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. :-)