January 29, 2009

Happy One Month Abby Lu

Abby Lu's One Month Check Up

This morning we got up and out in the COLD for Abby's one month check up. Our pediatrician does an extra appointment at the one month mark to avoid us going 6 weeks (from 2 weeks to 2 months) without an appointment. I appreciated it as it gave us a chance to discuss our new feeding plan and confirm it is working and her weight gain is normal. We also wanted to know if the screening tests we had done at her last appointment had come back and confirm all was normal.

We are beginning to settle into our new feeding routine. Abby feeds every 2 hours during the day. She takes about 4 ounces at each feeding. I am nursing the majority of the time- only adding 2 ounces of formula if she is still hungry after nursing for 30 minutes or if I was able to pump some extra to allow Marcus to feed her.

We are letting her sleep at night as long as she wants and are finding (after 3 nights) that she wants to sleep. We do our last feeding around 10 PM and she can go until 5:30 ish. Unfortunately, I can not go that long so I will wake her or get up and pump around 2:30ish. I hope this pattern continues as it works for us and proved fruitful on the scale!

Weight- 9 lbs. 3 ounces (50th percentile)
This is one pound more than her birth weight and up 9 ounces from our appointment last week. I was hoping to see 9 pounds as it would have been "normal" healthy gain. Both Marcus and I can really see the extra weight on her- she seems a little chunkier around the middle and in her face.

Height- 22 inches (75-90th percentile)
Yea- she is getting bigger and longer! She is up 1.25 inches from her birth. That is a lot of length to add in just one month. Wow!

Head Circumference- 38.5 cm (75-90th percentile)
Her brain is growing also! Yea Abby! She is up 2 cm from her last appointment.

Speaking of her head, I was able to capture a picture of her hair color under the bright lights of the doctor's office. Who knows if it will last, but it is the most wonderful shade of strawberry blond. I love it!

January 28, 2009

I'm About to Get Mad...

Whats this 'rested' feeling?

So I have heard from some veterans at the parent thing...that the first time you sleep through the night...its like  "whoa!" experience.  We had a taste of that

10:20pm: Abby goes down.  Kinda fussy, a little tired, ate a little bit.  Anna puts her down with the expectation that we will be up 'soon'.

1:30am - I wake up, look around, and check to make sure the kiddo has not relocated herself to the floor, or anything silly like that.  Nope, snoozing away.  mmk...let's sleep while we can, she'll wake us up soon.

3:15am - so use to being up at this time, I wake up.  Kid still asleep, where we left her.  Better hurry and get back to sleep, she will awaken any second.

5:25am - really?  did I miss something?  Did the wifey get up and take care of junior, and I miss it?  well...its an hour till I get up.....let it ride...

6:38am - are you kidding me?  Ok, seriously, going to get the kiddo and wake her up! 

8:30 - Gonna toot on my horn here...Let Anna have a couple hours more sleep ;) 

I have been doing all that I can at work today, because I have a strong feeling that lil Abby is going balance our REM karma here and pull an all nighter.  

By the way, I now introduce myself to customers with the age of my child and my number of hours of sleep.  "Im Marcus, I have a 4 week old, last night, we got 4 hours of sleep."  I find this disclaimer very useful.  Because when I am a space cadet, they look at me, nod, and say "I understand" rather than "what is wrong with you son?"

Quick trivia fact, a baby's cry is about the same decibels as a leaf blower, or a chainsaw.  Yep.


January 26, 2009

A Nice Break

I took a little break from my excessive HGTV watching to welcome company today. My cousin Kristi and her daughters Landry and Bella came over and brought me lunch! They were so sweet to love on Abby Lu and give me an adult break in the middle of my day.

Thank you so much for coming to visit and for bringing me Chick-fil-a. I hope we can play again soon!

BTW, watching this much HGTV has made me want to redecorate every room in my house. It makes for a very expensive maternity leave. I seriously need help!

January 24, 2009

This Little Piggy...

I saw this photo on a photographer's website and loved it. It just shows you how tiny her feet really are. I could not get her to be still for anything- this photo is really best done when they are brand new and have no idea there is something hanging off their toes!

January 23, 2009

Abby's Big Trip to South Austin

This afternoon I ventured out of the house and all the way to South Austin for Abby to visit with her Grandpa and Ja Ja (my Dad and stepmom). It was so nice to get out of the house for a longer stretch of time.

Overall, she was good for our trip. She slept in the car to and fro and was happy once she received her bottle at their house. She was awake and active for a while and then fell asleep in Jacque's arms while being rocked.

The whole trip wore her out- she konked again after her feeding when we were back home.

January 22, 2009

Enjoying her Swing

Thank you all for your advice, experience and encouragement as we determine Abby's new menu. From your responses, I know I am not alone. Many of you have or are currently experiencing the same issue.

I am thrilled to report she is a happy camper with a full stomach. I have fed her a bottle three times since yesterday afternoon and after each feeding, she has been content or napping until the next feeding. I really think we are onto something.

With a full stomach, she is also enjoying her swing! It is nice to sit her down somewhere and have her remain content. She can swing and swing and swing! Thank you Alison for the wonderful swing. It is coming in mighty handy!

With a Grateful Heart

Marcus and I are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family as we celebrate our new baby girl.

I can not even begin to tell you the number of presents this sweet baby girl has received. Each day when we check the mail we are amazed that she has more mail. The gifts have all been so heartfelt and special. They are pieces we will treasure for a long time. The number of monogrammed pieces is almost embarrassing. If anyone else names their child Abby Lu, I've got a car load for you!

On top of goodies in the mail, we are enjoying such wonderful homemade dinners from our church family. I promise you Marcus and I do not eat this well on our own. It is definitely a blessing to have dinner arrive each night allowing us to focus on our daughter and each other.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, called/emailed/texted to check on us, sent us such wonderful gifts, and brought over yummy meals to keep us going. We truly appreciate it all and are so grateful to have loving friends and family caring for us.

January 21, 2009

Abby's First Bottle

I took Abby to the pediatrician this afternoon. She has been an angel at night and really inconsolable during the day. She doesn't nap for more than 10-15 minutes and if she isn't feeding or sleeping, she is crying. I wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with her as the crying has gotten worse. She turns purple, stops breathing (or so it sounds) and the veins in her head stick out... for hours!
We are temporarily ruling out reflux because she doesn't ever spit up and colic because it happens all day long and not during the typical colic hours. Since she only gained 3 ounces in the past 8 days, Dr. Sperling thinks she may be hungry. Since there is not a measuring cup on what I am putting out, we decided to try supplementing every other daytime feeding with a bottle. It can be pumped milk or formula.
I left the office with some formula samples and tried a bottle as soon as I got home. Girlfriend gulped down 4 ounces without stopping to breathe! Since that bottle, over an hour ago, she has not cried at all. I hope we are onto something!
Since she seems to be content at night (possibly because she is such a good sleeper, she may not even know she is hungry), I will continue to feed at night and try pumping one side while feeding at 2 and 6 AM. Hopfeully that will yield enough to let me know how much she is getting and also provide nourishment for the daytime supplements.
It is a relief to know she is healthy and to see her happy this afternoon. Not knowing why she is crying is the hardest part of being a parent thus far. I had tried everything I could think of and couldn't even lower the pitch of the screaming. When does she learn to talk again?

January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Granpa

Dear Granpa,

I hear you also have a birthday this week. Wow- I'll get to eat lots of cake in a couple of years! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and that you come and visit me again soon.

Love, Abby Lu

January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Grammy

Dear Grammy,
Daddy told me today is your birthday. Since I am still learning my letters, he helped me make a sign just for you. I'll see you again soon.
Love, Abby Lu

January 17, 2009

Meeting Kyleigh

Miss Kyleigh is no longer sick and my Mom brought her and Cohen to our house this afternoon to get her chance to hold Abby Lu. You might recall she was sick when Abby was born and was really sad she couldn't come into my hospital room and hold her.

It was crazy to see Kyleigh as the big girl. She is our little Kyleigh! She was quiet, soft, and slow with Abby and did a great job. She knew to anti-bac her hands, hold Abby's head, and pat her when she cried. She was a wonderful big cousin.

19 Days: Daily Photo Session

Abby Lu was in a good mood this morning so I snapped away and caught a few cute pictures of our pretty girl.

January 16, 2009

Bye Marlena!

Marcus' co-worker Marlena is leaving his team to take a job in Iraq! Today is her last day.

I know Marcus and I will miss you. We pray that you love your new job, that is takes you all the places you want to go, and that it keeps you safe.

Keep in touch!

What is this zipper thing?

Today I took a break and ran out for one hour in BLUE JEANS! It felt great to not be in sweat pants or yoga pants. However, it has been months since I wore pants with a zipper!

Plus, I wore pre-maternity jeans because I weighed in today at my pre-baby weight. Amazing! I have no idea how, but if it is because I am breastfeeding, I may have to breastfeed until she is 20 or I weigh 120!

January 13, 2009

Two Week Appointment

This morning we awoke sleeping beauty and went to the pediatrician for our 2 week check-up. Our hope at this appointment was for her to have regained her birth weight. It is the best indicator that she is eating well. When nursing, you just don't know how much fluid and nutrients they are getting. It isn't like a bottle where you can ensure a set number of ounces are consumed. We also were dreading the screening tests. A needle in our little girl didn't sound like fun.

We were thrilled to hear she had regained her birth weight and was growing beautifully!

Weight- 8 lbs. 6 ounces (50th percentile)
That is up 3 ounces from her birth weight and almost one pound since her last appointment. Yea! Since she has regained nicely, we are now able to extend the nighttime feeding to 6 hours. I know- amazing! We'll see if she can go that long. We are currently 5 hours between feedings at night.

Length- 21 inches (75th percentile)

Head circumference- 36.5 cm (60th percentile)

The screening tests were not that bad. She was pricked in the heel one time and then blood was squeezed out to fill several little circles on special paper. She turned bright red and cried, but I was able to soothe her in my arms for the entire test. Marcus on the other hand was inconsolable. He actually wouldn't look at her until the testing was complete. And, before the test, he promised her a car. I really need to get him under control!

January 12, 2009

2 Weeks: Daily Photo Session

Check out our sweet baby girl hanging out in Mama's chair in the living room. Can you see the red in her hair? Oh dear Lord, please keep it red!

Her onesie is from one of her fashion godmothers Johnna and says, "the best thing since sliced bread". I love it!

January 11, 2009

Meeting Grammy

This weekend Marcus' Mom/ Carol/ Grammy came to town to meet Abby Lu. It was great to see her loved on by another doting family member.

Check out her super cute onesie- as the first grandchild for Grammy, I am pretty sure she is the family favorite for now.

January 10, 2009

Date Night

Before my Mom leaves us on Monday, Marcus and I decided to sneak out for a date! It was a well orchestrated event occurring near the house and at the Senior Citizen dinner hour to avoid delaying Abby's feeding. We did out best to avoid the topics of poo, pee, gas, and burping during the meal.

January 08, 2009

Abby Lu's First Walk

This afternoon Marcus and I took Abby Lu on her first walk outside. She hasn't left the house since her arrival 8 days ago.
When I put her in the car seat/stroller, she seemed calm and then when I walked away to get the camera, she got upset.

However, once we opened the door and began rolling down the driveway she was out! Yahoo! It is nice to know another method to calm her when needed.
Getting out was nice. We walked a few blocks and came home. I hope to extend that distance each week so that we can enjoy the sporadic nice weather together.

January 07, 2009

Bikinis in our Future?

Abby Lu's umbilical cord stump fell off during a diaper change late today. Her belly button looks good. Thank goodness, the purple clamp was a bit intimidating. I think we'll stick with the sponge bath a little longer, but we won't have to be as careful now.

January 06, 2009

8 Days: Our Daily Photo Session

Gotta love seeing all of these cute clothes and accessories come to life on her!
PS- Note the stretching of her toes. Marcus can seperate his big toe and second toe for a mile and I am known to pick up things off the floor with my toes (which came in very handy late in pregnancy!). It looks like she could have super human toe talents!

Shots for Mommy and Daddy

Marcus and I visited our family physician this afternoon to get our whooping cough shots. Abby Lu's pediatrician recommended we get them since it is a high risk sickness for infants and she is unable to get the shot.

After all of the shots I have received, it wasn't that bad. For Marcus, he made a funny face and has complained his arm is sore all day. Wuss!

I loved the nurse we saw. She asked why we would come in on a Tuesday afternoon for whooping cough shots. I told her we just had a baby and our pediatrician recommended it. She was shocked that I had an 8 day old baby. She said I looked good. How nice! I like her! I have lost a lot of the baby weight already and can wear some of my regular pants. Between giving birth and nursing, it is coming off quickly which is nice since I didn't start out a size 4! I am 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. Yea! Yea!

PS- My shoes fit just fine now that the IV fluids have left my feet. Sorry, no massive shoe sale!

Favorite Burping Position

As with any new baby, this week has been spent learning what Abby Lu likes and dislikes. I have always burped babies on my shoulder. It feels most comfortable and safe with a fragile little one. However, I was really having a hard time getting Abby to burp. So, in my reading while feeding, I came across this position.
You bounce the baby with one hand under their chin and another under their bottom five times slowly. This brings up the air bubbles like shaking a soda can. Then, you burp her in this same position with your hand under your chin. It immediately calms her and she just leans into your hand and you feel her body loosen. It looks pretty funny, but it works!

Her Favorite Sleeping Position

Can you guess how Abby Lu likes to be held? My girlfriend Chandra always mentioned her favorite position was holding her daughter like this and feeling her breath on her neck. I agree! As a bonus, this position allows for lots of head and face kissing.

January 05, 2009

The top five of 2008

The past couple of years we have summed up the year with our "Top 5" of the year. 2007 had some awesome memories, but 2008....a whirlwind to say the least.
So the top 5 things in the Jenks life in 2008 are as follows:
#5 The Texas Tech University
This past year saw the Texas Tech Red Raiders go from being the unnoticed small school of the West Texas plains, to becoming the number 2 ranked power house with two Heisman candidates. They ended up beating the then ranked number 1 UT Horns, but fell short to the Oklahoma Sooners. The Big 12 South was a three way tie between the three schools, so naturally in the event of a tie, Texas Tech is not considered important (not bitter though).
Since the Heisman committee decided to not invite Graham (even though he was talked about nationally for months) to the ceremony for the Heisman, he and Leach instead decided to hang out with President Bush.
#4 Aloha to Kauai
One of the unexpected and amazing things for us occurred during October, when I got nominated to go to Kauai for Avnet's President Club. The trip was amazing....truly amazing. I drank deep from the Avnet punch, and I am trying to figure out what I can do to get back there for the 2009 President's Club!
The timing was perfect....we just got there and back before Anna really got limited by being pregnant. It was our 'babymoon'.

#3 Getting knocked up
The little plus sign that Anna got on the walgreens pregnancy was a huge symbol for something
that was a major part of our life for months. Through infertility treatments, doctor's appointments, insurance, paperwork, and just general work, we had gotten our goal. Anna was knocked up. It was a sigh of relief, and a realization that another chapter of our life was coming.
#2 New Stuff!
In March, we got the house...May, the truck, October the Equinox. It just seemed like the right time on these things, and besides, debt makes a sales guy work harder! The house and Equinox, obvious must haves in order to get ready for the baby...and um...the truck with dual headers and 5.4 liter V8 engine...that...was....too....

#1 Lil Abby Lu

What a wacky ride to get to the point. On December 29th, lil Abby was born. just one week....one week...and we have learned a lot about her. Its a mixure of being speechless, and knowing that I cannot fit everything I want to say in this one post. Truly...life changing...

bring on 2009. Cheers.


January 03, 2009

RSV is Scary

Kyleigh was unable to see Abby Lu in the hospital because she was showing signs of a cold or allergies. It broke my heart to see her so sad waiting in the hallway. Marcus hung out with her and took her on a special trip to get our lunch with him.

Having personal experience with RSV through Cohen, our nephew, Marcus and I are very aware of just how scary it can be. Cohen got RSV when he was less than one month old and was in the NICU for days. He went to the hospital by ambulance and was hooked up to multiple machines and was sedated. We want to avoid this at all costs for Abby.

We asked the pediatrician about it and she recommended we keep Abby Lu at home for the first six weeks, cover her in a blanket when waiting in the doctor's office, make everyone wash their hands, use lots of anti-bac, and of course avoid anyone with illness. Marcus and I and both of our parents had our flu shots and Marcus and I have appointments for whooping cough shots on Tuesday. Having a winter baby requires a good deal of extra precautions!

I know many of you want to see Abby Lu and we would love to show her off. Hopefully, the blog will suffice until we are beyond the 6 week point. We worked so hard to get her here that we want to be extra careful to make sure she is safe and healthy through this volatile period.

Worth the Wait

Many months ago my sister bought me this pink onesie that reads, "Worth the Wait". The fact that it exists reminds you how many people are waiting on their own little blessing.

In the hospital, Abby Lu was fussy and the photographer handed her to me and said to her, "I'll give you to your Mommy to calm you down." It made me teary eyed. So many times I have held everyone else's sweet babies and handed them off for comfort when they needed it. Now, I get to be the Mommy who can calm the baby like no other. No doubt, I don't want a baby that only can be held by me, but it is nice to know she recognizes my scent, touch or face and wants me sometimes.

Seriously, who could resist this fat little squished up face? Not me!

Mom's First Trip Out

I left the house this morning with Mom for a quick outing. I had 2 hours maximum until feeding time was due up again. I am learning how much can be accomplished in 2 hour spurts!

Feeding for the past few days, I have realized I need more table top space in arms' reach of the big yellow nursing chair. I need to access burp cloths, a book to read, a radio, my bottled water, etc. So, we ran into IKEA for 2 cheap little tables. Check out these cute red ones! They will make great nightstands when she has a toddler bed.

With the new red tables, I needed to get rid of the one green one I had bought that Target no longer carries in the store. So, while at IKEA I bought 2 stools for $7.99 each and made her a little play area in the corner. I can envision future tea parties at this fun little table. Until then, her little friends and cousins can play.

In my two hours, I also managed to run into Harry and David at the outlet mall for more yummy pears and into Walgreens for our photo order and a couple of toiletries.

If you read closely, you'll realize that Marcus was alone with Abby Lu for these two hours. He did wonderfully and did not call me or panic at all. She also saved her first "explosion" for the time alone with him. Good work little one!


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