Friday, March 30, 2012

Belly Laughs and Smizing

Holy Cow, Rory and I made each other laugh so hard yesterday that we cried!

Rory laughs a ton but this was by far the hardest I have ever heard her laugh, and in turn the hardest I have laughed with her.  It was one of those deep belly laughs, the ones that make tears roll down your face. (As a side note, my only lasting side-effect of my pregnancy is that I now produce tears more easily when I laugh. Weird right?)

She was getting ready to eat her oatmeal and green beans and she was hanging out in her high chair playing with some toys banging on the tray.  I decided to imitate her and bang on the tray just like her.  She thought it was hilarious.  I tried to capture it on video but I was too late.  Wow, she is such a fun baby!

For anyone who has ever watched even a minute of America's Next Top Model you have heard Tyra use the term smizing.  Smiling with your eyes.  Well, at 6 months old... Rory has got this down!  Even after the belly laughs stopped and her mouth was full of green beans she was smizing!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Back to the Doctor

Well, things have been quite crazy around here.  I thought Rors was getting over her cold but instead it had moved into her chest.  Monday night she was coughing a ton and I thought that it sounded pretty bad but she only woke up once overnight and was eating fine so I didn't think much of it.

But Tuesday I got a phone call from daycare that she was coughing so hard that she made herself throwup twice.  How awful.  Apparently she was in the swing and threw up all over herself.  Good thing she is only 6 months old, because man would that be embarassing.

So I didn't want to worry all night so I just took her into the doctor to be on the safe side.  They gave her a nebulizer treatment and it seemed to help so they sent us home with a nebulizer.  Poor little girl.  She screams for the first minute or so and then calms down and I actually think she likes it.  We have to give her treatments as needed for up to 14 days until her cough and chest congestion go away.  She just can't catch a break.  She has literally been sick since she started school on January 3rd.  I can't wait for her to experience what its like to not be coughing or sneezing or having a runny nose.  And it will be nice to one day put away the aspirator and the boogie wipes.

I can't beleive I am posting this photo because she looks so miserable (I don't look so happy myself), but this is Rory just starting a nebulizer treatment.

I by no means want to make Tim feel bad for being out of town but this is definitley one of those things that is better tackled by two parents.  Also, he is the more rational one of the two of us and could have talked me out of being upset from the getgo.  Thankfully, I have a sister-in-law that knows everything about nebulizers and made me feel much better about the whole process.  It does get easier each time we do it and since it makes her feel better and will help her get better faster its worth it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Loni Visits!

We had such a fun weekend with Loni!  She came to keep me company and help me out since Tim would be out of town.  And of course see me and Rory!  It felt like we did a ton, here are some highlights in no particular order:

1) Walked around MOA for a couple hours, when we were ready to leave because we were overwhelmed with all of the people it took us 30 minutes to figure out how to get out.  Having a stroller makes things a lot more difficult.
2) Ate artichoke and bread for dinner Saturday night
3) Ate green beans and bread for dinner Sunday night
4) Made awful cupcakes.  Lesson learned that softening the butter vs melting the butter is important!  They were so dense.  We did make half vanilla with Nutella frosting and half raspberry with lemon frosting.  Good ideas but just need to be tweaked to make them taste better.

5) Made Rory laugh a lot!
6) Went to paint a plate in Edina and painted stuff.  So excited to pick it up!

7) Comforted Rory a lot.  She was quite crabby since she was sick.
8) Wiped off a lot of boogers.
9) Had a great lunch at Mozza Mia.  Love the mozarella tasting there!
10) Bought Rory a bunch of cute summer clothes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Not so little anymore!

Today was Rory's 6 month check up!  She went in to her check up with a nasty cold - fever, stuffy nose and cough but they were still able to check her out and give her all of her shots.

When they gave her the 2 shots in the thigh, she did the scary silent crying thing where she stops breathing for a second. 

I think I picked her up too fast when this happened because when I picked her up she was limp in my arms.  The nurse told me to breath into her mouth so that she doesn't pass out.  As soon as she said this Rory caught her breath.  She didn't pass out and recovered quickly.  It totally freaked me out though.  The nurse said that they have babies pass out because of the silent screaming thing.  Whoa, scary!

I like our doctor more everytime we see her.  She is young and pretty and very nice.  She remember us, or at least pretends too, which is important to me.  Although I know Rory is doing great, its always great to hear it from a professional.  She told me to baby proof now, lower Rory's crib now and that if Rory rolls over in the middle of the night to let her sleep on her tummy (which I was, but great to hear).  She said we can start trying to phase out the overnight bottle (yes!).  And the thing that astounded me the most was that she said we can start trying puffs in about a month!  Wow, puffs... thats for big babies, not my little Rory.

Rory has grown so much.  Rory was born 3 weeks, 1 day and 15 minutes early.  She seemed pretty tiny when she was born, although she was 6lbs 8oz which I think is pretty normal even at full term.  (I do still wonder how big she would have been at full term - 8lbs?) 

She did drop some weight at the hospital and left at about 6lbs.  I think what made her look so small is that she had a tiny little head.  It was 12 3/4 inches which is in the 5th percentile.  She earned the standard tiny baby nickname...little peanut.

She wore newborn clothes well past the first month, she wore 0-3 months past 4 months.  The first size that she has moved up on time is 3-6 months.  She is just a week over 6 months and I am having to retire most of her 3-6 month sizes!  Its really exciting.

Today at her 6 month appointment Dr. Shaefer said she has officially overcome the 3+ weeks that she was early!  Really exciting!

So I don't really care if Rory is big or small or tall or short.  I only care that she is healthy and that she is Rory!  But I am posting her 6 month check up stats because I am just so proud that she has grown so much and caught up to her age!  We worked so hard the first few weeks to help teach her how to eat and help her gain weight that its just amazing to see her reach this point.

Notice that her head is now in the 75th percentile, yes from the 5th percentile at birth.  When I commented on this to the Dr. she said, "well, your husband has a pretty big head."   I just about died laughing. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Night at the Oscar’s

Last night we had our first “after-school” event.  It was an open house with the theme A Night at the Oscar’s.  Missy and Nicki (the directors) did a fantastic job planning the event.  For dinner they had cheeseburgers, dirt cake, and chips.  They had a cute little photo studio set up for the kids to dress up and take pictures.  And they had a room set up to watch movies with a popcorn machine.

I wasn’t sure if the family’s of the infants generally go to these things, but when I got to school at 4:30 and asked the teachers if we should stay, they pretty much begged me to stay.  Please, please stay… we want you guys to stay.  Turns out that I was the only parent of an infant that stayed late.  The turnout from the other rooms was pretty good though.

I sat in the infant room for about an hour hanging out with the 3 teachers, Rory and a bunch of other kids. 

Some revelations…

  1. Even Rory's teachers think that she laughs and smiles a ton.
  2. Rory is really silly, or maybe she just laughs at me because I am silly but none of the kids thought it was funny when I was making a stuffed lion jump around.
  3. Rory loves to watch the older kids play.
  4. Other parents don’t try all of the baby food like I do.  Sweet potatoes are my favorite.
  5. Her teachers are a bad judge of age – they thought I was 25 and Tim was 28.
On a side note – Rory is going to grow up thinking that lions say her name.  I always tell her that lions go Roaaarrrrr - y! 

After we hung out in Rory’s room we went and got her picture taken.  She did not like the boa or the top hat I put on her.  They got a couple other pictures before I got my camera out, but here is the only one I got.

I was hoping to meet some of the other infant’s parents but I think we’ll have to wait until she is in the older classroom for that.  But all in all it was fun to hang out at school and get to know Rory’s teachers a little better.  They are so terrific.  I am so grateful that Rory loves school and has teachers that care about her and work with her so much on her development.  We couldn’t be happier there.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tummy Sleeping

Just when I thought we were in a good sleep routine, we have a new challenge.

Since we did “sleep training” a few weeks ago, Rory has been putting herself to sleep for naps, for bedtime and after her overnight feeding without much fuss.

Sometime after the overnight feeding she talks to herself for 20 minutes before falling asleep, but its not crying so I’ll take it!  If she does cry, its for like 5 minutes and the she is fast asleep.

While I was in California, Rory learned how to roll over!  She still cheats a bit by grabbing the play mat and pulling herself over or using the bars on her crib.  But I have seen her roll over without help too.

Within about 10 minutes of putting her down for bed, she flips over and sleeps on her tummy.

It’s such a nerve racking thing for me, I think it’s because they drill into your head (which they should) at the hospital, at classes, in books, etc that Back is Best.  I read the pediatricians little manual and I googled it and everything says as soon as she is strong enough to roll over she can sleep on her tummy but to still put them down on their back.  But still…it makes me nervous.

I know logically there is no point of flipping her back to her back, but its so tempting.  It's pointless, she would just flip right back over.  But still…I am such a worrier.

It’s been 3 nights now of tummy sleeping, hopefully after a week or so I’ll get more comfortable with it and not worry so much.  I am excited to take her for her 6 month check up on Friday so that I can hear from yet another source that its safe to let her sleep on her tummy when she rolls over.

You have to admit though, she looks darn cute sleeping on her tummy!  Sometimes she even stick her butt up like a big baby!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Weekend with Bubbe and Michael

This weekend my Mom and Michael were visiting Rory and I.  While Tim is living it up in the Sports Book in Vegas! 

Our weekend was cut short but we still made the most of it and had a really fun time on Friday.

We picked up Rory at school and my Mom got to meet all of the teachers and take a peek around.  I was excited to get her approval since she was a preschool teacher and owned a preschool for many many years.  She loved the teachers and directors and was excited that Rory was enjoying school so much.

We then went to Excelsior for a day of shopping!  We ate at Maynard’s.  My parents loved it.  Rory was in a great mood and having fun with Bubbe!

We shopped at all the stores.  I did learn that some of the stores are definitely not made for a stroller.  I had to unstrap Rory and take her out and hold her to walk around some of the stores.  My stroller is huge, but seriously no strollers would have fit through some of these stores.  (Note to boutiquey store owners – if you want Mommy business make sure there is room for strollers!)

After a fun filled day of shopping we went home.  My mom helped me feed, bathe and put Rory to sleep.  It was nice to have someone to go through the routine with.

Saturday they took an emergency flight home.  Michael’s mom was in the ICU.  Thank God, last I heard on Sunday she was doing much better.  But at the time the choice was simple and they hopped on the first flight home.

I was a little bummed but of course they had to go.  I was also pretty mad later on Saturday when I realized I didn’t take a single picture while they were here.

I carried on Saturday as if my Mom was still in town, and Rory and I went shopping all day!  We had so much fun.  I got new sunglasses, new makeup and new face cleanser (That’s what you get for going out of town Tim!).

Rory after a day of shopping at Macy's

The weekend turned out a little different then I expected but I was still thrilled my Mom got to see Rory.  She said something really nice to me, “Keep doing what you are doing. Because that is one happy baby.”  Is there really anything more you want for your child then to be happy!

PS – Michael needs a grandpa name, I’ve been calling him G Mike for Grandpa Michael.  Feel free to suggest one!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Girls Weekend in Temecula

I got back from my trip on Monday.  We had a fantastic time.  I was so nervous before I went that I would miss Rory so much that I would be too distracted to have fun.  That was definitely not the case.  I was not a puddle.  Didn't even cry at all!  Wasn't even really sad.

Of course I missed Rory, but I was really enjoying a break.  It was so nice to go 4 days without changing a diaper or being spit up on and without singing a song about Elephants sitting on people.

I didn't even feel guitly that I wasn't a mess.

I did feel a little guilty that I didn’t feel guilty – how dumb is that.

I did try not to talk too much about Rory, I wanted to take a break from baby talk too.  I knew I would have to actively try not to talk about her since she has pretty much been my entire life for the last 6 months.  But it was hard.  Somehow she just always came up. 

I brought my computer to peek in on her sleeping at night through the video camera in her room.  I checked a couple of the nights and watched her sleep.  Not too much though, and it did make me feel better to see she was safe in her crib.

I think part of the reason I was so comfortable is because Tim is such a hands-on Dad.  Although I had to make him a schedule for the weekend - including a photo of what the consistency of the cereal should be - I was confident that he would be fine all weekend.  I was actually excited for him to spend some quality time with Rory and get to know some of the things that I do as a parent on a regular basis.  When one of us is away it reminds you how much easier it is to parent as a team.  Makes you appreciate the other one so much!

A little about our trip...  Ellen, Anne and I met Krista at the San Diego airport.  We decided to immediately go to Coronado beach.  It was beautiful.  I had been there before on vacation but it was 7+ years ago.  We walked the beach a little bit and headed to town for dinner.

At Costa Azul in Coronado

This is what a girls weekend
fridge looks like

We then made the long trek to our house in Temecula.  We met Laura our landlady at the house.  She was such a ditz and so funny.  She gave us a tour of the house and literally explained what every light switch did.  This was the weirdest house ever.  It looked like it was once a 1 bedroom home that they converted to 2.  The second bedroom had a door that went to the back deck and the 2nd bathroom was in what should have been a mud room.  There was huge backyard garden area with a pool but there was random stuff laying around like screwdrivers and there was broken things everywhere.  It was very strange, but it worked perfectly for us!  We went to the store and stocked up for the weekend.

Friday we did 4 wine tastings in just a few hours!  I really didn’t know that much about wine before this trip and I learned a ton.  I found out I definitely prefer the sweeter whites and I actually do like some Merlots!  My favorites are Champagne though.  If you ever see Wilson Creek Almond Champagne in a store buy it, its fantastic!

Saturday during the day we explored Old Temecula.  It’s a very cute wood front old west town.  We did an olive oil tasting and cheese tasting.  And we all spent ridiculous amounts of money on olive oil.  Saturday night was Mackenzie and Mike’s wedding.  It was so perfect.  Mackenzie looked beautiful and her dress was amazing.  Her friends and family were so much fun.  The wine did turn me into a Wooo girl at one point, which I am not too proud of.  But it was so much fun!

Me being a Wooooo girl, Anne was not a fan.

Us and the beautiful bride
Sunday we went horseback riding in the morning and then drove to Laguna Beach.  I was very disappointed that I did not run into any of the girls from the show.  Laguna was so pretty and we had a fun time!  I got to see Sara for a little bit, I usually only get to see her once a year so that was a treat!

Monday morning we all slept in pretty late, got ready and headed to the airport.  It was a great girls weekend!  I feel rejuvenated, well-rested and I feel like I can be a better Mom now.  I was so excited to come home and do the little things with Rory, like feed her squash and sing about animal noises.  It was definitely the break I needed!  Time to plan another girls trip for 6 months from now! 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Post Script on My Weekend

I had every intent to post an update each day.... but I'll be honest; it has been tough to find the time.

Before I go too far let me get a few things out of the way...
Rory and Knowledge (the Pillow)

  1. There is no doubt being a single parent is difficult.  
  2. I don't want to act like my 5 days alone with Rory is anything compared to the challenges that many parents/families deal with in their lives; I know I have it very easy and don't take it for granted. 
  3. I realize that on Wednesday the game switches and Erica has to go 5 nights while I go on my annual religious pilgrimage. 

So here is the deal, Rory and I have had a blast and in so many ways this has forced me to learn how to do things I don't have to do regularly and experience the full parenting experience.  It has helped me to see that in the current split of responsibilities between Erica and I that I have some of the easier stuff and that having the second person makes other stuff a lot easier (bed time processes for example).

But I got it all done.  The trick is that I just keep going...  When she sleeps I clean or eat my own meals.  When she is awake, I change diapers (tons of them), feed her (a lot), clean up spit up, change her clothes, change my clothes, do her laundry, do my laundry, give her a bath, take my shower by Noon (Pop Rule)....  and all the time sing songs, play games and entertain her or make sure she is entertaining herself.

But it wasn't all work either...

Rory and I hanging out in bed!

  • We did get a few field trips in to the stores on Thursday night and Sunday.   
  • I did go host a hitting clinic in Ellsworth, WI and Miss Coleen watched her for 8 hours on Saturday. 
  • We did watch the Selection Show with Rick and Matthew Donegan via Skype
  • We did follow Willow around for an 30 mins just to see what she would do
  • We did get into a bar fight at McGillies over if Detroit can beat Kansas tonight
  • She went to daycare on Thursday and Friday and will again tomorrow
  • We did get an hour this morning to just hang out in bed and laugh at each other's jokes  

There were some challenges, she did not adjust well to daylight saving time.  She was goofed up today in when she wanted to eat, wake up etc and she was really tired, crabby tonight.... it was stressful.

She had 1 great night of sleep; 1 Pretty good night of sleep, 1 bad night of sleep and hoping tonight goes OK as I have to work in the morning and have a ton of stuff I need to get done.

She flipped over a lot more than usual both in bed and when she was playing in her gym thing, I felt like I had to flip her back over a lot more than normal; she needs to learn how to get herself back on her back soon I think.... or I have to train Willow to flip her over.

We had a slight meltdown at Southdale Mall and I didn't have my normal pass to help calm her down; had to use hugs and snuggles.

I gagged through feeding her veggies each day and we had one poop that I caught myself crying it smelled so bad; she laughed.

So it is just before 10:00 PM on Sunday; I have about 15 mins of work to get ready for the night feedings and the morning.  So I'll go upstairs now and start the process and get to bed.   One more day (Erica gets home after Rory is in bed tomorrow night if I do it right).

But here is the most amazing part, I was thinking about something tonight.  Last year on this night; I stayed up till 3:30 AM working on March Madness planning and data analysis.  Everyone who said that Rory would change everything was right.  The part they forgot to tell me was that 99% of the change would be for the better.

I'm so glad I got my weekend with Rory 1x1.  I'm also so glad Erica got time away to relax and just get away from the stress of being Mom.   I've said it from the beginning but I love being Rory's daddy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Defensive Strategies

So up until this point, Erica and I have been using mostly Double Coverage Under/Over like Rory is Calvin "Megatron" Johnson (would have used a Bears WR for Erica but who on the Bears is worth a double team?)  It is fairly easy.

When it is time to go to bed...

Erica gets her changed, changes her into her PJs, puts out tomorrow's outfit and gives her the bottle before finally laying her down.

I get boogers from her nose using this crazy aspirator thing, fill up the Cool Air Humidifier, give her  medicine, distract her while Erica picks out clothes and generally put her in a good mood before bed.

Simple basic double coverage.

When Erica and I get home from work, Rory hangs in her play thing and we move in and out of the room enough to feel like Rory has a blanket of parenting keeping her safe and covered.   Double zone coverage with an under/over zone.

Now tonight isn't the first time we've had to move to single man on man coverage.  I have gone on two trips (SMF and STL) and Erica was in Chicago for a night as well.  We've both played 1x1 a few snaps at this point.  But 5 days of man on man defense will be a different challenge.

So far, so good.  We had a OK day outside the poop.  Daycare warned me too, last words were "she hasn't pooped yet, good luck with that".   We got our shopping done with minimal damange.  We only let her watch the end of the Triple OT Tulsa/Marshall game (I know babies should not watch TV but Triple Overtime!)

But I don't feel like I have a great understanding of the man on man approach.  Sure in this first snap I didn't give up a TD; but she was 15 min late to bed and kept slapping me in the face when I used a Level 1 instead of Level 2 nipple.

So I started to do some research and have a new strategy based on this video...

I'm heading to Dick's Sporting Goods in the morning.


Monday, March 5, 2012

The Last Feeding

I must admit I feel really weird writing about this topic on a public forum.  Especially one that my friends and family read.  But I don’t think this blog would be complete without it.  You would think after 6 months of breastfeeding I would be more comfortable with the topic, but honestly I still think it’s really weird and uncomfortable.

I have been weaning Rory for the last couple of weeks and tomorrow is our last day.  I feel so many mixed feelings about it.  I am so thrilled to be done.  BF is hard, no matter what anyone tells you.  Its time consuming and emotionally and physically draining.  You feel tied to your house, tied to your baby and stuck on a 2-3 hour schedule.  I am so excited that to feed Rory I won’t have to go off into a private room and separate myself from people.

At the same time, I am really sad.  This means that Rors is growing up.  She is on formula for 4 of 6 feedings a day and that will go up to all feeding in a couple of weeks when we run out of milk.  She is eating cereal and veggies.  She is turning into a kid before my eyes.  It’s awesome but its happening too fast!

I’m also a little sad that Rory and I will no longer have that special bond.  Yes, I am her mother and no matter what we have a bond no one else has.  But she no longer depends on me in a way that she can’t depend on anyone else.  Daddy or Grandma or Miss Ariel can provide her all the same things that I can. 

The best advice I got about BF was from my friend Raney.  She said, “No matter what, don’t quit the first 3 weeks, don’t even think about quitting”.  This seemed like an attainable goal so I took it to heart. 
 Rory was having trouble learning how to swallow so our routine was complicated by needing to give her supplemental milk.  So I would BF for 20 minutes, pump for 10 and then we would finger feed her with a dropper one mL.  Eventually the supplement went up to an ounce and then two ounces so we could give her it in a bottle.  The whole process took about an hour and a half, we would get a 30 minute break and then start all over again.

Whenever it could too hard, I just reminded myself that I just have to make it through the first 3 weeks and then I could reassess.

The first 3 weeks were a blur of feedings and no sleep and if I didn’t have this advice in the back of my head I don’t know if I would have made it. 

At 3 weeks I was able to think clearly and I decided I wanted to continue BF and try for 6 months.  I am so lucky and grateful that Rory and I had very minimal problems and I was able to feed her for 6 months.  It was tough and exhausting and I always worried if Rory was eating enough – but I will do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Always Sick

I haven't written in a few days, but honestly things have kind of been same old same old around here and I don't want to bore you with "nothing" posts just to post.

Yesterday we had a new experience...  I went in to feed Rory at 3:30am and her sheets were soaking wet.  She is a spitter-upper but this was absolutely drenched.  I kind of thought it was weird but figured she just spit up a lot.

So I fed her a bottle and she seemed fine but as soon as she sat up, it all came out.  I seriously didn't know that babies could even throw up, I thought spitting up was the worst of it.  I had to use her sleep sack to catch it all so she didn't throw up on our carpet or the chair.  I changed her and changed her sheets and I put her back to sleep.  I was thinking maybe she just wasn't hungry or I mixed her formula bad, it didn't occur to me that she could be sick.

But this happened again in the morning.  Tim had her all packed up and ready to go and bleghhhhh all over the kitchen table.  Under the place mats and everything.  Gross.

So we kept her home from school for only the second day since she started daycare.  We picked up some Pedialyte on the doctor's recommendation.  She loved the orange flavor!  And we just slowly worked food back into her over the day.  She didn't have any more issues all day and today she is definitely feeling better.

By far the hardest things about sending Rory to daycare has been the constant colds and illness.  She has already had RSV.  She has pretty much had a cold since she started 2 months ago.  Her nose is always stuffy and she always has a little bit of a cough.  And now she has had a stomach bug.

I don't think there has been a day in the last 2 months that we haven't used the aspirator on her.  (Or as Tim mistakenly calls it all the time - the aerator).  By the way, if you have a new baby or are having a baby, buy the battery aspirator it is so much better then the other one.

Cleaning out her nose can either go one of two ways.  Sometimes she grabs the aspirator and helps us and smiles the whole time.  And sometime she screams at the absolute top of her lungs and fights every second of it.  It really does take 2 of us to hold her down sometimes when she is screaming and flailing and fighting it, not fun.

I am always excited for spring, but this year I am extra excited so that hopefully Rory can feel what it like to not be sick!

Rory sick - doesn't seem to bother her too much.