Friday, December 31, 2010

She doesn't like Mazda

Our last full week together. I'm only partially looking forward to going back to work next week.

This last week has been a little stressful. Kelli and I have been discussing car options. My lease was ending soon. I wanted an SUV. A 2011 Ford Edge to be exact. Meanwhile Kelli is still rolling around in a 2004 Prius. The Edge would be my 3rd new car since she bought her Prius. Hmm. Couldn't do it. My conscience said she gets the next new car.

After MUCH discussion we decided to get a 2010 Prius. It's nice.

Over the last week though we have been looking at cars. We stopped by two Ford dealerships and one Toyota dealership. Natali was fine at all of them. Yesterday I stopped by a Mazda dealership to get my Mazda appraised for a trade in.

Before I went I waited for Natali to wake up from her nap. I fed her like always. No not like always.

This week Natali has been a little off. She's been taking 6-7 ounces first thing in the morning (awesome!). Every other bottle is a challenge. She takes 2 ounces...or 3...then plays with the bottle. Some time later (like right after the hour limit for the bottle) she hungry again. Between the playing and hungry again she refuses to eat.

So yesterday when she took 3 ounces I figured she was done. I left right away for Mazda. It's 13 minutes away. After we got there she was pissy. Hungry likely. Thankfully I was able to give them all the info before she got pissy.

While the inspected my car Natali and I walked around the lot outside. She was not happy.

Once we left she was pissy till I started driving. She then slept. Once back at home she took 2 more ounces.

Not sure what her deal is this week. It's not the formula as she takes the entire bottle non-stop in the mornings. Hopefully this will pass.

Anyways last night we went to a Toyota dealership. Natali was a trooper for the full 3 1/2 hours we were there. She only got pissy for about 10 minutes. Beyond that she was chllin.

We now have two Prius...a 2004 with 80,000 miles (my new car) and a 2010 with 160 miles (Kellis new ride). No more Mazdas for us.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Natali is 4 1/2 months old. Each time I pick her up I am amazed at how much she has grown.

My sister in law made Natali a square pillow thingy (I am sure there is a real name for it). Natali likes to play with it. We will put her on it and she will roll to one side and laugh. She gets the idea that if she moves one way or the other something will happen.

When we put her on her side she appears to be abel to control her movements as she will balance or push forward or backward. Small steps.

Kelli and I decided to keep Christmas simple this year. We have spent enough money in the last four months. No need to go into debt unneccesarily. Next year will be bigger.

We tried feeding Natali a banana. That's the food of the week. She is eating it well. Doesn't seem to be overjoyed by the sweetness. No allergic reactions either. Both good.


The embedded video has been acting funny lately, if it doesn't work click on it twice and it will open in a new window.

We tested out a 2010 Prius yesterday. Kelli really liked it. I tried for about 5 minutes to get the car seat installed. Gave up. Very tight fit. More so the our current Prius. It's still in the running, but...hmmm.

Kelli and I are a great couple because we are so different. We had a new car conference last night. New plan is to buy something we can pay off in 4 years. That puts all of the cars I currently want out of the running. The search continues.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. I am very fortunate to be able to spend Natali's first Christmas at home with her. Here are a few of her Christmas photos.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It gets better

Natali is 190,080 minutes old. Most people use months. That's so cliche. Fine she is 3,168 hours old. Still not happy? Bleh she is 4 month 10 days old. Done.

It seems everyday we spend together is better than the day before. I'm sure it's a combination of her getting older and us getting to know each other.

Not tracking her bottles and diapers is going okay. It has lead to a few surprises.

For a while she has been a 4 ounce bottle taker with 5 every now and then. I would stress over half an ounce left in the bottle.

Lately she has been taking the full four ounces...and asking for more. There has been much less waste. This morning for example she took the base 4 ounce bottle and then slid the bottle back for another 3. That's right folks, 7 ounces in under 25 minutes. A new record.

Still one the fence about what vehicle Natali will be rolling in next year. I'm looking at the entire ownership cost, not just the price of the car.

Car insurance can really bite you. We use Progressive and they have a pretty straightforward system to estimate the cost to replace a vehicle. Some vehicles like the 2011 Ford Edge cost less to insure than Kelli's 2004 Prius or my 2008 Mazda5. One would assume a newer vehicle is more. Nope. I've crossed two vehicles off my list that cost less than the Ford Edge or Kia Optima, but cost much more to insure. Like so much more to insure it doubled the cost of our policy! I wonder how many people check out insurance cost before buying a vehicle.

I'm in no rush though. Back in November Natali and I went out a lot during the week. Not so much anymore. The cost of going out exceeds the benefits. Even with getting 26MPG a trip to the mall cost about $4 a day. That times say 4 times a week is $16 X 4 weeks a month is $64....not a lot of money, but it adds up. Instead we have fun at home and go for walks. I cram all our outings into one big trip to save on gas. I have another month before I get a paycheck. My bank account is about to throw on the low fuel light. Gotta replenish before I splurge on a car.

Finally, Kelli and I aren't doing much for Christmas. We decided to not go into debt buying things we really don't need. Natali as increased our expenses enough, plus she has no idea what Christmas is.

Until yesterday there wasn't a single hint of Christmas in our house. My dad sent us stockings to hang from the fireplace, one for each of us. Somehow we already had 3 hooks from the fireplace. Kelli thinks when we first moved in she put a hook up for each of us plus Lilo. Hmmm. Whatever the reason, Natali has her own stocking.

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Sunday, December 19, 2010


Natali was stuffy all weekend. I bought babyrub....which is a Vicks product for babies versus the adult Vicks rub. I'm glad I did some research as the adult stuff is way too powerful for babies skin and lungs. It helped a little. The saline solution helped a little. Tonight we got a humidifier on advice from our friend Kerry. I did my research and settled on a Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Degree Humidifier.

I put it in her room about 30 minutes before I put her down. I checked on her about an hour later and she was breathing much easier. No stuffiness. I'm happy...and she's sleeping better.

The website has an all new look. I am sure regular visitors noticed. The name will stay for a least until May. I will decided then if I want to renew it or not. This current design took me about 6 hours of work until I was happy. I went thru at least 4 other templates.

Natali has outgrown her jacket. Might go shop for one tomorrow. We have just two more weeks together until she heads to daycare and I head back to work.

Will be big changes for all of us.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cousins Share!

Over the weekend in Sacramento, my niece Haley was sick. Jami (my sister in law/Haleys mom) and Peggy (my mother in law), tried to keep Haley away from Natali. Didn't work. Natali is all congested. The award for first germs that caused Natali to get visibly and audibly sick goes to Haley. Accepting the award for Haley will be Jami. It was bound to happen I guess. I'm not upset about it....although initially I thought it was an attack from Haley to remain top grand daughter. Better now when I am home to care for her than a month from now (when I am certain she will start getting sick more often).

I know babies can't take Tylenol Cold and Flu (although there is a large market for a baby version...just sayin). Last night I heard her moving around in bed much more than normal and I could hear her congested breathing.

When I went down the hall I found her unswaddled (I assume she had REALLY been struggling) and just squirming around a lot.

I brought her to the couch and had a moment of clarity....I had an unopened bottle of saline solution! About a year ago I bought it when I had allergy problems but didn't know it. I thought I bought a mist but instead I bought a spray. The spray is more of a drip....but great for babies.

Thankfully it had not expired yet (how does salt water expire?). With Natali on her back I inserted the tip in her nose and gently sprayed.  I could tell it went in as she smacked her lips with the salty taste in her throat/mouth. Much better.

She was now wide 1:30AM. I tried to bring her to our bed...she was talking and kicking. Down to the guest bedroom we went.

I had sealed off the guest bedroom weeks ago after my mother in law left. Sealed off meaning no heat. It was cold. No matter what I did I couldn't get warm. Natali had an idea...for me to walk my rear to the kitchen and make her a bottle! Fine. Done.

She slept for about 2 hours. I shivered. The rest of the house was warm, just not this room. At 4:20AM I gave up and we both went back to the main bedroom and slept warmly.

This morning she is a little better. I reapplied the saline solution. We will see how it goes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Second Feeding…much better

So I followed the directions on the box of rice cereal for "babies first meal". Crap. No good. It was so watery it went all over her face.

I improvised and made it a little thicker...much better. Natali now sucks on the spoon and swallows the meal. She is an intelligent little girl as several times she grabbed the spoon and put the food in her mouth herself. I held on as to not let her choke herself. Natali also tries (and occasionally does) hold the bottle herself as well.

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Still working on a feeding plan for solids. I am going to start with once a day for a while and see how it goes.

90th percentile

I took Natali in for her 4 month Doctor visit on Tuesday.

Not too hip with our Doctor. Nice enough guy...seems burned out. Doesn't talk much, just goes through the motions.

Natali weighed 15 pounds 10 ounces at 26 inches tall with a head circumference of 16.7 inches. Her percentiles according to are:

Length = above percentile 95

Weight = between percentile 75 and 90

Head Circumference = between percentile 75 and 90.

Big girl. I asked if she was overweight/fat, he stated she wasn't.

I attempted giving Natali her first solid food yesterday (after discussing it with the Doctor who said it was fine). It went about as bad as could be expected.

She sat in her high chair all happy. I put very small amounts on the spoon and into her mouth. Maybe 10-20% went down. Most came down her chin and onto the bib. I could have squeezed the bib and gotten a good 3 ounces back.

Over the last week or so Natali has been "talking" a lot...especially after eating. She will "talk" for for 2-10 minutes. If I talk back to her she talks more and will mimic my sounds. The video was shot with my phone....better to listen and not watch as it's a little...a lot shaky.


Natali is into her sleep pattern firmly. Happy for me.

For the last two months I have tracked all her feedings and droppings. Looking back...she's pretty regular. I'm going to cease recording the data. It was an interesting experiment.

I think Natali has a true baby book. I haven't seen it. This blog is, in my opinion, better than a baby book as it has more data.

Monday, December 13, 2010

4 months and 14,000 miles later

Natali turned 4 months old over the weekend. The three of us took a trip to Sacramento to see family. Natali has now been on 12 flights and has flown just over 14,000 miles.

Getting there was a little difficult. Kelli has no vacation days left. She needed to be back for sure to go to work on Monday morning. She used her airline miles to get an award ticket to and from. Problem (which ended up helping) was she couldn't get a ticket TO Sacramento but she could get one FROM Sacramento. She had to fly into San Francisco.

Natali and I used my flight benefits. We couldn't get to Sacramento on Friday, but we could get there Wednesday. No thanks. We went to SFO with Kelli.

We were able to get our own row on the way there. Traveling with the new Britax Boulevard CS 70 car seat is just as difficult as it is too say. I bought a compact hand truck and bungee cord to make it easier to transport the seat around the airport. Worked fine. Getting the seat down the aisle of a plane was a bit of a chore. Eh.

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While there we met up with our friends Jodi and Chelsea. Their daughter Casey is two weeks younger than Natali. Looking at the two side by side though would make one think Natali is on steroids or Casey is much younger. Casey is around 13 pounds and slim. Natali is around 15-16 pounds and....hmmm...full. Natali isn't fat....just larger.

Casey really enjoyed Natali as Casey would reach out to touch Natali and place her hands in Natali's mouth. Natali only moves her arms if there is a REALLY good reason. Casey loved moving her arms.

Jodi thought I was nuts tracking Natali's poops, pees and ounces eaten. Bleh. Speaking of poop, apparently a geeky father (whom shall remain nameless) didn't secure Natali's diaper fully. While waiting in the Sacramento airport Natali had the poop face. Natali was standing on Kelli's lap when it happened. The poop left the diaper. All down Natali's leg. Ick.

We were sitting in an area away from other people. We whipped out the wipes and spare clothes. Thankfully nothing got on Kelli as all of our clothes were in our checked bags.

Jodi and Chelsea just bought a 2011 Toyota Highlander. Kelli seemed to like it. I got the hint that if I buy something new it should have a hatchback. The Highlander is juuuuust outside my price range. We might look at them, but only seriously consider them if I can work a good deal.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The TSA, Baby Bjorns and Stupidity

I travel for living. I haven been thru several different TSA checkpoints. As a pilot some TSA stations allow flight crews to by pass security entirely. At other airports flight crews have dedicated lanes. At most airports flight crews go through the same lines as regular folks.

At some airports I can wear my ID which has keys attached through the metal detector without it going off. At other airports my keys go off. Some airports I can leave my laptop in my bag. At other airports I am directed to take the laptop out of the bag (exact same bag and laptop). Point...the TSA is very inconsistent.

Natali had flown on 5 flights before yesterday. Kelli and I have a system. We breezed thru in the past. No issues.

Yesterday was our first time using the Baby Bjorn. I searched online about taking Natali thru security with the Baby Bjorn. Not a lot of information. No big deal.

When we arrived at the airport, I asked the first TSA agent who was checking our ID's if we could take Natali thru the Xray IN the Baby Bjorn. The agent said it was no problem and that they could both go thru. Fine. Kelli and I prepped for it.

I put all the bags on the belt and went through the X-ray. When Kelli approached the agent said she would have to take Natali out of the Baby Bjorn. Stop!

Politely I stated that 10 feet away the TSA agent who checked our ID stated we could go through the Xray with our baby in the Baby Bjorn.

The agent at the Xray stated that, "Due to new pat down procedures, if the baby goes through in the holder, both the mother and baby would be patted down."

There was no way the TSA was patting down my wife much less my 4 month old daughter.

I questioned the agent why this policy changed in 10 feet. He directed me to his supervisor.

I questioned the supervisor why her agent instructed us that we could take our child thru the Xray in the holder without a problem, but the second agent stated otherwise.

The supervisor stated the first agent isn't a screener and doesn't know the current procedures. I stated that's no acceptable that an agency in charge of screening the public not know what procedures are in effect.

At this point the supervisor walked away toward the first screener. I calmly walked back over and help Kelli take Natali out. We took our time, everything at the checkpoint stopped. Several people were watching, not in anger at us, but at the ridiculousness of the TSA.

I would have been fine if the first agent stated that Natali had to be taken out. At least the rule would have been consistent.

Once clear a passenger came up to us and told us how poorly the TSA handled our situation.

After I brought them thru security I went to park the car. When I came thru later I had Natali's new car seat. It is too large to go through the Xray machine. A TSA agent hand inspected it. I watched. They should really be trained better, totally ineffective inspection.

Rant done.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not sleeping

Technically Natali is sleeping through the night. We put her in her crib all swaddled up around 10PM after her last feeding. She appears to fall asleep. Between then and 5:30AM she never cries....but I don't think she sleeps much.

When I look back at the video she flops around every 30 minutes or so for about 3-4 minutes. I put her on one side of the crib and by morning she is on the other side....still swaddled up. She just inches her way over eventually stopping when her head is against the railing.

Throughout the night I wake up to the sounds of her flopping and kicking. Whenever she reaches the side of the crib (between 3:30AM and 5AM) the noises are louder as its her head hitting the crib rail. At this point I go down the hall and either move her (if its before 4:50AM) or take her with me back to our bed.

Once she is in our bed....she sleeps motionlessly on her back. I have had little luck putting her down on her back in her crib unless she is dead tired. Otherwise she flails around and wakes herself up.

I'm thinking its her mattress that's the issue. Maybe is not up to her liking softness wise. I don't want to buy a super soft mattress because....of the SIDS risk. If she is face down on a soft mattress her face would sick in. If on the current "*firm* mattress face down it's much more likely that she will still be breathing.

Going to do some research today.

We were going to go to Sacramento today but the flights were fullish. Ironically it looks like if I were solo....or if Natali was 5....we could have had First Class as it's more open than coach.

Oh well.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kiddie Kandids Review

Getting photos taken is easy. Finding out how much they cost....not so much.

We tried to get price quotes. Everyone was mum. Only offering percent off coupons or small package deals. Kelli and I were most interested in a CD of the photos.

We realized we would have to just go and see.

Natali and I stayed home all day to prepare for the photos. I made sure she was well rested and was sleeping until right before we left.

I made a reservation at a Kiddie Kandid location in Hurst inside of a Babies R Us. We arrived early and were the only ones there (this was a Monday....on Sunday it was NUTS in there!). The employee was nice enough. She tried making Natali smile. Natali was like, "Who is this woman father? She is not on my intelligence level....and I'm not yet 4 months!"

Trying to help out, I used a receiving blanket to make Natali smile. She likes blankets close to her face....odd I know.

A few nice photos were taken. Now for the sales pitch.

Kelli quickly stated we were most interested in a photo CD. The photographer assistant stated the CD alone was...drum roll please.....$250!!!!! For 10 photos that were taken!!!!!

However if we bought photos if would be cheaper. The cheapest photo and CD package was $180. I had a 20% off coupon so out the door our cost was $160. For that we got 8 8X11 sheets with various sizes of photos, a 10 x 13 photo and the CD. I wondered if we would have balked more if we could have had a better price. Eh.

A little research showed Kiddie Kandids was purchased by Sears a few years ago. When we stopped by Sears a few days ago we got the same run around on getting prices. Whatever.

I am now working with the photos and will use Snapfish to get our Christmas cards.

Will we use Kiddie Kandids again? Probably not. Next year I will try to find a "real" photographer. The prices aren't much higher and we can get photos outside of a studio.


Update: The $250 CD includes RIGHTS to the photos to print out at your local CVS/Walmart. The cheaper CD that we bought does not.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Our flight plan

Natali and I have two "flight plans". One where we stay home and cruise smoothly. The other is when we go out....that one sucks.

The smooth one has been ironed out. She wakes up around 5AM. I feed her, we watch the news and then she sleeps from 7AM till 9AM. I then feed her again, play around and she goes back to sleep around 10:30AM. She then sleeps till 1PM. She eats, plays and goes back to bed at 2:45PM. She then sleeps till around 4:00PM and by then Kelli is home. Natali is rested and in a good mood to play for a few hours before sleeping from 6PMish till 9PMish. She then eats for the final time, gets a night time diaper and outfit and goes to sleep between 10PM and 10:30PM.

If we go out or the plan is all goes out the window.

Yesterday Natali "woke up" around 8AM. I calmly asked Kelli if she intended on taking Natali out of bed...Kelli said she was as Natali was "awake". I sighed and let it be....knowing what would happen.

Natali was cranky for most of the day. We went out later and she just wasn't her normal self. Not her worst, but not normal.

Prior to Natali entering my life I thought my sister in law Jami was nuts. She would insist on my niece sleeping and taking naps and doing things around the nap schedule. I didn't get it. Why can't Haley (my niece) just power through it? A little extra sugar and a coke....let's roll. I now get it. Jami is still nuts (she does have Richmond genes after all) but I get more and more how she got that way.

So far this morning it's smooth sailing. It's 11:20AM. Natali did take an extra 2 ounces this morning. A little outside her norm, but I'm okay with it.

Natali is getting the idea of crawling. Chest is up and back legs wiggle...but she won't pick her but up. I'm not sure's the same small/flat but that Kelli has. If Natali had the ghetto large rump I possess....I would understand.

Natali is also enjoying the exersaucer we are borrowing. She is spending more time in there and turns herself around every now and then.

On another note, my lease on my car is coming up soon. I'm on the fence on what to do. Kelli REALLY wants me to keep the Mazda5. I see why. It's a good car. But I can't get this comment I heard a few months ago out of my head; "When you see a guy driving a Mini-van you know he's a guy who's had his nuts chopped off." I still have my nuts.

I am looking at a sedan (Kia Optima) or hatchback (Prius or Venza). Max price of $26,000 as I can't fathom spending more than that on a car. I've only done it once, my Acura which was $29,100. That really was a stretch. When I'm 40...yeah I will spend more. For now...nah.

Kelli thinks a sedan makes no sense. Mid-size sedans are the most popular car out there (even more than SUVs!). Eh. We will see.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Better night

Still having a problem with Natali and her schedule. If I take her out during the day, it means hours without sleep for her and a cranky baby later.

I schedule our outings to begin after she wakes up, eats and gets a new diaper. This way I have 2-3 hours till she gets tired/hungry again.

Doesn't help. She just wants to look around and...see. I like it as she is interactive and first.

Yesterday we went to a mall in Arlington. We walked around Sears, and baby stores and Macy's. I found a really pretty Christmas outfit for her at Macy's for just $ even had built in footies! I picked it up and looked at it...which meant I stopped walking. Natali began throwing a fit. I then began walking in circles looking out the outfit. I wanted it. Problem....cashier line was long. I began looking for another line. Natali didn't care for moving now...or sitting still. "It" was on.

She was on a level 9 screaming/crying fit. It had only been 90 minutes since she last ate....but it was a hungry mixed with a tired cry.

I put the outfit back on the rack and headed out of the store. After making a bottle I fed her. She was happy and took two ounces. Time for a diaper.

The first "Family" bathroom I found was locked...must have been in use. We waited for 3-4 minutes. Nothing. Time to find a new one.

Natali was fine....until we got in the bathroom. She then started again.

Her crying doesn't bother me/stress me out much. Not at all when we are in our own room (the family restroom I found was private). I changed her diaper and then we headed to the food court.

Holding her in my arms and letting her stand made her happy. She watched a Merry-Go-Round for a few minutes.

She took another ounce and was ready to leave.

I had hoped to find a pillow of some type to help her balding. The "Summer Baby Positioner" has been recalled due to a SIDS risk. Nothing out there. Boo.

Once home I got to thinking. She used to sleep in her basinette on top of a really soft blanket. She was swaddled up so only her head/sides of her face rested on the blanket.

In her crib there was no blanket, just a bare mattress with a sheet.

Last night I laid her (swaddled up of course) on top of a similar soft blanket. Much better night.

I turned on the movement monitor in case she rolled over. No problems. Better night.

Natali didn't wake up until 5:15AM. I think it might have been the sound of Kelli in the shower. Either way, a better night.

This time next week Natali will spend the weekend in Sacramento being adored by family.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Camera one....Camera two

Natali was born with a full head of black hair. Over time it's lightened up to a medium brown. It's all began thinning.

When she was two months old she didn't mind sleeping on her stomach. Over the last month though that has changed.

Natali now sees being on her stomach as playtime/work. She pushes herself up and struggles to move. She can no longer relax.

This has lead to her sleeping on her back almost all of the time. When she is on her back she has this odd mannerism of looking to the left....then to the right....then to the left. Over and over again. This constant motion has caused a bald band on the back of her head.

In addition to this mannerism there is the whole head movement thing, she squirms around a lot as well.

She tends to sleep better when swaddled up. However after an hour or two she starts the head turning thing and then starts to squirm. She has turned her body a full 180 degrees! The night before last she was hitting her head on the side of the crib. Not hard, but I could hear it on the monitor.

I end up picking her up and taking her to bed with me. When she is next to me she sleeps fine. Very little movement...just deep sleep.

Kelli and I aren't sure what to do with the head turning issue. I might try putting her down without being swaddled to see if she can sleep without waking herself up from moving around.

A new look will be coming to the site as there is no longer a byrd in the oven. A good friend gave us a domain name, It's working now, but just redirects to this site.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Her first flying lesson

November 30, 2010....the day I can no longer turn my back on Natali.

First...last night was great. Put her to bed at 10:30PM. I woke up twice due to the sounds of her kicking around in her crib (she is in her own room, heard it on the monitor). She never cried though...she is just an "active" sleeper. At 5:20AM she was kicking a lot and her eyes were open. She slept for almost 7 hours. Good enough for me.

I made a bottle. Changed her diaper. She then took in her customary 3 ounces and stopped. Fine. Then she decided it was a great time to dirty up the diaper.

After I changed it I wanted to wash my hands. I've become used to being able to leave her on the changing table (really just a small dresser with a curved changing pad on top) for a few seconds.

As I was washing my hands I thought, "this won't last much longer as she will soon be rolling over". Then I heard it....the sound of a baby falling to the floor.

I screamed, "oh god no!" and turned back into the room (the restroom is adjacent to her room) to see her on the carpet between the trashcan and the dresser. Kelli came rushing in from the kitchen. Natali wasn't crying till she saw me. I picked her up and checked her over. No marks or cuts. She screamed for about 15 seconds and relaxed. No harm/no foul. This time. I was a bit shaken up. I fed her the rest of her bottle while squeezing every part of her body. She was fine. Her hard head (came from my DNA) and the extra thick carpet pad (which is as thick as new since that room got very little use till now) saved the day.

Kelli reminded me that my sister in law dropped my niece on a hard floor when she was just 1 month old. My niece is fine. Babies are much tougher than people give them credit for.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

She wants to roll

Natali wants to roll over.....she appears to anyway.

When I lay back in my chair and put her on my chest she will roll to one side. She purposely puts her arms back and shifts her weight to one side. Natali then rolls to the side and I catch her with my arm. Laughter and smiles follow.

When we place her on the floor there is a little negative transfer as she puts her arms back and squirms thinking the same thing will happen. Eh.

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Over the last week we spent quite a few days in Wylie with Eric, Angela and Marin. Natali was fine during the long (for us anyway!) 40 mile car ride. I think the new seat is definitely helping. Once at their house she did fine. On Thanksgiving Angela's mom watched Natali for quite a while. This was a welcome gift as it's nice to get a break every now and then. When her mom wasn't around on another visit, Angela was more than welcome to help out.

Nice 4 day weekend for Kelli. It was nice to be able to have Thanksgiving off....even if unpaid. Speaking of pay, my financial estimates weren't as accurate as I thought. Burned through 65% of my "unemployed" money and I'm only a little more than 40% through being unemployed. Gotta pull back te reins a bit.

Kelli still isn't in the blog updating mood. I figure she's about done with blogging. Her own blog has been untouched for over a year. Not her thing I guess.

We secured a spot for daycare starting January 3rd. Natali will be just shy of 5 months old then.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Seeing in the dark

Natali slept in her crib for the first time last night. Pretty good overall.

She had a 5 ounce (still won't take more than that :-\ ) at 10PM. Fell asleep right away.

I put her down on her back at 10:20PM. Just a night gown and light blanket over her legs.

The night vision camera that was watching part of the hallway (pretty useless as 2 other cameras cover the same area) is now watching Natali.

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With the recent update for the Ipad, it's much easier to view the cameras without having to retype the password. I set my bedside computer up to have the Natali camera front and center. I then turned the monitor off and the baby audio monitor up. Since I am a little paranoid about having a blanket on her I turned the baby monitor motion sensor on as well.

She was quiet until 2:21AM. She was "calling" me.

Natali was very fussy. Unusually so. I checked her diaper (now a nighttime diaper for overnights). It was fine. I figured she might just be cold.

I swaddled her up (love the magic swaddling's a no brainer) and put a sock cap on her head. Happy again. She was sleep in a few minutes.

She then slept all the way until 6AM. I figure she might have slept the whole night if she had not been cold.

This morning at 6AM she had her bottle and diaper change, followed by a dirty diaper (I swear she waits till I change it).

Natali is sleeping now. Once she gets up we will do a few errands.

Monday, November 22, 2010

She is small again

3 months and 2 weeks. Our Britax Boulevard 70 CS Convertible Car Seat arrived last week. We used it for the first time yesterday. Once again Natali is small again.

When we first brought her home in the infant car seat, we had to put a blanket under her but so she would fit. Now that seat is almost too small. She's not very comfy in it as her shoulders are a little wider than the inset seat shoulder area.

In the new seat, she is tiny again. The seat is designed for babies as small as 5 pounds. I can't see putting her in there that small as there isn't much head support. She seems to like the new seat though as she was much quieter on the ride to and from Wylie yesterday.

With the new car seat came the new stroller. We love it. Again she seems much more comfy. We saved over $230 combined by me finding the great deals.

Natali still isn't reaching for things. If something is close she will grasp it and hold on. She likes kicking though. This morning I gave her a bath. She kicked so hard once that she raised her but off the ledge and went under the water. Didn't phase her as she kept kicking after I put her back in place.

And now a few photos.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Her favorite toy....any blanket

Finally up to 5 ounce bottles. Not every time, but most times. Even had a sixer yesterday.

Natali is doing well. Still not grabbing for stuff, but she is kicking a lot. She knows that those things down there are legs....and she wants to know how to use them.

As I type this she just hit one of the dangling toys above her head. I think she is reading over my shoulder.

She is able to sleep most of the way through the night. From 10:30PMish till 5:00AM ish.

One problem we are having is her thrashing about in the middle of the night between 3-4AM.

She is all swaddled up and content, but moves around a lot. At first I thought it was because her diaper was full and she was uncomfortable. We switched to night time diapers (thanks to Romy for the tip!) and well...last night she still thrashed around.

I picked her up and unswaddled her. She still trashed around....but was sleeping. I don't get it.  I held her in bed for a while. Guess she is just an "energetic sleeper".

New car seat arrived. She is so tiny in it. The same way she was tiny in her current car seat back in August.

Still waiting on the new stroller.

Finally a little rant. The company I pay to host my site is fairly large. All of my blogs live on a computer with hundreds of other blogs. One of those other blogs pissed off a black listing company that monitors spam and abuse of websites. That company blacklisted several of the computers at my hosting company. At our house we use AT&T for Internet. AT&T uses this company for blacklisting information. For two days I could not get to my site. Annoyed. My hosting company and AT&T would do nothing for me. It's fixed now, but I'm going to be moving hosting companies soon. Not a happy daddy.

More Natali pics soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another deal

Once again I found a steal of a deal. Today (November 16, 2010) has a steal of a deal on a stroller.

They are selling a Maclaren Carbon Fiber & Leather Stroller for only $149! This stroller was over $1000 as recently as 2007. Even now online at Amazon and it's $600 and $750 respectively.

It's a little scary buying a stroller sight unseen, but all reviews are positive except that the wheels get the canopy dirty. Beyond that it folds up like an umbrella stroller but has all the room of a conventional stoller. Very well built and sturdy. All reviews mention on how well it works even after several kids and years. I have high hopes.

Being black and leather it will go well with my car. Another plus.

We were planning on spending $200+ on a stoller. This one is just $165 including shipping ($5) and tax ($10 as is based in Dallas). I will post photos when it comes. Might have to buy Natali some bling to be rolling in this thing.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Being a smart ass is hereditary

Apparently being a smart ass is hereditary.

Natali was having a mini crying fit over the weekend. No matter what I did she squirmed and cried. I handed her off the Kelli. Natali immediately stopped crying, looked back at me and smirked...then giggled and squirmed happily. Nice.

Natali is about an inch away from out growing her car seat. Another month or so...maybe. We borrowed a very nice Britax seat from Eric and Angela. Still need one more.

We have looked at Buy, Buy, Baby for a car seat. They have a nice selection and are very helpful. They had a very nice Sunshine Kids model that folds into a back pack for easy transport....but its still heavy. They also had a Britax model we liked....for $330.

I frequent a site called I have found several awesome deals. All the deals are found by users. There are deals on everything from coffee to diapers to name it. This weekend some user posted a deal from on car seats. Britax car seats. The deal was for 45% off. It was a mistake that allowed two discount codes to be used for the same purchase. We paid $180 for a $330 car shipping. A steal!

We have narrowed down our stroller choices to either a City Mini or a Peg Perego Vela. Both around $200. Both are lightweight and compact for easy airline travel. We will pull the trigger in the next month or so.

Natali is progressing nicely. Still not reaching for things, but will play with a toy if we put it in her hand. She is also much more aware of the relationship between her hand, pacifier and mouth. She will try to put it back in if it falls out. Hasn't been able to do it yet though.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The feeling of being powerless

Natali is officially 3 months old. Kelli and I have sustained a life for 3 whole months. Not too shabby for amateurs!

Natali slept a lot today....and last night. I put her to bed at 10:30AM and she woke up after Kelli got up at 5:10AM. She might have slept longer, but I think the light of the bathroom and sounds of Kelli moving about woke her.

She did great today. Sleeping a lot more than normal. It was an awesome day until 1:16PM.

I was about to head out the door when I decided to change her diaper. As I laid her on the changing bad she began to not just cry....she screamed a scream of pain.

Stunned. What had I just done. Did I tweak her back? Were there spikes on the changing pad? What!?!??!?

I looked her over. No blood. No bruising. Non-stop crying.

No amount of consoling would help her at first. I began going over the morning hit me. Gas.

I fed her about 2 hours prior. She didn't burp. Didn't think much of it....till now.

My attempts at burping her normally failed. Off to mylicon drops.

We had used them in the past when she was really upset. The most misdiagnosed symptom of babies by parents is that of being gassy. In the past they had an "instant" effect...because she wasn't gassy, she was "cured" by the sweetness of the drops. Today was different.

The drops had ZERO effect on her initially. I walked around the house and patted her back. I felt powerless as I couldn't help my daughter who was writhing in pain. I hated seeing her in so much pain. I kept walking around the house trying to burp her. She would have moments of silence but then go right back into screaming. Tears rolling down her face, it pained me to look at her.

Finally after about 45 minutes she burped...and burped...and burped...and farted...and burped. I had never been so happy to hear burps and farts.

She ate a few ounces and we headed out for our errands.

I know this isn't the last time I will have to see my daughter long as she doesn't see me will be okay.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Either way....she doesn't sleep a lot during the day

Natali and I are bonding. Lots of funny faces back and forth. After a few minutes though she gives me the, "Yeah okay I get it, NEXT" look.

She doesn't sleep much during the day. Normally we watch Headline News till around 7:30AM. She then sleeps till around 9:30AM. Takes a bottle, watches a video podcast or two then back to sleep around noon till about 1PM...sometimes. She is then up until 3:50PM when Kelli gets home. Natali visits with Kelli and then is OUT for hours.

I joked with Kelli that Natali doesn't sleep much during the day because:

A. She REALLY likes me being around

B. She is thinking, "No way I'm falling asleep around this guy, he is clueless and might kill me"

C. She's taking every moment in as she doesn't know when I will be leaving again

Either way...she doesn't sleep a lot during the day.

This week it seems like the highlight of my day is the dirty diaper....and guessing when it will come. On bath days I fear her "letting it out" during the bath. So far it hasn't happened.

We did learn a new game today. I poke my finger above and below her lips. She tries to catch it. Eventually she will grasp my hand with her hands and latches onto my finger. We both squirm with delight (don't judge...I can squirm!) and play again.

She's been sleeping in her crib more....which is a good her bassinet is getting a little small.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Natali is Natali.....and I'm okay with that

Natali will be 3 months old this

Yesterday we headed over to Wiley for lunch with Eric, Angela and Marin along with Jeff, Keri, Davis and Katelyn.

Jeff is one of my fraternity brothers. Jeff and his wife Keri had twins (one boy/one girl) on July 25th. So Davis and Katelyn are about 2 weeks older than Natali.

What a difference two weeks make...I hope.

Davis and Katelyn were content the entire afternoon. They ate, then laid on their backs and played with a toy and then quietly went to sleep in their car seats. Not Natali.

Natali was fussy. She didn't care to be put down. We fed her and waited. She was tired, but wouldn't sleep, fussy all afternoon.

At first I was a little upset with Natali. She is normally not this fussy. Here were these two twins, barely older than her, that were super chill. They were drinking 7 ounce bottles!!!!! Natali just got to 4 ounces. Ok I was more than a little upset. After thinking about it all night I came to the conclusion that yes all kids are different and I shouldn't discount Natali for being who she is. We also realized that she gets excited when new people are around and need to feed her more as...well she gets more hungry.

Enough of my rant.

Natali is getting bigger everyday. We did our own height measurement the other day and she is about 23 1/2 inches long.

Her personality is coming out more and more. Lots more quiet giggles and a ton of "oh Daddy you know I love you and you love me no matter how much I can be cranky" smiles.

My first week at home was a little rough. I am sure we will get in our groove soon.

Natali can't read yet...or tell time, so I will forgive her for a bit as her time is still off by an hour. Daylight savings time had no effect on her. She still got up around 3AM (now 2AM) ready to eat. She then got up at 5:30AM (now 4:30AM) ready to watch Headline News.

We looked at car seats yesterday. Natali is about to outgrow her infant seat. I came to the horrifying realization that traveling with her soon won't be so easy.

Right now we can keep her in her car seat in the car, pop in in the stroller, then use the same seat on the plane. Not for long.

Buy Buy Baby has the biggest selection of car seats AND employees who know everything about car seats (Babies' R Us is severely lacking in this area). An employee spent a good 30 minutes with us asking us about our lifestyle and what we want. We found a Sunshine Kids car seat (for about $250) that is a very safe seat that converts to a backpack for traveling. That will be our main seat in my car. For Kelli's car we looked at a few Britax car seats (also around $250). For a stroller we are going to go with a City Mini (about $230). The stroller folds up with one handle. Awesome.

Our current car seat rocks for two reasons; 1)Given to us by a family friend 2)Great brand. Once again a family friend helped us out. Eric and Angela are loaning us a very nice Britax car seat that Marin used. We can use it until Angela gets knocked up.....which probably isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

220.....221....whatever it takes

Ron Richardson: Yeah? Are you gonna make it all 220?

Jack Butler: Yeah. 220... 221, whatever it takes

Day 3 of being Mr. Mom. So far so good.

Each morning starts the same. Natali wakes up between 3AM and 4:30AM. Kelli leaves at 6AM. I then turn on Headline News/The local news and lay in bed. Natali is already normally awake. I prop her up in the bed and we watch the news together.

Monday we made did a few errands. Stopped by Target for post Halloween shopping and to pick up some formula. We then swung by Lowes to get supplies so I could install a dimmer in the living room. All went well. Natali pooped right at noon. I did fine.

Tuesday was cold and rainy. Once again right at noon came the dirty diaper. I figured as long as she stayed on schedule I could prep myself. I didn't leave home until Kelli got home. Natali slept a lot...past 7PM. Bad. Tried to wake her up at 9:30PM to get a good feeding in before bedtime. She was like a drunk teenager. Eyes half open, bobbing about. I got 2 1/2 ounces down though.

Today she woke up at 3AM slightly agitated, but not fussy. She took 4 ounces and then surprised me with a poop. So much for staying on schedule. We watched the news and then Up in the Air. Natali is much more expressive now. While watching the movie on the floor I placed her one her back and made funny faces. She enjoyed it and giggled and smiled a lot. I then decided we needed a trip to Grapevine Mills Mall. First I wanted coffee. Got a new huge mug, wanted some coffee from Quick Trip. Brought Natali inside. Don't know how people with two kids do this. No way I could control two kids and get coffee.

Natali had been up since 7 AM. She might have slept in the car on the way to the mall. Awake at the mall for a good 90 minutes. Fed her once while there. She might have slept on the 20 minute ride home. Awake once I got home. She slept maybe 40 minutes between noon and 4PM. Not fussy....just not wanting to sleep.

It will be a challenge keeping myself busy over the next two months.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A perfect lady

We went to a friends wedding over the weekend. Natali was silent thru the ceremony. During the reception she got a little fussy. Overall it went well. She also wore a dress for the first time.

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She is "talking" more and more. Just random sounds. She is looking around nonstop now. When we went shopping today she "insisted" on being held in my arms like a football so she could see ahead of her and side to side.

Natali has finally graduated to 4 ounce bottles. Previously we fed 2 and 3 ounce bottles. Now she will take 4 ounces nonstop. I feel so proud when she finishes a 4 ounce bottle....odd...bleh.

Tomorrow starts my first day as Mr. Mom. I am only worried about dirty diapers. I had to call Kelli in yesterday after an especially dirty diaper after I had dry heaves. Bleh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

11 weeks old

Natali is 11 weeks old today.  It's amazing how fast time flies.  She is doing really well with sleeping lately.  I usually get at least 5 hours straight sleep out of her, then one feeding and another 3 hours or so of sleep.  2 nights in a row she even slept for 6.5 hours straight.  I think we are doing pretty well with that.  Hopefully we will get a full nights sleep by the end of this year.  Natali's development seems to be right on track as well.  She has been able to lift her head up for a while now, but just in these last few days she has really started to spend a good amount of time pushing herself up with her arms.  We let her sleep on her stomach during the day (when we can frequently check on her) and I often find her laying in bed pushing herself up to look around when she wakes up.  She really likes to stand too and seems to have very strong legs.  As Darren mentioned in a previous post she has become much more vocal in the last week or so as well and now has quite a range of sounds.  It is very cute to here her make those noises. :)

We visited my brother and sister in law in New York a week or so ago and my sister in law Jenny apparently has a magic baby swing.  Up until that point Natali hated her swing.  We couldn't put her in it while she was awake because she just cried the whole time.  When we were in New York Jenny decided to try putting her in the swing and she suddenly loved it.  She has her swing set to swing side to side and she also doesn't have a canopy on hers like we have on ours.  I guess those things were pretty important.  We came home and turned our swing so it moves side to side and took off the canopy and now Natali loves her swing too!  It's nice to be able to put her in it when I need to do something and she frequently sleeps in it during the day now too.  It makes me very happy!

I start back to work on Monday and I have a lot of anxiety about it.  I am not in the least bit worried about leaving Natali.  Darren will be staying home with her for the next 2 months, so that is not a concern.  I know I will be more anxious leaving her when she starts daycare, but that is a little while longer.  My main concern is having been away for so long.  12 weeks is a long time to not do a job.  Will I remember everything right away?  How long is it going to take me to get back into the swing of things?  We are pretty short staffed there now, and I know they will be glad I'm back to help.  I'm sure it will all go smoothly, but it still makes me nervous.  I know there are some new contracts that have come in while I was away and there may have been a few changes to existing contracts that I don't know about.  It's the small details that can really get a person mixed up in my job and there are lots of small details.  I guess I just have really high expectations for myself and I am scared that everyone else has these really high expectations too.  It's a lot to live up to.  I'd like to think I can jump back in without missing a beat, but is that really possible?  I'm sure it will all work out just fine, but it's still a bit scary.  In the past I always felt out of the loop after a week of vacation, but to come back after 12 weeks off?  Hopefully after a day or two it will feel like I never left and everything will be like normal.  I am definitely ready to work again.  There are only so many Judge shows and episodes of Maury that I can stand.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Understanding my daughter

Natali is two months old and still hasn't said her first word. She has been very vocal lately though. All kinds of sounds coming out. I know she won't be talking for a while, but she is expressing herself already.

I have come to learn what her cries mean. She has a distinct "I'm hungry now dammit!" cry. There is also the, "I'm not sure what it is, but something isn't right!" cry. The "I'm tired and am going to give the bare minimum cry/yawn" cry....that's the funniest.

Next Monday Kelli and I swap roles. I will be the primary caregiver. I think I lucked out as I get to spend time with her while she is doing more than eating, pooping and sleeping. She enjoys standing on my chest and looking around. She is starting to pick herself up when placed on her chest.

I thought Natali and I would be flying around the country a lot. Eh...not initially. I have spent way too much time in airplanes this month. I have personally flown 70 hours and been in the back as a passenger for at least 28 hours. I just want to sit on the couch and relax.

Monday, October 18, 2010

9360 miles

Natali and Kelli....hmmm Kelli and Natali.....flew up to New York yesterday.

The timing was pretty interesting. I was flying from Atlanta to New York in the morning when I heard "American flight 704" on the radio. That's the flight Natali and Kelli.....Kelli and Natali...took.

As I lined the plane up with the runway, their flight was right behind mine. I landed the plane and , as we turned onto a taxiway, watched the MD80 carrying Natali and Kelli....Kelli and Natali touch down.

By the time my passengers were off and the plane was put away, Kelli was already out of her terminal. Met up in the middle. Great timing.

Natali was a little fussy yesterday. I think it was from lack of sleep. Kelli said Natali was awake for most of the 3 hour flight. Once we got the her brother's place she was mostly wide awake. All new faces and surroundings for her. That evening I had to head back to my hotel. I tried for about 20 minutes to calm Natali down. She was fine as long as I would hold her. Once I put her down....out came the screams. Finally we just put her in the car seat and Kelli drove me back to my hotel. Once in the car, Natali calmed down and was quiet. She was exhausted.

When Natali and Kelli.....Kelli and Natali fly back home tomorrow Natali will have traveled on 10 airline flights for a total of 9,360 just over 2 months on this earth. That's gotta be a record.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Babies and new car decisions

I have been told by several people that when I had a baby I would want an SUV.  These people obviously don't know me very well.  I have seen it happen several times though.  A couple has a nice sedan and the minute a baby is born they decide they need something taller and something that can hold more stuff.  I was told it would be too difficult to put the baby in the seat since a sedan is shorter and you can't fit everything you need for a baby in a sedan.

I drive a Prius.  I love my Prius, and I can't really see myself driving anything else.  It is a nice sedan with a hatchback and Smartkey!  My Prius fits absolutely everything I have needed for Natali so far.  Of course, we don't go on long trips in the car, but we do drive to the airport with suitcases a lot.  We can fit everything we need for these trips in the Prius without a problem.  We do pack as lightly as possible, but I am of the opinion that most people overpack anyway.  As far as the height problem goes, I will admit it would be easier to put Natali in the car and take her out if the car was taller.  Darren drives a Mazda 5 and it is much taller and much easier to get Natali in and out of.  However, this reason alone is not enough to make me want something taller when I would have to compromise so much of what I love about my Prius to get something taller.  I am not a lazy person, so I will just deal with it.  In addition to the excellent gas mileage and the hatchback, my Prius comes with the Smartkey.  This is the best car feature ever, and I will never again drive a car that doesn't have this.  I never have to remove my key from my purse.  The car senses the key in my purse and the doors automatically unlock and I just have to push the button on the door to unlock it.  I also just have to push a button to turn the car on.  It's amazing technology!  It is really nice to have when I have my hands full with Natali too.  I absolutely hate fishing around in my purse for keys.

Darren is up for a new car early next year.  He is a huge car fan and is really struggling with what to get.  I think his car is perfect for us, but not something I would want to drive on a daily basis.  It has been great over these last few years though, and is really practical with the baby.  I don't think he will keep it though.  He gets new car fever and can't get over it.  That's fine.  It's his thing.  He can get a new car if he wants one.  I am perfectly happy keeping my Prius for a few more years.  It only has 80,000 miles on it right now and I've had it for 5 years.

We are planning a trip to the LA auto show at the end of November, and then the Detroit auto show in January (I think).  Toyota is supposed to introduce a new Prius model at the Detroit show which has me very intrigued.  It's going to be a bigger version of my current car.  If it ends up looking like I think it will, I will have to seriously consider it for my next car purchase. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2 months old already!

Natali turned 2 months old this past Monday.  I can't believe the time has gone by so quickly!  The last 2 months have been wonderful.  We still love being parents. :)

Natali had her 2 month checkup and vaccinations on Monday.  She is up to 11 pounds 6 ounces and 23 inches long.  She is growing so quickly!  Our car seat has a 26 inch or 20 pound limit.  I'm not sure if she will keep growing at the same rate she has been, but if she does we will hit that 26 inch limit in just a few months.  I love our car seat, so hopefully she will stop growing so quickly. :)

At this last appointment Natali got an oral vaccine and two injections.  They were very traumatic for her.  Poor baby!  It is hard to see your baby scream so much, but it is necessary.  Vaccinations are a touchy and controversial subject for a lot of people.  Many parents these days are opting to skip vaccines all together.  I think this is a very dangerous decision and I completely disagree with it.  Not only are these people putting their own kids in danger, but they are putting everyone else in danger by possibly allowing these diseases to make a comeback in the population.  I am a scientist and science always wins in my mind.  The fact is the risk of vaccinations is so much less than the risk of a disease that I never thought twice about it.  Natali will get all her shots on the recommended schedule.  There are some parents that are giving their kids all their shots but on a delayed schedule.  I personally don't think it makes a bit of difference whether they get them all at once or spread out a bit more, but I can't really find fault with the delayed schedule.  These kids will eventually be fully vaccinated, so it doesn't really bother me.  I just wouldn't want to keep going back to the doctor all the time.  I would prefer the trauma to my baby to occur less often.  She is no worse off for getting her shots all at once.  She will not develop autism or any other serious problem because of the vaccines.  Ok, off my soapbox now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Too young for Disneyland? Nah!

We had a great mini-vacation at Disneyland over the weekend.

Taking a 2 month old to Disneyland might be viewed as a waste as they won't remember it. However....when you work in the travel industry, traveling to Disneyland is fairly inexpensive.

We flew there for practically free, super cheap rental car ($50 all in for 3 days) and a very cheap hotel (discount plus shared with my in laws).

Disney has a great set up for parents with children who can't go on certain rides. One parent goes solo and then the other parent can skip most of the line and ride solo. Since I was with my sisters in law and my niece, we didn't have to ride solo as we would all take turns. Great time.

I was a little tired. Wednesday I flew New York to Minneapolis to New York as a pilot. I then rode in the back on a flight from New York to Dallas. Thursday we all rode on a flight from Dallas to Santa Ana. Sunday we caught a flight from Santa Ana to Dallas. We couldn't get Natali a seat so I "had" to hold her. I enjoyed it.

I then caught a flight from Dallas back to New York that night. This morning I flew my New York to Minneapolis and back. Phew. Lots of flying. Sunday Kelli and Natali might come visit.

More photos later in the week. For now just one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just a few weeks left

I stopped by work yesterday with Natali so everyone could meet her.  She is 8 weeks old today and it's hard to believe that time has gone by so quickly.  I only have a few weeks left of maternity leave before I am back to the daily grind.  We are very lucky that Darren is able to take time off when I go back.  I am totally comfortable with Natali going to daycare, but it's nice to give her more time at home before she starts.  It will give Darren some great bonding time with her too.  I have definitely enjoyed my time off, but I don't think I'm cut out to be a full time stay at home mom.  My work has always been a major focus in my life, and I like it that way.  Me working allows us to lead a lifestyle we love, and I am not willing to give that up.  We couldn't live on Darren's salary anyway.  I am capable of being a do it all mother, especially since I have such a wonderful husband who is an amazing dad too.

Even though Darren is based in New York for the month we are still trying to make the most of my last few weeks off work.  Tomorrow we are going to Disneyland.  I am very excited about it!  The weather is going to be beautiful, and I can go on all the rides again! :-)  That was a big negative when I was pregnant.  Also, toward the end of this month Darren and I are going to Las Vegas for a weekend with Eric, Angela, Jason, and Jackie.  We are really looking forward to that too.  We haven't been to Vegas since the last time the 6 of us went together in March of 2009.  This is the longest stretch of time between Vegas trips since we got married.  My wonderful mother has volunteered to stay with Natali and the dogs.  She really wants to spend more time with her, so it works out well for us.  It will be hard for me to leave Natali for the first time, but all parents need a break and she couldn't be in more capable hands.

In other news, I had a big discussion with my doctor about birth control options.  Prior to getting pregnant I was on birth control pills and I took them for years without a problem.  However, there is an increased risk for blood clots with pills and because of my blood clotting issues my doctor does not really want me back on them.  Birth control is necessary since I need at least 3 years between children, if we have one at all.  Darren says he doesn't want another one, but I'm not ready to say that yet.  We decided the best option is an IUD, specifically Mirena.  It honestly makes me nervous, but my doctor says the risk of side effects is minimal and I usually don't have side effects from things anyway.  It's a great option since it can be left in for up to 5 years and does not adversely affect fertility.  My doctor says a lot of people get pregnant within the first month after removal.  I think if we have gone 5 years and still don't want another child I will have Darren get a vasectomy at that point.  He has already volunteered to do it so it shouldn't be a problem for him.

Natali is still doing really well.  Her growth and development is right on track, and I love being a mom. :-)  The only problem is she can be a handful to entertain during the day.  She does not like to be put down much.  We do tummy time, which she is ok with for a few minutes, but then she gets upset.  I can't put her in her swing while she is awake because she will cry nonstop.  Sometimes I have to just lay her on the bed and let her cry so I can go to the bathroom or feed the dogs.  The only place I can set her down for any length of time while she is awake is in her bouncer.  It vibrates and she really likes that.  She is also fascinated by the hanging panda bear.  She can stare at that thing for a very long time.  It also has different lights and music she enjoys too.  I can put her in the bouncer and make it through an entire shower and get dressed before she starts getting upset.  It really helps out.  I think she will do well in an exersaucer or a jumperoo when she is old enough too.  She also really enjoys sitting outside in the grass.  She will sit there for a long time with her butt on the ground while leaning back against me.  It's nice for me too since I can throw the ball for the dogs while we sit there.  The story on the news said that babies need at least 10 minutes outside every day anyway so they absorb enough vitamin D, so we are doing good there. :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Everything is new

Something as simple as a smile.

Natali is smiling at us more. Kelli played a simple game of "peek-a-boo" with Natali over the weekend. Kelli would raise a towel to hide her face, then quickly lower it. Natali would smile. Then Kelli would repeat the process. After about 4 times Natali made the "ugly face" and began to cry. Natali won't have object permanance (using my sociology degree!!!) for another 6 months or so. Until then...everything is in the moment.

I got to thinking the other day. Everything Natali encounters is new. Clean sheet. I've already seen her reaction to tasting something sweet. It stops her in her tracks.

We bought Mylicon drops to help with upset stomachs. It's apparently very sweet. Natali can be in an all out scream fest and stop the instant the drops reach her tounge. I also tried a small amount of Splenda on my finger. Same effect. She just stares at me and smacks with an expression, "Oh father, whatever this magic powder you placed in my mouth is....may I have more?"

Kelli has figured out how to get more sleep. She fills up Natali with formula at 10:30PM. She'll stuff in as much as possible. Doing so allows Natali to sleep until 4:30ish AM. Not too shabby for a 7 week old.

I'd love to post photos...but I only have my netbook right now. I'm on the road. Photos when I get back. She will be turning 8 weeks old when I return.

In other news...I bought 252 Pampers Swaddler diapers for $29....delivered. This same box goes for $41.99 at Walmart/Target. How? Amazon. Amazon launched a new service called Amazon Mom. It gives free two day shipping on all baby stuff for one year. It's like our existing Amazon Prime membership. Prime cost $75 a year but gives free 2 day shipping on everything sells. With baby stuff and household goods and groceries, items can be set up on a subscription plan. By subscribing to the diapers I ordered the price dropped from $38 to $29. Amazon sends emails out a week prior to the next shipment. Anytime up until the day it ships I can delay or cancel the order. Simple. Easy. With diapers I will likely change the size each time a new shipment is ready. I love Amazon. Every parent should take a hard look at Amazon and start saving money. And no I get no referral fees.....though it would be nice if I did.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

She Keeps Getting Better

Last night Natali went to bed at 10:30PM and slept until 4:30AM. She took 2 ounces then went back to bed at 5AM. She then slept until 8AM. Not too shabby. Off to the State Fair of Texas today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Daddy on Board

There are tons of resources for new moms. For new dads??? Not so much.

Natali Del Conte is the tech reporter who we used for the spelling of Natali. Natali Del Conte is dating a man named Clayton Morris. Clayton has had a long running podcast called the Grizzly Bear Egg Cafe. He recently launched a podcast called...Daddy On Board.

Natali Del Conte  and Clayton had their first child about two weeks before our daughter was born. It is refreshing to see and hear all the questions and concerns he had going up until the birth.

It's a weekly podcast that, as far as I can figure, is only subscribable  on Itunes or viewable online here.

Last night Natali woke up just 3:30AM. My turn. I made a 3 ounce bottle. Natali is really good at measuring as she stops eating in exactly one ounce intervals! After two ounces we took a break and I burped her. I then popped to bottle back in. I leaned my head back for just a moment. The next thing I knew my hand was covered in warm liquid. Then my shirt. Then my boxer shorts. The flow had reversed.

I sprang into action and used the burping rag to catch a good two ounces of formula. Nice eh?

New diaper, new clothes (for the both of us!) and a new bottle later...all was good. She went back to sleep at 4:15AM not waking up again until 8AM.

Natali appears to have Kelli's personality. Laid back until something is not to her liking...and then watch out! Natali's crying doesn't bother me to the point of stressing me out. When she cries and I am holding her, I will position her so she can stand on my lap. She then puts her hands on my chest, pushes off and wails. I just look at her and say," Come on Natali, look me in the eyes and scream at me like you mean it!"

We are getting our rug today. We bought a 8 X 11 foot rug last week for the living room. It's a shag rug...kinda retro. Has some color in it to help our mostly brown living room. Will be easier for Natali to have tummy time.

Natali is 7 weeks old today!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Not so gross

In the past the changing of baby diapers grossed me out. Heck it still does. My sisters in law would change diapers in front of me in attempts to make me queasy. Nice eh?

My sister in law Jami would "take a peek" at her daughters diaper to see what was in it. Again I was grossed out.....till I found myself doing it a few weeks ago.

We started off using Pampers diapers.....cause that's what the hospital and friends gave us. Somewhere we got some Huggies. Huggies suck. We will use them until they are gone then go back to Pampers.

Before having a kid I was told that, when it comes to changing diapers,  "it's different when it's your own kid" Hmmm. Whatever. Still gross. I still get queasy and I know it will get worse as time goes on. The worst times are when Natali...ahem...let's is flow/fly while I am changing her. I have learned that I take off the diaper....let the cold air rush in....close the diaper....count to 10...then change the diaper. This way if she needs to pee again she can do so in the diaper. It works sometimes. Other times I sigh...change the diaper...and then her clothes.

Natali is progressing very well in my eyes. Her head control is very good side to side and getting better forward and backward. She really likes to stand up when she is on my lap. Of course when she steps around on my lap she runs the risk of being an only child.

Over the last few nights her overnight sleeping has improved. Instead of waking up every 2 hours she wakes up every 3-4 hours. This means we fill her up with formula at 10:30. She falls asleep around 11PMish. She wakes up between 3-3:30AM and then again around 6AM. Much better for our sleeping patterns.

She turns 42 days old tomorrow. I'm not using weeks/months....to0 cliche.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full nights sleep

Kelli is in one of her "why do I have to update the blog" I will do a little more than normal.

Natali is now 6 weeks old. It is amazing watching her progress day to day.

She started using her legs a lot two weeks ago. When I stood her up on my chest she would push down and stand up on them. Of course I have to balance her. I think she likes standing up on my chest or lap. I know when she gets frustrated she likes to stand and scream in my face....which I respond by kissing her all over her which distracts her and she momentarily stops crying.

Beyond that her head motions and control are improving. She can control side to side very well....forward and back not so much yet.

Natali isn't bothered at all with tummy time. When we are on the couch we place her on her stomach and she sleeps very well. Although we are sure she would be fine sleeping overnight on her stomach, we will continue to place her on her back until she is 6 months old.

Speaking of sleeping, the last time Kelli had a full, uninterrupted, nights sleep was August 10th....kinda. Natali was pushing down on her bladder pretty good. I guess the last time was some time in 2009. I've had several uninterrupted nights sleep, especially while I was working in New York.

Last night I took Natali down the hall and we both slept in the guest bedroom. This was to give Kelli a full nights sleep. I didn't mind too much. Natali went to sleep at 11PM. She woke up at 2:30AM and went back to sleep at 3:00AM. She again woke up at 5:00AM and settled back in just before 6:00AM. Not too bad for a 6 week old.

Beyond that we looked at our 3rd day care today. This one is $300 more per month than the last one we looked at. Was it $300 better? Eh....we gotta think about it. Still have 3 1/2 months to discuss it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

How to quiet a crying baby



Natali at 5 weeks

A few quick photos I took this morning of Natali at 5 weeks. For those who want copies without my watermark simply  shoot me an email and I will send you my Flickr link.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't Be That Baby

We took a trip to see Grandpa yesterday. My dad lives down in Houston. Sure most people would hop in the car and drive the 4 hours. That's what we used to do. But since I work for a company that owns a bunch of jets.....we fly.

Our car seat is a fancy Peg Perego model. It's very high quality...but one annoying feature. The seat MUST have a base attached to a seat belt. The base must be removed to be attached to a stroller. When we fly we have to carry the base through the airport and then check the stroller and carry the base on board. Not so great for those who travel light and frequently.

To solve this we decided to buy a car seat just for traveling. We stopped by a baby store and checked them out. Me being me I compared prices to Amazon. We found a decent Graco model for $130 in the store.....only $75 on Amazon...shipped free in just two days. We didn't inspect it too much, after all it was just for travel.

When it arrived, I checked it out more. Wow is it cheap! It's the small things like the lack of neck strap pads, one pull adjustable straps, super soft padding and overall substantialness. But's just for travel.

This was Natali's second round trip. The first two went very well.

Because this was a day trip we bit the bullet and parked at the terminal instead of my free (but time consuming and non baby friendly employee parking) Just a diaper bag and an Ipad each, we breezed through security.

The flight down was fine. She slept most of the way. She slept a lot that day. Which was a problem.

We made it to my dad's house and visited before heading to lunch. Natali was sleep most of the time.

She slept through lunch. She slept one the ride back to my dad's house. She slept at my dad's house. She slept on the car ride back to the airport.

Back at the airport it started. The fussiness started....she slept too much. We only had enough formula for one more bottle....just a 2 ouncer. She took it down and was still a little fussy. Not good.

I dashed off to a shop in the airport that sold sundries. They had one single use infant bottle left. It was a different brand...and huge...8 ounces....but it was our only choice.

Natali was fussy in the terminal area unless we held her...and even then she was loudly crying. Thankfully we were traveling light. I held Natali while Kelli carried the baby seat and diaper bag on board.

Once onboard the crying started. Bad. I held her and calmly talked to her. She quieted down...looked me in the eyes as I spoke, "Natali honey, Don't Be That Baby"....and once I was done...the crying continued. No amount of holding or a pacifier helped. I called for the one use bottle.

She didn't eat much, but as long as she had that nipple in her mouth, she was content.

I held her in my arms for the entire flight. She slept after takeoff.

Once back home she was quiet. But the night was rough. Instead of waking up just twice during the night, she woke up almost every hour. Lesson learned.

We will no longer allow her to just sleep. She's hard to wake up. I found a new...ummm tool....the new environmentally friendly Sun Chips bags. Picking one up sounds like nails in a metal bucket.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quality Time

My daughter turned one....month...yesterday. Of that month, I've been away almost half of it. I'm a pilot. I's expected.

When I am home I spoil her, much to Kelli's dismay. I hold Natali while she sleeps, picked her up the moment I hear a wimper and gaze into her eyes for hours. It's hard not to when you are the parent of the worlds most perfect daughter ;-).

Long story short I have to make use of quality over quantity. This will change a bit when Kelli and I swap roles November 1st. I will be taking November and December off for FMLA leave. It will be interesting for sure. Hopefully Natali and I will travel a bit.

Most recently I was away for 6 full days. Seemed like longer. When I came home Natali was sleeping. Kelli had been trying unsuccessfully for a while to wake Natali up, thinking by keeping her up then Natali would sleep longer overnight. Kelli was having no luck. Natali is a very sound sleeper.

As I walked down the hallway Natali's eyes opened and she craned her neck toward reaction to my voice. My daughter missed me. She was awake for a full hour after I came home. We spent lots of time just gazing at each other.

I leave again tomorrow night and come home late Wednesday night. I might be gone again for October.

Quality over Quantity.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A little focus on myself

Yesterday Darren posted a little video.  It's a good video so check it out if you haven't already.  The video is full of little bits of general advice and one of those things said take time to fit back into those jeans.  That's what I am trying to do.  Darren and I have always said we don't want to be fat parents.  I have always had a battle with my weight.  In fact, my highest adult weight ever matched the weight I got up to during my pregnancy.  Yep, my highest weight was exactly 35 pounds higher than my pre-pregnancy weight.  I weighed that much early on in our relationship.  We got together in June of 2002.  I had been on Weight Watchers at the time and was down about 20 pounds when we met.  Early on in the relationship we ate out a lot and I quit eating right and exercising and all that weight came back.  I went back on Weight Watchers in April of 2003 and lost 35 pounds.  I have been off and on WW ever since then and have managed to stay within a certain weight range.  My lowest weight was about 10 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight, and my highest weight was about 10 pounds more than that.

Anyway, throughout my pregnancy I was concerned about what would happen afterward with my weight.  With my history it could have been bad.  There are too many examples out there of women who have their babies and never lose what they gained or even gain more weight afterward.  I don't want to be one of those women, but its hard to diet and exercise with all the other changes in my life.  I lost a bunch of weight really quickly after the birth, about 15 pounds.  Then we went on a week long vacation.  I don't diet on vacation.  Luckily I came back at the same weight I left, 15 pounds down, 20 to go.  Over the next few days I lost a couple more pounds since I was back home and not eating as much.  18 pounds down, 17 to go.  Last Friday night we went out to eat with our friends Eric and Angela.  I ate too much, but it was good. :-)  After dinner Darren and I stopped by Yogurt Story and I ate more.  I always have room for ice cream!  The next morning I was up 2 pounds.  Not good.  Darren left to go back to NY that morning and I decided I really need to get back on the diet bandwagon.  It's much easier when not breastfeeding.  I guess there is a benefit to being unable to do that.

With all my Weight Watchers history I contemplated joining again, but I didn't want to pay the monthly fee.  I figured there must be an Ipad application that's similar to their online tools (which is what I always used).  I ended up finding a 99 cent application that isn't quite Weight Watchers, but it is a really good application and tracks everything I used to on WW.  I also started exercising again that day.  My doctor cleared me for walking and that's it.  She doesn't want me doing any ab exercises yet because of the c-section.  I'm fine with that.  I hadn't been doing anything for a while and my treadmill is collecting dust.  I have been walking for 30 minutes on the treadmill every day.  It's been difficult trying to predict when I will get a good 45 minutes of straight sleep out of Natali to be able to actually start the exercise, but I have managed pretty well so far.  It will be much easier when Darren is home.  Walking will be fine for this month and once I'm cleared for other things I will go back to doing Tae Bo like I used to.  I really enjoy Tae Bo and its a great workout.  I should also get an ab video to do as well.  It seems that all the weight I gained during the pregnancy ended up on my stomach and it will take a lot of work to get that back to the way it was.  Luckily my stomach flab is much easier to hide than extra weight in other places. :-)

I am now on day 4 of my diet and I have lost an additional 3 pounds.  Only 14 left!  Of course, I don't expect that quick weight loss to last past this week, but its a good motivator to keep going.  I'm hoping to lose another 9 pounds by the time work starts again.  That is a very attainable goal.

In other news, my little baby has started to grow some really sharp little claws.  I got out the baby nail clipper that came in my baby first aid kit, but I couldn't get her nails clipped.  Partly I am just very nervous about missing and hurting her somehow and partly she just wouldn't undo her tight little fist so I could get a nail to clip.  Any suggestions on how I might do this?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rough couple of days

Darren came home on Thursday night, late.  We had a nice day on Friday and went out to dinner with Eric and Angela on Friday night.  Then Darren left again first thing Saturday morning and I am by myself again through Friday night.  This is going to be an extremely long week.  Saturday and Sunday were tough.  There was a lot of fussiness, and a little bit of sleep.  I know this is normal, but I don't like handling it all by myself.  I like the break that having Darren around gives me.  I know he wants to be home too.  The extra money from him being in NY is nice, but I'm really hoping we don't have to do it again next month.  I'd rather have him home.  I haven't been out of the house since I took him to the airport at 6am Saturday morning.  I am going to take Natali out to walk around the mall today.  We need to just go out for a while and its still too hot for me to want to walk around the neighborhood.  I'd like to go today even though it might be busy with Labor Day because tomorrow we are supposed to be getting a tropical system moving through and they are predicting heavy rain and possible flooding.

I think the hardest part of being with Natali by myself is her unpredictable sleep patterns.  If I knew when and how long she would be asleep for it would so much easier for me.  I will put her down and try to start something and then I have a screaming baby 5 or 10 minutes later and a half finished task that sits there until who knows when.  Other times I put her down thinking she will wake up soon, but she sleeps for 3 hours and the whole time she is asleep I'm afraid to start anything because she might wake up any minute.  That is the most frustrating part for me.  I am learning to deal with it though.How do you interact with an almost 4 week old?  There has to be more than just feeding and diaper changes, right?  She does spend a decent amount of time awake and I know those periods are going to get longer.  There isn't much I can do with her right now though.  I talk to her and do tummy time with her, and I shake rattles and infant toys in her face.  I sing a whole range of different songs to her, put her hands on things with different textures, and read books.  We are working through the poems in "Where The Sidewalk Ends" right now.  I ordered a collection of Dr. Seuss that should arrive tomorrow.  I'm just concerned there isn't more I should be doing with her?

Reflections of Motherhood


Brought a tear to my man eye......

I can build a computer from bare pieces. I can bring a 67,000 pound jet with 65 lives on board to a safe landing in a pouring rainstorm with gusting winds. Heck I can even make websites. Kelli can crochet a beautiful blanket. She can also take a cigarette butt and through the science of DNA come up with a profile of the person that smoked it. She can also make some peanut butter balls that are sweet enough to give diabetes to anyone. Being a parent is new to us.  Both Kelli and I have no idea what we are doing. We don't have the right answers to all the issues that come up. And that's perfectly fine.

I' was scared t0 death to pick up Natali right after she was born. I wheeled her into the room where my mother in law was waiting. Kelli was being "put all back together". The nurse said I could pick Natali up....I couldn't. I was petrified. I got over it of course.

There are rough waters ahead. We can't see them, but we know they are there. We will get through them....this is after all a journey......Our Journey to Parenthood.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grocery shopping success

I took Natali grocery shopping yesterday by myself and it was a success.  She falls asleep easily in her car seat, so she just slept through most of the trip.  I did make it quicker than I normally do though, just in case.  Otherwise, we didn't do much else yesterday.

Last night was a pretty good night too.  Natali slept for 3 hour stretches, so I feel like I got enough sleep.  This morning we had some problems with fussiness when I put her down for sleep.  Every time her pacifier would fall out of her mouth she would wake up and get upset.  It was really annoying.  Then I read a bit about pacifiers.  The advice I read said I shouldn't give a baby this young a pacifier to sleep because they can't put it back in their mouth when it falls out.  Pacifiers for young babies should only be used after meals if you know they aren't still hungry and they just need to suck on something.  Otherwise this bad habit will develop.  If a baby falls asleep with a pacifier in their mouth it should be gently removed before putting them down.  I hadn't considered this before, but I will try it.  I would rather have her sleep well without a pacifier anyway.  I'm also supposed to just let her be fussy in her bed and try to fall back asleep herself when she wakes up (unless she needs to be fed or changed).  It's hard for me to do, but I will try.  it's much easier to just pick her up and hold her until she falls asleep again.  I read that causes a bad habit as well, and it will take much longer for her to start sleeping through the night.  I certainly don't want that problem.

In other news, I think we are about ready for size 1 diapers.  I just realized yesterday that her diapers are getting a bit small for her.  I only have enough newborn diapers to last through tomorrow, so we will just switch to the larger diapers when those are done.  It's amazing how quickly babies grow!  In the first couple of days we had her home, Darren accidentally grabbed the bigger diapers and they were huge on her!  Now they are still a bit big, but they fit her fine.  I wonder how quickly she will grow out of her current clothes?  I am sure it won't be long.  Darren and I run an app on our Ipads to track how much we feed her and how often and how often we change diapers.  We started doing it in the hospital because we kept getting asked this information and couldn't always remember.  Now we like to have it to track eating trends, etc.  Plus the pediatrician asked me that information at her appointment and I actually had an answer for him.  It is interesting to look back and see how much more she seems to eat each week.  It just keeps going up and formula is expensive!  Oh well, she is happy and healthy and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

For all the single parents, I salute you!

First of all, our trip to Oregon was wonderful!  I love my family, everyone single person in it, and it was so nice to have everyone all together again for the first time in several years.  My grandparents have been married now for 60 years.  They have 5 children (including my mom), 12 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren with 2 more on the way.  It was a long week, but I am so glad we went!  Natali was a perfect angel on the plane both ways and made it through several long car rides without a problem.  There were some sick people around, and I think she caught a bit of that.  It wasn't anything serious, she just seemed a bit congested for a couple of days and was slightly more fussy than usual.  It really didn't affect her much though.  I think the high elevation and dry air affected her the most.  The poor baby had terribly dry skin.  We kept putting lotion on her to make it better.  I think we will stay closer to sea level for a while now, with the exception of being in airplanes. :-)  Our next big adventure is going to be a trip to Disneyland in October, with a possible trip to Sacramento thrown in at the end of September.  I am  going to take full advantage of my maternity leave.  We saved Natali's first plane tickets, and my mom bought her a baby flight logbook.  The goal is to record  all of her trips.  I often wonder how many miles Darren and I have flown together.  He could look it up, but it would take a while to calculate.  I think it will be interesting for her to have such a record she can look back on when she is older.

We got back from our trip on Monday night at 10pm.  Darren left for his temporary assignment in New York on Tuesday morning at 4:30am.  He is going to be flying out of New York through the 15th.  He can come home on his days off, but for most of the next couple of weeks I am essentially a single mother.  Yesterday was the first day Natali and I have been by ourselves.  She is an excellent baby, but it was still difficult to manage everything by myself.  I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and Natali had one as well.  We made it through just fine, but it would have been so much easier with help.  It has made me realize 2 things.  First, Darren is a wonderful father and I am so thankful to have him.  We are essentially 50/50 when it comes to splitting the parenting duties and it makes things go very smoothly most of the time.  Second, for all the single parents out there, you rock!  I can't imagine doing this all by myself day after day, especially if I were to have a more high maintenance baby.  Millions of people do it every day though, and they seem to manage just fine.  Every single parent deserves some recognition for all they do.  It is an extremely tough job.  I was supposed to go grocery shopping yesterday after the appointments, but I just couldn't do it.  I have put it on the agenda for today instead.  We are taking baby steps this week.  I have a ton of stuff to do, but I am setting little goals each day and doing one thing at a time.  Luckily I have nothing else to focus on right now.  If I had to work and be this single parent with all the other stuff as well I think I would lose my mind.  I REALLY miss Darren right now!

A quick note about Natali's doctor visit.  She is doing wonderfully!  The doctor says she looks great and she is up to 8 pounds, 9 ounces now.  She was also measured at 21 inches, which is 2 inches longer than her measurement at birth.  I asked the doctor how she grew 2 inches in just under 3 weeks, and he said she probably didn't.  It's all a matter of who did the measuring since it's hard to get an accurate measurement on a baby until they can stand.  We should be able to get a better idea of her growth now since the same person will be doing the measuring from now on.  I'm just glad she seems a bit longer than we thought.  Perhaps she will grow into those long feet she got from her daddy.  Being a short girl with big feet may be a bit tough. :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sick house

One of my nieces was sick yesterday. Cold symptoms. We kept Natali away and broke out the hand sanitizer. Today another niece and my father in law are sick. Ugh. Hoping Natali doesn't get sick as we wouldn't be able to fly if she is all clogged up.

Beyond that Natali is getting a little more fussy. Till the last few days she was taking in just 2 ounces at a time. Now she's taking 3-4 ounces per feeding. We start with 2 and wait. She gets very fussy....crazy fussy....and wants more right away. Beyond that she's doing well. Growth spurt?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First family photo

We took a drive...long Crater Lake yesterday. Took our first "trademarked" photo.

Each time Kelli and I travel to a new city we take a photo with my arm out stretched. It started because...well there was often no one else to take the photo. Since then it's just a tradition.

Natali didn't dig all the sun, but she did fine. She is two weeks old today and still perfect. Very rarely fussy. Just happy to be alive. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful baby.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Flight....okay

Our first flight with Natali was perfect.

I've taken notes on all the mistakes parents make when going through security. I preplanned the "simple" task of clearing TSA and went thru mental simulations multiple times. From start to finish we all cleared the TSA in under 90 seconds. Awesome!

Kelli had a "real" ticket. The plan was for Natali and me to non-rev and hopefully sit with Kelli. As a backup Natali would ride in Kelli's lap and I would ride in the cockpit jumpseat. Luckily that wasn't needed.

We checked both of our suitcases (since I work for an airline, no baggage fees!). I carried on a small bag with our electronics (1 Macbook Pro, 2 Ipads, 1 Kindle DX and a Zune). Kelli had a backpack with her purse, baby Bjorn and small amount of baby stuff. Kelli also carried the diaper bag.

The plane was fairly open. The gate agent was very nice and linked up Kelli and her "real" ticket with Natali and I who were non-reving. The agent then gave us a row to ourselves.

Kelli paid extra to board early. Natali and I were in the last group to board. This worked out great.

Our baby seat has two pieces. One piece (the base) to belt in and the seat clicks in. This makes it easy to have a base in each car.

Kelli boarded first and belted in the base. I came in, snapped in the car seat and pushed our bags under the seats. Done.

The car seat was a tight fit. We were in row 8. Natali was seated by the window. The poor guy in front couldn't lean back. It was a 4 hour flight. Thankfully he was nice and said he didn't want to lean back anyway.

Natali was perfect. Flying is in her genes. She didn't make a sound for 3 hours and 58 minutes. Two minutes to go she let out a 12 second cry. A pathetic one at that.

We waited for most of the plane to deboard before we stood up. It would take a few minutes for the ground crew to bring up the stroller base anyway. As passengers got off many commented on how quiet Natali was and that they had no idea a baby was on board. Nice!

Getting through the airport was fairly easy. I rented a car from the one of only two companies that was off-site. No big deal.

We are now at my inlaws house. Earlier in the week we bought a 'Pack N Play' from Amazon and had it shipped here. It was $69.99 with free two day shipping. Kelli and I LOVE Amazon and our Prime membership!!!!!!