Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big Sister Update

Hello All, 

Roxy here to let you know what's  new with my family. My baby brother Grayson may be stealing the show lately, but I make sure my parents remember I'm here and give me plenty of love. 

I'm never very far from my brother. I like to hang close by whoever is holding him just in case he needs my help. We have several things in common, including how much we enjoy napping and getting affection from our parents. I really want to shower him with kisses, but my parents won't let me. I was allowed to kiss Grayson's foot the other day and afterward was so happy I bounded around the room. 

My daily routine has changed a bit in the last few weeks because mom is around a lot more than normal. I used to get crated each day when my parents left for work, but now only dad leaves in the mornings which means I get to spend lots of time lounging around the house as a free woman. Napping on the couch is so much better than in my crate. 

This past week I was also allowed to sleep back in my parent's bed. There seems to be more room now that mom doesn't use so many pillows and her belly isn't taking up half of the bed. 

Overall, life is pretty good and Grayson seems to be fitting into my lifestyle just fine. I think we'll probably keep him. 

Love, Roxy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

That Clean Baby Smell

There is something about a freshly bathed baby's scent that is totally intoxicating. If Johnson & Johnson was smart, it would bottle their baby shampoo smell into an adult perfume version. 

We've been bathing Grayson every other day and I have to hold myself back from smelling him too much after a bath. When we first brought him home, I remember thinking to myself, "how dirty can this little guy really get?" But that question was answered yesterday when we experienced a diaper blowout that was so bad he ended up with mustard-like poop EVERYWHERE. 

I'm not exaggerating. It was literally everywhere. In his hair, between his fingers, on his feet...everywhere! For a split second I almost grabbed my camera to capture the chaos, but decided against it so my child wouldn't completely hate me when he grows up. 

If I had more arms I would have just drawn a bath right then and dunked him in dirty clothes and all, but I couldn't manage it so I had to settle for a quick clean up with wipes and then wait to do the full bath once Michael got home. Once we were in the process of bathing Grayson, I tried to explain the extent of the diaper blowout incident to Michael but I don't think he fully comprehended the severity of the situation. I don't blame him, I was amazed at the volume that was produced by such a small baby. 

Anyway, I hadn't planned to blog in-depth about a bowel movement, but I guess it just turned out that way. Hope you weren't eating when you read this :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our big day

Today Grayson and I ventured out for our first mother/son outing (not counting our neighborhood walks). I took him to my office to show him off. 

Things started out well. I had showered and gotten Grayson fed and dressed all by 9 a.m. (a miracle in itself), but things got a little rocky when I went to do one last diaper change before heading to the car. Yes, my son decided to pee all over the adorable outfit I had planned for him to wear. Oh well. It's just clothes, right?

The next obstacle we had to overcome was the 25 minute car ride to downtown Oklahoma City. We had yet to attempt going anywhere in the car without Michael, but I'm happy to report the commute up to the office went well and Grayson slept the entire time. Instead of lugging him around in the stroller, I wore him in the baby sling and he stayed asleep through our entire hour-long visit. 

I had to keep an eye on the clock for both my parking meter and Grayson's feeding schedule, but luckily we got back to our car just in time for both. Our commute home involved two serious crying spells, but all-in-all it was a successful first outing. 

In other news, Grayson had a moment of genius today when his pacifier fell out and he popped it back in his mouth. I thought it was a total fluke until it fell out again and he popped it back in a second time. It may still be a total coincidence, but I was impressed. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun Times

I hope you've all made the most of your weekend. We certainly did. 

I'm happy to report we are the delighted owners of a new Sealy mattress which was delivered yesterday just in time for a great night's sleep. Michael was so desperate for a decent rest he was almost talked in to a $3500 mattress set, but I quickly redirected him to a more reasonable set which is still a vast improvement from our old bed. 

In other weekend news, Grayson had his first bottle Friday night and drank his dinner like a pro. We've gave him another bottle yesterday and one again today, with no problems. Since that was a success we took my mom up on an offer to babysit this afternoon so that Michael and I could go see a movie. 

We went to see "Burn After Reading" and felt like we were playing hooky as Michael put it. It was nice to spend time together while knowing the baby was in more than capable hands with his grandmother. I think she may have enjoyed the time as much as we did. 

For the auto enthusiasts reading this blog (aka our friend John and my dad), the BMW car show was also a hit. Blauhai turned a lot of heads when we pulled up to the show and several men (who had amazing BMWs of their own on display) chatted up Michael about his car. We noticed many others walking over to take a closer look at the car, and even though Michael played it cool I know it gave him great pleasure to see the respect his car received by this exclusive community. 

So that's what we've been up to. Hope everyone has a great start to the week!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Grayson and I are really looking forward to the weekend so we can spend time with Daddy and enjoy the incredibly nice weather we've been having. Our plans include checking out a local BMW car show, shopping for a new mattress and introducing Grayson to the bottle. All three "events" will be exciting in their own way. 

Michael has been looking forward to hob nobing with local BMW enthusiasts for several weeks now and I hope they accept him and Blauhai into their clique. While I really don't care for car shows, I am excited for the chance to get out of the house for a bit. I also know how much joy this will bring to my husband so it will be fun to see him in his "happy place."

We are also desperate for a decent night of sleep, not necessarily because of the baby but because of our horrible mattress. Despite only being three years old, it has always been too soft, yet we've been holding out hoping it would get better since we dropped a lot of money on it. It's now causing chronic back pain for both Michael and myself which is the final straw. I don't even care about the money anymore, it's worth whatever it takes to sleep comfortably and not wake up with lower back pain. You know  you've become an adult when you're thrilled to go mattress shopping.

The final event on our weekend agenda is introducing Grayson to the bottle. He's been doing great with breastfeeding and it's time to at least introduce him to a bottle so I can eventually be away from him for more than a 2-3 hour stretch of time. It will also be a nice way for him to bond with Michael a little more. In preparation, I've started stockpiling bags of frozen breastmilk which to me is like liquid gold. If our electricity ever goes out I'm going to be distraught if it all gets spoiled. Who knew baggies of milk would be so sentimental? 

So that is what's on tap for our weekend. I hope you all have fun plans for enjoying it as well! 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Daily Life Lessons

This is Michael's first week back to work and I've been adjusting to daily life with just Grayson, Roxy and myself. Our big milestones have been:
  • I've showered and brushed my teeth every day (no small feat)
  • Grayson's umbilical cord (finally) fell off yesterday
  • He's moved into the baby acne and peely skin stage of life (but underneath it all he's still adorable)
  • We've been taking daily walks and enjoying the beautiful weather
  • I drove a car for the first time in nearly a month 
I've also learned a lot about myself this week. Like the fact that as much as I love our son, I'm also thankful for my job. I don't think I'm cut out to be a stay-at-home mom long-term and am looking forward to going back to daily interaction with adults. I'm sure Grayson will also enjoy the stimulation of his "school" once we're at that point. 

While I know it will be difficult when the time comes to transition back to work, I do miss the sense of accomplishment from my work that goes beyond diaper changes and serving as a dairy cow. 

As time goes on and I become more comfortable venturing out with Grayson on my own, I'm sure life will get a little more exciting and I'll be able to do more than strategically plan on when I can work in a quick shower. Until then, I'll just enjoy watching him as he sleeps or laughing at the way he sneezes with his entire body, because before you know it he'll be a punk teenager that's too cool for mom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mental Note

Dear Grayson,

You are now two weeks old and seem to be changing in subtle ways every day. There is so much we love about you that I'm afraid we'll forget because we're focused on surviving everyday life. Here's a short list of your current traits that I want to be sure and remember:
  • How you grab your ear in comfort when you sleep
  • The wrinkly forehead and funny faces you make when I sit you up to burp
  • Your jerky neck movements that remind me of a turtle popping it's head out of a shell
  • The Houdini-like way you wiggle your arms loose no matter how tightly we swaddle the blanket
  • The crazy length of time your umbilical cord has been hanging on by a thread (I think it may stick around until your first birthday)
  • A small, wispy patch of hair on the top of your ear that reminds me of an old man
I'm sure tomorrow will bring another list of new characteristics and I can't wait to learn all about them.

Your mom

Friday, September 12, 2008

An Act of God! (a.k.a. Dr. Harvey Karp)

Guest Poster: Michael, Baby Daddy

Okay so it would take an act of God to get me to post anything on this blog. That is, for no other reason, because I despise writing. (so far it has taken me an hour to get his far)

Last night a miracle took place at our household. I will get to that in just a minute. First, I need to prep you to for the ridiculousness that lead us to this scenario. It all started around 10:30 Wednesday night. Grayson settled into his final feeding of the night before his mom and I tried to get some much needed shut eye. He fed really well, so we expected another three to four hour block of sleep before my parents arrived early Thursday morning on their trip up from Houston. After burping and lightly swaddling him we put him down to sleep. Within five minutes we hear a rather loud and sloppy bowel movement (this prompted a slight chuckle from both of us). So I jump up quickly from the bed to change him before the whining sets in. As expected he killed this diaper, on to a fresh one. About the time I get one of the tabs on the clean diaper secured he really starts to cry which I am beginning to realize this means a massive urination is on its way. I braced myself along with the other side of the diaper and prepared for the worst. All was going well until I noticed a leak in his protective barrier. Now, not only do I need to change his diaper but also his sleeper, swaddling blanket and changing pad cover. I breathe a BIG sigh of relief once I get him all wrapped up and clean up the chemical spill. I take our clean baby back into our room to settle him and put him in his bassinet. SLEEP AT LAST!

Oh wait, scratch that, it is time for a screaming fit. The kind of screaming that makes your ears hurt. Alright not a problem. Frustrating, YES, but not a big deal. I mean no one was sleeping just yet anyhow. I pick him up and try soothing him anyway that I can while not leaving the bed. You never know he might go right back to sleep. Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes pass before I reluctantly slide out of bed to take him to the rocking chair in the nursery. I am officially wide awake and really pissed off. I sit down in the rocking chair knowing that this will help. Another five minutes of high-pitched screaming continues before Lindsay, hearing my increasingly stern and loud voice, comes in to relive me. It was amazing to me how quickly I lost my cool when my words of comfort turned to words of despair. I was talking to him like he was a rational all knowing human being. Needless to say Lindsay came to save the day just in time. I went to go cool off in bed. My adrenalin was pumping like I just clawed my way out of a brutal street fight. Lindsay did a spectacular job of calming him within a ten minute span. Kudos to the mom. 

Lindsay returns to the room with the now calm Grayson to find me staring at the ceiling. I tell her how upset I am that I lost my calm demeanor so quickly. She tries to reassure me that I am still a good dad and we try to get some sleep. Ten minutes of sleep later my parents call at 1:30 am to let us know they are just pulling onto our street. I tell Lindsay to stay in bed with Grayson and I get dressed to help my parents in for their stay. The rest of the night proceeds normally without any major incident.

On to Thursday morning. Lets call this the "Day of Relaxation". 

I literally did nothing all day long. It was awesome and well deserved. As the day began to close our neighbor came over to see the baby. While she was holding the baby we began to tell her the story of our rough night. She had an immediate suggestion because she and her husband have recently gone through the exact same thing. She continues to tell us about a video that they own called "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. She informs us about the techniques that she learned and how much it helped them when they were faced with the same situation. We find out that there is a video at our local public library and I am off to retrieve the one copy that they have before they close at 9pm. We are not going to have a repeat of the previous night!

First of all, this video is not going to win any awards, but it is going to win the hearts and praises of any parent with a new baby. I am also going to suggest that it be included with every newborn baby package before the new parents leave the hospital. The video tells of five steps to soothe a crying baby, a.k.a. the 5 s's:

1. Swaddling
2. Shushing
3. Side-lying
4. Swinging
5. Sucking

All the steps are important but none are more important than number 1. Do not underestimate a nice restrictive swaddling. 

Utter Bliss. Immediate results. 5+ hours of sleep. He could have gone longer but Lindsay was starting to build up a surplus in her lactation factory.

Lindsay fed Grayson just as well as the night before but this time we tightly swaddled him, shushed him on his side and then set him to swing through the night. It is amazing to see how eager I was to get up at 4:30am and start my day after multiple sleepless nights. We will keep you posted with further results.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just when things are looking up

After our great night of sleep a few days ago, we decided to venture out into the world for a few quick errands on Tuesday. Everything was going well. I fed Grayson and then we bolted for the door hoping we could get an hour or two of things done before he had a meltdown. 

We grabbed lunch and then hit up Hobby Lobby for their half-price frame sale (one of life's  simple pleasures). Afterward, I needed a few things at the drug store so Michael stayed in the car with the baby while I ran inside. That's when things turned south. 

I got up to the cash register and the check out woman asked, "So, how far along are you?" The one situation I've dreaded the most...

I realize I still have a small bump and things are recovering from being stretched out over 9 months, but I thought I probably looked borderline fat not pregnant, so anyone with common sense would be too afraid to ask the dreaded question. Well, apparently this is not the case so I responded, "I actually had the baby last week and I'm hoping my belly is on it's way down." 

At this point any normal person would try to dig themselves out of a hole and offer up something nice (even if it is a lie). Instead, the check out woman said, "Oh, well it took me three years to lose my baby weight." 

Dumbfounded, I just stood there staring at her. I thought to myself, "It looks like you could still use some work in that department" but since my mother taught me better than that I decided to just pay and leave before anything worse came out of either of our mouths. To no avail she kept repeating how difficult it was to lose the weight as I hurriedly made my way to the door. 

When I got to the car Michael asked if we had time to run by Radio Shack and I asked him to just take me home. I had worried and planned for the baby to have a meltdown and was blindsided by the fact that it was my turn instead. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's in a Name

Some of you are probably wondering how we arrived at the name Grayson Mark. After much debating over our short name list which included Asher (Michael's favorite), Anderson and Gavin (my top picks) we agreed to disagree and stopped discussing the name situation for a while.

Then on our last trip to Houston over July 4th weekend, I saw a neighborhood addition called Grayson Hills or Estates or something like that. It wasn't a name we'd thought of or discussed before but I brought it up to Michael and we both liked it.

As luck would have it, once we agreed on the name we then disagreed on the spelling. Michael wanted to spell it Greyson, but in the end he came around and compromised. It probably had something to do with the fact that I asked him about it while lying in a hospital bed during our false alarm trip and also played the "since your BMW project car dream came true how about letting me have one on the spelling" card. Yes, it was manipulative and probably wrong of me, but being someone who often has their name misspelled with an "e" I'm still not sorry I did it.

The middle name Mark was less controversial since it's my father's middle name. We decided early on that we wanted to use it so that made things a little easier.

Another question we typically receive about the name...Are you going to call him Gray? Perhaps. I think it's a cute nickname and alludes to Michael's artistic side so I'm sure it will happen eventually. For now we're using the entire name since it's new to both us and the baby.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

God Bless the Sleep Fairy

It's amazing how much a few extra hours of uninterrupted sleep can completely change your day and attitude. The first few days of Grayson's life he slept in 3 hour stretches, but once my milk came in that changed to the 1 to 1 1/2 hour range. 

Although this is typical and was even a welcomed physical relief for my newly formed, overly productive milk ducts it does take a toll on us during the daytime. The short sleep time compiled with the fact that Grayson had his days and nights a bit confused and wouldn't sleep soundly until after about 3 a.m. was a challenge to say the least. 

Thankfully last night provided a much-needed bout of rest. After making a point to stimulate Grayson more during the early evening hours and bathing him at night with lavender nighttime soap, he slept soundly from about 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. WOOHOO! I've never been so excited to get four hours of sleep. 

After feeding him and soothing him back to sleep, Grayson then slept in two more long stretches of two hours and then two and a half hours. This may seem a long way off from the 8+ hours of sleep we used to get, but I'll take it any day over the one hour stretches we'd had the last few nights. 

While I realize one night does not mean he'll continue with this sleeping pattern, it at least gives us hope and a short energy boost. Michael even got up this morning and did the dishes, took out the trash & recycling, plus put in a load of laundry all before starting his pot of coffee. I think it's going to be a good day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Roxy's Co-habitation Skills

Since coming home from the hospital last Wednesday afternoon, Roxy has undergone an evolution of sorts. We had prepared for this day by purchasing a new doggie toy to help distract her from the complete life change that was headed her way. We also had Michael's parents bring home a receiving blanket from the hospital so Roxy could get to know the baby's scent. I think both of these tactics helped a little, but I'm sure this was still a rude awakening for her.

When we arrived at home, I stayed in the car with the baby while Michael brought Roxy out to the garage to check things out. She was so excited to see her parents that she barely noticed the small swaddled baby. I think she was a little confused as to where we had been the last few days even though the house was full of grandparents.

The first day she spent trying to figure out what the baby was and we tried extra hard for one of us to hold Roxy while the other held the baby. She did growl and bark a few times when the baby cried and we had to crate her for a bit, hoping that this would pass.

Luckily it did pass and she's warmed up to Grayson a little more each day. She'll curl up next to me and Grayson while he's breast feeding or sit in the rocking chair with Michael while he's holding the baby. She's also been very interested in licking the baby now instead of barking at him, so we're having to watch her closely to make sure she doesn't get within tongue's reach.

Only time will tell if she continues to cope well, but after these first few days I'm hopeful we can all live as one happy family.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm still here

Apologies for the delayed posting. I've sat down to write a new entry several times over the last few days but keep getting distracted. Imagine that. As expected, our lives have been turned upside down by the arrival of Grayson and just when we get a few things figured out our son throws a new parenting lesson our way. 

So many things have changed in such a short amount of time that it's hard to know where to begin. I guess I should share his birth story (without the gory details, of course). After experiencing inconsistent contractions for several days, Sunday night they kicked into gear. I was up and down most of the night but didn't start timing them until a little before 8 a.m. on Monday. They were 3-5 minutes apart and nearly a minute long so after they were consistent for an hour we decided it was time to go to the hospital and get things checked out. 

In the elevator on the way up to the birthing center, I told Michael I was going to be really ticked off if my night of contractions didn't make me any more dilated and they sent me back home. Luckily, the pain wasn't for nothing and I was dilated to 3 1/2 cm and about 90 % effaced. They observed me in triage from 9:30 a.m. until admitting me at 1 p.m. Once I was admitted they took me to a birthing suite where my new best friend, the anesthesiologist, came to administer my epidural about 30 minutes later. I was dilated to about 5 cm at this point and once the epidural kicked in they also broke my water and gave me oxytocin to speed up the contractions. 

When they broke my water there was black meconium in it which is a sign the baby had already had a bowel movement while inside me. This meant they would need to move quickly upon birth to ensure none of it got into his lungs as he took his first few breaths. 

When they checked me again around 3:15 p.m. I was already at 9 cm so the head labor nurse started whirling around setting up medical equipment and alerting the OBGYN. A team of nurses came in and time passed very quickly at this point. I was still feeling the contractions slightly on one side so my epidural was cranked up so much I couldn't feel my legs so a nurse and Michael had to move them for me. She had me do a few "practice pushes" but then realized the baby was nearly out so she told me to stop. 

The OBGYN took forever to arrive and all of a sudden the baby's heartbeat dropped so the labor nurse told us she was going to move forward to deliver the baby. I pushed two more times and he moved far enough down to get out of distress and his heart rate rose back up so we stopped to try and wait for the doctor. Even though I wasn't pushing the baby kept inching down and we really though he was going to arrive before the OBGYN

Luckily she flew through the door just in time and while I was anxious to push some more the OB on call (which was not my doctor) recognized Michael from when he worked at a bike store in college (she's an avid cyclist) and proceeded to catch up on what he had been up to over the last few years. Finally she got down to business and after only a handful more pushes our son Grayson Mark arrived. 

Due to the meconium they had to whisk him over to the warming table and do a deep lung suction to clean out his passageways. Thankfully the fluid came out clear so he didn't swallow any of the black tarry stuff from the bowel movement. Once that was over, Michael was able to cut the cord (which had already been done once, but we were able to capture for the camera) and then we could hold him. 

From the time I was admitted until Grayson's birth at 4:36 p.m., time flew by and I can't believe it all happened so quickly. As you may have seen from the photo link in the last post, the picture of me enjoying an ice cold Dr. Pepper was taken just moments after birth when I could finally have more than ice chips and I threw 9 months worth of carbonation and caffeine concerns to the wind by enjoying a victory drink.  

So that's how it all went down (literally and figuratively). I have so much more to share, but will stop for now so I can finally get this novel post online. Thank you to all of you who have emailed and  called with well wishes. Even though we may not have responded just yet, we hope to catch up soon and appreciate you sending positive thoughts our way.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Meet Grayson

We returned home from the hospital this afternoon around 3 p.m. and are still getting settled in, but I wanted to post a link to some pictures of baby Grayson

Michael's dad (aka Popper) has already a created a website with photos of his new grandson. I'll post more of our own pics as well as details on Grayson's arrival soon. But for now, enjoy these first pictures. 

Also, I want to say a big thank you to Courtney (aka Kiki) who posted and emailed folks to announce Grayson's birth. It was a huge help to us since we wanted to keep everyone in the loop, but couldn't do it ourselves. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Labor" Day

Hi everyone! This is a friend here on behalf of Mike and Lindsay to let you know that Roxy's reign has officially ended. Grayson Mark arrived today at 4:36 p.m. He weighs 6 lbs. 11 ozs. and is 19 inches long. Mom, Dad, and baby Grayson are all doing great.