Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Our (Potential) Crib

Oh my! They accepted our offer!

After years and years of looking for (our definition of) a perfect house, we finally found it and may be homeowners soon!

Stay tuned...

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baby Anna: Week Six

Don't be fooled by her angelic face, this little girl has been causing us grief lately!


Anna has been fussier than usual in the past weeks -- and it is tough. The crying, pouting, whining, screaming. I read that fussiness peak somewhere around 6 to 8 I am hanging in there. In the meantime, there is a lot of swaying, rocking, and walking going on in my life.

My back is not happy. at. all.

On the bright side, I am thankful for those healthy lungs...

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

This Morning

Today is our 7th Date-versary!

We -
: Took the dogs to get mail. Wet ground = very dirty dogs.
: Washed, dried, brushed the dirty dogs.
: Fed a crying baby.
: Changed the crying baby 2x.
: Wiped the crying baby's face and neck.
: The baby spat up. Crying stopped.
: The baby proceeded to poop through her diapers, stained her onesie and her Mama's pants.
: Her Papa decided a bath was in order. He bathed the baby.
: In the meantime, Mama put laundry in the washer and washed the bottles in the sink.
: Mama dried the baby and dressed her in duckies head to toe.

All these events happened before 9:17am this morning.

Geeze, was anyone else even awake then?

Happy Date-versary, babes!

Can't think of anyone who I'd rather share this craziness with.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Anna In Action: Alone Time

Not only it gives me a chance to brush out the knots in my hair, but I think giving Anna alone time is good for her development. I may be way ahead of myself, but hopefully this will help to develop her attention span and teach her to play independently when she's older.

This morning after our playtime, I put her down for a nap. Five minutes later when I went back to check on her, I found that she was wide awake and just staring into space. She wasn't fussing so I decided to just let her be (instead of shaking a rattle in her face or provide other stimulations like I usually do) and played Baby Bach to keep her company.

I think she enjoyed it for a while (as did I!)....before she screamed for attention.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Anna In Action: Playing on the Mat

Thanks to hubs' old buddy, we finally have a video camera to record all those precious baby moments!

Now I know that nearly all point-and-shoot cameras, such as mine, can also record little videos, but this particular one takes videos up to 10 feet under water and record it all in HD. It is fool-proof to use - I didn't even need to read the instruction manual to figure it all out.

I took this short video of Anna playing on her mat. She's starting to notice the animals hanging above and often hit or grab them.

Too adorable.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth ten thousand. I will probably post more videos in the future!

(Oh, video was shot in the living room on a cloudy day...the quality is much better when there is more light.)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Anna's (Rough) Daily Schedule

As a new parent, I crave for a routine, a schedule.

For example, baby wakes up at 6:30am, gets a bottle, naps until 9:30am, gets a bottle, plays/stays awake until noon, gets a bottle, naps until 3pm, gets a bottle...

The thing is sometimes my day are really like that! And when that happens, I love being a temporary stay-at-home-mom.

However, sometimes baby will throw me a curve ball and I run around the entire day like a madwoman. She fusses, she refuses to be put down, and she throws up everything she eats.

Days like those make me want to end my maternity leave early.

I mentioned it before that Anna needs to work on her sleeping habits, especially at night.

I think I am starting to see a pattern.

She gets her last bottle any time from 9:30-11pm. She wakes up between 1:30-3am for a bottle. And again between 5:30-7am for a bottle. Basically, at night, she lasts 4 hours between bottles.

I am fine with this, even more fine with it whenever she falls RIGHT BACK TO SLEEP after a feeding - however, sooner rather than later, I would love to see her skip the 1:30-3am bottle. Apparently, you can train your baby to do that...or you can just wait until the baby grows out of it.

Anyway, this is just little Anna's rough schedule for the day. I will occasionally update when I see improvement.

Until we get all the kinks ironed out, I am just glad that hubs' mom is here (almost) daily to help out.

So no matter what Anna decides her schedule is for the day, from 11 to 3pm, I get my alone time, my mama-only time, my blogging time. It's the time when all is good in the world.

Update 4/22: How to SUCCESSFULLY teach a baby to sleep - 3rd ed and How to Maximize a Baby's Sleep (0-4mths)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

For our next trip...

Come this September, hubs and I will hop on a boat and cruise in the western Caribbean!

So so so excited!

By then, we will have gone one entire year without a vacation and I am more than ready for a little getaway. I am considering this trip a combination of "post-baby" babymoon, our 3rd wedding anniversary celebration, and my birthday present. :)

So as you can see, it's totally worth the expense! We are even splurging for a balcony cabin this time.

Now lets just hope hurricane season will magically be off-season for that one week.

154 days until I get to have uninterrupted sleeps again....yay!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, April 16, 2010

my morning walk

I am starting to take daily walks around the neighborhood in the morning with Anna (okay, fine, today was only the second day, but I am determined to continue). Yesterday I didn't take the dogs because it was the first time out with baby on my own. This morning they looked at me with those big dopey eyes and I knew I couldn't leave them at home again.

1 baby in a 30lb stroller + 2 dogs + 1 big camera = a very slow walk

(an usually 20-minutes route took twice as long!)

But totally worth the hassle.

Tail-wagging dogs. Sleeping baby. And some nice images.

Especially loving the last one.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

First Month Of Mamahood

Few things I learned from the early days of mamahood...

: That when it's your child, getting pee'd on, pooped on, and threw up on isn't all that gross.
: That a pacifier can be sanity-saving.
: That adding two extra bottles into the rotation can also be sanity-saving.
: That I have to get up to pump in the middle of the night no matter how sleepy I am. Seriously have to.
: That a burp cloth is now a permanent part of my outfit.
: That I would let Pargo go THREE weeks without a bath.
: That my 7-3 job is a dreamy vacation
: That sometimes I don't have time to brush teeth or use the bathroom.
: That getting through the day without having to change baby's outfit is a great day.
: That when I get my fussy baby to calm down, I feel like a supermom.
: That I love the book "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut" by Dr. Seuss. I want to memorize it.
: That I would stop in the middle of a bite and run to my crying baby.
: Then when I am out by myself, I want to hurry back home.
: That watching hubby playing with Anna is 1000x better than any television shows.
: That even though mamahood is so physically draining, I love Anna all the way to the moon and back.

Photo: A bouquet of flowers hubs brought home for Anna and me!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby Anna: One Month

Baby Anna is one month old today. The Banana, Miss Chunky Monkey, my little girl. It's hard to believe you could wiggle your way even deeper into my heart than the moment I first met and held you exactly 31 days ago. What seems like a gazillion diapers, feedings, frustrating hours, and sleepless nights later, you are all the more the apple of my eyes.

This morning at your one-month checkup, I almost cried along with you when the nurse stuck you with a needle. Overall, you are healthy and happy. We just need to work hard on your sleeping schedule. Mama and Papa need our beauty sleep so we can better take care of you!

Baby A, sometimes I wish you came with a return policy, but secretly, I am over the moon that I get to keep you forever and watch you grow. Happy One Month, my darling!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Activities

Anna is growing up. Instead of being a sleepy newborn, she is awake more often now. On most days, she is alert for 1-2 hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. And then she will surprise me with little alert moments every now and then throughout the day.

So how to keep her occupied while she's awake?

I have been doing the usual. I talk to her. Like, if I am on the computer, I will describe what I am browsing. I will read to her my Parents magazine. I also play soft baby music in the background. I put her on the play mat so she can kick her legs and punch her arms in the air. I put a blanket + mirror on the floor, put her on her tummy, and help her "crawl". I put her in the bouncer and just let her stare at her surrounding. I hold her under the arms and "stand" her in an upright position.

As much as I love helping Anna grow, all these activities wear me out! So sometimes I let her play on her own - on a good day, she can stare quietly in her crib at the mobile for 10 minutes straight! It's always a blessing when that happens.

Each day, I see her tracking objects more with her eyes, gaining better control of her head, and her leg muscles are helping her "stand" better. When I rattle my prenatal vitamin bottle near her right ear, she turns to the right and when I do the same near her left ear, she turns to the left.

So, so cute and amazing to watch.

The other day I did a quick search on more activities you can play with a newborn. I found this list. I am pleasantly surprised to learn that we have been doing most of it on our own. Still, I will continue to search for new activities to add some variety.

Photo: Anna with her brothers. I don't think Anna knows of their existence yet, but the puppies are definitely warming up to her. Pargo even licked her hand today!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Faces of Anna Banana

I was watching The Today Show this morning and caught the segment on Sleeping Beauties. I was in awe of how precious and perfect those images are of the tiny infants! I wish Anna had some pictures like that!

Off I went to throw our gray fleece blanket over the couch and try to recreate some of those dreamy images of my own.

It didn't go so well.

Before I even have the chance to get her naked, my little baby started screaming and whining in protest. After 5 minutes of calming her down, I realized that there was no way she was going to lay still for me while I "prop" and "arrange" her.

I guess that's why people hire professionals...

So instead, I clicked my camera away while she wiggled and made faces. The results were far from what I had set out to do, but I am glad that I finally got some shots of her oh-so-cute facial expressions!

The first one is my favorite!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On My To-Do List: Decorative Burp Cloths

The best burp cloths are actually Gerber cloth diapers. Lots of people say they are lousy for diapering (which I can't say I agree or disagree because we use Pampers) but are super absorbent as burp cloths (which I agree 100%!). I have found them incredibly handy when you have a newborn who spits up often. We have one in every corner of our little condo.

I found this tutorial online on jazzing up these plain white cloth diapers and turning them into cute burp cloths. (Here is another tutorial)

Once I find some time (and fabric and a sewing machine), I really want to try it out!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pump, Feed, Repeat

When you become a mother, you have no time to yourself.

So true.

For the past 22 days, my days have been a whirlwind of pumping and feeding.

-- I pump every 2.5 to 3 hours during waking hours. Including washing the pump and storing the milk, each session lasts roughly 25 minutes. I do this 6 times a day.

-- Anna eats every 2 to 3 hours around the clock. Including prepping bottles, burping, and washing bottles, each feeding can last as long as 30 minutes. Anna consistently eats 10 times a day.

On a good day (read: when Anna falls asleep quickly after a feeding), I can squeeze in some browsing and blogging while she's sleeping. On a bad day (read: Anna needs to be held at all times or else she has a fit), I can't get anything done around the house! Craziness!

So how do I cope?

The secret is: to have a group of supportive helpers - hubby, my mom, and my MIL.

Although I am on my own when it comes to pumping, just having them help to feed Anna and hold her make life a lot easier...and I am very grateful.

And really… I just have to get organized and work out a routine.

Juggling, adapting, staying active, and busy. I’d rather push myself, than be a lazy blob.

Life is going great! Just a little hazy.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

hubs' dream girl

Parents normally have big dreams for their a doctor, lawyer, an inventor, the President. For hubby, all he wants for Anna is be his future gaming buddy.

Look, he's already training her little chubby fingers.


[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, April 2, 2010

the end of 3 week update (...a bit early though)

Anna is almost 3 weeks old and, I may be biased, as cute as a button.

While I don't know many babies to compare her to, I consider her a very happy and contented little baby. She wakes up to eat every 2-3 hours and usually falls right back to sleep immediately after. She has her alert moments once in the morning and once at night. During that time, we talk to her, read to her, listen to Baby Mozart, and let her have some time on the play mat or bouncer.

(Here she is on her bouncer, which is equipped with lights, music, and vibration. We don't have any batteries so right now it's simply a place to put her. Even without all the extras, she's still as happy as a clam!)

She is beginning to look at things with interest and reach out to grab our shirts when we hold her. At our 2-week baby appointment this past Monday, the doctor commented that she has great neck strength! I am a proud Mama.

Anna does have some fussy moments. At night right before she goes to sleep, she's fussier than usual. We could've just fed her, changed her, and burped her, but she would still scream until her face turns red. The only cure is her binky. I don't want her to be dependent on her binky and I also read that it's bad for the baby's gum and teeth development, but it's the only thing that works so we give it to her for now. But after 3-6 months, I am hoping we can quit cold turkey.

So overall, Anna is growing and changing everyday. Next week will bring new challenges because hubs is on travel. Hopefully us girls will do just fine!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ridin' in Style

I didn't think we needed a new family car - thought my little Honda Civic sedan would suffice...but with merely three trips out with Anna (and I didn't even do any heavy lifting), I knew that my trusty old car wasn't going to cut it.

Off we went to shop for a new car!

We test drove the CR-V the other day, but couldn't come to an agreement on the price. So yesterday, end of the quarter, hubs went on his own, talked down the price, traded in his tC (I love my Civic too much to trade it in. Thanks for taking one for the family babe!), and drove home a brand new sleek black car. The CR-V will be my primary car to haul the baby around and hubs will tough it out with my old car for now.

It's amazing how much space a tiny baby needs, but I really like the new car! It's just roomy enough for 2 adults, 1 baby, and 2 dogs. :)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!