Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ode to the Moby Wrap

     Tim and I have spent the entire day trying to get Owen to take a nap. He was super tired, but completely inconsolable. We tried rocking him in various positions, but as soon as we stopped, his eyes would pop back open. We tried letting him cry it out in his crib for short periods of time, but caved in and went to get him after he screamed for more than 10 minutes. After trying everything that has typically worked for at least four hours, we were at a loss for what to do. Until Tim suggested we try out my Moby Wrap again. Now, I had tried the Moby Wrap shortly after Owen was born, but the super long piece of fabric (basically) and the seemingly complicated instruction manual were overwhelming and I gave up after my first time trying to wrap myself in the fabric and stuff my baby into the pocket created from wrapping the fabric around myself over and over. Since then, I have just used the Snugli because it's easier to snap him into place.
     But this time, Tim was here to help me figure it out and I was game for anything after dealing with a bawling infant all day. So we wrapped the Moby around me (it took about three tries to get it right) and laughed as we tried to stuff an angry baby into the "pocket" created. Five seconds after fighting me (and sleep) Owen was snoring away happily tucked against my chest. Success! A veritable baby straight jacket. Only more humane. How have I not used this more? With the wrap, I can cook dinner, fold laundry, and even blog all while snuggling with the little man. He has been sleeping soundly for just over an hour now. And a day of ear piercing shrieks and flailing limbs is all but forgotten. Moby Wrap, you are my new best friend. In honor of the Moby Wrap, I have composed a haiku:

Enveloped in cloth
My babe sleeps soundly at last
Heart against my heart

Take one angry, arm-flailing baby...
Add one crazy long piece of blue cloth...
...and get a calm, peacefully sleeping angel.
This is the face of a mother whose 8 week old is finally sleeping after four hours of crying.

And he's out!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Meeting Nana and Aunt Jenny

     Last week was a really exciting one for us because Tim's mom and sister were able to come visit us all the way from Georgia. It was the first time they got to see Owen in person. They flew in on a Wednesday evening and stayed through Sunday morning. We spent most of the time they were here hanging out around the house just letting them soak up some Owen time. We also took them to visit the Chukar Cherry store for some authentic Washington cherry treats and on a walk along the Columbia River. It was sad having to say goodbye at the airport, but we don't have long to miss them because we're going home to Georgia in two weeks! Then Owen will get to meet his Papa Rumely, his Uncle Joseph, and his soon-to-be Aunt Leah. He will get to see Grams and Grandpa Blomquist, who haven't seen him since he was a newborn. Also, he will meet many more of our friends and extended family. It is sure to be an exciting and fun time.
Owen was super excited to meet his Aunt Jenny. He'd been wondering about all these outfits he's been wearing that say "My Aunt Rocks!" Now he understands.
Owen showed Nana his kickboxing skills. And...right jab!
Nana seems to be getting the hang of this grandma thing pretty quickly.
Aunt Jenny put Owen down in the grass for his second time ever. He still isn't sure what to think about it.
This is Owen wearing one of the many outfits that Aunt Jenny brought for him. This kid is seriously spoiled by his aunt.
Aunt Jenny and Nana took lots of pictures of Owen to load onto Facebook. You'd think they liked showing him off or something.
Owen began smiling a lot more while they were here. Coincidence? I think not.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Owen is one month old!

     This post is a little late coming, but I wanted to write up some information about Owen's first month so that you can know what he's been up to and I can look back to see when Owen accomplishes various milestones like his first smile, first steps, and first words. 
I'm one month old now!
At one-month-old Owen was:

Weight: 10 pounds, 1 ounce
Height: 21.75 inches long

     Owen gained about 21 ounces in one month, up from 8 pounds, 12.8 ounces when he was born and 8 pounds, 6 ounces at the hospital for his postpartum check-up a few days after he was born. He was back up to 8 pounds, 13 ounces a week after he was born.

     Owen eats about every three to four hours. He takes in between three and five ounces depending on how long he has gone without eating. During the night he can go for longer and sometimes during the day if he is taking a really good nap. I generally wake him if he is sleeping for too long because otherwise he will wake up starving and eat too fast, which leads to spitting up. 
     He is 100 percent bottle fed at the moment, but is drinking 100 percent breast milk that I pump. He had to be supplemented with formula (per the nurse’s instructions) for the first week after he was born, but now my supply has gone up enough that I can keep up with his demand and store some extra breastmilk in the freezer. Although I am disappointed that breastfeeding isn’t working for us right now, I’m proud that I am able to provide him with breastmilk and it’s nice that Tim gets to bond with him by feeding him by bottle.

     Owen still sleeps a lot. He frequently naps during the day and is already sleeping really well at night. He typically falls asleep at about 8 or 9 with us in the living room. He then wakes around 10 or 11 to eat. We then transfer him to our bedroom when we go to sleep. He will then sleep until about 2 and wake up to eat and then wake again at 5 or 6 to eat. I then typically put him down again and we both nap until he wakes up again, at about 7:30 or 8. 
     He generally goes back to sleep during the night easily, but sometimes gives us a challenging night where he is wide awake in the middle of the night and stubbornly refuses to be put down. He is most fussy around midnight, which is when his Daddy takes the first nightly shift. I cover all the other times he wakes during the night and in the morning. When he is fussy, Owen generally just wants to be snuggled so sometimes we can bring him into our bed for a little while to get him to fall back asleep before we transfer him to his bouncer seat. We have a cradle for him, but at this point he prefers sleeping in the bouncer seat, which cradles him more and makes him feel more secure. He’s also less likely to startle himself awake. It has been a lifesaver.  
My bouncer seat is so comfortable. It also vibrates and plays fun music.
Other Things I Want to Remember
     Owen is in size 1 diapers. He can still fit into newborn diapers, but we have a lot more size ones that people bought for us so we’ve been using those. He also wears cloth diapers sometimes during the day. We are using Thirsties Duo diaper covers and cotton prefolds. They are super cute on Owen, but make his bottom look huge.
     Owen is wearing a mixture of newborn and size 0-3 month clothing. The sleeves and pant legs of his 0-3 month clothing are too long for him so they have to be rolled up. He has big feet, so his small socks don’t fit very well anymore.
     Owen still has plenty of hair and is getting sort-of a mullet in the back. His hair color has lightened in the last month and can look almost blond-ish in some places.
     His eyes are still pretty dark blue-gray and it seems that the brown ring that was around his irises has faded. Right now, we’re guessing that his eyes will remain blue.
     Owen loves his hands. He will put them in his mouth especially when he is hungry, and gets really frustrated if we swaddle him with his hands in or put baby mittens on him. He is a Houdini child because no matter how tight we swaddle him, he always manages to work his hands back out. He loves to wave his arms around and have his hands against his cheeks, but sometimes scratches himself or hits himself in the face because he doesn’t have complete control of them yet. This is also a problem when he’s sleeping because he will wake himself up with his startle reflex.
     Owen has yet to smile voluntarily, but his involuntary smiles are really cute and we can’t wait for the real kind. He does make lots of other funny faces though and is quite expressive. In particular we enjoy his Elvis snarl look and his “Oh” mouth when he’s working on making something special in his diaper.  
     Owen isn’t really making any cooing noises yet, but is more of a grunter. His cries have lost the newborn whimper and are much stronger. We are learning to tell his different cries apart and can generally tell when he’s crying because he’s hungry and when he’s tired or has a wet diaper. We are learning the various ways that get him to stop crying, including swaddling, pacifiers, shushing, and rocking. Tim has recorded himself shushing on his computer and will sometimes play it on repeat to save our voices. Owen is also soothed by the sound of the shower. We have a Sleep Sheep, which plays several sounds to soothe a baby, but Owen doesn’t seem to be affected by it. Tim and I enjoy the ocean waves setting though and it helps muffle Owen’s snorty sleep noises so we can sleep better.
     Owen enjoys his bouncer seat and swing, but only when he’s sleepy. They both make him go to sleep. He doesn’t like to sit in them when he is awake and will cry until I come get him out. He enjoys his activity mat occasionally. He will accidentally hit the toys hanging above him when he’s on it, but doesn’t realize that he is the one who made them move. He hates tummy time and we’re lucky if we can get him to do it for five minutes without him crying. If we do tummy time when he is tired, he just gives up and falls asleep on his stomach. He is getting stronger though and can lift his head up really well. 
I hate tummy time!
     Owen loves bath time. We alternate between bathing him in the baby tub and in our bathtub with us. He really relaxes in the bath and enjoys having the water poured over him. 
Bath time makes me sleepy.
Bath time is my favorite. Especially when Daddy plays with me in the tub.
     Owen is particularly entranced by ceiling fans and lights.
     His best friend (other than Mommy and Daddy) is his musical elephant toy from Haley. Tim named him Ned. Anytime I change Owen’s clothes in his crib, I pull Ned’s cord to play the lullaby song and Owen immediately quiets down.
     Owen has been pretty needy lately and hates to be put down especially if he is awake. At the same time though, some of his sweetest moments are when he is sleeping on my chest or staring quietly up at me while I talk to him or sing him silly songs.

     Here are some pictures from Owen's one month old photo shoot.
I am practicing sitting up with my friend Ned.
Not sure if you noticed, but I have a cool birthmark on my forehead. Kind-of like Harry Potter.

I'm tired of having my picture taken, Mama!
Pick me up already!

I like looking out the window. And being outside.
I have pretty dark blue-gray eyes.

Photo shoots are exhausting... I think I'll just take a short nap.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Owen's newborn pictures: Part 1

    Owen's newborn pictures are done! The photographer gave them to us a few days ago and we ended up with about 20. Tim and I ordered birth announcements a couple days ago using some of the pictures so I won't ruin them by posting those photos just yet. I will post the five we used in the birth announcement once they've been received by our family and friends. We were really happy with most of the photos. Owen was nine days old when we had these pictures taken. It's amazing how much he's grown in such a short time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hiking up Badger Mountain (4 weeks postpartum)

     On Saturday, April 30th we decided to hike Badger Mountain.  The mountain is just a few minutes away from our house, and has three different trails.  We hiked up the Canyon Trail which is 1.3 miles one way.
 At the top of the mountain.
 A little closer shot of the cuteness.
 Owen will definitely not remember this trip as he was asleep.
 A survey marker set in 1947 near the peak.
 The top of the trailhead looking out over the Tri-Cities.
 A view of the switchbacks
 Tim hiking down the trail.
 The old trail went straight up the final ascent
 A view of the Tri-Cities
 Checking on the little one
 Some of the wildflowers

 Flowers being pollinated

     It was a good hike that provided some much needed exercise for us.  This is a hike we'll do from time to time to get some exercise and enjoy the sun and the view!