Brute! (7w)

OMG, it’s not our imagination! In the last 15 days, Kieran has gained 28 ounces – 1.75lb!!! He’s been eating like crazy, and it shows! In the last couple of days, we’re finding that the footie sleepers that fit fine last week are too short now, Kieran is filling them out so well. He’s fine in his newborn-sized onesies, pants and rompers – but he can’t fully stretch out his legs in his footie sleepers anymore! (We can barely strap the newborn sized disposable diapers on him anymore. Same goes with his preemie-sized cloth diapers!)

I weighed him today at the lactation consultant’s office, using their very precise scale. Paul and I are going to try to get his length tonight – I think he’s grown taller too. I can’t believe how BIG he looks now, especially compared to the pics we took in the hospital.

I’m boxing up the stuff that Kieran is outgrowing to give to Paul’s sister, who is due at the end of September. It’s harder than I expected to box up Kieran’s clothes like this. We’re happy that Cassie will get to use them, but folding up our favorite outfits from our son’s first weeks of life… it’s hard to do so immediately after he’s outgrowing them. I’m saving the striped preemie-sized onesie that Kieran wore in the hospital. I don’t know that we’ll save something from each other size… but it’s tempting.

Tonight, I’m continuing to re-do Kieran’s dressers. I was a little over eager with their organization when I filled them up a week before going into the hospital. Makes it kinda hard to know what sizes are what, and makes putting away laundry a PITA. Now that I’m removing nearly all the newborn clothes, it will be easier to get at his various types of clothing in his current size of 0-3 or 3. Stuff that he won’t be wearing for another 4-6 months doesn’t have to be in the dresser yet, methinks.

My little boy is a little brute!! But man, he’s so cute! Paul and I are struck several times a day with just how precious this little guy is. He’s becoming more alert and aware of his surroundings every day – so interacting with him is getting more and more enjoyable. We haven’t had a smile yet, but we’ve had cute grimaces. (A silver lining to the gas that plagues our little man no matter what formula we have him on.)

Kieran is starting to hit some development milestones too – like reaching out for things, grasping and not letting go. He frequently holds on to my shirt or finger while he’s eating. He reaches out for, grasps and pulls off my glasses at least once a day now while we’re playing. (I don’t mind cleaning my glasses when the fingerprints are SO TINY!) He’s able to hold his head up really well – which I think comes directly from his dislike of being burped. I put him on my shoulder so he can rear back his little head and tell me off directly into my face & ear. Good exercise for my little man.

It’s still very much an adventure, but I think Paul and I are doing a pretty good job. Paul is fantastic with Kieran, which makes it a little easier to contemplate going back into the office in three weeks or so.

Surrounded with Love (5w2d)

As we settle into the daily routine of having a baby, it’s amazing the things we start to take for granted. The tools and gadgets that make life so much easier right now – things that we never would have given a thought to before.

We are so blessed to have friends and family who take an active interest in Kieran’s life – even before he was born! We were (and still are) blessed with gifts from family and friends throughout the pregnancy, not just at the shower – which was overwhelming in a very good way. The little gifts keep coming now, and are hugely appreciated as we discover new things that are required to keep Mr. Kieran happy and healthy.

A huge example of that right now: Kieran is getting slightly thickened feedings now due to his acid reflux – 1t of oat cereal per ounce of formula or EBM. The bottles we have for him (Born Free) don’t really support thickened feedings – which require a different type of nipple. Fortunately, Kelly (Gnoam in the comments) had just sent us yet another care package of hand-me-downs from her 9 month old daughter Kara – which included four 5oz Avent bottles. The Avent system has a FANTASTIC variable flow nipple for thickened feedings. So Kelly’s hand-me-downs saved us from having to go purchase other bottles for these next few months of feedings for Kieran. So HUGE thanks to Kelly (and hubby Peter and Ms. Kara) for the great hand-me-downs.

But even more than that – when I look around Kieran’s room I see what he cannot. That every minute he is surrounded with reminders of how much he was loved before he even arrived. That he is (literally) cradled with and wrapped in love from people who have never met him. Aunt Nita provided his crib; Auntie Lisa & Uncle Mikey provided the mattress and sheets he sleeps on; Donna, Lisa, Kym, Becky, Lisa & Tia, Aunt Cassie & Uncle Kurt, and Grammy Jeanne provided the stuffed friends who keep watch over him as he naps. Every time we change Kieran, we’re grateful to Great Grandma Cat and Grampa John for the wipes warmer which makes all the difference in the world to Mr. Sensitive Tushy. Bathtime is made possible by Uncle Oin & Aunt Cynthia who completely stocked our cabinets with baby necessities, and by Caroline who passed on her baby bath now that her little Hannah has outgrown it.

And that doesn’t even start with the clothes!! Admittedly, nearly everything he’s worn at this point was provided by Mama & Daddy (or Kelly again with the hand-me-downs in newborn sizes) but Paul and I look ahead with a bittersweet glance to the future when Kieran can wear outfits provided by everyone – from adorable onesies, to rompers and safari outfits and teeny tiny smoking jackets. (I don’t think any of us expected me to have such a tiny little peanut!) But the flannel blankets that we received from so many people have been put into daily use – as well as the burp cloths! (Admittedly, I wish the burp cloths weren’t so needed now – the reflux really made those a necessity.) Once he’s able to wear the outfits that fill his dresser and closet – we’ll think of the friends and family who gifted him with such cute togs every time we change his clothes!

The books we’ve been gifted with right before I gave birth are being put to use already – not that Kieran has much of an attention span… but it’s nice to have something to read to him.

So thank you, again, to everyone. The love and support that you have shown Paul and I since we announced our news last Thanksgiving to our family and to the world at Christmas; the care and concern and interest shown during the roller coaster ride of my pregnancy; the generosity shown as we transformed our house into a haven for our son; and the fact that you’re even reading this now… it means more to us that we can say. Kieran has no idea how lucky he is.

Weekend Plans (35w)

I have to keep reminding myself that this weekend isn’t necessarily our “last” weekend. I’m thinking it would be nice for Paul and I to go out or something – like on a date while we still can, either this weekend or next weekend. We’ll see.

This weekend is errands and more prep.

  • I have a coupon for USA Baby for 20% off any one thing. I called, and that includes breast pumps – which is unheard of. Babies R Us (BRU) has a coupon right now for 15% off breast pumps, and I was crazy excited about that. But when the dang thing starts at $280, I’ll take another 5% and smile. The plan is to rent a hospital-grade pump for the first month, and then switch to the personal style if everything is working OK. If for whatever reason I can’t used the personal pump, I’ll return it since the box will be unopened. Yes, my cheapness knows no bounds.
  • Gotta swing by BRU anyway to try to exchange some clothes that we bought in April. They had an incredible sale that we took advantage of, as a hedge against the shower. I assumed most of it would get returned (or at least half) because of the bounty we got at the shower, but when Paul and I sorted through it all this week, he convinced me to keep all of it. There’s a couple of heavier terrycloth sleepers and an adorable sweatsuit that are in 6mo sizes that I’d like to swap for 9mo, since I’m afraid that the little man will be a size 6 in like September or October when it would still be too warm to wear them. I am hoping to keep my resolve and not make any other purchases while I’m there. Heh. We’ll see how that goes. (The little guy’s closet is pretty full now though – so I keep reminding myself of that.)
  • Groceries for dinners gotta happen today. I’m gonna make a couple of our favorite dinners in bulk this weekend (Ragu Bolognese and Creamy Italian Chicken at least) and freeze them in containers so we can have some home-cooked meals for a bit after the little guy comes home. So a bit of groceries and a grip of rubbermaid containers are on the list as well.

Other than that…. I’ve got one more load of baby laundry to do: all the receiving blankets and burp cloths and baby socks. I’ve been enjoying doing this laundry this week, folding and putting away the clothes that will be in the first pictures of my son’s life. Reveling in the fact that I have these tiny clothes at all in my house. Smiling smugly that I now have opinions on brands and know that Carter’s runs tall and skinny, Gerber runs even skinnier and smaller and Circo seems to be made for Amazons. Even with my rock-hard belly as a constant reminder, I’m still caught off guard by the knowledge that we’re having a baby.

I need to pack my hospital bag and the little bag for baby. We have a total of three Newborn sized outfits to choose from to bring the baby home in, and Paul already has veto’d one. (“My son isn’t coming home in something that looks suspiciously like a Dodgers uniform!”) That’s fine, one of remaining two outfits has stripes AND a dinosaur. I think we all know what the little guy will come home in. :)

This weekend we’ll build the bouncer and set up the Pack and Play – all the random stuff we’ve been putting off. Oh, and I’m bringing up the whole idea of actually having a name for the child several times a day. Not getting very far, but I figure Paul will get sick of me bugging him eventually and we’ll figure something out. hee!

Weekend Update (34w1d)

I’m feeling pretty good this weekend. A bit of a headache, which is either BP related or just standard pregnancy. Dunno. Baby is kicking like a total freak all weekend. Not sure what that is about. I’ve stayed on the couch most of the weekend, mostly because that’s what I’m apparently supposed to do; but also there’s a fair amount of pain and pressure when I’m up and about for too long. And sometimes 10 minutes is too long. I’m having more Braxton-Hicks contractions that I’ve ever had too. So that’s something I’ll be mentioning at my next appointment. I’ve got appointments on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for monitoring and I’ll see Dr. Schwartz on Wednesday.

Nesting (or at least my form of it) has set in, I think. I’m more motivated to get things organized. I’m not cleaning cupboards or scrubbing things – let’s not get crazy here. But Saturday evening Paul and I organized all the baby’s clothes and gear that we have so far. I’ve washed all the hand-me-downs and all the new clothes that aren’t on hangers, sorted them all and put them into the dressers by size. Paul brought in some storage cubes and put them on the floor in the baby’s closet, so there’s a place to store all the random toys and gear and whatnot that shouldn’t just be laying around. He set up the froggy humidifier and the turtle nightlight and got the diaper changing pad installed while I futzed with clothing. Next up, we’ll wash and re-hang the stuff on hangers, organizing the closet as we go by size.

(I’m amazed at the HUGE difference in sizing between brands. I’m fairly certain that the Gerber brand size 0-3 onesies would fit the baby *right now* as opposed to the Circo brand size 0-3 onesies that look like they would fit our 14 pound cat fairly well. And then there’s the Carter’s stuff that within the same dang size is all over the place! Ah well, variety and spices and whatnot, right?)

We also figured out the complexities of car seats and their installation today. Turns out that the LATCH system in both our newer cars is the best thing ever. Since it’s eleventy billion degrees outside this week, we’re not gonna bother to install the car seat yet – but at least we know how now. (Also, for the time being we’re going to use the carrier-based car seat in my car, since it’s not like I’m going anywhere with the baby without Paul for a while. The carrier-based car seat is better suited to a smaller baby as opposed to the larger convertible seat we have for my car.)

So this week we’ll get my hospital bag mostly packed. I’ve got nearly everything I need – and I’ll be picking up two nursing bras (that will be too small I’m sure, but they’ll work for now) tomorrow. I’ve got a big list of stuff for my hospital bag, so we’ll pack as much as we can that isn’t day-to-day stuff. The rest of the stuff can get tossed in before we head to the hospital. I’ll deal with proper-fitting nursing bras once sizing sorts itself out. I found a couple good tutorials about turning regular bras into nursing bras, so I’m gonna go that route since they don’t make nursing bras in my size.

So I’m home now, not going back into the office for some time, barring something fairly extraordinary. I knocked myself out on Thursday and Friday to get my stuff wrapped up so I could move my base of work operations home. The plan is that I’m still going to work full time until the baby comes – and I’ve got enough projects and tasks to do that for 2 weeks at least. I want to burn as little paid time as possible before the baby actually gets here. After the baby arrives, I’ll still do some work from home while I’m on maternity leave: payroll, accounts payable and a monthly report or two. Not a huge amount of work, but stuff that I already do, would be difficult to train someone on in less than two months, and allows me to not burn time (and actually earn some back.) I’m so grateful that my supervisor and I have been able to work out an accommodation that works for the agency and for me. This is kind of uncharted territory for my agency, so it’s kind of try-it-and-see. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a laptop, RDC, e-fax and a printer at home.

So lots going on this week, combined with me trying to stay as calm and relaxed as possible with my feet up at nearly all times. Should be interesting. I have no idea when this kid is gonna come – I figure there’s at least a chance we could be sent to the hospital after every appointment this week. So that should be fun.

Shower (31w1d)

I hardly have words to describe this weekend. Overwhelming, joyous, exhausting, and WONDERFUL.

Lisa, Tom and Jeanne knocked themselves out to prepare for the shower. Lisa came prepared with games that weren’t stupid or gross, and prizes to go with them! Her games got progressively harder – but they were fun! Tom and Jeanne outdid themselves with the food and decorating. Furniture was moved around, and anything that would hold still had a balloon strapped to it or was draped with streamers. “It’s a Boy” was everywhere, and in varying shades of blue. Tom had Tri-Tip out on the grill and Jeanne laid out quite a spread of accompaniments, cheese, and salads. Everyone seemed very impressed with the food – no burgers and dogs at this baby shower!

After a couple of rounds of games came the gifts – and WOW was there a lot of gifts! Our friends and family were so generous! I unwrapped gift after gift and opened bag after bag! What fun to see all the adorable little baby clothes, and all the nifty baby gear!

Lisa’s (and her sister Donna’s) gifts were especially wonderful, as they are both master knitters and crocheters (is that a word?) Our little man has quite a wardrobe of sweaters, hats and booties – as well as several stuffed friends (currently a stegosaurus, a tiny sperm whale, and a teddy bear!)

But Lisa outdid herself in one other way. A million years ago I told her that when I got pregnant (which I assumed wouldn’t be too long after Paul and I got married) that I wanted a stuffed Eyeore doll that was bigger than the baby – based on the assumption that we would have a Pooh-themed nursery. Well, things didn’t work out quite the way we had hoped – and the years have rolled on by without an Eyeore. I won’t say I’d forgotten about it – but it’s one of those things that just got (foreceully) pushed aside over the years. Until yesterday. Lisa pushed the final box in front of me, and I had no idea what was coming. The last thing I was expecting to see was an 18″ Eyeore staring back at me. The gifts portion of the program ended with happy tears. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

All in all, it was a wonderful day filled with friends, family, food and fun. (good lord, that sounds corny.) We sat around talking and laughing until 6:30 before loading up our car, Lisa & Mike’s car and sending the car seat home with Joe. The front room and the baby’s room are now filled with random packages and bags. I have a lot to sort through, but not much to return – as there were just a few duplicates (altho the Pack & Play is one…) I’m actually looking forward to writing the Thank You cards. We have so much to be thankful for right now.

It was an amazing weekend. I can’t believe we’re at this point – I remember thinking that the shower was SO far away when I first got pregnant.

Pics tomorrow. Sleep now.