Monday, June 30, 2008

Thrush - I haz it

And it sucks.

For those unfamiliar, it's a breastfeeding issue (has to do with yeast build up or something). It's super painful. Think sharp shards of glass every time she sucks and burning pain afterwards (for me...not baby). Thankfully I go to the Dr tomorrow...but this past weekend was not fun. Especially since I didn't really know what was wrong until I looked up my symptoms, and this morning when I talked with a LLL leader.

Good news is it can be taken care of, but it might take a few weeks.

Isabella better love me for this.

This concludes my woe is me post....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We met a boy!

Will we be busting this picture out at their wedding?

Yesterday, Isabella (who is 7 weeks today!!) and I met new-mom Jessie and her handsome son Ben (5 weeks old) for a walk. Ben is SO FREAKING cute!! He was born about 4 weeks early and is about the same weight that Isabella was when she left the hospital (around 8 lbs). It was so fun to hold him because I don't remember Isabella being that light!

Mommy Jessie and Ben
Isabella bullying Ben (no, not really)
So we may or may not have a love connection...although I will say that Isabella may have her pick of men. My friends Crystal and Rachel are both expecting boys in Sept/Oct. Not to mention that Isabella is the only girl in both of the New Parent Connection meetings/playgroups we go to. She gets a lot of attention! :) We just don't tell Daddy because I think he's already ready to lock her in her room until she is 18.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Irony, anyone?

Note to Potential Daycare provider...

...I do NOT want to leave your house smelling like I had been in the basement of a VFW on a Saturday night pre-smoking ban. Ick. When I walked in and almost choked on the smoke smell I knew I would not be bringing my baby to your home 5 days a week.

Monday, June 23, 2008

We have a sleeper!

For the past 5 nights, Isabella has slept for 6 hours or more at a time! I still don't really believe that it will last - it seems so early for her to be sleeping though the night (which is 5 hours or more at a time) - but I'll take what I can get.
Chilling before bed and hanging onto Daddy's hand

We are also very lucky because we can usually put her down still awake and she'll put herself to sleep. This is when she'll sleep for 5-6 hours, wake to eat, and then sleep for another 2 hours or so.

I'm hoping I don't jinx it by writing about it!

We had another great weekend, although it was very busy.

Nana, Grandpa T and Aunt Mara came over on Fri night with lasagna and green thumbs. After we ate, they planted flowers and hostas in our front garden. It needed some work very badly! I just haven't had the time to fix it up, but they transformed it! It looks great and it feels good to walk up to a house with a real garden rather than weed patches everywhere.

Quality sleep time with Mara and Nana

Saturday we went to lunch and Home Depot, then left Isabella with Gma and Gpa H for the night. It was the first time we left her with babysitters for an extended amount of time, but we knew she was in good hands!

We went to our friend's 30th b-day party and good times were had by all. The best part is that I got to see my girls! Three of who are expecting mothers. We tried to keep the baby talk to a minimum...but it was tough!!

Three preggos on the left ......JT and Joel having the time of their life

Sunday we went to church - we aren't members anywhere yet and need to find one to get her baptized. Jeremy is Catholic and I am Lutheran, but we agreed to raise Isabella Catholic. So we are hoping to find a Catholic church that welcomes me and makes me feel comfortable. So far we really like the Church of St Stephen in Anoka for reasons I won't get into. I'll admit that it was fun to bring Isabella to church and watch every one oogle and smile at her!
After church we went to Mercy to meet with a lactation consultant. I've just been having some questions and minor, minor issues with feeding Isabella. I was hesitant to see an LC, but Jeremy convinced me that it couldn't hurt...and afterwards I was so glad we went. I felt much more confident about how I was feeding her and much more comfortable. The LC gave me some great tips and advice to ensure that I don't get frustrated. Note to new moms: breastfeeding is HARD. It's not as natural and carefree as it is presented to be. However, the fact that I know it's best for Isabella (and it's FREE) keeps me going.
Then it was back to St Stephen's (which is right by Mercy) because they were having their annual summer fest/carnival. Jeremy and I were in the mood for some corn dogs and cheese nuggets! We also invested a few bucks into the raffle...I assume we didn't win the $4,000 grand prize or else we'd be planning our Mexican vacation right now. Oh well.

I was ready to be done for the day, but had plans to visit Jeremy's cousin Misty for another Isabella photo shoot. This time it was at her house and she wanted to do some black and whites. Isabella wasn't quite having it, though. She cried pretty much the entire time. However, Misty said she thinks she got a few good shots - so hopefully they are worth it!

Personally, I can't believe my maternity leave is 1/2 over already. I'll admit that many times in these 6 weeks the minutes have dragged by, but the days and week fly by. How does that work?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I know these can be viewed on my flickr page (or will be available to view soon), but I just couldn't help posting some of my new, favorite pics! Sorry the formatting sucks. I haven't quite figured it out on here yet....I've tried fixing it like 5 times and each time looks different. So now you get to just figure out which captions go with which picture.

With Great-Grandpa

OMG! NOT crying during
Tummy Time!

She's been a TOTAL daddy's girl this past week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

10 and 9

Isabella is now 10lbs 9 oz. I don't know if this sounds big to me or not. She looks big to me...yet still soooo tinnny.

Here is her weight progress for those who are interested:

Birth: 8lbs 11oz
Hospital Discharge: 8lbs 4 oz (yes, it is normal for bebes to lose up to 10% of their weight in the first days)
1 week: 8lbs 3 oz (new scale at Dr about the same)
2 weeks: 8lbs 11 oz
4 weeks: 9lbs 13 oz
6 weeks: 10lbs 9 oz

Other updates:

On Monday Isabella and I invaded Grandma and Grandpa H's house for most of the day. They had been on vacation so Isabella needed her fix. Tuesday we visited Sarah at her work and chatted with the lovely ladies of Rainbow Inc. Today I went to my 6 week check up at the Dr and left Isabella with Gma and Gpa H...she showed them how her lungs work.

I'm getting over my cold and poor Isabella is starting hers. She sounded horribly congested last night but we couldn't 'suck' anything out of her nose. This morning I shut her up in the bathroom w/ me while I showered - the steam seemed to help (yes, this was recommended and safe for her). I'll admit, it's a tad cute when a baby sneezes and snot flies out of her nose!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Deep in thought

I really wonder if babies 'dream' and/or what goes though their heads as they sleep. Isabella makes the cutest faces - smiling, frowning, rolling her eyes. I've read that babie don't have deep REM sleep until they are older, but something has to be going on in there!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a wonderful weekend!!

Friday night
We took Miss Isabella to Applebees for some Fiesta Lime Chicken and Honey BBQ Ribs. She politely declined and slept the entire time. She woke up in time to have some fun family time at home. I've determined that every time I see Jeremy 'dance' with Isabella I fall more in love with both of them. Another miracle of having a child: JT won't dance with me unless he's had one too many, but he'll dance with Isabella stone sober in a second! I don't really mind, though. It does calm her down every time she’s fussy and it puts a huge smile on my face.

Dancing with Daddy

I swear she knows it's the weekend. This is the second Sat in a row where she slept in until 10am! Granted this was after a 3am and 6am feeding, but during the week we are usually back up around 8:30.

Well rested, we ventured to Ridgedale for some shopping. Can I say that the 'in between' sizes after pregnancy is worse that the ones while pregnant? Nothing fits. NOTHING! Materinity clothes are too big and my normal clothes are too small. Ok, that might be dramatic - but honestly the one non-maternity shirt that I liked how I looked in ended up getting some odd stains on it. I found a few replacements, but there was slim pickings. It doesn't help that I refuse to pay $50 for a t-shirt....or any shirt, really.

So, I whine that I feel frumpy and out of fashion yet I refuse to buy anything that isn't on sale or from Target...hmmm....

Isabella did great at the mall. I had to nurse her twice there, but there were some nice 'nursing rooms'. We had lunch at Big Bol where she did spit up all over Daddy, but overall spent the lunch looking cute and taking compliments.

The evening was spent at home figuring out what to wear the next day for pictures - I had to make an emergency Target run - and I enjoyed 2 glasses of wine (one pre-feeding, one after she went to bed). Yum.

Hanging out with Mama

It was up and at them early for me and Isabella. After feeding we woke up Daddy with is first Father's day gift - a subscription to Family Handyman magazine (Because he is our family handyman!), a Jack Johnson CD, and a belated gift of sour gummy worms. I love so much that Jeremy is a dad!

We met Jeremy's cousin, Misty, at Basset Creek Park in Crystal so she could take some family pictures and pictures of Isabella. She does photography as a hobby and asked if she could practice baby pics on Isabella - OF COURSE! It was fun and Isabella lasted a full hour before coming fussy. I can't wait to see the pics!!

Then it was off to Great-Grandpa Hadjer's for a visit. Again, Isabella was an angel even though I'm sure she was hungry. She turned on the charm, and we got to leave with a 1/2 watermelon and some oranges straight from CA. Good deal!

The rest of Fathers Day has been/will be spent relaxing. JT and I each got a nap in and later we'll go to his parent's for dinner.
The only other update is that I have a cold/allergies and feel pretty cruddy - so I'm hoping it ends quickly.
Dark, but cute

Friday, June 13, 2008

As Isabella naps in the Moby (I've got to get a pic of this soon), I'll recap our busy week. Those without children, please note what a busy week for me looks like -

I know we went someplace during the day, but can't for the life of me remember where. Nice. That night we went out for my friend Jessica's birthday to El Loro in Crystal. The food was awesome as always and it was so fun to be with friends. Isabella even joined us and slept the entire time. I'm still amazed at how she blocks everything out - the fiesta got a little loud at times!

Stayed in all day because we were pooped from the day before (ok, maybe Mommy was more pooped than Isabella...but she's a good exuse). That night we took a trip to Target after a pretty traumatic feeding session.
Around 7:00 I tried nursing Isabella before we went out and she just started hollering at the breast. I wasn't crying or yelling, it was like these frustrated little hollers. She'd pause to holler, then try to eat more, pause to holler, try to eat more. I decided I was either empty or the milk wasn't coming fast enough for her. Either way it was pretty stressful for both of us. Jeremy was outside tending to the lawn (yes, I said tending) and it would have been harder to rope him after 20 mins of this back and forth I made her a bottle (of milk I previously pumped - we are still staying away from formula). However, in process of making the bottle I heard the loudest, most frantic cries from my baby. It was horrible to listen to.

The only thing I can figure out is that the bottle we gave her on Sunday night (while at dinner/at Jess's afterwards) spoiled her since the milk comes out so much faster from a bottle than a boob.

Anyway - that was the drama on Monday

The La Leche League (LLL) is an organization that promotes breastfeeding and there is a local group nearby that has meetings once a month. I decided it'd be good for me to check it out to a) get out of the house and b) try to get some questions answered about BFing/become more at peace with it.

So I packed up Miss I and attended the meeting in Andover, even though I was pretty nervous. I've read a book from the LLL and they seem to be on the one extreme of BFing - meaning no bottles, nurse until toddler age, no pacifiers, etc. I wasn't sure what to expect. But everyone was very nice and some met my expectations (I think most moms there used cloth diapers and I did see 2 toddlers being nursed), but other expectations were proven wrong. Everyone used pacifiers, for example. Thank the lord.

I didn't participate in the meeting much, I just listened to the other moms talk about their experiences - both with BF and about general 'mom' stuff. So overall I am happy I went even though I didn't feel like I quite 'fit in'.

That night we spent a quiet night at home w/ Dad. Isabella went to bed in her bassinet at 9:30 so we thought we were scott free - but nope. She woke up at 10:30 right as we were getting into bed! At least she was only up for about another hour - but it was nice to have that quiet time with Jeremy for a bit.

I stayed home ALL day waiting for the Champlin Community Service Officer to call me about doing car seat checks for our cars. We've been playing phone tag and his last message said he'd call that day - but no call! I was a little irked as I thought a trip to the mall would have been nice.

We had another quiet evening home with Dad.

This was my truly busy day. Jeremy had the day off from work (to make up for a holiday that he had to work recently) which was great. I love having him here even if he isn't necessarily right with the baby and me. It's just nice having him in/around the house.

In the morning a teacher from an Early Childhood Family Educational (ECFE) program though our school district came by for a free visit. She talked with us about everything from feedings to sleep to games to play with Isabella. It nice to have someone with a lot of experience listen to our questions about what is normal or what might not be normal.

She observed Isabella a bit, too and determined she's the smartest baby she's ever seen. EVER. Either that or she seems 'on track' - meaning she made eye contact with her even though she was a stranger (meaning Isabella heard her voice, recognized it was new and looked at her to associate it/figure her out) and has good control of her neck right now.

Then in the afternoon, I went to a 'New Parent Connection' group held at Mercy Hospital sponsored by the same ECFE program. There were about 6 other moms there with babies from 2 weeks to 4 months old and a leader. The topic this week was fathers (in honor of father's day), so we each went around and talked about fatherhood. We also were able to just ask random questions we had, which made for good conversation.

I really enjoyed it as there was a good mix of moms. One mom claims her husband has yet to change the diaper of her 3 month old (she was serious), another was struggling with having to go back to work soon, another still BFs her 2 yr old (I never knew there were so many that did this), you get the idea. There were also a few that seemed to be in the position of me - just a brand new mom trying to figure out how to take care of this precious little being while keeping her own sanity (meaning not going crazy with worry about if we are doing everything right and/or fighting any leftover 'baby blues'). I'll definitely go back to this group.

In the evening, Jeremy had 2 volleyball games so he headed to Blaine to play and I headed to Mpls to visit Aunt Michelle and Uncle Pete. Their friend Abi was there so Isabella got a break from Mama's arms and I got to meet the new hedgehog, Socrates. There was also an awesome Baby Einstein gift for Isabella - one that we determined any adult would like as well. It makes a very satisfied 'BLEAHHHH" sound when it's tummy is squeezed.

Today we are going have a visit from Auntie Lissa who will watch Isabella while mom gets a much needed haircut and eyebrow clean up. Who knows what the night will bring..

But, this concludes the busy week for Mom and baby. In the future I'm going to try to update this day by day to avoid these 3 page posts.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The past month

Obviously there has been a lot going on this past month. Is it ironic that once I have something to blog about I don’t have time to do it?!

We really appreciate all the visitors, well wishes, and gifts we’ve received these past few weeks. A baby will brings out the love and support from your friends. We are very, very lucky. To recap the month, here are some observations. For pics of our sweetie, check out the ever growing collection here:

~She’s an excellent sleeper and communicator. We are extremely lucky to have a baby that really only cries when she is hungry, wet/dirty, or tired. Each day we get better at figuring out which cry means what.
~ She really doesn’t like wet diapers (but dirties seem ok). Change it NOW!
In the morning she just likes to cuddle with Mama. She doesn’t want to play or lay on her own. Right now the Moby Wrap is perfect for both of us – she can cuddle and sleep and I can have both hands.

~ Evenings are “fussy” times….just in time for Dad to come home from work! I use the term “fussy” very lightly as she can usually be calmed by Dad.
~ Jeremy surprises me everyday by his fathering abilities. He is more gentle and caring with Isabella than I could have ever dreamed. They have a connection – and I have a true Daddy’s girl on my hands!
~Although we didn’t want to use it, we’ve given into the pacifier and it seems to distract her to put her to sleep. Again, she doesn’t really cry much when we put her to bed – but she just gets so wiggly/distracted by things that the paci helps sooth her.
~ She always lets Mama shower, eat breakfast, pump, eat lunch, etc. It is as if she knows when I really want to get something done and she waits until I’m finished before asking for something.
~ Ditto on outings. We haven’t had to deal with a crying baby once while out of the house. When in her carseat she is sleeping 80% of the time – the other time is spent looking around and looking cute. We even took her to El Loro for a very loud birthday dinner (for my friend) and she slept though it all!

We are getting to the point where she is starting to react to us a little bit. No smiles yet (unless she has gas), but she focuses on us very intently, opens her mouth wide, and/or coos and talks back to us when we are playing with her. Mama is just waiting for that first real smile, though!!

Each day her and I figure out more about each other. I hope to be able to keep this more up to date as she is by far my favorite topic right now. Who knew I'd turn into one of those moms who just loves to talk about thier kids?! Oh, wait - that's every Mom. Now I understand why!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

labor story

Obviously a lot has been going on this past month! YES! I can't believe a month has gone by since our sweet Isabella was born. I have some blog-catching up to do.

First of all, I won't give the nitty-gritty details of the labor/birth since it seems like ages ago and it's true what people say - you forget about all the blood, sweat and tears when you see that beautiful baby in the Dr's hands. Within a few days, I was even thinking that I WOULD go though it again for #2! :o)

In summary, the labor seemed long since I had to be induced. We went in on Monday night (5/5) and I was given Cervidil to try to stimulate things. Not much happened overnight except some cramping, nurses checking on me every hour, and my blood pressure being taken every 15 min (they had me hooked up to a machine). So even though everyone was telling us to 'rest up', it was impossible.

The next morning, Tues 5/6 I was given Pictocin after breakfast. This was via an IV so I couldn't really get up and walk around, but they let me use the restroom when needed. About 2 hours after this I started feeling the contractions and it was downhill from there. I lasted until about 1:30 and asked for an epidural (because yes, I was in pain and it was BAD - I can't imagine how strong our moms were to do this without the option of an epi). It made my right leg completely numb and the contractions 'go away'. I couldn't feel them at all anymore. Now it was the waiting game.

I didn't progress much and since I couldn't really feel the contractions, I couldn't tell anyone how strong they were. So I got hooked up to another monitoring system that let the nurses see how strong they were. By this time I had 5 different tubes/wires/machines hooked up to me. Unfortunately, due to the lack of progress there was talk of a C-section...but baby must have heard and the next time they checked I had progressed enough to keep going naturally.

The grandparents came up to the hosptial in the late afternoon/early evening... I think we were all convinced baby would come soon....well, baby had other plans. So after hours of waiting they all went home - sorry guys!

Sometime in the evening the Dr thought maybe baby was 'sunny side up' (facing the wrong way) which caused the slow we tried to move around to trigger HER to move...but with a numb right leg that didn't work too well.

FINALLY around 11:00 that night (and after a 'refresh' of the epidural since I was feeling pain again...) I was almost ready to go. I say 'almost' because there was a bit of my cervix hanging out which I couldn't push though it - I had to wait until it was gone. This was the worst part... feeling the need to push but being told you can't. Torture. So this went on for about an hour until they finally gave me the go ahead.

This is when the action started. JT was wonderful. He ran between the bathroom to get cool washcloths for my forehead and back to the bed to help hold my numb leg up when I pushed. He also did the counting for me. I couldn't have done it without him! In fact, I almost didn't do it.

After 2 1/2 hours of pushing there was another mention of C-section since the Dr usually doesn’t let people go more than 3 hours of pushing (which I totally understand...I don't think i could have pushed more than that!!). Thankfully, again, baby must have been waiting for this news because 15 min later there she was.

After holding her, taking pictures, calling grandma and grandpa JT and I tried to get some sleep while Isabella went to the nursery. Unfortunately, by the time we woke up they determined that she needed antibiotics for a possible infection. This meant that she had to be kept in the 'level 2' nursery - only Mom and Dad could hold her when feeding and only 1 visitor at a time. This was really tough to hear - but we (and Grandma and Grandpa H) got a little bit of cuddle time with her before they brought her to the L2 nursery.

Overall, everything worked out and was fine. But she was in the hospital a little longer than we planned.
That's the first update - I'll update more on her first month home later!