Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rolling over for the 1st time - who knew it could be so exciting??

Not I, not until I had a baby. Next comes walking, then college... My, how they grow! ☺

Splish splash! We love to swim!



Peter Ambrose had his first "swim" today! He regarded the clear bluish substance with curiosity, mostly, marveling at its buoyant properties and slightly cold nature. (To the best of his baby abilities, I'm sure.)☺ He seemed to be thinking, "Shouldn't there be baby soap on my bum right about now?" It was 83 degrees and cloudy, which was good for protection from the sun, but not as good for temperature. After about 15 minutes, PA decided he'd had enough and began to whimper a little. But good experience overall! And more to come in the future. ☺



Got prunes? I love wrinkly baby feet. ☺ As always, more pics in the photo gallery!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Peter Ambrose is 3 Months Old Today!



What a fun month! Though he's only just completed the so-called "4th trimester," he seems less and less like a baby and more like a little boy to us.

This month he has reached these milestones:

- his first laugh! (see last blog entry)
- he reaches for toys and puts them in his mouth (more of that to come, I'm sure!)
- he exhibits an obvious recognition of, and preference for Mommy and Daddy
- he's now able to push himself forward with his legs when on his belly

And of course, he is "talking" and smiling more and more, making for some truly precious and memorable moments. As of today, he weighs 12 pounds, 15 ounces.




Yesterday, we bought him a play mat, and he loves it! (pictured above.) He enjoys the visual and tactile stimulation it provides, and Mommy enjoys the time it provides for her to clean the house or read a book. (-:





Peter Ambrose and Mommy have also enjoyed having play dates with other Moms and babies. Friends are the best!!

Happy 3-month Birthday, sweet boy! We love you so very much, more and more as the months pass.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A few firsts... Can you guess what they are?



If your guessed laughing, a cold, and teething, you were correct! You win a prize: kisses from PA. (Redeemable by visit, after he gets over his cold, of course). (-:

On Memorial Day, Peter Ambrose laughed for the first time!! I was making sounds at him, like trilling R's, followed by vowel sounds. He responded by making strange sounds like sharp intakes of breath, and then he let out a cackle. Talk about liquid sunshine! Love that boy.

... and yesterday, a not-so-fun first: Peter Ambrose caught his first cold. But luckily, it seems to be just a cold - no fever or other unpleasant symptoms. He's in great spirits despite his nasty cough, smiley and playing like normal. He also wore his CU onesie and booties to commemorate Daddy's first day of Summer teaching. (See above pic) (-:

Oh, and we think PA is already teething... (yep!) It's not completely out of the blue - many a Stevens began teething around 2 months of age, as it turns out. Thus, his new favorite activities are drooling and fist-eating. (-:

And just for fun, here are a few more pics from this week...





Baby Big-Legs... lol

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fun-filled weekend!

This weekend was special for a few reasons: My cousin, Brooke, graduated from high school, Peter Ambrose got to meet his great-grandmother (my Granny) for the first time, and we placed membership at our church here in Boulder!


Brooke, newly graduated, holds Peter Ambrose.


Meeting his great-grandmother for the first time. (As always, more pics in the photo gallery!)


I love this little outfit; he looks like such a little man. It was given to him by (who else!) his great-grandmother.

We placed membership at the First Congregational Church here in Boulder. As new members, we all 3 wore name tags. I think Peter Ambrose found the location of his name tag particularly objectionable. I love that face. (-:


Photo caption: "Off! Off! GET IT OFF ME!"

Hope you all had a great weekend!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yay for fun milestones!


Peter Ambrose hit a really fun milestone today, one which makes me really look forward to the days and months ahead - the ability to anticipate things! I regret not being able to capture this on video, but I got a picture of him squealing with delight, as he watches Daddy's face approach his, increasing the pitch and frequency of his voice to build the suspense. After Rick did it a few times, PA recognized the pattern and got more excited each time. Fun fun fun.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Month 2 checkup

Today was Peter Ambrose's Month 2 checkup, and everything's looking good! And since I didn't get around to announcing his weight and measurements from his Month 1 checkup, here are both -

Month 1

Weight: 9 lbs, 1 oz (just under 50th percentile)
Height: 21.4" (50th percentile)
Head Circ: 15.1" (just over 50th percentile)

Month 2

Weight: 11 lbs, 3 oz (50th percentile)
Height: 23 3/4" (90th percentile!)
Head Circ: 15 1/2" (50th percentile)

So, it looks like he may have the Stevens tall genes after all!

And, after much deliberation, we did decide to go ahead and do the full round of vaccinations. He cried a little, but not much at all. The nurse said to him, "You're the kind of baby that gets you siblings!" He really is an easy baby so far. (And more importantly, healthy!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peter Ambrose is 2 Months Old Today!!




Peter Ambrose is 2 months old!

Another fun-filled, intense month! The Boss is growing leaps and bounds. Every single day, it's apparent to us that he is absorbing and using more and more information. Life as a new parent has become more fun, but it really is true what they say - it all goes by too quickly!! (One exception: 3am feedings...) ☺

Some of his milestones this month:

•he has slept through night a few times
•consistently cooing, babbling, squealing, etc.
•has developed his social smile (vs. reflexive).
•self soothes with hand in mouth
•rolls 1/4 of the way from back to belly
•has interacted with Austin for the 1st time
•has found use for his legs - kicking!
•head and neck are stronger
•plays "Monkey see, Monkey do" with Rick and I

Peter Ambrose is more interactive in general. He LOVES being sung to, particularly when Mommy or Daddy move his arms and legs to the tune. Some of his favorites: "Itsy-bitsy Spider," "The Wheels on the Bus," and "Pat-a-cake." Everyone who has met him has remarked on how alert he is and observant of his surroundings. He really does not miss a thing!

We seriously can’t believe it’s been two months already. We can’t wait to see what’s next for him in the next month. (Hopefully sleeping longer at night? We can wish, right?) ☺

Update: Outtakes Gallery! Not all photos go according to plan, and we just uploaded about a dozen funny "mistakes."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Celebrating our first Mother's Day (:




This year I celebrate my first Mother's day. Being on the other side of this holiday is... weird. But it's a good weird. (:

I got 3 Mother's Day cards - from Rick, Peter Ambrose, and even Austin! I'm not sure how the last two learned how to operate writing utensils in time for the occasion, but it's all the same to me. :-)






Rick enlarged a photo of Peter Ambrose and I and put in a 11x17" frame. I love this picture of us; it's so special to me.




Now, I know you all come to this blog to see and hear the latest on Peter Ambrose, not me (really – neither of us blame you ☺) – but I thought I’d share some of my own personal thoughts on this journey called... you guess it, Motherhood!

What a wonderful, crazy ride this has been. Little Man is 8 weeks old, which has been ample time for me to experience all the joys of being spit-up on, pooped on, peed on, cried on, drooled on, and loved on. (Lots of ons.) Over the last 2 months, I’ve learned that many of the ways I was certain I would do things “when I’m a mother” have gone out the window. Until you actually experience it — the good, the bad and the sleepless nights — there is no way to understand what it truly takes to be a mom.

Now, I’m sure that as PA grows up I’ll establish some order in the house to guide him towards being a thoughtful human being. But for now, as long as he doesn’t eat the Austin’s food, get into my art supplies, or try to ride Austin like a "horsey," we’re good. Shoot, depending on the day I might even be lax about those rules. (Just joking, PETA.)

I've learned many things about what it means to be a Mom, and I've been surprised at what the most important lesson for me has been so far: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. I once believed that taking time for myself was self-indulgent. (There are dishes to be done! Family to cook for! Errands to run! ... ad infinitum, ad nauseum.) But taking care of yourself is not selfish, rather a necessity of being a good mother. (Not to mention, friend, wife, employee, etc.)

I have my postpartum doula to thank for this lesson. Each day she saw me or spoke with me on the phone, she would tell me, "The best thing you can do for Peter Ambrose is take care of yourself." That's not easy for me to do, and every now and then, I talk myself out of it. But when I do it, I am, as it turns out, a better mom.

Peter Ambrose, I love you SO much! I am so proud to be your mommy, and pray that over the years I will earn the love and respect that anyone would be so lucky to have.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy (belated) Cinco de Mayo!

Well, last night the Stevens hit the town.

This was an unexpected trip for me, because I had no idea that Bethany was interested in going out until I arrived home around 4:30 p.m.


Scrambling to find a place that still was taking reservations, we just loaded up and left around 6 p.m. to see what we could find. We parked near Pearl Street and began to explore our options. Pearl Street was extremely crowded and bustling with activity. Every place we sought out was crammed with people with long waiting lists.

We put our name on the list at Juanita’s (one of the few Mexican restaurants in Boulder we had yet to eat at), and set off for Trident CafĂ© so Bethany could get some much-needed caffeine.

The wait at Juanita’s was longer than expected, but we made do. I dumped the stroller back at the Jeep so that we wouldn’t have to handle it in the cramped seating of the restaurant.

Dinner was great. I think Juanita’s might be our new favorite place (though Efrain’s remains one of our top spots). Bethany had some yummy tacos, and I ordered the chili relleno, said to be famous.

I’m something of a chili relleno snob, but this order could easily be considered within my top five and certainly the best in Colorado thus far.

Perhaps the best part of the evening was learning that we can take Peter Ambrose into public and manage him fairly well. His demeanor is relatively calm and sweet, and he handles noise and excitement well (he’s more curious that anything else). We also found out that Bethany can, indeed, breast-feed in public without experiencing a major ordeal. Just an extra blanket and some patience, and no one’s the wiser.

After dinner, I retrieved the stroller and we toured the Pearl Street Mall, window shopping and really just trying to walk off some of the heavy dinner. We bought some Peruvian finger puppets from a boutique shop (a mixture of woven animals and superheroes, if you can believe that), but most of our time was spent walking and talking.

Peter Ambrose experienced his first public restroom diaper change, and generally had a good time taking in the sights and sounds of Boulder. We returned home about 9:45 and settled in for our normal nighttime routine.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My New Favorite Onesie



Hello all. Peter Ambrose here. Here is some fashion I can believe in! Daddy designed this garment himself on www.inktastic.com. That face on the onesie is of Yours Truly, ever the handsome fellow, I must say. (: And since feeding time is pretty much my favorite thing to do these days, I'd say Daddy hit a home run.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I think we need to buy a baby swing...


This morning, Peter Ambrose was a little bit fussy, and rocking him in his car seat was the only thing that would calm him down. Ever so often, just to see what he'd do, I'd take him out and rock him in my arms. But nope, he wanted to be rocked in the car seat! I think a baby swing might be a purchase in our near future. Here he is, looking quite content...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Five New Videos, and more to come soon.

Well, the end of the semester approaches. I am extremely backlogged in Peter Ambrose content (I still take photos and videos at least once every other day). As a result, I've begun to be a bit more discriminating in what I take the time to convert and upload.

But one of my favorite sets of videos were taken on April 16, when we were trying to get Peter Ambrose to smile. He kept hinting that it was about to happen, so I decided to take it upon myself to conduct a few rounds of "smile training." Basically, aural stimulation with occasional cheek and lip nudges. For most of these "sessions," Peter Ambrose would just look at me with an intense look, wanting to participate in our exchange, but unsure how to make the mechanics work. But then, we started getting some small breakthroughs. I just posted four videos of the more successful attempts in the videos section. They're long videos (1.5 to 2 minutes each), but they really capture the range of Peter Ambrose's expressions at that time.

The second video entry was from our outing on April 18. We went for a short family walk near our home and paused for some relaxation in the nearby community park. Austin got a rare chance to stretch his legs without constraint, and Peter Ambrose enjoyed the ride in his stroller.

Toot Toot!



Peter Ambrose is blessed with a Daddy who doesn't find it beneath his dignity to be silly for his entertainment. (: When PA is ready for a feeding, Rick has begun this ritual of bringing him to me via the Toot Toot Express. The look on PA's face cracks me up every time! (Pardon the poor resolution - it was shot in bad light.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peter Ambrose is ticklish!

If any of you are wondering why we haven't posted anything for a while, it's because Peter Ambrose has been undergoing rigorous Smile & Laugh Training. Rick and I think he's got fantastic potential. (-:



20 minutes later, he began wailing for an undetermined reason. Perhaps Mommy the Trainer was pushing him too hard? Of course, we still think he's pretty awesome. (:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Peter Ambrose is One Month Old!


Happy One Month Birthday, Peter Ambrose!!!

It’s hard for me to believe that just over a month ago, Rick and I had not yet met our sweet little son, who has quite literally turned our world upside down. On March 12th, 1:32 PM, our lives suddenly revolved around feeding, pooping, sleeping … not sleeping … and of course, extraordinary love. Never a dull moment!

Some of Peter Ambrose’s milestones this month:

  • Turns towards familiar voices (i.e., Mom and Dad)
  • Can track objects with his eyes
  • Lifts his head for short periods of time
  • Recognizes when food is coming
  • Copies some of our facial expressions
  • Able to have alert focus on objects for long period of time


Our sweet little son is truly a treasure. He has a mellow temperament, with a watchful eye – he spends much of his awake time just observing his surroundings, taking the world in. Watching PA’s movements and facial expressions has replaced other forms of entertainment, and nothing is more delicious than holding him at our chest while he sleeps.

In some ways, we’ve had it remarkably easy – Peter Ambrose seldom cries. We have yet to have a crying fit that hasn’t been quickly resolved by food, sleep, or affection. In other ways, this month has been very challenging (see the previous blog entry).

But most of it is par for the new-parent course. A few of our friends who are also parents have remarked how amazing it is that something so little can take up so much time, space, and laundry – and we’ve found it to be quite true! You start your day at 6:00 am, and before you know it, it’s 2:00 pm, you’ve gotten nothing done that didn’t have something to do with Baby. I look around my living room, and I see couch cushions pulled out of place, diapers on the floor, baby blankets and burp cloths dispersed in every corner of the house… Messiness, intermingled with an air of sleep deprivation, the work of deciphering our little guy’s cries and cues, handling diaper blow-outs… these are all evidence of the growing life-force that is our little guy.

But locking eyes with our son, or catching one of those elusive grins flash across his face … those moments are worth every hardship and inconvenience.

We love you Peter Ambrose! And we can’t wait for the next phase of your life, whatever it should look like.

Peter Ambrose Portraits

While Bethany's father, Buddy, was in town, we asked him to take a few photos of Peter Ambrose. I finally got through them (there were about 600) and culled out the best 40:
http://jrichardstevens.com/milehighbaby/photos/20100324BuddysPortraits/index.html

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weighing in

Peter Ambrose has finally regained his birth weight. Or rather, he’s on the verge of doing do (he was born at 7 lbs. 4 oz., and today he weighed in at 7 lbs. 3oz.).

PA’s weight has been a source of struggle for us. We dutifully reported in for our one-week appointment with pride and a sense of accomplishment, emotions that were soon dashed as the nurse practitioner told us that PA was dangerously underweight.

When he left the hospital, PA weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. This seemed to be a normal loss. However, when we got home, PA refused to eat the first day. Or rather, he had so much trouble maintaining his latch that he kept Bethany and I up all night with little to show for it. Finally in the early hours, he latched on and ate and ate … and then threw up.

He ate sporadically the next few days, but slept long stretches. We decided to let him dictate the schedule, which turned out to be a terrible mistake.

So, on PA’s first official post-hospital weigh-in, he weighed 6lbs. 11 oz. – less than his hospital departure weight, to say nothing about how far he was from his birth weight.

So we immediately acquired a pump, began using lactation tea, started Bethany on a Fenugreek regiment, put PA on a stricter eating regiment and returned to the strenuous schedule of feeding every 2-3 hours followed by 20 minutes of pumping after each session. The first few days were miserable, much more than the first days home from the hospital. And so we went in the second time sure he’d put on weight, only to have our parental confidence dashed yet again when we found he’d LOST weight (6 lbs. 9.5 oz.).

The nurses began to push us towards using formula, something we had tried very hard not to pursue (for a variety of reasons). I finally made a deal with Bethany: we were going to push at least one ounce of fluid into PA through a bottle (with a special breast-like nipple, very cool, btw). If that ounce could be breast milk, great. If not, I was going to start supplementing with formula.

She agreed, and we both settled in to a long series of feedings, pumping, bottles, etc. (Poor Bethany would lose so much sleep, that we eventually moved to a schedule that had me staying up most of the night and a good chunk of the day so that she could sleep in between. Thank God this all happened over my spring break).

Then on Wednesday we had the moment of truth: if PA weighed low again, the nurses were going to have to become more involved and we were going to have to start coming in daily for weight checks. But the work had paid off: PA weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz. That reading meant he had gained five ounces in 48 hours, and we were so relieved to see his weight headed in the right direction.

So we kept it up, and today we found out he weighs one ounce less than his birth weight, meaning he once again gained five ounces in 48 hours.

So we’re relieved. We know we still have a ways to go, but we’ve also been told that once we get to the 7.5-to-8 lb. range, that he’ll begin to take over more.

But at the rate we’re going, that’s sometime early next week. We’re already sleeping more and are much more calm about his ability to grow and survive.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Amazing Wife

I know it’s passĂ© for a new father to wax poetic about his wife immediately after the birth of their first child, but after watching my wife in action, I simply cannot deny the fact that she’s the strongest and most amazing person I’ve ever known.

Things turned out well, but we had a mighty struggle bringing Peter Ambrose out. There were times I was frightened out my mind, and I simply wanted to relieve my wife’s suffering no matter the cost (looking back, she was never in any mortal danger, but that’s a rationale understanding).

Soon after Bethany began hard labor, Peter Ambrose turned posterior. And then he refused to move for several hours. Bethany went from 4 cm (100% effacement) to 7 in just 3 hours, but stayed at 9 for about six hours.

The midwives tried turning him in many different ways, but he was stubborn. In the end, he made a dramatic 270-degree turn, and Bethany was able to push him out in about 6 pushes. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. After 12 hours of constant contractions, Bethany still had the strength to push him out.

She did take oxygen, and towards the end she had an IV, but hers was still an otherwise unassisted and natural birth.

But let me say this about our birthing class: double-pelvic squeezes and counter pressure saved us. We tried lots of positions and techniques, but those were the only two things that brought consistent relief and having Bethany be able to call out for them by name (and have me understand immediately what she needed) were just worth gold to us. Though I feel sheepish even admitting this considering how much trauma Bethany and Peter Ambrose endured that day, my wrists, arms and shoulders were sore the next morning. I can't count how many we did, but I know we'd have to measure them in hundreds.

Peter Ambrose is doing well, healthy in every way. He ate a lot right after the birth, but was slow to eat much for the next few days. He was extremely alert and bright-eyed from the moment he was born (the video below was shot roughly 45 minutes after delivery).

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


See more videos


Bethany didn't tear much at all and required no sutures. She's been a bit shaky on her feet, but the pain and bleeding were greatly diminished after 24 hours and she appears to be on the mend. We're getting more sleep than expected, but still not enough.

Peter Ambrose is a very quiet baby. Compared to our neighbors in the birthing center, he just didn’t cry very much at all. And when he does cry, he's easily comforted with a pat or sometimes just by hearing our voices.

We'll come home Sunday afternoon, and after that we'll see how the adjustment goes. But right now, we couldn't he happier with how things turned out.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Introducing Peter Ambrose Stevens

Greetings!
Bethany and I are pleased and proud to introduce you to the newest family member: Peter Ambrose Stevens.



Peter Ambrose’s birthday is March 12, 2010, and he was born at 1:32 p.m. He weighed 7 lbs. and 4 oz. and measured 20 inches in length.

Both Bethany and Peter Ambrose are recovering from their struggle, and both are in good health.

Of course, we already have many pictures and a few videos, but rather than clog everyone’s email with media, we’d like to point you to Peter Ambrose’s new Web site:

http://milehighbaby.jrichardstevens.com

This site will contains a news blog for information updates, a photo and video gallery, and several other opportunities to learn about our son. Please feel free to forward the link and any content on to whomever you think will be interested.

Sent with great(er) love,

-Rick and Bethany Stevens

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Pregancy, at a glance!


Pregnancy is one of those things in life that is simultaneously commonplace and full of mystery and wonder. (Wasn't that poetic?) ☺ Similarly, though this was an uneventful pregnancy, it was also full of adventure. As I write this, I’m 2 ½ weeks from my due date, and from then on out it will be all about baby, not mommy’s bump! I say this of course, with excitement and eager anticipation.

July 6th, 2009 was when we discovered I was with child / expecting / in delicate condition / in the family way / preggers. (I refuse to use the phrase, “knocked up.”) ☺ Rick and I had our suspicions, what with my unrelenting fatigue, mood swings, and insatiable cravings for peaches and seafood…



And so the unplanned, but most-welcome, adventure began. Of course, we HAD to acquire the requisite pregnancy/baby goods… What to Expect When Expecting, Spiritual Midwifery, (we like our resources to have a broad range of perspectives. Read: VERY broad) … And of course, a pacifier with a toothy grin, from our local Spencer’s (which I’m not proud to say I set foot in). But you have to admit, this is a nice set of teeth.





On October 30th, the mystery of the sex of our baby was revealed … to be a BOY! Our ultrasound pics lead me to think he will look like Rick, but then again, babies are known to surprise (they’re squirrelly like that). One of our midwives (one in a practice of 3), predicts he will be tall: After feeling my belly recently, she said, “Wow, he’s got some long legs!” And so the Stevens’ tradition continues. (Maybe. Probably.)



So, the Birthing Plan: I will give birth at Boulder Foothills Hospital with the Boulder Nurse Midwives. We are expecting a perfectly healthy, all-natural (i.e., drug and intervention-free) labor and delivery, but just in case, OBs will be just a room away. It really is a wonderful hospital. Their technology and accommodations are progressive and impressive, and they boast one of the lowest cesarean rates in the state. (Go Boulder!) And the midwives, who will be at my delivery the entire time, have been wonderfully supportive, informative, and nurturing. I think we've scored the best of both worlds.

So, March 14th is just a short 2 ½ weeks away! Though fewer than 5% of babies are born on their actual due date, Rick and I are operating as though it could be “any day now.” The intention and hope is that the next post will be the announcement of our son’s birth, the first of many updates on his growth and discoveries. Rick and I will take turns posting. We hope you will be so inclined to follow along and take part in our joy. ☺ We feel grateful to have you all a part our lives and our growing family!




Much Love,

Bethany
 
Copyright 2009 Mile High Baby.