Monday, December 31, 2012

week of the sleeping baby

There was a definite theme to most of the pictures from week 45: sleeping baby. Since that's how Evan still spent the majority of his time at 2-3 weeks old, my choices for baby pictures were somewhat limited. Also, I wasn't feeling terribly inspired to do anything more creative.

First, we have Evan napping along with his grandparents on a Sunday afternoon. This might have been following an early morning of Bruce and Bonnie babysitting Elsa, in which case they had good reason to be tired.

309/366 group nap

And more napping on his grandpa on Monday afternoon... This was getting to be a habit. There was a warm spell around this time, so Evan got to wear onesies that day rather than his usual wardrobe of sleepers and rompers.

310/366 sleepy monkey

The warm weather continued through Tuesday, so I put Evan in the short sleeved Tea Collection romper. It was the other of the two outfits that I had bought at Fiddlesticks right after finding out we were having a boy. Unfortunately, it hasn't turned out to be terribly practical, since it's 0-3 month size. When I put it on him the day of this picture, it was a little big; now it probably fits perfectly, but the weather is colder.

311/366 warm day

Yet another sleeping baby picture for Wednesday afternoon, but this time Evan was napping in his crib. Afternoon naps in the crib were actually less common those first few weeks. He slept in there most mornings while I showered, but he usually spent afternoons either in the bouncy seat, being held by one of his grandparents or occasionally being worn by me in the Sleepy Wrap.

312/366 afternoon nap

Thursday's picture was of some of the laundry that I often did while Evan was sleeping. Almost every day there was a small load of burp cloths, bibs, outfits, and swaddling blankets. A couple months later, the story is pretty much the same, but I often fold everything while he's awake. It gives him something to watch while he sits in his bouncy seat, and it lets me do other things when he's asleep. Like edit pictures or write blog entries from two months ago.

313/366 the (near) daily laundry

I'm not a big fan of the picture for Friday, but I had surprisingly few choices for the day. I wanted to get a couple things at Day One across town, so Bonnie and I took Evan for his first stroller-to-car outing. Of the things I was looking for, we were only able to get the bibs that I wanted, but it was otherwise successful. I took the picture when we got back home. Evan was still sleeping, so we left him in his car seat for a while. I think I used the weird angle for the shot in an effort to make his hat look less like it was too big for him... It had looked okay when I put it on him, but it started looking a little strange when the car seat got involved.

314/366 bundled

At last, on Saturday, I took a picture of an awake Evan. We're calling this his first real tummy time, although I tried a couple minutes of it with him a day or two before. He lasted much longer and actually held his head up for a while that Saturday. The lighting was pretty terrible, since it was in the evening, but I didn't have many other choices for pictures that day.

315/366 tummy time

Saturday, December 22, 2012

the end of october

Time for another week's pictures. We begin with a Sunday project: hand- and footprinting the baby. They either don't do this at our hospital or they snuck it in when we weren't paying attention, so we didn't get the opportunity to get Evan's prints for the baby book while we were there. Instead, I had to order a DIY kit from Amazon. I wouldn't have bothered, but there's a page for it in the baby book. Also, my footprints are in my old baby book, so I thought I should do it for Evan. Mine are labeled as being from when I was 11 days old. We did Evan's at 10 days old, and they look pretty similar.

I was rather apprehensive about the whole thing, not knowing whether the baby would cooperate or if we would end up with a huge mess and no usable prints. So I was really glad that Bonnie was there to help me. We stripped Evan down to his diaper, waited for him to fall asleep, and then Bonnie held him while I did the printing. It was good that I used the card stock that came with the kit rather than trying to do the prints directly on the baby book page, because there were some failed attempts before we got good ones that weren't smeared. The feet were actually relatively easy; it was the hands that were more tricky. We had to pry open his fists to press them to the ink pad, hold them that way without rubbing the ink off, and then press them to the paper before he could make fists again.

On the last hand, Bonnie got a little too excited at our success and let go for a second. When we looked back at Evan, he had an inky handprint in the middle of his face. Naturally, rather than cleaning him off right away, I ran and got the camera. I guess now we have an accurate idea of how big his hands were relative to his face!

After all that excitement, I was finishing the ink removal process and heard a dribbling sound. Evan's diaper was leaking... He got both Bonnie and the wood floor. Good thing baby pee is sterile.

302/366 the great handprinting caper

The ink experiments weren't the only events on Sunday. After that, we walked to Mitchell's again for ice cream with Bruce, Bonnie, Carmen, Dan, and Elsa. And then there was the final game of the World Series that night, when the Giants won over the Tigers. Evan was wearing his new Giants onesie for the occasion, but I didn't really get many pictures of him in it. I had to fix that on Monday. It was just as well; I probably wouldn't have picked a Giants onesie shot over the ink photo for my picture of the day on Sunday anyway.

303/366 hopping on the bandwagon

Tuesday's picture wasn't terribly day-specific. It was Steve's first full day back to work. (He had stayed home the previous morning and then gone to the office after Evan's appointment with the pediatrician.) Other than that, it was a pretty typical day. Evan ate and slept in the morning, Bruce and Bonnie came in the afternoon, and then they ended up holding Evan while he slept some more. The only pictures I took were of Evan napping in his bouncy seat. It's the bouncy seat that we gave Dan and Carmen when they had Elsa, and it's been quite handy for us too.

304/366 naps in the bouncy seat

Wednesday was Halloween! When I was pregnant, I made the decision that I was not going to buy a Halloween costume for Evan. After all, his due date was October 27, so I had no guarantee that he'd be home from the hospital or even born by Halloween. I had decided that we would just use the Baby Gap bear suit/outerwear that Evan had inherited from Elsa. It would be nice and warm, and it was close enough to being a costume. He ended up swimming in it—it's 0-3 month and he was still wearing newborn sizes—but he was pretty cute and cuddly. We had a photo shoot in his room, on the bean bag, and then we went to Dan and Carmen's Halloween pizza party that evening. Evan slept through the whole thing. Several of Elsa's little friends and their families came—all dressed as various animals, so Evan fit in well—and then they went trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. We, on the other hand, took our sleepy bear back upstairs, saving the trick-or-treating for next year.

305/366 scary bear

Because Thursday was November 1, I took a break from the baby picture of the day so that I could do the calendar picture of the month. I was still firmly in baby mode, though, so the backdrop was one of Evan's swaddling blankets in his crib. That was when he was still small enough to be swaddled with blankets rather than the special swaddles...

306/366 november

I decided that it was time to get out for another walk on Friday, so I proposed a trip to Ritual for some coffee with Bruce and Bonnie. I broke out the Baby Bjorn for the first time and wore Evan all the way to the coffee shop before deciding to let Bonnie wear him for the walk back. He wasn't much more than 8 lbs at that point, but that was plenty of exertion for me for the time being. 

307/366 out and about

Saturday's picture was taken in the morning, while Evan and I were hanging out on the floor in his room. I propped him up with the Boppy pillow and took a few pictures while his eyes were open. I also got his umbilical cord stump in the shot. By the next morning, it had fallen off.

308/366 last day of the umbilical cord

That wraps up another week and another month. Here's the October mosaic. I like how the picture from Evan's birth ended up exactly in the middle.

Monday, December 17, 2012

settling in

Week 43: first full week with a baby! But we'll start with a picture of the other little "honey badger." That Sunday, we had a nurse home visit in the morning to make sure we were on the right track, since we wouldn't be going to the pediatrician until Tuesday. Then in the afternoon, we spent more time hanging out in the nursery with the grandparents and Dan and Carmen, playing Pass the Evan. Luckily, we had several balloons leftover from our homecoming the day before, and they were great for keeping Elsa entertained. Their helium had lost its effectiveness, but Elsa didn't care. She especially enjoyed having all the balloons dropped at once from above her.

295/366 party animal

On Monday, I made sure to take a picture of the flowers that Carmen had put in the nursery, since I hadn't done that the day we got home. I also included the card they gave us and the stuffed squirrel that Elsa brought to Evan when they visited us in the hospital his first night. Evan had his first sponge bath that afternoon too, but I was too busy doing the bathing to take pictures myself. Steve did that job for me while Evan demonstrated the power of his lungs.

296/366 baby!

I dressed Evan in his whale romper on Tuesday, and it happened to match the Detroit Tigers bib that his Aunt Carmen gave him. This was mid-World Series, so I had to take a picture of him in it. Of course, Evan's probably more of a Giants fan, since that's his home team, but Aunt Carmen is from the Detroit area. Growing up in Lansing and not being much of a sports fan, I've never really been attached to the Tigers myself.

297/366 tigers bib

Prior to Tuesday's Tigers bib shot, I had Steve help me with my last weekly portrait. I wanted to get one final shot of myself with the baby and without to finish off the pregnancy series. So I set up the tripod and camera and had Steve press the button on the remote for the pictures of me holding Evan. Somewhat unfortunately, I realized later that one of the joints on the tripod hadn't been tightened down, and the horizon—the picture rail—gradually traveled upward as the camera drooped. By the time I noticed that the composition didn't match those of my previous weeks' photos, I had already put everything away and changed out of my photo outfit. I would have to re-shoot the next day.

I say "somewhat unfortunately" because Wednesday's pictures actually turned out better than Tuesday's—and not just because the composition was right this time. I somehow looked much less pale at 6 days postpartum than I had at 5 days. I thought it might have been nice to take the picture during the previous weekend, closer to the actual 39-week mark, but this was also when I was able to finally find the time for it. We were too busy coming home from the hospital that Saturday and getting adjusted that Sunday to worry about taking the weekly photos then.

Also, I'm aware that I'm probably making many enemies right now, but I have to say how surprised I was by how quickly I lost the baby weight. I was fully expecting "9 months up, 9 months down" or at least about 4 months down and then hanging on to the last 5 lbs or so until I stopped breastfeeding. But I was wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans about 3-4 weeks after giving birth. I actually tried a couple pairs on at the 1-week mark and found that the slightly bigger pair (purchased around 9 weeks pregnant) fit great, while my skinniest ones were a little too skin-tight. Of course, I ended up wearing the yoga pants exclusively for another couple weeks anyway... They were much more comfortable as I was still recovering. Now, the skinny jeans fit fine again. I think I'm only about 2 lbs heavier than I started! My stomach isn't quite as flat as it used to be, although it's even better now than when I took these pictures. And for the first time in my life, I have quite the rack.

298/366 39.5 weeks

Moving on, there was Evan's 1-week birthday on Thursday. I delayed eating lunch for a few minutes just so I could take pictures of him at 1:09pm, when he would be exactly a week old. He was napping in his crib, so I just put his owl in with him.

299/366 one week

We had our first outing with the stroller on Friday afternoon, when we walked to Mitchell's for ice cream with Bruce and Bonnie. Upon returning home, we met up with Carmen and a skunk who looked a lot like Elsa. After the skunk decided that she couldn't fit in the basket of our stroller, she settled for pushing it through the park with a little steering help from Steve. (This was prior to Halloween, and Carmen was trying Elsa's costume on her.)

300/366 a walk in the park

Last, Evan's due date was that Saturday, and I finally managed to get the shot I was looking for for his birth announcement. I had tried a couple days before, but I hadn't quite been able to get him into the right pose. This time, I was a lot more successful, and I had Bonnie to help me hold up the ends of the blanket for the background. Evan was 9 days old and not getting any younger, so I was afraid I was going to be pushing the limits of his newborn sleepiness and pose-ability if I didn't get these shots done soon enough.

301/366 birth announcement

Saturday, December 8, 2012

the big week

Week 42 of the 366 project was a big one; it ended with us bringing a baby home from the hospital! It started less eventfully, however. It was week 38 of pregnancy, and I had just about completed my pre-baby to-do list. That Sunday's task was to bake some banana bread for the freezer. Since that kept me busy, the picture of the day turned out to be rather similar to the one I took when I made pumpkin chocolate chip loaves the week before.

I used my family's old banana bread recipe this time, just because I remembered it being really easy. It was indeed easy, but I've decided that I prefer the recipe from Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life. The texture is a bit better—less spongy and less greasy. And I could just leave out the crystallized ginger (I have before) and chocolate if I want plain banana bread. In any case, it's been nice to have these loaves in the freezer to pull out for snacks or breakfasts. I only just finished the last one yesterday.

288/366 banana bread

Steve's parents flew to SF on Monday. Steve worked from home that morning so that we could pick them up from the airport, and then he headed to the office for a meeting when we got back. The rest of us—Bruce, Bonnie, Carmen, Elsa, and I—got lunch from Papalote and ate it downstairs. I took a few pictures of Bruce and Bonnie playing with Elsa, but Elsa's a bit more active now than when they were here last time in March. None of the shots of them turned out that well, so I opted for a more stationary subject: Elsa's rabbit with the little table and chairs that Carmen found at the Alameda Flea Market.

289/366 lonely rabbit

On Tuesday afternoon, the nursery was the place to be. Carmen and Elsa came upstairs for a while, joining Bruce, Bonnie, and me. Carmen got out Elsa's old Bumbo seat and encouraged her to try sitting in it again, partly to see if she'd get stuck when she tried to stand up. Elsa actually managed to get herself out of it a few times; it took Carmen "helping" her up to get it to stick.

290/366 bumbo butt

Then there was Wednesday. It began like any other day, and then I went into labor. In the early afternoon, I had my weekly OB appointment. I was now 2cm dilated, rather than the 1cm I had been for the previous two weeks, but my doctor told me there was still a good possibility that I would be making it to my 39-week appointment the next Wednesday.

Later, I met Carmen and the in-laws for a photo shoot with Elsa in the park after her nap. (Carmen gave me the bird when I told her I was at 2cm.) Elsa had gotten a Detroit Tigers shirt and hat when it looked like the Tigers had a good chance of getting into the World Series, so we had to take some pictures of her in it. Plus, it was really nice out that day—in the upper 70s or low 80s. I got some cute shots of Elsa alone and some with the grandparents, and then we ended at the swings, where we stayed quite a while. That's probably where I was when contractions started, but since they didn't really feel much different from the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been experiencing for the last couple months, I didn't take note of when they began. I didn't even think to start timing them until I was back in the house, around 7:30pm. 

291/366 swinging with grandpa

So this is where the whole birth story comes in. (Read it all here if you missed it.) The short version is that we checked into the hospital around 11pm Wednesday night, I got the epidural at about 4am, and Evan was born at 1:09pm. I was actually glad that he waited until the next day to come, since the light in the labor/delivery room was drastically better during the day than it had been at night. I set up my camera when it was almost time to start pushing, and I let Steve take over from there. Not every shot turned out very well, but I really liked the one below.

292/366 the arrival of evan

The rest of the afternoon on Thursday was spent making phone calls to family, moving to our postpartum room on the other side of the floor, and getting the hang of breastfeeding. Luckily, Evan was pretty good at latching right away, so that was one less thing to worry about. In the evening, the whole gang came to visit: Bruce, Bonnie, Dan, Carmen, and Elsa. The adults took turns holding the baby and corralling Elsa, who "brought" Evan a stuffed squirrel as a gift.

That night, we decided to let Evan go to the nursery, rather than having him room in with us. After the long night and day we had just had, we needed a little sleep. The nurse still brought him in every couple of hours so I could feed him, but at least I didn't need to worry about him at all in between. (We kept him in our room the next night and got to hear all his squeaks and stirrings.)

Friday was a little less eventful for us. There was lots of eating on Evan's part, as well as some standard newborn tests and his circumcision, but we didn't have any visitors besides my doctor and one of the pediatricians. Steve and I decided that our room was small and crowded enough as it was, and we would be seeing the family again when we came home the next day anyway. We also had our "fancy" celebratory dinner that evening, since it was our last night in the hospital. I say "fancy," but it was definitely still hospital food, steak or not. It's nice that they try to make it special, though.

I actually didn't take too many pictures that day, because I was recovering. But I did make it out of bed long enough to take some photos of Evan on Steve's cot by the window.

293/366 one day old

Finally, we came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon. It was a little stressful trying to get Evan dressed and into his car seat for the first time, but we managed. The one thing that didn't get put on him was his hat; it was too late once he was strapped in. Luckily, it was in the low 60s that day, so he didn't really need it for the short trips to and from the car.

The grandparents, Dan, Carmen, and Elsa met us at the house when we pulled up. Elsa got to see Evan in her old car seat, and after a quick photo op, we took Evan upstairs. Carmen and Bonnie had decorated a little with flowers, balloons, and a Tigers bib in the nursery. And on the kitchen table, there were more flowers, some fruit, and a card addressed to "Stevily." Apparently, our "Stemily" nickname had been updated.

294/366 welcoming party

We all hung out for a while in the nursery, and then we went downstairs for Evan's first pizza night. He pretty much slept through the whole thing.