Monday, May 30, 2011

Infinity Exhaustion

It's understandable that our days are a lot more exhausting than they used to be because of this bundle of joy, apple of our eye, cutey patootey....

but this weekend taught us a whole other level of exhaustion, one I have tokened (just now mind you) as infinity exhaustion.

Normally, a nap helps mitigate the intermittent sleep through the night and normally, my days involve boob feeding, sleeping, eating, reading, watching tv, talking on the phone, browsing the internet, a walk around the neighborhood, and some cleaning.

This weekend, we had three big events on Saturday and two big events on Sunday and these "events" came with short naps that did not alleviate the fatigue caused, resulting in a very tired mommy me.

Our family and friends came into town for Jordan's one month Chinese celebration and baby blessing. We started our Saturday morning with lunch in Little Tapei (Monterey Park), followed by a trip to a free carnival complete with bouncy obstacle courses, carousel swings, pony rides, cotton candy, popcorn, sno cones and a train ride! Jordan had a fabulous time in his stroller and slept through the whole thing while our nieces, Sophie and Violet, enjoyed themselves with Sophie going on the pony ride and the carousel swings! We were able to catch a quick respite before heading over to my hometown for a one month dinner celebration.

My way too generous friends, who have brought over gifts for Jordan every time they have visited (which has been 3 times over the last 4 weeks) brought more gifts again. They just are incapable of showing up empty handed but I am so grateful for their excitement, generosity and excellent taste!

My BFF Grace, aka the sister I never had (until Tammy came along that is...) got Jordan and me a CD with nursery rhymes and songs - how exciting since all I can recall is twinkle twinkle little star and part of the itsy bitsy spider... hehe
Julia and her husband Eric got us a jellycat rabbit from Yolk (hipster Silverlake store with really cute gift wrapping!) since Jordan was born in the year of the golden rabbit and 28 dollars for him being 28 days old (we had our one month celebration a few days early). This is on top of the two packs of Pampers they brought us, three pints of gelato, dozen of mini Dot's cupcakes (I know, I'm spoiled by my friends) and delicious - no scrumptious and mouthwatering homemade mac n cheese, cheese puff pastries and gooey cheesy and garlicy french bread! I'm bummed I didn't get a photo with the Chins but they are now infamous in our family and being invited to all our family "potlucks" and were even offered room and board if they flew out to Utah with their cooking creations.

My dad, true to the Asian stereotype, took a bunch of photos but Andy's uncle Ike, a professional photographer, took over some of the camera taking and we got a bunch of photos with everyone! My favorite photo of Jordan from the one month with OGO*.
He just looks so comfortable in OGO's arms. The first official photo with both sets of grandparents!

The set menu was a very traditional Shanghai banquet so I was not shocked when my brother in law and even husband were a little scared off by the sea cucumber but I was shocked when our friends Jeff and Passelly tried almost everything! The menu was even authentic for me but I'm glad there were some adventurous eaters! Needless to say, I was way to stuffed after the trio of desserts - eight treasure rice (my favorite!) sesame rice balls and slices of oranges that Yogurtland (which is right next door!) was only a distant and now unattainable dream. *sigh

That night, my infinity exhaustion began. Everyone was outside watching I Am Number Four and it wasn't that late, but I could smell the sweetness of sleep and I was OUT. But after a feeding at 4 AM, I could not fall asleep again. So unable to sleep, I started revamping our blog. Big mistake. Adrenaline still on my side, I took a shower at 6:30 AM, fed Jordan at 7 AM and realized, my timing is way off. Given his two hour feeding schedule, he would be hungry at .. precisely... 9 AM - which is when Church starts and the baby blessings are always towards the beginning of the Sacrament hour! Oh no! To counteract his hunger, I fed him again at 8:20 AM and kept my fingers crossed.

I was nervous whether my parents, brother, aunt and Grace would make it on time. I didn't want to pressure them about being punctual (given my own track record) but knew if they showed up a bit late, they could miss it all! As we drove into the parking lot, I saw my dad - couldn't miss him in his black dress shirt and red tie. We walked in and I saw my mom, brother, aunt and not far away, Grace was walking towards me in a cute vintage blouse, slacks and a bright turquoise sweater (she had been unsure what to wear and proudly told me she picked out a good conservative outfit for "church"). I breathed a short sigh of relief and was excited for them to be at Church with me - this was a first for me as well as them and throughout the meeting, I tried my best to explain to Grace what was going on just like someone had done for me my first time at Church but technically, it wasn't Grace's first time at an LDS Sacrament meeting. She had been to once at the Singles Ward to listen to me give a talk but now I was sitting next to her and able to give her more insight into the Sacrament prayer and sing the hymns with her.

The blessing was absolutely beautiful and touching. Andy blessed Jordan to grow, learn, know that his parents and Heavenly Father loved him, to choose the right, gain his own testimony, desire to do good, serve others, serve the Lord, find a good wife, get married in the Temple, be a good husband, be a good father, and devote his life to the Lord. Since I didn't grow up in any Church, it's hard to explain what a baby blessing is to my friends who did as they often ask me if it's a baby baptism. Not having seen a baby baptized before, all I respond with is that in our Church, revelation has advised us not to let children get baptized until they are eight, the age of accountability.

A baby blessing is a sacred, happy and family happy ordinance within our Church that is similar to the blessing that Jesus gave to the little children in Mark 10:16. When Christ did this, he had the authority from our Heavenly Father which we in the Church have through the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is a privilege for Jordan to be given his name and blessed by his father who holds the priesthood and that our son is recognized by God. Maybe Jordan knew this because he was an absolute angel during the blessing - not a peep, not even a poop or gassy moan/grunt that he often lets out.

However, Jordan was unable to stay quiet throughout the entire one hour and ten minutes of Sacrament meeting and about 15 minutes towards the end, he started moaning, grunting and farting. Maybe the sound was magnified to Grace and me because we both freaked out, and left to change him. After changing him, we realized he was hungry and I realized that my dress was not conducive to feeding him! We gave him a little bottle of boob milk and then, rushed to get a photo with the family before going home. It was cold outside and everyone was everywhere and of course, this photo depicts the frenzy in mommy me as I am trying to calm Jordan and get the family over for a photo together.
A picture can say a thousand words. Priceless isn't it?

Luckily we got everyone (except Zach who was running around somewhere) into a photo but unluckily, my bangs were a mess - attempted tuck behind the ears that puffed up resulting in a very odd little extra loop of hair that is in EVERY photo! Ack!

I wore red shoes to match Andy's red tie but the photo didn't capture it... bummer.

L-R back row: My brother Ray, Andy's dad Dennis, Andy, Jordan, me, Andy's sister Tammy, our niece Violet, Andy's mom May, our niece Sophie, brother-in-law Jeff, cousin Luke, Uncle James; L-R front row: My dad Hung, mom, Dee, BFF Grace, Aunt Jan, Uncle Ike, cousin Ania, cousin AJ, cousin Emily, Aunt Monica... and somewhere in the grass nearby Zach is running around.

After the blessing, we went home to get the house ready. Our delicious meal consisted of Cafe Rio barbacoa salad/burritos, mac n cheese, cheese puffs, french bread, a strawberry and blueberry dessert, a Cathy's Bakery Chinese chocolate strawberry cake and tons of drinks (we never have drinks at our house besides water so that was exciting too!). It was a great time with our family and friends and everyone overloaded on carbs with the freshly made cheese puffs (which kept coming out of the oven in batches so we just kept eating them).

Infinity exhaustion hit me again that night as I once again, was OUT while the family watched a movie together - this time an 80's flick - Mannequin!

Oh sleep, how I have missed you. Regardless of the infinity exhaustion, I had a blast this weekend! I am so grateful for all of our family who made it out. Infinity exhaustion and infinity fun!

*OGO - "oh great one," a phrase coined by Andy's dad for his grandkids to address him instead of Grandfather or Grandpa.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jordan Here and There

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Looked Down and Saw....

Most females eat their heart out when their pregnant somehow thinking it's okay because they are pregnant. The myth of "eating for two" has us indeed eating for 2 despite it being more like eating for 1.5. Given the nausea and the obvious belly growth, there is no shame from looking bloated or bigger because hey, there's a growing human in there!

I myself tried to stay healthy. I attempted to cut out empty carbs and maintain a sense of balance through nutritional foods heavy with protein, dairy, fruit and grains. I carried around a big bottle of water everywhere I went and almonds, craisins, Kashi bars and granola bars for fear of ever getting hungry (which when pregnant, is magnified to the nth degree and feels like the world is going to end if you don't eat right when hunger strikes). However, at work, given Girl Scout cookie season trickled in right around my second trimester and the executive assistants who sit right outside my office had a variety to offer on their desks, I found myself having an average of two girl scout cookies per day. When I was at the client sit, things were no better. Gone were the EAs with their tempting Girl Scout cookies and in its place, was a desk full of Costco "busy season" snacks. Since lunch was always delayed due to meetings or the lack of decision making on our team, the proximity of the Costco snacks (think two steps away from our Conference table) often led to me indulging on peanut butter m&ms, wheat thins, red vines and fortune cookies.

To offset the unhealthy eating habits I picked up while pregnant, I tried to consistently exercise starting from the second trimester (once the nausea which kept me lying in bed surpassed) through walking, my Bar Method Pregnancy DVD, visiting the nearby gym for the elliptical machine, or walking the 100+ steps at Angel's Flight used to get to my downtown office for those days when I worked downtown. It felt good to work out and it was always amusing when I got stares from others at the gym because of my lump of posterity in my abdomen.

I knew none of the above would really prepare me for the moment I looked down and saw what was still there after the baby had made its exit into the world. I had been told by many that looking down would mean seeing yourself at about 5 months pregnant except much more flabby. I knew the stomach would not magically shrink to its pre-pregnancy form but like many, I still hoped to be an exception.

After the joy of holding my newborn had passed, after all the phone calls, e-mails and texts had been sent (technology complicated the amount of work we had to do with contacting others!), after all the photos and videos had been taken, after we had counted his fingers and toes and reveled in the pure delight of welcoming Jordan into this world, after I was all sewn and ready to be transported to the maternity room, after all the excitement had died down, I looked down and saw....a floppy stomach - smaller than my 38 weeks pregnant state, but definitely like they called it - more like my 25 week pregnant state.

Over the last two weeks, I have watched my weight drop drastically - the baby lightened my load by 10 pounds the first few days and then the shrinking uterus and water offloading had me decrease by another 10 pounds. And then, just like that, I was 15 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight until my lack of effort was thwarted with the delicious treats everyone began to bring us as they visited.

My wedding rings still don't fit. My "fat pants" are snug and I have not even tried to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes that fit "just right" at my pre-pregnancy weight and size (it would be a sad and terrifying moment). Instead, I am looking forward to my 6 week postpartum appointment and the go ahead from my doc to start working out again. I am looking forward to my bar method non-pregnancy dvds, doing exercises on my abs, doing exercises on my back, and gearing up to get back to my pre-pregnancy body. I'm not sure if it's possible, but I am sure going to try. I have asked for shape-ups or ree-tones, I have an aggressive plan to walk with Jordan up and down the hills of our neighborhood and I have all my old exercise DVDs that are now like new since it's been so long!

It's been hard to not have the ability to just get up and work out. It's been hard to know my body is still healing and I should rest before I aim to get back in shape. I can't run faster than I have strength right? Right, if only I could remember that... (Mosiah 4:20) I'm hoping that when all's done, I will be able to say, I looked down and saw... NOTHING! or a SIX PACK of abs! hahaha

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hair Hair Everywhere!

Besides having my hair shaved at 100 days, I had long hair for my entire childhood. But when I was sixteen, I decided to abandon the old and welcome a new me and cut my hair above my shoulder. I loved it! It cut down my shower time and my expert hair stylist made it so easy to take care of-all I had to do was wash it in the morning, let it air dry and wa-la - DONE! No weird kinks here or there, only a perfect little bob of a haircut. During this time, I got really experimental upon discovering hair mascara and temporary punk color hair spray. Sadly, a year passed and though my hair had grown significantly, it paled in comparison to the once long hairstyle I had. I continued on my path of fun spunky hair and I sported tiny braids held together only with gel, emphasized with my temporary neon pink hair spray, wannabe hip-hop hair - bits tied with tiny rubber bands all over the top with the hair down and last but not least, the staple of the late 90's- butterfly clips . I had hair mascara in blonde, purple, blue and pink and even glitter aerosol just for my hair. This makes me think of all the iridescent clothing I had (blue/gray slacks, red/black denim jacket, etc.), yes the late 90's were fun - think Dawson's Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer... hehe.

When I got to college, I missed my long locks so with that, I grew it out. Long hair and I were quite happy for a few years, so much so that we even got adventurous with a complimentary free red hair dye job and a blonde out of the box hair dye (it didn't turn blonde, it was just brownish). But all that would change when I found out about it.

It was something a lot of my friends did in college. It came with a free hair cut. It was a generous thing to do. I wanted to try it. Everyone was doing it! I knew it might not be that great and I knew it would have consequences for my fragile hair but I could not avoid wanting to do it. So... I did it.

was called Locks of Love and it donated your hair to kids with cancer. I felt good about donating my hair... until I realized how seriously short my hair was. It wasn't like my high school cut that was easy to take care of. Instead, this one kinked here and there, involved an extensively involved blow out or an iron curler and for someone as lazy as me when it came to hair and make-up or lack thereof, it was unacceptable. To make matters worse, I had this short haircut during my busiest time of the year at work and given the overtime of hours and lack of sleep, hair was the last thing I wanted to spend time doing in the morning. So I put it into a ponytail but since it was too short for a real ponytail and I looked like a chicken. It was highly unprofessional and quite mortifying.

I thought, well, I might as well try to grow out my hair now and I will save the option of having short hair for the future.

I'm in the future now! Sort of...

Well, since I didn't get the chance to go to the salon the day before I had Jordan, I now am facing the option of short or long hair for my next haircut? And I've come to the conclusion that I will go with medium length hair because though everyone says short hair is mom hair, short hair is harder to maintain than one thinks!

And this is what I have been pondering during today's boob feedings.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt....

Too sexy for my shirt so much it hurts!!

Blue steel!

Pastries, cupcakes and cake - OH MY! Farts, poop and blowouts - OH DEAR!

I don't like brownies. Never have. They're too rich with chocolate (not a huge chocolate fan, like sour candy more...) and slightly resemble poop, yet I continue eating 'em every time someone gives me a chance. Call me unbiased. I also am not a huge fan of cupcakes. Sure, they look cute and enticing and who can resist the well adorned icing and picture perfect image of a mini-cupcake you can just pop into your mouth in one tiny bite? I'm not sure what it is but my palate has never fully enjoyed the sweetness of a cupcake. Upon eating one, I usually have an "oh too sweet" grumbling in my stomach and immediate regret for eating the darn sweet thing. But bring me a cupcake, and you would never know because I will still gladly eat it without hesitation and will in fact oodle over how adorable it is as I'm devouring it. This is part of my "eat everything given to you" or avoidance of being pian shi Chinese upbringing. And I've concluded the other part is because of the conditioning "Chinese cake" and Chinese dessert - normally orange slices or watermelon, has given me all whilst growing up.

What's Chinese cake you ask? Why, it's glorious! First, it's not that sweet. Second, it almost always has fruit in between layers with a very light soft cream (not icing, but creamy cream). My favorite is a soft angel sponge cake, except it's much lighter and in fact, feels like you're eating air. No, not tasteless free open space air. But very decadent, coveted and flavorful air that just glimmers your tongue with a speck of sweeetness that melts on your tongue, having you wanting more. In fact, it's probably calorie free! .... maybe not, but maybe?....?

No matter what affinity I have for what type of sweets, I eat 'em all and my dear friends know this as they came over to celebrate my 29th birthday with Andy, Jordan and me last night. Julia, who is still working a lot with all her tax deadlines, came between one client and her way back to the client, bringing us a dozen mini cupcakes from Dot's! Meanwhile, Grace and Drea came over for dinner and brought Porto's cheese rolls and a Chinese strawberry shortcake wannabe cake from my favorite bakery in Arcadia, Cathy's Bakery (right across from Yogurtland and next to Sinbala in the Baldwin complex, and I say wannabe because it is just not as sweet as a regular strawberry shortcake). We caught up, talked, and I tried to feed Jordan with the boob cover (ultimate fail), gave up and went inside to feed him while trying to continue conversation with my friends from Jordan's room. For most of the night, we obsessed over Jordan, how small he was, how cute he was, how alert he was and then took a million photos of him and my friends, all currently without child, observed three poops, a geyser of peep attack me and his first blowout ever.

The first blowout. A time to remember. A time to cherish. A time to laugh.

The timing of Jordan's first blowout was impeccable. Keep in mind my girlfriends had already been inquiring about the texture of the poop and as Andy and I attempted to explain how his poop could fire missiles at my face, the explanation fell short of actually witnessing it. As they did, it all became too clear and they giggled with the excitement of little girls as they watched from afar, clenching onto the fact that distance would keep them shielded. Following all this, we took photos in front of the cake. As I sat down between Grace and Drea, we thought, why not have Jordan in the photo too? Andy handed him over to us and as he got the camera ready to shoot, we suddenly heard it. And since I was holding him, I felt it. And priceless is the photo that captured our reactions as we realized and seconds later, a liquidy substance on my hand implied he indeed had a blowout! Andy quickly took over as I washed my hands and then joined him to assess the damage.

What a night to remember. My first birthday with a husband and a son and it was indeed... a blowout!
Pun intended.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Resemblance of Normalcy

My best friend is trying to start her own business and works from coffee shops in order to avoid working from her tiny shared studio with her fiancee, who also works from home most days. When she quit her job in February this year, a typical Corporate one that she had since graduating from Berkeley in 2004, it was a huge risk, but something she was determined to do. I watched in amazement and gave her my full support as she entered into the next stage of her life as an entrepreneur. From time to time, she would call me during the day and we would chat about her days which were all entirely up to her. Would she do some research, work on the patent, visit manufacturers, work on her branding, marketing, etc.? The sky was the limit but overall, it was quite redundant, and mundane. Some days, she was productive and came away feeling accomplished while other days she slugged along, wondering what she had done. She longed for the companionship of co-workers she had given up when quitting her job. She longed for the established routines, deadlines and normalcy in her old job. She longed for the expected paycheck and understood her role as a manager.

In general, our lives have paralleled each other. We grew up in a small community and upon graduating high school, went off to our separate schools far away from our hometown (maybe not by distance for me but by culture and expectation - definitely!). While she was at Berkeley, experiencing the life of multiple piercings and hippie granola-ville, I was tucked away in the small village of Claremont, experiencing the life of hoity toity conservative independence. We both had our first experiences with "white people" in college (we grew up in a predominately Asian area) and realized hey, they're not so different. We both had our first experiences "partying" in college. We both had our "first serious boyfriend" in college. We both slumped in grades our freshman year and then picked it up our junior year upon realizing we needed a job to enter the "real world" post graduation. We both got the "Corporate America" jobs we desired. We both learned what it meant to be a single hard working "professional woman". We both learned the perks of traveling with "the Firm". We both wondered if our "careers" were right for us.

And upon this next chapter in her life, it seemed we were finally on different tracks.

But were we really?

Though she can't relate to my boob feeding routine, the poopy diapers or information overload of baby milestones, we can now relate to one another even more than before. As I long for a resemblance of normalcy in my daily routine, I am seemingly in the same place she was when she first transitioned out of her old job. Though my break is just maternity leave, I am overjoyed when I get to go run a small errand out of the house, when friends come to visit and so intoxicated with love and happiness when friends and even strangers from Church come bearing food, diapers, and baby clothes. And suddenly, the smallest resemblance of normalcy makes me happy.

Some days, I am frustrated wondering when he will be done - even fascinating in my mind that if I were to invent a machine that could measure how much boob fed babies eat, I would be a millionaire! Other days, I can't believe he's finished so fast and I want to treasure his little eyes opening and looking at me while he grubs. Most days, I am elated that there is one thing that only I can provide for him right now (though he doesn't realize this and will try to suck anyone's chest when held and hungry). I just have to remind myself that the some days are just "some" and the "most days" are what I look forward to and should surround myself with.

Unbelievably so, my BFF wanted her own chance at starting her own business and yet, at times, may find herself longing for her old job instead of realizing this is her living her dream. Unbelievably so, I sometimes feel sorry for myself, chained to my son's feeding schedule instead of being grateful for this moment when he needs so much of me. We are both lucky to have this opportunity - her to take a stab at her own idea brought to life and me to be a mom! Because no matter how different it may be from what we expected, we wanted this and we chose this.

We just can't forget that. Her or me. No matter how much a resemblance of normalcy we may desire, we have to remember that this is our normal now and normal is what we make of it. And hey, having the eternal perspective helps too because no matter how hard it gets, I know I can do it. And I know she can do it too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tupperware Party

Lately, I've been wanting to attend a tupperware party because my tupperware could use an upgrade. Do people even have tupperware parties anymore? How might one receive an invitation to such a lucrative and spellbinding event?

Monday, May 16, 2011

I Just Might Be THAT Mom!

This morning, Andy left for CHLA for a project he's working on during his research rotation and I kicked it with Jordo. After a feeding around 8 AM, Jordo was fast asleep and not too tired, I thought, it's about time to shower. Once in the shower, it happened.

What if he pukes up something while sleeping and then chokes on it and I can't hear him because the water is on and the bathroom sound drones out any resemblance of sound I could potentially hear?!

That's silly right? Tell that to the woman who quickly finished her shower and zoomed outside to check on her son. Yup, that was me.

In our home, I have a GIANT, HUMONGOUS, and rather LARGE bottle of hand sanitizer. I thought about purchasing some additional bottles and placing them all around the house - one on the kitchen counter, one in the living room, one in the baby's room, etc. but I realized, it's not tough to just move it. But yes, I do invite everyone who enters our home and touches the baby, to please sanitize their hands first. Ha! I am that mom!

Oh well. I'm not afraid to admit it. I probably am a lil more cautious but I am a first time mom. I know most people become more lax with a second child, but only time will tell. For now, I just might be THAT mom.

Laughing out loud.

By myself.

But still laughing.

Quite a bit actually.

Ha! Ha!!!!!

while staring at Jordan who is sleeping on my lap.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two Weeks Have Gone By?

It seems like I only gave birth yesterday. It seems like we only just brought Jordan home yesterday. It seems like I barely just fed him. It seems we barely just changed him. Oh wait - that last part is true - we did just barely feed and change him. ... hAHAH!

Time doesn't mean much these days, just another continuum of measurement that I'm unable to grasp. The weekend feels just like the weekday. The nights feel just like the days when the day is overcast. With Andy working from home most days on his research rotation and our nights and days still blurred by objective but defined more by the sun peeking in from outside, I can't seem to figure out when I am supposed to be doing what besides feeding and changing Jordan, and trying to snap some photos here and there (which I suck at by the way!).

I've wanted to clean the toilet, clear the dishes, fold the laundry and vacuum the floor but I've only been able to do tidbits of any of these while acknowledging I do desire some sleep. I've never had an inkling for sleep the way I do now, but at times, I do still find myself online, browsing facebook or blogs - doing nothing meaningful after a feeding, except wasting valuable sleep time.

During the day, I try to get at least one nap in, and upon successfully doing so, I am helping my BFF plan her engagement party, scouring ideas for birth announcements, trying to surpass the halfway point and finish a 560 page biography of Gordon B. Hinckley (one of the former prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), attempting to get Jordan added to my insurance plan (what a nightmare!), doing my daily scripture study, trying to take care of my birth wounds, budgeting our monthly expenses, reading more about baby care through my plethora of newsletters and still trying to learn how to sew (there are only so many youtube videos I can watch).

Jordan, on the other hand, is sleeping, eating, peeing and pooping and getting more adjusted to being outside of the womb everyday (though he still loves a good swaddle). He grunts when he's pooping as he sleeps and the grunts have become increasingly more emphatic with zest! He has managed to pee while we change his diaper on average of 2 times per day, but his poop missiles have stayed constant totaling about 4 times (one of which I believe hit my face - imagine raising his legs and tilting his butt too high so that when the poop comes flying out, it hits your face which is not that far away observing this phenomenon). On occasion, he poops right after we change him, but who can blame him as pooping in a clean diaper trumps pooping in an already dirty one.

While grubbing, Jordan likes to do a number of things with his tiny mobile hands. Sometimes, he crosses them into each other as if contemplating the taste of his food. Other times, he has a loose fist by his ears as if to drone out the sound of anyone interrupting his feeding time. And of course, there is the sprawled out hand that is relaxed and when I put my finger underneath it, he will grab on, as if recognizing that I am his source of food and he does not want me leaving him. His eyes are still mostly closed during feedings but lately, he has been unlatching himself (instead of falling asleep) and pushing his head back , eyes closed and lips smacking as if to declare, "I'm wiped!" before he drifts off into baby dreamville. His feet haven't grown much but were quite large to begin with and he likes to kick his way out of a swaddle and cross his legs while eating.

He is also taller than before! When sitting in his carseat now, his head reaches the headrest where he once needed a supplemental blanket to pad. His cheeks are also puffier than before and he's starting to fill out his 0-3 month clothes a lot better than before (he was sporting the off the shoulder look prior to lately because the clothes were mostly all too big).

Photos to come...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dixie Cups... Pee Tents?

It's common knowledge that little baby boys often will instinctively pee if their pee pee has been exposed to the open air for too long. It is one of those things all mothers of little baby boys can relate to.

Our son's first experience was immediately upon exiting the womb and into the cold air of the hospital room. Tucked away on the cleaning table with the kind nurse, he greeted her with his pee. We laughed at the immediate reality of the pee pee.

Our first experience with pee pee in the air was just as memorable. Jordan had just gotten circumcised and the nurse instructed us to leave on the gauze which was wrapped around and some additional disposable wash clothes that she had slathered with A&D ointment and put as a barrier between his pee pee and the diaper for 24 hours. We could change the wash clothes with new ones when we changed him but we should attempt to keep the gauze as clean as possible.

After our first night with Jordan, his bilirubin levels were high and therefore, Jordan was deemed a jaundice baby. For the other night and time we were at the hospital, he was kept at the nursery under the UV lights and only brought to us for feedings. And because of that, we did not change him more than the couple of times from our first night with him.

Fast forward to a couple of hours before discharge. Jordan was with us because his jaundice bilirubin levels had decreased and since we heard and smelled him pooping, we thought we'd change him before his ride home.

Upon opening his diaper, the gauze that was supposed to stay on for 24 hours slipped off, and his diaper was oozing with mustardy poop. The smell did not faze us, but the immediate fear of what to do about the gauze that was off his healing wound immediately sent us into a frenzy as Jordan cried and cried and eventually was wailing as loud as he did when he first came out of my stomach. What do we do?! We were not prepared for this! The gauze was supposed to stay on!

Before we could think of a solution, Andy screamed, "he's peeing!" and out came a small trickle of pee up that was small but strong. So strong, that it hit Jordan in the face, and his eyes shut as his wailing continued but somehow more voluminous than prior. We quickly called the nurse, pleading her to come assist us asap and we attempted to assist her before she politely asked if she could just take care of it herself. We tried to tell Jordan it would be okay and watched attentively as the nurse put a new gauze on his pee pee and finished cleaning him up. On the bright side, we were now prepared in the situation that his gauze came off again before 9 AM the next day. The nurse gave us an extra gauze for this purpose. Too bad we didn't think of asking for more than one. Amateurs.

That first night home, we did our best to keep his gauze clean from poop. I can't lie - there was definite trepidation with each opening of the diaper during every single diaper change that night. Behind the walls of his cushioned diaper was the possibility of a gauze slipping off and us faced with putting on a new one as he cried in pain. We both noted he was more fussy than normal, but then concluded, what did we know since he hadn't been with us since the first night?

At 6 AM the next morning, Andy was off to work and I was faced with a diaper change and a feeding on my own for the first time. Only 3 more hours until the gauze could come off and I could stop worrying. As Andy said good-bye and shut the door behind him, I was standing at the diaper changing table about to open his diaper. At the precise moment when Andy shut the door, the gauze came off and I was faced with a repeat of the day before, only this time - no nurse and no Andy. I found the gauze and unwrapped it as quickly as I could and immediately noticed it was to be unfolded before I could wrap it around him. As I tried to do this and maneuver his legs out of the way, he cried and all of a sudden, he was pooping. Pooping! I had already cleaned him up and put a new diaper underneath him and instead of waiting for him to finish, I quickly moved the now stained diaper out of the way, to find he was still pooping! The diaper changing table is only so big, so now covered with baby, basket of diapers, ointment, cotton towelettes and wipes, soiled diapers and a screaming baby, space was running out quickly! Then, to make matters worse, the time with his pee pee out in the open had now been longer than normal and out came his trickle of pee all over his stomach (at least not his eyes) and I also noticed that he had not only continued to poop while I was trying to change his gauze and diaper, but his poop now covered his clothes as well.

Through the poop that kept coming, the eventual four soiled diapers piled around his diaper changing pad and now dirty outfit he was wearing and towel that we had laid over the diaper changing table, all I could do was remind myself that there is no commandment that I cannot do if given to me by the Lord, and as I repeated this scripture from 1Nephi3:7 to myself over and over and pleaded for help.

I did somehow make it through. The gauze got wrapped around. The diaper got changed. The baby got changed. And my mind whirled about whether we should try those dixie cups or pee tents that I had heard so much about.

I retreated to bed after feeding him and the rest of the morning was surprisingly uneventful compared to the morning and around 11, I received a text from Andy that he was coming home after lunch (his attendee told him to take off since he had just had a baby, how nice!). We later googled (you know you do it too!) what was the proper solution for baby boys peeing while getting diaper changed and the obvious and overwhelming response was - get quicker at it.

And so we have been working on our speed. We still get peed on but we don't fear it as much as we did and without the circumcision gauze to taunt us, it's just a bit of pee that we can wipe off easily. We will continue to get quicker and hopefully before his trickle turns into a geyser.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How's It Feel to Be Parents?

The nights are the hardest. Between falling in and out of sleep with Jordan still feeding, the minutes have lapsed into dreamlike moments of flashbacks and a muddle between reality and the sleep we both yearn for. On multiple occasions, Andy and I have both awakened with a startled jolt, flipping through the bedsheets wondering if we've suffocated Jordan on the bed from falling asleep while holding him then dropping him between the ruffle of blankets. Luckily, each frightening flip out moment has been a mere lapse of judgment between being awake and asleep and in actuality, he is safely sleeping in his pack n play every time.

We forget that we've put him down. We forget how many minutes he's been feeding. We forget how long it's been since we last slept through the night.

We are quicker at changing his diaper and he is not as unhappy when we do. Daddy has figured out that talking him through the process helps to calm him. The pee pee into the air moments have decreased in occurrence. The poo poo missiles have only appeared twice. The changing pad cover has been shielded from poop overflow with different towels (we have gone through about five in nine days) and I intend to make some more diaper changing pad covers with the leftover blue minky when time permits (not for a while).

Morning comes. The sun peeks through our curtains. We are able to fully enjoy his company void of the sleep deprivation we feel nightly. We can stare at him for hours, still in shock that we brought this sweet spirit into the world. We wonder if he sees us when his eyes are open and looking out into the world in front of him. We talk to him. We sing to him. We tell him we love him. We shower him with kisses but all he wants are the boobs. We rock him to sleep. We swaddle him to safety. We love him with all our might.

It feels pretty dang good. They weren't lying when they said the love you feel is priceless, intangible by words, and endlessly overflowing. They weren't lying when they said you can better grasp the love Heavenly Father has for you as infinity beyond what you feel for your own children.

We are learning everyday. We are trying everyday. We are getting a bit better everyday. We are stumbling everyday. We are grateful everyday. We are doing our best everyday. We are parents and it feels... pretty dang good.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Mums In Me Life

I don't think I ever truly valued or respected the role of motherhood as much as I do now, having recently joined the club. I always knew mothers were important, mothers were crucial in influencing and teaching correct principles, nurturing and loving us, but I can truthfully say, after giving birth to a lil one of my own... the love that you feel, the sacrifice that you make, it is just way more than you ever imagined it would be.

As I recover and am in my postpartum state of being, I have been able to receive even more love and service from the mums in my life on a daily basis.

Beginning with...

my own mum.

She's been swamped with work lately, but despite her load of meetings, clients, and houses to sell, she was at the hospital quickly after my delivery (they came while I was in labor but then left and came back) and quickly devoted her time to cooking all those Chinese healing foods that I needed. She brought me fish soup (a Chinese thing for immediate recovery the day of labor), black chicken with spices (another Chinese herbal thing to assist with a speedy recovery), grapes (to help you bleed less) and fried rice the first day Andy and I were back home. She has called me everyday to ask what other food I might need next and has been coming by every 2 days to replenish my Chinese food and fruit supply. Sometimes, she overwhelms me with the list of requirements I must adhere to during my one month of recovery (another Chinese tradition) but she means well and loves me and Jordan and only wants what's best and I admire her persistence and patience with me.

my mum in law.

She flew down to help us out this week since Andy still had a big test on Friday and baby feedings are every 2-3 hours for 24 hours. I'm not sure what we would have done without her! She was with me through many nights, as I tried to figure out this whole feeding thing, she helped feed him with the supplement formula, helped me with laundry, dishes, and had a magic touch to help put Jordan to sleep way quicker than Andy or I could. She's also cooked some wonderful meals for us, helped me finish my carseat cover, and made my breastfeeding cover (all these things that were not completed since Jordan came early and all easy-peasy for an expert like her). I love hearing her stories about Andy as a kid and I know she raised a wonderful young man (no, Andy doesn't have any brothers - haha) so I aim to learn from her continually.

my cousin's mum and my gu-ma (dad's sister).

She is an amazing cook. And all night Sunday, she stayed up to cook me a special healing soup (which was actually very delicious!) with some type of chicken liver and ginger - it sounds gross but it was really good and sweet of her to devote all her time Sunday (she had work Monday) to ensure my healing soup was complete.

my other cousins' mum and my yi-ma (mum's sister).
She came to see me in the hospital and then cooked Andy and me dinner, taught us how to swaddle our baby with a stocking (much better though more ghetto), continues to check up on me everyday and sent us loads of swaddle blankets, washclothes and baby towel/robes after noticing we did not have many. A former nurse, my yi-ma quickly taught us a lot about what makes baby happy (he likes being swaddled and held upright when awake) to calm a very unhappy baby when she first met him (he was just crying and crying and crying... and was fed and clean.. so we were so confused).

my nieces' mum (my sister-in-law)

I call Tammy all the time. She is probably wondering why I'm calling again, but I feel completely comfortable asking her for advice on anything and everything. She is a wonderful mum to two beautiful, polite, creative, and wonderful girls and I am always taking notes on how to be as amazing of a mom as her. She is also always looking out for me, telling me when I need to calm down, stop reading all this baby info, and reassures me that everything will be alright when I am clearly freaking out. I can't wait for her to come and meet Jordon the weekend of Memorial Day!

Mums are amazing and the mums in me life are even more so. What mums in your life are you thinking of today? Mums out there - you are all extraordinary beings and motherhood is truly insane, challenging, hard, and rewarding. I hope you all realize how truly exceptional you are on this special day. Happy Mother's Day to all the mums!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Remember the MySpace Days?

When I used to have a myspace, when I used to be cool, when I used to waste a lot of time online (wait.. has that changed really?), when I used to be younger, when I used to love broadcasting my life online, this is what I would do.

Make slideshows of my outings, sometimes I'd even put captions.

Given the fatigue and nap I'm about to take, I opted out of the latter. Enjoy the bit of photos below. Yay!

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Motherhood is to Audit as.....

Motherhood ....It's not what I expected- of course it's only been a few five days, but so far it's hard, but not that hard, but wait - it's still definitely hard! So what I mean is.... well, err..... umm..

Don't get me wrong, my nipples are destroyed, I'm seriously sleep deprived, I am still healing down under, and I feel the void of human interaction that once came with my job and the freedom of maternity leave (and am so grateful I at least still have Andy and my mother in law here to talk with!) but the real reason I feel less intimidated is really because, sadly, when compared to audit, it ain't so bad (sorry to any potential auditors out there!).

Like we say in audit, the light is at the end of the tunnel - his feedings will become less, the diaper changing is easier every time I do another, and his smiles will become real (not just random sneaks I get that are meaningless for a few more weeks). Yes, it does suck to consistently sleep and get up and sleep and get up - just like an audit that goes longer than expected and you leave at 3 or 4 AM and then back to work at 8 AM (don't forget the long drive and loneliness once home, having to shower, sleep and wait-realizing you have not much time to sleep before you get up and do it all over again - ugh). It's a bit like getting up every 3 hours to feed Jordan. The difference is - my job as an auditor was never as rewarding as it is to see Jordan's little face light up when he is getting fed (the few times his eyes are open). Though I was never hormonal while auditing, only one client, to this day, has made me cry (but it was brief and he was a big dumb jerk!). Meanwhile, the daunting task of motherhood, if I'm getting it right, why I can't seem to calm him but my aunt and mother in law quickly can, the frustration of not being able to appease him combined with the fatigue and self imposed pressure to continue checking things off my list of "to-do's" has made me break down a few times, unsure why I'm crying except that sometimes it just feels good to let it out.

I guess the audit job was never as emotionally uplifting or challenging as the mom one. I guess there is truth to the fact that challenges faced not only build character but are so much more meaningful when overcome (not that I have overcome any of it so far). I guess my time in audit was actually helpful to my role as a mom now. I guess the time auditing was not an ultimate waste!

A co-worker told me being a mom is ten times more difficult than being an auditor. But I didn't trust his opinion, because what do men know about motherhood? jk...hahaha.. well, he was right and I'd agree. But the mom part is so much neater than a good review, at least so far it has been. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? Who knows what the next feeding may bring? Guess 2 more hours will determine that.

Bundle of joy. Nipple annihilator. Cutie patootie. Poop specialist. Apple of my eye. Monster eater. My son.

More pics to come.. dunno where they are stored on the comp and I needs must sleep!