Watching the little man grow

April 24, 2011

Tomorrow the little guy will be 11 months old. We have almost survived the first year! Its been quite an adventure, so far. I just finished gathering up a picture of every one Reid’s monthly birthdays so that I can pop them in a scrapbook. It got me thinking about what the highs and lows have been in this crazy year. Here is how I remember each of these months:

Month 1: Everything is a brain fart. Kevin and I were new to everything from changing a diaper, feeding, bathing, clothing etc. On top of it all, I had new mommy brain meaning I forgot just about everything except my name on most days. Thank goodness for my iPhone app that would tell me whenever I needed to feed the baby.

Month 2: The height of crying. Around week 6-8, I believe I was having the hardest time. Reid cried so often and I had no idea what to do about it.

Month 3: Discovering a schedule! In the middle of the second month, I realized that if I put the little guy to sleep after he’d been awake every 1.5 hours, he was a pretty happy guy. He even started smiling! I was getting the hang of this!

Month 4: Back to work. This was a difficult time. Adjusting back to work and trying to act like a normal adult was a bit tough. Plus, Reid began getting sick while at daycare. I am proud to say I only shed tears in the office one time during that first week!

Month 5: Family Time. Lots of family was in town for my sister’s wedding! It was fun to show off the little guy to extended family. Reid also met his grandpa Tom and grandma Susan for the first time.

Month 6: Sickness. Reid got sick quite a bit. We were starting him on solids and he had diarrhea at times, an ear infection, high fevers. IT was rough.

Month 7: More Sickness and major change. At Reid’s 6 month appt. the doctor detected wheezing and inflammation in Reid’s lungs. We took him out of daycare and cobbled together child care here and there to take care of him. We started nebulizer treatments which absolutely sucked. He got another ear infection. We saw the doctor almost every week of this month. Reid gets his first teeth. I hate teething.

Month 8:  Hawaii and new nannies. We went to Hawaii where Reid’s breathing suddenly had a major improvement, but, he was on a bad sleep schedule. After months of sleeping through the night, he was suddenly getting up multiple times a night and wanting to nurse. It was not exactly a relaxing vacation. Upon our return, we went back to work and Reid was cared for by one new nanny, Yolanda, while we found a nanny share.

Month 9: New Childcare! We started a nanny share with a baby 3.5 months younger than Reid. I thought finding our nanny was sheer luck. She was our favorite teacher at his previous daycare and she was looking for a new job. Things were looking up for us! Reid’s health was much better. Reid starts army crawling and he said mama!

Month 10: In the groove… I went back to work five days a week and Yolanda (from month eight) starts taking care of Reid on Mondays while Mary is our nanny for our nanny share Tues-Fridays. Reid hasn’t been sick much, he seems to be in a great mood, and he is eating like no tomorrow! Unfortunately, he isn’t drinking milk and the end of nursing seems to be nearing. Reid is clapping and giving kisses.

Month 11: Fun. Reid is as fun as he has ever been. He is army crawling everywhere, laughs a lot, started waving and is pretty easy to take out to restaurants because he loves to eat. As long as there is good food in front of him, he is a pretty happy guy. I am surprised and very happy to say that his favorite foods are his mom’s homemade soups. 🙂 I’ve stopped pumping at work, it was getting impossible.

Month 12: It starts tomorrow! But, I’m guessing the overarching theme is that we’ll be ending our nanny share and having Reid with a 1:1 nanny. Things didn’t go well with the two babies and Mary, so, again… we are moving on with a different childcare situation. Bah humbug!


Something awesome to shed some light on our rainy days

March 16, 2011

Its been a rough few weeks. Hmmm… actually, its been a rough few months. In summary, at Reid’s six month appointment, his doctor told us that his breathing had been compromised by all of the colds and coughs that he’d been suffering through at daycare. He had inflamation in his lungs and was wheezing. As parents, we made the tough decision to pull him out of daycare and find him a nanny. For several weeks, Kevin and I cobbled up half days here and there along with having a few random folks like our housekeeper to watch him in December. In January, he had a different nanny and finally in February, we started him off with a nanny share. Because of his breathing issues, we’ve been doing a couple of medications in a nebulizer several times a day with him. He absolutely hates it and it is one of the worst 7-17 minutes of our day. Finally, his wheezing subsided after a couple of months and he was sickness free for about two months. We have been so paranoid and fearful of him getting sick again. Last week, he caught a new cold and his wheezing returned and so did one of his medications that we had stopped.

Anyways, in all of this, I’ve gone back to work full time (I was doing four days until last week) and I’ve had a lot of supply issues while nursing. I told myself that I wouldn’t beat myself up about not being able to provide my child with breast milk. But, you know what… I’m beating myself up. I’m sure the stress isn’t helping any.

I seem to just be trying to get through each day and trying to get to bed ASAP. Today, I decided to do something for myself and just surf the web… or iTunes and Amazon, that is. I stumbled upon this website that just made me smile. So, I thought I’d share it. It is just a reflection on some of the little things in life that are awesome, but, we may not think to appreciate them.

The author has a book too!

Who knew sitting in a car for hours could be so relaxing

February 17, 2011

I am very glad that I like my Mazda 3 because I have spent a lot of time waiting around in it while Reid sleeps. As anyone who has a child knows, you do not wake up a sleeping baby. Its just way too tough to get them to sleep in the first place, so, you take the sleep when you can get it. Over the past few months, both Kevin and I have spent countless hours waiting in the car. Its been anywhere from 5 minutes to over 2 hours in our own driveway, parked on a hill before Sunday brunch in San Francisco, a parking garage at the mall, in front of a friend’s house, and countless other places.

Just last weekend, our friends, the Wolosins, invited us over for dinner at their house around 5:30 PM. On the 10 minute drive over, Reid fell asleep in his car seat. So, I waited for him to wake up while Kevin went inside to join our friends. Luckily, I have learned to take reading material with me at all times. Now, it sounds like I’m making the sacrifice here by missing out on the dinner party, however, I actually looked forward to this quiet time in the car where I could read my book. (At the moment, I’m reading the infamous Asian Tiger Mom book by Amy Chua). These days, I don’t get too much down time where I get to read. In the car, its about all I can do. There are no dishes to wash, laundry to do or bills to pay. Its just me, a sleeping baby and my book. 🙂 I had about 30-40 mins of reading my book that day… it didn’t seem like enough!

Last night, our family was meeting up with our friends the Laws for a “family night” at a nice restaurant in San Francisco. Again, Reid fell asleep in the car. Kevin volunteered to stay with him, but, I knew that he had really wanted to go to this restaurant and scheduled it with our friends. So, I spent over an hour in the car (never making it to dinner) with Reid. Kevin ended up bringing me some delicious Mac n Cheese in a to-go container  in the middle of dinner.  I didn’t mind a little more down time.

Mommy’s Guilt

October 21, 2010

I’ve read about it, I’ve heard about it from friends and I knew it would happen to me. The big “G” of being a mom… GUILT. Although I know that I am trying my best as a mom, I can’t help but feel guilty about all kinds of things that are probably unhealthy. Recently, I’ve been feeling guilty about not working enough. Since I’ve been back at work, I’ve popped into the office around 8 am (often leaving the house before 7:15 AM, if I take the train) and then, I am out by 4 or 4:30 PM so that I can pick up my son at day care by 5 PM. Because I pump breast milk three times a day, I don’t even allow myself a short lunch break. I grab lunch downstairs, bring it back to my desk and try to stay focused during the limited amount of time that I’m in the office. Still, even though I am getting my work done, I feel like its not enough. My old self worked a lot more and that is a tough standard to live up to, these days.

Besides work, I still sometimes feel guilty about having my son in day care. Mostly, the guilt stems from the fact that he has been sick for about six weeks straight with either a cold or a cough. We’ve brought him to the doctor no less than three times in this short amount of time. But, everyone tells me it just comes along with group childcare and there isn’t much you can do about it. “They are building up their immune system!”. Oh…but, the coughs coming from his little, cute, baby body are so sad to listen to. Plus, when the coughs wake Reid up in the middle of the night, this doesn’t help me get my much needed rest for work.

As a mom, the guilt seems endless. I’ll feel guilty if I forget a jacket when its cold outside, if he spits up a lot (because maybe I ate something causing him acid reflux!), if I don’t want to stay up an extra hour to watch TV with the hubby, if my baby isn’t getting enough rest because I haven’t ‘sleep trained’ him… <sigh> Hopefully, the guilt will subside (at least a little) soon. It’s exhausting worrying all the time! I’ve been seeking comfort by reading about other mom’s who feel the same guilt, so, I thought I would add my 2 cents too.

Learning to let go

September 2, 2010

Someone told me that being a parent is a lifetime of learning to let go of your child. It starts with birth when they are no longer one with your body and continues onward. I’m definitely understanding this. I realized that the first significant point when I let go (just a little bit) was when Reid was about a month old. My mom, sister and sister’s fiance babysat for us for under 2 hours while we enjoyed a dinner alone. We tried not to check our phones too often, talk about parenting or worry about our little guy. After that, leaving for a few hours didn’t seem like such a big deal.

Last weekend, I left for my first overnight trip without Reid. I flew to San Diego for my sister’s bachelorette party for just about 36 hours. Its rough leaving when you are breastfeeding though. I had to pump for over a week to have enough milk stored up for my departure. Plus, I needed to pump while I was away. I would escape to my room (which I didn’t share with anyone…thank goodness!) to hook myself up to the cow machine to store up my liquid gold. During the short trip, everytime I saw any baby under age 1, I thought of my little guy and missed him a lot. Fortunately, his dad took wonderful care of him. He napped and took his bottles with ease. It was excellent bonding time for both of them and gave Kevin more confidence that he could do all the parenting, if necessary, on these rare occasions when I’m out of town.

Finally, the ultimate in letting go is day care… 😦  Today, Reid had his first day of day care. It was just a couple of hours where I observed for a little while to be sure he adjusted to his new surroundings. It has been heartbreaking for me knowing that someone else will care for him for 9 hours a day. After leaving him there, I felt empty and lonely, but, I have to keep reminding myself that a happy mom will ultimately be better for Reid in the long run. And… I cannot see myself being happy as a stay at home mom. I am actually looking forward to the intellectual stimulation of work, but, will miss the days with Reid. He is just hitting the period where he spontaneously smiles all the time… even giggles. Its adorable and melts his mom’s heart.  He will get another short day in day care tomorrow and will go in for a full day starting next Tuesday when I get back to work.

Two Months!

July 29, 2010

Reid had his two month appt. yesterday and Kevin and I were really looking forward to finding out how much he weighed and how this stacks up on the growth charts. Reid now weighs 13 lbs and 8 oz and is 23 inches long. I can’t believe he is only 3 inches longer than when he was born because he seems so much bigger than that. Anyways, his weight is in the 50-75% (that is a big range). His height is only at the 25%… oh, the under achievement in height is already beginning. Sorry Reid… but, your parents don’t have any tall genes to pass on to you. 😦 Reid also got a couple of shots which were really painful for me to watch. Anyways, here is a cute pic taken just a couple of days ago.

The best and worst of being a new parent

July 26, 2010

Yes… its been eight weeks since our little bundle was born. I have been busy changing diapers, feeding him, carrying him around and marveling at our little guy who was once growing in my stomach! Now, he is growing (super fast) right before my eyes. He was born 7 lbs 15 oz, at four weeks, he was 10 lbs. 15 oz and now… I’m guessing he is close to 14 lbs. That is just my guess because he has grown out of his newborn swaddle blankets and will be starting some bigger boy size 2 (14 lbs +) diapers soon.

But, anyways, I digress. So much has happened in the past few weeks, I had no idea how to write any of it in one blog entry (while my son is napping). After a friend asked me if this was as hard as what I expected, I decided to write about what the highs and lows of being a new parent have been for me. Lets start with the positive…

Best Moments in new parenting (at least for the past 8 weeks):

1. Seeing your newborn for the first time post labor. After 22 hours of labor and nine months of carrying him in utero, Kevin and I were so ecstatic seeing our perfect little guy. Despite his purple complexion, slimy skin and cone head, we thought he was the best looking baby ever. We were also surprised at how much hair he had!

2. Hearing Reid’s farts and poops. This sounds gross, but, Kevin and I could not stop laughing when we heard the loud sounds coming from our baby. It was amazing that such a little guy could make such noises.

3. Having Reid fall asleep on you. I think that many books will tell you that its not a good habit to let your baby sleep in your arms, but, I have to say that this is a really nice feeling… (and call me a bad parent, but, this has happened a lot, and I let it).

4. Seeing the love from other family members when they are holding Reid. Reid has had his aunts and most of his grandparents visit him and its so fun to see them with him. There is so much love in the air!

5. Watching your baby sleep…this is similar to #3, but, really, if they sleep anywhere, its an accomplishment! (in the crib, in their car seat, on the couch, on the bed, in a swing… sleeping is the best.

6. Smiling and cooing. Starting around week 6, Reid started smiling sometimes… we can never guarantee when this will happen, but, it absolutely makes our day.

7. Dancing with Reid. We danced in my stroller aerobics class and I often dance with him while he is on the changing table. “Kung Fu Fighting” is our favorite song after Auntie Lise introduced it to him.

Worst parts of Being a parent:

1. Driving while they are crying. This is the worst because you can’t take them out of the car seat or do anything for them when we are in the car. Sometimes I feel like running myself off the road because the crying is so terrible 😦

2. Projectile poo. This hasn’t happened since the first couple of weeks, but, while changing Reid, we had a few incidents that soiled our carpet :p

3. Its so difficult to go places now. Whether its the grocery store, a walk downtown or attending a friend’s celebration, going anywhere with a baby is a lot more difficult. He needs to eat every 2-3 hours and if he is tired and cranky, all you will hear is crying, so, you can’t take him anywhere. So, this item is also an apology to my friends who I have missed some occasion with because the timing just didn’t work out. Kevin and I have been better about getting out though. I am better at nursing in public and in figuring out how to make sure he is happy during the time we are out and about. Still… some of his fussy times are often still a mystery to me.

4. Postpartum brain. I didn’t think I was super forgetful or absentminded during pregnancy, but, post labor, I made up for it. Because I have crammed in so much new parenting info in my brain plus half my attention is constantly on what Reid is doing, my brain never seems to be totally there. Hopefully, in six weeks when I get back to work, I will be able to retrieve my brain.

5. Losing control over your sleep schedule. I think most parents will complain about being sleep deprived, but, Reid has always been a fairly good sleeper at night, so, we have gotten 6-7 hours of sleep on most nights. However, my sleep schedule is always determined by his. If he goes to bed at 9, I know I need to get to bed soon to take advantage of his time. I can’t surf the web or read a book til the wee hours and just sleep in the next day because Reid will be waking me up. So, once the little guy is down for the night, I am too within the next two hours.

6. The guilt. With everything I do, I wonder… will this affect his development in the future? Example: If I don’t teach him good sleep habits, will he have sleep problems his whole life? If I don’t do the right kind of talking now, will I affect his vocabulary in the future? If I don’t pick him up when he cries, will he be an insecure baby turning into a fearful adult? :p

7. No time to yourself.

Anyways, if I write anymore, this blog post will never get posted. I have sat down to write it several times. I apologize for typos, grammatical errors etc. (please see #4 of the worst things about being a new parent).