Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!

I know, it's not until tomorrow but we celebrated this weekend at the Denver St Patrick's Day Parade.  We met some friends downtown for a nice day of parade watching and hanging out.  Colin's friend Zander was there and they got along famously - well, ignored each other at least like all good 4-5 week old babies do.  I would have loved him to wear the St Patrick's Day outfit that his cousin wore two years ago, but it is 3-6 months so it essentially goes from his shoulders to his toes... we had to settle for a shirt with green on it so he wouldn't get pinched.
Sleeping through the parade - a very noisy parade, I might add

Amy and Zander (6 days younger and a bit bigger than Colin)

Colin and Daddy

Having lots of fun hanging out at lunch

He's under there nursing - at the table in a restaurant!

One Month Old

I know, I'm late with the one month post since Colin is 5 weeks old already, but this whole parenting thing and blogging milestones thing is new to me.  I also don't have a picture specifically of him at one month that I can compare to two months, six months, etc... (you know, the one where they are in the same chair or next to the same stuffed animal each month) but I will start that soon, I promise (let's shoot for 2 months for that one).  So without further ado, here is little man a few days after his one month birthday.
Yo - I'm one month old!!
We didn't have a doctor's appointment at one month so I don't have "official" weight and measurements for him, but I did take him to my new favorite nursing/mothering store, Sweet Beginnings, and weighed him there.  They have medical grade baby scales that you can use free of charge.  On the day after his one month birthday he was 8 lbs 13.5 oz.  According to KellyMom's Weight Gain Calculator, he was gaining 8.4 oz/week since birth.  (Just for the record, I weighed him again yesterday at the store and he was 9 lbs 6.7 oz, gaining 9.2 oz in the past week.)  Not that any of that is too important, but it just goes to show that my kid likes to eat.  According to the same site, a breastfed baby should gain an average of 5-7 oz/week.  At this rate, Colin may eventually go up in percentages, too.  I'll be interested to see where he falls on the curve for his 2 month appointment.

The first month has been truly incredible.  I can't believe how big he is (despite the fact that everyone tells us how small he is).  He has taken to nursing like a champ and apparently so has my body.  I'm working on getting a supply stored up for when I have to go back to work (insert crying here) on May 6th and not having much problem with that at all.  I have been attending the breastfeeding support group at Sweet Beginnings for the past couple of weeks.  It is run by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and they are there to answer any questions you have and help evaluate how you and baby are doing in the way of breastfeeding.  It's also a great way to meet and talk to other moms of babies from newborn and beyond.  Additionally, you are able to weigh baby before and after nursing to determine how much he is taking with each feeding.  Colin, both times we have gone, has taken in 4 oz in a feed.  According to the lactation consultant, he needs at least an ounce for each hour between feedings... other than once or twice at night, he has never gone 4 hours between feedings.

The first couple of weeks, Colin stayed in the bassinet in our room to sleep.  Once the chair was put in his nursery, we started transitioning him to his own room.  The problem with him sleeping in our room was that he wasn't sleeping - or more correctly, I wasn't sleeping.  The first few days, he'd last (or really, momma would last) an hour or two before losing it and just bringing him back to our room to sleep since I knew I'd get better sleep with him in our bed than worrying about him in his own room.  I'm not sure when it happened but I eventually just left him in his own room and he started sleeping longer and longer stretches, relatively of course.  So now he'll go anywhere between 3 and 4 hours between feedings until about 5:00 AM.  Around then (and it's usually only been a couple hours since his last feeding), he starts having his morning awake time.  Granted, I often make him stay in bed with us for an hour or so, but he's not soundly sleeping by any stretch of the imagination.  There's lots of grunting and gas and wanting to be awake and somewhere where there are lights to look at.

He's also starting to have more awake time in general.  He's starting to interact a little bit and to track with his eyes some.  I'm pretty amazed how every day he is a little bit more like a baby than a newborn.  Hopefully in the next week or so I'll be able to capture a smile on camera!  I can't wait for his first real smile.  His eyes have been smiling the past week or so (seriously, you can see a difference between smiling eyes and just plain, old looking around eyes) and his mouth is close behind, I just know it!

The Magical Swing

video

I promise that this isn't a baby catapult like it looks like in the video, but it is a magic swing.  Colin loves to sit there and look out the window to his right (over the cats, of course) and usually is calmed by just hanging out there.  Inevitably, Colin will fall asleep while sitting in the swing.  Just recently, I have started actually turning on the swing rather than just swinging it manually even though I think it goes a little too fast for such a little man - see the video above and imagine how fast it would have been going with a baby about 1.5lbs lighter!  (And I'll admit, the video doesn't make it look so fast, but I swear it's faster in person!)

The magic of the swing?  It enables mom to get a shower with no one else home... since someone has an aversion to napping in his crib.  Granted, I haven't really spent that much time trying, but whenever I put him down for a nap in the crib, he won't sleep for more than 20 minutes but in the swing he's slept for up to an hour during the day.  I may make it sound like he's awake all day, but he's really not.  He just likes to take quick naps here and there all day long - usually lasting no longer than 2 hours before he's up for good again to eat (and no, those 2 hours are not all consecutive... we're still working on that).  But for now, I'll keep the magic swing to help him sleep as much as he can during the day.  Just look how peaceful he is...

Babywearing

I love babywearing.  In addition to all the benefits to the child and the parent, babywearing also is a great way for you to get some things done while holding your baby.  Colin gets a little fussy most evenings after about 5:00 and wearing him really calms him down and allows me to get things done around the house as well.  Yesterday evening, he was overstimulated and overtired from a day of being out and about for 6 hours and even holding him wasn't enough to get him to calm down.  I put him in the carrier and he was out cold... we tried to take him out for a bit to let him rest in the swing and he was having none of it.  So I put him back in the wrap and he was out again.
 
I was lucky enough to inherit different kinds of baby carriers from my sister.  When her son was first born, my friend Bonnie recommended the Sleepy Wrap; she was using it with her 2 month old and loved it so my sister decided to try it out.  I also tried it out when I was out there helping her with her son when he was a few weeks old and I liked it (somewhere there is a picture of me wearing him).  That was my first introduction to babywearing and attachment parenting.  So when my sister passed her Sleepy Wrap on to me, I was very excited.  I had Colin in the Sleepy at day 5, I think.  He wasn't cranky or anything, but it gave me a way to be close to him and also open the computer for one of the first times since he was born.  I wish I had a picture of us when he was that small, but these will have to do.  And seriously, who wouldn't want to look down and see that sweet face?
I also was lucky enough to inherit a Mei Tai from my sister.  I think because of ease of use and structure (definitely has more support than the Sleepy), this is currently my favorite carrier.  You can have the same cuddly newborn hold and it's less cumbersome to put on.  In fact, when we went down to the St Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, I refused to take a stroller so I threw Colin in the mei tai and off we went.  The pictures below are from our walk home from the light rail station.
I also inherited 2 ring slings from my sister and one from a friend at work.  Of all the options, this is probably my least favorite of the options I have but it works - like today, when both the mei tai and the Sleepy were in the laundry in preparation for our trip to Indiana, Colin decided he wanted to be worn so I pulled out one of the ring slings and put him in it.  He did sleep in it but for some reason it's just not as comfortable for me as the other two options.  Maybe once he gets bigger it will be easier since I can do more of a hip carry than the newborn snuggle carry, but we'll just have to see.
Ultimately I would love to move to a woven wrap... but that is in the future, I'm sure, along with a soft structured carrier like the Ergo, which my sister still uses occasionally with my two year old nephew and continue to do babywearing for a while to come.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Our balding baby

Babies usually lose the hair they are born with so it should come as no surprise to us that Colin is losing his hair.  Also, until the hair starts growing back in, I guess you can't say exactly what color their hair will be.  I started in this world with quite blond hair and Mike has always had dark hair.  We figured that Colin would have dark hair but as of right now it is light with almost has a reddish tint to it.  His eyelashes and eyebrows are very light so I can't quite tell what color they are... I guess only time will tell.

Today, we looked at Colin's hair and realized that he is seriously getting his father's hairline.  I don't know if you can appreciate it very well if you don't know exactly what to be looking for in this picture, but his original hairline is about an inch closer to his eyes than his current hairline.  If you look closely you can see a shadow of little hairs that are left over from his original hairline.  And yes, his head really is reflecting the camera flash that well.  Hopefully he will start getting his permanent hair soon!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Photographic Randomness

Here are a few pictures from our time at home.  I am trying to get them off my iPhone but for some reason it's not connecting to my computer so I'll have to work on that - that is where most of the best ones are.  But here are some from our camera from the past few weeks.  One day I'll figure out how to get pictures that aren't all washed out from the flash, but that would involve learning how to use my camera a little better.  Soon, I promise!

Sweet Quincy's first time holding a baby

Worn out after lots of photo time

During his first photo shoot

Sucking his thumb... and picking his nose

"Hey - quit taking pictures already"

After his first bath

First bath in the bathtub - he never cried, just sat there like this the whole time

Our precious Valentine - wearing the same outfit his cousin wore on Valentine's Day two years before

He loves sleeping on daddy

More with the thumb sucking... he can't do it all the time but it's cute when he does

Mommy's attempt at cute newborn shots

Grunty McGrunterson

Our son is a grunter - all day and all night...  well maybe not that bad, but when you hear him grunting constantly unless he is held for many minutes at a time (we don't let it get beyond minutes, we pick him up pretty quickly), it feel like all day and all night.  Remember when I said he's a noisy sleeper?  I have learned that the noisy sleeping has to do with the grunting.  Many times when I get out of bed to go to the nursery because I think he's awake and wanting to eat (even if he ate 10 minutes prior), he'll be sound asleep just grunting.  I'm starting to learn the difference between grunting/sleeping and waking up to eat.

The grunting started around two weeks.  I noticed that whenever he was trying to pass gas or poop that he was grunting.  I checked with my friends with kids to make sure it was normal and did some searches of online forums as well.  Turns out that it has something to do with a newborn being uncoordinated in their reflexes for pooping.  The best article I found about it was here.  There were many anecdotal stories from parents on forums, too, that said that it goes away at anywhere from 6 weeks - 4 months.  As long as it's normal, I don't necessarily care when it goes away.  I think we may even figure out a way to sleep through it...  though who knows.

And just for a visual reference of what he looks like - see below... If you could see the time stamps on these two photos, you'd see they were seriously within a minute and a half.  It just comes out of nowhere.  But isn't he cute, even when he's grunting!!

"Hey there... I'm just chillin' out in my favorite swing, nothing is wrong"

One more thing to notice about these pictures is that you can see none of his actual outfit.  He likes to spit up, and when he eats too much, likes to spit up a lot.  So whenever he's hanging out in his swing or on mommy or daddy, despite the cute outfit he's wearing, you can only see the bib and the burp cloth.  I promise though, he is wearing a cute outfit underneath!

"It's less than a minute later and time to grunt!!  I may look like I'm crying but it's just lots of grunting, I promise."

Colin's nursery

One of the many things I was planning on doing the week between when Colin was born and when he was supposed to be born was organize the nursery.  As my mom can attest, when they got here, the nursery was full of all kinds of things that did not belong in the nursery - things from when the room was a guest room and a repository for all things that I wanted to deal with later.  Seriously, I found a gift card that was given to us as a wedding present over 2 years ago in that room!

So with Mom and Mike's help, I was able to get the nursery at least to the point where we could put clothes in Colin's dresser and see the crib mattress (which had previously been covered with anything and everything I wanted to throw in there but didn't want to put on the ground).  It was so bad that I didn't want to take pictures to remember what the nursery looked like when he came home from the hospital.

In the past week or two, I have actually gone beyond the organized chaos that was the nursery and gotten it put somewhat together.  There are still things that need to be done like put up decorations on the wall and find an area rug for the floor, but for now, I'm loving the fact that everything is organized and so easy to keep that way (I know, once he gets older it will be harder to keep clean and organized, but I'm loving it right now.

The crib and bookshelf
Changing table/dresser with the few decorations we have currently
A close up of the reading/nursing corner

Oliver loves the nursery - I'm not convinced he hasn't slept in the crib himself..

All the furniture is from a local store called Guys and Dolls.  It's family owned and has been in business in Aurora since 1953.  The service we received was fabulous and the fact that they simply held on to our furniture for months until we were ready to have it delivered was in and of itself wonderful (since we ordered the furniture before the guest room downstairs was ready to go and the nursery was still acting as a guest room).

The chair is from a company called Best Chair that is out of Indiana (also purchased at Guys and Dolls).  It is seriously one of the best investments we have made and it's only been in the house a week.  We ordered it when I was 36 weeks pregnant knowing that it would take 4-6 weeks for delivery.  That said, we spent our first few weeks at home with me nursing only on the bed and occasionally in the chair in the living room.  The first time I nursed in this chair, I was hooked.  Also, it is a savior on nights I have slept in the nursery.  It fully reclines and is very comfortable.  On nights that Colin is not interested in the crib, we have been known to sleep in the chair (twice so far...).

You may notice that there isn't a bedding theme in Colin's room.  Here's what there is to say about that - you aren't supposed to have bumpers, you can't use blankets or quilts in the bed, yet every themed bedding set comes with both bumpers and quilts.  So I can't bring myself to buy a set that I'm not going to be able to use anything except the crib sheet and the bed skirt (which really adds up to less than half of the set when you take in to account the amount of fabric used to make all the pieces of the set).  I'm still looking for a bed skirt but am realizing those are hard to come by on their own.  And I think once the decorating is done on the walls, it will make the fact that he has no "theme" to his bedding much less noticeable.

You'll also notice the the bookshelf is already full of books.  That is just a small number of all the books I have received from various showers and hand-me-downs from friends - I haven't bought him one book yet.  When the rest of the books get here from my Atlanta shower, there is going to be some rearranging because there will be no place to put the books.  I am so lucky to have so many people who want Colin to be a smart, well rounded kiddo.  Even reading to him this young is so important for him in his development.

As we get the rest of the nursery decorated and put together, I'll try to remember to put up some updated pictures.  The goal is to have that done before I go back to work at the beginning of May, so we'll see.