Awake time

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From day 16

We’ve been really busy for the last several days, and trying to give Lily a lot more “awake time” during the day so maybe she’ll sleep at night. We’ve had mixed success thus far (she’s just starting to fall asleep in my lap as I write this at 3am), but we figure that at least this way we can interact with her while *we’re awake*, instead of when we’re only half conscious at 4am. She’s been (overall) very good, and really only fusses when she’s hungry. The problem is that she’s hungry almost all the time!

We took her back in to be re-weighed on the “hippo scale” yesterday and she had only gained 2 ounces in a week. While the continuing weight gain is good, she should be gaining a lot faster than that. The doctor recommended a rather insane regimen of “nurse for 10-15 minutes on a side, and then pump while supplementing with formula, repeat”. I’m guessing none of the women reading this will be surprised that the doctor recommending this is a *man* (who has obviously never had to breastfeed). Like a lot of doctor prescribed regimens, I’m sure it works great on paper..

We took this, went home and did more research and asked more people. Now, as any of you have had children will be painfully aware, ask two different people for parenting advice and you’ll get three different answers. In our case, we asked a lot more than two, and everyone has a different answer. We seem to continually get the “thing X worked for my kids and I swear by it. Every parent HAS to have/do thing X” type of advice from everyone. Now, I certainly appreciate any and all advice, and all anyone can speak from is their own experience, but many people don’t consider the fact that EVERY parent/child combination is different and will have different levels of success with different solutions. Nothing (especially when it comes to humans, and doubly so for babies) is fool proof.

Just to digress further (it IS a blog, after all), lets take baby swings as an example. We’ve heard “oh you HAVE to get a swing! My kids loved it!”, and we’ve heard “my kids never had a swing and they turned out just fine”. I mean, I guess we just find someone who has a swing (Auntie Lisa in this case) and try it to see how Lily will like it. In the case of feeding/pumping/sleeping schedules, there are zillions of combinations and takes on it, and we’ve been trying different ones for two weeks to figure out what works. One woman even recommended that Jill drink a Guiness once in a while so the hops in it can help stimulate her supply. The Irish in me likes the way she thinks…

This is all further compounded by the fact that one of the traits daddy passed down to baby is my ability to be (at times) quite random and inconsistent (for those who care about astrology, I’m a Gemini and Lily’s a Sagittarius.. nuff said). In other words, what works really well to put her to sleep or make her stop crying today may not work at all tomorrow. At least we keep Jill on her toes.

Aside from her “comfort nursing” (just sitting and sort of sucking for comfort but not really drinking, so not getting enough to eat), Lily is doing everything we could hope/expect that she would be doing at 16 days old. She has been awake more during the day lately, responds well to us talking to and playing with her, and is getting really good at pushing herself up with her feet when we’re holding her. This last bit has caused a few scares as she will suddenly push up with her feet and almost go topping out of the arms of an unattentive adult. It’s cute though, until someone gets hurt. Wow that sounded like my Mom…

We’re still both amazed at how little, yet “fully formed” and “part me, part Jill” she is. Some days, I see parts of her face that look like my brother’s daughter (which means she looks like him, which means she looks like me), and some days I see parts of her that totally look like Jill, just in miniature. As an example, she definitely has my big Woyak feet, but right now they still fit in these little tiny socks (on my hand for scale).

From day 16

She’s passed out now, so I’m going to attempt to put her to bed. Wish me luck.

-Jason

Baby’s first Christmas

Gibson, Lily 1 Comment
From xmas eve 07 t…

Happy Holidays indeed. Lily’s first Christmas was overall a success. We spent time with family (Jill’s anyway) and enjoyed a lot of good company and good food. I don’t think I got to hold Lily (except to rock her to sleep, which I’ve just come to accept and call “papa time”) for more than ten minutes total between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. She was being whisked from Grandma to Grandpa to Auntie to Grandma to Mama (to eat) to Somebody else to Grandma, etc for about 48 hours straight. She dealt with it really well! Everyone remarked at how calm and peaceful and pretty she was. Although Jill and I agree, we both quite often shared the “they don’t have to deal with her at 4am” glance. At any rate, everyone loved her and she was the life of the party. Big surprise. One very special thing was seeing Great Grandma Dorothy (Grandma Maggie’s mom, and half of the namesake for Lily’s middle name (my Grandma’s name was Dorothy too)) holding her. Auntie Lisa took a picture of the four generations of them (Dorothy, Maggie, Jill and Lily) together, which I will procure and post here ASAP

From xmas eve 07 t…

After Christmas, we spent some time at home, and today we were recuperated enough to care about taking pictures and writing things down again. Lily spent quite a bit of time awake today (yay!) and it was nice to be able to enjoy “awake time” with her. Even brother Gibson got some time with her!

From xmas eve 07 t…

Later on in the day while I was preoccupied (most likely in my music studio or something) Jill took advantage of the awake time and had an impromptu “photo shoot” with her:





Otherwise, we’re still just working on this whole “sleep at night and awake during the day” thing. She did pretty well today, but it remains to be seen how tonight will go. What I do know is that, as I post pictures and work on this post, she is passed out on my lap.

From xmas eve 07 t…

That doesn’t look comfortable to me in the slightest, but she situated herself that way (seriously.. when we started she was laying on her back!) and passed out, so whatever works I guess. A lot happened in the last several days, but I fail to remember any of it. That’s what I get for not keeping up on my blogging! Instead of something witty, I’ll just leave you with another ridiculously cute Christmas-Baby-Postcard-Worthy-Picture.

Happy Holidays everyone!

From xmas eve 07 t…

Cookies, snow, and more snow

Lily 2 Comments

As if I didn’t have plenty of other evidence, I knew I needed more sleep when I sat down to write this post and then stopped, turned to Jill and said “So wait, what did we do today?”. Her response was “uhh.. we slept till like 2:30 in the afternoon. you could talk about baking cookies yesterday”. That seems like a good place to start.

Every year before Christmas, Jill, her mom (Grandma Maggie) and her sister Lisa get together and bake Christmas cookies. Normally it’s a “girls only” thing, and they goof around (Lisa being notorious for starting flour fights) and somehow manage to make cookies too. This year, since Jill wanted to be able to make cookies and not worry about Lily, I went along too. Seems simple enough. Except that Jill and I mis-communicated on what time we were supposed to leave, and I took a nice long shower, blissfully unaware that I was making us unfashionably late. Then I got out and we threw our belongings together, bundled up the child, got the car ready, and started to go. Suddenly, from deep inside the layers of warm blankies padding Lily into the car seat, we heard a sort of squishy sound like a squeeze ketchup bottle makes when it’s almost empty, but longer and nastier sounding. We both turned and looked at each other and exchanged *that look* (parents, you know what I’m saying here), and then I said “I’ll carry the stuff out to the car” and promptly schlepped our belongings out to the car, not at all looking forward to discovering what the toxicity of the inside of her diaper now was. Sorry Jill.

We eventually made it through the newly fallen snow to her parents’ house without incident. Along the way we saw two teenagers at the side of the road trying to ride motorized “blade” scooters. In 4+ inches of snow? What the hell? If this is some crazy new fad or extreme sport I fail to see the fun of it. Maybe they just missed the “little smooth wheels are totally useless in deep snow” memo. I have no idea. Anyway, once we got to her parents’, we spent a while eating (her Dad went out and got Wendy’s while we were en route) and letting her family oogle over Lily, and then Jill went off to do the cookies thing, and I hung out with her brother Greg. It was nice to just sit and relax somewhere outside of our house for a while. It was also nice to steal Peanut-Butter Blossom dough (and the finished products!). As for Lily, the whole part about me coming to make sure Jill didn’t have to worry about it was a farce – with her parents there I didn’t even get to hold her once for the first several hours we were there! I did get to hang out with Greg, though, which was fine with me.

Much later when we got home, we attempted to put Lily to bed.. and utterly failed. It ended up being after 3am before I finally really went to sleep. Our solution to getting her to sleep at night so far has ended up being to have Lily sleep on our bed by us. I am aware that there are potential risks involved with this. Get her to sleep more than an hour and a half in one stretch at night any other way and I’m all for it. In the interim, she sleeps great on the bed by us. We just usually end up going through several hours of trying to get her to sleep in the crib first. And as for that sleeping at 3am part, that was really only partially true. I ended up getting up later and rocking her (I have no idea what time it was) for a good hour or more so that Jill could get some sleep. We take turns like that often. Anyway after turns getting up and tending to the fussy child, we were in bed till 2:30 in the afternoon today, just like Jill said at the start of this post.

After we got up, we looked out at all the snow and wanted to climb back in bed. Instead we ate lunch and we “puttered” around the house for a while, and left to go to the grocery store. I’d say I drove to the grocery store, but I’m not sure that the trip I took qualified as such. However I managed to get there, I went to the store and back, and then did some last minujte gift wrapping (hey, I’m proud to not have been doing it ON Christmas Eve). Finally, before bed we wanted to take a “Christmas picture” of Lily to give to family members. So we dressed her up in her little Christmas outfit and put her in her chair in front of our tree.. and she started screaming and crying. We did eventually get one or two decent pictures, but I’m not going to post those here. You get this one:

From Day 10

Merry Christmas to all of you from Lily and the rest of the Woyaks.

the hippo and the dam ice

Lily No Comments
From Lilian – Day 8

The nights have still been rather long (she slept better with it warm but fussed about other things.. in the end I think it was gas and sleeping too much during the day). Jill and Gibson and I are slowly adjusting to waking up at all hours and are (so far) doing a pretty good job of not being cranky at each other. The cat seems to be dealing with the change the best. Go figure.

We took Lily to the doctor today for a follow-up weighing on the same scale as before (which is on a table shaped like a hippo), and she had gained three ounces in just two days, which is very good (she’s at 8lbs even again). They wanted us to keep taking her back until she had met or exceeded her birth weight (8lbs, 7oz), but I think that will only mean one more trip to the hippo scale. We then took her out on her first shopping excursion (to CVS pharmacy and to the bank). She did very well, and the only time she cried on this entire trip was when we got her naked on the hippo scale. I can’t blame her.

When we were in the bank, the other teller stopped serving the customer in front of her mid-transaction and came to oogle at Lily. It was sort of amusing to have a line forming behind us as the only two tellers on duty were asking the “standard baby questions” (how old is she, etc). That’s right, we’re *those* people. I figure we can play that card a few more times (we are first-time-parents after all) before we’re officially big jerks. Right?

When we got back, I took advantage of the “warm weather” (for those of you NOT in Minnesota, that means 40 degrees Fahrenheit – seriously, why do we live here again?) to fix a problem on our house that’s been nagging us for weeks: ice dams. This is where ice builds up and totally covers over all the gutters on the house, causing the melt water from the snow and ice on the roof to follow the path of least resistance: under the eaves of the house and into the ceiling. It’s a big mess if you let it get too far. Thankfully this year I noticed it BEFORE there was water dripping in our living room and went out to investigate. As it turns out, it’s my fault (not surprised at all) because I forgot to take off the gutter guards (also for non-Minnesotans, these are screens that sit over your gutters and prevent them from filling up with leaves). Unfortunately, the gutter guards had also prevented snow from getting into the gutters, which had then melted and re-frozen (hence the ice dams). I then spent a few hours out there on a ladder with a hammer and chisel breaking the ice and clearing it off the gutter guards, then removing the gutter guards and getting all the ice out of the gutters. In the process I got soaking wet. Let me tell you, there’s nothing more fun than standing on a ladder on a winter day soaking wet and chiseling ice. The tears are tears of joy and bliss.. really…

After that we had a nice dinner (prepared in advance by Grandma Maggie) of “Mock Chow Mein”. When we went to eat, we realized that we’ve been so preoccupied by Lily that we have neglected to do dishes, and consequently there were no clean forks at all. Oops. Being Woyaks (any Woyaks reading this will understand) we shrugged and broke out chopsticks instead. It worked just fine, and then I did dishes later (after spending time on my computer working on music for a few minutes while I had the chance).

Now, it’s way past the time that Lily should be sleeping, but of course she’s wide awake. Not crying (thankfully – she’s been working on hear ear-splitting-ninja-screech technique quite successfully lately), but just wide awake and not at all interested in her crib or her pacifier. In case you’re wondering why she’s not tired, it’s because she looked like this earlier:

From Lilian – Day 8

Now I’m off rock and roll.. or at least rock a baby. Wish me luck (and sleep).

-Jason

1 week old!

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From Lilian – Day 7

I was trying to think of something witty to put as a caption/”talk bubble” on the above picture, but in the end I decided that this photo of a very well-fed and drowsy Lilian speaks for itself. She’s one whole week old now, and overall things are going well. We had another long night last night with her waking up late/early and not wanting to sleep again, but we think we figured out part of the answer: her room was too cold. We deduced this because, earlier in the evening when the house was warmer, she slept like a.. baby (sorry, it was right there). Then later on when we couldn’t get her to sleep again, it was a lot chillier. To test our hypothesis, we brought her into our (right next door on the same wall of the house but for some reason a lot warmer) bedroom, put her by us on the flannel sheets, and BOOM she was out like a light. We then got actual sleep. Like real, actual, “more than 30 minutes in one stretch” sleep. It was great. In an attempt to correct this “cold injustice” (wow that pun even hurt me), today “Grandpa Campbell” (Jill’s Dad) came over and helped me go around and adjust the heating in the house to properly redirect more warm air into the nursery. Here’s hoping…

As for yesterday, we took Lily to the doctor for her first real pediatric appointment. The doctor said she checked out “perfect”, and although she has lost a little weight, he’s not concerned about it, but does want us to bring her back in tomorrow to re-weigh her and make sure that she’s on the “uphill side” of the newborn weight curve. I think it will go fine.

Otherwise, we just continue to try to get sleep when we can and spend time with her when she’s awake. Overall she’s not a fussy baby, and when she’s awake she’s very bright-eyed and curious. It’s really fun to watch her little eyes track us and what we’re doing, and to see her respond to different stimuli. This morning I was reading to her (from Tolkien’s “the Silmarillion” – so maybe this is a LITTLE beyond her reading level) and she didn’t seem to know how to respond, but I could tell that she enjoyed the interaction (me too). As for Gibson, all this “little sister” commotion wears him right out

From Lilian – Day 7

Here’s hoping the next week holds more sleep.

-Jason

A New Hope

Lily 1 Comment
From Day 5

I really need to lay off the Star Wars references. People will think I’m a geek or something.. oh wait.. Anyway, the picture above is what gives us hope. This is because it shows Lily happily sleeping after a new nursing method we were taught by Linda the Home Care Nurse from the Hospital. We’ve had a few problems with Lily not wanting to nurse and then getting so hungry from not nursing that she throws such a big tantrum that she can’t nurse. *whew* It’s a total “catch 22″. But Linda came today and gave us a lot of good advice on how to stop her from throwing tantrums, what they mean, and how to make her more interested in nursing. It gave us a lot of hope and and a lot of good “weapons” to have at our disposal. She was great and we appreciate all the help!

Speaking of appreciation, we REALLY appreciate “Grandma Maggie” coming over and helping out around the house so I could go to the doctor (long story) and Jill could get some rest. She’s been great, and I hope it was interesting for her to hear what Linda had to say. We also appreciate all of the great food and gifts and words of advice and encouragement that our friends and loved ones have given us. I feel like Lily has SO much more of a chance to achieve all that she can when she has such a great support network behind her. I think this kid will go really far. First, however, she must eat and then go to bed. Me too. Longer post tomorrow.

-Jason

Oh wait, I almost forgot. Time for the Obligatory Sickeningly Cute Baby Picture

From Day 5

Strange sleeping habits

Lily 1 Comment
From Day 4

It seems everyone in our house has strange sleeping habits. In Jill’s and my case, it’s just due to the fact that Lily has not figured out what a “schedule” is yet or how to follow one. In Gibson’s case, he’s just perplexed by the strange humans. Or, well, I really have no idea why he sleeps like that, but it’s pretty funny. He seems to have developed a weird sort of protectiveness of Lily, and today when she was crying (dirty diaper, if I remember correctly, which isn’t the case lately) he kept running from the nursery where Lily and I were to the bedroom where Jill was. He’d then give a plaintive “MEOWW” and then run back into the nursery and stare at us, then run back in to cry to Jill. Like he was saying “the small human is in distress!! Fix it!”. It was sweet somehow. I’m glad to see he takes this “little sister” thing seriously.

Lily, on the other hand, is currently confused about day and night and which times are appropriate to be awake. She wants to sleep all day and then gets up and wants to throw a tantrum about eating (and then not eat when offered and cry even more) at like four in the morning. I’ve heard from a number of people that this passes as you get a “nursing routine” down. I sure hope so. Maybe then Jill will get more than 3 hours of sleep per day. On the other side of this, however, they have gotten to spend a lot of time together and develop as much of a relationship as you can develop with a four-day-old. As you can see, Jill loves her little girl

From Day 4

The little girl loves.. sleeping.. just not always when we want her to. Now that Jill is getting into “full swing” nursing-wise, this should get a bit easier, as we can do the “feed her a bunch so she passes out for a while” thing, which is always nice. Lily seems to be sleeping better too, and today she slept through me making dinner and setting the table while she was in the room right next to me in her “bouncy chair”. After dinner, we (she and I) “helped” Jill sort through stuff upstairs, and I showed her more things around the house (she was transfixed by the large wedding picture print we have hanging in the stairwell.. just staring for minutes on end.. it was sort of funny). Then Jill fed her and put her in her crib (and promptly went to bed herself to get rest while she had the chance). As for Lily, this picture from earlier after she nursed says what she was doing:

From Day 4

Sounds like a great idea. I think I’ll try it.

-Jason

Grandma, Grandma, and Gibson

Blog, Lily 1 Comment
From Day 3

So Lily’s third day on earth was filled with those three things: Grandma, Grandma, and Gibson. First, Grandma Gayle (my mom) came up with my brother Shawn (and Shawn’s cute little 2 year old daughter Taliesin) and visited. Grandma Gayle loves Lily and is very proud of all three of us. The visit went pretty well, and Shawn and I even got the opportunity to run out and get greek food and some things from the drugstore while Jill and Mom visited, which was really nice. I didn’t even realize till afterward that it had been the first time I left the two of them at home since we came home with Lily. I’m not sure if that’s really a milestone or not, but it’s just a little bit sobering.

Grandma Gayle brought Lily some cute gits, including the Santa Bear featured here:

From Day 3

Mom and Shawn and Tally couldn’t stay long, as mom had a three (plus) hour drive ahead of her, so they departed. It was really nice to see them, and I wish the drive wasn’t so far, as I would love it if Lily got to spend as much time with her Uncle Shawn and Grandma Gayle and down on the farm as possible. After they left, Jill and I got a little bit of “down time” before HER parents came over and brought us a bunch of meals (which we really appreciated) and Grandma Maggie got to get her “Lily Fix”. During the downtime before they came, I took the picture at the top of this post, which melts me into a big gooey puddle of cute-residue every time I look at it. Seriously. Look at that little tiny hand clutching my one finger. Anyway, it was nice to see them too, and all in all Lily was GREAT and was wide awake for both visitors but never really cried except for needing to feed once during each grandma’s visit.

After THEY left, we got a little bit more downtime, which we used to spend some time on the Internet and get laundry and dishes done. Home is so much more relaxing when it’s clean! I carried Lily around with me as I cleaned and explained things to her (“This is a microwave. It bombards food with radiation that excites its particles and thusly makes it hot.. you’ll learn about radiation and particles when you study advanced physics in college”, etc). I went in the nursery with her once and Gibson was jumped up on top of the dresser. Now, as is the case with many newborns, she spends quite a lot of time pointed up at the ceiling, and misses a good deal of what’s going on in the room. I try to correct that as much as possible, and in this case I showed her the kitty. He STARED at her. She STARED at him. In my head I could hear the theme music from “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. She won the staring contest, as Gibson looked away first. She smiled in victory.. or (once again) maybe it was just gas. I’m sure these two will have MANY interactions in the future, and I look forward to watching them develop a relationship.

Finally, after all was said and done and I sat on the couch on my laptop, Lily did this:

From Day 3

Now she’s just fed and is passed out, so I’m going to bed while I get the chance. We’ll see how this works, but so far, so good.

-Jason

No place like home

Lily 3 Comments
From Hospital part II

We got to check out today, and had to bundle up Lily so she didn’t instantly freeze to death in the frigid Minnesota air. I forget why we live in this crazy state every year around this time. Anyway, as you can see, the suit we brought for her was maybe a tad big.. like “olympic swimming pool” big. She didn’t seem to care in the slightest though, and we’d have left it except that she didn’t fit into the car seat in the suit. We ended up finding something that fit better (sorry no picture, it was cute too though I assure you) and getting her in the carseat in that, only to then figure out how to lengthen the straps on the seat. Lily still didn’t care, and passed out the second we put her in the carseat. I don’t know where the carseat manufacturers hide the “magic sleep drug dispenser”, but I’d pay a lot for them to install one in the crib too. This made for an easy trip home, as she slept the entire way.

We’re very happy to be home and just trying to figure out a system now that everything is different. Several people have offered to bring us meals or just come over and see her. We really appreciate all the support. And now, to (probably briefly) appreciate my bed..

Homeward bound

Lily 1 Comment

So far, so good. Everything/everyone is checking out fine, and “Little Lady Lily” is still really cute :) Mommy and baby (and Daddy) are all really tired, but thankfully we can check out today. We’ll be VERY happy to be home and be able to start getting a routine down.

More news when we have it…

-Jason

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