Friday, April 29, 2016

Accomplishments

We are raising a very accomplished kid. Here is a quick post to photo document some of them.

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Drooling. A lot and often. Preferably on his pappa's button shirts.

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Thumb sucking. This started regularly on April 6th and does not seem to be a one-time deal like it had in the past.

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Rotating. At 3.5 months he is not really mobil unless you count rotational motion. I'm not entirely sure how he does it, but he can achieve the amount of rotation seen above in the time it takes me to eat a bowl of oatmeal.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Regular days

I am typing this at 8 am on a weekday while Chester and Greg sleep through the alarm. Neither of them can be bothered by the beep beep beep beep.

Last night we were looking at some photos of the baby when he was super brand new and tiny. He already seems so big and old!

If you trust clothing sizes, here he is maxing out his 9 month size jammies.

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And here are two more photos, exhibiting nonplussed mischievous behaviour and delightful sophistication.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Less good days

Recently Greg had to take a quick trip back to the US for four days, so Chester and I were on our own. And being on our own for the evenings and nights is a totally different ballgame than being on our own during the days. Totally. Especially since Greg changes all the nighttime diapers.

But we survived, and even thrived a bit. We managed to get outside every day. Once just a short trip to take out the trash. Once a very long walk in town with a friend and her baby. And once even in the rain. Chester is newly liking being in the ergo baby, which makes for very nice walks for us both.

And going outside was about the extent of our expectations for each day. Keeping expectations low was good, and it made it easy to feel a bit successful each day. Other than that we spent a lot of time doing Chester's favorite activities, such as eating, sleeping, playing, bouncing, singing, reading, and lots and lots of tummy time.

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The baby may have watched some tv while pappa was away…

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Going back a couple weeks, I'll briefly write about the one day that was the roughest so far in Chester's life. Immunization day. This consisted of two shots, one in each thigh, simultaneously. The actually shots were not so terrible. Greg held his hands, and they were almost finished by the time the pain registered and he started crying. He was quickly distracted by the nurse's keys, and probably cried for less than 30 seconds.

It was the evening that followed the shots that was the roughest of rough. He didn't end up falling asleep until midnight, and the hours leading up to it were filled with desperate attempts to make the baby happy. I foolishly read that giving babies acetaminophen/paracetamol (Fun fact: why is the same drug called by different names depending on if you are in north america or europe?) made the immunisations less effective, so I didn't get any ahead of time. He never got a fever from his shots, but he was clearly not feeling too happy and seemed to be having pain in his legs. But we all survived, and we are better off for it!

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And the day after, he was so tired that he just fell asleep while playing. A sure sign of a very tired baby.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A good day

A couple weeks ago we had to go to the migration board to get new photos taken, so Chester and I decided we would try to make a fun outing out of it. Or I decided and Chester didn't object, so we went with it.

After the photos we started our walk to the center of town. Chester slept in his pram until we got about halfway when he woke up and let me know he was hungry. We were just approaching a nice park where a pack of dogs was being walked, so we stopped at an inviting bench. Before we got on our way Chester got transferred to the wrap, which worked out really nicely. I've recently switched to using the woven wrap we are borrowing, since he's getting a bit too heavy for the stretchy wrap. The woven wrap is also much cooler, and we are happy to avoid the overheating we experienced with the stretchy wrap.

Then we made our way to the library, where we picked out some new books and also took advantage of their changing room which was surprisingly luxurious. Chester then fell back asleep, so we decided to head home. After we got on the bus it started raining, so I felt pretty pleased that we had been able to be out and about so much and avoid the rain.

Now that I've typed this out, it seems like a day that most would rate somewhere between standard and boring. But in my mind it was good or even very good. I think it has to do with it being one of the few outings we've done where Chester was calm and content the entire time. It was just a nice and relaxed outing, where I felt able to attend to Chester's needs fully and easily. Outings can sometimes feel so difficult, even for just a short walk around the neighbourhood. In general Chester is a good kid who doesn't get needlessly upset, so when he gets upset on outings, it is only me to blame. (Not to say I am wallowing in guilt, but only to document facts.) So yes, standard and boring, with everyone content, is what I will call a good day(:

And some unrelated photos, because look at those cheeks!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Go big or go home + Chester is ten weeks old!

I can't write a blog post without writing about the baby, but we'll save his updates for last, so skip down to the bottom if you only care about the boy (and I don't blame you if that is the case).

So, apparently there is an option to get your groceries delivered directly to your door. And since I get stressed out trying to take the baby shopping (who always needs to eat right as I get into the checkout line), I started looking into this. For some reason I thought the shipping cost would be outrageous, which is why I never looked into it before. But it is actually comparable to the cost of a bus trip to the store and back. Or, if you order above a certain money value, you get free shipping. As soon as I read that I started adding items to my virtual shopping cart.

I think I had written about grocery shopping recently. In our new apartment we've had to be more deliberate about shopping, since there is not a store we can walk to in just two minutes. And being deliberate about shopping also meant we were saving quite a lot of money. It didn't seem like we should be buying more if we were doing shopping more frequently with less planning, but that was definitely the case. So anyhow. Now that we have a baby I haven't been doing any big shopping trips for a week's worth of food, because I just can't carry it all. I guess I could try to use my wheely bag and also push the pram, but that is just not a challenge I want to give myself right now.

I have so much to say about groceries!

But this is probably getting boring, so I should wrap up this train of thought. So I ordered groceries and they were delivered to my house the following day! I'm excited to have found a way to not need to carry home large packages of things like diapers and paper towels and boxes of cereal. And I'm excited to use outings with the baby for purposes other than shopping, like meeting friends or going to the library. This whole endeavor feels like such a smart decision. I wish I had gotten to this place sooner!

And the baby!

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He is two months old already! Over two months, in fact!

He smiles and laughs and makes a lot of noise. He is particularly chatty in the morning when he first wakes up. He pretty much spends his days eating and sleeping, although his stretches of time when he is awake are increasing. So we read books and practice tummy time and make calls to grandparents in the US. We are trying to get accustomed to liking our pram, and/or liking being worn in the wrap, because either of these would make outings much more pleasant.

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He gets his socks off all the time, but it was pretty crafty of him to get the sock off and have it end up near his left hand like that…

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Monday, February 8, 2016

How our days look now

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It seems a bit strange to me, but the first time Chester and I had a day home on our own was the day he turned 4 weeks old. Greg was home with us for his first ten days (when we weren't at BB). And then my mom and step-dad were here up until the 4 week mark.

So now Chester and I just hang out for a good portion of the day.

Although I guess Chester is sleeping for most of our time together. He is starting to be awake for longer stretches of time, and I think it makes us both question what we are supposed to be doing with that time. He used to fall asleep while eating, sleep for a variable amount of time, wake up, get his diaper changed, then eat again and repeat. Now he doesn't fall asleep every time he is eating, so then we have time to stare at each other for awhile. Or get fussy. Sometimes we lie on our back and then on our tummy and then on our back again. Today we sat down and read half a storybook.

When Chester is asleep I like to attempt short and quick outings. Our first day together we took the bus to the store and bought taco supplies (it was a Friday) and took the bus back home, all within an hour. That was partly due to a perfectly timed return bus, for which we did a small bit of running to catch. Another day we met up with Greg to go to the library. We wanted to check out the children's section and also pick up Chester's free book, his gift for being born. They have lots of good places for feeding a baby, and a bathroom that is well-equipped for changing diapers. I plan to make use of these spaces whenever I am in town and in need.

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When we are at home I've been having a good time getting Chester comfortable being worn in the wrap. Right now we both like it a lot. He likes to fall asleep while being worn, and I like to get laundry done (or blog?) while wearing the baby. Mutually beneficial. And hopefully good training for dancing in the future(: Priorities, you know(:

Plus, bonus, when I have the wrap tied on, but Chester isn't being worn, then I feel like Rey from Star Wars.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Our time at BB

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After Chester was born we spent a few more hours in the labor & delivery room. Then we got moved to a room in the BB department, which is where you stay for the remainder of your time at the hospital. Chester was doing really great after he was born and would have been ready to go home fairly fast, but they had decided I should stay for three days for my own recovery. During those days I hardly even got out of bed. And Greg changed every single dirty diaper. Greg also fixed all of my meals for me (which the hospital provided). We also had a call button at the ready, for summoning nurses or midwives whenever we pleased. One of the most beneficial parts was that each new person who came to check on us had their own bit of advice for us. One showed us how to clean Chester's belly button with a cotton swab. A few had different thoughts or ideas about breastfeeding. Greg and I both learned a lot during that time.

That first stay (foreshadowing) at BB was such a cozy time, where we were almost in our own little Chester-centered world. I had a book and knitting along but never touched either one.

So Chester was born on a Friday, and we left BB the following Tuesday. Then on Wednesday we had a home visit from a midwife through a service that (translated) is called BB On The Road. One thing she checked was his bilirubin levels, which were too high and required us to go for a blood test at the hospital the following day. So on Thursday we went back to the hospital. Chester got checked out by a doctor and got his blood test. They told us that we could go home and they would call us back with the results in an hour. And when they called back, his levels were too high and we were told to go right back to the hospital to the BB department.

So, even though we knew that he might need to go back for the UV light treatment, I hadn't realized what kind of timeline we were talking about. I thought they would have us back the next day, since they had told us to go home. We travel by bus, so we are not particularly fast about getting around town. And because of this misunderstanding, we had just started doing laundry when they called and told us to go back. I got pretty stressed out about my failure to ask the appropriate questions and let myself get surprised with information. Due to the shared laundry situation, we waited for the washers to finish and then hung wet clothes all around our apartment (well Greg did… I was still in bed quite a lot at that point).

And back to BB we went.

We got put into a little temporary room where he could do his light treatment. They used a thing called a bili-blanket, which was a sort of flexible, plastic-y blanket thing that glowed blue that Chester had to lie on. And when he was eating I also had to hold the blanket wrapped around his back.

It was well into the evening by that point. I was feeling stressed and miserable since I hadn't brought any painkillers with me (of course simply asking for some was a solution for that). And they moved us to a permanent room. And I got a dinner (unfortunately for Greg, meals are not provided for the partner). And that was when we realized they intended to keep us overnight. Somehow I thought the light treatment was a more short-term thing. But no.

I've already forgotten the timeline, but he was getting regular blood tests to check his bilirubin levels. At some point he got an additional light, which was a lamp placed above him to shine on his belly. That one also required that he wear little sunglasses, which he did not like. We had one of my favorite nurses at that time, and she managed to get him to wear his sunglasses.

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By Friday night they were happy with his bilirubin levels, but they wanted to take him out of the lights and make sure the levels kept going down without them. So we spent a second night there, but at least Chester got a break from the sunglasses and also got to be held by me or Greg all the time. Saturday morning at 6am he got his follow-up blood test. It took several hours until a doctor was able to give us the okay for going home. We were super-ready to be out of there. I'm guessing they don't often see a room evacuated quite so quickly.

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Luckily for us, we got to leave right as my mom was arriving in Uppsala, and they even came to meet us at the hospital!