Wednesday, May 27, 2009

3 months of Charlie

Today Charlie is 3 months old! I don't mean this in a bad way, but man these have been the longest 3 months of my life! Probably because in that time my life has become different in just about every way possible. Also because the itty bitty baby I gave birth to has changed so much in that time. 

Charlie really responds so much now to just about anything we say to him and it is so much fun. His faces and sounds are hilarious. He loves looking in the mirror and I'll carry him around to different mirrors in the house and he'll look at both of us and smile. He also really responds to music. He seems to like the 60's and 70's the best, though we are branching out a tad. I sing Rock the Boat by the Hues Corporation to him and he looooooves it. He will go from all out fussiness to smiling if I sing that to him. I only know a few of the lyrics so it gets a tad repetitive. But what does he know; he's a baby.

His favorite activities besides looking in the mirror are laying on his changing table talking and watching other kids. He could spend hours on that changing table just looking up and 'talking' to whoever is there. Watching other kids is a recent development and I only really noticed it this morning. I took him to Once Upon a Child and we were looking at clothes. Wouldn't you know it, here comes the colic and Charlie is in pain and starts crying so I walk him around the store. We passed the play area where some kids were and he stopped crying and just watched, fascinated. Then today when I picked him up from his visit to daycare he was sitting in a swing with a huge grin on his face just watching 3 other kids who were playing nearby. Methinks he can't wait to get mobile and join in. 

Speaking of colic, we are still fighting it. I wish I could blame it on something I eat but there is no rhyme or reason to it. It happens whether I feed him or he has formula. There are periods every day where he stiffens up his legs and I can feel his tummy contracting. His face scrunches up and he has a certain cry. It's heartbreaking. I can't wait for him to grow out of it. It makes taking him places a challenge because there's just no way I'm going to keep grocery shopping or eating lunch while he's screaming in pain. Basically I drop everything and hold him and push his knees to his tummy and just walk him around for a while. Day care said they have to do the same thing and it happens for them every day too. I think his infant carrier car seat is aggravating it because the buckle pushes on his tummy. I may move him out of it sooner then planned.

We are more successful on the sleep front. Charlie sleeps for 8 or 9 hours a night. Straight. Yeah, I know. After I sold my soul to the devil and started letting him sleep on his tummy we went from 1 to 2 hours of sleep at a time to straight through the night. Literally. He is not so good at napping but I think day care wears him out so much that he is getting on more of a nap schedule. Yesterday it wore him out so much that he came home and slept for 11 hours straight. He's starting to go down earlier and get up earlier, which is huge. Getting to work on time would be a bit tricky if he was sleeping until 9 every day. And one big rule in the Spooner house is Don't Wake the BABY!

This past weekend Charlie had his first true giggle. He was in his car seat and we were on our way home from Nags Head. To entertain him I was grabbing his little feet and nibbling on them while making sounds like I was eating them. This was the height of entertainment and the giggles were so cute! I wish I could catch them on tape but Charlie shuts it down when he sees a camera come out. Catching his smiles on camera is pretty hard, too. I still haven't caught his all-out gleeful smile but this is a nice grin:

Hmmm, what else.... He is out of all his newborn and just about all of his 0-3 month stuff. We are in the 3 to 6 and sometimes 6 month stuff. He's a long baby, so things get too short way before they are too small. The stuff that's long enough tends to be pretty baggy. It's fun to have some new outfits as he gets bigger. He sure goes through the clothes with day care - they change him at the drop of a hat and I have to have extra outfits there on hand for them. So we've been stocking up a tad on summer gear. He eats about every 3 hours and it's been mostly breast milk lately and just 2 or 3 ounces a day of the formula. I anticipate this to increase when I go back to work since my stockpile is gone. 

I think that's a pretty good recap of where we are. To document this momentous occasion I had Charlie pose in his sleep sack after I got him dressed for bed. And then I just propped him up on the rocker chair in his nursery and he can pretty well keep himself up! His neck control is pretty impressive if I do say so myself. 

During tonight's impromptu photo session Zoe and Charlie had a staring contest. Zoe won.

It takes a lot of photos to get one or two good ones - those would be the ones above. Tonight's session was no exception. Here are some of the outtakes:

Memorial Day Weekend

We had an awesome Memorial Day Weekend - Charlie's first trip to the beach! We went to Nags Head with our friends/neighbors and had an awesome time drinking margaritas, eating seafood, playing games and trying to get Charlie to sleep. They had told me their house was on the sound and I thought neat, they can see the sound from their house. But they really meant it - the house is ON the sound. 180 degree view and incredible sunsets. Which I took no pictures of. And as a testament to the fact that you should not shoot videos after margaritas none of them turned out too well. In a couple I appear to forget I'm filming halfway through, which is kind of pathetic for a 50 second video.

Charlie is too young for sunscreen so we could only take him when the sun was setting but that is actually my favorite time on the beach. The water was really cold - 64 degrees - so we did not get Charlie wet or anything. All in all, he did not appear to be too impressed by the ocean:

The other kids on the trip were 2 and almost 2 years old and had a blast. When you are that age someone can just hand you a hose and a bucket and voila! instant entertainment! They would also spend quite a bit of time staring at Charlie when he was in his pack n' play. Time for some siblings! Our neighbor's little girl talked a bunch about Baby Charlie - she picked out a chair for him and instructed me to put him in it, laid down on his blanket with him and pointed out that they both were laying down the same way and would say how she likes Baby Charlie soooooooo much. It was too cute. 

Being around the two older kids really made me look forward to what's to come with Charlie. I mean, not the whole I'm 2 and I'm going to push the boundaries of your sanity Mom but the I'm 2 and a hose and bucket is terribly exciting. Also the I'm 2 and I go to bed at 8pm and sleep for 12 hours.

On Sunday Brad and I took Charlie and drove up to Corolla and back, stopping in Duck to shop and eat lunch and reminisce about a trip we took there right before our wedding. I also went there with my family when I was in the 9th grade but Duck has changed so much since then that I couldn't remember where we stayed. It's just so beautiful down there and the drive is really not that bad - about 3.5-4 hours from Richmond depending on the level of cooperation coming from the car seat. Cooperation level was low in both directions and I had to sit with Charlie and talk to him and play with him to keep him happy. He can be so high maintenance. WHERE does he get that from?

We got back Monday to a huge pool of water on our kitchen floor. We thought at first that the freezer door had just been left a bit open but after a while I had to break it to Brad that the freezer was not working.  A little while later I had to break it to him that the refrigerator side wasn't working either. He was in deep denial. It took some time. To add to the pleasure, all the breast milk I'd so diligently pumped and frozen for when I go back to work had melted and can not be re-frozen. Ugh. The fridge was going to be $600 to fix so we are just going to buy a new one. Hopefully it will be here by early next week because eating out of the giant red cooler feels eerily similar to camping and homegirl here does not camp.

I never know what to write at the end of blog posts. It always feels so abrupt. Sooooo The End.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend: shopping, wine, more vampires

Brad and I had a pretty low key weekend but did manage to get out to eat with Charlie again and it was successful! We are 2 for 2 on eating out. We went up to Short Pump yesterday, had lunch at the Baker's Crust and walked around and looked at the shops. Charlie was doing great until his diaper leaked and so we headed home. I've got to start packing an extra outfit in the diaper bag. Rookie mom mistake. 

Can I just say Banana Republic is having quite a sale, so if you like that store, I would run and not walk before all the good clothes are gone. I am so tempted to get a few things, but I hate the thought of spending money on clothes I may not be wearing for very long. At the same time, I have very little to wear and have things - like work - coming up that I will need to be dressed for and nothing really fits. We also have the annual Spooner family vacation to Pinehurst over my birthday weekend - don't even ask me what I'm going to wear while I'm there. I'm hoping some more pounds will just magically melt away before that gets here and all my old clothes will fit. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. 

So other then our excursion to the mall Sunday my weekend consisted of watching the entire first season of True Blood, another vampire-human love story. If you're planning to watch the show or read the books you may want to skip this paragraph so I don't give anything away. The show was very addictive - I think I watched all 12 episodes within about a 30 hour time frame. It's very well done - much better then Twilight was. There are a disturbing number of similarities to the Twilight story line, though making me wonder which author ripped off the other. Both have a vampire-human-shape shifter love triangle. Both have an 'ethical' vampire who does not eat humans and is trying to blend into human society. One of the leads can read everyone's thoughts except the object of their affection, which makes that object even more appealing. And so on. One big difference is that characters keep dropping dead in True Blood which frankly was getting a little ridiculous towards the end. Pretty soon there's not going to be anyone left. Anyways, very enjoyable if you need to hold down the couch one weekend.  I think I may start on the books next. 

Ok, it's safe to read now.  Charlie is doing a short trial run at daycare today to see how he does. Brad is flying out 12 hours later then usual so he could be here for the first day. I don't think I would have actually left Charlie without him here. It was really hard - harder on me then him I think. I kissed him good bye but was so worried he was going to look around at some point and panic if he didn't see me. I'm going to pick him up in just a little while and find out how he did. I hope he's having fun and liking all the toys and watching the other kids and stuff. It does take quite a bit to preoccupy him so maybe this will be good for him. Ugh. I can't wait until 2.

Oh one more thing - if you love a good chardonnay I have found a particularly yummy one - Buena Vista Carneros. It has a screw cap so I didn't have high hopes for it, but it is so yummy! I want to buy a case! Love those Carneros chardonnays. Usually they are more expensive then Napa or Sonoma chardonnays - maybe the screw cap keeps it reasonably priced? Why speculate when you can be drinking wine? After running to Banana Republic run and get yourself a bottle!

Ok I think that's it for updates. Hope everyone is having a good Monday!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Fun

This is a video Lakshmy and I took while she was visiting this week. I like how the remote is right next to Charlie like maybe he's going to flip through and find some reality television to watch after he gets done playing. =) Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Writing it all down

I scrolled through the blog tonight reading back through all the posts since Charlie was born. I'm so glad I wrote so much of it down because it is hard to remember now! I wish I'd written even more. Now Charlie is 11 weeks old and I have 3 weeks of maternity leave left. I've got to make sure to write down everything interesting and new that he is doing so I have some way to remember it. I think my memory gets worse with age and I can no longer blame lack of sleep. So please forgive this somewhat boring post - it's just my attempt to make sure it's all written down.

Charlie and I have been having so much fun lately now that he sleeps at night and I have energy during the day. I just love being home with him and getting to spend all this time with him. Our days are pretty mundane - leaving the house is huge and mainly consists of taking a walk around the neighborhood. But I feel like I could just watch him and talk to him for hours nonstop - which is good because most days he is up all day long and naps are rare. 

With Brad out of town Monday-Thursday we have settled into something of a routine. Charlie typically sleeps from about 10:30 until 8am or so. Yes, I completely realize how lucky I am. The kid may not nap, but he's got sleeping through the night down pat. When he gets up he eats and then I eat and then we change clothes, talk for a while and it's time to eat again. The rest of the day is a combination of eating, trying to convince Charlie to nap, dealing with gas issues which still seem to arise every day and just generally enjoying each other's company.  

Charlie's favorite spot is on his changing table where he is so happy, kicking his legs and making all his funny noises. It's where he likes to experiment with what his voice is capable of. He is finally enjoying his playmats that have different toys hanging down now that he is reaching for things. Those mats used to be a sure fire way to get him to cry after about 2 minutes. I also got him this plastic mirror toy I can stick to things and he seems to like looking at himself and talking. We speculate he's saying things like 'You are so good looking!' to himself. 

For the past several weeks we've also had the doula come a couple of afternoons a week so I can get out of the house. Those are always nice days. I typically go to the gym, come home and shower and then fit in a few more errands. Before I know it, it's the evening and we are having dinner, watching some TV and I get Charlie ready for bed. Sadly this was the doula's last week here since Charlie can start going to daycare next week and we can't afford to do both. I don't have near the comfort level with daycare, so it's going to take some work. 

We are going to try daycare out a few days this week for a few hours and see if I can work on my separation anxiety. Charlie is going to the Goddard School, which has an awesome reputation and enthusiastic references who love taking their kids there so I know I should relax. The caregivers in the infant room have both been there 9 years and one of them is a nurse. It's just so loud in there and Charlie seems so tiny compared to the other infants (who are closer to 12 months) and requires so much attention when he's gassy that I'm worried he won't get. I hope I become enthusiastic about this place - it is pretty pricey compared to other places in the area.  I'm going to be a very annoying mom for a while, that's for sure. 

Here's another video - this one of me playing with Charlie while having a glass of wine. I am such a multitasker! However, once Charlie realizes the camera is on him he stops talking. I'm getting a little out of control with the videos, but I loooooooove this Flip camera and it's even easier then taking pictures.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all the mamas out there had a happy Mother's Day! My first mother's day was just fab. Charlie's gift to me was to sleep a long time last night. After he got up, Brad went to pick us up coffee and breakfast from Panera. Then in the afternoon we hit the mall for a while and drove around because Charlie was being so cooperative. To top things off we went out to dinner IN PUBLIC with the BABY. He was fairly good, though would not just sit in his carrier - he had to be held or we would suffer the consequences. Oh well, what else is new. 

Here's a video from dinner -

I'm hoping Charlie has a second gift in store for me and will go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight! 

Saturday, May 9, 2009


I can tell I'm tired. That video I had been trying to load was 309 MB. No wonder. It did not occur to me to check the file size until today. Sleeeeeepy Kara. I was feeling kind of hopeless about the whole thing and sad that I wouldn't be able to post anything from our camcorder on the blog. It's a shame really because the video I was trying to post was painfully cute. 

But then! My mother's day gift arrived in the mail and Brad was so excited about it he went ahead and gave it to me. It was a Flip video camera! I am so excited! He was probably worried I wouldn't make it through the weekend without buying one for myself since I kept threatening to do that. 

I guess the videos from the camcorder will just have to go on DVDs? I dunno. We have some very lengthy segments from when I was in the hospital and when we brought Charlie home. I guess I need to start a home movie collection that we can bore guests with when they come over! Any takers?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Technical Difficulties

I have been trying off and on all night to upload this video of Charlie talking. It's about 2 minutes long and takes forever to upload and right when it should be done I get an error message that says it's an invalid file format. It's a .mov file, which I think is a Quicktime format?? I've tried to upload it on Blogger and One True Media and had the same outcome. 

People out there who are smarter then me - any thoughts??? Is it because I'm on a Mac?

Reality Bites

Yesterday Charlie and I had a visit at the daycare he is going to be going to. We went and sat in the infant room for a while and I asked questions while he stared fascinated at the other kids. Then I talked to the business office about payments and forms and all that. And then I went home and cried. All day.

The end of my maternity leave has always been something far off in the distant future and not to be worried about yet. The first six weeks of Charlie went by pretty slowly - probably because I've never been awake for so many hours in a six week period before. Since then time has started to move faster and faster and right now I would do anything to slow it down. I savor every moment, each smile and coo, cuddling up for a nap and being able to feed him during the day. Somehow savoring isn't slowing anything down though.

Going to the daycare yesterday and finalizing the arrangements made me realize the end of my leave is not too far off and we are about to have a whole new normal. Just as soon as I get used to this normal it's going to change on me. It also coincides with Charlie getting easier to take care of and really just loads of fun to be around. He sleeps at night and we have fun during the day. It's not even that bad having Brad out of town for work - I've finally figured out how to manage on my own! So right as the fun begins we have to throw full time work and massive daycare mommy guilt into the mix. I mean, not right away. I go back June 8 and my mom is coming for the first week I go back to work so I don't completely melt down. There is still time before Charlie will spend a full day in daycare - he is just going to go for brief periods of time starting in a couple of weeks. But it's a SIGN the end is near. How hormonal do I sound right now?

I can't imagine how hard this must be for moms who hate their jobs. I have a great job. I work with nice people that I enjoy being around. The work is at least interesting, if not exciting or sexy. And they are really flexible with hours so in my head I'm already thinking about how I can maximize the time I spend with Charlie on any given day and still get all my work done. 

Mostly, though, I daydream about the Holy Grail of working motherhood - the part time career. The kind of flex scheduling that Business Week likes to write about as a growing trend but you don't really know anyone who actually does it. But I say why waste your time on daydreams that have an actual chance of happening?? I would have never made out with Brad Pitt if my daydreams were so steeped in reality. I can hope though that one day I can have one foot on either side of the fence of career and motherhood. And then I will have attained the perfect balancing act in life and no one will be let down, least of all Charlie, who in my head is about to be 'abandoned' at daycare soon. I know that is silly and I really hope that perspective goes away soon.

I think no matter which option a mom chooses it's not all that easy and sometimes the grass looks awfully green on the other side. Maybe not green when you get there because what we really want is everything. 48 hour days where you can give everything you love and want to do adequate attention. All without having to sleep! Do men go through this at all? If they do, I doubt any of them would fess up. I know Brad misses Charlie a lot when he's gone but he is very pragmatic about daycare and its benefits. I mean, thank God one of us is. He's been anticipating this being pretty hard on me so he is showing up prepared. 

I don't really know where this post is going. Just a brain dump of the last 24 hours. I'm going to follow it up with a cute video of little Charlie. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Two Month Check Up

Charlie had his doctor's appointment this morning and it was an ordeal. The doctor and nurses got to see just how much fun it is to take him places. He cried nonstop and would not be soothed. We got him to calm down for a few minutes a couple of times, but the rest of the time it was very loud crying. The other infants in the waiting room were probably wondering what they were in for.

Despite all the drama, the outcome of the appointment was pretty positive. He now weighs 11 pounds, 3 ounces and is 23 1/2 inches long. He's in the same percentiles that he was at 1 month, so he's growing steadily. Everything else looked good, but the doctor did note all the gas in his belly and the nurses noticed too when they came to get him for his shots. All the doctor had to say about it was that he will eventually grow out of it and we can continue the same mylicon/gripe water regimen we've been following. I'm continuing to stay off dairy so I don't aggravate it but it's still so bad, I'm not sure it really makes a difference.

Charlie got 4 shots and an oral vaccine. He seemed to like the oral vaccine pretty well - he paused in his crying and gulped it right down. The crying turned from upset to downright heartbreakingly pathetic when he got his shots. I probably would have cried too - the needles were HUGE for such a tiny person. He calmed down a little once we got back in the car but was upset again before we got home. I think Charlie may be the only baby in the world who hates riding in the car. We went ahead and gave him some preemptive tylenol when we got home and then I fed him and he's been conked out for 2 1/2 hours. Poor guy. 

I'm not sure why he's upset so much when we leave the house and it's pretty frustrating. We were talking to this other couple in the waiting room whose baby was born the same day as Charlie and they were telling us how when they go out to dinner they leave the house early so they can drive around a while and put the baby to sleep so he'll sleep through dinner. Brad and I looked at each other like 'they take their baby out to dinner?' because it's just not something we can picture right now with Charlie. I keep trying to take him out but it is so exhausting (mostly for me) that it's often just not worth it. I'm really not sure what to do about this, but I'm hopeful as his gas improves so will taking him out in public. Maybe he's just really uncomfortable. That's what the nurse thought anyways.

The other Charlie-related ordeal we have going on right now has to do with daycare. We got on a couple of waiting lists but had one place in mind that we really liked and they told us it would be 7 or so months of waiting - that was 8 months ago. They left a message on Brad's phone last week that Charlie's number was up and they had a spot for him. Brad called back this week and they said no, he's #6. He called back a couple of days later and he's #9. They said they got us mixed up with this other family that has an infant and the last name of Spooner. Riiiiiiggggght. 

We are both doubtful that they'll have a spot ready for him in time for me to go back to work and I'm not all that sure I want to leave him with them because I think they are lying to us. So we are scrambling to figure something out. Brad just left to go visit another school hoping maybe they can work with us. With all the layoffs in Richmond people are pulling their kids out of daycare all the time, so who knows.

That's all for us - have a good weekend!