Friday, December 29, 2006

The family Christmas jam

In years past, siblings have spent Christmas with in-laws and my brother-in-law has been deployed. So this year, it was truly a rare and special occasion to have the entire family together on Christmas Day. My father herded us all in front of the fireplace for a family photo. Among us, there were three digital cameras on time delay to capture the moment. Here is a video that my brother-in-law put together using the photos taken a few seconds apart.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Yes, I know, it's the day after Christmas. But I just wanted to share some photos from our first Christmas with our son, Danny. Enjoy!

Danny's First Christmas

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Baby Bomb

Here is a photo of what my family room has become:

Jim used all four of these seats this morning to try to sooth the little beastie.

In general, we have way more adult chairs than we need. That's the joke around our house. My living room looks like a furniture orphanage ... we keep adopting stray pieces of furniture. Now my family room has four baby seats scattered about the room. In every room, there is some evidence of baby ... a pacifier, a bottle, parts of a breast pump, baby hats, a sweatshirt, a burp cloth, a dirty diaper, wipes.

How can something so small generate so much stuff? And, come to think of it, how can something so small generate so much laundry? It feels like I do laundry every day. The upside is that the noise from our washing machine sooths the little beastie. Our machine is pretty old and it sounds like it's going to launch when it gets going.

The little monster also generates quite a bit of trash. Before baby, we put our big trash can out to the curb every other week and even then we would have only two or three bags of trash in it. Somehow we've managed to put a full trash can out to the curb every week since Danny's birth. It can't all be diapers. My theory is that I have little time to sort my garbage into recycling and composting piles. I guess over the years we've built up pollution credits by recycling, composting, reducing consumption and reusing what we could. Now that we don't have that kind of time, we're cashing in our pollution credits.

And here's a new photo of Danny Boy:

"My eyes are open and I'm thinking seriously about screaming my head off ... but first I must rest."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The little monster

Our son's personality is starting to emerge, ever so slightly. We've been calling him the little monster because, well, he's been crying and fussing a lot and he wakes up every time we start a meal. But we've also noticed that he grunts and growls a lot. And we're starting to discern when he's going to start wailing and when he's just growling to communicate with us. He even growls in his sleep, which has become pretty cute since we've figured out when he's going to growl himself awake and when he's just growling in his sleep.

Here's a photo of him sleeping (Thank GOD!) in his vibrating seat:

And here he is hanging out with Daddy:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sleeping like a baby

Whoever coined that phrase is a moron. "Sleeping like a baby" conjures up images of a blissful state of sleep. HA! Here's how my little one sleeps:

He sleeps for two and half to three hours at a time at night. Most moms I've talked to think that's just great. However, he grunts, fusses and snores in his sleep to keep me guessing and awake for at least part of the two and half to three hours he's snoozing. He won't sleep in the bedside bassinet, so he ends up nestled up next to my chest because if he's more than a foot from the source of food, it's a MAJOR crisis!

Maybe sleeping like a baby should be redefined. And since he's a perfect angel when other people are around, I just thought I would share a photo of one of his not-so-perfect moments!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The diaper-changing song

I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't be one of those moms who rode around in a minivan with Sesame Street songs or a nursery rhyme CD on a continuous loop. My child would listen to the music that my husband and I loved. Every time I heard "The Wheels on the Bus" or "Pop Goes the Wiesel" I would cringe and twitch. I couldn't stand the idea of having those songs playing over and over and over again in my college-educated brain.

We discovered last week that the little munchkin likes to hear John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" when he's having his diaper changed. He's fond of the rest of the CD, too. It turns out that you can go just as bat-shit insane with John Denver songs playing in your head ... constantly. This week, we've moved on to Johnny Cash and he seems to like "I Walk the Line." Gosh, I hope I don't get sick of the Man in Black. That would be a damn shame.

And here's the obligatory picture of the already overphotographed first born:

What are you looking at, Uncle Tim?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The 30-second Christmas tree

Last night, Jim, Danny and I went out to get our Christmas tree. In years past, we have picked the tree after a half-hour stroll through the aisles at Home Depot. My husband selects trees, twirls them and I provide commentary. This year, Jim picked up one six and a half foot Douglas fir, twirled it and I said, "Tag it and bag it." Funny how your priorities change when you are tired and toting a newborn around.

Contrast that with today's outing. We decided to bust out the stroller and take a walk around the block with the dog and the baby. It took us a half an hour to get the baby ready, the stroller ready, and figure out the baby bunting thing that you can attach to the stroller. Go figure. It used to take us 30 seconds to get ready for our walks.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Slow is a four-letter word

Slow sips of water. Slow trips to the bathroom and up and down the stairs. Slow, small bites of food. I'm trying to take it slow and easy. After all, I am recovering from the equivalent of a 50-mile hike in one day. I start the day with good intentions -- eating slowly, walking slowly, not bending and lifting too much --but by day's end, I've managed to wear myself out. I'm not very good at this slow thing.

Our first week with Danny was full of ups and downs. Jim and I both managed to catch a stomach virus. Jim had it Tuesday and I had it with a vengence on Wednesday night. I was throwing up constantly and trying to take care of a baby. Thank God my mother was there. It was the worst night of my life (and that's saying a lot for a woman who just endured 40 hours of labor largely unmedicated).

But we are learning some funny things about our son. Such as:

  • He sucks his index finger, just like his father did as a baby.

  • He HATES the vibrating seat.

  • He likes to be held so he can see your face.

  • He enjoys my John Denver, Cat Stevens and Neil Young CDs.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The booby has left the building ...

Tonight, Danny is one week old. My husband insisted that I pump and get out of the house for an hour. Bless him.

I cried the entire way to my destination. Leaving while my infant son cried was the hardest thing I've done in a while. When I returned, my husband was feeding him. Jim said Danny looked at him as if to say "You can do this, too?" Yes, son, Daddy can feed you, too.

Danny is nursing very well. He's had plenty of practice in the past week. I'm beginning to feel like a big booby with a head.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

They found us, part 2 ...

We arrived home Saturday to find our mailbox stuffed with a package from our dear friends at Enfamil. Apparently, they wanted to make sure that we had some of their wonderful product, just in case the breastfeeding didn't pan out. I told Jim to get it out of my sight. He tucked it away in a cabinet.

Believe it or not, I'm pretty laid back. But even I can see how frustration in the early days can lead a new mother to try formula. You worry that the baby isn't getting enough. You worry that the baby will never latch on properly or quickly or without yelling at your boob for five minutes. Coupled with lack of sleep, inadequate help and poor nutrition, a new mom can get frustrated easily. Fortunately, I have good help, excellent nutrition and am getting enough sleep. I really haven't slept more than three hours at a time since I got pregnant, so this isn't so shocking. The only difference is that now I'm up for an hour and a half or so while Danny feeds and settles back down. He settles back down quickly when Jim is sleeping next to us, but cries a lot after he leaves for work. It also helps that he's getting better at nursing while lying down.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A day past deadline

After 40 hours of labor (yes, you read that right) broken up with an eight-hour morphine-induced sleep, Daniel James Meehan arrived on December 1 at 9:01 p.m. I went into labor on my due date, November 30. He weighed in at 6 lbs 7 oz and is 20 inches long. He has a full head of hair and he even has side burns!

And what an amazing roller coaster those 40 hours were. I know why they call it labor ... it was damn hard work. I read that it's the equivalent of taking a 50-mile hike in one day. Does this mean I won't have to exercise for a while?? We all survived and here are a few photos of our newborn son. Enjoy and I'll post more later (after I get some sleep).