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Monday, January 31, 2011

We Have a Three Month Old!

I can't believe it, but we have a three month old! Our little man is growing up too fast!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby's First ER Trip

An unfortunate milestone indeed. Friday morning at about 4am, I woke up to an extremely hot baby laying next to me (yes, we let him sleep with us because he wasn't feeling well....don't judge me). I don't mean warm...I'm talking HOT. I picked him up, unswaddled him, changed his diaper and realized that at no point during all of that did he fuss or even look at me, which was scary in itself. I took his temp...103.6. He wasn't coughing, throwing up, or showing any other symptoms, but just the look in his eyes told me he felt awful. It broke my heart. I gave him some Tylenol and changed his clothes (still not getting a rise out of him) and off to the ER we went.  After a nasal swab, some fluids, two blood draws, and a chest x-ray, we didn't find out much. All we know is that he was fighting some kind of virus and that it would pass soon. It could have been much worse of a diagnosis. Thankfully, by Saturday afternoon he was pretty much back to normal; no fever and happily talking up a storm.

Feeling much better on Saturday afternoon
I fully realize that this is the first of many, many times that he's going to be sick (unfortunate, but true), but that doesn't make it any less scary. When we followed up with Charlie's doctor on Saturday, he told us that more often than not, parents are a better indicator of how sick a baby is than a thermometer. Apparently, when Jeff and I said that Charlie was acting extremely out of the ordinary, that was more of a concern to the doctors than his temp. Makes sense. This whole motherly instinct thing is rather creepy. I knew something was wrong just from looking at him and I was right. Its hard at first to trust your instincts as a parent since, well, its something brand new that you have never done before, but apparently it works.

Here's to an uneventful remainder to cold and flu season in this house!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On Being a Working Mom

I've always known that when Jeff and I had children, that both of us would continue to work and that I would be a working Mom. I can't lie, the thought terrified me. Yes, part of it is being away from said children, but mostly the realization of just how much my own Mom did for us on top of working, volunteering, etc. blew my mind. For those of you who knew my Mom, you know what I'm talking about. Super woman. Well, here I am in that reality, but you know what? Its not as scary as I once thought.

I'm convinced that child birth switches on characteristics that you never knew you had and gives you motivation and strength that you never believed you could possess. I went from being a "give me 8 hours of sleep or I'll hurt someone" type of person to being able to run completely efficiently on 3-4 hours of sleep AND get chores, errands, work, and Charlie's needs taken care of...without wanting to hurt someone. Most days I don't even think about it because it just. needs. to. happen. Truth be told, I've never felt so positive and empowered in my life. Its not my intention to pat myself on the back here; I'm genuinely shocked that I feel so good when really, I *should* feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Motherhood is a magical thing, I tell ya.

Now back to the other part of being a working Mom. The part that's a little harder; missing that sweet baby boy of mine. Day one wasn't too bad. Work was such a whirlwind of cleaning up my inbox and catching up on everything that it was quitting time before I knew it. As the days go on, however, I'm realizing how little time I have to spend with him during the day and how much I need to cherish that time. My work day consists of the normal 9 to 5 routine, but also comes with several night meetings throughout the week. Some nights, I'm gone for an hour or two. Tonight, for instance? I'll be gone from 5pm to 8pm and then 9:30pm to 11pm. :-( Not cool. There IS just enough time to run home and put him to bed, but I want more. After spending nearly every waking moment with him (in one capacity or another) for the past 10 months, I feel like an adorable little cuddly piece of me is missing.

Having a child and going back to work has certainly changed my outlook on life. I'm so appreciative of things that I may have overlooked before. I want life to slow down and I want to experience every second of it. Before, evenings were meant for sitting on the couch and generally wasting time and weekends were for sleeping in and putzing around (you know I'm right). Now? I've never appreciated that time off so much in my entire life. Yeah, there is still a small amount of sitting around doing nothing, but even then, its family time.

That being said, I'm proud to join the ranks of the working Moms out there. And to my own Mom - thank you.

All Good Things Must Come to an End

(I typed this on Monday night, but apparently did not post it. Oops!)

You know that its time to go back to work when butt prints begin forming in your couch cushions.

Today was my first day back at work after 12 short weeks at home with Charlie. Since Jeff is still student teaching, this meant that Charlie started daycare. I must admit, going back to work was bittersweet. While it was nice to eat, shower, and get dressed in peace this morning, I missed Charlie terribly.

All ready for his first day of daycare!
We dropped him off at 7am so Jeff could get to school on time and as our luck would have it, the main drop off time is between 8am and 9am, meaning we got to talk (neurotically) with Charlie's lead teacher one on one. She was an angel and let me yammer on about all his quirks and needs. She smiled and told us that we could call whenever we wanted to check up on him. Then it came time to say goodbye. He was asleep in his car seat (7am is in the middle of one of his sleep times) and I knew that if I woke him up to say goodbye, he'd be an overtired hellion while this poor woman tried to feed the other two babies there. I took off his hat and gloves (half hoping he'd wake up anyway, but he didn't), gave him a kiss, and set his car seat down so he could continue to nap.

When I called around noon, the lead teacher told me that he was doing wonderfully - he was in the middle of a nap and had eaten/slept well all morning. Really? My Charlie? Sleeping well?! She said that most babies need to adjust to the noise level of the baby room, but he zonked right out. That makes sense; in public, Charlie falls right to sleep, but in his room, sometimes its a little tougher.

So, aside from throwing up all over his adorable overalls, Charlie did great at daycare - which makes the transition all the easier for me as well. Tomorrow (and from now on), Jeff will be bringing him alone meaning I have to say my goodbyes even earlier. No need to be sad though, the work day goes by fast and it will be good for both of us to get out and back on a schedule. All good things may come to an end, but only then can other good things begin. :-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fluffy Butt and Other Milestones

Charlie sporting his new fluffy butt
This weekend has been a pretty big weekend for the little man. Not only does he finally fit into his snazzy BumGenius 3.0 cloth diapers, but he totally, 100% legit slept through the night!! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Charlie went to bed at 12am and woke up at 6:30am, then went back to sleep until 8:30am.

It. was. wonderful.

Surprisingly, when I woke up at 5:30am, I didn't fly out of bed wondering if he was still breathing or not. I saw the clock and thought, "Yessssss...." Does that make me a bad Mom? :-P The only unfortunate part to the epic sleep marathon was that when I woke up at that wee hour, I couldn't get back to sleep. I had gotten TWICE the sleep that I normally get and I was so well rested, I felt like I could do a triathlon. With no triathlon readily available (oh, darn), I ate some cereal on the couch and watched some TiVo'ed episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" in blissful peace and quiet. I could get used to that.

Back to the fluffy butt. I figured that with Charlie up to 9.5 lbs, I'd give the BG's a try and what do you know, but they fit his skinny little butt. I'm so excited! They've been washed, put together, and waiting for him since July (the nesting bug hit me a bit early). If you remember, when he first came home, this is how he stacked up to the diapers...
Yeah....about 4 lbs shy of fitting in these.
Yeah, just a little too small for them. would have gone up to his armpits and leaked like a sieve. Anyway, now the process of wearing and washing begins! Our first load of diapers is in the wash as I type and my initial thoughts about cloth diapering are:

Its really nice not to buy diapers.
Baby pee/poo smells horrible after a few days.
Thank goodness I don't pay for laundry.
I absolutely love the diaper pail we got.
Cloth diapers are WAY softer than disposables.

Even though some of my family members (you know who you are!!) don't think we'll stick with cloth diapering because its "hard," I can say that so far its not really a big deal. I don't have a baby who spits up and hardly have to do baby laundry, so I figure its makes it pretty even.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teefer Time

Despite still running a low grade fever (between 99.0 - 100.2), Charlie is doing better today. He slept really well last his car seat. Normally, I wouldn't let him sleep in his car seat like that, but a sick baby can convince you to do anything. With Charlie in his car seat on the living room floor, I ended up on the couch...or should I say, couch-ette. We don't have a full size couch in our apartment, its more of a love seat. Its comfortable, but sleeping on it is nothing short of comical.

After a few 3 hour lengths of sleep, Charlie was in a much better mood (and so was I). When the doctor called to check up on Charlie this morning (isn't that nice of him?), his fever was down to 98.6 and he was resting fine. Throughout the day, he wavered between cranky and sleepy and no fever to a low grade fever. I gave him some Tylenol for the fever and it seemed to help.

Jeff quote of the day: "Its upsetting to me that Charlie's introduction to fruit flavors will be through Tylenol." He was dead serious. :-P

The whole day was a cycle of eating, crying, sleeping for 30 minutes, crying, eating, etc. Poor little guy is absolutely exhausted. Again, the Mommy light bulb went off. What could slight fever, irritability, not sleeping well, and drooling mean? Say it with me, Moms...teething! Seriously? The little peanut that looks like he's more like a month old instead of almost three, is teething already? While it would be considered early, its not out of the question and his symptoms match perfectly. Only time will tell if my little guy is getting his first chompers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Feverish

For the past 36 hours, Mr. Charlie has been in rare form indeed. At first, we thought he was jumping back on the growth spurt bandwagon or was beyond exhausted and fighting sleep. Last night, however, was nothing short of ridiculous and we knew something was up.

From 8pm until about 12:30am, he would. not. sleep. He nursed some, stared at us some, screamed some, but sleep never came. He had only napped for an hour or two all day, but still wouldn't fall asleep. We rocked him, sang to him, read to him, gave him a warm bath. Nothing worked. Eventually, he fell asleep, but was up after an hour or so and only went back down after another two hours of nursing and rocking. The night continued on like this until we got up for the day around 9am. Sleep total for 24 hours? About 6 hours. According to baby math, if baby gets 6 hours of sleep, Mommy got a whole lot less. And no shower. Lets just say that I look hot today.

This morning was similar to yesterday. No napping, lots of fussing, and general strange behavior. Around lunch, I put Charlie in the Moby wrap, hoping he would sleep and thankfully he did. I went about my business, making lunch and doing some dishes. A short time later, I realized that he was sweating up a storm! Then the Mommy light bulb goes off - why not check his temp? 99.2. Okay, nothing to write home about, but definitely something to monitor. I thought he was doing a bit better after a quick nap, but no. He about lost his damn mind. The ear piercing screaming from the night before returned and it was time to call the doctor. The nurse I talked to heard him in the background and suggested we come in based on that alone. I changed him and took his temp again - 100.2. Aaaaand off we went.

As a side note: In true "sick child going the pediatrician" style, the minute we arrived, he calmed down and napped in the waiting room and then cooed and smiled for the doctor. *face palm*

The doctors appointment was helpful, yet unhelpful. Thankfully, Charlie's ears and throat look fine and he doesn't have a rash, poop issues, or vomiting. We did find out that our little chunker gained over a POUND since his 2 month check up on January 3rd!! He's up to 9lbs 8oz! Anyway, the doctor suggested that we give him Tylenol for pain/fever, keep track of any symptoms of dehydration, and bring him back in tomorrow if the crying, sleeplessness, or fever don't get better or get worse.

First night with a sick baby; a milestone that no parent looks forward to. At the moment, he's sitting with Daddy crying the most pathetic little cry ever as we countdown to his next dose of Tylenol. It breaks my heart. I don't even care if I get sleep tonight - I just hope he does.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We're Marching in May!

As you all know, our little man was born at 34 weeks making him a late term preemie. While I was in labor, the doctors prepared us for what could be a very sick little boy. We were extremely blessed that he was born healthy and needed very little care in the NICU.

May 1st, 2011, Jeff, Charlie, and I are joining team "Awesome Lawson" for the March of Dimes "March for Babies" walk in Harrisburg, PA. Lawson, like Charlie, was born premature yet healthy. When his Mother, Juliet, began preterm labor at 31 weeks, doctors were able to hold off Lawson's arrival until 35 weeks and he was born November 6th, 2010.

Not all babies are as lucky as Charlie and Lawson.

Juliet and I met through an online forum back in March when we found out we were pregnant and with hundreds other women, have spent most of the last year chatted about our long, uncomfortable pregnancies and now about our beautiful, wonderful little ones. While most of the babies were born healthy and full term, many were born premature or ill, and unfortunately, some are now angels. Because of this and the joy we both know from our boys, we are excited to team up and raise money for this cause. Both of our families were blessed to bring home such amazing little guys and we want to help make that possible for other families out there.

The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Funds raised by the March of Dimes "March for Babies" support research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. Funds are also used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care. Having experienced the strain of having a baby in the NICU, Jeff and I understand first hand how important this comfort and education can be in getting through that difficult time.

If you are interested in helping Jeff, Charlie, and me reach our personal fund-raising goal of $500 for team Awesome Lawson, there is a link in the side bar of this blog where you can donate money. Even $5 will help move us towards our goal.

Charlie at 2 hours old in the NICU at Roanoke Memorial Hospital

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Love That Little Face

We stuck Charlie in his Bumbo seat to see how he liked it since he absolutely hates tummy time. Turns out, he loves being able to look around the room! I'm amazed at how good his head control is in it. Looks like we've found another winning baby product!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hello There Mr. Scale...

Well, I knew this day would come. I could only use the "I'm pregnant" and "I just had a baby" excuses for so long - its time to buckle down and lose this weight. My rise to size was a slow one, but from my wedding until the morning I checked into L&D (exactly one year, as you all know) I gained 38 pounds. Holy crap. No matter how many times I check my math it comes out the same. In all reality, it could have been a whole lot worse, but there is nothing exciting about gaining weight. Since having Charlie, I've been able to lose almost 20 pounds (most of that being Charlie and all the good stuff in there with him), but for the past several weeks I've been at a stand still. Looks like these last pounds aren't going quietly.

So, back on Weight Watchers I go! Last night I had my first weigh in and last fast food meal for quite a while. When I first joined WW back in January 2008, it took me a year to lose 25 pounds that I had put on during graduate school thanks largely to stress and McDonald's sweet tea. Hopefully, it doesn't take me a year this time because I really miss wearing non-maternity clothes and my wedding rings. My goal is to be back to my goal weight of 130 pounds by my birthday. Totally doable....right?  >.<

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sleeping FTW!

Sleeping through the night to a normal person would consist of getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. To the parent of an infant, however, sleeping through the night means that said infant slept for 7-8 hours only getting up to briefly eat or get a diaper change. According to that understanding, we've finally got our self through a whole night of sleep!! And in his own crib, to boot!

Since I'll be going back to work in a few weeks, we decided to start introducing a loose night time routine to help get us track. At the moment, if we have a bad night, I can just nap with him all day. When I go back to work, that won't fly, so we need to set ourselves up for better sleep at night. Last night, the little man slept from 10:30pm to 1:30am, 2am to 5am, and 6am to 9am. I'm not rounding the times off either - he sleeps exactly three hours like clock work. Predictability is nice, but I know he can sleep longer than that. I'm thinking he may get up at those times out of habit, not need. Hopefully, he'll get into the groove of sleeping at night and sleep longer. *fingers crossed* For now, we are very happy parents.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Big Day for the Boys

Today was a big day in the Milburn house; it was Jeff's first day of student teaching and Charlie's two month old check up! Jeff will be teaching 8th grade English for the next twelve weeks to finish up his teaching certification and I'm so excited for him to get into the classroom and start stretching his teaching legs. He gave his first day positive reviews; his cooperating teacher is kind and helpful and the kids seem good. They started reading "A Raisin in the Sun" and will be working on it over the next few weeks.

After Jeff got home from school, we took Charlie to his doctors appointment. Our little man weighed in at 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 22 inches long. I was close with my last guess! He's right around the 50th percentile for length and head circumference, but still below the 5th percentile for weight. If you adjust his age based on his original due date (making him 3 weeks old), however, he's around the 50th percentile for weight as well. His doctor is happy with his weight gain, even though he's still little. As long as he's gaining, we're happy. At the appointment, we also talked to the doctor about Charlie's bouts of crying in the evenings and, as we expected, he said its just part of baby life and commended us for toughing it out.

The last part of Charlie's appointment was (dun dun dun....) 2 month old vaccinations. The nurses came in with two of the tiniest needles I've ever seen and asked Jeff and I if we would mind holding him down so they could do both at once. Talk about heart wrenching! My poor boy!! He basically has no fat on him, so even the little needles looked huge compared to his tiny thighs. As you'd imagine, he was not happy with the tandem sticks, but eventually settled down. We picked up some baby Tylenol on the way home in case we needed it and headed home. The doctor told us that the vaccinations would either make him irritable and cranky or knock him out and so far we've got the latter. Thank goodness! This poor boy needs some sleep after last night's up all night cry fest (and so does Mommy, for that matter).

Today's final event is trying to get Charlie to sleep in his crib. With Jeff leaving for school at 6:30am each morning, he needs as much sleep as he can get. Moving Charlie from our room to his room should help with that. Even though he's not a fan of being put down, he's doing pretty well so far. Thirty minutes down, seven and a half hours to go. Hey...a Mom can dream, right?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Two Months Old

Our little boy is getting so big! As of New Year's Eve, Charlie is two months old! We don't have weight/length stats just yet (his check up is tomorrow), but we do have some cute pictures of him and Mickey. Last month, Mickey towered over him, but this month he's the same size!

Unfortunately, two months old also means that there are a few vaccinations waiting for him at tomorrow's doctor's appointment. Thankfully, we're going after Jeff gets back from student teaching so we can take him together.

This past month, Charlie reached a few milestones and is soooo close to others (like smiling). He has started to coo and make more noises (that aren't crying), he's getting better head control when he's on his stomach, he's spending more time awake, and he even slept in his crib last night! He'd been sleeping in the bassinet part of his pack and play lately, but last night he was squirming around and just seemed so uncomfortable. Around 3am, I gave it a shot and put him in his crib, which is much more comfortable. To my surprise, he passed right out and slept for three hours! I, of course, slept in the glider right next to the crib. I couldn't just leave him in there alone!! We were planning on having him sleep in our room until three or four months, but if it helps him sleep more comfortably and for longer, I guess I can deal with him moving out a little earlier than expected. *tear* Because of the middle of the night switcheroo, I left a note in his pack and play that said, "CRIB" so Jeff wouldn't freak out if he woke up and saw that Charlie was missing. Pretty smart for 3am logic, eh?

I'll update his stats when we get him weighed tomorrow. My bet is somewhere around 8 1/2 pounds and 23 inches long. We'll see!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

DIY Growth Chart

Its not a secret that Jeff and I move...a lot. This past summer was the first summer in about 9 years that I didn't pack up all my stuff and move. Now that Charlie is here, I really wanted to be able to chart his growth throughout the years, but I'd be kidding myself if I thought I could pick a door jam to mark up like normal families do. Instead, I made a growth chart that we can take with us from home to home.

I went to Lowe's and picked up a 2" x 6' plank of wood for $5 and some paint and wood accents from Michael's for about $6. I painted all the pieces, glued it all together, and put up his first two measurements (birth and one month old). I plan to chart each month for a year, then every six months until five, and once a year after that. The chart is only 6 feet high, but with the genes Jeff and I have supplied this boy, if he reaches 6 fee tall I will be amazed! :-P

I added an eye hook to the top of the chart so I could hang it on the wall, taking it down to update it and inevitably move. I used ribbon and card stock pieces to mark the heights, making sure to put enough materials aside to have them throughout the years. It would be so sad to run out half way through and have to find more!

All in all, the project cost very little and only took about an hour and a half to make, most of that being paint drying time. Now the hard part - remembering to update it!

Happy New Year!

Yesterday, I caught Charlie having a serious conversation with his Barnes & Noble bear in his crib. <3