Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween quickie

That title sounds dirty, but it's not.  My house is, though.  I have been without my husband since Sunday morning, so not much has been going on but baby-pacifying and staying-alive stuff.  Our Maytag Bravos washing machine (4 years old and $800 when we bought it) is completely broken and I'm about as irritated as it gets.  Also, swimming in dirty laundry.  Because I don't have to time to do Meryl and Chris' trip to our house justice in the form of a proper post right now, I thought I'd share a few pics of my Halloween instead.  Sunday was our trick or treat.  
My bro dressed as Captain America, Ashford was a Sea Turtle!  
He didn't much like the headpiece, but he loved to 'flap his wings,' which I believe were supposed to be the turtle feet.  They didn't much look like feet.  It was cute. 
When you spend $40 on a Pottery Barn baby costume (thanks, mom!) you kind of want them to wear it for a while, right?  
We kept it on him as long as we could, but it ultimately got all uh, moist from his drool and so that was that.  
Captain America....the kids LOVED this!  They could see him all the way down the street and were so excited to get to our house.  He was hiding a beer behind his shield.  I didn't actually hide mine, now that I think about it.  Oh well, I'll be known as the heavy drinker of Russet Street.
This is the only halfway decent picture of me and baby, this kid did not smile for a picture all day!  
Maybe I will dress him in the costume for Thanksgiving and try the photos again.  Wasn't there a story about a Thanksgiving turtle?  If not, there should be.  
PS - have you guys tried picmonkey?  I'm obsessed with the 'Dusk' effect!  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Renovation Roadtrip! (AKA: We love Meryl and Chris)

Shaun and I got a real treat yesterday at 6pm when the amazing, handy, and incredibly likeable Meryl and Chris from Picardy Project brought their Renovation Roadtrip to our door.  Meryl instantly hugged me and then carried Ashford all over the house, and I didn't even get a picture of it.  I also didn't make her change his diaper like I promised, but he didn't poop while they were here, so what was the point?  People, these two are so cool.  They have all these fabulous tools and are really good at life.  Do you need a drill bit?  Covered. 
How about an extra long bit that fits in weird places?  They have that. 
Do you need someone, read directions?  Got it.  
Do you want someone to lay on your kitchen floor and use fancy tools on your cabinet toe-kick?  Done.  
Do you have outlets and switches that have needed switch plate covers for say, 9 months?  They are on it!
I cannot express how much fun we had and what a delight it was to have these two in our home for almost 24 hours.  I will be sharing our projects soon, but in the meantime, here is a group shot where it's apparent I am glowing from having my baby at grandma's for the day getting lots of annoying projects done.  I even stuck my foot in the air with glee!
Stay tuned for all the details!

Monday, October 15, 2012

4 months and life's better

I swear my baby reads my blog.  Last week I was about to run screaming into Lake Michigan, and this week he is doing better.  I can't tell you how much I loved reading all your awesome comments, and the advice is appreciated.  Of course I know the main reason I'm doing so well this gorgeous, capable husband was here with me to help in the mornings.  
It is night and day when he's here.  Ashford spent most of his 4 month photo shoot eating the bear, sucking his hands, and drooling all over, but I somehow got the best pictures yet - the light from the window was perfect that day!  Here he is, with some commentary on how he's doing.
At his 4 month check up, he measured 14.6 pounds (pretty average) and a whopping 26.25 inches long - almost 90% percentile for length!  His head is a little peanut, 10th percentile.  I hope that doesn't mean his brain is tiny.  He also dazzled the nurses and his pediatrician with his baby situp, pushup, and standing skills. 
He's now sticking his feet in his mouth, and trying to grab items he never noticed before.  He's been sleeping about 7-8 hours a night when we first put him down, and usually goes back to sleep after a feeding.  Once 5am rolls around, though, there isn't much hope for more sleep.  
We are still struggling with naps, but he is starting to sleep longer for us during the day.  About 45 min - 1 hr is average, twice a day.  Still no scheduled times, though.  And getting him down is a fully orchestrated production involving boobies, swaddlers, pacis, lullaby cds, white noise machines, and prayers.  Especially that my old knees won't crack.  They seriously sound like a gunshot when I try to tiptoe out.  
For everyone that commented on the pumping fiascos - I can't leave my pump at work, or even ready my bag the night before, because I use the pump in the morning before I leave.  Even after nursing, I usually get out a good-sized bottle before work.  I also have the bottle ice pack in the freezer - which I have never forgotten for some reason.  I did start stashing extra bottles and lids at work, though.   
Even though some issues are better, we still have a very needy baby on our hands, which is seriously exhausting.  And we can't party anymore.  We went out last night for the first time in months and the price for coming home at 2am was a 3am baby wakeup followed by insane fussiness...what a nightmare.  I think he feels bad, though.  I won't make that mistake again.    
We're all just trying to keep our cool.  You know?
Have a great week, friends!  I hope we do.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Survival mode

That is what I’m in right now. At least, I think you could classify my day-to-day as surviving. I’m alive in the technical sense, but not so much in the ‘I feel so ALIVE!’ sense.
(Since this post is kind of a bitchfest, I’m peppering in some cute pictures of my baby to prove that no matter what I say, I love him and am so happy he is in my life. Yes, I prove my love with the amount of pictures I take.) 
About 4 hours after I returned to work from maternity leave, my baby decided to go from being a loving, sweet, smiley, sleepy bundle of goodness to a raging, screaming, clinging, no-sleeping, angry fussball. And he has pretty much been that way for the last 5 weeks. 
Ever since he was born, I’ve been very chill about crying fits, fussiness, messes, whatever Ash could throw at me. Until I went back to work and didn’t have the ability to just hang at home during the day anymore. Now, sleep matters. Now, I have to do all the same amounts of crap in a couple hours after work while trying to breastfeed a fussy baby. Now, I have to prepare my pumping bag, pick out a business-casual outfit that actually fits on my (still 10 pounds heavier) bod, shower, do my hair, etc etc.  Holy heck, PUMPING. I cannot tell you how many days I got to work and realized I forgot my bottles. Or the stupid LIDS. I’ve pumped into a red solo cup in the mother’s room. I’ve taped paper over the bottle top to hold me over until I could run home at lunch to grab the lids. It’s been a complete nightmare, regardless of whether I prepare the night before or the morning of. I’m constantly late to work, even on days that Ash wakes up at 4am with no hope of going back to sleep. Yes, I am up since 4am and I am STILL late to work. Does someone want to explain that to me? 
I feel like I need a time-management coach to follow me around all day and tell me what I’m doing wrong. Maybe it’s the fact that I wander from room to room, never quite remembering why I am there...what was I doing, again? What am I supposed to grab in here?  Do I have pants on?  Do I have boobie pads in my bra?  Did I almost brush my teeth with Neosporin? {YES, this happened} This is my morning, and half the time all these thoughts are going through my head while I’m listening to Ash cry.  Many mornings I have longed for my childless days and have tried to stop myself from yelling in his little red face.  All that translates into a terrible day that I'm just trying to get through.  This is not living, in my opinion.  
Shaun is traveling a lot, so there are many mornings that I am doing everything myself. Sometimes everything is cake and I’m able to get baby changed, dressed, and in his Baby Bjorn seat by 7:30.  If nothing goes wrong, I’m able to get out the door to daycare by 7:40, through the Dunkin drive-thru for a treat of iced coffee, and triumphantly arrive at work on time - which for me, means 8:03 or earlier.  But most of the time, I'm so exhausted in the morning that I'm late getting up, I can’t find my keys (they are in my purse or the door, usually), and I can't find my purse.  Sometimes I put my keys in my purse and then wander around the house for 5 minutes looking for my purse.  I'm TIRED.  Again, this is not living. 
Ash has become a bad sleeper.  We’ve tried a dark room, fan (it’s pretty loud and I’ve noticed he does sleep longer with it on), humidifier, swaddling, not swaddling, half-swaddling, pacifier, holding his hands down, rocking, shushing, all of it. All of them have helped to put him to sleep, but he doesn't stay asleep consistently. He doesn’t like being on his tummy, I always find him on one side or the other.  Up until last week, he was waking up every couple hours.  Right now he's going down between 8-9pm, waking up anywhere between 2-4, and then sleeping again until 5:30-6:30.  He takes two long naps at daycare.  We really can't get him to nap for long periods here.  The kid is exhausting....but I am happy to see that his sleeping patterns are getting better.  When he sleeps from 8-4, that's great.  I can't really complain about one night feeding per night, he is only 4 months old.  I do wish he was less fussy while awake, but I guess this will pass.  So now, the good stuff...
Ashford holds teethers, toys, my hair, blankets, and everything else tightly - and brings them all into his mouth.  He even grabs his paci and pops it back into his mouth when he knocks it out.  Yeah!  He can now roll over back to front, and front to back...which I think is just awesome.  He can push his whole chest off the ground while on his belly, even though he is fussing because he doesn't like being in that position.  He can support so much of his weight on his legs.  When we help him stand, we are barely holding his little hands.  He is making wet raspberry noises and trying to stick his tongue out, spitting everywhere.  It is the cutest thing.  He will mimic you if you make a noise, which is also THE CUTEST THING.  His 4 month appt is Monday, I'm looking forward to seeing how much he weighs, because LOOK AT THOSE CANKLES, PEOPLE!  Now if you will excuse me, I have to go to bed because this dude will be up in no time.  
Thanks for listening to my rambling, I appreciate any stories you want to share with me about your own baby woes!