What I’ve Learned

I stole the title of this post from a CD my brother did a few years ago (shameless plug here) and thought that since my “baby duty” for tonight has ended, I’d take a little time to add  some random things I’ve discovered in the past couple of months:

  • Babies smell really good right after a bath-although giving them the bath is still so stressful, I can’t enjoy it for a couple of hours
  • I’d pay a lot of money to know what Hannah dreams about at this stage.  I like to think that it’s really nice things like angels but I’m completely puzzled by it
  • I actually enjoy feeding my daughter.  It’s fun and I enjoy the time with her BUT
  • I don’t enjoy waking up to screams-I said it before and I’ll say it again, the one thing I’m ready for is for her to be able to just say “I’m hungry” and know that we’ll take care of it for her
  • There is a definite pattern emerging with formula preparation-if I do it, the measuring scoop is snapped into the lid.  If Lea Ann does it, it’s in the powder.  I’m not saying one is better than the other, but it’s funny that neither of has has changed in the six weeks that we have been making powdered formula
  • I found that there is nothing wrong with putting Hannah in her crib awake and letting her grunt and make little noises as she falls asleep.  If she cries, we go help her, but learning to self-soothe is going to help her out I think (I may just be telling myself that)
  • You think adoption is sort of a random thing until you do it.  You quickly discover that EVERY family knows someone who adopted a baby or was adopted and the vast majority of them are positive experiences.  I find that reassuring.
  • Sometimes, the only thing that can help you feel better is about 10 hours of sleep…it’s good to have a spouse who will let you have that once in a while
  • I posted this to Facebook recently but if either presidential candidate could somehow regulate all of the parenting “advice” that is in books and on the internet-I’d definitely vote for that person.  You can read one thing somewhere, then something completely opposite right after that-just drives me crazy.  I’ve finally learned that it’s really all just guessing and that nobody knows our baby better than us so we should generally trust our instincts

Anyway, that’s all for now….I’m working hard to get back into the swing of this….posts may be spotty for a while but I’ll keep plugging away.

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A Hard Day’s Night

Wow, it’s been three weeks since I last blogged and I’m sorry about that.  My one reader may not care but I really have meant to write more often…..anyway, here’s the latest.

Hannah’s first adoption hearing went well as did our first post=placement interview with the agency….only two more of those to go and about six months then Hannah gets to take our name.  We’ll have a special family celebration to mark the occasion I’m sure.

Hannah’s been going through a growth spurt lately where she is hungry all the time when she is awake.  She’s sleeping pretty well at night (usually with one time to wake up for a feeding around 2:00 or 3:00) but the rest of the day has been all over the place….sometimes she doesn’t get hungry for three or four hours….other times it’s one and a half to two hours…..just very inconsistent and a tad frustrating to two parents who like a little more structure in our lives….oh well, babies are a little bit about changing our own paradigm right?

We’ve made trips to see both sets of grandparents over the last couple of weekends and I think we learned a valuable lesson in overstimulation.  People came to visit and she was passed around to a lot of people which left her pretty worked up both weekends…dad may have to learn to politely tell people “Sorry, she’s had enough holding for today”.  I suspect that rule probably won’t be enforced to grandmothers :-)

Had a couple of late night rides in the car and we’ve discovered some really good songs to play for her from a company called “RockABye Baby!”-lullaby versions of popular songs by all kids of artists-U2, Aerosmith, the Beatles, Elvis, Guns N Roses, etc…..it beats singing along to “Wheels On The Bus” I promise.

Upcoming stuff-I have my first long work trip soon-I’ll be out of state for an entire week.  That will be tough on me but probably also on Lea Ann.  I worry a lot that she gets stuck with the lion’s share of taking care of Hannah but I try to help as much as I can at night but when I’m gone for a week, it’s all on her….I’ll pray that it goes well and if you live in Norman, feel free to come by and help her out at night :-)

OK, that’s it for now-not a great post but I’m at least back up on the horse again.

Love you Hannah!

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The Sound of Silence

I realize that I haven’t posted anything in a while and that may happen from time to time.  Life gets busy, I don’t feel inspired to write, we’re tired, etc…..so there may be times when I go a week or so without writing anything….deal with it :-)

This is a big week for us-Hannah is one month old on Wednesday and we have our first post-adoption meeting with the agency.  They just want to see how we are doing and visit with us a little bit.  There are a total of three of these meetings over the next 6 months before the adoption is finalized.  Friday is the rescheduled court hearing for her birth mother and after that we are having lunch with her.  I imagine that will be a very emotional meal and time for all of us but we really do appreciate her selflessness in all of this.

We also have a couple of baby showers this weekend-one done by my best friend and his wife and the other by our Sunday School class.  People have been so generous to us during this and it’s humbling to realize how many friends you have and how much they care about you.  Can’t thank them all enough.

Hannah seems to be settling into a decent sleep routine (I’m probably jinxing it by saying that) only waking a couple of times before morning….sometimes she goes right back to sleep and sometimes….well, not so much.  We’ve moved her into her crib in her room and I usually take the first feeding because it’s easier for me to stay up late.  One of the things about adopting a baby is that since she drinks formula exclusively, I can share in the feeding experience.  Depending on her mood, feeding can be a calming time or pretty crazy…if she’s really hungry and starts to cry, she gets too worked up and starts sucking in air while feeding….which leads to gas….which leads to pain….which leads to more crying-not good.  I’ll really be glad when she learns that we’ll be there to provide food for her and all she has to do is ask for it-I figure that will be when she’s about 21.

BUT, when you can start to feed her before she cries, it’s pretty cool…she’ll just lay there and stare at you while she quietly drinks the bottle.  A quick side note here…..formula smells awful.  Some company should invest in making it smell better-both going in and coming out if you get my drift.  Back to my point….those quiet moments when she just looks at you are pretty cool.  It’s almost like she’s letting me know that she knows I’ll be there for her when she needs me and is just quietly spending some time with me….those are usually the times that she falls asleep laying on my chest and that is still about the best feeling around.

We did have our first experience of going for a late-night ride recently…..put her in the car seat, had some nice quiet music…and maybe a quick stop at McDonalds for some french fries-hey, there has to be some benefit to driving her around at 1:30 AM right?  And you know what, it really does work-there is something about the motion and vibration of the car that put her right to sleep….we drove across town to make sure she was sound asleep before coming back home.  She spent the night in her car seat-let sleeping babies lie, right?

One thing I’ve learned not to take for granted is the rare moment where it is quiet….I used to not care for silence but now, I really do cherish it.  If Hannah and Lea Ann are sleeping and the TV is off I can just think about the day or simply enjoy the silence-it also makes for a good time to blog :-)  But as a wise woman once said “Sleep when baby sleeps” so I will wrap it up.  Goodnight and Happy Birthday Hannah!

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The Real World-Oklahoma

When I was in college, MTV’s reality show “The Real World” made its debut…..and I was a huge fan.  This was when they really did just pick seven college-aged or older kids to live in a house together and see how they interact instead of casting stereotypes or roles (naive southern girl, gay male, fraternity guy, moody/antisocial person, etc) and put them into staged scenarios-but I digress.  I loved that show and I think there was something to watching people my age having some of the same life experiences I was having….as I got older, the show lost its appeal and I haven’t watched for almost 15 years.  To tell the truth, I don’t even know if they still air it any more.

My point is that I feel like my wife and are now living in our own season of “The Real World” except we’ve added just one stranger to the house and she controls everything!  When she eats, when we eat, when she sleeps, when we sleep-you name it, she controls it.  Even when she’s sleeping in the early evening, you are always aware that she could wake at any second so we never completely relax.  Obviously, it will get better as she gets a little older, her sleep is more regulated, and she can start to communicate a little BUT I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’ve reached the point where the “new” has worn off and the adrenaline has run down some.

I’m 100% sure that it gets better as she gets older-just sharing an honest thought at this stage.  Everyone says that around 60 days, things change for the better and we are almost halfway there so I have no doubt it will be great.  But for now, let’s see what happens “when people stop being polite and start getting real”

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