Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1 Month


Bowen :: One Month Old

Weight: 10 lbs 3.5 oz  - he was 8lbs 1oz at birth. 50th percentile & just now growing out of newborn clothes and into his 0-3’s. His length is still 21” (same as birth) and according to some app Matt has that predicts height, he’s on track to be in the 6 foot range like his Daddy.

Eats: 3 ounces of formula, 8 times a day. Usually every 3 hours. Gulp gulp gulp. (Last night I timed him – he took down 3 ounces in 6 minutes. And if you dare to make him take a break in the middle, heaven help you!)

Sleeps: In the swing, mostly but will also sleep in his car seat. Wants nothing to do with his pack n play and absolutely hates anytime he lays down flat. (Diaper changes are his most particular favorite time to exercise his lung capacity.) Absolutely must be swaddled, but usually manages to sneak a hand out by the end of the nap. Usually sleeps for 2 hours at a time, but sometimes an hour and sometimes a magical 3 hours. Usually one or two 2-hour day naps and the rest are 1-hour naps.  Usually “goes to bed” around 8:30 or 9:00 and then is up again at 11:00, 2:00, 5:00 and 7:00. We look forward to some of those feedings dropping off sometime soon!

Hair: Still blonde, and a little bit of a mullet in the back. He’s a southern boy though, what can you expect?

Eyes: Still blue! So alert and focuses quickly on anyone who talks to him.

Nicknames: Bo, Bowie, Biscuit, Boseph, Fussbucket, Fussface, Fusscakes (there’s a theme here, yes? He earned all those last week.)

Milestones: Doesn’t mind tummy time and lifts his head frequently and easily. Loves to sit in the babybjorn bouncer and wave his hands and feet and grunt and coo to himself. Can hold on to the wubbanubba (LOVES the wubba) but can’t quite figure out how to get it back in his mouth. Occasionally lucks out and gets a hand in his mouth. More fussy periods as he’s gotten less sleepyheaded, but relatively easy to console with the wubba, swaddle or some bouncing.

Firsts: First outings – we have slowly started to venture out with our little boy and this week we went to Camino’s for breakfast, and visited at Anne & Locke’s and Zac and Jamie’s. He slept through the majority of these adventures. I’ve gotten better at timing errands and feedings after our first massive car meltdown, although he can still throw me off – as he did yesterday, in the waiting room of the doctor’s office by waking up earlier than expected and wanting to eat NOW!! (Luckily, Dr. Kathleen is very understanding of screaming babies.)

Happy one month birthday, Bo! We love you so, so very much.

Cue the cute baby spam….






Yes, even when you look like this… we love you, kiddo.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Operation: Run Errands With a Newborn

I've been fortunate to have many girlfriends have babies before me, and have watched as many of them toted their little arm candy newborns with ease to many events - loud restaurants, parties, coffee shops - and these sweet little babies slept soundly in their carseats the whole time.

I've been very nervous to venture out with my little parcel on my own because he doesn't have a predictable nap schedule yet and I've been afraid I'd be out somewhere when he wakes up and has a meltdown. But, lest I become a Mrs. Haversham and never get out of my bathrobe, I figured I better rip the band aid off and start going on small outings to increase my comfort zone.

For my first solo outing, I planned very specific errands: buy stamps, drop off Goodwill donations, mail a box from UPS and if I was feeling really ambitious/lucky, swing by Starbucks.

Common theme: all drive through errands. For my first outing, I planned to never actually leave the car! Brave, right?

The planning that it took to get us out of the house rivaled a small military operation.

My diaper bag was loaded with multiple outfit changes, diapers, formula and paci's in the event of any type of emergency. I backed my car out of the garage, put the items to be dropped off in and put on real pants that actually have a button. I may have even brushed my hair. I was ready.

When Bo woke up, I tanked him up with some milk, changed him, popped in the car seat and said a prayer. My hope was that he'd be awake and content for a bit and then drop off into a nap. I figured once he fell asleep, I had approximately an hour before the tummy-alarm-clock might wake him up again.

Off we went. I stopped by Starbucks first, because it was closest to my house and well, I needed the fuel for reinforcement. I looked in the little mirror and was relieved to see my little companion was awake but content. His hands were waving as he conducted his mini orchestra and his feet kicked under his blanket, but he showed no signs of being fussy.

After purchasing my stamps, I headed on down the road and noticed Bo was finally asleep. Off to Goodwill we went and I was feeling confident. My final stop was the UPS box drop off, but when I got there I discovered my box was too big to fit in the drop off container. I debated going home and saving the box for another day, but I was an accomplished woman! With a sleeping baby! Getting things done!

So I rolled the die and drove to the UPS store, carried Bo in and dropped off the box. We successfully completed the errand and I was headed back home when...

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Ladies & gentlemen, we have a meltdown!

Oh, poor baby Bo. Poor momma. My ears! I pulled over to try and soothe him, but my attempts proved to be futile. I debated mixing up a bottle there in the parking lot I was in, but decided just to drive the few miles home and feed him there.

Longest 8 minutes of my life.

We finally made it home, and after a bottle and some serious swaddle and shushing time, all was well again in Baby Bo's life and a seriously long nap ensued. It's exhausting yelling that loudly!

So I can't say my first solo outing was a roaring success… but at least we tried! I was feeling rather disheartened but after texting this photo to two of my mommafriends, Jamie and Akanksha, with the caption "having wine for lunch. don't judge" I got lots of reassurances from them that it would get easier and better as he got older and I would eventually get the hang of it. And that in the meantime, it was perfectly fine for me to have wine for lunch since I was clearly not leaving the house for another 3 weeks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

3 Weeks

3 weeks is almost a month. A month! Last night I looked at pictures from the day we brought him home from the hospital and I might have gotten a little weepy at how much bigger he is already!


The thighs! The cheeks! The arm rolls! Oh what's that? You're ready to eat again, kiddo? No surprise there.

He is still in newborn clothes, although those days quickly coming to an end. After he eats, he lays on my chest and lifts his head up to look at me, and makes a funny little OH with his lips as if to say "oh there you are! I can see you from here!"

He naps for 30 minutes or 3 hours. I never know which one. When I lay him down at night in between feedings - usually 10 pm, 1 am, 4 am & 6 am - I pray for the 3 hour stretches. When he is drowsy, I bundle him up in the swaddle and sit on a yoga ball with him laying tummy to tummy with me on a pillow and we bounce. His eyes roll back in his head, his cheeks twitch into a smile, he
coos a bit and he is out. The yoga ball is baby ambien. It requires patience though. He often looks asleep and as I tiptoe over to lay him down, his eyelids flutter open and he looks up at me as if to say “Nice try, Momma. Get back to the bouncing and butt patting, please.” 


He’s probably the only person in the world who has heard me sing a capella. When he’s old enough to tell someone about it, I’m going to have to stop. I realized I didn’t know any real lullabies, so for awhile he was being serenaded with Jason Mraz or Sister Hazel or whatever else I could think of. Then I remembered the CDs that my friend Kathryn had sent me (Q’s favorites, she said) so now I have some baby-appropriate songs to sing. He seems pleased with my selections.

He has started to have more fussy spells, as he becomes more alert and less newborn-drowsy.  Sometimes the witching hour strikes early morning and sometimes it’s right before dinner. He likes to keep me on my toes by guessing which one it is. Yesterday I popped him in the Ergo and walked around the house doing chores- it seemed to do the trick. And I actually got laundry folded for the first time in a few days, so it was a double victory. Sleeping baby AND a household chore done. I win!

My sister was here this week while Matt was working nights and was an absolute saint. She cooked us dinner every night and did the early morning feeding and would walk around the house with a swaddled Bo on her shoulder telling him stories. He loves his Aunt Katie, I can tell.


Teri visited us Monday and brought dinner & wine. Both much needed and appreciated. Anne came back on Thursday and hung out, chatting with me and drinking wine while I bounced a fussy baby for close to an hour. (Yes, it’s been nice to have wine back in my life. Especially during whine/wine o’clock at night.) Wino Em visited on Friday all the way from Raleigh.

We took a few outings: Starbucks, fro yo and grocery store pick up. All went well except the meltdown in the car on the way home from Starbucks. It was time to eat and Momma didn't get Bo a frappe.

I am very excited for Matt to have next week off again and for us to have a little more family time. Life is definitely getting harder as drowsy newborn wakes up and becomes more fussy, but we’re hanging in there with good support (and yummy meals) from friends and family, a few glasses of wine, deep yoga breaths and occasionally remembering to actually take a nap when he’s napping.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Half A Decade

A half a decade sounds like a really long time. And it is! 5 years is something to celebrate. It's a milestone, for sure.

One that, according to tradition, should be celebrated with wood themed gift.

Psh, tradition. I can do you one better. We celebrated with THIS gift.


But even though half a decade sounds like an eternity when I think about that in terms of my son being in kindergarten half a decade from now or going all the way through med school again, half a decade – 5 years - with Matt has flown by.


I've said it before but it's worth saying again. And again and again and again. We are blessed with a really great marriage. We work at it, of course, but I know how lucky we are to have each other. And I think it is our appreciation of one another, and the fact that we regularly communicate how thankful we are for each other or for things that are done or said to make each other’s lives better or easier, that is one of the strongest points of our marriage.

Watching Matt slip easily into his role as Dad has made me appreciate him more profoundly than I could have ever imagined. I see him holding that tiny baby in his arms - or even better, when he sees me exhausted with the tiny baby in my arms and tells me to hand him over and go nap/go to the y/shower/whatever I need - swells my heart. I didn’t know it was possible to love him even more than I already did, but seeing him in his Daddy role has certainly done that. This has been an amazing season in our life – five years of marriage and a new chapter for our little family.


5 years have been amazing, but I think the best is yet to come. Happy Anniversary, Husband!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Week Two

I felt super spoiled this week, having Matt off from work. Two parents! Four hands on deck! The little things - like having him take one middle of the night feed so I got a stretch of SIX glorious hours or sending me out to run errands on my own - helped me feel a little more sane and rested and better able to do my job as momma when I returned to home base.

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And stopping by my favorite place for some caffeine didn't hurt either. (And yes, I always brought one home for Matt!)

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Bo got to meet a few more important people in his world this week. My friend/coworker Susan came by on Wednesday - toting some very essential items like a bottle of wine, salmon salad and her shellac kit. She knows how to take care of me!

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On Thursday, my sister-in-law Micah and her boyfriend Derek came over to spend the night and meet their nephew. We're so lucky that both of Bo's aunties live in close driving distance for easy visits! Matt's college roommate Jason also came into town on Thursday and stayed with us for a few days while on his way to visit family in SC. And then Matt's mom and dad came on Saturday and stayed through the early part of the week, giving us a chance to go out to dinner for our 5-year anniversary.

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This week was a mix of feeling a little more confident in what I was doing and establishing a little bit more of a routine, but also taking a few giant steps back as the sleepyhead newborn stage wore off and Baby Bo become more aware and alert of the world. It melts my heart to see his big blue eyes look up at me while I give him a bottle and talk to him… but more alert also means he's much less easy to soothe and put down at nap time. So much to take in! Why would anyone want to sleep when all this is going on in the world?!

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He's already back up to his birth weight (and then some) and eats like a champ. No big surprise there - I never doubted the offspring of the two of us would enjoy food. His sleep patterns are marginally predictable in the sense that he's on an approximate 3 hour pattern of eat, play (aka listen to Mom babble) and then back down to nap again. The naps vary in length - sometimes a little micro nap of 30 minutes and sometimes marathon 3 hour naps. I never know which one it's going to be, so there's a lot of half finished chores in this house right now. (Luckily, all the extra hands on deck means often time a fairy follows behind me and finishes unloading the dishwasher, making the bottles or folding the laundry that I left when my little shrieking alarm clock went off.)

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He sleeps best in his car seat, which I still worry about sometimes. I have visions of a 13 year old that refuses to sleep anywhere but cocooned in an infant car seat. Fortunately our pediatrian and my favorite book these days (Baby 411) assures me I'm not creating bad habits yet, so do what you gotta do. He's happy in his stroller (which is, again, the car seat) and happier still to be snuggled. He'll accept a swaddle, but will fight viciously to get out of it and usually wins. I'm learning velcro is my friend.

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He's sweet as can be and becoming more alert by the day. It's funny to think that I didn't even expect him to be here by now and yet I can't hardly imagine him not being here. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Week One

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What a week! I truly do feel like we survived newborn bootcamp, just getting through the first week.
No one was getting any sleep for the first couple of days, except Bo when he was in someone's arms. It was such a reassurance to visit the pediatrician for the first time, who just so happens to be one of my very good friends. She reinforced the importance of the swaddle, asked me if I had a sleep sheep (I did! Thank you, Akanksha!) and reassured me the first month was all about sleep & survival, and if that meant swings, car seats or cuddles - go for it. Big difference. Not every nap/night is a good one, but those few that are are like hitting the reset button.

Having my mom here was absolutely invaluable. She cooked dinner every night and basically kept the household running - laundry, dishes, bottles - so I could have lots of time to get to know my little baby - or take a nap myself. It was extra helpful when Matt had to go back to work on Wednesday. We can't thank her enough. Bo rewarded with her with lots and lots of snuggles.

Bo also got to meet Zac & Jamie this week, Anne & Locke, Wino-Aunt Jessie and Aunt Katie & Uncle Dylan. He put on his best performance of "adorable snuggling baby" for each visitor.

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Spuds is a little jealous, a little confused but generally okay with the fact that it seems like everybody is going to be home a lot and spending a lot of time sitting on the couch and napping. These happen to be his two favorite hobbies. I think he'll be just fine.

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I've never felt so all-consumed by something before. I'd say I'm generally someone with lots of varying interests and things to talk about, but at this moment it's all baby, all the time. It doesn't necessarily feel like a bad thing right now while he is so new and requires all-consuming attention just to get through the basic routine of eat, change, sleep, repeat. It just feels a little strange to be in such a bubble - it took me a few days to even realize the Olympics were on! 

I feel tired, happy, relieved and blessed to have a healthy baby, thankful for friends and family support, even more in love with my husband and in awe of the little person that has just joined our little family.

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All in just one week.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012



2.5 weeks early? Nope, pretty sure this kid came right on time.

Now excuse me while I go nom on that arm chub.