Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This year has proven to be much more merry and bright than the years past.  I am defining "family" a bit differently now, and to me, that's the most important part of the holidays.  This morning (Christmas Eve) Griffin woke up with wide eyes and just kept smiling--I think he may just know what's going on.

Merry Christmas!  I hope yours is filled with lots of love and yummy food.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Griffin may not realize it now, but we LOVE Christmas.  Especially his dad.  If he could he would light our entire house and yard with lights.  I really can't wait to see Griffin get excited about Christmas too.  I can't wait to see him and Dave on the roof hanging lights or for him to help pick the year's tree or hang his own ornaments on the tree.  I know that I'll be seeing all these things happen before I know it. 

I believe that my favorite part of the holiday season is tradition.  I love counting on certain things to happen their certain way each year.  My family didn't really have any Christmas traditions that I remember, except that we had to stay at the top of the stairs until Dad got the camera cued. But I enjoyed that.  Sometimes I find myself missing waking up early Christmas morning running down the hall to wake my parents; but soon I'll be the one being woken up.  Soon I'll be starting our own family traditions, and that excites me.

Dave's family has tradition of giving each child an ornament every year.  Dave has all of his including his first.  So we've continued the tradition with each other.  Our tree is mostly all Dave's ornaments and only a few of my own that I've acquired in the last five years and the dogs even have a few.  And now Griffin has his very first ornament hanging from the tree.  This is just the beginning of his collection that I am excited to add to.

Last year Dave and I did Christmas pictures of us and the dogs.  It was our first Christmas as a married couple, so it was fun to do.  This year I almost didn't want to send cards, then I kicked myself and realized what holiday it was.  I would have been sad for ages if we had not taken pictures of our first Christmas as a little family.  I will post the final picture of this year's card soon, but for now I'll give you an outtake.  I didn't even think of how difficult it was going to be to pose a baby and two dogs.  Difficult, but worth it.

Griffin, who had been calm for the whole weekend, decided he wasn't happy about the camera being out.  Jack, who's usually the photogenic one, wasn't in the mood either and kept trying to run away or lay down and sleep in the middle of a shot.  But Lucy was pretty good, except for getting easily distracted by Dave or Griffin or the voices in her head.  After what felt like 1000 pictures, we finally got ONE that worked.

Griffin has been impressing us with his development lately.  Not only is he making eye contact with us all the time, he's following objects with his eyes more consistantly.  I didn't realize that one day I would be so astonsished with someone staring at things like I am with him.  I've also caught a few smiles.  In the evenings while Dave is working on his homework, Griffin and I will have conversations that consist of him cooing and we'll work on his leg and neck muscles, and a couple of times he's smiled right at me.  Can't wait for that smile to be permanently glued to his face. 

Monday, December 7, 2009

What makes me smile?

My little family.

Griffin looking at me, which is happening more and more often these days.

Dear Griffin...

...please slow down!
I took the first picture at one week, and the second one was taken at five weeks.  Looking at this just about takes my breath away.  I had heard everyone say, "oh, they grow so fast...yadda yadda yadda."  However, seeing is believing.  I hadn't ever imagined that a person could literally transform in just a couple of weeks.  I am going to need to hit the gym and do some weight lifting just to carry him around if he continues on this track.  (Or he may be carrying me pretty soon.)

I am learning that right now there is no such thing as a norm.  For a while, he had been sleeping from around midnight to about 6 in the morning.  He was also just fine being laid down wide awake.  I had hoped that this was just the way he liked it, and a nice foundation to sleep a full eight hours.  But...he has seemed to change his mind.  He is now waking up around 4:30, however I am feeding him a tad bit earlier.  He really really wants to get up when he wakes up; no crying it out for ten minutes.  I am about to start reading (oh, I've said that a million times) The Happiest Baby on the Block that my dear friend, Emily, got for me.  On Amazon it has four and a half stars out of 708 reviews, and one calls the book "pure magic."  He is also getting fussier during the day and I'm not too sure what to do about it.  I don't want have to hold him all the time, but at the same time I don't want to traumatize him either. 

Griffin had his first snow day the day after his first I'm-staying-up-all-nightlong-night.  So I wasn't thinking clearly and thoroughly.  G's Uncle Jacob was spending the day with us since Dave was in class for eight hours.  Jacob asked if we could take Griffin outside to see the snow and I responded by saying something like, "NO!  It's cold out there."  Then out of the corner of my eye I saw the camera and realized how awesome Jacob can be sometimes.  I would have hated to have not captured Griffin's first snow day on film a memory card. 

Thanks Jacob!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's in a name?

So I'm not very good with abbreviated names, for people or for objects.  Not just abbreviated names but also nicknames of any kind.  I normally call people by how they've been introduced to me.  I have always been called by my entire first name and it's never successfully been shortened.  So when people told me that Griffin's name would be shortened to "Griff," I shook my head and laughed.  So within a month only a couple of people have called him Griff, but some only to annoy me.  Slowly it's doesn't matter as much as it did, but it still makes me laugh.

Many times I have been reminded how clueless I am when it comes to this parenting stuff, especially the lingo.  Everyday I feel like I learn something, if not a million things, new.  The other day I was asked where Griffin's "binky" was, to which I had no clue what that was.  Thinking it through I assumed it was a blanket, then I learned that it's the pacifier.  Where did this name come from?  Back to my problem of not using nicknames, I can not bring myself to call the pacifier anything other than "pacifier."  I can't say binky or winky or passy--I just can't do it.  I've also learned that blankets can be minkies or possibly a million other names, but what's wrong with "blanket"?  I like just having a clear and concise nomenclature for things so I am not grabbing for Griffin's blanket instead of the pacifier. 

I'm coming around though, and I keep an open mind.  So don't judge me ;) 

*Both pictures were taken two weeks ago.  Griffin is now a little bigger and a whole lot cuter.  

Monday, November 30, 2009

One Month

Just a couple days ago Griffin turned one month old.  Both Dave and I were asking ourselves, "really,  wasn't he just born yesterday?"  Griffin has filled our house with love and joy and really loud noises; and as his mom, I am enjoying every single second of it.

The holiday season is feeling a bit different this year, since we're a party of three now.  Griffin went to pick out his first Christmas tree and his first ornament, to start his collection.  We had a nice time as a family decorating the tree while listening to some old Christmas records that Dave scored a while back.  This is our favorite time of year, and we know that the joy will be increased a thousand fold with Griffin being our most favorite present ever. 

Every day he is breaking out of his "baby shell" as I call it.  I'll catch him making an expression where I swear he doesn't look anything like a baby.  He is also quite a bit more awake and alert during the day.  I absolutely love to watch him wide-eyed, cooing and playing with his hands.  I'm not sure when he's cuter, when he's awake or when he's asleep dreaming.  It really does surprise me how beautiful this little baby is, no matter what he's doing.

Griffin loves getting out of the house and he's a little social butterfly.  He's fast asleep as soon as he gets in the car and usually sleeps for a good while after the car ride.  Griffin met a lot of his family for the first time this Thanksgiving and really seemed to enjoy getting acquainted with everyone.

Today we had Griffin's one month doctor's visit.  He is as healthy as can be, and the doctor told us to keep doing what we're doing.  (Good to hear when you're not sure what you're doing.)  Griffin had been having some belly troubles early on and wasn't gaining weight as fast as he was supposed to.  After taking care of that he has now more than caught up with himself. 

Here's his stats and some mommy info:
22 inches long--75th percentile
9 lb 9 oz--completely average in the 50th percentile (I knew he was feeling heavy.)
He's slowly outgrowing his newborn clothes.  He's still too narrow for his 0-3 month or 3 month clothes. 
He's sleeping from about midnight till 5-5:30ish.  I won't complain about that, but soon we're going to begin the trick that the doctor told us about today.  I wonder how long I can sit still with him crying.....hmmm?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Griffin's First Week in the World

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This was quite the day for our new little family.  I felt like I was in the most surreal dream.  Griffin entered the world a pretty happy baby.  After his intial "hello" he slept for just about the entire day.  I'm assuming that it will be the only birthday that he sleeps through.

Griffin had lots and lots of visitors, and slept through being passed around.  We even had to take off his clothes and turn on all the lights to get him to eat.  Dave did a pretty good job of "waking the baby." 

We spent almost the entire day just staring at him, trying to soak in the reality of our new journey.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Griffin surprised us by wanting to party all the previous night, so we were pretty tired on day two.  We didn't take advantage of the nursery like we were told; just assumed that we'd need the practice of waking up to a new alarm clock. 

We spent the day getting to know our new son.  We found out that he particularly likes to have his clothes ON and not off, and really likes to be swaddled up real tight.  Dave got pretty good swaddling, which ended up being rather beneficial. 

Griffin recieved his first shot and was quite the little trooper.  After just a couple of seconds of crying, he was back to his old, err...I mean new, self.  It was becoming more and more evident that we had a pretty good kid on our hands.

Friday, October 30, 2009

 Griffin had his hearing test extremely early that morning.  He passed with flying colors.  Then Dr. Brody came  to let us know that I was healing up great, and that we'd be ready to left by lunch time.  We were all really ready to go, as I believe the four walls surrounding us were starting to close in on us.  The pediatrician also came to let us know that Griffin was healthy enough to leave.  In just a few hours we were packing up the car and introducing Griffin to the big wide world outside of the hospital. 

Griffin's first stop was to meet my Nana, his Great Nana.  I promised her that she'd meet him as soon as we possibly could.  My Nana means the world to me, and introducing her to my new world was more precious than I ever could have imagined.

After this we took him home.  What we didn't realize was how we'd be going to a new home too.  The house that we lived in transformed the second that we walked in.  It's hard to describe the feeling that I felt, but it was the most emotional that I had felt through this entire process.  I think it had finally hit me that Griffin was mine.  He wasn't a baby at a hospital, he wasn't a growing fetus in my belly, he was our son.  The house that Dave and I lived in turned into the home for our little family.  And it was time for me to learn to be his mom. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Griffin's first Halloween.  It wasn't too eventful.  He wore his skeleton costume and got played with by Jack and Lucy.  He doesn't realize how much fun Halloween is going to be next year.  Pops and Nana came over to help us hand out candy to the, oh, six trick-or-treaters.  

*Note: I did not paint Griffin for Halloween; I merely photo-edited his costume to be more elaborate.

Sunday. November 1, 2009

This was more of an eventful day.  Griffin had his first bath and first walk.  I wouldn't say that he necessarily enjoyed his first bath, but he really seemed to like the walk around the neighborhood.   During the walk we stopped by our neighbors Adam and Mandie's house to meet their little Emilie.  I have a feeling that he and Emilie will be playing before I know it.  I should probably add here that not only was this Griffin's first bath, but also Dave and my first time giving a baby a bath.  I think we did alright. 

Monday, November 2, 2009
Griffin had his first doctor's appointment where he met his pediatrician, who told us that Griffin was perfect.  This was obviously what we were hoping to hear.  Griffin weighed 7 lbs even at this appointment, up from 6 lb 6 oz at discharge from the hospital.  On the way to the doctor we learned that Griffin loves to be in his carseat/carrier and falls fast asleep in the car (just like his mom). 

The doctor told us to get lots of tummy time in; so that's exactly what we did when we got home.  Griffin's new best friend, Jack tried to help, but it didn't seem to ease his agony any.  After all the hard work Griffin decided to take a nap with Jack.  Turns out that Jack makes a great pillow.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
We decided to relax after an eventful few days.  Although Griffin did help Dave clean the kitchen.

In just a week's time we watched Griffin go through so many changes.  We watched his eyes change color everyday.  We saw his beautiful eyes open for longer periods of time.  We heard a million different noises, which I'm pretty sure are reminiscent of a baby terodactyl.  We're pretty sure that he likes us already.  And I can guarantee you that we love our little Griffin more and more and more every single day.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

G-Day [10.28.09]

It's about time that I got around to writing this before it escapes my memory.  I have obviously been a bad blogger as I have been adjusting to my new-found mommyhood.

As I was getting ready for bed the night before G-Day I knew that I wouldn't be able to sleep as much as it would benefit me to do so.  I kept finding one thing after another to do.  Honestly I don't remember much from the night before, but I do remember that our house had quite a calmness to it.

After our four hours of sleep I woke up to shower and get ready to go meet our Griffin.  Sadly I had wanted to actually "get ready," as in fix my hair and apply a little bit of makeup, which would later make me laugh at myself.  Dave made sure that everything was in the car and soon we were on our way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 5 AM, where everything went incredibly smooth which kept the nervousness away.  I tried to keep all expectations out of my head to be able to absorb everything I possibly could.  The c-section was scheduled for 7 AM, so I hung out on a comfy hospital bed hooked up to the monitors that I got to know during my false alarm visit.  I had a few contractions while lying there and Griffin was wiggling around, I think telling me that he was ready.  Dave's parents and my family came early to visit us while we waited, so the time was passed easily.  I believe that this may have helped keep my mind off the potential un-nerving events ahead of us. 

Seven o'clock rolled around rather quickly, so Dave slipped into his bee suit, as he called it, and we headed to the O.R.  There was a shift change at 7 AM so I got a new nurse right before going back who I really really enjoyed.  She was a younger girl and the first thing that she asked me was if I was ready.  I responded saying something like, "Yea, you?  What are we waiting on?" rather nonchalantly.   She made sure to mock my calm state of mind.   I appreciated that she was able to poke fun at me immediately before I was about to experience the most life changing event of my life.

Dave had to hang out outside of the O.R. while I was receiving the spinal.  I didn't realize this till the day before, but when having a c-section you are given a spinal instead of an epidural.  Basically the difference is that a spinal is a smaller needle that is inserted into the spine one time with enough meds to get the job done; and an epidural inserts a catheter into your spine and continues to dispense the meds as you need them.  I was told by the anathesiologist that there was actually a lower risk of complications with a spinal and I should only feel a minimal amount of pain as the little needle was inserted.  I was so ready to meet my son that I really didn't care what they were going to be doing to me, as long as he wasn't negatively affected.  I sat on the bed of the O.R. with my spine curled out toward the CNA and my head laying in the chest of my new nurse friend ready to get this part over with.  However this took about 20 minutes, instead of the five-ish that it should have.  I started to feel my nerves creep in and make my knees knock, and for a split second I really thought that it just wasn't going to work.  The CNA tried three times to find the "sweet spot" in my spine, while navigating the needle around inside of me.  This was insanely uncomfortable, to say the least.  This is where I laughed at myself for fixing myself up.  I had a hair net around my shiny straight locks of hair, and during this intense 20 minutes I happened to sweat like CRAZY.  My hair turned fizzy and the little bit of makeup was wiped away as I tried to clean off my face.  I learned my lesson.

Things were a piece of cake after the drugs finally found where they needed to go in me; and my nerves went back to normal as Dave entered the room.  (I believe his did too)  Dave and I have a trust for Dr. B and knew that he'd do the best job possible with me, so we knew there was nothing to worry about him cutting on me.  In just a matter of a few minutes we were hearing the first cries of our Griffin.  At 7:43 I was hearing the most beautiful baby cry ever.  A cry that glued a giant smile on my face, a cry that filled my eyes with tears and, a cry that filled my heart with pride and joy.

As Griffin exited my body the drape in front of my face was dropped and I got to see what would change my life forever.  I literally couldn't wait to hold my screaming baby in my arms.  Once Griffin was completely out Dave was able to leave my side to watch all the fun stuff.  He watched the nurses clean him off, take his footprints, take his vitals, swaddle him up, etc.  Then he brought him over to meet me.  I couldn't believe that this was our child and I couldn't believe how incredibly beautiful this little boy was.  The nurses told me that he was 7 lb 4 oz.  Woah!  That was bigger than we were expecting, but boy was this baby long.  He certainly didn't get his length from his Mom.

I was back in the recovery room in no time, sitting beside myself in the bed.  I just couldn't wrap my head around everything that had taken place in just a matter of 30 or so minutes.  There was a little time that passed before I got to see and hold my Griffin while he was in the nursery, but that time was occupied by visiting with our family that came to see him.  Ahh!  Then my sweet nurse friend brought my baby to me and laid him in my arms.  He was the most peaceful little baby that I'd ever laid eyes on, and he was mine :)  Dave and I enjoyed sharing the awesomeness of our son with our visiting family, while Griffin just slept through the all the commotion.

Griffin was taken back to the nursery again and I was rolled to our "Mother Baby" room, where I would spend the next 2 nights.  In this room we were allowed to have as many guests as we wanted so I wasn't worrying about breaking any rules with our vast entourage.  The staff had been very accommodating to not point out our rule breaking in the previous rooms.  I believe that we took a short nap when we got to Mother/Baby while Griffin was being poked in the nursery.  Then just a little later our little son was brought back to get acquainted with his Daddy and I, and we all cherished ever single second of the beginnings of our new journey together.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

38 weeks


On Tuesday I went in for my scheduled appointment with Dr. B to make sure that I was making the right decision to go ahead with my scheduled c-section.  He told me as my OB he felt that it was right for me; and that's all he really needed to say.  So I left the appointment knowing that I'd be meeting my little Bean Sprout in just a matter of hours.

Dave and I managed to remain absolutely calm that afternoon and evening.  I had several things to run around and get done Tuesday afternoon, so I came home to make sure that everything was packed and together. It rained the entire day, which was quite annoying, but sun was in the forecast for Wednesday.

The feeling of knowing the time that I'd be meeting my son was real surreal.  At first I sort of felt a bit of guilt that I was scheduling something that was suppose to happen naturally, but after talking with Dr. B and several people who had experienced c-sections I knew that Griffin and I would be fine.

The belly growing is done now (at least I hope so!).  So, here's the progression of Griffin growing from the inside.

Monday, October 26, 2009

37 Weeks

Whew...what a week!  So much has happened in the last week; and in the last 24 hours I feel like my head has been stuck in the spin cycle.  My mind is racing like crazy, but I am going to attempt to make a little sense with what I have to say.  Now I just need to figure out where to start.

In the last week I've experienced lots and lots of changes, some of which I could have lived without.  This swelling crap is for the birds.  I feel water logged--everything is so so so heavy.  I've adjusted my chacos to fit my growing ogre feet, but my feet continue to grow.  My ankles and knees feel like they could burst at any minute.  At certain times in the day it's a task just to use my hands.  One body part I didn't mind swelling was my lips.  A friend of mine asked if I had been using lip plumper, and I was super happy to tell him that they were completely natural.  I've even thought about sporting some lip stick, which I never do.  However it's harder to notice my poufy lips now because my nose has swelled too.  I've heard stories of pregnancy nose, and I've hoped that I wouldn't fall victim to it.  If you haven't ever payed much attention to my normal nose, I'll describe it for you.  It's wide and round.  Now, it's even wider and rounder.  Hopefully this won't stick around for every long.

This past Friday I was experiencing some mystery symptoms that landed me at the doctor.  I was having some cramps and contractions and intense back pain that I hadn't yet experienced.  Instead of seeing Dr. B, I saw someone else in the office.  She told me that I had dialated 1 1/2 cm.  Woohoo!  These feelings were actually something going on inside me.  She also explained that this didn't necessarily tell me when Griffin was coming, but did say that I was favorable to induce.  This got me a little giddy, to say the least.  BUT at yesterday's appointment Dr. B said that as of right then, he would not say that I was inducible.  Wah wah waaaahh....  But this didn't mean that I wouldn't be there at my following appointment.  Then he talked to me about C-sections.  Originally I had said that I did NOT want a C-section, but I realized that I had very little knowledge of the pros and cons.  After talking with a couple of people who experienced them, I realized that it wasn't what I was thinking.  I also realized that there was a chance of me needing a C-section existed regardless of if I was scheduled or not.  I thought and thought and thought and then called the doctor.  G-Day is now October the 28th!  I do have an appointment with Dr. B the Tuesday before where we will decided our final game plan.  Just at this point, all I can think about is meeting my Griffin.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

False Alarm

Sometimes the unexpected is hard to decipher.  Yesterday was a very long day at work.  My feet and legs had swollen to where I couldn't move them, my back felt like it could break in a million pieces, and I was just plain drained.  After work we went over to Dave's parents for dinner, and just about the entire time that we were there I felt like I was having contractions.  They didn't seem like they were going away any time soon, so Dave starting writing them down.  This is where my confusion set in.  I've been told that "I'll just know" when real contractions are happening; however, I've known before that something was not happening, but here I couldn't say for sure either way.  This felt like something I had never experienced, and I just assumed that it was my bean sprout trying to come out.   After three hours of having them, most of which 5 to 7 to 10 minutes in between, we thought we'd better call Dr. B.  He told us to go ahead and make a trip to labor and delivery. 

I suppose I'll call this our trial round.  I was hooked up to all the monitors and everything was checked out by a very nice nurse.  Said nurse told me that I wasn't anymore dialated, but I was 56% effaced.  This was good news to me since I wasn't really effaced when Dr. B checked last.  This didn't mean that Griffin was on his way out last night, however.  But it did mean that we were given the opportunity to hang out in there for an hour, watching Griffin's movements via lines on a computer screen while eating ice chips.  I guess we've had worse Friday nights.   We did use this opportunity to ask the very nice nurse lots and lots of questions, questions that we really hadn't had til now.  The nurse assured me that I wasn't crazy for thinking that I was going into labor, and explained that I could have contractions all day long and still have no cervical change, which is really what labor is.  There is only one way to detect cervical change, and it takes a professional.  So I slipped my fuzzy blue slippers back on, took the Ambien they gave me to finally get some sleep after a week of none, and slept like a rock till 10:30 this morning.  Now all I need to do is get to Wednesday; that shouldn't be too hard, right?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

36 Weeks

I. am. so. sleepy.

My head wants to get up and clean the house for this weekend, yet my body won't allow me to move for more than a few seconds at a time. 

Yesterday Dave took a day off to help me around the house.  We finished up the nursery (YAY!) and painted our bedroom.  We had been wanting to give our bedroom a little attention for a while, but somehow, it would always get pushed to the back burner.  Now, it's finally more like we have wanted it.  I really do not want to paint anything else for a very very very long time. 

Oh, but the nursery.  I really feel like a momma bird when I go in there.  It's the only room in our house that can literally change my mood.  I am planning on doing a separate post about the nursery, so I'll hold off saying too much about it.  

I had wanted to have the nursery finished by August, and I have been driven a little crazy that October had come around before we realized it and the nursery still needed this or that.  But now I smile when I walk in there and I am reminded how awesome Dave really is.

36 weeks brought me a present.  One day I had swollen feet, ankles, and hands; and since that day the swelling lets up a little but hasn't gone away.  Ugh.  Dr. B says that the swelling will linger until about ten days after G-day.  Oh boy!  Thankfully the swelling is not related to my blood pressure, instead just plain ol' fluid retention.  My hands feel tight and my feet feel sore and hot.  Just one more reason that I hope that G-day comes sooner than later.  However, I should point out that I am incredibly grateful that I am just getting this now and not any sooner. 

At my appointment yesterday I asked Dr. B if I'd need to take my rings off.  I was crossing my fat little fingers that he'd say "no."  But he didn't.  He told me that we'd need to get them off so we wouldn't have to cut them off later.  Let's just say that I had been planning on taking them off for a little while now, wanting to leave them on as long as possible, but then I woke up with swollen hands that, as I explained above, has not gone away.  Yesterday I tried all day long to get them off, without any luck and just more swelling as a result.  Then later in the evening, with the help of Dave and a glob of conditioner, it came off.  Even though it never seemed like it was coming, and I thought for a moment that my finger from the knuckle up was going to fly off, they came off.  Whew!

I could write on, but my eyes keep trying to close and we have a breastfeeding class later on tonight.  Hopefully I can stay awake for it.