Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Live Action Baby!

I have to admit the video is not all that exciting, but I took it, so you have to see it. I also wanted to prove to those naysayers that his eyes really do open. We were just chillin' on the couch so I figured I would let you all into the life of the superstar known as Alex Julius, LaDanian to his fans. Please disregard the crying at the end...He only puts up with the paparazzi for so long before he has to put them in their place.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gas Bubbles

I'm afraid to say it because every time I say something out loud, he totally proves me wrong, but Alex still is a really good baby. His awake time is as fun as a larva-like being can be. Usually his eyes are as wide open as he can get them. He employs his eyebrows to their fullest extent to attain maximum eye wide-ness. Which basically makes him look like a very inquisitive old man with a wrinkled forehead.

The main problem we have run into is gas. Coming out of both ends. But that is not where the problem lies. It's all good when the gas is coming out. When it stays in? That's a whole different story. Then the back arching, red faced, nose snorting, leg kicking crying starts. And good sweet gravy that is some crying. We have switched from Enafamil to Similac to Target Gentle. We are currently working on the Target Gentle stuff. It is usually about a 50/50 shot on whether a bottle is going to upset his inner workings. Last night I went to Walgreens and got some Mylican. It is pretty much baby Gas-X. It works pretty well. Which is good because I definitely do not like the feeling of not being able to help him. The other frustrating part is that I burp him usually twice per bottle. And some bottles he doesn't get any issues. But other bottles it's like he has been sucking on an empty bottle the whole time there is so much gas in his belly. I cannot for the life of me figure out what is different about the ones that bother him. All I know is that it sucks when he is gassy. A gassy baby definitely does not a happy baby make.

Friday, July 24, 2009

She rules.

My fears of Aiden not doing well with the addition of a baby to our house have been laid to rest. She has been in love with Alex since the first moment we brought him home. She gets concerned if he is crying and looks at Travis and I like, "Ummm...are you going to do something? The baby is upset." Whenever we are in Alex's room she comes in, lays on the rug and doesn't leave until we do. Every chance she can get, she licks him. Especially after he has been crying or we have been away from home.

If there is any problem it is that she is very protective of Alex. This is only a problem because her need to bark at people and dogs walking on the sidewalk next to our house has only increased. And those skateboarders? Don't even get her started on the danger they present to her baby.

It used to be that when I was gone she would wait outside near the garage for me or jump at the door excited to greet me when I came home. She still sits outside and jumps at the door, but it is no longer in excitement to see me. She wants to see her baby. And smell her baby. And lick her baby. Where is her baby?!

If she likes him this much now, can you imagine how much she is going to love him when he starts dropping food off the table?

Done and Done.

I did it. I went to the daycare to turn in the paperwork. And surprise surprise, everyone was very nice to both Alex and me. The director went through the paperwork with me and then took us over to the infant room to meet the teachers. The room was exactly how I remembered it. Very clean and bright and all the babies in the room were happy or sleeping.

The place is a very nice facility. The people that work there are nice. The people that take their children there...very East Side Madison. Which is a nice way of saying kind of ghetto. I love living on the East Side. It is definitely a bit rough around the edges but I like it. It is very different from the West Side of Madison. The West Side is very nice, but a bit too richy rich for my taste. I don't like feeling like I am under dressed at the mall. The West Side has stores like White House Black Market and R.E.I. The East Side has Scott's Urban Wear and Tha Basement. That is not a typo. That is the name of the store...Tha Basement. Yeah...

Anyway, back to the daycare. Like I said, everyone there is very nice. And aside from the guy that came in to get his son with half of his afro braided and the other half not, everyone there was very average. So here's to hopin' it goes well when we leave Alex there.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I filled out the daycare admission paperwork yesterday with the intention of packing up Alex and heading over to the center, dropping it off and stopping in the infant room to re-meet the teachers and let them have a look at the boy. Apparently I am insane because filling out the paperwork almost made me cry and I totally chickened out on going to the daycare.

I am not really sure what that was all about, but here are some theories I am working on:
1. If I take him to daycare it means I have to work at the office and not at home. Boo.
2. The daycare is not going to be the loving and development promoting place I remember and I am going to have to find a new one.
3. I have him now...and I kinda like him and I am not so sure about this not being with him all day thing.

So I decided yesterday to not stress about it and let myself kick around my issues for a day and make it my goal to get the paperwork there today. The thing is, I know this is a good thing for all of us. I can get back to feeling like a contributing member of society instead of living in questionable attire all day. Travis won't have to constantly reassure me that although I am not "working" I really do have an important job right now. And Alex will be on his way to gaining socialization and development skills that I am not sure I could teach him if I kept him home all the time. Oh and the pesky fact that we cannot afford for me to stay home and not get paid...details.

But then my really rational imagination takes over. And all I can see when I picture the infant room at the daycare is screaming dirty babies and chain smoking teachers all splitting a plastic handle of Siberian Ice vodka and glaring at the babies. Yes yes that must be what happens when the parents leave and the teachers are alone. I just haven't figured out how they have managed to hide their horrible scheme and stay in business longer than I have been alive. They sure are tricky those nasty people who care for tiny children for a living.

Once again, there is a part of my brain that will win over the ridiculous part of my brain. Hopefully it will be before I have to leave my sweet boy with the evil drunken teachers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Standards

I just realized at 3:12pm I am still wearing the clothes I slept in. And when I say slept I am referring to the clothes I wore last night while trying to sneak in cat naps between feeding the beast child.

Anyway, I have been working from home for about four hours today and just now noticed my outfit in the bathroom mirror. Hair in a ponytail, but fairly clean as I managed to shower yesterday. Glasses on as contacts were apparently too much work today. White men's Hanes undershirt. Almost see through it is so old. The highlight of the shirt though is the leaky boob stains all over it. They are not leaking as badly as they were, so the stains look more like someone shot me with mini paintballs filled with breastmilk. Finish the outfit with shorts I stole from my sister about 14 years ago. No joke. They are from when she was on the UW Crew team, but when I stole them she had already finished her scholastic career at the UW, and I don't know how many years she had the shorts. Needless to say, they are not Trav's favorite shorts of mine.


3 Weeks and we are all still alive.

The ups and downs of having a new infant are more extreme than The Demon at Six Flags. Not shockingly the ups tend to coincide with adorable baby things. Funny faces, cute outfits, a 3 week old baby sneezing, etc. Seriously, I don't know that I have ever seen anything funnier and cuter than an infant sneezing. Well, that and when he gets really worked up crying, which honestly does not happen too often, he snorts like a little pig between cries. I feel bad because I cannot stop laughing while trying to comfort him. I am going to give him some weird complex, but I cannot help it. It is so funny. Along the noises front, I can't wait for him to start making cooing sounds instead of just pooping grunts. I also am so looking forward to when he smiles when he actually means it. Not just because he is gassy or filling his pants.

The downs however, don't really seem to coincide with much of anything. Well, except for nights when a certain someone doesn't want to stay asleep. The days after those nights are particularly difficult. Add wild raging rapids hormones to little sleep and Whamo! There has been some crying. By me, not the baby.

I also can't help but feel trapped some days. Everyone knows going into the whole baby adventure that your life will change dramatically. But you can never really know. You can think you have a pretty good idea of what life will be like. And then you can have that pretty good idea trampled by a herd of angry elephants carrying 947 dirty diapers and 1065 used bottles....in a week. That's kinda where the trapped feeling comes in. There is always some sort of baby related work to do. So yeah, you probably do want to go wander around downtown with your friends, but the baby just fell asleep and you have don't have a single clean bottle to take with you. So you skip it. And sometimes, that makes you cry.

But the sneezing...it is hilarious.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It really is an art.

We had Alex's two week check up on Monday. I know it is now Friday and I am just getting to it, but the strange lack of time to get anything done is a subject for a different post. He is doing really well. I really like his doctor as well. Everything he is happy with is "beautiful". I thought I liked it when doctors said "average"...Average has nothing on beautiful.

He gained an entire pound and a whole inch! Not bad for 10 days time. His belly button is healing up nicely which is making diaper changing a lot easier. Alex still hates it, but it is easier for me when I am not having to desperately try to not catch clothes or diapers or my fingers on the nasty scabby stump sticking out of his stomach. That and it makes his belly look a lot cuter. The weight gain has pretty much landed in his cheeks. He is getting some meat on his legs and arms too, but his cheeks seem to be sucking up most the nutrients he is ingesting. All the more pinchable and kissable.

The one thing that seems to be an issue is this kid trying to figure out how to poop. The amount of energy it seems to take is unreal. To the point that I asked the doctor about it. He acts like he is more constipated than an old man that skipped his Metamucil, but the product coming out is the proper consistency. Or at least what I am told is the proper consistency. The doctor told me the reason for this struggle is that he actually has to learn how to poo. What muscles to use, how to push, etc. Until he figures it out...poo'ing is a whole body experience. Complete with a bright red face and Olympian body contortions. Hopefully this will be a quick lesson for him.

Monday, July 13, 2009

And there's that

Well, it's been two weeks. Alex is doing really well. He is seriously a very chill baby. He sleeps in 2-4 hour chunks and has recently graduated to 3oz of formula at a crack. The most awesome part is so far he is the easiest baby to soothe on the planet. I am crossing my fingers and every other body part that can be crossed that that particular trait does not go away.

Other good things going on, I no longer have to use a squirt bottle of water when I pee so it seems things down south are healing up nicely. My boobs are slowly but surely getting back to a manageable size. They are still quite bodacious, but not as out of control as a week ago. The electric battery shock feeling in my nipples every time Alex cries could stop anytime soon though. Although, I am once again ready to fight crime.

So one would think that all this good stuff about Alex and some of my body getting back to normal would mean my life on maternity leave is as sweet as a rainbow farting kitten. And for the most part it is. For the most part. The other part consists of my ridiculous hormones that will not regulate. That part is more like a rabid kitten that breathes fire and then cries for hours about the chair it just charred. It just sucks because there are things I would normally take right in stride, but now they make me lose it and cry. For a whole day. And then the next day, I feel totally fine. Like Saturday when I really wanted to go boating with my cousin-in-law. But Travis was at work and I, very responsibly, decided taking a tiny 12 day old out on a pontoon for the afternoon maybe wasn't the smartest idea. But my reaction to that decision was horrendous. Lucky for Mariah she got to witness it. In all it's Tupperware lid throwing, snotty nose crying glory.

The tough part for me is that intellectually I know it is just hormones and these feelings and the inability to control them will not last forever...but once again, my brain is no longer ruling the rest of my body.

Soon enough brain. You can outlast these hormones. I have faith in you.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Impatiently waiting

I cannot wait to have my body back to normal. I can't wait so much that I thought it was a good idea to try on my pre-preggo clothes a mere five days after having Alex. Turns out I am not so full of good ideas. That idea could and should be filed away in the really really stupid idea folder. Shockingly, I couldn't button any of my pants or shorts. And my shirts are all a bit snug around the lower stomach region. Weird right?

The main reason I thought this wouldn't be the worst idea ever was that I feel so much smaller. And I am in reality so much smaller. A human is no longer in my body. That will make you a lot smaller. I am just not as small as I would like. My ankles are back from their vacation which is nice and I finally am able to cram my wedding rings back on my fat fingers. I should have probably waited a couple more days to put my rings back on, but I really missed wearing them so here we are with a sausage finger wearing a diamond. The other really exciting part? I cannot only see my feet, but I can touch them. Without pain or strange bodily contortion. Same goes for shaving. Now it is just back to its normal annoyingly tedious status, instead of causing me to literally be short of breath and break out in a sweat.

Once again Travis proved to be at the top of the world's best husband list. He let me act on my stupid impulse and didn't stop me from trying on my clothes. But when I came back downstairs just one unbuttonable pair of pants away from a breakdown, he reminded me it took almost ten months for my body to get to its current status. And asked what made me think five days was an appropriate amount of time to expect everything to be back to normal. And then he made me go shopping. He hates shopping. Loathes shopping. He would rather wear a Speedo to a biker rally than go shopping. But he took me to Old Navy. Even though I didn't want to go because I am just sick about the amount of money I had to spend to have clothes to wear while I was cooking the kid. He insisted we go and I find some cute clothes that I felt comfortable in. Nothing too spectacular, but non-maternity and wearable while I am losing the last of the baby weight and beyond. He not only took me to Old Navy, but he pushed the stroller around helping me pick out some cute clothes. And then patiently waited for me to try on 89% of the women's section. And then to top it all off, he paid for the clothes. I think I'll keep him.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Juice is Loose

We made the decision to formula feed Alex. It was not a decision we came to lightly. Travis let me make the decision since it was not going to be his boobs the kids was latched onto 11 times a day.

I am confident I made the correct choice for our family. But I have still have tinges of guilt. The only reason I am feeling guilty is all you hear is "Breast is best." And I understand that. Nature intended for me to use these giant things to feed my child. But you know what, science has helped us out and come up with a pretty darn good alternative. As my friend Suzanne said, "People used to poop outside, but inventions have made that a lot easier too."

Convenience is not the only reason behind my decision. I also realized I had been the sole source of nutrition for this critter for almost 1o months. If it's possible, someone else can help out. And this way, Travis gets to be part of feeding his son...without the use of pumping apparatus. It may be a selfish decision to take the feeding burden off of me, but I can say with certainty we are both very happy with things this way.

Now, this doesn't mean I can fool nature completely. My body still knows it had a baby. And my body doesn't care if we are formula feeding. It wants to go about its business as planned. What I am getting at is my milk has come in. And I have a lot of milk. Good freaking gravy. I thought the size of these boobs was impressive before. I was clueless. This is insanity. They are at the point that I don't even know how the bra sizes go anymore. I am at a loss after DD. Does it keep adding D's? Do we go to E? This is uncharted territory for me. All I know is I have on a 36D sports bra and the seams are holding on for dear life. Although I don't know why I am bothering with any undergarment. These things are crazy solid. Like Rock of Gibraltar solid. You know when you see women with obvious implants and they have that weird gap between their boobs? I totally have that. This would all be good and fun except they hurt so badly. Yesterday I winced just raising my arms up to pull my hair back. It seems to be getting better slowly, but wow. And the leaking is fun too. Breast pads are super hot.

Speaking of leaking, I realized I forgot to mention I peed on a nurse during the early part of my labor. We had an issue with the external heart rate monitor and we lost the little bugger's heartbeat. Not good. So the nurse had to put a monitor on his head. While he was still inside my body. And I was only 2cm dilated. Fun. So yeah, the pressure of her being up there was apparently too much for my body and I peed on her arm. It got on her arm because her hand was so far up she was scratching the back of my throat. Gotta love the humility of peeing on another adult.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Better pictures

So since the first picture I posted of Alex wasn't all that becoming, I figured I would post another. And since I really like this one....

And finally because he is so tiny and looks hilarious in this hat and his car seat, there is this one....

The boy needs to eat a sandwich.

Ta Da!

Well I guess I should have heeded the mucus plug warning. The little critter showed up two weeks and a couple days before schedule.

We watched some fireworks on Sunday night and went to bed around 11:30. At about 2:15 I woke up and my back was killing me. I figured I may as well go to the bathroom as long as I was up. When I moved to get up I realized I had to get to the bathroom lickety split. My water broke...all over. There was "water" on the bed, down the stairs, and into the bathroom. My shorts were drenched. It was the strangest feeling. There was just liquid pouring out of me and I had no control. It was like the kid had been hanging on to a gallon jug of water this whole time and just then decided he didn't need it anymore, so why not dump it out.

Travis was sleepily confused at first. Then he yelled downstairs to me, "Sooo....is this the point where we freak the fuck out and grab everything and go?" Yes honey, this is exactly that point. But be careful coming down the stairs, I spilled.

Long story short, 14 hours later at precisely 4:19 pm, our son was born. Holy shit, we have a son. Labor went as smoothly as pushing a human out of your body can go. Nicki was right. Epidurals are the the bomb.

So here he is. Making his grand entrance at 5lbs 12oz, 18" long, Alex Thomas Julius

It's not the best picture of any of us except Travis, but frankly, Alex and I went through a bit more trauma than Trav did that day.

Travis was amazing during the whole thing by the way. I truly have an incredible husband. Alex and I are pretty darn lucky.