Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gelato Envy

I see you eyeing my gelato, June!
Sorry, you're still on the milk diet. Hey, they say it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream, right?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back to Work

In short: it was fine.

In length:

Dropping June off at the daycare was the hardest part, of course. Michael and I both went and carpooled to work so I would be free to bawl my eyes out the whole way. (I didn't quite bawl, more stared out the window in silent misery.) The head teacher in the infant room is understanding and kept saying how June will be fine, I will be fine, we all will be fine. I handed June to Michael because I couldn't be the one to hand her off for good.

Returning to work was...nice, actually. It was fun. It was an ego-boost to hear peoples' delighted exclamations of "You're back!" It was fun to get caught up in all the news around the office and in the lives of my coworkers. They even made me a gigantic card, bought me balloons and a few welcome back treats.
Remember the pumpkin face cake? Well...
And it was kind of nice to just focus on me, you know? Like to turn off my Mommy mode and concentrate on adult issues. Does this make me a terrible mom? I hope not. If anything, this little break allowed me to fawn all over my baby when I got home.

But it was hard, too. Absolutely. I was okay doing my job...and then I'd think about June. I'd wonder if she was crying and no one could settle her because no one knows her little tricks like I do. I'd wonder if she was being smiley and cute and I was sad I was missing her smiles. I'd wonder if somewhere in her mind she was wondering where I was. These are the times it was tough.

As the afternoon passed, the minutes were only creeping by.
But my husband, wonderful man that he is, sent me some flowers to help me get by. Aren't daisies such a friendly flower? (Kathleen Kelly would agree.)
Since we carpooled, poor Michael had to put up with my "suggestions" as we drove home. ("Couldn't you maybe drive a little bit faster?") At least we got to drive in the HOV lane! After sprinting into the daycare, we were rewarded with smiles from our baby girl who was waiting for us. She'd done fine on her first day.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Traveling with Baby

In a couple of weeks we are doing le tour de grandma. Which is to say, we are traveling to the homeland (the Midwest) to visit family! We will see both sets of parents, four grandmas and one grandpa. And possibly a couple of aunts, uncles and cousins. All in four days.

I'd love any advice you may have for traveling with an infant. June will be 3 months old, so I'm not too worried about toys or keeping her entertained or anything like that. I'm breastfeeding, so I don't need to worry about packing food or bringing bottles through security, etc.

Here's what I have so far:
  • I'll feed her on the way up and down in the plane to help regulate the pressure in her ears
  • We won't try adjust her to the time change
  • We're not bringing a stroller. We use the Moby so much that we wouldn't use it and it would just be a hassle to pack
  • We will be bringing the car seat
What I still haven't figured out completely:
  • How many outfits to pack
  • To pack diapers or buy some once we get there
  • Her sleeping location situation
  • How diaper changes on the plane will work (I know to bring only one dipe and wipes back to the bathroom instead of the whole diaper bag, but still. Have you seen the size of those air-port-o-johns? Are they regulation size or what?)
  • What I'm going to wear on the flight (to be warm enough on the plane, cool enough in both Phoenix and Indy, be able to wear the Moby AND have easy boob access for feedings.)
In addition to a four-hour flight, we'll also have two 1.5 hour drives. June's pretty great in the car (as long as she's not due for a feeding) so I'm not too worried about this. I'm mostly worried about fussiness and screaming on the plane. I'm not one of those people who think "DEAL WITH IT" to strangers...I'm the kind to be very self-conscious, embarrassed and apologetic. Maybe the Moby will work its wonders and we'll get some good sleep from her.

So, once again, I'd love any baby-related travel advice!

Friday, June 24, 2011

June's First Swim

June had her first swim in the pool on Saturday! She did really well! There was a little crying, but I'd say it was a great first experience.

View June's First Swim video on Youtube.

First, she got dressed in an adorable bathing suit my mom got her. Me modeling at my baby shower:
June modeling in person:
We dipped her toes in the pool, but it was pretty chilly.We moved to the hot tub, which is smaller and therefore warmer.
Her sunhat was a tad oversized, but look how cavalierly she wears it.

Michael was there to towel her off when it was time to get out.
She was so tuckered out after her swim! After a bath, she fell asleep all wrapped up in her towel in Daddy's arms.
I can tell that we've got the next Michaela Phelps. (Minus the whole pot-smoking scandal, obviously.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

First Post-Baby Date Night

Because Judy was in town, she offered to watch June one night so Michael and I could have our first date night! Our first time out alone since before June was born!
First we went out to RA to get a cocktail and some sushi. How strange to find it strange to eat dinner without worrying about dropping food on the baby (in the Moby), worrying about the baby getting fussy (hanging out on the floor or in her seat) or worrying about the baby waking up (napping in the other room). Pure adult conversation!
After that we got some ice cream and walked around a pretty outdoor shopping area.
We considered going out for another drink after that, but decided to head home. We'd had a great night and couldn't imagine any next step as being nicer than going home, putting June to sleep and then changing into our PJs. Is that so bad?

We found June getting some cuddle time with Grammy in the Moby.
Thanks, Grammy, for giving us a night out on the town!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Daycare Drop-In

I stopped by June's daycare last week. Partly because I wanted to just drop in to see what they were up to. Partly because I had some questions to ask before her first day. Partly to show June the place so her first time seeing it wasn't when I was leaving her there for the day.

In response to the first reason - all was well. Most of the other babies were napping in their cribs. The two who were awake were happy, smiling, laughing, playing. The place was clean, quiet. The two teachers were knowledgable. One was young and sweet, the other was a little more seasoned and very direct. When I told them that June was exclusively breastfed, they wanted to be sure that she would take a bottle (of pumped breastmilk) because that is how she'll be fed at daycare. Since we haven't given her a bottle since those first few weeks when we had to feed her expressed milk with a bottle, I wasn't 100% sure she would take it. Michael wasn't worried. Turns out he was right - it appears that June will eat from just about anything with milk in it!

Grammy giving a test bottle:
They answered all my questions. They invited me to come back sometime this week to drop off her diapers and extra clothes so her first day of daycare won't be so hectic. (AKA I can just drop June off and quickly escape to the parking lot where I will sob uncontrollably for 45 minutes.)

And about her seeing the place to feel more comfortable...I have such torn feelings. A part of me thinks she will be great. She's just such a pleasant baby. She smiles a lot and really only fusses when she's hungry or having trouble putting herself to sleep. If I have to leave her for a bit to get dressed or make myself something to eat, she will coo happily to herself on the blanket while she stares out the window or at her own hands. So I think she'll be okay with the two daycare teachers.

It's just that I won't be there. Every moment is a miracle with her. I don't get much done throughout the day because I just can't stop staring at her when she's smiling.
I do trust this daycare to take care of her, it's just that I won't be there to witness her every moment anymore. That's what's breaking my heart.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day Recap

Father's Day started off with snuggles in bed while Mommy took a shower.
We went to our usual Sunday spot and had breakfast. I tried to make Michael get a Mimosa with me, but he was more interested in plain ol' coffee! What a square! So I had an iced mocha instead.
Love how June manages to get in on these family pictures.

We went to the Phoenix Mercury (women's professional basketball) game. I don't know if we would have gone if it wasn't a work thing. It was fun and I can totally see us going in the future, it's just a little loud for a baby. Michael was concerned, so we stopped at a Best Buy to see about buying sound-canceling headphones for her to wear. Unwilling to spend over $90 on the cheapest pair, I endeavored to make my own at home.

This is the result:
Those are my cloth breastpads pressed against her ears, secured by a headband. Awesome. We tried them out and it definitely kept some of the sound out!

Courtside before the game with Diana Taurasi warming up in the background:
People sure got a kick out of those breastpads, especially women.

She may be a "Daddy's Girl," but her facial expressions take after Mommy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Morning Riddle

What's the bad thing about your baby sleeping from 9 pm until 6:30 am?

You wake up every 15 minutes after 4:30 am frantically thinking, Is my baby okay?!?!?!

And your breasts feel like heavy, aching, throbbing rocks attached to your chest.

What's the good thing about your baby sleeping from 9 pm until 6:30 am?

That your baby slept from 9 pm until 6:30 am.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

To the three Dads in my life.

First, to my own Dad, who taught me how to play like a champion.
Second, to my brother, who taught me that you can be a grown up and still a kid at heart.
And lastly, to my husband, who taught me how to love with abandon.
You three are excellent fathers. And I hope you had a great day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Carriers without Barriers

I've expanded my baby carrier collection.

First, I made a new Moby wrap that's a little more festive. It's also a lot cooler in the Arizona heat than the black Moby. Here Grammy (Judy) models the new wrap with her granddaughter:
I was wearing June at the mall and a cashier was ringing me up and suddenly exclaimed, "There is a baby in your shirt!"

I also bought a ring sling. I love the Moby, truly I do. But the sling has its own advantages. For example, it's a lot quicker to put on for run-in, run-out errands. I usually put the Moby on before leaving the house, but the sling can be slipped on in the parking lot with little fuss. Here we are modeling the "hug hold."
And this is the "cradle hold." As you can see, this makes it a lot more convenient to nurse in public. You can even use the little drapey end to use as a nursing cover if you need to!
June seems to like it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Take a Bow

I'm already a stage mom. Oh no. Next step, that abomination "Toddlers and Tiaras."

Not really. As you all know, my friend Remi is such a phenomenal photographer (she did our birth photos). She was asked by a friend of hers to take pictures of headbands that the friend makes and sells. She needed models of differing ages in childhood and June was her first choice for the newborn category! (...That, or June is the only female infant she knows...)

Now that I know where to send you to look into Mikhaila's incredible bows and headbands (click here to see the whole Jubilee Jane gallery), I can finally post the pictures!

And my favorite headband:
Mikhaila was so sweet and told us that for June's "work," she could have a couple of headbands. I instantly knew I wanted the one above. "I have to have the one that looks like grapes. Or are they blueberries?" I asked.

"They're hydrangea." Ha! Oops. I still wanted it.

And to finish off, I show you a totally unposed picture. At one point June was getting fussy, so I offered to hold her during some pictures. We placed the sheet over me for a clean background and Remi did her magic.

Isn't this the worst glimpse into Stage Motherhood? The poor baby girl yawning from near exhaustion while Mom smiles on proudly from the sidelines?
No, I'm kidding. June wasn't near exhaustion. She was actually shouting because her Evian wasn't at the right temperature.

Once again, here is the link to Mikhaila's Facebook page: Jubilee Jane

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Growing Bump

I made a montage of my growing baby bump...if you'd like to see it, click below!

Julie's Pregnancy Progression

p.s. SO WEIRD to see my old belly and now have June as an "outside baby"!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What's aFoot

It's a big week for Michael. More specifically, it's a big week for Michael's foot.

Michael has bunions. Or had bunions, now he has a bunion. He had surgery yesterday morning to correct the foot condition. Here's the before picture:
I'll miss those pointy feet!

Foot surgery is always tough because you have to stay off of it to let it heal. This is why almost no one chooses to get both bunions fixed at the same time. Even with one foot done, Michael has been keeping it elevated, putting no pressure on it, using crutches and applying ice. This is with the added fun of the effects of pain medication. I was always pretty nervous about him getting the surgery when I was pregnant or with a new baby because Michael would be out of commission and unable to help out for so long after the surgery.

Well his mom, Judy, flew out to Arizona to help us out! Since Michael can't exactly carry June to the changing table while on crutches, Judy's been helping a ton, including watching her while Michael sleeps off his pain killers and while I take extended showers. (Ah, the glory of finally shaving one's legs!) She also was on baby duty while June was spitting up/vomiting in, around and out of the co-sleeper this morning, which I'm sure is how most people want to be spending their Saturday morning at 5 am.

But Michael's doing great, thanks for asking. The pain has been "manageable" and even right after surgery kept insisting that he was "jussfine, rilly jussfine," wanting to forgo the wheelchair for crutches, etc. etc. He's even planning on going back to work on Monday!

Stay tuned for an awesome before and after foot picture!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2 Months Old!

Baby girl is 2 months old!
She had a checkup at the doctor's yesterday. I was a little nervous about it for two reasons: June wasn't gaining weight very well by her last appointment (1 month) and I wanted to see what the doc would say this time around, and June's first round of vaccines.
Doctor assessment: awesome! She was so surprised at how much weight June gained in a month (about 3.5 lbs - what a chunkster!). She said she doesn't know the last time she's seen such wonderful weight gain - June went from being in the 25th percentile to the 75th!
She also said that June is very alert for her age, that she's doing really well with holding her head up, smiling and cooing a lot. View a video of June babbling! (Michael says the blue makes her look like a boy. I say not true because the blue has a flower on it, and also "CURSE YOUR GENDER STEREOTYPING!")
The vaccines went as good as they could go, I guess. After the first one June just looked offended and confused and only after the second one did she go into meltdown mode. Her face got all red and she bunched her body up, but I was able to pick her up and comfort her by then. Despite being told that I would likely cry, I didn't, I was too busy trying to cheer the chunkster up. Why did the nurse wait until after the vaccines to try to tell me what to look out for, what to do if there is a reaction, etc.?! My child is screaming, I'm not listening to you!

All I heard was, "WAHHHH!""...a little swollen...""WAAHHHH!" "...not an ice cube...""WAAAHH!"
But she was fine. Maybe a little extra sleepy for the rest of the morning, but doing great now.