Archives for the month of: September, 2012

Owen said his first word!!
I am officially saying it because he can repeat it!! Not over and over again like a monkey, but he has said it a few times today!

What was the word?

“Dada”
🙂

This morning at coffee Dan came back to the table after getting his cup of joe and Owen looked right at him and said “Da!” (Yes, with an exclamation point 😉 lol)

We tried over and over again to make him say “Dada” but he wasn’t doin much but smiling. After we moved everything and returned the U-Haul (oh btw, we moved everything today!!) I took a nap and when I woke up Dan showed me what Owen and him were practicing. He was holding Owen in his lap and said “say ‘Dada’!” and Owen said “Dada!” with a huge grin on his face 🙂

He doesn’t say it every time we try to get him to say it, and he definitely isn’t saying it on purpose, but I am marking this down in the books – Saturday, September 29, 2012, Owen said “Dada”! 🙂

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So sorry for the lack of posts this week – we are moving this weekend and I’ve been packing and getting ready for the move while trying to take care of the lil chunk at the same time (it was tough, but I packed everything!).

Since we are moving out of West Linn, Dan and I have been hitting up the nearby restaurants. We’ve been to La Fiesta (the Mexican restaurant that had yummy coconut margaritas), Lil Cooperstown (which had really yummy burgers), and today I decided to take Owen over to the Chinese restaurant. Dan is in the Dalles right now so it was only Owen and I. Since I was the only one ordering, there was really “just one” of us.

As I walked into the restaurant, the hostess asked
“may I help you?”
“Yes…I’d like a table…”
“Is it just you or…”
“Yes, just one – and a highchair” I replied.

She left and a different guy came out. We had the same conversation but I cut him off and said “just one. For here. And a highchair please.”

I could already see how this dining experience was going to end up.

He sat me at a table set for four and all of the families nearby stared at me. I didn’t really mind because I do things alone with Owen all the time (like 24/7), but I got the feeling that they (the customers) thought I was a lonely single mom.

The server took two place settings away (leaving two…one for me and one for the chair directly across from me…). He brought two cups for tea and two cups of water. I reminded him “just one” and he laughed and said “oh sorry, but I’ll leave it just incase.”

Just incase of what? I was pretty positive that it was just going to be Owen and I.

A different server brought a plate (to dish up the food) and said “oh! Are there two today?”

“Nope, just one.”

I’m sure that by this time the surrounding tables must’ve found it funny that I had repeated “just one” about half a dozen times and no one seemed to be listening.

We ate, I asked for a doggy bag and the check, and when the server brought it back he also brought two fortune cookies. I didn’t say anything this time, but I did open both fortunes. 😀

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Is it really that weird for a mom and her baby to go to dinner alone together?? Apparently in West Linn it is.

But still, I didn’t really mind. I didn’t mind because I’m not a lonely single mom. Dan just happened to be out of town on our last night in West Linn and I didn’t want to cook anything because I had packed everything up. So I decided to treat myself to dinner. Not very weird at all, right?

The truth is, if I were single (with no baby), or a single mom, or was having a rough patch with Dan, I probably would have been upset by the entire situation. I probably would have felt alone. The thing is, Dan and I have been working on things and I feel secure in our relationship. We have each other and we both are not alone, even when we do things by ourselves.

This day has made me feel like Wonder Woman (is there such a thing as Super Woman? Dan and I were actually talking about this last night lol!). Not only did I get all of the packing and cleaning that I wanted to get done today, and managed to keep Owen happy at the same time, but I also conquered the dreaded “just one” experience.

We may have been the “just one” (plus baby) table, but the two of us had a fabulous time together. 🙂

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Here’s a little secret – I HATE zucchini. I don’t like the texture and how one bite can taste fine, yet the next can taste bitter. That being said, I like zucchini bread (the pieces of zucchini are so small you can’t really taste it lol). One of our neighbors down the street was giving away the excess veggies from her garden for free, so I decided I’d take a couple of zucchini and try out this bread.

Here’s another little secret – I’ve never made any type of bread before. So you can imagine that I was a bit anxious to see how the end product turned out. After finally waiting for it to cool a lil, I tried a piece and it was really good! Then I wrapped some up in foil for Dan to enjoy at work with his morning coffee, and, well, here’s the text he sent me:

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Zucchini, Carrot, Walnut Bread
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts plus 1/2 cup for top
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrots

Directions:
1. Mix dry ingredients (not the sugars) in a bowl and set aside, including 1 cup of walnuts.

2. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add sugars. Then add oil and vanilla and mix until smooth.

3. Stir in vegetables. Then mix in dry ingredients.

4. Pour into greased bread pan. Top with rest of walnuts. Bake 45 to 55 minutes at 350° F until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

* In the text above if you read my response I start to mention how I had some difficulty making it – I cooked it on 350° for 40 minutes, checked on it and it was all jiggly in the middle but the top was browning nicely. So I cooked it for another 10 min, checked on it and it wasn’t jiggly, but it was still gooey when I stuck a knife in it, and the top was still browning good. Too good. So I bumped down the oven to 325° and cooked it for another 10-15 minutes. It was perfect!

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Bubba
A while ago I started calling Owen Bubba. I’m not exactly sure where it started or why, but somehow it has stuck. Yesterday during breakfast, I was feeding him oatmeal and I always sing this song to him, it goes “bubba bub bub bubba bubba bub bub” and it goes along to the tune of some 80’s or 90’s song, I think, where the guy sings that (I cannot think of the song title, the singer, or any other words other than that part LOL). Anyway! So I’m singing that part and feeding him, and between bites he says “bubba”!!!!!!

Ok, that was the first thing he’s ever “said” and I know for a fact it wasn’t “bah bah” it was “bubba”. I tried to get him to say it again but he sorta hummed the syllables back to me and then I tried to get him to say “mama” and…well we’re still working on that one haha 😉 I was so happy that I started clapping and said yay over and over again and he looked happy. Confused, but happy LOL. And then he started banging his tray for more food, and that was that.

Shopping
Lately, we’ve been taking the carseat out less often. We leave it in the car and carry Owen instead of lugging around a clunky carseat. The exception to this is when we’re going to coffee or happy hour, and want to have a place for him to lay down, chill out, and hopefully go to sleep.

On Tuesday, Owen and I went grocery shopping and I finally decided to put him in the cart sans carseat. I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile since he sits up well, but I just wasn’t sure if he was too small and/or too wobbly. So I set him in a cart in the parking lot, walked around a few feet to see how he was managing, and he actually did pretty well!

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He’s a little wobbly when the cart moves, but he started to hold onto the cart and really stabilized himself! He is such a big boy! It’s making me a little sad 😦

The Clapping and Banging Game
Yesterday Owen really started to get the hang of mimicking me. I was impressed with him saying “bubba”, but then during playtime he was standing up at the coffee table and banged on it with one of his hands. I, in return, clapped my hands every time he banged on the table. He looked over, banged it once, so I clapped once. Then he banged it twice, so I clapped twice. He got the hang of our game and started banging to see if I’d copy him with my claps – once, twice, once, once, twice, twice. I haven’t had much luck with being able to interact with him much like that. Occasionally we’ll copy each others verbal noises, but nothing like the clapping and banging game! Now I just can’t wait for him to start clapping back!!

Since I didn’t start this blog while I was pregnant, and didn’t even start it until after Owen was born, I never really wrote what giving birth to Owen was like. So here it is!

Thursday, February 9, 2012
It was one day after Owen was due and I woke up right before 7:00 in the morning. As usual, I got up to use the bathroom and as I wiped I looked down at the toilet paper like I always had just to make sure I wasn’t bleeding. Only this time, there was blood. Not a lot, just spotting, but I knew things were moving along! Which caused me to panic lol I had been waiting for that day for so long, yet when the time actually came I was scared, nervous, anxious, excited; every emotion was running through me – and it was all due to a little blood on the tissue. I felt completely fine physically (as fine as you can when you’re 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant), so I was shocked to see the blood.

The first thing I could think of was to call Dan (he was already at work). Of course he was super calm and told me to call the hospital and see what they wanted me to do. After calling them and speaking to a woman who basically said “well you can come into triage if you feel the need” (but in slightly more professional words), I called Dan again and we agreed that we’d go. He came straight home, I had my bags packed just in case, and we headed to OHSU.

We walked into the hospital thinking that they’d send us back home and tell us to come back later, because I was not feeling any contractions (besides the occasional Braxton Hicks). I felt normal! It literally felt like I could’ve been pregnant for another week or so.

In triage, they hooked me up to see how my contractions were coming along:

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Yeah, no contractions whatsoever.

Dan and I were 100% positive that they were going to send us home. And then the midwife wanted to double check that the blood was actually coming from the cervix and not caused by a urinary tract infection. Just as he was checking, he noticed some fluid leaking out; tests confirmed that it was amniotic fluid – my water had broke.

Ok, so I have always wanted to say that “my water broke”. It sounds so dramatic and movie-like, but in reality I only had a hole in the amniotic sac. It didn’t break. Not as cool sounding and not very dramatic, I know.

After talking to a doctor, they decided it was best to induce me and try to push the baby out that day! Definitely not what Dan and I were expecting.

First, I just want to mention that I didn’t have a birth plan. I never really saw the point because I a.) didn’t know what labor was going to be like, and b.) knew that I was most likely going to change my mind during. That being said, I did have things that I did and did not want. Dan and I had talked about things like skin-to-skin; not having anyone in the room except the staff, Dan and I; and trying to go epidural-free. I had told myself that I would do what the doctors strongly recommended (with their reasons) and trust them.

Since I was Group B positive, they wanted to induce me so the baby would not get sick. Of course I agreed to be induced. They whisked us over to L&D – the nurses were super nice there and showed us the room.

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They hooked me up to see the baby’s heart rate and my contractions, but they didn’t induce me yet. They wanted to see if I would progress at all by myself.

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Haha as you can see nothing much was happening. Btw, from here on out we don’t have any more photos until Owen was born lol.

Finally they gave me Pitocin, just the smallest dosage, and the nurse left the room. My body literally responded to the Pitocin like it was given the full bag at once. The contractions started and at first I thought they were kinda cool because I had never felt anything like that and had no idea what to expect, but then they kept getting stronger and stronger and I hated them. At first I was able to do breathing exercises and pace around, but pretty soon the gaps between contractions (aka my rest periods) were getting shorter and shorter.

I mentioned earlier that I had wanted to do this without an epidural. Even though almost everyone was telling me to just get it, I really wanted to try without it. Dan and I had talked about it and throughout my pregnancy he was trying to convince me to get the epidural, then one day I told him that it was not helping me at all. He was not helping. I needed him to encourage me with my decisions, especially during labor. BUT I also told him that if I really wanted the epidural, then to go ahead and let me have it. He knew that if I was truly asking for it then the pain must’ve been unbearable for me.

And it was. I don’t understand how women do it without. I am in so much awe of the women who go au natural. (Maybe for my next kid I’ll try it drug free). It got to the point where I was crying and begging Dan for the epidural. The thing I really appreciate about Dan is that he let me go a few more contractions before calling the nurse for it. He knew how much I wanted to try without it, and he wanted to make sure that I really wanted it.

The anesthesiologist came in after some time (since it was evening now, he was the only one on duty). He was very skilled. In fact, it had gotten to the point where I almost was unable to get it since I could not sit still, but he had so much experience that he was able to hook me up.

All I remember from that was sobbing on Dan’s shoulder as he was holding my hand, and screaming his name out (not angrily; I wanted him to save me from the pain). Oh, I remember ruining his work shirt with my mascara (he had not changed clothes since he came from work). I was sobbing the hardest I had ever sobbed in my life. The pain from the contractions and from the needle were too much for me. That was hands down the weakest moment in my life. Dan always tells me that I did an amazing job with handling the pain and handling the entire process, but whenever I flashback to that particular moment I can’t help but wonder if he is just being kind.

The funny thing about the epidural is that once it kicked in, I couldn’t feel the contractions at all. The doctor checked me and I was fully dilated! I don’t know what it is with my body, but it was super sensitive to Pitocin and the epidural both.

After turning the epi down just enough for me to feel my tummy tighten with each contraction, I started pushing. The truth is, I could barely feel the contractions at that point. I just pushed when I thought I felt something.

Then all of a sudden they told us that the baby’s heart rate was decreasing and that the cord could be wrapped around his neck. They turned me on each side, on my hands and knees, back onto my back, and in any position that would try to get his heart rate back up. One of the doctors had forceps in her hand and was ready to pull him out of me with them.

No way.

Then they told me that I might need to have a C-Section. They had me sign all the papers and everything. I really didn’t want to have a C-Section, but if it was the only way to get the baby out then by all means I’ll do it. At OHSU (and I’m guessing most hospitals), they were really focusing on women giving birth vaginally and having a C-Section only if it were necessary. I started crying because that was the last thing I wanted to do.

So I pushed. And all of the doctors and pediatricians and nurses rooted for me. Dan told me how great of a job I was doing and kept telling me that I could do it. He held my hand and gave me the sweetest smile, reassuring me that everything was going to be ok.

And then I heard “I see his head!!” and everyone had huge smiles on their faces. I pushed and pushed and I watched as he came out of me.

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That moment was all worth it. Watching this baby that I made with Dan come out of me after 40 weeks and 1 day of wanting to meet him was the most amazing moment in my life. His cone-shaped head full of hair, his little body still attached to the umbilical cord still attached to me (NOT wrapped around his neck!), and watching Dan cut the cord was the most amazing minute ever. A beautiful, healthy little baby came out of me. Our little baby! Our baby Owen.

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The doctors put him straight on me for skin-to-skin, took a few more tests while he was on me, and then everyone left the room so Dan and I could get acquainted to our new little baby.

Owen was born at 8:41pm – my active labor was only 4 hours long and the pushing only lasted less than 30 minutes!

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Lately it seems like Owen is on turbo speed with his developmental skills! Here are a few things that he has really mastered within the last couple of weeks:

• Sitting up with no wobbling whatsoever. He was able to do that before, but there would always be uncertainty in his eyes. He is sitting up so great now and doesn’t fall, unless he is purposely trying to get a toy or something.

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• Sitting from the crawling or laying position. He used to do a halfway sit, where he’d be leaning forward quite a bit, or would need to prop himself up using one of his hands, but how he can get into the sitting position all by himself with ease.
• I’ve mentioned that he can pull himself up, but each day he is only getting better, stronger, and believing in himself that he can pull himself up and get himself down. He will literally pull himself up to standing using anything – the couch, coffee table, his bouncer, chairs, his crib, the bathtub, my legs, anything! Plus he can hold onto things with ONE hand!
• In my last post I mentioned the puffs and broccoli, well his motor skills are getting better too! He can’t pick them up with just two fingers yet, but he is slowly transitioning. Before, he wasn’t able to get hardly any of the puffs into his mouth, but now he’s able to get almost all of them in!
• A few days ago, we decided it would be best to give him “big boy” baths. He’s officially taking baths in the tub, without his baby bathtub! He loves to move all around and play with his toys lol!

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Things we are still working on:

• Baby sign language. I’m doing “all done”, “eat”, “diaper” (as in “please change my diaper”), “daddy”, and “mommy”. That seems like a lot, but once he starts to do the smallest gesture in return, then I’ll really focus on one and move onto the others individually. Now he just looks at me with a really confused look, but I’m determined that one of these days he’ll do the signs back!
• Waving hi and bye. I want him to start waving SO bad! Whenever we go out everyone is always saying “Hi! Hi! Hi!” and waving to him, so it would be nice if he could wave instead of me moving his arm up and down :/ haha
• Saying “mama”…or anything! I’d be happy if he just mimicked the syllables back to me, but so far he just babbles in response to me repeating mama over and over again LOL
• Standing. I’m not encouraging it yet. But I can see him get into the position where he’s standing on his feet, but his hands are still on the ground, and he just balances there. Then he’ll start to bounce a little like that, as if he knows that he can stand up by pushing his hands up, but he doesn’t have the strength/coordination yet. I’m just letting him discover this on his own and see what he does.

Today we went to PCPA’s 25th Anniversary Season Celebration! We didn’t stay long since Owen was wanting food and a nap, but we did get to see all of the booths, the performance by Portland Opera to Go, and we even ran into my friend Doug (who was running the booth for Stumptown Stages). Doug is always so happy and even tho Owen was starting to get fussy, he was all smiles around him!

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Since we left so early we missed out on some of the other acts like the puppet show and the brass band, which would have been fun for Owen to see and hear, but getting him home and fed and happy is all that matters to me. 🙂

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Yesterday I gave Owen broccoli for the first time and he actually really liked it!

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Ok, so I didn’t purée it because some of Owen’s food is already pretty chunky and I thought he would be able to handle the small florets. I steamed fresh broccoli in the microwave, cooled it a bit under cold water, tore off little chunks the size of a pea, and put it on his tray. At first he looked a bit skeptical and unsure of what to do with this green stuff, but since he puts just about everything in his mouth I figured he’d know what to do.

Before I go any further, I want to make a note that Owen loves Puffs. When all of the puffs are gone (either consumed or fallen into his lap), he bangs on his tray “asking” for more. There were several puffs still on his tray from when I was steaming the broccoli and he actually kept going for the broccoli instead of the puffs!! Attaboy!

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As you can see, things got messy quick! Any tips on how to cut down on the mess would be much appreciated!! Should I wait until he has mastered picking them up with two fingers before giving him broccoli again? (He uses his entire hand to grab them). Or is the mess inevitable?

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Once he was clearly done (instead of eating them he started playing with the florets), it was time to strip him of his clothes, throw them and the highchair cover in the wash, clean him and his tray up and set him down for a nap!

He never had a disgusted look on his face, or that look he does like he’s thinking “why are you making me eat this disgusting food, mom??” He ate it up and kept grabbing for more!

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