Monday, May 31, 2010

Exclusive Pumper

That's me! I have been EP'ing now for over a month. Jack was still struggling with breastfeeding and I was getting very uptight and anxious. It's so much easier for us this way. And you know what? I am sooooo much happier.

Here is why I like pumping and giving Jack bottles:

* I stress less about him latching correctly
* I stress less about that the position that might upset his reflux
* With bottles, I can see EXACTLY how much he is eating during the day
* No more crying during feedings
* I know if my supply is low or just right by what I am pumping out

I still occasionally try and nurse him but it usually only lasts a few minutes before he starts crying and arching.

I have gotten a lot of grief from my mom about not nursing him. During my recent visit to New Hampshire, she gave me a hard time. I explained that I struggled for three months and that I am still giving him breast milk. I nicely told her to shove it also.

Even with the alleviated stress, I still envy women who have little to no problems with breastfeeding. I wish it had worked out for us, but you know what? I am feeding my baby and that is what is important. I am proud to say that we have never had to give Jack formula. I pump often enough and my supply is leveling out (thanks to my Domperidone) that I can keep up. There is nothing wrong with formula, but my goal was to make it to four months without ever having to give him any. I am going to make that goal!

With our next baby, I plan on trying again with breastfeeding. Did I say next baby? Gulp.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I Survived

Today was my first day back to work. Why did I return to work on a Friday you may ask? Because I wanted to get paid for the Memorial Day holiday. I have been on an unpaid status for the past month so receiving a paycheck would be a good thing.

It was hard to return to work and get back into the swing of things after being off for four months. I had 1729 emails. Thank goodness I didn't need to respond to all of them.

I survived the day with no problem. I think that is because my mother-in-law watches Jack on Fridays. The rest of the week, Karen, our daycare provider will watch him. Ask me on Tuesday how I am feeling and I will let you know.

Jack did great today! He played with Nana all day and napped really well. When he came home, that was entirely another story. He was cranky and ate a ton and didn't sleep well.

Mama did great too. Here is my schedule for today:

5:00 (a.m.) : Up to pump and then immediately shower

6:00: Out of the shower and then take care of Jack before we leave. Change a diaper, top him off in the eating department and give him his Prevacid.

6:45: Meet Nana at Starbucks to drop Jack off. Get a cup of coffee

6:50: Park in the park-and-ride garage to catch the train into downtown.

7:00: On the train

7:40: Arrive at work

8:15: Pump

11:15: Pump

2:15: Pump

3:00: Leave work

4:00: Pick up Jack

Oh yeah, there was some work and eating in there too.

Pumping at work is not terrible at all. There is a designated room for nursing mom's and it's private. You can't even get into the room unless you have security access. The chairs are comfy, there are curtains, a private bathroom and a fridge to store your milk. Going down there three times today wasn't awful. It was actually a nice break.

Next week is going to be a little more tough. Karen will watch Jack Tuesday through Thursday and then Nana will take over again on Friday. I worry that Karen won't like watching Jack because of his feeding and napping issues. I worry that I am going to be a wreck. I worry that I am going to start regretting spending so much time away from him every day.

Ugh, can't I please win the lottery? Please?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baby Milestones

Today was an amazing day! Jack did two really awesome things today:

1. He rolled from his tummy to his back
2. He giggled when I tickled him

He did the rolling thing three times so I know it wasn't a fluke. He has giggled once before but tonight he did it for longer and two separate times.

I have never felt so happy then when I heard him giggling. It truly is the sweetest sound ever!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Feel Accomplished

Today isn't an unusual day for us. Jack woke up at his regular time of 5:00 (he goes back to sleep after he eats until around 8:00) and I woke up at my regular time of 6:00. Today, I got so much done that I feel accomplished.

Here is what I did around the house (mostly while the boy napped):

* Load of dishes
* Folded a load of laundry
* Vacuumed
* Mopped the kitchen floor
* Dusted the living room and wiped down the tables
* Baked a batch of brownies (with Jack)
* Packed the hub's lunch
* Cleaned the catbox (ew)

I even managed to eat both breakfast and lunch and eat them peacefully without having to shovel food in my mouth.

Here is what Jack and I did together today:

* Visited with my friend that came over
* Played on the floor
* Sang songs
* Exercised (aka pumping the legs and practicing rolling over)
* Read a book
* Baked brownies together
* Had tummy time

Jack was amazing today. He wasn't fussy AT ALL. Such a change from the other day. He has taken 4 ounce bottles all day (woah) and napped for a total of 3.5 hours. Seriously, this kid is amazing. He managed to put himself to sleep with the help of the seahorse twice in his crib for naps. Unbelievable.

Days like today make me feel like I am doing something right. Especially when my house is clean and I have a happy baby. I feel even better knowing that I did almost all the chores while he was sleeping as to not miss out on any play time.

Tomorrow will be another story I'm sure.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Something Is Up

I am not sure what's going on with Jack, but here is what we are dealing with:

* Incredibly cranky baby for the past three days (since we got home from our trip)

* A baby that won't eat more than 2 ounces at a feeding. This is not entirely unusual although he was eating a little bit better when we were out East.

* A baby that seems to have his nights and days confused. If I would let him, he would sleep all darn day. Last night, Jason was up with him about every 30 minutes. He went to bed hard as a rock last night at 7:00. This is not my baby. I usually get him to sleep around 8:00 and it takes some convincing on my part.

* A baby that is drooling and sucking like crazy. He goes through bibs like you would not believe.

Now, let's take some bets. Is this the 4 month wakeful? Is he teething? Is he still adjusting to the time change?

If you have any insight, I would appreciate it! What is your guess?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Baby Giggles!

We have a giggler! This morning, Jack spit up a little bit. As I was changing his lovely poopy diaper and Jason was wiping down his face with a warm washcloth, he giggled! I know it was a giggle because we both heard it and he did it several times.

It must have been the washcloth on his chin that tickled him.

I imagine I will be trying to recreate this scenario several times a day. I want to hear him giggle again! It was so darn cute.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Traveling Baby

Well, we are home from our trip to New Hampshire and Maine. It was a fun trip but extremely tiring. Jack did great most of the time. I will recap how he did with the plane ride and the long car ride below.

Jack met his great-grandmother (Memere) and his Grammie (my mom). He also met some aunts and uncles, and best of all: His cousin Greyson. My sister had a baby in November and this was the first time we got to meet him. Here are the boys in all their cuteness:

Our trip started on the 10th of May when we left on an airplane. Luckily, my younger sister and Dad were on the same flight as Jack and I. After realizing that there was no way I would be able to lug the baby and two carry-on bags by myself, I changed our return flight home so that we would be with my younger sister. Thank goodness!

We stayed at my sister and brother-in-law's house and it was very nice. They made it extremely cozy for us! My sister set up a bed and a pack-n-play in the finished basement for us. She had a nice feeding station as well. It had a bottle warmer and water so I didn't have to trudge upstairs in the middle of the night to heat up a bottle for Jack. I was able to use all her baby gear so I didn't have to bring any of our stuff. That didn't mean that I packed light. Oh no, Jack had his own suitcase and I had one for myself. Babies need a lot of stuff!

In the middle of our trip we drove up to my mom's house in Maine. In the car, it's about 3.5 hours. That doesn't include stops. Of course, with two little ones in tow, it took much longer. Especially since Jack doesn't eat a whole lot at a sitting still. He gets hungry ever hour to hour and-a-half so you can imagine what that means for a car trip.

We had a really nice time visiting with family. My mom adored Jack. I adored my nephew. Jack adored everybody. Seriously, that kid will smile at anyone! He smiled at random people on the airplane. He smiled at the news anchors on tv. He smiled at Greyson and his grandpa.

Here is my recap of Jack on the airplane and in the car. See the end of my post for tips of traveling with a baby.

Jack did pretty well on the plane. 80% of the time, he slept. Even if he had a nap in the morning! This surprised me considering my child does not nap well. The white noise must have been very beneficial. He did have a couple of incidents (short ones) where he cried. When I say short, I mean 30 seconds or less.

I had to pump at one point and so I put Jack on the empty seat between my sister and I. He was happy and playing so I left. When I came back, my sister and the baby were nowhere to be found. The passenger in the row next to us told me that Jack had been crying so Carrie got up to walk with him. My sister was in the back of the plane with my screaming child. I don't know what happened, but pretty much as soon as I left, the baby started crying and then screaming. Carrie wasn't sure what to do so she was really overwhelmed. I felt really guilty for leaving so needless to say, I didn't leave her alone again.

Besides that one episode, he did really well. It's hard to hold a baby for that long without some arm support though. I have bruises today and my arms are super sore.

Oh boy. Where to start? Lately, Jack doesn't like his carseat. He cries as soon as you set him in it. However, when we have taken him any distance in the car, he does really well. When we went to the beach a couple of weeks ago, he slept the entire way there and home. I was really really hoping this would be the case in the car from my sister's to my mom's.

Before we left, I made sure that Jack was fed. I wanted to be sure we weren't stopping in an hour so he could eat. The plan was to stop at the first rest stop so the babies could eat and the mommies could pump. That plan failed when Jack started crying an hour after we left the house. He didn't calm down after a couple of minutes so we had to stop. I remember thinking to myself "We are in for a long trip". I thought for sure we would be stopping every hour. Not the case! The next stop was over an hour away. Jack was still sleeping but we needed to pump and it couldn't hurt to get out and stretch our legs.

Jack ate a little and then after some walking in the grassy area and a diaper change on a picnic table, we were off again. He did amazingly well in his carseat. Every time I would put him back in, he would fuss for a second and then stop as soon as you picked up him in the carseat.

We had to make one final stop in Skowhegan so my sister could pick up some groceries. For a total of three stops. The 3.5 hour trip took us 5 hours. Yikes!

On the way home from my mom, he did not travel well at all. Let's just say that we had to get off the highway pretty quickly with no rest stop in sight. Jack was screaming and I endured it for about 5 minutes before I couldn't take it any longer. I am not one to let my baby cry. Even though he ate 30 minutes before, he wanted to eat again and I changed his diaper for good measure.

He was okay in the car for most of the rest of the trip. We didn't make any more stops after his screaming episode because he slept the entire time. My sister's baby is a super good little guy in the car and he didn't even wake up.

Would I do this again? Probably. I do have to say that I was incredibly stressed out both on the plane and in the car. On the plane, there is the worry of pissing off the other passengers. In the car, you can't just take your kid out of the carseat. You have to find a place to pull off and hope that you can stop their crying.

I am very glad to be home. I love my sister and my family. I had a really good time with them, but selfishly, I am not used to getting up in the night to feed Jack, so that was kind of hard. Granted, he only woke up once a night on MOST nights to eat. I didn't feel exhausted or worn out during the trip, so that's good. I enjoyed snuggling with my baby to sleep (I didn't use the pack-n-play after all) but I am glad to be in my own bed with my husband taking over the night shift.

Here are my travel tips for traveling with a baby:

* If you can, use a carrier. I originally brought my Moby and I did wear it for a grand total of 30 minutes. I put Jack in it and we went through security. But after realizing that he wasn't comfortable in the wrap and the fact that we were both sweating and his legs were all cattywhompus, I took him out. I am the weirdo though. Don't do what I did and carry your baby the entire time. It leaves you with one useable hand and it sucks.

* Sit over the engine. Although the bulkhead seating is nice (extra leg room, woot!), the engine is better. It creates a white noise that will likely put your little one to sleep. I did this and it worked wonders!

* Feed the wee one on takeoff and landing. I tried doing this and it did work a couple of times. My little man slept during a few takeoffs and landings though so I tried sticking a pacifier in his mouth. He didn't seem to be bothered by the pressure changes though. We got lucky there.

* Have new toys. I bought Jack two new toys for the ride. He didn't use them much since he was sleeping, but when he was awake, he seemed pretty engaged. Since they were new and he wasn't used to them, it kept him more interested than he usually is with toys.

* Have help. I was originally going to fly home by myself but I am so glad I didn't. I never would have been able to manage unless I had a successful carrier (which I didn't). I had a baby, a huge diaper bag and my pump. I had to carry the baby into the bathroom at the airport. Not fun people, not fun. Everywhere I went, I had to carry the baby. Yes, I did have my sister or my dad hold him a couple of times, but they aren't my babysitters. They needed to carry their own things.

* Be patient. You can have the most perfect, predictable schedule out there (we don't) but when traveling, that schedule can be really messed up. Jack goes down to bed at 8:00pm every night. But guess what? With a three hour time change, that no longer happens. Just remember that your baby is the one who will be setting the schedule. If you have to stop every hour in the car to eat or change a diaper, don't get frustrated. Allow extra time to take care of business. I assumed our trip would be close to 5 hours and it was both there and back. I was flexible with bed time and he surprised me and only took one day to get back to his regular 8:00 time.

We don't have any trips planned for the immediate future. There was some talk about going to Hawaii at Christmas time, but depending on my vacation schedule, that might not happen. I am not disappointed though. I would much rather stay at home with our little man rather than worry about traveling and fitting all his stuff into the diaper bag.

It's good to be home!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

First Mother's Day and Stuff

Today is my very first Mother's Day! At this time last year, Jack wasn't even an embryo yet. Isn't that amazing to think that I wasn't even pregnant last year but this year, I have a 3 month old? Crazy.

My sweet boy is napping next to me on the couch. With help from his Daddy, he picked out a lovely amethyst and alexandrite necklace for me. Jack, your Dad is always good at getting Mommy jewelry. Try and remember that jewelry is always good for ladies.

My day will be spent car shopping. Not my ideal Mother's Day, but that's okay. My car is about to die and it's time for a new one. I have been putting it off for a while now. I need something reliable while transporting the wee one.

My dad is in town until tomorrow. He came to visit and see me graduate (yay!) and will be heading back to New Hampshire tomorrow. Guess who is going with him? Jack and I! I am nervous about our first long plane ride tomorrow. I am really hoping that all goes well with traveling. We leave Portland at 1:30 Pacific Time and get into New Hampshire at 11:35 Eastern Time. Yikes! That is going to make for a very long day. Go go jet lag!

What my boy has been up to: Drooling and licking. These are his new "tricks". I need to start putting bibs on him because seriously? The drool is out of control. I don't *think* he is teething yet, but you never know. Maybe he is just a drooly baby? On top of the drooling, Jack likes to lick things. I will be holding him and then when I change positions, my shirt will be soaked from him licking. He's not hungry when he does this. It's just one of his "things". Let's not forget to mention that he has a new affinity for sucking on his fists. He will do this when he's either hungry or needs to burp. The hunger I can understand, but the burp? Odd.

Happy Mother's Day to all my friends out there! I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Unpopular Opinions

I frequent a message board and occasionally, ladies will post unpopular opinions about having children. Rather than contribute to the thread, I would rather post my opinions here. I will now put on my flame-retardant suit.

* I cannot stand women that judge regarding childcare. If you are a stay-at-home mom, don't judge me for putting my child in daycare. If you put your child in daycare, don't judge the stay-at-home moms. Child care is a personal decision and you need to do what's right for your family.

* Formula isn't evil. It's food. Many babies have been on formula and guess what? They turned out just fine.

* I think a little television for kids is okay. Heck, Jack watched a little bit of Sesame Street this morning and he loved it! I am not a bad mom. It's not like I am plopping him in front of the tv as a babysitter for hours a day.

* I had a medicated birth. That being said, I HATE women who act all holier-than-thou about having a med-free birth. You are not better than me. You are not even necessarily stronger than me. You just chose a different birth plan, that's all.

There, that feels better. I am sure I can think of more, but right now, I am done.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

3 Months Old

Jack, you are three months old today! I can't believe it. I know I say it every month, but I swear we just came home from the hospital. Even Daddy mentioned tonight that he couldn't believe we had a three month old.

We spent a wonderful weekend at the beach this weekend. Sandlake Country Inn is special to your daddy and I and we wanted you to experience it. Little man, you were such a good boy this weekend! You surprised Daddy and I and slept the whole way down and back in the car. Even when we had to turn around a few miles outside of town because Mommy's car was giving her trouble. You haven't slept that long a stretch for a nap since you were just a couple of weeks old!

We spent the entire day on Saturday playing, talking, singing and spending time together. We didn't leave our cottage once. It was so nice to spend time as a family.

Some things about you this month:

* Your hair is coming back! You still don't have as much as when you were first born, but you it's coming back. This time, it's much lighter though. I think you are going to have my golden hair color.

* You are talking up a storm! We have videos of you just chatting and gurgling away. It is really the cutest thing. You tell us really good stories on a daily basis. I can't wait to hear you laugh.

* You took your first trip away from home this weekend and we went to the Oregon coast. It is getting you some practice for our really long trip next week.

* You are on day four of new reflux medicine and so far, it seems to be working.

* You are getting a little better with sleeping. You slept for a four hour stretch the other night and it surprised both Daddy and I! I am hoping that when your reflux medicine starts to work, you will sleep really well.

* You are wearing size 2 diapers and wearing 3 month clothing. You have the longest little legs, so some sleepers are tight on you. I try and put you in 3-6 month sleepers so you are a little more comfy. You are going to be a basketball player!

* Your favorite people are Mommy, Daddy, Nana, Papa and most men. It must be the tone of their voice, but you love looking and smiling at random men. Uncle Victor, Mommy's coworker Aaron, Papa Bill and even some men on tv! You love Aaron McCargo on the Food Network.

Jack, I love you. I know it goes without saying, but you are the sweetest, most lovable little boy. Your smile melts hearts. Daddy says that the world is going to be in trouble because everyone that comes near you is going to give you everything and anything you want because of your smile. My day cannot be bad when I see your little grin. It lights up the room.

How can a little baby make so many people's entire world? I don't know how, but you do.

Happy Three Months Buggy!