Friday, July 30, 2010

The Many Faces of Jack

Jack has quite the repertoire of facial expressions, and he exercises them regularly. For instance, here is his best Van Gogh expression:

I think it's pretty good for a 12-day old!

Then again, most of Jack's communication skills revolve around the topic of food.

Thinking he might be hungry:

Worried about the world milk supply:

Surrender the boob, or else!

Pondering which one he likes better: the left, or the right?

OK, he'll take the left side:

All done, but might still be hungry:

Changed his mind... the right side is really the best:

Thanks, mom:

Of course, Jack gets this talent from somewhere:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Completely unconnected thoughts

You'll have to forgive this post's total lack of cohesiveness. Having your sleep interrupted in regular intervals for days (soon to be months) on end is mentally taxing. Though, really, it's impossible to feel annoyed when you look over and see a little baby, swaddled up burrito style, who needs you, and only you.
Jack's face -- just inches away from me all night long -- makes the tiredness go away. (If only it brought back my cognitive function).

For some reason, blogger wanted to underline all of the text in this post, and I can't seem to fix it.

I didn't take any interesting photos of Jack today, so I'll share a picture of Family Feet from Tuesday. We walked down to one of the Yale colleges and hung out on the (pesticide treated? oops) grass for a bit.

No ducks were harmed in the making of this onesie:

Jack's had some great nights and some less-great nights. Sometimes he'll sleep for 3 or 4 hour clips (awesome); other times, he'd like to have his meals in 2 hour increments (doable).

P.S. Yes, there's an iPod app for that

P.P.S. It records pees, poops, diaper changes, and burps, too. Aren't you glad I spared you that chart?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yes, we actually weigh our child in a salad bowl

My husband is the best partner I could imagine. I say "partner" in the true sense of the word -- we have our separate domains (I cook; he walks the dogs), yet things get split evenly and without argument or resentment. "Could you change him?" is always answered with an affirmative, even at 1am. Greg is generous to the core, and it has made these last 10 days, when we are both at home to be a family, truly wonderful. I cannot imagine how stressful the postpartum period would have been without this assistance. Greg will go back to work tomorrow, and Jack and I will miss him.

Last night was a rough night. We (stupidly) stayed up until 12am, watching a very bad movie. Jack wanted to nurse from 2-4am, and again at 6am. Neither of us got any sleep. At 8am, after another nurse, I crashed. And then, despite his own tiredness, Greg let me sleep and then made me a delicious breakfast in bed:

Thanks, love :)

To make up for his marathon nurse at night, Jack slept like a champ in the morning. This kid is going to roll early. He flipped his hips back flat before I could take the photo, however, it is not unusual to find him propped up on his side.

After a busy morning taking care of chores and house projects, we went for a hike:

I gave bubster a new 'do:

My parents flew in from Phoenix this evening. They were thrilled to meet the little guy (I mean who wouldn't be? :) ):

And, yes, we weighed our child in a salad bowl. He was 8lb on day 1. 7lb 9oz on day 3. 7lb 12 oz on day 5. And 8lb 6oz at day 10. (Yes, the scale says 8lb 11oz, but we needed to subtract the weight of his diaper). It's good to know that he's growing right on track! (But sad, too!)

Jack, this photo may or may not end up in your high school year book. P.S. I'm actually devastated that you've grown by 6 oz already. You will always be perfect, but please stay tiny for just a little bit longer :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What a day

We spent the day doing errands. In the car, out of the car, cleaning, cooking (wait, the adults need to eat, too? good grief), and Jack compensating for his stellar 5-hour sleep last night by announcing his request for a snack every hour or two. When he nurses in small meals like that, he gets fussy and he doesn't sleep well, and that keeps Greg and I running around. As best as I can tell, it is a foremilk/hindmilk issue. Wish I knew how to fix it. When it comes to feeding schedules, he's the boss... once Jack fills up, he falls fast asleep and won't take any more. I hope that we can get back onto the 3 hour schedule tonight.

Seeing these beautiful photos of Jack makes me a little bummed that I'm not any good at classic portrait photography. My love of abstract / architectural / geometric images just doesn't mix well with peachy newborn skin! ;) Still, I keep taking photos


Jack had quite the day yesterday. We hired a professional photographer to come take photos of him during the newborn stage. Now, the thing about Jack, the part of his personality that seems to have announced itself clearly... he's either on or he's off and there's not much at the halfway point. When he falls asleep, nothing will wake him.

Jack had a fussy day. He didn't want a full feeding through most of the morning, so it was snack time: instead of waiting his normal 2-3 hours between feedings, he wanted to nurse every hour or two, and he wanted to be awake and interacting in between. No problem. Suddenly, right before the photographer came, he decided that it was time for a big nursing session and then he fell asleep. Fast asleep.

Having Jack be asleep during the session made things very easy. But at the end of the session, we really hoped to get some pictures of his big beautiful eyes. We tried to wake him up.

Ever hear the expression "don't wake a sleeping baby"? This expression means something different to us: you can't wake a sleeping Jack. We tried everything! Bouncing, diaper change, undressing, holding him in front of the AC unit, toe tickling, whistling, talking, bright light, and wet washcloth to the face and to the chest. Nothing, nada, zilch. He would wake briefly to announce that he heard our request (short cry) and then instantly fall back asleep. The photographer said she'd never seen such a fast sleeper.

We persevered for a good 40 minutes. Point is, this kid tired himself out good. Jack had a short nurse at 9pm and a long nurse at 11pm. He fell asleep at midnight. Greg and I next woke up to mild fussing at... get this... 5am. The kid slept for 5 solid hours. Wow. It kind of unnerved both of us, but, according to Dr. Google, newborns do sometimes sleep for that long.

The photographer captured some beautiful shots. She put a "sneak peek" on her blog:

We'll see the full set in a week!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Vignettes from playtime

I need to start taking more photos during daylight hours! These are grainy and noisy due to low light.

Jack and Greg got some good playtime in last night. Jack nursed at 9pm, 11pm, 3am, and now he's awake and quiet at 6:30am. I really can't complain... hope this schedule keeps up.

We love his soft hair...

... although it bears a striking resemblance to Kevin Costner's mullet in Waterworld:

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jack's First Trip Outside

We ventured out into the "real world" today. Greg put Jack in the stroller. I packed the diaper bag. And away we went, to JoJo's, our favorite coffeeshop and weekend morning haunt.

Jack had no idea what was going on. He slept through the whole thing:

Not much else to say about today. It was a very peaceful day. I don't know what will happen as Jack gets a little older. Will he suddenly start being a crying, fussy baby? I hope that he will keep this lovely and calm demeanor -- less drama, more staring and admiring :)

To tide you over until a more dramatic post, here are some baby toes:

Cloth Diapers

We decided to go with cloth diapers. They are: (1) good for the environment, (2) soft on baby's skin, (3) have the potential to lead to earlier potty training, and (4), are actually probably more convenient for us -- we live 20 minutes from the nearest diaper-carrying store.

Cloth diapers seem like a lot of work, however, we are finding them reasonably easy. Having tried both kinds, I can say that disposables aren't much "better" than cloth. There is an extra step involved in putting the diaper on, and then of course the diaper has to be washed. But really, it's not too bad. After seeing how many disposable diapers we went through in the first two days, I am glad to be saving the money and the natural resources.

First, there is a "prefold" inner that we fold onto him in the shape of a diaper. The prefold gets secured with a "snappie" that holds it snug against his skin. Getting a good fit with the inner diaper seems to be the trick (and it also seems to be a learned skill).

Then, we velcro or snap on a waterproof outer:

When we change the diaper, the inner gets rinsed and placed in a laundry bucket. The outer is used several times before we wash it.

Hiccups are the cutest thing

Jack's second night in the hospital:

Days 5-7

Day 7: Poor Jack continues! He cried for a 40 minute stretch in the morning. Nothing would comfort him. It is very upsetting to hear him cry... even though I know that babies cry, and that they sometimes cry for no reason (or for a reason you can't help them with), it is still really tough to be holding a sobbing infant with a warbling chin and not be able to do anything to make him happy.

Still, he cried himself out, napped for a good 3 hours, and then I switched my nursing pattern around. Either the new nursing pattern helped, or he just exhausted himself, because he was lovely and happy all afternoon and through the night. He woke up at 10:30pm, 3:30am, and 7:30am. I can definitely, definitely handle that schedule! I only hope he continues being such a good sleeper and a fast eater.

I'm a bad momma and didn't get any pictures of him today!

Day 6: Poor Jack! The night of day 6 marked his first bit of true fussiness; in all fairness, he couldn't help having a little GI distress, and I think it may have had to do with a change in the way I was nursing him. He went from sleeping in good 3 hour stretches, to needing to nurse every 2 hours and having a good cry in between.

We are getting into a routine. Nursing is also finally at the point where only one of the two of us is crying (the reputed "toe-curling pain" of the first week is no joke). Jack is a highly efficient nurser, and he has one of two modes: on or off. When he's hungry, he needs to eat NOW, and he will get his fill in less than 10 minutes (some babies will nurse for more than 40 minutes). On the one hand, this means that he is vigorous, which can be painful for me, but on the other hand, I don't have to wait a long time for him to finish. I'm quite happy with the trade off.

Here's a picture of Greg's parents with Jack:

He loves his swing. Even on the slowest setting, it's pretty fast (each back and forth is about 1 second... hey, 1 Hz!). My brother Michael and his wife Leslie stocked us up with some google items. Here's one of my favorite pictures of Jack in his swing:

Definitely can't get enough of the little guy:

There's no baby in this picture, but Greg's pretty cute ;) Ya' think this kid's going to have curly hair, or what?

Day 5: On day 5, I had a bit of a scare and needed to go to the doctor's for a few hours. Everything was fine. Luckily my in-laws were able to watch Jack while we were gone. Guess I passed the whole "being away from your infant for the first time" thing without much fanfare!

Here are some more pictures (these are actually from day 4):