Monday, September 30, 2013

First Night Away + TV Schedule (Sorry I'm not Sorry)

Dan's and my five year wedding anniversary was this past Friday. To celebrate, we decided on a mini "staycation." A night away in D.C. - have dinner and stay at a hotel in the city for a night while my parents watched Ben. Everything went really well Ben-wise. However, I was still coughing like a maniac, so we didn't really get to live it up like I wanted. I had planned on having copious cocktails and staying out longer than say, oh, 7pm. It didn't turn out that way, but it was still nice to sleep in! And we had cupcakes! For the record, I tried to drink a martini, but it sent me into a coughing fit that had me running to the bathroom and my eyes watering. When I came back to the table, it looked like I had been crying. Dan was pretty sure that people would think that we were having a fight. Look at that mean husband! Tsk tsk! Luckily, it was before 6pm, so the restaurant was basically deserted.
Mama, it's Fall TV season already?!?!
I am still glad that we went though. It was nice to get some good rest, and it was nice to get that "first night away" checked off. Now, I feel a little more laid back about planning any future outings since this one went so well.

These words came out of my mouth this weekend to Dan - "Don't you wish our DVR could be piped into the hotel TV?" Dan and I love our television, and I think it may be time to reveal our true colors to you and unveil or Fall TV Schedule.

Yes, this is a thing. For the past few years, I have printed out our Fall TV Schedule. We actually chat about it beforehand, I print it out, and we put it in the fridge for easy reference. So we know what we have going on that night for watching/DVR-ing. Sorry I'm not sorry! I kind of think this is one of the things that Dan loves most about me. So here it is!

Abbey & Dan’s Fall 2013 TV Schedule
8:00pm       How I Met Your Mother (9/23); Bones (9/16)
9:00pm       Sleepy Hollow (9/16)*
10:00pm     Hostages (9/23)*
8:00pm       Brooklyn Nine-Nine (9/17)*
9:00pm       New Girl (9/17); Marvel’s Agents of Shield (9/24)*
9:30pm       The Mindy Project (9/17)
8:00pm       Survivor (9/18); Revolution (9/25)
9:00pm       Modern Family (9/25); Super Fun Night (10/2)*
10:00pm     It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (9/4)
8:00pm       Parks & Rec (9/26); Big Bang Theory (9/26); Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (10/10)*
9:00pm       Glee (9/26); Grey’s Anatomy (9/26); Reign (10/17)*
9:30pm       The Michael J. Fox Show (9/26)*
          10:00pm        Dracula (10/25)*
          8:00pm       Once Upon a Time (9/29); Amazing Race (9/29)
         9:00pm      Walking Dead (10/13)
        10:00pm     Homeland (9/29)

All of the shows with an asterisk are new shows. You can see that there are nine new shows on our schedule. Most of these will be eliminated within the next couple of weeks. Dan and I have discussion about which shows we are going to "break up" with that don't make it. We like to keep the list tight. I can already tell you that Hostages probably won't stay on. I haven't watched it yet, it could be good, but I am just never in the mood to turn it on. Also, we both don't watch all of these shows, some are just for one of us. For instance, I don't watch Amazing Race or Walking Dead, and Dan doesn't watch HIMYM, Glee or Grey's. I am also watching The White Queen, but it is about to end.

So there you go! I have revealed our insane loserdom to everyone. But then, I have already revealed my weight so really this can't be much worse.

Obviously, we don't get to watch TV until Ben has gone to sleep for the night. GOD BLESS THE DVR. Seriously. The best invention ever.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shhhhh! You'll Wake the Baby!

Who wouldn't want to wake up to this every morning? This was taken when we were visitng a friend.
He had a rough night for some reason, and I didn't want his crying to wake everyone up, so I let him sleep with me.
Not very restful sleep, but a nice cuddly morning.
Before I get into this post, I want to tell you that I realized at 2am this morning, while crouching and coughing in my steam shower why all of the sick people in the English novels I have read go to Bath for the sea air. I am so dumb, I thought it was just because the beach was relaxing or something. But it is nature's humidifier! A true A-HA moment.

WILL THE SICKNESSES EVER END??? A daycare person told me a while back that the eight month mark is when the sicknesses start to fade out a bit. I am pretty sure that was just a random age she threw out off the cuff, but I have been hanging on to that statement like a life jacket. Ben will be seven months next week. That means only one month left until sweet sweet relief. Tune in later to find out if this is true or just something you tell crazy new moms with kids at daycare so they don't kill themselves.

So - waking the baby. It's a terrible thing, and it is always someone's fault (besides the baby). Before I had Ben, people would say something along the lines of, "Make sure to have lots of noise going on while the baby sleeps. You don't want him to get used to having it completely quiet." Or something along those lines. I would nod solemnly. Yes, of course. Sounded like a no-brainer. I would have the Macy's mother-effing parade going on in the background. Everyday! That way, I could opera sing my way through the day while banging pots and pans together and not worry about waking him up. I would be the perfect mother!

HA! I had no clue how tired I would be. I was so so tired when Ben was a newborn that sometimes I would cry. Just because I was so tired. It wouldn't be so bad during the day, but when night started to fall, I would actually get a bit of anxiety, because I had no clue what the night would bring. Would I get two or three hours of sleep in a row? Would he cry all night? Would he poop on everything?

Needless to say, I didn't really feel like making noise when he finally fell asleep. I wanted him to stay asleep. At. All. Costs. In fact, the following things happened:
  • Dan DW-40ed all of the doors in the house.
  • We started watching TV on the 10 volume setting (versus the 18).
  • We stopped closing the kitchen cabinet doors.
  • We would not empty the dishwasher.
  • We would tip-toe around avoiding creaky spots in the floor. There are a lot of creaky spots.
  • I took off Shelby's clangy collar and tags while she was in the house, and had a really long conversation with her about barking.
  • I would take the phone off of the hook if I could remember, otherwise I would snarl at anyone who dared to call the house.
  • Changed my iphone to vibrate.
Well, you live and learn. If he's going to wake up, he's going to wake up. If he is sleeping hard enough, noise doesn't bother him. For instance, a couple of mornings ago before work, Dan accidentally set off the alarm letting Shelby out. The alarm that is supposed to scare off intruders and alert the entire neighborhood that we are being robbed. Ben slept like a log right through it. However, earlier during the night, I coughed loudly and shifted in the bed. This caused him to wake up. There is no rhyme or reason to it. He is a total weirdo.

I am much less scared of waking him up than I was at the beginning, because he has a routine now and also is getting pretty good at soothing himself back to sleep. Seeing him putting his pacifier back in his mouth on his own (via the video monitor) was like watching Moses walk on water. However, we still do most of the "quiet" stuff above. We are just more laid back about it and not quivering in fear. I will actually run the dishwasher and washer/dryer. We watch TV at a normal level.

So I guess the gist of this post is to say to new mothers: Don't feel badly about wanting your house to be quiet as a church mouse. You're still cool, laid back, and fun. You just really really want some rest. Also, a rested baby is a happier baby. In a few months, it will all even out!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pink Eye, Not As Cute As It Sounds

Who doesn't love the color pink? And eyes are great, right? Well, when you put those two hands together, my friend, you get a gunky, disgusting mess.

After his eyes had cleared up. I'll spare you the gunky pictures. Check out our new chevron pillows!
Ben came down with a raging case of the pinkeye on Friday morning. Luckily, I was home for my flex day, so it was really perfect timing to come down with pinkeye, if he had to have it. I was already home with him, and he had plenty of time for the antibiotics to kick in before Monday.

Ben and I started coming down with (another) cold early last week. Dan actually caught this one too, so the whole family has been down for the count. Ben hasn't had a fever though, and besides the congestion, the cold hasn't been horrible. So he has been going to daycare, and we have been going to work. However, on Thursday, it was rough for me at work with non-stop sneezing and being up from 5:30am with Ben. I would have gone home early, but I couldn't unfortunately due to something that had to be reviewed with my boss. Thems the breaks! I was much better the next day, which is good because I had to deal with Ben's pinkeye.

I noticed that he had something in his eye that morning, but I didn't think too much of it. I thought it was just regular gunk that had floated to the middle somehow. I put him down for his nap. When he woke up an hour and a half later, I realized that something was not right. The amount of gunk had basically quadrupled and his eyes were all puffy. I called the pediatrician's office. We had just missed the "walk-in" hours, and they couldn't fit us in until 4pm. So I was pretty much wiping gunk out of his eyes all day. The one positive was that by the time I brought him in, his eyes looked so bad that they prescribed him oral antibiotics AND antibiotic eye drops. Yay!

The good news is that his eyes cleared up VERY quickly after he took the meds. I have always been so grossed out and scared of pinkeye. Now, it doesn't worry me so much. Once you get those meds, it is taken care of pretty quickly. Honestly, I would rather him get pinkeye than a cold. A cold lasts MUCH longer. This time, he had both. Booo. I guess pinkeye can be caused by a virus (like a cold) or a bacteria. His was probably related to his cold. But I guess it is still contagious? I don't know, I am not a doctor! Stop hassling me!

Fingers crossed that Dan and I don't pick it up! A friend of mine caught her son's pinkeye a WEEK after his had cleared up, so I guess we are not out of the woods yet.

Ben is getting over his cold now, which means we are at the thick remnants snot and cough stage. Which means I was up with him at 5am. MONDAY FUNDAY! ;)

Chilling on Sunday morning in our PJs.
I'm allowing this pic snapped by Dan of me without makeup, because it is mercifully blurry.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Things I Stole From the Hospital

I'm a thief! I "stole" a bunch of stuff from the hospital when Ben was born that I am still using and wish I had more of. Imagine me cat-burglarizing my way out of the hospital, pink panther style. I felt like that episode of Friends where Ross takes a suitcase full of complementary items from the hotel because he was such a cheapo. I thought I would do a post about this so that any soon-to-be moms can know to have sticky fingers at the hospital when it comes to these things. Now, to be fair, our nurse was completely OK with us taking all of these things, but your nurse may not be as cool as ours. She was the shiz. So proceed with caution.

1. Pacifiers - Ben still uses the green soothies that he used in the hospital. We have purchased more, obviously, but he still uses the same kind. I have tried to give him the soothie for older babies, but he looks at me like I hurt his feelings when I give that one to him. And it definitely doesn't "soothe" him. At the hospital, they had a million of these pacifiers, individually wrapped. If the paci fell on the floor, the nurses would just throw it away and grab a new one. Crazy! A pack of two of these things sell for about $6. So, stock up! If you have a paci baby like me, you cannot have enough of these things.

2. Bulb Syringe - They have these awesome big green bulb syringes for sucking out all of the snot, etc. They work great, and you can't find another one like it to buy. These are also individually wrapped. I took two - the one that they were using on him, and the spare that was in his supply cart. I just had to throw one out last month, because it developed a gross smell that I couldn't get rid of (I swear I wash the thing, but maybe I "let it go" too long one time). So now I just have one of these bad boys.

3. Burb Cloths - I have a ton of burp cloths purchased from the stores, but I always seem to want to reach for the ones I stole from the hospital. They are just a plan white cloth. Thin, but not too thin. Not too big, not too small. GRAB THEM ALL. ;)

4. Diapers - Once a pack is opened, they can't use it on another baby (I think). So try to make it so that a new pack just happens to get opened right before you check out. You can obviously never have enough dipes.

5. White Petroleum Jelly - For Boys with Circumsized Wee Wees. This is the stuff that you gob on the little dude for a few days. Take a couple of extra tubs and gauzes.

6. Formula - We took a bunch of formula home with us. We didn't end up using it, and I plan on actually donating it all this weekend. BUT, this can obviously be very useful to those that are using formula. Formula be expensive yo.

7. Pumping Items - I can't remember if these were automatically provided to me, or if I received them because I asked to pump. Even if you don't plan on pumping while you are in the hospital, ask for pumping parts. At my hospital, they used Ameda parts and I had a Medela pump at home

so I am not using it now, but they may match for you. A complete set of pumping parts costs close to $50, so definitely worth it to have. Also, ask for any freebies you can get from the lactation consultants. They usually can give you about one of anything you need before you have to pay for it.

8. Socks, Pads, Mesh Underwear - These are for you Mama. I don't still have/use these things obvi (gross!), but I did use/want them very much when I first got home. I recommend squirreling these items away and asking for a complete restock each day you are in the hospital.

9. Food for You - Now, this isn't something that you can really take with you, except for maybe a random muffin or something. But I want to say to eat up Moms! Order anything anytime you want. Order two of it. No one is going to be bringing you cooked food to your bed for a while again (or ever). Am I the only person who really likes hospital food? I sometimes fantasize about being brought my hospital food in bed.....ahh...oh wait? You're still here? Sorry, I was thinking about chicken fingers.

Notice that I didn't include receiving blankets on the list. Some people love the hospital receiving blankets. I took a couple, but never used them. I just loved my Aden + Anais too much I guess.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Navy Yard Shooting and Disaster Preparedness

I have a pretty heavy heart today in light of the Navy Yard shooting yesterday. It hit very close to home. Dan is a contractor with the Navy, has a CAC card (the DOD ID/access card), and goes there regularly. He would have had to go yesterday, but of course did not. Fortunately, Dan told me immediately that he wasn't there, so I didn't have to worry about him.

They have put up a "Remembering the Victims" page on Washington Post's website, and it's heartbreaking. These were just regular people in my area at their job. Getting their breakfast. I identify with these people. To think that the shooter was on high ground, just picking them off in a cafeteria is sickening. I cannot understand it.

It seems that something majorly tragic happens every few months or so, and each time it hits closer to home. The Aurora movie theater shooting, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombing, and now this. It feels as if no place is safe anymore. However, I guess safety is just an illusion. I fear for my mother as a teacher in a school. I fear for my father, because he works in a D.C. landmark. I fear for Dan who runs marathons. I fear for my nephews, niece, and Ben who are just children going to school or daycare. I fear for myself.

Dan and I are aware of the danger of living near and working in D.C. It is the capital of the United States, a major target for terrorism. In the back of our heads, we know something big could happen at anytime. That is why the earthquake that happened here a couple of years ago was frightening. We don't experience earthquakes that often, all we knew was that our building was shaking.

One thing that makes me feel better in times like this is to have a plan. Dan and I have talked about it before in the past, but I went over it with him last night again in an effort to make myself feel prepared. It is pretty simple. If a major event happens in the city, everyone is getting out, and we can't contact each other, then we both go to Ben's daycare. Ben is our first priority. Whoever gets there first takes him home. Whoever gets there second then goes home.

I'm sure we should probably have more disaster stuff planned, but that is the basic plan. Dan, of course, said "What about Shelby???" So then we had to amend the plan. If Shelby was at daycare too, then the plan is: Ben's daycare, Shelby's daycare, then home. Ha.

I don't pray often. I'm not very religious, and sometimes it feels disingenuous. However, this morning I prayed for the victims and their families. I figured they would need all the help they could get.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weight Update (Me and Ben) and PSLs

I have a crazy busy week at work this week, so I may not have any spare time to drop a post in the next few days. However, I wanted to start off the week posting a little something.

First off, WEIGHT UPDATE. I last talked about this here. So I weighed myself last week, and I was at 142.5lbs. Pretty good! That is pretty much my pre-pregnancy weight (but obv things are shaped a bit differently now). Although, I haven't weight myself since, and I had Freddy's this weekend, so who knows what it is now ;). I haven't been counting calories or putting an effort into exercise. I have just been generally trying to eat a bit better. Also, being at work, I just eat less in general I think, because I am not consistently next to my kitchen. I usually have a breakfast bar in the morning (lately Luna Blueberry Bliss- YUM!) with coffee. My coffee has soy milk and sugar in it. For lunch, I may buy something from around town - like a sandwich - or bring a frozen meal from home. I usually buy something from Amy's Organics or just a low cal Safeway meal. I'm fancy, what can I say? I will have a few pieces of fruit throughout the day. Dinner is a free for all - whatever is around. We will usually do some sort of take out at least once during the week.

When I can come up for air at work, I will put some brain power into actually eating well. I just don't even have the space in my head to think too much about it right now. Unfortunately, I am the type of person to make myself feel better through food, as an award for making it through a stressful day. Dammit if a gooey brownie just doesn't taste better when opposing counsel is pissing me off.

Ben had his 6 month check up on Friday. He is still in the high 20s percentile wise for weight and high 80s percentile wise for height. The doc said that he is just a tall and skinny baby, and that is what is normal for him. He weighs 16 lbs 3 oz and is 27.5" tall. Everything checked out great!

PSLs. Fall is in the air already here. I know that it is technically still summer, but as soon as September rolled around, there was a chill in the air in the morning. Also, the day is shortening. While I love the change of seasons, I DREAD the dark mornings and dark evenings. How sad will it be that I will only get to see Ben when it is dark out during the week? I will try not to dwell too much on that. So with Fall comes all of the pumpkin flavored stuff! (See how I eat my feelings???) Did you know that annoying people call pumpkin spice lattes PSLs? Well they do. I haven't had a PSL yet this season, but I did buy some pumpkin flavored K-cups at Dunkin Donuts, and they are tasty. I recommend.

Embrace the season! I am very excited for October, because work should be at a more respectable pace AND I get to decide what Ben will be for Halloween. I am leaning towards the traditional pumpkin...BUT WHO KNOWS!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Refusing the Bottle

I'm so sophisticated now. I should probably be drinking from a Waterford wine glass.
Beginning last Monday, Ben started to refuse his bottle. They told me that when I went to pick him up sick at daycare. I wasn't too concerned about him not eating - he had nursed for a long time that morning and had solids for breakfast. I noticed he nursed less during day on Tuesday and Wednesday, and attributed it to his ear infection. By Thursday and Friday, he seemed completely recovered and was acting normally. However, he would not take a bottle either one of these days. Dan's parents watched him on Thursday, and Dan was home with them as well on Friday with him. I was at work, and he pretty much just didn't have any breast milk until I got home. He was fine otherwise, and in a good mood. He would just not drink. I would say about 12 oz. of my breast milk was lost in the process over the week.

I freaked out! What was going to happen back at daycare? I immediately went out and bought sippy cups as an alternative. He hated them. I worried about it all weekend. I sent 15 oz. to daycare in six different bottles. Dan talked about it with his caregiver when he dropped him off. I called the front office and asked them to have his caregiver call me when she had the chance to talk about it. It was the first day of school there (the daycare is a preschool as well), so it was a busy day for them.

She called around 10am. He had had his first bottle, no problem. When I picked him up, he had drank all that I had sent. The message from the caregiver was - send more please. I am not sure what sort of magic/torture she worked on him, but I am OK with it. I am also OK with him drinking whatever amount they want at daycare now. I never withheld it before, but I stressed out about it. However, having him NOT take a bottle was so much more worrisome.

So today I was back to sending three 6 oz. bottles and one 4 oz. bottle. Normally (although this was all over the place lately), he just drinks the three 6 oz. bottles and the fourth is taken home. I was able to add a bit to my freezer stash last week due to him not drinking anything. So I think it is around 95 oz. now. I am now officially not worried about how much breast milk I have or produce each day. At this point, even if I have to supplement everyday from the freezer, I can still get through another month. He is six months now, and I feel pretty good about it. I feel like I wasted so much energy (and blog posts, haha) worrying about my breast milk production while pumping at work. I am glad I did everything I did, but I definitely think I could have worried and stressed about it less. Why I am so weird and dramatic?

So why was he refusing the bottle? I guess it was some sort of combination of being sick and then being at home. Also, I think he is starting to prefer solids. I may have Dan give him a bottle over the weekend to see if he is back to "normal" at home as well. Also, he has his six month check up on Friday, so I have lots to discuss with the doc about eating!