Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A One Month Birthday Adventure

Today is Jasper's one month birthday. We decided to celebrate by going and visiting Dad at work.

First, we got dressed up in the outfit that Morgan's manager Tasia gave us, waaay back before Jasper was born.

(I refrained from taking a picture of my baby's butt, but the backside of this outfit has another frog prince, with the phrase "Once upon a time..." Also, why are baby socks so freaking cute?!)

Next we bundled up in the blanket Cousin Erin gave us and the hat Aunt Virginia made. Because, after all, San Francisco is colder than the East Bay.

Okay, not that much colder. The hat ended up in the diaper bag pretty quickly. Its in the 70s over here.

We walked down the street to the BART station, and Jasper had his very first public transit experience. It went well; he maintained a slightly alarmed expression for the first part - and a death grip on my finger - but he sacked out before we hit the Transbay Tube. Which is good - I was worried about his little ears. (I thought about taking pictures of him on BART, but decided that would be silly.)

Once we arrived downtown, Jasper got to meet his legions of fans at GGU. All right, more accurately, his legions of fans came and gazed at him... while he slept. It was pretty entertaining to learn that grown ups who are not related to my son are just as content to stare at his sleeping face as I am.

Next, Morgan took us to his regular Starbucks, where the manager shrieked upon seeing Morgan with a stroller. Apparently they know him there or something...

Then Jasper and I headed home, braving unknown liquids on the floors of the BART elevators and even venturing into Safeway for Luna Bars and ice cream. At home, we found a package for Jasper from his great grandma Connie and his great aunt Maurine - which contained, among other things, a pair of booties made by Morgan's great grandmother.

We changed into something cooler, as befits the warmer suburbs,and I tried again to convince Jasper that his cute cloth diapers really do fit him.

I don't think he buys it.

All together, not a bad birthday. And, yes, sweetie, Mommy really does love you.

Okay, a few more gratuitous pictures...

Morgan is master of the baby sling.

and of the kitties...

Our voracious baby trying to eat his mat during tummy time:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Four Weeks!

and the little guy keeps growing...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Future Blackmail Material

Jasper has a lovely range of expressions; here are just a few:

(Mary, I hope this is almost as good as being able to hold him.)

Vampire Baby

My son is a beast.

A typical feeding involves him growling as he attacks my breast. His eyes open wide, his mouth follows suit, then "Grrrr," he latches on. When he gets tired, he tends to clamp down and shake his head violently. Barbarian. I don't know where he gets it from.

Actually, I do. Yesterday, I caught Morgan coaching the little guy in a variety of growls and roars.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tummy Time

So one of the important developmental things that They say babies should do is tummy time - basically, you lay the kid face down, and they strengthen their necks by learning to pick up their heads. Jasper's had a few sessions of tummy time, which usually result in him screaming his head off. But, he spends lots of time on his tummy when he lies on me, and he has been able to pick up his head since the day he was born (ridiculously strong baby we have; I'm going to enter him in the circus as the Strong Baby), so I haven't been too concerned. Most of our tummy time has been on the mat of his activity gym on our bed. But today I tried putting him down on the floor.

Pace is definitely this kid's dog. As soon as Jasper was on the floor, Pace was there, standing guard. Herding away the cats. Keeping an eye on me in case I was going to do something inappropriate like leave the baby unattended. Of course, as soon as I pulled out the camera to take a picture of Jasper, Pace practically trampled him as he tried to get past him and to the backdoor. Lesson: if the baby is on the floor, make sure he is not between Pace and his escape route in case of doggy panic attack. (Don't worry, he didn't actually trample Jasper.)

And how did Jasper do during tummy time today? Well, he didn't get his head off the mat much, but! This kid is going to be an early crawler. Or at least an early scooter. He managed to move himself about seven or eight inches across the mat with his powerful baby kicks. All right, I didn't measure it, but he moved from gnawing on the seal nose to gnawing on the third elephant. Epic distances when you aren't even four weeks old. The kid has skills.

And yes, I took pictures, but I haven't uploaded them. Soon, I promise.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Three Week Birthday!

Celebrated with a series of age appropriate meltdowns and visits from his great aunts Virginia and Harriett.

The cyber version of Jasper's birth announcement, designed, of course, by Jasper's amazing father:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Odds and ends

Apparently having a baby at home is making it so that I update the blog less frequently. Go figure. Until I have the energy and content for a real post, some bullet points...

  • Multi-vitamins.
    Both pediatricians we saw this week told us we needed to be giving Jasper multi-vitamins. The first doctor sternly told us that we should have known about this already and ordered a script for us. The second doctor explained that what babies really need is vitamin D, since it is not transmitted via breast milk and because babies don't get much direct sunlight. Kind of begrudgingly, we agreed to give J his vitamins... ugh. And we got to witness his first raspberry. Kid doesn't like them. Can't say that I blame him, based on the way they smell. And then there's the toxic yellow color... We mentioned the vitamin order to our neighbor Jess, who works for the Food Bank; she was appalled and had never heard of such a thing. A little research on my part located a study that found a correlation between early vitamin supplementation and food allergies and asthma. Since the boy already has asthma on both sides, I think we're putting the vitamin project on hold. We'll just make sure he gets a little sun exposure on his walks.

  • Lullabies.
    Morgan has taken to singing to Jasper whenever he's trying to sooth him. This isn't surprising in the least. The choice of songs, however, is humorous. I came home from walking the dog the other night to find him singing the Violent Femmes to the boy (as a friend of Morgan's points out, one day Jasper is going to wow his preschool friends with a rousing rendition of Add It Up.*) Other bands that Jasper seems to enjoy are The Magnetic Fields (duh), Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Motley Crue. Personally, I found him to be rather taken with Jesus Christ Superstar. We have to keep his music taste diverse...

    * Please note: Morgan wasn't actually singing this verse to the boy.

  • Sleep.
    Yeah. Well, he sleeps sometimes. We seems to be on a couple day rotation of fussiness, an unwillingness to sleep, and a perpetual desire to nurse, followed marathon sleep sessions, interrupted by periods of waking just long enough to get a meal. One or the other of these is probably a growth spurt; we're just not sure which is which. We have, however, determined that like any good baby, the car seems to put him right to sleep. We've also had limited success with the stroller. Some days it knocks him right out; other days, not so much.

  • Acne.
    Our poor beautiful baby has developed the worse case of baby acne. It doesn't seem to bother him at all, but it makes both of us kind of cringe when we see it. Morgan has become hesitant to take pictures, being convinced that Jasper won't want to see himself looking like this years from now. I don't think it shows that much in photos, and besides, Morgan can also Photoshop it out if he feels that strongly about it... Don't worry, Jasper fans - we won't actually stop taking pictures of him!

  • Baths.
    OMG. Clearly, we are trying to kill our baby. Or at least that's what he seems to think after his first bath. Since his umbilical stump only fell off yesterday, he had previously only experienced sponge baths. He wasn't a fan of those either, but I never heard Jasper scream like he did when we lowered him into the bath water. Oh well, we have a clean baby, and nursing seems to make him forgive all transgressions.

More updates to come.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pediatrician, Take 2

We had our second visit with a pediatrician this morning, and it went much better than Monday. As soon as she walked into the exam room, she said "Four ounces in four days! You guys are doing great!" A big difference over Monday's visit.* This doctor was very personable, answered our questions without us feeling like we were being criticized for asking, and provided a lot more information about things in general than anyone previously had. I think we'll keep her.

So Jasper is back at his birth weight, plus .6 ounces, and has miraculously shrunk half an inch since Monday (I thought two inches was a lot to have grown in two weeks). The doctor says we should expect his newly sprouted acne to get worse before it gets better - poor boy; I thought we wouldn't have to deal with that until he was 12 or 13... His fussiness is normal and we just have to roll with it, after making sure he's been fed and burped (fortunately Morgan is proving to be very good at soothing Jasper in a sling); I think we were spoiled our first week home when he was sooooo mellow. But overall we have a healthy baby. Yay us.

* Our new doctor actually apologized for the demeanor of Monday's doctor, explaining that she just comes across that way. Apparently she's a neonatalogist, so if she's used to dealing with preemies or sick babies, it might explaining the brusqueness. Though if I actually had a sick baby, I'm not sure I would want a bedside manner like that...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two weeks!

Its a little mind boggling to me that Jasper has been in the world for two weeks already. After almost ten months of carrying him, I'm still in awe that we created this little guy.

We had our first pediatrician visit today, which was a bit traumatic for all of us. The doctor was concerned because Jasper hasn't regained his birth weight yet, but since he is gaining and eating like a little glutton, we're not too concerned. The Virgo in me did make up a spreadsheet to track his every meal and diaper change; Morgan has already laughed at me for recording his feedings to the half minute (hey, I have to do something with my running watch, right?). Even if he isn't gaining at the rate the doctor likes (seriously, he's only off by a couple ounces...), I just looked up the average length gain for infants in their first month; apparently the average is 1-1.5 inches in the first month. Jasper was measured at 20 inches on the day he was born, and at 22 inches today. So clearly he's just investing more energy in getting tall than in getting round. And according to my mother, as a baby, I always ranked in the top percentiles for height and the bottom percentiles for weight.

Anyway, to celebrate Jasper's two week birthday, some pictures from the recent grandparents' visits...

Meeting Grandma for the first time:

Meeting Grandpa:

Meeting "Cousin" Kensi:

Our pin-up boy:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Settling In

Its hard to believe we've been home for over a week now. Most of last week was a blur of naps, feedings and visitors. Morgan's mom Mary arrived on Saturday night (tip: never attempt to pick anyone up from the Jack London Square Amtrak station at approximately the same time the Fourth of July fireworks are ending.) and his aunt Susie arrived on Sunday afternoon, so for the next few days, we were fed and cleaned up after, diapers were happily changed, and a huge number of the weeds in the front yard have magically disappeared. And of course, there was lots of staring in awe at Jasper. They both headed home this morning, but we're very grateful for all the help and support they gave us.

Poor Morgan had to go back to work on Tuesday, so we've been attempting to regain something resembling a schedule. Its not working especially well, but we're trying. Jasper has been moderately cooperative, with a few exceptions. We're really incredibly lucky in how mellow he is.

Our cavalcade of guests continues tomorrow, with my dad's arrival. Its actually been really nice having guests and visitors. So if you're wanting to meet our boy and are hesitant, give us a call. More than likely, we're up for guests.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Jasper is one week old today.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Proper Update

Since our little family has been home since Wednesday, its probably time to post a little update. I'm typing this with 8 pounds of adorable baby sprawled across my lap, so I apologize in advance for any incoherence.

Monday went swimmingly. We arrived at the hospital early, so we had plenty of time to check in. Just as we were about to head up to the second floor, Mom, Harriett and Jill arrived. Only two visitors were allowed in my room, so once we got settled, Mom came back and waited with us. We had been told that we were the second procedure of the day, so to expect that, barring any emergencies, the c-section might start around noon. Or maybe earlier or maybe later. But after about an hour, the doctor on duty came in and told us that the earlier procedure had been canceled, so we could go first if we wanted. He also reminded me that I could still do an induction if I wanted; he did a quick exam and confirmed that since my last exam I had progressed to a whole centimeter dilation. We stuck with the section.

The staff was amazing. I think I have a lingering crush on the anesthesiologist, who was incredibly thorough in explaining everything he was doing and got the spinal delivered with minimal discomfort, despite me having a bad case of the shakes before we even started (cold iv fluids = cruel). My primary nurse held my shoulders and distracted me while the spinal went in, and then there was a flurry of activity to get everything ready. Morgan came into the operating room just before the surgery started and sat at my head talking with me for the first 10 minutes or so of the procedure. The first we knew of Jasper being born were a series of startled little squawks. When Cliff, our anesthesiologist, told him to, Morgan went around and held the baby while the pediatric nurse cleaned him up and weighed him. Cliff gave me a running description of what was happening with the baby, describing how much hair Jasper had, and how Morgan was right in there helping, which, apparently a lot of dads wouldn't do, and how clear it was Morg is going to be a great dad. Then they brought Jasper up above my drape. Somehow, my oxygen mask had disappeared and Jasper's head was lowered onto my shoulder. I had a few minutes to look at his little face, and then he was taken away for the rest of whatever they needed to do to him.*

By the time I was wheeled back into my room, Morgan, Mom and the pediatric nurse were finishing giving Jasper his first shampoo. My nurse bundled me up with warm blankets since I had pretty severe tremors, a common side effect of the spinal. I watched Morgan and Mom and Jill and Harriett flurry around, crying and smiling and taking pictures. Finally (honestly, I think it was maybe 15 or 20 minutes), Jasper was brought to me. (See the giddy looking family pictures and the very stoned looking photo of me in the previous post.)

We spent two days in the hospital (which my home nurse tells me is a shockingly short amount of time for a c-section) and are thrilled to be home. Jasper is eating like a champ and is learning more about how to sleep. For the most part, he is ridiculously mellow. Had I finished this post when I started it yesterday, I would have talked about our marathon overnight nursing sessions and my wandering around the house in the middle of the night trying to find a room where he would fall soundly asleep enough for me to transfer him to the co-sleeper. But instead I'll talk about our miracle baby who ate a big meal before going to sleep last night, and then slept for three hours straight, until I had to wake him up to feed. After four nights of an hour or so of sleep, I think I love Jasper even more today than I did yesterday.

The cats are a little confused, but haven't tried to lie on him yet (though they do keep trying to crawl into the sleep nest thing we have in bed with us; we're discouraging it). Pace is probably coming home this afternoon, so we're not sure how he'll react. Apparently he was very into the blanket we sent home with Jill from the hospital.

In the meantime, a picture of Jasper with his new babysitter.**

* The hazards of blogging with child: This post was interrupted by numerous feedings, a trip to the train station to pick up a visiting Grandma, a remarkably sound night's sleep and a couple more feedings.

** Don't worry; we really aren't leaving Isobel alone with Jasper.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Non-gratuitous photo post

Until I have a chance to post a proper update, some photos...