Month 1

One Month Old (Belated)

Family Self-Portrait

Family Self-Portrait

It’s really, really hard to type with one hand! That’s one thing I’ve learned having a small baby in the house. I need to use the laptop if I want to add more than one picture to a post, and I find I have limited time to do that. I started this post last week but didn’t get to finish it until today.

Last Thursday, Daniel turned one month old (he’s 5 weeks old as of Tuesday)! He celebrated by a visit to the pediatrician for his one-month check up. He now weighs 8 pounds 5 ounces, an increase of almost 2 pounds over his birth weight! He is about 21 inches long, but that is more of an estimate since it is hard to measure the length of a wriggly baby who doesn’t want to relax! The doctor said he should be eating between 4-5 ounces per feeding, but he isn’t. He eats around 3 to 3.5 ounces per feeding. I’m trying not to sweat it. After all, he is gaining weight, correct? And I prefer to let him dictate how much he eats. Cutie pie still fits into newborn clothes, of which we don’t have many. I put him in a 0-3 month onesie, and it hung on him, so it will likely be a little longer before he can wear his other outfits.

We’ve had a great first month with him. So far, knock on wood, he is a pretty easy baby. He has started becoming rather fussy in the afternoons as of last week, so I’ve been rereading the soothing techniques from the Happiest Baby on the Block book. Fortunately, we have been major advocates of swaddling since day 1, and that helps a lot. All in all, though, if he’s going to be fussy, I’d rather him be fussy during the day and not at night! He’s still waking up to eat every 3 hours at night after a four-hour sleep stretch, but he goes back to sleep pretty easily, which is fabulous.

Happily, we haven’t holed up in the house for the last 5 weeks. He has been to the library, Target, the grocery store and to a coworker’s shower about 45 minutes away. I also took him to work last week to meet my coworkers. He was passed around and adored 🙂

daniel_daddy_0630[J and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment with him. Father’s Day rolled around when he was 2.5 weeks old, and it was such a special day for us. Daniel and daddy cuddled all day. We’d always celebrated being cat parents, but it was extra special being able to celebrate Father’s Day with our baby at last. Fourth of July rolled around last weekend, and we had a small, simple party with my mother, stepfather, J’s mother and stepfather, and J’s grandparents. The 4th of July is one of J’s favorite holidays, and he really enjoyed being able to shoot off real fireworks this year with Daniel here. Daniel and I sat outside on the porch steps and watched, and he didn’t flinch once. I would be worried if his hearing hadn’t tested perfectly after birth!

I love seeing J’s face light up when he comes home and sees Daniel. I think Daniel is on the cusp of giving us a real smile. He may have bestowed one upon me yesterday when I read him a story, but I’m unsure. Maybe it was gas 🙂 Daniel has changed so much. He’s grabbing at more things, and he is so alert. I think we may have developed a bit of a routine. I’ve discovered he likes taking a late morning nap, and it’s usually his last one other than maybe a much shorter one in the afternoon until around early evening. He’s usually ready to go to bed around 10pm and then sleeps for 4 hours.

I started reading to him this week, and he really enjoys it! I’ve been worried that I have forever stunted his mental development because I haven’t done a lot with him yet, but the pediatrician assured me that right now, what matters most is cuddling him. That I can do and have done! I sing to him quite a bit. I’m a little disturbed at how maudlin some of the lyrics of lullabies are, so I modify them when I can.

He really is a sweetie, and I feel so fortunate to have him. I just marvel at his long fingers and toes and am happy that his cheeks have plumped out.

He is my baby boy, and I love him!

Daniel Wakes Up and Stinky Belly Buttons

The smile that eluded me most of the week!

The smile that eluded me most of the week!

Daniel woke up this week. Now, K, you might say. That’s ridiculous. He wakes up every day. Well, yes, of course he does (thank God!). What I mean is that the easy newborn sleep-all-the-time period has worn off. We had a pretty easy first two weeks. He ate, slept and pooped and peed. He was easy! Sometimes we had to wake him to eat and often, he fell asleep while eating. I knew in the back of my mind, though, that harder times were approaching. And the pediatrician kept warning us that once babies hit two weeks, they become fussier.

Let’s just say that Daniel continues to be on track developmentally 🙂 It’s been a bit of a rough week because first of all, J returned to work on Wednesday. It wasn’t like I hadn’t been alone with Daniel before, but there was always the knowledge that he would be back in a few hours. I had really enjoyed the last two weeks with J as well. It was a really special time, and it sort of felt like we were outside of reality, just cocooned in our house with the kitties and Daniel. But it had to end since we, alas, are not independently wealthy (lottery drawings are Wednesday and Saturday FYI). I hoped that J returning to work would also help us continue to develop a routine since someone would have a schedule to which to adhere.

A rare quiet moment

A rare quiet moment

[So, Wednesday, not only did J return to work but also Daniel chose that day–after being perfectly angelic the previous two days–to let me know that he was changing and had needs. Cue the incessant crying! He would nap in the morning in the Pack N Play but no longer in the afternoon until about 5pm when he would crash. I thought–hoped–it was just an one-time occurrence on Wednesday because of overstimulation but the pattern continued on Thursday and Friday with the meltdowns coming earlier in the day. Oy. After some frantic Googling (what would I do without my iPhone since I can type with one hand while the other holds a baby!), I realized that he was being normal and discovered that what he really wanted was to be held by his momma. That’s fine, and I’m happy to do that, carrying him from the bedroom to the living room as we watch one episode of Snapped or my fave, Law & Order, over and over. The problem is that I can’t put him down! If I put him down, he shrieks. He wants to be with me. That would be great if I had 3 or 4 arms so I could get some stuff down while holding him, but it’s hard when you have only one free arm.

Today I had to get out of the house, so I conquered my fear of the car seat and put him in the car. Today I introduced him to the public library and also to WalGreens. He slept in the car seat the entire time and was so quiet that I actually almost pulled over a few times to check on him. It was so great to get out of the house and to feel a little bit in control! As soon as it cools down a bit, I’m going to take him for walks in his stroller. I think we both will enjoy that. Right now he is enjoying his bouncy seat–thank goodness! He’s been eating more frequently the past few days, and I think he’s going through a growth spurt. It hurts me so much to hear him shriek, though, because I just want to make it better 😦

I love a hooded towel!

I love a hooded towel!

[My sweet boy has become stinky. And I don’t mean behaviorally! Literally stinky thanks to his belly button. His umbilical stump is–rotting?–nicely and giving off a very pungent odor. We noticed it on Monday or Tuesday and called the nurse after I Googled it and couldn’t decide if some odor was ok or a bad thing. The nurse said it was ok as long as he doesn’t have other signs of infection, which he doesn’t. But shooo-weeeee! He is stinky! We are religiously applying alcohol to the stump and it seems to separate more and more each day, but we are soooo ready for it to fall off. I can’t believe that Daniel is 17 days off and STILL has his stinky stump! We have family and friends coming over this weekend, and I feel like I need to make apologies for my baby boy’s smell. Hopefully by Monday it will be gone. I think the odor has invaded my nostrils because I seem to smell it everywhere. Ew!

Other than that, things are going well! I managed to start and finish a book this week, which was blissful. J and I ARE developing a routine, and I’m getting about 4 good consecutive hours of sleep until it is my shift, and then I sleep off and on for a few hours between feedings until about 9 or 10. That is nice. I’m pretty worn out today, though, as is J, who has been SO great making sure that I get a decent bit of sleep. I worry about whether he is getting enough sleep, but I figure that lack of sleep is just part of it right now.

Daniel meets Alley Cat, a precious item from my childhood!

Daniel meets Alley Cat, a precious item from my childhood!

I’m enjoying being at home. I made home-cooked meals twice this week, which was the first time in months due to the construction and school chaos. It was nice to cook again! J and I watch Mad Men, and I amused him by greeting him at the door yesterday with an Old Fashioned. Too bad I didn’t have an apron and dress with a crinoline LOL. It’s probably the lack of sleep and general feeling of delirium, but I even had thoughts of finally making pies this summer. A homemade berry pie with a hand-made crust. Pastry making isn’t necessarily my forte, but I haven’t really made a pie, so I’m sure that practice can only improve it.

And Daniel continues to change every day! His eyes are wide open and hopefully will stay blue like J’s. He continues to chub up, and we have congratulated ourselves that we have begun to decipher some of his cries. Oops, there he goes…Off to feed him!

Delirious

Outside on the porch, enjoying the sunshine

Outside on the porch, enjoying the sunshine

Daniel is …wait for it, I have to pause for a while to do the simple math necessary to come up with the correct number because I am so tired…10 days old today. He is growing and filling out and letting us know this by deciding not to go to sleep in the middle of the night after his early morning feeding. Oy. This morning was particularly rough. I have the second shift (roughly 3am – 9am), so I was asleep around 11. I awoke to Daniel’s distinctive cry around 2:45 as J was changing his diaper. I dozed back off. Daniel was still crying. J went to bed, but neither of us could sleep because Daniel was sort of wheezing. It sounded like he had a belt loose. We got up and decided to use the bulb syringe to extract what mucus we could find. Well, Daniel was not amused and screamed. After that he was awake. We fed him. Still awake. I rocked him. Still awake. I put him to bed. Five minutes later, crying. Rinse and repeat until around 7am. I fed him one last time and THEN he decides he’s tired enough to go to sleep. He proceeds to sleep like an angel while I give up and decide to get up because we are expecting a guest at 10am, and I will need all the time I can have to wake up. Cue the copious amounts of caffeine.

Despite last night or this morning rather, Daniel is still such a sweet boy. He changes every day. He seems to have a more pronounced or developed double chin. His knees seem a little chubbier. His face is filling out. I can tell his lungs are getting stronger based on his cries. He keeps his eyes open for longer periods, and he focuses on us when we are feeding him. Speaking of feeding, he is up to 2 ounces at every feeding–sometimes more–but consistently around 2 ounces. At last Friday’s appointment, he had lost an expected 6 ounces from his birthweight but as of Tuesday, he has gained all of that back and then some: he now weighs 6 pounds, 8 ounces!

We moved the Pack N Play into our bedroom on Tuesday so we could begin to develop a routine. I’m not sure how well the routine-setting is going, but it does help us to feel able to nap when he sleeps. There’s something about having him in the living room that makes us feel like we’re up when we’re here.

Suffering from hiccups.  Do I detect an obscene gesture?

Suffering from hiccups. Do I detect an obscene gesture?

We had several visitors today, including the mobile vet for the kitties. That’s always fun 😉 Tomorrow Daniel will meet another set of grandparents (he has 4 sets), which will be fun! Daniel has big feet and long toes and fingers, and I wonder if he’s going to be tall like my side of the family. We shall see!

Today I left the house by myself for the first time since June 1. I didn’t do anything exciting. I ran to get some lunch for me and J and to Walgreens to pick up some baby essentials. It felt really weird to be out of the house and without Daniel, though. I think I need to get out more. J needs to install the carseat base into my car before he returns to work next week, and then Daniel and I will need to be brave and explore. Honestly, driving with him doesn’t freak me out; mastering the many parts of the car seat does!

Pardon my rambling. I am fairly delirious with no sleep. I’m hoping to nap soon and majorly envy my little boy for being able to sleep as much as he does (though I wish more of it would happen between midnight and 6am!)