Monday, August 31, 2009


So Friday was Alex's two month appointment. He is now officially 10lbs 11oz and 21" long. The boy needs to do some growing. Aside from still being tiny, he is doing well. We got some advice on getting his head to stop plopping over on his left shoulder, and his belly button got looked at again. The umbilical cord still hasn't completely fallen off. It looks rather nasty. It's still really big in diameter and then has a little button-like lump of skin sitting on top. The doctor claims this is very common and he will in fact have a normal belly button when all is said and done. He's been right about other stuff so far, so I guess I will believe him. I just wish the falling off process would hurry up.

Alex also got his first round of vaccinations at this appointment. I am so so so happy I was busy picking friends up at the airport and couldn't go. I mean I feel bad that I made Travis go alone to such a horrific event, but I do not think I would have handled it well. Based on the smear of blood on his little leg when he got home, I am pretty sure I would assaulted the nurse stabbing my kid in the leg. He got three shots and had three little round Band-Aids. You can imagine how happy he was to have those removed. I told Travis to just leave them until his next bath and we would soak them off, but he wanted them off for some reason. I think I may have to take Alex to his next round of shots since Trav was upset enough by the whole situation to say, "If either of those nurses get near my kid again I am going to punch them in the boob."

Other than the trauma of getting stabbed three times in the leg, the appointment went well. Alex was in a good mood for the rest of the day, with a little help from our friend Tylenol. And now he is safe from wretched diseases that I guarantee would suck more than the shots.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Highway Robbery

So the little man takes after his dad. He is gassy beyond all belief. So we are trying a different bottle again. The other baby at his new daycare has this funky anti-gas bottle so we are trying that. Real quick...did you see that? There is only one other baby at his new daycare. And she is only there three days a week. So we pretty much have a personal babysitter for Alex. Once again, better than naked and screaming? Hells to the yes! Anyway, back to the bottle. It has a bunch of different pieces and I feel like a chimp in a lab trying to put it together. I expect to see scientists in long lab coats writing down my progress and how long it takes me to put it together. The bottle has a ventilation system to avoid the vacuum problem and keep excess bubbles out of the formula in turn keeping excess bubbles out of the baby. Good good. My problem with it? Holy guacamole is it expensive. $18.99 for two bottles. $18.99. Currently we have 9 of the bottles we were using so as to not have to wash bottles 709 times a day. Quick math to replace with the new bottles...$85.45. For bottles. Needless to say, I bought a two pack yesterday and am washing them as we go to see if these suckers make a difference.

Add that to the insurance/hospital bills and he is quickly turning out to be very expensive. I wonder what kind of return policy the hospital has. Those bills may as well be written in Japanese for as well as I understand them. It seems to me I am being charged for everything twice which I am shockingly not ok with. Lucky for me, I have a kick ass friend that used to work in the world of health insurance. We'll get this thing figured out...or go broke tryin'.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Magic, by Kenmore

I forgot how frickin' sweet it is to have a dishwasher. I also didn't realize how much time we were spending standing in front of our kitchen sink. Now when we are done with dinner, the dishes are done in, oh I don't know, 10 minutes. We used to do dishes for about 45 minutes...almost every day. And that was if we were able to tag team it. Which didn't happen very often because of the one who needs attention and will scream without it. Without a team effort attack on the dinner dishes, bottles, pots and pans, it could easily take over an hour to get everything clean. I am sure at some point the newness will wear off and we will no longer be amazed at how quickly the kitchen cleans up, but that point may not be any time soon. It is fantastic.

Now for the magic part. Not that having clean dishes without having to manually wash them isn't magical, because OH MY GOD is it magical. However, dish cleaning is not this dishwasher's only super power. Last night Alex was in one of his "I am pissed that I am a baby" moods and was not shy about expressing said mood. Very loudly. While trying to think of every soothing technique I could, I remembered my wise friend Kari saying something about white noise having a calming effect. So I took the little howler monkey into the kitchen and there we stood. Listening to the dishwasher. And sure as shit, he not only stopped yelling at me, he fell asleep. And we got to watch the Brewers lose again...but at least we got to watch it in peace. Pure magic.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

11 Pounds

Our little man has just about doubled in size in just under two months. He is still tiny. I am reminded of this any time anyone new sees him. The first two things they say are:
1. Look at all that hair!
2. He is so tiny!

First of all his hair rules. That should be the exclamation. Don't just look at it. Marvel at it. It is that fantastic. Second he looks huge to me. I looked back at the first picture of him in his car seat and I cannot believe how big he is now. Although he is only 1&1/2 pounds bigger than Trav's cousin's baby. When that baby was born. I cannot imagine getting a baby that big out of my body. My little peanut was plenty to deal with.

The weird thing about those two comments is I have no clue what to say in response. So I just end up smiling, nodding and saying, "Yup." Basically looking like an idiot that can only speak in one syllable words. Or a total bitch. Either way it makes me uncomfortable and I am fairly certain the strangers talking to me aren't sure what to do either. Why can't people just look at him and give me the "I like your baby friend you've got there" smile? I could respond with the "Thanks I like him too" smile and we could both go on our merry ways. I find non-verbal communication much more comfortable when dealing with strangers. Yes, I know I should be nicer as these people are being nice, but I hate not knowing what to say and then I get all flustered and something stupid or inappropriate comes out of my mouth. Although you would think I would be used to that by now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Decision Made

Alex is at a new day care center this morning. Funny, but finding my not quite 7 week old son laying on the floor in a high traffic area wearing nothing but a diaper and screaming is not my idea of quality care. I packed up his stuff, put him in his car seat, covered him with blankets, gave everyone my best mean face, and left. Needless to say, I should have listened when people said bad things about that place. I shouldn't have thought it wouldn't happen that way for us. I shouldn't have let cost and convenience weigh so much in the process of picking a day care. Luckily nothing permanent or painful happened to my baby. I will get over the guilt someday soon, but it really sucks knowing I left him there for 8 days.

Today is a brand new day though. We dropped him off at his new day care and it is much much much better. The woman working there was holding him and talking to him as we left. She took notes when we were telling her his preferences. She took notes. Like actually paid attention and wrote things down so as to not forget. Better than naked and screaming? I'm going to go with a big bucket of hell yes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Where there is no smoke, there is no fire.

For now, Alex's pack 'n' play is his bed and it is upstairs in our room. We are doing this because, well, I am too lazy to go downstairs every time he needs something throughout the night. Which, by the way, is down to two times a night usually! Anywho, when he gets to the point that he doesn't have to eat twice a night, we will move him downstairs to sleep. But for now, my little reading cove has been taken over and turned into his sleeping quarters.

The point of this? The upstairs in our house is all one big area and we have a smoke detector at the top of the stairs. Which apparently decided we are getting waaaay too much sleep so it randomly went off last night...twice. The first time I ran like a newborn deer on wobbly tired legs over to it and hit the reset button to make it stop screaming at me. And immediately went back to bed thinking, "Hmm...that's odd." The second time, I couldn't get it to stop so I pulled it off the wall and, while frantically pushing the reset button, took it over to Travis because I could not figure out how to disassemble the damn thing to get the battery out. I don't care how he got it to stop, but he got it to stop. It was at the point that I realized we should maybe check out the downstairs to see if, gee, I don't know, THERE IS SOMETHING ON FIRE! There was nothing out of the ordinary downstairs. Nothing burning. Not even a smoldering ember. I hate and loathe that smoke detector. It's only job is to detect smoke. There was not smoke. What the hell was it detecting? It may be detecting my foot stomping on it later today. I wonder if it has an alarm for that.

Anyway, the part of this story that makes me happy is that although Alex obviously woke up both times the over zealous smoke detector went off, he fell back asleep within two minutes, without being picked up and rocked. He didn't even actually cry at all. I was almost crying the stupid thing startled me so much. I'm sure my emotions had nothing to do with lack of sleep...

Now if we can just figure out how to make getting dressed not such a frightening experience, we may be on to something.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why would this be stressful?

The daycare woes continue. I am so torn about what to do.

The center we are currently using is fine. Aside from a couple issues the first two days, things are going well there. My biggest problem is that I have not heard one person say good things about this particular center. In fact as time goes on, I only hear bad things. Nothing that makes me fear for Alex's safety or anything crazy, just not good stuff. This conflicts with the fact that Alex seems to be doing well there. He has been content every time I have picked him up. He is safe, clean and being fed. What more could you ask for? So why can I not get other people's opinions out of my head? Well, what fun would that be? The things people have said to us make me feel like I am not seeing something horribly wrong with this place, and some time down the road catastrophe is going to strike and I will shrivel up and die inside with guilt for not moving him to different care.

So then we move to the option of picking a new day care. Do we stick with a center or give in-home a try? My only knowledge of in-home day care is my ex-boyfriend's mother's in-home day care. And since I am certain she is a direct descendant of the Wicked Witch of the West, it was not the most favorable impression. My two big problems with in-home are:
1. I don't believe they are in any way, shape, or form, as regulated at centers. There is just no way the state is checking in with every single person that watches kids on a regular basis. And there aren't other people there to tattle on you if you are doing bad things. That's how I like to pick who is going to care for my kid...the best tattler.
2. The person watching the kids has no out. If they get frustrated, too bad. They cannot leave the room and cool off. They have to stay in the situation. That just feels like I am asking to get my baby shaken.
I guess there just seems to be the need for a lot more initial blind trust with in-home than a center.

But then we get to the cons of centers. Centers are crazy expensive. The care your kid gets usually isn't very unique since there are a lot more kids running around to keep track of. The flip side of the in-home problem of only having one person there is that in centers there are multiple adults that can get to chatting among themselves and not being so attentive.

The pros of each situation are the flip sides of the cons of other situation. So any sane person would just weigh each issue and find out what means more. But we all know parents are not sane people. It's the kids' fault. I am sure of that now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm baaaaaack

Here I am. Back in the office. It's weird.

It feels good to talk to adults throughout the day. Not that I didn't enjoy talking to the dog and Alex, but you start feeling a little loony-toons when you are the only one talking all day and nobody answers you. Especially when the two you are talking to pretty much only respond with a blank stare. I could be juggling bananas while riding a blindfolded llama and those two would have the same exact expression as if I were reading the nutritional facts of oatmeal aloud in a monotone voice.

It also feels good to have the people I work with on a daily basis happy that I am back. I am no rock star at my job, there are many that can attest to that, but it's nice to hear my efforts were missed. Although the whole working full time thing...yeah...not so much. I liked my naps on my lounge chair in the sun in the backyard. The computer monitor doesn't give my face the same golden glow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fatty McFatterton

I finally broke down and figured out how much weight I need to work on getting rid of. To get to what I feel is a respectable weight number, I need to lose a lot of weight. Between the fact that I wasn't exactly a picture of health before I started growing a kid and the 7 pounds that didn't leave after I was done cooking said kid, we have a ways to go.

The numbers of all this are the reason why I don't own a scale. If I go by the numbers, I need to lose 40 pounds. Now I am not saying I am skinny by any means, but I really am shocked by that number. I was thinking more along the lines of 20. And I thought that was a big goal! 40 pounds is incredibly daunting and oddly not motivating. Now, going by clothes sizes and the way they fit me? That is much more motivating.

So now I am stuck in a pickle. Do I do what I always do and go by how my clothes fit? Or do I buy a scale? The only reason the scale has come into the negotiations I am currently in with my body is because of the zillion doctor visits while preggo. I had no idea what my actual weight was before that. I just knew I needed to lose weight because my pants were too tight. It's easy to say I should just go by how my clothes fit and forget about the scale, but that after-baby number is burned into my retinas and I would really like to replace it with a different number. A much smaller number.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Killin' Me

This kid kills me. One minute he is screaming me to within a caterpillar whisker of my breaking point. The next minute he's so frickin' cute I have to stop myself from squeezing the life juice out of him and making a smoothie with it. I am pretty sure it was gas, but he smiled at me about 7 times during this morning's formula-fest. Even if it was gas, having him smile while looking right at me with those big blue eyes might just make me forgive him for the screaming.

The version of Alex that we get in the evening is a total crap shoot. Last night we may have registered a high score in this game of baby raising we are playing. He was barely fussy at all and when he was it was only because he was hungry. Which was a nice change of pace from the night before when he was apparently screaming in an effort to catch the ear of the closest heavy metal rock band talent scout. But last night he sat awake in his Boppy pillow just taking it all in. Then he would eat, pee and fall asleep. The remarkable part of all this is the whole time, Travis was sawing into the subfloor under the kitchen cabinets with a power saw. And only taking breaks from that to use the shop vac to clean up the mess before we had to pick sawdust and wood shrapnel out of our underwear. Even stranger than a baby not minding that giant amount of seemed to soothe him to sleep. He would actually wake up just about every time the saw or shop vac would stop, and then immediately fall back asleep when one or the other was turned back on. I wonder if this is a testament to the amount of noise he had to put up with while he was cooking in my stomach. Me? Loud? Perhaps.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Accept and get on with it.

First things first. I love Alex and I think it is going to be really cool seeing him develop and grow. Second, I am ok, so people do not need to freak out that things are horribly wrong and I am going to end up in a padded room. You people know who you are.

And away we go.

I feel like there are a lot of emotions that people never talk about when they talk about having a kid. Most the talk you hear is about the good stuff. And even when someone talks about the bad stuff, the crying, the sleeplessness, or the never ending poop brigade, it's all wrapped in a Oh My God Babies Are So Cute So We Put Up With Minor Things bow. All the bad stuff is covered up with teddy bears barfing smiley faces. Well I think there are some not so minor things that get ignored because they are not the popular things to think or feel when you have a newborn.

The big thing I am struggling with right now is that a lot of me really wants my old life back. This is where I feel the need to state again, I love Alex. The thing is I really liked my old life too. And it is a very difficult transition. Difficult for anyone, next to impossible for someone like me that likes things to stay the way they are when I like them. With this feeling comes a whole locomotive of other shit. Guilt for not being over the moon every second of every day about Alex. Sometimes regret that we made the decision to change our lives so drastically. Feelings of isolation from my friends. You know, all the warm fuzzies you can imagine.

I am trying to make sure I do things to help me get to a place of acceptance. My main course of action so far is to incorporate Alex in as much of my normal routine as I can. Don't get me wrong, his routine definitely rules the roost, but I am doing my best to get our lives to become a bit more compatible. I also keep reminding myself that the more he develops and can interact the more fun I will have with him.

There will always be a part of me that misses my old life no matter what the future holds. Here's to hopin' the future can beat out the past.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tiny Tinkler

So far so good at daycare. I mean it's only been a day and a half, but they said the first day went really well. Alex didn't have much to say about the these days.

My only complaint is that the daycare provides diapers. Why would I complain about such a thing? Apparently Alex is the tiniest baby in all of tiny baby land. At least of those that attend our daycare. The smallest diapers they have there are size 2. Yeah...he is currently still wearing newborn size diapers that are for kids up to 10lbs. He can kinda wear the size 1 that are for kids up to 14lbs. I don't know how many pounds a child can be and fit in size 2 diapers. What I do know is that Mr. Alex T Julius is not a size 2. As was proven twice yesterday when he soaked two outfits. Which is totally cool because I was thinking all day that what I really wanted to do was add two more outfits to the mountains of laundry. Today, we brought our own diapers. We shall see if I can stop being such a monumental chicken and ask the daycare director for a discount because we have to provide our own.

Other than the butt covering issue, all is well. It is so weird to drop him off and then get the little daily report card thingy telling us how many diapers he went through and how much he ate. I feel like daycare has made this entire having a baby thing more real. I don't know why. You would think pushing the kid out of my hoo-ha would have sealed the reality deal. Nope. Daycare.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bring It On Baby.

I can't lie. This whole having a baby thing is hard. It's not like I thought this was going to be a cakewalk. I knew it was going to be hard. But there is no way you can prepare for something of this magnitude. I mean you prepare as much as you can. You buy all the right stuff, diapers, blankets, pacifiers, onesies. May I also suggest earplugs and a full body rain slicker.

This kid has some ability for screaming. He is still pretty itty bitty so he can't get a ton of steam behind his screaming. Don't let his littleness fool you though. He's got some skills in the department of screaming. He gets about a 6 on the volume scale, but a perfect 10 for endurance. Time is not an issue. He's got all the time in the world. And what better to fill all the time in the world with than screaming like a baboon on meth.

Now on to the necessary need to cover yourself in any material that repels wetness. I feel this may be more important for people that have baby boys. Although I am guessing baby girls can do a stellar job of out peeing the capacity of a about 27 seconds. Alex has perfect the "fooled you" diaper filling. Both with pee and poop. I once again thought I was smarter than a 6 week old. Not the case. We had another free pooping episode yesterday. And a free peeing episode. I'll learn one of these days.

The other wetness is the spitting up. Normally not a big deal, catchable by a burp cloth. But every once in a while, oh baby. I don't understand how he isn't instantly hungry. It's like the whole bottle comes back up. Luckily that very rarely happens. But it is kinda scary when it does. Yet another thing to keep you feeling like you have no idea what is lurking around every corner to jump out and attack your face like a rabid raccoon.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Definitely our kid

This look is what I like to call "milk drunk." His eyes are half open and there is formula running down his chin. This is the look he gets every bottle, right near the end, before he gets burped for the last time, and then he passes out. That routine is strinkingly familiar...perhaps from too many nights at The Pub.
He has graduated to 5oz bottles. And with the new bottles we are using, he usually finishes each one in about 30 minutes. This is an amazing change from when it took him almost an hour to finish 3oz. This kid is a maniac.
When people ask me now if he has "found his voice," I can say yes. He is still a great baby most of the time. He is super cute and usually when he is awake, he is still just looking around with his eyes as wide open as he can get them. Last night was a whole different story. Holy shit. He was awake...and pissed. Like really pissed. For about three hours. There were a few times of serenity when he would momentarily fall asleep. But then a fly would fart and he would be off and running once again. It was insanity. Travis and I tried everything we could think of. We even tried giving him a bath since he likes being in the water. He did not like the water last night. As a matter of fact, he obviously felt the water was poisonous to his skin and decided to explain that little fact to us by flailing and screaming like a howler monkey the whole time. Which was fun. Hanging on to a wet, soapy, angry baby. Easy as pie.
He finally fell asleep and stayed asleep at about 10 or so. Good gravy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Straight Pimpin'

I love the way he looks when he sits in the Boppy pillow. It's like the best recliner for babies ever made. And it is super handy as we have figured out that sleeping flat on his back is not an option. I am not sure if he has some acid reflux going on or what, but I do know he does not stay asleep if he is flat on his back. However if he is slightly inclined he sleeps, well, like a baby.

The pillow has a big tag that says you are not supposed to let a baby sleep in the pillow, but I am risking it. We don't have him sleep in overnight, just for naps. And, ummm yeah, he sleeps. Apparently it is a suffocation hazard. I can see it being a problem once he is strong enough to wiggle himself under the pillow, but for now, it is a life saver. And did I mention he looks super cute sitting in it? 'Cause he does.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not ready

So last night something new happened. It seems as though something new happens every day, but this was a bad something new.

Alex was upset. Something about his hair not being combed the way he wanted it and his outfit having too many alligators and not enough guitars. So he was engaging in his version of crying. Basically a lot of noise highlighted with flailing arms, an open mouth, and a red face. But then there it was. A single tear. Right there on the side of his eye. He was actually crying. I was doing pretty well dealing with the crying he was doing before. It could get a bit frustrating, but we could deal. This new addition was not approved and I am not ok with it. Seeing an actual tear just about ripped my heart out. Before the tears, it seemed his crying was more him just yelling at us for not knowing what the hell we are doing and therefore not knowing what he wanted when he wanted it. It seemed more of an anger thing. But that little bit of wetness next to his eye...He's not angry anymore. He's sad. In an instant I realized I never never NEVER want my child to be sad.

I am not positive, but I think this may become a problem when I need to say no, or maybe just maybe have to discipline my little faux-hawk rocker. Seriously, his hair is fucking awesome.

Monday, August 3, 2009

So far...interesting

We made it over a month. Alex is still alive. Travis and I have not killed each other, and I am only slightly delirious from lack of sleep.

The boy is doing all the things he is supposed to do. Eat, sleep, poop. Repeat as necessary, but probably not in that order. Or any order for that matter.

There isn't a whole lot of personality showing through at this point, but it is amazing how much he has changed in five weeks. It's amazing how much he seems to change on a day to day basis. Just the other day, he was laying in his crib and he suddenly could see the elephant mobile spinning above his head. It was pretty cool. The look on his face was more of "Hey! When did you guys get here?!"

He is also now reacting to things we do. Which is fun for me because now I have a reason to pester's helping his development! He gave me half a smile last night when I was talking to him. I didn't feel a giant fart after that smile, so I am taking credit for that one. Gas has gotten enough smile inducing credit. It's my turn dammit.

Speaking of gas, that kid has got skills. He can totally out stink both his father and the dog at this point. He may have some competition after a Parthenon night, but all other days, he takes first place in the stinky ass category. The poop is in a whole other competition. It wouldn't be fair to the farts to put them up against the slap you in the face strength smell of the poop that comes out of this kid. The formula doesn't smell like that going in. I don't know what he does with it on it's way through his body, but it isn't nice. I have, however, been able to avoid any more "free pooping" episodes as of late. This was an issue at first. He would poop. I would think he was done. I would want to be a nice mom and not let him sit in his own excrement and go to change his diaper only to find out, no, in fact he was not done. He doesn't seem to mind just lettin' it fly without the correct apparatus in place to catch it. So there I would stand, holding an open diaper under my son's butt while he finishes pooping. One would think I would really make sure he was done before discarding said open diaper and trying to complete the old to new diaper transaction. But again, I acted in haste and he fooled me on more than one occasion. If I remember correctly, the highest diaper count per one instance of changing currently stands at five diapers. Good thing they are so cheap...

Every time I think to myself, "Hey, I think we are getting to be ok at this whole baby thing," he pees all over me, himself, the blanket, the crib, and the changing pad. And then he barfs. Awesome.