Posts in August 2011

Back to the grind

It’s been nearly 6 weeks. These last few days, I’ve tried to make every minute longer than the next. Staring into your baby’s precious face makes time want to speed up, however. Time and I do not see eye-to-eye right now.

So, what have I done the last few weeks? Well, I’ve TRIED to stay productive but still make sure to cherish these fleeting moments. Needless to say, I have not cleaned the house well. Thankfully, Steven and I are a great team, and we keep our house fairly tidy, but it’s my job to remove the dirt, dog hair and grime from surfaces. I got it really good and clean during my 4 days of waiting for Wes to show up, but now it’s getting bad again. I meant to clean today, and really, I should have because the babe is currently in the middle of a 2-hour-thus-far nap. But, sometimes snuggling with him and the dogs is just better. Anyway – I’ve read several juvenile sci-fi books, my favorite genre (The Underland Chronicles, Suzanne Collins – yes, the same author of The Hunger Games), gone on several walks to Ellenberger Park, spent time with my sister, her kids and my mom, visited with in-town and out-of-town friends and finally started on the Year 4 Anniversary Collage Painting. I also meant to paint today, but alas. Who cares if it doesn’t get done this week?

I have a few more days to enjoy before heading back in to work. Mixed emotions about this. I can understand why some women desire to stay home and not return. I don’t want to miss any developmental change or new discovery. Days seem to pass quickly, and it’s amazing what you DON’T accomplish around the house. But, at this point, I still suffer from cabin fever and extreme antsiness if I’m not seeing any productivity around me. I crave having projects to keep my mind and hands busy. I need an occasional challenge. Come Monday, I will be working full time again, but making my office at home two days out of the week. I certainly hope this will allow me to have the best of both worlds – at least for a time. Joy’s House is a wonderful organization, and I couldn’t find a better position for myself. I absolutely love the staff, the Guests, the projects and the wonderful volunteers & supporters I have the opportunity to meet and work alongside. I’ll be hitting the ground running, as our annual Gala is just around the corner – and my devoted planning committee is anxious to have me back to the grind!

Yesterday I met with the gal who will be watching my sweet boy two days a week. The situation is definitely an answer to prayer! She already cares for a precious girl of her own and identical twin boys all under 8 months old, and she lives so close to my workplace. All three of those kids are in cloth diapers, too, so I don’t have to deal with the “you’re weird” looks & talks! 🙂 She and I attended the same elementary and middle school, and we have lots of mutual friends as well. Seriously, I couldn’t be happier or more pleased, as I know Wes is in terrific hands. Thank you, Jillian!

The plan is to fully enjoy the next few days. Dinner with friends tonight, a trip to the zoo tomorrow with Mom, Sister & the Niece/Nephew, Feast of Lanterns & birthday party Saturday and a day of rest after church on Sunday. I will not, I repeat, will not be that frantic, worrying mother at work. I don’t claim to be SuperMom, either. God has blessed us with a beautiful son, and I’m going to do what’s best for us and take each day at a time. Nice knowing you, Maternity Leave.

Posted: August 25th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

One month

One month!

Goofy kid.

We made it! Bubba is now 5 weeks old and growing ridiculously enormous. He’s in the 75th percentile for both height & weight at 11.02 lbs and 22.5″. I knew all this eating was going somewhere…

The top of his head is turning into peach fuzz since much of his hair is falling out. He has such a wide variety of expressions that make me laugh and fall in love all over again. His eye lashes are incredibly long and make me incredibly jealous. He sneezes five times in a row just like his daddy. He’s a swell kid, and I’m so glad he’s ours.

Take a gander at the amateur photos I took to document his first month.

Posted: August 21st, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Favorite Things

I like raindrops & roses, but I hate it when “Favorite Things” plays during Christmastime. Brown paper packages tied up with string does NOT constitute a Christmas song. Whatev. In honor of the first month with a baby, I thought I’d critique a just a few of the massive number of baby items we’ve achieved for The Kid.

BOPPY PILLOW

I know everyone registers for one of these anyway, but seriously, this thing is awesome. I can easily feed Wes while I’m typing away on this blog post. I can set him down next to me on the couch if he just needs a little “him” time. I can take adorable photos of him. And I know it will be useful when he starts to really use his neck muscles.

BOUNCER CHAIR

Doesn’t matter what brand or design you use. I love having one because I can tote him around the house if I’m going to be in any certain room for any length of time (example: taking a shower). We don’t always snap the toy bar in place, but I will say that it’s a great dog-detterant.

OOP-C! BURP RAG/BIB

It’s kind of an extravagant purchase, but thanks to my cousins, I own this cute burp rag that can also serve as a bib when Wes is a little bigger. I guess I like it mostly because of its size and terrycloth texture. I find myself running to get this item more than any old receiving blanket or other spit-up cleaner-upper.

SOOTHIE PACIFIER

Yep, the glorious one given to us in the hospital is still his favorite! We’ve tried a few other brands, but he seems to like this one best – and he can keep it in his mouth for the longest period of time. The only downside is that this model isn’t compatible with the paci holder clip things, but we manage anyway.

HUGGIES LITTLE SNUGGLERS DIAPERS

Until he regulates his diaper changing schedule, we’re using up the many disposable diapers we received. From there, we’ll start introducing cloth diapers into the mix. Compared to Pampers, Luvs and even other types of Huggies diapers, we like the Little Snugglers version best. He’s a massive eater, which means it all comes out in one swoop – these seem to cause the least amount of clothes changes and use of wipes.

MEDELA LANOLIN

Lansinoh has a version of their own lanolin, but I like the Medela brand’s lanolin much better. The consistency is much easier to handle and apply when you’re sore. Enough of that.

TUMMY TUB

Another extravagant purchase (thankfully, a Twitter friend is letting me borrow hers!), this infant-to-toddler bath is unique in that the baby sits in a bucket-like tub resembling utero. I think I’ll like this even more when Wes can hold up his head on his own.

THE WONDER WEEKS – Van de Rijt, Plooij

I know there’s a million books out there about how to raise a kid, but this book has been helpful in looking ahead at when I should be prepared for certain fussy periods. I haven’t yet read BabyWise or Happiest Baby on the Block, so I can’t comment on how it compares.

MILK-SAVER

Fantastic way to save additional milk as you’re nursing on one side.

ANGELCARE MONITOR

Saves us the trouble of knowing that yes, indeed, he’s breathing while he’s sleeping. I’m sure I sleep better at night knowing this!

OTHER THINGS:

  • Kindle – easier to read one-handed while multitasking.
  • Amazon Prime – stuff comes within 2 days, but we’ve received most orders the next day. Awesome!
  • Netflix – you gotta get it if you don’t have it yet. Forget about the soaring prices. All you need is the streaming version, anyway.
  • Ninja – good for making smoothies now (nursing health) and great for making baby food later.
  • Baby Bunny Book Bag – Marion County Library’s grab bag of books for infants 0-24 months. No due date, no fees, bag of age-appropriate books with a surprise factor!
  • GreenBEAN Delivery – Saves me a trip to the store.
  • Newdaynewdeals.com – Updated daily; gives coupon codes and highlights of all the daily deal sites geared for families.
  • Babydealsdujour.com – Similar to above.

NOT SO CRAZY ABOUT:

  • The First Years Breastflow Bottles – good concept (tries to mimic nursing for less confusion), but you can tell how annoyed Wes gets when using them. I finally just took out the inner nipple, which defeats the purpose.
  • Baby Trend car seat – I love the lightness of the seat, the design and the compactness, but the straps are ridiculously hard to adjust. When you have a growing baby that needs adjusting EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU PUT HIM IN THE SEAT, you get mad at said car seat.
  • Swaddling blankets & sleepers – I think it’s just too hot for our warmblooded baby. He sweats right through them.
  • Infantino Easy Rider baby carrier – Bought at a yard sale, and it’s an old design. Can’t figure out how to adjust it, and I’m terrified I’ll drop the baby.
  • Sleepers with snaps – No comment needed.

I’m sure I’ll be trying more things as he gets older and his development allows us to use more toys and gadgets. If you have any must try items for recommendation, I’d love to hear them!

Posted: August 16th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Om nom nom

Food belly = bliss

Our kid is an eating machine. He’s up to 9+ lbs and is quickly outgrowing newborn sizes. His pediatrician didn’t need to see him at 2 weeks because of how quickly he’s gaining weight and how well he’s eating, so I don’t know what his official weight is quite yet – we’ll find out at his one-month appointment. Wes is going to be a chunker, for sure. He’s already developed a little poochy belly. Adorbz.

At first I was concerned that I wasn’t producing enough “food” for him, since he has been eating every 40 minutes. After doing some research, I’ve found that he’s right on par, eating between 12-18 oz per day. I’m sure every mom reading this can relate to an extent, but it’s just so strange and foreign to us – no one has given us advice or told stories (amazingly enough) about the frequency of nursing when they’re so little. You hear all about the aches & pains of breastfeeding, of course. But every 40 minutes? And some feeding sessions lasting 2-3 hours? Geez. I’ve already come to terms with the fact that we’ll probably have to supplement with – GASP – formula. Oh, the horror! The fact is, my husband, his siblings and many other babies & toddlers I know were/are exclusively bottle fed for various reasons, and they’re all fine. I know, “breast is best,” but sometimes you have to use other means necessary when there’s a desperately hungry baby and your body just can’t keep up.

I probably won’t continue doing these weekly updates, just so I’m not held accountable. But here’s what DID happen this week. I feel like there’s so many new things happening in his life at such a rapid rate in his first month of life!

HIGHLIGHTS / EVENTFUL THINGS OF THE WEEK:

  • Second trip to Joy’s House! Plus a fun lunch with coworkers.
  • SS card and birth certificates issued and on file! He’s now a true citizen.
  • Aflac monies issued. Score.
  • Bought Apple TV. Now we can watch Netflix without using a laptop or the Wii.

WESLEY’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Stayed awake & alert the majority of every afternoon.
  • Followed my hand with his eyes as I moved it in front of his face.
  • Consistently slept 4-5 consecutive hours each night. He deserves many kisses for this accomplishment!
  • Moved up to Size 1 diapers. Too many blow outs…
  • Took a bottle with ease.
  • Almost, but not quite, has a schedule that we all can semi-guess if it’s a good idea or not to have visitors or go out.

STEVEN’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Watched Wes twice for at least an hour as I ran errands. And he survived the desperate cries and hunger pains!
  • Finally figured out how to button those silly sleepers. Why on earth would someone design newborn sleepers with such complexity? The poor babe is aghast and annoyed beyond measure by the time you get the diaper changed and the ridiculous pattern up the legs snapped and ready. Ever heard of zippers?!

LEAH’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Figured out the pump. I won’t go into more detail. It still grosses me out.
  • Survived (barely) errand trips with and without baby.
So far, Wes has had 3 long afternoons out and about since birth. They have been within an hour of home – mostly around town. We’re going to take it to the test and drive to Columbus, OH, later this week, which is about 2.5-3 hours drive. My mom rented a van so that we can bring all her grandkids plus myself, sister and mom. I think it will be fun to visit my aunt and cousins – one of which just had a baby in June! We may also visit with my grandparents on the way if we have the time. I suppose my biggest concern is how to deal with the likely event that Wes will get severely hungry several times, some of which may be while he’s in the car. I’m trying to get my supply built up and I’ll probably bring formula, too. If I can survive this trip without being too anxious, I know I can handle going back to work armed with bottles.
Posted: August 9th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 2 Comments.

Second week

Smiling in sleep means he's seeing angels in his dreams, according to Indian culture.

Week 2 has been enjoyable. Daily routine is starting to form, and I’m not quite as nervous around a “fragile” infant. This has allowed me to really savor these precious moments with little Wes and share him with friends and family. While we’ve ventured outside the house a few times, I’ve also had plenty of slow, quiet days at home. I’ve been amazed at how we’ve all begun to adapt to each other in this house, and it’s not so hard to do.

HIGHLIGHTS / EVENTFUL THINGS OF THE WEEK:

  • First trip to Ellenberger Park – with Grandma and cousins Elli & Jeremiah.
  • First trip to Leah’s parents’ lake house.
  • First trip to Sunday service.
  • First walk around the neighborhood (with dogs!).

WES’ ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Opened eyes and stayed alert for at least 2 hours every day.
  • Smiled purposely at Mommy. Heart melt.
  • Discovered how to grab fistfuls of hair.
  • Mimicked Mommy’s faces & stuck out tongue in response.
  • Slept average of 4 consecutive hours each night.
  • Goop-eye started to clear up.
  • Lifted head and neck consistently all week.
  • Umbilical cord fell off!

STEVEN’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Worked in the office all week.
  • Gave Wes his first bath.
  • Completed a solo trip to IKEA and successfully put together the furniture (usually Leah does this).

LEAH’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS WEEK:

  • Lost another 5 lbs. Score.
  • Visited Joy’s House coworkers and Leah’s mom’s workplace with baby-in-tow.
  • Successfully nursed at a restaurant. This wasn’t as weird as I thought. Thank goodness for nursing covers!
  • Started reading again.

Life is good! Come visit us if you’d like. He’s pretty swell.

Posted: August 2nd, 2011
Categories: Leah
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