Saturday, December 31, 2005

Just like his Daddy

Two firsts in the last few days.

Nate has his first doll. But don't forget whose son thus is - the doll is a plush replica of Gorby, complete with birthmark. It makes a squealing noise when you squeeze it. Nate's eyes pop out of his head, and then he grins the biggest grin. I get special pleasure of singing uniquely American songs while squeezing Gorby to sing along.

Nate also had his first food last night! A tiny smear of vanilla ice cream on his tongue. I can't tell if he liked it or not. But anyone who knows Stewart can assume along with me that Nate loved it, and will consume copious quantities in years to come.

Monday, December 26, 2005

My goodness



Stewart took this lovely shot this past weekend. Makes me so happy.

Tonight when we were bringing Nate in from the car, he started crying. This is excusable, since he slept from my in-law's front door in Charlottesville, VA to our front door in DC.

I sat his carrier down on the couch and went to put one thing in the fridge. He surprisingly stopped crying (he usually hates being in the carrier if it's not moving). I assumed he was asleep, since this is the only time he's not crying when strapped in. I went back to get him, and he was playing with the little chew-toys that I keep strapped to the carrier. Wow. He had to see them, reach for them, and then keep himself occupied playing with them.

He is changing so much every day. This is so amazing.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

He's a real baby!

I put Nate down for his nap unswaddled today, to see how well he'd sleep (just fine, thank you!). When I went in to get him an hour later, HE WAS ON HIS STOMACH. He was on his back when I put him there. How was he on his stomach? How is it possible? Wait, he moves on his own?

Totally unacceptable. Absolutely forbidden. I need him to stay where I put him. Good lord, now I have to babyproof. And clean up! And stop leaving sharp things around. And have the nails pounded into the floor where they've been sticking up for 7 years. It might just be easier to move. And get rid of everything we own.

I don't think Stewart and I are up for this. I anticipate a blog entry in several months entitled "He stabbed himself!" and "How Nate fell down the stairs!" You might as well call Child Welfare now. Ugh.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Revisited

This is the ultimate lesson in parenting, I think (besides love, patience, and all that hippy-dippy nonsense): things change.

He's still not taking the bottle, so it wasn't my fault, after all. He's just stubborn, like his Daddy.

But, thank goodness, I think the evil, evil growth-spurt is over. He was only up once last night, and I actually got some sleep. But, as my introductory paragraph explains, I expect that now that sleeping's okay, something else will break.

That's how it goes, right?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

That's it!

He's going back to the store.

I thought I had solved the Great Bottle Dilema, but he's back to screaming like I'm burning him with the damn thing. So I tried literally pouring the milk into his mouth with a large medicine dropper thing. This, he likes. Seriously, where does this kid come from?

And he's going through some sort of growth spurt, such that my ta-tas are getting quite the workout. (Side note: on the internet, some women use this to indicate ta-tas: (.)(.) I totally love it.) Two nights ago he went down at 8:30, and then was back up to eat at:

10:30
2:00
2:15 (!)
2:30 (!!!!)
4:30
6:30
and
8:30

He eats and heads back to sleep, but STILL! Breastfeeding is cheap and easy, but I'm going to be forced to start feeding the kid cheeseburgers if he doesn't let up.

Phew!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Duh

So we've been having "bottle bootcamp" here at the Davis Wagner household. I was determined that this boy would stop being stubborn and evil and willful and horrible and mean and and let Mama have a night out and drink his bottle like a good boy. This is good milk I'm expressing! It's warm and good and we rock you and sing you funny songs and DRINK THE FLIPPING FLAPPING BOTTLE ALREADY.

Yeah, it was so totally my fault he wasn't taking the bottle.

I'd noticed that he would drink about an ounce before getting to the screaming point, where it became fruitless to keep trying. So why was it (sometimes) bearable for him until then? Why would he stop? Did he lose energy? Did he get frustrated? Could it be because I was still using the newborn nipples that let out one or two drops at a time?

Yeah, it could be that.

I leaped (lept?) ahead two nipple sizes (thank you, Colleen, for giving me all the different sizes!) and tried him on size 3. He drank the two ounces that were in the bottle.

So I've probably scarred him for life - he sees the bottle and starts whimpering. Now that I finally figured out what's wrong, he'll probably never agree to take it again. Who could blame him? If you came to me when I was hungry and dangled a bag of McDonalds french fries in front of me, and then gave me 1/8 of a fry at a time, I'd be pretty pissed at you, too.

Okay, now I need fries. Mmmmm....

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Parenthood

I didn't know that becoming a parent would change me so dramatically. Everyone said that it would, but my basic arrogance said "Nah, that's for other people." And in some ways, I'm a lot the same. But when it comes to Nate, all bets are off.

I realized the other day that if I keep things going the way they are, Nate may never know what a terribly impatient person I am. With him, I'm different. I've been tired, and sometimes frustrated, but I've never let him see it. That's so huge for me.

I used to be so disdainful of parents who can't stick to their guns when it comes to discipline, or letting kids cry-it-out. Now I totally get it. It's going to be so hard not to cave with him. I can barely stand to let him kvetch in his crib for a whole minute without heading in to get him. I'm getting better, but it's tough! With Eliza, I had no problem letting her cry in her crib if she was fighting her nap. With Nate, wow.

The "switch" that they say gets thrown when your child is born is a fact for me.

I used to be so anal about my schedule that if something interrupted it, even if it was a GOOD interruption, I would be irritated. For example: my plan for the day was to go to the store to get something for Mom, and then drive it to my sister's house. And then my Mom calls as I'm leaving, and says that she doesn't need whatever I was heading out to get. THIS WOULD MAKE ME MAD. Why? Ask my funky brain. It's got a lot of issues.

My family learned to call and suggest a change, and then hang up and let me think it over for 10 minutes. I could bring myself around to the new plan, but not without getting testy and stubborn for a while.

Now I'm as footloose and fancy-free as anyone. I take Nate upstairs with me to work on straightening his room or mine, and lay him somewhere he can look around. I get about 2 t-shirts folded, and he starts complaining. What do I do? I just STOP CLEANING, and go play with him for a few minutes. Then I start cleaning again.

Did you know this could be done? You can just STOP? Right after you started? It's crazy! A chore can be done in small bursts, instead of all at once? Whatchutalkin'about?! And sometimes, get this - sometimes I don't finish cleaning up! At all! I have to switch to making dinner or doing my eBay stuff, and I just work on it another time.

I'm making light, but this is a monumental shift for me. I didn't know I was capable of it. I never have been before.

So this is another bonus that Nate's brought to my life. Now, if he could just get me to stop craving brownies...

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Monthly Newsletter, Month Three

Dear Nate,

Our fourth trimester is over! Welcome to official babyhood. Everyone says that the fourth month is our reward for dealing with the first three months, but I can honestly say the first three months with you have been a blast.

I always thought that the newborn time would be a time to just get through, in anticipation of better times to come. But with minor exceptions, I have thoroughly enjoyed our first three months together.



Even though it's hard to see the changes in you, day to day, it's so obvious how far you've come from when you were born. We went from exulting over a glimpse of your eyes when we were in the the hospital with you, to coaxing a smile, to now pushing you to laugh. Everyone remarks on how intent and alert you are; when you're awake, you really look at everything around you. When you first started looking around, you'd pass right over my face and stare at the paintings on the wall or the light of the lamp. Now you stare mostly at people instead of things.

The best part about making eye contact with you these days? Your huge grins. You smile so much of the time; I am really hoping it means that you'll be graced with a happy heart even when you're older. But even if it's just for today, your smiles make everything happy for me.



Guess when you smile the most? When we hold you up so you can see yourself in the mirror. You grin, coo, and flirt like crazy. You are quite pleased with how you look, as am I.



For as much as you smile and are happy, you're also very intense and serious at times. When you stare at something, you stare. So many people have called you "intense" that I finally had to ask them if it was a compliment or not! (it was)



You had your first Thanksgiving! You were the center of attention, sweet Nate. Your cousins Natalie, Staige, and Lucy were there. Cousins Elaine & Charlie, and Sam & Claudia, too. Great-uncle Jerry, Aunt Susan, Uncle Johnny, Grandma Jill, and Grandpa Rich. Aunt Deborah, obviously. You were on best behavior, and charmed the pants off of everyone. Later this month you have your first Chanukah and your first Christmas!

You are clearly ticklish, but you haven't started laughing yet. You chuckled once the other night - we caught it on video - but you aren't officially laughing. When I tickle your chest, you smile and squirm.



I can almost always get a few minutes to cook dinner or pay bills by putting you into your vibrating chair. I don't use the vibrating part, but the top panel bubbles and you love staring at it. It plays this weird, weird music, but if you're happy, I'm happy.

You talk to me a lot these days. Cooing and squeaking and other funny noises. Today I started singing to you, and you started cooing back at me. It was our first conversation!

You are incredibly strong. Whenever someone holds both of your hands, you start pulling yourself up. If I pull you straight forward, you come to a sitting position. If I keep pulling, you flex your knees and stand right up on your own! You're happy to stay that way for quite a while. According to the books, you're way ahead of yourself with this standing up business. Showoff!



You're starting to get some control of your hands. When you're sleepy, you rub your eyes with the backs of your hands. I've been danging toys in front of you for a while, and now you're starting to bring your hands together to grab them.



You can't hold on for long, and I don't think you even notice that you're holding anything, but it's another step! You're still on the ever-elusive thumb hunt, but you're showing your usual dedication and perseverence.



This will embarass you when you're older, but I must write it down: when you're finally put on the breast after being very hungry, your cries taper off while you're sucking, and your eyes roll right back into your head. It's the very picture of "relief." I love feeling so useful to you! Daddy and I get a chuckle out of your tapering cries while you're eating - you wind down slowly. You're softly grunting by the end, sucking away.

We are really getting the hang of each other. You're sleeping much better at night - a few nights ago you went 9 hours straight! Usually I get a few nights of 6+ hours in a row, and then a few nights where you stlil wake up 2 or 3 times. It seems to depend on how well I swaddle you the night before. I let Daddy swaddle you last night, and you were up 3 times. Tonight, I will swaddle you myself. For sure.

While I type this, Daddy is giving you your nightly bath. He's baby-talking, and making up another silly song for you. I know you'll never remember this when you're older, but I hope that it lodges somewhere back in your subconscious mind.



You'll never remember any of this, I know. And since I hope to give you a brother or a sister sometime in the next few years, you'll probably never remember being an only child. That's okay. I'll remember all of it for both of us. I'll tell you how you were sucking on my wrist while I was typing this very paragraph.

In all seriousness, I couldn't love you more than I do. You're my funny serious man, and I can't wait to see what you're all about. Whatever you do, you'll do it with my support. Except Dungeons & Dragons. Or being a Trekkie. Or a Renaissance Faire fanatic. Other than that, anything.

I love you, Nate.
Mama

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Resemblance

Last night Stewart was handling an ugly diaper change and said that he could finally see a Davis resemblence in Nate. He said "It's sort of like looking at myself." It made me so happy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Milestone Moment!

This morning Nate rolled from front to back. This was made easier by being on a squishy surface at the time, but I'm still marking it down as a milestone.

And we now have four nights in a row of 6+ hours of sleep in a row!

I've decided that, in addition to this blog, I need to make a regular scrapbook, with real photos. So we're heading out for a walk to Barnes & Noble, where I have some gift certificates, to buy some supplies. Stopping off at Hechts to do a little holiday shopping on the way, with my 20% off ALL DAY shopping pass! Wahoo!

What an exciting life, huh?

Time

I feel like everything is getting away from me. Nate is getting so big and grown-up, and I'm scared I won't remember the way he looked and acted, since I'm already forgetting how he was just weeks ago. I keep pushing Stewart to take more photos and more video. I don't want to forget a single second, and I know I'm going to. Sigh.

Right now, he's stuck between smiling these huge grins and laughing. I know the laugh is coming, but he just doesn't do it yet. I'm already one of those parents - I wanted him to smile, and he does. Now I'm pushing him to do the next thing! Nothing ever satisfies these demanding parents.

I was talking with a friend today about our deliveries. We both had tough ones, in different ways. I was telling her about the details, and it all came crashing in how incredibly sad I am about the day Nate was born. I feel shockingly sorrowful about everything I missed out on. When they finally pulled him out, all I felt was relief that it was over. When he wasn't crying, I wasn't scared. When they brought him around the screen, I was happy to see him, but I was still so freaked out about the surgery. I don't remember his first cry. I don't remember nursing him for the first time. Most: I wish, wish, wish I could have seen him be born.

I'm not too sentimental, and I'm surprised at how raw I feel about this. I would do almost anything to go back and experience it differently. I keep asking Stewart - you really didn't see him come out of me? And he didn't. He was busy keeping me sane, and I don't resent him for it for a moment. But I can't believe our son was born without the deep rejoycing that the moment deserved. I can't believe that he was quiet and not breathing, and I wasn't praying for him every second. I can't believe that I missed it all.

I'm sorry, Nate. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gotten over my stupid panic and spent every second thinking about you.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Huh.

I wrote a long post yesterday, but it's disappeared into the ether. Probably for the best!

Nate slept 7 hours straight the last two nights. My boy is a super-star!

We finally got a few pictures of him smiling. Here's my favorite:



I'll post some more in the next newsletter. We took them at Eliza's two-year birthday party! Happy birthday, sweet girl.



The Great Cloth Diaper Experiment is over. I just don't have the energy to keep up with it anymore. I know I was saving money on diapers, but I swear I was spending at least as much doing the extra laundry that it took to clean the diapers and his clothing all the time! The cloth leaked like crazy, even with as careful as I was, and his clothes were always getting poopy. So, enough's enough. I gave it the two months I promised myself I'd give it, and I'm out.

The cloth-diaper websites promise that it's just as easy to use cloth as disposables. They're liars. First you have to fasten the cloth around the squirmy baby, and that's crazy. Then you have to put on the diaper cover, making sure it's snug all the way around without any diaper peeking out. If you try just putting the prefold diaper inside the cover, and fastening like a regular diaper, then there's a huge leak anytime the fluid gets a little heavy. And this boy can pee, so there's always plenty of fluid.

Now what do I do with the $75 credit at the cloth-diaper store?!?! :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Deep thoughts

I always thought I'd look at my child and marvel at what I'd created. At how he was a piece of me, grown from me.

I just don't feel that way at all. When I look at Nate, I see Nate! He grew in me, and I know that my egg got the ball rolling, but I just don't feel like I made him. He was himself from the start, and I was the incubator. I'm happy for the part I played!

Nate is very smiley these days. I'd love to feel all warm and fuzzy about it, and I do, but he smiles at the wall, too, and at the waitress at the restaurant. He's just a good natured boy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

He's shrinking!

Very quick post. Two month checkup shows Nate at 13 pounds, 10 ounces and 24 inches long/tall/high. This puts him at 90th percentile for weight (same as one-month), and 70th - 90th for height (95th at the one-month). The basketball scholarship might be out of the picture, but I think football is still in play.

Next checkup at 4 months!

(And yes, smugness is bad. He was up twice each of the last two nights. Mama is sleepy.)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Is smugness a bad thing?

Nate slept 7.5 hours last night. Straight. In a row. Consecutively.

I kept waking up, expecting to hear him complaining. At 6:30, I heard him moving around a lot (not crying, just moving). I got him up, fed him for a few minutes, and he went unconscious again. I put him down, and then had some time to myself! I pumped, read a little, stared out the window, and went back to bed. I think he went another 2 hours!

So that's my happy life right now. Also happy about the $35 I saved at my last shopping trip with coupons. $40 was saved with my bonus card, and another $35 with coupons. I am the queen of coupons. I even set up a little second bank account for my coupon savings, and will be depositing it tomorrow.

It's a tiny little life, but it's mine and I love it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Come together right now!

Things are really coming together here at the Davis-Wagner house. We're starting to get a real nighttime routine going.

Nate leads off with a good bout of fussiness and needyness, starting around 6 or 7. I turn into a human pacifier from then until 10, when it's bathtime. Stewart gives him his bath, sings silly songs to him, and gets him ready for bed. Bedtime attire is a disposable diaper one size too large (to hold everything in), and the super-secret-double-swaddle that we've perfected. While Stewart has time with Nate, I rush downstairs and frantically try to accomplish something like catching up on e-mail, or just staring at the wall. Hey, anything's fun when you get to do it by yourself every now and then!

Stewart then delivers the burrito baby to me for one last nurse, or a suck on a pacifier, whichever the prince prefers. He nods off, I put him in the crib with the white-noise machine going, and that's it! Last night, he went 6 hours before waking, the night before was 4, and the night before that was 5. He eats, back down for 2 hours or so, and then up again. Sometimes a third short rest after that feed, but usually he's up for good.

Daytime is stil a total mess. I'm trying to be so firm about having him nap in the crib, but he's equally determined not to. So I get him to sleep, put him in the crib, and he settles in beautifully. I go downstairs, sit down at my desk, and hear him crying. I make sure he's up for real, go up and get him, and repeat this process 5 times. Then I let him sleep in his swing, or on top of me, since at that point he's so sad and tired that I can't stand to let it go on any longer. Today I'm going to try swaddling him for daytime rest, too; I've been resisiting since I don't want daytime naps to be too deep, but I can't let him be so tired anymore.

A little about me: I was shocked to see my weight the same after Milano Fest 2005. Friend Beth came into town for 5 days to soak up some Nate time, and we spent it either walking briskly around town or sitting glued to the couch stuffing cookies into our faces. Who knew that you could burn calories eating that quickly?!

Off to pay some bills before the prince awakens. Ain't it a fancy life?

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Monthly Newsletter, Month Two

Dear Nate,

This morning, at 5 a.m., you smiled at me from your changing table. It was the first smile that wasn't a response to mine (I'm rarely smiling at 5 a.m.!). You lay there, looked up at me, and grinned. It was one of those moments where everything feels right in my world.

You started returning our smiles about 2 weeks ago, and they've become more and more frequent. You start with a regular smile and it turns into a big, open-mouth grin. Everyone who gets one feels so lucky!

In the last week or so, you've gotten very interested in looking at people. Before, you mostly looked at the pictures on the walls or at lights. Now you focus right in on me, or Daddy, or all of the friends who come over to see you.

For about 3 weeks, starting when you were about a month old, you quit sleeping much at night. Two hours, like clockwork, and then awake for a feed. You were good about going right back to sleep after each feed, but still! We figured out that your swaddle blanket was too small, so we upgraded to the bigger size and now you're sleeping about 3 (sometimes 4) hours at a stretch! Makes Mama very happy, and when Mama's happy, Daddy's happy too. Good job, son.

You could use some work on the daytime sleeping, though. You like to be awake for hours, and then you get tired and cranky. One would think that the next step would be to FALL ASLEEP. But that's not your plan. You seem to like being tired and cranky, and insist on being that way for hours. It's tough on those around you, but you're sticking to your plan. I love your determination.



You show real perseverence in the thumb-sucking department, too. You are absolutely determined to get that thumb in there, but you have little control over your intentions. You mostly suck at your fist, turning it this way and that and slurping the whole time. Sometimes, accidentally, your thumb finds it's way into your mouth and you suck frantically. When the thumb disappears, you get right back to work on finding it. I love how hard you work at it, and how you never give up or get frustrated.

At your one-month checkup, you were 90th percentile for weight and 95th for height. I'm so curious what your two-month checkup will bring (we'll know in a week). Will you level off, or keep climbing? Either way is fine with me, but I have to admit that I'd love you to take after your Daddy in this department.

But right now, everyone thinks that you look like your Grandpa (my father). I saw it first in the hospital, and about 10 people have thought so since. Only one person has thought you look like your Daddy, though you have his feet exactly.

You absolutely love this crazy mobile we have over your crib. After you're fed and changed in the morning, I put you in the crib and turn on the mobile. You grin at it the moment it starts up. I use that time to clean up, or shower, or other wild and crazy things like those. I don't use it often, but it's nice to have a place to put you where you feel happy and I don't have to be the one doing the work!

You have impeccable timing. Just when I need to go somewhere, you get sleepy and fall asleep for the whole drive. When we visit with friends and family, you usually get into one of your golden moods with smiles and cuteness abouding. I don't know how you do it!

You can be counted on to be happy and quiet in several situations: the stroller, the carseat, and the bathtub. During those cranky hours, it's nice to know that we can pull out a solution and count on it working. We give you a bath every night, and you sit there calmly for at least 20 minutes. When you're really calm, we can tell - you pee a fountain all over the wall or all over us.



We can also count on this: you are NOT going to go lightly into the world of bottle-drinking. While I admire, and enjoy, your determiantion when it suits my needs, I would trade it in an instant for a little compliance in this department. So far, we have 3 "successful" bottle-feeding occasions, and each time you drank an ounce or two. Weak, weak, weak. Daddy is the only one to get you to drink, but even he can't get you to take more than this. Eventually, I'm just going to have to leave you here and let you "sink or swim." I think when you get hungry enough you'll eat. If you're anything like me, you'll give in!

I didn't know what life was going to be like with a son. I had an image of what it would be like with a daughter, and how we'd feel towards each other, based on being a daughter and knowing about the relationship with my Mom. I'm so curious what we'll be like together - will we be buddies? Will you let me hug you? Will you want to tell me about your life?

But the truth is that I've never been so present and content with anything before. I'm usually looking towards tomorrow, and next week, and next year. And I do look forward to that with you; taking you to the park, throwing a ball around, and even taking you to college. But I'm happy here with you today, doing the little things that make up our life together.

Any which way, it's going to be a great life. We're very lucky to be living it.

Love,
Mama

Friday, November 4, 2005

Who's askin'?!?!

Could I ask a favor? I'm curious who's reading this blog, and if it's anybody besides my dear Mama. Could you post a "comment" and let me know who's there?

Thanks!

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Solving problems since 2005!

Stewart and I were talking about the 2-hour sleeps that Nate does all night. He suggested swaddling him again, and I told him about the failed swaddle experiment over the weekend. Nate gets his hands under the top half of the swaddle blanket, and ends up with the blanket over his head which is a) counterproductive and b) scary for Mama.

A lightbulb went off in my mind as we were talking - I bought Nate a larger sized swaddle blanket at BRU last time we were there. Stewart found it, and I swaddled him up, not expecting miracles. Does 11:30 pm to 4:10 am count as a miracle? You're darn tooting it does. And 4:30 to 7:30 doesn't hurt, either. If I'm that smart on so little sleep, I should be solving calculus problems today!

So I got some sleep, but I'm still breaking about 10 baby-training rules. He's depending on the swaddle, and he's sucking himself to sleep (either on me or on Paci) and often being rocked to sleep. He's also back to sleeping in our room. But I think Stewart's right - you do anything you have to do to get through the first 3 months, and then you start thinking long-term. Amen, hubby.

I'm treating myself with a long walk to the movies this morning! I don't know what they're showing at the Reel Moms showing, and I don't care. I'll see Friday the 13th if I have to. I'll have to keep my eyes closed the whole time, but I bet Nate will love it!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hands and feet

Tonight I'm so tired that I feel jittery, so this post will be short. I want to report that Mr. I-Don't-Sleep-Anymore can get his hand to his mouth pretty well. He can't control it well enough to put a thumb or fingers in - he mostly sucks on the edge of his fist, but it's a start. Once he can suck his thumb, the kid will be very happy.

I'd trade it all for 3 straight hours of sleep, though. Wish me luck tonight.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Forward and backward

One step forwards, and another back!

We figured out that my eating dairy makes Nate incredibly cranky in the evenings. So, I quit with the dairy and his mood greatly improved. Backward? He doesn't sleep for longer than 2 hours at night anymore, and sometimes an hour at a time. Luckily I'm a loser slacker with no job, so I can doze with him until noon if I have to, to catch up on my sleep. We're making it through just fine.

He took a bottle tonight! Only on ounce or two, but he did it without too much complaint. The key to the city!

Beth is coming into town next week to check out the Bambino, and I have many plans. Most important? Happy hour on Thursday! Stewart will take Dad duty and I'm going to go for many hours and many drinks. Hopefully I don't poison the kid with my milk when I return. Ach, it'll do us both some good. Maybe he'll sleep!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's absolutely official

Nate's been congested for a few days, and scared me in the middle of the night by seeming to choke a few times. Luckily my pediatricians are fabulous, and never make you feel stupid for calling, and never rush you off the phone, so I put in a call. They gave some good advice, and asked me to take a rectal temperature just to make sure he wasn't running a fever.

I was ready for this. I had my new thermometer, and even some neato covers for when I had to use it rectally (which I hadn't yet done). I had vaseline, and an able-bodied husband to help out. Stewart held him on his back, I did the probing. All was well, and I was actually feeling fairly smug. Then he pooped all over my hand. Serves me right.

Anyway, his temperate was fine and he got through last night with no choking incidents. I had him sleep in his bouncy seat so he wasn't flat on his back, and I think that helped.

It occurs to me that I talk a lot about being "officially" a Mom/parent, and it's one of those "dost protest too much" situations, I think. There's this baby, and he's wonderful. I have more patience with him than I've ever had for anyone, and I'm really tuned in to him. He stays with me all day and night, and I'm responsible for him and I take care of him. But the truth is that I just don't feel like anybody's parent, and I'm not sure when I'm going to. I love him, but I don't feel like I'm a Mom. I feel more like the caretaker, in a way. It's not that I'm waiting for his real Mom to come pick him up, but it's something like that. Has anyone else felt this way? Even 6 weeks in?

The last few nights he's had these long periods of wakefulness in the middle of the night, and I'm sure hoping that it was just a temporary blip in his sleeping patterns. Last night he woke at 4:15 for a feeding, and then fell in love with the world, staring around in wonder. I tried to put him down several times, but he just wasn't having it. At 6:30, I finally woke Stewart. He sprang to his feet, got an update on where things were, and headed downstairs with Nate. At some point, I remember him coming back in and telling me that Nate was asleep downstairs, and that I was a good Mom. Then I remember him waking me at 11 a.m. It was fabulous.

We're not doing well on the bottle front. He took one from Stewart this morning, but other than that he screams his way through the whole attempt. Tonight he drank about an ounce and half, but that just doesn't cut it as a feeding. I'm determined to stick with it, and just hope that he comes around. I just can't leave him with people, knowing that he's going to have a problem when it's time to eat. Maybe with my Mom, but nobody else. It's not fair to them, and it stinks for Nate.

Tonight he's sleeping in his crib for the first time. I think I'll just feed him sitting on the floor of his nursery (there's no room for a chair, for those of you who haven't seen the tiny room yet). Then a change, and back to sleep. Fingers crossed. I'm pulling out all the stops, trying to get him to be an even better sleeper. Tonight started the new schedule: bath at 10, then a feed, then a cuddle, and off to bed. I swaddled him, put him down with a pacifier, and turned on the fan in his room. So far it's been 30 minutes, and he looks to be out like a light. The pacifier even just fell out of his mouth, and he's mostly still asleep. I have the video monitor actually inside his crib, so I can basically watch his nose-hairs move in and out. It reassures me. If that's not a parent thing, I don't know what is!

Monday, October 17, 2005

A tiny blog about me

For posterity's sake:

I am going to be honest about my weight here. If you don't want to hear it, close the browser!

I started the pregnancy at 173. At the end of the pregnancy, I was at 200. Two weeks after Nate was born, I weighed 163. I now weigh 155, according to my weigh-in this morning. My goal is to lose a pound a week in advance of our trip at Aruba at the end of February. My other goal is to keep my diet a secret from the hubby, who won't notice the incremental loss. Then I can be a big surprise in a bathing suit.

Thank goodness for breastfeeding! It really sucks off the pounds. (My daily walks aren't hurting matters either, to give myself a smidgen of credit) Off to eat my Lean Cuisine! (It really isn't just lean, it's cuisine!!)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

New sounds!

Landmark note: in the last day or two, Nate has started making cooing sounds. Not a lot, he's definitely in a new place. Deborah says that he smiled at her yesterday, and he's definitely smiling at the painting on my living room wall. I always thought that brother-in-law Michael is a wonderful painter, and now it's clear that Nate agrees!

At his bath last night, I decided to get into the tub with him. It was a really wonderful experience. I'm not sure what triggered it, but it was very emotional for me. Thank goodness for baths, by the way - whenever he's fussy for no reason, I just plop him in his tub and he's calm as can be. Knowing what to do when he's upset is such a good feeling, and failing to calm him is one of the worst! We're getting there, though; I know what to do more often than I don't. I guess that's really the point of the game, huh?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New tricks!

Are you officially a parent when you've typed your first one-handed blog entry? Little boy is asleep on my chest, and he's having a tough day so I don't want to move him just yet. I'm not sure if it's the thrush we have, some dairy I ate, or if he's just "waking up" a little more, but he's been pretty cranky lately.

After almost a week of nightly cranking, he finally returned to his sweet self. But last night, when his Gramps and his Aunt Deborah were watching him, he gave them a very hard time. Hopefully tonight goes better!

We had his one-month checkup yesterday. He weighs 11 pounds, 13 ounces and is 23 1/4 inches tall. Can you really describe an infant as "tall"? Maybe "long" works better. Anyway, he's still huge. He's 90th percentile for weight, 95th for height, and 90th for head-circumfrence. Doctor says that his size at this point is no indication of his future size, but that after four months they can start to tell us how big or small he'll be as a grown-up. Fingers crossed that the football scholarship is still a possibility! Otherwise he'd better be a genius, because I can't even imagine what college will cost when he's ready to go.

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Monthly Newsletter, Month One

In the spirit of dooce (who isn't nearly as good as mimi smartypants, but who has a neat idea of writing to her child each month):

Dear Nate,

I am writing this the day before you turn one month old. You are asleep in your crib, and I’m watching you on the baby monitor.

In years to come, there will be so many details that will have slipped from my memory about the little things you’ve done and experienced. By writing to you each month, I hope to hold on to as much as I can. Being your Mom is the best thing I’ve ever done, and I want to remember it all.

You were born on September 7, 2005 at 8:17 a.m. I will always remember them bringing you around the side of the curtain, holding you upright – you were chubby and huge and beautiful. Your father stayed with me until I was feeling better, and then went outside to tell Grandma Jill, Grandpa, and Aunt Deborah that you were perfect and healthy. He told them how much you weighed (10 pounds, 6 ½ ounces) which made everyone gasp. He told them what we were naming you, which we had kept a secret: Nathaniel Henry Davis.

We gave you your Dad’s last name, and your middle name is after my grandpa Herbert. I love my grandpa, but Herbert wasn’t a name we loved. Nathaniel we picked because it sounded strong and lasting, without being too heavy for a little boy. If you had been a girl, we were considering Grace, Julia, and Charlotte. We spent a lot of time talking about your name, Nate; it was picked with great love and care.

After your Dad told my family the news, he called and told all of the members of his family. Everyone was on the phone calling relatives with the news of your arrival. I was in the recovery room, watching the nurse give you your first bath. Your Dad came back in, and they gave you to us. Your Dad took photos, including one with the doctor who delivered you.



After deciding we were all healthy, they wheeled me up to the room where we’d spend the rest of our stay. I held you in my arms the whole time. When we got to the room, Grandma, Grandpa, and Deborah were there. Grandma told me later that she didn’t expect you to be with me – she thought they’d bring you up separately. She got a jolt of surprise and excitement when she saw you in my arms. I bet she still remembers that.

We spent five days in the hospital, because I was a little sick. The nurses all cooed about how big and beautiful you were. You slept in the room with Dad and me each night, but they took you to the nursery each morning for a check-up. When I walked down one time, it was easy to pick you out of all of the babies – you were the biggest one by far. The first day you were born, you were able to pick your head right off of my shoulder – no one could believe it. Grandma Jill, Grandpa, and Aunt Deborah spent a lot of time in the hospital visiting us. Everyone wanted to be around you as much as they could.



It was very special to me that my grandma, Jean, could visit us in the hospital. I know it was very important to her to be there, and she couldn't take her eyes off of you.



When we finally brought you home, Grandma Jill came to stay at our house for two weeks to help out. Dad had to go right back to work, and it was wonderful to have Grandma here to help me. She took care of the house, doing laundry and cooking and cleaning, so that I could just take care of you. We spent a very nice two weeks together, and I fell in love with you then. So did Grandma.




You have very long periods of alertness, sometimes three or four hours. When you’re being held on someone’s shoulder, your big eyes peer out behind. You have navy blue eyes, and I’m hoping they stay that color.

You are a very calm, easy baby. In the last three or four days, you’ve started having cranky periods in the evening, but even your cranky periods are manageable. You love to stare at the windows, at lights, and at certain paintings on the wall – I think you like the contrast between the light walls and the dark painting.

We started having Dad give you a bottle in the evenings, and you’re doing okay with them. You don’t love them, but you’ll drink them. This frees me up to go out without you! Last night, Dad and I had a date and Aunt Deborah came and stayed with you. It was hard leaving you for the first time, but we all made it through okay.

The only main exception to your calmness and easiness is when I’m “messing” with you, especially when I’m changing your diaper. You scream and scream and scream. But the minute it’s over, and I lift you onto my shoulder, you stop screaming immediately. When you got your first vaccination at the doctor, you screamed for a few seconds until Grandma Jill put you on her shoulder - you stopped screaming so suddenly that we couldn’t stop laughing. You are unbelievably easy to soothe.

You love to sleep in my arms. I try to be strict and make you sleep in your bassinet, and mostly you do, but sometimes I can’t resist holding you and cuddling you while you sleep. You are doing very well with your sleep at night – you often only wake a few times a night for a feed, and then go right back to sleep. It’s really wonderful for both of us!

You love to stretch. Someone told me recently that newborns don't stretch, but they are 100% mistaken. From the day you were born, you spent at least 30 seconds stretching after a nap. It continues to this day. I wonder what attributes can be genetic, because your Mama loves to stretch and loves to nap.

When you’re alert, I spend a lot of time singing to you. We sing “Corey’s Coming” by Harry Chapin, “Blackbird” by The Beatles, and whatever else I have in my head from listening to the radio. When I cook dinner, I put you in your bouncy seat in the kitchen and sing along with the radio. I’m hoping you develop a love of music that we can share, but I guess that’s really your call.

Everyone said that things would be different once I had a child. That I’d be different. Ever the skeptic, I didn’t believe them. I thought it only happened to other people. But I am different for having you, and it’s all in a good way. You’re the best thing I’ve ever looked at. I love you, Nate. You’re my good boy, and I’m so glad that I get to be your Mom. I can’t wait to share the next years with you.

Love,
Mama

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Just admit it.

Nate just drained 3 ounces from a bottle his Daddy gave him. What a relief to know that I can leave him here with his Dad, or a sitter, and he won't scream or starve!

Could this kid be better?

He's so beautiful it hurts a little to look at him.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Really seriously.

Guess who slept from 9:30 pm to 3:30 am last night? Yep, Nate. Of course, Nate's Mama wasn't smart enough to go to bed at 9:30, so she didn't get that 6 straight hours. But still, the potential is there.

He also has these incredibly long periods of wakefulness; 3 or 4 hours at least. Isn't this crazy? It's great that he's so advanced, and has such alertness, but I just don't know what to do with an inert baby for 4 hours. I sing to him, and then I'm really out of material. Should I start the algebra now?

He had his first tub bath tonight, and liked it much better than the sponge baths he's been getting up to this point. Very serene and contemplative.

So far, the infant massage has been a bit of a bust. He doesn't seem to hate it, but he doesn't seem to like it either. I guess it's a little hard to tell what he feels at 3 weeks, but I don't get a sense that he's feeling very zen and peaceful about the whole thing. It's more of a "what the heck?" kind of emotion I get from him, and I can't say that I blame him. I'm going to keep up with it, though - I think he'll really like it as he gets older. Plus, it's fun to watch him pee on me every time I get him naked.

The cloth diapering is going very well. We're still experimenting with different covers to find the best fit, but I'm pleased with things. Every time I put a dirty one into the laundry bag, I feel good about not dumping another diaper into the trash. There's something very homey, too, about a stack of freshly washed diapers just waiting to be used. It's been a couple of days without any disposables getting used now. I still love the disposables for trips out of the house, and will definitly continue to use them - the cloth diapers are just too bulky to carry around extras for a trip to Mom's, or a weekend away.

There's a lot of talk on cloth-diapering websites about getting stains out of the diapers. I've only been a Mom for 3 weeks now, but I'm clearly missing something. They're diapers. Who cares if they're stained? Are we trying to fool someone into thinking they haven't been pooped on countless times? Will he be giving a speech, in his diapers, that I'm not aware of?

My health is back to normal. The infections in the c-section are gone, and I only have one day of antibiotics left. I've gone for nice long walks the last four days, and feel like I have my old endurance back. Of course, my old endurance was pretty lame, but at least I haven't lost ground!

Well, alert-baby needs attention. Maybe Geometry tonight!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Seriously.

I know that other Moms probably think their baby is the best baby ever. But they're seriously wrong. And when I think mine is the best baby ever? I'm totally right.

And when the other Moms think "I'm sure that it's cliche to think that my baby is the best, but they really are!" they're wrong about that too. But when I think that? I'm totally right.

Nate slept from midnight to 4:30, had a feed and back down to sleep. Another little feed at 5:15, and slept through until 8:30.

See? Told you so.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Our birth story

Nathaniel Henry Davis made his big entrance on September 7, 2005 at 8:17 a.m. Here's our story.

We checked into the hospital, as scheduled, at 5:45 a.m. on September 7th to start the check-in process. Stewart spent the morning very patiently handling my anxiety, and making good jokes, and charming me and the nurses as expected. I spent the morning going slowly from completely calm to total basket case, as expected. Many questions, tests, pokes, and prods later, we were ready to go.

They wheeled me into a very ancient-looking operating room. The anestiologist explained that I'd be getting a spinal injection, instead of an epidural, since I wasn't going through labor. The process of numbing the site was tough, but the big needle stick was pretty painless. The nurses were really busy taking care of things around the room, and didn't really notice my heightening anxiety. The anestesologist took pity on me and gave me a little something in the IV, and within seconds I felt like myself again.

They brought Stewart in, and he was perfect. He held my hand, and stayed with me physically and emotionally the whole time. As freaked out as I got, he stayed steady and supportive; he made a fairly terrible experience bearable.

Since I hadn't gone into any sort of labor, Nate was still very high up. When the incision was made, a nurse had to stand next to me and push hard, for at least a minute, on my chest to try to move him down. They pulled him out, and I could feel him going, but I didn't hear him crying. He ended up having a low initial Apgar of 5, but they eventually got him going. As Dr. Levitt pulled him out, he said "I think this was one of the best decisions of my career." The nurses all started talking about how big he was, but we didn't know his weight just yet.

Stewart happened to look up just as they were about to cut the cord off of him, and said "Weren't we going to do the Viacord (cord blood donation)?" The entire room got silent. Stewart and a nurse went running out of the room to get the kit, and I was sure that they were going to refuse to do it since the kit wasn't sterile, or some problem like that. But they ran back in, and it looks like that was done successfully. I truly can't believe it worked out; I didn't even remember about it in all of the chaos. Stewart looked up at just the right moment, remembered about it, intruded on the scene, and totally saved the day.

At some point, they weighed him and announced it to the room: 10 pounds, 6 1/2 ounces. Sometime around then, the pediatrician brought him around the side of the screen, holding him upright, and I saw his beautiful face for the first time.

It took them a while to close up the incision, and my anxiety started back again. The anestesologist told me that she was going to send me to sleep and I forcibly protested. She did it anyway, and it was the best decision of the day.

I woke up in the post-op room, and they were bathing Nathaniel nearby. The nurse held him up for me to see. I felt so good, having the surgery over with, that I was okay to wait for her to be done to hold him. They eventually brought him to us, and Stewart went out and told everyone we were okay, and his weight, and his NAME! According to reports, there was much gasping and rejoicing.

That's the story of Nathaniel Henry's entrance into this world. I'll write about the two weeks since as soon as I catch some sleep.

Nursery

Some belated photos of the nursery. I'm really proud of what we made out of such a small room!





Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Our current, most recent, up-to-date plan

So I had another check today, and I've made zero progress. None. At all. Also, my usually non-committal doctor said that I am, quoting: "Very, very, very, very, very, very, very unlikely to successfully deliver vaginally."

So, before today there were three potential plans:

1) I go into labor on my own, and see what happens from there
2) I schedule an induction on the due date, and see what happens from there
3) I schedule a c-section on the due date and get this enormous baby out of me

Being as I've made zero progress (none! at all!), we're taking the induction off of the list of plans. They're rarely productive if you haven't progressed at all on your own, and it seems like torture to go through an induction, some labor, and then end up with a c-section anyway.

So, we put a c-section on the books for September 7th, instead of an induction. If I go into labor before then, or I've at least made progress, we'll hold off and see if my body tries to do this on its own. But if Tuesday the 6th comes, and I've made zero progress (at all!), we'll cut this boy out the morning of September 7th. 7:45 am, to be exact. I've reconciled myself to it, and it's nice to have an end date for all of this, so this is pretty good news at this point.

So that's it! We'll see Horatio Huckleberry's little (big?) face in less than a week. Start the anxiety attacks!!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Phew! No baby yet!

I am writing this from home, not the hospital. Appointment with the doc today confirmed: a large, but possibly not huge baby, and some very early, mild pre-eclampsia. I'm pre-pre-eclamptic. So I'm to keep an eye on things, and keep the feet up.

On a great note, due to Horatio's size, they won't let me go past my due date. So I was scheduled for an induction on September 7th with my favorite doctor in the practice. So, by hook or by crook, we'll have a baby on or about the 7th!

I'm actually hoping he holds off until the due date. Things are settling down, construction-wise, at my house. Little sister has returned to her own digs post-surgery, and the house is quiet. I'm looking forward to a week or so of keeping the feet up, some magazines, some friends, and some Judge Judy. It'll be my last time to have such luxury in a long time, and I'm going to enjoy every monment of it.

And my first issue of People Magazine, courtesy of Alison, arrived just in time today. Start the laze-fest!

And some photos, as requested:



Thursday, August 18, 2005

If I thought it was the "homestretch" before...

then I'm not sure what to call this! Just got back from the OB, and I have quite the update (finally).

A few visits ago, Dr. Travers (not my usual doc) measured me and proclaimed me "off the charts." For those uninitiated, "measuring me" means measuring my big ole belly, from top to bottom, with a measuring tape. Since I still had so far to go, and it seems like one person says one thing and another says another, I didn't overthink it.

My regular doctor, Dr. Levitt, never mentions my size at all. So I sorta figured there wasn't much worth mentioning, right?

Today I saw Dr. Nwosa (pronounced "Woah-sah"). She measured me, and then looked a little startled. She said I was "huge." This is not a word that a person wants to hear, especially naked from the waist down. She looked at the tape again, and repeated: "huge."

Then she checked my pee, and my swollen swollen feet, and told me that I have the early signs/start of pre-eclampsia (blood pressure problems). Ironically, my blood pressure reading is fine. And the swollen swollen feet (and calves and thighs)? Well their scale says that I gained 9 pounds in 8 days. Have you ever heard of something like that? 9 pounds in 8 days, and I swear to you that 8 of those pounds are in my feet and calves and thighs. You should see them. Wait, you shouldn't. No one should.

So the long and short is that I have to go back in 4 days and get a sonogram to see how big this boy really is, and get my blood pressure checked again. In the meantime, I am to abstain from anything I don't want to do, and stay off the feet as much as I can. Then, on Monday, we'll decide on a course of action. From what she said, this course of action could include everything from "wait and see" to scheduling a c-section. So maybe there'll be a baby soon!

Tonight is ordering Stewart around while I keep my feet elevated, and trying to get as much done as possible in the next few days. Unfortunately we have painters coming early next week to finish up the big construction project, but other than that we're in really good shape. And with my incredible parents, sister, and friends around insisting that they help out, there really isn't anything that can't get done. Focus on the goal, right? The goal is not an orderly house, but a healthy baby here in the house with us. Looks like we'll be there a little sooner than we thought!

So if I disappear and no one can reach me, try me at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring! I just might be there. Wait: we just might be there. Wow.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Homestretch!

With 6.5 weeks until my due date, I think I can safely say we're entering the homestretch here! Thank goodness.

Baby continues to seem fine. Now that they've eliminated the bit stuff, I'm free to worry about the little things: birthmarks, hairyness, lack-o-cuteness, etc. You know, the important stuff!

We had our hospital tour last week, and saw birthing rooms. That made things pretty real for both of us!

Today has been a lousy day, in terms of feeling poorly. I did something to my back, and it's pretty bad. My fingers are so swollen that they ache - I didn't know that could happen!

The baby shower! I forgot to write about it. What a wonderful day. Mom, Deborah, and Nanny worked so hard on the food it looked like it has been professionally catered. Cristen and Tedi had the most creative, thorough decorating plan - the balloons were even anchored with diapers! They didn't miss a trick. The gifts were incredibly generous, and it was really wonderful to celebrate together. Now I can put the nursery together, since I have enough clothes and toys to make it a real room.

As soon as I get back from New Hampshire, Stewart and I will go out get the things off of our registry that we need before Baby H comes along - the car seat, bassinet, etc. Then it's mostly a waiting game!

As much as I know that it's going to be harder to care for Horatio outside the womb than it is to care for him inside, I confess that I'm truly ready for this to be over. And I'm also ready to weigh about 50 pounds less. Since birth-day will probably only bring a loss of about 15 pounds, it's going to be up to me to shed the rest. I give myself 2 months from his birthday to do as I please, and get used to being a Mom. Then, it's time to get this extra weight off. Everyone hold me to that, okay?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Details not fit to print

My toes are so swollen that I can feel them rubbing together. I am such a schlub.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

All of the details that are fit to print

As I write this, little Huckleberry Horatio is hiccuping away. It's only happened a few times, but it's one of my favorite things!

I've really slowed down on the "getting ready for baby" stuff. Alison found a friend to watch Eliza during August, so I'm going to have 5 weeks before the baby comes to really pay attention to resting and getting ready! So, this month I'm really focusing on Eliza. She's in for a seriously rude awakening when both her mother and I have new babies within 3 weeks of each other!

My enery level is at an all-time low. It is so hard to get up the drive to get off the couch! I'm sleeping a lot at night (even though it's interrupted by the numerous visits to the bathroom) and could nap every day if I had the time. On the other hand, I've still only gained 10 pounds! Who would have thought that I would have an easy time with the weight part!

Failed my initial glucose test, so I went for the 3-hour test yesterday. Two blood-draws in each arm = fun day! Hopefully the results will be back tomorrow. I'd really love it if I passed this test - the last two months of pregnancy are annoying enough without having to think about every bite of food that goes in my mouth. But if this is the worst thing to happen in the pregnancy, I'll still be really lucky.

Wow. This was an incredibly boring update. Even my Mom would think so, and she's my biggest fan. I won't torture you any longer.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My new favorite thing

Extra Strength Tums Smooth Dissolve (assorted fruit flavor). Lovely stuff.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Star Wars?!?!

Okay, either the baby loves Star Wars, or he hates it. Please, please let him hate it. Please don't let him be a trekkie nerd. Or a Renaissance nerd. Or a gaming nerd. I can deal with a science nerd if I have to, 'cause smart is sexy to some women. But if the day comes when my son tucks his jeans into his combat boots and pulls the hair off of his face to go to any kind of Convention (Rocky Horror, Star Trek, etc.), I will intervene. I will be forcible. I will rescue my child from himself.

So we saw Star Wars Sith movie last night, as you might have assumed, and Horatio kicked and squirmed and shuddered around the whole time. In retrospect, it was a pretty loud movie, and that's probably what he was responding to. Movie was fine, but what the heck was Samuel L. Jackson doing in that movie? He was purely awful. Nice character development on Darth Vader, though.

Since it was the one-year anniversary, we treated ourselves to dinner afterwards! Stewart was very nice, but failed miserably on the "planning something special for our anniversary" quotient. Someone help him do better next year, okay?!

Also, we'll now also be referring to the baby as Huckleberry. Cute, huh?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Not much of an update.

Not too much is new here, but I wanted to make sure to check in. I'm going to be away for the next week, so if anything exciting happens I'll let you know when I return.

For the first 3 days, I'll be on a road-trip to Maine with sister-in-law Susan, driving niece Staige to camp. Staige will be great to travel with, and I'm excited to have some time alone with Susan on the way back - there are always so many kids around that we never get to have a grown-up talk. Sisters Natalie and Lucy will be staying here with Stewart.

Susan is so, so excited about the baby, and loves to hear about all of the details. It's really nice to have someone to kvell with - I don't want to go on too much with the people who have to be around me every day!

Then, over the weekend, Stewart and I will be out at CHJ celebrating our one-year anniversary. A weekend alone in an isolated place...hopefully we'll still be married when we leave! I'm looking forward to swimming the weekend away.

Still working on the nursery, but we're really getting there.

Guess that's it!

Monday, June 20, 2005

We have a name!

We're still not sharing, but we have finalized a name! Want a hint? It's not Horatio. :-)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Nursery in progress!

Stewart gallantly painted the nursery last weekend, and today installed our closet organizer and put up the curtain. It's really coming together! As soon as the crib is in, and some shelves, I'll take some photos and post 'em.

Baby is still moving around, but less than before. This certainly means that he's a really calm, well-behaved baby. I just know it.

I had an epiphany today: I might actually enjoy the time home with the baby! It might not be all hell! Amidst all of the horror stories about no sleep, and crying all the time, and sore nipples, and all of the poop, it just hadn't occurred to me that some of it might be nice.

I had my first La Leche League meeting. These are the folks affectionately called the "breastfeeding nazis". I was very, very prepared to "fight the power" and stand up for myself, but the truth is that the people at my meeting were really nice, and understanding, and helpful. We talked a lot about the best ways to keep up the milk supply, and also about avoiding food allergies in babies. I think my plan is to avoid dairy, citrus, eggs, and all nuts for his first year. Everything else is a-okay.

I have my shower in about a month. I can't wait! Most of my favorite people in one place, all making fun of me and my enormous girth. Who wouldn't love it! I hope I remember, sitting there surrounded by family and friends again, to soak in all of the love, and to do everything I can to make sure the baby feels it. We're really blessed.

My worst day would be...

In the spirit of Mimi Smartypants:

Leah's Worst Day:

6:30 am - Wake up alarm that Stewart set the night before, but neglected to turn off when he got up early and started staring at the computer. Be unable to go back to sleep.

7:00 am - Come downstairs to find out that my Palm Pilot died, and I have no idea what my schedule is for the day. Have a nagging feeling I'm forgetting something important, but be unable to remember.

7:15 am - Notice that there is a voice mail notification on my phone. Call only to find out that I have 7 new messages. 6 are the insidious beeping of a fax machine, and the 7th is someone important leaving a message, but saying his phone number so fast that I can't write it down.

7:30 am - Go to eat some breakfast, and realize that all I have is yogurt.

8:00 am - Leave for work. Realize I have no gas.

8:30 am - Arrive at my workplace. I, of course, am the administrative assistant to a very busy, insensitive, business-man type.

12:30 am - Lunch at my desk.

6:30 pm - Head from work to the gym. Spinning class, followed by a short abs class.

8:30 pm - Head home, to my very loud apartment above the disco.

8:45 pm - Dinner of dry baked chicken and steamed broccoli.

8:45 pm - Discovery that the cable is out, and the internet is dead.

8:50 pm - Die of misery.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

If the question is...

If the question is "do strawberries make Horatio move around hysterically?" the answer is a resounding yes. Ouch.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Thoughts from the Fatherland

A post from Stewart (aka: Dad)

Becoming a father.

Last Saturday morning I attended a class called "Becoming a father" at Holy Cross Hospital. The class, more of a group discussion really, consisted of about 10 first time fathers and a single nurse named Karen Sullivan who ran the event. There were also two 'guest dads', previous grads I believe, who came to add to the discussion.

The first hour was an introduction where each dad gave their name and what they wanted to get out of the class. I mentioned that with baby sitting and Eliza, I wondered if I was too confident and didn't realize all the things I didn't know. Most of us were there because our wives signed us up for it. Actually all of us.

The conversation sort of took it own course and the guest dads chimed in a lot about things to help out your wife and what supplies were most useful. Things like how to wash the umbilical cord and what products to use and to avoid. We laughed a lot and everyone had a 'you can't believe a grown man could be this dumb, but...." story.

1. Bring a gift for the nurses.
2. A push gift. A little something for the wifey.
3. The first few weeks will be the longest of your life. Get over it now.
4. Take off a least two weeks of work if you can.
5. It's worth every bit of pain and trouble.

We finished with hands on training. Swaddling. Diaper changes. I gave my bit about putting a spare under the child's head to wide acclaim.
Go me.

Well worth the few hours.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

We hit the motherload

Pun absolutely intended.

This morning, we were invited by friends to come raid their baby supplies. Their son is almost 3 now, and they want to be rid of things. They did their best to warn me how much stuff they had, but there's no way I could have prepared for the bounty awaiting us.

We left with:

An almost-new Pack 'n Play
A full-sized swing
A vibrating chair
A vibrating ROCKING chair (for the baby, not for me. Unfortunately!)
A gorgeous reclining high-chair
A bath-tub

Plus:

SIX boxes of gorgeous clothes, from newborn to 2 years. (Yes, BOXES. Not outfits. Boxes)
Bath toys
Mobiles
A sling
Breast-pump and bottles
Cloth diapers for baby burping
A food grinder, and home-made food storage set
Numerous hats and socks
Boots and moccasins
Numerous helpful little things, like pads to go under the high-chair, shades for the car windows, and a bottle drying-rack.

All of it in gorgeous pre-owned condition. Right up my alley. I'm still not sure how great a Mom I'm going to be, but for sure this kid will NEVER be naked!

Thank you, Jill and Gregg. And thanks to little Rudy, for being born and racking up such a bounty!

Monday, May 9, 2005

A boring update

Happy Belated Mothers Day, to all you mamas out there!

A very nice day was had here. Stewart got up early and fetched beautiful tulips and breakfast-making-supplies. We ate on the veranda, in the gorgeous weather.

Okay, we ate sitting on our metal front steps, but I can call it my veranda if I want to!

Spent the rest of the day with my Mom, had a walk, and many noshes. I made this apple tort for my mama:

Apple Tort

It actually looked better in person! Martha Stewart can kiss my booty.

In inevitable baby news:

Stewart felt the baby kick for the first time last week, and he's definitely getting stronger. It could be the feasting I did yesterday, but today he's kicking much harder than before. I actually felt him in two places at the same time today - a tickling under my ribs, and a kicking near my hip. He's coordinated!!

Still plugging away on the getting-the-house-ready stuff. There was a bit of a lull last week, but I'm all motivated this week.

Boring stuff. I got nothing else, readers! Photos to come soon.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

You hear that sound?

You know when your car makes that funny sound, and you drive to the mechanic? And the car makes that sound all the way to the mechanic? And then, the second the mechanic comes out to the car, it stops making that sound?

So I hadn't felt the baby move for a while, and called the doc in a panic. They squeezed me into a morning appointment, and I lugged Stewart and baby E along with me out of necessity. And then, the minute I sat down in the waiting room, the baby started kicking like crazy.

So I did what every responsible person does: I pretended not to feel it. Went into the appointment, and heard the heartbeat and acted reassured. Yes, I'm a weak person.

Ever since then, baby's moving around a lot. When I drink juice, or a carby-meal, he responds a lot. Last night, I felt him a lot in one area, and pushed on it from the outside, and felt a strong movement from the outside! (secret confession: it was really weird.)

So that's the story here. We're calling him Horatio until he's born. It's part of the fun of trying to find a non-horrible "H" name for him (in honor of my grandpa Herbert). Every name we come up with is awful:

Horace
Hymen
Hagar
Herman
Herbert (sorry, gramps)
and on and on. Henry's not bad.

Feel free to send suggestions!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Well?

Okay, okay. The delay was totally my fault, again.

We had the BIG appointment last week. Wonderful news: perfect spine, perfect brain, perfect chubby tummy, perfect penis. Yes, penis. We're having a boy!

Here's our guy:
sonogram side view 2 19 weeks

And, just in case there was any doubt:

sonogram penis 19 weeks

Sunday, April 10, 2005

birds on lamp


birds_on_lamp
Originally uploaded by QStreet.
Just had to show off my husband's photography skill. Can you believe this photo he took?

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Could it be?

I think I felt the baby tonight; just a minute or two ago. It was a tap-tap pause pause tap-tap on my right side. It did feel like gas, so I can't be totally sure, but I think it was the baby. Happy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Good news

There's a fancy blood test they do to see if the baby might have a spinal problem. Results came back negative today, so great news on that front. It's a relief, since I was often unable to keep the prenatal vitamins down. On to the sonogram!

Thursday, March 31, 2005

A tiny problem

I've now had 5 doses of Robitussin in two days (3 today), and I'm fondling the bottle a lot more often than that. Is this bad? It feels bad. I considered "Robitussin" as a name for the baby today. But only if it's a girl! :-)

Say it loud, I'm big and I'm proud!

Two milestones in the last two days:

1) Maternity Pants. They are now on my official list I keep of miraculous inventions, joining zip-lock bags, wrapping paper with grid-lines on the backside, and Special K Red Berries Cereal.

2) Someone outside of my family noticed my little belly! My neighbor Patricia, who lives on her stoop, called down to me yesterday "you're starting to show!" Patricia made me very happy. Sometimes Patricia scares me a little, but not yesterday.

Less than two weeks until the BIG sonogram! I'd like to see the little bugger moving, just for reassurance. The last few days I've had to take a little Robitussin to make sure my horrible coughing doesn't spark labor, and the first ingredient in Robitussin is "alcohol." I've had 4 doses now, and they're each about a teaspoon. I can't imagine that it's going to cause lasting damage; hopefully the baby is enjoying a little buzz.

We've picked out a crib, and I've picked out some crib linens. I'll make the final decision after we know the gender - I wouldn't want to scar the poor thing by having a firetruck in a girl's crib, or a pretty butterfly in a boy's. Someone would be calling CFSA on me for sure.

I've decided to aquiesce to my mother's wish that I not set up the nursery, or even have much baby stuff here, before the kid is born. Jewish religion/superstition. I am going to paint, and pick everything out, but I'll leave it to her to coordinate getting it all set up while I'm in the hospital for as many days as I can stretch the insurance. I truly don't understand the women who rush to get home after labor. If they decided to let me move into the hospital, I would do it for sure. Meals brought on a tray? Yes, please. Someone to change my bed-linens? Sign me up. Cable TV, a call-button to a nurse, and a lactation consultant standing by? Seriously, who would pass this stuff up?

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Here's me at 8 weeks and at 16 weeks. And since I've gained zero pounds so far (how many times have I mentioned that?) - that's all baby, baby! Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Long-awaited update!

If there's anyone who actually checks this, I apologize for not updating for a while. Moving into my second trimester, I'm not quite as obsessed with every detail as I was before. Here's where we are today:

16 weeks, 2 days. I'm definitely getting a pooch, but it's only detectible to us so far (being as my previous pooch is great camouflage). It's almost like my old squishy pooch has been replaced with a very firm one. I'm working to get some comparison photos posted, so stay tuned for that.

We have blood tests in a week, and the BIG sonogram in about 3 weeks (April 12). I almost cannot wait. I saw a friend's sonogram photos from her 14-week visit, and you cannot believe how much it looks like a baby. He was sucking his thumb! So I am excited to see ours, since we only had the one sonogram at 7 weeks so far. And that looked like anything except a baby! (No offense, baby).

Everyone knows how much I've always wanted a little girl. So this will surprise most, including me, but I have gotten myself so enamored with the thought of a son that I fear I will be disappointed if they say "girl"! I'll get over it, no worries there, but I really have fallen for the idea of a son. So I guess we're in a win/win situation. The best kind.

And the biggest news? The morning sickness is just about gone. It was going, and then it was back, and now I think I've kicked it for good. It's been 7 whole days, and that's a LOT. So much relief that I didn't turn out to be one of those women who vomits the entire pregnancy. Because this child would be an only child for sure, if I was one of those women.

A thorough update? Please leave a comment if you feel I've left anything out.

Monday, February 21, 2005

nitty-gritty

After a reality-check from dear husband, I have affected a turn-about in my previous eating / exercising habits.

Previous:

Eating: sure!
Exercise: um, later?

Now:

Eating: let me figure out how many points that food is, and journal it in my spiffy journal!
Exercise: on my NEW TREADMILL.

See, I'm a whole new woman!

In all seriousness, this was a needed change. Now that I'm heading into the second trimester, it's time to be realistic about the affect this pregnancy is going to have on my already overweight body. Time for me to step up and make some changes. Dear husband and I have worked out an accountability system, and we're good to go.

On another exciting note, a good friend who was very much hoping for it just found out she's pregnant, too. She's almost 6 weeks along, which puts her a month and a half behind me. I'm excited to share this time with someone who is so enthusiastic and excited about all of the details - I'm boring the non-pregnant folks to death!

Off to treadmill, and catch up on Dr. Phil. Thank god for Tivo!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Turn on your love light

It's been a while since I've updated, but the site's been on my mind. I didn't have much to talk about, other than the state of my constitution and even I was sick of hearing about that.

But now, we have news. We have a heartbeat, strong and certain. 160 bpm and whooshing along out loud, for everyone to hear. The baby's already a show-off.

The whole experience was very strange, and surprisingly moving. I closed my eyes to listen, and finally realized that there is a tiny little something living inside of me. INSIDE OF ME. Could life be weirder, or better?

And for the first time in my life, I have a weight issue to brag about: I have gained only one pound in the entire first trimester. One pound. Enough said.

No updated sonogram picture - I guess the next one will be around 20 weeks. That's when people can find out the gender, if they want to. And I've decided, for both of us, that we want to. Deciding on one name is hard enough - I'm not deciding on two if I don't have to! I haven't decided whether or not to share the gender information with people when we find out, but we'll probably share. I've never been good at keeping my mouth shut, and we all know it.

We're off to Cancun for a week, where the baby and I are going to enjoy the sun, and the food, and the virgin drinks. And if life continues to be good, this recent reduction in morning sickness will keep up through the vacation, if not longer. I've heard this weird thing about babies needing food, and it's high time I was able to keep some down. But I've also heard that a virgin daiquiri has fruit in it, so we'll be okay, either way.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

you deserve to know

I don't want to get too exuberant, but the last three days have been low-nausea days. No EMS at all! I figured you all deserve to hear the good stuff, too.

Of course, this reduction in symptoms has made me worry about the baby's health, but since brain-freezing fatigue has come to take nausea's place, I've had my concerns assuaged. Baby is clearly still well, and still bent on sucking all of my energy for it's own uses. I would expect no less from a child of mine.

8 weeks, 4 days!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

over the moooooooonn!!!!!!!

I was in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, at a bar with my sister. Before anyone contacts child welfare, I was drinking Sprites only, I promise, and the bar was non-smoking.

I am a sucker for the video-game machines they have on the ends of the counters. So I was down playing, and the extremely intoxicated fella next to me joined in. He was about 24, wearing a sports jersey. Now normally I really don't like people getting all up in my video game playing but he wasn't bad, so I let him play. He turned out to be pretty decent, despite the intoxication.

A few drinks later, he asked me to dance. I've been hit on before since getting married, but it's pretty infrequent (rings on both fingers usually does the trick). But I've never been hit on when I'm married and pregnant. I didn't want to be totally uncool, and old, so I hesitated to tell him, but I finally did.

He lit up like a lightbulb. He asked how far along I was, was it a boy or girl, was I hoping for a boy or girl, and on and on. My own husband, the father of the baby, may not have ever asked those questions! Then he looked at me and said "You must be over the moon!!"

Needless to say, this was not the response I was expecting. It made my night.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Our baby blob!

We had our first sonogram on Tuesday. Baby is 100% healthy. Even saw the heartbeat flicking away.

Doc says that the chance of miscarriage is now "very, very low" so I can quit worrying about that.

Replacing the worry about miscarriage is the dawning realization that a baby is going to come to live with us forever. Yes, I know that I should have known this before, and I'm sure I thought I understood what it meant to get pregnant, but I was very mistaken.

But I won't get into the list of things that I'm now worried about, in order to keep this post one of celebration. Because joy is at the top of my list right now.

The baby is the white cotton-ball fuzz in the upper left of the sac. The doctor thinks the head is at the top (like it makes a difference!)


Sunday, January 16, 2005

National "Not Nearly As Much Nausea Day"!

Yes, everyone, today is National "Not Nearly As Much Nausea Day"! And if you don't understand the significance of such a day, then you have either never been pregnant or have not read the rest of my blog. For which I forgive you.

Today I

1) went out to brunch
2) ate the brunch without any dry-heaving
3) kept the brunch down!
4) have kept the small nausea at bay with the Coca-Cola that dear husband thoughtfully picked up for me. I do appreciate the gesture, but find it very hard to understand how it can be so difficult to remember this: CAFFEINE-FREE REGULAR COKE. That's it! That's all you have to remember, dear husband! I currently have a fridge full of Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, and Caffeine-FULL Regular Coke.

It's a banner day in our household.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

early warning detection systems

There really should be some sort of early warning detection system for pregnant women. It would prevent the sister of said pregnant women from calling and, with no warning, suggesting burritos for dinner. At which point, said pregnant women would have to turn away from the phone to dry heave, leaving her nauseous for at least an hour afterwards.

With such an early warning detection system, the callers would float a trial balloon before commencing with ANY discussion of food, food products, plans for dinner. This will also extend to any discussion of morning sicknes, nausea, or the pregnany in any way.

Ugh.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

ems

Experiencing morning sickness is now the focus point of my day-to-day life. I can't let myself get too hungry, but I can't eat too much, either. No drinking and eating at the same time. And huge apologizes for the person who saw me EMS'ing out the side of my car this morning.

We've been taking pictures every week to track babybelly progress. None yet, of course. But I'm definitely telling our kid that my belly was from the pregnancy. They'll never know the difference!

I'll post the pictures as soon as I learn how.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

baby on the way!

Well, looks like we've got a bun in the oven. We saw the those two beautiful lines the morning after Christmas.

I'm 6 weeks along, today. Next week we have the all-important first sonogram. Doc says it'll give us a good idea of whether or not this baby is gonna stick around. If morning sickness is an indicator of a healthy pregnancy, the sonogram is totally unnecessary - we have at least 3 healthy babies in there.

On the topic of morning sickness, someone needs to post an etiquette guide. I live in the city, and most often get around by walking. This leaves me outdoors quite a bit. Today, I celebrated the fresh air and the nice walk by "experiencing morning sickness" in my front yard. I finally fit in with my neighbors! Now I'll just carry my water bottle around in a paper bag. They'll welcome me with open arms.

And morning sickness at 8 pm is just mean.