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Sunday, July 29, 2007
Jakob videos

both when he was 7 weeks old

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 2:10 p.m.   1 comments
by the way...

...I'm so proud. 10 weeks old and he can sit in a Bumbo unsupported.
I'm in the process of uploading some videos and once they're ready I'll put a few here and put a link to the others.
Sorry for the few posts this week, it didn't seem like such a busy week but the time just went by. On Wednesday we went to the movies again, went with my mom and ran into Robyn, Sean and my aunt once we got there. The movie was I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. It was a cute movie, but not as gut-busting funny as my brother and Robyn's brother made it seem. I think it would have been funnier with an audience of teens/adults laughing, because they would have made it more entertaining. What did we do the rest of the week? I know we did a bunch of errands, went to the Wool Store for some needles and to wind the wool I got to knit another sample for JCA (my winder is packed and I can't find it). Friday night we had dinner then Debbie came over for a bit. Yesterday we went to Costco and then Julie and Rich came over, followed not long after by my brother Aaron and his friend Brad. Aaron came with more clothes for Jakob- this is one well dressed, spoiled kid!
Today I'm just trying to finish uploading Jakob's photos to Kodak Gallery and trimming the home videos I took so I can upload those too, then we're off to my parents' house for supper.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 12:31 p.m.   1 comments
Saturday, July 28, 2007
smushed peas
So the "Peas if You Please" project is no more.

We've been trying to come up with a way to keep Sam (the cat) out of Jakob's room. I don't want to always have to close the door but I don't want cat fur everywhere, nor do I want to worry about suffocation. We know Sam was jumping in to the crib when Jakob was sleeping with us, because we found him sitting on the hutch with all of Jakob's stuffed animals. We would have put up a normal screen door outside his door, but our house has metal door frames so we can't mount a door like you normally would.

We ended up finding an expensive screen at Home Depot. It mounts in the interior of the door frame so we didn't need to worry about screw holes, and it slides in and out so it has a very clean look. The screen is kind of like an accordian, when you release the catch it glides back on a roller track and folds in on itself. It works perfectly- except that Sam figured out that the screen is only a mesh fabric and that if he pushed he could walk right under it.

Yannick went out and bought a baby gate to put behind it. The gate blocks Sam well, but it is a little too high for me to step over comfortably, especially in middle of the night with Jakob in my arms. When my mom suggested something like a "draft blocker", I decided to construct one.

The peas were for weight. I had 12 lbs of peas. We were hoping that 12 lbs, around Sam's weight, would be enough of a mass that if he pushed against it, he'd feel resistance and not persist in trying to get under the door. I chose peas because they were the cheapest item in bulk, and I knew that I could always eat them if it didn't work. Barley was cheap too...but I don't like barley. My original idea was to pour the peas into two soda bottles, put them nose to nose, wrap them in fabric batting and stuff that into a nylon for structural support. I would then knit a cute cover for it. (Anything for an excuse to knit a "cozy"). After pouring peas into one of the soda bottles I weighed it and found it only came to around 4 lbs. A total of 8 lbs would not be enough weight to stop Sam, so I scrapped the soda bottles and just kept the peas in the plastic bags they came in (to stop moisture). I laid them in a row and wrapped the batting around, using the nylon to hold it in place.

I put the resulting sausage in place temporarily while I began to knit. The knitting worked out great, I have about 3 inches done. The blocker? Not so great.

Can you see the problem? Here's a better view:
Sam just walked right under it. So now the baby gate is back up, and this project is scrapped. We will end up changing the baby gate for a lower "wall" that Yannick will construct for me, and I will have to resign myself to eating a lot of peas for the next while...unless anyone has other uses for 12 lbs of dry yellow and green peas?

My brother is slowly condo-shopping and borrowed Yannick last weekend to go see some open houses. While we looked on line for promising listings, Jakob kept Michael entertained for a while.
I'm so proud. :)

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 12:53 p.m.   1 comments
Thursday, July 26, 2007
jakob with mommy at 10 weeks old
Another week down. Le sigh.


posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:18 p.m.   1 comments
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Black & Tan progress

This is where I'm at so far with the Black & Tan Striped Baby Sweater. I have completed the facing and am working on the striped body. I know the pale color isn't really tan, it's more of an ecru or taupe...but the colors remind me of a Black and Tan (more info here) so that's the name I'm going with. I'm trying my first jogless stripes, but I need to do a few more rounds before I can tell if the "slip the first stitch" method of avoiding a jog is working. As soon as I know, you'll know!


posted by Jennifer Lori @ 12:05 a.m.   1 comments
Saturday, July 21, 2007
the wonders of modern inventions
Since I've been home I've had a chance to do more cooking than in previous years. Ok, I'm not doing as much as I'd like- the kitchen is only recently unpacked and I am taking care of a newborn- but compared to the last few months of my pregnancy when we ordered in every night, cooking even once in a while is a lot. Also, when I was finishing work at 6:00pm and was faced with a half-hour drive home, it wasn't often that I looked forwards to cooking a nice meal and sitting down to eat at 8:00pm. I missed the days at my previous job when I finished at 4:30pm and had time to shop for groceries, come home, cook meals from scratch and have it on the table by 6/7 o'clock.

With the kitchen mostly done I've been taking the opportunity to use some wedding and shower gifts that had remained packed for the entire last year. We waited after the bridal shower because we had no storage space and wanted to wait until after the wedding to see how much room we'd need, and it wasn't long after the wedding that we decided to move, so there was no point in unpacking those items.

Last week I played around with our Crock-Pot slow cookers. One night I made a Mexican Strata (like a lasagne but with tortillas and olives and different spices). It was delicious but not really (to me) a slow cooker recipe because I had to cook the meat on the stove first. Last Sunday I made a pot roast with veggies. That was fun! In the morning I put in a bunch of cut up potatoes, carrots and onions, topped with a 3lb boneless beef rump roast that I'd rubbed with salt & pepper. Add a 1/2 cup of water, cover and turn on the machine to low. It was great- Jakob was calm in the morning so I had a chance to prepare it, then all I had to do was wait until it was ready to eat. It took 10-12 hrs to cook and I'd unfortunately waited until 11:00am to prepare, so we had to wait until 9:00pm to have supper, but it was worth it! The meat fell off the bone and the veggies were cooked perfectly. The taste was mild and was almost exactly like eating a stew that had been separated into individual ingredients. Perfect for a Sunday night, and perfect because Jakob fussed at night but all I had to do to get supper ready was to open the lid and serve!

This week I've been playing with our food dehydrator. A few nights ago I dried some watermelon slices. I'd heard they get sweet and candy-like when dried. Eh. Either my watermelon wasn't sweet enough, or its just not to my taste. Two nights ago I used a pound of ground beef and a spice mixture and made a large amount of beef jerky. That came out really well, but I might have let it dry a smidge too long.

Tonight I put in a mixture of corn, peppers and seasonings to try and make corn chips. They should be ready by tomorrow, and then I will attempt some dried fruits.

The big advantage is that I can prepare foods when Jakob is quiet and have them ready to eat when he's fussy and I don't have time to cook. I'm really amusing myself with this! :)

In other news, we went for lunch this afternoon with Jackie and Bradley. I can't believe how fast he's growing up! Almost 2, talking and being such a little man- really a barometer for how much time goes by. I can't believe soon Jakob will be sitting there on his own, coloring on the table. And Jackie is a friend I've known since the early days of high school. To have thought back then that we'd be sitting here over 13 years later, married, with kids...its crazy. I still feel like a kid- how can I have friends that I've known over a decade? I've been with Yannick almost a decade, and we'll be married a year in September. And we have a child. When did I grow up?

I took Jakob outside when I got home and he played in his bouncer in the shade while I knit a few rows in the sun. I just finished the hem and turning row of a sweater (sized for 1 year...I think I mentioned it previously) and am about to start the body. It should go fast- its worked in stripes, and colorwork always seems to go fast. I'm afraid to "save as draft" and add a photo later in case I forget and don't wind up uploading this post at all, so I'm publishing now and I'll add a photo in a separate post.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:39 p.m.   2 comments
Friday, July 20, 2007
rainy, sleepy day
This is a photo from Wednesday. Jakob passed out in the car seat on the way home from the movies, and I couldn't resist taking this picture. Instead of being slumped over like usual, he was holding his head up and had such a calm look on his face.

This is from yesterday when my mom was over. She'd taken him for a walk on Monday and didn't like the sun in his eyes, so when out she found these sunglasses for him. I think he looks adorable! (And they go perfectly with his wife-beater!)

Mommy with Jakob at 9 weeks old.

This was from earlier today when we took some tummy time. It was raining all day so we slept in together and spent most of the day vegging on the couch. I did manage to unpack a few of the kitchen boxes, but Jakob really wanted to be held today so I didn't have my hands free too often. I did manage to knit a few rows with him asleep in my lap, though.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:25 p.m.   1 comments
Thursday, July 19, 2007
does it count as progress if no one can see it?
This photo isn't from today...I just thought its a shame when only cute, smiling photos are posted, since crying babies are still just as cute. Especially when they are crying really hard and their cries have that rattling, raspy sound. This sounds so mean! Don't think I let Jakob cry all the time...I don't! I just think that sometimes he's adorable when he cries. :)

Today was supposed to be a sleepy, rainy day. Instead I got a surprising amount of work done. My mom came over to help me work on the kitchen for a while. Jakob was really good and played in his bouncer or slept most of the time, and we tackled the remaining boxes. There have been 11 boxes stacked in front of my patio door for over a week now, just sitting there and taunting me. 4 of the boxes were easy, as they were one-item boxes (Cuisinart, Raclette, Deep-Fryer and Roaster), but everything else was a hodge-podge of kitchen items, big and small. And Tupperware. I have a LOT of Tupperwear. We decided to empty the 11 boxes once and for all...then realized that we couldn't really put away the small or every-day items properly, until the larger, rarely-used items were stored, so we'd see how much space was left. I have a very large kitchen (what a change from our old house!) with a lot of cabinet space and I needed to make sure everything was well placed. That meant we had to go downstairs and gather up all the service platters and stuff that I got for my engagement party and bridal shower and wedding, open EVERYTHING up and put it all away. We worked on the kitchen from 1:00-ish until 6:00pm. There is a huge stack of empty, flattened boxes in the middle of the kitchen floor. Most of the cabinets and drawers are fully, and everything has a place. I'd feel great- if only I didn't still have the 7 original boxes still to unpack! Plus, the kitchen still looks a mess, even though behind the closed cupboard and cabinet doors everything is beautifully placed. Oh well, at least the rest *should* be easier, now that things are organized.

Things with Jakob have been going well too. He has slowly started drinking a bit more, sometimes even up to 10-12 minutes per side, which is amazing for him, since his usual is to chug for 5 minutes then shut his mouth. I'm not used to feedings taking so long, but it is really only a bother at night when I want to go back to sleep. During the day I turn the TV on while I feed him or have a magazine nearby, something flat that can lie open since I still need both hands to feed him.

He has been extremely alert and playful, and it is such a nice change to see his big blue eyes open all the time, compared to his first few days when they were such a novelty because he'd be so lethargic and sleep all the time. He truly has a great personality about him.

I have managed to find some knitting time while he sleeps in my lap after feeding. I did 10 rows today and might manage to squeeze in a few more tonight before crashing. No one has yet guessed what my mystery project is so I'll give a bit more info: I decided not to use the soda bottles, the nylons, peas and batting were used together, and the knitting comes last. Any ideas now?

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:55 p.m.   1 comments
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
two months old
Ok. I'll cave. Everyone does it, and I can't resist- "Where did the time go??"

I can't believe it has been two months since Jakob was born. I love falling in love with my little guy. I love watching his personality emerge, and watching him learn about the world around him. Each day brings so much change, from his eyelashes getting longer and thicker to watching him stare at his hands as his fingers move. I can't wait until it dawns on him that he's the one moving them!

I love all the firsts- he smiles all the time now, and has let out two very real, very loud laughs. He holds his head up constantly. He sleeps by himself. He has grown out of many outfits. He recognizes people. He's getting ticklish.

I could go on and on. Last night my sister's boyfriend came over for dinner, and although there was a TV on with a funny Simpson's episode, all three of us spent the entire meal staring at Jakob, who was amusing himself in his bouncer by kicking to make the motion-activated lights and sound operate. Three grown adults, two of which were men, all captivated by this little bundle of wonder.

I'm so lucky that I get to watch him grow, yet even luckier that I get to spend each day with him while he's so small. I'm lucky that Canda has a better maternity leave system then the US so I can choose 40 or 50 weeks to be home, and I'm lucky that when I go back to work I get to bring him with me every day.

It amazes me that if the last two months have gone so fast, then it will be no time before I go back to work, until he's in school, until he has his first best friend, first girlfriend, breaks a girl's heart, gets married, has kids of his own. I want to both see it all right now AND make every second last an eternity.

But right now I want to go cuddle my son. I can't believe I'm expected to do housework and cook and unpack boxes too. :) Can't I make cuddling my full-time job?


posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:57 a.m.   0 comments
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
can you guess?
I started a new project today. There is something we bought for our house that doesn't work as well as it should, but since we had altered it, returning it is out of the question. We came up with a temporary solution but I'm not crazy about it, so I decided to rig something myself. I came up with a pretty good idea (with my mom's help- in case she's reading this) and above are the assembled materials for the project, as posed with Jakob.

From the top, going clockwise: Jakob, 12 lbs (approx) of yellow and green peas, a ball of yarn, 2 empty 2-litre soda bottles, a pair of Queen-sized black nylons, and some sheet batting.

This project shouldn't take long and I'm hoping to have a FO in the next day or two. Any guesses?

*To be fair, I don't think there are THAT many things you can make with these materials, so guessing shouldn't be too difficult. :)

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 12:28 a.m.   2 comments
Sunday, July 15, 2007
what a week!
Mommy with Jakob at 8 weeks old.

What a week it has been! I took Jakob to his first movie, then on Friday we went up north to Yannick's parents place and it was Jakob's first time there. It was fun but we stayed overnight and it is always a bit of a challenge because I need to try extra hard to keep him quiet during the night, so as not to disturb everyone else in the house. I don't mind waking Yannick up (let him help! LOL) but I didn't want to wake up anyone else. Luckily Jakob was really well behaved and slept through the night in his usual way. He also slept most of the way home, so I had a chance to cast on and knit one row of a sweater for him. One row might not sound like a lot, but 176 stitches with sock-weight-thin yarn is a lot of knitting for me right now. :)

We got home Saturday afternoon and had to get ready because that night we had dinner plans with my family to celebrate my brothers' birthday (late). We all went to Baton Rouge for supper, so that was another "first" for Jakob. He had been to a restaurant already (Bocaccino's for lunch with my mom and grandmother) but this was his first dinner out. He was really good and the night went really well.

Yesterday was another first, too. Last night was the first night Jakob slept in his room. It was so tough for me! He'd been sleeping between us to make night feedings easier, but now that he sleeps for a longer stretch at night I wanted to get him into his room before he got too used to our bed. I waited until we had a screen on his door so that our cat wouldn't get in. Yannick installed the screen in the afternoon, and I very hesitantly put him to bed around 11:30pm. I was afraid that he'd wake up early because usually he stirs around 1:00 and 3:00 am and I jiggle him to help him fall back asleep. I was also really sad to not have him next to me and I actually cried a little. :}

I swaddled him as usual and put him into his crib, shut the screen door and put the baby monitor next to my pillow.

Doesn't he look lost in that big, empty crib? It nearly broke my heart to leave him!

It seemed like no time at all that I was awakened by his kvetching. I couldn't believe it- it was 4:00am! He'd slept through from around midnight to 4:00, which doesn't sound like a lot but for his first night he did a really good stretch in the crib, without crying at all! I fed him and put him back to bed and he went until 6:30. Not his usual times but for his first night I'm not complaining. We'll see how it goes tonight though. (And, I have to admit that after the 6:30 feed he started to complain at 8:15 so we brought him back to bed with us). All in all, a lot of firsts and a very busy week!

Today we went to look at blind options for our bedrooms, then my friend Debbie came by for a little visit. I'd prepared a pot roast in our slow-cooker earlier in the morning so I didn't have to worry about supper, and tonight we got to enjoy a really nice, home-cooked meal. I don't know yet what I'm doing tomorrow but one of my mom's friends is in from Arizona so I think we'll be going over there for a visit.

On the knitting front I was able to knit 2 more rows tonight while watching some TV with Yannick holding Jakob. I'm glad I decided to knit the "1 year" size instead of the "6 month" size, because at this rate it will take me that long to finish! Oh- I forgot another "first"- Jakob laughed for the first time! Not a big grin with noise, but an actual giggly laugh. It was so cute! I have some videos I want to put up here but I don't have my speakers hooked up yet and I want to watch the videos first to make sure I don't sound obnoxious in them. :)

I still haven't had time to go through anyone's blogs or even sit at the computer for longer than 5 minutes (it has taken me an hour to type this with the brief snatches I get with my arms free) so I just wanted to say that I hope everyone is doing well and having a great summer. Goodnight!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:26 p.m.   1 comments
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
a fussy day
Here's a photo from a few days ago. It's funny- I take a billion photos of Jakob alone or with other people, and there are so few photos of he and I other than the ones I take every Thursday.

Today we had a trip to the movies with my mom, my aunt, my cousin Robyn and her son Sean. Our local movie theater does something called "Stars and Strollers"; they allow you to bring babies of any age, they provide changing tables and diapers and a microwave, they have the sound lowered slightly, and you get to enjoy a movie without worrying if your baby cries or needs to be fed. The movie was License to Wed- an okay movie. It was cute but could have waited for video. Jakob didn't do too well at first. He started to cry and then couldn't be consolled. He was hungry and didn't want to feed but kept jamming his fists in his mouth instead of trying to suck. Finally my mom got up with him and walked around, and he fell asleep until the end of the movie. It was so frustrating and I was ready to give up breastfeeding altogether, but everyone has told me that he is probably reacting to the vaccines from yesterday- apparently the second day is worse than the first.

He's been really fussy all day, doesn't know what he wants, wants to eat but doesn't want to, tries to sleep but cries instead, so I'm really hoping that it is just from the vaccine and will have passed by tomorrow.

He was in his usual good mood for about 10 minutes earlier, so I took the opportunity to grab a photo of him in his cute little outfit.

Now I'm off to watch some TV until the next feed, then its bed-time for both of us. Hopefully tomorrow we'll spend all day vegging and catching up on some rest. Happy Wednesday!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:59 p.m.   4 comments
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
home, home, home at last
What a busy day! We were up at the crack of 9:00am to feed Jakob and load up the car as we had his pediatrician appointment for his 2 month vaccinations (even though it's a bit early).

I'm proud to say he handled the shots like a trouper! A quick cry, almost as if to say "what the hell?" and by the time I had him re-dressed he was laughing again. I'm so proud of my big boy! Besides the shots he was found perfectly healthy, he grew 3 inches longer since birth (up to 23.5") and gained some more weight to a nice, healthy 11 lbs.

After that appointment we spent the day doing something we had been meaning to do for the last year! We had received some duplicate items from our wedding registry, and a few items that weren't exactly to our taste. We FINALLY went through everything and brought the items back to the store to exchange them for items we will use. It was so much fun! It was a bit awkward when Jakob got hungry, but the department store had an extra-large changing room with a bench so I was able to feed him in privacy. Then we spent the afternoon shopping with the store credit that we'd amassed. It was great, and we got a bunch of items that we will use often. I love them all, but I'm a bit biased towards the steamer we picked up- because it will be great for blocking! :)
After that long day we weren't in the mood to cook so we went over to my parents' place and had dinner with them. Now we're home and I'm going to try feeding Jakob at 11:00 instead of midnight and seeing how long he sleeps afterwards. Wish me luck!

p.s. to the Sharon who found me through the baby blog...thanks for your comments! I can't reply directly so I'm putting it here. :)

p.p.s. I haven't uploaded the camera lately so these are some of my favorite shots from the last few weeks.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:45 p.m.   1 comments
...and the last little bit...
If I don't finish catching this up I never will.

To quickly sum is much easier now! We have been spending most days running around doing errands and I finally used two wedding shower gift certificates and pampered myself with a manicure and pedicure, so I'm looking a little better now too!

Health-wise everything is going well. I'm recovering nicely from the c-section, the scar is ropey but that will take a long time to fade. The stretch marks are still dark and vivid, but those will fade too.

For Jakob things are looking good. Breast feeding is still tough, but we're getting through it one day at a time. I've been worried because every book and nurse tells you to feed for 15-20 minutes per side, and my little gulper drinks for 5 minutes per side. Only most babies drink with a sip-sip-sip-swallow pattern, and Jakob drinks as sip-swallow, sip-swallow, literally "chugging" his milk. Luckily I have proof he's doing well, as I've been bringing him to the CLSC every week to be weighed.

Check this out: on Tues June 26 he weighed 9 lbs 13 oz. Taking his weight gain from the previous weigh-in, he'd put on 38 grams per day (the average is 25) and was in the 75th percentile! Not bad for only 5 minutes per side every 2-3 hours!

To make it even better, on his last weigh-in, Tuesday, July 3rd, he weighed 10 lbs 3 oz!!! He put on 10 oz in one week!!! That comes out to 42 grams per day! He's DEFINATELY getting enough to drink, even if he's doing it fast. So that's a huge load off my mind.

Things seem to be slowly settling into a groove. Some days its hard, like today. It was a rainy day and we both just wanted to sleep, only he wanted to be held all day so I wasn't able to get anything done, plus he was very fussy. Other days he'll be calm and good and I can put him in his play pen or into a bouncer while I unpack for a while.
On June 23rd I knit for the first time since giving birth. I took Jakob for a walk in his stroller and sat in the park for a while, knitting while he slept. He was still sleepy when we got home so I took advantage and finished a few more rows. I worked on the Mitered Square Blankie since my brain isn't up to anything more complicated than garter stitch yet. :)
Last Wed I went to my local knitting meetup for the first time, it has been a while. It's nice to be able to get out of the house, I just need to get more comfortable with breast-feeding in public.
Tomorrow he gets his 2 month vaccinations at his doctor's appointment, then we're going to do some shopping. I've only got one last little part to blog about, the Shriner's visits, so I'll try to get to that this week. I can't think of anything monumental enough to blog about that you really "need to know" about the last few weeks, so consider me caught up blog-wise (except the Shriner's part). Hopefully from now on I can update "live". :) So enough of the boring "catch up" posts!
Oh, and he smiles and laughs now, and I've got it all on video! I will be uploading one soon, I promise!
p.s. Sorry for the mess of a post. I feel like this one is very poorly written, but my brain is a little scattered at the moment and I don't have the energy to to back and edit. Long story short all is well here and if there is anything that you want to know that I forgot to mention, please don't hesitate to ask me in the comments. I'm here for you! LOL

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 12:53 a.m.   2 comments
Sunday, July 08, 2007
so from where we last left off...
...after the bris everything seemed to be back to normal, but better. Instead of being forced to wake up to eat every three hours, Jakob had started waking up on his own. It was like clockwork- 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm, 12am, 6am, 9am, etc... every three hours we'd do the whole schedule.

The nurse Isabelle called on the following Monday (May 28) and when she heard how it was going, and heard him cry (more lusty and loud then his earlier, weaker cries) she said I could stop the routine and start feeding him on demand. That meant I could even stop pumping and supplementing, and see how it went just feeding when he wanted. I was so relieved! Even more so the next day when we went to the CLSC and he was up to 7lbs 9 oz, up 5 oz from his last weigh-in 5 days previous!

At that point things started going smoother, baby-wise. It was still demanding and tough, but now that I didn't have the extra stuff to do, I could get some sleep in between his feedings. I was still feeling a lot of pressure about our impending move since we had a moving company coming on June 11th and that was only a week and a bit away and the house wasn't packed yet, but my family really pitched in and helped out. I really owe the smoothness of the move to their help!

I don't remember much about those next few weeks except a daily blur of repetition. Most days I'd get a lift over to my parents' house (I wasn't allowed to drive yet, had to wait 4 weeks after the c-section) because it had more light than sitting in my dark, box-filled living room. Plus there were people there to help me out most of the time, even if it was just because they wanted to hold him, it let me get a few minutes of rest with my arms free. (It didn't last long LOL I'm typing this with him slung over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes!) I'd started off going there one afternoon when my house lost power and it was really dark, and it got to be a habit. I'd stay there until after supper then someone would drive us home and then each night various family members would come over and pack. Yannick wasn't around at all because he'd work all day, then go to the new house and work on renovations all night. He'd come home around midnight or 1am, visit with us for a bit then go to bed himself.

During Jakob's fifth week 2 great things happened. First of all, I was now able to start driving again. Our first trip out was on Wednesday, June 20. I took him to the bank to get his own account, then to my parents' place, then finally to my friend Jackie's house to visit. The first few minutes were scary because I felt this huge weight of responsibility, but by the time I reached the third corner it had passed and we've driven around ever since with ease.

The second great thing was that Jakob started his closest interpretation of sleeping through the night. The first time it happened, I fed him at 12am then put him down to sleep in between Yannick and I as usual. (Now that we're in the new house we swapped our waterbed for a real bed and Jakob sleeps between us 'cus it's easier for the late-night feeds. Once he does a 7 hour stretch or longer through the night I'll be putting him into his crib overnight). Anyways, I woke up at 5:30am, looked over at his sweet, sleeping face, then looked at the clock and freaked out. He'd only fallen asleep around 1:15am, but it was still the longest stretch of sleep we've had since the minute he'd been born. I fed him until 6:00 and then we slept again until 9am- it was amazing. I felt so well rested the next day! The following night it happened again, only he slept until 6am. I woke up at 6:00 on my own and looked at the clock before looking at him. This time I went into a panic- why didn't he wake up? Is he ok? Is he breathing? Every story I've ever heard about SIDS went through my head. I looked over at him- looked so peaceful but I couldn't resist putting my hand on his chest to make sure he was breathing.

Ever since that first night now on average he feeds between 11:30 and 12:30 (which can take up to 45 minutes) then sleeps until anywhere between 5:00 and 6:00 am. Then he feeds again and sleeps until anywhere from 8:30 to 9:30 am. On a good day we'll go back to sleep again until noon-ish but that doesn't usually happen.

I have to say to anyone who reads this and is about to be a parent or is a new parent and is freaking out about the sleep deprivation- you WILL feel human again! As soon as we started this new sleep routine I have actually been able to do stuff and have not napped a single time during the day. I feel so well rested now! I have actually had the energy to take him out almost every single day on errands and not crash and burn.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:48 a.m.   1 comments
Thursday, July 05, 2007
mommy with jakob at 7 weeks old

(Not the best photo of him but I look ok and Yannick was too busy to take more than one pic).

I'm not going to wax poetic about how fast the time flies, especially not today when my son has had the desire to eat practically every hour (the last feed was 20 MINUTES after the previous one) and I'm feeling drained and flat and empty, and the day seems to be dragging on forever. But I can't believe it's almost two months, and that I'm not pregnant any longer (although the uterine contractions feel like kicks and I temporarily forget there's no baby in there). Ok, I'll say it. It goes really fast.

Lots more to catch up on but not enough time at this sitting, maybe tomorrow. If yours is one of the blogs I've been neglecting take this "HEY" as a shout out and know that I hope everything is good, that any troubles are past, that I congratulate you on your achievements (knitting and non) and that I'm thinking of you. I know exactly which dozen or so blogs I used to read daily, and I'm missing you all.


posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:56 p.m.   1 comments
Sunday, July 01, 2007
while my little one sleeps...
...let's see how much typing I can get done.

So I think I caught up my hospital stay, right? Jakob was born on Thursday and I left the hospital on Sunday afternoon. It was a long weekend so I knew I'd have Yannick and my parents around on the Monday to help out, and it turned out to be a great thing they were all available, as the week didn't start off so well.

On Monday Isabelle, a baby nurse from my local CLSC came by to take a look at Jakob and to take out my surgery staples. I'm not sure how it is in other provinces and in the rest of the world, but here in Quebec a nurse comes to visit you a day or two after you leave the hospital with your baby. You don't need to make an appointment or anything, it is all arranged by the hospital for you. Anyways, Isabelle came by and weighed Jakob and saw that he had lost more weight. All babies lose weight after birth (mostly water) and up to under 10% is an acceptable amount. Jakob had been born at 8.0 lbs and when weighed each night at the hospital, he went down first to 7 lbs 12 oz, then to 7 lbs 7 oz, then to 7 lbs 3 oz.. Now that the nurse was weighing him at our house he was down to 7 lbs 2 oz, which was around 11% of his body weight lost.

Isabelle made it clear that this was not good. In fact, she also informed us that he was jaundiced, something no one at the hospital ever told us. Up to that point we'd thought it was normal that he was very sleepy and difficult to wake for feedings, but it turns out that the more weight he lost, the bigger an effort it took to stay awake, so he had no energy left to feed, which led to more weight was a very hard time. The only way to flush the jaundice from him was to make him drink since it leaves the body in his waste, but he was too tired to drink. If the jaundice got worse than we'd have to bring him back to the hospital to stay under the lights and I'd have to leave my newborn. Needless to say I was very shaken and upset.

She told us that we had to follow a strict regimine until his weight was back up:

-I had to strip him down to his diaper before each feed so that he'd get cold and wake up.

-then I had to get him to do a good drink (swallowing, not just sucking) for 15-20 minutes on one side

-then burp him and change his diaper to wake him back up

-then get him to drink the same way on the other side

-once that was done I had to feed him a 1 oz supplement of pumped breast milk or formula

-then pump for 20 minutes to boost milk production

This whole process had to be repeated every 3 hours. I didn't have a pump yet so Yannick had to run out and buy one, and also a can of prepared formula to have something to give Jakob for the first few feeds until I had a chance to sterilize the breast pump. Only our first day home and my biggest desire to NOT give our son formula was ruined. On top of that, he was SO sleepy that getting him to drink for 15 minutes sometimes took over 30. And he burped well, even after 10 minutes he still could have resisted burping. That meant the whole strip-feed-burp-change-feed-supplement-pump routine could (and often did) take almost 2 hours. The "repeat every 3 hours" starts from when the last feed BEGAN, so if I started feeding him at 9am and only finished at 11am I still had to start back over at 12pm, next feed at 3pm, and so on. This went on around the clock. I was so utterly exhausted because anything I did in that brief hour or so between feeds, whether eating, taking calls or even going to the bathroom, everything took away from sleep. I couldn't figure out how mothers left the house with their babies when I couldn't even think about sleep without wanting to cry.

Isabelle had given us a syringe with a wide mouth to administer the 1 oz supplement, and at the pharmacy Yannick had asked for a small cup to have another option. Both options worked when I had someone with me to hold Jakob or at least hold his arms out of the way, but neither one worked well when I was alone with him throughout the night. So by the second day we were home I had to scrap another strong conviction- to not give him bottles. I was so tired and desperate that I caved and used bottles to give him the supplement

The whole time I kept wondering if I would suffer for it in the end, if it would screw up his latch, all the stuff they warn you about during prenatal classes when they try to drill in the importance of all breastfeeding, all the time, for the first six months at least. They really hammer it home- no bottles, no pacifiers, no formula. And Yannick and I had such convictions that we would be able to do it.

Isabelle had come by the following morning (Tuesday) and weighed Jakob again and he was up an ounce, so our efforts were working. I was elated- until that afternoon when he seemed weaker than ever. Most feeds were an effort; he'd fall asleep so often while feeding that I had to constantly stroke his cheek, tap under his jaw, dab him with a cool compress, etc, to provoke him to wake up and keep sucking. Tuesday afternoon he was so sleepy that we were practically dipping him into a bowl of ice water and I couldn't get him to wake up to drink. He slept through an entire feed and all I could think about was how much weight he'd lose and would we have to bring him back to the hospital. It was a lot of pressure for a situation that wasn't completely in my control and it was a very hard time.

Even though he'd gained an ounce we weren't out of the woods yet. We were asked to bring Jakob to the CLSC on Thursday to have him weighed again. Every Tuesday and Thursday the CLSC has a free clinic where you can get breastfeeding advice from a lactation consultant, weigh your baby, see a nurse, and chat/socialize with other mothers. We agreed to bring him then asked our important question: was he healthy enough for his bris which was scheduled for Friday morning? (The Jewish circumsision ceremony is usually done on the 8th day which would have been Thursday but it was a high holiday and because I'd had a c-section it was required to go to the Friday). She couldn't tell us if he would be strong enough, it would all depend on his weight.

Thursday we took him out for the first time. Yannick took time off work and we brought him to the CLSC. Now he was up to 7 lbs 4 oz. It had taken him 2 days, but at least he'd put on some weight.

I was really scared for how the bris would knock him out though. A trauma like that would knock out any infant, but Jakob already had so little strength and I was afraid that any progress we'd made would be set back. Friday morning I gave him some baby Advil on the moyel's advice (the rabbi who does the ceremony) and we went to the synagogue for the bris.

I'm happy to say he did really well. He cried for a split second when the moyel took off his diaper and he was exposed to the cold, and that was it. He did poo during the ceremony though, which will be a story we'll love to tell his future dates. :) We didn't allow anyone to hold him during the brunch afterwards, as we wanted him to rest and recoup his strength.

Afterwards we went home and spent the weekend cocooning in our 3 hour routine. It was exhausting and frustrating and I cried and screamed more than I would like to admit, but we made it through our first week.

Next post: week two.

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:05 p.m.   2 comments
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