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!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yes sir that's my baby

No photo today, i'm typing with 1 hand because the baby is asleep on my arm. thanksgiving=deep and profound thanks for this life i am privileged to live. family, friends, people to read my blog. i haven't always been so fortunate and that makes this even sweeter now. liam has pulled my life together and given me focus and what a gift and joy my squirmy/screaming baby is. this is my song with liam, have a listen, it makes me hormonal see if it works for you too:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

1st swim!

Bill and I took the baby with us to the pool today and split the class so one of us could swim at a time. Liam loved being at the pool, the sound of the swimmers in the water lulled him to sleep after he watched them swim for a good 15 minutes. It was lovely for everybody!

Swimming felt amazing except I had a hard time kicking, I think my core is still trying to figure out what is going on. It was an uncoordinated swim but I got to do flipturns and back stroke and breast stroke and! It was so exciting! I can't wait to get back to the pool again. My parents are coming tomorrow and my mom promised to babysit for me and I'll be at the pool first thing.

Pregnant swimming was fine and all but non-pregnant swimming is soooo much better. I feel like I'm getting back to being myself again and it feels great! Yeah!!!!! Yeahhh!!!!! Yeah!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1st run post baby

It was a glorious day here in Corvallis today. Sun and 59 degrees is just too lovely to stay indoors in November! I packed Liam up in the car and found room for the dog too and drove over to Bald Hill for what was supposed to be a nice long 4+ mile walk. That was the plan anyway.

After about 1/2 mile the baby started fussing so I stopped at a bench and changed his diaper and gave him part of a bottle. He settled down so I put him back in the stroller and continued on into the glorious sun. 10 minutes later, baby was howling again. LOUD! So I stopped and gave him the rest of the bottle but that was not the answer. He started screaming when I took the empty bottle away. OK THEN!

The child does not appreciate a sunny day in November. Obviously. I turned around and started walking back to the car but his howls were so alarming I could hardly stand it. I wanted to stop at the bench again and nurse him but there was an old man sitting there glaring at me and I forgot to bring a blanket to cover myself so I would have had to whip out the boobie next to the old man with an attitude. I was really tempted to do it but the baby's cries were hurting my head so I did the only thing I could think to do: start running.

This is the first time I have run in over 10 months but I still remembered how to put one foot in front of the other. The only probably was my bouncing jelly belly, I had to hold it with one hand and push the stroller with the other while trying to keep the leashed dog with me and OH! Did I mention the baby was screaming all the while? What an awesome return to running!

I got back to the car and nursed the baby who looked at me calmly like there was never any fuss. I spent the rest of the afternoon napping on the couch with the baby. Who needs a sunny day outdoors?

Tomorrow I go the Dr for the 6 week check up and will hopefully get cleared to exercise again and start the comeback in earnest. Hopefully my next run goes better, it couldn't get worse could it?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ironman plans

Ironman Cozumel is next Sunday and we had quite a winding road leading up to the race. Initially, it was supposed to be a fun get away for Bill and I and some friends we hardly get to see who live in Denver. Bill's buddy registered for the race, his 1st Ironman. Then I got pregnant and my due date was 7 weeks before the race. Initially, I thought I would just take the baby to the race. Newborns are rumored to be portable. Then I looked at flights and from Oregon you end up with 2 layovers and it takes 12-15 hours to get there. I decided that was not something I was willing to do so I suggested Bill go ahead without me. Then his buddy's wife got pregnant, so he was going without his wife too. Dudes weekend in Cozumel! Watch out bikini girls!

Bill managed to get some training in during my pregnancy which I am sure was a nice break from his cranky pot bellied wife. He had some great training sessions, but couldn't run most of the summer due to injury so he was basically ready to be competitive at a 1/2 Ironman, without the run. Then the baby came and our world came to a halt. Except Bill had to go back to work. He was getting in 1-2 training sessions a week once the baby was born.

Then I flipped out. I cried and said I couldn't handle him leaving me behind to contend with the baby by myself. So he left me, with the baby, for 2 days for a business trip and I somehow survived so I told him to go ahead and go to the race without me. Then his work picked up even more and he had a night where he was up until 3am and still was behind at work.

Ultimately, the only reason to go to the race was to hang with his buddy and support him for his first Ironman which was reason enough to go, they have been friends since childhood. Bill was ready to book his ticket (last minute) when he found out he would have to be gone for 7 days rather than 5 days and that was the end of it. He couldn't miss work, his wife, his baby, and all of the things weighing on him to go race in the sun.

No bikini girls for Bill this time. Now I have a depressed husband who feels like he let his friend down. He feels awful about it and so do I. Sometimes... life just doesn't go the way you want it to. Fortunately, we have a baby to keep us up at night and remind us of our priorities.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

He likes the twinkle music dammit

The baby wants to be awake more often now, but he doesn't know what he wants to do when he's awake. So it's up to mommy and daddy to entertain the 5 week old whose interests are... boobies. Hmmm. I'm already pulling out toddler toys and music to try to keep him interested in something other than my chest and I tell you, it's almost as exhausting as waking up every 2 hours during the night.

One thing we did figure out today is that Mr. Liam likes twinkle music. Not cradle or lullaby but twinkle music. So do not mess around with his twinkle music or he will SCREAM. Tomorrow we are taking him in to my office for a visit and then to swim class. I'm hoping to dip his toe in to the pool as a "christening" but it will all depend on whether or not he's howling for a boobie or loudly tooting. This should be fun!

Tomorrow, I will either write a rant about breast feeding and the psycho advocates or about Bill's upcoming Ironman plans. I'm too tried to write either or those topics right now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

His tooty pants are on

First: my blog yesterday didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I was blogging at the end of a long day and Bill was trying to get the baby down but the baby was fussing up a storm. I meant to add in stuff about how much Bill handles around the house and how he is so confident with the baby but all that came out was "my husband is a big buffoon who can't keep a kitchen clean." I rarely take back a blog post but I probably should have reworked the one I wrote yesterday. Someday I'll write about the "where to buy mustard theory" which will explain how I drive Bill nuts.

Hey, so do you know what a baby that is gassy sounds like? WAH WAAAAHHHH toot tooot WAAAAHHHHH! Our child burps like a frat boy and toots like an old man. We didn't get a lot of peace and quiet today so I'm going to head off to bed now. I COULD REALLY USE A TALL GLASS OF BEER AND 8 CONSECUTIVE HOURS OF SLEEP. I'm just saying.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The dirty dish rag theory

FYI... I made it to the grocery store, by myself, with the baby today. It went great except the Starbucks espresso machine was broken. LAME. Plus I had to get out of my pajama bottoms.

My husband and I are slightly off when you compare us to other people. We do take on some traditional roles but we also have high expectations of each other in non-traditional ways. Example: my husband is perfectly happy if I am making more money than he is. He thinks it's awesome and tells people that he has two masters degrees and I don't even have a bachelors and I make more money.

It's really because he spent so much time in school that I have high expectations of him to get things done around the house. He did the dishes for 95% of our relationship because he wasn't working and was home while I worked full time and had a web store. When you work as a team like that, you have to let go of certain things, like how the other person does things differently than you would.

This is where my dirty dish rag theory comes in. Bill used to frequently leave the dish rag lying in dirty dish water. I asked him not to do that, because it's disgusting, and he did manage to keep it out of the dirty water about half the time. The other half, I found the dish rag in the sink soaking in filth. I had to tell myself that this time would pass, that someday, I would be in charge of the kitchen and it would be clean the way I wanted it to be.

Well that time has come, I am home with the baby and guess what? The kitchen sink is clean before I go to bed each night. It could have been that way all along if I would have taken over and done it myself which is what most women do when men don't do something the way they like. But I won't do what most women do because I think women cheat themselves when they do that.

Now on to the baby. Yesterday, Bill was trying to soothe the baby by loudly listening to Billy Idol. I suggested that he run the vacuum cleaner instead to which he scoffed. It seems the crying baby is the great conqueror because within minutes he was vacuuming, the baby was quiet, and peace had been restored. Bottom line is the baby is in charge and we are all just servants.

I bet you are wondering what annoying things I do that irritate my husband? Good thing he doesn't have a blog!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Soon we'll need a twin bed

Liam 2 days old

Liam 4 weeks old

What do you think he has been doing all this time? Eating! Wildcat! This kid was up every hour to 2 hours last night eating. I woke up feeling drained and just a little tired.

My goal for next week is to go to the grocery store with the baby, by myself. This will be one of the scarier things I've done so far, I've yet to leave the house with him by myself in the car. But if I can make it there, there is a Starbucks in the store so I will be free! Free to drink lattes and grocery shop at the same time. Wish me luck! Hopefully the child will not starting screaming as soon as I get the cart full of groceries. This could be ugly.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Memories and hospital bills

Oregon in November. You can still get outside if you have a jacket and a good attitude. It's funny because I see so few people walking or riding bikes in the winter but in the summer there are people everywhere. So I enjoy the tranquility of winter outdoors here.

I took this photo about 5 minutes after the first photo, if you wait long enough, you will find blue or gray skies here this time of year. Anyway!

I want to share a few more stories from delivery that I didn't get to share yet. I'm starting to get statements from the hospital so it was a reminder about why I left the hospital a day early. In general, the nursing staff was completely awesome and I felt like they were caring and wonderful people. But the day after delivery we had a bit of a mishap, I told my nurse I was nauseated and thought I was going to throw up. She said she would be back with a medication to help me but she took her lunch break and another nurse came in with a syringe that she put in my IV. Within minutes my speech was slurred and I felt like I was losing consciousness. I told the nurse that I was going to pass out and she said, "Oh, you are feeling sleepy because of the medication I just gave you." Sleepy? I couldn't talk, this was more than sleepy. Basically I had to sleep off the medication for the next 6 hours while Bill watched our newborn baby. That worked well for everyone. NOT. Our nurse came in later and started crying, she felt so bad about what had happened.

The next day, a new nurse showed up and wanted to check my c-section incision. A bandage had been taped over it but for some reason this genius thought gauze was just lying on top of it and she tried to lift it off, when it didn't budget she actually tried to rip the bandage off without thinking about tape. That felt great. And that was it. I was done with the nurses. I asked when I could go home and by nightfall that day, I was home. Who knows how much money I saved us by leaving a day early.

One nice thing about the nursing staff is that you can room in with your baby or ask them to take the baby to the nursery. Most women room in so the nurses are thrilled when you ask them to watch your baby. Bill asked me to send the baby to the nursery in the middle of the night so we could get some sleep. I wanted to die before I let go of that baby, but out of respect for him I asked the nurse to take the baby. I spent the next 4 hours waking up and trying to stop myself from pressing the call button to bring the baby back. It was brutal. I have to tell you, there have been a few nights recently when I wished there was a nurse take the baby for me.

Dinner is about to come out of the oven, another victory for me, I got to cook while the baby slept. You know your life has changed when you are excited to cook dinner and do the dishes!

Friday, November 13, 2009

I've created a monster

No, not this monster!

Little Liam has been fussing in the late morning, just before we go for our noon time walk. Which has me wondering, does this kid anticipate going for a walk like the dang dog does? Because once we hit the road, he quietly snoozes away and barely makes a peep while mommy walks. But before that: wildcat! I think we have another exercise addict on our hands.

This little monster!

So I got out of the house today for the 2nd time since the baby. Bill watched him while I went to the salon for some much needed highlights. I actually feel like a human again and not a milk delivery system for baby. I even put on my fancy boots and some make-up. It was kind of heavenly, I think I could have passed go and went directly to the bar for happy hour but my boobs were tingly (sorry) and I was in jeopardy of soaking through my shirt (sorry) so I'm home blogging.

Here's an overexposed photo of me post hair color today. I almost look normal which is amazing considering I was "the biggest pregnant woman I've ever seen" according to one swimmer. Notice I had to wear a black sweater to hide the belly bulge. This was the only thing I could find to wear that hid it so I will probably be wearing this a lot. And I really do still look 5 months pregnant, this is just an awesome outfit. I can take a photo of my belly if you need it!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

Beyonce what are you doing on my blog? She's here to provide a soundtrack for this post AND some much needed fashion and make-up.

I just wrapped up two days with the baby by myself. Bill took his first business trip and left with me our 4 week old by my lonesome. That was intimidating enough but then his laptop died before he left so he had to take mine and along with it the digital camera. Somehow I had time to watch a two hour special on Beyonce Knowles while breast feeding and holding my snoozing baby...

I'm a survivor (What?)
I'm not gon give up (What?)
I'm not gon stop (What?)
I'm gon work harder (What?)
I'm a survivor (What?)
I'm gonna make it (What?)
I will survive (What?)
Keep on survivin' (What?)

Regular blog posting will return tomorrow after I've had some rest and time with my camera and laptop...

All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who makin' money
Throw your hands up at me
All the mommas who profit dollas
Throw your hands up at me
All the ladies who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me

Monday, November 09, 2009


Bill made some chai tea for me this morning and I think that was the first time I've had caffeine in over a year. I felt awesome! Typically, I set a goal to get one thing done in a day, like a load of laundry since this little baby is so time consuming. Today I made cookies, visited with a friend, vacuumed while the baby snoozed in the baby bjorn, sterilized baby bottles, washed the dishes, hung up my winter wardrobe, put on jeans (instead of pajama bottoms), brushed my teeth before 11am, went to the bank, went to Kmart for a bottle warmer and cooler, went to the grocery store, made banana bread, cooked dinner, used the breast pump, returned friend's dishes who had cooked dinner for us and gave them cookies from this morning, visited with a friend and her baby, went for a 45 minute walk, handled various emails, and now I'm blogging.

I'm just waiting for this precious child to wake up, he seems like the perfect child now that I have energy to get things done. woo hooo! I think I will restore some small amounts of caffeine to my life so I can get more than one thing done in a day. I feel like I could solve the nation's national security issues while cooking a 4 course meal. What do you bet I crash off this high soon?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Codename: Wildcat

Our precious baby was born hairy, he had hair on his ears, hair on his forehead, and hair in his back which caused us to nickname him "monkey". Now that we've had 3 1/2 weeks with our child, we have come up with a name that more suits his personality: wildcat!

This kid gets on the breast and starts growling and hissing, scratching and hitting. He grunts and kicks and basically beats me up like a little wildcat. It's enough to crack me up in the middle of the night when I'm sleep deprived and delirious.

Bill attempting to "swaddle" Cassie, our first wildcat. Speaking of cats, last night we noticed our older cat Bree Bree was meowing to be fed. We both looked over at her and she was swaying back and forth like she was about to fall over. Bill said "Your cat is going to drop dead one of these days, there won't be any long build up, she'll just fall over and die." Wouldn't that be freaky?

I better go before the wildcat stirs. His daddy just left for the store so I have to manage him on my own while he's gone. Pray for me!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sleep. Sleeeepppp

The last 48 hours have been interesting, but we have survived and learned a few things and that's what counts with a newborn. Little Liam started out cranky with gas and stayed awake almost all day which was hard on me because Bill was out of town and I had stayed up with the baby the night before to give Bill and a break. That night, Liam woke up every 2 hours and at one point, stayed up for an hour and a half around 3am and then kept waking up every hour after that.

We were brutalized. Then the real fun began. Liam was constipated. We researched on the web and tried several things including giving the baby a smidge of prune juice with some water. It didn't appear to do anything but the baby was snoozing which was an improvement from the day before. We were a little worried he wouldn't sleep at night because he was sleeping so much that day. We set out to put him down for the night and he wouldn't go to sleep.

Around 10:30 last night, baby had the biggest bowel movement ever had by a 3 week old. Thank goodness. Yes, our lives are almost completely focused on BMs now. Baby filled two diapers and then slept for 4 hours straight. Then he slept for another 3 hours. It was heaven.

So we survived! He got fussy with me again this afternoon so I gave him a warm bath which caused another BM and then we took a nice nap together for a few hours and Bill is napping with the baby now.

We might even get to watch a movie this Friday night. Or we'll all just sleep. I was walking with the baby today, thinking about how much my life has changed since he arrived and thinking about how far away I've gone from where I was before he arrived. The Beatles lyric "get back to where you once belong" started going through my head and made me think about what a challenging road it's going to be for me to get back to triathlon and work and going to school with this baby in my life.

Every little thing we accomplish with the baby, including a BM, gives me a little more confidence that we are going to do this and get through these challenges. It isn't going to be easy though. We'll just take it one hour at a time and enjoy this little baby while we can. Hopefully he won't resent me writing about his baby BMs on the internet and become a disaffected teenager because of it. If he does, I'll just wake him up every 2 hours to get back at him.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Things we are doing right

We got through last night without too much trouble, he must have worked out most of the gas during the day although we really burped him and had him on his tummy before we went to bed. Hopefully tonight will work out as well as last night.

It's pretty easy to get things wrong with your first baby, here are some things we lucked into that have worked well for us so far...

1. Asking for help and saying no: first my mom came and cleaned our house, helped at the hospital, and cooked for us and helped with the baby when we first came home. It was perfect and amazing! Then, I realized that I wasn't comfortable breast feeding and being in my underwear in front of my dad so we asked them to leave a day early so we could get our feet under ourselves in privacy. It was hard, but the right thing to do. You can't recover from surgery and breast feed a baby with your clothes on and your hair fixed. It just doesn't work. Fortunately, mom will be back for Thanksgiving and I am counting the days until she arrives. We've also been treated to several excellent dinners from friends (sauteed pork chops tonight!) and also asked friends to stay away who are sick or have been exposed to sick people.

2. Bed in the baby's room: doesn't look so perfect anymore now that I have to squeeze laundry in between breastfeeding but this works so well. Bill gets to sleep in our room and I am near the baby, which is where I need to be, and the baby is sleeping in the crib which makes me feel better as it lowers the risk of SIDS. He does sleep with me in the morning in bed when I need an extra snooze but in general, he sleeps on his own and we are all sleeping more because of it.

3. iTouch and docking station: I play Pandora (custom internet radio station) at night (lullabies and soundscapes) to put us to sleep and when baby wakes, I play games on the iTouch or browse the web while breastfeeding in the middle of the night. I love this gadget for both purposes!

4. Baby swing: yes it looks corny but this swing is the only reason my hands are free to type this now. Baby will snooze in the swing which goes 2 ways and plays music which he loves. He fusses sometimes when the music stops but it's worth listening to chirping birds and lullabies so I can get the dishes done.

5. Fan with washable air filter: the fan provides white noise and reduces the risk of SIDS plus it has an air filter which we need since both the cat and the dog insist on sleeping in the baby's room with me.

6. Diaper genie: we have one upstairs and downstairs to keep dirty diaper smells under control.

7. Pampers Swaddlers diapers: a strip on the front turns green if baby pees. We wanted to be the types that use cloth diapers but it's just not going to happen yet. Once we get more sleep, then we'll be ready to take on washing dirty cloth diapers (no diaper service here) but it will likely mean we have to buy a new washer and dryer since ours are old and not great.

8. Butt paste and Costco wet wipes: baby has already had a few red spots on his bum and he practically purred when we put on the butt paste. The wipes, he hates, but you can get a million of them at Costco for $5 and it's just a fact of life dear Liam, that sometimes it takes a cold wet wipe to clean your rear.

Monday, November 02, 2009

What plans?

I had intended for my blog post for today to be about all the things we are doing that have worked great for us with this baby, however, the baby was gassy today so that plan was throw out the window.

You can hear the baby's tummy gurgling something fierce and he didn't want to breastfeed regularly today which is frustrating for everybody. I have had a headache just about every day since I've been home from the hospital, I think it's from lack of sleep, and a fuss-a-lumps baby makes the head pound harder. At least there are two of us to deal with him, I don't know how single moms do it. I have major respect for single moms and consider them tougher than any Ironman triathlete. For sure.

Please let me know if you have advice for dealing with a gassy baby. I'm not sure if it's something I ate or if he's just 3 weeks old and gassy now. Wish us luck getting through the night!