Thursday, January 31, 2008


Today has been up and down. I went to my doctor's appointment earlier, which was fine. Everything was fine, and my doctor says I've healed nicely and that everything looks good. I've also already lost a little over 30 pounds. I still have more to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight, and I'd like to lose even more. Breastfeeding is the best diet plan ever! And losing giant amounts of fluid. Roxanne was pretty good at the doctor's office. She liked Dr. Johnston and smiled and stared at her while she held her. I wanted to take a picture, but I forgot to.

When we got back home, my W-2 had come, and since we got Justin's yesterday, I thought I'd go ahead and get started on filing our return now that we have TurboTax. I've just finished doing most of the initial work on it, and we apparently owe $900. I have no idea how that happened, and I have no idea how we are going to pay it. I think we'll have to put off filing until the last minute and try to save up money in the mean time. I guess we have until April... This is going to be a tight couple of months. What happens when you don't pay the government your taxes? I wonder if we can put them on layaway. :) We had been hoping for a good return this year since we knew we'd get a break for Roxanne being born. That's why I was in such a rush to file. Does that count as irony?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A quiet day

Roxanne and I had a nice quiet day today. I can't believe she'll be 6 weeks old tomorrow! The time has gone by so incredibly fast. I am technically supposed to go back to work on Thursday, but I am not going back until the 11th. I know it will be here all too soon, though.

Sunday we did go to Dr. Bombay's and my friend Christa came and met Roxanne. Roxanne slept most of the time we were there, but towards the end, she got fussy and wouldn't take the bottle. We walked back home, and she made it without a melt down. Yesterday Roxanne and I walked to Flying Biscuit and met my sister and the girls and my step-mom for lunch. It was really nice, and we got coffee at Dr. Bombay's afterwards. Roxanne liked Flying Biscuit, although she slept through most of lunch. She still didn't want to take the bottle, from Colleen or Kendree. I was on the verge of nursing in the coffee shop before we decided to leave. Walking home, she just fell asleep again. The girls and Kendree came over for a little while, and it is so cute watching them interact with Roxanne.

Last night Justin and I took Roxanne to Target. I wanted to get the Nuk nipples, but they don't make them to fit on Playtex bottles anymore. So I bought one Nuk bottle with the orthodontic nipple to try, and of course, I get home and start taking it apart to boil it, and the nipple is missing. I called Gerber, and they are mailing me two nipples free of charge, but it's still really annoying. I think someone must have opened the box and taken the nipple out. We also went ahead and bought Turbo Tax while we were there. It was on sale, and I want to file ASAP this year. My step-dad recommended doing Turbo Tax over going to H&R Block, and I think he is right. It's definitely a lot cheaper.

Roxanne is pretty much the same. She's still smiling a lot, but she does seem to be sleeping more lately. She's still nursing very very often, but I'm OK with that. I'm just still so relieved that we're still able to pull this whole breastfeeding thing off. I know it stinks for Justin, since it seems like as soon as he gets to hold her she fusses to eat again, but it is so good for her health. The more I read this Dr. Sears breastfeeding book, the more I am thrilled with our decision. Of course, the book is openly critical of giving bottles or pacifiers, and we have to do both. But not everyone can be a stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately. At least there is a good chapter about breastfeeding and working. Every time I read magazine articles about that, they provide some information, but mostly talk about reasons you should quit your job. It's like they think everyone who works does so because they want to, and not because they have to pay bills. The book has some real information that is really helpful. Hopefully Roxanne will get the hang of eating from a bottle, and this whole thing will get easier.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hurray for weekends!

We've had a lovely weekend. We went to dinner on Friday night with Jacquelyn, Jesse and Evie at La Fonda. As always, the food was great. Justin and I took turns holding Roxanne, since there wasn't really room for her infant seat. It's a pretty small restaurant. She behaved very well. She still doesn't like the bottle though. I'm thinking I'm going to start pumping enough for a bottle every day, and try to have Justin give it to her in the evening. That way she will hopefully get better with it, and Justin will be able to spend more time with her. She's fussy in the evenings lately, and it makes it tough for him to spend much time with her, since she just wants to nurse. I've only got two more weeks of maternity leave, and then she'll have to take a bottle during the day.

On Saturday, our friends Megan and Zak came over for a visit, and we had a lot of fun. They brought some wonderful gifts, too, including two of the cutest baby outfits I've ever seen. They are both 6-12 months, and I can't wait for her to wear them. They are from Loehman's, and I've never been there before, but now I really want to go. I just need to figure out where it is... Roxanne was very well behaved while they were here, although she's still nursing almost every hour. She's a little snacker. The pediatrician said she would probably get more regular with her eating patterns from day care. It's tough though, since she just gets so frustrated and cries with the bottle most of the time. I just wish I could stay with her and not have to bother so much with it. I thought about buying an Adiri bottle to try, which is what the lactation consultant at the hospital recommends. They are really neat bottles, and they basically look just like boobs. They used to only sell them online, but I saw them at Babies R Us with my mom. They are really cool, but they are $12 per bottle! If I got one, and she didn't like it, it would be kind of a waste. I would also have to buy at least 4 for her day care, too. And we are pretty well set with the Playtex Drop Ins. My mom suggested trying a Nuk brand nipple with the Playtex bottle, so we might try that. Jacquelyn also suggested a brand of nipple that Evie liked.

Anyways, I'm sure the world of bottles and nipples is not that exciting to all of you. In other news, Roxanne is smiling more and more every day, and sometimes she does this really cute thing where she smiles and then it sort of turns into a coo. It sounds kind of like a giggle. It's a nice break from her usual grunts. The pictures of her are dark, but with close ups on her face, the flash washes her out completely. I understand why babies make people buy really nice cameras. The photo above is my favorite of her smiling, but of course, more are on Flickr.

We are off to enjoy the weather and take a walk. We might even venture out again. Probably just to a coffee shop or something, but we'll see.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good News!

Today has been good so far, and it's not even noon yet. Roxanne has started smiling at me. And these smiles are different from the gas smiles. They are clearly smiles right at me. She did it the other night, but this morning, they were much more direct, and adorable.

Also, two of the HR people at my work just called to tell me that I'll be coming back to work in a new position (Senior Immigration Assistant versus my previous title of Immigration Assistant) which also comes along with a raise. So that is definitely good news. I now have to decide if I want to be salaried, which means I'll finally have paid sick days and paid holidays, or stay hourly, which works well if I decide to come back to work on more of a part time basis. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if we could afford for me to work part time, so I will probably try to be salaried, but work a schedule like 8 to 4. Then maybe I can skip my lunch break and leave at 3:30 every day... We'll see. The good news is that they are flexible. I still wish more than anything that I could stay home with Roxanne, but at least I will be getting more money! That's always nice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Big Day for Baby

Today was very busy for me and Roxanne. We had to get up earlier than usual to make it to her specialist appointment at Scottish Rite off of the Glenridge Connector. The appointment was at 9:30, and I wanted to leave at 8:30, but didn't get out the door until 9:00. We actually made it on time, and my mom met us there to help me out since Justin was back at work today. Roxanne was pretty well-behaved, even though we were there for 2 hours. We saw a nurse, a physical therapist, and several of the doctors (the doctors all come in a big group). The physical therapist was very nice, and she did some exercises with Roxanne to test her arm movement. She brought her a rattle, and I was very surprised to see Roxanne hold it and wave it around. I didn't know she could do that! Roxanne did very well with everything. The physical therapist said she looked great and gave me a sheet with some exercises to do, but most of them (like tummy time) are things that all babies are supposed to do. She said that tummy time will be great because it will help strengthen Roxanne's shoulder, since she'll putting pressure on it. The doctor said pretty much the same thing; that Roxanne looks great and that she expects (but can't guarantee) that Roxanne will make a full recovery. She said that if babies are going to make a full recovery, they will do so by the time they are three months. And Roxanne has made huge progress in just one month, so she should be totally fine by three. The doctor said we could come back in a year if we still see any signs of a problem, but she doubted we would. Roxanne's a tough little girl.

After the doctor, we went to lunch at a restaurant near North Point, which was delicious. I forgot the name of it... But Roxanne only stayed in her car seat for about ten minutes. She only fussed a little, but I went ahead and pulled her out and held her. She slept through the rest of lunch on my shoulder. Next was Babies 'R Us, where we picked up some necessities. They have a special lounge for breastfeeding there, so we took advantage of it. It was a little icky, as all the furniture was a little worse for wear, but it was private, and not in a bathroom! After that, we went to the mall for a little while. I put Roxanne in the sling, but ended up carrying her around for part of the time. She likes to look around. I ended up feeding her in the Dillard's bathroom, and in the Macy's bathroom. She was really being snacky, and I had accidentally left her pacifier at the doctor's office. All in all, she did very well, and me and my mom had a lot of fun. Roxanne attracted a lot of attention, but fortunately, nobody touched her. One woman touched the ears on her outfit, but that was it. It was a nice day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Big Baby

We went to Roxanne's one-month check up today at the pediatrician. She did very well, and only fussed at the doctor a little bit. Fortunately, they also let me leave her diaper on while they weighed her, since last time she peed on me. She's up to 10 pounds 12 ounces and her height is 22.5 inches. So she's gained one pound and six ounces and grown an inch since birth! Both her weight and height are in the 90th percentile. The doctor says that her left shoulder seems to be just slightly weaker than her right, but that overall, she's very impressed that Roxanne is using it so much, and that it's pretty much normal. We're glad, too.

Nothing much else, just that she recommends that we start giving Roxanne a vitamin supplement so that she gets Vitamin D. It's an over-the-counter medicine that my mom remembers giving me and my sister. We haven't gotten it yet, but I plan to.

After the doctor's visit, we went to Barnes and Noble since Justin had a gift card from his bosses. It was nice to get out and do normal things again, and Roxanne was very well behaved. I just held her while we were in there, and she slept and/or looked around quietly for the most part. I bought a Dr. Sears' book on breastfeeding that is so far proving to be very very good. I also got Me Talk Pretty One Day by Dave Sedaris. I've read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim about nine times, so I figured it would be a good investment. Justin found a really cool book by Alex Ross that's about music. He tried to explain it to me, but my mommy brain is sort of slow these days. Also, I fell down the stairs yesterday, and I think I jarred my brain. However, we rented Raising Arizona on iTunes. It's such a good stand by. And it made me forget that one of my toes is sort of crooked now. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Baby Birthday

Yesterday was officially Roxanne's one-month birthday. Justin's Dad and Susan (Grandpa and Mimi) came to visit. Roxanne was very well behaved, if I do say so myself. She did make a huge mess with her poop, and had to have a wardrobe change, but I think she was just trying to impress them. She had another bath with me last night, and I think she really enjoyed it. She had these really big eyes when she first got in, sort of like she was shocked, but then she calmed down and just seemed really relaxed. She chewed one of her fingers for much of the bath.

On Friday, Roxanne and I went to Youngblood Gallery with Jacquelyn and Evie, and we had a nice little shopping trip. I didn't put Roxanne in anything, and just carried her around, and she was really pretty good the whole time. She was continually farting these ridiculously loud farts, especially when the super-hip cashier was around, and embarrassed me just a little bit. But other than that, she was fine. Only a little fussy, since she got hungry when we were about to leave. I bought her a very cute little dress, and a print for the apartment. They are closing at the end of the month, so everything was 40% off. I wish I could go back and buy more... They should be re-opening sometime soon, but they don't have a new location picked yet.

In other Roxanne news, she's been throwing up lately. She threw up on Friday night while Jesse and Jacquelyn and Evie were over for dinner, and it was very scary. However, I had been trying to give her a bottle, and she had been very fussy, and she didn't have a fever, so we assumed it was just gas. This morning she threw up again, so I called the doctor. The doctor told me that it is mostly likely just exaggerated spit-up, since it's occurring after meals and she doesn't have a fever. Also, she's not violently throwing up, more just casually throwing up. Honestly, Roxanne doesn't seem bothered by it at all. She just wants to eat again as soon as it happens.

My friend Sarah came over for a visit today, and Roxanne was pretty well-behaved. She has been so alert lately. It's very very cute.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

4 weeks today!

I can't believe it's already been 4 weeks since Roxanne was born. It's crazy! I feel like it's just been a few days, although I have to admit that I've completely forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant. I know that sounds bizarre, but it's true. I keep looking at the pictures on Flickr and trying to remember what my belly felt like, and I really can't. Thank goodness. Even though I have a long way to go as far as losing as much weight as I want and my belly looks sort of like a deflated zeppelin, I feel so much smaller than I used to, and I'm just not that down on myself. It's wonderful to have ankles again! They are so dainty!

Roxanne is really changing at lightning pace. She's awake more, and more aware when she's awake. We also think her face is changing. She's had a full week this week, with friends coming to visit Monday and today. Monday Jacquelyn and Evie came over (and Jesse came over later) and today my Mom came over with lunch. Then my sister and Ella and Chloe came over with Jacquelyn and Evie after they had gone to Fernbank. So we've had lots of visitors. Roxanne likes to stare at people when she's awake, so she got to stare at Kendree and my Mom for a good while. She's very intense. But wonderful. I've never felt as important as I do when she's staring at me. I realize that that sounds like something from one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul books, but it's true. I really really love being a mom.

I've been trying to have Roxanne take a bottle about once a week, and we tried tonight. I had a beer with my dinner since I knew I had some milk stored that was going to go bad in a couple of days. Of course, she won't take the bottle from me. I think it just makes her mad because she can smell the milk from me, and doesn't like to eat from the bottle. Fortunately, she will eat from the bottle when Justin gives it to her. She's still not crazy about it, but we've only got a few more weeks before she's going to be in day care and has to eat from a bottle every day. I'll still be able to breastfeed in the mornings and evenings, but during the day, she'll be eating pumped breastmilk. I found out that my office has a special "pumping lounge" for people like me. That should be interesting... I wish I didn't share an office so that I could just do it while I work, but for now, no go. However, there is no one in my office since my officemate got fired a while back, so I guess we'll see. I'm still really really really really not looking forward to having to give up my days with Roxanne. I e-mailed Andrea, her day care provider yesterday to tell her when Roxanne would be starting, etc. and had a two hour crying fit. I am sure it will get easier. For now, I just keep trying to focus on enjoying the time we have together. She's just so perfect.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

First Bath!

Roxanne just had her first bath. She's been needing one for a while, but I kept chickening out and just doing sponge baths. However, she just had one of those explosive poops that ended up all over the place, and really required a bath. So we cleaned her up, and then I actually just took her in the tub with me. I have been reading about it, and a lot of books say it's a nice way to have the first few baths, since it's less stressful for the baby, and it was definitely less stressful for me. I felt like she was getting enough warmth between my body heat and the water, and she didn't fuss at all. She even ate a meal in the tub. Is that over-sharing? I never know where to draw the line... Sorry.

I put some new photos on Flickr. She's been doing lots of faces lately, so I sat with her on the couch last night and did another mini-photo shoot. Some of my favorites are seen above.

We walked around VA Highland today. It was nice. Roxanne slept in the sling, as usual, but I still think she liked it. We're going to miss Justin when he goes back to work tomorrow. Just the two of us. I am going back to work on February 11, so Roxanne and I have almost a whole month together. I know it's going to fly by though. And I still have to jump through hoops at work to ensure that they are OK with me taking that extra week and a half (I was supposed to go back on January 29). Legally, I'm allowed to have 12 weeks unpaid leave, so it shouldn't be an issue. Still, they make everything a little bit more complicated than it should be. I'll have to get that extra week and a half approved by 3 different groups of people. Even some folks in California! It's definitely worth it though. This way, Roxanne will be almost 8 weeks when she starts day care. Still not perfect, but every little bit helps.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Justin's last day of Paternity Leave

Today has been very fun for us. We got a late start (as always) but we went to Candler Park and had a nice walk. Then we walked to Dr. Bombay's, which is a super cute coffee shop in Candler Park. We didn't stay, but I got a Peppermint Mocha (decaf) coffee, which I've been craving for a month. Delicious. And Roxanne slept through the whole thing. She seems so cozy in the sling. As you can see in the photos, she is seriously sleeping in there. I'm trying to upload to Flickr frequently. Her little face changes every day, and she's really starting to look like a little person now. She's adorable.

She still hasn't shown any signs of getting a cold, and I'm almost totally better. Justin is still feeling under the weather, and has a runny nose, but I'm hoping he'll be fine in a day or two. Hopefully we won't get sick again for a while. I still want Justin to get a flu shot though. Apparently February is going to be the peak season for the flu. And it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective, so you do the math. He's so stubborn though... He just keeps reminding me that he tried to get one at Georgia State, but they had the time and location misprinted, and so he missed it. But that doesn't mean he can't get one now!

On a different note, Roxanne is holding her head up pretty well these days. She has been able to hold it up for short bursts since the hospital, but she is really getting strong at it already. It's a little scary. We like to hold her on our shoulder, and it's scary because she lifts her head up (usually to eat Daddy's ear) and then flops it back down again a minute later. You have to really watch her. I put this picture up since it's the closest I've gotten to showing her holding her head up. It's hard to get pictures of those kind of moments.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three week old baby

Roxanne is three weeks old as of yesterday. It's hard to believe it's been that long! The days sort of melt together for me, and I often have NO idea what day it is. But it's lovely. I'm really enjoying spending so much time with Roxanne. I know Justin loves it, too. We went for walks yesterday and today, with Roxanne in the sling again. I'm going to try and take her out for walks at least 5 days a week. I think it's good for both of us. The weather has been so agreeable lately, and that definitely makes it easier. It's so hilly around our neighborhood, and although we walk slowly, I'm always huffing and puffing while Justin and Katie are sort of bored. I'm definitely out of shape, and carrying a big old baby around is tough, too. Roxanne still defiantly sleeps through the walks, and still makes her little whimper sounds the whole time. I always want her to look around and enjoy the scenery, but I know she can't see it yet anyways.

Justin goes back to work on Monday, and I'm supposed to go back on January 29th. We're trying to plan it so that I can take a little more time off, maybe a week or two, but it will take some fiddling with the budget to see if that's possible. My work finally told me that they didn't think I could do any work from home. I expected this, but it was still very tough to hear. I'm disappointed, and I have a lot of anxiety about handing Roxanne off. I am jealous of moms who get to stay home for six months or more with babies. I think it's good for kids to be around other kids once they get older, but I'm not sure that a six-week old really benefits too much from day care. But we have to do what we have to do. It's mathematically impossible for us to get by on one income. And I do like Andrea, our in-home day care provider. I also think I might try to adjust my work schedule so that I can be with Roxanne more when she's awake in the afternoon and evening. I'm sure we'll figure it out.

Justin and I are still dragging a little bit with our colds, but we are feeling better. Roxanne seems to be feeling better, too. My sister always says that breast milk is like miracle milk, and I'm inclined to agree. I read that when mom's are sick and worried that the baby will get sick, more frequent breastfeeding is recommended because the antibodies that the mom is producing to fight her sickness are transmitted to the baby through the milk. The more I read about breastfeeding, the more it amazes me. I'm hoping to breastfeed Roxanne for about 12 months. It's definitely tough, but she's really doing well with it, and we make a good team.

Roxanne is getting bigger and longer, and a lot of her 0-3 month onesies are a little short in the sleeves and legs. I'm excited for her pediatrician appointment, since I can't wait to see how much she's grown. Even though she eats very often and is clearly not a scrawny little thing, I worry sometimes that she's not getting enough from just me, so actually knowing her weight gain will be reassuring. It's weird to think that you are the sole source of a living thing's sustenance. Especially a living thing that you love so much.

Roxanne is still sleeping in the bed, even though I try to put her in the bassinet almost every night. She just wakes up right away. And it's so much easier for us to be in the bed together, as I just feed her laying down, and we both fall back to sleep afterwards. I think I'm probably getting close to 8 hours of sleep again. It might still be more like 6 or 7, but it's definitely tolerable. And for now, it's just sleeping and feeding. Roxanne hasn't gotten fussy for no reason during the night for a while. She sometimes gets fussy in the evenings, but it usually seems to be gas. We're lucky to have such a good baby.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday Morning Update

We had a nice weekend, which involved Justin staying home with Roxanne alone for a couple of hours! On Saturday, I went to my niece Ella's birthday party at a children's museum here in Atlanta (Imagine It is the name of the museum, it's awesome). I left Justin a bottle, and they made it just fine. Roxanne has been a little fussy the last few days, and has been wanting to eat almost constantly. Since I seem to have come down with a cold and Justin seems to be fighting one, I think she doesn't feel well. She hasn't been sleeping very soundly either. Poor little thing. She's not congested for now, and I hope it stays that way. We've been running the vaporizer constantly.

Yesterday we went for another walk in the nice weather. This time I carried Roxanne in the sling, which made her pass out immediately, and stay asleep for the whole walk. She was whimpering very quietly for most of it though, and she sounded like a little kitten. We think she's going through a growth spurt, and she definitely has gotten bigger (based on clothes fitting). And again, she's definitely getting cuter.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Baby Photo Shoot

Yesterday my sister came over with her fancy new camera and she kindly took lots of pictures of Roxanne. I put some of them on Flickr. We're trying to decide on one for her birth announcement. I think they look fantastic. The outfit is a beautiful white outfit that my aunt Ellen and uncle Patrick gave Roxanne for Christmas. It looks gorgeous on her! Roxanne seemed to enjoy having her picture taken, and looked at the camera for most of them.

I put some other pictures up, from our camera, which is not nearly as lovely as Kendree's camera, but I think the pictures are still pretty cute. From the photo shoot, this is one of my favorites. She has the funniest look on her face.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, we started out 2008 quietly, but comfortably. Watching a movie and chatting. We actually don't usually do too much on New Year's, but having Roxanne this year definitely added a new level of quiet. It's definitely worth it.

Roxanne is starting to spend more time awake during the day, and her wakeful periods are starting to change a little bit. Her eyes open wider than they did before, and she can sometimes copy me and Justin when we shape our mouths into an "O" shape while she stares at us. It's so exciting! And cute, since she has these perfect little bow shaped lips that are just ridiculously tiny. She just seems to be getting more aware.

On that same line, she hasn't wanted to be in the bassinet lately. I blame myself, since she peed on the bassinet sheets a few nights ago, I had her sleep in the bed with me for a few nights before Justin got a chance to wash the sheets (he's our household hero) and now I think she doesn't want to sleep on her own. I'm still trying, but when I put her in there, she seems to wake herself up, and is kicking and fussing in no time. We'll see...

She's still eating very well, and seems to be gaining weight and getting bigger. We discovered that we have to put her in bigger socks. I've been putting her in newborn socks, but they are really just too small for her big feet. My mom gave her some 3-12 month socks, and they fit her perfectly. She's going to be a bigfoot like her dad.

She's growling at me right now. I think I better go... :)