December 12, 2008

2 Years...

Two years ago right now, I think I had just crumpled into a useless ball of goo in the corner of the hallway outside the OR. The nurse put her arm around me and said nothing, which is precisely what I needed. Cindy was being prepped for an emergency C-Section 'cuz Zoe's heart rate was dropping with every contraction, all three of them; Doc didn't let that go on very long at all.

In just about 1 hour from now, I will have been a father to a very small, beautiful, floppy, wrinkly girl who has since changed my life in ways I could never have guessed.

The conception sucked (took 2 years). The pregnancy was normal until just before 36 weeks when preeclampsia hit, sending our world into an accelerated whirlwind: a sudden trip to the hospital from which I would not return without a daughter.

Somehow, I think it's appropriate that I be remembering this event having gotten only 4 hours of sleep last night. :-)

The memories aren't all fond, but the outcome is. It's true, what they say, that you tend to forget the bad parts over time. Now I only think about things like last night, Zoe putting her two dolls on my lap and laying a blanket over the three of us, then crawling in, looking up at me and smiling, waiting for me to start reading to her and her dolls. It's been a long road to hoe, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Birthday, Zoe. I love you more than you'll ever know.


April 16, 2007

4 Months and cuter than ever

I'm not going to insult you or anyone else by saying "Golly, it's been too long; I'll post more often, I swear." 'cuz I know that's not how it works. But, I will say that I'm sorry I haven't posted more often in the last month or two.

Reason/Excuse: Things are getting better. That is, you sleep more at night (though, not necessarily longer) and are awake more during the day and evening. This means that during my waking hours, you are also awake and therefore not interested in letting me sitting in front of a computer to write you letters. My WoW time has also suffered. ;-)

I would like to note that I am not complaining. I would rather sit in a room and watch you and Momma feed than hole myself away into the office and ignore you two. Hence, I don't have many opportunities to do things like post on blogs. It's my choice. I'd rather be with you than write about being with you.

Anyway. Right now, you and Momma went back to sleep while I was already up, so I've got some time.

Let's see. You're talking now. Not words, not English words anyway, but you are making sounds more than just screaming or crying. You're definitely making vowels and consonant sounds. It's really fascinating to see the little synapses connecting in your brain and you learn a new mouth shape to make a new sound.

Your body is strong enough for me to play with you a little more vigorously. I take you flying now, and you love it. I'll hold your body in my hands and swing you around, up in the air, down by my knees, bring you in for a fly-by (read: a kiss), then send you back out and fly you around again. All the while, you're face has a mix of terror and joy on it. I have a feeling that you're going to be a thrill seaker at places like Disneyland and Great America. My job is to stay not-fat enough to be able to join you, 'cuz I love those rides too.

You started laughing a couple weeks ago. I think I was the first one to see it. We call it your Nerd Laugh 'cuz it's more of a stuttered grunt than a laugh, but you do it while smiling, so that's what we assume it is. :-) It's really damn cute.

We took you to a Halibut party this weekend, a LAN party (in case they've been obsoleted by the time you read this, a LAN party is where everyone gets their computer into one place and connets them all together on a local, high speed network and plays computer games in the same room.) You were a hit. Everyone said how beautiful and well behaved you are. We took you out to breakfast with the gang on Sunday at McLintocks too, and, as always, you were a hit there.

You and I have been going on walks together. If you wake up early and Momma needs more sleep, or if you're not going to sleep and it's pretty late, I'll strap you into the Bjorn, wrap you in a blanket, get my iPod and head out for an hour or two walk. They're really nice, and most of the time, you fall asleep pretty quickly. Of course, if you do, you usually wake up right as we're coming up the drive way. *sigh* But the walks are really nice, good for me, and give Momma some time to herself.

I mentioned earler that we were watching James Bond. Well, we finished all the Bond films and have plowed most of our way through Buffy The Vampire Slayer. We're on Season 5 right now, and, honestly, this is where the show starts to get really dark, broody, and emo. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for dark and emo, but this lays it on a little thick and I've lost interest. So we're moving on to something else.... ...I just haven't figured out what yet.

I'm going to make some breakfast, then wake you and Momma up. We've gotta get ready to take you to the Doctor for a checkup. I love you, baby girl. I realize more and more very day how absoltely madly in love with you I am. Until my next post...

April 4, 2007

(Almost) Sleeping Beauty

Wow. It has been over a month since we've written to you. A lot has changed. Now that you're nearly back to sleep, I can tell you about it.

We're pretty sure you are teething, though nothing is showing on your gums yet. You've taken to drooling profusely and gnawing on anything you can get in your mouth. Thus far your favorite teething toy is the Bjorn carrier. If we put you in it facing outward you can soak it with drool in mere minutes. Last night I was a few minutes from taking you to bed when you started screaming while still asleep. You gave your Papa quite a scare, as he came rushing in from bed to see what had happened. After accepting that we weren't gonna get much sleep and giving you some Oragel, you promptly fell asleep for five hours.

You're getting really big now. You will be four months old in a week. Last I checked you were about 13lbs and nearly 24 inches long. That put you in the 50th percentile based on your current age (rather than your corrected age). You've really caught up fast. Thankfully, you are also tolerating spending more time in things like the bouncy seat and the stroller, as it is getting harder on us to hold you for long periods.

Car rides are still a gamble but we have been to Hanford to visit Grandma, Grandpa & Uncle Tom. We took pictures with Aunt Mary who is the oldest living member (98 years and counting) of our entire family. In a couple days we will head north to visit Nana & Grandad and you'll get to meet Uncle Eric and your cousins, Connor and Nicholas.

We have been having little chats now that you are making more sounds. Your laugh fills me with joy every single time I hear it. You found the vowels particularly funny last night as I was reciting them. Sometimes while I'm trying to nurse you to sleep you will look up at me and smile. It is impossible for me not to smile back even though I usually desperately want you to go to sleep.

Speaking of sleep, you spoiled us for a few nights after your last developmental spurt and slept 7-8 hours a night. Unfortunately that didn't last and we are back to the 4 hour chunks. On the mornings when I don't feel like getting up, I pull you out of the co-sleeper and nurse you laying in bed and we doze off snuggled together (that didn't work this morning -- after drinking two boobs you were still wide awake and wanted to talk so we got up and then, naturally, you fell asleep). We've started a bedtime routine that includes Papa changing your diaper and putting on your jammies then reading a story while you nurse. We tried to separate the story and nursing but you would cry through the story because we were delaying your meal. Some day soon you will outgrow the co-sleeper and we will have to decide whether to put you in your own rom or move the crib into ours. I lean toward the latter even though it will be cumbersome. I just love having you where I can just open my eyes to check on you rather than having to get up and go to another room.

This week I started back at work. So far I have been able to put in just over 3 hours each day, usually while you are napping. We stopped by the office to visit everyone. You smiled at the boss and he's planning to put you on "Uncle Dan's Mailing List" so the influx of toys and outfits should be starting soon. He also said I could bring you in to work with me any time which may be handy if I ever need to be in the office. Things seem to be working out well so far but I'm not sure if I will be able to continue working once you start crawling and walking.

Hmmm... You're asleep finally. Do I put you in the pack & play and make breakfast or go back to bed with you. Tough choice.

Love, Mama

March 1, 2007

That magical "3 Months..."

People kept telling us that things get better "at about 3 months." It's all going to happen "at about 3 months."

Well, you're about 11.5 weeks old right now, just under 3 months. And, _DAMN_, they weren't kidding. You're holding your head up pretty much all the time now, you're awake a lot of the time now, you regularly sleep about 5 hours in a stretch at night now (except last night, but...) You're fussing less and smiling more..

...did I mention, you're smiling now? Yeah. That's pretty darn cool. :)

Still not tired of looking at you. I love you, baby girl.

February 15, 2007


I never get tired of looking at you.

February 8, 2007

Catching up...

It's been quite awhile since I've posted last; sorry about that. Things have been very busy. I'll try to bring you up to date:

For starters, you've been getting us all kinds of free stuff because you're so cute! I've had meals purchased for me, meals comped by the resturant, free "upgrades" thrown in, people let me in line sooner, etc. It's been really cool...

...and, what they say about babies being chick magnets? it's all true. I've gotten more random women coming to me and talking to me when I wear you. Of course, kinda by definition, it's too late for them. :-)

You've been sleeping a lot better. Momma has totally given up Dairy now. She tried adding it back in, and you got really bad for about a week. She tried just having it once, and you were bad for a few days. Yeah. It's dairy. And it sucks. Momma has been real good about it, though. I'm trying to help by not having dairy around the house just for me. There's no milk, we're not buying any more cheese after this is used up, no ice cream, no sour cream, no breads that have dairy in them, etc. It's tough. But, you (and the sleep) are worth it.

Speaking of sleep and things that are hard about having you, I've been trying to let momma sleep as much as possible, apparently to the detrement of my body. Last Saturday, I checked myself into the AG ER with what ended up being Atrial Fibrillations (as Dr. Google). In short, my heart was twitching and not doing a good job of pumping. It feels like a flutter in the chest area. It sucks. The good news is that it's not usually life threatening or anything. It can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious condition, but blood tests show that not to be the case. Even so, if it goes on too long, blood can pool in the heart and form clots which can be pumped into more serious part of the body (read: the brain). Mine only lasted for about 9 hours; given that most only last for a few seconds, that's a really long time. Not long enough for a clot to form (that's usually days), but long enough to scare the shit out of me.

So, I'm making more of an effort to get more sleep, taking naps, trying to get to bed earlier (well, most nights; I should've gone to bed an hour ago tonight.. *sigh*), and staying away from stimulants, which can also cause this sort of a problem. So, I'm taking it easy with the tea.

You are friggin _HUGE_ now! You're probably close to 9 pounts. That's twice your birth weight! You fit in normal diapers! The Bjorn! The sling (which you hate unless you're totally asleep, BTW)! You're a normal, non-premie, baby now! It makes things a lot easier, that's for sure.

I have a business trip coming up in a little over a week. It'll be the first time I leave momma with you. Grandma is coming over to help momma. That'll be interesting. Hopefully, momma won't go insane. I'm actually looking forward to it. Even with all the travel, I expect to get lots of uninterrupted sleep, which is something I've been lacking since December 11th. :)

I love you, baby girl. You're curled up in your Bjorn sleeping on my chest, and have been for a couple hours since I've been playing WoW tonight. You really are the cutest thing I've ever seen. I don't understand how I got so lucky. :)

I love you. -Papa.

January 22, 2007 tired...

...but this time, I can't blame you. You slept like a bag of bricks last night, but for some reason, I could _NOT_ fall asleep. After mom nursed you at 2am, I went back to the couch with you at about 3am. You were kinda fussy, but you calmed down by 3:30. I could _NOT_ fall asleep after that. I just sat there with you on my chest awake all morning until you woke up at 6:30 to be fed again. I have no idea why.

Now, it's 9:15pm and I'm headed to bed before Mom, which is unusual. I hope this doesn't back-fire on us.

I love you, baby girl.

January 21, 2007

Bath Time

Hoo Doggy, SOMEONE does NOT like to take a bath. I'll give you a hint: It's not Momma, me, or any of the pets.

Don't worry; we got the incriminating pics during the last bath; we'll have material to embarass you when you start dating. :)

Love you, baby girl. Even when you're naked, wet and screaming bloody murder.

January 20, 2007

Farmers Market

Last night was a bit rough, but not horrible. Just after I posted that things were getting better, you screamed until 2am last night. But, you then fell asleep until 3am, your next feeding. Mom, the saint that she is, took you after that. She managed to bring you to bed and sleep on the wedge until I about 8am; she fed you, then dumped you in my sleeping arms and had a morning, something she hasn't had in over 5 weeks.

When she dumped you in my arms, I layed you on the head of my body pillow and layed on my side snuggling you. Like this, we slept for another 3 hours. It was fantastic. Primarily because we've found another way that you'll sleep with us that allows us to sleep on our side.

Anyway. After all of us got up, fed you, got dressed, etc, we walked to Farmer's Market, then to Branch Street Deli and had lunch. The walk was really nice, and lunch was good. Then, after lunch, we decided to walk the long way home and go down to the end of Branch toward Bridge St, via Lightning Joe's and Ira's. I'm glad we did because we randomly ran into a couple that Mom met on her way to Kathy Tuck's Mom's group a few weeks ago. They recognized us and stopped us. I got to meet them. They're really nice people. Liz and Paul, and their son Grant. They were just leaving the hostpital with Grant when Mom first met them, so he's only a couple weeks younger than you. They're really nice people and would make for good play buddies. Unfortunately, none of us had anything to write with so we don't have their contact info. But we agreed to meet back at Farmer's Market next weekend. :)

We also introduced you to Ira. He coo'ed over you, like everyone does. We talked about bike seats. Looks like we've got a number of affordable options for when you're old enough, which should be this summer. The timing is going to work out nicely. Hopefully, we'll be able to stick to our plan of riding more often. Mom is losing a lot of weight (which was a limiting factor before), and we can all use the exercise. Until then, we'll go on as many walks as we can.

*content sigh*

Every day, you make a new face, or you grow some new defining characteristic, or some how become more beautiful than you were the day before. I'm not sure how you do it, but you do. It's really quite amazing. I am so thankful that you're happy and healthy. How did we get so lucky? Right now, you're sleeping in the sling on my chest listening to Mostly Classical with me. I couldn't possibly be happier. :)

I love you more than anything else in the world. You are, and always will be, my most beautiful Baby Zoe Girl.

January 19, 2007

The things we go through for you... ...and they're all worth it. :)

So, uh, yeah. You scream a lot. After a feeding, it's not uncommon for you to scream for about 2 hours. Not straight through; you'll sleep, or be quiet and happy, for about a minute, maybe as many as 3. Then you'll start screaming bloody murder, fart, scream for a few more seconds because, well, that's what you were doing before, realize that the gas pain has gone away, then fall back asleep. In a couple minutes, the gas pain comes back and you do it all again.

This typically happens between the hours of 9pm and 3am. Ya know, right when Mom and I are trying to sleep.

Well, we think we've recently found the solution(s). The things we're doing that seem to have helped:
- Mom only feeds you on one boob at a time to make sure you get both fore milk and hind milk.

- We've been giving you some meds: Mylacon, some herbal colic tablets, and gripe water.

- We keep you somewhat vertical while you sleep. Unfortunately, you don't like laying down by yourself yet. You have to lay on one of us, unless you're already in a deep sleep when we lay you down. This means that one of us needs to sleep at an incline with you on our chest. This means either the couch, the chair in your room, or in bed, but sleeping on this foam wedge thing we got from our chiropractor. It also means that whoever has you has to sleep on their backs and can't roll over onto their side. Neither of us has rolled over in their sleep with you on our chests (yet), so to the best of our knowledge, you don't have any brain damage. But it's only a matter of time. :)

- (This is the hard one) Mom is giving up foods for you. The big one that she just started a few days ago: Dairy. Your mother is a Milk Hound. She drinks as much milk as I do (which is a lot). So giving up Milk is not an easy feat. Even if she didn't drink as much milk as I do, it's hard to find products that don't contain _ANY_ milk; it sneaks in there a lot of the time when you least expect it. We've been trying things like rice milk, almond milk, goat's milk, etc. So far nothing has been a silver bullet, but they should be better in baked goods (for example). In support of mom, and to remove temptations from the house, I'm also avoiding milk products whenever possible. Let me tell you, it ain't easy.

Everyone keeps telling us that colic lasts about 3 months, then babys grow out of it. Of course, every baby is different, but that's the number we hear most often. You're 5.5 weeks old right now, so we've got about 7 or 8 weeks to go if that's the case. Golly, it sure will be nice to be able to sleep again. :)

At least while I'm on the couch with you, I get to watch movies. We just picked up the four James Bond box sets, so we're plowing through those now. :)

Anyway. For now, I'm off to play WoW: Burning Crusade for the first time. I've got you strapped to my chest in the sling. Luckily for me, you seem to be ok with it right now. Sometimes, you're not so ok. Oh, as luck would have it, just as I type that, you started wiggling around, which is usually a precurser to waking up. Well, it is about time for a feeding. We'll see how this goes.

You are still the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I love you so much, Zoe. I can't wait for you to grow up so I can tell you that and you'll know what I'm saying.