Monday, December 31, 2007

Anyone want to hold a baby?

My high maintenance baby just got a bit higher, thanks to everyone in NY who participated in ensuring that Anthony was always held. Now were home and I have a messy house that needs to be put back in order, but a baby who refused to be put down. He falls asleep, I put him down and he wakes back up and cries. As soon as I pick him up he immediately falls back asleep.

I guess my house will just have to wait, because Anthony is clearly in charge around here. That's really okay with me, I don't feel like cleaning anyway, I'd rather just lounge around and enjoy the last day of 2007.
Okay, I have to confess, Francie came over today and she helped me hold Anthony so I could have a little time to do something other than hold him. Unfortunately I chose not to use my time cleaning house. Hopefully Todd doesn't read this post, but then again, he is at a basketball game, so he really really can't say anything. What would have been really great, is if Francie had offered to clean the house, while I held the baby.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Were heading home

I'm finally blogging again because I just got my laptop back. We have been in NY for 3 days visiting my mom and Bob. While were there either my sister Rachael or my husband had my laptop. Rachael to blog and Todd to look at stocks. I guess now I'll have something to do in the car on the way home. I also have a lot of blogs I need to catch up on. We are now on the road for the long drive home. It took us 12 hours to get there, I'm hoping to make better time on the way home. We stopped about every 2 hours getting here, because Anthony is not a fan of long car rides. So far so good today, although we've only been on the road an hour and a half. He was however a very good baby while we were visiting at Grandma and Grandpa's. I hardly got to hold him because everyone wanted a turn. I was expecting to have him handed back to me whenever he got fussy, but was surprised that a crying baby didn't deter any of them. However if whoever was holding him couldn't console him rather quickly, Todd would take him away from them. He doesn't like to hear his baby cry. He even takes Anthony away from me if I can't make him stop crying quick enough.
Funny how I wanted to use my laptop the whole time we were there, and now that I have it, I just want to take a nap in the car. So I will sign off for now, but here a couple pictures from the weekend.
Grandma, Madeline and baby Anthony

Grandpa Bob, Katya and Anthony

Auntie Lisa and Cousin Grace with Anthony

As much as I don't want to be in a car for 12 hours, I think I might have a better day than my mom and Bob. They have a very messy house to clean up today. Happy cleaning!

And now Anthony is fussing, so much for my nap. I guess we'll be stopping soon.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2 votes for Cutest Baby

Cousin Gracie is infatuated with baby Anthony and can't get enough. One vote from Gracie for cutest baby.

And, one of these two cousins cast him their vote.

The other of the two was trying to win some points elsewhere perhaps.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Anthony was so not happy about this photo session.

Let the holiday festivities begin...
My shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and I'm just finishing up making eggnog-panettone bread pudding for Christmas morning. I've never had it before, but the other day I was watching Racheal Ray's show and she was making it, the idea to make it myself came when I was over at my sister Rachael's house and I saw a gift box of panettone bread. I asked her what she was going to do with it, and she said she didn't really like it, but I'm guessing she's never really tried it. It looks sort of like fruit cake only more bread tasting. So I took the bread home with me and now the sink is full of dirty dishes and the bread pudding is baking in the oven.
In just a few short hours we will start our round of visits. 2 tonight, 3 tomorrow and then the day after Christmas we are off to New York to visit my mom and step dad and 2 other siblings and their families. As my mom so proudly pointed out, there will be a total of 20 people in her house. This excites her and only her, the rest of us just go along with it to please her, but we are excited to see everyone. The 10 hour drive with a 3 week old baby should be an experience as well. We are going to have my niece Kristen ride with us so she can help Anthony when he loses his pacifier. Yes this means I decided to keep the pacifier. Even though it is difficult to keep in his mouth at night, it is still more helpful than not.

Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Years!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pacifier or Not, baby's first bath

I've heard from a couple people (Todd included) that I will miss the sleepless nights with my baby when he grows up. Somehow I don't think I will be shedding any tears the first time he sleeps through the night. In the mean time I have a dilemma on my hands. Pacifier. Yes or No. Everyone says how great they are, I tried a few times to get Anthony to take one but he would just spit it out, then under the advice of my friend Amy, I sort of forced it on him. Meaning I held it in his mouth until he started sucking. Okay so now he likes the pacifier. Thanks to the pacifier, I had a great couple of days with him, I was able to stretch out the feedings just a bit which helped get some much needed shopping done. The problem was last night when he kept losing the pacifier and it would wake him up and he would cry. So unless I slept with my hand holding the pacifier in his mouth, neither of us was getting any sleep. So I decided to ditch the pacifier and make him fall asleep without it. 3 hours later and another feeding and he was finally asleep without it. Now I'm afraid to give it back to him because I don't want another night like last night. Maybe once he's big enough to put it in his own mouth I'll give it back. Although we are going to NY the day after Christmas to visit my family and it's a debatable 8-12 hour drive. I say debatable because it should, mileage wise, only take 8 hours, but every time someone in our family makes the trip, it always takes much longer. I think were just really poky and like to stop a lot. Anyway, I may break down and give him the pacifier for the trip.

Today Anthony got his first bath! Real bath that is, I have been sponge bathing him, but yesterday his cord fell off so I could give him a tub bath. He was not happy at first, but eventually seemed to like it!

All dressed and ready to go run errands with mom.

Todd has been sick the past 2 days, so I have been parenting solo to avoid getting myself or the baby sick. I think he's feeling better today, even though he is still complaining a lot. He is moving around the house more and actually ate some food, so I made him take care of Anthony for a couple hours so I could get a nap. Now I'm rested and ready for whatever Anthony decides to do tonight, sleep or cry.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Making Christmas progress

Started blog post last night...

With Christmas only 8 days away and practically no shopping done, I was starting to panic. I have been house bound for 2 days due to snow and baby, but today I decided I must get out of the house and do some shopping. Todd, Anthony and I headed to town and got some very productive shopping done. Were almost done, tomorrow I will do the rest by myself while Todd goes to Chicago for work something or other. It will be the first time I go anywhere by myself with the baby. I hope it goes as well as it did today.

Attempting to finish post now, (typed with one hand, which I'm getting rather quick at)

Apparently I don't get good nights and good days. Only one or the other. And since yesterday was such a good day for Anthony while we shopped, I should have known the night would be a rough one. He was awake from about 3:30 till 8am, unless I was rocking him (standing up, sitting in the chair wouldn't suffice). He would fall asleep in my arms, and as soon as I layed him back in his bassinet, he cried. We also had to change his clothes 2 times during the night.
So now it's noon and were just getting going this morning, still planning on getting out and doing the last of my Christmas shopping. Although we probably wont be ready to leave the house for another couple hours with getting both of us dressed and fed. I'm not sure if I want Anthony to be a good baby or not today. Because I could really use a good nights sleep tonight. Although I also really need to get my shopping done.
I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Friday, December 14, 2007

One week later

This is what we were doing when Anthony turned exactly 1 week old. A much more pleasant Friday evening I must say. While we napped, Todd was busy on the internet looking at college savings plans. I guess it's never to early to start thinking about that. Apparently if your child starts college at age 18 then you need to save $178 per month starting the first month he's born and that would cover 2/3 of his college education.
Last evening we went over to Rachael's house to let the kids see the baby again. I accidentally left my camera over there, so I wasn't able to post about the haircut. Yes, Todd finally got his hair cut. I told him we were getting professional pictures taken of Anthony and if he wanted a picture with the baby then he had to cut his hair. So daddy got a haircut and we also got a very cool family photo. I will post it when I get the proofs. We also got some very cute baby pictures.
After (much better don't you think)

I took a couple days away from the blog to rest whenever I could, I'm starting to get so tired from being up so much at night. Although the swaddling blanket is working great for keeping him in his bassinet, he still wakes up every 2 hours and then it takes at least an hour to feed him and rock him back to sleep, sometimes longer. Usually the 4am wake up is the hardest to get him back asleep and I usually give up and bring him in bed with me. But every night gets a little bit easier, and every now and then he will sleep a good 3-4 hours straight through.

I've been reading on other peoples blogs that Christmas is approaching fast and most people have once again found themselves needing to hurry up and get their shopping done. I keep leaving comments along the lines of yeah, me too but it sort of hit me today that Christmas is only 11 days away. Guess how much of my shopping I've done???? I have about 3 gifts which I bought the day after thanksgiving, and so far that's it. I seriously need to get going! I think maybe I'll leave the shopping up to Todd this year. It would be interesting to see what he would pick out for everyone.

Other good news is that in the one week since Anthony was born I have lost 21 pounds! Now I really wish I'd done a better job of controlling my weight gain. If I'd only gained the ideal 25 pounds I'd be so close. Instead I still have 15 more to go. Yes I gained a whopping 36 pounds. Now if only I could lose another 20 pounds this next week.... I know that isn't going to happen, but wouldn't it be nice.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Swaddling blanket saves the night

I'm convinced people who use the phrase "slept like a baby" don't have babies. I was one of those people and caught myself saying that very phrase the other day. No, not in reference to myself (haha) but my dog Brewster who seems to be the only one getting good sleep at our house. Todd corrected me and said that phrase has new meaning and isn't really relevant in the context I was using it. I had to agree. Although last night was our best night yet, only had to get up twice in the night! And as a bonus Anthony slept in his bassinet for most of the night. I think it has something to do with his new swaddling blanket. Yesterday we went to a baby store to pick up my new rocking chair and I was asking the lady at the store what I could buy that would make my baby like his bassinet. I was thinking along the lines of a little vibrating pad to put under the mattress since he likes his bouncer/vibrator seat so much. Apparently they don't make such a thing, but she suggested a swaddling blanket made for swaddling. I was skeptical that it could swaddle my baby any better than the blankets I already have, but I was willing to try. It was after all a cute blanket. Before putting Anthony to bed last night I swaddled him up real tight and put him in his bassinet. To my surprise he stayed asleep in it. After he woke up the second time during the night his swaddle blanket was wet so I had to put him in a different blanket and he would not stay asleep in the bassinet, so after 2 tries I gave up and brought him in bed with me. I'm convinced the swaddle blanket is magic and worth every $22 I paid for it. Now I may just have to go and get me another one as a back up.

Since my nights have been somewhat sleepless and we have been on the go everyday, I am not getting naps during the day I am starting to feel the fatigue. Today I decided I was going to stay home all day and sleep whenever I get the chance. I got one good nap in already today, and it was so nice. I'm enjoying just staying home and cuddling with my baby.

P.S. Guess who got a haircut? I will post about that later tonight when I get an after picture, baby permitting.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What we've been up to

This is my sleeping little boy, seems like the only time he sleeps is when I want to take his picture. Actually he is a good sleeper during the day. The problem is at night. That seems to be when he wants to be awake. I've been given advice by many to not let him sleep in bed with me, but I haven't been very successful with that. He doesn't seem to like his bassinet too much, and when it's 2am, it's just so much easier to put him in bed with me so he will sleep rather than keep trying to rock him to sleep and then put him in his bassinet again. I did manage to get him to take a nap in it yesterday, and then last night he slept a few hours in it, but otherwise he's been in bed with mom, dad and Brewster. Good thing we have a king size bed. I have not been as fortunate as the baby to get daytime naps, it seems that whenever he is asleep I have a ton of things I need/want to do and so I stay up all day. So far I am handling the lack of sleep fairly well, at least according to me, Todd might think differently if you ask him. But he is patient and being a good dad, helping as much as he can with the baby and doing housework and laundry. My sister Francie has been over every night since we've been home to cook us dinner and clean the kitchen before she goes home. We are very lucky to have so much help. His first nap in the bassinet.
On other baby news, we have discovered that the simple life as we once knew it is over, everything is so much more complicated and takes so much longer. We had to take Anthony for his first doctors appointment yesterday and it took 3 hours just to get ourselves ready, the baby fed, washed, dressed, diaper changed*, diaper bag packed, and out the door. We've really got to try and work on our time, today we went out again and it still took 3 hours. I was never much of a morning person, and for sure now am not, the earliest we've been out of the house so far is 10:45.
Anthony has mildly high bilirubin levels, so we have had to take him for blood work 2 days in a row, we got the results back today and they are finally leveling off, so we don't have to keep checking them thankfully, his poor little feet are so bruised from being poked for blood. I guess if there's any good to the high bilirubin levels it's that it gives him a nice tan complexion which is good for pictures. Anthony is getting his first professional pictures taken tomorrow.
*diaper changing is apparently a skill that I have not perfected yet. Todd, Anthony, clothes, walls, and changing pad covers have all been peed on a few times. I have been the lucky one so far (except that I have to clean up the mess and wash all the wet stuff).

Thanks for all the visits!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Which would you rather?

5 years ago I got the crazy idea to run a marathon. Actually my sister Rachael was the one who got me started running. We started with a 10K and worked our way up to a marathon. I loved running, and really enjoyed the races. That is until I ran the full 26.2 San Diego marathon. When I finished I vowed I would never ever do that again. Rachael actually enjoyed it and said she would like to do it again, but she is crazy. I felt so terrible during the race and for days after that I was sure and still am sure than marathons are not for me. My feet were achy and puffy and every muscle in my body ached for days. It was an experience of a lifetime, one I am glad I did, but will NEVER, I repeat NEVER do again. Why am I telling you this??? Because I felt the same way during labor, the hard pushing part of labor that is. I told Todd he is lucky he got his boy first, because it was the only child we were ever having. Me saying that must have triggered Rachael's memory of my vow to never run a marathon again. So in the midst of labor (when I thought I was dying it was so awful) she asked me if I'd rather do this or run a marathon. Honestly, I could not answer that question. And I did think about it, but I just didn't know which was worse. And now 2 days later, my whole body aches (some parts worse than others) and my feet are swollen and puffy to the point where I can't even wear my shoes, nor can I see my ankle bones, I'm still fat and look pregnant, but I think I can finally easily answer the question now. After the marathon all I got was a t shirt which I don't even wear, and a metal which I don't even know where it is. But after labor, this is what I got, and he is perfect and worth every bit of the terrible misery it took to get him here.

December 7

"A date which will live in infamy," Franklin D. Roosevelt. Now has a new meaning for us as well.
While it was a very long day, and I will spare some of the details, but here is a run down of the day. And just so you know, I have been trying to post this all day long, but caring for a newborn baby is much more time consuming than I thought. I only got a few hours of sleep last night (our first night at home) and was so busy with the baby this morning that I never got around to breakfast, and didn't get lunch till 2. Thankfully my sister Francie came over and went grocery shopping for us and made us some soup for dinner tonight. I have so much more to say and so many more pictures to post, but if I don't publish this now, I may not get another chance today.

Self portrait taken just before leaving for the hospital at 8am, December 7, 2007

Just getting started...

Doing a little blog reading while Todd eats my breakfast.

They wouldn't let me eat all day! By 11am, I was really starting to regret not eating breakfast before I left.

Under the advice of my sister, I put some makeup on when we found out it was very close to push time.

The calm before the storm...

My sisters - Francie, my photographer and fanner and
Rachael, my labor coach.

9:32pm, after a very long hour and 20 minutes, our baby was born.

7lbs 14 oz
20 1/2 inches long
Anthony Russell C*******

First family photo

Our sweet baby boy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Live Blogging

Here's a live blogging labor update:

Labor SUCKS.

2 epidurals later...

It sucks a little less.


Today's the day! (hopefully)

There is something kind of nice about scheduling labor. Yesterday I was able to get quit a few things done that needed to be done before the baby comes. The laundry is done, the house is clean, my bag is packed (although I have no idea what to pack, I probably brought all the wrong stuff) and I even managed to take a long nap. I also decided yesterday that I should figure out how to install the car seat in the car, I didn't think that waiting until it was time to take the baby home would be the best time to try and figure it out. Surprisingly it was quite difficult. I have a police officer friend (being an ER nurse you tend to make friends with the local cops, since they're always stopping by the ER for some reason or another) who offered to help me install it. She claims 9 out of 10 people install their car seat incorrectly, but I didn't think I would be one of the 90%, so I gave it a try myself yesterday afternoon. Turns out, it's harder than I thought, and I ended up driving over to meet her at work so she could show me how to do it. Come to find out, the car seat I selected and my car are not compatible. Todd says it's because I have a German car and the car seat was made in Italy. I found his reason funny since he is half German and half Italian. Regardless, I am not willing to part with my car or my car seat, so I must find a way to make it work. The problem is the shoulder strap is supposed to go around the entire car seat and the strap is not long enough to easily reach around. I think I can make it work, but it will have to re-strap the base and seat every time. So much for click and go.

Anyway, today is the day, because I said so. Were heading to the hospital here shortly, hopefully I will have some good news soon, though I'm expecting it to be a very long day. I'm guessing one of my sisters Rachael or Francie will post about the baby before I do, so you may want to check their blogs later tonight for updates and/or pictures.

Okay, so I woke up at 6an this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. I was supposed to call the hospital at 7 to make sure they aren't too busy for me to come in. I wrote this post while killing time with the intention of publishing it just before leaving. I was very calm and fine. Now it's 7am and I just called the hospital and they said to come on in. Okay, now I suddenly have that funny feeling in my stomach I get when I'm nervous or scared! I guess I better sign off and get ready!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Decemeber 5, 2005

Here is a picture from our wedding 2 years ago in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I was trying to find a picture yesterday, but none of my pictures from the wedding are on my computer, and I don't have a scanner. I was reading Rachaels blog (for some reason I'm having 4am insomnia) and realized she had posted this picture on her blog. December 5th (2006) is also happens to be a special day for her as well, it's the first day she met her daughter Katya in the orphanage in St. Petersberg, Russia. By the way, Todd is already trying to retract his anniversary gift to me to cut his hair. Last night when I reminded him that he promised to cut it before the baby comes home from the hospital, he claimed he never said hospital. He just said before he comes home, meaning home from school one day! I am not letting him get away with this. Everyone else in the family (mine and his) must help me hold him to his promise.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Time is up!

Today was supposed to be the day, but seeing as it's getting close to 7pm, I am beginning to doubt that anything will happen tonight. When I went in for my doctors appointment today I decided that if the baby doesn't present himself on his own free will by Friday, then I am going to be induced. I just don't want to wait any longer. I was only planning on taking 6 weeks off work, and seeing as I've already wasted a week of that, I see no point in waiting much longer. Plus Friday is sort of convenient for everyone. My sister Natalie will be in town for the weekend, my sister Rachael is off work, as is my sister Francie, and my sister-in-law Lisa is going to Aruba on Sunday and she would like to see him too before she leaves.
Oh, and I got my push present early. Todd decided I should pick it out myself, so this afternoon we went to the jewelry store and this is what I picked. And no it's not a combo Anniversary present/push present, my anniversary present is that Todd agreed to cut his hair before the baby comes home from the hospital. This may not sound like much of a gift, but it was my idea and trust me there's nothing I want more. And now that it's in print, he can't take it back! (Haha)
Oh, by the way, Todd rarely reads my blog, I think he reads my sisters blogs more than mine, but of all times for him to read it, he read yesterdays post about the push present! I guess it worked out in my favor this time.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One more day

Well tomorrow is the due date! So I can officially start to become impatient. December 5th also happens to be my anniversary! 2 years ago tomorrow Todd and I got married on the beach in Jamaica. We planned a destination wedding because of Todd's work. He only has free time in the winter, and so he wanted a winter wedding. This is also happens to be why we planned the birth of our child to occur in the winter, (I try to accommodate whenever I can). I refused (okay, preferred not) to get married in the cold. So we compromised and had a nice warm wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica with about 30 family members and friends. Followed by a week in Negril. Such good times and good memories from that trip.
I was hoping to not have to share my anniversary with my baby's birthday, but at this point, I don't care. We can share special days and he can come tomorrow. I keep asking Todd what he is going to get me for our anniversary, and he says he is giving me a baby, but I keep telling him that is my gift to him. I mean clearly I have to do all (okay, 99%) of the work to get him here. Plus my sister Rachael was telling me this weekend about the push present. The push present is the new gift giving trend in which the father buys the mother a gift to commemorates the birth of their baby. I'm so glad she told me about it, I made sure Todd was aware of the push present too. So even if he tries to use the whole baby thing as the anniversary gift, he still has the push present which I am fully expecting to get.

Mouse Hunt

I wont be sleeping well tonight, there is a mouse on the loose in our house. We have been chasing it around for the past 2 hours and we think it is in our bedroom, but really not sure. We set 4 traps upstairs and will be sleeping in the basement. I hope we wake up in the morning to find it caught in the trap! I found out tonight that my husband is apparently as afraid of mice as I am. It was quite a circus with the two of us running around scared trying to find it. Our dog Brewster had the common sense to stay downstairs.
Any one have a cat that can catch mice? If so, can we borrow it for a day or two?

UPDATE: Well the good news is we caught the mouse, or should I say mice, there were 2 of them. This is so gross, I wonder how long they've been there and where all have they been. I'm hoping not long, there was minimal evidence of droppings found, but we did find some in the linen closet and our bedroom closet, so does this mean we have to wash everything, or do they stay low on the ground?
The other good news is our closet is now clean, which I've been meaning to do for a long time but haven't gotten around to it. Nothing like finding a mouse in your closet to motivate you. We also now have a large donation of clothes to give to the GoodWill. So I guess something good came out of all of this.
I think just to be on the safe side, we will leave traps set and sleep in the basement again tonight.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree

Yesterday Todd and I went with my sister Rachael and her whole family to go cut down our own Christmas trees. The only thing was it was raining on and off all day. We waited till the rain had stopped to go, but by the time we all (4 adults and 4 kids) got to the tree farm, it had started raining again, and the ground had turned to mud. But we were determined to get our trees, which we did. Last night I attempted to put the lights on it, but I started with the wrong end of the cord so I couldn't plug them in from the bottom of the tree, and I ran out of lights before I finished. So today I had to take the lights all off and start over. What a drag, since that is my least favorite part of decorating the tree. I think I made the same mistake last year. When will I ever learn?
Anyway, today I finished decorating the tree and the rest of the house, and now it feels more like Christmas. By the way, the tree is not crooked, I think the camera was when I took the picture.

As far as baby news, I think I might go crazy if this baby doesn't come soon. Yes I know, I am getting a bit obsessed about the whole thing, but now that I have been off work for 4 days I am starting to get impatient. I actually called work today to see if they were short staffed. I secretly hoped they weren't but at the same time, I thought it might give me something to do other than sit around and wait. Turned out they didn't need help. I'm still undecided if I'm happy about that or not.
I keep thinking everyday will be the day, and everyday it's not! Whenever I feel a twinge in my stomach I think, oh, is this a sign? but no, it's just the baby kicking me. I guess I should just be a bit more patient, I am still 2 days away from my due date.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Zip, zero, nada!

Just to let everyone know, nothing remotely close to labor has occurred thus far. It's a nasty icy, snow storm outside so I have stayed home all day and lounged around doing a whole lot of nothing. Tonight we're going out to dinner and if I can talk Todd into it, a late movie. I've been wanting to see Dan in real life. I figure this may be my last chance to get out and do something fun before the baby comes.