Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Vitamin D

Liam playing with one of his Christmas presents. He likes to suck on the wings.

Tomorrow we head out for Phoenix for Liam's first trip and his first airplane ride. I can't wait to get some vitamin D. I am nervous about taking the Liam show on the road, we always have our house to retreat to if he starts crying when we are out. We won't have his crib or a separate room initially so bye bye sleep! It will either be a long week or a lot of fun. Wish us luck!

We can't wait to see Bill's family and get caught up with everyone and of course introduce little Liam who is now getting interested in toys. I've been absent from blogging because I got a new laptop which has been fun to setup. I am really hoping to find time to compile the videos we have taken of Liam and put on a show. Time, sweet time, where have you gone?

We'll blog from Arizona, hopefully some photos of Liam in his Hawaiian print shirt and khaki shorts hanging out by the hot tub. Happy new year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Apply pressure where it hurts

Baby drool. I might join him soon.

I was feeling a lot of pressure leading up to Christmas. Going back to work, getting started with exercise, taking Liam to daycare, getting my relationship back with my husband after baby, getting ready for the holidays, making travel plans, ahhh! A poof of smoke just escaped my ears.

I told my friend, who gave birth a few weeks after me, that I wanted to start dieting so I could lose a bit of baby weight and she said, "Isn't that putting a lot of pressure on yourself when you are busy with baby?" I didn't even think of it that way. I am so distracted with the many things I choose to pressure myself with that I don't even recognize when I add another log on the fire.

Baby likes his chair now.
He was helping his daddy watch football today from his chair.

I haven't even told you the biggest pressure we have chosen to embark upon in 2010. We are preparing to put our house on the market. This house is too small for us, especially now that Little Liam is here. So we are gutting every corner of the house, compiling bags of things to donate to a local charity for the homeless, and prepping everything we want to keep but doesn't fit to go into storage. We have too much stuff! Someone talk to my husband about this, because he isn't listening to his wife. That is a whole other topic though, and if Bill had a blog he would write about how his insane wife is pressuring him to get rid of perfectly good things that he plans to use in the very near future.

True story: today Bill said "I got rid of two pairs of socks!" His wife got an adrenaline shot followed by a dose of patience and everyone lived to tell the story.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas photos

Liam's Christmas morning fish face. I don't know why he makes this face in the morning, but here it is!

Opening presents

Liam's first Christmas ornament

Like father like son

Liam opened a lot of presents on Christmas day

Presents that taste good too!

Bill enjoying a holiday drink at a friend's house

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the night before Christmas

It's Christmas Eve and we are feeling special today. This little baby, such a blessing. We tried for over two years to get pregnant. Many tears, doubt, worry, fear, every emotion on the roller coaster to get to this: a beautiful, special baby boy.

This morning I was singing "Twas the night before Christmas" to Liam and he was cooing and ooing, singing along with mommy. Every day he is more precious.

Yesterday my mom told me that her dad, who is suffering from several serious illnesses, talks about this blue eyed baby all the time. I saw grandpa last when I was just over 7 months pregnant. I wasn't sure if he would ever meet baby but he is doing better and I think Liam will see him by March. What a joy this little life brings.

Bill has a wonderful Aunt Ruth who is in her 80s and lives by herself in New York. She is an amazing woman, a pianist who travels the world by herself and goes for long walks daily. She wants to walk with us by the Hudson River someday and sent us a note recently that Liam's eyes reminded her of her husband's eyes.

William Kerr Fleck Jr. you are a special baby and we are so grateful for you. Mommy and daddy will do their best to raise you right and give you all the love you that you give to everyone around you.

Happy holidays to you readers and to your family!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Battling baby weight

Liam found his thumb to suck.

Thanks for the comments on yesterday's blog. Today was better! We took baby to daycare in the morning, rather than the afternoon, which meant mommy didn't have time to think about how bad she felt about it. Plus! Mommy got to walk on the treadmill and lift weights today and the world did not end. Some days, I love the treadmill. I like to do intervals, 5 minutes uphill, 1 minute rest, 5 minutes fast, repeat. I need to find some love for the bike trainer, perhaps a new year's resolution?

Liam made mommy a hand print ornament at daycare today. The first thing Liam has made for mommy!

Confession time: the baby weight is not coming off fast enough for me. Since the initial weight loss after giving birth, my weight has been relatively the same give or take 2-4 pounds. I didn't want to restrict calories since I'm breastfeeding and you are supposed to eat 500 extra calories a day. But I can only wear maternity pants so long before I lose my mind. I can fit into my pre-baby jeans, but my loose belly skin pooches over the top. I can't take it!

Liam is starting to play more!

So I'm going to diet for a while and hope it does not affect my breast milk supply. If it does, then we'll rethink it and try something different. I hope keeping hydrated and eat healthy foods will keep me in balance. And I won't do anything extreme but I have to do something. The plan is to eat small meals throughout the day, cut back sugar, and exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day. I hope it works, I can't be poochy mommy to much longer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Existential childcare crisis

We are "testing" childcare this week. I think any mom who has left her baby at a daycare will get a knowing feeling, a sinking feeling, just thinking about the days she left her baby with someone else. We are easing into it by taking Liam 2 hours each day M-W. No big deal! Except mommy stays up at night thinking about it and has secret crying sessions when no one is looking.

We found a great situation for childcare so I shouldn't be so freaked out. A woman who lives 3 blocks from us started a daycare in her home. She used to be a director of one of the big daycare centers in town and she is wonderful with kids. Her husband works for home and steps in when he needs to. They are pretty flexible about things and just wonderful people in general.

Today was hard because I had to test out how I would feel about working out before work, meaning one less hour without Liam. I have to tell you, I really questioned whether or not it's important for me to swim today or if I even need to swim for the next 18 years.

I figure Liam doesn't want a mommy who is a hack swimmer and he doesn't want a mommy who ignores him to go workout. So I will have to find a balance. It turns out that working out is the easy part. The mental part about whether or not I'm doing the right thing will be much tougher. I feel like every decision I make determines what kind of mommy I will be.

What kind of mommy am I?

For the past 2 nights I've ridden the bike trainer in the garage for a 1/2 hour after Liam went to bed. It was a great start for getting back to biking except then I didn't get to sleep until 11pm. So, sleep, baby, exercise, work, what else am I forgetting? Husband, friends,, ummmm a lot! At this point, if there were more hours in the day I would just worry about whether or not I should spend them all with Liam.

Alright friends, thanks for listening. I will post photos of Liam tomorrow or the day after. I've been busy with holiday stuff but will get back on track soon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So Many Firsts

Liam's first holiday party. He passed out next to the jazz band after farting really loudly during my co-worker's retirement speech.

Liam's first swim suit!

Liam's first swim! He basically yelled the entire time. The "warm" pool was cooler than I thought it would be. We'll try again after we practice in the bathtub. He's used to hanging out in his baby bathtub so we'll practice with mommy and daddy in our tub and see if that goes better. There probably won't be photos of that.

We'll do a video though. ;)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby meet doggy

Liam gives Marshall a test drive.

This doggy isn't too bad!

Marshall likes to kiss the baby and baby likes Marshall's whiskers. I think their friendship will really blossom when Liam starts dropping food on the ground.

The wait is over

Back to the baby photos and back to work. Yeah that's right, you heard me. I went back to work today. For 2 hours. I am easing back into it by doing 2 hour days for the rest of December. Then we'll see. I'm supposed to work 4 hours a day starting in January but I might want to keep at the 2 hour day thing going as long as I can.

I cried about it briefly last night but Bill said the right thing. He said, "It's like you are going for a swim. It takes you two hours to go swimming." He was right. I took the baby for a long walk this morning and it was a gorgeous rainy day. If you are wondering what that looks like, imagine a water color painting of a river with mist rising off of it and fall colors in the background. Beautiful. Then we came home, I showered quickly and Liam watched me blow dry my hair, we ate lunch, Liam went down for a nap and I rushed out the door as fast as possible. I was home again before he woke up.

The baby sports bibs now because he drools constantly and he is now constantly trying to get his fists in his mouth. Occasionally, he'll find his thumb which is seriously cute.

The only thing I missed while I was away was doing housework and that seems to always be there. Two hour days are perfect! Somehow I don't think my boss will let me keep that up though. Tomorrow night we take Liam to my work holiday party and on Saturday we are going to a pool party and I think little Liam might put on a speedo and go for a swim. I'm serious! I bought him a baby swim suit and there is a warm pool waiting for us. I can't wait to see him swim for the first time. By the way, the pool party is for a 50 year old. A bunch of people are doing 50 100s on 1:30. Not me for obvious reasons.
Posting more photos shortly...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We must look bad today

The camera battery is dead so today you get goofy old photos of Bill and I. We're drunk in this photo.

We took Liam to the pediatrician today for his 2 month appointment and the Doc took one look at us then asked how breastfeeding was going. He advised us to bottle feed at night so we could get more sleep unless I want to take a drug to increase my milk supply. I don't want to take the drug because it causes depression in 50% of the people and has other messed up side effects. I'm thinking new mom + depression is not a good idea.

Twins! Bill will not be happy to see this oldie on the blog.

Doc advised us to hit that baby with 4 or more ounces of formula each time and increase it until he sleeps more. Sweet! This is great news for me because up until now everyone has advised that you HAVE TO BREASTFEED. I have a proper rant about that topic but I don't have time tonight to pull together all the goofy messed up resources I want to site in my rant. I read some messed up nonsense about breastfeeding, there are some serious psychos out there about that topic.

Who is the bigger spaz here? Bill in his "Beach Bum" tank top or me in my shiny red top?

Anyhoooo! Liam survived his immunizations (another topic for people to get crazy about) and slept all afternoon afterward. He had to have 3 shots and some icky tasting medicine. Poor baby boy! After I got him down for his 2nd nap I snuck off to the pool and did a quick swim. I swam a 500 in 8:41 which is slow but you know what, I think I'm mentally tougher than I was pre-baby. I had no problem swimming it mentally and I always used to struggle through for some reason. So three cheers for mental toughness! I think being pregnant broke my spirit (I HATED being pregnant) and I'm a new person.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How to be an awesome friend to a new mom

If you thought baby Cassie was cute, here is newborn Cassie! She went camping and was named after the Cascade mountains. Who wouldn't want this little furball to cuddle in their sleeping bag?

Bill has been out of town the past 2 days and it's raining pretty hard here so I got desperate and asked a friend to babysit while I hit the treadmill for a quick workout today. My friend is retired and has a little more time than my working mom friends but she has been totally amazing to us from the beginning. Our first week home from the hospital she made us a hearty chicken and noodle soup and then came by two days later with a beef stew. Delish! I ate that for days afterward.

One day I was out walking the baby and came home to find a bag of homemade cinnamon scones on my front porch. Today she dropped off fudge and homemade bread. A bit of food is sooooo appreciated by a new mom. The stories are true, it's 9:30 pm and I still have not brushed my teeth yet today. It really is that busy!

Other awesome things people have done:
1. Come by with a latte and stayed for a short visit. New moms are so tired, they can't socialize for hours on end or get out for coffee.

2. Call to check in but don't have expectations of a long conversation.

3. Give handme down clothes for baby or pass on used books or used toys.

4. Ask for photos. New moms love to share baby photos (have you noticed?)

5. If you are a parent, give advice without being overbearing. I appreciate advice since no one actually tells you how to do this parenting thing!

6. Understand that a new baby is like a bomb exploding in the house. It might be a while before your new mom friend can be a good friend back.

7. Offer to babysit for an hour or two.

So there you go! I'll be waiting for my latte and food when you come over to babysit for me. Love, Erika

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beastly behavior

Baby Marshall

Last night, 3am, I get Liam down to sleep and the dog is wagging his tail and look up at me expectantly. Hmmm. "Do you have to go potty?" wag wag "Are you hungry?" Jump up wag wag wag! Shoot. I think we forgot to feed the dog dinner. Bad parents! I fed the dog, put him out for potty, then we both went back to bed. In the morning I told Bill what bad parents we are and he said "Uh no, I fed the dog dinner. He tricked you." grrrrrr

Baby Cassie

Earlier that day I saw Cassie swat Liam's pacifier onto the ground and play with it. I was wondering who was leaving bite marks on the pacifier since Liam has no teeth. I guess we'll need to hide them from her since that is gross and she has effectively lost half of them.

This is not the worst thing she has done with the baby. We were struggling to get Liam to bed one night and finally he fell asleep. 5 minutes later we hear him crying. Good grief! I went in the check the baby and guess who was in the baby's crib? Yes, Ms. Thing had jumped into the crib and woke up the baby. We actually thought that one was funny.

Someday, Liam will be good buddies with the beasts. For now, I think they are all just messing with me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To do today

So you want more poop stories? Liam used to scream the entire time we changed his diaper, but now he mostly does this. There, end of stories. You are welcome.

Bill asked me what I wanted to do this Saturday and I just sat there staring blankly off into space. It turns out that what I really needed to do was sleep. Bill made us a nice bacon, egg, and hashbrowns breakfast and then Liam started snoozing in his swing so I proceeded to pass out on the couch. 20 minutes later WAH WAH!

Ouch, a 20 minute nap. That hurts worse than not sleeping at all when you are that tired. So we ate lunch and then tried again only this time Liam wouldn't sleep. I laid in bed with him and he started to snooze so I think I got about an hour and a half of restless sleep. And that was my day.

I heard that the woman who wrote the Twilight vampire series of books actually conceived of the idea while being sleep deprived from having colicky babies. Bill is hoping I have similar grand visions and that we strike it rich. Last night I dreamt that I was supposed to go to the day spa with my sisters-in-law over the holidays but we found out it cost $20,000 so we couldn't go. They were going to take their kids to Target for shopping instead so I was going to go for a walk. I don't think that would make a good book series, I better get less sleep.

Liam hasn't quite taken to the chair his auntie Erin got him. He looks cute in it though! Tonight we are eating pizza and watching the Star Trek movie, if I can stay awake. I hope I feel better tomorrow because this week has sucked for working out and this 20 pounds isn't going to lose itself.

Friday, December 11, 2009

No good women

Bill and super baby! We took the baby to the pool today for a swim meet and then the end of year luncheon. It was quite a good time for the baby except by 3pm baby had not had a nap yet. Oops! Bad scene by that time. I'm pretty sure the parenting books wouldn't advise your keep your 8 week up all day socializing.

It started freezing raining this afternoon so we might be home for the next day or two. I put the dog out back to go to the bathroom and when I tried to let him back in he wouldn't walk on the steps. I think he face planted on the way out and I missed it!

I took the baby by my regular coffee spot at work and my ladies there were very excited to meet Liam. One lady said, "This baby is going to be a handsome man. You are going to have to keep the no good women away from him." I hadn't thought about that yet, another thing to worry about for the future ;)

And finally, something new happened today! I took baby's diaper off and he wasn't done going (oops) and poo went shooting out all over me and onto the floor. I will leave you with that thought.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Your wildest dreams will come true

Who says babies don't come with instructions? Well friends, Liam has entered a new stage. We saw our first laughs out of him, which is so adorable you make an ass out of yourself to see if you can get him to laugh again. And then I accidentally scared him today, I had a shark finger puppet we were playing with and I made a scary noise while "biting" his nose and he stuck his lower lip out, gave me the saddest look in the history of the world and started sobbing. Oops! With all this cute comes another new thing: almost total lack of sleep. Last night I slept .5, 1.5, and then 2 hours by the time it was 5am. Ouch.

But we survived another day, Liam took a solid 3.5 hour nap this evening and he's currently upstairs giving Bill hell while he tries to get him to bed. I did manage to get out for a swim this evening while the baby was napping. My goal: swim 1650 yards (1 mile) total and get several 100s under 1:45. I swam 200 ez, 2 x 100, and 2 x 50 repeat 3 times. I pushed the hundreds and managed to swim 1:42 for them. It felt ridiculous. I feel like I'm not going anywhere when I swim. It's like a bad dream but I have to keep at it, look! I already made progress from my last swim. Soon I will be swimming 1:30 for 100. Soon like mid-next year but it will happen eventually. Just like the baby will sleep eventually.

p.s. have I ever mentioned my recurring swimming nightmare? The water turns to a jello like substance and I can't break through the upper skin with my hand yet somehow I keep moving forward. Weird but not far from how I actually feel now in the water.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

We're in this together

The baby didn't sleep all day yesterday. Typically he takes two 2-3 hour naps during the day. Yesterday, there was only short snoozes followed by crying. He finally fell asleep at 7pm last night, right at his normal bath time. This was about as much as I could handle so there was no exercise, cleaning, or other projects for mommy yesterday.

Cassie thinks the "Boppy" pillow, which is used for nursing, is actually a cat pillow, used for bum warming. What's hilarious about the whole not sleeping thing is you get at your wits end, then you look at your child and think "how precious and wonderful" he is, I will actually start tearing up about my beautiful baby boy is. It is quite the roller coaster.

If I get any time today, we are clearing out clutter in the house and donating a bunch of stuff to a local agency that helps homeless people. It feels really good to know that stuff that we aren't using will go to people who really need it. Becoming a mom has certainly tenderized my heart, I can barely think about a child being without a home, especially during this cold snap and with Christmas approaching. Oh boy, another reason to cry!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

What I want

Now that we have a little monkey baby, what I want matters a whole lot less than when it was just Bill and I. I used to live the life! Drinking lattes and exercising whenever I wasn't working. Let me tell you how life has changed for me now...

We decided to test out baby's driving endurance today by taking him on a drive to the local outlet mall.
That was a brilliant idea, except it turns out our child is not a shopper. He yelled in every story and threw a full-on fit in the T-mobile store. Oh! And he pooped 3 times during the 5 hours we were gone and guess how many wet whipes I had with me? 3! It was close.

We had to pull over the car to breast feed when we were only 15 minutes from home. Bill was irritated. I was exhausted. And baby just wanted us to know that he doesn't like to shop.

After that fiasco Liam slept like a baby so I hurried to get my weekend project done: clean out the entry way closet. Then I had to scramble to get a swim in, even though I was exhausted and wanted a nap. I managed to swim 10 x 100 on 2:00 (1:45 pace which I am not too distressed about for now) and 10 x 50 (I know! Norwegian designed workout). I got home around 6pm, ate leftovers, did the dishes, breastfed, folded laundry, and now here I am, finally getting to the blog while Bill puts the baby down for the night. And I did all this without caffeine.

And in even more important news, we got just the right photo for our holiday cards. Only minor nudity is involved. I will share the design after we get them in the mail. Hope your holiday planning is going well, if so, why don't you come borrow Liam for the day?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Beaver Believers

Liam is excited about an OSU victory over the Ducks at the Civil War game tonight. I hope you watch and root for the Beavers, unless you are Maija and then it's acceptable to root for the Ducks however we will feel sorry for you that your team won't be going to the Rose Bowl.
Swimming went well yesterday, it was a fins day and I was able to "swim fast" which felt amazing. I get endorphins so easily right now, any type of intense exercise feels great. It's sunny and cold here today, it's supposed to be freezing for the game tonight. Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

More photos of Liam

For the grandmas and Liam fans:

I'm working on videos too but the awesome video editing software I bought keeps crashing. I have an idea for a holiday card and it involves nudity and a Santa hat! Bet you can't wait to see photos of Bill ;)

I'll be back later today with another post. We didn't have the best night of sleep last night. Liam woke up 4 times and I kept worrying about my former boss babysitting him in her office today. What if he starts screaming and doesn't stop? I'm going to need a nap after swimming today!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

No running

I asked Bill to dress Liam this morning and he showed up with sneakers on. Bill said he needs to start walking soon so he had to get his shoes on. Liam drooled in response.

My friend Kaisa has literally written a book on how to fix your body after you have a baby and she has advised me to stop running. It's bad for the pelvic floor this soon after baby. I am following her exercise program that includes deep core work (not situps and crunches) so I'm hopeful that this spare tire attached to my belly will disappear eventually. As soon as her book is available online, I will let you know about it. She is one of the few exercise instructors I've had that I actually believe in. She taught spinning and core at OSU while she was getting her master's degree in Exercise Science and she is just the type of person that you do what she says. She's that smart.

I do have the ok to walk, swim and bike so that I will continue except my butt! Whoo! Just 8 miles on a bike last Saturday and my bum is still tender. I'm no Lance Armstrong, that is for sure. Next time I will use Liam's Butt Paste before biking.

My former boss offered to babysit for me tomorrow during lunch so I can go swimming. Liam and I can't wait!

Monday, November 30, 2009

We're not gonna take it!

It seems like there is controversy awaiting most decisions you make as a parent: breast vs. bottle, cloth vs. disposable, paci vs. thumb, co-sleeping vs. crib. etc. etc. There is potential to be a jerk at every stage. I've been watching my friends with their kids and reading books and web sites and oddly enough, Liam and Bill make a lot of the decisions.

Bill will not allow Liam to co-sleep with us in our bed. I agree with him, I think baby needs to sleep in his room and mommy and daddy need to sleep in their room. Only mommy is sleeping in baby's room right now and daddy is sleeping in a king size bed by himself. Hmmm. How did that happen exactly?

Liam typically wakes up around 6 am and wants to stay up so I bring him in bed with me and let him nurse while I lay on my side and try to get more sleep. This is the only co-sleeping we do, unless you count napping on the couch, and I enjoy it but... I don't get a whole lot of sleep. The baby grunts and moans and sticks his fist up in the air sometimes hitting himself in the head and then starts kicking his legs.

When he gets going like this I sing to him:

We're not going to take it!
No! We ain't gonna take it!
We're not gonna take it anymore!

This is why we don't co-sleep and why swaddling the baby as tightly as possible works for us. You wouldn't sleep if you hit yourself in the head now would you? I want to swaddle Bill sometimes but he's pretty strong so I would have to knock him out with a big meal first and burp him like we do with Liam. That would be so awesome, my husband is a total squirmer in bed. Wait a minute! Yep, that's why Liam is William Jr.

Baby is sleeping more now, up to 5 hours for his first session, then 3-4 then 2 and then 1 or less and that's when he gets in bed with mommy. I am becoming more functional (ha ha!) and starting to think about returning to work part time. Work... hmmm. I can see why women don't go back after they have a baby but I'm going to give it a try and see what happens. It might take a paycheck or two to convince me it's worth it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

No more apple pie please

We immersed ourselves in the holidays this weekend having Thanksgiving dinner twice and getting a great start on Christmas. We had dinner at a friend's house on Thursday and then my parents arrived for a visit on Friday. My mom cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner for us and watched the baby while we exercised.

I got to walk/run on Friday and then today we rode our bikes to the pool for an afternoon swim. Glorious! On Saturday our friend came over and helped us decorate our tree as she has for the past 3 years. She is great at tree decorating and handles it much better than I do so we are in good shape for Christmas now.

Bill went out and bought some presents for himself to put under the tree so my work is mostly done. I just have to keep myself from making too many holiday cookies and I know that won't work so I guess my new year's resolution will be to lose this baby weight. It would also help if I would quit eating two types of pie before bed but this is what happens when my mom visits and brings 4 pies with her. Help!