Sunday, January 30, 2011

... of a big development

"Guess what I did? No... it wasn't gas..."

We have just experienced a big first in the Smith house (although I don't think it will become a regular occurrence for a few weeks yet). Abram just rolled from his tummy to his back!! On the bed, which I don't know whether that is easier or harder than on a floor, but still. I guess he's about on target for it, maybe a little early. He's always had a pretty strong neck, as evidenced by the fact that when we burp him we have to be very careful that his thrashing head does not smash into our cheekbones or our mouth (which are the most painful places to be hit by a baby head).

Anyway, I got a pretty bad video of him right as he was doing it. So it's authentic, but sorry about the quality (grandparents, aunts, great grandparents, etc)

We have been pretty bad about pictures, lately. But we got a couple when Aunt Hilary was here for a visit.

Abram loving some Auntie time.

Hilly got to experience giving Abram a bottle. It's a little more complicated than it sounds...

Abram also went on his first hike with Aunt Hilly and Dad. I think he might have slept through most of it. But that's what happens in the Bjorn.

She also gave us the trick of covering his body in a wet washcloth during bath time to keep him warm. It also keeps him modest in pictures.

This is one of Abram's (and Quinn's) favorite times: Hymn time!

And what does mom do when there is someone else around to help take baby duty.....?

Plays Donkey Kong, of course.

Well, he is waking up early from his nap... so we gotta go try and get him to go back to sleep. That is also more complicated than it sounds. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

... of a new found freedom

Up until this moment in the lives of Anaka and Abram, there has been a two hour leash connecting us to our house. He eats about every three hours and takes about an hour to eat and burp, etc. So if we had to go anywhere, we had about a two hour window. Now that wasn't bothersome if all we needed to do was go to Target (which we do much too often...) or to the driver's license office (which we did twice yesterday...) But, it was a little annoying if we, say, wanted to go to a friend's house and hang out and talk, or have dinner with the community group girls, or go to church. These things tend to take longer than two hours, minus travel time, and kept us from going to (or staying at) those things.

Now, you might be asking: "Well, why don't you just get a nursing cover and nurse him at those places?" "Fair question," I might respond. And then I might answer with some fairly detailed breastfeeding facts that you might not want to read if you are not: a woman, a very good friend, or family... I might suggest stopping right here if you don't want to know some of the "interesting" facts about breastfeeding...


For those of you who have stayed: It's not all that bad. I will try to be vague. But I wanted to share the greatness that I have recently discovered.

One of the reasons why I don't like to breastfeed anywhere other than my own home is because I can't bring my huge and cumbersome nursing pillow (the "My Brest Friend") with me on those outings. Or, I guess I could, but I am already bringing: a diaper bag, a baby carrier, a baby bjorn, and a baby to everything. I didn't really want to add a large foam donut to the mix. Now, this nursing pillow is absolutely necessary because: I am not well endowed. Yes, it's true. I am one of those lucky(?) mothers who went from a 32A before baby to a 34A after baby. It's great in some ways and very annoying in others. Most mom's can lay their baby on their lap and maybe lean forward just a little and get the goodness right to their baby's sweet mouth with no trouble. Yeah, not so much. My ribs would have to be able to collapse on themselves for my goodness to be able to reach a baby on my lap. Hence the absolute necessity of a nursing pillow.When he was really new, I could hold him up with my arms, but at 10 lbs, it's no longer an option.

This worried me a lot when I thought about trips. Car trips were okay, I could bring the two square foot foam pillow with us. But what about plane trips? Would I put it in a trash bag and check it? Should it be my carry on? Did I need to buy a new one at every new destination?

While worrying my pretty little head about this the other day as we planned our trip to Boise in three weeks, I thought: "Man, it's too bad there aren't inflatable nursing pillows. Oooo! I should invent one!" But, before I started working on the prototype, I thought I would google it just to see if someone else had already been as brilliant as myself. And I discovered the inflatable My Brest Friend (or "Travel My Brest Friend") and bought one. It came today and it's fantastic.

They claim that it takes two minutes to inflate; well, it's more like one. It's the same size as the foam one (so I can switch out the covers to wash them) and it deflates and folds up to about five square inches.

I don't even know why they make the foam ones, honestly. Babies spit up while they are eating. It's inevitable. Hopefully they make it to your shoulder and onto the burp cloth, but they probably won't. Most likely they will spit up on the pillow while they are lying down, or all over their clothes and yours. With the foam one, you can wash the cover, but you can't wash the foam. So ours smells like sour milk. Which is a GREAT smell. With the inflatable one, you can just wipe it off! Love it.

Also, it's cheaper than the foam pillow. Go figure.

So, now I can have a nursing pillow in the diaper bag and if I happen to be at a friend's house for more than an hour, I won't have to run out with a screaming baby. This occurred last night at community group. I bolted early with Abram and listened to him scream, literally scream the entire 15 minute ride home. It was torture. If I had had a nursing pillow, I probably would have just found a room and nursed him there. Oh well.

But now, the future looks bright for Anaka and Abram. The leash is cut! Or at least lengthened, I guess.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

... of a personality

"I'll show you personality."

Oh sure, we've gotten smiles in the past few weeks. You have even seen some on this blog. But the last two days, have actually made me hopeful that this child might actually be developing a very fun personality. We have had two - yes TWO - fun, giggly play times in the last 24 hours. Those ten minutes have officially redeemed the hundreds of hours of crying I have heard over the last eight weeks. Actually seeing him see us and smile and react to what we are doing is one of the best feelings. He feels like a person to me now and less like a baby. I see a glimpse of what he will be like as a little boy and a teenager and a man. It's crazy that he will be a man someday (an AbraMan), but it's exciting to anticipate who he will become.

We got the camera out during one of the giggly times. We did not have the camera taking speed photos. These are actually all separate shots over the five minutes or so. All leading up to... a breakdown (of course).

I know, that was a lot. But I thought they were all too cute not to share. And it was proof that we didn't just happen to catch a good picture.

Tonight, over dinner at Black Eyed Pea, Quinn and I discussed Abram dating. I know that right now the biggest milestones are smiling and learning how to suck on his own hand to sooth himself:

but he will be dating before we know it.

The discussion came about because we are facing a decision about vaccinations for his two month appointment. We are actually going to switch pediatricians because the one we had initially chose does not budge on vaccinations. While we were learning about hepatitis B and the vaccine, we naturally started to talk about Abram dating and what career he might choose, etc. It is very strange to feel like you are making decisions for your kids which may affect them so far down the line. But, if you just blindly go with what the American Academy of Pediatrics says to do, you could be opening them up to the possibility of severe enough side effects that the government has a national vacccination injury compensation law (which is scary...)

That discussion is for another day.

Anyway, we are also on the verge of a playmate!! Our friends, Jerod and April just had their second son, Asher. Abram and Asher (or Babram and Basher) are about six weeks apart and will make great friends as they get older. It's kind of selfish, because I like April, so the boys better be friends :) We went and visited them and got a pictures of the boys (minus two year old Elijah, who was playing).

Man, my boys look very pale in comparison to April's boys...

Well, good night. I hope to be reporting on more of these fun, giggly playtimes as the weeks progress. But for now, we must all get some sleep.

"Aufwiedersehen." (That's right. Abram knows German.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

... of a schedule?

It's not for sure yet... but the last two days, Abram's eating schedule has been close to the same! This may not sound like a big deal. But for a mother that has not been able to plan her life because she has been living in unexpected 2.5 to 3 hour increments based on when an 8 week old decides to wake up in the morning, it's a very big deal. His sleep schedule is not as hopeful at the moment, but maybe we will get there soon.

He has had so many grandparents around him for the past two months that there has never been a shortage of someone to hold him when he is sleepy and upset. So now he and I must agree on how much holding time is appropriate. He has been winning lately for the sake of my head, but my arms and back have begun start protesting. As I type, he has woken himself up at 11:30pm after being sound asleep for only about 20 minutes. I am out in the living room trying to write a quick update, while Quinn is in bed (most likely thinking about moving to sleep in the guest room). So I'll really make this as quick as possible.

Quinn's dad and step-mom visited this past weekend and we got lots of good pictures!

Grandpa Dan meeting Abram for the first time.

Some of the first for-sure smiles.

Which turned into one of the first for-sure laughs.

Grandma Barbara was willing to take Abram whenever he was fussy and calm him down. Thanks, Grandma Barbara!!

The Grandpa Dan Hold. Works wonders on a gassy Babram.

Abram really likes to spit up on this shirt of Quinn's. He did a number on it just a few hours ago.

A happy and content baby...

... can turn into a not so happy baby over the course of a photo shoot.

The Smiths. Abram and I know what's up.


Fun, fun weekend. We have Aunt Hilary visiting next week, which will be our final family visit for the new Babram. Then we are going to Boise in February. We want to visit all those Idahoans and see how Abes does on a plane before we tote him over to the Arabian Peninsula to visit some close friends in March. Hopefully he proves himself to be a good traveler. The way it's going right now, I'm not feeling very optimistic. But if he can grow out of clothes overnight, he can grow out of fussiness that quickly, too.... right?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

... of a shower

I have found (in my two days of experience), that the thing most sacrificed as a stay at home mom is personal hygiene. Or maybe this is just me. Maybe I don't prioritize it enough and you are all thinking: "How disgusting! That is always at the top of my list". Well, good for you. So far, my list has consisted of: feeding a baby, calming a crying baby, walking around the house trying not to wake the time bomb baby strapped to my chest.

Rinse and repeat.

Or don't rinse, just repeat.

That's the whole point of this commentary. With a baby attached to some part of your body every second of the day, when are you supposed to shower? Or at least wash your face and brush your teeth? Today, I put him in his carseat while he was crying, ran into the shower, cleaned myself moderately well, and jumped out, only to find that he had cried himself to sleep. This was great, except that I would have taken a better shower if I knew THAT was going to happen. Oh well. At least I don't smell anymore.

An update on my first day: It went fairly well. I was a little overwhelmed by the time Quinn got home and we discussed the importance of a night out without the baby over dinner and some tears. The day looked a little something like this:

We started out with a good feeding - with a good amount coming back up on my shirt.
Then we freaked out a little.
Then we slept in the Moby Wrap.
Then Mom crocheted a little bit. The only real thing accomplished all day.

Then we woke up...

And freaked out a little. So we tried the stroller tactic.
Which worked for awhile.
Until he woke up (and freaked out a little more).
And then fell asleep just in time for Dad to come home.

There were a few feedings in there, but I didn't want to take pictures of that and for sure wouldn't want to put them on the internet.

Of course, when Quinn got home he was sleeping and we had a relatively peaceful evening together putting away Christmas stuff. The peaceful evening was in exchange for an absolutely horrible early morning, when we were all awake from 2:45am until 5am and then Abram and I kept it going until the next feeding at 6am. So, needless to say, Quinn left for work and Abes and I slept in until 11 today. This made the day much less productive, but at least I was mildly well rested.

And now I am mildly well showered. We'll see if I can get a better one in tomorrow. I know Quinn would probably appreciate it.