Archive for September, 2009

Home Alone!

Posted by Greg on September 16th, 2009 with tags: , ,

Home alone, but not alone – I’ve got a baby!  Last week Yenari returned back to work, so for the past week there have been big changes in our house.  Yenari works from around 2pm to midnight 3 weekdays a week and then every other weekend.  We have a nanny coming to take care of Hazel for 4 hours on the 3 weekdays, but then I’m on baby duty for the next 6 hours and I’ve got the full 10 hours on the weekends.

So…I went from spending just about no time home alone with Hazel a few weeks ago to spending about 50 hours alone with her over the past week and a half!  It has been an…interesting transition and is definitely taking some getting used to for all of us.

For the most part things have been going really well in my alone time with Hazel.  I’ve been going on long walks with her through the neighborhood – checking out all the parks, exploring the small streets I’ve never been on before, and seeing things I never noticed in the neighborhood when life moved at a faster pace.  I’m not looking forward to the end of daylight savings time and the shortening of the daylight hours – soon enough it will be dark by the time I get home, so the walks will probably be shorter and less entertaining.

My favorite thing though is making her laugh.  Over the past few weeks she’s transitioned from occasional little smiles, to big smiles, to the occasional laugh, and now to all out cracking up.  I just about gave myself whiplash today shaking my head around while she watched me in the mirror, laughing her chubby cheeks off!

It’s not all laughs though.  Hazel still hasn’t caught on to eating from a bottle – she’s eating only a few ounces a day while Yenari is at work and those ounces are painful painful attempts filled with crying and frustration.  She definitely knows how to eat from the bottle – she’s done it for short periods of time successfully – it just seems that she doesn’t want to do it!  So, for now I’m keeping up on trying to feed her, but I’m not trying to push it much – if she fights it I give it a break and try twenty minutes later.  As long as I don’t fight with her on eating she seems perfectly happy and well behaved.  When Yenari finally gets home Hazel goes into eating overdrive and catches up on 10 hours of eating.  Apparently lots of breastfed babies take a few weeks to adjusting to eating from a bottle in daycare, so hopefully we’ll have a better story to tell in a few weeks.

One area she has been very cooperative in is sleep – she’s been able to get to sleep around 9 or 9:30 each night, letting me wind down after a long day of work and then baby herding.  I’ve even led a number of calls for work while she’s been sleeping – though I have warned my colleagues that I may have to abruptly end the calls to soothe the crying babe.

So…things haven’t been perfect by any means, but at the same time they haven’t been a complete disaster.  Hazel and I have been able to spend a lot of time together and as a result I’m getting to know her and to understand her better.  Now if we can just take care of this ‘not eating anything’ issue, all we’ll have left is the fun and games!

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100 days!

Posted by Greg on September 7th, 2009 with tags: , , ,

Today marked an important milestone for Hazel – her hundredth day since birth!  The hundred days celebration is popular in Korean culture and dates back to the times when infant mortality rates were low and making it through 100 days was a sign that the baby was likely to survive and thrive.  Nowadays the hundred days celebration carries is both a celebration of the baby and the parents…survival is a two way street!  Some people have a big party to celebrate the hundredth day, but we decided to take it easy and enjoy the day with Hazel.

Yenari did, however, dress Hazel up in her fanciest princess dress:

100 days old!

100 days old!

In addition to this being a celebration of her age, today also marked the last day of Yenari’s time off of work.  Tomorrow Yenari heads back to work at her full schedule of 4 days a week at the hospital.  She works the evening shift from around 2:30-11:30pm, so her going back to work will also mean some big changes for me!  On the weekdays we’re going to have a nanny taking care of Hazel until six and then I’ll take over until around midnight when Yenari gets home – scary!

The major part of the preparation over the past several days has been trying to get Hazel used to eating from a bottle.  Shouldn’t be too hard right?  How hard could it be for a baby to eat from a bottle?  Ummm….apparently quite hard!  This has been one of the most difficult times we’ve had in the last…100 days.  As soon as a bottle comes near Hazel the screaming and crying begins.  She’s gotten a hold of it a few times and eaten a few ounces, but she doesn’t seem to remember or want to eat the next time around.

On Saturday we fed her only with the bottle until 9pm…she probably drank a couple ounces of milk over the course of the day – a tiny amount compared to how much she normally eats.  On Sunday we tried to follow the schedule that she’ll have once Yenari goes back to work – breastfeeding until 2pm and then the bottle until midnight.  We all survived it, but there was lots of crying and Hazel only ate a few ounces.  It’s really difficult as a parent to watch your baby cry because she’s hungry and to not give in and let her breast feed.

Over the last week we’ve done our part in supporting the economy by purchasing just about every bottle and nipple on the market…from the local Babys R Us to the local Japanese market…we’ve seen them all.  None of them have provided the miraculous breakthrough we were hoping for, and I’m guessing that we won’t find one that will provide that miracle.  Hazel seems to be able to eat from a bottle when she needs to, she just doesn’t seem to want to do it too often.  My hope is that with more practice and with the reality of no mommy in site, Hazel will resign herself to eating from the bottle and overcome this challenge for all of us!

So, here’s to Hazel’s hundred days, a good return to work for Yenari, productive eating for Hazel, and me surviving with Hazel at night 4 days a week!

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Boston and Connecticut Trip

Posted by Greg on September 7th, 2009 with tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A week late on the post, but here nonetheless.  Last week we made our first trip out of the state with Hazel, heading to the Boston area for my business trip and then down to Connecticut to my mom’s place for the weekend.  In the last post I mentioned that Hazel did great on the flight out to Boston – she mostly slept, bounced around on our laps, ate, and eyed the tv on the backs of our seats.  We survived too – traveling with a baby is definitely a whole lot different than the traveling I’m used to…so many more things to carry, much more time needed, worries about feeding, crying, and accidentally leaving some critical piece of baby gear behind!

Yenari and Hazel stayed locked down in our hotel the whole time I was at work both days – they didn’t leave at all without me!  Last post I had some photos of Hazel swimming in the pool, so I’ll skip ahead to the end of the second day.  Yenari checked out of the hotel around 4pm (thanks to their kindness in letting us have a super late checkout) and I made it back to the hotel after work to pick them up around 4:45.  Then it was off to the Southborough train station to pick up Liza and then drive down to Connecticut.  Again, Hazel was a travel champ, passing out and sleeping the 2 hours down to my mom’s house in Durham, CT.  After some dinner, chatting, and baby playing we went to bed.

The first thing on the lazy day agenda for Saturday was the arrival of grandmother and Hazel’s great grandmother.  Even though she’s a great grandmother she’s still ‘Nana’ to Hazel.  This was her second time meeting Hazel – she first met her when she was only about 3 weeks old, so Hazel was a lot bigger and more responsive this time around.  Here are a couple pictures of Hazel sitting and smiling with Nana:

with Nana

with Nana

Next up was a visit from my college friends Joe and Sophia.  They’re expecting a baby anytime now – Sophia’s about ready to burst!  We had a great brunch with them filled with baby talk, baby play, and catching up.  Here’s a couple photos of them playing with Hazel:

with Joe, Sophia, and a baby in the belly

enchanted by the duckie

It was great to see them.  Best of luck to Sophia and Joe in the coming weeks!

That night my mom planned a dinner party to show off Hazel to many of her friends.  Some of these friends I’ve known my whole life, so it was great to see everyone and the excitement everyone had for Hazel and for us.  Here are a couple of (out of focus – guilty me) photos of the girls and the boys of the party:

party time crowd

party time crowd

After the evening of great company and excellent food Hazel was a bit cranky from the over-stimulation but eventually got to bed and slept well.  In general she wasn’t really phased by the 3 hour timezone switch on either end of the trip, so we lucked out in that regard!

The next morning Hazel’s aunt Kathleen came over and we had a great time playing with Hazel on the couch, with high spirits all around…photos of Hazel with my mom (meeeeeeeemaw), Liza, and Kathleen:

with meemaw

with meemaw and Liza

chillin on the couch with Liza, meemaw, and Kathleen

The whole Connecticut trip was great – we got to pack in a lot of time with a lot of great people without having to even leave the house!

The trip back wasn’t so fun though.  I’ll skip the full story and just mention: long drive back with tons of traffic on the Mass Pike, lots of traffic near Liza’s place with students returning to college, GPS suddenly not working leading to aimless driving through Boston, boarding pass that didn’t mention Hazel requiring second trip through security, Yenari and me being in different rows of the plane with others only agreeing to switch so we could be together halfway through, crying toddler keeping Hazel awake and crying, more crying, and finally back home.  It was about a 14 hour trip door to door and definitely not too fun, but we survived, and had a great time on the trip, so it was worth it…

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