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Thursday, November 29, 2007

My new favorite photo


This photo made me laugh out loud. Dad is looking all smiley -- which is NOT a common occurrence for photos of Ryan. And little Fay looks like she is giving major attitude to dad. No doubt an indication of times to come. (Click on the photo to get the full view, its a bit cropped here in the blog)

5 weeks big

And here is a close up of Fay looking quite alert. She is 5 1/2 weeks in this photo. Does she look long and chubby? Is she growing?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

One month check up

Fay had her one month check up yesterday. She is now 5 weeks old. I was very excited to see how much weight she'd gained. She's obviously filling out in the face and stomach. And she weighs more in my arms too. I can now see where the feeding pillow is more necessary so that I don't have to support her full weight the entire time.

The scale was a bit questionable. We weighed her once with all the clothes on and she came in at 9.6 lbs. Then we weighed her without her pants and saw 9.05 lbs. Then we changed her diaper and took off her shirt and got a reading of 9.95 lbs. ??? So the nurse went with the original reading of 9.6 lbs. Putting her at approximately 9 lbs 8 oz. Weird.

Length measurements were a little more straight forward. She is 23 inches. And that puts her in the 90th percentile. That is easy to believe since Ryan and I are both on the tall side.

Everything else checked out well. We go back in 2 weeks for her first shots. We want to get them in plenty of time before the xmas travel in case there is a negative reaction we have to deal with. And we will do one more wellness check before xmas as she will be 8 weeks!

I keep reading that "social awareness" starts around 6 weeks of age, so I'll be looking for some smiles next week and maybe some recognition in her face when mommy comes in the middle of the night for a feeding.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Friends' Thanksgiving 2007


Another Friends' Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year was noteably different. There were a lot more kids, a lot earlier wake up times and a lot earlier bedtimes for the adults. Not to mention not much alcohol consumption because of new parent exhaustion and some nursing and pregnant ladies. This one is sure to go down in the history books as perhaps the tamest Thanksgiving. But is was truely enjoyable nonetheless. (For those not in the know, some friends and I get each year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, rent a house and cook a proper turkey dinner. We like to call it "Friends' Thanksgiving").

I have to admit, my fears came true. It was pretty difficult for me to get any sleep while trying to nurse Fay while not at home. Normally at home I jump out of bed, grab Fay and head for the living room for late night feedings. This way I don't disturb Ryan and I have the comfort of a couch and TV to keep me awake. However, at Friends' Thanksgiving we were in a downstairs bedroom. So I didn't want to take Fay up the stairs in the middle of the night and I also didn't want to disturb Ryan too much. So I found myself in the bathroom connected to our bedroom, nursing while sitting on the floor. This was problematic for two reasons. One the bathroom floor is cold and hard. Two, the lights in the bathroom are SOOOO bright, that I think it prevented Fay from falling back to sleep easily. I've read that you should keep noise and lights to a minimum during late night feedings so that the Baby goes back to sleep readily. One of the weekend nights had Fay up for 2 1/2 hours as she refused to return to sleep.

beck bundled

There was another newborn attending the weekend getaway -- Beck Milacci is about 8 weeks old. He seemed to be a dream child. He slept on couches all day and Jen said he was just starting to sleep a 5 hour chunk at night! I can dream. Only 4 more weeks until Fay is 8 weeks old. Although, I've read that longer sleep periods can start at 6 weeks, so I'm optimistic that I've got 2 weeks left of Fay's 1 and 2 hours naps. We will see.

everyone swim!

The house came equipped with a heated swimming pool. And when I say heated -- it was WARM. Warm enough to get just about everyone in the pool on a brisk November afternoon. I think the kids especially liked it.

proud turkeys

On Saturday 1/2 the group stayed home with the kiddos, and cooked, while the other 1/2 visited wineries in the North Fork area. Needless to say Ryan was able to go the wineries since I am attached to Fay's favorite two boobs. But Fay rewarded me later by falling asleep just as dinner was starting. I didn't have to practice my one handed eating technique though two other mothers at the table were not as lucky.

All in all, it was a tiring weekend. Its really thrilling to see all the kids at this stage though, knowing that they may grow up together. Its fun to imagine what each coming year will hold as the kids get older and play together more. How many years until we will have a kids table!?

I have some great photos of the weekend. None of which I am in, but Fay and Ryan are in a couple, along with many other cute kids and babies.

Friday, November 16, 2007

neighborhood moms

Turns out my neighborhood is a fantastic place to meet other moms. Ryan and I have lived in our apt for 1 1/2 year now and as is typical of nyc, we haven't really met many people in the neighborhood. We are friendly with the people on our same floor, but thats about it. When I was pregnant, I was approached by a woman on the street who told me about a message board for Lower East Side parents which is a great resource for meeting people and for getting information about local amenities for parents/kids. I also met a fellow pregnant woman in the grocery store when I was pregnant. We exchanged numbers and said we would follow up after the babies were born. Through this woman, I have met about 10 other moms who gather togther twice a week to hang out with the babies and just chit chat. On Mondays we get together at a local community center which holds "new parenting" classes. Its really just a place to open up conversation about anything that is troubling you or bring up any questions you have. I would say its just a nice support group. On Wednesdays the same group of women gather at one of their homes for 2-3 hours and sometimes go for lunch. I've been doing these get togethers for 2 weeks now and it is just a great group of women. I feared possibly meeting other moms who were at worst judgemental, or at least women with whom I have nothing in common except for a now shrinking uterus. But NO! These women are all first time moms, struggling with learning how to take care of a new born. They are all planning on going back to work after 4-6 months so our babies are similar ages and we are all at similar stages of new motherhood. And they are all new yorkers who live on the lower east side. Maybe because of this they are like me, I don't know. But they are not judgemental -- just the opposite, everyone really respects differences in opinions. And, again, we are all new to this, so maybe its impossible to be a know it all at this point.

I'm really enjoying getting out of the house. Its hard to do at this point because Fay does not have any regularity to her eating schedule. Sometimes she sleeps for 3 hours, sometimes just one. So its a gamble if I want to go for a walk or run an errand. However, I can easily run across the street to another mom's home and immediately plug a boob in Fay's mouth if need be!

Tonight I am heading out to Long Island to spend the weekend with friends. It is our annual "Friends' Thankgsgiving" where 9 friends and their kids get together to cook a Thanksgiving meal the weekend before the actual holiday. We started this tradition years ago when no one had kids and no one was married! This year we will have 5 kids including Fay. I'm really looking forward to it, though I fear I will be more tired than ever wanting to participate in all the adult activities while still not sleeping at night due to feedings.

There are sure to be lots of photos after this weekend.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fay and Nana meet

looking at Nana

Grandma Lowe or "Nana" came to town this past week to meet Fay for the first time and help me get some much needed sleep. Thats what it comes down to these days. I appreciate the laundry help and the cooking help, but I'll give it all up if I can swap if for a few hours of sleep.

Fay is just about 3 weeks old now. And boy is she filling out. You can see it in her cheeks especially. She is getting that round baby face. I didn't even realize how skinny her little head looked until she started packing on the milk pounds. She's eating a lot more frequently than her first couple weeks -- every 2 1/2 hours or so. But she is also eating in a shorter amount of time. It only takes her 45 min to eat 30 minutes worth of boob. That is nice for mom because it means the middle of the night feedings are a lot shorter, making it easier to fall back asleep.

chubby cheeks

I think its safe to say that Nana fell in love during her visit to NYC. It was really fun to see my mom as a grandma to my little girl. You can see the experience of having raised two babies herself. The skills seem to come back readily, with one exception: diapering. Nana had a little trouble on her first diapering attempt. Of course it wasn't really her fault. Apparently the diapers we use now are created in a backwards fashion to how they worked in her day. So the tape flaps go front to back now instead of back to front. :)

baby sling

Nana, Fay and I undertook a major outing on Friday afternoon. It seemed like an easy enough idea at first. We wanted to buy Fay some winter clothes. I've received A LOT of hand-me-down clothes from friends but the majority of the newborn sizes are for summer (Laurel was a summer baby!). So we just needed a few items to keep Fay warm. Things were going well until about 2-3 hours into the trip Fay got hungry. When she first started to squawk, we were in a casual restaurant and I attempted my first public breast feeding. This went well except for the fact that Fay only wanted to eat for 10 min or so. Thinking she was good to go, we finished up our meal and headed to Old Navy for one last clothing stop before going home. Five minutes into Old Navy it was evident that Fay was going to loose it if she didn't get some boob and NOW. So we quickly grabbed a handful of outfits from the racks, thinking we might be able to checkout quickly and escape. But Fay was in charge and that was not her plan. We had to make an emergency detour to the dressing rooms where I fed Fay for ONE HOUR! I have to give a big thank you to the staff at Old Navy who had no problem with me occupying a dressing room for an hour while clearly not trying on the miniature sleepers I brought in with me. In the future I think I will try to keep my outings to 3 hours or less. That shopping trip was exhausting.

Nana also gave Ryan and me an opportunity to go out on the town on Saturday night. I was a little less anxious this time than last week when I left Fay for the first time. However, we stayed away a bit longer -- going out to dinner AND a movie. And by the time I got home, my breasts were punishing me for it. I was in pain from the lack of breastfeeding and worse yet Fay was asleep when I got home, so I could not rely on her to relieve the pain! So we returned at 12:30 AM and instead of falling into bed I had to pump to relieve the pressure and to stop the milk from pouring out on its own. Another reminder of the fact that we are all just animals that can't control the nature of our bodies.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

sleep cycle -- or lack there of

Well, we definitely spoke too soon on the greatness of Fay's sleep habits. She lulled us into a false security the first week by frequently sleeping 4 hours at a time and at a minimum 3 hours at a time. Fay has now turned 2 weeks old and her sleep patterns are completely unpredictable. She'll sleep for 1.5 hours or 2.5 hours, 3 hours is now a rarity. And let me tell you it is a big difference between getting 2 hours of consecutive sleep versus 3 hours of consecutive sleep. Plus she seems to be awake the same amount of time between sleep sessions as before. So it seems she is getting less sleep and feeding more. I read that infants go through growth spurts at 7-10 days and at 2-3 weeks and so on. That seems a little random since all babies are different. But she has had a couple of marathon feeding sessions where she is awake fr 4-5 hours alternating between 15 min feedings and 10 minute rests the whole time.

Needless to say, I'm having a hard time getting enough rest. It seems I can get about 6 hours sleep between 10pm and 10am. If I don't nap more during the day, I am a very tired wife when Ryan gets home at night.

Oh, and let me just take this moment to say that Ryan is the best hubby ever! He's been super supportive in the evenings, taking Fay away from Mom, so I can get some time without her by my side or on my nipple. And when he's not relieving me he spends all his time in the kitchen fixing me dinner so I can continue to produce more milk!

My mom comes to town on Thursday and will stay through the weekend. It will be nice to have some help around the house and just to have my mom here to see what kind of advice she can offer. Should be fun to compare stories of when I was just a baby in her arms.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Janssen Grandparents come to town


Last week Grandma Janssen (Granny) was in town to help me adjust to motherhood. And while she could not take the burden of 2am feeding off my plate, she was an enormous help with dinner, laundry, and 2am conversation. Grandpa Janssen arrived on Thursday. Fay took an instant liking to his voice -- staring up at him as he greeted her for the first time. Ryan and I were able to get out for a much needed, yet anxious night on the town Friday night while Grandma and Grandpa Janssen babysat. It was really hard for me to leave Fay. And I might say that it was because it was so soon after her birth, but I have a feeling it will always be a little bit difficult to leave her.

During the visit, we passed through a couple of interesting dates. One being Fay's due date, which was Oct. 30, last Tuesday. And the day after that was Halloween! Grandma Janssen surprised us with Fay's first halloween costume. It was ADORABLE on Fay. I was a little concerned that she would get swallowed up inside the giant pumpkin, but no such tragedy occurred. Instead Fay was instantly content in her little warm coccoon. She fell asleep within minutes. (Not that sleep is unusual for her!).


We took the opportunity to show off Fay's first Halloween costume by visiting Daddy at work. Ryan's work gets into Halloween pretty seriously. Everyone dresses up. So Fay was dressed perfectly.