Saturday, August 30, 2008

Holy cow...


I don't know if ten weeks was the magic number, or if we have Jacob's unfortunate cold to blame (or his humidifier's white noise to thank), but Jacob just officially slept through the night. We put him to bed around 11pm, and when I woke up at 6 and realized he hadn't woken me up yet, I was shocked! I was a little nervous (he's pretty congested so of course all sorts of things go through your mind), particularly because I hadn't heard a peep out of him...no coughing, no grunting, no coos. Craig got up and looked in on him, and he was apparently awake but content. He started crying at 6:30 for a feeding. He was in a great mood after the first half of his feeding, when I was changing his diaper, and was shooting me all sorts of smiles! The second half didn't go well, with a coughing fit disrupting everything and making him spit-up. He never really got back on track after that, but was content enough to fall back asleep for a couple more hours, allowing Mommy and Daddy some sorely needed sleep-in time! I don't know if we know what to do with this much sleep, but man, did it feel good! We have a busy day today getting ready for the christening tomorrow, so a good night's sleep was a great start! Now if Jacob could just shake this cough, all would be right with the world!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jacob's Bodily Fluids

So...not much to report except that I'm still addicted to Facebook. Oops. My cold seems to be getting better (no more splitting sinus headache), but Jacob still has quite the cough. It pains us every time he does it. Still, when he's content he seems happy enough and the coughs don't seem to phase him too much. If he's miserable, the coughs seem to bother him even more. Last night he seemed really uncomfortable, but I think in the end it ended up being a BM-in-process more than anything else. He ended up having a massive poop (again) that made its way out the side of his diaper (again), leading to a massive clean-up with hot water and OxiClean (again). If only there was a way to get him to have smaller BMs each day instead of one big one every few days. The problem is that he's not actually constipated (it would have to be hard when it comes out, and it's far from it), just infrequent. My only hope is he doesn't pull one of those out on Sunday for his big day. Yikes. Once he got that out he seemed much more comfortable overall, and we set him up with a cool mist humidifier to try to ease his congestion. He actually slept from 11:30 to 5:30, which was awesome, and seemed a little less coughy when I fed him (though he did have a massive spitup and did cough more when I laid him down). I hope he gets over his cold quickly so he's in a good mood for the weekend.

So yeah, I've definitely had my fill of Jacob's bodily fluids in the past 24 hours. He's still an amazing little guy and really cracks me up when he's in a good mood. I just feel bad that things have been so busy and our evenings haven't been quality time. Either I'm running around trying to get things done, or I'm feeding him, and last night I was falling asleep during that time. I think we've had a hard time getting ourselves in sync. Either I'm tired or he is, either I'm busy or he's cranky...so I haven't seen a lot of those famous smiles in the last couple days :( Hopefully soon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday's Highlights

Sorry I didn't get to post yesterday. Not that I had much to post about, though. We had a nice weekend with my parents in town, and Jacob didn't disappoint...he's getting quite entertaining these days. When he's in a good mood, he smiles a lot and has this overall excited look on his face...very cute. He napped at good times (church, lunch at Olive Garden) and kept us entertained at Subway when we realized he might have a slight fear of ice. He jumped a mile every time someone got ice out of the soda fountain, and then got the most freaked out look on his face when my dad shook my cup of ice and made it rattle. This happened about three times, with the same look each time. So funny.

Yesterday he apparently did well at day care, with lots of smiles and noises. He presented us with a BM in the evening, which I caught right away now that I know his "look" when he's pushing one out. Fortunately it wasn't a big one this time...nice and normal sized. Hopefully that's the start of a trend. Unfortunately, he seemed gassy again this morning so I'm not sure what his poor little system is doing. Darn formula.

Even worse is that I think Jacob might be getting my cold. I noticed in the middle of the night from Sunday to Monday that I had a sore throat. Craig got home around 2am from the Major League Lacrosse Championship weekend (The Rattlers won!! Too bad the trophy doesn't have a cup on top like the hockey and indoor lacrosse trophies, because Jacob's butt would have been in it for photos ASAP...assuming the league ever gets in engraved and lets the team have it for a while) and stayed up chatting during Jacob's feeding. I noticed I wasn't feeling great but hoped it was just allergies. No such luck. And just in time for a very busy week and a big weekend. Sunday is Jacob's baptism and we have a lot to do to prepare for it. It's also my birthday, but I'm way less concerned about that, even if it is a "big" one. Anyway, I feel bad because Jacob seemed a little congested last night and this morning, coughing and sneezing more than normal. I'd hate for him to be sick so soon--poor thing--and the timing isn't great in general with his big day coming up. I don't want him to be fussy for his own sake, or for mine, since I'm not feeling particularly patient or energetic in the midst of my cold. Ugh. The good news is that I think we'll both be feeling better by next weekend for my friend Lois' wedding. Let's hope anyway, because a long car ride with a sick infant doesn't sound fun, and I will need all of my energy to make it through a long day of bridal party activities.

Speaking of Lois, she got me to take a big technological step yesterday...I now have my own Facebook page. I had sort of been meaning to look into it lately, but never got around to it. Lois sent me an invite to check out hers, and I had to sign up to do so, so I figured there was no time like the present. It's a pretty crazy thing, though...I've only been on it for a day and I already have 20 friends, either from people I've found or people who found me. And I haven't even really gotten around to looking a lot. But just like that I have potential reconnections with people from high school and college that I haven't talked to in ages. In a way it's a little like my high school reunion...do you let bygones by bygones and ignore the fact that you haven't bothered to be in contact with someone for years, or do you let the fear that they might not remember you (or care to) stop you from putting in a friend request? It's like high school self-esteem issues all over again, though in most cases I think people just don't care now. I'm not sure what prevented me from doing this all along, but I definitely had this feeling that it was a thing for "kids", pretty much anyone younger than me...because I think I was graduating college when these social networking sites were just starting to gain popularity. It seems like everyone after me got into it, but until recently I didn't really know anyone my age that had a page (that I knew of, anyway). It's an interesting time to get involved, though, because so many people I know from college have young kids...so seeing their babies has been cool and having potential connections for future kid stuff is probably a good idea as well. Of course, it's a new obsession that I don't really have time for. But we'll see how it goes...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Looking back and seeing the future...

Twelve years ago today I went to college for the first time. It's an amazing thought, because time since then has flown. It's amazing to think that if you go in the other direction, twelve years before that day, I was only five years old going on six, heading off to first grade...and those twelve years seemed to take forever! These twelve years have flown, and it boggles my mind to think of how life has changed since then...nearly as much as the twelve years prior, I suppose, even though I feel like roughly the same person, just with more responsibilities.

I'm not sure why I remember the exact date after all these years, but I suppose it was burned into my memory that whole summer. I was dreading the day because I never wanted to go away to college. Of course, it turned out to be one of the greatest things ever, for so many reasons. I loved it almost immediately. I had a great roommate, and for whatever reason, college life in general agreed with me completely. That day turned out to be such a significant day in my life, looking back on it all. Obviously going to college was a big deal, a gigantic step in growing up and gaining independence. However, I tend to think it was more significant because it was the day I met Mary, my then-roommate and someone I still consider a best friend even though we don't talk nearly as much as we used to, thanks to schedules and all that. But it's one of those friendships that I don't think needs that...we could hang out anytime and probably fall right back into things no problem. It just amazes me that for so long she was such a good friend despite not having known her for that long. But now, all of a sudden, we've known each other for twelve years!

The point of all of this and how it relates to Jacob is that sometimes we don't realize significant days of our lives when they happen to us. Some things, like a wedding day or the birth of a child, are obvious. But with other days, it's only years later that we look back and go, wow...that day really impacted my future. Whether it's meeting someone that would become a best friend, or meeting a spouse, or starting a job that becomes central to your world, sometimes you just don't realize the significance right away. I could say that for the day I met Craig. He interviewed me for my internship with the Amerks. Little did I know as I sat through that interview that I was speaking with my future husband and father of my child. It never would have crossed my mind. But that day completely changed my life, from getting me my first job (in sports, no less) to introducing me to the love of my life. Who knew? Even something as odd as the day Jacob was conceived...which we still don't know for sure...but who knew that that day would be the day our baby would come into being? Or the day we found out I was pregnant...I had no idea that morning that I would be running out to the store to buy a pregnancy test (to rule it out for when I called the doctor wondering why I hadn't had my period yet despite taking a pill to get it) and seeing a line that would change our lives forever.

It's stuff like this that makes you look back at life and realize that there really is some sort of crazy master plan that God put in place. All of these little moments, so seemingly insignificant, tend to come back around and make perfect sense later on. It's truly an amazing masterpiece to behold when you see the big picture. Pretty stinkin' cool. Anyway, happy anniversary, Mary :) It's been a great twelve years and I can't wait to see you and Lois in a couple weeks!

And for those of you interested in baby news, after a small bowel movement yesterday (big celebration over the phone when day care told me that--who knew I'd celebrate poop?), he had a gigantic one today that overflowed the diaper by a long shot. Thank goodness for big shorts! I'm hoping this means his new formula will help him get regular ASAP and we'll have smaller, more manageable BMs soon. Not a fan of the big ones that he's saving up from a couple days' worth of feedings! But for now we're having a nice weekend with Grandma and Grandpa...fun stuff!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Motherhood

A couple years ago my mom sent me an email forward that talked about motherhood...about all the things that you never really realize going into it, the way it will take over your whole world in ways you can't even comprehend. I saved it, knowing that at some point I'd be thinking of being a mother, or would be a mother, and I might appreciate it that much more. I think I never read it while I was pregnant because I was afraid that 1) my emotions would take over and I'd cry; or 2) it would make me even more panicked about becoming a mother, like I'm emotionally deficient because I can't fathom going through some of the things the story talks about. I thought about it recently and thought it was probably time to read it again. I must say that in some ways I definitely get what the article is saying...but I also know I'm so early on in this process that I still can't begin to understand a lot of what it is talking about. Soon enough, I'm sure. But without further ado, here it is...

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family.""We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?" "It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral." I know," she says, "No more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every-day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may belurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years ... not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a caesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, and not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes."You'll never regret it," I finally say.Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

Grandma and Grandpa Binkley are coming to visit Jacob this weekend, so it's time to go make sure the house isn't a complete disaster :) Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doctor's appointment

Just a quick update today since I'm working through most of my lunch to make up for time I missed while at Jacob's doctor's appointment. It went well and she was happy with how he's doing. He's 12 pounds and 23-1/2 inches long. He survived his immunizations - four shots and one oral one. He was not a happy camper, and he bled like crazy...the nurse had to replace both of his band-aids. Poor thing. I took him home on the way back to day care and gave him a little Tylenol, just so he wasn't miserable for the people at day care. He seemed to calm down a bit afterward and fell asleep on the five minute drive from the house to day care. He hadn't eaten much and wouldn't sleep this morning, so hopefully he'll conk out this afternoon for them a bit. As far as his gas problems go, we have a couple formula samples to try to see if that helps him a bit. He hasn't pooped again in a couple days, though the doctor didn't seem that concerned about it, but it still bothers me! I'll feel better when he stops doing this screechy cry that he does when he's gassy. So yeah, everything went well, and we don't have to go back for another two months (knock on wood)...he'll be such a big boy by then....crazy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Johnson & Johnson is right...

...Having a baby does change everything. Have you seen those commercials? I've seen them here and there since I was pregnant, but I've been seeing more of them lately during the Olympics since J&J is a sponsor. They've had some cute ones featuring olympic athletes, namely swimmer Summer Sanders, comparing her greatest achievements--a gold medal vs. something soft and pink--and comparing her hardcore swimming to her kid just splashing around in the tub. There have been other generic ones in the past, but all with the same tagline..."Having a baby changes everything." They couldn't be more right. Yesterday a co-worker and I were discussing baby stuff (she's got a nine month old) and how you just don't get it until you have a baby. We were speaking simply about being completely blown away by how cute and amazing your child is, but that's not even getting into the obvious stuff like not being able to go to the store on a whim or easily take a vacation or get up when you feel like it. Here's the top things I've noticed:

1. Everything needs to be planned out - Jacob's schedule rules, so going out anywhere takes some pre-planning...whether it's working around a feeding or a nap, going while he's napping (thank goodness motion puts him to sleep--I did one three-stop shopping trip one day, and between the car and the stoller, he was out for the whole thing), or planning out the contents of the diaper bag if we're out long enough for a feeding or diaper changes. Nothing is just "get up and go" anymore.

2. Life is pretty much "on demand" now...and I don't get a vote - Jacob hasn't learned patience yet. If he's hungry, he cries until he gets fed. And since 95% of the time (at home, anyway), I'm the one feeding him, it means I have to put down what I'm doing and feed him. In general there's just a lot of things that I have to do, whether it's getting out of bed when I really don't want to or having to wash bottles every single night or having to pump every three or so hours so I'm not in pain. I feel bad, but Craig often gets stuck on Jacob duty (not that watching Jacob is bad, but I'm sure he's got a list of a few other things he'd like to do when he's home for the evening), because certain things have to take priority. If it's something I need to do (like wash bottles or write overdue baptism invitiations or get shoes so I can get a bridesmaid dress altered ASAP), then he's on baby duty while those things are happening. It's usually the easiest option.

3. I can survive on less sleep than I thought I could - I'm moderately functional at work on about five hours. Nothing less than six was manageable before. I still get tired and it still sneaks up on me in nasty ways, but at least I can function most of the time. I tend to get cranky/panicked/exhausted at the most inopportune times, of course, but fortunately I don't think it happens as often as I thought it would.

4. Priorities totally shift - This is a no-brainer, but it manifests itself in different ways than I thought it would. Certain little nagging things that I would think about before barely cross my mind anymore. TV has slid down the scale a lot...though the Olympics may have something to do with that now...but even still, my attention to TV shows is greatly reduced when I'm trying to feed or entertain a baby. Thank goodness for DVR and the ability to rewind live shows. Even a trip to a department store changes. Where I used to run to the women's clearance clothes racks, now I barely peruse those but run to the baby clearance to see if I can snag a good deal for Jacob. Even in our home improvements...central air popped right to the top of the list when we realized our house might get too hot for Jacob, pushing my kitchen renovation down a bit. A new stationary tub has also climbed the list, because I want a place to be able to wash out dirty clothes (poopy now, muddy later). Our current tub is old, the finish is peeling, and I don't want to know what kind of sludge makes itself at home there. Finally, going home at the end of the day isn't really about me anymore. I eagerly drive home just because I want to see Jacob. I suppose part of the "not about me" thing is because my evenings aren't mine anymore (see #2), but considering I spend all day looking at the pictures of Jacob around my cubicle, getting home to him is definitely a priority. And those are just a few examples.

5. Conversations shift - I never thought I'd have lengthy conversations with people about poop or gas. And yet, with what's been going on with Jacob lately, those have come up more and more. I'm also having some of those "mommy" conversations with people at work. In the past they might have bored me, but yup...there I am now, right in the middle of it all.

I could probably write more, but my lunch is over and it's time to pump as well...but maybe another day...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Planning Impaired

Parenthood is funny. On one hand it turns you into a hyper-planner. Before leaving the house, you make sure you have everything the baby could possibly need. No trip to the grocery store is complete without double and triple checking your reserves, because you never know when you'll have the chance to go there again. You organize stuff, do your best to plan every moment of the day around the baby's schedule, and drive yourself nuts just trying to make sure you haven't forgotten anything for fear it could adversely affect your child. However, the dark side of this planning craziness is that sometimes the simplest of things gets overlooked, or in all of your planning you get too distracted to look out at the big picture. It could be something as simple as forgetting the baby bag you so meticulously packed (hasn't happened yet...knock on wood) or, in my case, a couple events looming large in the next three weeks. It's not that I've forgotten them...on the contrary, they're on my mind a lot. It's just that Jacob keeps me busy enough to lose track of just how long I'm waiting on things.

For example, in three weeks I am in the wedding of one of my best friends from college (hi, Lois!) and I need to get my dress altered. I have no doubt that I'll be able to get it done. I got some great recommendations from co-workers on places to go, and I'm sure that by the time I get past the obstacles I'll talk about in a second, someone will be able to do it no problem. But see, I have been purposely putting it off because I wanted to see how much baby weight I could lose before getting it done. I couldn't exactly get it altered a month ago, because I knew more weight would come off before the wedding. Now I think I've leveled off a bit (though I am getting back in the gym--but I don't think once a week is going to make a huge difference in the next three weeks), so I'm ready to get it done. The problem is that I haven't been able to run out and check all the usual places for shoes. I need a pair of silver shoes, and as it is for a one-time event, I don't want to spend a ton. I have one pair already in my possession, but they were for another wedding and are the single most painful shoes ever. They'll work if absolutely necessary, but I have a couple more places I want to check first...it's just that getting out and doing it is that much harder when I either have to take Jacob with me or have someone to watch him. Not quite the "get-up-and-go" schedule I used to have. It's just that time keeps ticking and I'm so busy that it tends to go a little quicker than I'd like. It'll get done, but it's my priority (hopefully tonight) to get it done and move on to the alteration phase.

Even worse is my planning for Jacob's baptism. First it took a while to figure out a date and get Craig to check with his family. Thanks to being so busy with Jacob, that phase stretched out much longer than it should have. Then I kept forgetting to call the church. Then when I finally did, it took a few days to get a call back. Now, here we are, less than two weeks out and I have yet to send out invitations. Again, another priority for the next couple nights. But yeah, in case you're wondering, the date is August 31. It's Labor Day weekend, so it eases up any travel issues. And yeah, it's coincidentally my birthday, and a big one at that. I'm ignoring the end of my 20s right now, so pardon me if I don't seem too excited. I'm more than willing to share my day with Jacob, though it makes me worry that gathering up friends and family could allow for more celebration on the birthday end than I would like. Anyway...it's probably just going to be close family and friends, so if you're among them, feel free to mark it on your calendar. I just feel like a moron for letting it go on this long...and as much as I'd like to chalk it up to new parenthood, aren't all people planning a baptism dealing with a new baby? Yeah. It should be fun, though.

And because I just couldn't hold them off until tomorrow, here are a couple pictures from the weekend. They're pretty similar, but I couldn't pick a favorite, so here they are:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pack 'N' Play - A Smart Invention

I must say, I'm very impressed by Pack 'N' Plays. Craig did a lot of the assembly when we put ours up in our living room before Jacob was born, which should have been my first clue that it was pretty easy...seeing as I'm the house assembler for a reason! Taking it down yesterday was a challenge until I looked at the instructions again, but transporting it and putting it back up once we got to Craig's parents' house was easy. And Jacob slept in it like a champ. Another 5-1/2 hour span last night, and he even got in a relatively settled four hour span this morning to let Mommy and Daddy sleep in a bit! Nice to be able to transport a crib so easily. Thanks to the Pack 'N' Play inventors for that one.

It took until this morning, but Jacob finally pooped for the first time since Thursday night. I never thought I would actually type a sentence like that, but somehow when you have a kid, bowel movements become topics of conversation. Hmmm. But yeah, that was a little scary considering he can be a pretty poopy little boy sometimes. I would have called the doctor this morning had he not gotten something out. Could be the formula, I guess, though he got through the whole week without a problem, but I'm not sure what else might have caused that.

Right now he's sleeping on Craig, hopefully working up some energy for a fun day with the grandparents! Craig and I are looking forward to getting in the pool and relaxing a bit, though we'll have to make sure we can find a good shady spot for Jacob. He won't get to swim quite yet, but we may dip his feet in, just because he seems to like splashing his feet in the warm water of his baths. Should be fun!

Happy Weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Week of Day Care

So...one week of day care is almost done. It's been a pretty good week, I guess. They're happy with his behavior so far and find him downright adorable (note the dimple story yesterday--she mentioned it to me again today), so that's good. He only had one diaper blowout. They seem happy enough with his eating, though I'm not sure I am because he should be eating between 4 and 6 oz. and he's not getting there with a lot of feedings. Not sure if it's his displeasure with formula, that they're not waiting until he's hungry enough (they say he falls asleep a lot...he doesn't do it that much to me anymore), or if the formula is making him gassy and therefore too miserable to eat. They haven't noticed a ton of gas, but it's tough to tell because he's normally so grunty anyway. I think that's one of the hardest things about day care...you're not the person that spends the most time with your child, so you have to rely on short conversations and notes in a log book to figure out what's up with your own kid. And even then...there's a handful of people handling him during the day so it's probably even tough for them to get any sort of consistent impression of him on any given day.

As a result, I'm still a little up in the air about feedings. He's nursing pretty great, actually. Pumping is going better these days. I'm getting about 2-3 ounces per side each time. One side is better than the other, which is so odd. I can get a ton out of one side rather quickly, while the other side might eventually almost catch up, but it takes the full 10 minute pumping session to do it. I pump two or three times per day, depending on what time Jacob wakes up and eats in the morning. It's a decent supply, though I'm still sending two formula bottles and two breast milk bottles per day. I need to ask the doctor next week if it's worth forcing the formula on him if I have extra breast milk to send. Now that he's gotten started on it, should we just keep going and get him used to it, or if we cut down on it now and have to bring it back later, will his tastes have evolved later on to accept it more easily? If nothing else I may still try out a couple of other formulations to see if they're kinder to his system. We had to give him some formula last night when we went out to dinner, and I don't think he's pooped since (as of 8:30 this morning). He was grunting quite a bit this morning. I know formula babies poop less, but yikes! I just don't want him uncomfortable. Amazingly, that's probably the one thing on my list right now for his doctor's appointment.

As for day care itself, I don't know if it's getting easier to leave him there or not. I still feel a little bad, but it seems like he's in good hands and there's nothing we can do about it right now, so it has to be ok. It's a funny feeling walking out of there without him each morning. Part of me feels like something's missing...I don't have the usual weight of his carrier and diaper bags, and there's a void in my rear view mirror because there's just an empty car seat base. On the other hand, there's a certain amount of freedom. Having a child is such a huge, all-encompassing responsibility, and a total life change. Once I drop him off at day care, there's a release from that, to some degree, where I can go about life like I did before having a baby. I can go to my job, hang out with adults, and eat lunch without waiting for him to go to sleep or comforting him with one hand while eating with the other. While he's always on my mind, it's still nice to have that little bit of freedom to go about life without having to go through his schedule and figure out if my plans will work with his. I hope that's not a bad thing. So in that way, day care is nice. But when he starts smiling a lot and getting really fun, I'll definitely miss seeing that stuff all day!

One final thought for the day...does it count as sleeping through the night if the night is pretty short? Last night Jacob wouldn't fall asleep. I couldn't get him content enough to put him in bed until 11:30 or 12, but once he was in bed, he didn't wake up until a little after 5:30. If I would have gotten up and fed him as usual, I would have had to stay up and start my day. Instead I decided to feed him a little shorter, then get a little extra sleep, and feed him a bit again before leaving for day care. It was a brilliant plan except that gas and sleepiness prevented him from really getting a good feeding at any point. But the five-ish hours of sleep were nice! Anyway...

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

News and notes

Just some random stuff today...

First, I'm very excited because we found out yesterday that my brother and his wife are having a GIRL! It's funny, though, because as much as I've wanted to be able to buy girl stuff (a result of many nephews and now a son of my own), it would have been cool if they had a boy, for a couple reasons. First of all, Jacob could have had a boy cousin his same age. I guess he'll have to settle for a girl cousin and boy cousins one and two years older! Also, John is really the last shot at passing along the Binkley name. Two of my dad's brothers each had three girls, and his other brother isn't married...so John was the only hope. It remains to be seen whether or not they'll give it another shot...though I know personally I'm in no rush to do it again (though we will!). It will definitely be interesting to see my brother with a daughter!

I also found out yesterday that a friend of mine from college is pregnant with baby #2! Congrats, Corrina!

The consensus seems to be that Jacob is really cute. From the reactions to the pictures I have at my desk to the comments by the women at day care, he is adored by all! The one woman at day care was remarking to me this morning that when Jacob was awake and aware yesterday, the dimple made an appearance and they were calling people in to see it! The dimple is definitely my favorite, and I can't wait until he smiles even more and shows it off all the time. Right now his smiles are few and far between (a couple glimpses of them each day), but we're hitting that magic eight week point where they start coming a little more frequently. Let's hope.

I tried to weigh Jacob on our scale at home last night, and while I'm not sure it was totally accurate, it came out at 11.2 pounds, which seems about right. We'll find out the official word next Thursday. I'm actually more interested to see his length. Considering how tight in the crotch his 0-3 month onesies is getting, I know he's grown.

I'm realizing that the sleep deprivation thing is much more difficult now that I'm back at work (duh). You'd think that being home all day would leave me a little more bored and sleepy than work, but sitting at a computer all day (no matter how interesting the project) is tough. Craig and I both tend to conk out at some point in the evening, which is making it extra tough to get Jacob on any sort of good schedule. It's so hard when Jacob has a bad night or we accidentally fall asleep on the couch until 1am, because I have to be up early and can't make it up with a nap later in the day. It doesn't help that I have a boatload of things to do each evening, from dinner and dishes to washing bottles and breast pump parts (every single night) to any other errands that need to be done. Then it's more of the same in the morning...though I haven't had the same morning routine yet. It all depends on when Jacob wakes up and how hungry he is when he does. Some days I feed him first, some days I don't...but making up bottles and getting a baby cleaned up and ready to go adds quite a bit to my morning. It's quite the departure from my usual quiet mornings of the past where I struggled just to get myself ready in time.

This evening I head back to the gym for the first time since about 36 weeks. Back to my class, though a different version of it. I am definitely looking forward to going, because this flabby bit that's left on my belly is starting to drive me nuts. It's not just the whole "looking fat" thing...I just don't want to have to go out and replace clothes that still don't fit! I'm definitely going to have to ease myself back into workouts, but I think it will actually come back to me relatively quickly. I just may not be able to walk tomorrow.

Beyond that it's a busy night, hopefully checking out shoes for the wedding I'm in in a few more weeks and then packing up for a weekend visit with Craig's family. Let's just hope I can stay awake long enough to get it all done!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thoughts on Day One

Well, I officially survived day one of sending Jacob to day care and being back to work. It was odd coming back, probably mostly because I do so many different things in the morning before coming to work, then park somewhere different, have a different walk to the office, and bring something different with me (my pumping bag). There's a new guy sitting two cubicles down. Just about everything else seems to be the same, but it's been a crazy adjustment being "out of the loop" a bit and having to catch back up on things, after being so involved in so much stuff on a regular basis. I did get a bit of good news, that I don't have to make up my pumping time. It would have been a losing battle for me, between trying to get up after a long night to get here earlier, all of the new things I have to do each morning, and trying to get out of here on time if I have to pick up Jacob. So thank goodness for that. I likened it to a cross between a smoke break (which I'm not sure if people have to make up) and a bathroom break (which we don't)...it's my choice to pump (like a smoker), but having made that choice, if I don't I'll be in physical pain (like having to use the bathroom) when I get engorged...of course, it's vital to pump to keep my milk supply up. But overall, it was a relief.

Getting home to Jacob last night was actually really nice. Not having to spend all day feeding, diapering, and trying to get things done around his nap schedule left me refreshed by the time I got home. Of course, I had to figure out dinner, wash dishes, and take care of a few other things, so Craig was stuck with Jacob for a little while. But in general it was a nice evening, and maybe it was just my imagination, but it seemed like Jacob was a little cuddlier than he'd been before. Mommy withdrawal, maybe? Let's hope. He also seems to have more almost-smiley moments lately...not the big smiles from the photos last week (though we are getting some of those), but where his face just seems bright and he's got an open-mouthed, almost excited look. He was a hungry boy again, as usual, though it was probably worse because he only had half of each of the three formula bottles he had during the day. We fell asleep on the couch after his last feeding and a bath, probably somewhere around 10pm. I didn't wake up until around 1, then scrambled to put him in bed, wash all of his bottles and my breast pump parts, and get in bed by 1:30. I never made it to the grocery store as I would have liked, and the late night wasn't my plan. Jacob woke up at 2:30, then again at 5:45. I was hoping to sleep until 6:15, but that didn't happen and I've been awake since the 5:45 cry.

I'm a little tired today but functional enough all things considered. It's hard to do things at work because so much of it is detail work. I want to be as with it as possible when I take those projects on so I don't screw things up and have to start over. I'm not sure that will be an option anymore. On the bright side, one woman in the office made me a fantastic platter of cupcakes to soften the blow of coming back to work, so those have been fueling me for a good portion of the day.

Tonight I have to go to the grocery store, but I am really looking forward to hanging out with Jacob for the rest of the evening. I miss him during the day and look at his pictures a lot. I show off the smiley one all the time to visitors to my cubicle, and smile myself every time I see it. Hopefully I will have more to add to the blog soon :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day Back

Remember back in the day when a child's first day of school was a big deal? I suppose it still is, but in this era of so many kids going to day care, you send your kid out into the world about five years earlier than that momentous occasion. Dropping Jacob off at day care wasn't quite like standing there watching the school bus pull away, but it was a preview.

Things went reasonably well in the 12 hours or so surrounding the drop off. Last night after I finished pumping and posting, I ran around the house until just before midnight trying to get everything as ready as possible for today. Jacob still wasn't awake by the time I finished, so I decided to experiment a bit and let him sleep. Why wake him up just to put him in bed? I let him sleep in his carrier until he woke up, which happened to be at 3:45. He fell asleep originally around 9:30 or 9:45, so that was a good six-hour span. Wow. Nice to know it's possible. Back to bed around 4:40, and my alarm went off at 6am. I was exhausted, however, so I snoozed until 6:40. A bit panicked, I got up, took a shower, and had breakfast before Jacob woke up around 7am. I put him in his swing to buy a few more minutes, finished everything but my hair, and sat down to feed him. He had a really explosive poop near the end of the feeding, but thankfully I had taken precautions to protect my clothes :) After he finished eating, I finished packing up and we were off.

Drop off went fine. I didn't cry, though it was a little sad leaving him there. He was nearly asleep and didn't appreciate my good-bye hug and kiss, but I think he went right back to sleep afterward. I just called to check in, and he's given them a little trouble feeding, taking only about half of his two bottles of formula so far. Other than that he's been fine. He's got a bottle or two of breast milk coming his way this afternoon, so maybe he'll respond to those better and we'll just have to work on the formula thing. Not sure what the best course of action is there, but we'll see. He'll have to get used to it eventually. My first pumping of the day went pretty well, with nearly four ounces total. I have another coming up in a bit. It's a little awkward but could be worse.

Overall, my day at work has been busy. It's a lot of getting back in the rhythm of things and figuring out where I left off, what has to be done, and just getting all of my stuff back up and running. There's one file I use to track all of our testing, and I don't think it's really been touched since I left...so I spent a couple hours this morning trying to add in well over 100 lines that had been added since I left. Lots of blanks to fill in, that's for sure. I have delighted in showing people the smiley picture (#3) from last week's blog post, which is currently my wallpaper. Craig will probably be picking up the little man later, since he's on his way back from Chicago today. I'm defintely looking forward to getting home, but I don't entirely mind being back at work. The novelty is still there for now, at least. I'm staying busy enough to not make myself crazy missing Jacob, but there's definitely an element of distraction thinking about him. Everything just feels different. I'm sure it will get more normal as the days go on, though. And speaking of which, time to get back to work...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Getting Ready

Just sitting at the computer while pumping part of one of Jacob's feedings tomorrow. He's been sleeping since about 20 min. into the drive home from NT, and I figured I'd take the opportunity it pump. I have a lot to get ready for tomorrow still, but pumping is increasingly important so I needed to take the time. We had a great weekend in NT, visiting with family at a reunion in East Aurora, showing him off to more people at church, and then hanging out again with more family at my uncle's retirement party tonight. Everyone loves holding a little baby, so Jacob was pretty much the most popular person around! He did pretty well, though he's a pretty gassy baby right now. No idea if it's remnants of formula making him nuts or just some extra gassiness from his crazy weekend schedule. I probably burped him less than usual when I nursed in public because it's so awkward to pull him out from under the blankets and do it without exposing myself. He seemed pretty content while feeding anyway, and I hated to interrupt him. In the next chapter of the formula vs. breast milk saga, he refused a formula bottle last night. We tried for about an hour, to no avail. That's got me a little nervous for tomorrow, but hopefully he'll be just thrown off enough by the new setting, the lack of mommy's milk machine, and being just plain hungry that he'll take the formula he's offered. The gas issue may be a whole extra problem. We'll see. This whole schedule could take a lot of tweaking over the next week or two, from when Jacob goes to bed and wakes up, to when I pump, what he eats, etc. Adjusting to going back to work and having to look presentable, and being and employee AND a mom, are scary things. It's a whole new ballgame from here on out. Tomorrow morning could be chaos. Hopefully my bosses will be their usual understanding selves for a while here, because I will probably need it until I settle into all of this. I might be a brain-dead space cadet for a while, between sleep deprivation and Jacob deprivation. So much of my job was based on instinctive stuff, getting used to systems and finding ways to apply them, and I'm afraid I'll have lost some of that in these last seven weeks. Heck, even the day I went in before delivering I felt a little scatterbrained. We shall see. Hopefully I'll have an update at lunch tomorrow.

Well, I got a total of 4 oz., so that's good for a feeding. It'll get me through tomorrow with some frozen milk I already have, so I have another day to work out pumping and see how it goes moving forward. Wish me luck :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day care

Yesterday afternoon Jacob and I went to spend some time at day care. It was an interesting experience. Not having gone through day care myself (I'm not sure I knew anyone that did when I was a kid, actually), I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I mean, we got an initial impression of day care when we did our tours, but we didn't really spend any significant time anywhere to see how things worked on a day to day basis. As a whole, I came out feeling equally happy and sad about sending Jacob there on Monday.

Miss Sandy, the infant room "teacher", is really nice. She's a grandmother, so she absolutely loves babies, and was tickled to have a little baby like Jacob coming in. The other three babies in the room look like they're somewhere between 4-6 months. All three were adorable, smiling, playing, and rolling around. One was a little Italian girl with an impressively long name (and we thought Jacob would always have that claim), one was an adorable little Asian girl, and the other was a little boy with terribly problematic acid reflux, a throaty cry, and a killer smile. While we were there, the babies were fed, changed, and put down for naps. In between, they played...which pretty much means they sat on the floor supported by Boppy pillows and picked up toys. I will say my biggest reservation about any day care is the sharing of toys. Everyone knows that babies explore with their mouths, and I can see a long winter of colds and ear infections coming right up. Ugh.

Soothing music played in the background. Everything was very well organized, from the diaper storage to bottle storage to everything being written down in log books. They have a no shoes policy in the room, and everything seemed very clean. The babies seemed very content and everyone just seemed to love them like crazy...to the point that one of the preschool teachers comes in on her lunch to play with and feed the babies.

I have no doubt that Jacob will have a good time there and will be well taken care of. I didn't see any red flags while we were there, so that's good. Originally I figured that taking my six-week old baby (now seven, since I took my extra week of vacation) to day care would be heart-breaking. As I neared the end of my time off, I started to think it would be more of a relief. I've come to the realization that I may not be full time stay-at-home mom material. If given the chance, I'm sure I could do it, but I would definitely need to put a major effort into finding things to do, groups to join, etc. I could definitely do it part time, though. Anyway...after weeks of being home alone with Jacob, I was thinking day care would be a bit of a relief, getting me back to some variety and making my evenings at home with him that much better. In addition, I figured that any stimuli that I wasn't giving him here, he'd get there, which will make him a more well-rounded baby. However...the longer I was there, the more I realized how much I'd miss him, how much it would kill me to miss his smiles and not be there for him when he cried. I've always cringed at the thought of someone else spending more time with him than me, in some cases practically raising him. An hour in the morning and a couple hours in the evening just doesn't seem like enough, does it? And considering his penchant for just wanting to eat all evening now, I'm not really getting the best version of him then. Oh, and did I mention that his second go-around at formula made him extra gassy and I'm worried about that becoming a major problem? It's not fun to see him in pain, so now I don't know what to do about the feeding situation.

I'm trying not to think about it all too deeply, because the truth is sobering. I'm just trying to stay on the surface, where I know that this has to happen, that I'm still his mother, and that it'll be a good thing for him to learn and interact in a different way. But in the meantime, I'm going to hug him a little more, keep him close in his carrier a bunch, and try to savor every last minute of today, my last weekday home with him. We have a fun weekend ahead of us, but I think I'm going to be a little haunted by the craziness that awaits on Monday morning--getting up early, getting both of us ready, and getting out the door by 8:30 or earlier. At least I've already got his bag of stuff ready to go (minus the daily bottle supply), and have labeled all of his (clean) clothes and most of his bottles. I may drop most of it off today if things work out. And most importantly, I've already emailed myself one of Jacob's smiley pictures to put as my wallpaper at work. I'm hoping it'll make me smile, but I'm hoping it doesn't make me miss him that much more. Only time will tell...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Special gift

Yesterday my friend Heather came into town to meet Jacob. I have known Heather for nearly 25 years, since the first day of Kindergarten. We were both always the smallest people in class and have a ridiculous amount of random memories from all those years together. Random example from yesterday...We were at Panera for dinner and Craig's sandwich came with Gouda. He asked me what Gouda was like, and I said I didn't know because I hadn't had it since second grade...and Heather knew right away that I was referring to this cheese-tasting party we had in class. While broadening the horizons of second graders is great, it was a little too much cheese at once. But yeah, it's sort of like that...random memories dating back through 25 years of school, kiddie play dates, and summer afternoons hanging spent with her doll house (awesome), computer (Commodore 64!) and our infamous Hot Looks doll obsession (Heather, make sure you check out that link and see the dolls and clothes that were never released!!). At the ripe old age of 29, that's a rare thing to have for such a long time.

We had a nice day, just sitting and chatting as usual. We probably could have gone out and done something even more fun, but unfortunately I was stuck waiting for the cable guy to come and take care of our digital phones (Note: For those of you who are thinking about getting it, be aware that you need the tech to come out to your house to make your phone jacks work with digital phone service. The self-install only allows digital phones to work without your phone jacks, and one of those has to be by your modem. Other than that, it's cool. Free long distance within NY, caller ID that shows up on TV, call waiting...all for just a tad more than my old phone bill (long distance not included)). Anyway, we had a good time just talking and watching Jacob. He is, after all, quite entertaining, especially when he gets in a smiley mood. She came bearing a gift, which is pictured below:



It's already hanging up in Jacob's room. Between Heather and her mom, they are very talented people. Heather's mom gave us a quilt that was custom designed to go with the Snoopy & Family theme in the nursery. It has all three puppies on it, sleeping with blankets pulled up to their necks. It's so cute. Both gifts are so awesome and so appreciated. It's so nice to get homemade gifts like that. My mom did a sweater, booties, and hat for Jacob, and her good friend Sandy (a grandma-t0-be and faithful blog reader, along with her adorably pregnant daughter--hi Laurie!) made a beautiful blanket that's been a staple of our middle of the night feedings (mommies get cold too!). We've also gotten some homemade bibs from a couple of people. Good thing we have those kind of folks around, because I definitely do not have that talent!

Yesterday we also got a gift from Uncle John and Aunt Kristin, a Baby Bjorn carrier. It is awesome! While it will come in handy out in the real world, it's already been a nice addition to our home life. When Jacob is cranky and doesn't want to be put down but I have a lot to do around the house, I can just strap him in and do it. This morning he fell asleep while I was sitting at the computer. It's nice to give him that close contact but not feel handcuffed or risk dropping him. So cool!

We leave shortly to go for our prep day at daycare. Should be an interesting visit. I'm sure I will have more thoughts on the daycare thing in the days to come, both regarding the physical preparations for it and my thoughts on actually sending him there. Hopefully I will have a report on today's visit tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Had to share...

Over the weekend Jacob started smiling a bit. As I've mentioned before, he only ever smiled when falling asleep or passing gas. Now he started smiling while awake, albeit unprovoked. I still think it's more of a reflex than anything at this point, but it's super cute anyway. I've been dying to get a picture of one, and I had a bit of success this afternoon. First, here's a picture from last week that I've been meaning to post. He had been fussing like crazy and finally fell asleep like this:


Ok, so on to today. Jacob was finally well-fed and awake, so I spent a good chunk of time trying to get him to smile while holding the camera. Finally, no thanks to me, he started smiling! They're tough to catch on camera because they're generally quick and the flash probably throws him off a bit, but here's what I got. Maybe it's just me, but the pictures get progressively cuter...here's the first one...

And the second one...
And the third one...
He looks chubbier in the last one than he actually is, but at least in the last two you can see the infamous single dimple! I definitely look forward to the day where we can get thse smiles almost on command, but these pictures will probably keep me smiling for days to come. I've decided that when things are going well, Jacob is the best thing in the world. It's a really peaceful feeling when everything seems under control and he's happy. It's not that I love him any less when things are out of control, but a whole host of other emotions get in the way. Fear, confusion, and uncertainty have a way of making things seem so much harder than they probably are, and I hate that they tend to get in the way of me enjoying such an awesome little person. But little by little I have these good moments, sometimes when he's feeding contentedly...sometimes when he's just been screaming, stops the instant I pick him up and snuggles into my shoulder...sometimes when he's smiling like in the pictures above...all seems right with the world. Watching some of my baby shows on TV and realizing all of the things that could have been wrong with him but weren't, it makes what he went through look like a piece of cake, and it makes me that much more grateful for the healthy little boy he is today. He's a pretty amazing little guy...

Growing Boy

We had a good morning. Jacob seemed to come through his first formula experience last night unscathed. Of course, he hadn't pooped yet, which led me to believe he might end up with some constipation issues, but a little while ago while he was sleeping and stirring I heard a couple massive farts. They sounded drier than his usual explosiveness, so I'm hoping that's the formula poop and he's ok. I guess constipation happens more with formula, and formula-fed babies poop less anyway, so nothing is out of the question. Regardless, he fed well at 4:15am (not bad considering he went down for bed by 11:30) and again a couple times this morning, so the bottle and the formula apparently haven't messed with his ability to breastfeed. He almost seemed to enjoy his bath, until I pulled him out into the harsh, cold world. He fussed a bit while we did a little fashion show, trying on some of his bigger clothes to see if they fit yet...and you know what? They're getting really close! Seeing as he's going off to daycare soon, I'm thinking he might have to expand beyond his current world of onesies (and if not, fall will do that soon enough) so the 3-6 month clothes will be a welcome change.

Once he was dressed and fed we headed off to the mall. I needed to do some swimsuit shopping, because my stomach is not bikini-appropriate anymore and we'll probably be swimming next weekend. No luck, though, so I might have to opt for a t-shirt over my old suit. I also did a little Jacob shopping since Bon-Ton had Carter's clothes on sale and they have the cutest line of Moose clothes (Craig and I are addicted to moose, for those of you unaware). There was a 20% coupon in the Sunday paper in addition to the 40% off, so that was a good deal. We also went to Target armed with a gift card to pick up a couple things in preparation for daycare (extra bottle nipples and a box of wipes) as well as some essentials to make up for a little stupidity on my part. I put a couple wet things into Jacob's hamper last week, and they grew mold...all over quite a few things. Who knew? So, I got some new burp cloths, receiving blankets and onesies (3-6 months, since the 0-3 seem to be getting a little tight) to make up for the ones I couldn't salvage. The good news is that they're cool blue ones with a sporty theme instead of the gender neutral ones I registered for. I'm slowly forgiving myself for the mess.

Well, Jacob is screaming now and is probably hungry! He's definitely a growing boy!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Feeding time

First off, sorry it's been a while since I last posted. It was a pretty good weekend (complete with a visit from my parents and a nice walk through the Park Ave. Festival here in Rochester), though it has been trying at times because Jacob appears to be going through one nasty growth spurt. He's been keeping me busy, either eating all the time or being a little cranky in between. Or, less often, I'm trying to catch up on my sleep because he's on some wacky schedule right now that's been keeping me up until 1 or 2 every morning. We try to put him to bed after his 11ish feeding, but he's been waking up again by 12 or 12:30 wanting to eat again, and generally stays awake for a while afterward. He only gets up once in the night after that (generally one span of 3-1/2 or 4 hours somewhere in there), which is great, but staying up that late isn't going to work next week when I go back to work.

He's been feeding every two hours during the day, and nearly every hour in the evenings. In addition, he's had a couple marathon feedings where he sits there contentedly for an hour or two. I switch sides periodically to make sure he's still getting something, but eventually it gets a little painful and I have to pull him off, full or not. In addition I've been trying to pump (tough when the feedings are that close together and he doesn't sleep long in between), but I've been having a lot of trouble with that still. I only get something for the first 10 minutes, and even then it's probably only an ounce or two. Definitely not enough to have enough for him all day at daycare, at least not if I'm just pumping a couple times while at work. I think it's just a mental thing, that I can't get the same letdown as I do when I'm feeding him. I have tried relaxing, tried making a pumping bra (cheaper to try with an old one of mine than buy a real one--mixed results) to let me do other things while I pump, looking at Jacob's picture...and nothing is working right now. I figured that between his marathon feedings and my attempts to pump, my supply would go up and inevitably I'd get more milk in, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. Jacob's still hungry after most feedings, despite going longer than 30 minutes at a time sometimes.

As a result, it's forced me to consider supplementing with formula, at least while he's at daycare. I'll still be pumping so my supply shouldn't go down, which is one of the negatives that usually goes along with supplementing. As much as I didn't want to have to do that, I guess I don't have a choice. Here's my plan...Because I am grossed out by the smell of formula spitup and don't want to experience stinkier poop, I'd like them to give him the formula bottles early, and switch to breastmilk in the afternoon. They can deal with the icky spitup and diapers, and I'll get him back smelling like usual :) He'll still get probably half or 2/3 of his feedings as breast milk, so I guess that's not bad. He's taken to the bottle fabulously, so that's good too.

Partly out of preparation and partly out of necessity, tonight we did formula feeding #1. He'd been feeding for an hour or so and was still hungry (trying to latch on to everything and crying), so I decided that there was no time like the present. I pulled up one of the sample canisters of formula that had been sitting in our basement, and made up a 5 oz. bottle for him. Four oz. is the standard, but at some point soon he is supposed to be moving up to 5 or 6 oz. so I figured I'd see if he'd take it. He did well with the formula and sucked down the first 4 oz. pretty good. It took a little bit but eventually he seemed a little hungry again and ate the last ounce. He was still quite awake afterward, which was disappointing, but he was content and did fall asleep in his vibrating chair a little later. I just put him in bed and am hoping he stays asleep for a while. I've been hearing noises, but he's just a noisy baby, as those of you who have heard his grunts are well aware. I'm a little nervous about how his tummy will react to the formula, and how stinky his diaper will be when I get up for his next feeding, but so far so good--he ate, seemed full, and fell asleep.

I think a call to the lactation consultant is probably something I should put on my agenda tomorrow. I don't know why he's never satisfied with breastfeeding right now and why I can't pump much. It's driving me nuts. I've invested a lot of time (and now money) into breastfeeding and would hate to see it all fall apart now. I guess using just a little formula is better than using it exclusively, and since it's so darn expensive, breastfeeding and pumping is still worthwhile.

I guess this is the next step of my formula acceptance, dating back to my issues during Jacob's week in the hospital. I didn't want him to have formula then, but eventually accepted that he'd have to have some. The circumstances just weren't working in my favor with him in the hospital, between my milk not coming in quickly enough and not being able to be there for him all the time. I didn't need to put that kind of pressure on myself. Similarly now, I can't help the fact that I don't seem to be producing enough (or if I am, a growth spurt and my apparent mental block with pumping are derailing me anyway) and the physical separation that going back to work presents are the newest set of extenuating circumstances that are causing me to fall back on formula again. I've been doing everything in my power to keep breastfeeding going, and will continue to do so, but this appears to be another instance of having to accept less-than-ideal circumstances just because it's my only option if I want to keep myself sane. Arg.

In other news, this week has some interesting high points. My friend Heather has finally worked out her transportation issues (thanks to her wonderful father-in-law) and will be coming in on Wednesday to meet Jacob. On Thursday Jacob and I are going to his day care to spend some time in the infant room. It's mostly to help them find out his idiosyncrasies and presumably to put my mind at ease about things. Should be interesting. We have another road trip this weekend to Buffalo, which is great, but it means that Friday will probably be spent getting everything together for daycare--gathering up diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, and whatever else they request he have, and labeling it all. Yuck. I'll be on my own Monday morning (Craig's on the road), so I'll have to have it all as ready to go as possible so I can get him to daycare and get myself decently put together and to work on time. Could be an early morning!

Lots to keep you posted on in the next week, eh? Should be interesting...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Out in the world...

Today is Jacob's six-week birthday...amazing how time flies, but how it feels like he's been here forever! I decided it was time to take him out and show him off a bit, so we took a trip into the city to my office. It was funny driving there after six weeks away. I was interested to see the progress on the major construction project on 490. I was interested to explore my new parking arrangements, as well. Since I left, Midtown Plaza, a rundown downtown mall and the home of our previous parking ramp, has closed. They're planning on demolishing it for the new corporate headquarters of PaeTec. We'll see if it ever happens. It's a shame, because it was the nation's first urban indoor mall, and it could have been cool had someone taken on the job of converting the many attached office towers into residential space. But anyway...the mall is closed so we could no longer walk through it to get to our building. The parking ramp is closing soon as well, and we finally got high enough on the waiting list to get into another ramp that's attached to our building. Of course, it's the one whose helix exit ramp collapsed a couple years ago, but that was just some bad engineering. The rest is fine and they've been doing construction on it now anyway.

So...complete with Jacob in his stroller, I managed to find my way from the ramp to the office. I stopped by to say hi to my bosses, then headed down to the cafeteria for lunch with my normal Friday lunch buddies. When I came back up to the office, Jacob was desperately hungry so I fed him a bottle (my first, his third). He took it really well, sucking down over 4 oz. without a problem. Whew. After showing him off to the rest of the office (rave reviews, of course), I headed off to Craig's office to drop off a shirt he forgot this morning. That led to another long stop as all of the folks in the Amerks office admired him :) He was perfect, though, so all in all it went well.

When we got home I decided to do a little experiment. Jacob was hungry so I decided to nurse him on one side while I pumped the other. If getting the milk to let down with a pump was the problem, that would solve it. It was a bit of a balancing act (literally), but I managed to pull it off. And sure enough, nearly 4 oz. after 15 min. on one side! After 15 min. I decided to switch sides to see if Jacob could stimulate the pump side further and to see if the pump could still squeeze more out of the other side. It didn't get much more, but Jacob seemed content for the full 30 min. feeding. That doesn't really help me for pumping effectively at work, but we'll see if my body adjusts. Let's hope. But anyway, it was a relief to get the full 4 oz., because that gave me something for tonight when we're heading off to the Rattlers game with my cousin (and one of Jacob's biggest fans), Lori. I'll keep doing that process as much as is convenient, though.

As a whole, today has been a great day. It was nice to get out into the world a bit and be out of the house for a while. That was the longest I'd been out of the house since Jacob came home five weeks ago. Crazy, isn't it? Not quite a usual summer, but next year should be pretty cool, I think! Well, time to get him fed again and get ready to go to the game. Have a nice weekend!