Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I'm writing this as I sit here jiggling Owen in my lap. Its really amazing what a good jiggle will do for a baby! Much of my life is spent jiggling in one form or another. When Owen is relatively calm, a little bit of jiggle will suffice. When we're in the early evening (dinner time) freakout period, we need a bigger jiggle. In that case, I bust out the iPod and start bouncing with the music, all over the room. Owen's favorite album right now is Muse - Black Holes and Revelations. He's asleep before the first song ends. This also makes it Mommy's favorite album right now.

He is still pretty easy to deal with, which is good. Unfortunately he's started waking up every 2-3 hours at night again, instead of giving us one 4-5 hour stretch in there. Oh well. Its not horrendous. This morning I fed him at 5:30 am and then heard him complaining (not crying, but whining a little bit) again not long afterwards. I kept trying to sleep through it hoping that he had just woken up and these were the going-back-to-sleep noises, but eventually a cry or two came out. Turns out he had spit up on himself in the bed and was laying there in a cold, wet patch of spit-up. Poor kid has a mean mommy.

Congrats to several people for several things.
First: to Matt and Melissa who are also heading down the baby path!
Second: to Matt (different Matt) and Herryn, who got a new job and are relocating to Dallas. Actually, I'm quite bummed out about this because Knoxville is only 5-6 hours drive from here, meaning that we actually see Herryn sometimes (like the other weekend for example!). Dallas is a million miles away. But we've never been there, so we'll go visit out there sometime and also see my Uncle Bart and my cousins. Anyhow, Herryn doesn't have a blog, but she does have a website now. So if you click on her link up there, you can watch her reporting videos! Woo! She's on TV! And I know her!

I just also needed to put this here: Congrats to Brian (the blogging Brian, not my Brian) for getting his paper accepted that had been under review for OVER TWO YEARS. We've all had papers go through what seemed to be interminably long review processes. But I have never, ever in my life heard of one going on for OVER TWO FRIGGING YEARS. Thats a new record of terribleness. So now when you're waiting for your paper to come back, just think to yourself: "At least it hasn't been TWO YEARS."

(Now see, for me? This doesn't happen, because the paper I sent out right after I had the baby got rejected without review! That was nice of them, eh?)

Monday, January 22, 2007


I don't really like football, but I do have a favorite team - the Bears. We lived in the Chicago area until I was in 4th grade, and my dad grew up there too. Its kind of an inborn love of the Bears that transcends the actual football part of it.

When we lived in Chicago, we lived in a town that housed some of the Bears including my favorite football player ever, Walter Payton. I was pretty young at the time, but one time Walter, his wife and son were at the park across the street from our house at the same time as my friend and I. We kept an eye on his son while he and his wife walked around the park alone. How exciting! At the time I didn't even know how exciting it was. Maybe he wasn't a football legend at that time, I don't know.

After Chicago, we moved to Racine, Wisconsin which is not terribly far from the Illinois border. Thus, even though Wisconsin as a whole is heavily Packer-centric, Racine was a little bit split. There was a huge rivalry between the Bears and the Packers in town. There was a Packer bar and a Bears bar that were near each other and they always had wierd bets going when the two teams played one another where the bar of the winning team got to paint the door of the bar of the losing team in their team's colors.

In 1986, the Bears went to the Super Bowl. It was a very exciting time for everyone when we were given 'The Super Bowl Shuffle'. The Bears played the New England Patriots and won. So very exciting!

We moved to New Hampshire when I was a senior in high school, and my dad started watching the Patriots. Now he sort of watches both. This year was looking to be a very exciting year for our family because the Pats and the Bears both could potentially go to the Super Bowl. Who would we root for? I would stick with the Bears, for sure. But I bet my dad would root for the Pats.

Anyhow, of course the two playoff games were yesterday. We didn't watch them because, again, I don't really care enough about actual football to watch anything but the Super Bowl. I saw that the Bears had won, so I was excited. We watched the beginning of the Pats game, and it looked as if they were running away with it too. We checked in again during the 3rd quarter sometime and it was still looking good for the Pats. Then we went to bed at 9:00 because we're the exhausted parents of a new baby. I assumed we were looking at Super Bowl XX - revisited!! Except Ditka-less.

My mom called at 10:15 and woke us up. She thought we had been up watching the game because I had called their house and left a message about it while the game was on. She said 'Can you believe that?' and I thought they had won. But NO! They lost! The hell? How did they choke like that? It seemed to not even be in question that the Pats were going to win. I don't know what happened.

Oh well. At least we know who to root for now.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I love Nordstroms

Before I had Owen (but after I should have had Owen), I went to Nordstroms with my mom to look for a nursing bra. I have been all over the universe looking for a nursing bra in my size (watermelon size) and haven't been able to find one, but someone at the maternity store suggested I try there. I have never bought bras at Nordstroms before - I never even thought about it. When I got there one of the sales women helped me out immediately. Brought me into the dressing room, measured me, brought bras into me and special ordered some for me from other stores when they didn't have any in my size in stock. I went back last weekend when Herryn and Kendra were here to see if she had gotten any in, and she had. And one of them fit me so I bought it. Yes, it was expensive ($52) but bras are always expensive. So its not like I was spending a lot more than I would normally end up spending for a bra.

I was so happy at how much help she had been, and I determined that this was their normal level of service because I heard her helping other customers in the other dressing rooms. She measured them (its important to know what size you really are!), asked them what they were looking for and then brought a selection of bras in for them to try. And she came back to check and see how things were fitting to offer suggestions. I decided that I am never ever shopping anywhere else for bras again ever. I'm going to Nordstroms.

Today I got a THANK YOU NOTE in the mail from the woman who helped me at the store. A handwritten thank you note. Holy crap. If I wasn't already only ever shopping at Nordstroms for bras, I REALLY am only ever shopping at Nordstroms for bras now.

Its hard out there for a mommy

Well, its hard to balance keeping Owen calm, clean, dry and fed, updating his blog, and occasionally taking a shower myself. So I've pretty much given up on the showering. Ha.

Yesterday I actually left the house twice, it was very exciting. Of course we were also having our first snowfall. I almost wrote 'snowstorm', but that would be a total misnomer. We had about an inch of snow, but here in North Carolina that is about equivalent to ten feet. Schools were closed in Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Of course, I grew up in the frozen north and have only lived down here for a few years (almost 4 years now!) so I know how to drive in the snow. Its not me that is the problem though, its everyone else on the road. I try not to drive in the snow or ice if I can help it, simply so some idiot doesn't run me down.

Anyhow, I had to take Owen to the pediatrician to repeat his newborn screening tests that they did at the hospital. The pediatrician never got any results from the hospital for some reason. It had just stopped snowing, but I still thought about calling the office to reschedule. It just looked slushy outside, so I decided to just go ahead with it. This was my first time driving with Owen in the car, so I was a little nervous. We had to be there at 10 am, so at 9 am I started thinking that I should get ready. First I had to feed him, which thankfully didn't take too long. Then I had to change and dress him. At this point it was 9:25. I wanted to leave at 9:30 (to allow myself extra time - the office is only about 10 minutes away), and I was still in my new mommy uniform of pajama pants and a nursing tank. Bugger. Quickly dress myself, load Owen into the car seat (it would have been a good day to try out his winter coat, but I didn't have time for that), get everyone into the car, phew! I made it.

We drove over to the doctors office and I went to check in at the front desk. They didn't have any record that I was coming in, because the person who had called us to schedule this had not actually scheduled the appointment with the lab. And also the lab person wasn't even there. So hurrah. All that for nothing.

Oh well. Later in the day I went to get my haircut. I thought I'd probably be gone for Owen's feeding time (one of the ten million Owen's-feeding-times that occur every day), and unfortunately when I go the food goes with me. I had pumped some milk in the morning and left it in a bottle for Brian, just in case. This was our first time using a bottle, so I was a little nervous about how it would all go, but he did okay. Unfortunately I left too little milk so I had to feed him again almost as soon as I walked in the door.

Finallly my hair has been cut though. I hadn't gotten myself to the hairdresser since JUNE, so it was a desperate situation.

Last night Brian was looking around on eBay for some Warhammer crap. He found some guy who was selling something he was interested in and wanted to see what else he had up for sale. He had some other Warhammer crap and then he had all these other figurines. They were very similar to Warhammer stuff in that they were metal and came in pieces that you had to assemble and then paint yourself. However, rather than being orcs, or goblins, or dark elves, these were naked women in comprimising positions (mostly bondage sorts of stuff). We did not know that such a thing existed. I'm curious what exactly you DO with these once you've painted them? I mean, are you going to keep your porn figures in a display case for everyone to see? I hope not.

Anyway, whenever I start to think about how lame Brian's Warhammer obsession is, I'm going to thank my lucky stars that he's not instead obsessed with porn figurines.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Owen's blog

Hi - Its Owen. I decided that I needed my own blog. You can keep up on my doings by visiting it here.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One week (and 4 days) old!

Thursday was Owen's one week birthday! I planned this post to go up on that day and, well, its taken me some time to finish it as you can see.

This week was a busy one for us, our first week as parents. The delivery went pretty well, I guess I was in labor (induced) for about 14 hours? At about 6 pm, it seemed like things weren't progressing very well and that I might need to have a C-section. They thought the baby's head might be too big to fit through my pelvis (see? I told you!). Then all of a sudden everything started happening, because by 9 pm I was 10 cm dilated. Pushing lasted for just over an hour (a very tiring and frustrating time), and Owen was born. Also - thank god for the epidural man. I got that at around 4 and was much much happier!

We spent two nights in the hospital. One night was really a non-night though - we had the baby at 11:16 pm, got into our postpartum room (closet with an en suite bathroom) at about 2:00 and stayed up until 3 am discussing the recent events. We had decided to let him spend the night in the nursery so we could try to get a little rest, but I ended up staying up most of the night wishing he was with us and debating whether or not I should go down and get him. I was really happy when the nurse called at 6 am and said he was waking up and wanted some breakfast! The nurses at the hospital were great and helped us out a lot with establishing feeding, showing us how to do various things, etc. I really liked all of them.

In our postpartum closet

On Sunday we came home from the hospital and back to our real life.

Getting ready to leave the hospital

I'm not sure Owen was all that psyched about the transition, because for the first two nights he was screaming and crying constantly. We thought he was surely dying. Also, we thought that we had made the most enormous mistake EVER. We couldn't get the kid to sleep at all. He wanted to eat (read: suck on me without the actual purpose of eating) every hour. We'd swaddle him up in a little Owen-burrito to get him to calm down for a little bit, but it wouldn't last long.

Owen in an Owen-burrito (this is at the hospital, so this was a professionally-wrapped Owen-burrito)

I was a nervous wreck until we hit our first pediatrician appointment on Tuesday.

On the way to our first doctor's appointment

We had a list of questions and I only got through about half of them before I started SOBBING. Brian had to take over and ask the rest of the questions. The doctor assured me that most new parents end up crying in the office at their first appointment. If you're a new parent and you didn't? I don't want to know, so please lie. Of course we learned that Owen is completely fine and not dying. We both felt a lot better and more relaxed after hearing that. I think Owen also felt a lot better too because suddenly he turned into a perfect baby. He slept easily throughout the day in his baby papasan, and he slept pretty well at night too.

Owen in his papasan

He'd fall asleep after I fed him and would sleep for several hours. I'd wake him up after 3 hours for a ~1am feeding and would let him sleep until he woke up after that, which would be for 4-5 hours.

At our 1 week peds appointment, we got to ask some more questions. We also found out that he had gotten back up to his discharge weight. And also, that he has a huge 37 cm head (this is in the 75th percentile of head size), a fact that my body can attest to.

My parents left on Friday to head back to Florida, and we've been doing a pretty good job since they've been gone. We've had a lot of friends and neighbors stop by to visit. On Friday morning, Wendy stopped in on her way back south.

On Saturday, the weather was really nice so we took Owen out for his first walk and showed him off to our neighbors who all thought he was the cutest baby in the world (which, of course, he is).

On Sunday Annie stopped by for a new baby photo shoot at which Owen fountain-peed all over the piano room. HA. Annie's reflexes have obviously been sharpened by being a parent herself, because she covered him up far quicker than Brian or I did.

And thats about it so far!