Holy insane infant public breakdown, Batman.

Oh, Suzianne.

You were not feeling today’s “let’s meet daddy for lunch” adventure at Ted’s Montana Grille. This was not a fun Team Newman moment:

Only after 10 minutes of public wailing and daddy rocking, did you calm down enough for me to get you to the train, where you promptly passed out:

And you’re still asleep in that stroller, here in the living room, where I’m scarfing down my Ted’s burger and cold fries in front of a famished tea cup poodle:

But! Thanks to you, we’ve discovered a very effective way to make our server promptly deliver our check and to-go boxes: just make your baby scream bloody murder while business folks are trying to eat! Yay! …so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

(sigh)

Oh, well. We tried.

Week 12: Llama Llama Mad at Momma

Week 12! It was a doozy! And awesome. Here are three new experiences I just have to share:

1. Suzianne slept through the night every night for seven days, with progressively earlier bedtimes each evening. O M G. {Squeal!} Regardless of the time we put her down, (which ranged from 7–10 p.m.) she would not wake for 7 hours. IT WAS AWESOME. And scary. Is she breathing? Yes, Margie, she’s breathing. Good thing you kept poking at her so you could wake her up to prove she’s alive while she’s sleeping. Brilliant. 

2. Holy cow, our girl has a temper! And it only seems to rear its inconsolable red head when I’m around. Because I smell like breakfast all day long. I’m like a walking Sonic– with birthing hips.

This week, we had several major scream-fests, where I was just sure someone would call Child Protective Services on me. I mean, these screams were violent, never-ending torture screams. If you were in the next room–or parking space– you’d swear I was chopping off Suzianne’s pinky toe. But no, she’s just hungry.

It does’t matter that she just ate 1.5 hours ago–or that you are trying to find a parking spot at Tyson’s Corner and can’t really do anything about it right now–she’s STARVING MOMMA WAAAAAAAAAAAAH! 

And she must tell everyone within a 5-mile radius that her momma NEVER feeds her. But her daddy? Oh, he’s cool, ya’ll. You can trust him. Just don’t turn your back on that milk lady.

A quick Google (thanks Dave) told us this is a 3-month growth spurt. But since Suzianne is sleeping through the night now: scream, child! Momma don’t care because she will feed you AND get some sleep all in the same day. Bring. It.

3. Team Newman has found a routine! Sorta. We don’t stick to a hard and fast timeline, but we do have a routine of feedings, playtime, naps; repeat. We’ve also gone from primarily breast feeding to expressed breast milk from the bottle feeding. When we did this, Suzianne started sleeping through the night. I have no clue if it is her age or the bottle-feeding that is making the difference, but it seems to be a better solution for her. We are having to supplement with formula. This makes me sad, but Suzianne wakes up beaming with glee and ready for the world these days…so we’re gonna stick with this plan:

In other awesome news, Suzianne met my best friend in the whole wide world this week. A woman whose friendship means more to me than she will ever know. We love you, Pavis:

And finally, I got back to my 5k training this week! I am re-doing “Week 2,” since I’ve not run in three weeks. I am feeling good, thanks to the fabulous stretching techniques Michelle and Rebecca sent me. Thanks, ladies! Hopefully, I can stay on track this time.

Suzianne to San Diego, Day 4: move along, nothing to see here

Oh, Day Four. You are but a fog. I laid in bed all day while Suzianne played with mom and her friend, Genetta.

And since I took a muscle relaxer (that made me quite sick, but did help my back), I had to pump and dump my liquid gold. It was so, so very sad:

I do remember the massage I got though. It was heavenly and helped quite a bit. Will be repeating that today…

Oh, BUT, BUT! There was a shining moment I shall not type here–because Suzianne reads my blog–but will show you:

{squeal, squeal!}

{virtual high five}

Yes.

Oh, yes she did.

Thank you, Suzianne. Momma needed her beauty rest.

And thank you, friends for the back pain tips, stretching suggestions (those are awesome, Michelle) and words of encouragement! You’ll never know how much your support means!

 

Suzianne to San Diego: Day 1.5

Oh, people. You can SO take a 10-week-old from D.C. to San Diego. I hope I’m not jinxing myself on the flight back by writing this, but Suzianne was her usual, happy self the entire way. My baby may not sleep at night, but she can ROCK a cross-country flight, yo.

You’ve already heard about how easy our pass through airport security was; here’s how the rest of the day went:

But first, let me explain that the amazing Granny Sue Sue flew all the way across the country to accompany me *back* across the country to visit her. Yes, she did. So, when you see pictures of her with us, even though we’re going to visit her, that’s why.

At the airport:

Because I’m just slightly anal-retentive, I made Granny Sue Sue go with me to the airport like 13 hours before our flight left. Okay, really just four hours before. But still, it was WAY to early. Since we breezed through security, we had three hours to kill at the airport. We quickly found the pub. Suzianne snoozed the whole time, even with the random old school rap blasting in the background:

After hamburgers, we attempted to find a “private” part of the terminal so I could breastfeed. WIth the aid of my rockin’ Hooter Hider (thanks, Aly!) I did so with minimal awkwardness, except for the random two people who came over and sat by us (see photo):

Which leads us to this important announcement:

Dear Jet Set People of Earth:

When a woman goes out of her way to find a secluded part of the terminal and is CLEARLY feeding her infant with her boobs, don’t then sit next to her. It’s weird. And you then lose the right to give her rude looks, BECAUSE YOU CAME OVER HERE.

Safe travels!

Team Newman

They didn’t stay long, and Suzianne was a happy/drunken camper:

It was around this time that my left boob started throbbing. All day, the bottom half of it had been warm, firm and quite painful to even the slightest touch. I thought maybe I had bruised it pumping. You know, because you can push on parts of your boob to get more milk to flow. But it kept getting worst throughout the day. A quick Google told me it likely was a plugged milk duct. But we had a plane to catch…

The Plane:

We checked our stroller and car seat gate-side; the United flight crew was very nice and accommodating. Since Suzianne is an infant, I just held her in my lap:

Before takeoff, we asked the flight attendant if we could store the breast milk in a fridge somewhere. Within minutes, four bottles of it were sitting pretty in the drink cart.

It was also fun to watch all the people walk onto the plane with content gazes until they realized an infant was sitting near them. They’d glare at her with uncertainty and resentment, while Suzianne gave them the bobble head stare that read equal parts amusement and apathy.

She was all “Just chill, ya’ll. I got this.”

On takeoff, we swaddled her up for her nap and gave her a pacifier to suck on. As we ascended, my ears popped like crazy; Suzianne laid there and never made a peep.

During the five hour flight, we kept her on her normal eating, playing and napping schedule. We were so lucky it happened to work out that she either needed to nap or nurse on take off and landing. 

In no time, both Suzie’s were snoozing:

Which left me awake with a horrible movie to watch and a throbbing boob to hold. After a few hours, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and asked the flight attendant if she had anything warm I could hold on my boob.

She didn’t hesitate and said she’d return in a minute with a hot water bottle. About five minutes later, she handed me a large bottle of boiling Aqua Fina wrapped in a towel. The heat was a huge relief; if only mentally. But my boob still hurt.

A little later, we had an in-seat diaper change:

Some in-flight nursing (during the decent):

And before you know it, we were in San Diego!

The time difference:

Since Suzianne hasn’t yet found a night sleeping schedule that involves much actual sleeping, I decided to just follow her internal clock, rather than make her adjust to pacific time. Last night, she actually slept very well; sleeping in three 2 hour and 45 minute intervals. That translates into 2.5 hours of sleep at a time for me, which is awesome.

Also last night, I kept a hot compress on my boob for about 30 minutes. And this morning, after our early morning nursing, Suzianne unplugged the duct! I feel like a new momma. 

Conclusion:

Take your baby to California! As several of you told me, this is the easiest flight I’ll ever take with her because she’s so little. And it’s true! You can do this! Of course, I’ll be doing this alone on my way back to D.C., so we’ll see if my story changes any on Friday!

Weeks 9 & 10: Zombie Mom

“Sleeping when the baby sleeps” is key to survival in the first few months. The problem comes when your baby doesn’t sleep:

I feel ya, sister. 

Weeks 9 and 10 sort of blurred together for me; they were fun AND sleep-deprived. Our girl’s two-month vaccinations really took a toll on her sleeping and eating patterns. The past seven days, Suzianne only slept in two-hour spurts, was cranky and not eating as much.

When baby don’t sleep, momma and tea cup poodle don’t sleep:

I’ve spent weeks 9 and 10 shuffling around in a just-barely-functional haze. BUT! I did make it ON TIME to my first lunch date (this is Rakelle and her baby girl):

I attended DC FLACKS happy hour for the first time in three months:

I forced my child to take a nap in the Baby Bjorn because momma really needed some Starbucks:

I got a hair cut. Please ignore the roots, they get taken care of tomorrow:

I even reached my Nike+ Fuel Band goal yesterday! (Dave and Suzianne gave it to me for Mother’s Day):

They say you get used to not sleeping.

They are morons.

True, I had a good couple of weeks, but I honestly don’t remember all the details because my brain wasn’t working.

And just when I thought I could not take anymore sleepless nights, Suzianne seems to have turned a corner. THANK THE LORD. Because we are San Diego bound on Monday and I need my happy, easy-going baby back:

Speaking of travel, thanks so much to all of you who have commented here and on Facebook with your infant travel tips!

I will try my best to make you proud. But if I don’t, I know you will enjoy reading about my misadventures anyway…

 

Week 7: the weak-end becomes The Weekend

A few weeks ago, I was frazzled and Dave said, “Don’t worry, the weekend is only a few days away.” I was all, “HaHaHaHaHa! ‘The weekend’ is just another day to me.”

That was, now that I think back on it, rather rude of me.

To Dave, the weekend is a time when he is here and can help take the load off of me. And he does that–and does it gladly, and does it well. But still, for the past six weeks, “the weekend” was truly just another day because all days bled together in one Motrin and Colace-induced haze of boobs, fretting, eating, not sleeping, and Law and Order episodes. I just couldn’t enjoy “the weekend.”

But this weekend, was awesome. It was productive, fun, restful and romantic. {Dave would be puzzled by the last descriptor there, but I find taking me to the mall, pushing the stroller the whole time, helping me pick out a dress at Ann Taylor and then making me pancakes the next day quite romantic.}  

Some highlights of my first real, post-baby weekend:

I got stuff done: Saturday morning, I went to the bank, wrote one more thank you note, took Georgia to the groomer, and got my nails did {we have established how important productivity is to me}. While I was doing all of that, Dave was out on the town with Suzianne:

Baby’s first metro ride:  Saturday afternoon, we took the Metro to the mall. It was Suzianne’s first Metro ride! She was wide-awake and semi-cranky as we strolled the three blocks to the station, waited for, and boarded the train:

The train started moving; after about 60 seconds, she was out cold:

And she stayed that way for three hours, enabling Team Newman to take advantage of amazing sales at Cole Haan, Ann Taylor and Macy’s.

The next day, we all piled up in the bed until Noon, rotating shifts on feeding, diapering, napping and picture-taking:

I even read a book! It’s hilarious. I love Mindy Kaling.

And finally, there were pancakes (with Flax seed to boost breast milk production) and…wait for it…sugar-coated bacon. I am not even joking. Dave made it and I ate nearly all of it:

So what if Sunday night, Suzianne only went three hours between feedings and then decided sleep was no longer an option from 3 to 8 a.m. 

The weekend and I are reunited and I’ve ingested, like, seven pounds of bacon.

Now, there’s nothing I can’t handle and you should all be very afraid.

Week 6: have I mentioned I’m Type-A?

This week, I was 34 minutes late to a doctor’s appointment, wrote three thank you notes, scrubbed one toilet, brushed my teeth before noon on several occasions, and showered nearly every-other-day. In short, week six was ever-so-slightly productive. And this is very important to me, because my obsession with getting things done has not waned since giving birth.

As the weeks go by, Dave and I are learning ways to game the system in our effort to hold onto at least some level of pre-baby productivity.

One trick to actually getting out of the house seems to be dining with the old people.

On Saturday afternoon, sweet Dave made us early reservations at Ruth’s Chris so we could have a romantic dinner with a (hopefully) sleeping infant third wheel. The key was getting there at 5 p.m., the moment their doors opened. We wanted to be sure we wouldn’t disturb the steak-eating fancy folk if Suzianne decided to get vocal. This strategy made the outing much less stressful than last time.

It worked! Suzianne slept like a champ and we enjoyed a fabulous one hour and fifteen minute dinner without a single baby peep:

I didn’t have to feed her or even rock the stroller. We took this commemorative photo to document our awesomeness:

And we were home by 6:20 p.m.

Of course, the moment we entered the apartment, she was STARVING. But that was okay because baby can have whatever she wants when momma has just had beer, steak and potatoes.

Second trick we learned this week: make do with what you have.

Special shout out to Dave for taking the empty Ruth’s Chris to-go bags and stuffing them into Suzianne’s diaper bag. He said he thought I might need them at some point to put a dirty diaper in.

At the time, I thought he was crazy. Three days later, when I changed Suzianne’s diaper in the trunk of our Audi and needed a place to store her poop, I was singing Dave’s praises:

Speaking of the Audi, 30 minutes after using our trunk for a change table, I had to pull over and feed her on my way to my doctors appointment (thus, being 34 minutes late). So happy I had thrown some breast milk in a bottle before I headed out; the bottle was much easier than stripping down on the side of the road:

I’ll be honest with you though, I’m struggling with all the to-do’s I want to check off, but cannot. Dave and I both acknowledge life is different now, but that doesn’t mean we can change how we are wired.

We are people who get things done. It will take some time for me to get used to the fact that some days, the only thing I will accomplish is feeding and loving on our baby.

Deep down I know that if “keeping baby alive and well” is the one box I check off today, that’s still an awesome accomplishment. And a privilege. But it does’t make it an easy pill to swallow.

In the interest of keeping it real, I’ll tell you that during week six, I really had a hard time facing this new reality.

But, hey, today, did the laundry AND kept Suzianne alive and fed. She even had on cute socks. So, I’m feeling pretty good about week seven…

Hello there, stranger.

This week, Suzianne and I have become Starbucks regulars. While I was in line a couple of days ago, a tall, well-dressed, handsome man walked over and made eye contact for a longer-than-acceptable-for-a-married-dude amount of time.

I’m thinking:

Come on dude; I’ve got a BABY and BLING and CLEARLY emit postpartum-ness. Leave me be. 

Ah, but, then again…I can’t help it if this guy is attracted to a gal who just showered yesterday, brushed her teeth recently and who’s nails look so awesome. Also, my socks match today…

Tall Stranger: “Hey there.”

Me: “Hi.” {look away at the menu board}

{Tall Stranger approaches}

{I act like I don’t notice}

Tall Stranger: “Hey…nice cover.”

Me; “Oh, um, what?”

Tall Stranger: “My wife and I have that exact stroller*, but ours didn’t come with that cover. Where did you get that? We have a three-week old. How old is your baby? Are you able to leave the house much? We don’t. I’m just making a Starbucks run. My wife says our baby is too young to take out, but I’m going to tell her you have yours out. Yours looks so little…”

On and on he went. Bless his heart. And there was I thinking I was being hit on in the Starbucks. Bless my heart.

Either way, I’m racking up the Starbucks rewards points:

*For the record, I did not pay full retail price for the stroller, I got it for $250 thanks to Zulily.