Saturday, March 24, 2012

Growing like a weed.

It's 11:30 at night and I am importing photos from my iPhone to my computer in hopes to clear up some much needed space on my portable lifeline. I haven't imported photos since the little guy was about a month old and well, he's 4 months+2 days now and yeah, I'm looking at over 1000 photos! I'm sure the actual damage could be much, much worse. It's fun though, as each photo pops up on the screen as it's saved to my hard drive; reliving each photo and seeing how much he's grown in the last few months is such a treat. Did I mention that a couple weeks ago, I had him weighed at the WIC office and he clocked in at a smooth 17 pounds (he wasn't even 4 months old yet!). It's hard to believe considering how I feel like he's been this way forever but yes, he really did gain 10 pounds since his birth and yes, he has changed tremendously!

During the day is where I see the most change. For the most part, his night routine has changed very little since the first few weeks of his life. At around 5 pm, Daniel starts to fuss and really require a lot of attention. So for the 5 hours or so before we finally get him down to sleep, he cries and we work to soothe him and whatnot... he'll sleep for a few hours before waking up in the early morning to "nurse". I quote nurse because really, I think he just wakes up because he realizes he's alone. Rare is it that we actually make it through an entire nursing session at this time. We'll sleep off and on until about 8 or 9, at which time he's wide awake/bright eyed and bushy tailed... I'm EXHAUSTED still because of the constant wake-ups, but that's beside the point. He is awake a lot more during the day and the biggest change I've noticed recently is his ability to play by himself for extended periods of time. In his play yard, he'll play anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, at which point he gets tired of being on his back. He does a little tummy time throughout the day but the poor guy hates it so much, he fusses like crazy! He has great neck control though, and I believe is reaching his baby push-up/roll over milestones just fine so I'm not worried. In his exersaucer, which is a total Godsend, he will play in it for up to an hour! WOW! He'll just sit there and spend a little time at each little toy as he spins around in the seat and talks to himself and/or the toys. He used to be keen on talking to the dog with blue ears but now that he's reaching out and grabbing objects, he spends most of his time playing with the shapes attached to bigger shapes by fabric, the smaller shapes most of the time being in his mouth.

EVERYTHING is to the mouth now. His hands, my finger he grabs, toys, crinkly paper from his dad's sandwich, anything. It's so awesome seeing him grow and learn, LAUGH. His laugh is infectious! Everything about him is infectious. He's such a happy, smiling baby, I hope that continues as he grows and lasts further into the afternoon, too. I know now it's because by 5 pm, he's completely overwhelmed by life and over the day. I also hope that he gets back on track with his sleep training, SOON. The week before we moved, he was sleeping upwards of 6 to 8 hours a night straight... and then, we relocated and well, that's gone completely out the window. I'm sure he was feeling the stress and change of the situation in the week prior to moving; now that we've moved, I'm sure he feels a bit unsure about this new place. So I'm trying to be patient... but I'm feeling exhaustion I thought we were over with.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Greetings from Irvine!

Well, my little family and I have officially landed in our new home in Irvine, an hour and some change from San Diego so it's not too terribly far... but as of this moment, I am severely missing home. My parents. My brother. Sigh... I'm at a Starbucks right now, attempting to grab a few moments for myself. It's weird that I spent every single day of the first 2 months of Daniel's life with him and how quickly I got used to going to work 5 days a week for 2 months after that. Last week was my first week as an unemployed woman so I have spent almost 10 whole days spending every waking moment with him and OH MY GOSH I'm spent. But I digress...

Our apartment here is perfect. We decided to go with a one-bedroom instead of a two-bedroom to save money since the baby is still small, rooming/bed sharing and waking up at least once a night to nurse. Having an extra room would be nice, but a waste of both space and money. Irvine is definitely on par with some of the more expensive locations in San Diego as far as rent and cost of living goes so I'm glad we came to the realization that we needed to scale down our living situation to be able to survive out here. I can't wait to start job hunting, but going on day 2 of Gary's new job and my SAHM-status and I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

I will try and update soon. We are due to get internet in the next day or so but I'm hoping to get everything unpacked and situated before I get elbows-deep in my normal routine again. Pictures soon!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On hindsight and looking forward.

I have a good friend who I've known most of my life. We first met when we were toddlers, our Military fathers introduced through our Japanese mothers. Their second child, a girl, is my brother's age while my friend is just a few months younger than me, and both of our families relocated to Japan in 1998 after being about 20 minutes from each other in southern California. Needless to say, our lives have run very paralleled to one another and we cross each others paths all the time. A few years ago though, our lives took a dramatic turn from the mirrored paths we lived for so long - she got married the same year I left my ex-husband. I was so negative and dejected about love and marriage that year and while I was so happy for her, I was so scared for her. While I am happy with the way my life is in every way, I would never wish divorce on anyone, especially such a close friend.

I've since healed my heart and mind from that kind of thinking; a few years later and they're going strong, living in the Midwest where her Military husband is stationed. They just welcome the birth of their first child this past weekend, a healthy baby girl who was bigger than my own big boy was when he was born! So while the sexes of our children are different and I'm not married to the father of my son (yet), we seem to be finding that parallel path we followed for so long again...

She called me the day her family got home from the hospital to tell me about the labor and delivery - her labor was significantly longer than mine and delivery was marked by a slight complication, but we share this experience nonetheless and I welcomed her to the mamahood club with vigor and excitement. She has experience with young children since she works in a day care, so of the two she seems to be the level-headed, less frantic parent (definitely the opposite for us - I continue to be the worry wort of the two of us). Listening to her talk about the first few days of her daughter's life sent me down memory lane with my own becoming a mama moments. As I continue to be amazed daily at the growth and development of my sweet boy, I can't help but wish it would happen just a little slower. He will be 4 months old in a few weeks and the question I keep asking myself is when did this happen? Wasn't he just born like, yesterday? Wasn't I still pregnant like, last week? I know the first month of his life is a complete blur to me, I wish I had enjoyed it a little bit more.

I know it's still early and he's still so young, but I definitely told my friend to enjoy her time with her daughter at every step of the way. I look at dear Daniel and it's hard to believe that he was once half his size and so very new to everything. Now he explores everything with his eyes, practices holding himself up by his arms and using his strong neck muscles to keep his head steady, kicking himself up with his strong legs as we support his upper body, talking a mile a minute and laughing intensely as his dad tickles between his shoulder blades and razzberries his ever-expanding tummy.

While I am constantly looking back at the beginning of my life as a mother, I'm WE are looking forward. Since Daniel was born, people have been asking me when I was going to have another baby. The main part of my brain screamed "Can I please recover and enjoy my newborn first, please?" but obviously, their questions have been lodged permanently into my brain and now that my boy is nearing 4 months old, I find myself wondering when we will be ready to expand our family. I mentioned last night to Gary that I might like to try again this winter, after Daniel's first birthday. As crazy as it sounds, I know I want at least 1 more and I don't want there to be too much of an age gap. I want to be able to raise my kids as close together in every stage of development as possible. After experiencing the last few months with my boy, I can see myself adding an new child to the mix when he is around 18 to 20 months old.

Just smack me now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A breather.

The last month has been a whirlwind for our Trio, I have sat down numerous times to blog but something always pulls me away... OH YEAH, it's motherhood!

Truly though, we have all been so busy but I honestly can't think of anything to start with. I guess I'll just start with me going back to work at the beginning of February. Though, that may end again for a little while as our family has a huge blessing in the works: Gary found a fantastic job, finally. He's been working a dead-end (literally, $15/hour with no opportunity for job growth) job as a contractor for the Navy for about 6 months, job searching and application day and night since he got here to California in June of last year, being such a trooper despite hating everything about this job except for the fact that it was something that paid until he found something he could be proud of. I am so, so proud of his effort to further himself professionally and to provide for our family... but it doesn't come without a price. We'll be moving to Orange County in a few weeks, a little under 2 hours from my parents but still very close to many other extended family member... but still. I've been out of the house for years now but have always been just a stone's throw from my parents, until now.

We are excited, though. I will probably look for a part-time job to help with paying my student loans but Gary is optimistic that I can be a stay-at-home mom. I love the idea of getting to stay home with the little guy but the prospect of not having my own income scares me. I've been working since I was 18, and even during nursing school I worked at least one day a week just to have some spending money. But keeping up with Daniel has put my mind off of everything else; in the past 3 months, I've had plenty of spending money that just kind of... sat there. Anything I bought out of desire has been for Daniel, so I'm thinking not having any spending money won't be as missed as I'm making it out to be.

In other exciting news to keep our family moving, we've made our reservations with the airlines to spend 2 weeks in Japan in July! I can't wait to see our families and friends again, meet his extended family, and introduce Daniel to everyone! We had two potential disasters be completely avoided since purchasing our tickets a few weeks ago: first, we book our flight with a Japanese travel agency. Everything was phenomenal, the service was excellent, and the airfare was CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP. We got home to give his mom our itinerary over Skype when he realized why the airfare was just so: the agent misunderstood Gary and book us for April, not July. Fortunately, when we called her to tell her the mistake, the reservation hadn't gone through yet so we were able to cancel without penalty. We booked with Singapore Airlines on Expedia instead and found a decent price (not as cheap as it would have been in April, though). Gary has a positive experience flying Singapore Airlines so I'm optimistic about our travel arrangements.

Fast-forward to when Gary's negotiations over salary are finalized and he is offered the job: we almost pay $1000 to change our reservation before he even knows how the company will react to the news that he will be leaving for 2 weeks in July. He had a discussion with his job placement agent (different company than the one he was hired to) and she disclosed this information to the company. She was very sure 2 weeks would be too long and Gary thought this meant there was a possibility he would not get hired. It was a very tense 12-hours, to say the least. As Gary was on the phone with Expedia to change our reservation, I had a thought - why don't we just wait and see what the company says and then act on it then. Best. Idea. EVER. The company's reaction was "oh well, he booked it before he was hired". Oh, and did I mention that Gary drove 3 hours in the rain, was half an hour late, and had a cold on his initial interview? He is my hero <3

So we've had our first family cold, thanks to Gary's current workplace. I got it about a week after he did and now our little dude has the crud too. He's handling it surprisingly well, the only real headache is at night when he wakes up crying multiple times a night. I hope he feels better soon because as adorable as it is, I hate hearing him sneeze and cough so much.

That's it for now, no pictures because the little guy is stirring in his sleep and I want to publish this entry before he wakes up and demands my undivided attention...!