loving family to make me feel so special.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I don't think Margot and Sylvia look alike AT ALL, but check out their newborn pics:

Margot Louise

Sylvia Joyce
I tried to pick two pictures with similar poses, meaning they're both asleep and neither one has a squooshed-up face.  Some would argue that ALL newborn babies look alike but I totally disagree.

Here are some differences you might not notice:
1.  Cheeks!  Sylvia's cheeks were HUGE.  Margot's face is much wider across that Sylvia's, her's was round because of her chunky cheeks.
2.  Head shape.  Sylvia's head was pointy and long, Margot's is a round little melon.
3.  Nose.  Sylvia has her Daddy's nose, Margot has mine.
4.  Feet!  Margot has gigantic feet, even for a baby.
5.  Eyes and Mouth.  I wish I had a picture of Margot with her eyes open because her whole face screams "Neltner" to me - that's my Mom's side of the family.  Although, Margot may end up with a set of Humbert eyes (dark brown, thick eyebrows), but only time will tell.

I have another post planned in which I'll write about the incredible differences in personalities between this baby and the first one.  It's unreal!  Until then, keep scrolling back and forth between these two beauties and tell me I'm not the luckiest Mama in the whole wide WORLD!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

More Pool Fun

Mom sent me this video today and I think it's hilarious!  I must have been nursing the peanut when this happened, but this is Sylvia's first and second attempt at jumping in the pool with her Puddle Jumper.

Things that make me chuckle:
1.  "Papa, I'm all wet!"
2.  "Encore!"  (Again)
3.  The second jump could have easily been a face plant on the concrete, because she doesn't quite make it into the pool, so she just falls forward - this really didn't make me chuckle the first time I saw it, it made me nearly have a heart attack - but the more I watch it, the funnier it gets.
4.  "Poppy, looooook!"

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Holiday Week

We've been busy this week celebrating a new baby, Charlie's birthday, and the 4th of July!  Here's our week in photos.

I taught Sylvia how to make homemade donuts.  I haven't done this since I was a wee tot myself, so it brought back lots of deep-fried memories!  She enjoyed it.  We won't do it again until next summer, to give our arteries time to recover.

The Reynolds' came over for a visit.  Sylvia and Cecilia cooled off in the sprinkler while the adults huddled in the shade of the garage.

Charlie turned three on the third!  Happy Birthday, buddy!

Margot slept through the party, as usual.

Baby Claire!

Helping Charlie open his presents.

Waiting for cake!

Singing Happy Brithday.  Aunt Jen put three extra candles on the cake for Sylvia to blow out.  Just one of the many reasons we love her!

We started the fourth with a wonderful (but H.O.T.) parade.  We had a great spot in front of the firehouse.

Uncle Jerry let Sylvia climb up on the fire truck with him for a photo.  He is her new hero.

Waiting for the parade to start.

Grammy tries to explain how to collect the candy.

The more you wave, the more likely people are to throw candy at you!

It didn't take long for her to figure out how to dart out in the middle of the road to get the goods.

Sylvia dances along.  She LOVED the music and didn't mind the heat one bit (we kept her well hydrated, don't worry).

After the parade, we went home for lunch and naps, then headed to Aunt Dar's for a pool party.

Grandma Margaret (Marge) holds Margot for the first time!


Underwater?  No problem.

We also gave Margot her first bath this week, since her umbilical cord fell off - woo hoo!  She wasn't too happy about it, but Sylvia and I had fun anyway.

Snuggle time with Papa.  Things are getting crowded on that play mat!

Margot also enjoyed her first bottle of breastmilk from Papa.  She took to it very well,  so hopefully we can keep up the one bottle a day plan.

This weekend and upcoming week are going to be very busy - fireworks tonight, sofa shopping, dinner parties, more visitors, and hopefully we'll be able to catch some of the World Choir Games!  I love July, but it sure does fly by fast!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Staying Cool

People act surprised to find that we've been out and about every day since Margot came home.  People forget that we have a two year old, so staying at home all day every day is like child care suicide.  People also forget that both of us are home for the summer, so it's really not too difficult to pack up the car and head to Target for the morning.  It takes some planning.  For Margot's first doctor's appointment I didn't even remember to pack a diaper bag for her until the very last minute before we had to walk out the door, so I just threw some newborn diapers into Sylvia's tiny backpack that we use as her diaper bag.  When I had to strip Margot down to her diaper in that cold doctor's office I could have kicked myself for not bringing a blanket, or even a burp cloth, to cover that child with!  I wrapped her up in my long shirt and stood there like an idiot until the doctor was finished.  Oops!  We're better at getting out of the house now. 

Margot is very portable these days; all we really need are some diapers, my nursing cover, and a blanket or two.  She sleeps ALL the time, so we're taking advantage of it while we can.  Last week, when folks were ranting about this insane heat wave on it's way, we took both girls to Aunt Dar's pool for one last early morning dip before it became too hot to even go swimming.  Check this out:

My baby is swimming!

Look at her go!

 Okay, she's not really swimming, but thanks to our new friend Bella, we've been introduced to the amazing PUDDLE JUMPER!  It's like a set of swimmies (or floaties, or whatever you call them), but they're made of foam and there's an extra foam band between them that goes across the front, so it teaches your kid to lean forward in the water and kick their feet, instead of a life jacket, which just teaches them to bob up and down and spin in circles.  I was skeptical.  Techically Sylvia is just a few pounds shy of the requirements for the Puddle Jumper, but we got her one anyway.  Here she is getting in for the first time - that's Bella next to her, a seasoned Puddle Jumper professional.

It took her a few minutes to get the hang of it.  She kept flipping on her back and getting stuck, so Sylvain had to teach her how to roll over onto her stomach.  She quickly figured out that if she kicked her feet the right way, she could get herself to be straight up and down, treading water.  Here's where she figured it out and here's where I was SOLD on the Puddle Jumper.  This thing is amazing, I'm telling you!

Once she had it figured out, that girl was kicking and paddling all over the pool.  Sylvain was always close, but she was definitely "on her own" and it was really fun to watch.  Way to go Nugget!!

Margot was not impressed:
Just give her some shade and a soft spot to lay.  Girl is one happy camper.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Naming Margot

There were so many nights during my pregnancy that I wanted to get on here and blog about our baby's name, but I was worried we'd change our mind at the last minute.  Now that she's here and she's properly named, I can write all about my favorite thing in the world - picking baby names!  I'm going to try not to reveal any of our other choices, though, because we're saving those for potential future children....or pets.  After a week and a half with a newborn I'm thinking I'm pretty darn happy with two girls.  Who could ask for anything more wonderful than that, right?  Anyway, on with the story of How Margot Got Her Name!

This child was much more difficult, but much more fun, to name than Sylvia.  Sylvia's name was picked out loooooong before we were even married, as is our first boy name, although I had a major case of cold feet about that one before we found out Margot was a girl.  During the first half of my pregnancy, we tossed around all kinds of names.  We only had one important requirement: we had to be able to pronounce the name in French.  Sylvia is still Sylvia in French, it just flows a little differently.  Rachael, however, is not possible in French, because they don't have the "ch" sound, so my name comes out sounding like "Rah-shell."  This helped us rule out a BUNCH of names from the get go.

I like "old lady" names, which means I went directly to our family trees to find cute names that would match Sylvia.  Sylvain's grandmother's full first name is (get ready.......) Marie-Louise!  Hyphenated!  It's the most beautiful sounding name I've ever heard in my LIFE and it's just as beautiful in French as it is in English.  My grandfather's name is Louis, too, so it would cover both sides of the family. Perfect, right?  I wanted to name her Marie Louise (no hyphen) and call it a day.  Sylvain, however, wasn't ever SOLD on the name Marie.  Darn!

A few weeks before we found out she was a girl, we had settled on another beautiful name that I will not disclose because you'll probably steal it for your own baby someday.  You can have Marie, I've let that one go, but you can't have this one.  Anyway, this name happens to be a very minor character in a very popular book series at the moment, so when I mentioned it to people, about half of the folks I talked to said, "Oh, like the girl in __________!"  Then they'd give me their opinion of the character and it usually went something like this, "She's a total b____."  Hmm.  I wasn't going to let that bother me, because I had never read the book, no one my age or older really likes the book AT ALL, and I assumed that no one would be naming their baby this name.  I'm a HUGE fan of the Social Security Baby Name Database and the stats they post each year, so I was waiting to see where this particular name fell for the 2011 year.  Sylvia was in the 500's, so I knew her name was "safe."  However, this name appeared to be climbing pretty fast, so I was worried it would shoot up to the top ten or something crazy.  We decided to wait it out, and if the name was any higher than Sylvia's ranking for 2010, we'd scrap it.  Then, somewhere around February, Sylvain mentioned the name to one of his high school classes.  Their INSANE reaction to the book character sent him home with a sad face.  "We can't use that name," he said.  "That stupid book keeps getting in the way."  Alas, we were back to the drawing board.

One morning, I was eating breakfast and reading Swistle, and I found the name Margot.  With a t.  It immediately struck me as interesting.  It looked like Margaret, my grandmother's name, which we briefly considered but quickly turned down.  It sounded amazing to me every time I said it out loud.  I sent Sylvain a text, along with my friend Emily who shares a passion for baby names.  "What about Margot?"  Emily immediately called me and said, "Did you read that post from Swistle?  I thought that name would be great for you!"  Then Sylvain sent me a text: "I suggested that name when we found out you were pregnant.  You said we couldn't use it because it rhymes with Fasciotto."  Hmm.  I did not remember that, but I thought about it for a second.  Margot Fasciotto.  Nope.  I loved it.  It does share an ending sound, but it's not too rhyme-y, like Margot Fargo.  In fact, the more I said Margot Fasciotto, the more I fell in love with it.  Sold.  Done.  Baby is officially named.

Our family's reaction was anywhere from "I love it!" to "It's weird," to....well, I won't tell you what my mother said about it.  I think she's come around, but I've learned from reading Swistle that most parents don't like the names their children give to their children.  It's just the way these things usually work.  I had to remind myself that if we had chosen to keep the name a secret we never would have changed our minds on it, so I stood my ground. 

Oh!  And in May, the Social Security website came out with the data for 2011.  Our previous name did NOT climb much higher than it was in 2010!  Phew!  So, there was a short time where we re-opened the discussion on baby name #1, but we were already using Margot around the house, Sylvia was already calling her Baby Margot, and I had already doodled Margot Louise Fasciotto on every scrap piece of paper in the house.  So we decided to shelf that name for now and maybe use it some other time.  For a kid or maybe a fish?  Who knows!  And for the record, Margot has not been in the top 1000 baby names in the US for over 50 years, BUT it's in the top 50 for baby names in France!  How 'bout that?  Funny how these things work out.

So, that's how we found and fell in love with The Name.  A very subtle nod to my maternal grandparents, Margaret and Louis, and Sylvain's paternal grandmother, Marie-Louise.  It looks really pretty when I write it in my neatest cursive handwriting, and it looks marvelous next to the name Sylvia Joyce.  It's an adorable name for a child, but a sophisticated name for a grown up.  It's the perfect name for our little one and I'm so glad we finally have our sweet Margot Louise!