Tuesday, September 29, 2009

you're never fully dressed...

Two more days before we leave for Memphis. I am quite apprehensive about the nine hour drive (which will certainly end up being at least 11 due to feedings and such). Nathan does very well in his car seat and sleeps when we drive, but that has never been for more than thirty minutes. I'm considering leaving Augusta after the 2am feeding (since I have such a difficult time falling back to sleep anyway), and hopefully that would let Nathan sleep the longest.

We are going to Memphis for Danny's high school reunion . Two of Danny's [five] brothers play football for the school, so we will get to watch their games. I made a little onesie for Nathan to wear in the bleachers. We will also be going to a couple of events for the 1999 alumni. We will get to see some of Danny's classmates and their growing families. I know it will be fun, but I am struggling just a little with the fact that I don't look quite like I used to and thus have very few clothes that fit. I'm trying to remember that "it's what you wear from ear to ear and not from head to toe that matters." And I have an amazingly adorable seven-week old accessory to distract from my otherwise homely appearance.

It is such good timing to see family because Nathan's smile is shining brighter every day. I attempted to capture it this week, but as soon as his eyes start to squint and that little mouth opens I forget about everything else in the world just to revel in joy in its most purest form. The few shots I got are mostly at the end of the smile, but you get the idea.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

waking up?

I often have to wake Nathan for feedings during the day. It had been four hours since his last meal, so I went in to rouse him. Here you get a very clear picture of how he takes after his father. This is exactly what transpires when I try to wake Danny...only smaller and cuter!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

a minute to myself

It has been quite a week and the blog had to go to the bottom of the list. Well, actually vacuuming and dusting is at the bottom of the list, but you get the idea. Nathan is spending more of the day awake and interested, so much of life has gone on hold until nap time. If my postings could be a little more regular, I would be able to avoid such long posts. But I will spare you all the details of the week and hit the main points.

Elsah came to visit and meet Nathan for the first time. We had a great time hanging out, watching movies, eating Dunkie's and shopping. She even gave Margot a much needed haircut. It was wonderful to have a free baby sitter this week. I was able to go to the gym almost every day! I realized (once again) that physical exertion is my Paxil. The day I stop working out I will need medication and probably therapy. It was wonderful to go sweat it out without wondering if Nathan would wake up and end my workout. Danny and I even went on a date! THANK YOU, ELSAH!

The brainwashing is going well. Nathan has become a real fan of Notre Dame football. We finally received his jersey in the mail (it was on back order) so he will be sporting that next weekend. We had a great time this weekend watching Notre Dame beat Michigan State. What a game!

Most importantly, the past week has brought a lot of changes in my sweet little boy. Since early last week, I noticed a change in his disposition. He was frantic when feeding, his sleeping patterns were totally erratic and I never knew if he was going to get fussy or be happy. He was eating every two hours for most of the day (I usually have to wake him up or he'll sleep over four hours). So I was hoping a change was coming. And it did.

Just when I thought I was going to go out of my mind, the most stunning, gummy grin bade me walk on! Saturday morning, during our usual morning debriefing (Nathan likes to tell me all about his dreams after his 6am feeding), he gave me a bright smile...then another...then another! Three beautiful smiles just for me! Since then, I feel like I will do just about anything to elicit another. Margot looks at me sideways as I make all sorts of funny noises and faces and kiss all over his round belly. One of these days I'll catch one on camera, but for now I am enjoying them too much to even think of grabbing a shot.

He is also really focusing on us and on windows, fans and flourescent lights. He'll lock on to new objects and follow them even if you move him away. He discovered the owls on his swing and the parrot on his bouncey seat. I know these are all seemingly small developments, but it is amazing to see Nathan starting to interact with his world. Mommyhood gets more fun every day!

I also wanted to say a word about an item I bought off of craigslist this week. I thought I would give the Moby Wrap a try. And we love it! I am still exploring all the different ways you can use it. You can hold baby in nearly any position. Nathan is a very gassy baby (imagine that!) so he really likes being upright for a while after feedings. And it is even more comfortable than the baby bjorn. The only thing I don't like about it is the length. I cannot imagine trying to put it on outside or in a stadium or somewhere with equally dirty floors because the ends drag on the ground until you have it "set up." Maybe I just have to get the hang of it, though. So there's my plug.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nathan's First Bath

This week Nathan had his first bath. And he LOVED it! Even though his cord fell off late last week, Daddy wanted very badly to be there for the first bath. He doesn't make it home in time to see Nathan awake, so we had to wait until this weekend to try out the bathtub. After a good long walk, we stripped a very fussy Nathan down to his birthday suit and set him in the water. Instantly he calmed down and became very interesting in his surroundings. We let him play around for about 5 minutes before washing him and taking him out (it's amazing how quickly the water cools in those little tubs!). He was horrified that we cut his bath time so short and quickly returned to his pre-bath emotional state. Just in time for bed.

"You are going to do what with these pictures?!"

In other news, my sister Elsah will be coming to town this week, and we are very excited. She gets to stay for a week. It will be wonderful to have some adult companionship during the day and another set of hands around the house. Maybe I'll even make dinner and wash the floors this week! I watch mothers with multiple children and wonder how they manage. I realize this is the easiest time of my life--it only gets more complicated--and I still struggle to get things done each day. I am grateful that this is all that is required of me for now.

Friday, September 11, 2009

one month

Today Nathan is one month old. It is amazing to look back and see how much we have both grown. I continue to learn more every day about patience and peace and how to spend hours talking to an infant. I know that each day is different from the one before, for better or for worse. Danny and I have come to rely on one another without words and to trust in eachother's love when time doesn't allow abundant signs of it.

Of course Nathan has grown immensely, too! He has gained over two pounds (mostly in his head, I think), and grew an inch (though he is still pretty short). He can turn his head from side to side when laying on his belly. He sleeps 5-6 hours at night and during the day he stays awake for about 1hr and 15minutes after a feeding to play and study the world. He has even learned to put himself to sleep (a skill I am now having to relearn). He no longer fits in the newborn diapers sent home with us from the hospital (and I have stains on my shirt to prove it). And as of this week I kissed his first tear and gave his beautiful new belly button its first zerbert. As his sweet gray-blue eyes stare at my face, I don't want to imagine what the next few months hold. I just want to stare right back.

It has been an amazing month. Happy 1 month birthday, sweet Nathan!

a peek through the crib at my little angel sleeping.

look at that amazing neck strength! good work, buddy!

a close-up of the newest Linn button!

a little something we like to call "naked butt time."

the latest nap-time position.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Life's Ups and Downs.

Nathan chillin' in the bouncy seat.

It has been an incredible week, full of trials, teamwork and answered prayer. I am left exhausted but hopeful and so very grateful for loving and devoted husband.

Somewhere around Thursday (I can hardly keep track of the days anymore), I hit a wall. Nathan is an amazing baby. He is not terribly fussy and is always consolable in some way. He goes at least 3 hours between night feedings and for this I am truly grateful. My skills at soothing him to sleep, however, are not very good and it often takes me over a hour to get him back to sleep. After such a trial of patience, I have a very hard time falling asleep myself (I think I lost the ability to "self soothe"--I usually rely on sheer exhaustion). This leaves me with about an hour to sleep before Nathan wakes up again. I think the 4-5 hours of sleep a night finally caught up with me an I was too tired to fall asleep. At around 6am I sat in bed with a migraine, crying and frustrated. I finally woke Danny (who until this point has slept through every night unless he was on call for the hospital). He finally saw how desperate I was and quickly stepped in. He soothed me to sleep and for the rest of the week brought Nathan to me in bed so all I had to do was nurse at night.

Now Danny has to return to work after a wonderful week of vacation. I worry that I am not capable of soothing Nathan to sleep. Patience is not my strong suit, and I worry that this is the lesson this stage is teaching me. So tonight I must return to the fire. Pray that I will not go into it alone, but relying on the peace of Christ and knowledge that He has equipped me for the strenuous journey of motherhood.

On a happier note, we have received so much this week, I hardly know where to start!

1. Dinners upon dinners! I have not had to make a dinner since I have been home! Thank you to everyone who has provided so generously for us.

2. News came this week that I will be returning to work after maternity leave as a PRN employee!!! I am thrilled to hear this because I am in love with my job, but more so with my son. I will now be able to enjoy both in proper measure. The position requires something like 2 12 hour shifts per month, the pay is more and I mostly determine which days I can work. What an enormous answer to prayer considering the hospital is on a hiring freeze!

3. Baby gifts galore. Whoever said boys clothes are not as cute as girls clothes obviously hasn't seen Nathan's closet! Generous friends have assured he will look adorable for atleast 12 months. Danny and I also received a few things...namely a Whistle Key Ring Finder. This fancy device attaches to...well, your key ring and...well, I'm sure you've figured it out. We thought this was a great gift for Danny but he has yet to put it on his keys. Instead it sits on our coffee table mocking me constantly! If I laugh too hard, it alarms. If I call out for something (I didn't realize my voice was so shrill), it alarms. No matter how hard I throw it against the wall, it persists. Needless to say, I told Danny it was either me or the Whistle Key Ring Finder, and since it doesn't have mammary glands, he had to choose me.

4. An amazing win by the Fighting Irish. Although it was against Nevada (enough said), there were some seriously amazing plays! Nathan experienced his first ND football game from Daddy's lap in a onesie sent by Papa just a few days earlier. He stared in amazement at the beauty of the Blue and Gold. He fell asleep shortly before the second quarter, but I believe his mere presence was enough to clench the win.

Ready for the big game!

Daddy teaching Nathan about football.

After the 88 yard TD pass!

5. Nathan's Social Security card! We opened the letter by accident as it had been put in the shred pile, thinking it was a junkmail look-alike. We were amazed to find such an important document inside. Nathan was initially very excited and promptly proclaimed, "I'm a real boy!" We then explained to him what it really meant.

The next posting will be on Nathan's ONE MONTH BIRTHDAY! We are hoping to get a new video camera today, but until then here is a clip of my noisy boy while he is sleeping. Many have asked me if I run into his room at night to check if he is breathing. I may be a horrible mother, but I have never felt as though I needed to do this. Nathan is one of the noisiest babies I have ever known. He is constantly singing and grunting, even when he sleeps. This clip is mostly for Nini and Papa because I know they are really missing this noise.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Munchkin Man

Nathan and I have learned a lot this week! My mom had been in Augusta essentially caring for us for two weeks. She made meals, did the grocery shopping, took care of Margot and drove me around town (since I was technically not allowed to drive for 2 weeks post-op). She encouraged me as I cared for Nathan, making me feel like a remotely competent new mother.

And then she left.

If not for a call from a friend, I would have found myself a heap of tears in my bed, with my dog at my feet and my baby clenched tightly in my arms wondering how any woman in her right mind would have left this little girl to care for a helpless baby and manage a household. Instead I was distracted enough to make it over the hump and take the bull by the horns. And really I only had two days by myself until Danny's vacation started.

It has been wonderful having Danny around the house the past few days. He's a wonderful companion and a great Daddy. He has been putting Nathan to bed for the past few nights. I cannot begin to describe what this does for my soul. Just a bit of reprieve to gather myself before the night. We have had some great laughs (mostly at Arrested Development, the second season we found on Hulu) and even tackled a few tasks around the house.

Today we went to Nathan's first real doctor's appointment. I have been a little worried about his weight gain because sometimes he will sleep 5 hours before I finally wake him to relieve some of the pressure. Even then, he might only feed for 15 minutes on one side before falling into a deep sleep again. I was eager to determine if we were "doing it right."

3 week stats:

Weight: 9 pounds 4 ounces (up 21 ounces from just 2 weeks ago!)...50%ile
Height: 20 inches (just 1/2 an inch longer than he was at birth)...10%ile

So he's on the shorter side for now...I better stop calling him munchkin man, it just might stick.

Nothing else very exciting this week. Just lots of staring and exotic baby noises. But I'll take it! No one makes gas cuter than Nathan!

Nathan teaching Margot how to blow a bubble.

Getting psyched up for the doctor's visit.

Love that sweet face (confession: I photo-shopped some of the baby acne out of this picture. He's still beautiful with the blemishes...but, well, I'm his mother).

We celebrated a great doctor's appointment by going out to lunch. We didn't actually take advantage of the 2 hotdog special at Nathan's, he just wanted a picture by the sign. We actually had burritos (not at Nathan's).