Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cute/Not Cute

These two pictures were taken about two hours apart in the same position, with the same initial conditions. The results were very different. Thomas is so far a nightmare for an experimentalist.

My Daily Goals

1) Keep baby fed, reasonably content, and reasonably clean.
2) Get enough rest to not want to kill myself or others.
3) Keep self hydrated and fed (still eating for two after all)
4) Take a shower (very important for a woman who is thrown up on daily) and change out of pjs.
5) Get enough rest to actually feel rested.
6) Essential housework: supper, clean plate to put it on, clean underwear
7) Nonessential housework: everything else

Modest goals, but on a good day, I make it into #6. On a bad day, I'm lucky to get to #2. Yesterday, it took until 6pm to make it to #4.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

First Bath

On Saturday, Thomas got his first tub bath. We put his little baby bath inside our giant Roman tub. I passed the baby and did drying and dressing, and Curtis did the actual bathing. All the books indicated that newborns do not like baths and that the baby would probably scream through the whole process. Thomas didn't seem to mind being bathed and didn't cry once. Even when Curtis splashed water in his face, he would just close his eyes. I'm not sure that he actually liked it, but he couldn't wait to do it again and got his second bath the very next day after an especially disgusting diaper.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Conversations I never thought I'd be a part of

In the event that anyone ever told me that I would have been involved in this conversation I would have thought that they were nuts. Nevertheless, here's a rough paraphrasing. (Names changed to protect the guilty)

Person A : That smells horrid.

Person B : Sorry.

Person A : Wait, it was you? Oh thank goodness, I thought Thomas needed changed again already.

Friday, April 20, 2007

You and Me and Baby Makes Three

Yesterday my mom started back to MO and today pjdf left us to continue his road trip into Utah. This means that for the first time in a month, we don't have any company over. It's strangely exhilerating, but also a little scary. There's no longer anyone to ask to "watch the baby a minute while I . . " shower/eat/clean up/hide. I got out the baby carrier so that I could make myself some Mac 'N Cheese without Thomas screaming. He seems to like the carrier, since he's asleep and drooling on my shirt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Little Man's Big Day

Today was Thomas's Big Day. At his two week pediatrician visit, he got weighed (which he hates), blood drawn (which all babies hate), and circumcised ('nuff said). He survived it all. He cried and screamed a lot, but after coming home and being fed, he's now sleeping peacefully. The good news is that after weighing 7 lbs, 11 oz at birth, and dropping to 7 lbs even by day 4, he has regained his birthweight and then some. He weighed in today at 8 lbs 6 oz and gained an inch in length. It's very reassuring to see that all the time spent feeding him is being put to good use.

First Day of School

Curtis finally got the chance to show Thomas off around school. Monday afternoon, I brought the baby in and then watched the beginning of Curtis's baseball game. It was hysterical watching Curtis walk down the hall with the baby looking for one of his teacher friends. Behind him was a trail of girls going, "Oh, is that the baby? Wait, Mr. Pehl! I want to see the baby! Mr. Pehl?" The best line came from his friend Clouse. After talking to Curtis for a bit, Clouse glanced down, saw the baby, did a double take and exclaimed, "Holy crap! That's a PERSON!" I also ran into Tim and his daughter. They were the other couple at the joint school baby shower. She is a month and a half older than Thomas, but doesn't look that much bigger because she was born early. Gestationally, she's only two weeks older.

Monday, April 16, 2007

All Three of Us

The Shooter

Curtis and I went out on a date Sunday. We left the bambino with his grandma to use our free movie passes from Christmas. After splitting some orange chicken at Panda Express, we saw The Shooter. It was a better movie than we expected. If you like blow-em-up-shoot-em-ups, then this is a good one to see. Morgan Freeman and Mark Wahlburg (looking deliciously buff) both put in good performances. The plot was suspenseful and wasn't completely predictable. Writing was good with some fairly snappy dialogue. The best part, of course, was the really big guns (lots of sniper rifles) and really big explosions. Cars, houses, napalm, and two helicopters all made great, big fireballs over the two hours of the movie. 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Lots 'O Photos

We started a Flickr site with lots more baby pictures. I'm also adding it to the sidebar. We'll try to put all the photos there and only the best ones here.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thomas Makes a Discovery

Happy Easter!

Thomas went to church for the first time. Unfortunately it was the Easter vigil Mass (2.5 hrs). He and I missed the entire middle hour while he: decided to feed for extra long and fuss if I tried to take him off, spit up on his cute outfit, made a very wet diaper, filled the extra diaper I had brought, and had a major case of the hiccups. Aside from that hour, (which he and I spent out in the car,) he was good as gold in church. The moment the last hymn was sung, he started crying. Of course, when we got home, he didn't want to go to sleep. He has redeemed himself though, by sleeping for 4 hours straight. I'm going to have to wake him up to feed him.

Last night, we celebrated the Lord's resurrection from the dead by eating our traditional meal of homemade, Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza with sausage and hard-boiled egg. (Actually, a real Italian-American tradition.) Super yummy! The pizza contains all the things that we (well, just Curtis this year) fasted from during Lent (meat, eggs, and dairy). We are meeting Curtis's parents at their hotel(/casino) for Easter brunch at 8am before they hit the road for Fresno. Then we'll dye the eggs that we didn't get around to doing before Easter.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


On Tuesday, I had my first post-pregnancy outing. Curtis and I went to Sam's and to Trader Joe's while my mother watched the baby. I walked very slowly, but was definitely starting to improve. I did get too tired and had to leave TJ's to sit in the car. Later we went to vote in the city election.

On Wednesday, all four of us (including my mom and Thomas) stopped by the mall to visit the maternity and then Target. We got to try out our stroller, which is awesomely easy to use. Thomas also proved the adage that the car puts babies to sleep. Even though it was two short stops, it turned out to be way too much walking for me and my stitches hurt the rest of the day.

Last night, Thomas had his first restaurant experience. Curtis's parents are down for the weekend and treated us all to the Olive Garden. Thomas fell asleep in the car and slept in his carseat for the entire meal. He looked so adorable. I was so proud of him.

Oops, it's 3:30 am and I hear someone is hungry. More (including a link to more pics) later.

LATER UPDATE: I skipped Thursday, which was Thomas's first pediatrician visit. The dr. said that he is pretty perfect. The birthmark by his eye may or may not be permanent. (Thanks for narrowing that down, doc!) His weight had dropped to 7 lbs even, but that's normal and he should regain his birthweight by his 2-week appointment, now that the milk has come in. The two-week appointment is also when Thomas will get blood drawn for a round of tests and go under the knife for his "snip, snip" operation. Boy is he going to love that. My mom has agreed to stay until after that appointment, since Curtis will be at work and I will have one angry baby. Thomas hated the doctor's visit since he had to be stripped down to his diaper to be weighed and left that way until the doctor came to the room (15+ minutes.) Babies do NOT like to be exposed because they get cold easily. Fortunately, my mom is very warm and could hold and comfort Thomas while we waited.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Birth Announcement Photo

Thomas's Birthday Story

Everything I'd read and heard said that labor for first babies takes 14-16 hours. We figured that if labor started anytime after noonish on Saturday, the baby would be born on the 1st for Grandpa's incentive plan. All day Saturday, we sat around and waited, but nothing. By 10pm, we'd pretty much given up and needed to get to bed if we were going to make it to church in the morning. I couldn't sleep, though, since I'd barely moved all day. Looking on the internet for ways to jumpstart labor, I found lots of recommendations to walk and a couple that said to eat pineapple or spicy food. I had a bowl of pineapple and Curtis and I decided to go to the grocery store while my mom went to bed. It was 11pm. I waddled up and down every aisle of Food4Less until I felt like I could maybe sleep. We came home, put away groceries, and went to bed. It was almost midnight.

I woke up during the night (probably 1 or 1:30am) to use the restroom. I got up another two times feeling like my bladder was full. I realized that the crampy feeling was probably contractions. I hadn't looked at the clock, so wasn't sure how frequently they were coming. Given that it was "early labor" (which can last all day,) I tried to go back to sleep. I was up at 5am and heard my mom go into her bathroom. I went out and said hi and that I thought I was having contractions about a half hour apart so Sunday afternoon or evening, there'd be a baby. I went back to bed, but disturbed Curtis getting in. I told him what I had told Mom. Oddly, he was now wide awake, so we decided to have breakfast. Mom joined us for omelets and we talked about going to the 6:30 am Mass, since it was already 10 till 6.

About that time, I started feeling cold and achy. I crawled back into bed and Curtis started timing the contractions with his stopwatch. Each one lasted about a minute and they were about 14 minutes apart. Not going to church now. That lasted for about an hour, and then they started coming 10 minutes apart, then 7 minutes, then 3 minutes. I'd only been in "active labor" for two hours, but the contractions were intense enough that it was time to go to the hospital, 20 minutes away. The less said about that ride, the better. Curtis comments that there was lots of screaming. I think screaming is too strong of a word.

We arrived at the hospital at 8:25 am. The nurses are asking me a whole series of admitting questions, which I'm having a very hard time answering through the contractions. When they check my cervix, I'm already at 8 cm, well into "transition," the most painful phase of labor. The problem is that I'm having the urge to push, but it's too soon. Not pushing was a huge fight against myself. Mom and Curtis each had one of my hands and helped me breathe through the urge to push and shouted at me to stop pushing when needed. They were wonderful. After an hour, I was cleared to start pushing and the pain went way down.

I pushed for an hour and a half, but wasn't making good progress and my muscles were getting very tired. The doctor found that his head was crooked. He applied suction to turn the baby's head and help pull the baby out while I pushed. That was the worst pain ever. Fortunately, it only took two more contractions to get the baby out over my screams of "OWWWWW!" (I'm very creative.) While they cleaned up the baby, the doctor sewed up the small episiotomy cut he made. I looked down at him and asked, "Who are you?" Turns out that my doctor couldn't come because she was at her own baby shower. This doctor's middle name happens to be Warren and he has a son whose birthday is April 1st. Funny coincidences.

Thomas was born at 10:45 am, less than 5 hours after the first serious contractions. I never noticed when my water broke, though it was sometime before we arrived at the hospital. I didn't have any pain medication, because there just didn't seem to be enough laboring time left to justify it. Curtis and Mom stayed with me through the entire thing. After months of telling Curtis that he didn't have to be there and wasn't really invited, he was a huge help. He helped me breathe through the urge to push, got me ice chips and fed them to me when my throat was too dry to swallow, and when I pushed, he held my leg with one arm and shoved my head into position with the other arm. He was so good at getting me into the right position, that for some time I thought the bed was doing it automatically. After the baby was born, I looked at him. I saw tears running down his face and I knew they were for me and my pain. I love him.

Some More Pics

Thomas in his hospital crib, which I dubbed "the aquarium."

He has a birthmark by his eye.

Hi, Grandma!

Watching his first baseball game with his father.

At home in his bouncer.

Like Father, Like Son

On the left, Thomas weighing in at 7 lb 11 oz. On the right, Curtis weighing in at 7 lb 12 oz. It's amazing how much alike they look.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Thomas Warren Pehl

7 lbs, 11 oz. 20" long. 10:45 this morning.