- Let my baby crawl around on a bathroom floor. In all fairness, I was imagining a public restroom, but still. Many days that is the only was that I can take a shower without Kai screaming.It is a clean floor, I promise.
- Put ‘dirty’ things like (clean…haha so far) diapers and human milk in my ‘nice’ purse. It turns out that I don’t like to carry a diaper bag everywhere I go; especially places to which I want to bring a nice purse.
- Microwave my coffee to reheat it. Ewww. My mom often did that and to this day I think it is so gross. Unfortunately, I find myself doing it more days than not.
- Consider how much spit up is on my shirt before changing it. At some point I realized that my supply of shirts was too small, my pile of laundry was too large, and that my baby was going to spit up on my next shirt within an hour anyway. At that point, the how much spit up became critical. Ugh, totally a slob.
That flight that I was worried about? So not a big deal. Kai cried for a total of maybe five minutes. Not five minutes straight even, but like 30 seconds here, a minute there. I guess that isn’t perfect, but it far exceeded my expectations.
[Yes, Chris wears flip flops in February.]
I took a cue from all of the people I have seen flying to Asia with their babies in slings and other close to body wraps. In this case, I used a Moby. It kept Kai feeling secure and allowed both of us to get some sleep!
[I am under no delusion that the return trip will go nearly that smoothly.]
Wednesday 20:00 – I finally had a happy sleeping baby.
Wednesday 19:30 – Chris resorted to taking Kai into the bathroom to listen to the fan while he ‘concentrated’.
Wednesday 17:00 – The screaming fest began moments after I hopped out of the shower.
Wednesday 15:30 – Kai and I completed what may be our last run with the jogging stroller for a while.
Wednesday 15:20 – I ran through the tunnel on the bike path with a giant carabiner clutched in my fist, ready to defend myself with my makeshift meathook from the could-be attacker in the tunnel. Wished that I had brought my bear mace, or better yet my cell phone so that I could call for a ride back to my car.
Wednesday 15:15 – I promise to myself that I will never take Kai out running by ourselves ever again.
Wednesday 15:10 – I feel horrible and irresponsible as I make a beeline out of the tunnel on the bike path. There was one creepy-a** dude in there squatting on the ground fidgeting with something.
Wednesday 15:00 – So excited for the opportunity to run outside in shorts and short sleeves in January!
Wednesday 14:35 – Admit that I do not actually need 485 baby pictures.
Wednesday 14:30 – Realize how many baby pictures are on my phone; actually cry about the phone.
Wednesday 14:20 – Decide to pack my phone in silica gel and move on with my day.
Wednesday 14:15 – Retrieve my iPhone from a (cleaned 10 minutes ago at least) toilet; briefly consider crying about it.
Wednesday 12:30 – Pick up ‘refurbished’ ski jacket from the furrier. I had the ruined faux fur Eskimo trim around the hood replaced with Indigo Fox. It looks amazing and for the same expense as buying a new jacket would have been.
Wednesday 10:00 – Discover that I weigh much more than I ever have before in spite of looking better than I have in a few years. Try to convince myself that it is because I was weighed in jeans, cowboy boots, and a sweater. Try to convice myself that I shouldn’t be upset since I was quite happy with how I looked before I had a number to attach to it.
Wednesday 8:30 – Somehow make it out the door in time for my 9:00 post partum doctor visit.
Wednesday 5:15 – Wake up to baby screaming over baby monitor. Just in time for Chris to leave for work.
Wednesday 4:30 – Finally get Kai to sleep and crawl back into bed.
Wednesday 2:00 – Wake up to baby screaming over baby monitor. Feed and change…several times over the next few hours.
Wednesday 0:30 – Crawl back into bed. Can’t sleep. Convinced that CPS will come after me.
Tuesday 23:45 – Kai is sound asleep. Stain treat nearly every cloth surface in the crib. Start laundry.
Tuesday 23:20 – Give up on single handedly cleaning and bandaging cut baby toe. Enlist Chris for help.
Tuesday 23:15 – Return to unswaddled screaming baby to find blood everywhere. Discover that the toenail on her pinkie toe is to blame. It looks like a sharp edge of it caught on something and ripped too short while she was kicking herself unswaddled.
Tuesday 23:10 – Place screaming baby in crib. I need a break. I need to use the bathroom. I want to put on a sweatshirt. I want to eat something.
Tuesday 22:00 – Conference call ends. Begin a more serious baby soothing routine.
Tuesday 21:00 – Dial into conference call, screaming baby in lap. Pray hat she will have brief quiet moments when I need to talk.
Tuesday 20:50 – Change clothes. Clean carpet in nursery. Big areas of carpet. Like two areas the size of hand towels. Start laundry. Take back angry baby.
Tuesday 20:46 – Just steps from the crib, Kai makes a chirping noise. Watch as what appears to be a gallon of spit up completely coats the front and back of my shirt. See two more waves of spit up fly through the air and land on the carpet. [This could not have happened on the wood or tile floors we just passed over?] Yell for Chris and pass now screaming baby off.
Tuesday 20:45 – Thank God for sleeping baby, just in time for my conference call. Carefully make my way to the nursery with Kai to place her in her crib.
Tuesday 19:00 – Start bedtime routine well in advance of my 9pm conference call. Does not go as smoothly as I hoped.
We had two big firsts in the last day or so. Kai had her first dinner out last night. She didn’t eat anything, she was content to sleep through the whole thing. I was pretty amazed. When Chris suggested it I was fairly certain that one of us would end up out in the car with her while the other rushed through dinner with our friends.
I suppose that my first wasn’t really a first, but it was the first time since returning from India that I ran with my local running group. When I woke up this morning to 34 degree temperatures, a light wind, and freezing rain, I almost talked myself out of going. The weather was not all that appealing, plus, I was kind of scared that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with anyone.
When I met the group, there were many familiar faces and a huge number of new ones. Crazy how things can change so much in such a short amount of time. I found a few ladies that I had run with before and decided to see how long I could stick with them; hopefully at least until the 4 mile turnaround.
It was a huge struggle, but I hung with them for 2.4 miles until the water stop/turn around. They were going 6 miles, so when I turned around I ran back with a different group who also pushed me to my limits. By the time my car was in sight, I was both elated that I stuck with them and so exhausted that I was in disbelief that I didn’t stop to walk all that way.
4.83 miles/45:55 <– Very good for me right now. My longest post-India/baby run to date.
The last month has been a crazy learning experience for me and Chris. I think it is safe to say that things will never be the same again.
Our first few days at home with Kai were fairly chaotic and emotionally charged for me. To compound the typical crazy that comes with bringing a baby home for the first time, we were totally unprepared for her arrival. In between springing into action at her every whimper and repeatedly going through the 5S baby troubleshooting checklist, we cleaned out the room destined to be a nursery and within 48 hours had a fully functioning nursery assembled.
After a few days, we finally started to become a bit more relaxed, not letting her cries stress us out so much. I think this was key to improving our baby troubleshooting. It was also important for us to be cognizant of the fact that just because she had her diaper changed or ate fifteen minutes ago those problem were not automatically scratched off of the checklist. Becoming more flexible about that has recently allowed us to sleep in our bed rather than taking turns in the floor of her room. At this point, I would say that we are coping well.
Kai has grown a lot since she came home. She was born weighing 6 lbs 6 oz, was discharged from the hospital weighing less than 6 lbs, was up to 6 lbs 9 oz at her last doctor’s appointment two weeks ago, and is significantly larger than that now.
(Although still not too big!)
Her weight was kind of a big deal when we first left the hospital, we were threatened with having her readmitted if she did not gain weight between being discharged and her first doctor’s appointment four days later. I was extremely nervous about this because at first she had trouble staying awake to eat, so I was not sure that she was getting enough food. This led me to decide that it was best for me to pump milk that we bottle feed her, which is still primarily how she eats. It is pretty inconvenient for me, but making that decision early on seemed like the only responsible thing to do.
As for me, I was very fortunate that Kai’s birth was not an especially traumatic experience relative to how it could have been. I was up walking around that same day and felt good enough the day after we came home to engage in activities like scrubbing the inside of my refrigerator and helping Chris move our sofa.
It took a few days for me to look relatively normal again and maybe a total of two weeks for me to declare my stomach undamaged from pregnancy. When I found out that I was pregnant, a super vain part of me was über concerned that my stomach, which I typically put a lot of effort into keeping reasonably flat, would be destroyed forever.
About two and a half weeks after Kai was born, I felt healed enough to start running again, my first run back was pretty rough though. It was a struggle, but I made it two miles at 10:00/mile, walking for a total of two minutes. In retrospect, I think that first run was worse than it needed to be because I ate my weight in fondant minutes before I hopped on the treadmill, no wonder my stomach was cramping.
Since then, my runs have felt much better. I have begun to incorporate some speed work and hills hoping to get back to where I was pace wise at this time last year. I will also make a point to run with other people more often, in fact, I would have gotten started on that today if it were not for an ice storm last night.
All in all, I feel like Kai is doing great, Chris and I are getting much more proficient at baby care, and I feel back to normal again, lack of sleep notwithstanding. Things are going much better than I could have imagined and so far it has even been kind of fun. [Ok, in the daytime anyway.]
If you think you hate your passport photo, I can’t wait to hear what Kai has to say about her first passport photo someday. Over the course of two photo sessions, Chris and I did our best to capture her image in compliance with U.S. Department of State Passport Photo Standards, the most difficult of which were to make sure that the picture was taken in full-face view directly facing the camera with a neutral facial expression and both eyes open.
Haha. Yeah right.
I’m not sure if they’ll accept this or not, but it was the best that I could muster and involved restraining her to keep her hands out of her mouth. Pretty wild looking. I swear that she is cuter in person than this photo reflects; this event was pretty miserable for both of us.
The first photo shoot last night with Chris was kind of fun because it was amusing to look at the pictures that we were getting versus what we were trying for. When it seemed like crying was eminent, we gave up for the night.
This morning it was crunch time and I was determined to get a compliant photo, no matter how long it took. I am pretty satisfied with the result except that I had set out on this endeavor in pursuit of a cute picture that fit the bill. Let’s just say that I decided to adjust my expectations after a few minutes.
Now to guess what color eyes she has for her passport application. I think we’re going to list her as a blonde with blue eyes. At this point her hair is definitely blonde, but her eye color is solidly up in the air. Two days ago I was convinced that they were turning blue, but yesterday they definitely looked brownish. No idea yet; I am excited to find out!
Kai’s first international travel experiences should be pretty exciting, but not necessarily in a good, relaxing for Chris and I way. I have to go to Australia again in March and, since I am her only food source, she will be coming too. (Chris will also go to watch her.) Hopefully we are not completely scared off from travelling with a baby after that 16 hour flight from LA to Melbourne because we have signed her up for a jaunt to Paris in April.
These are reckless, irresponsible plans. Hopefully we can get Business Class upgrades for our own sanity.
Go big or go home, right? [I’m sure I’ll have some exciting (but not necessarily good) update stories.]
I started to write last night about my ‘new’ car, how I still haven’t driven it yet, and why I was so frustrated by that. I will probably get to that eventually as I am guessing that it will be an ongoing problem, but today I have something far more exciting to talk about.
Last night Chris and I went to sleep in the same bed for probably the first time since I left India in November.
‘Normal’ sleep was first inhibited by geographic separation, then by the ensuing jet lag. Finally, just as Chris’ jet lag subsided, Kai arrived.
At first I had delusions that she would sleep peacefully in her crib for four hour stretches with us waking up briefly a few times per night for a quick feeding and diaper change. Unfortunately, reality quickly set in and we found ourselves trading shifts of sleeping on the floor next to Kai’s crib.
We were quick to learn that the best way to get her back to sleep after her not so quick feedings and diaper changes was to catch her before she was fully awake. If her wakefulness progresses to a full-on cry, it can take hours to get her settled down and back to sleep again. Sleeping by her side seemed to be the only way to detect her stirrings soon enough.
From my bedtime until her second wake-up, nightly at precisely 1:20 AM, I slept on the white carpet next to her crib. Each morning, at twenty after one, I tag Chris in for his early morning shift on the floor.
While this system works well, sleeping on the floor is exhausting. I finally had enough of it last night and I decided to take my chances sleeping in bed for a full night with our high tech baby monitor next to my pillow. [Would you believe that it has a remote control camera that can pan the entire nursery and gives a great picture, even in the dark?] It was glorious. I don’t have delusions that it will work out so perfectly tonight, but, for today, I will enjoy the wakeful aftermath of my first full night of bed sleep in nearly a month.
Kai, let’s please do this again tonight!
For the past few weeks I have been patiently in pursuit of two things, the first of which is a monster supply of frozen milk. [Eww. I know. That is so weird, right? I still think that is kind of creepy and strange.] The second is a blueberry flavored beer. [Still strange, but not creepy.]
My story begins yesterday afternoon when, as I failed to mention in my previous post, we stopped to buy beer on our way home from that marathon of errands. Without even needing to ask me what I wanted, Chris went into the store and emerged with a six pack of Wild Blue.
I had been lusting after it for months. Several people have asked me what alcoholic drink I would have first when I was ‘allowed’ to drink again. I always answered Wild Blue, fantasizing about its not so subtle sweetness, bold blue hue, and its perhaps too high 8% ABV. I am fairly certain that it was the last adult beverage I consumed last Spring and I was more than excited for it to be my first post-pregnancy drink.
Perhaps this was my downfall.
I’m not going where you probably think I am. I did not succumb to the whole six pack in all of its 8% ABV glory.
After talking through a pump and dump plan, estimating milk thawing needs [eww], and probably hyping this up way too much, I cracked open a Wild Blue and curled up in my favorite chair in front of a football game.
Some time later, after drinking the neck of the beer, it occurred to me that it did not taste how I remembered. When I told Chris, he of course reminded me that I was, after all, drinking disgusting blueberry flavored beer. What did I expect? Naturally, I expected its blueberry goodness to dance on my tongue, alleviating any guilt that I was feeling over using the precious freezer milk so I could drink alcohol [Seriously, what kind of derelict am I?] and wasting ounces of milk and hours of my time on this whole pump and dump thing.
I decided that beer #1 must be skunked, so I abandoned it, still full to above its label, and opened a fresh one, convinced that it would fulfill my wildest Wild Blue dreams.
No dice. It was still nasty.
I drank that one anyway.
Right. So where did all this get me?
Mostly just feeling let down by an experience that I had built up way too much. Kind of the same feeling that I get after eating frozen pizza or store-bought desserts, but with the added disappointment of wasting 12 ounces of what has become the most important commodity in our household. The milk that is, not the abandoned beer.
The moral of this story is that I need to select my beers much more carefully in the future.
Today was our first day of the new ‘normal’, well, for the next few weeks until I go back to work anyway. Chris hit the road for work bright and early leaving me with a just-fed, sleeping baby and one whining dog.
At first I was upset that he had not taken Duke out yet because I was forced to crawl out of my warm bed at the crack of dawn, suit up in my waterproof down jacket, and parade Duke around our backyard in the freezing rain. I would typically just open the door and let him out, but that has not gone all that well this week.
On Tuesday morning when I let Duke out off-leash, he ate cat poop. I should care about that more than I do. I am not all that concerned that he ate it, I mostly just care that he promptly came back inside and puked cat poop all over my floor. Poop puke is arguably the worst doggy bio-matter that can be ejected onto one’s floor. Eww.
Yesterday morning went only slightly better ending with Duke swimming in the pond and emerging with a chest-deep coat of pond-smelling mud. That landed him in the garage for quite a while until he dried.
Crazily enough, actually walking Duke seemed like the most logical option by this morning. After a quick trip outside, I realized that having to get up and walk Duke was really a good thing because I was up, Kai was sleeping, and I thought I might have enough time to run.
I quickly got ready, dragged the bassinet into our treadmill room, and got started. Today’s run went much better than Monday’s, probably because I didn’t eat fondant for dinner immediately before running this morning. [Who would have guessed that eating like twelve servings of fondant before running would make my stomach upset?] I made it 2.25 miles and felt great.
It is kind of weird running such short distances, but, going against my typical inclination to quickly ramp up mileage, I am committed to easing into things. My foot finally seems to be healed from that nagging stress fracture and I really shouldn’t push my luck with it again.
After my run, I managed to race through the shower, dry my hair, and put on make-up before Kai decided to begin her day. Hopefully this really can be the new normal. I would love to get a short run in each morning. It did wonders for my outlook on the day and gave me a sense of accomplishment on a day that was an endless cycle of pumping (I’ll explain in another post), diaper changing, feeding, burping, swaddling, and pacing my living room with a baby in my arms. With any luck the endless pacing will not remain part of the new normal.
I have been MIA for the most part
this past week for the past few weeks as we have had guests to entertain, a baby that we are learning how to take care of, and quite a few home improvement projects in progress. I am happy to report that we have finally passed ‘Tiny Baby 101’. I’m sure that she will grow, things will change, and we will be learning a lot more soon, but for now things seem to be under control.
We have been learning many things lately, most importantly, how to swaddle. Baby Kai gets quite worked up when she is unswaddled, yet she spends the majority of her swaddled time wriggling around undoing her little baby burrito. Figures.
On Kai’s second full day at home, Chris went all out cooking a full-on Christmas feast for her first Christmas. I was impressed that he had the energy to make turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy after our second sleepless night at home.
Kai surprised me with a Christmas gift of new pots and pans. Very sweet of her, especially since she only had four days notice.
We spent most of Kai’s first weekend at home transforming our
junk room extra storage room into a nursery. I am so glad that I threw down and bought a huge load of baby paraphernalia the week before she was born. I was supposed to be doing that during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but for some reason I did it ahead of time. Miraculously, the nursery furniture arrived at our house the day that she was born. Whew!
In other exciting news that car that I wrote about buying arrived on Christmas Eve morning. I still don’t have tags for it, long story, and did not even bother to go sit in it until three days after it arrived. Amazing how priorities can change in a week.
[For the record, car buying sans Chris worked out just fine. He is as happy with my choice as I am.]
Since Kai’s arrival, we have been in home improvement mode. I’m not sure if this is delayed nesting, or what, but we have been scratching off long-standing to-do list items left and right.
Now that we are finding our groove, I anticipate that I will be able to return to my regularly scheduled blogging. Um, probably during pre-dawn hours, possibly one-handed with a sleepless, screaming baby in the other hand.