31 October 2012

Two months

And I'm a day late with this. Paxlet hasn't been the best sleeper for the last couple of nights so we were totally exhausted and went to bed early last night. Or rather, earlier than normal, I still didn't crawl into bed to sleep until around 11pm.

Weight & Length: Last week's Thursday measurements were: 6kg 180g (13,6lbs) and 57,7 cm (22,7 in).

Sleeping: At the beginning of this month we had one night where Paxlet slept about 5,5 hours straight through! Talk about getting some much needed sleep. The last few nights Paxlet has been sleeping for only 1-2 hours at a time and then sometimes he's awake for an hour or two. He does take quite good naps though, usually. He has started waking up around 7am, so that is some routine. Other than that, it's still hit and miss for sleep, but I know it will come together eventually.

Eating: Breastfed all the way. Doesn't even like binkies (pacifiers) and only sucks on his knuckles, not his thumb or fingers. 

Diapers: We're still using disposable diapers. I just haven't bothered to worry about disposable. I feel sort of bad about it, but taking care of Paxlet is concern enough.

Clothing: Paxlet has outgrown all newborn stuff, most size 50 and 56, with exception of a couple of items that seem to be on the big side. We're now using mostly size 60 and 62 (3 month).

Hair: He still looks like his grandpa (my dad), i.e. not much hair on the top and only a bit around the sides.

Personality: Paxlet is such a sweet and cheerful baby. We've only had a few fussy days with him and for that I am ever-so-thankful. I can tell he's going to be stubborn (just like mom and dad), as he doesn't like his hands covered at all! Most mornings he wakes up all smiles, cooing and laughing. It's great! (And definitely helps with the sleep deprivation.)

Milestones & Firsts: Along with smiling at us, he also shrugs his shoulders to show just how cute he is. It works like a charm and we just melt.

Responds to noises - A week or two ago, Mr Siili sneezed when Paxlet was asleep on my lap and Paxlet startled badly. Poor thing even cried for a few minutes he was so scared.

Vocalizes with coos, goos and gaahs - Oh boy is he a talker! I love it when Paxlet talks with us.

Says ah-goo and other similar consonant combos.

Lifts his head 45 degrees when laying on his tummy (on the floor).

Bring both hands together - clasping one on top of the other

Follow an object (rattles, stuffed toys) held about 6 inches above his face and moved 180 degrees (from left to right) and he follows it all the way.

Paxlet got his first cold at the beginning of the month. It isn't really a runny nose, nor is it a stuffed up nose but rather a mixture of the two. Mostly he was gurgley sounding and he had post nasal drip which caused him to cough/choke unhappily. He didn't get a fever and he was still happy and quite smiley. For that I am thankful.

First vaccination for the Rotavirus was given at the 6 week check up.

Within the last couple of days he's noticed the Moomin cartoon characters on the wall paper and he just stairs at them. This little boy is becoming much more aware of his surroundings.

Also withing the last few days, raspberries to his tummy have become funny and something to laugh and grin about instead of frowning.

More recent developments are that Paxlet stays awake longer between naps. Nowadays it is between one to two hours before he gets tired again.

Likes: Boobs, staring at mom in the mirror when we wash his bottom, cooing and smiling at mom and dad, nose being suctioned, showers, snuggling on mom and dad's chest

Dislikes: nose being suctioned, arms being covered or trapped under a blanket and boob not given to him quick enough

29 October 2012

First snow of the season

Thursday afternoon we got our first smattering of snow bits on the ground. They weren't really snow flakes, but rather snowballs or light hail. We didn't get much of it, but it did turn the ground grey-white. And then during the night we got more snow!! This was enough to turn the world white and beautiful! It was also Paxlet's first snow.
The 'funny' thing about first snow or ice here in Finland is that it always sends people into a panic. Most people don't have their winter tires on yet and no one seems to remember how to drive in these sort of conditions. Even though these winter conditions happen around this time of the year: Every. Single, Year. Because of these two factors, there are almost always quite a few car wrecks during the first day or so and a mass scramble to get winter tires put on cars.

This year, it so happens that we are part of the group that doesn't have their winter tires on yet. But, there is no scramble or panic coming from us. For one, Mr Siili doesn't drive the car unless absolutely necessary (like when he took me to the hospital to give birth) and two, I don't really need the car because Paxlet and I can get downtown, or wherever we need to go, by bus (for free). In addition, we won't be changing to winter tires until the snow melts and the roads are clear, because we need to drive 1,5 hours away to my in-laws where we store our tires. It looks like this trip will happen this coming weekend, if the weather does warm up a few degrees like predicted.

This trip to my in-laws will be our first "long distance" trip with Paxlet. I'm looking upon it with enthusiasm and maybe a bit of dread. It'll be exciting to really get out of the house, but I also worry a bit having Paxlet in the car. Also, I hope Paxlet will sleep through the trip, he most likely will, so we don't have a screaming baby in the car during that time.

26 October 2012

Yesterday's pictures

I was so tired last night when I hit post that I forgot I wanted to add two pictures from our day.
All you can eat sushi for lunch!
First snowballs/hail (definitely not flakes) of the season, in front of our place.
First snowballs/hail (definitely not flakes) of the season, in our back yard.

Ryhmäneuvola ja rokotetutkimus

Two posts in one today: Group neuvola and vaccine study

The group neuvola visit was... uneventful. There was 7 of us moms with our approximately 2 month old babys. We went around the room and introduced ourselves. For everyone else, this was their second or third child. I was the only one on the first child.

Then the neuvola nurses facilitated the discussion by asking questions to try and get us moms talking. Getting Finns to talk is no mean feat, as they are generally quite quiet, especially in groups (without alcohol). After an hour or so of chatting, it was time for individual baby weigh-ins and length check. Then people headed off to where ever they were going.

It might be to early to tell, as all of us mothers have just met, but I already feel as if the group neuvola won't come to much and I won't find other mother friends from there. I did at least get some info of other places where I can meet adults to talk with (mostly in Finnish, it's a good thing) and potentially other moms.

At 8 weeks, today, Paxlet weighed in at 6kg 180g (13,6lb). That's up 302g (664oz) from last week's Tuesday, only 9 days ago. Paxlet's such a good eater!

Then we headed downtown to our next appointment, the vaccine study*, where Mr Siili met us. This was our first visit there so blood was drawn, Paxlet's temperature taken, details & information explained and of course vaccinations given.

Paxlet did NOT like the freedom of his arm being restricted, nor did he like blood being drawn. He cried so hard and unhappily that I started to tear up myself. After the blood was taken and I was calming him down, Mr Siili asked Paxlet if it was a big mosquito or vampire that took his blood. Paxlet responded at the vampire part.

Paxlet was given one vaccine injection in each thigh. He did not like that at all. Thankfully the boob helped calm him down quite quickly. Although, he did have to let go for a sec to reiterate how unhappy he was about the shots.

Afterward, Mr Siili went back to work. Paxlet (sleeping the whole while) and I went to lunch and then headed home. On our way home we were treated to our first snowball/snow-hail fall of the season.

This evening, Paxlet's thighs are sore, he's a bit fussy (not normal for him), but no fever. However, it did take me just over an hour to get him to sleep. Poor baby boy. Such a traumatic day.

*Mr Siili and I have given our consent for Paxlet to take part in this vaccination study. I intend to write a separate post about the study.


25 October 2012

Savored moments

I love my baby boy. I love him more than anything. But some times it is nice to do things on my own (while Mr Siili is at work and isn't able to help). Such things as:

- going pee alone or without Paxlet fussing/screaming in the other room or bouncy chair,
- eating food while it is still hot/warm,
- eating food while both hands are free,
- sleeping in my bed sans Paxlet (yes, I know this is totally dependent on my choices),
- cleaning or doing any household chore in full without Paxlet in my arms or attached to me,
- take a shower longer than 3 minutes,
- go to sauna with Mr Siili, at the same time.

I know these things are minor and Paxlet is growing so fast. (It's already noticeable!) But some days, it's just a bit frustrating.
On the flip side, I love having my baby boy close for some of the following things:

-Paxlet snuggling and falling asleep on my chest,
- waking up to a smiling and cooing Paxlet,
- carrying/wearing Paxlet around so I can share everything with him,
- seeing his smile and being the cause of his laughter.

I'm loving it all, even when I'm a bit frazzled at the edges. If it weren't for Paxlet, I'd never get to know or experience any of these things.


22 October 2012

What did the green grape say to the purple grape?

- Breathe, just breathe.

Yeah, stupid joke I know, but my dad told it to me. Twice, because he forgot he told it to me the previous week and I forgot I had heard it.
I realize it has been a week since I've posted anything. I have thought about my blog and felt like I should write something, but nothing more than a sentence or two at a time has come to mind. In short, life with Paxlet is wonderful and he keeps me busy.

To keep myself from going stir crazy, I've been trying to meet up with a few friends and co-workers to go out to lunch. It's been nice to get out of the house, enjoy some fresh air and have a walk. Plus, the adult conversation is wonderful! This week, I'll be attending a meeting at the neuvola office with other moms of approximately 2 month old babies. I hope I'll hit it off with some of them and can meet them for play dates.

Paxlet's mostly over his cold he got almost 4 weeks ago, but he still has a bit of a runny/stuff nose. And then last week's Sunday, I got my first cold of the season. Nasty sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, cough and now just the remaining junk in the back of my throat that won't come out. Poor Mr Siili then got it from me.

My dad and sister have finally purchased their tickets to come visit! They'll be here at the beginning of December for a week. It's a short time, but I'm thrilled to have them here. Now I just need to figure out what items I need want from the US. Deodorant (Queen Helene), toothpaste (Toms of Maine, wintermint) and some candy (Lemonheads, Reese's Pieces PB cups) are already on the list.

Have you found and submitted your best post of the year yet? I have!
The Best of the Adoption/Loss/Infertility Blogs of 2012

Melissa at Stirrup Queens has opened up the 2012 submission post and form for this year's Creme de la Creme list. Find your best post and submit it soon. The hard deadline for this year is December 15th.

15 October 2012

6 week postpartum check-up

Before I go into my appointment this morning, I've got a question: How do you write a blog post with a baby on your lap? Sure, it would be easier if said baby wasn't on my lap, but the last few days he won't stay asleep unless he is in my lap or arms. So, I've got my legs propped up on the desk in front of me, the keyboard just above my knees and me typing OVER Paxlet who is sleeping on my upper lap. In other words pictures, like this:
The things I do to get my blogging fix.
My six week postpartum check-up went just fine. Not that I had any doubts, but it is always nice to have confirmation that all is well.

As with during my pregnancy the neuvola nurse checked my urine, blood pressure, hemoglobin and weight. There was nothing to be found in my urine. My blood pressure was normal. My hemoglobin was at 135, which is much better than at any point during my pregnancy or any other time that I can remember. And I haven't been taking any iron supplements since I gave birth. My weight is down to 73,1 kilos (161 pounds) from the 88 kilos (193,6 pounds) I was at a week before giving birth. I still have 7 kilos to lose to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.

The doctor asked how the pregnancy was (I am now going to a different clinic because we moved) and how did my labor go. I was also asked about birth control. I told both the nurse and the doctor that because it took us 4 years to get Paxlet, I'm not going back on birth control. If we somehow manage to get pregnant on our own, it will be a welcome event.

Once I hopped up on the exam table, the doctor checked where my stitches had been and said they might be a bit tight or uncomfortable in the beginning (when we start to have sex again). My uterus feels normal and like it has shrunk back down to where it should be and my lady bits look just fine. The doctor also asked if I've had any infection or swelling in my breasts (nope) or any other pains (nope).

And that was that. There wasn't much to be asked from me and I didn't have any questions for either the nurse or the doctor.

09 October 2012

Weekend food

This last weekend Mr Siili and I didn't do much, but we did make some yummy stuff in the kitchen.

On Saturday, we made some peruna rieska aka unleavened potato bread. This is the first recipe I shared on this blog back in 2008.

While the breads were baking, we made chicken soup for dinner. There was enough for us to have dinner for the next couple of days. I'll be thankful when it is gone today.

See the broccoli that I put in the soup? Well, that is about all the broccoli there was. This piece of broccoli, shown below, was the last one at the store and it was itty bitty. It only cost 0,16 cents! I just couldn't pass it up like everyone else had because I knew Mr Siili would find this lone piece of packaged broccoli as funny (and cute) as I did.

Then on Sunday, I made oh so Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes and Mr Siili helped me cook them. I've asked a co-worker to bring me more canned pumpkin and I think I'm going to have to ask my dad to bring some when he comes to visit too. These pancakes are that yummy!

05 October 2012

Oh, For Fuck's Sake - Friday

This week has been one of those weeks and I feel the need to let it out. So, I'm linking up with Sarah's For Fuck's Sake Friday over at Dear Baby G. It just so happens to be the one year anniversary too.

Without further ado, here are some things that have chapped my hide this week.

Paxlet got his first cold at the start of the week. FFS

I think one of his cousins gave it to him. FFS

This cold has Paxlet's nose stuffed up and therefore he doesn't sleep too well at night. FFS

It also means I don't get much sleep either. FFS

Last night was particularly bad and I ended up in tears from my tiredness and frustration with Paxlet's crying/screaming. FFS

At our housing council meeting this week we learned that the nice little forest across the road from us will be turned into a 5 story apartment building sometime in the near-ish future. So much for the peaceful view and mushroom picking. FFS

My right ankle still aches from my fall on Sunday. FFS

I didn't get an appointment with the doctor until Monday. It's my fault for not calling before today. FFS

There was a notice in the mail today that a package had arrived for me. I went to pick it up and it was from my cousin. She passed on the knitted items my mom made for her oldest boy. No FFS

Now along with being tired, I'm also consciously thinking about my mom and missing her. FFS

Dear Baby G

03 October 2012

Banned Book Week (Sept 30-Oct 6)

I can't remember how I came across this tid bit of info that this week, September 30 - October 6, is Banned Book Week, but I somehow did. And as I checked out a list of banned and/or challenged books, I realized I've read a few of the books on the list, but not nearly enough of them! I need to read more banned books.

I even own a few of them:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey*
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

But the book that I always think of when I think of banned books is the children's book Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman originally written in 1899. I have had this book ever since I was little and have always loved it! It took me years to understand, even if I don't fully agree, why this book would be banned. I always just saw it as a story of a little boy who saved himself from being eaten by vain tigers. And when the tigers let their vanity get the best of themselves and turn into butter, the little boy and his dad took the fresh butter home to mom, who made lots of pancakes with fresh butter for them to eat. Ok so that is an over simplified version of the story, but to me, it was all very innocent.

Do you read banned and or challenged books?

*My little claim to fame is that I got to meet Ken Kesey a couple of years before he died when he was in town for the opening night of his play in my hometown.

02 October 2012

One month

This is a couple of days late, but I only just found this 'format' on another blog and I love it. I'm thinking I'll keep Paxlet's updates as monthly things from now on.

Weight & Length: Paxlet is growing like a weed. At the last neuvola appointment, which was actually just after 3 weeks, he weighed 4718 g (10,4 lbs) and was 54,5 cm (21,5 in) long.

Sleeping: There are the occasional nights where Paxlet stays awake anywhere from 2 to 3 hours at a time, but most often he will wake up, eat and go back to sleep.

So far, Paxlet has been sleeping in the bed with us. Neither Mr Siili nor I worry about rolling over on him or anything like that as we have 12 years experience of sleeping with cats and never had any incidents with them. In the last few days, I have on occasion tried putting Paxlet to sleep in his little bed right next to our bed, but he almost immediately wakes up as soon as I put him down. I think it has to do with going from a warm embrace to a cold bed. In any case, I did managed to get him to stay a sleep exactly one time so far for about 45 minutes. It was blissful to have our bed to ourselves! Actually it was so great that I almost couldn't sleep because of the giddiness I felt.

Eating: This, not so, little boy eats like a champ! I'm so grateful to have plenty of breast milk for him to eat. Even when my nipples are a bit sore at times.

Paxlet does seem to choke quite often when eating. I am sure some of it is happening when my milk lets down at the beginning of a feed, but the other times I'm not sure. I find it quite scary when he chokes and gasps for air. As I'm patting his back to get the milk out, I find myself fervently thinking "breathe, breathe, just breathe" and then a big sigh of relief when he does breathe easily again.

Diapers: We're still using disposable diapers. I still want to use cloth, especially since we now have quite a few thanks to MIL. I just need to figure them out and start using them. The one time I tried a cloth diaper, it got completely soaked through and leaked everywhere!

Clothing: He's already grown out of some newborn clothes. We wore a couple of them on his one month birthday, photographed them and then retired them. I'm sad that he's outgrown them already as they are so cute, but I am loving seeing him grow.

Hair: He's still quite bald on top and short dark hair around the sides and back. Just like his granddad (my dad).

Personality: I like to think we're already seeing Paxlet's personality shine through. We're sure he's going to be a stubborn and determined little boy. He already frowns at us if we bug him while he's eating. And he definitely doesn't like his hands to be covered by a blanket or held by my hand, especially when he's eating! He'll fuss and flail his hands around until they are free to move where he wants them too. Once the hands are free, he settles down immediately. He also makes raspberry sounds when he fights waking up.

Milestones & Firsts: It's amazing how one month or even 10 days makes such a difference in a baby's life. Looking at pictures, I can already see many changes in his looks and growth. He's definitely not going to stay small for long.

One evening, around 3 weeks, we were changing the sheets on the bed when Mr Siili was laying on the bed with Paxlet talking to him. Mr Siili stuck his tongue out and Paxlet copied him. Not just once, but many times.

A day before his month birthday, he smiled at us! And he hasn't stopped smiling since.

Paxlet's head is already quite steady when he's up right. We've has several people remark how strong his neck is.

01 October 2012

It has been done

We have finally stated Paxlet's name* publicly. I am glad to be able to call him by his name and not Paxlet and BabyBoy, although I think I'll still call him BabyBoy for some time, as that is what he is: my baby boy.

We finished cleaning, cooking and getting the house ready in the morning. Mid-day, Mr Siili and I took Paxlet for a walk. Just as we crossed the street to start our walk, I fell down. I have no idea what happened. One second I was walking and pushing the stroller, the next I was on all fours in the gravel. Because it happened to quickly, I even took the stroller down with me, but thankfully Paxlet was snuggled up in the stroller and was only scooted down to the bottom half of it. Me on the other hand, I'm quite sore today. I bruised both knees, scraped up the left knee, have a bruise on my left arm and the outer edge of my right foot hurts quite badly and is half bruised. After a bit of rest, cold and putting my foot up (but not nearly enough) yesterday, it is feeling a bit better today. I'm still walking slowly and carefully and limping. Doh!

When Mr Siili's family arrived, we chatted, ate, told the name and then had dessert and chatted some more. Everyone seemed to like the name. At least no one openly spoke against it.
Flowers from Mr Siili's parents.

A few hours later, I Skyped with my family and told them the name also. My sister and aunt liked the name. My dad didn't say much and my stepmom just got the spelling correct and left the room without having said much. It seems I've pissed her off again. I have no idea if it has to do with the whole naming ceremony (and it not going as she has tried to plan it) or if she is upset that Paxlet and I are not traveling to the US for a week in the next couple of months. Although, that's another post in and of itself.

After sharing Paxlet's name with friends (on FB), I have learned that two friends have also given their son the same middle name as our boy. Doh! I had no idea! AND I found out my good friend R's husband's brothers first and second name are exactly the same. I knew about the first name, but not the second. I guess we've got good names, eh?

*As I said earlier, I don't feel comfortable revealing our boy's name here on my blog. I will continue to refer to him as Paxlet, but if someone would like to learn his name, I'd be willing to share it with you privately.
Shoot me an email at jsththr at gmail dot com.