Sunday, January 27, 2013

2 Months!

I can't believe Colin is two months old today!  It's been an incredible journey already.

Over the last month, he's continued to grow like crazy.  He's almost 15 lbs now!  (I'll know for sure on Wednesday at his 2 month check up).  I think his growth is slowing down a little bit because we aren't outgrowing clothing quite so quickly.  He's wearing mostly 3-6 month clothes at the moment.  I'm hoping he holds here for a little while!

Developmentally, I've noticed the last week or so especially he seems to be much more interactive. He sleeps less and smiles and coos much more often.  He still loves to eat (as evidenced by his growth).  No interest in toys and he still thinks a pacifier is an incredibly pour substitute, but will sometimes take it at night (thank goodness!)  He's also sleeping a little better (Thank you Rock N' Play)  I am loving getting to know my little guy more every day.
Two months

Grandma thinks Aslan is shrinking:
1 Month

Other notable events this month were mommy's return to work and Colin's first play dates, both of which probably deserve posts of their own.

Mommy and Daddy love you, Colin!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Colin's first Trip to LA and first Museum!

Dr Lisa and Chris invited us up to Malibu for a dinner party.  Gavin and I were a little hesitant to brave LA traffic on a Friday night, so we decided to break the trip up by spending the day at the Getty Museum.

I didn't know anything about the Getty other than that it was an art museum on the way to Dr. Lisa's house.   I was pleasantly surprised to find out admission is free (parking is $15.00).

Unfortuantly it's been raining for the last few days, so we weren't able to explore the gardens and patios, but the Getty was amazing!  Despite my art classes, I'm not expert in art, painting or otherwise.  Still, we had a fantastic time wandering through the exhibits and just looking.  I could spend several days (probably not in a row) looking at everything and I'm sure someone with more knowledge and interest could spend significantly longer.  There were a few paintings that really stood out to me.


I can't really tell you why, and I'm sure my thoughts would only further prove my lack of knowledge, so I'll omit them.  I did share them with Colin, but don't worry, I figure his early introduction to art by our trip will outweigh any negative affect of my art ramblings!
Daddy on the Tram
Mommy and Colin in the Rain

Stairs: A challenge like never before...

We had a lovely time.

Afterwards, we went to Lisa and Chris' for dinner.  We had a wonderful dinner, although I neglected to take any photos.  We are still getting used to being out and about with Colin and he occupies most of our time and energy during any outing.  He was very well behaved and quite popular, as always!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Didn't I feed you Yesterday?

In addition to my book club books, I'm also back to Audio books.   Most recently, I downloaded an audio book for my commute last weekend.

Didn't I Feed You Yesterday? by Laura Bennett
I downloaded this book because I was in a hurry and it was available instantly, but I can not for the life of me tell you why I added this book to my Library Wish list in the first place.  I suspect it's because I love self help books, I was very pregnant and it had 'guide' in the subtitle.  I love self help 'guides,' no matter how gimmicky.

Only it wasn't a self help book at all.  It was just a book about some designer from some reality TV show I have zero interest in.  Apparently America decided she was a bad mother during her appearance on "Project Runway".  My guess is this book was her way of defending herself, although it seems to me she is trying to convince herself as much as she is trying to convince the rest of the world.

I'm new to motherhood, but I already detest "The Mommy Wars".  I have some pretty strong convictions about the most important aspects of how we will raise Colin, but I have no right to judge anyone else's decisions as long as the child is safe and their needs are being met.  Still, when you decide to be a reality TV show contestant, you are intentionally putting yourself in front of American to be judged and discussed.  That's the point of reality TV (and a big reason why I hate it).  Despite what Ms Bennett tells herself and writes in her book, I think she has been much more affected by this judgement than she admits.

I could discuss the things I disagree with in the book, but anyone who likes (no, loves) to spend $1000.00 on shoes is so different than me that dissecting things we disagree about would take an entire book in itself.  As an example, I would never suggest that someone regularly chew nicotine gum as a method of weight control...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our Brain

'Mommy-brain', in my experience, is a real phenomenon.  It's not really surprising if you think about it.  Take a normal brain, add a ton of crazy hormones, eliminate sleep and introduce the most life changing event possible and I think almost anyone would misplace their keys a few extra times or forget if they'd showered or not.

Blame it on the Oxytocin, but since delivering Colin, I am a much more affable person.  Overall, either by hormone induction or necessity, I'm more laid back, easier going and less task and goal oriented, although this seems to be shifting back a bit.  For a while, I had no problem considering a day a success when I showered and cuddled baby (still an awesome day, btw).

So I guess it shouldn't, although in retrospect it still does, surprise me that I didn't have a complicated and intricate notebook for tracking everything baby when baby arrived.  In fact, I didn't even really have a plan.  Gavin and I had a plan for long term for our cooperative parenting once I went back to work, but I hadn't thought about the first few weeks of Colin's life.

When Colin went to NICU, the journal that I'd brought to the hospital naively thinking I'd write loving entries to my son during labor (haha), became his NICU journal for whichever family member was bedside to record anything doctor's said, any test results, medications etc.

THE Notebook

So, like that, this journal became our brain.  When we came home, it evolved to include his eating and diaper schedule as well as our to do list, diaper bag packing list, shopping list, mom's medications and diet, pretty much anything that we needed to know because, well, Mommy Brain.

I love that little notebook.  It's pretty much the least manly looking thing you could find, but it worked and it's saved us all kinds of stress.  I think what I love most about it is how impromptu it was. Instead of complicated spreadsheets and lists (which I must say I'm famous for) it's just a functional collection of information developed by Gavin and me together as we needed it.

The Notebook in action.  He didn't go anywhere without it!
Over the last week or so, the notebook has slowly been used less and less.  Soon, I'll probably be ready to stash it away with Colin's baby book, but it will always be a precious reminder of our first few weeks as a family of 3.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Club Catch Up!

Amazingly, I've managed to keep up on all of our book club books!  I haven't managed to post my thoughts on them.

November: Girl Gone by Gillian Flynn

This book was super creepy!  Overall, I really enjoyed the book.  I don't know if it was because I was incredibly pregnant and very tired, but I approached this book like I approach most TV shows.  I didn't try to figure it out (much), I just floated down the story as the author led me.  I was surprised that some of the aspects that really surprised the other girls in my book club (notably the ending) didn't surprise me, but I expect that is largely a result of my recent life experience.  I won't ruin the book, I think this would be a great read for a vacation.  Easy to read and fun, even if quite dark.

December: The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriart
Maybe it's because I read this on the heels of the previous month's book, but I expected it to be creepier.  It started off that direction, crazy ex-girlfriend stalker who is one of the Hypnotist's patients in order to spy on her.  But it wrapped up way too neat and tidy.  I suspect that is one of the elements that separates what many of the book club girls call "Chick-lit" from typical fictional novels.  While the genre will never be my favorite, I can see why people enjoy it.  I read the book in one day, curled up on the cuddle sofa with Colin taking frequent breaks to nurse and nap.  Even if I'd hated the book (which in honesty, I didn't), I would have loved the experience of reading it!

January: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
I'm not sure what I thought of this book.  I think what made me a little crazy about it is that it focused on too many characters which made me feel like the author had more than one story he wanted to tell, but only had the time and energy for one book.  Then, in order to tie them all together, he just added a chapter about "All the ruined lives" and titled the book after that 'theme.'  It made me think back to my brief stint as an author because this is something I struggled with as well.  I had too many different perspectives I wanted to write from.  I lack the skill and strong storyine to successfully tie them all together into a cohesive and compelling story.  Walter did a much better job than I was headed towards, but I still think the book would have benefited from one less 'main' character, (May I strongly suggest the assistant??) and one less story line (her love story with her crappy boyfriend/the writer??).  I missed the meeting on this book, so I'm not sure how others felt about it, although I'd be curious to hear.

Our next book club book will be The Buddha In the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A walk in the park

My introduction into motherhood, and even so far into working motherhood, has been surprisingly gentle.  Of course there are sleepless nights, moments of frustration and exhaustion, and typical worries, but overall, things seem to be falling into place perfectly.

And today, motherhood was literally a walk in the park.

With a high of 77 and not a cloud in the sky, it was the prefect day for mommy and baby to enjoy a walk.

Here's to more days just like today.

I agree, mom!

Friday, January 18, 2013


As a result of a strange sequence of events, for three days, I was a housewife.

I was home from work for a little over 8 weeks, but for almost all of that time, I was planning on returning to work.  Except for my three days as a housewife.

I think that being a housewife and a stay at home mom is a great vocation for those who choose it.  I really love being a home maker, wife, and most recently mom.  I also love being an engineer and it will always be a big part of who I am.

So, when I thought I'd be a housewife for a while, it was a pretty big change for me.  I launched into action, creating a schedule and getting organized for my new adventure.  I made a chart of when I'd do what and a list of projects I wanted to complete and off I went!

I finally got around to completely our wedding album (don't be too impressed, our very talented photographer Jackie created the Album, I just needed to review the proofs!)

Sample Wedding Album Page <3
If you want to see the whole album, you'll have to come visit after we get it!

I also did a minor sewing project I'd been meaning to do for a while for Colin.

Double sided flannel blanket
I know what you're thinking: he really needed another blanket??? (You weren't thinking that?  Then you haven't been to our house lately!)  First, no such thing as too many blankets.  Second, this one will eventually get straps so I can use it with our stroller (when we finally get one...) so it won't fall on the floor. (Totally stole the idea from Uppa Baby)

I also compiled a multi-level home cleaning system, breaking our house into various areas to be cleaned on various days/weeks.  (Major housekeeping is currently outsourced at our home)

Who left her alone with Excel again???
It was a productive and fun three days.  And really, I'm still a part time housewife, although who knows if I'll actually implement the house keeping system.  :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happily Every After year.

Happy new year!  Colin's Birth made last year seem like a fairy tale and 2010 was certainly our Once Upon a Time Year starting with our magical Wedding ceremony.  I'm naming this year "Happily Every After year."  Because this is the magical part of the story I've been dreaming about and hoping for.  I want to remind myself to enjoy every single moment of it.

And so far I'm off to a great start. We started off the year with a minor mistake of deciding to stay up until Midnight.  We watched a movie as Colin slept peacefully next to us, it was wonderful.  Until the next morning.  Oh well, lesson learned!

For my birthday, we left Colin with grandma and had appetizers at Opah, a fish place in Aliso Viejo.  We'd never been before, but we had fun.  I asked Gavin if we could sit at the bar, since being parents now it seemed like something we wouldn't get to do very often.  Halfway through our appetizers, I became annoyed with the incredibly drunk people sitting around us.  Have drunk people always been so annoying or am I just out of the bar phase of my life?  I pointed out to Gavin once that caring for an infant is a little like caring for a super drunk person.  I'll take the infant any day!  We spent most of the time talking and thinking about Colin, but it was a great little outing.
Happy birthday, mom!

Although the new year started almost two weeks ago, this week is likely to be when I start my new years goals.  I just had my postpartum doctors appointment and am working on settling into a new routine.  I'm excited to get to work on my goals and projects for the new year.  I knew December would be busy, so I created my 2013 mind map and goals list in October and finished it NYE.  Even though I was extremely pregnant when I made it, it's amazing the difference when I revisited it.  You can blame this guy:

I've also had a few loops thrown in from outside of our family that I need to adjust for.  Assuming our little miracle cooperates, I'll finish up my mind map and plans this afternoon.  Maybe I'll post something about them.  Although at my current rate, it could be a few weeks!