Sunday, September 30, 2007

Warm. Dry. Full.

When we had Preston, my dear 83 year-old grandmother Joan gave me a simple, but great piece of advice- "Keep him warm, dry, and full." It's the same advice that her mother gave to her when she had my mom. It's also a great check-list if Preston is crying, and unfortunately, I've had to ask myself these questions far too many times this past week. Warm? check. (Sometimes also leads to, "too warm?") Dry? check. (Same applies to "clean?" for this little poop-machine.) And last but not least, "Full?" (Also reminds me to think,"burp?") But Grams, what if we've covered all of the above and more, yet he's still crying?????

I think what's most difficult for new parents is that you love this little one so much and you never want them to feel any discomfort, but at the same time, the sound of your baby's scream is beyond nerve wracking. Whether or not it's actual colic, who knows? It's general afternoon unhappiness, which leads to fussing and crying, then a full out scream by that evening that is very difficult to calm. (Even the trusty vacuum cleaner trick has failed us!) We've read several times that for babies who have some slight colic, it usually hits it's peak between 4-8 weeks and dies down by 12 weeks. Here's hoping!!!! Considering Preston is now 6 weeks, we are halfway there and that is serious reason to celebrate, as we aren't particularly fond of this face:



I have to add too, that while our little man has had a rough go of it lately, he's also becoming more alert. As I mentioned before, the times where he's awake and happy are some of our very favorites! Last Wednesday night, after a long day, he gave us a couple of hours of open-eyed non-cry time on the couch. Followed by a warm bath with no tears and 4 hour stretch of sleep that night...it was a wonderful day for the Erb Family. In my excitment, of course, I took about 70 pictures. Here are some of our faves:
Hanging out with Dad on the couch:



Chillin' in the tub:



Maybe all this fussiness is due to a growth spurt. As you can see, he's obviously getting bigger, and the past several days, he's been eating like a horse. At his last appt, he weighed in at 9lbs, and I'm anxious to see how much he's gained at his appt. this coming Thursday. Until then, keep your fingers crossed this passes soon and I'll keep checking that he's warm, dry, and full.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pretty in Pink


Why am I wearing a pink polka dot outfit you ask? Because I'm a little shit! ....Literally.

This is one of those posts that Preston will probably be mortified by when he's older, but I just couldn't resist. On Wednesday of this week, I was attending a mom's group at Dupont Hospital and since Kevin's office is so close and I had been meaning to take Preston by, I figured it would be a good time to stop in on our way. Once there, of course everyone was fawning over him. (I mean- can you blame them?) Until he pooped- a huge blowout- while a secretary was holding him! I was so bummed- it's one of my favorites from his grandma Dawn and one of the main things that fits him well right now. Never fear- being the overly-nervous, prepared-for-anything new mom that I am, I had an "emergency outfit" in the diaper bag. So we changed him in Kevin's office and off we went to the mom's group. No big deal, right? Well, it just so happened that some friends of ours just had a baby and were hospital that day, so I ventured over to the Labor and Delivery area for a visit with another new mom who knew the couple, too. While waiting, Preston had ANOTHER blowout and pooped through his emergency outfit!!! Thankfully, the other new mom said, "Here, put him in Stella's onesie." So yes, I reluctantly dressed my son in pink polka dots.

In other news- (EVERYBODY KNOCK ON WOOD, PLEASE....) Preston has slept a couple of 3 hour stretches the past few nights! HOORAY!!!!! We've even had luck with moving him back into the bassinet from the vibrating Papasan seat he'd been sleeping in for weeks. Our bedtime routine has been pretty consistent, not to mention extravagant. He gets a bath, which is essential, since we swear it relaxes him and gets him into the sleep mind-set. Next, he gets a massage with lavender and chamomile lotion. A tight swaddle, a snack and some songs from mom and maybe a little stroll past the vacuum cleaner from dad if he's having trouble falling asleep. Then, we carefully place him on a body-temperature water bottle and turn on the vibrate feature of this white noise/heartbeat/sound machine thing we have attached to the bassinet. Hopefully he's drowsy enough to sleep but sometimes, if he's not, we'll try the pacifier and start over from the song potion. Meanwhile. Kevin and I are a well-oiled machine, operating together and communicating our next move via an elaborate but distinct set of silent hand gestures. A new-parent sort of sign language, I guess. But hey- whatever it takes to get some sleep! My dream is to someday have a similar bedtime routine myself.

Today, Preston is 5 weeks old! Yesterday he had his 1st month doctor check-up and weighed in at exactly 9lbs via the doctor's scale! At the breast feeding group, your child also gets weighed and he was 8 lbs, 8 oz, so obviously a slight difference in the scales, or he gained half a pound in one day, which is highly unlikely. Either way, he's gaining like a champ! She gave him a prescription for a baby dose of Zantac, as she thinks some of his tummy trouble may be related to reflux. She also gave us something for his face which happens to be covered in baby acne that has turned into a slight eczema-like rash. I wouldn't have been worried, except that it cropped up in his ears and on his eyelids, so I wanted to check with her. Glad I did.

In the first outfit he pooped through:


Dinner time from Dad:


Other than that, he's doing great! We are so in love with this little boy, it's just unbelievable. Kevin even called me from work today just to tell me how much he loved him and that he missed us. We really are loving family life. That's not to say that we haven't had some difficult moments, but this morning, we got a wonderful surprise....he smiled a huge smile at me for the first time (that I was absolutely sure wasn't gas.) That moment has now topped my list of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Stay tuned- I will try to catch it on camera soon!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Busy boy!

Preston has become quite the social butterfly! He had a busy week this week- even making his first trip to the zoo. Outings with our little guy are always interesting- sometimes he is a perfect angel and sleeps through them, while others are a bit more- shall we say, "challenging."

Monday, I discovered in a panic that we were confined to the house when I realized I had lost my keys. After tearing the house apart and calling everywhere we had been in the prior 72 hours, I gave up. STILL don't know where they are, but thankfully Kevin had a spare set to the car. Tuesday we had our breastfeeding class and meeting with the lactation consultant, and it was the first time I had gotten both Preston and myself ready and out the door to go somewhere just the two of us. (We only had to start about 2 or 3 hours in advance.) Wednesday, we took a trip to Sam's Club and Target with Aunt Holli- gotta get there at least once a week for diapers! Thursday, his Nana was here for the day, and Friday, mommy's friend Aunt Britt and her sweet kiddos Lauren and Miles were visiting from Chicago, so Preston made his first of many trips to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.

Thursday night was big for all of us, as well. Kevin and I were celebrating our 4th anniversary, so he insisted we go out for a nice romantic dinner. I was extremely nervous at first, but he had already made reservations the week before and arranged to have his mom stay with Preston. Knowing Judy would be there helped me relax and allowed Kevin and I to enjoy ourselves just the two of us. With Preston's birth and all the other blessings in our life, we truly had a lot to celebrate this year. I may have been a little anxious without him at dinner, but we were home within 2 hours and of course, found him sleeping on Grandma Judy's lap.

The sleeping (KNOCK ON WOOD) is getting a little better. Kevin and I have made some major discoveries- a bath before bed calms him down. (Maybe it relaxes his muscles or somehow gets him in the sleep mind-set.) Secondly, the vacuum cleaner is a miraculous machine. We tried this at the suggestion of Dr. Harvey Karp, author of "Happiest Baby on the Block," the book I mentioned before. And sure enough- if he's fussy or fighting sleep, we turn it on and -voila- he quiets down and we can walk him around, pop a paci in and his eyes get heavy. Now- setting him down is another story- but we'll work on that later. It has, however, even gotten him a few short naps in his crib- yay!!! We also have a fan in our bedroom and a stereo in our guest bedroom set to total loud static so that when we are walking him from room to room, he feels comforted by the white noise. It's also what I've been listening to in the car. (Goodbye for now, my beloved NPR.) Oh well- we'll take what we can get if it means a happy baby boy! Thankfully, we've gotten several 3 hour stretches of sleep from him this past week. Fingers crossed that it's a continuing trend!

"I'm SO not impressed by this alligator."


"Goats- yawn."


A family photo before Mommy and Daddy's dinner out:


Asleep with Grandma when we got back: (Poor Ruby.)


Napping in his crib with the vacuum on:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CLEARLY Advanced!

Ok- so we have big news here on the Preston-front... I swear he rolled over yesterday!!! He did it twice in a row for me and again for Kevin when he got home from work. Since I didn't think anyone would believe it, I took some video this morning as proof. (It's shot from a strange angle- him laying across my lap, because that's the position he was in yesterday for a burp when I discovered how amazingly talented he was.) NOW- admittedly, the fact that he's laying on a non-flat surface is probably what allowed him to do it, but nonetheless, he accomplished this without any help from me. We'll try it again soon with him on the floor, but seriously- for a baby that is not even 4 weeks old, we think this is pretty amazing!

video

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Three weeks already!



Our beautiful Preston is three weeks old! It seems like just hours ago that my water broke and we rushed to the hospital, and actually seems like last week that we realized I was pregnant.

Overall, things have been great, but as some of you know, we've been having some sleep issues. That is to say- Preston doesn't like to do it at night. We've tried everything- a warm water bottle to simulate being held, (he sleeps fine when we are holding him!) rocking, singing, the sling, vibrating machines for his bassinet mattress, you name it. We've devoured a book called "Happiest Baby on the Block" which relies on the "5 S's" -Swaddling, Swinging, Shhhing, Side/Stomach position, and Sucking. We're taking him outside during daylight hours, etc... nothing works, so we've figured this is just going to be a baby who prefers to be up at night. (Please- don't let this be the case when he turns 16...) Don't get me wrong- we aren't striving for a schedule- just a few hours of rest when it's dark out!

A typical mid-morning snooze in the swing:



Unfortunately, I think some of this is related to tummy trouble that Preston seems to have developed and appears to be worse in the evening. He will often pull his legs up and strain or grunt while he's crying, and occasionally spits up after eating, especially if he hasn't burped. We've been using a tonic called Gripe Water, along with infant Mylicon, which seems to help tremendously, and I've also cut all dairy out of my diet for the past few days. I'm giving it a week to see if that helps, but it's been difficult! I love milk, but I love this baby boy much more, so it's a small price to pay if it keeps him comfortable. I'm meeting with a Lactation Consultant on Tuesday to see if it's something obvious with our breastfeeding, as well. HOWEVER- as I write this, I have to say the past two nights, we've gotten at least one three hour stretch, which we were absolutely thrilled about. Let's hope it's a new trend!

Because of this, many of his visitors haven't seen his eyes open! So I thought I'd post some pics to show that his lids really do work and why these are some of our favorite moments with him:

"Hi Everyone!"


Doing great with tummy-time!


Ruby and Preston are getting aquainted:

She is doing really well with him! Not that we were worried, but it seems that she is interested and protective towards her new baby brother. Sometimes, she'll get up and come into the nursery when we are awake with him at night and other times, she'll lay in front of his swing or papasan seat when he's in it. I do believe her feelings are slightly hurt, but alas- she is now just a dog.

So many people love him- what a luck boy!
With his Godmother, Aunt Natalie:


With Great-Grams:


Four generations of Erbs!


He also seems to do great when we are out in public- I'm not sure if it's the noise or movement, but he loves to be taken out and about! Yesterday, we packed him in the sling and went to our local Farmers market, where he snuggled against my chest the whole time. Last night, we went to dinner- he did great! And this past week, he has been a shopper-in-training, making trips to Jefferson Pointe, Target, the regular mall, and Babies R Us. What a trooper!

Keep checking back here as I am trying hard to update this blog as much as possible- when I have a free hand!

Friday, September 7, 2007

zzzz....

typing one-handed with my three-week-old on my chest... would kill for sleep.... more to come.

(dozes off... zzzzzzzz)