Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Ryan (1 month)

This past month has gone by so fast and he has grown so much! He already looks completely different from when he was born! The first time I saw him I saw a little Kevin in my arms but now I see a mix of us both. He is really becoming his own little person and I love him so much. 
I never know what to expect each day with him. I would say that we are pretty lucky because he is a really good baby. He isn't too fussy (I hope I don't jinx us by writing that!) and if he is fussy it's either because he is hungry or has a dirty diaper. He is also doing good with sleeping at night (opposed to staying awake after night feedings). Some days he is on a schedule and some days he just does what he wants.  For example, sometimes Ryan is ravenous in the evenings. He wants to eat all evening long and it's exhausting.  There was one day where I basically fed him from 2pm until 8pm at night. He was on and off and the total actual feeding time was 4.5 hours, but I basically sat on the couch that whole time feeding. It's times like that when you can get a little frustrated as a mother but mainly because you wonder - is this going to be how it is from now on? Is he getting enough milk? ect...I started to assume that he would want to cluster feed every night so I better be prepared but it hasn't been consistent day to day - which is nice that he gives me a break. So I guess each day will be different which is fine with me. 

Another one of the mommy bloggers that I follow started wringing monthly letters to her little boy so I thought it was a cute idea. 

Dear Ryan, 

Today you are one month old! You are eating very well and have gained 1 lb 7 oz since you were born, which brings you to 6 lbs 10 oz at one month. It is hard to guage exaclty how much you are eating at each feeding but from what I can tell it seems that you eat about 2 - 3 ounces at each feeding. In the morning you are more alert and after the 7 or 8am feeding you are content to lay in any of your multiple gadgets (swing, bouncer, pack n play or cradle) and stare at different things. This gives mommy time to pump and check email and blog. When I hop in the shower you like to be swaddled and set in the bouncer. You seem to like the sound of the shower and typically fall asleep. I also turn the radio on to our favorite country station - you must remember it from when you were in the womb and we would listen to it in the car.

After mommy gets ready it's time to eat again. After this feeding we try and get out of the house, but sometimes we are just too tired and we end up taking a nap together! The rest of the day is similar to this - either get out or stay in and do chores while you sleep. Daddy usually comes home around 6 and he whisks you away in his arms. I can't wait for you to get excited when he walks in - and for me too. Mommy gets a little bit of a break right now and I try to figure out dinner. Once I eat I take you back and feed you again. Afterwards I pump if I need to or head to bed so I can get a little bit of sleep before my night shift begins. During the week Daddy watches you until my last feeding at 11pm or 12am. On the weekends he will feed you a bottle at that feeding and keep you until 1am.  (This is great for mommy because I get 4-5 hours of sleep!) Sometimes you guys lay together and sleep and other times he tries to sooth you by rocking you in your green glider. He reads to you and sings to you - not baby songs, but rap songs. Daddy thinks he is a rapper sometimes. He is pretty silly. 
Lately feeding you at night has really not been bad. I feed you when daddy brings you around 1am then again around 3 or 4am then the next one is morning time when the rest of the world is up. Your night feedings are usually around 40 minutes which is a nice little break and after we are done I change your diaper and swaddle you up. You lay right next to me and stare at me until you fall asleep. Lately you have started to grunt a lot in your sleep and I am not sure how much longer we can be bed buddies :)

Over the past week you have really become a lot more alert and LOVE to look around while you are awake. I can tell that you focusing on me and you even have started to respond to voices by looking in that direction. You have also recently discovered mommy's long hair and love to grab on to it when you get a chance. You really hold tight because it's hard for me to get those little hands out of it! Speaking of things you like...
Things you are a fan of:
Cuddling with mommy and daddy
Having one arm out when you are swaddled
Holding your head back and staring around
Bath time 
Riding in the car
Your car seat and frog on it
The sound of the shower, vacuum and hair dryer

You also love hanging with your cousins!

You haven't really noticed Bob yet, but I am sure y'all will be best buddies. He has kinda stolen your blue bear rug but I am sure you don't mind him borrowing it for now!

Things you are not a fan of::
Mommy wiping your face (it's always dirty, guess thats a boy thing!)
Sleeping in my pack n play at night
A dirty diaper

We are excited for the next month. Yai Yai T is coming back for a week and then we are going to Houston for our first trip! Lot's of fun times in your future.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

4 week check-up

We went to the doctor yesterday for Ryan's 4-week appointment. Dr. Halsell wanted to see him and check his weight. Good news - the little man is up an entire pound since the last appointment (2 weeks ago). yay!

Weight: 6 lbs 10 oz
Height: 20.75 inches
Head: 34.8

I can't believe he gained a whole pound! He is on his way to becoming a chunker!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nursing Necessities

Here is a list of items that have made my life easier for these past four weeks!

1. Total Baby App: As you know its important to track your babies feedings and diaper changes during the first two months and this application has made it so easy. I love it! Initially Kevin and I were hand-writing the feedings down on an excel chart that I had created but it wasn't very accurate and it was a pain always trying to locate a pen! I found this app for $4.99 and its so worth it. It keeps track of everything - feedings (breast side & time on each), diaper changes, child's age, birthdate and so much more. It includes a daily summary - where I learned that I spend 5-8 hours a day nursing and you can compare current day vs. previous days. It has been so helpful for us.

2. iPhone: Obviously for the phone/text functionality but even more so for the GAMES! When I am nursing at night and am the only one up it is the games that keep me going. My favorites are WWF, Doodle Jump, Angry Birds, Klondike Deal 3, Tetris & Bejeweled.

3. The Kindle: Another great invention for a breast feeding mother. I love reading and having a kindle has made it so much easier! It is so wonderful not having to struggle with turning pages (with one hand) and balancing the lopsidedness of a book. Plus I never lose my place!

4. My Brest Friend: Yes, you read that right. I have tried a regular boppy as well as the My Bossom Buddy and for me, My Brest Friend works best. You spend ALOT of time nursing so it is very important to find what works best for you. 

5. Tervis Tumbler:  I have been in love with the tervis tumblers since Mk introduced me to them three years ago. I have always been a huge water drinker but I think nursing makes you ever thirstier so I am never without my tervis tumbler. Definitely worth the price because it keeps your water cold for hours! Plus the lid and straw are super helpful if you tend to spill!

6. Love my jersey knit stretch robe from the gap. I practically live in this robe and I am sure Kevin is so tired of seeing it, but its sooo comfy!

Some other goodies that I recommend are the medela breast pump (it allows you to get out of the house! yay!), a hands-free nursing bra (buy this instead of the hands free pump which is $100 more) and contact nipple shields (the full ones tend to flip down over Ryan's nose so I like the half ones better). I think thats all for now....who knew!

Square One - Week 1

Today Ryan and I went to our first Square One meeting. Square One is a group for first-time moms with infants that my neighbor Mica told me about. The program runs for seven weeks and covers topics such as parenting, baby care, taking care of yourself and keeping your marriage healthy. Mica did the Square One program with her son Jackson last year and said that it was invaluable - being able to meet with a group of women that are going through the same experiences is so helpful and her group still meets for play dates.

We had such a great time and got to meet a bunch of new mommies and their babies. The babies in our group range from eight weeks to eight days old!! There is even one other little boy that shares the same birthday as Ryan.  Today we talked about the program and everyone introduced themselves. There are eleven team moms (experienced mommies who run the program and help us with our babies and any questions, ect) and 13 of us new mommies. Today we  all shared stories about our pregnancies and babies births. It was so neat to hear everyone's experiences and it's just so nice to be in a room full of mommies and babies. I am so glad that I am participating in this group. 

Below is the schedule for the remaining classes 

Week 1 - My Story: Introductions, birth stories, previous life, etc.
Week 2 - Mothering: Babies, parenting, pediatric care, books.
Week 3 - Mama: Taking care of yourself, postpartum depression
Week 4 - Marriage: Husbands, dates, dads.
Week 5 - Making a home: Cooking, cleaning, time-management.
Week 6 - M-I-L's - Family Matters
Week 7 - Memories: Travel, traditions, holidays

Fun times!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Labor Day - Ryan's Birth Story

In honor of Ryan's due date - which is today - I thought I would tell the story of his actual birthday - July 24th.

On the morning of July 24th I woke up and noticed that I felt a lot of pressure really low - my first thought was oh goodness I really have to pee. After I went to the bathroom I noticed that it didn't really relive the pressure.  I didn't think much of it and just laid back down in bed. As I laid there I noticed that my stomach was cramping up every so often. The pain wasn't really that bad and I just thought it would go away. I couldn't sleep any longer so I got up and started doing things around the house - I remember chatting with my mom on IM and telling her that I was having these cramps but that it was probably nothing to worry about. I had a busy day planned so I thought being busy would take my mind off of these "cramps". I was having some girls over for lunch and needed to get everything ready and then Kevin and I were meeting some other friends for dinner that night.

I did a little cleaning, baked brownies, finished up the chicken crepes and prepared a salad before I got myself ready. During all this I did notice that these cramps were fairly consistent and sometimes they were painful but I assumed it was nothing and would go away.  Jackie, Susanne and Karen came over for lunch and we had a good time eating and catching up. I was anxious for Jackie to arrive so I could ask her about the stomach cramps that I was having. She mentioned that her braxton hicks contractions were not painful so I wasn't really sure what was happening. When they left around 2:30pm the cramps were more consistent so I laid down on the couch and timed them - they were 15 min apart, then 10 by the time Kevin got home around 3:30.      

I was so confused. I had no idea if I was actually having contractions or if it was false labor. I have heard of so many people thinking they were in labor and going to the hospital and being sent home and I really didn't want to do that. Kevin was just as confused because he doesn't ever know what to do when I tell him I am in pain. My "cramps" were still five minutes apart and Kevin counted how long they lasted - by his counting they were 20 sec long. He was worried and was trying to think of what to do or who we should call - I can't remember the order of the calls, but I called MK, Sarah, my mom and the on-call doctor all trying to understand if I was in labor or not. I didn't get in touch with Mk, my mom said to just go to the hospital because I sounded like I was in pain, and Sarah wasn't able to diagnose my situation either. I just stayed calm and kept thinking there was no way this was real - I still have three weeks left. 

When I talked to Dr. Thurston (the on call doctor) he told me that if I was in labor my contractions would be at least 45 sec long and I would be in A LOT of pain. I told him oh mine are only 20 seconds so I probably wasn't in labor and would just wait to see if they went away. He said he would notify the hospital that I might be coming in. After talking with him Kevin and I decided that we would probably just swing by the hospital to see what was going on, but we weren't going to rush. Kevin went outside to cut his hair while I attempted to pack a hospital bag. Every time I had a "cramp" I had to stop what I was doing and lay down (even though nothing really helps). While I was laying down I decided to use my iphone to see how long the contractions were - I was pretty shocked when I realized they were actually lasting about 50 seconds long!! I went to the backyard and told Kevin we had to go ... and go soon.

After Kevin showered we headed over to the hospital. The ironic thing was that our tour of the hospital was the next day - so we didn't really know where we were going or what we were suppose to do. Luckily it wasn't difficult and we were able to find the triage area quickly. Since I wasn't registered yet it took about 30 minutes to get all the paperwork out of the way. When they finally took me back they hooked me up to a bunch of machines so they could monitor mine and the baby's heartbeat. The nurse asked me if I was dilated at all and of course I had no idea since the doctor didn't check me at my appointment (which was the day before). Then again I had never been checked before so I wasn't sure if maybe the doctor could just tell by looking or not...anyhow, the nurse checked me and needless to say....you definitely know if you have been checked. I was at four centimeters, which officially classified me as in labor. It was pretty shocking since in a matter of minutes Kevin and I went from thinking we were going to be sent home, to we are going to deliver a baby in a matter of hours.

The next five hours went really fast. They wheeled me to my delivery room and I got my epidural - which was amazing. Once that was in it was easy breezy. I was progressing fast - the doctor had estimated that Ryan would come around 3am, but since he was early it might be a little earlier so between midnight and 3am was the window. Little Ryan was very anxious and he came at 11:35pm. As a first time mother I think I was pretty lucky with everything - my pregnancy, my labor and my delivery were all pretty easy. Don't get me wrong - those contractions hurt! And pushing - thats really exhausting! But overall, Ryan being delivered 3 weeks early (and healthy) was great considering these past three weeks have been filled with triple digit heat. Also, the fact that I was in the delivery room for only about five hours before he came and I didn't have to be induced and the fact that I only had to push for 45 min all was pretty great.

I can't really explain what it is like to see your baby for the first time, or to hear his little cry - it's truly amazing and everyone who has experienced this knows what I am talking about. He is such an amazing little man and both Kevin and I are so happy to have him in our lives. We are so blessed and love him so much. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Surprise from Kevin

When I got home from my dinner with the girls last night daddy had a little surprise waiting for me - so sweet. I remember the day I went into labor he had gone up to Nordstroms to pick up his new suit - he hadn't mentioned that he also went to pick up a little gift for mommy - a "push present" if you will. Of course he had no idea that I would be having little Ryan later that day! I remember after the nurse told me that I was officially in labor Kevin said something like, well your push present is going to be a little late and I was thinking I am so not thinking about a push present right now! haha! Anyhow, I love this necklace that he picked out for me and love the meaning that it carries. 

The necklace is a Roberto Coin piece and he is known for marking his jewels by setting a small ruby hidden within each piece, so that the stone is in direct contact with the skin. The Ruby is considered everlasting, like true love. It has also always been enveloped in a legendary aura and is believed to possess magic powers. According to this belief, wearing a Ruby near the skin promotes a long, healthy and happy life.  I think this is so sweet and such an amazing gift that Kevin picked out. I also love that a Ruby is Ryan's birthstone!!

Thank you daddy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ryan update - 19 days old

Wow - I can't believe it's already Thursday! As you may have noticed I was very worried about how things would be after Yai Yai T left, however it really hasn't been too bad. There has been no crying or melt-downs (at least from me) so I consider that pretty successful. Although we are all alone this week we have had help from friends which has been really nice. My friend Katie made us some chicken tetrazzini and pot roast, Sarah brought me over some lunch and watched little Ryan so that I could get a shower and Nat brought over the yummy thai noodles that I love and Dimples cupcakes! Grandma is also back from Montana this week and has been helping out with little R. We area also excited for MK and Caroline to come on Sunday! It's sooo nice to have all this help - I feel so fortunate because I don't know how people do this all alone! It would make anyone go a little crazy.

This past week Ryan's eating schedule has been about ever 2.5-3 hours during the day and every 3.5-4 hours at night -- which is great because I am getting more sleep at night. I got a total of about 6 hours last night and I feel great right now. Of course that could also be because I just had my first cup of real coffee!! haha

I still haven't taken Ryan anywhere out by myself but maybe next week we will go up to the galleria and have lunch with daddy. I feel like I have a little more energy so getting out is more of a possibility, but I don't want to overdo it. I would love to start going on walks with little R but its soooo hot outside- although he doesn't seem to mind the heat! Maybe we will try when MK and Caroline get here. Ok better go - Ryan only lasts so long in his swing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Newborn Pics

On Sunday Ryan had newborn pics taken. I have been super excited about getting these done since I LOVE the whole sleeping baby pictures things. Ashlee (the same photographer that did our maternity pics) came over to our house and took amazing pictures of little R. The session takes a while (4+ hours) but it is so worth it!

Go to her site and view the blog - it is the first post under there.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Our first night out

Kevin and I had our first night out together this past Saturday night. We headed out to a family friend and coworkers wedding. While I was excited to get out of the house and have some alone time with Kevin part of me also just wanted to catch up on some much needed sleep. My parents were also invited to the wedding but they declined so that they could stay home and watch little Ryan. It's so great to have family around because we didn't worry about little Ryan at all while we were out.
The ceremony started at 6pm and was at a church near Northwest Highway and Douglas Avenue - their reception immediately followed at the Belo Mansion downtown. Sooo in true new mommy fashion what did I do on the way to the reception? I pumped. haha. It was quite funny as I sat in the back seat all covered up while Kevin drove us downtown - fun stuff I tell you. Anyhow, with that out of the way we had a great time at the reception. The wedding was beautiful and the food was great. Although I had enough milk stocked up for Ryan so that I could drink the night away if I pleased - it just didn't sound that enticing. Drinking just isn't as exciting when you know you have a little man to take care of when you get home. Anyhow, we had a great time and were back home by 10pm. On the way home we laughed about how old we have become as 10pm use to be the time things just started to get going. Oh how things have changed! But we love it and wouldn't want it any other way!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's only August but...

I just got PBK's Halloween costume email and they are sooo cute! I can't wait to dress little Ryan up this year! I am loving the dinosaur or the bat costume. I wonder what daddy likes best! so fun!

Heck they even make dressing up like a skunk cute!!

Two weeks

So today Ryan is officially two weeks old! I hear six weeks is when it get easier :) Last night I got a three hour stretch in to start off the night - wohoo. Kevin stayed up with Ryan and brought him in about 12:45 for a feeding. After we were done and Ryan was sleeping I slipped him into his bassinet at 2am and he stayed there until 3:10.  His next feeding was suppose to be at 3:45 but I find a night we never really hit each feeding at the correct time. It makes it a little difficult because I never know what his schedule will be the next day but then again I shouldn't be trying to do anything - I should just sleep when he sleeps and I think that will be my plan next week. Anyhow, at 4:20 we were up and feeding again. The difference this time was that Ryan was wide awake afterwards. He had no interest in sleeping. The good news was is that he wasn't fussy - just wide awake. So I sang to him .... all the songs I know.... and then a bunch of stuff that I just made up. At about 6am he still was just hanging out so I decided we would try his swing. That worked for a little while and then he decided he was tired of that. At about 7:15 I was able to put him down to grab a quick little cat nap (35 min) before waking up to feed him again at 8am. So feeding is done and now Yia Yia T and Papau J are here to entertain him for a little while. Goodnight.

I found my flip camera and have been trying to charge it. Hopefully it will work and I can take some video of the little man today! I also will post some more pics.

Friday, August 6, 2010

One step forward and two steps back?

Well, yesterday morning I was so excited that Ryan was sleeping in his bassinet but I think I spoke too soon. I guess I should have waited for that to happen more than one night before getting excited about it! Last night was a little difficult. I am so lucky that my mom is here right now because she has been helping out with the last feeding of the evening which allows me to get a big chunk of sleep - but next week I won't be so lucky. 

So here is a recap of the night. After his 8pm feeding I pump and then head to bed - so in bed about 9:30ish. For the next feeding Kevin and mom give him a bottle of breast milk (11pm) and then Kevin has been heading to bed while Yia Yia T has been staying up and watching Ryan - evidently he is not a huge fan of sleeping from the 11pm - 2am time slot. Kevin and T have been having issues with the Dr. Brown's bottles - I guess the milk comes out way to fast and it ends up all over him and that also results in a lot of wasted breast milk. (I am going to have to assess their skills because mommy does not have this issue when I give him a bottle.) Anyhow, Ryan didn't make it until 2am because he was so hungry so T brought him in about 1:30 and I fed him. I got 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep which is AMAZING. It makes it so much easier to deal with the rest of the night. About 2:45am he was done and I tried to cuddle with him and then lay him down in the bassinet. He laid in there until 3:40 but wasn't sleeping very soundly - I just laid in bed and listened. I also heard some explosions going on in his pants but when I checked there was nothing there - so perhaps he is just gassy and that is why he won't settle . At 3:40 he was NOT happy - he started crying and fussing so the lights came on and we were searching for his pacifier - for the next 45 min I delt with him falling asleep and trying to put him in his bassinet and then waking up and fussing so I gave up and just left him sleep on my chest. At 4:30 he was suppose to be fed again but he was finally sleeping so I didn't wake him up....I hate making that decision but when they are finally sleeping you just really really don't want to wake them up. So he slept until about 6am on me - while I lightly snoozed - it's hard to sleep well when they are laying on you. So at 6am we woke up and he was an angry little man, most likely because he was super hungry. It took a little while to calm him down and let him feed but he finally did and things were good. We finished about 7:30 or so and I held him until I was able to transfer him into the basinet. Then I fell back asleep - well finally got to get some sleep. I guess Yia Yia T came and got him at 8:15 because he wasn't sleeping - well she said that Bob was peering down in his bassinet like he wanted to do something to him so she just took Ryan away. Back up at 9am to feed him. He seemed content and I put him back down in the bassinet but he is just not sleeping like he did yesterday. I wonder what the rest of the day will be like...

Oh well, overall I think I am pretty lucky because he does seem to have a lot more good nights than bad nights. I guess we will find out how tough things can really get when its just us next week. We are going to miss Yia Yia T. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2 week check-up

Today we had Ryan's two week check-up. It's already going so fast!

Ryan's stats:

Height: 20.5 inches - 50%
Weight: 5lbs 10 oz - 3%
Head:  - 33.6 cm - 5%

The percentile classification is difficult to use because it compares Ryan to a full term 2 week baby instead of a premie at 2 weeks but one day he will catch up :)

12 days old - Progress!

So excited to post that last night was the first night Ryan slept in his bassinet the WHOLE night. Let me clarify, he did not sleep through the entire night (he is still to young for that) but when he did sleep he actually stayed in his bassinet without fussing! So excited! I tried a new little tactic and although it was successful I ended up with less sleep - but that is ok. After nursing him I let him lay on my chest and suck on his paci until he fell asleep. When he finally fell asleep I transferred him into his bassinet and turned on the little sound machine night light that he has. I ended up getting less sleep because I checked to make sure he was breathing so many times - I was in shock that he was actually sleeping the whole time in there! Also, the sound machine only lasts for 10 min so I would stay awake to hit the button once it went off a couple times. I am so excited that he didn't insist on sleeping in the bed again.  I was really worried that we had started a really bad habit. We had asked our pediatrician about him sleeping in the bed and she said he was still so young that it wouldn't be an issue, but then it seemed like he would only be calm when someone was holding him so we got a little scared. Yesterday was a big day for him - finally using the swing and sleeping alone! yay! Hopefully it wasn't a fluke!

Here I am right after breakfast this morning falling fast asleep:

Today I have my 2 week check up. I am excited to see how much I have grown!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

11 days old

So I haven't posted in a while and I am sure it is obvious as to why - but I am going to try and get a little better about it. I have a little window of time in the mornings when Ryan will actually take a nap in his bassinet. I guess I can't count on that everyday though!

Here is a cute pic we just took with his new little lion that Yia Yia T got him.

It's later in the day and I am back again. We haven't done much today but I did get a shower and a little nap- which makes all the difference as far as I am concerned. It sounds odd to say that we haven't done much because as any new mom knows you are exhausted. The day also goes by so fast - I guess living your life in three hour segments causes that to happen. Every time I want to get something done I have to decide which break to do it in - usually I am to exhausted and decide to just rest instead. I have been wanting to get out again but getting out takes a lot of energy and instead of resting when you get home you have to nurse so I haven't had the gusto to get out. I know I will eventually get a little stir crazy but since the days go so fast it hasn't been an issue yet.

Ryan has been fairly consistent with his feeding every three hours however today we had one stretch where he went four hours. He ate at noon and was fussy again at 3pm for his next feeding but when he was calmed down he wasn't interested in eating - he just wanted to snooze for another hour!

Today was the first day for Ryan to use his new swing and actually enjoy it. I was so happy when we put him in there and he didn't start screaming! We have tried his bouncer and the swing previously and he was not interested in all so I was a little worried since all he really likes is to be held. Luckily he seemed to enjoy the swing today - now we just need to work on sleeping in the bassinet all night.

Ryan in his comfy swing:

Right now Ryan is asleep on my lap - so sweet. Daddy is on his way home and Yia Yai T just left to get us some dinner so things are pretty great. We are trying to start a nightly routine for Ryan - before his 8 or 9pm feeding we are giving him a bath, then he eats then hopefully goes to sleep nice and tired. Then mommy goes to bed too!
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