Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

First Stop, London

Posted by Greg on September 27th, 2010 with tags: , , , , , ,

We had a busy couple of weeks in the middle of September. A couple months ago we made plans for a vacation to Hawaii…and then a few weeks prior to the trip I got word that I needed to go to London for a few days for work. Yenari was luckily able to rearrange some of her work days so that she and Hazel could come along too. The only problem was that these two trips were separated by just two days…leading to lots of travel with a little toddler/baby combined with an 11 hour time difference!

London was the first on our list. We got into London on a Wednesday afternoon and I had a couple of busy days in our European headquarters right on the Thames. Yenari and Hazel spent most of the mornings and afternoons sleeping, making both of them slightly nocturnal. Yenari did manage to crawl out of bed on day and visit the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern museum:

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Tate Modern

To celebrate the end of my work week in London we took the tube to the London Eye, the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, for a nighttime ride. Hazel was passed out for the beginning of the half hour ride but soon woke up and started walking around the massive cabin and checking out the view.

On the London Eye

On the London Eye

On the London Eye

Our flight back was on Monday morning, so we had the whole weekend to be tourists. Saturday was our Museum day where we went to the British Museum to check out the Greek exhibits of the Parthenon, the mummies, and all of the other items items plundered/discovered/recovered/bought from the British empire over the past several hundred years.

British Museum

British Museum

British Museum

Hazel slept during most of our museum visits, but she did find some time to check out the exhibits:

British Museum

Speaking of sleeping Hazel….here she is passed out at the museum followed by another one of her passed out with Yenari at Trafalgar Square, following our visit to the National Gallery the same day. She was a sleepy baby.

British Museum

Trafalgar Square

After the museums we spent the rest of our afternoon at the Tower of London. Hazel slept through the tour of the Crown Jewels and the Royal Armory to enjoy the nice afternoon whether and check out the Tower Bridge:

Tower of London

Tower of London

Tower Bridge

After all the museums and the Tower of London we were tired! We made our way through the city all day on the Tube…which is just one of the key examples of London as a stroller unfriendly city. Most of the tube stations and even many of the museums have only stairs which meant carrying a stroller with a sleeping baby inside up and down many many flights of stairs…a fairly awkward and not so fun thing to do…over and over again in London. It would have been a lot easier if Hazel had been awake, but hey, we were in London, so I’m not complaining (too much).

After crashing for a while we took the tube down to the Thames where they were throwing the Thames Festival…a weekend festival of food, shopping, and entertainment on the Thames. Yenari tracked down a chocolate truck and thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate and brownies while I ate a Indian-spiced lamb burger.

Yenari's favorite hot chocolate at the Thames Festival

For our last day in London we started it off with the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. It was packed so we didn’t get anywhere near the gates and Hazel wasn’t able to attempt my sister Liza’s (HI LIZA!) feat of getting her head stuck between the fence surrounding the palace. That would have been made for a good picture, but alas these are from afar:

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
(doesn’t Hazel look like she has a really long leg in this picture?)

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace

After the changing of the guards we hopped on a bus tour so that we could see a little bit more of the city. Hazel had fun on the bus, repeatedly yelling ‘whoa’ right in the the ears of the guy sitting in front of us.

London bus tour

When we got nearby the Thames we hopped off the bus and went back to the Thames festival for an encore cup of hot chocolate and to checkout the tent and events that KOCCA (the Korean government agency that Yenari’s father works for) was hosting. Hazel was (of course) asleep and missed out seeing a huge cut out of her favorite cartoon character, Pororo.

Yenari's father's company at the Thames Festival

Hazel sleeping next to her obsession, Pororo

From there we head across the river and took a roundtrip boat tour of the Thames, where Hazel woke up for a few minutes to enjoy the ride:

Thames boat tour

We rounded out our tour of the city by hopping back on the bus tour and making our way to the beautiful St. Paul’s Cathedral.

St. Paul's Cathedral

It was a fairly hectic five days, but we had a great time in London. Hazel will surely have fond memories of sleeping in hour stroller in all of the beautiful museums, sleeping while we ate our meals, and sleeping on our tours around the city.

We had a leisurely 11 hour flight back, followed by 2 days at work for both of us, followed by a vacation in Hawaii…covered in the next episode…

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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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Nighttime conversations

Posted by Greg on August 9th, 2009 with tags:

This post is being dictated by Yenari because I have no memory of the following conversations (if you can call them that).  At night, when Yenari needs some help she tries to wake me up, but sometimes I’m in a totally zoned out, half asleep, incomprehensible state.  Other times I actually do get up and help, but this post is not about that!  Here are three examples Yenari would like you all to know about…

Gotta go!

This one is from early on in Hazel’s life.  Yenari was having difficulty with breastfeeding and needed everything in its right place for it to work properly – she needed her Brest Friend setup, pillows behind her, and pillows under Hazel’s head.  It was my job to pickup Hazel from her bassinet and perfectly place her in the right position.

Hazel: wah wah wah wah
Yenari: (kicks Greg) I’m all setup, give me the baby
Greg: (gets up, walks towards bassinet, keeps walking out the room, goes to bathroom)
Yenari: (what the ?? I guess he really needs to go)
Hazel: Wah Wah Wah Wah
Greg: (flushes toilet, washes hands, returns to the room, passes the bassinet, gets back in bed, falls back to sleep)
Yenari: uhhh…..
Hazel: WAH WAH WAH WAH

Why?

This one is from last week. Yenari’s got the breastfeeding down, but she still relies on me to burp Hazel most of the time. This time however, I wasn’t quite sure it was necessary…

Yenari: (finishes feeding Hazel, kicks Greg) Baby, would you burp her?
Greg: Why?
Yenari: …because…I fed her?
Greg: Why did you do that?
Yenari: uhhh…..

I’ll think about it

This one is from a few weeks ago. Hazel had been crying all night long but I was totally passed out and not waking up even when Yenari pushed and kicked me. When she finally got me to wake up enough to talk, here’s how our conversation went

Yenari: Would you help me?
Greg: I will think about it (falls back asleep)
Yenari: (ass****! takes care of Hazel for another 5 minutes, kicks Greg again, says angrily) DID YOU THINK ABOUT IT?
Greg: Yah
Yenari: and?
Greg: I don’t think so (falls back asleep)

Hours later, in the morning:

Greg: (well rested) So, I guess she slept pretty well last night, huh?
Yenari: (burning a hole in Greg’s head with her angry eyes)
Greg: (hmm….maybe not? better get to work fast!)

Luckily these particular incidents aren’t exactly representative of the last few months…Yenari’s eager for me to type out another couple stories like this, but I think three is enough, right?  If she wants to write more, maybe she should get her own blog!

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8 weeks old – smile for the camera!

Posted by Greg on July 27th, 2009 with tags: , , , ,

Yesterday Hazel turned 8 weeks old – it’s amazing how fast the last (almost) 2 months have gone and how much she’s changed in this time.  The last week has particularly seen a number of changes.  The most exciting one is that Hazel has started to smile a lot more…and these smiles don’t seem accidental like some of the previous ones, she smiles when she seems genuinely amused.

Here’s a photo of Hazel from this past Saturday night, taken when Yenari and I were singing and dancing for her to some Disney music:

Big Smile!

While her smiles are more common now, they certainly still get us just as excited as the first ones she graced us with a while back.

The other main change over the last few days is that Hazel has become a much better sleeper, though writing this will probably reverse the trend!  We’ve had less trouble getting her to sleep and then once she does get to sleep she’s been sleeping for a lot longer.  On Sunday she let us sleep until around 11 in the morning – what a luxury! Now, that sleep involved waking up to feed/burp/change her at 1am, 3am, 6am, and 9am….but…it still was a lot of sleep!  The only problem with her sleep now is that she really sleeps a lot better when she’s in bed with us, sleeping right between us.  Some would probably yell at us saying that it isn’t safe, but we’ve been careful and we’re sticking with what works for now…though we’ve been trying to encourage her to sleep in her bassinet as much as possible.

We’ve also started in on another controversial topic – the pacifier.  Sometimes she gets very fussy at night and just wants to eat eat eat…except she eats so much that she ends up spitting up all of Yenari’s precious milk!  The was that she wasn’t really hungry, she just needed something to soothe her, and all of the swaddling, singing, bouncing, and rocking techniques didn’t do it.  Since her breastfeeding was already well established and she’d even gotten relatively good at taking a bottle (of pumped milk) we thought that the pacifier would be worth trying…and thus far it’s been very helpful, though we’re trying not to use it too often.

Hazel also attended the biggest event of her life – my company‘s summer picnic with 200+ attendees.  We were definitely worried about how she would handle all the people, noise, and the warm weather.  Her diaper bag was just about bursting with any and every supply we could think of – we were prepared for a hurricane!  And how did she actually respond to the picnic?  She slept straight through the 2 hours we were there, even with all my coworkers peeking in to see her.  The other exciting thing about the picnic was that there was a raffle for some prizes and I won one of the bigger prizes – a 12.1 inch digital photo frame that is now sitting at my desk at work cycling through tons of photos of Hazel and photos of Yenari and my wedding and honeymoon.  It was excellent timing to get a present like this as I wanted to have a photo of her at work but she’s growing so much I didn’t want it to get out of date.

The night before we had another visit from Sarah Lee and Hazel was able to catch her first glimpse of Guitar Hero as I brushed of the plastic guitar that has gathered dust for the last 9 months or so and rocked out to the tunes.  I think she was already sleeping when Yenari stepped back into the ring to show that she hasn’t lost her skills as a Wii boxing virtuoso (idiot savant?).  Hazel did wake up just long enough for me to play a game of Wii Sports tennis while cradling her in my left arm…I blame her for my loss since she made it a bit hard for me to get the backhand shots against the top rated computer player in the game.

The last outing of the weekend was to visit Yenari’s cousin in order to meet their new arrival, who was just 3 and a half days old on Sunday afternoon.  He slept through our visit, but it was amazing to see how little he looked even compared to Hazel and even though he was born at a healthy 8 pounds and 1 ounce.  We’re really happy that Hazel will have a second cousin who is the same age and who lives only 20 minutes away.

Here’s to an exciting 9th week!

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Recent photos and congratulations

Posted by Greg on July 23rd, 2009 with tags: , ,

I haven’t found the time to write recently – once Hazel falls asleep the urge to write doesn’t quite seem to popup, but I wanted to share a couple of recent photos from this past Sunday when my good friend Sarah Lee came by to meet Hazel for the first time:

Hazel with Sarah Lee

Hazel is doing well…she’s finally graduated from wearing her little “don’t scratch your face” mittens and has her little fingers out in the wild.  She’s definitely a lot more responsive now, staring deaply in our eyes, frowning when she’s getting ready to cry, and getting pissed when we aren’t paying enough attention to her (e.g. when writing on this blog).

Her sleeping has been good, bad, and a mix of the two.  Two nights ago she slept for 5 straight hours – from 1am to 6am – her longest night-time stretch yet.  I felt – dare I say – rested when I got up for work that morning.  Other nights she’s been a lot fussier, wanting to eat all night, spitting up after eating too much, and not wanting to be swaddled (without which she won’t sleep for more than a few minutes). We’ve done some practice feeding her with a bottle to make sure she knows how to do it in a month and a half when Yenari goes to work.

And now to the congratulations – first to my college friend Rebecca and her husband Troy.  This past Saturday they welcomed their beautiful baby boy Ewan Duke Turvy into the world.  He weighed in at a big 9 pounds six ounces – probably close to Hazel’s weight at six weeks or so!  The next congratulations goes out to Yenari’s cousin Kisook and her husband Yong, who welcomed their (second) baby boy into the world:  Jason 건우 Kim.  We can’t wait to meet both of these little dudes!

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