Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Cry Legend

It's true what they say, that you can decipher the subtle differences in your child's crying to understand what they are trying to tell you long before they learn to talk.  Here is what I have learned so far.
  1. The "I just gashed my face because mommy sharpened my talons instead of trimming them" Cry. Recognized by an ear splitting wail out of the blue and a bloody scratch on the cheek.
  2. The "Soundless Puppy Dog Eyes that proceed a complete stomach purge".  No actual crying involved, but a pathetic, plaintive look just as an ungodly amount of curdled milk comes pouring out of you baby's mouth and nose..all over her...all over you...all over the kitchen floor.  Seriously, how did that all fit in her stomach?
  3. The "I don't care that you're driving FEED ME NOOOOOOOOOW!!1!" Cry.  Recognized by frantic, inconsolable wailing from the back seat that makes you feel like the worst freaking mother ever.  Because oh, you just had to get bagels from across town, didn't you. 
  4. The "omg....omg I'm alone why am I alone OMFG!" Cry.  Starts out with a hesitant whimper and gradually becomes more and more desperate.  Usually heard while you are in the bathroom or while you are up to your elbows in pie dough.
  5. The "My intestines are inflated like balloon animals" Cry.  This starts out as a frantic flailing of all four limbs in every imaginable direction while grunting out "Eh.....Eh.....Eh....WHAAAA!!!".  Internal accompaniment is a sound like percolating coffee and then wicked man-toots.  
  6. Lastly my personal favorite, The "Ow ow ow something is hurting me, mommy make it stop" Cry.  Dude.  Figure it out.
 Why does it hurt when I do this?
Why does it hurt when I do this?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Date Night

God I missed wine while I was pregnant. Sometime all I wanted in the world was to snuggle up on the couch with a nice shiraz, some raw-egg pasta carbonara and an episode (or three) of Mad Men. Sushi I was doing ok without; I do love a nice melt-in-your-mouth piece of salmon sashimi but I wasn't actively craving it. Well, that is, until we went to sushi with some friends and I had to content myself with a bowl of noodles as an endless stream of dragon rolls and spicy yellowtail disappeared down their greedy gullets. Yes, I was jonesing for the fish that night, let me tell you. And the wine.

Cut to last weekend when my darling husband treated me to a date night and all my long-suffering culinary dreams came true! I got my glass of wine and I got my salmon sashimi and I was one happy camper. Sure, the waitstaff took one look at Holly and seated us by ourselves in the back of the restaurant but she was an angel and never made a peep. She was actually a pretty good sport; I think we have a future connoisseur on our hands:

Nom Nom!

We even jaunted over to Cold Stone to share a cup of chocolate-peanut butter ice cream for dessert. That man 'o mine sure knows how to treat a recently un-pregnantized lady. Prost!


Holly 'n Roscoe

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flying Solo

My View

I have officially survived my first week of solo, SAHM maternity leave. Being at home with the munchkin is more challenging than I had anticipated. I'm sure I'm like a lot of first time moms who think that they are going to get all kinds of things done while they are at home all day. I have a to-do list a mile long and I'd be lucky if I've started maybe two things so far. Every day (well...except for today of course) Holly seems to be more alert and have longer stretches of awake-time. Last Thursday she was up from 9:00am to 5:30pm with only a 2 hour nap during the day. I love my little girl best when she's got those beautiful eyes wide open but at the same time it makes it nearly impossible to do anything. She loves to be held constantly and will cry when I put her down even for a few minutes, like when I'm trying to pour myself a bowl of cereal or start a load of laundry. It's not even enough to be in my arms, she wants to be in my arms with me walking and bouncing her around the house, room to room, to get different views. Oh my gawd my upper back and shoulder muscles are starting to seize and burn. My posture is just shot to hell these days.

Nap Time

There are still a few simple tasks I want to accomplish everyday, however, and as corny as it sounds I have a checklist to make sure I at least stay on top of some basics. For example:
1) Take prenatal vitamin
2) Get the mail
3) Read to Holly
4) 5 min of tummy time
5) Check my e-mail
6) Go on a walk

It sounds dumb but it's been working so far. Plus it gives me that incomparable feeling of accomplishment by putting a big X in the box.

My view

New to the baby-taking-care-of repertoire was testing out the "Working Muthah" breast pump (it goes to eleven!). It was pretty intimidating at first but I think I've got a hang of all the nozzles and bottles and hoses and whatnot. We just introduced the bottle for the first time today and our little milk monster had no problems figuring out what to do. We're going to try to make it part of our routine to make sure Daddy gets to give a daily feeding.


It's been ferociously hot for the past 10 days or so, and our bedroom turns into a right furnace in the mid-afternoon. Even with a fan running it got up to 91-deg, way too hot for our monkey to nap. I had a clever idea to make a portable bassinet so I could bring Holly downstairs where it was cooler (technically, 84-deg is cooler). Voila!


Maternity leave has been more challenging than the initial honeymoon phase when Holly slept all the time and never fussed, but we're getting to know each other better and I love the little person she is. I love that she gets hiccups every time I change her diaper. I love the huge variety of faces she gives me, everything from squinky pirate eye to wry smiles to classic stink-eye. I love that she sneezes when the light changes. Yep, just a big bundle of snugglable cuteness.

Of course, the best part is when daddy gets home and we're a whole family again.


And now, your moment of zen.

Working out some yucky tooties

Monday, July 12, 2010

Out and About

I think I'm getting the hang of this baby-thing. I went from changing exactly ONE diaper in my life to something like 10 every single day and I've realized it ain't no thang. I can pick Holly up without feeling like I'm going to snap her wobbly little neck. I can look into her eyes when she starts to go into fuss-overload and she will (usually) stop crying and just stare at my face. It melts my heart and makes me love this little chunk-a-monk so much.

Morning Snuggles

I've been following some simple but great advice from our friend Laura which is this: Leave the house every day. Even if that means just getting the mail. With Steve being off on paternity leave for the last 2 weeks, we've tried to take advantage of this time together as a family to have some mini-adventures. The first major outing was to Target and the post office where we lauded ourselves for getting out of the house under 10 min and figuring out how to prop the carseat in a grocery cart...kinda. Important safety tip: Did you know that once you have a kid you can't just leave your cart at the end of an aisle and wander off to the other side of the store to grab something? It's true.

Feeling pretty pleased with ourselves after The Errand Experiment, the next day the Ferg Fam went to my work to enjoy a little picnic lunch in the grass with some co-workers. It was great to see everyone and show off our baby girl. I'm going to try to come back and visit during the summer when I can. After lunch Steve, Holly and I drove up to Lair O' the Bear Park for a little "hike" along Bear Creek. It was a beautiful, cool summer day and the wildflowers were out in force. We have to keep reminding ourselves how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area.

Our first family "hike"

Hiking along Bear Creek

On Friday we loaded Holly in her stroller and took a walk along the Cherry Creek path. Did I mention that she didn't wake up for 4th of July fireworks? Well apparently she doesn't wake up for coal trains either.

But the best part of the outing was baby's first trip to REI!!!! (Also first public breastfeeding experience...I gotta work on making sure that nursing cover is well in place before waving the girls around). We contemplated the purchase of a new tent for our growing family, and of course got Holly an early start on the climbing wall.

Outside the Best. Store. EVER.

Mama teaches Holly a figure-8 knot

The glorious outing was topped off with lunch at Proto's, an awesome pizzeria; yes my friends, we're living the good life.

Lunch at Protos

Saturday was a family trip to Wash Park, one of the local Denver gems. It's funny how now I'm one of those people I used to be annoyed by while riding my bike, for walking slowly with a stroller. Ah, suck on it bikers. It was a pretty warm day but the fam enjoyed a lovely little picnic in the shade. Holly too; I'm getting the hang of the nursing cover.

Family Outing to Wash Park

Our limp little monkey

Sunday we head to the local farmers market because isn't that what you're supposed to do on the weekends once you pop out a kid? Unfortunately as with so many Colorado "farmers markets" it was really more of a craft fair, but I did manage to score a bag of OMG YUUUUUM apricots. Steve left with a prize loaf of ciabatta and was equally sated. It does make me wistful for the markets in California, though. I'm sorry I squandered your amazingness, Santa Monica! Maybe next weekend we'll head up to Boulder for a taste of the good stuff.

Until then -- stay classy, San Diego:

Got something for you, Daddy

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Reflections on the First Week



I literally cannot believe it's been a whole week since our little girl was born.  Everyone said we'd enter a time warp but it's hard to appreciate what that means until it happens to you.  (Case in point; I've been trying to finish this post for the last 3 days).  Fortunately the week has gone by blissfully.  I wanted to write a nice coherent post about our time at home but that kinda fell apart so instead you get brief vignettes of the activities in between time spent staring at Frau Cheeks.  Here are some excerpts from the latest batch of ridiculous cuteness.  You can see more photos here on our Flickr album.


We had a very surreal experience on the morning of our discharge day.  Our nurse came into the room, rather embarrassed, and asked if we would be willing to participate in a national breast cancer video that was being filmed that day.  There were film crews at 12 hospitals around the country to record us performing the "Pink Glove Dance".  I'm not kidding, it was choreographed and everything.  I sat in a rocking chair with Holly next to another proud father with his new daughter, and the nurses danced all around us.  They said it will be up on YouTube in September and that they'll give us a DVD of the performance as well.  I'll let you know when the link is available.

Doing the Pink Glove Dance
Pink Glove Dancers

 A lot of people have been asking how Molly is handling the new addition to the family.  I think she's vaguely aware that there is something new in the house and that it's not going away, but really she's been rather disinterested in the squirming bundle.  Honestly I think that's the best possible situation.


Steve's parents came out from California to visit with their newest granddaughter.  It was great to have them here helping out around the house, cooking fantastic meals, and providing advice to the newbie parents.

Spending time with Mimi and Papa

On Saturday night Bandimere speedway held their annual fireworks show.  Normally the speedway is a noisy nuisance, but once a year it's fun to enjoy  fireworks from the comfort of our deck.  The show was great and Holly slept through the whole thing with barely a twitch at the large BOOMS. 


Holly got her first bath a couple of nights ago.  I realized very quickly I know NOTHING about bathing an infant.  I literally had to run upstairs to consult our Baby 411 book for the "How to Bathe Your Infant" sidebar.  Luckily grandma was there to help out and give me encouragement through the process; also a shout out to the Allens for the bath water thermometer!  Somehow mom and baby made it through the ordeal but not without a lot of tears.

DSC_0724DSC_0730 DSC_0741
Recovering from bathtime

Viva los cheeks!


Thursday, July 01, 2010

She's Here, and She's Perfect!

Sorry we haven't updated in a while. Steve found it easier to do quick updates on Facebook than the blog so I know a lot of anti-FB folks were waiting for info. I'll try to update you on our life over the past couple of days.

Like Steve said my contractions started to get pretty painful so I got the epidural and was so glad I did. It really helped me relax and save my strength for the pushing at the end. Something was a little wonky with the drugs, though, because my right side was totally numb but my left side pretty much still had most of its feeling. This meant I could move my left leg all around, but it also meant I had a "window" of nerve feeling in my pelvis where I was still feeling the contractions very strongly. I was actually just fine with this though because it took the edge off but I was still very aware of what was going on in my body. Once things progressed to full dilation my doctor showed up and we started pushing. Everyone was so encouraging and I felt really awake and strong. It was actually pretty social in between contractions and I sometimes had to interrupt the conversation to say, "Um, I think I feel another one, should I start pushing again?".

It took about an hour, making steady progress with each contraction, and with one last big push our little girl was out and being put on my chest. It was so strange to hold this little gooey purple bundle and realize that she was the one who has been squirming around inside me for the past 9 months. I felt awe but also like I had no idea who this little person was. I knew it was going to take some time for us to get to know each other but I was so excited to start. Little Holly got taken to the nursery to get cleaned up while I got some stitches (and also got cleaned up!), and soon we were being wheeled to our recovery room. With all that long black hair to wash the nurse said Holly was the messiest baby she's ever had to clean! Apparently it took two changes of water to finish her bath.



The rest of the first evening was pretty much a blur of nurses coming in and out to check my vitals, checking Holly's progress, trying to breastfeed, changing gooey black diapers, and even having our friends Kara, Matt, and Laura over for a visit. I was luckily feeling very awake and social after labor, and Holly dazzled everyone with her intensely alert but very quiet demeanor.



She has been SUCH a good baby for us, we're really wondering what the catch it. It's taken a little practice but she's latching on like a pro; we haven't really needed to see a lactation specialist, even though we've asked to just to be safe (day 2 still waiting for her to show up....). Holly has made a few little fussy noises at night but has not once woken up crying. In fact the most difficult time we've had has been trying to wake her up to feed her. When she's awake she's very awake and ready to nurse, but she's not been happy when we've tried to rouse her for a feeding when she's super tired. We've tried taking her clothes off, rubbing her head and chest, squeezing her legs, tickling her chin and feet, but when she's tired there's just no keeping those beautiful eyes open. I'm learning that the nurses have the best intentions when they pester us to feed every 3 hours, but I think our little girl is doing a good job telling us when she's hungry.



That's pretty much what has been going on these last couple of days for the Ferg Family. We're going home from the hospital around noon today and Steve and I are very excited to try this whole parenting thing at home. Steve parents, Sam and Jane, arrived last night and will be staying with us for the next week or so, so we should have some good company and help around the house. In the meantime we're just floating thru our time warp, wondering where the hours keep disappearing to, and just loving our little girl to pieces. Thank you to everyone for all the wonderful notes and e-mails! It's been so great to hear from all of you and to know how loved we are. We're really on cloud 9 and can't wait to start sharing little Holly with you all.


(Here is the link to our photo album on Flickr)