A boy and his wagon

Luffy and I are a big fan of walks around the neighborhood. Back before I got pregnant (and even while I was pregnant), we regularly walked two miles before work each day. We’ve also been known to head out after dusk in the summertime for a quick stroll. Not only does our little routine have health perks, I also feel like it’s pretty good for our relationship. We can’t be the only couple out there who can spend a whole evening sitting in the same room without talking to one another. Our walks force us to put away the technology and just be with one another.

When I was pregnant, we envisioned the day when our little dumpling would accompany us on walks – in his stroller or carrier early on, but someday on his own too. Because life with an infant can be a tad bit unpredictable (will he wake up at 6am today or 7:30am? Who knows!), we don’t get out as regularly as we used to, but we still try. Especially on the weekends, when we have all morning to get out.

This past weekend, Luffy discovered that the dumpling likes to sit up in his stroller. Now, we still use his infant bucket seat with frame as our stroller, so it’s really not meant to be sat up in. He did well though, holding on to the sides and (adorably) playing with the bar across the top of the stroller frame. I had an idea though, as we walked through the streets Sunday evening – a wagon!

I remember lots of my summer as a child spent playing with a wagon in the backyard. My brother and I used to leash our dog (a mini schnauzer) up to the handle so she could pull my brother around the backyard (mush!). We also took turns wheeling each other around in it (I always thought he was going too fast – he always thought I went too slow). We had the classic little red wagon – a red metal Radio Flyer. I think my parents actually still have it in the backyard. (Side note – you can actually still get them!)

Now, you know I couldn’t just get the classic wagon right? It’s practically the “entry-level” model of the bunch nowadays. Oh noooo – the wagon I got has two seats (with seat cushions!) that can be configured five different ways (with bonus storage!) and has its own kid table (with drink holders!) and detachable canopy (with storage case!). Luffy laughed at me, but come on, it’s an awesome wagon. We tried it out this morning and the dumpling loooooves it. He’s so tiny in it (we interrupt this blog to say that the wagon is technically recommended for ages 1.5 years+ so use with caution and whatnot) and he can swing his little legs in front of him, but he holds on to the side and we have him belted in. We’re careful with our starts and stops, but you should see the look on his face. He’s just so interested in watching the world roll past him.

You know I’ve made the decision not to post pictures of the dumpling here, but here’s the wagon with Jas, poor demoted first baby.

Most Eggscelent

The dumpling has been slowly taking to solid foods. I finally started sending oatmeal or yogurt with him each day, so he’s finally started eating solids at least once a day. I try to have him try new things or eat other foods whenever I can find time, which usually means me rifling through the fridge, looking for something he can eat. I was really proud of him this past weekend because he successfully had blueberries! He’d eaten them before, but in his mesh feeder, which means he’s just getting the juice. This time, I cut them up and fed them to him along with some yogurt. Two pieces disappeared into his mouth – yay!!!

About an hour later, however, we were playing on the floor and I spotted something dark on the roof of his mouth. Took him to the bathroom to discover that he had a squished blueberry stuck to the roof of his mouth! Poor baby! And I had been wondering why he was drooling so much.

In more foodie news, the dumpling also finally managed to swallow some egg yesterday morning. Luffy and I have eggs for breakfast every morning and we usually give the dumpling a small bite. Up until yesterday, most of that bite has come right back out, but yesterday he managed to swallow it! Yay dumpling! We sent him off to daycare and headed out to work.

About 11:45, I get a call from daycare (I swear my stomach falls out each time I look at the caller ID and see that it’s daycare calling). They’d given him his yogurt for the morning, but he was developing a rash, they said. It was spreading quickly and they wanted us to come get him. Luffy picked him up and I met them at the pediatrician’s office where she confirmed a likely egg allergy.

Our pediatrician ordered an allergy panel for the dumpling, but that didn’t go so well. The lab couldn’t find a vein and they need to collect more blood than a heel prick provides. Unfortunately, we’ll be headed back to the lab (hopefully one a little more adept at pediatric collections) soon to confirm. Wish us luck on this – I really hated to see my poor dumpling distraught over the prick, especially when it wasn’t fruitful.

While I’m bummed that he could be allergic to eggs (oh what a life! to be allergic to eggs), this is apparently an allergy that has a high likelihood of being outgrown. There are a few factors here (that he had a reaction early, that it appears to just be a reaction to egg, that the reaction was fairly minor, that he is a boy) that make the odds of him outgrowing it even greater than average. So I suppose we’ll see!


In other milestone news, the dumpling has gotten really vocal all of a sudden. He’s always had his chatty moments at home, when it’s just us. Yesterday though, when we were at the pediatrician’s office and then the lab, he was just a talking away! Screechy, pterodactyl noises too! He’s also beginning to learn “up” and will throw his hands up at you if you say it to him. I always enjoy watching him, seeing what new habits he’s picked up and what he’s learned.

Randomness

Hey guys – remember when I used to post a bunch of random things together??? Let’s do that again.


I am super excited for our neighbors. They’re pregnant (having a little boy – squeee!!!). I knew she was due around the beginning of June and I vaguely remember her telling me that her doctor wasn’t going to let her go past June 5th, so I’ve been watching their house like a hawk. I noticed their primary car was gone late Sunday afternoon, but thought that perhaps they were enjoying a last hurrah. Then, like a weirdo, I checked after the dumpling’s 2am nursing session to find that their car was still gone. YAYAYAYAY!!! BABY TIME!!!

Sure enough, their car is still gone today, but I’m hoping that they come home today so I can catch a glimpse of them as they arrive. I swear I’m not a stalker I’m just so excited for them and their new baby! It has me all nostalgic for my own last few days of pregnancy and our first days at home with the dumpling.


Speaking of the dumpling, tomorrow he has his first splash day at daycare. Splash day is every Wednesday throughout summer and I seriously might pass out from the adorableness. I got him little swim trunks and a swim shirt and a little sun protection hat. PICTURE IT. Itty bitty 6 mo swim trunks!!! So cute!


I’m buckling down on my weight loss efforts. My baby is seven months old – I can no longer say I just had a baby. It’s odd, in a way, because it’s been so long since I’ve actively tried to lose weight. That’s not meant as some humble brag – har har har – I legitimately have been at the level of fitness that I desired for a very long time. “Dieting” for me was more of a oh, I ate a bunch of crap this weekend and feel so bloated so I’ll eat really well for a couple of days and voila!! So I’m trying to cement it in my head that this will probably take more than a couple of days.

I was actually feeling pretty good about myself until we went to my parent’s house for Memorial Day. I didn’t even eat that poorly, I just had a lot of champagne (what can I say, my mom and I both love champagne). And alas, all of those bubbles add up to definitely more than air. Le boo.


Speaking of Memorial Day, we had a great time in my hometown! It was the dumpling’s second flight (remember the first one??) and he did amazingly well this time too. This trip was his first time spending the night someplace else. I was a touch concerned, but vowed to just take it in stride. He reverted back to two night wakings, one normal and one out of the ordinary. I think the out-of-the-ordinary one was more due to him being aware that he was not in his own room and thus made it hard for him to go back to sleep in the early morning hours (around 5:30am). Overall though, he still did really well.

It was also really interesting to see his waketimes be affected because of his completely new environment. He was so busy observing and figuring things out that he’d be ready for a nap about an hour and a half after he woke up (he’s solidly in two-hour waketimes right now). It mostly meant he was a yo-yo of happy baby, tired baby. Poor dumpling.

Another first for the books – we went swimming! And here is when I really struggle with my decision not to post pictures of him because he was SOOOO ADORABLE. My mom, who was super excited about us coming, went out and got him a little floaty thing. One of these. He was very wary at first (and I don’t blame him – the pool is a lot bigger than his bath tub), but he warmed right up to it. He even paddled his little feet the entire time. He was exhausted afterwards, but I think he enjoyed it.


Lastly, that book I had on hold at the library, it actually became available much earlier. I read it last week and, honestly, I wasn’t impressed. I really like some of Rainbow Rowell’s other books, but this one wasn’t great. At one point, I honestly thought the writing was bad on purpose (the whole premise from her book Fangirl is that this book, Carry On, Simon is fan-fiction), but, after reading her acknowledgements, I realized that wasn’t the case. I can definitely see why most authors stick to specific genre. Rowell is really good with contemporary stories, little dramas that take place in current day. She was not adept at creating a world, however, as her descriptions of things like dragons or the magic in the book fell a little flat. Also, if you’ve read Fangirl, I oddly connected with the characters in her fan-fic (Simon and Baz, who are the main characters here – I know, it’s a little hard to follow) more deeply as presented there, in little snippets. For some reason, that did not translate to a whole book and they felt one-dimensional.

Anyway, read it if you can borrow it and were curious about, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it.


And that’s all I have folks! Along with trying to lose some weight, I’m also really trying to get better about posting but, you know, work and life gets in the way. Excuses, excuses.

Books and more books

I need suggestions. New books to read. I’m in a rut.

Does that ever happen to you? The problem is that I’ve recently started three or four, but none of them have really held my attention, so I’ve just gone back to re-read some of my favorites. Which is wonderful! They’re my favorites for a reason, but I also want to read something fresh.

I’ve recently discovered the fallacy of the free books on Kindle. As a friend of mine says, there’s a reason they’re free. Wah wah. I have yet to find a free book that’s really captured my attention. Either the writing is terrible and choppy or the characters are bland or the story is crawling at a snail’s pace. I do enjoy my Kindle a lot, I just haven’t found a lot of great books through their Kindle promotions. Guess I’ll have to pony up a few bucks for some new books.

Of course, if I ask for recommendations from the other members of my household, Luffy is likely to recommend that latest business biography (how John Smith built his company from the ground up) and the dumpling is likely to recommend the latest Sandra Boynton book (his current favorite is Are You a Cow? but he’s a big fan of Doggies too). Excellent recommendations, but not really my cup of tea.

I just finished re-reading Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell; it’s one of my favorites. I actually have the sort of (kind of?) sequel, Carry On, Simon, on hold at the library right now, but it won’t be available for a few weeks. The latest Kindle book I put down was The Girl in the Ice, by Robert Bryndza. I just couldn’t get into it. The story seems interesting, but the main character is a drag and oddly antagonistic (which I suppose is to make her “more interesting” but it just makes me uncomfortable). It has a ton of great reviews on Goodreads, but eh, just not seeing it.


So I just got lost in Goodreads recommendations – sorry about that. I mean, I know you don’t know that I did, since this isn’t real-time or anything, but I still feel bad about it, like I’ve been ignoring you. We’re taking a quick trip to my hometown this weekend, so I’m looking for books to read. (Ha! Like I’m really going to have time to read anything between wrangling my seven-month-old (!!!!!!!) and chatting with my mom. A girl can dream!)

The Things No One Tells You Before You Have Your First Baby

To be perfectly fair, I might not have listened anyway.

Looking back, there’s a lot that goes on after having your first child that I was completely unprepared for. I had no idea and, as I sat back and watched it unfold, I wondered why no one told me. In the interest of fairness to expecting parents though, I feel compelled to jot down a few things that no one tells you:

[Quick disclaimer though – this post may make it seem like I have it all figured out, check we’re all good on that, but I don’t…. I’m still learning. But that’s part of the fun of parenting right? Just when you think you have them all figured out, they go and throw you a curve ball.]

About the baby:

  • Newborns are really hard. Seriously. Have you ever had something that needed you for everything? Literally everything? It’s exhausting and monotonous and the worst part is, you can’t really prepare yourself for it. Yeah, sure, I knew a newborn would need to eat all the time and would wake up to eat around the clock. But it’s one thing to know that and quite another to do that.
  • The evenings will most likely be the worst part of your day. Pre-baby, evenings were about relaxing or taking care of a small chore or two. You could ease out of the stress of the day and wind down until bedtime, when you would slip between your sheets and head off to dreamland for seven hours or so. With a newborn though, there’s no “easing out of the stress of the day” because your day isn’t over and it will never be “over” in the way that it used to be. Evening is just a time to gear up towards night and the crap shoot of newborn sleep. The feeling of dread that washed over me around 6:30 or 7pm every evening took a long time to fade.
  • If you’re anything like me, having a newborn will feel a lot like pregnancy – always wishing you (now your baby) was just a little further along. When the dumpling was just days old, I remember telling Luffy that I was looking forward to him being past the newborn phase and on to more exciting things like sitting and crawling.
  • Your baby might not be very cute (cue gasp!). Why is it that newborns look alarmingly similar to old men? Is it the grumpy appearance or the lack of hair? Perhaps the wrinkles? Not sure. All I can tell you is that when I look back at early pictures of the dumpling, he doesn’t look like himself to me. He looks like a newborn.
  • You know that phrase I love you but I don’t really like you right now? That might be very applicable to your relationship with you newborn. Oh sure, I loved the dumpling, but there were times (numerous times) when I didn’t really like him all that much. That’s what happens when something takes-takes-takes but never gives.

Honestly, the realest piece of advice I have, that no one seems to mention, is that you just might not like having a newborn. And that’s ok. Apparently, it’s common parent knowledge that every age and stage comes with things you like and things you don’t. There will be ages you adore and stages that you can’t wait for them to outgrow. And that’s ok. Not liking the newborn stage does not mean that you’re a terrible parent and doomed to a horrible relationship with your child – which is how it feels when you’re looking down at a screaming six-week-old at 3 in the morning. Like I said, newborns are hard. You’re sleep deprived, you’re adjusting to a radically different life, you’re recovering from child-birth, you feel social pressure from a million different places, all while being needed around the clock. There are women (and men!) out there who do like the newborn stage, but you don’t have to be one of them. And that’s ok.

About your body:

So we’ve all heard that you won’t sleep. And that it could feel like your vagina’s going to fall out the bottom. And that you will still look six-months pregnant for a while. And that you could bleed for what feels like forever. But there are other things…

  • Your hormones will plummet a few days after birth and you will not feel like yourself AT ALL. I don’t consider myself a hormonal person. I never really had mood swings, either during my periods or during pregnancy. The only mood swings I really experienced were during my fertility treatment days. So when I heard about a hormone crash, I didn’t really think it applied to me… Whooo boy, was I wrong. I found myself anxious, so very very anxious. Just the sound of the baby crying would send me into a doom spiral. I could hardly sleep because I was worried that the baby would cry and then the baby would cry and I’d be like I KNEW IT. It was bad. The dumpling felt like a ticking time bomb to me, always counting down. Just know that it evens out and, eventually, it will go away completely.
  • All that hormonal craziness I mentioned above, it can take a long time to go away and you will blame lots things on it for a while. My hair is still (five months post-partum) shedding at an alarming rate and every weird thing that my body does I’m like I dunno, maybe it’s the hormones??? 
  • You haven’t had to worry about birth control for a very long time and you will suddenly be quite concerned with birth control. How effective is it? What’s the failure rate? What’s the real, non-laboratory-setting failure rate? What do you MEAN there’s still a 0.5% chance of conception??? All of these become very important questions. Even if you struggled with infertility because wouldn’t that just be my luck.
  • Your stomach will feel weird. Beyond the saggier skin that needs some time to shrink back, your stomach will feel oddly sensitive and yet not sensitive. My theory on this is that while you were pregnant, the nerve endings got farther apart right? Because your belly expanded but you didn’t get any new nerve endings. The expansion happened relatively slowly so you got used to the sensory input from the belly. And now it (the belly) is gone. So the skin shrinks back and the nerve endings get closer together again except this change happens more abruptly (and without all of the other aches and pains of pregnancy to distract you). I’m not really sure. All I know is that when I touch my stomach, it still feels supremely odd.

The last piece about this, which sort of wraps up everything: I wasn’t prepared for how needed I would become. (This is partly due to my choices, as I chose to breastfeed for as long as possible, so this particular item might not be the same for others.) When I was pregnant, Luffy and I talked about how we would do this together. Parenting is a team sport – and it is! – it’s just not really an equal 50/50 split. At least not in the beginning. When you’re the only one who can feed the baby (and that baby eats every 2-3 hours, around the clock), there’s a lot resting on your shoulders. Some women thrive on this (probably the same ones who really like the newborn phase). It was certainly a shock to me. Before the dumpling arrived, I’d say I was needed. I like to take care of Luffy and Jas – make sure they are attended to. But I could always tell Luffy to fend for himself if I didn’t feel like cooking that day and, let’s be honest, Jas is a cat so she doesn’t need much. When it comes to a newborn though, there’s no shirking your responsibilities for a day. No sick days. No procrastinating. No oh, I’ll do that later. Even now, there’s still so much resting on me. We nurse twice a night typically. I  pump four times a day, for at least twenty minutes each time. I’m still struggling with this needed-ness, if we’re being honest.


So all of these things that don’t get mentioned, is it to keep up the illusion that parenting a newborn is wonderful? Perhaps. Could it be that, while most things felt so looming and insurmountable at the time, they pass relatively quickly? Possible.

I think though, it’s because all of the trials and tribulations quickly become worth it. The round-the-clock nursing won’t feel so terrible when your baby starts pausing to smile up at you before continuing to nurse. The first time he laughs. The first time she rolls and looks at you with surprise. The look of awe or disgust she gives you when she tries a new food. The adorable quirks he picks up along the way (the dumpling learned – from someone or somewhere???? – how to blow bubbles it’s apparently called a lip trill and it’s so freaking adorable).

It sounds trite, I know it does, especially when you’re knee-deep in newborn territory, but it’s true. It will be worth it, but it may just not be Day One. And that’s ok.

Boring Mama

I am the definition of boring right now.

It’s all work and life and taking care of the dumpling.

Here are the “exciting” things that have happened in the past week:


Luffy and I ordered a bunch of Disney movies. We’re starting to build our collection for the Dumpling. …. Who are we kidding? They’re totally for us.

The Dumpling finally fits into his cloth diapers. I bought a few (and had a few gifted to us) before he arrived with the intention of using them as soon as possible. Our diapers said we could start using them at eight pounds, so I thought we’d be using them pretty quickly. And then the dumpling got here and was a peanut. Even when he finally hit eight pounds, he was so long and skinny that the diapers still didn’t fit quite right. Now that he’s (probably) over 13 pounds, I think he’s got enough chunk to wear them. I’m still not 100% pleased with the fit and will probably look into other varieties, but for now they’re working as daytime diapers.

Speaking of momentous occasions, the Dumpling’s high chair is coming today! Our pediatrician gave us the green light to start solids at four months, but I waited a bit. Now that he’s almost five months, I think he’s ready to start. I made some sweet potatoes last weekend so I think we’ll let him play with that this weekend! I can’t believe he’s already old enough for solid food.

In more Dumpling news, he’s sitting better and better each day. It’s kind of a frustrating milestone though because he still needs support/supervision to sit and yet, now that he’s experienced sitting, he’s not really happy laying on the floor anymore. So basically he can’t just be *put down* right now. But still… happy times.

Also…. this has not happened again. What gives child?! I would say #seriousbabyisserious, but he’s not really all that serious. He has all these big hammy grins and he’s working on a few screechy sounds, along with all of his ahhhhs and hoos, and yet no laugh. It’s getting to the point now where I’ve thought about googling baby laughed once and not again problem????? and yet I don’t want to open that can of worms, so I haven’t.


And that’s about it. See? I’m totally boring now.

PS – Jas would like to remind everyone that she is still here and as beautiful as ever. Thank you very much. Signed – demoted first baby

Four month check-up

The dumpling will be exactly four months old this Saturday, but he had his four month check-up this past Tuesday. He got another round of vaccines, which he wasn’t happy about, but other than that he did wonderfully.

Our pediatrician actually had him weighed and measured twice, just to be sure they had accurate measurements, because he’s measuring quite small. He weighs 12 lbs, 5 oz which puts him in the 3rd percentile for weight. That’s dropped from the 10th percentile at his two month appointment. He’s 24.2 inches long, which puts him in the 15th percentile for height. She was quite concerned about the weight percentile when she walked into the room (after reviewing his stats outside), but when she saw him, her worry eased a bit.

“He certainly doesn’t look skinny!” she said as we headed to the scale again. She was sure the weight had been off the first time around, but the scale read 12 lbs, 5oz again. Ultimately, she decided he’s perhaps just a late bloomer – or he might take after me instead of his dad. (I’m 5’1″, Luffy is 6’5″ – if I haven’t mentioned this anywhere.)

I think he’s just skinny, that’s all. Asian babies are smaller. Luffy is long and skinny; I’m short and skinny. Little dumpling has tiny thigh rolls and wrist rolls and elbow dimples (so cute!), but I certainly wouldn’t call him chunky. He’s happy though and he eats well, so whatever.

When I spoke to my mom about it, she told me that I was the exact same way as a baby. She said I never really chubbed up until I could feed myself and even then I was never a roly-poly baby. She told me that my doctors hounded her, wanting to run test after test to figure out what was wrong with me. At 7 months, I only weighed 11 pounds – completely off their percentile charts and not in a good way. After several rounds of testing, with no results to show, my granddad stepped in and asked her – is the baby happy? is she growing? is she playing? ok good, then leave my granddaughter alone. Of course, nothing ended up being “wrong” with me, I was just small and hated the texture of baby food.

My point is that I’m hoping he’s fine. It is worrisome to see him slip down the growth curves (even his own), but I’m staying optimistic that he’s just taking his time. He’ll get there.

In other news, our pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to start solid foods when we’re ready. New research shows that starting solids earlier than 6 months may lessen the likelihood of food allergies, so she wants us to start before then. I agree, but don’t think he’s quite ready yet. I’m excited to try some purees with him and introduce him to something other than breastmilk. If he’s anything like his parents, he’s gonna love eating.