Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oscar eats "real" food

Oscar started eating rice cereal about 6 weeks ago or so. Here's a video clip of that milestone.

He started eating jars of organic baby food a couple weeks ago. We started with peas. Here's that video clip.

I've missed updating my blog, but can't make any promises about how often I'll be able to. Thanks for checking back!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rollin' along

Tummy time at Gramma's in August.

Tummy to back
Oscar rolled from his tummy to his back on Sunday morning. He wasn't even trying, he was just playing on his play mat and ! just like that, he was on his back, looking at me with juicy spit bubbles on his lips.

I felt several things all at once: protective (I thought the sudden change might have startled him), proud, excited, relieved I'd been looking right at him, sad that Adam wasn't home to witness it...I felt like swooping him up in joy (and comfort) and at the same time I felt like playing it cool, like I didn't want to further startle him or just generally have a first-time parent freak-out. So I kind of did all those things in the next moment. I said something like, "Wow, look at you, Oscar, rolling over from your tummy to your back, what a big boy you are!" as I calmly dabbed the spit bubbles away with a burp cloth. The next second, though, I had grabbed him up and was hugging him to me, just loving him and being happy with the moment.

Keeping an eye on Gramma. And the camera.

Back to tummy
Tonight, Oscar was laying on his back and ! just like that, rolled over onto his tummy. What the?! I thought it would be a while longer before he could roll from back to tummy. I thought he'd be practicing his tummy-to-back roll first. I also thought the back-to-tummy roll would require much more effort. He did it without any at all. As soon as he was on his tummy, he was kicking his legs like a frog and he was grunting with frustration. He still doesn't love being on his tummy. I eventually helped him roll back onto his back. He continued to throw a leg over and turn onto his left side, but he didn't roll completely over again. Yet.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Metal baby

Rock on, little man.

Willow Creek Railroad

Journey, Adam and Oscar waiting for one of the trains to take off.

We made our second visit this summer to Willow Creek Railroad, this really cool place that's part of Antique Powerland.

Oscar contemplates a life ridin' the rails.

Beth reserved the place for a 3-hour party a couple Sundays ago and several of us showed up to picnic and take our little ones on the trains. The day turned out sunny and warm; a lovely time was had by all. Thank you, Beth, for organizing such a fun family outing!

Beth and a tuckered-out Eli.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oregon State Fair

Getting dressed for the fair in a onesie with tractors and cows!

We went to the state fair tonight and had a fantastic time. It was perfect. Saw the cows, piglets, sheep, draft horses and my favorite, the poultry barn; looked at some farm equipment (saw this crazy, tall and narrow thing that turned out to be a crop sprayer, for row crops); saw some textiles and vegetables (again, got to see my favorite, the oddities and entries for "cutest vegetable"), decorated cakes, including our friend Marion's, fine art, calligraphy (a kind calligrapher gentleman wrote Oscar's name on some poster board for us, for free!), voted for Peoples Choice in the kids division and amateur art; ate fried food while listening to a Johnny Cash cover artist, who was pretty good.

Oscar watches me eat a hand-dipped pronto pup and brick o' fries for dinner. Mmm, fair food.

Here's my favorite part: We were sitting on a bench outside the Jackman-Long Building (art exhibits). I'd just finished nursing Oscar and Adam was burping him. A couple of women were sitting across the path from us. When they saw us preparing to leave, one of them came over and told us that she raised two children and her friend had raised "Oh, seven or eight," and that they both thought we were the nicest family they'd seen all day. I thanked them and told them that meant a lot to me and that, in fact, it had made my fair experience. I got teary as we walked away and told Adam how I remembered strangers making similar comments to our family when I was a kid and what an impression that made on me. Thinking about it now, how willing are you to go up to a perfect stranger and give them your opinion, no matter how well-intended and kind, about their family? I've done it a couple times in my life and it's always paid off with more kind words and big smiles.Here we are in front of the big tomato.

First dip in a swimming pool

Oscar had his first dip in a swimming pool a little over a week ago at his buddy Dixon's first birthday party. Most of the time he stood (with a little help from me), dropping his bum in only a couple times. He didn't mind it at all.

The party was great fun and all four SJ boys got to celebrate together (it's kind of tough to get all of us in one spot at the same time, it seems).

Thanks to Marion for playing photographer!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Broken alarm clock

We haven't had to use an alarm clock since Oscar joined our family. He gets us up around 5 a.m. every day and ordinarily he sleeps very fitfully in the mornings, thrashing about and making noise.

This morning I had the scare of my life. Oscar went to sleep at 9 p.m. A little early for him, so I figured I might be getting up twice during the night to feed him. Sure enough, he was up at 2 a.m., about an hour earlier than usual. I expected to be up again at 4:30 or 5 a.m. So my heart stopped when I woke up in a light bedroom, looked at the clock and saw 6:48 a.m. I leaped out of bed and looked at Oscar. As I mentioned, he usually thrashes about and makes a lot of noise in the mornings. But there he was, lying in his bassinet, one arm out of his swaddle. I had to put my hand on his chest to make sure he was still breathing! And then about one minute later, I had to do it all over again.

Later, Adam and I will laugh at ourselves about how awfully frightening it is to get more than three hours of uninterrupted sleep.

For now, Oscar's up checking email with his Papa. Good morning!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy to be home

We had a fantastic road trip last week: we drove from Salem to La Grande on the 7th and stayed with my dad and Rebecca; drove to Nampa, ID, on the 8th and stayed with my brother and his family for two nights; returned to La Grande on the 10th and stayed with my mom and returned to Salem on the 11th. Whew! Our hosts were wonderful and we saw too little of all of them.

Grampa and Oscar
Justin and Oscar
Gramma and Oscar
The purpose of the trip was to attend Adam's 20th class reunion for Centennial High School. It was fun to see Adam's best childhood friend Aaron, along with his wife, Deb, and to meet the folks who used to live in his neighborhood when he was a kid. It was also great to see Mrs. Billingsley and Deb and Aaron's kids. Back in La Grande, we had a lovely visit with Beth, Kevin, Tess and Colm.

Aaron, Elizabeth, Adam and Oscar

Beth and Oscar
After staying in three places over four nights (setting up good middle-of-the-night spots to nurse and change diapers was interesting!) and an 8-hour trip home on Monday, we were so glad to be home. I'd wisely taken Tuesday as a vacation day, so the three of us just relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. Here's a video of just how happy Oscar was to be home:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My boys

I love these guys.

Adam and Oscar on Saturday morning, coming out of Oscar's room

Oscar is almost always smiling until he notices the camera!

Cloth diapers

We started using cloth diapers on Saturday. Finally! So far, so good, except Oscar has diaper rash. Any suggestions?

Some of our cloth diaper supplies, including some wraps from Angela and homemade wipes from Nicole. Thanks, girls!

Fun and full weekend

Just a quick update...Saturday, Oscar and I attended Kate's baby shower, along with a lot other mamas and babies and kids. Kate looks fantastic! It was fun to meet some of her family and other friends and to shower her with gifts and wishes for her little one.

We buzzed home from the shower to pick up Adam and head to the wedding shower for Murray and Pedi. We got there shortly before they had to leave, unfortunately, but we were there long enough to appreciate how happy they both are. They make a great couple.

This morning we headed to brunch in Portland with Devon. Devon has this great ability to bring people together. This morning, he invited another couple to join us with their 5-month old daughter. They're new to Portland and are interested in meeting new people, particularly those with kids. Leslie, Rob and Stella are great! We ended up spending almost three hours hanging out together at Biscuits for breakfast and Cosmic Monkey. Welcome to Oregon, new fine family!

Adam and Oscar pose with Devon and Stella

Rob, Stella, Leslie, me, Adam and Oscar in Cosmic Monkey

We were hoping to see Adam's brother's family while in Portland, but the girls were sick. I hope they're feeling better now and that the rest of the family escaped the illness and that we get to see them all soon!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to work

Just a quick update to let everyone know I survived my first day back at work.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm a crier. Happy, sad, proud, relief--many emotions evoke tears from me. So last night and this morning I cried and cried. I told Adam I didn't know how or when it was ever going to stop. I thought maybe I'd stop when I climbed into the shower. Nope. At least not right away. I was starting to tear up again when I thought of my Mom and heard her concerned yet stern voice: "You're going to make yourself sick!" She used to tell me this when I would cry for a long time (I've been racking my brain all day trying to remember what ever made me cry like this and can't remember. Weird.). And it was true: I'd exhaust myself and would often get sick shortly thereafter. Remembering that admonishment from my mother helped me settle myself. That, and imagining that my tears were using up all the liquid I need to make milk for Oscar!

Folks at work welcomed me back warmly and enthusiastically. I spent most of the day going through email and vmail. Adam brought Oscar by to nurse at 11:45 a.m. The little rascal wouldn't take much milk from a bottle at home; he also really struggled nursing. He did much better taking a bottle from Adam for the afternoon feeding. They walked in to pick me up from work just after 5:30 p.m. and we all walked home together, with a trip to the store on the way. Lovely.

Once home, I nursed Oscar while Adam made an incredible dinner of wilted spinach salad with all kinds of goodies in it and an equally yummy side of squash & onion sauté.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words, thoughts and support to both Adam and me as we faced and now are making this transition. It helps.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rattle update

Oscar's pediatrician assured us today that his lungs are clear and that his rattle is just saliva that sort of collects in his throat because he's a juicy little boy who doesn't yet know how to clear his throat. Whew.

For rattle-free bedtime, we can elevate the head of his bed a little and/or use a humidifier. Will try either/both of those things if the rattle continues.

Touch and go

I've been touch and go today because I go back to work tomorrow. For some of the day I've been necessarily oblivious to the fact. Tomorrow morning may not go smoothly at all as I haven't pumped in a couple of weeks and don't have a purse ready (I've been using the diaper bag as a purse for three months!). Other parts of the day, I've been struck by practical thoughts like, "do I have clean clothes to wear?" and "do we have food to make my lunch?" Much of the rest of my day has been spent mourning the end of this magical time we've spent together as a family and being grateful for my happy and healthy son and my incredible husband. Lots of tears and sighs, lots of time holding Oscar and playing with him, lots of sustaining hugs from Adam. A new chapter in our lives begins tomorrow. I'd better go get some sleep so I have a chance at starting off well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knotty boy

We've cut three knots out of the back of Oscar's hair. His hair thinned a little after he was born, especially up front, but he didn't really lose a lot of it. I know a lot of babies get bald spots on the backs of their heads from rubbing out their fine baby hair. Oscar likes to turn his head from side to side when he's tired, but his bald spot is going to be from us cutting out knots! Also, when he's nursing during the past few weeks, he will manage to get all four fingers in his hair with a pretty good grip.


Oscar and I picked up Adam at the airport last night. It was a joyous reunion.

This morning we're so happy to be back together as a family in our house.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The fists

Oscar's discovered that his fists are part of him, conveniently located at the end of his arms, which he has enough control over now to slowly and steadily move them so the fists end up in his mouth. Satisfaction!

I keep trying to get a picture of him focusing on his fists, but he almost always becomes aware of the camera before I can get a shot of the profound concentration on his face. Here's the closest I've come:


And just a happy baby shot:

Solo: Day 3

Today we hung around home almost all day.

Oscar's breathing has occasionally sounded a little ragged and I really started worrying about it today, so I called the doctor's office and spoke with an incredibly helpful, patient and kind nurse from Emanuel Hospital (the local pediatrician's office contracts with their nurse line on weekends or something like that). She asked a ton of questions and had me put the phone to Oscar's mouth a couple times so she could hear his breathing for 15 seconds. She also had me put my hand on his belly and count his breaths out loud to her, put him on his tummy for a few minutes to help clear congestion and then she had me make a saline solution and drop it into his nose and suction it out, all while she waited on the phone with me. He sounded better after all this and she told me to stay close to him (not a problem!) and listen to him throughout the night (I usually do this anyway). Tonight after nursing him and laying him down to sleep, his breathing sounded pretty rough. I carried him to the couch so I could recline with him on my chest and hopefully keep him asleep or at least from fully waking up. It worked really well. He's back in his bassinet, still sleeping and his breathing sounds perfectly clear. If he's rattly tomorrow morning, I'll take him in to the pediatrician office.

Our big outing today was to a barbecue at the Blairs'. Kobbi, Brian, Journey and Dixon were there, of course, as were Aaron and Alex, and Victoria. Beth even showed up a little later! When I put Oscar in his car seat to go to the bbq, he was pretty happy. He even cooed and laughed during the drive over. He's such a happy little guy. Once there, I left him in his car seat because he seemed perfectly content (and it was a little break for me to not hold him). He sat outside under a big tree, looking around and smiling at Journey and whomever else chatted with him. He was so mellow! We moved inside later and he even nursed and fell asleep. I thought he might be too distracted, but not so. It was really great to see everyone, be outside, eat a hamburger and fresh pineapple (not together), and watch Oscar starting to interact with others.

Oscar and me at the barbecue (thanks for the photo, Kobbi!)

Dixon, Journey and Oscar enjoy the barbecue in the Blairs' backyard.

The barbecue took a turn for the worse when Dixon (held by Kobbi) took a swing at Oscar (held by Vicki). The boys eventually settled down and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Journey was very sweet with Oscar. She made a lot of arrangements so she could sit by him to eat her barbecue dinner.

So we didn't make it to the store for more disposable diapers. I think I have three or four to make it through the night and early morning. Wish me luck! The cloth diapers are in the clothes drier now; they need to be washed and dried twice more before they're ready to wear...could be tomorrow, though!

We pick Adam up at the airport around 8:45 p.m. tomorrow. Sigh. It will be wonderful to be together as a family again.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Poop management

If you're not interested in reading about bodily functions, please skip this post.

Poop management. That's what we call it at our house when Oscar has a diaper blowout or there's a changing table incident. This morning's activity was beyond anything we've experienced thus far.

We got up to nurse at 5:50 a.m. and were headed to the changing table by 6:15. I'd heard a lot of diaper activity while he was in his bassinet so I expected a full diaper. And I wasn't disappointed. What I didn't expect was for the fun to continue. We staggered away from the changing table at 6:50 a.m.

The final toll: countless squirts of poop, 7 diapers, 4 wash cloths, at least 2 full-on fountains of pee, 2 blankets (changing pad covers that I kept folding over to cover the latest barrage), 1 diaper wipe, 1 bewildered mama, one exhausted baby.

I walked Oscar around, hoping he'd sleep more. We dozed and nursed 'til 9 a.m. Whew! I know what I'm doing the rest of the day: laundry and buying more diapers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Solo: Day 2

Oscar slept in 'til 7:30 a.m.! Unheard of. And oh so nice!

Here's the little sleepy head after breakfast.

He was fairly fussy throughout the day. Sure cure: going outside. We walked over to Salem Nurse Midwives to finally get a picture of Oscar with Karen Armstrong, the midwife who helped Oscar enter this world. I hadn't ever walked there and ended up taking a long route. Oscar didn't mind--he was zonked out in the stroller about two blocks into the journey.

Nurse Midwife Karen Armstrong and Oscar

Later in the afternoon, I was playing with Oscar, talking to him and loudly kissing his neck. He laughed like I'd never heard before. A full-on laugh. I kissed him again, he laughed and laughed. One more time, and then I burst into tears, holding him to me, struck to my core how much I love this little person.

Tears of joy

In preparation for our visit to Indigo Wellness Center to visit Tara, my prenatal yoga instructor, I put this "Om" onesie on Oscar. I knew the opening for the head was tiny so I stretched and stretched it before trying to get it on him. It was still a panic-inducing struggle and left a long red mark on his head! I promised I'd cut him out of it while he was sleeping tonight. I couldn't imagine taking it off him (the arms were difficult and I swear the leg holes were cutting off his circulation!). It's labeled 3-6 months, but it should be newborn. I was able to take it off without incident.

Chant "Om" in order to put on this onesie without personal injury.

Last, but not least, here's Tara, Oscar and me at Indigo Wellness Center.

While at Indigo, I also got to see Eryca, who's due today. Good luck, Eryca! And thank you for taking our photo!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Solo: Day 1

Today was the first full day Oscar and I were on our own because Adam's in San Diego for Comic-Con. We had a great day, due in part to the fact that we were both asleep before 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. It also may have helped that I think I forgot to order my latte decaffeinated. Oops. I was so hung up on remembering to order it with soy....

Here are a couple more shots from our day:

Hello? Operator? Can you please ring my Papa? He's at table M9 at Comic-Con in San Diego. I gotta tell him I miss him!

I sang "Everybody knows I love my toes" to Oscar today and he smiled and laughed. It's a song we learned at Bilingual Storytime at Salem Public Library. I sang it in English today!

And, just for fun, here's a shot of Oscar on our walk yesterday.


Today's all about getting clean.

First up: Oscar enjoyed a swing session and then slept so I could do some laundry (including folding and putting away--crazy!).

Next: I gave Oscar a bath. It was my first solo attempt (Adam and I always bathe him together). So I was a bit nervous, but I couldn't stand the sour, spit-up smell he gets after just one day. It went off without a hitch even though I forgot to play our usual bath CD, Graceland by Paul Simon.

Finally: My turn! I got a shower while Oscar slept again (no pictures for this one).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chicago, Van Morrison and Prince in tha house

This morning as Adam was preparing to leave for a five-day trip to San Diego for Comic-Con International, I overheard him singing Chicago's If You Leave Me Now: "Ooo no, baby please don't go."

I had Van Morrison's Baby Please Don't Go looping through my head: "Baby, please don't go, baby, please don't go, baby please don't go down to [San Diego], you know I love you so, baby, please don't go."

Then I heard someone humming Prince's Take Me With U: "Don't care where we go, I don't care what we do, I don't care pretty baby, just take me with you." I traced the sound to Oscar, trying to stow away in his Papa's suitcase!

I wouldn't be surprised if Adam denies singing Chicago...I don't think he was aware of it. He wasn't singing the whole song, just that one line here and there throughout the morning.

And regarding my song lyrics choice, I just want to state that I am happy that Adam's going to San Diego for Comic-Con! Oscar and I will miss him terribly, but he's going to have a great convention and be home before we know it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Family

Wait, has it really been more than 10 days since I posted? Uh-oh. Life happens.

Here are a couple photos of our little family (the first ones to finally appear on my blog. Yea!).

This one (above) was taken by Aunt T.C. during her visit at the end of May. She made a good point: pictures of the whole family are hard to come by at this early stage. Thanks, Aunt T.C.!

And this one I took back in May, too. Looks like it's time for another family portrait!