Monday, September 26, 2005

Family Time

Well, it appears Rita wreaked havoc elsewhere. Our area was spared. Unfortunately, someone had to get the worst of it, and it looks like Beaumont and the Lake Charles area got it. New Orleans came away in bad (worse) shape too. Robert has reported to me that there was no damage to our home. I don't even think we ever lost power.

Although our journey out of town was a horrible experience, we made it to San Antonio and the time we spent here has been great. I'm still here with Sofia, but Robert went back for work. It's actually nice that my dad got to see his new granddaughter. I didn't think that would happen until Thanksgiving or Christmas. He is very taken with Sofia. He can hold her for hours and marvels over her perfect little hands and feet and lips and ears. He loves her big eyes. Of course, I think she's beautiful too. She has had many visitors in my parents' house. All of her cousins have come to see her. I didn't really want her making her grand entrance into the world until she was six weeks old, but oh well. We had to work with what we were given. I didn't like all the kids trying to paw at her, but I made sure they all washed their hands and understood that I meant business.

We even went out to dinner with one of my sisters and some friends while we were here. My mom was more than happy to take care of Sofia and kept her happy with bottles of breastmilk while we were gone. I had a margarita at dinner and I swear she slept for what seemed like forever after I breastfed her later. Was it the drink?

I decided to stay a few more days. Robert will come back on Friday to get me and Sofia (he took he cats back with him), and we may trek over to the Austin area to visit more family and show off Sofia at that time. We just haven't decided.

Friday, September 23, 2005


We left Texas City around 5 pm Wednesday afternoon after a long day of stressing out, packing, putting hurricane covers on the windows, and just trying to get the house ready for the worst. I wanted to leave a lot earlier, but it just didn't happen that way. By the time they announced that Rita was up to a Cat 5 status, we were worried that our house wouldn't be there when we got back so we kicked into overdrive and started packing everything but the kitchen sink into our two vehicles. We stacked furniture in hopes to save what little we could in the event of flooding. We took our CDs and DVDs. We took our bikes. We took one kayak. Both cars were loaded to the maximum. Then we got the kitties into their carriers, Sofia into her carseat and made our way out of the city. Easier said than done. The drive to San Antonio from home was one of the most horrible experiences ever.

We took highway 6 around Houston instead of going straight through the city. We decided to take highway 90 to San Antonio instead of I-10 West. Just getting to highway 90 took us about 10 hours. The traffic was bumper-to-bumper and absolutely unreal. We had gassed up both cars Tuesday night so we started with full tanks of gas. Robert had Sofia and Whiskers in the jeep. I had Trouble and Buxy in the car. We had walkie talkies to talk to each other the whole way. Cell phones just weren't cutting it. Most calls weren't going through due to the flood of activity. The whole scene was surreal. People had horses in trailers, people were pulling their boats, motorcycles, trailers, everything.

The drive was long and painful. For a while I thought we were going to have to leave the jeep behind because it was seriously acting up and the check engine light came on and stayed on. I freaked out because I didn't know how we'd fit our stuff into our tiny car. I didn't want to leave the jeep and all the stuff in it on the side of the road. At first we drove like troopers and did our best to keep our spirits up. We stopped to feed the Sofia and change her diapers every few hours. We stopped to grab something to eat. But as time went on I started to freak out. The cats hadn't eaten and had no place to go to the bathroom. We were barely out of Houston and Robert was nearing half a tank of gas. EVERY SINGLE GAS STATION WAS OUT OF GAS. I thought we would run out of gas and be stuck on the side of the road. The check engine light came on in the car I was driving. I began thinking about how our house may not be there when we got back if Rita hit close. I called my brother-in-law on Robert's suggestion, who said he would bring us gas to get us to San Antonio if we needed him to.

I had called my parents several times to let them know what was going on and where we were. By 2:30 am I was near tears. Okay, I was in tears. We had tried to get gas several times with no luck. We debated cutting across to drive on I-10, not knowing which way would be faster or safer if we ran out of gas. I was terrified of running out of gas with the cats and the baby in the cars. Finally we ended up on a road between 10 and 90 and into a town called Fulshear, where we tried again, unsuccessfully, to get gas. There were people all over the gas station just waiting for the gas trucks to come (it was like this at most of the gas stations we stopped at). Robert calmed me down, bought some food for us to eat, coffee to stay awake, got cat food and fed the cats. I fed the baby once again and changed her diaper. I realized that EVERYONE was going through the same thing. We made the decision to keep driving as far as we could and that we would take 90 instead of I-10. We wanted to try and at least make it to Gonzales , TX on the gas we had and if we ran out, well...then we would ask my family to bring us gas. This was around 3:30 am.

After driving a couple of more hours, we happened upon a Conoco gas station with super long lines. It actually had gas! We waited, filled up (but even that was an ordeal because our bank card wasn't working. Luckily we have more than one bank account), and made our way out of there! After that, things went pretty smoothly. The cats seemed a little better. Sofia was doing well. She was just all sweaty from being in her car seat. We were in Shiner, TX by 6:30 am, and in San Antonio by 10 am. I had never been so happy to see the city limits sign for San Antonio.

All in all, it took us about 17 hours to get from Texas City to San Antonio. I fed Sofia in gas station parking lots, and in a Denny's. Trouble peed in her cat carrier. Sofia was oblivious to it all (thank God). Buxy and all the cats were traumatized. I am thankful we left when we did and made it all the way to San Antonio. I'm happy we had somewhere to go. I'm happy our Sofia is safe. I'm happy the cats are okay. I hope our house is there when we get back and that our belongings are okay. Hell, I hope the storm hits somewhere else. But if it does hit our area, and our stuff is destroyed, I'm still happy that we're all okay. I hope wherever Rita hits, that the damage is minimal and lives are spared.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hurricanes suck

Galveston county has issued a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Rita effective tomorrow (or today -- since it's after midnight), so we're taking our baby and our cats and getting the hell out of dodge. Being in Texas City now, we're in the flood zone. So right now, Robert and I are going crazy trying to pack all of our shit so we can get to San Antonio tomorrow. I'm hoping for the best. I don't want to have to think about damage to our stuff or our home.

Sunday, September 18, 2005


So my brother flaked out on me. But I can't say I'm upset because he couldn't come because all of his kids are sick. One's got allergies, one is getting over a stomach virus, and his littles one has been running a fever. Yeah, I thought it best that they stay away too. I don't want my baby getting sick. I think I'm about to become kind of freakish about germs now that we have Sofia, which is a new thing for me. I even added Clorox wipes to my grocery list. It's the commercial with the lady using the chicken hind quarter as a sponge that did it. Gross.

We finally got to take that walk yesterday. It was nice. We walked all around the neighborhood, although we had to wait until 6:30 pm to do it. The heat is way too unbearable anytime before that. I guess it doesn't help that this subdivision is so new that there are no big trees anywhere (gosh, I miss living in the middle of Houston). When is anything vaguely resembling autumn going to appear here in southeast Texas? Anyway, we used the travel system car seat/stroller combo that my mother-in-law got us. It's one of those Graco coach rider ones. She got it second hand, but it's in good condition. The only thing is, well, the thing is giant! Seriously, I felt like I was rolling a tank around. I'm not sure that thing is going to fly when we have real outings. I do not want to wheel that giant stroller around. I think we'd be better off using the Baby Bjorn, which we just got as a gift a couple of weeks ago courtesy of more family. Speaking of gifts, I still can't believe how many gifts we got for the baby. A bunch of guys from work even went in on the glider/ottoman combo that I registered for. I thought that was really cool.

But back to the subject of outings...I can't wait until we can actually have outings with the baby. I'll actually start to feel normal again. First on my outings agenda is going to the Angelika theater for the Cry Baby Matinee to see a movie. Although before we do that as a family, I may still try to catch a La Leche League meeting on my own with Sofia.

Oh, I managed about twenty minutes on the treadmill today. Of which I was very proud. I did it before Robert went to work so he could pick up Sofia in case she woke up and had a screaming fit, but I may be brave and try it during the day tomorrow. You know, with her in her bouncy seat right where I can watch her. I figure I should start at least walking. I've been eating like I'm still pregnant, and although I know I'm burning more calories because of this breastfeeding thing, I also know I can't stay ahead of the game by eating Doritos and cookies all the time. And the extra flab that just won't go away is really starting to bother me. It would be nice if I could fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans sometime before the year is over.

My little angel, who has been sleeping for a couple of hours, is now making little grunting about-to-wake-up noises. I was hoping she'd sleep until Robert got home from work. That way he can change her diaper...darn.

Friday, September 16, 2005


We have more visitors coming tomorrow. Gosh, we've had a busy week! My mother-in-law came to visit last weekend, which was nice. My best friend from high school came to visit me on Wednesday and left yesterday. That was awesome. I had so much fun just hanging out with her! She had a son two years ago and is a great mom. It was just really cool having her here. She left her man and her little boy in San Antonio and missed them but we had a great time. I had forgotten how much I missed her. It's nice having moms around who can answer questions about these first weeks and just motherhood in general. She brought me What to Expect the First Year, which I've been reading nonstop already. I can't wait until she visits again. Tomorrow my brother's coming to visit me. And he's bringing the whole familia. His familia, that is. His wife and his three sons! Whew. They are adorable. His oldest is 9 and his youngest is 8 months, so I know this visit will be interesting. They're only coming for one night, so if it's a little overwhelming, that's okay.

Today was nice, just Robert, me and Sofia. I wanted to get outside to take our first walk together, but it rained and rained all day. Heavy rain with thunder and lightning. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. We did give our baby a bath. And even though her umbilical stump is gone completely (I have no idea where to keep this stump either that the pediatrician gave us by the way -- it's still wrapped in a tissue in my purse) -- we have yet to give her a full bath. You know,immersing her in water and all. So we're still doing the sponge baths. She really loves getting her hair washed and GOD does she look cute!

All in all, things are good. I think Sofia had another growth spurt earlier in the week because for two to three days she couldn't get enough to eat. She was almost - quite literally - attached to my boob every five minutes. This is okay with me because I want her to grow big and strong, but truth be told...I could do without waking up to change her, feed her, burp her, change her again, and rock her back to sleep once or twice or night. But she's worth it.

Oh yeah, I am so pissed that I missed Survivor last night. Sucks.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Friday, September 09, 2005


Robert went back to work yesterday, leaving Sofia and me to fend for ourselves. We do okay. I am happy to say that my hormones no longer feel like they're raging. I always thought the baby blues were a bunch of B.S.. Nope, they are the real deal! I can't believe how freaked out I was just a few days ago. I felt like I was getting anxiety attacks. The self-doubt and magnitude of everything kept hitting me, and I just felt like I couldn't deal with it. Even yesterday after a successful doctor's visit on Wednesday, I started slightly freaking out because Sofia wasn't latching on and was only breastfeeding for ten minutes at a time. But she kept having good diapers through today, and I read that if your infant starts nursing for smaller amounts of time, it may be because he/she has learned to get the milk more efficiently. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding has proven to be one of my best buys. It really has a ton of good information, including all the reasons why breastmilk is so great. It makes you feel really good about breastfeeding. Today, my wee Sofie been eating pretty regularly, and I was in good spirits. Overall, yesterday and today went very well. I'm starting to feel like a real, live mom.

One of my friends from work came to visit me today. He's such a sweetie. He brought me all kinds of goodies like a huge bottle of Dreft, and diapers and wipes and US Weekly to read, and some candy.

We let the cats back in our room about a week ago because not only was Buxy scratching and crying at the door, he was ripping the carpet by the door. So we caved and let him in. He's been very good too. He's very respectful of the baby. He doesn't like it when she cries though. His ears go back. Trouble comes around too to lounge on our bed. She is very curious about the baby but is scared too. She got real close the other day and licked Sofia's hair. Robert and I had a good laugh about that. Whiskers has kept her distance and has been sleeping on the futon in one of the other bedrooms.

I'm looking forward to my mother-in-law's visit tomorrow. She'll be all about holding Sofia and oohing and ahing. This is all fine by me. I love it when people make a big deal over my baby because I think she's beautiful and perfect too!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Two Weeks

Sofia Elisa is two weeks old today! She had her two-week checkup and I am happy to report that she gained over a pound since last Wednesday! Her pediatrician was very impressed and God, I was so happy. I have been convinced that I am somehow messing up this breastfeeding thing, but she has apparently been getting plenty to eat so I can breathe a sigh of relief. Whew! Her doc said she looks good. Her crusty stump was removed by her doc (it was hanging by a thread) and we can now give her full baths, but have to keep treating it with alcohol. Uh-oh, how the hell do we do that? I guess we can give it a try. Robert's mom is coming to visit on Saturday to see her new grandchild. She can steer us in the right direction. Unfortunately she'll only stay for the night and has to head back home Sunday.

I also had my two week checkup today, and I am happy to report that I have lost 25 pounds. Of course, I gained 39 during the pregnancy so that still leaves me 14 pounds to lose. My doc said I can start walking but no high impact stuff like jogging for six weeks (as if). I told my doc about the baby blues and he said it's normal. Of course, I can't express how much better I felt today after learning that Sofia gained weight. I just feel like I'm doing something right and it feels really good. Also, Robert works nights his first two days back so he'll be here with me in the morning. I may get through this yet.

Sofia's doc said not to worry about waking her for feedings. She said she'll wake up when she's hungry. This also had me sighing in relief. I was so concerned about waking her for feedings that I was losing so much sleep. Last night I was up from 2 am to 7 am trying to feed her. She kept only eating for about three to five minutes at a time and then she was tough to get back to sleep. I finally gave up at 7 am. Then at 8 am, Robert woke me to inform me that she was hungry. I thought I'd go crazy.

Anyway, things are looking up. :)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dad and Baby

This one is from the hospital. I had to post it because it is so beautiful!

Baby Blues

Robert's taking a nap with Sofia. I just woke up. I'm trying to hurry up and get something down here because she will be waking up soon and "babyzilla" will be at it again with the screaming for the boob. She's been asleep for over two hours.

Tomorrow is her two-week checkup, so we'll see if she's gained weight. I'm terribly paranoid about this. I hope she has. At her one week checkup she was 0.04 ounces below her discharge weight. The doc said this was okay, and as long as she kept eating she should be fine and gain weight accordingly. Sofia has since been eating from the breast and actually latching on, so I hope she has gained.

I have been having some vicious hormonal mood swings. All I can say is the baby blues have attacked me something fierce. I never thought they would. In fact, I naively thought all this baby stuff would be a lot of puppy dogs and rainbows, but boy was I wrong! Robert goes back to work on Thursday, and I'm terrified. One of my friends from work came to visit for lunch today and stayed for a while, which was nice. I'm just worried about being lonely, and I feel really guilty for worrying so much about myself when Sofia needs me 100%. I'm scared of having to carry her and change her diaper, feed her, rock her, etc all by myself. I'm worried about driving with her in the car all by myself. I worry about how I'm going to do it when I go back to work and how hard it will be to leave her. I wonder how I will manage to leave work on my lunch break to breastfeed her and how trying it will be to pump several times a day. I know I'm just a big baby, but it's true. I also know that it will get easier with practice and who knows, I may be a good mom just yet.

Then I'm perpetually worried that I'm not breastfeeding her correctly, which is stupid because she is peeing and pooping like she gets plenty. I worry about switching her enough at the boobs so that my milk supply is even. I worry about the day I will have to breastfeed her in public, which may just be tomorrow since, not only do we have her two week checkup, but mine as well. So she'll be out of the house for quite some time. Thank God, Robert will be with me. I'm actually thinking about going to a La Leche League meeting to see if they can put some of my fears to rest. But I know it's too soon to take her places. Does that count?

I hope I can overcome all this stuff, because I want to be the best mom there is for my baby. I love her with all my heart.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Breastfeeding ain't no Joke!

I can't believe how hard this breastfeeding thing is! The good news is that Sofia has decided to start latching on. Bad news is that my nipples are sore now again because of it (but not as sore as those first few days) and she wants to eat 24/7. Last night she ate starting at 11:30 pm straight until 2 pm today. With maybe an hour of sleep somewhere in between. Sometimes I feel like I must not be making enough milk! Also, I know they say to start with one breast and when the baby finishes then burp and offer the other breast. At 4:30 in the morning I have no idea which breast I gave her last and I'm offering her anything she'll take. I hope I can make it after my mom is gone and Robert goes back to work. With her attached to the boob, I'm not sure how I'll pee or eat or do anything else. I spend a lot of the day stressed out, and I really just want to enjoy her. Also, people from work want to come visit and I am nowhere near ready for that because I'm just not that comfortable with whipping out my boob in front of people from work visiting. And I don't want her crying the whole time. Will I ever feel sane again?

I felt so guilty last night/this morning because I so desperately wanted to sleep that I found myself shoving the pacifier in her mouth. She would take it for a few minutes before she realized it wasn't the boob. I tried breastfeeding on my side and that worked for a while, but nothing works for an extended period of time. I hope I'm doing this right. I wish I could get a break so I could pump some milk to have on hand for her, but I just tried right now (she's asleep -- my mom is holding her) and nothing is coming out! Maybe my boobs are dry...

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I cannot believe how much damage Hurricane Katrina has caused. It's sad and I hope these people can get back their lives after all is said and done. My prayers are with them.