Sunday, October 28, 2012

Four Months

Month Four

This month was full of excitement! There were tons of firsts this month. This month also marked the end of my maternity leave.
This is exactly how I looked on my first
day of work.
It was time. As much as I hated the idea of leaving my love bug with someone else, I had a bad case of cabin fever. It was time.
We'll save the daycare talk for a whole separate post cause I could talk about that for a while. I will say that we found out that Howie is a huge flirt. We call all of the ladies that work at the daycare "Howie's ladies" because they are putty in his hands. Internet tip: don't google "putty in his hands." It's not what you want.

 Howie's Rundown

  • Howie finally got his sleeping back on track! Daycare wears him out so at the end of a long day he passes out pretty quickly for the whole night.
  • His "proceeding" hairline is starting to grow in. Finally. His little curls are growing in and they feel like velvet whiskers.
  • We had a roll over this month. The beginning of the end to our captive audience.
  • Feet are now in the picture and he has been trying to get them in his mouth for the entire month.
  • This month he has begun to notice his toys. Before they were just kind of around but now he is showing curiosity. He is also holding the toys in his hands and bringing them to his mouth.
  • Nurse Pannie is still waiting on him to take notice of her. She will wait patiently, and Leo is just waiting until there is a food mess for him to clean up.
  • Speaking of food messes - all the baby books say that four months is the time to start introducing solids. So we did. I blended up some peas and mixed them in with some breast milk and fed them to him. He  was interested but it wasn't the culinary revolution that I was hoping for. Two hours later he was floored with major stomach cramps and he screamed the whole time. All we could do was hold him and let him cry it out.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Three Months

And then there were smiles...


Howie's Rundown

  • There were a million smiles this month and they were all wonderful and even more expressions of W-T-F. He is my child.
  • More dates at the park.
  • First trips to the pool - I think it's obvious from his expression that he wasn't really feelin' it.
  • This month was a lot of fun.
  • July Fourth in Houston
  • Grandad water boarded Howie during his first babysitting gig. He was then rocked to sleep by Uncle J's ukulele and Uncle Chef's singing. It was literally three men and baby over there y'all.
  • Howie fell in love with the baby swing at Abuela's house which made us go out and buy one when we got back to Austin.
  • He discovered the mirror this month and he is loving it. 

Two Months


Remember everything I said about mastering the baby sleep? can just toss that out the window. Howie cried for 2 weeks straight. Every time he nursed he fell asleep and the moment we laid him down he let out a painful cry and woke up. We couldn't keep him asleep longer than five minutes at a time unless we were holding him against our chests. We went on like this for two whole weeks. It was so hard to watch him in pain. We tried so many different things to help soothe him. We thought it might be trapped gas, we wondered if it was the dreaded "C" word (colic), I worried that my mom juice was poisoning him, and then we wondered if maybe he just wanted to be held by us. So we held him. Everyday and nearly every night. We had to throw out the schedule because he wouldn't take naps; he threw up, and he cried. It was so difficult for us to sit by and watch him squirm in pain and not be able to do anything about it. Turns out he had acid reflux. One new inclined sleeper set, a trip to the doctor, and a prescription for baby zantac cleared it right up. It was like having a new baby, or rather our old baby back.

Howie's Rundown

  • Bath time becomes a father/son event. I love watching these two together. I can see every hope a father can have for a son in B's eyes everytime they lock eyes. It's beautiful.
  • Howie took his first road trip to Houston to visit my huge family. He was kissed and passed back and forth through the masses. And he didn't sleep.
  • We got a little cabin fever so we wrapped him up in layers upon layers and laid out at Zilker Park with the dogs. It was awesome. I imagined me as a baby and my parents laid out on blankets with me at the park. There are so many pictures of the three of us cuddled up in the sunshine taking in the breeze at Houston's Herman Park. I felt so blessed to carry on the tradition of sitting in the sun.
  • Mom resumed kickboxing workouts during the day. One of the benefits of being an instructor meant a key to the gym and the ability to workout in between classes when it was quiet. I took Howie with me to the gym, nursed him, put him to sleep on the mat and worked out for about 30 minutes or so before he woke up and told me to take him the f home. 
    Just like this.
     Except that Howie is a baby.
     And he's not white.
    And he wasn't this polite.

  • Howie didn't sleep this month. Did I mention that?
  • Public places do not scare him. Lots of outings; no meltdowns - for him. 


    Sunday, October 7, 2012

    Howie's First Month

    Our first month jkjk
    Hambug's first month flew by. Abuela stayed in Austin with us for a week to help out since I was recovering from surgery (and because this was my first baby and she didn't want me to shake him like a Polaroid picture), then B stayed home for about two weeks. So that was almost a full month right there. Abuela's help was invaluable during that first week home. B went back to work that week to catch up on some assignments, so it was Hambug, Abuela and I hanging out at home eating up my freezer meals. I ate a lot of soup this week and Abuela made a great salmon meal for us to devour while hovering around in utter exhaustion.


    Hambug was amazing. We just stared at him for the first few days. He pretty much just slept through the first two weeks. Everyone told me to sleep when the baby sleeps, and I didn't. I wanted to stay up and watch him sleep. I am now going to impart that bit of knowledge out to all you future moms - sleep when the baby sleeps. You'll do yourself a favor. The first month he still had his day's and nights mixed up and we were awake for hours in the middle of the night and took mini naps during the day as can be expected with a newborn. We did a lot of snuggling this month.
    lots of snuggling

     My sister in law gave us a book called "The Contented Baby" and it really helped me to understand the schedule of a newborn. The book helps parents to schedule feedings, exercise, and naps to get babies to sleep through the night faster. There are a lot of theories on why this is a good book and many on why it is ridiculous. For us, it was amazing. You can find your own path, but it really helped us. So, I fed him, bathed him, and put him to sleep on a schedule and it worked! He learned his nights and slept for a relatively long time at night. Once we got him on schedule he was taking about 4 naps during the day (i think) and his last feed for the night was around 10 pm and that sleep lasted until about 4 am (this is considered a long time in babyworld). We really thought we mastered the baby.
    Parents - 1, Sleep Deprivation - 0

    Recovering from Surgery

    Sooooo, things are gonna get real over here so if you are squeamish just look away. LOOK AWAY NOW! Now that we have those guys out of the way we can get down to the nitty gritty. I think it's  safe to assume that everyone knows I'm gross. I get a kick out of grossing people out. Luckily, I am accepted anyway. It might be another episode of "When keeping it real goes wrong" but we'll just have to find out.

    The hardest thing that I had to deal with in the hospital was the first step out of bed. That was a doozy. By the second evening after the surgery the nurses took out my catheter (sexy, I know) and I had to walk to the restroom on my own. That first time I tried to support my full body weight on my tiny little feet (which was a losing war from the jump because my body weight to feet size ratio was JACKED!) was painful. I felt shocks run up my abdominal muscles and they cried out "die now. go lay down and die." Even my muscles are dramatic. I didn't feel the incision too much, but my muscles were just all wobbly and they didn't know how to function anymore so that was wack. I took the second step and it was a little easier, but it was still very painful to stand up straight. So I didn't. I just hobbled my silly, fat butt over to the restroom by myself. I tried to use the restroom..and I distinctly remember hearing crickets. There was no urine to be found. My body was releasing fluids like crazy when I had my catheter (can we just say that they are heaven and hell all rolled into one little tube) and I was shedding all the fluid my body was clinging to. But when I tried to use the restroom, nothing. It was a mind thing. I was so afraid of the pain that I just hobbled back to bed. Eventually a nurse showed me a trick of just pushing on the side of my stomach and it came right on out much like a squirt bottle. By that evening my mom had me walking the hallways around the hospital. She made sure I stood up tall and straight and that I took it very slow. Thanks for that mom.

    From there the usual suspects showed up: ghastly amounts of blood, enough gas to heat a hot air balloon, and lack of energy. The most pain I encountered post-delivery was gas and pooping, and stomach cramping. (I told your ass to look away) I ended up having to go back to the hospital that first week because that kolache (THAT ONE) came back to ruin my life. There was lots of stomach cramping and pain associated with that. We went to Ikea like the second week so I could find a reclining chair to nurse in. That was fun.


    We stayed in the hospital about four days and it was great. The hospital we delivered at was really great. The staff was fantastic, the nurses were a blessing and the room - was the shit. We had a coffee maker, a microwave, a sofa bed, and a mini-fridge. The evening nurses would hoard bags of snacks for us before the kitchen closed (or the sneaky staff ate them all). We had fresh peanut butter, sandwiches, fruit, fresh juice all stockpiled in the mini-fridge so that we could snack in the middle of the night when Hambug woke up to nurse.

    Breastfeeding was hard at first. I won't tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do. Do what you want, do what you can. B and I were committed to breastfeeding exclusively. We went to a class while I was pregnant that answered a lot of questions that I had and it gave us a realistic picture of what to expect. If you are pregnant and thinking about breastfeeding I strongly encourage you to take a class at your hospital or through La Leche League or somewhere similar. My hospital was very encouraging to all new moms when it came to breastfeeding. They would not give him any bottles the entire time we were in the hospital unless we instructed them to or if there was a medical need for it. Luckily he is MY child and he latched on right away. This kid wasn't gonna miss a meal.

    I started eating oatmeal every morning during the entire last month of pregnancy to aide in milk production. My milk came in probably my last day in the hospital. Before that it was all colostrum. You can read about all that somewhere else. The hard part was nursing through the pain and exhaustion. It is a little painful at the beginning while my nipples toughened up. They were sore, but it all comes down to technique. The correct latch is not painful. It took a while for us to get through it painlessly.

    Words cannot describe the awesomeness of breastfeeding for me. I was tired, sure but all I had to do was look down at this little tiny body that we made from scratch and it was all worth it. B helped out immensely by waking up each time Hambug woke up. He changed his diaper then brought him over to me so that I could nurse. B would go back to sleep while I nursed and it really turned into our special time. I held him close and whispered all the special words a mom gives her new baby. Words really cannot express how beautiful this time is for us. It is still beautiful. Everyday.

    Hambug's Rundown

    • Whenever he got fussy B and I sang to him and he would calm down to listen. It got to a point when we were communicating via song to keep him from spazzing out. Imagine the Sound of Music minus the talent.
    • He was fascinated by hands. The itsy bitsy spider is the greatest thing ever.
    • Cutest lip ever
    • Hambug is actually Pancake's baby. She sleeps under his crib and will not leave any room that he is in. She follows him everywhere, and when he cries she whines. We now call her Nurse Pannie. When we ask Nurse Pannie "where is your baby" she panics and goes to search for him.
    Nurse Pannie


    *** I promise all of my posts wont be this long ***