Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bob the Athlete

Bob, Mike, and Bob's co-worker Gabe, participated in a practice sprint triathlon yesterday at Oak Mountain State Park. The weather was absolutely beautiful, as the boys headed out early in the morning. After the race, there was a picnic with a cook-out, beer, and prizes! I scored big with this - Mike won a free massage! Since he lives in Orlando, he gave it to me. Yay!


Mike, (in the white visor) and Gabe (red hat) enjoying the festivities after the race.

Group shot, post-race.

The lake they swam in. Beautiful!

This picture was taken last weekend, during an early morning ride. This was a 55 mile ride. Crazy!

First Trip to the Pool

On Saturday, Bob, Bobby, Mike Cooley (our friend visiting from Orlando), and myself headed up to the pool. We were there in the late afternoon, as it was less crowded, and hot. It was Bobby's first trip, and we are hoping to go there quite a bit this summer.
Here are some pictures to enjoy and document this day!


Here is our neighbor Jonathan with his baby, Harper. Bobby and Harper will be best of friends, I'm sure. Harper is 8 weeks older than Bobby. I thought this was a great picture with Jonathan smiling so proudly!

Of course the boys get to enjoy the sun and booze! Isn't this how it always works out with us moms? Ha ha! Nick is our neighbor across the street on the left. He and his wife Volree are expecting a little boy in September. Bob is in the center, and our friend Mike is on the right.

Bobby and I enjoying the pool, company, and weather.

Bobby and I, Ginger and Harper, and Volree soaking up the shade - ha ha!


Bobby in his stroller at the pool. Cute as a button sleeping!

Just Plain Cute

Here are some sweet photos taken over the weekend. It's hard to believe I should have been 39 weeks pregnant today. And, here I am, holding this little guy, as I type.
(Yes, I am typing with one hand - ahhh!!!)

Daddy loves dressing Bobby in this camo onesie, given to us by my mom's friend, Bettie Janson.



Here are more shots of Bobby w/ his Boppy - ha ha!

Also, how 'bout the Orlando Magic!?!? We were very proud of our hometown team as they won last night, and are headed to the NBA Finals!

One Month Old


Bobby turned One month old on May 30, 2009

Weight: 6 lbs. 4 oz.
Sleeping Patterns: Sleeps for 2 hours, up for 1, and so forth... good sleeper, but noisy. Mommy and Daddy also moved the Pack n' Play in the hallway outside of their room, so they could sleep better.
Eating Habits: Eats every 3 hours on average. Eating breast milk from the bottle. Has recently started eating 3 oz. Has hiccups several times a day.
New discoveries: Eyes are following objects and people more intently.
Accomplishments: Coming home from the NICU @ 12 days old. Head and neck muscles are very strong, he is lifting his head quite a bit. Smiling a lot more, and very cute expressions.
Places you love: Anyone's lap, riding in the stroller and car, and Pack n' Play.
Special Friends: Winston, Harper Woodham
Current Events: Mommy does not have time to pay attention to the news, but it's more talk on the recession most of the time.
What We Did this Day: Went to the pool for 3 hours during the day, and went to the Wades' house for dinner that night. Was very good for both outings!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Queen of ALLL Things Awe-Summm!!!


I am happy to receive my first blog award in the blogosphere!

Thank you Vineyard Vogue!

Here are the rules:

1. List seven things that make me awe-summm!!
2. Pass the award on to seven bloggers I read religiously.
3. Tag those 7 bloggers.
4. Don't forget to link the Queen that tagged me.
5. Copy the link and put it into my sidebar.

Here's who I am tagging:


Here are 7 Awe-Summm things about me:

1. I love my month old baby boy so much, words cannot describe it!
2. I love being a mom, and my husband is an amazing dad.
3. Birmingham did not feel like home to me until Bobby was born. It finally does now.
4. My son was blessed to get my skin! He's a 1/4 Cuban, and those genes are STRONG!
5. I am very organized...but it has fallen to the wayside since Bobby was born.
6. I love our neighborhood we live in now, and hope to be here for a long time.
7. My son is really the cutest baby ever! :-)

If you want to know more about me, click here.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Routines

I have a question for all the moms out there... what type of routine, if any, have you used with your newborn/infant? I have read a couple of books on the subject, and am just curious what other moms (and dads too) have done. We are not on any routine really, as of yet. The pediatrician said to wait until his due date, at the earliest, to start anything. As of now, I am feeding Bobby on demand. On average, he eats every 3 hours, sometimes 4.

Also, this is a random question, but do you change the diaper before each feeding, or after? I seem to change it up every time.

How long did you wait before you took your baby to the grocery store? Did anyone else lack the confidence to take the baby out alone? So far, I've just taken him on a walk by myself. Tomorrow we go to the pediatrician alone. I'm not nervous though, the office is very close to our house.

Finally, here's a cute picture taken today of Bobby. Look at him holding his own pacifier!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When You Wish Upon a Star

This is what I do all day...

Dress Bobby up and take pictures - NOT!

Hanging in his Boppy after a little lunch... (check out the matching socks).

This face cracks me up! He looks like a little old man.

At 4 weeks tomorrow, he's already reaching for the STARS.

Tried to catch him with a smile, but the flash ruined it.


Outfit courtesy of Grandma Ross.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Protective Older Brother

Here we have Winston laying outside our bedroom door...

Guess who's inside napping?

Other news to note:

- Bobby had two outings yesterday! We took him to the pool party in our neighborhood. It was a complete wash (literally!) Bob and I stayed long enough to enjoy some free BBQ, but then headed home due to the rain. We then went to a nearby Mexican restaurant to enjoy some drinks and chips and salsa with some new friends, Bart and Amy. Amy is expecting, and her due date is June 15th. Bobby was an angel during both little adventures!

- We are obsessed with RedBox. Click on the link for more details... We watched Slumdog Millionaire on Friday night. That movie was great! I highly recommend it.

- Bobby is doing wonderful! He's eating every 3-4 hours, and sleeping well. We have a little grunter on our hands (which, is actually labeled as "active sleeping"). He has slept great since day one, but grunts quite a bit. This is what was keeping us up; not his lack of sleep. Anyhow, the pediatrician said this is pretty normal for newborns. I also read online that it is more common in preemie babies. I think he is already starting to outgrow this, as I've noticed him doing it less and less. Or, maybe we are just getting better at what we're doing?!? :-)

Sorry for the lack of a Bobby photo (ahem, grandma's and grandpa's)... I promise to have some during my next post.

But, isn't Winston worthy enough?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Growing Boy

Bobby had his 2nd weight check today with the pediatrician. He has gained 8 oz. in almost a week! The pediatrician was hoping he'd gain at least an ounce a day, and he surpassed that. His weight is now 5 lbs. 10 oz. He's a growing boy!

We are also going to give him an iron vitamin each day. The doctor recommended this, as he missed out on getting my iron the last few weeks of pregnancy. She explained that babies get a ton of iron from their momma while in the womb, from the 32nd week and on. Since he was delivered at 34 weeks, we need to make up for that.

I'm excited to report that he seems to be nursing a lot better these days too. I can now go every other feeding of supplementing him with a bottle. It is a lot of work for me to breast feed, bottle feed, and then have to pump. After also speaking with a lactation consultant two days ago, she predicted he'd be solely on the breast within a month.

Grandma and Grandpa Lee are visiting as well. My mom has made great, big, homemade meals for every meal - breakfast, lunch, dessert, etc... She brought with her some delicious new recipes to try. As I'm typing this, she's making lemon cheesecake with strawberries for dessert. Yum.

Here's a picture of Bobby hanging out in his vibrating bouncy seat yesterday. Some days he loves it, other days, not so much.


Also, Happy Birthday to my sweet niece Victoria! She's 11 today! Wow!

Monday, May 18, 2009

So far, so good...

My parents are coming in today from Orlando, but won't be here until later. So... it's just been Bobby and I all day. I have to say, (knock on wood), that this day has been very nice. He's been great. After each feeding, (which is a ritual in itself), I usually hold him until he falls asleep. Once he's asleep, I'm able to eat, get dressed, clean up, and of course, update my blog!

Now, I'm no idiot. I know everyday is not going to be this way. And, as I am typing this, I am thinking a nap may be in the near future, after his next feeding. Bottom line - it's just nice to know that I CAN DO THIS.

Question for all you mom's out there -

Do you put diaper rash cream on your baby's bum with each change, or only when they have a rash? I have heard conflicting advice, and am just curious. So far, I have not used any, but I am wondering if I should to prevent a future rash from outbreak. Help!

P.S. Huggies diapers suck!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Couch Sweet Couch

In our home, Home Sweet Home, has been replaced with Couch Sweet Couch.

The couch has become hang-out central in our house these past few days. But, I really like it. Bob and I have spent the past couple of days in our pj's, but I think most new parents have days like this in the beginning. It's been raining almost non-stop outside, so it is perfect! Besides, if anyone knows Bob, they know that he is definitely capable of watching movies all day. Today, we've already watched The Burbs, and Greedy - two old comedies. I did actually brush my teeth before noon today. Yesterday, it was 4pm before I changed or brushed my teeth. Although things are kind of hectic, there is a calm sense of peace and happiness in our house too. If only Bob could stay here just a couple of more days before going back to work. Sigh...


My sleeping boys.

Sleeping boys again!

Sweet precious Bobby with Daddy. It was feeding time.

First Walk

Here's a picture of Bobby's first walk in the neighborhood, taken Friday, May 15th. Bobby is 2 weeks, 1 day old in this picture.

He's so content wherever we put him. He sleeps great in his bed, does fine in the car seat and stroller, loves sleeping in his Boppy, and of course, loves to be held.

We are hoping this laid-back baby is here to stay!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Delivery Room Pictures

Hello everyone!

We are doing well here. Bobby turned 2 weeks old yesterday! In celebration, we sat on the front porch for awhile and rocked. It was so nice outside. The Regions Charity Golf Tournament is taking place literally steps from our home. There has been a lot of action in the neighborhood, and noise (grrr...). Bob was able to enjoy some of the festivities yesterday. We may take Bobby in the stroller this weekend, early in the morning. He is really only supposed to be outside for walks when it's cooler in the day.

He's doing great though! Yesterday, the pediatrician did a weight check. When we left the NICU on Tuesday, he weighed 4.9 lbs. At yesterday's check-up, he weighed 5.2 lbs. He's not quite back up to his birth weight, but I am just happy he is thriving at home. He'll go back next week for another weight check, and then again at 2 months.

We also gave him his first bath at home. Go here to see some pictures of it. We put his footprints in his Baby Book, and The Foot Book, by Dr. Seuss.


Bob's parents left today and they were a huge help. We've been so fortunate to have had them here. My parents are coming in on Monday to help. It was nice having dinner made for us, and help with the house chores. I will miss those morning naps when Bob's mom and dad would hold the baby for me, for a couple of hours. We've also been very fortunate with support from our neighbors. They started bringing us home cooked meals on the 11th, and this will continue almost daily, until the 1st of June. Thank you to all the residents on our street!

Finally, here are some pictures from the delivery room. I have finally uploaded the pics from our trip to Seattle (which feels like a lifetime ago...) and Bobby's Birth Day.


Bobby, just minutes old.

Cute little munchkin, weighing in at 5.62 lbs. His length was 18.5 inches. He was quite big for being born at 34 1/2 weeks!

He's probably thinking "put me back in, put me back in!!!"

Picture of the proud parents.

First family picture.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We're home

Bobby came home yesterday! It was a beautiful day here in Birmingham, just in time for his arrival home. Bob and I sat at the hospital all day, and he was finally discharged at 4pm.

He's been so good! He is eating, and sleeping, and of course, filling his diaper every so often ;-)

I was on night duty last night, and was finally relieved of it at 7am this morning. I just woke up, and it is now noon. We are feeding Bobby by bottle when Mommy is not available. Bob's parents are here with us thru Friday, and have been a huge help. I am hoping we establish some kind of routine with the little one, before they leave.

Overall, we are adjusting pretty well as a family. Last night, Bob and I had Bobby in bed with us, and it was perfect. I'm sure anyone with a new baby knows what I am talking about. It's that time of night when everything is so peaceful, and you realize that you finally have the little family you've always dreamed about.

This is just the beginning...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This poem was given to all of the mom's in the NICU...

My Angel

Once upon a time there was a child who was ready to be born, and he had some questions for God.

"They tell me I am going to earth tomorrow, but I want to know how I am going to live there, being so small and helpless?"

"Among the angels, I have chosen one especially for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

"But here in heaven I just sing and smile and that is enough for me to be happy."

"Your angel will sing for you and will smile for you everyday and you will feel your angel's love and you will be happy."

"And how will I understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language that men speak?"

"Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what will I do when I want to talk to You?"

"Your angel will place your hands together and teach you how to pray."

"I have heard that on earth there are bad men, who will protect me?"

"Your angel will defend you, even if it means risking her life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see You anymore."

"Your angel will talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, and I will always be with you."

At that moment there was much peace in heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard, and the child, in a hurry, spoke softly,

"Oh Lord, I am about to leave now. Please tell me my angel's name."

"Your angel's name is of no importance. You will simply call her 'Mommy."

If all goes well, Bobby Ross will be home on Tuesday.

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Two steps forward, one step back...

Today was a pretty good day in the NICU. Bobby is doing great, and the possibility of him being moved into a crib soon is fast becoming a reality. He ate 60 ml this morning! I could not believe it when the nurse told me this. I was there during his 2pm feeding, and he did a great job nursing. I think we are getting the hang of it. After I nursed him, he was pretty sleepy, and did not do too well with the bottle feeding. He was back to about 30 ml. So, he eats like a champ with some feedings, and not so well with others. The nurse predicted he'd be moved into a crib within the next day or so. But, the doctor said in a "few" days...so, we'll just have to wait it out and see. I have a feeling he'll be home by next Wednesday. His weight today was 4 lbs. 11 oz. But, with all newborns, the birth weight is typically gained back within the first two weeks of life.

I am finally feeling a bit more prepared for his homecoming. We still have preparations to do, and another trip or two to Babies R Us. I have most of his belongings that he'll need for the first couple of months downstairs. I think I might start on the nursery too. It will be cute! If what I envision is actually doable. Is that even a word: doable?

Bob's mom has made us another great dinner. We'll eat, and be off again to the hospital for some quality daddy time. Bob's sister Jo is also coming to visit for the weekend. It should be a lot of fun.

P.S. What is going on in the world right now? I haven't watched the news in over a week...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

One Week Old

Robert Jeffrey Ross, III is one week old today!

My favorite picture so far, taken 2 days ago.

I can't believe Bobby is already one week old. This week has flown by. Each day is full of joy, and it is always one day closer to when we can bring him home. Bobby is doing great! He is completely breathing on his own, and at this point, we are just waiting on him. He is currently eating 30 ml per feeding. As mentioned before, he needs to get to 40 ml per feeding before he can be discharged. Today, his IV was removed. The IV was feeding him in the early days, and is now just being used to give him glucose or electrolytes. Once his eating is down, and body temperature stabilized, he will be moved from his condo to a crib. After this, the NICU will observe him for 72 hours before allowing him to go home. With all that being said, we are thinking he'll be home by next Wednesday. I guess I was being overly optimistic about having him home for Mother's Day.

Things on the home front are still a bit chaotic, but ok. Bob's mom is here now, and his dad will be back on Saturday. She's been great about feeding us, helping with the house, and of course, taxi'ing yours truly around. Today we got Winston groomed, in preparation for his little brother's arrival home. Tomorrow, we will finally go to Babies R Us, and get the final supplies we need before Bobby's homecoming. The nursery is still the same - unfinished, unorganized, and a mess. I am thinking I might have my mom and I work on it as a project while my parents are visiting in a couple of weeks. We'll see... I might have time to do it before then. Either way, he won't be sleeping up there for a couple of months.

There is certainly a range of emotions I feel daily. I feel happy the most though, because Bobby is improving, and on the home stretch. If this was not the case, I have no idea how I'd be coping. I still cry almost daily though. Yesterday I cried because the NICU was closed when we arrived in the morning, and I had to wait to see him. Today, I cried because I just wish Bob did not have to be back at work through all of this. I guess my hormones are going to be on overdrive for awhile!

I have so much more to say, but we have to eat so we can get back to the hospital. We love you all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Photo Link

Go here to access the picture gallery of Bobby!

Exhausted...but, Happy

Hello everyone!

I am one exhausted momma, but very happy! Today was a great day. Bobby is breathing completely on his own, and has been, since this morning. He also started eating by bottle yesterday. I attempted to breast feed him yesterday too, but he's still learning (as am I). He is eating my breast milk that I have been pumping, and they are also supplementing with formula when needed. Bob has taken to calling me a milk factory. Ahhh...sweet husband he is!

The prognosis is very good. Basically, the timeline for him going home is to first make sure he is breathing normally on his own. And, second, to make sure he is eating at least 40 ml per meal, for a couple of days. Right now, he is eating about 25 ml per meal. He is having a little bit of difficulty with the sucking and swallowing, but that's to be expected. I am hoping and praying to have him home by Mother's Day, but we'll see...

My wonderful father-in-law has captured everything on film, and has posted pictures on his website:

http://rjross.smugmug.com/gallery/8095321_unNzK#527577506_GxUJx

Please let me know if the link does not work. He is updating his website daily, so always check back for recent pictures.

One of these days, I'll stop being lazy, and post some pictures. Ha! In all honesty, the days are not long enough. Between visiting Bobby in the NICU, pumping, and recovering, I don't have time for much else. Actually, shamefully, I think I really only "relaxed" for about an hour today. I need to give myself time to get over the surgery. Thankfully, Bob's parents have been a tremendous help. I also cannot thank everyone enough for the packages, food, gifts, etc... that we are still receiving. I am sorry if you have called, texted, or emailed me. I am trying to return as many of these as possible. One day at a time... One day at a time. That is what I keep reminding myself.

Emotionally, I am feeling much better. As long as my beautiful baby boy keeps improving, I am a happy camper. Bob is back at work, and visits Bobby during lunch and at night. He is going to take the rest of his vacation time when he comes home. I cannot wait for our family to be together as one.

Thanks again for all your support. I will try and update you each day, but it may be every couple of days. We love you all!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Night Update

Hello to all of our loved ones! I am in much better spirits today. Bobby is doing well, and I am recovering nicely. Yesterday was a hard day for me. The reality of what is happening had sunk in, and I was in pretty bad pain too. Today, Bobby was placed in an incubator. They call the incubators "condos" in the NICU. It is so true though. They are big, spacious, and quiet. He really likes the peace and quiet, and the white noise of the machine, I think. He was placed in one because the doctor felt like he was getting too irritated with all the noise, and therefore his oxygen numbers were not decreasing. He also has a bit of jaundice, but this is pretty normal for a lot of newborns. His numbers today have been great! At last report, his oxygen level was at 23%. Remember, we are trying to get it down to 20%. The doctor says once his oxygen is normal, we can move onto things like me holding him (yay!) and feeding him. It is so hard to not be able to hold him. I want to bond with him desperately. I stroke him as often as I can, but I don't like to do that so often, as anything that irritates him causes his oxygen levels to increase. The nurses in the NICU are great. They have said that he gives them a run for their money. He is very active, and they are constantly trying to make him comfortable. If he was a girl, I'd say he's a Diva in training! All I know, is that each time he is uncomfortable, and starts crying, his numbers go up. And, of course, I start crying. I can't help it. I do have to admit that his cries are so cute sounding though. You might have to remind me of saying that in a few weeks when he is home howling! :-)

As for me, like I mentioned, the pain today has subsided greatly. My doctor upped my pain medication, to what I feel like is finally the right amount. I take 10mg of Loritab every 4 hours. After the c-section I was taking morphine, and was very allergic to it. I was itching like crazy and was given Benadryll a few times. I think this is pretty normal though, as I have heard other new moms in the hall asking for Benadryll. I am having my staples removed tomorrow before being discharged. My milk has come in too, and I am pumping and saving it for Bobby. He is still eating through an IV.

I think tomorrow will be a hard day for us. It is hard enough having your baby in the NICU, but now we will have to leave him here overnight. I know it is the best thing for him, but I hate to leave him. It makes me tear up just thinking about it. Please continue to pray for our family.

Again, thank you for all that have reached out to us during this time. I finally checked my messages on my phone today, and appreciate the messages. Everyone has been wonderful, and we look forward to getting back to you all soon!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Baby Blues

Bob and I were in the NICU earlier, and Bobby opened his eyes a few times! This has made my day! You have no idea what it's like to see your baby do something simple like that! He was really fussy this morning, and of course with my hormones, I was a mess. If he cries, I cry.

Anyhow, he is doing much better this afternoon. He has opened his baby blue's a couple of times. And, his oxygen level was in the low 40's.

I'm up in the room now resting, and snacking. I have to come up every couple of hours to pump. We'll report more later!

Thanks for the sweet comments and prayers.

Bobby Update

Hello to all of our family, friends, and readers!

This is Jen, finally feeling up to some computer time. It is about 9am here, and I am awaiting my lovely hospital breakfast. Yesterday's was not so bad, but that was after a whole day on liquids. My days are so confusing, as I have been admitted in the hospital since Wednesday afternoon.

The birth of Bobby was amazing, yet a blur. The epidural was fine, but I definitely felt out of it. I remember most of that day, but it was also one big haze. I am still in a bit of pain, but up and at 'em, as best as possible.

Bobby is in the NICU still. He'll be there at least thru Thursday, as far as we know. They may keep him shorter, or longer, depending on his lungs getting stronger. Room air that we breathe is 20% oxygen, the machine that he is on is at 50% oxygen. The point is to get his number down to 20% oxygen. They are slowly trying to wean him off. In my daze, I did not really realize all this was happening until yesterday.

I have to say that this has been very hard for me. I am crying as I type this. It's not fair that I've only held my baby once. I want to bond with him so badly, but all I can do is stroke him. He's so cute too. He hasn't opened his eyes yet either. They are swollen shut, due to the oxygen mask he has to wear. Bob and I can hear the baby in the room crying next to us, and this morning we both said that is something we want so badly right now. But, we both know that he's getting the best care possible. This just all happened so fast. He was supposed to be inside me for another 5 weeks.

Right now, our days consist of seeing Bobby in the NICU, me pumping, eating, and resting. I am really wanting my milk to come in, so he can eat when he's ready. Right now, Bobby's eating through an IV.

We have a TON of pics to share, but our cord is at home. Bob's parents are here from Peachtree City, so maybe we can get them to bring it. I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on, and more specifically to ask for prayers. Please pray that Bobby's lung continue to grow stronger each day. Please pray that we may bring him home sooner, rather than later. And, please pray for our own strength.

Thanks to all those that have called, sent emails, comments, flowers, and visited. We really appreciate it!

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