Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Getting Outside and a Cute Baby

1. What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?
Okay.... To get outside for a walk whenever possible, and to keep adding more content to this blog and get to posting more frequently. Shouldn't be too difficult to achieve.

2. In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up this spring?
My outdoor space is currently a park in my neighborhood, and the streets around it.
I do however have a bird feeder that we put up on our fire escape last year that really needs to be taken down.

3. According to this site (Roadtrippers), six of North America's most wondrous waterfalls are-Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls, and Niagara. Have you seen any on the list? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list that you've seen in person?
I've been to the Grand Canyon, but cannot recall the falls. And I've also been to Niagara, but honestly wasn't all that impressed. I prefer a secluded area with falls to a crowded attraction. But, if you are going to Niagara Falls, I recommend going to the Cave of the Winds. You might even find a pot of gold if you hop over the fence.
4. Looking back, what's something you wish you'd done as a teenager?
I would have gone to prom I guess. I remember working that evening at Wendys, and serving my classmates who thought it would be ironic to come dressed up and order burgers :)

5. Ham...yes please or no thank you? If you said yes please which of the following do you like best-baked ham with all the trimmings, a ham and cheese sandwich, prosciutto with melon, a ham biscuit, a bowl of split pea and ham soup, or a slice of pizza topped with ham and pineapple?
Okay.... ham isn't my favorite, but I do love Hawaiian pizza.

6. Are you typical of your generation? How so?
No. I was one of the first of my friends to get married, and now I'm a mother with everyone still dating around and climbing the corporate ladder- which means there aren't many who I can relate with. The world seems to glorify putting yourself first, and then when you achieve everything, you can "settle" down and do all the boring stuff. I always knew that I'd want to be staying at home with children, and that raising them would be an incredible privilege and joy. That doesn't seem typical of my generation.

7. April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', nobody's fool', a fool's errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you? Explain.
I would hope that I am nobody's fool, the other seems like ones I would prefer to avoid.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Daniel is teething. And he has little white bumps where they are starting to push up through the gums. I'm going to miss my baby with his gummy smile. And, would you just look a this little guy? I hate to see him uncomfortable.

So tell me...
Do you feel like you fit into your generation?
How do you help soothe a teething baby?

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Daniel at 3 Months

Daniel turned 3 months old this morning, at 4:39am. So this morning we sat down and struck up an agreement with him that he can learn, walk talk and all those things, but he can't keep growing. He has to stay this size forever. Which is 25 1/4 inches long, and 15 lbs and 11 oz.
This month he's been working on using his hands to grab things he wants, block or swipe at objects when he's unhappy with them and has been putting them in his mouth constantly. His feet have been used to kick toys, the air and people. I've been assaulted with his razor nails (that I swear grow an inch overnight) and currently have 4 large scratches on my chest from a hungry baby that woke at 5 this morning, frantic for some food.
He's learned how to smile not just because he's happy, but because he wants to entertain others and get us to smile. Of course I spend most of my day trying to extract smiles from him, but it's time well spent. He's very good at answering a smile for a smile, and has started to do other things like smirk, huh-yuk (laughing soon, maybe?) and howling like a coyote. WoooOoo!
We've gotten into a routine, one that starts with him sleeping in his nursery and then around 7am when he wakes up, coming into bed with mom. Of course, sometimes dad hasn't yet woken and I get photos like this, of Daniel trying to wake dad with his cooing.
We've been blessed with some amazing weather this month, and have taken several walks around to nearby parks. Daniel always sleeps through them (and generally sleeps for an hour or more after coming home), so we go whenever possible.
Staring at that baby in the mirror has been a real thing this month. He seems to understand that this baby moves when he moves and Daniel has great fun provoking this baby to bounce around or scream along with him. Trying to understand just how that other baby in the mirror got there and looks just like him. It's been a busy month.
And lets not forget to mention that he is teething. I've no clue what to look for but his doctor after feeling around inside his mouth said 'yep, I feel some buds coming up!'. Wish I had thought to ask where and what to look for, because the only thing that seems different is his gums are less gummy, he's gnawing on his hand and seems miserable and pulls at his face and ear. Poor guy. 
I'm excited to see what new things he'll learn this month, but don't want him to grow up any more.
I'm guessing that's a common thing for moms to say. 

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Crazy Colic Days

I've made it no secret to those around us that Daniel has colic, among the other five-letter words such as 'reflux' and 'gassy'. We found out around 3 weeks that the unexpected fussiness and general discomfort was due to reflux, which our doctor said is likely causing part of his colic.

Needless to say, following a blissful two weeks, it has been a rough two months.

I never expected to have a colicky baby. Since it was not even on my radar, learning how to cope with a sad and uncomfortable baby was a long journey, one that I can say seems to be nearing its end. And, while all the baby books and internet searching has helped, my pediatrician has been the one to teach me how to keep him comfortable and happy.

Basically, I've been keeping him sitting upright (for the acid), telling myself this will pass eventually, and doing lot of a lot of babywearing/cuddling.

But I can tell that the end is near! So here are some general truths that I've found to be pretty much accurate.
  1.  Colic generally shows up around 2-3 weeks of age, and goes away around 3 months. It peeks around 6-8 weeks of age, and of course, every baby is different and these numbers are general guidelines.

    I have to say though, that his colic did show up at 2.5 weeks, peeked at 8 weeks exactly, and most people who I've spoken with said their baby seemed to 'miraculously' get better at 3 months old. I sure hope so. 11 weeks today, so we're almost there!

  2. Colicky babies tend to be more miserable in the evening hours. This was true to some degree for us. In the beginning weeks, we noticed that he was fussy after 5pm, until bedtime and that he was always a happy baby in the mornings. Then around 6 weeks, his fussy time expanded, and anytime after noon you could expect him to start fussing and then 
    eventually the relentless crying would begin. But always happy in the mornings.

    From weeks 6-8, he found a entirely new level of colic, where he screamed nonstop from noon until bedtime. Oddly enough he kept going to bed at his regular time. He never had colic at night, which was a huge blessing. At least we could get some sleep. And, since he was exerting so much energy crying he started sleeping longer period of time. On Feb 9th, he slept 6.5 hours and then 2.5 hours. And, we ordered Hyland's Colic Tabs, which seems to soothe his tummy and calm him down even more. Of course, it took us until he was screaming bloody murder to find something that helped, and by that point he was getting better. Figures, right?

  3. Gas is a certainty with colic. When a baby cries, they suck in air and get very gassy. Which is uncomfortable, and means that they will cry more and become even gassier. So one of the best tricks that the pediatrician taught me was to give him TONS of tummy time (as much as he would permit) and to massage his lower abdomen whenever I held him. She also said not to bounce or jiggle him but to sway him instead. Would you like to be bounced around when you have an upset stomach? Neither would I.

  4. Colic is unexplained crying, and nothing you do caused it. My pediatrician said that she and her father (also a pediatrician) were talking about colic one evening, and thought that it could very likely be something as obscure as infant growing pains. If teenagers grow several inches in a short period of time, imagine the insane amount of growth that newborns do in their first few months. Granted, she said, we'll never quite know what is tormenting them.

    Daniel is a big baby, no question. But he's a pretty long baby too, and at 10 weeks he measured 25 inches long and at the 97th percentile for length. He was born at 19.5. Maybe there's something to this theory, but more importantly, it shows that we'll never be able to ask the baby what's wrong and where it hurts, if anything hurts.

I might be back at a later date with another post written on colic... but I sure hope not. We seem to be leaving these crazy colicky days behind us (but then again, don't ask me how yesterday went...) so pending future babies who suffer from it as well, I hope that I never have to think about this again.

And... I hope that as Daniel keeps growing towards a less clingy, more comfortable baby that he'll allow me to use the computer to write here more often :)

So tell me...
Did you (or anyone you knew) have a colicky baby?
How did you handle those early days?
Did it disappear by the 3-month old mark, or stick around longer?

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The First Two Weeks

I wish I knew then what I know now.... despite the pain of recovering from childbirth and the new sleep deprivation..... the first two weeks of motherhood were EASY.

I say this because I had a perfectly happy, comfortably and healthy baby. Had... meaning that immediately after those two weeks, he started to whine, wince, cry inconsolably.

You are probably thinking "Oh no, that sounds like colic...", and you would be right. But not just colic, reflux induced colic which is a whole other brand of miserable. And then of course came along the GI problems and then the early teething.

But, those first two weeks were bliss.

Both Daniel and I were on the same schedule. We did all the same things.

Sleep. a lot. It took me until the New Year to finally feel rested up from the birth, and Daniel seemed to get sleepy from just being cute.

Eat. I was ravenous due to breastfeeding. Would raid the fridge after every feeding at night! I found myself one night eating hamburger buns because we were low on quick foods and I needed something I could eat without cooking.

Swaddle. I became a swaddle expert. I could swaddle you, if I had a big enough blanket. But as Daniel kept growing rounder, he just kept getting longer! It was insane, and he outgrew the pink-blue striped hospital blankets too fast, which I preferred to the velcro easy swaddles. And then he was too long for those as well.

It's obvious that he loved it as well, since now that he's on the verge of rolling over and swaddling is out of the picture, he flails around like he's trying to hail a cab. It's pretty drastic, and I wish that I could still swaddle him up. I used to call him my little burrito.

Cuddle. at every opportunity. I loved bonding with this little guy, and loved that he seemed to know I was more that just another set of arms.

One regret I have is that I do wish I had done more skin to skin with him. I love holding him in just a diaper and feeling his soft, warm baby skin.

But, I was pretty terrified of breaking a limb every time I changed his onesies... so I gave up the idea of skin to skin. I doubt my blood pressure could have handled the stress of his screaming through getting changed more than he already was. He hated it, but maybe it was because it took me 10 minutes to get him changed. He was probably just telling me to hurry up already, and not be such a pansy. Tom was much better at it.

 Play. I loved talking with him, trying to get any reaction he could manage in those early days. We'd wake up and I'd prop him back against my bent knees and I'd make faces at him. An hour or more would pass before we'd stop, when he was obviously sleepy and then we'd both go back to bed.

Pose for the camera. I became one of those people that you either love or hate. I took a ton of photos, of every phase and of course shared many to Instagram and Facebook. To the delight of family and most friends and likely the dismay of some of my still single friends. Oh well, it's the price you pay when you lead the pack towards marriage, then parenthood.

Learn our new roles. Granted, in the beginning I was pretty slow moving and concentrated on eating well and healing, but eventually I started to put away the items, organize some things brought home from the hospital and even cooked a meal. I really didn't utilize my in-laws during the first few weeks, and weren't called on to babysit.

I would feed him, diaper him and as he was drowsy I would deliver a calm happy baby into the arms as I came back to my apartment to do some cleaning, etc. Then Tom would arrive home and we'd go pick Daniel up an hour or so after he went over to visit his grandparents.

Little did I know how much I would come to rely on them in the coming months once the colic started.

Wait for daddy to get home. I loved when Tom got home, because then I got to take a shower, ask how life was outside our building, and get some actual conversation. Daniel likely didn't have much an opinion about it, other than perhaps noting that the diaper master had returned.

Of all the things we were learning to do, I was learning how to nurse, and Tom was doing every diaper when he was home (that is at nights too. Yep, he woke for every nightime feeding. What a guy).

It was a transitional period for me in learning how to be a new mom, but also for Tom in becoming a dad. It already feels like so long ago that Daniel was such a tiny thing, with his tiny arms and legs, wrinkly skin and little newborn cry of "El-La!".

Many things have changed but even though I look back and miss the first few weeks, I can't wait until he is able to interact with us and learn more about his world.

So tell me...
What do you remember about the first few weeks with your child(ren)?
Did you document those days, or are they as I've heard a lot of, forgotten?

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