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.

[nggallery id=11]

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.