Monday, March 29, 2010

Smiles and new friends

Well, I just realized that Eli and I are overdue for a blog update. Thankfully, I don't have anything quite as big to report as our 'mommy baby bath'. But, we have certainly come across some milestones in the past week.

Eli and I have had quite a bit of bonding time in the last week, as Keith has been out of town. Yes, he has had two trips in the last three weeks. One of them for 3 days and the other for 5 days, and boy are those not fun! In spite of dad's absence, however, Eli and I have been having fun hanging out together. In the last week, we have made far more trips out of the house. We have also mastered one of the baby carriers that I purchased, and Eli appears to be a fan.

I also went ahead and threw in some cute pictures on the blog from one of his last bath times. Notice any tears? No, that is because he was great! That is not to say that all baths are 'tear free'...a lot has to do with the mood 'we' are in prior to hitting the water.

So, now on to the actual 'information and update'. Smiles! Yes! I am officially putting it down in 'the books' that Eli had his first smile on March 28th, 2010. I have heard, however, that it may be a little bit longer of anxious awaiting until we get another one. But, Keith was holding him in bed, when I walked in the room and Eli was smiling! Thankfully, both Keith and I saw it, so that was really cool! Although, the mystery remains...what was he smiling at? I can admit that he was looking in my general direction, but don't think we were 'locked in' or anything. To be honest, Eli loves looking around so his eyes always seem to be surveying the area. Keith and I are extremely excited to see a big smile on the little guys awake face. Up to this point all of our toothless grins have been in his sleep. :)

New friends or crazy mom? I think it is a little bit of both. As I just mentioned, Eli LOVES to look around. He scans the walls, the ceiling, the changing table, and accent home decorations. I would hate to say that he looks around more than he looks at us, but there is some truth in that. So, with such an interest in his surroundings, you can imagine the amount of 'tours' I have taken Eli on around the house. Also, if you have ever been to our house, you know there is plenty to see. Well, it just so happens that Eli has two favorite stops on the tour...his bathroom shower curtain, and any set of blinds. Every time I take him to the shower curtain in 'his' bathroom, it is like watching someone fall in love for the first time (or a fat kid with chocolate cake). It is so sweet, because he always forgets the last time, and falls in love with his shower curtain all over again. He stares, enamored by its beauty (more like it color and pattern combo). The shower curtain is a gold color with dark vertical stripes of green, oranges, and reds. Well, after enough visits to the shower curtain, you can imagine an introduction was in order. So, (this is where crazy mommy comes to play) Eli and 'Mr. Shower Curtain' have many great conversations. They generally talk about the weather and how things are going around the house. But, as 'roommates' they are excited about the future and their long term friendship. So, just wanted everyone to know Eli is getting out to socialize, while clearly side effects of being home all day are staring to take their toll on me. (ha ha, just kidding...I am loving being at home, and I have always been crazy).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mommy-Baby Bath Time...Abort, Abort!

There are actually a few things that babies are known to love, that Eli has not quite adapted to yet. One of those is the car and the other is the bath. As for the car, we haven't exactly been on a bunch of trips, so hopefully that will change in time. Also, I don't believe it is the car as much as it is the car seat. The car seat, as well as the bouncer and swing are not places that Eli likes to hang out, because it is not his mommy's arms. In general, he is not a fan of 'being put down', just yet.

As for the bath, ...not a fan at all. He doesn't like the water, the shampoo, ect. ect. He frequently cries through the whole process, as well as a pee session and poop or two. I mentioned this to the lactation consultant and she gave me the great idea to take a bath with him. She said we could both casually hang out in the tub, while I nurse him, and even throw in a glass of wine! Sounds picturesque, huh? Almost dreamy and such a great 'mother/son bonding moment'. :)

Well, here is how it actually went down. And, 'no', I didn't pour myself a glass of wine, however I could see how one might be necessary for the post-bath experience. I started off with running some luke warm water and getting his bath stuff set-up next to the tub. Let me also say, that a temperature of water suitable for a baby is not exactly comfortable for an adult. Also, I just filled the tub with a minimal amount of water, just to be on the safe side. We got cozy, and I began nursing him. Then, I started wiping down in his little body with the wash cloth...and he was great! No crying, nothing. He almost appeared to be very relaxed through the process. So relaxed, in fact that he let go....yes, he let go of that poop he had been holding in!
(side note: This poop, was not ordinary poop, which is usually a mustardy yellow. This poop was spinach green! This is because Keith and I gave Eli Colic Calm last night in order to calm him down during nursing...long story. Well, Colic Calm is as black as midnight! It is so black that it turned Eli's mouth and lips black as he was taking it. The bottle warned that there may be a change in stool color....I'll say!)

So, Eli, myself, and the bathtub are now covered in little chunks of spinach green poop. I stay calm...although slightly nauseated. I am not scared of poop, but this poop was scary. There were little chunks floating around us of green and black. I quickly pulled the drain plug and began wiping us down. The chunks went down the drain just fine, and the tub was poop-clear. So, I begin running another round of water, when a minute in, Eli lets himself go, again. This time the spinach green poop in not floating, but sitting in a pile in the center of the tub. I realize that hopes of mommy-baby bath time...and our dreamy picture has gone out the window.
So, there we sit, both soaking wet in a tub with a pile of spinach poop. That is when I was concerned about the safety of Eli, because I had to keep holding on to him, while trying to climb out of the tub, and avoid this poop-pile (I am starting to ask myself, "why did I do this while we were home alone? Clearly I should have asked for a 'spotter' or adult supervision"). Needless to say, we did it...with some difficulty. I quickly got a diaper on Eli, a robe on me...and made an emergency call to Gammie (my mom). She came to the rescue to help bath him, while I jumped in the shower. Now, here we sit...both clean. You will also be happy to know, that Eli did not cry once during our 'mommy-baby bath', and only made a squeak with Gammie's bath when he was getting his hair washed. Perhaps we are turning a corner!?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1 month old!!

Well, our 'Mr.Man' is 1 month old! Can you believe it, has time flown or what?!? Part of me is sad that he is growing so quickly, but so proud of my lil boy. I can't wait to see him smile for the first time, start walking, talking....growing up in general. He is officially 9lbs and 7oz, and growing into a big boy.

Photo shoot:
A great photographer came out to the house and snapped some great shots of my little model. She said that it would have been a lot easier if we had snapped the shots when he was only a week old. However, we held out for a little bit worries. Although, I do have to agree, because Eli was certainly on the fussy side (enter our 2nd introduction to the pacifier). All and all, he pulled it out and got some cute pictures. However, the photographer admitted that Eli pee-ed more than any other baby she had ever photographed! He pee-ed 6 times in an hour and half time period! He pee-ed on 4 blankets (one of them twice), and his mommy!). What can I say, the boy is getting a lot to eat. :)

1 Month Epiphany! feels good to not know what I am doing! Seriously, I finally realized that I am not supposed to have this all figured out. I know, no brainer...but it finally sunk in (one month later). My boss's wife actually sent me an email about 'high achieving women' as new time moms (I was flattered). But, this email said that women in the work field sometimes struggle because they feel like they are supposed to have all of the answers...but there are no answers! Just to see this in print and realize that this speaks for women all over the world, as first time felt good to know that I didn't have all of the answers, and I am not supposed to!

At the end of the day, every new mom does what it takes to take care of her child, and herself in the process. What one person does is not necessarily the right thing for the next person. So, how I take care of Eli is the right way.

Cracking the Code:
So, with the above being said.... I think we are starting to get to know Eli. I think Keith and I
(with the help of several Google searches!) are starting to understand our little man a little bit better.

Don't get me wrong...there are still so many 'unknowns'. It is like we are taking a test, and we have left those questions blank for now, with two possible answers, that we can hopefully fill in later. But, we are starting to figure out when he has gas, when he is tired, when he is hungry, ect. There are several times that we don't know which one is we just try them all. Wouldn't it be nice if they could just tell you? Oh well, wouldn't be quite as fun, right?

(On a side note)....I am eating ALL the time!
Man, breastfeeding really takes a lot of food to support. I never had this kind of appetite during pregnancy! It is a struggle to find the time and hands to eat all of the food that it requires to feed my Eli. Seriously, I can't so much as finish one meal before I am planning out what I am going to eat for the next meal.

I know..this doesn't really have anything to do with him being one month old (except that he is growing strong!), but I just had to mention that.

Well, that is it for now. I will keep everyone updated on milestones and funny stories, as they arrive.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mentionable Moments

Gosh, there are so many wonderful moments that I want to remember and share, but don't always have a camera or journal on hand to photograph or jot down 'what is going on'. Of course, I have already mentioned a few...but here are a few more stories to add.

Keith playing dress up-

I guess you always imagine moms being the one that 'play dress up' with their babies, but dads enjoy it too. First, I have to give Keith a lot of credit for being a very fashion forward guy. I think he is a great dresser who takes pride in the way he looks. Well, he is using this same fashion sense and pride towards his son.

One morning after feeding Eli, I was having to pump (the glories for breastfeeding!). So, I asked Keith to go get our little guy dressed for the day. During my session, Keith showed up at the door with our handsome little man, who was dressed from head to toe!! Keith had put Eli in the cutest little baseball onesie that had a giant baseball on the butt. He also had him accessorised in a matching red beanie hat that said 'It's a guy thing', and matching red Boston Red Sox socks. I wish now that I had got a picture, because dad did an excellent job!

Our 1st day out-

Last week I had my first day to take Eli out into the 'real world' by myself. We had an appointment with the lactation consultant and the hospital (to get Eli's birth certificated and social security card changed). It was a great day, and couldn't have picked better weather! Here are a few things that happened during our trip.

The paranoid car ride:

Pretty much from the moment I got Eli in his car seat he started to cry (we haven't quite mastered the car seat, yet). So, it is not surprise that the crying continued out of the driveway, out of the neighborhood, and well into our trip. I tried classical music with no success and then jumped over to Kiss FM (which I listened to during pregnancy). Shortly after finding a song I liked, Eli went silent! I thought...."It worked! He is Happy!". Then, I thought..."oh, no...what if something is wrong". So, once I was able to safely change lanes, I immediately pulled over, threw on the caution lights, ran to the back seat....and there he was my little man, and everything was fine. So, I pulled a u-turn, hit the road, and about 30 seconds later the crying commenced. I decided at that point, I preferred it over the silence so that I knew everything was alright. :)

'Acting like a mom':

I didn't realize this happened until I was talking to a friend the other day. She asked if I had had any 'moments' that stood out about being a mom. I realized that I still haven't fully accepted the title 'mommy', because I am just doing what it takes and loving my little boy.

So, there was a moment during 'my first outing' that I felt like I was faking being a mom. I had to walk into the hospital for some records. I got the stroller out of the car, walked in, ect, ect. So, as I walked in I saw the various lobbies filled with people (some awaiting the arrival of their little bundles). As I walked by all of the people, I had to think to myself... "man, to them..I look like a real mom! I have my stroller, and I bet they think I know what I am doing". I guess I felt like I was putting on a performance for them...and trying to play the part. It did feel good, though...because I know I was REALLY doing it, despite that I didn't realize it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Eli in Wonderland!

We did it! Keith and I went and saw Alice in Wonderland in the theatre on opening day. Impressive, I know? Oh...and did I mention that Eli was also in attendance. :) Keith thought up the idea, and we had a 'can do attitude' that made it all work. We picked an 11:30am showing that Keith suspected would not be nearly as crowded (he was right, I was wrong). Also, we got matinee prices.

We pulled up to the theatre with a surprisingly passive baby that didn't get upset with the car ride. We took him out of car seat and just carried him into the theatre in our arms. We walked into the theatre right as the movie was starting. We quietly snuck to the back. I had originally thought to sit on the back row, but those seats were taken. So, the next (more perfect) option was to sit in those seats that are in the corner just over the stair case.

It was pretty much during this time that I really felt like we were smuggling a baby into the theatre. It is one thing to bring in your own drinks and candy, but entirely another to bring in a baby. I was glad that lights were already off, because I am certain that our fellow movie go-ers would have wanted to crucify us if they saw little Eli. :) Then we got seated.

I am not a believer in women using their boobs to get what they want from men, but 'hey!' do what you gotta do sometimes. Right ladies?....Holla! The minute we got the mouth it went. :) So, what if I was going to become a human do what it takes. It was pitch dark, Keith was sitting in the isle, and we had complete this was a situation that I supported 'public nursing'. He nursed/used me for about an hour of the movie, never went to sleep. He squirmed and moved and made little noises. There several parts of the movie that he had my full attention. He would occasionally lose his latch, so Keith broke out the IPhone and used it as a flashlight...quite the scene.

So, the movie progressed. It was good and entertaining. Luckily for me, it didn't require too much attention, because I was only able to give it 50% of mine. Visually, it was very stimulating. Eli used the first hour on the boob, then fell asleep for about 15 minutes (heaven!), and spent the last 15 minutes of the movie ... 'on the brink'. Keith and I spent the entire time planning our exit strategy in the event of an outbreak. There was a large fight sequence in which we used a blanket like ear muffs so the little guy wouldn't be startled.

With about 10 minutes left of the film...we heard a cry! It was the most glorious sound, like a primitive call from across the theatre. Yes! There was another little baby in attendance. I looked to Keith and said "Was that a baby crying?", and he agreed. There were others like us! I wanted to run to them and celebrate our feat as new parents and movie-goers! However, our paths never crossed. As the movie came to a close, we made our exit with the extra cargo in tough.

Would we do it again? Probably not...not going to take our chances. However, if something really good comes out, we might take the plunge.

Here is a picture of us after the movie. There happened to be a movie poster in the hallway called "Everybody Loves Babies".... no clue what it is about, but made for a great picture opportunity.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

All by myself (hum the melody). Day 1

This is probably the last thing that I should be doing right now...but frankly, I don't have a whole lot of other options. I have a baby strapped to my chest. :)

Today, is my first official day home by myself. Crazy, huh? I went nearly 3 weeks of constant Eli-mommy attention. Keith's job has been extremely flexible and just plain ironically-cool, that he has been at the house doing a lot of admin. On those days that he is out of in the field, my mom has been here. So, here I am on 'day 1'....nearly 3 weeks in. Also, let me just say...that I wasn't exactly sure it was even Wednesday, I had to look for the time stamp on my computer to confirm. Yes....time is a fog, now.

I have realized today just how little you can actually get accomplished being home with a baby by yourself. Granted, Eli and I are in a bit of a 'funk' right now with our eating habits (see below for more details). So, he is a lot more on edge and fussy. I can't put him down for long without him crying, or I am feeding him all day. So, I literally have a long to do list that is sitting and waiting to get 'to done'. Perhaps, tomorrow..... I have, however, really impressed myself with my 'wrapping skills'. I somehow did manage to get Eli strapped to by chest with my Moby Wrap. After he eat for awhile, he has passed out in my Obe-Won-Kanobi garb...just long enough for me to call my boss, receive a UPS shipment, and eat pre-made cheese crackers and a pear. I feel like a modern day pioneer woman!! ha ha, I am just being I realize just how helpless I have become to a 2 week old infant. :)

As for an update. We are great! Ok...that sounds like something not coming from a women that has a million things to do with out the ability to do it. Or a woman that has slept in a nursery rocker that last two nights and going on little sleep. But, we really are good. Eli is an awesome little guy, and I can not steal enough kisses from him. He gives us the craziest and funniest facial expressions that manage to always make me laugh and brighten my day. We are still trying to get his weight up (enter additional frustration), but we really couldn't be happier/better here.

Patience. I have some...who knew? I am an extremely impatient person, for those that don't know. I am the chick at the grocery store that scouts out the shortest line and 'races' Keith to see whose line moves quicker. However, despite my natural tendencies, I can't believe how tolerant and patient I am with Eli. Nothing really seems to bother me, when it comes to him. I don't care how loud he screams, how many diapers, outfits, and blankets he may pee on in a given changing time frame, or how little sleep we get...he just rocks my world.

As for our 'eating problem'. Nipple confusion is a very real thing. Eli was a trooper and eating great for the first few weeks. Well, in our effort to increase his weight we were starting to introduce a bottle of breast milk and/or formula to add in the extra calories. Well, in addition to this we also threw in a pacifier, as well (bad move). So, with a few days in of bottles and pacifier, poor little guy got his wires crossed with what was what. So, now we are still trying to continue and nurse, but not quite having the success that we started out with. So, with a few days of patience and determination....I am hoping to get us back 'in the groove', if possible. I will be sure to keep everyone update on our progress.

(One last update). I did have to say that as our day was coming to an end, we managed to get in a bath (item checked off the list)! Yes, I did it! I managed to give Eli a bath by myself. That is actually a very difficult task for those that don't know (or it is for me, anyway). To make matters a little more complicated, Eli has decided that he LOVES to poop during or after bath time. Yes, he has officially pooped in three of his towels. So, for all future baths, I will be bringing two towels to the festivities. That was all I really had to say about that, just wanted to keep everyone updated.

Well, that is actually it for now. Sorry there is no really exciting update with stories and pictures, and such. Hopefully, my next post will have a little more 'mass appeal' and fun. Wish us luck with nursing!