Monday, January 26, 2015

Reece at 2 months

Dear Reece,

In the several weeks since I have provided an update, you have been through numerous new life experiences: 2 international flights, meeting your grandparents and aunts and uncles, your first Christmas, making the switch from the breast to the bottle, and starting to interact with your environment. You have even learned to take naps and sleep in your crib at night.

One nice thing about you traveling so young is that you really didn't suffer from jet lag. And, as it turned out jet lag worked in our favor when you were up every hour or two adjusting to sleep in your crib rather than in our room. Now that we're two weeks in, you have had one night where you slept 8-5,and a few 7-3 stretches but you typically fuss a couple of times a night and then wake up to eat around 4 am. Now that your dad is back to work the fact that you won't nurse makes my nights a lot longer. I usually pump at 3 am and then wait for you to wake up at 4 am. I don't get back to sleep until 5, and then I am up for the day at 6 am. The things we do for you!

On the up side, you have more awake time during the day (only about an hour at a time, though), and you are very interactive during that time. It takes you about 15 minutes to down a 4 or 5 oz bottle, and then you sit on my lap and talk to me while I burp you. You are pretty smiley the whole hour that you're awake, but I think you reserve the talking for just those 15 minutes after you've eaten. Sometimes, I have to pump during the last 15 minutes before I put you down for a nap, and neither one of us really likes that, but you do enjoy laying on your activity mat and exercising your legs!

You've gone to the doctor twice in the last month, which was no fun for anyone. Going to the doctor is one of those joyous cultural experiences. Everyone expects you to know what to do, but you have no idea what they're trying to communicate. There are about 5 different places that we have to go, and I don't always remember the proper order. It also seems impossible for me to change your diaper there, as the nurse has chased me out of the doctor's office diaper in hand and the only changing table is in the men's bathroom. Strange.

As you are now approaching the 3 month mark, you are a content baby and you no longer cry without reason. In fact, you really only cry when you're overly tired or when you can't get back to sleep. I do feel that I spend an inordinate amount of time putting you to sleep, though. You take four naps a day and then go to bed for the night. Three of those four naps you need to sleep for about an hour and a half, but you don't make it through the first 45 minute cycle, so I usually spend about 30 minutes trying to get your cranky self back to sleep again. By then, it's time for you to eat. This is getting easier, though, and I know that one day you will manage longer naps.

The fact that you are happy and smiling the rest of the day makes it easier to stomach the tough nap times. You even laughed for the first time last week! I couldn't believe it! Of course, you haven't repeated the performance, but we're all watching and waiting impatiently for it.

The last time you nursed really successfully was Christmas day. You nursed all day long without much fuss and with no bottles. Then, you continued nursing at night for the remainder of the trip. I've already mentioned that you only nursed a couple of times on our trip home, and that was pretty much the end. Because we moved you into your room when we got home, you stopped nursing in the middle of the night. By the time I got to you, you were too worked up. Shortly after, I developed thrush, so I stopped trying. It wasn't worth the battle, and I didn't want you to get the infection, either.

I have tried a couple of times in the past week, and you're still not having it. You nursed for five minutes the other day, but then drank a 4 oz bottle. The bottle is clearly your preferred method! You have started to put on weight now, too. At your 2 month appointment, you were 10.5 pounds and 22 inches long. Your cheeks are filling out, as is your belly.

Your sister is still a big helper. She loves to feed you a bottle whenever she can. She'll even change your (wet) diapers. She would change your clothes, too, if I let her. Her favorite job is laying on the floor with you while you're laying on your activity mat. That's your favorite place to be, too! You last about 10 minutes in your little chair, but you could lay on that mat kicking your legs and looking at yourself in the mirror for an hour!

All this to say, that we are all really enjoying you at this stage, Reece. And, I'm sorry for saying you were a fussy baby in your first six weeks. Those are the days that every good parent erases from his/her memory--that's what allows us to keep having babies! And, while you are still pretty needy these days, what with the eating every three hours and such, we think you're pretty cute, too. We can hardly wait to see what comes next for you!


Sunday, January 18, 2015

All is quiet on the blogger front

Suffice it to say, things have been a little busy around here. Well, maybe not necessarily busy in the sense that it used to be, but I don't have a lot of spare time for anything. Like blogging. Taking pictures. Or even laundry. 

Reece has made the transition to his crib pretty well, but he's only taking 45 minute naps. And when I spend 2/3 of that time pumping, I'm not left with much time to do anything else. Except maybe eat something. Start a load of laundry. Or get dressed.

And so, the blog sits here quietly, waiting for the day when Reece takes longer naps. When I no longer spend hours every day pumping. When we're back into a manageable routine again. Thanks for your patience, blogosphere.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Reece's First Flights

Well, we made it home. And back again. (And it was so good to see our family and celebrate the holidays with them in Washington for the first time in four years!) Honestly, Reece was a great traveler on the way to the States. Sure, he wouldn't wake up to eat when I wanted him to and then was starving the moment we arrived in the airport. Sure, he needed a change of clothes before we even checked in for our flight. I guess I can't be too surprised.

I was able to feed him and put him back to sleep in the Baby Bjorn before we boarded, so getting on and takeoff went smoothly. I was seated next to two young unaccompanied minors who were so engrossed in their phones, they barely noticed us. I was able to nurse him as soon as he started stirring, then we'd go to the bathroom and change his diaper where he enjoyed being able to lay down and stretch for a few minutes. Then he was back in the Bjorn and back to sleep before too long. We did this three times--including right before the end of the flight, so he could make it through our short layover.

(Please tell me why the Bjorn has been so popular for so long! I have one of the smallest children alive and it still kills my back because of the lack of support! But, it is much easier to get him in and out of than my wrap, so I just suffered through.)

Our layover consisted of standing in line at Immigration, grabbing bags to go through Customs, re-checking them, and then going through security again before finally reaching the gate at the moment they were calling our boarding group. The most stressful part of the day was trying to get my large carry on suitcase (with my pump and camera) into the overhead bins, but everyone except for the flight attendants were very helpful and a couple of men were able to move things around to get it in. (One advantage of flying United Airlines is the many military that are on our flights, and they were especially helpful while I was traveling without Eric.)

The flight from San Francisco to Seattle was short and aside from eating, Reece slept the whole time. The old man sitting next to me on that flight told me that I was a miracle worker, but I don't think I was the one performing the miracles!

Our trip back to Korea, however, was a very different story. The biggest difference being the fact that at this point, Reece was (and still is) refusing to nurse. I was able to pump in the bathroom right before we boarded in Seattle while Eric fed him. The flight from Seattle to San Francisco was uneventful, as everyone but me slept the whole time. We made the dash from one gate to the other without any problem in San Francisco, but there was not time for me to pump before boarding. And here the trouble began.

After boarding, the captain announced that there was a problem with part of the plane. He said they were testing something and would let us know shortly the results of the test. When he came back on, he announced that there was more work to do and, if we wanted, we could de-plane for about 45 minutes. Reece was asleep and Cade and I were exhausted, so we stayed and took a nap while Eric and Kennedy got off and went for a walk. After an hour, the captain announced that the plane needed more work and everyone needed to de-plane. A decision would be made within the next 45 minutes about if and when our flight would be re-scheduled. Just as we had disembarked, they announced they had a plane for us and that we needed to move to a new gate. I still hadn't had a chance to pump, and I was starting to leak.

Eventually, after almost a four hour delay, we were on another plane and on our way. I was able to get Reece to nurse a couple of times, but there was still plenty of crying, as it's not his preferred method. There was also some running around trying to track down water for bottles from uncooperative flight attendants when he wouldn't nurse. Unfortunately, he didn't go back to sleep after his last feeding right before landing, so he was too full to feed and was not enjoying the changes in pressure as we descended. The flight attendants let me know that his ears were bothering him and suggested I give him a pacifier, as if I hadn't thought of that and hadn't been trying to hold it in his mouth for the past 5 minutes with no luck.

I was soaked, as I had been unable to get my pump to work the two times I tried (must have been a pressure issue?). And, I had somehow wedged my foot under something while sleeping at one point, so it was bruised and swollen by the time we arrived, and I was limping miserably. By the time we finally arrived home, after nearly 30 hours of travel, I desperately needed a shower, ice packs, and sleep! Everyone but Eric had done plenty of crying by the time we all drifted off to sleep in our beds that night, and we are relieved to not be traveling again for a few months!
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