Category Archives: Anna

Back To Work

Those three months sure went by fast. I was lucky enough to eek out an extra week at home due to holidays and such. FMLA only allows you to take 12 weeks, but I got 13 weeks… it was still too short. This country’s maternity/paternity leave policies (or lack of) blow.

I was dreading leaving the baby, but it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would. Yet. I think it is going to get harder and harder the more days I miss. Last night when Sean brought her home I only got to see her a couple hours before she went to sleep for the night. And that is just the beginning of it… next comes missing her first time rolling over or sitting up or any number of other firsts. Not to mention not being able to attend her needs and feed her. And to make matters worse, pumping hasn’t been yielding enough milk for her… so she has had to take more formula as well. I ordered new pump parts, so hopefully once I get some fresh valves it will increase the efficiency of the pump. Or maybe I need to listen to a soundtrack of crying babies and plaster the room with pictures of Anna.

This sucks and I hate it, but we need my paycheck. Oh what I would give to be able to work from home full time! It would be so easy with mom there to nanny… I could feed her whenever she was hungry, spend time with her throughout the day, and have someone there to take care of her so I could focus on work.

Anna and her Nana (Sean’s mom) have been having lots of fun yesterday and today though. Dena is certainly enjoying her time with her, and I am glad to know she is in the care of family and not just another baby at a day care center. I am not sure I could bring myself to leave her at a day care at this stage!

(If you are confused at this point… Sean’s mom is keeping her three days a week until my mother moves up here to be our nanny next month. Sean and I each will work from home one day a week to cover the gap until then)

Work has been going well so far, even though I haven’t really done much actual work yet. I have mostly been getting settled in, and was lucky enough to return at a slow point. So many things have changed at work, which I expected at a fast moving company like ours. The systems have changed, the procedures have changed, our tools have changed, the employees have changed, and even my desk has changed.

Some of the changes have worked in my favor. When I started working from home in the last few weeks before the baby was born, it was right before one of the new hires started. They asked if he could sit at my desk, which was fine with me… I had expected it and packed my desk up in a box before leaving. Because of that, he ended up with my monitor (used as a second screen to my laptop). So, when I got back I just had an empty desk waiting for me… no monitor or anything. While I was out, they also hired a new guy that covers hardware orders. I asked him for a monitor, and noted that several people now had dual displays for their laptops. He said he would get me two, but then I pointed out I couldn’t connect two to my laptop… the new guy that ended up with my monitor was only able to connect two to his because he had a newer laptop. I half-jokingly told the hardware guy I wouldn’t complain if he wanted to order me a new laptop, because mine was slow anyway and I wasn’t so sure my hard drive was as healthy as my Mac said it was. Surprisingly he ordered one for me! So soon I will have a new retina display 13″ Macbook Pro with a solid state drive and two 23″ monitors, as well as a new laptop stand that is better than the one I have now! Woot!

Hands!

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Anna is learning to use her hands! A few days ago I decided to pull out a rattle toy to see if she was interested in the sound yet, and unexpectedly she grabbed ahold of it. The first time it looked like it was accidental, so I didn’t think much of it, but decided to try again just to see. Again she seemed to grab it reflexively with her left hand, but then stared at it and very deliberately put her right hand on it! I pulled out more toys to see what would interest her, and it wasn’t long before she was grabbing things consistently.

Her favorite toys seemed to be this flat monkey with crinkly material inside and a pig that had some dangly feet that makes musical sounds when it is pulled, but she didn’t care too much about rattles. The monkey also has a high contrast print on its belly and big eyes, so she liked looking at him too.

After a couple days of her playing with her two favorite toys and getting more coordinated, we picked up an activity gym and a couple other grabby toys for her at Target. Anna seems to approve. She loves laying and playing with all the dangly things. Sean went a little overboard and has now added just about every toy we have that has a clip or strap to it, but she seems happy to have a bunch of stuff to look at and grab. (The picture above was taken before adding all the other toys. And yes those are skulls & crossbones… her daddy picked those out. Something about Skull Squadron.)

It is so amazing how quickly she gains new skills or grows bigger. It always seems like these things happen over night. One day she is wearing newborn size clothing, and the next she doesn’t fit them anymore. One day she seems to not realize she even has hands, the next she figures out how to chew her fingers, and then suddenly she is grabbing things and putting them in her mouth.

More Sleep

New Mobile
<< Anna’s new battery powered mobile with a light show, even more amazing than the wind-up one.

The baby has been in her own room for nearly two weeks now, and we are all adjusting well. I know I am happy to finally have her and all her stuff in one place rather than having some in her room and the rest crammed on the changing table in our room. And now that she is out of our room, we have moved the changing table we had in there downstairs… which is incredibly convenient. Previously we were using the Moses basket on the table or counter as a changing station, and all her changing supplies were crammed in a bin. It was either that, break our backs bending over the couch to change her, or haul her upstairs every time she needed a fresh diaper. So now our lives are a bit more orderly, which makes my OCD happy.

People say that babies sometimes start sleeping better once they are in their own rooms, but not so sure that is the case here. Last night was the first time she has slept more than 3-4 hours in one stretch in a long time.

Last night was unexpectedly great. I fed her around 9, she went to sleep around 10, and didn’t wake up until 6. Hopefully that will continue! I have really missed those few times she slept 7 hours. Of course I didn’t get but maybe 4-5 hours of sleep last night. I went to bed around 1:00, fully expecting her to wake up any minute. So maybe tonight I will try to go to sleep earlier, maybe she will sleep through the night again and I can get a decent night’s sleep!

And she is continuing to grow like a weed. I have no idea what she weighs now, but it has to be about 11.5 pounds. When I hold her, or see other people hold her, sometimes I notice exactly how much she has grown and I am amazed. Just this morning I realized her legs are hanging off the nursing pillow at the knee. And the other day when her great-granny was holding her in the crook of her arm, Anna’s legs were off her lap at the knee. This also means I get to buy more clothes for her, which is always fun.

I had thought she had so much clothing for this size that I wouldn’t have to get anything for her until around Christmas, but I was wrong. She has outgrown all those 0-3 month onesies, and is now about to completely fill out the 3 month size. Plus the weather changed and I realized she was really lacking layered clothing. She had a lot of short sleeve stuff, and some heavier hoodies, but only one outfit with a thin long sleeve shirt to wear jacket-style over a onesie. So I had to go shopping (had to, lol, like it was a chore… I love baby clothes shopping) for some outfits that had a light long sleeve cardigan/shirt/etc. She also needed new PJ’s with long sleeves since she has learned to consistently bust out of her swaddle. Every morning I would go to feed her and her little arms would be so cold! So now she has several long sleeve onesies, a few sleep sacks, and some outfits with a light jacket/shirt. And I bet she will outgrow all of that by Christmas.

As I have been typing this I was watching her sleep on the baby monitor. She has been twisting and squirming, and is now fully awake. Guess I better go get her before she realizes she needs a new diaper and breakfast part 2.

Crib

A few nights ago we made the transition from bassinet to crib. I started with letting her nap in her crib a few times, then just dove in and put her down to sleep for the night. We were both a little nervous about her being in another room for some reason, even though we had the monitor. Sean decided to sleep in there with her the first night, so I crawled in bed with him. We both stayed with her until she woke up for her middle of the night feeding, then I went to my bed and cuddled up with the baby monitor.

She seems to be doing well in her crib, although I wish she would sleep longer. I think she is going through another growth spurt, as she has been wanting to eat constantly and has gone back to a four-hour schedule at night. Hopefully the growth spurt, or whatever it is, won’t last much longer and she will give us some more 7-hour nights.

I am also hoping we can start moving towards getting her on a schedule where we can put her down and let her go to sleep on her own. She actually went to sleep on her own in the crib a couple times now. I laid her under the mobile and let her just hang out watching it spin until she drifted off. The first time it happened she didn’t sleep long at all, but the second time she slept for a couple hours. Seems like a sign of hope!

Speaking of her mobile, Anna absolutely loves it. The only trouble is I have to wind the thing every few minutes. She will just lay there and stare at it though. I think the next time we are at the baby store I will have to look for a battery powered one.

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(yes the baby monitor camera is sitting in there with her… we hadn’t mounted it yet and it wasn’t like she was gonna roll over there and try to play with it)

2 Months

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Just look at that face… Isn’t she just the cutest? I might be a little biased. I am surprised this photo came out so well, considering I snapped it with my phone. Of course, it was one of several photos I snapped. Her expressions change so fast you have take multiple photos in order to get a good picture.

Lately she has been smiling and vocalizing a lot, which is fun. Of course it is hard to get photos of her smiling though. Every time you hold the phone/camera up to take a picture or video of her being all smiley and coo-y she immediately stops and stares, transfixed, at the phone/camera. I have managed to capture a few smiles here and there though.

Anna is also starting to use her hands, although her motor control is so poor I am never really sure what she is trying to do. It usually ends up as jerky swatting movements, and she will often grab hold of whatever her hand happens to land on whether it is a shirt, my face, her ears, etc. It is amazing how quickly she changes from week to week, and it is always fun to watch her development.

Although, along with the fun milestones also comes the not-so-fun doctor visits. Thursday she had her two-month checkup, which meant she got her first shots. Okay, technically her first shots were in the hospital, but those don’t really count since she didn’t seem phased by shots then. Anna got several vaccines in the form of one oral medicine and three shots. She did great with the oral because she was getting hungry, she sucked it right down without spilling a drop. She also did pretty good with the shots, but of course she cried with each one. The crying passed quickly though, and she seems fine for a while afterwards. Then the crankiness hit. Unfortunately I was out clothes shopping at the time, and she had a major melt down. Major. She has never had a full blown melt down like that before, but thankfully I was in a dressing room at the time and I was able to hide and hope no one was around. Eventually I got her calmed down, although it took nursing, a swaddle, a pacifier, rocking, and a lot of patience to get there.

As soon as she was asleep I headed for the checkout counter and called Sean to tell him we needed him to pick up baby tylenol. Luckily the timing was right so that he was getting home about the same time I was. After a dose of tylenol and a nap on her daddy she seemed to feel a lot better. I learned my lesson about shots though. Be sure to have tylenol on hand, and go home immediately afterwards!

Here are some pictures of Anna’s bandaids. Her poor little legs were bleeding after the shots, so she ended up with a bandied for each injection. There was Snoopy, My Little Pony, and Tweety Bird.



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In other news, she weighed in at 10 pounds 10 ounces. That was the part of the visit I was looking forward to. I knew she was getting heavy, and I was very curious to see what her weight was. Since we are around her all the time we have a hard time judging how much she has grown. We just know that sometimes she seems to level up over night.

Sleep!

Last night I got kiddo to bed a little after 1am, then stayed up a little while to make sure she was really asleep before I laid down myself. I typically stay up 15-20 minutes or so after putting her down just to make sure she is really asleep because sometimes she likes to mess with you, and if I tell my brain it is okay to switch to sleep mode it makes it damned hard stay awake if Anna decides she doesn’t want to sleep after all. Plus it is better for my mental health I think… I do better staying awake than being woken up.

When I woke up the next morning, it was to Sean coming in with his morning cup of coffee and Anna was starting to stir. When she starts to stir it is best to go ahead and get her up for a diaper change and feeding; if you leave her be you might get thirty more minutes of lightly snoozing baby, or you might get a screaming baby in five minutes. It is much easier to get her changed, fed, and settled back down if you catch her before the freak out.

I grabbed my phone to see what time it was, expecting it to be around 6:00. Lately we have been lucky to get some nights with her staying asleep for 5 hours, but I wasn’t prepared to see the clock reading 8:55. My brain couldn’t comprehend it at first, but then it sunk in that she had slept nearly 8 hours. And I had gotten a little more than 7 hours of sleep! Uninterrupted! Do you know the last time that happened?! Me either! It must have been some time early in pregnancy, because later on I had to get up to pee throughout the night.

As it sunk in that I had enough sleep in one stretch to qualify as an actual night’s sleep, I began to wonder what I was supposed to do with myself. Normally after feeding the baby I am in the “please go to sleep so I can sleep” mode where I am struggling to stay awake long enough to get her settled down and back in her bassinet. Then I nap a couple hours to her next feeding, and then usually end up falling back asleep for a couple more hours after that… my day not really starting until noon or later. Now, after a full night’s sleep, I had at least three extra hours in my day.

Those three hours went by quickly just with pumping (after that long I was pretty full, and she couldn’t eat that much) and other mundane things. However, being showered and presentable by 11:00 meant I could actually get out of the house in time to go have lunch with Sean. So that was pretty awesome, and I got to see his office for the first time. Anna fussed some on the ride over, but once we got to his office she was good and slept the whole time.

After that I went to Crabtree to do some shopping, and stayed there until nearly 6pm. That is the longest I have been out of the house with her on my own. She did really good, and slept most of the time. When she was hungry, I nursed her in a dressing room. The dressing room was pretty tiny and only had a small stool, which meant the diaper change was interesting… I had to sit on the floor and barely had enough room between me, her, and the stroller.

That was only the second time I have nursed her outside of the house, the first time was in a feeding room at Buy Buy Baby. I still don’t feel comfortable enough to whip it out in the middle of the food court or anything, but it is good to know I can find ways to nurse her. As we find ourselves out and about more, I am sure I will get better at nursing without the comforts of home.

After a couple hours she woke up and seemed to get tired of being in her carrier and got fussy, so I ducked into a dressing room again and let her lay on the bench (with my hoodie and her blanket for cushioning) while I tried clothes on and it made her happy again for a while. Eventually she got tired and cranky, and again it was a dressing room to the rescue while I soothed her to sleep without disturbing the whole store.

In the end I probably spent twice as much time shopping as I would have pre-baby, but that is okay. I went knowing it would be a challenge to juggle shopping with a 7 week old. I would say it was a success, despite having little luck finding clothes. I doubt there is much chance I will get a repeat of last night, but hopefully she will let me sleep enough that I can maybe go out again tomorrow.

Weird Old Men

It is 1:30am, and once again I am sitting with a baby that refuses to sleep. She has been fed and is obviously tired because she will snooze for a bit, then wake up screaming until someone gives her a pacifier or cuddles. I figure I have about another hour of this, then I will feed her again and she will sleep around 3:00. That seems to be the pattern lately, and she so needs to stop that. It sucks. She really needs to figure out the difference between day and night, but that should come with time. We just have to wait for that internal clock to develop; the pediatrician promised it would happen on its own. On the bright side, she has let us sleep for five hours a few times lately. Once she finally goes to sleep that is.

So, while I wait around to soothe her every 5 to 10 minutes I figured I would write a post about something strange I have noticed about random people and babies. Especially about old men and babies.

Everyone loves a baby, and our baby gets constant “awww” sounds and/or smiles from passersby. I am sure pretty much all babies do when they are this tiny. However, some people don’t leave it at a “look at that cute baby” comment directed at a companion, or an “awww” as we pass by. Some people come up to look at her and want to chat.

The women that want to chat are typically older women. The younger ones might make a comment about her cuteness and move on, but it is typically the older ladies that want to converse about her age, birth weight, how long she sleeps at night, etc. However, they don’t touch her and often even keep their hands at their sides or behind their backs as they lean in to look at her.

Little girls (like 5 or younger) usually get really excited about her. If we end up waiting in line next to a young girl they will usually come up all smiles and excitement to look at the baby, want to touch her, and will exclaim over cute things like, “there are froggies on her blanket!” while their mothers try to reign them in and tell them not to touch babies with a tinge of desperation/embarrassment/fear in their voice. I try to smile understandingly since I know I will be there in a few years, and I don’t care if they want to look at her… I just don’t want germy kids touching her. Little boys don’t seem to care too much, although sometimes will excitedly tell a parent something like “look, it’s a little baby!”

Men mostly don’t really acknowledge the baby any more than they do any other being, but are notably more chivalrous. Old men are different though. I have had two old men come up and mostly ignore me, staring intently at the baby. One was at a rest stop, he came up saying something like “and how old is this little one?” while barely looking at me. Then he just stood staring at her with a “I’m trying to look like a kind person” grin before adjusting her blanket and wandering off. Yes, he adjusted her blanket! The second old man came up to us in Panera. His eyes were locked on the baby the whole time, and he mumbled something I didn’t catch, continued to stare at her for a while, kind of baby-talked about what a big baby she was (which is strange considering everyone else talks about how small she is) and then he touched her hand and walked off to the bathroom. Yes, again, a strange old man touched the baby as though it is perfectly acceptable. Both times I was alone with her, so I am not sure if this strange old man phenomena has anything to do with Sean’s absence. I think when he is around other men seem to keep their distance, must be some male thing.