Friday, September 28, 2012

First (Half) Bath

Since he's obviously still super little and new, we can't bathe him in a tub yet, and our sink just won't cut it.  So we used the changing table side of the pack and play.  It actually worked really well.  I used a wash cloth and a tub of water with the soap, but you can't really see because of the location of the table.  But he was really good, and it seemed like he really enjoyed getting all clean.  We already knew that because he loves to be in clean diapers and shirts, but he was a happy camper after his wipe down.  

Getting all cleaned up

Relaxing after his bath in his cute baseball onesie

It was really cute because he was having a hard time after I changed his diaper earlier, but once I started putting his baseball clothes back on, he was all happy.

So thanks Jake and Alyssa for this cute onesie-- Chase LOVES it!

Grabbing fingers and his nose :)

Random addition to the bath post...

Notice the proud, strong boy...

He is obviously in new clothes.  (Don't worry this is quite a bit later in the day.)  Someone was getting his diaper changed and decided to projectile pee all over himself and the stuff around him.  He got some on one of Marcus' books too, which was rather entertaining.  Marcus wasn't too happy, but he saved his book in time.  I warned him it was going to happen...  Haha.  And then the little guy looked so content with himself.  He's all boy :)

Pictures from the Camera

I finally realized where the other pictures were from the hospital...  on the camera!  Duh.  I had only taken this first one, but it needed to be posted for everyone to see :)  The rest are ones Marcus took when I was on the operating table or asleep.  You'll be able to tell which is which very easily.

Marcus preparing for baby time!

The actual first photo of the newborn baby

Another angle

Showing off his chubbiness :)

Happily sleeping

After a long, long day...

I'm working on keeping pictures coming, since that's the biggest thing I hear from everyone :)  But I think someone is stirring, so I don't have too much time to keep blogging today.  Have to use the afternoon naptime wisely!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our Adventure Home

More often than not, Chase was super good in the hospital.  And he was so cute just sleeping.  I might be a bit biased, but so many of the nurses said that too.  All of his check-ups went well, and every other night, he slept like a champ.  

Isn't he precious?!
My doctor often calls him delicious :)

We started getting ready to leave, and that was quite a process.  I'm pretty sure I'll be lucky if I wear a real outfit anytime soon because getting dressed with no stomach muscles takes forever!  And somehow we think the humidity affected the bag we had Chase's cute going home outfit in...  so we had to go with another plan.  The pants and socks were okay, but we kept him in his hospital shirt.  And right before we had left for the hospital, I had thrown in an extra blanket Nana had made just in case.  Good thing I did!  Because that's what he came home wearing.  :)  And, let me tell you, the second we got ready to be discharged, a murderous scream erupted that we had never heard.  Luckily the nurses thought it was just him being cute because he loved being there with them and didn't want to leave.  For awhile I think both Marcus and I figured we'd be living in that tiny room because he'd never stop screaming.  Seriously, the loudest scream yet.  And that was after he had a clean diaper and been fed.  Crazy boy.  Luckily, he had a sudden change and fell asleep in the car seat.

There is nothing like trying to get a car service to come with a screaming child.  But once again, our little angel baby was back, and he was so peaceful the entire ride.  I don't even think he realized we had gotten in a car or driven all the way back to Queens.  

Marcus was so excited to be going home.  Obviously we didn't plan on having to be in the hospital for quite so long, and it was just a little too long for our sanity.  But I think it really was nice to have so much help for a couple extra days.  Plus, Chase and I were really taken care of, which helped me feel much more confident he'll grow well (and maybe I'll shrink back up well).  And it was also nice not having to worry about parking a car and actually driving.  Though my poor muscle-less stomach did not enjoy the crazy NYC roads.

I think our little stubborn guy wiped himself out crying so much in the hospital-- he was still sleeping almost five hours later.  We didn't even want to move him, but I'm pretty sure he could've slept through anything.  It gave us a little time to get back settled in at home, move his bed into the living room near the reclining couch (for my convenience), and figure out what was our next step :)

And naturally, someone else wanted to get acquainted   But she hasn't been this close since.  The crying and pooping scares her a bit I guess.

So now we're all home and slowing figuring out how life will work.  One day at a time.  Or one diaper at a time...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's a Baby!

I was killing some time this morning playing with my phone, and I realized it's countdown app says two days until Critter's due date...  Or not.  Since he's here!  And he's already two days old!  Crazy!  Actually, what's actually crazy is his birth story.  Don't worry, I won't get too detailed-- I'll try to focus on the random/funny parts and summarize the rest.

So the end of last week, I was really feeling huge and swollen.  Moving around hurt, so did sleeping and sitting.  It was not a pretty sight.  Even my doctor said I was starting to look a little more swollen in my feet and face, which is something she had never mentioned before Friday.  I think my most quotable statement of the time was, "Get him out!"  Yeah, not my best time.  But I accepted what I was so often reminded of in my doctors appointments-- first babies tend to be late.  So I'd force myself to walk a ton and continue on like normal.

I had started my Suzuki teaching class, which I'm sure I'll blog about another time, and I headed in the city twice a week for my class and observation periods.  I was really enjoying it.  Well, I still enjoy it.  It's so interesting, and these more orientation classes focus so much on the development of children, they're like parenting classes.  Coincidence?!  But I was not looking forward to this past Sunday.  I had a special class called Every Child Can from 10-5 where I knew we'd have minimal breaks and sit all day in hard chairs in a warm room.  It really was just that.  Thank goodness I like the subject!  During the lunch break, I talked to my mom for a bit about how Critter will probably be late, but sooner would be nice... if it didn't complicate the timing of Trevor leaving on his mission.  But we really were just chatting about how I'd be pregnant for a long time.  And somehow class was over.  So I headed home on the train, like normal, after talking to Angela on the phone about crock pot chicken recipes.  I hadn't eaten too much for lunch, so I was thinking about dinner the entire way home, and right as I walked in the door, Marcus and I started cooking.  Chicken Divan of course, if you were curious.  And suddenly there was a pop sound and I was pretty sure I had wet my pants.  Just like a movie.  So strange.  I felt kind of dumb because I wasn't entire sure what happened or what to do next because I still had weeks left if Critter decided to follow the normal stats and be almost two weeks late.  So I called the doctor, but no one answered.  She had left me the number to the hospital just in case that were to happen (there are lots of office changes going on right now that impacted phone numbers and scheduling), and guess where she was... yep, at the hospital already with another delivery.  She listened to my rambling about what happened and said I should go in to be checked.  Won't lie, I was a bit disappointed because I was already so hungry, but I managed to refrigerate the dinner we were working on while Marcus pulled together a few last minute items and fed our precious cat. 

We really had prepared for the adventure.  The bag was packed.  Our route was chosen.  We had just always been wondering if we'd be going in crazy commute times or middle of the night.  I was not expecting the Sunday night before he was due.  Which is probably why I didn't really think it was happening at first.  And then of course we spent awhile deciding how to get to Manhattan.  We knew we were taking a cab in the city, but if it was possible to take the train any of the way, it would obviously be cheaper.  So since I wasn't having contractions yet, we decided to take the subway to Grand Central.  And we hailed a cab there.  Seriously.  Pregnant lady on the way to the hospital on the train.  Haha.  Good times. 

When we arrived at the hospital around 7 P.M., of course my paperwork wasn't there yet.  (Again, probably due to changes in the office of my OB.)  So we filled out everything again.  And then we ran into my doctor.  She always laughs during my appointments because she says I'm always so calm and collected about everything, and she wishes it would rub off on others, which is something I never thought I hear said about me!  But she said my phone call was just the same.  She seriously was laughing about it and how most first time moms are late and don't have a movie scene water break to kick off delivery.   She then led us into the Labor Room, where the nicest nurse ever was there to help us and set up my IV.   Conveniently enough my contractions picked up right about then.  But we were in for the long haul since I came in before contractions due to my water breaking.  I knew I was going to have an epidural, and it was nice to just have to decide when.  But that was a harder decision than I thought it would be.  Luckily some of the other doctors had some great advice about how if I know I'm willing, might as well make it more comfortable.  One of the doctors drove me crazy because he didn't think my water broke and then decided to formally tell us it had later.  Weirdo.  Anyway, after I got the drugs probably around midnight--it all went by so much faster than I thought it would--, I was napping on and off for a couple more hours until about 4 A.M. 

My doctor would check up on me every two hours, but she came in at four with a different look on her face.  She said she couldn't even sleep because she was worrying about me and my munchkin.  (She always used cute names like that.)  He was doing great.  I was too.  Contractions were right on schedule.  But nothing had changed.  It had been too long for no progress, so she wanted to do a C-Section.  She wasn't sure exactly what was the issue, but she guessed it had to do with either the length or location of the umbilical cord. 

By five, I was in the O.R., and Marcus was in his scrubs.  They really made a relaxed and comfortable environment for such an intense procedure.  The doctors were all fantastic, and they had the radio in the background.  And the anesthesiologist was hilarious.  (He was from Ireland and had the coolest accent.  NY, and especially this hospital, really is such a fun place with all the different cultures.  I think every nurse we had during the whole process was from a different country!)  Anyway, I bet the surgery took no more than twenty minutes.  They were amazing.  And besides some weird pain in my shoulders and chills, it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be at all.  Even as they pulled out our little man.  Marcus was good and didn't watch anything involving blood or needles, so he made it through the entire C-Section.  He was able to cut the umbilical cord and hold our son right away.  I had some serious shivers going on, but I was able to watch everything.  And the doctors loved our baby.  They kept saying how he's so cute but so big!  It was scary at first just hearing doctors incessantly tell you your baby is huge when you can't see anything.  But then they started calling him "The Gerber Baby" (and also "Bruiser"), which made me not so nervous.  :)

We were able to wait together, as in all three of us, until they were ready with a room for us upstairs.  There was a little time because our nurse wanted to wait for the change in shifts.  Plus, the next nurse we worked with, who was Seventh Day Adventist and felt a special bond to us Mormons, wanted to hook us up with a private room on-the-house.  That took some extra negotiating, but it was so worth it.  Marcus was able to spend the nights here with us in the hospital, so when the baby would cry, he could help pick him up since I move super, super slowly.  Bless that nurse!  And that time became our opportunity to seriously narrow down the list of names, which was way easier after having spent some time with the little man.  Within seconds, we were down to three we both liked!  (I had hoped that would happen.  Haha)

So now we're at the last night here in the hospital.  I've been healing well, but obviously it's a slow process.  And our big boy is doing well too.  He loves to look around, but man, he really loves to sleep.  Eating has been a bit trickier, but he's healthy and apparently happy.   

Now for the part you really wanted... pictures!  I'm sure there will be more soon since we get to go home tomorrow!  So excited!  It's been really nice having so many doctors and nurses around to help as I recover while he's so tiny, but I can't wait to be in my apartment.  And I know Marcus is looking forward to it as well.  It's been so helpful having him stay here, but I'm sure the pull out bed he's sleeping on is anything but comfortable [Marcus Edit: I've camped and been more comfortable :)]  Plus there are some better quality pictures on our camera.

At the train station heading to the hospital

Napping through my contractions-- bless that epidural

Chase Richard Hardy
Born Monday, September 24th, 2012 at 5:32 A.M.
Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City  
9 pounds, 4 ounces, 20 inches long


Probably an hour old

Daddy and his son

Finally some food!
This was lunch on Monday after not having eating since my PB&J Sunday afternoon.  Best broth ever :)

Sleeping boy

First big diaper change (success, if you were wondering. haha)

The chunky monkey

Early profile shot

His cute head is just too big to hold on the hat very long

Not the most flattering picture, but proof I'm not lying... I was there too.

Cute toes!

The guys napping

A short clip of our Chaser, per request of my dad :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Killin' Time and Killin' Mice

I've tried to stay busy so I don't go crazy just waiting for Critter to come.  The apartment is pretty clean.  My music homework is all finished.  I've actually been making dinner before Marcus gets home.  But it's easier said than done, obviously. (And somehow the official due date countdown is in single digits!  Crazy!)  Anyway, last night was YW, and Angela planned an activity to teach the girls some sewing skills.  We made little mice that could be pin cushions, potpourri, or cat toys.  

Of course, mine was a cat toy for Chicago.

I really just wanted to show how much Chicago loves this toy!

She wouldn't let it go.  It was difficult getting a picture because she kept grabbing it with her claws, putting the tail in her mouth, and swinging it around the room.  Seriously.  We have a killer cat.  Watch out!  :)

I recognize everyone would prefer pictures and videos of things other than our cat.  Too bad...  for now at least :)  Hopefully soon we'll have exciting news.

Until then, enjoy a video with bad lighting of our cute, killer cat and her new mouse toy.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Retail Retirement

Both Marcus and my dad refer to the fact that I have finished working at Bed Bath & Beyond as my retail retirement.  And I must say, it feels good.  :) 

Saturday was my actual last day before my maternity leave started, and it was probably the fastest work day ever.  It was really busy and a lot was going on in the store, so before I knew it, it was time to go home.  I must admit that I'm glad it ended on a good note because hopefully that will help me always remember the good parts of my crazy retail job.  And it was a great job-- good company, great products, lots of fun coworkers, and of course a cross country transfer-- but it was definitely time.  And I still can't believe that I'm on maternity leave!  Weird.  

I took a couple pictures of the store on my way to my last shift.  It was really fun working in a mall because they'd decorate for every season.  Plus it was a newer mall, so it was always really clean and nice.

The fall decor inside the Sky View Center

BBB (before it opened in the morning)

I was trying to make sure I had cleaned up all of my stuff and left on a good note, so it took me awhile to get ready to leave.  I guess a few managers thought I had gotten lost or something because they had planned a surprise party!  

Decorations in the Break Room

Worst picture of me ever, but there's me (& Critter) after a long day at work


 I wish I had taken picture of more people at work, but it's difficult doing that when break times are all scattered throughout the day.  But I really do (DID) work with some great people, and they are so sweet to do something like this.

Fei had to show us how to correctly cut the cake.  And Lorena making a face. 

Cake and ice cream

One of the cute balloons

A lot of my coworkers signed a big card.

But I realized it really can't be my last day in Flushing.  I left my water bottle there...  Oops :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Showered (and Spoiled) Critter

On Tuesday, Marcus' work had planned a surprise baby shower lunch for him.  It was really fun to help them plan a little and see the surprised look on his face when he walked into his "meeting."  He really works for a great company, and to sum it up, CooperKatz LOVES babies.  They were so excited to celebrate with good food and presents.  They had pizza (which Marcus requested without realizing he had), salad, and garlic bread from a great little restaurant down the street from the office called Vezzo and some cookies from another local favorite called Insomnia.  And we, and by we I obviously mean our little guy, were totally spoiled by Marcus' coworkers.  Our little Critter now has several more cute outfits, awesome frog bath items, useful books (more for me), a great play mat, a boppy pillow, and more.  And then they sent us home with all our new goodies in a car so we wouldn't have to battle the subway.  They are truly fantastic people.  We had a fun time and are so grateful for their generosity!

Once again, I failed to take pictures.  I was more worried about being late and ruining the surprise than making sure I had a camera.  But I do have pictures of our almost organized mess of Critter supplies.  I'm sure it will all be rearranged a million times and hopefully I'll come up with better plans to maximize the space.  But you'll see things we've purchased, gifts from the ward shower and CK surprise lunch, and presents sent from family and friends.  Again, sorry there aren't pictures at the events.

Our BBB shelving unit with cute clothes, 
blankets, towels, washcloths, and some toys

Inside two of the bins.
Lots of socks and the toys

Ah, the mess I haven't organized.
But you can see the pack-n-play, boppy pillow, diapers, frog mat, and stroller

Chicago has to find new hiding spots now...

The boppy pillow, a great parenting book, and the pocket nanny

The awesome frog play mat lounging in the tub, 
that's balancing on a box of diapers.  :)

More maximizing space attempts
Under the pack-n-play, you can see the carrier, wipes, and disposable diaper bags

These two will have to go in the tub, but I wasn't ready for that step yet.
The frog pod to hold all bathing products and a frog safety cover for the tub spout.

Some books!

Like I said in an earlier post, I was working on washing everything.  These three super cute items needed to finish drying.  The blanket on the left was a gift from the YW-- they made it during one of their weekly activities I couldn't attend.

The diaper bag!  Technically I bought this because I had a nesting freak out where I NEEDED a diaper bag, diapers, and wipes :)

Really cute blankets and burp cloths Nana made.  

And now hopefully a completed pile of necessities for the hospital.

I know I'll never feel completely ready for the big change of becoming a parent, but we're so ready for his debut.  :)  And obviously many other people are too.  It's amazing how spoiled someone can be who no one has even met.  He needs to realize this is his cue to make his big entrance.  (Don't worry, I do realize his due date is still two weeks away and that most first time moms tend to deliver late-- doesn't mean I can't hope for something earlier...)  And again, thank you so much to everyone who's helped us prepare for our little boy!