Saturday, June 30, 2012

Exhausting Week, and Desoto's hooked on the show Gossip Girl.

Posted by ChristineElaine at 10:23 PM 0 comments

To celebrate, let's share some SUPER adorable pictures of her in her ginormous flower headband!

Good gravy, it's been pretty rough without Josh. He got back yesterday in the early evening and it was a precious reunion with daddy and daughter:

Look, they have the same  haircut!
And a total heartwarming relief for myself. I don't know how I'll manage his 8 day Field Training in a couple weeks. Time didn't fly as I expected, on the contrary, it draaaaaaged by. *sigh* I was confident we would be fine -- and we were, it's just so much easier when you have someone (even if they're doing their own thing, in a totally different room) around just for that feeling of 'you're not alone, if you need help you can always call out to them.' 

It's tough doing things with a baby taking up room on one arm/shoulder (because if she’s not being held, she’s just not happy). I barely had the time to make myself food - unfortunately most of what I ate was very, very, bad-for-me snacky-type-things or things that I could just whip up in 10 seconds, if I even had 10 seconds to spare. Which was rare. I found myself starving for much of the day because I literally did not have the time to look for something, let alone prep and cook anything of real nutritional value because Camilla was poo-ing or peeing 10 times in a row in in a span of 5 minutes or screaming her head off because she wants to be snuggled up against me. Mostly though, I just wanted to hold her and keep her occupied, even if it meant me going hungry for awhile. She's alert and awake much longer now. It was four days of crackers, cookies, grapes, and really anything that was edible out of the bag/container/box lol. I did manage a freezer macaroni meal, but did I have time to eat it? Well, sort of. If scarfing it down in less than 10 minutes and totally burning my tongue and throat counts as eating... Camilla, the things I do for you! 

She was mostly merciful, although the last night alone was the real killer; we were very cranky (her especially) and were utterly sleep deprived. She decided to sleep in one-hour intervals periodically throughout the day; she'd be up for a few hours before she would pass out for another hour, and sometimes she'd sleep for about 5 - 10 minutes at a time. THOSE were the worst because I thought I was in the clear, and just as I was drifting off to the much anticipated slumber- land... her wails would jolt me awake and I'd have to go through this giant checklist of calming her down: 

Does she need a diaper change?
Is she hungry?
Is she gassy?
Does she just want to be held?
Does she want to be rocked in the sleeper?
Does she want a pacifier?
Does she want to watch and listen to her mobile with me standing there putting the pacifier back in her mouth every 15 seconds?
Does she want to be sung to verrrryy off-key?
Does she want me to stand on my head and say the ABCs backwards? (Kidding on that one.. though I was so sleep deprived I would have done it if the reward was a good solid sleep for the both of us!)

Lather, rinse, repeat! 

Phew. And poor Desoto, every time she started to cry, he'll look at me with sleepy droopy eyes, probably to say: I'm not getting any sleep either with that little thing being so noisy! 

But he always retires to the sanctuary that is our bedroom. Or he's glued to the couch watching Gossip Girl:

Me and CamCam fell asleep while he is wide awake, soaking up that Gossip Girl!

He also has stolen my body pillow:  

Comfy Doberman thief. Steals your heart, then your pillows.

So, in short, Camilla has been much more vocal and awake. She's usually easy to please -- a diaper change or a few laps around the house rocking her usually does the trick, or one of the items from the checklist. Despite the agony of lack of sleep on some days, I'm happy. I'm happy she's healthy, well, and growing! She's DEFINITELY growing... I can't believe how fast it's going. I mean, holy cow, she's already three weeks and a day.   

I enjoy her being this tiny too much. 

She likes car rides, but this picture says otherwise lol.
Sleepy baby!
Click this pic and see her green eyes!
I love the expression on her face. :)

One of my most favorite pics, she has such a precious face.
Sleeping on her mommy, her favorite thing to do haha.

Can she stay this way forever?

Oh, the breast pump arrived a week-ish ago, and it's been SOOO helpful. More on that later, but I am quite pleased with it... now I can get some good sleep in when Josh is home, and he can bond more with her since he can feed her now! No more waking up every two hours to become an all you can eat buffet! Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Busy, busy, busy!

Posted by ChristineElaine at 3:46 PM 0 comments
Phew! The in-laws were here last week -- it was fun and good times being able to see them, catch up, and hang out. It was a little awkward for me, I'm just a really shy/quiet person so sometimes I felt like I wasn't doing or talking enough, and I really would have liked to prepare some sort of menu in advance, but having a little baby around phewwww! I barely have the time to shower or make myself something to eat! Josh also told me not to worry about cooking or cleaning or anything, but I still wanted to do more. There's always next time, though! Josh's mom (Sue), taught me knitting and she left her needles here! Not sure if she left them on purpose, but I've been practicing up a storm for when Camilla is sleeping but I'm not tired enough to drift off yet...

And on that note, I wish we'd had more opportunities to do more with the knitting, and the sewing machine (grrrr, I'm kicking myself on that subject) because there's so much she could teach me there! She's literally a GENIUS at the crafty work. Babies are very time consuming though... when CamCam's not sleeping she's either hungry, gassy, generally fussy, or just wants to be held. It's practically dinner time over here and I JUST managed to make myself a quick pb&j sandwich before she woke up and wanted to be held... so I ate my sandwich while I walked around holding her, then of course she fell asleep. She's still sleeping curretly, hopefully she will for awhile.

Damn, and I just realized me and Sue didn't get to go to the Bernina store!!! Curse this short memory span of mine. :( :( :(

Here's the diaper bag she sewed -- it's crazy awesome! When I opened it I was like, holy crap, you made this?! I'd love to be that skilled at the sewing machine someday. :)

Stuffed with goodies!

So all in all, it was a good visit methinks. I felt terrible that I was so exhausted the morning they left. We said goodbyes the night before but I still would have liked to see them off. *sigh* Darn Camilla keeping me up all night long! Josh took her off my hands when he got up, and as soon as he did I was out like a light.

We've been on a better sleeping schedule so far though.. *knocks on wood* Cam goes to sleep very easily and for longer periods if she's on my shoulder or chest, hopefully that doesn't ruin the crib or sleeper for her. Last night we both got about 5 hours in one sitting. I'm a pretty light sleeper nowadays so even if she makes the slightest move I wake up, but she sleeps very well like that, haha. Which means better sleep for me! I woke up at 5 a.m. cause she needed a diaper change, and it was the most refreshed I'd felt in awhile. Woohoo!

Pretty girl with the adorably pink blanket Grandma Sue knit. :)

Hi, cutie!

Some unfortunate news -- Josh will be gone the rest of the week so it'll be just me, Cam, and Desoto. I'll be fine, but it sure is nice having him around to hold or watch Camilla while I get some errands done. And a couple weeks from now, he'll be gone in the field for a whole 8 days! Yikes! Ah well, Camilla does keep me busy and on my toes, so hopefully the time won't drag.

I must again say thank you to Josh's family, including his extended family. We got a lovely card from his grandpa, some cute outfits and card  and loads of diapers from his Aunt, and of course Josh's mom and dad, who brought some cute baby stuff with them as well, on top of the cute blankie and diaper bag! We have to get started on those Thank You cards ASAP! Camilla sure is a lucky girl!

And I must thank my family and friends as well -- thank youuu for all that you have done, for your warm sentiments, wishes, and thoughts! Thank you Mary for all the packages of fun stuff you've sent, thank you mom, Gram, and Dad for the things you have given us! Thank you Mystery Person who sent us a few things from the Target registry (Moby Wrap, etc), and thanks Sandra, Erin, Sarah, (and I'm probably forgetting some people) but thank you ALL. We are lucky to have you in our lives! Love you all!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Paranoia and Postpartum Life.

Posted by ChristineElaine at 1:06 AM 0 comments
Camilla is 9 days old.

HOLY CRAP. I can't believe it! It feels like only yesterday we first brought her home, exhilerated to FINALLY be out of that darn hospital and into the comfortable surroundings of the homestead... which was a total disaster by the way. But our focus was on the baby, and reuniting with our loveable Desoto, who according to Josh, missed me terribly.

                                               He probably missed our naps the most.

One thing I've learned about having a baby -- paranoia intensifies by about one thrillion percent. Everything is a threat. That annoying fly buzzing around, the dog bone laying in the middle of the floor that someone could slip and fall on, cars driving down the street... do they have to drive so fast? What if they crash into the house? What if I need to take Camilla somewhere and she starts crying and I can't console her because she has to sit in the backseat in a rear-facing carseat? What if a spider crawls into her crib? What if the state floods Noah's Ark style and we have to escape? What if the Zombie Apocalypse starts?! Do we have enough food stored away to survive an apocalypse?

And on and on, to the point of exhaustion. I'm still worrying about her, and I know I will be for the rest of my life. Boy, being a parent sure is tiring. BTW--love you mom, dad, and grams -- the things I must have put you through... sheesh! The other night while rocking Camilla to sleep, I actually cried thinking about how much I didn't want to let her down as a parent. I promised her I would do my very best to protect her from the rotten things in this world, but alas, I cannot keep her protected in a bubble her whole life. I will however, do my best to teach her right from wrong and give her the proper tools and knowledge to better defend herself when she's older. Besides, with her dad, she'll be guns and weapon-savvy so *hopefully* she'll be kicking ass and taking names. :)

On that paranoia note, we have the AngelCare baby monitor system - they are the pricier variety of baby monitors and although expensive, VERY worth it. They pick up EVERYTHING... and I mean everything. If an airplane flies near her room, I can hear it. Heck, it even picks up Desoto's click-clacking toe nails from the hall when he walks by her room. On top of that, the monitors will issue a warning ring if it detects something wrong with baby's breathing or movement patterns. It puts me more at ease, but I still worry anyway. Camilla's mostly been sleeping in her rock and play sleeper because it's portable and if I take a nap on the couch, she can be right next to me taking her nap as well. I guess I'm just paranoid (there's that word again) that I won't hear her if she cries over the monitor from her crib since I'm a pretty heavy sleeper. I think paranoia will always win the battle.

Tomorrow is Josh's last day of 'maternity leave' (lol), or should it be called paternity leave? I'm a little worried about doing every little thing on my own... he's been such a HUGE help. With him around, the dishes are always done, my water mug is always filled, and he makes sure I'm always comfortable. Could not have asked for a better man. I really don't deserve him.

He's also fantastic with Camilla. It's very cute and sweet just watching him hold her, talk to her, cuddle her, play with her, lay in his lap while he plays Call of Duty at his computer... it's wonderful, and I'm so happy they can bond while mommy gets her morning nap in. It's amusing to me how much she looks like him. Especially when comparing his baby pictures to how she looks now. The lips, especially, and the round eyes. My mom thinks she'll grow up looking more like me, but I disagree... I think it may be wishful thinking on her part, but she definitely looks like him. His "twin" as the Mother and Baby Ward nurse exclaimed when she wheeled Cam back in from Newborn Testing. I had to concur.  I'm not disappointed, not in the least. With only 1/4 Filipino in there, I knew she wasn't going to be totally dark-featured, although I do hope she keeps the dark hair. :) That's my only wish. Either way, we know she'll be gorgeous!

And on to Postpartum life in general... who KNEW how complicated life after birth would be?! The bleedng, the ginormous pads you have to wear, the NEW aches and pains and cramps... geeze! It's almost as uncomfortable as the end of third trimester pregnancy. When you find it rough to just sit down... or stand up... or even try to go to the bathroom... on top of caring for a baby, crap, how did women do this back in the day? I cannot imagine having to endure this in the Medieval period, or the Cave Man era. Ha! Having endured all this, no offense to the men out there, but we females are far FAR superior. Not me in particular, no, I'm simple and ordinary, and totally wussed out at the hospital -- I demanded that epidural.

I'm talking about the women who have carried out generations upon generations of human survival -- without hospitals, epidurals, medical attention, or even heating and air conditioning! Good job ladies, the human race wouldn't be around today without you.

I shall end this blog entry with a few pictures of the cutie pie, because for one, she is the cutest cutie pie EVER, and two, I can't stop taking pictures of her. And pictures are meant to be shared.

Best friends in the making?

Hey lady, stop singing to me. You can't sing on key!

'The Thinker' pose.

Did I just poop?

Yeah, that definitely was a poop.

Still pooping. Have fun changing this one!

((Awww loook at that tuft of hair on her left side haha!))
She has the silliest facial expressions!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Welcome to the world, Camilla.

Posted by ChristineElaine at 5:28 PM 2 comments
Camilla Soriano Blake -- born June 8th, 1:34 A.M., weighing 6 lbs and 9 oz and 19 inches.

Most beautiful baby in the world!

It's funny how life is, we didn't even know I was pregnant until about 4 months in. I was feeling a little funny, but nothing out of the extraordinary. The day we went to the doctors and they put that doppler on my stomach, and we heard her heartbeat for the first time, well that was the first day of the rest of our lives.

Flash forward about 5 months later, (it was a relatively easy pregnancy, the only downside was getting PUPPS towards the near end), and on June 6th I woke up to a mild cramp. I thought: huh, that's weird. Several hours later, I had another one. Then another. As I was organizing some stuff at my desk, in the back of my mind I was wondering "Is this labor? Nahhh, it couldn't be."

But it WAS labor! Well, early labor. I was terrified, anxious, excited, and about a million other things. We went to the hospital twice as the cramps that were actually contractions got stronger and closer, but they kept denying me admission because I was not dilated enough just yet. Sigh, it was very frustrating. The second time we came home, I just burst into tears as I was already exhausted, in pain, and feeling hopeless - plus I was definitely paranoid that I'd be having the baby at home since the contractions were not only painful, but long lasting, and only a couple minutes apart.

I laid in bed for what seemed like an eternity with Desoto, our Doberman, laying next to my side. I could tell he was confused why I was crying, but I was comforted by the fact that he decided to stay with me anyway... even if I was cursing up a storm, wailing, and sobbing between contractions.

Finally, around 4pm on June 7th, I had had enough. We raced to the hospital again because I could barely walk, and Josh dropped me off at the front entrance to the hospital while he went looking for a parking spot. I could barely make it to the first pillar when I hunched over, clutched my stomach, and tried to breathe. What happened next was quite amazing - a lovely woman ran over to me, asked if I was alright, asked if I was in labor, (to which I replied: I think so?!?!) and then immediately ran to get me a wheelchair. She came back, sat with me on the bench, and comforted me while Josh ran like heck across the parking lot to us. She continued to comfort and console me, which in a town like this, is rare in a stranger -- and funnily enough, her kindness actually made me cry more

The wheelchair came, she wished us luck and told us, "You're having a girl? This is the easy part, wait some years down the road, and you'll see how hard it can really get!"

When I finally got into a room to be checked out -- it was good news. I was now 5-6 cm dilated and was being admitted.

FINALLY!!! Josh and I were ridiculously happy at this point... it had been a long long night and day of contractions. I was exhausted from barely having any sleep, but was anxious for what was to come. And geeze, were the contractions the next couple hours even more painful. I have utmost respect for women who give birth without any pain meds -- I just cannot imagine!
I was lucky enough to be able to get an epidural and once that hit, the contractions were literally nonexistent. That isn't to say the whole next part was a cake-walk because there were some other hurdles, (Camilla's heart rate dropped WAY down a few times and scared the CRAP out of us) Josh was on the ball though, and watched the monitors like a hawk. I felt bad because one time it happened I had fallen asleep and woke up to a rush of nurses and an oxygen mask being placed on my face, but all is well and good -- thank God.

The delivery part itself was pretty easy and pain free. I didn't feel a thing, other than some pressure. The nurse commented how my body must have been made to do this, because once she had me push, Camilla pretty much came without any fuss. They did have to break my water because apparently even though I was 10 cm dilated, my water still did not want to break. Ha! So once they broke it, it just snowballed from there. When the nurse had me push through the first few contractions, she actually told me to, "Stop! Wait! Don't push anymore, I have to get the doctor, she's ready to come out!"

Oh did I mention the labor and delivery room was EXCELLENT? It wasn't a room, it was more like a suite. It was huge, with a small flat screen, big windows, and it was very relaxing. The t.v. was on through the whole delivery, and I gave birth while also laughing to the Joey and Ross nap episode of Friends. It was a very positive experience in that labor and delivery room - the nurses were AWESOME, the doctor that delivered was my doctor throughout of the pregnancy, and all the while I was able to text my sister/family/Josh's mom AND watch good ol' Friends reruns.

Anyway! About 10 minutes full of hard pushing later, Camilla popped right out! It sort of felt like uncorking a wine bottle.. I could swear the noise was similar to that as well, hahaha! Once she did, I felt like I'd deflated. It was pretty awesome and amazing, and something I will NEVER forget. One thing no one mentions about childbirth is when the doctors press your belly for what seems like FOREVER to get all the extra crap out of there... so I literally DID deflate. Finally, when they were done playing bongo drums on my belly, they placed little Camilla on me and I could not believe she was really there. She cried maybe once or twice for a few seconds, but was otherwise very quiet. She was alert, her wide eyes blinked and looked around. I couldn't believe this was our little girl, the little baby girl that had been living inside my tummy for the past 9 months. The most perfect little surprise - the best thing that's ever happened to us. She has the most gorgeous eyes! They aren't dark brown like mine (at least not yet), when she first came out they were a clear green, but now that she's home they seem to have turned into a green-grey color.

Little Camilla! Words can't describe how much we already love her. My mom has already joked how spoiled she will be with parents like us... which is probably true. :) Heck, we spoil our Doberman, he's got about a hundred toys and tons of doggie treats, and he even had a birthday party for his 1 year milestone.

Flash forward through an uncomfortable 2 day stay at the hospital where I got very little sleep (did they really have to barge in every hour to poke and prod the both of us?!), giant diaper pads, lots of pain medication, and bed sores galore from that uncomfy hospital bed, but it was all worth it, and I would re-live it ALL over again if I could.

Now we are home, settled in for the most part, and Camilla is doing well. She had her two day checkup appointment the other day (and that was an adventure in itself) but she has checked out healthy and passed her hearing test. Yay!! She is eating well, pooping a lot, and sleeping most of the day/night, and crying very little... so far. We really couldn't have asked for a better baby. :)


Camilla and Co. Copyright © 2012 Design by Antonia Sundrani Vinte e poucos