Daycare, 2 weeks down (6m1w)

Kieran is doing great in his daycare.  Or rather, his Early Learning Center.  (I say with tongue not quite firmly planted in cheek.)

We didn’t end up putting Kieran in the daycare around the corner from the house.  It ended up being quite A THING to find a daycare that we liked that would accept Kieran’s cloth diapers.  Over the course of 24 hours, I got well-versed in Section 3.4.3 of the Environmental Health Code for Southern Nevada – which pertains to cloth diapers in a daycare setting.  The initial response I got from all but one of the daycares I called was “Oh no, the Health Department doesn’t allow cloth diapers!” which required my educating them that there was not, in fact any regulation of that sort on the books.  That flustered them all, to say the least.  When pressed, they all said they would have to get back to me regarding whether they would accept Kieran’s cloth diapers or not.  (We realized quickly that we might have to put him in disposables during the day because of this, but we wanted to explore all the options available before making that expensive and environmentally-unfriendly choice.)

On Paul’s 2nd day at work (Tuesday the 28th) Kieran and I toured 5 daycares.  Four were pretty good, and one was a “Hell NO”.  All were within 3 miles of our house.  The final one I toured touted itself as an “Early Learning Center” as opposed to a Daycare.  It’s actually a preschool that starts taking kids at three months.  I had forgotten what the tuition was while touring it and rapidly began thinking that we wouldn’t be able to afford somewhere with this kind of program, with individual curriculum for each child, even in the infants room!   I was impressed that after a little conversation about what we expected in the handling of cloth diapers (just toss the whole dirty thing in the waterproof, zippered bag we’d provide – no rinsing or special handling at all) the director agreed that they could accept Kieran and his fluffy butt the next week.

Paul and I discussed all the facilities that evening and made our decision to go with Hand in Hand Preschool.  The tuition ($200 a week) was right in line with the other centers I’d toured, and it was just over a block away from the house.  Paul accompanied Kieran and me on Thursday to see the place for himself and sign the papers to register our little boy.

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Christmas Miracle & the End of an Era (5m4w)

What a week this has been!  Kieran’s first Christmas, surrounded by family.  I took some vacation time off work to combine with paid holidays to give us some time together as a family these last few days, and most of next week.

Turns out it’s a good thing I took the time off this coming week – because Paul won’t be home with us for a good portion of Monday – Wednesday.  You see, Paul will be AT WORK.

That’s right: PAUL GOT A JOB!!  A FULL-TIME JOB!!

The short story is that these folks came to Paul because of a tip from a VERY unexpected vector, based on work Paul had done while at the Venetian.  His photography and video (shooting & post-production) skills, his IT knowledge, and his ease when working with ‘talent’ are all coming back to serve him once again.  The job is full-time, Monday through Friday, at decent pay.  We are THRILLED.  (The “interview” was on Christmas Eve, with one day notice.  Not that it was an interview, really.  More like: “Here’s what we want you to do and here’s what we can pay you for it.  Does that work for you?”)  Paul will be working a couple of half-days this week to get up to speed.

But what this means is that Monday January 3rd marks the end of an era.  Daddy Day Care is closing, and Kieran will be spending his days in a daycare center.  Paul and I are doing our best to get right with this as quickly as possible.  We knew this day would come eventually.  It was supposed to happen much earlier.  But it doesn’t make it any easier.

We know that Kieran will do wonderfully at daycare.  He’ll probably learn to nap.  He’ll be surrounded by teachers who will play with him and hug him and make sure he’s well taken-care of.  He’ll learn sign language, and sharing and playing with others.  He’ll get over his burgeoning stranger anxiety.  All of this is to the good.

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First Week Back (11w5d)

What a week. It was SO long and SO short at the same time. My first week back in the office, full-time. Well, working full time, but not all in the office.

Now that I have somewhere to be every morning at 8:30, our schedule has by necessity changed somewhat. Namely, I have a bedtime for the first time in over two decades. Roughly an hour after we aim to have Kieran in bed, I aim to be in bed. Making it on time is harder than I expected.

I’m off work (supposedly) at 2:00 – not that I actually left the office before 2:30 at all this week. Home around 3:00, I take Kieran from Paul who (understandably) is in need of a break. Daddy gets a break, Mama gets her snuggles – everybody’s happy. The next four hours are filled with bottles, diapers, baths, and Mama trying to get some work done before Kieran’s bedtime at 7:00. Oh, and trying to make dinner for us in there too. Once Kieran finally goes down, we scarf dinner and try to wind down for bed.

Kieran has settled into a fairly regular sleeping pattern of a 4-ish hour stint, a 3-ish hour stint, and then however long it is until 5:00am. He’s up for an hour or so at a time for a bottle and diaper change – both of which I take with the goal of keeping Kieran quiet so Paul can sleep through the night. He’s stuck with the 5:00am wakeup call, so 6-8 hours of straight through shut-eye is the least I can do for him. I get three 2-3 hour naps over the course of the night, which works OK for me. I have developed the Mama-skill of sleeping lightly and being up and out of bed at the first squawk from the crib in the nursery.

At work, things are going very well. We’re crazy busy right now for the end of the fiscal year, which helps me by keeping me too busy to think about anything else. I’m also helped because Paul had the great idea that I re-do the cork boards in my office with pictures of Kieran – so I’m surrounded with pictures of my boys all the time I’m in my office.

I hadn’t originally planned to work a modified schedule when I went back to work, but I am SO glad that my supervisors assumed I would. (Prolly has something to do with the fact that they’re both fathers…) After having worked one week, I can’t imagine trying to put in full days, 5 days a week right now. I continue to be grateful that my work is flexible about this kind of stuff.

We’re still working out the kinks, and we’re both exhausted by turns – but this is life right now. I am SO incredibly happy that Kieran isn’t going to daycare right now. I know we’ll have to deal with that at some point when Paul gets a job again, but for now I revel in the fact that Kieran is home with his daddy every day.

Two Months! (8w1d)

Where has the time gone? I can’t believe Kieran is already two months old. And yet, it seems like so long ago that I was pregnant…. WAY more than 2 months.

Today we went to the pediatrician for Kieran’s Well-Baby visit and his first vaccinations.

Length: 22″ (10-25%) [up from 20″ at his 1mo appt]
Weight: 10lb 3oz (10-25%) [up from 9lb8oz 13 days ago: a better, slower rate of gain]
Head Circumference: 40cm (50%) [up from 37.5cm at his 1mo appt]
Vaccines: Hep B, Polio, DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis/Whooping Cough), Hib (Meningitis), PVC13 (Pneumococcal disease), and Rotovirus

We discussed a couple of things with Dr. Hodapp –

  • Constipation: We were thinking about this as an acute condition, when we need to be thinking about it (and treating it) as a chronic condition. So it’s diluted prune juice twice a day for the foreseeable future. Dr. Hodapp assures us that it’s not hurting Kieran to have the juice, even though he understands our concern about him having that much sugar at this young age. Juice is what fixes normal baby constipation, so that’s what we’ll stick with. Dr. Hodapp says that it’s more than likely not any of Keiran’s formulas that are causing the constipation, as we’ve continued to have a stopped-up baby across three difference formulas now. (And HALLELUJAH, we don’t need to be sticking with a formula for 2 weeks to see if it helps. Dr. Hodapp said if we don’t see a big change within 2-3 days, we’re not gonna see one.) Apparently like gassiness, constipation just happens, and as long as the usual remedies work there’s nothing to be concerned about. So this means we can dump the soy formula and it’s horrible toots, poots, and possible hormonal side effects. Hooray!
  • Gas: Nothing we can do. DANGIT. All the home remedies we want to try are fine. But all infants are gassy for the first three months at least, and ours just seems to be particularly so. Again, formula doesn’t really make that big of a difference according to Dr. Hodapp. So we’re welcome to try whatever we want in that regard.
  • Reflux: Got a new prescription for the Zantac which has worked wonders for our little guy. Dr. Hodapp confirmed that we were correct to up his dose on our own 10 days ago because Kieran had put on so much weight. Our new prescription is written at a better dosage, and Dr. Hodapp predicted that Kieran would outgrow the reflux before the prescription needed to be re-written again.
  • Dr. Hodapp assures us that we’re doing fine, and Kieran is thriving like crazy – so whatever we’re doing at home is working and to keep it up. He was pleased to hear that Kieran is smiling, following objects with his eyes and reaching for things in front of his face. Developmentally, he’s right on target for his actual age, and physically he’s doing just great. He’s surprisingly strong and able to hold his head up to look around for longer than expected at this age.

    Kieran is sleeping longer at night, but certainly not through the night yet. We usually get a 4-hour stretch starting around 7:00pm, and a couple of 3-hour stretches after that if we’re lucky. Unfortunately, he’s taken to waking up for the day around 5:00am and cannot be persuaded to take a nap much before 10:00am. Paul is suffering greatly with this, because he gets stuck with this early-morning shift. It doesn’t help that Kieran’s natural fussy time seems to be first thing in the morning (as opposed to around dinner time for most babies.) We’re hoping that as we get a better handle on the constipation that Kieran won’t wake up so fussy.

    Kieran is learning to love the swing and bouncer. He just this week noticed the mobile above the swing for the first time. His slack-jawed amazement was too cute for words. Having somewhere we can put him where he can be entertained and soothed by the motion is very nice when we just can’t pace and bounce him anymore. This week we’ll set up his IKEA baby gym with it’s plushy play mat and overhead crossbeams with dangling toys. We’re transitioning into more of an ‘entertain the baby’ household as Kieran’s attention span has grown and he’s now able to engage with us for longer periods of time.

    I’ll be returning to work full time on September 13th. I’ll be in the office from 8:30-2:00 four days a week, working from home the balance of the day and all day on Wednesdays. I’m grateful to my supervisors for having such an open mind to a flexible schedule. Of course, this arrangement will be reviewed regularly to make sure it’s working for everybody, but if nothing else it will help us transition into a different schedule. Currently I’m working part-time from home with occasional office days. It’s been a good way to ease into Paul having charge of Kieran for longer periods of time while I’m working. I’m not looking forward to leaving my boys, but this is what’s necessary for our family. I have 1000% confidence in Paul though, which makes it a little easier. And it sure beats daycare, that’s for sure.

    But for now, we are enjoying our little boy every moment. He is the light of our lives. Our little miracle.

    A Saturday Morning Bathtime, 8/5/10Looking at that other Mama and Baby in the mirror! (2mo)

Monday update and Office Cat (34w2d)

Today’s appointment took freaking forever, and I’m not sure why because the place seemed deserted. But seriously, we were there for 2 hours!

Well, OK – some of it was our fault. And by ‘our’ I mean the baby’s. He was being a lazy little putz this afternoon and *refused* to move around to let the nurse measure the amniotic fluid. She jiggled the hell outta my belly with the ultrasound transducer and more roughly with her hands. She had me chug half my ice water to dump it on his head. She finally went and got the buzzer. Nothing helped. The little man was just firmly set in taking a nap and nothing was gonna budge him. She was *finally* able to maneuver around him enough to get a measurement – which wasn’t good anyway. The measurement was 9.68 – lowest I’ve been so far is 12.5. They wanna see around 14. I need to drink more, especially since it’s been so crazy hot.

Then on to the monitoring room. Got me hooked up and left the room for what seemed like a longer than normal time. Come back in, take my BP (153/95) and use the buzzer on my belly + jiggle things to try to get the little man to move around. Fetal monitoring requires the kid to move a couple times during the monitoring so they can track his heartrate at rest and activity. All resting doesn’t tell them what they need to know. So, once they got him to move a bit, they left me on the monitor for a while longer. It was a tad disconcerting that they were so concerned about baby not moving. The phrase “decreased fetal movement” was tossed around.

By the time the nurse came back, it had been 90 minutes since I’d last pee’d and things were getting desperate. I asked if anyone else wanted a sample since my last two appointments required secondary samples at the end and after WAY more hemming and hawing than I wanted while I tried not to wet my pants – they asked for a 2nd sample. I come back and they took my BP again since the first urine dip stick test found trace protein. Second BP of the afternoon is 162/103 which kinda sent the nurses into a tizzy. 10 minutes of squawking at the nurses station pass and the nurse comes back in with labs for me to have drawn. I’m used to this part, that’s why I asked about the 2nd urine sample. They asked if I had a headache or blurred vision, to which I truthfully responded that yes, I’d had a minor headache all weekend and today that tylenol wasn’t helping and a teeny bit of blurred vision. (But honestly, I think the blurred vision is the normal pregnancy vision weirdness, not BP.)

So more blood work drawn today that will presumably be back tomorrow or Wednesday for sure. I imagine that if something comes back really amiss, I’ll get a phone call. Otherwise, my next appointment is Wednesday at 2:30, with Dr. Schwartz. We’ll see what he has to say then. My bag will be packed by then, just in case.

In the meantime, I got a lot of work done today – my first day in my home office. Of course, the cable went out around lunchtime and has been intermittent ever since. Cox will be out tomorrow to check it out. Perfect timing. Thankfully, I can work offline on payroll and accounts payable, so it’s annoying, but not terribly problematic. I’ll get some more work done this evening to put me at full-time hours for today. My goal is to be as caught up as possible on payroll and accounts payable every day until the baby comes so that if my boss has to take over mid-stream, things are as complete as possible.

Good first day home. And yes, I have to say that having a cat and a dog in my home office while I’m plugging away at spreadsheets is pretty damned awesome. :) Oh, having Paul at the desk three feet away from me ain’t too shabby either

*To recap BP over the last few weeks for perspective: