Friday, November 30, 2012

Chillin babies

Here they are listening to Josh Groban sing some Christmas tunes. It seems to make them Zen

Hidden Hazards of Parenting

When you're preparing to become a parent (as if you can ever be prepared) the books tell you about getting peed on, getting spit up on, sleepless nights, crying (by both the baby and you), and the epic loads of laundry.

What they don't really warn you about is how often you must wash your hands -- before changing a diaper, after changing a diaper, before feeding baby, before picking up baby, and so on. Or more accurately, what all that handwashing will do to your hands, especially at this time of the year. Warning: it will leave your hands dried out beyond belief, and beyond relief, as your knuckles crack and bleed unless you slather yourself in lotion each and every time. Just ouch. I'm pretty sure I got looks in the pediatrician's waiting room from other parents who were horrified by my hands.

Another thing they don't warn you about is how perilous opening a cannister of formula can be. It all has to do with the freshness seal or whatever you want to call it -- that foil you remove in order to actually get into the cannister.

We use Similac Advance, but this is the only image with the foil seal shown.
That mother is thicker than ordinary foil. And if you don't get it all off in one shot, attempts to remove the rest of it can lead to wicked painful papercuts. No, not papercuts. FOIL cuts. Holy $%!& you have not known papercut pain until you get one from this stuff.

And genius me thought it'd be a good idea to shower without a bandaid and while washing my hair managed to string a hair through the cut which is also HOLY $%!& painful.

So watch out for formula cannisters. They are armed and dangerous.

On a side note, who knew you could spell cannister as canister as well? And now that I've sat here and looked at both spellings, neither looks correct...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

One-Month Well-Baby Visit

Phew. Glad that's out of the way. Due to Blue being called in to work today, I got to take the babies to their one-month well-baby doctor's visit by myself. In the rain. I started organizing and packing things up two hours before I wanted to leave the house. I gave myself thirty minutes to drive five miles. I fed and changed them before leaving the house. And I somehow managed to hold two Chicco Keyfit 30s in one hand/arm while opening doors. I impressed even myself.

I had planned on popping the seats into the stroller, but given the short distance from the car to the door, I opted to just carry them to keep them drier. They still got a little rain shower, but neither seemed to mind enough to wake up or stop sucking on their pacifiers.

However, stripping them down certainly got their attention. It was very exciting to see they'd each grown an inch, so they are both 20 inches long now. Indigo now weighs 8 pounds, up from his birth weight of 5lb4oz and his weight of 6 pounds two weeks ago. Periwinkle has also gained weight, which just makes me so happy after her NICU adventures. She's now a solid 7 pounds, up from 5lb4oz two weeks ago and her birth weight of 5lb1oz. Plus, at one point during her NICU stay she was only slightly above 4.5 pounds. She's now a healthy, growing girl who regularly downs 3+ ounces at a feeding, sometimes even 4 ounces, just like her brother.

She's also a champion burper, strong gripper, and extremely curious girl who looks at everything with such wonder and thoughtfulness. It does a mama's heart good to see her thriving. Indigo continues to sleep like a champ, although his sister is taking after him more and more, which is fantastic. He's also very chatty and doesn't hesitate to let you know if he's uncomfortable or bored, usually with an adorable whine that sounds like a horse's whinny.

I'm considering getting a carrier so I can wear one of them. It would be useful when Periwinkle is spazzing out and I want to hold her while doing laundry or picking up the dining room. It also could have come in handy today, when I could have worn one baby and carried the other in the infant seat. Things to look in to...

I just ordered a new camera, the Canon T3i, with the standard lens and a telephoto lens. I'm excited to become more of a "momtographer" with higher quality shots, although my phone has done a fairly good job so far, wouldn't you say? Half of the cost of the camera is covered by my birthday and Christmas gifts, so it worked out to be a pretty awesome deal for me. I'm psyched for it to get here so I can start playing!

Expect an update on the nursery with some "professional" shots from my new camera of the finished product. I've been postponing it because it means I have to tidy up in there, and now because I want to use my new camera for the shoot.

And now, a better picture showing how alike Periwinkle and I look as babies:

I'm on the left, which is obvious by the 80s couch I'm on. Comfiest couch ever, though!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Month-Day!

Hard to believe it's been a month already, and at the same time it's hard to believe only a month has passed. Our little babies are growing up! They are even wearing snazzy outfits!

Indigo is puzzled by the lack of sleep n play

Periwinkle is comfy in her new clothes.
It's crazy how quickly they are growing and changing. Indigo is losing his hair and now looks like he has male-patterned baldness. I can't remember if it had started up already when they had their newborn photo shoot last Tuesday (cannot wait to see those photos!) but he's adorable with or without hair. They are both eating 3.5oz fairly consistently, every 3.5 hours. A far cry from when we had to coax one ounce into Periwinkle in the NICU. So grateful for how well they are doing! Their one-month checkup is Tuesday and I'm looking forward to seeing how much they weigh. Indigo is out of Preemie diapers and I think Periwinkle is soon to follow. I feel like I'm going to blink and they'll be a year old. For now, I'm just enjoying them, crying jags and all.

And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We are still swimming in leftovers... and I'm psyched to decorate for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Almost Three Weeks Old!

How did that happen? Even crazier to consider they were supposed to be born today! The best laid plans...

Things continue to go well. Indigo is a rock star sleeper now, not even waking up when his sister cries. Or he'll just lie there and look sideways at her and then back at us as if to say, "What is her problem? Can't you turn it off?"

Periwinkle seems to have a "witching hour" between 11pm and 3am, although last night it was delayed a bit because she was up a lot during the day crying for seemingly no reason at all. I'm wondering if it's gas/stomachache related. She also tends to spit up at some point after eating, whether ten minutes later or two hours. She's eating slightly more than she had been in the NICU, which is what she should be doing, so it's not like we're overfeeding her. We continue to try new things and hope she'll settle into her new routine as she figures out night and day. With the constant noise and light in the NICU, it's no wonder she's a little backwards. We just feel so bad when we can't seem to comfort her in the middle of the night!!

And now, some cuteness:

Kind of holding hands

Indigo isn't sure about the bouncy seat.

Finally sleeping. During the day. My backwards girl.

Monday, November 12, 2012

She's Home!

We sprung Periwinkle from the NICU on Friday afternoon! She still is confused about day and night, but she's doing great otherwise. Just wanted to update everyone! I'll try to do a bit more blogging later this week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Indigo Says "Hi"

Periwinkle Update: She continues to do well, eating as she should, and no more bradycardia episodes. They mentioned yesterday that she might be able to come home Friday! Fingers and toes crossed!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Spoke Too Soon

Indigo had another rough start to the night last night. I think he had a stomach ache and just wouldn't settle down unless he was in our arms. Of course this was the first night I felt totally exhausted and really just wanted to sleep, and also was the night before Blue headed to the office. Great timing! Finally around 1:30am we changed him for like the third time (nothing there previously) and discovered a lovely present. And of course it was my turn for the diaper change. But luckily he settled down after that. Phew! He just seems to be very hit or miss with the burping, although we're getting better at coaxing it out of him. His sister is much the same way.

And now, how we're going to teach them the alphabet:

Yup, we're nerds
I'm also looking into baby stimulation products, like mobiles and high contrast books. I've read they can be very good for the early weeks when they can't really grasp/play yet. Anyone out there use this type of thing? We've tried showing Indigo black and white photos and he does seem quite fascinated by them.

Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile

by Manhattan Toy

Reversible Infant-Stim Crib Bumper Panel & Book in One

by Genius Baby Toys 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ten Days Old Already

How did that happen? Indigo is doing well at "home," winning everyone over with his easy-going nature. We only had one night where he was screaming his fool head off, which we decided was caused by gas. He slept like a, well, baby the rest of that night. He makes these little squeaky noises that sound adorable until they turn into velociraptor level shrieks (usually when Grandma is changing him, although he's getting better about that). He's definitely put on weight!

Periwinkle is unfortunately STILL in the NICU. Her blood sugar and eating issues seem to have resolved (no more tube feedings!), but for the past week she's had bradycardia episodes every few days. That is when her heart rate drops below 80. I don't want to know how far below 80... Every time she has an episode, she has to spend five more days there without an episode for them to release her. First we thought Monday, then Thursday, and now we're up to next Saturday. The good news is they think they know why it's happening and will be doing some testing to see if they are right. If it is caused by reflux, they can either give her thickened formula or medication and it should all resolve and we can take her home. Hoping...

She is an absolute doll and we've visited her twice a day for the past few days to do her feedings. She's now in real clothes (yay for a shopping spree at Babies 'R' Us! for tiny clothes), is more alert and "frisky," and just melts my heart. It's never fun leaving her there but we hope she knows we'll always come back for her. Also not fun are the long lines you have to go through to get gas. We were almost out a few days ago and all I could think was "Without gas we can't visit Periwinkle!" We're hoping our tank lasts us long enough to get through the Sandy-related gas problems and/or until we get her home.

So that's the basic update. Now, for some photos!

Indigo before leaving the hospital.

My girl

Indigo believes in Baby Power!

Real clothes!
Also, today we brought Indigo to the hospital, along with my mom, to see if we could orchestrate a little reunion through the NICU window. I'd say we were successful!

First time I've really seen them together.

First family portrait (kind of)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Sandy has certainly made our week interesting. But compared to the devastation in NYC (only 40 miles from our house) and even around our neighborhood, we have no complaints. We lost some siding on the house, and part of our fence. Easy enough repairs, although a bit frustrating as we just fixed the fence this summer after 2011's Hurricane Irene pulled a tree down on top of it. But we are all healthy and safe.

We lost power Monday and by Wednesday decided it was just getting too cold for Baby Boy, who shall henceforth be known as Indigo. We also ran out of clean clothes for him, so we packed up all our stuff and headed to my sister-in-law's house. So we're hanging out with her and her kids for a bit, enjoying watching them scope out the new baby in the family, showering in hot water, eating hot food, and having heat. So thankful to them for taking us in!

Indigo is doing very well. He's such a mellow baby, and even put himself back to sleep last night after a feeding. Our only problem is he keeps peeing out of his diaper. We are using preemie size but it still seems too big for him so there's leakage. We're working on it, but any tips are appreciated!! That's about the only time he cries, other than being hungry. And when he cries, he sounds a bit like a velociraptor, which is kind of hilarious.

We finally got to visit Baby Girl, henceforth Periwinkle, last night. We got to cuddle her, and my mom even got to hold her for a bit. She just keeps getting more beautiful. She is out of the incubator and into a normal nursery bassinet!! Yesterday she tube fed only a third of one feeding. Everything else was bottles, if a bit slow-going. Go Periwinkle! She needs to go two days of eating from bottles only and they will likely send her home. Hopefully we'll have power back by then...

So that's the update on the babies and the crazy week of the hurricane. I could go on about how nutso it is that there's no power south of 39th Street, that Staten Island has been flattened, that people I know have experienced tragedy, that all this happened when we were just bringing a newborn home, but I'm just grateful he and Periwinkle are safe and warm. What more could a new mama want?