Monday, November 28, 2011

Noah News: Week 2

As I mentioned in my "must haves" post, we are almost three weeks into parenthood. We are definitely mastering some things (I don't think either of us have been peed on in at least a week) but still sorting out some others (is he gassy or hungry?!). Overall, Noah has made it fairly easy on his mom and dad. 
We are going to rock the turkey outfit in December too so you can see his feet :-)
This week we celebrated Noah's first holiday, Thanksgiving. We joined 25+ Retchless family members and stuffed ourselves silly. Andrea created a tremendous feast for all of us that was a real treat! Noah also got to meet a lot more of his wonderful family and, of course, got lots of love throughout the day.
Aimee is next!!
Family pile on the couch
Friday, we decided to jaunt up to Sonoma for a little post birthday celebrating and to pick up a shipment at Gloria. Plus, we need to get Noah started early on his appreciation of wine country. 
Dad and Noah
Overall, it was a nice trip. Different, but fun. Our first stop was at Ram's Gate Winery. Tommy and Cort happened to be up there and we decided to stop in and say hi. It is a gorgeous winery and looks into Infineon Raceway. This will definitely go on our list of places to visit on our way to/from Napa.

Since a second round of nursing in the back seat didn't sound all too appealing we just grabbed our wine at Gloria and headed on home. We will be better off taking this trip in a few weeks when mister fister can go longer between feedings OR take a bottle. 

Saturday I picked up my new iPhone! It is amazing. I didn't realize just how slow my old 3G was until I got my new one. The camera isn't too bad either! 
Sunday we decided to stay home and relax a bit. We enjoyed a visit from the Crusicks and I even managed to get all the Thanksgiving decorations down and think about decorating for Christmas. Hopefully by week's end this house will be decked for the holidays. 
Jen & Noah
Other things on my "try to accomplish" list this week:
  • blog
  • shower daily (1 for 1!)
  • change sheets
  • fold laundry
  • drop in for a class at DayOne (registered for tomorrow...wish us luck)
  • walk pomeranians daily (1 for 1!)
  • decorate for Christmas
  • bath for Noah
  • get photo albums up to date
  • write thank you notes
  • fill in baby book
Here's hoping we cross them all off :-).
see you soon!!

Baby Must Haves

Ok, it has been almost three weeks so here we are with the "must haves" from my perspective. I left off the obvious...diapers, wipes, bottles. This is about the little items that make life just a touch easier with an infant.

Avent Soothie Pacifier - This was recommended by our lactation consultant as a good option for breastfeeding babies. Noah likes it but isn't dependent on it and we have had no nipple confusion issues.

Itzbeen Timer - This is the best at around 3am when counting hours since our last feeding is far beyond my mental capacity. Right now we only use the feeding button as sleep and diapers pretty much coincide with this activity.
Rock and Play Sleeper - I got this upon seeing Lauren's review. Our room is pretty much fully consumed by our giant bed so a full sized bassinet or pack-n-play wasn't an option. We draped a blanket across the inside to make it nice and cozy and our little guy just snoozes away (we swaddle him and put him in...never use the straps). It is also extremely portable and lightweight...5 stars all around. OH, AND, it is extremely affordable.
Hands free pumping bra - I thought this was silly and didn't register for one. Turns out it makes pumping a zillion times faster and easier. Plus, as I pump more it will allow me the freedom to blog or do other things that require two hands.
Breastfeeding is so sexy!
My brest friend - Again, I thought this was a gimmick. Turns out, this thing is super helpful (especially with wobbly baby head). It is huge and bulky and a real pain to wrestle in the middle of the night but the ease it brings to feeding is well worth it. We have managed a few feedings without it but I much prefer having it around.
Bulb syringe - We had a very spitty baby at the hospital and the first couple of days home. We kept one of these by the changing table and one with us wherever the baby was. While we learned that baby's protect their airways, it was still good to have to clear his little mouth.

Everything free from the hospital - seriously, stock up. They will offer you all kinds of things...take them, stash them, take some more! 

Summer Infant Kiddopotomus Swaddle Me - Everyone recommended these and I held off. I wanted to be the hero and swaddle using swaddling blankets. In my head I was going to become a pro just like the nurses in the hospital. Then 3am rolled around and these became my best friend. My advice...don't wait, buy these!

Yes, your baby will look like a green bean!

Grandma - If you can get your hands on one of these, take advantage :-). We miss her around here...especially on the days Scott is at work. 
Can't wait to have you back at Christmas!

Sound Machine - We waited until 2 weeks to turn this on for the first time but when we did we realized what we had been missing. It immediately calms him (most of the time) and has made diaper changes a much more pleasant experience.

A few other items I like but I am not sure they are on the "can't live without" list just yet:
  • Ergo Baby Carrier
  • Boppy lounger
  • Baby bath with sling for newborn
  • Aden + Anais swaddle blankets (they are a great weight)
  • Wipes warmer (as you might recall, our baby HATES to be cold)
That's all for this installment. I need to get back to my little one who is currently in his two week growth spurt and needs to eat A LOT!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

weekend preview

noah took his first trip to sonoma...
more once I get around to downloading the real pictures!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving AND a birthday

I think it pretty much goes without saying what I'm thankful for this year. Waking up this morning and seeing my little boy making funny sleep faces for me was the best way to start this day. Not to mention New York put on a huge parade just for my birthday!!
One of his many funny faces.
I was born on Thanksgiving and while my birthday only falls on the holiday every few years it seems very fitting that this would be the year. Scott and I discuss often just how blessed we are. We have one another, a wonderful home, two fur babies, and the most amazing blessing of all...Noah.
Being a Thanksgiving baby means I am never in need of turkey items. Thanks for this year's turkey, mom!
As a birthday present to me, Noah has seemingly started sorting out his days and nights. Sure, we still get up a couple of times but at night he takes very little coaxing to go back to sleep where during the day he can be alert for hours at a time.

Of course my wonderful husband made my birthday special already. Last night we had a little celebration for just our family complete with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and ice cream cake. Ice cream cake? You see, I don't like pie. It is the one downfall of having a Thanksgiving birthday...pie sometimes gets sold as birthday cake. Unacceptable. Scott heard my not so subtle request for ice cream cake and it was AMAZING!
Yep...I get to upgrade my phone. I am working on the original iPhone and I am pretty excited to meet Siri.
Our turkey. Scott also made some killer gravy (and I don't usually even like gravy).
In other news, we had Noah's two week doctor appointment yesterday. He had a great check up and didn't even freak when we took his clothes off for a change. He has not made it back to his birth weight just yet but we put a plan in place to pack some ounces on quickly. Luckily this just involves giving him a little milk from a bottle after each feeding. Good thing I started pumping already!!! While I was bummed he wasn't up to weight I am happy to report he took the bottle like a champ. This means Scott and I will be able to have a date or two this holiday season!!
Noah's Thanksgiving treat!
There is much more I could say but today I just want to enjoy my family that I am so thankful to have. More this weekend...
Impossible to get enough of these two! (well, 4, if you could the two little furry pups flanking them)

Monday, November 21, 2011


I stole a quick iPhone picture at our newborn photo session today with Nicole Hoxie. We can't wait to see the real pictures!

He was having no part of being naked or even just in a diaper for his pictures so we compromised with the onesie.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Noah News: Week 1

Let's not kid ourselves into thinking that this blog is going to be about anything but Noah from now on. Sure, there will be musings about other topics and weekend updates as before, but for the most part I will be chronicling our life with our new love. 

Week 1 proved to be both amazing and a challenge. I learned in doing Noah's baby book that his name means "rest; comfort". This is pretty accurate of his personality thus far. He is a very sweet and mellow little boy. Most of our challenges have come as newbie parents and are very normal I'd like to believe. 
We get to see these eyes more often now. Love.

Some thoughts with a few pictures thrown in:
  • Sleep/milk coma smiles might be the best thing ever. Sometimes I think he is about to cry and then he busts out the most adorable little smile. I know it is just a reflex/gas at this point but his little face is so precious! I can't wait for the real smiles to start. 
  • Dad left :-( We can't wait to see him again at Christmas!

  • Scott and I went on our first post baby date. My mom volunteered to babysit so we could run out the door for a quick date night before she leaves. We opted for a sushi date since it has been 9 months since I have indulged. It was divine...both the fish and the company! 
  • Bliss.
    My very handsome date.
  • We had a bit of a nursing snafu but a trip to DayOne and I am feeling better and feel like both Noah and I are getting the hang of it. Who knew that something so natural could be so challenging...there is absolutely a learning curve and in my case a fair amount of pain associated with it. 
  • People told us not to buy newborn clothes because you don't know how big of a baby you are going to have and don't want to waste money on clothes that will be too big. Well, our baby is definitely not too big and we are giving our washer a workout cleaning the same handful of items over and over.  When he can fit in his 0-3 month outfits we are going to have options galore!
  • We have been peed on more times than I can count.
  • Nights aren't all that bad thus far. Since Noah eats every 3 hours it could be considered only one night wake up (assuming we go to bed at midnight, up at 3, up at 6). The catch is that a feeding takes us an hour to complete with a diaper change factored in. So we are really only looking at about 1.5-2 hours of sleep between feedings. I have been squeezing in some additional sleep after the 6am feeding instead of getting up at this point. 
  • Bar Method rocks my socks off. We are less than two weeks out and I am back in my pre-pregnancy pants. Some fit better than others (i.e.-the stretchy ones) but I can get into all of them and don't feel like a sausage stuffed in its casing! I owe this phenomenon to Bar Method. I took classes religiously throughout my pregnancy (even went the day I got induced) and I truly believe it has played THE critical role in my bounce back. I will also give a few points to breastfeeding :-). 
  • This is it. The last purple shirted picture.
  • Noah has had his two first out of state visitors (other than my parents). Kate took the prize for first with a visit from New York. Kevin followed with a close second the next day. 
  • All the way from NY...Kate!
  • We had more visitors. Noah is very lucky to have so many people that love him. 
  • We got Nick to hold him...Noah spit up on him shortly after this picture.
    Grandmere got back from vacation!!
  • We had our second bath. I will stop documenting every bath but he is so stinking cute and the light is always great for picture taking.
  • A much happier baby for bath #2.
  • I am trying to introduce one new item a day. Today we tried out the swing and Noah loves it. He is becoming more alert between naps and seemed to enjoy his relaxing morning. 
  • Morning swing.
  • Kate and Allison both got us the wonderful month by month shirt stickers. Clearly I need to work on a) my photography skills and b) taking these pictures when I have a happier baby (which is pretty much any time except when I took these). I also decided to take monthly photo with my old "Teddy".
Picture one. We lost his little feet though :-(
Getting a little more angry.
What are you doing, Mom? Put some clothes on me already!
  •  Grandma leaves tomorrow. We aren't talking about it.

  • I finally have a picture of you can see it is because she decided that she could fit on the chair with me, Noah, and the pillow!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Noah ramblings. Also, soon to come, baby products you can't live without (and some you can). I have decided to wait at least one more week to make sure I am not jumping the gun on my reviews :-).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcoming Noah Part #2

After Noah's arrival we were able to welcome Grandma and Grandpa in to meet their Grandson. We enjoyed our last couple hours in our big room by soaking up tons of snuggles and giving Noah his first bath. We saw the anesthesiologist again to get my epidural cath removed and were then taken to our home for the next 48 hours.
Proud Grandma and Grandpa. I actually remember when this photo was taken and realizing that I was making that horrible face!
In contrast to our massive labor & delivery room, our post partum room was pretty much a speck. There was room for a hospital bed, cot for Scott and small chair for a guest. I guess the positive to this is that the bathroom was close by!
Figured it was time for a Noah pic. Could that little chin be any cuter?!
Our hospital stay was pretty uneventful. Just the way you want it to be! There were people constantly coming and going...vital checks, pediatrician, social security, visitors, etc...but overall it was just a lot more snuggling, laying around and waiting to come home.
Dad and Noah snuggling.
Cousin Michelle comes to visit.
Kristina, too!
The Hyland family came to visit. I failed to get a picture of Cort :-(
Future babysitters!
Grandma got a hold of Noah again...a very common sight these days. He is one lucky little boy.
**I also failed to get any pictures of Kyle's visits OR Crick's visit. Major fail but we will make up for it the next time we see them!!!

A few details about our hospital stay worth mentioning for the record:
  • The first morning after delivery (about 6am) we took all our friend's advice and made sure to send him to the nursery. I had to force myself to let them wheel him away. After I realized that he was happy as a clam sleeping in the nursery it got easier each time. Plus, the sleep was pretty awesome.
  • The first night went great. I would feed him, they would take him for a few hours until the next feeding and then bring him back to repeat. 
  • Evening #2 we were given our farewell dinner by the hospital. The food left a lot to be desired (other than the carrot cake) but the one-on-one time with Scott was priceless. It was wonderful to reflect on the previous 48 hours and look ahead to all the great things to come for our new family.
  • Our special dinner.
  • Night #2 was a very different story. Apparently screaming babies aren't welcome with all the calmly sleeping infants. I would feed him and then have him taken to the nursery however they kept bringing him back just a few short minutes after drop-off. The funny thing about this is the hospital bassinets make a very distinct sound coming down the hall and every time I heard it I would start thinking, "please let it be next door". But, alas it was usually our crier. 
  • These moments make every sleep deprived one worth it.
  • As a result of a rough night #2 we were all ready to get the heck out of the hospital on Friday. Scott and I were both on edge and needed to get out of our cell room ASAP. Finally after going over discharge instructions for the 100th time and seeing all the required physicians we got the green light to go home. YAHOO!
  • All tucked in for my ride home :-)
SO, now we are home and we are all learning more and more about each other each day. Luckily my mom is still here helping us out so we can sneak in extra naps from time to time. That, and we are eating like kings! Something tells me we are in for a rude awakening when she heads home! 

Of course, upon our return home it was time to introduce our fur babies to our real baby. How did it go? Exactly the opposite of what I expected. Turns out, Lola was 100% disinterested in the new addition and just wanted to snuggle mom and dad. Arnold, on the other hand, went ballistic! We aren't sure whether he wants to snuggle him, eat him (it could be a new squeaky toy after all), or protect him. Our money is on protect though. Overall the dogs are adjusting to their new life although I think Lola would prefer to get a bit more of mom's attention.
What's in there?!
Protecting his brother.
Sorry, no pics of Lola. She doesn't insert herself around the baby and that is the only subject of photography around here these days. 

Speaking of...
It felt like we hadn't seen that cute little face in awhile.
A few other highlights of our first few days home included our first bath and walk. One thing about Noah...he HATES to be cold. The slightest undressing sends him bonkers so we knew bath time would be a challenge. We all survived though and had one clean little boy to show for it.

He is ok with having his hair washed as long as the rest of his little body is cozy in a swaddle.
Body washing...not as much fun. Breaks my heart!!
All clean and happy again.
And, yes, that is a pacifier that has made its appearance. We were originally anti-paci as every breastfeeding lesson we received told us it was a no-no. However, we quickly realized that it made everyone happier when it came to diaper changes and a little soothing now and then to have one. Fortunately he isn't obsessed with it but it is serving its purpose and is not interfering with his nursing. Wins all around!

One final picture of Dad and Noah on our first neighborhood walk. It felt great to get outside and get some fresh air!

A final note...we went to the pediatrician today and had a great check up. Our little man is gaining weight back and got a clean bill of health. Scott and I also got to pepper the doctor with a zillion questions we have been compiling over the past 5 days. All in all, life is pretty amazing around here these days.

More soon...need to get some snuggles in!