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Friday, July 23, 2010

On the road with a one-month old

With Captain Husband's departure to Korea looming just around the corner, we decided to take advantage of his time home and make one big trip up to New Jersey so that Sammy could meet his great-grandparents and other relatives and CH could see everyone before he leaves. CH's family lives in Nutley, which is a good 5+ hour drive from our place, so this would be Sammy's first overnight trip away from home (two nights in a hotel). Now for the fun part: What to pack? I knew right away that I was going to want disposable diapers on this trip, because who wants to deal with a two-day old festering bag of dirty cloth diapers in the car when it's 95 degrees outside? Yeah, not this lady. Of course, we had no idea what size diaper Sammy would need because he's been rocking the fuzzi bunz this whole time, so we had to employ a very scientific method which involved Captain Husband weighing himself and then weighing himself while holding Sammy and subtracting the difference; apparently our little bruiser is now weighing in at about 10 1/2 pounds. Armed with this information, we headed off to Babies-r-Expensive and picked up a package of 7th Generation disposable chlorine-free diapers. While there, we decided to stock up on some of the basics and bought a carton of wipes and two boxes of formula; I didn't want to take any chances of running out of something important in the middle of the night.

Here's a rundown of all of the stuff we took in addition to the diapers, wipes and formula:
  • Our pack-n-play with built-in bassinet (scored on super duper clearance and quite possibly one of the best purchases we've made)
  • Two pack-n-play sheets
  • Six blankets (four of the fuzzy variety)
  • Three washable changing pads
  • Four zippered sleepers
  • Eight onesies/assorted outfits
  • Four pairs of socks
  • Two pacifiers and a pack of pacifier wipes
  • Three books, a rattle, and an activity mat for play/tummy time
  • Stroller
  • Bouncy chair
  • Assorted baby toiletries, like shampoo/body wash, baby lotion, California Baby diaper-area spray (referred to as butt spray in our house), and California Baby calendula lotion (for Sammy's lovely baby acne and other mysterious rashes)
  • Baby Bjorn
  • Ring-wrap
  • Breast pump and a plethora of bottles and nipples, as well as other assorted accessories, like a bottle scrubber thingy and travel-sized dish soap; I actually managed to pump while CH drove 75 miles an hour on I-95 just to see if I could, but I wouldn't recommend it (CH was worried that everyone was getting a free show, but in my case, things like modesty ceased to exist after I gave birth)
  • And a partridge in a pear tree
We could have foregone several things on this list and we also could have used some more items, such as additional changing pads (we wound up using some of the extra blankets that we had brought), but all in all it worked out pretty well. Thank goodness we have a huge trunk for all of said junk. Sammy managed to charm the pants off of all of his relatives, who responded by showering him with gifts, affection, and Italian conversation.

Here's Sammy meeting his great-grandparents:


Four generations on one couch:


No major melt-downs or diaper explosions and a good time was had by all; the very definition of a successful trip as far as I'm concerned!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sleep is overated

Sammy turned three-weeks old yesterday and decided to celebrate by having himself a little growth spurt. This translates to increased fussiness and a desire to eat practically every single hour (he's usually on a 2-3 hour schedule). The other night, Sammy was up every two hours on the dot. Captain Husband and I walked around like zombies the rest of the day. I'm pumping like crazy to get ahead of his feedings but when he's hungry all of the time, it's hard to keep up. CH and I are thinking of supplementing formula for the night feedings and that way I'll have a surplus of breast milk to deal with the day feedings; this will also come in handy once it's just me and Sammy and I won't have another set of hands around to entertain him while I'm pumping. I'm also trying a couple of other tricks that are supposed to boost one's supply, such as using booby tubes and drinking a special tea, all in the hopes that I'll get more milk each time that I pump.

For the most part, things are going very well. My only complaint so far is that CH gets very frustrated when he can't get Sammy to stop crying, and then his frustration feeds into Sammy's and it's a vicious cycle. Then I'm supposed to come in and fix everything. Usually this occurs when I'm trying to catch up on emails or take a shower or a nap...basically whenever I try to have 10 minutes of time to myself. Lack of sleep isn't helping matters, either. But we're all adjusting and things are getting better each day.

In sort of related news, CH and I are toying with the idea of Sammy and me moving over to Korea in January of 2011, about six months ahead of our originally intended schedule. The reality of having a baby has finally hit me and I just don't think I can do it all by myself for a year. That said, it doesn't make much sense for me to return to work for a few months, especially when every penny that I make would go directly to paying for Sammy's child-care. Also, there aren't enough hours in the day for me to work 9-5, pump, and manage everything else, like feeding myself and the baby and laundering the never-ending pile of dirty diapers. I have a feeling that the house would resemble Grey Gardens in a year's time. So now I'm considering simply not going back to work for the next six months, which would give me time to take care of Sammy and start the preparations for our big move overseas. Nothing is official yet, but that's how things are looking at the moment.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Two-week update

Samuel had his two-week check-up on Wednesday this week; he's gained back the weight he had lost while in the hospital and then some, and is now weighing in at 9 pounds, 1 ounce. He's been holding his head up on his own on a regular basis and exhibits great upper body strength. I have the feeling I'm going to have a bruiser on my hands. He also managed to pee on me during his exam--good times! Captain Husband and I continue to learn new things about Sammy every day, and we're getting better at deciphering his cries. He's actually a very good baby all things considered and usually only fusses when it's one of four things: he's hungry, he needs a diaper change, he's gassy, or he's too hot/too cold. Once we figure which one it is, he calms right down.

I've been working on writing Sammy's birth story and hope to have it posted sooner rather than later. It's just been a bit difficult finding the time to do any work on it in between the seemingly constant pumping (Sammy's jaundice made him a lazy feeder and, quite frankly, pumping is working for us rather well--Sammy gets breast milk and I get a break in the fact that anyone can feed him), diaper changes, washing cloth diapers, etc. CH has been great through it all and together we've attained a pretty good rhythm, tag-teaming the diaper changes, feedings, and entertainment. I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do when he leaves for Korea at the end of the month; so much to the point that I'm questioning what I'm going to do for the next six months. We've got several options to choose from, which I'll elaborate upon in a future post. Remind me in case I forget; I have the feeling that I'd forget my own head these days if it wasn't attached to my body.
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