Browsing the archives for the Children category

The Weekly Photograph

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Children, Photos

Every week we have been taking Angela’s picture with Geoffrey the Giraffe so that we can track her growth over time.  I recently had the bright idea to include Katherine’s magna-doodle with Angela’s age in weeks.  Here is the 10 week-old picture.

Angela is 10 weeks old

Katherine noticed that I was using her magna-doodle and pitched a fit.  I mollified her by agreeing that it would be her turn next.  I couldn’t figure out how many weeks are in 2 years and 3 months, so I went with her age by years.

Katherine is 2 and a quarter years old

And, of course, after all was finished, she only played on the magna-doodle for about 15 seconds before losing interest and finding something else to do.  But at least it gave us a great photo op!

Service of Remembrance

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Last month, a card from Riverside Methodist Hospital came in the mail.  It was an invitation to a Service of Remembrance which Riverside’s Perinatal Loss Committee hosts.  The event is called “Remembering Special Babies,” and the card said, “For those who have briefly touched our lives, but have forever touched our hearts.”  The event was held yesterday at the Healing Garden of the Elizabeth Blackwell Center.

We had no idea what to expect.  When we arrived, there were a large number of people, some with kids, some without and some with their own parents or siblings.  I was surprised by how many people were there until I realized that most people have been attending every year no matter how long ago their loss occurred.  This is an annual event, rain or shine.  It was a standing-room-only event with a spot for the speaker under a trellis.

When we first walked in, I saw Dr. Yvonne G., a parenting education counselor who runs the New Moms’ Group at the EBC on Tuesday afternoons.  The effect of seeing a sympathetic, familiar and friendly face was the equivalent of offering a tissue to someone already on the verge of crying.

The service was simple but beautiful.  Dr. Yvonne started by telling us what to expect in general.  A couple of the chaplains from Riverside read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. They played a song about seasons, but we weren’t close enough to the front to be able to hear all of the words.  One of the chaplains then talked about the song and a little about dealing with the grief of perinatal loss.  She then opened it up so that families could come up one at a time to say their child’s name and date of loss.  Those who know me won’t be surprised that I was second in line to do this.  It meant a lot to say Evangeline’s name and birthdate at this event.  After this, they had tulip bulbs and shovels for everyone.  We were allowed to plant a bulb anywhere in the garden.  Ryan planted near one of the trellis posts so that we would have a good landmark to find the tulip later.

I held it together pretty well, but it tugged hard on my heart to see the other people crying through the whole event.  I am thankful that Riverside puts on this event every year.  Considering that October is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance month, it is a fitting time.

Thoughts on Evangeline


I wasn’t planning on putting anything about this on my blog, Facebook or Twitter.  But every time I went to my home page and saw “New Addition Due in June” under “Recent Posts,” it reminded me that I have not shared the whole story.

After 3 months, not only do I feel ready to write about this publicly, but I feel that I should acknowledge her in my “online” presence.

Evangeline Grace Jacobs was born alive on January 11, 2011, at 12:20 a.m. at Riverside Methodist Hospital.  Her gestational age was 16 weeks and 3 days.  She was too young gestationally to survive more than a few moments outside of the womb.  We have pictures of her tiny face and tiny fingers. She was long and skinny, perfectly formed.

Why was she born so early?  I can’t answer that, nor can my doctor.  All that I know is that for some freakish and unexplainable reason, my water broke far too early, my body went into labor, and there was nothing that could be done to stop the whole chain of events.

And since then, I have been grieving.  While it’s getting better overall, there are some good days and some really bad days.  One thing that seems to help me is to acknowledge her.  Which brings me around to why I’m finally writing about her after three months have passed.

One of my dear friends gave me a wonderful gift recently, and I don’t think she realizes how great it was.  While we were talking on the phone, she mentioned Evangeline by name.  Not “when you lost the baby” or anything along those lines, but she said, “after you had Evangeline …”  I find it so uplifting to talk about her by name.

This was given to me by a dear friend who knows all too well how this feels.

Fourth Grade Thank You Notes

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Children, Legal

Last month, I participated in a local elementary school’s annual career day.  As in years past, I requested the fourth graders.  Fourth graders are fun because they articulate interesting viewpoints with a refreshingly child-like enthusiasm.

The toughest part is competing against the fireman with the truck, the paramedic, and the vet with the dog.  This year I even saw someone from the bomb squad in the halls!  (I assume he was there because of career day.)  To liven up my 20-minute presentation on the law, I engage the students in a quick mock trial.  I give them a scenario and pick kids to play Plaintiff, Defendant, Lawyers, Judge and Bailiff.  The rest of the class is the jury.  I tell each lawyer to say a couple of things to try to convince the jury that his/her client should win, and then the jury votes for the winner.  The remaining few minutes are spent answering questions about being a lawyer.

As in past years, I received thank you notes from the students.  I love the notes!  Reading them has been a high point of my week.  Here are a few snippets (edited for spelling).

“It was so fun playing the plaintiff.  I might be a lawyer when I grow up.”

“I am not being a lawyer.  They are boring job to do.  Because you go to the court house every once and a while.”

“You know what I want to be is a movie star, because I would love to meet Justin Beiber because he can sing and he is really cute.”

“What I want to be when grow up is a spy then a movie star.  The reason I want to be a spy is because I want to help the world.  The other reason is because the secret weapons.”

And my favorite:  “What I wanna be when I grow up is a brain surgeon.  Why?  Because I think it will be interesting and specially learning about my brain maybe I will give you some facts about your brain.  I think you would like to hear some facts about your brain.”

New Addition Due in June

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The Jacobs household will be expanding once again in late June, 2011.  Today I am 12 weeks pregnant, marking the end of the first trimester.  Although we have already told a number of friends and family, I wanted to wait until we got to this milestone before I put anything online.

And, yes, we definitely want to find out whether it is a boy or a girl at the 18-20 week ultrasound.  While it will be nice to know, the big question is whether I will be selling the multiple boxes of baby girl clothes we have stacked up in the loft.

Who’s Afraid of Santa Claus?

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Children, Photos

The answer to that question is easy:  our daughter Katherine.

People who have spent any time around Katherine know that right now she is friendly and unafraid of people. She lets herself be held by people she has just met.  At baby laptime last Monday, she crawled up to the library employee who led the session and demanded (in her nonverbal way) to be picked up and held.

I knew that the day would come when she would not easily greet a stranger.  Who knew that it would be jolly ole St. Nick himself?  I have never seen her cry around someone like she did when we handed her over to Santa Claus at the mall.  At least it is more memorable than if she had just grinned at the camera.

Katherine says she knows how Randy felt. Ho ho ho.

Katherine’s First Haircut

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Children, Photos

In my defense, Katherine’s hair was getting into her eyes.  If I just snipped about half an inch off of one lock of hair, it would be perfect.  One pair of scissors, one misjudged “half inch,” and one wiggly baby later, she had bangs in the shape of a lopsided V.  Off to Cookie Cutters we went, and they managed to fix the damage I had created.  Here is a picture of Katherine after her first real haircut.

Next time, leave the hair trimming to the professionals.

Halloween 2010

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Children, Photos

Katherine experienced her first Halloween tonight.  For those of you who are not in Central Ohio, you might be surprised to learn that Columbus schedules trick or treating for a Thursday night if Halloween falls on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  I think it is far more fun to have trick or treating on the actual Halloween day, but I have gotten accustomed to this odd Columbus practice.

Katherine wore the best type of costume – a free one!  This was thanks to her Grandma Jacobs, who passes around an adorable cow costume to her friends and family with babies.  Without further adieu, here are pictures of Katherine in her first costume.

The ears are my favorite part of the costume.

So this is where all of the candy will go.

And she's off!

If you look closely, you can see that the costume actually is a cow wearing a faux fur coat.

I just noticed how uninterested she looks in that last picture.  It certainly was cold, so we were not out for longer than 25 – 30 minutes.  I’m sure she’ll enjoy this more next year.

Edited to add, because I know her grandmothers will see this post …   The last picture does not show that she actually was wearing mittens.  This picture was taken right after we left the house, and I put them on her after the picture was taken.  I have witnesses.

A Morning at the Park

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Children, Photos

After Katherine got her flu shot from her pediatrician’s office, we headed to Homestead Park off of Cosgray Road.  I enjoyed strolling around the park, and Katherine – as always – loved the swings.

Quit taking pictures and get back to pushing the swing

Our Contribution to Science

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Soon after Katherine was born, we received a letter from the Ohio State University’s Cognitive Development Lab.  The researchers at the lab are working on some study relating to how infants learn and categorize information.  I disregarded the first letter as well as the follow-up letter we later received.  However, when I received a call from Diana, the research associate at the lab, I let her convince me that this would be a worthwhile expenditure of our time.

The experiment consisted of having Katherine sitting on my lap and watching a computer monitor. Attached to the monitor was an infrared device which could tell where Katherine was looking on the screen.  For about half an hour, broken into much shorter modules, various objects flashed on the screen.  By tracking her eyes and where she looked, the researchers would be able to tell how she was identifying the objects and then later distinguishing them from different objects.

The lab itself is located in the Horseshoe, so I was able to get a picture of Katherine inside of the Shoe (unfortunately not on the field).

Quite appropriately, Katherine is clutching her Brutus doll

As a token of the lab’s appreciation, Katherine also received a diploma of sorts from OSU:  her bachelor of infancy.  How many people receive a bachelor’s before they step foot in kindergarten?