Monday, January 25, 2010

We're thick

We're all sick here, I think we can credit Liam's daycare for his first illness. Poor boy, my throat is absolutely killing me so I can't imagine how he feels. He has been sleeping it off for the most part, we have only had to resort to a car ride once when he wouldn't stop crying. I desperately want to take some cough medicine but I'm still "breastfeeding" which means pumping 3 times a day and I want him to have the benefit of any antibodies I'm generating. Probably futile but I can't quite give it up. Babies his age can't take any medicine so I'll suffer with him.

Not much else going on here. No working out, no work (for me), not much to report. Please wish us good health soon. It doesn't seem right for a baby his size to be sick, it's breaking my heart every time he cries.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tougher than the Navy Seals

Shocking news: the baby started sleeping after I wrote my last blog. The poor little guy has a cold so I don't know if that is why he is sleeping or if it is our awesome parenting. :) Last night he slept 8 pm - 3am. We heard him at 3am and it was practically a party. We both jumped up out of bed and went in his room to congratulate him on his longest sleep ever. He must have been exhausted from a week and a half of bad sleep.

A very unflattering outfit for a walk/run today. Old clothes, new post baby body. Ugh. Someday the clothes will fit right again. Anyway, it was almost 50 degrees and sunny so after Liam's morning nap I went out for some exercise. Joyous! Sun! Sleeping baby and sun is a great day.

Mama and baby having dinner. Does he look like me at all? He's got his daddy's hair line for sure!

A few years ago I watched a show about Navy Seals training and came away thinking that people who attempt that career path are studs. They make them do a bunch of crazy stuff like lift a big log over their heads multiple times and jump in freezing cold water at 3 am but the hardest thing they have to deal with is sleep deprivation. I have a whole new perspective on life now that I have a child. There are parents out there who go through amazing things (way tougher than us) and could give the Navy Seals good competition in the mental toughness category. I also believe that the average woman who gives birth to a child is tougher than the average Ironman. I have ultimate respect for single mom's who deal with all of it by themselves. I can't imagine doing this without Bill.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I don't even know where to start

You know how I've blogged about how Liam isn't sleeping consistently and that I was tired from it? That my friends, was nothing. Since we returned from Arizona, Liam has gone on a steady decline when it comes to sleepy time to the point where he is now waking up every 1-1.5 hours at night. Today he napped for a half hour before melting down and then for 15 minutes before I put him in bed with me so he could get some sleep. We haven't figured out if there is a problem or if we are completely screwing something up.

Earlier this week he was waking up with a really dry nose so I got a humidifier for his room. Now his nose is full of boogies so he may have allergies or a small cold. I called the pediatrician and the physician's assistant advised me over the phone to let Liam cry it out at night. The only one crying it out is me, on my blog. We'll let him fuss if that's all it is but I won't let him scream in his room by himself. Yet.
Yesterday was really bad because I ended up working out twice, which I said I didn't have it together enough to do but somehow I did, but the result was bad. I had no sleep to recover from the exercise so all day today I was in a fog. I'm actually afraid to go to sleep tonight since we have no idea what it will bring.
This weekend Liam will be the focus of my energy and efforts. I'm not going to be distracted by 100 projects, I'm going to see if I can get this kid on a schedule and asleep. Wish us luck, my brain is really starting to suffer from the sleep deprivation.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Diet and exercise

About 4-5 weeks ago I got tired of the baby weight clinging to my body and I started to diet with the thought that I would quit if my breast milk supply got low. I dieted for one week, lost one pound, and saw my milk supply diminish. I stopped dieting immediately and started watching what I ate, which means I didn't restrict calories but I didn't pig out either. Baby got frustrated with breast feeding pretty quickly and would only breast feed at night when he was tired, which made the milk supply even lower. I started pumping more and feeding baby breast milk from a bottle but the damage was done.

Four weeks later, my weight is the same and I inadvertently started weening the child. I can't quite let go of breastfeeding yet. I haven't been doing it but I'm pumping enough to keep some supply going. I think I'm the one not ready to let go and the baby is perfectly happy without it. It makes me sad to think about it.

I'm exercising regularly but without a plan at this point. I don't need the pressure of trying to keep up with an exercise plan. I'm having fun with exercise but really wish the weight would magically disappear. Anyone have David Copperfield's phone number?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Work and more work around here

I'll get you, you wascaly wabbit!

Liam loves looking at this quilt made by my friend Sarah while we change his diaper. I love the colors!

We made a trip up to Ikea on Saturday so we could finally outfit the baby's room. We removed the bed I had been sleeping in last weekend so we had space for actual baby stuff. A trip to Ikea was a great idea, except were sleep deprived, Ikea is an hour and a half drive away and we have a baby who doesn't like his car seat but details details!

Besides staring dumbly at each other while people swirled around us in the store, we did manage to make some decent decisions at Ikea and once we got home, instead of napping like the baby was doing, we scrambled to put the furniture together and set up his room in yet another marathon session. We will never learn. Ever.

Today I actually left the house and rode the bike trainer with the girls and then we had a couple over that are newly pregnant so we could show them the ropes. Now Bill and Sunny are watching football (recorded) and I'm pouting because I want to watch the Golden Globes to see all the pretty dresses but I've been trumped. boooo

Tomorrow I have childcare in the morning and no work to go to! What marathon session can I get ramped up on?

The many storage options you can get at Ikea!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicks man

I went out with the girls last night but I was home by 8 so don't get too excited for me. I met another new mom who is getting less sleep than I am, poor woman! I had a great time chatting over martinis and realized that I need to get out more. Sadly, I'm at the ripe old age of 37 so whenever I get dressed up I feel like I look like a cougar on the prowl. Aging isn't cute.

But babies are cute so let's forget about that other stuff.

I started back to work on a part time schedule at work this week, MTRF as 5 hour days with Wed off. I really like it so far and I think it will work out well for us. After working full time for so many years, part time feels a bit like taking a vacation. It's nice to get up and go somewhere in the morning, drink some coffee and socialize with adults but then head home by 1 for time with baby. Right now I work until noon and then try to fit a workout in before I pick up baby.

Evening exercise has not been happening because once the sun goes down it's time to deal with fussy baby and get him to bed. Before I know it, 8 pm is here and I have a choice to make: do the dishes and go to bed or get another workout in. There are no 2-a-days going on here.

I did get invited to participate in a ladies night bike trainer workout on Wednesday nights. I should do it, at least every other week, just so I get some socialization in. It's all too easy for me to shuffle out to the garage and ride the trainer for 40 minutes and be happy with that. If I'm riding with other women I'll ride double that time. I'll let you know if I get a life or stay here, blogging to you from my couch. Thank goodness for the blog or I wouldn't have a reason to go on with my sorry social life ;-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What nobody tells you about new baby maintenance

Here are some truths about baby that no one tells you ahead of time. Send this to your pregnant friends so they aren't surprised by these little realities of baby maintenance.

1. Breastfeeding is time consuming and can be exhausting. The truth is that in the beginning you will have a baby attached to you every two hours for 20 minutes at a time. Sit down for 20 minutes every two hours and don't move. Not even to go to the bathroom. Now get up every two hours at night and do the same. I wouldn't trade my experience breastfeeding, it is so sweet and special. But having baby dependent on mommy only for food is a lot of work for mommy. Oh! and the breast pump really sucks.

Liam's first time in overalls!

2. Cloth diapers are gross and a pain in the butt. If baby goes poo poo, you are washing the cloth diaper. Immediately. While your baby fusses you are washing poo out in your sink or toilet or wherever. Then you get to do laundry every day or every other day you use them. The outer part of the diaper can't be put in the dryer, so you get to line dry that part. Because you don't have enough to do. We use them occasionally and I dread hearing the toot sound when he has them on.

Liam's first high chair!

3. Babies change fast and just when you get used to one thing, baby does another. This is charming but if you like having a schedule you are going to be on your toes with a baby. When I wake up in the morning, I have no idea if baby will keep sleeping so I can get dressed for work and eat breakfast or if he'll wake up 5 minutes into my shower. What works to stop fussing one day doesn't work ever again after that. Liam used to cry when I changed his diaper, now he smiles and coos at me. That is a nice change!

Liam's first baby toy he can hold!

4. Babies are hard on relationships. There isn't a lot of time to connect when you have 5 minutes to chow down on dinner before baby starts screaming. Once baby goes down for sleep at night, the clock is ticking down until he wakes up again. Everyone is sleep deprived and stressed so it's easy to snap at your partner over nothing. What was once easy takes work. More work! But you have a common bond that holds everything together.

I love life with baby but boy howdy! Someone should have given me the scoop so I knew what to expect. Not that I would have believed them. Experienced moms, what do I have to look forward to?

Monday, January 11, 2010

We went nuts

Our return trip home from Phoenix went great, somehow Liam is in better spirits on an airplane then he is at home with mommy. I could have used a flight this morning at 4am to put that child to sleep but that is another story, one I know too well as it turns out! My parents drove over from Spokane on Friday for Christmas part 3 and they arrived with more presents for our now well outfitted child. My sister and her boyfriend arrived on Saturday so we had a full house and the #1 babysitter on the planet here (my mom) so we went nuts!

We had all day Saturday until baby's bedtime to ourselves and we didn't sit down for a second. You might think we would exercise a bunch, go spend time with friends, or go out on a date or something fun but you would be WRONG!!!

We rented a Uhaul truck which we spent all day loading with stuff from our garage and then put all of our crap I mean stuff in a storage unit. We are almost able to put a car in our garage now. Can you believe it? This is another step toward putting our house up for sale and there was no way we could get this done without a day long babysitter in the house.

Then we went to the local furniture store and bought a dining room table. We have been sitting on the couch to eat for the past 3 years, it was insane. Having a table means getting to sit together with family and that is the best of all!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Whoa baby

Liam smiling at Grandma Fleck
The sun is still shining here in Arizona but our little baby has been kicking our butts. It started last night, Liam seemed to sense that daddy had a morning meeting in Phoenix to get to so he woke up every 2 hours (or less) so we wouldn't get any decent sleep. Once daddy left for the day, mommy thought she would get a nap in while baby slept but baby didn't think sleep was necessary but fussing was!

Daddy swaddling baby so he won't go to sleep. It's not supposed to work that way!

Finally Liam slept about 1pm. I got one hour of sleep and then got up to make lunch when I heard a familiar sound WAH WAH! Maybe he knows we are going home tomorrow and he doesn't want to leave his Fleck family behind. All I can say is I am soooo tired. I've been tired before, and this feels like that. Tired.

Cousin Kiera holding the baby who won't sleep

We managed to get out for a short walk before it got dark today and we saw the most amazing thing ever! A monster size truck painted hot pink rolled up to one of houses we were walking past and we saw a giant "Barbie" sticker on the back window. Bill said, "We have to see who gets out of that truck. I'm guessing blond hair, breast implants, and high heels." You just don't see this kind of stuff in small town Oregon. So we pretended like we were doing something with the stroller but really we were staring.

The monster truck door opened and a foot with a white sneaker and then jean capris dangled out in front of us and then out popped a short little teenager. Bummer! Just another spoiled teen! I was hoping a Cougar in her mid forties was coming out. We are easily amused. Sorry if that was boring but a hot pink monster truck! With Barbie on the window!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Erika vs. Bob

I had a battle royale today! First the baby wanted to wake up at 5:30 am and not go back to sleep. He did snooze in bed with me for a while and finally went back to sleep at 8am, just the time I was about to get up for the day. Life 1 Erika 0.

Bill and his parents left for Tucson for the day so I was alone with the baby with the plan to do some video editing while he slept and get a nice long walk in the sun in. Baby decided that he wanted to eat a lot today and take little naps so there was no time for video editing. Life 2 Erika 0. But I managed to get our stuff together in between fussing sessions for a walk. I loaded baby in the stroller only to realize that two of the tires were flat. Life 3 Erika 0.

We brought the Bob running stroller so I could exercise in the sun and the tubes in the tires were apparently damaged on the airplane. Luckily Bill's parents had a tire pump so Bill was able to pump the tires up for our daily walks. Only Bill was gone, the baby was screaming in his car seat, and I could not get the pump to work. I decided to temporarily bail on the walk and get baby down for another short nap. Life 4 Erika 0.

By now I'm getting irritated. It's sunny and 70 degrees outside and I'm stuck in the house with a fussy baby. While Liam slept I tried the tires again but the stem kept collapsing into the flat tire. I had to push the tire aside and hold the stem down while pumping but it finally worked. The tires were pumped! Life 4 Erika 1.

After baby woke up we hit the road and I finally got to feel the sun on my skin. About 20 minutes in I look down and see one of the tires is flat again. I had to cut the walk short but at least I got outside. Life 5 Erika 1.

I managed to work up a sweat and really wanted a shower but baby wasn't too interested in what I wanted. I put his car seat in the bathroom and hustled into the shower where I got to spend a quick 5 minutes washing up. I managed to get some clean clothes on in preparation for going over to the inlaws for dinner and a brush through my hair before baby started howling again. Life 5 Erika 2.

I got another bottle into the baby and just as he was about to fall asleep I lifted him up to put him down to sleep and he puked all over my clean pants. Life 6 Erika 2.

When Liam is fussy like today, he won't breastfeed. He will only take a bottle. When babies cry, mommy's breasts want to let down milk. So in between crying and sleeping sessions I had to pump milk. I'm done tallying, obviously life was kicking my butt today. But you know what, it doesn't matter because baby cheered up by the end of the day and smiled at me. That's all that matters anymore.

If you can, smile at your mom. Let her know you are happy she is your mom. She has gone through more than you can imagine and all she really wants in return is for you to be happy.

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Liam sitting in grandpa's chair watching football. Liam has been a very good baby on this trip I almost don't know what to think. We get in the car and the baby doesn't cry, he coos and stares at his toys, quietly. Tonight we took him to a restaurant for the first time and he slept through most of dinner. At home, I can't get two bites down before he starts crying. He's also sleeping longer here. The only answer I can think of is that Liam is a snowbird and would rather spend his winters in Phoenix. I'm with him on this!

"No photos please, I'm trying to have some privacy." We were seeing if Liam could fit in the stroller without the carseat. Answer: not really.

Liam watching football with daddy. Tomorrow Bill is going to Tucson for business and his parents are going with him so I will be home alone with baby. I'm hoping he sleeps a little so I can get some work done. If not, we'll just go outside and enjoy the sun! Oh the snowbird lifestyle!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

On foot in Chandler AZ

Bill's parents live in a nice area of Chandler AZ so my hour long walks are pretty interesting. The photo above is an example of some of the lot sizes, architecture, and landscaping that is common in this area.

My white husband took his shirt off for our walk today, mostly to make me laugh I'm sure. It was 70 degrees here today and very nice, but it's January and I'm sure the locals thought he was super cool. Anyway, there are empty lots of dirt next to some of the homes here.

In addition to empty lots there are homes that have obviously been abandoned and have been on the market too long. This house was next to what looked like a home that was worth close to a million dollars.

It looked like the landscaping was the first to go at this once epic house.

Most people are still doing well around here though. I could see myself living here, if I didn't have to pay for it that is.

Or I could live here too. I don't need 2 stories to be happy.

How about a 6 car garage? This has to be larger than the entire lot our house resides on.

Bill thought this car would be nice for his next mid life crisis. Back to Liam photos tomorrow! Liam is my mid life crisis.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Meet the Flecks

Greetings from Phoenix! We made it here alive and in good spirits. I'm confused about that bright thing in the sky that warms cold places (like skin) but hey, I'm from Oregon, I'm hearty and I'll survive it. Liam traveled like a champion. I think we got lucky. He slept during take off and landing but stayed awake for the rest of the flight making a record 3 poopy diapers in 2 hours. The airplane bathroom is a cramped place when you have a screaming baby and a skinky diaper.

Liam meets his Fleck family.

More cousins than Liam can even look at!

How many Flecks can you get on one couch?

Family puzzle time on New Year's Day

Liam's first bath in the sink!

I'll post more photos tomorrow. I'm blogging while playing cards so I better go before Bill thinks he can beat me!