Monday, July 30, 2007

Our weekend

On Saturday we drove up the coast to Santa Barbara. The drive took us just under two hours, and that included stopping for a diaper change and feeding. I have only been to Santa Barbara a couple of times. I had forgotten how much I love this little city with the restaurants, cafes, shops, museums, ocean, mountains, and the general happy vibe that I feel. It reminds me of Ithaca, NY with its eccletic but small town atmosphere. We ended up eating a little lunch at an outdoor cafe, walked around the downtown area and then spent time on the pier watching the sunset. We enjoyed a seafood dinner at a very informal restaurant on the pier. The restaurant had a warm, friendly atmosphere where people sat along a bar that circled the restaurant. The service was excellent and the food was great too. Alfonso had fried calamari and oysters and I had shrimp ceviche with tortilla chips. We each had a pint of beer and then shared another serving of calamari. Christopher slept the entire time in his stroller, which was a definite bonus. Here are some photos of our weekend:

He is a little bald in the front.

But check out the back!

Hanging out on the pier.

Christopher napping on our bed (he was asleep for 10 minutes max)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Christopher at 5 weeks

I can hardly believe that it has been five weeks since Christopher was born. When I was pregnant, time slowed to a standstill, but since Christopher has been born, time has gone by super fast.

He is definitly more alert and interactive. I can see real difference from just a week ago. He is quite happy and will smile at us when we are talking or playing with him. Here are some photos this morning, we were waiting for papa to come home from work:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Christopher at four weeks

Since we are nearly into his fifth week, I wanted to write this blog before it was too late!

We are all doing well; Christopher is growing bigger and bigger! I measured him the other day, and he is at leat 22 inches. This was with his legs slightly bent. He is filling out more in his trunk and face. Two weeks ago he was 9lbs 4ounces, I would estimate that he is nearly 10lbs. He has the most expressive facial movements! I love it when he has his mouth open in an "O", he looks like a little bird waiting for food. We are still breastfeeding, but it's more for comfort and milk production. Our schedule was a little off when my family was here, but we are back on track. I am still pumping milk and refrigerating it, so at least he is getting some breastmilk. He is taking in 3 ounces of formula per feeding, so he is a hungry little boy! He eats every 2-3 hours during the day, and every 4 hours during the night.

I have been trying to work on a bedtime routine for him. Every night after dinner we go for walks together in his stroller. This usually helps settle him down. After we come home, I give him a warm bath. He enjoys his baths, but cries when we take him out to dry him. I dress him in a long onesie complete with a hat and wrap him up in a blanket burrito-style. Then some snuggling with breastfeeding and a bottle and he is out! Sometimes he doesn't need a bottle, he falls asleep as soon as he is wrapped up. Typically he is asleep by 10pm, and then wakes up at 3-4am for a feeding. Sometimes it is difficult to get him to fall back to sleep, so after much rocking, and holding he will fall asleep between 6:30-7:30am and awaken at 10:30. Of course each day differs slightly, but this is the general jist of what it's like. Sometimes I am so exhausted at 5am that I have him in the bed with me, so that I can keep an eye on him (I am worried about him spitting up and aspirating) while I rest. I wait for him to fall asleep before I feel comfortable falling asleep. I am just worried that he will aspirate, so I try to keep his head slightly elevated shortly after a feeding. I guess it's the nurse in me that is showing these concerns!

During the day he is often in his bouncy chair that my parents had bought for him. He is big enough now for it, and seems to really enjoy it. It has different features that either bounce or vibrate. It also plays music and the sound of beating heart (because that's all he heard when he was inside me). He no longer is so dependent on being held at every waking hour, so it is nice to have him in the bouncy chair and it allows me more freedom around the house.

Since Christopher has reached one month, here are developmental milestones according to I-Village:

Lifts head for short periods of time (he has done this since his first week, but now he is able to hold it for longer periods)
Moves head from side to side
Prefers the human face to other shapes
Makes jerky, arm movements
Brings hands to face
Has strong reflex movements
Can focus on items 8 to 12 inches away
May turn towards familiar sounds or voices
Responds to loud sounds
Blinks at bright lights

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Getting kind of cranky


whew.. there there Christopher

A pouch sling that a girl from my breastfeeding group made. Christopher screams when I put him in it, so I am still trying it out.

Alfonso came home from work and look what he found!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Christopher at three weeks

My parents and younger brother Tommy came to visit us last week for one week. We had a good time; plenty of rest but also some activity. We drove up north to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park for two days. Christopher came with us, so this was his first road trip. He was quite good, pretty much slept the entire time in the car. Here are some photos of our road trip:

Christopher chilling in his carseat

Poor kid. We often try to hold up his head, but this is what happens when one of us cannot hold him up.

Sequoia Trees in the Giant Forest.

Alfonso and Christopher

Mom with the Sequoias in the Giant Forest

Dad with General Sherman

Me and Christopher

Grandma and Christopher

Tom and Dad

Christopher and Grandpa

Christopher in his usual state

Christopher and Uncle Tommy. Check out the flames around the head!

Christopher lying in his new favorite spot.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

A little late in publishing! I wrote this in eary July, so about two weeks ago!Christopher was two weeks old then.

This past week Alfonso returned to work, so I have been in charge of Christopher for the last three days and three nights. It has been a little stressful at times with Christopher crying and not wanting to go to sleep, but overall he has been pretty good. Yesterday we went for a walk inside the mall, since it has been really hot outside. I ran into some women from my breastfeeding support group, so it was nice to see some familiar faces. The local mall has a family room complete with changing areas, couches, and rooms for breastfeeding. I had to do two diaper changes and one clothing change, so this family room served us very well.

I finally got a call back from the nurse manager on Short Stay Surgery. We set up an interview for July 20th. She seemed interested in me, so I hope that I will be able to get the position. I will be working 12 hr days (no longer the 12 hr night shift that I have been doing for the last 4 years). Also, I will have weekends and holidays off. This is a big change for me, since for as long as I can remember (since I entered the working force at age 16) I have worked most holidays and weekends.

My parents and brother are coming next week, so I am looking forward to seeing them and having some extra hands!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Christopher at two weeks

Last Thursday I went to a breastfeeding support group that takes place every Thursday at the local hospital. Everyone chats about their babies while breastfeeding. Two lactation consultants overview the group and offer advice and insight into breastfeeding.

I discussed my problems with breastfeeding to one of the lactation consultants and she recommended a herbal tea called Mother's Milk and some herbal tablets called Fenugreek. She recommended that I work on increasing my milk supply while continuing the breastfeeding/pumping and supplementing.

I've been taking the tablets for the last couple of days and I haven't seen an increase in my milk supply. If anything, the tablets make you smell like maple syrup. I may not be taking in enough calories, so I have been trying to increase my calorie consumption in a healthy manner. My parents are coming next week, (and my mom is a really good cook) so I am sure I will be able to eat more then.

It's difficult eating when the baby wants to eat and you are going by his schedule more than yours. Christopher is hungry every 2-3 hrs and then it takes time to burp him and lay him back down. Most of the time he doesn't want to be by himself, so either of us has to hold him while doing another task.

He has been sleeping pretty well at night, but the other night we were up every 2 hrs feeding, burping and changing his diapers. He goes through *a lot* of diapers. We are changing him before a feeding, after a feeding and then again 30 minutes later. Then before we know it, he is hungry again and the process repeats itself.

With the outdoor temperature in the triple digits and Christopher requiring our constant attention, we have been indoors quite a bit. We try to take evening walks when it is cooler outside and we have been able to go on a couple mini excursions. The other day we drove to the ocean (45 minutes away) and spent the afternoon walking along the ocean. Christopher was pretty good and only cried a couple of times when he needed his diaper changed or was hungry. We have been to a restaurant twice now, and Christopher slept the entire time.

Thank you to everyone for offering your advice and understanding. I really appreciate your comments and emails.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Christopher's first real bath! He enjoyed it until we had to take him out and then he was cold and upset.

My sleeping babies

A quick pose by the beach in Ventura