Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bathing Ell-grouchy edition

Since his umbilical cord fell off a few weeks ago, I've found it easier to kill two birds with one stone by soaking in the tub with Elliott while I bathe him. This is mostly because to give him a sink bath I have to drag all the supplies to our kitchen, and he freaks out when I give him sponge baths because it is chilly. I understand completely.

We were given a really cool bathtub though that I hadn't drug out of our storage closet in the basement yet, so today I thought I'd try it out. As long as he is fully submerged in the water, he seems to really enjoy it- or so I thought.



Gone. And for Auntie Nicki, who wanted to hear him cry (shame, shame!) here he is, wigging out in video!

Bathtime blues from Nicki Ingram on Vimeo.


I am super tired today. Elliott is waking up every hour or hour and a half to eat and isn't really into sleeping in between, making for a very tired Nicki. David had something important going on for work/school today and so he ended up on the couch around 2 or so to be able to form coherent thoughts. I've tried the sleep while he sleeps thing, but the drawback is figuring out what to do when he won't fill his side of the bargain for more than 20 minutes.

I took a shower and went to make coffee for myself for the first time in almost a year, and of course we are out of it the only time I need some caffeine. I'm substituting my favorite tea, which is still pretty good, but it's still not coffee. What I really need is a fresh dose of all those hormones that had me blissfully happy and patient to retrieve my grunty, squirmy little boy from his bassinet in the beginning instead of thinking, "Really? You again?!" Then I drag myself to his bed and pick him up and he immediately starts to quiet down and grabs at my hair or my shirt or fingers. Like all he really needed was that warm lady that feeds him and carried him around for 9 months to show him she was still around and hadn't abandoned him to the creepy sheep that makes ocean sounds. And I think, well- that really isn't too much to ask after all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4 weeks old

Dear Elliott,

Four short weeks ago my life changed forever. It was pretty much the only point of my pregnancy where I could say I worked really hard (although there were parts that were NO FUN, like the vomiting, I can't claim I did anything to do or undo the situation). I found strength I never, ever knew I had and I didn't even think twice about tapping into it. At 11:30, four weeks ago yesterday, I decided I wanted you out here with us. After almost two hours of pushing that felt like 10 minutes, you came out with an oddly shaped head and covered in muck and I glared at the pediatricians who took you away to make sure you were okay, since you were 3 and a half weeks early. Your daddy looked at me to try to keep me calm, and helped me snap out of my tunnel vision (BRING. ME. MY. BABY. NOW.) to hear that you were crying, and beautiful, and fine. Every time your shaky little voice would cry, I would cry too. The nurses and my midwife were still working on me, and I couldn't even hear them asking me questions and making sure I wasn't in pain. (BABY. NOW.)

Then after weighing you and wiping you off and doing all of the things they needed to do, they brought you over to me, in a pink and blue hat that wasn't anywhere near as cute as the ones that my friend Georgina and I had made for you, and they placed you on my chest and covered us with a warm flannel blanket since I was practically convulsing from the epidural wearing off. Your eyes were all gummed up with the drops they give you and your Daddy and I kissed and cried and watched you. And realized we still had to find a name.

The first week and a half of your life was blissfully easy for me, since we had so much great help from Granny Beverly and Grandma Peggy. I didn't do anything but sleep and feed you and eat wonderful food. Then they had to go home and I realized that life with you would be a different ballgame without someone cooking for us and doing our laundry and letting me nap. Luckily we had friends who made us food and brought it over, and for the most part you have been a great companion the rest of the time.

You sleep anywhere from two to four hours at a time, waking up to eat and get a clean diaper. You are increasingly alert in the mornings and late afternoons, and sometimes get a second wind when we are trying to settle in to sleep. Your Daddy is learning to either sleep with his I-pod on or struggling through the nights while you grunt and try to get free of the various swaddling methods we use to help you settle in at night, and although I swore to myself that I wouldn't, I usually drag you into bed with me at the second feeding (2am-5am are not my logical hours, if I have any at all). You don't even have to be swaddled at this point, and seem to roll into my belly to snuggle regardless of where you start out sleeping. I'm not sure if this is because I am a snuggler or you are too, but I'm trying to break both of us of this habit slowly so your poor father can sleep at night too. (Or maybe he will learn to sleep through freight trains roaring through the living room like us!)

We are also dragging out toys, books, and I even got you a swing (for free from a friend!) that you are enjoying with your increasing awake time. It seems like this alertness is reserved for home only. We have taken you to picnics, on walks, even to noisy restaurants for social gatherings and you seem to take the roar of surrounding noise as a lullaby, instantly snoozing. I am trying to figure out covert nursing in public, but we are both still a little awkward maneuvering under a blanket. And your coordination- um, I'm hoping that you didn't get that from me. But right now it isn't looking good for you love, as finding your food source often leaves you looking like Ray Charles, waving your head back and forth until I finally have to do it for you so that you don't get all mad and red and screamy. But I'm absolutely loving every second with you, little man, from the late night feedings to you napping on my chest or at my side, to watching you grin a lopsided grin in your sleep and hoping I get to see it when you are awake, soon. I love you and I'm so glad you are here.


*This is a blatent ripoff of an idea from other blogs to write monthly newsletters to your baby to help you (and him, if he's ever interested) in what he was like in these early months. One of the ladies I work with, Ms. Lisa, has told me record, record, record EVERYTHING. It goes too fast. I'll do my best...

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Our little guy has been relatively easy so far. In fact, yesterday we woke up early and hit some "Mom-to-mom" sales- which ended up being like awesome baby loot yard sales, and then David and I went out to eat with him and he slept pretty much the whole day. We would run into vendors or other shoppers and he would wow them with his peaceful sleeping and overall adorableness. Even our waitress was wowed by how he slept through the noise at the restaurant. However, when the clock struck twelve, Elliott decided to become high maintenance.

He has been a total grouch all day today, and has left me so worn out that David sent me to our room to have a nap while he took over baby duty. Basically he has completely forgotten how eating works, and whether he is nursing or taking a bottle he gets frantic about three minutes into eating and either trashes his hands around and loses his food source, or just gets really ticked for seemingly no reason and stops eating to exercise his vocal cords. I'm not really sure what the problem is, but I'm hoping that his inner diva goes away after 24 hours.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Elliott's hiccups

Please excuse the poor quality of the video- I'm still learning.

Elliott's hiccups from Nicki Ingram on Vimeo.

I figured out how to post video!

This is a couple of minutes long, but I'd like to introduce all of you who are far away to our wide awake, grunting baby boy! Today is his due date, and yet he's three and a half weeks old already. I was not prepared for this "it all flies by so fast thing" to start so soon!

Tickling/Torturing the baby from Nicki Ingram on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Snuggled up in his Moby wrap-


Please note the squashiness of his little cheeks. Also, imagine giggles, coos and pouting coming from the snuggled up baby every few seconds. That's all.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mother of the year I am not...

I was trying to straighten up the living room since we have a couple of friends bringing us dinner tonight, so to have a free hand I put Elliott in the bouncy chair and turned on the vibrate feature. He was being so good and seemed like he might doze off, and I set about throwing away junk mail and stacking things in neat piles. A few minutes later I hear thump. I look over and Elliott grunted; he was now laying in a heap at the foot of the bouncy chair. On the floor. I figured his immobility meant I could get away with not buckling him in, and the vibrations of the chair v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y moved him down until he rolled out of it.

I'm thinking that the grunt may have loosely translated into "Hey dummy. I'm on the floor thanks to you." I swear he smirked when I picked him up too. If children choose their mothers, I think he may have seen things like this coming.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Running errands will never be the same

I learned a valuable lesson today. I will never again, or at least not for a long time, be able to jump in the car and run around town to get a few things done. I had one goal today: find replacement tubing for the electric breastpump that I've been told will change my life once I get to use it. I've been soldiering along with the handheld manual pump they gave me in the hospital, and while it gets the job done, um...OWWWW.

I went last night to Target, but they didn't carry the tubing anymore. The girl loaning me the pump told me that Babies R' Us carried the tubing, so I packed the diaper bag, strapped on the baby carrier, and toted Elliott out to the car. He hates getting strapped in and the baby mirror we registered for is a total dud (Note to anyone purchasing baby gear- Eddie Bauer's mirrors don't work unless you have a headrest to strap it to. Otherwise it gets all bendy and like a funhouse mirror, and you can't see the upset baby in your backseat to save your life), so he cried and I cringed half the way across town. We finally arrived at Babies R' Us and they don't carry tubing anymore either. Apparently it is considered a medical product, so I had to go to a hospital pharmacy. I found that fairly easily, but couldn't remember if I had the Medela Pump in Style or the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. I thought about getting both, and decided against it and purchased the one that the pharmacist was SURE was the right one. When I left it had started drizzling and hailing (is that a word?) and Elliott and I headed home.

I needed to return a library book, and had to choose to drag my quiet, sleeping three week old out in the drizzle to walk 20 feet to the book drop off box or leave him in the warm running car, risking the tsk-tsks of passers-by or some crazy person jumping in the car and stealing him (I've gotten a little more than paranoid being a new mother and living this close to Detroit. Staying home and watching the local news makes me scared to check the mail!). I decided to risk another quarter in fines to try again tomorrow, when it is not as nasty out.

Of course, once we got home I realized it is the wrong set of tubes and I have to go back, but Elliott needed to eat, and get a new diaper, and fell asleep promptly. I'll try to venture out again tomorrow, but the thought of lugging him around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti again makes me want a nap.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tummy Time!

Elliott demonstrates his mad head-craning skills during tummy time.

I flipped him over after he started grunting and crying from overexertion. Lifting his head apparently takes a lot out of him. He then spent 10 minutes or so staring at the weird toys that hang from the play gym.

And we are currently training Jack to babysit. He is less interested in Elliott, however, and prefers to try to sneak away the contents of the diaper pail. Gross, Jack. Just Gross.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Aggie Muster and Tex Mex

Today is the day that our local chapter of A&M alumni get together for Muster, and honor the memory of "fallen Aggies" or people who passed away that year. It is a really touching ceremony, and it's great to get together with people who also went to school at A&M and reminisce about College Station and food and how Michigan just ISN'T THE SAME. They also do a Tex-Mex pot-luck dinner, and I usually take this opportunity to make the only two dips I would ever choose over queso. If I had to, anyway. I usually have both though, if I'm being honest.

I just finished making both of the dips, and I thought I'd share them with anyone looking for new, yummy, mostly-good-for-you recipes. If not, there's a new photo of Elliott at the bottom so that you didn't waste the trip to my blog.

The first one I stumbled across at a website called I found it right after we moved up here when I was feeling a little homesick myself. The recipe makes a ton, so cut it in half (at least) if it is just for a few people, because it doesn't stay fresh very long. This was my gateway drug to liking avocados and guacamole, and it is served at several Mexican food places in Texas. Namely, Ninfa's!

Ninfa’s Green Sauce
3 medium-sized green tomatoes, coarsely chopped (you can substitute yellow if you can’t find green ones, but never use red)
4 tomatillos, cleaned and chopped
1 to 2 jalapenos, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 small garlic cloves
3 medium-sized ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
4 sprigs cilantro
1 tsp. of salt
1 1/2 cups of sour cream

Combine chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (tomatoes provide the liquid), reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Place tomato mixture with the avocados, cilantro and salt in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and stir in sour cream.

The other recipe is one I discovered while visiting my friend, Lizzy (HI LIZZY!) and her family in Austin. Her dad loves to cook out and her mom threw together lots of fruits and veggies and this amazing Salsa. I think that there was queso along with everything else, and surprisingly I didn't touch it. I got the recipe from her mom and then moved and moved and moved again and have no idea where it is now, but I've managed to get a close enough replica that it will satisfy my cravings. Unlike the Ninfa's sauce, this is actually better after it has been in the fridge for a day, and stays good for a while. I've had it on chips, in tacos, with tortillas, and on top of grilled chicken and it is super tasty. Ready?

Nicki's version of Black Bean Salsa:

1 15 oz can of Black beans, rinsed and drained
1 10 oz can of Rotel or grocery store tomatoes and green chilies
1 15 oz can of yellow and white whole kernel corn
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup (or more) of finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice or red wine vinegar, whichever you have laying around
1 jalapeno, stemmed (and seeded if you don't want too much spice) and minced
2 green onions, sliced thinly (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp ground cumin, or more to taste
dash cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a large bowl and adjust seasonings and ingredients to your tastes. Refrigerate (they say at least half an hour, but I don't usually wait that long...) to let the flavors blend, and serve however you want.

I hope that if you try out these recipes you will like them! Anyway, for those that are just here to see the cute little one, Here you go!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Momma tries her hand at photography...

I love when he opens these little eyes- especially when they look at me like I'm insane.

This face is becoming more and more common. I can't figure out if he's hungry or just figuring something out...

By this time he was finished with the little photo shoot. And getting more than a little ticked off.

We had a little "tummy time" too, and I cropped out the nudity for you, 16-year-old Elliott. However, don't ever forget that mommy kept the originals too, and will show them to your prom dates if you don't play your cards right.

Our sweet, sleeping baby boy.

Look at these CHEEKS. He's starting to get little rolls on his arms and legs, and my favorite- wrist dimples! Yum.

Yes they do, little guy. Yes they do.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Now I get it...

After sleeping practically all afternoon, I thought I would try to pull together dinner for when David gets home. I have no idea when that will be since I have totally misplaced my cell phone, but I figured it wouldn't be long now and I could always heat it back up if he is later than dinner...

I put Elliott in the carrier sling thing that I made and went about making a fabulous baked macaroni and cheese recipe I found on this blog that I read pretty regularly. On step two, he started grunting and letting me know that the sling that I worked so hard to make...well, totally not going to cut it. By step three, he was awake and squirming and the roux for the cheese sauce was getting all splashy and dangerous, so I took him out and put him in the bouncy chair he has tolerated all of once. About twelve seconds later he was crying and hungry and MOMMA STOP STIRRING AND FEED ME OR YOU WILL BE SORRY. So I turned off the cheese sauce and sat down to nurse him and five minutes later he starts coughing and unlatches and is generally uninterested in the whole feeding thing. I tried to resume dinner and he started up again, louder than before. I managed to get the macaroni in the oven and am still waiting on David to get home, but can't help but think that Frozen Chicken Nuggets sound like an increasingly appetizing option.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Crazy Sunday...

David, Elliott and I ended up having a crazy Easter Sunday. It started out pretty normal, and we had a few visitors in the early afternoon. I dressed Elliott in the adorable outfit that Aunt Sissa (David's big sister) sent to us for Easter and decided I would take a picture of him in it to put up. Unfortunately, before I had a chance he managed to escape his diaper and we had to wash it again. I'd put him in it now, but he's sleeping and I don't want to wake him.

He's had a little bit of a rash which is almost cleared up now, but we've been laying him in the sun naked to help air it out, and he fell asleep in the sun making for quite a Kodak moment. I figured it would be as cute as the bunny outfit he dirtied up, but then our camera battery was dead and would not cooperate. He woke up before it was charged and I had to dress him. I ended up putting him in the outfit you see in the picture, which with the pastel dots looked a little Springy and Easter-ish too.

I felt a little tired and so Elliott and I laid down on the couch and had a little nap, and then someone knocked on our door. David answered it, and told me to rest, but come to find out that our visitor was an Ann Arbor policewoman, and someone had broken our passenger-side window and stole our navigation system. A guy came by and fixed the window earlier, but I still need to go by the car wash and vacuum up the glass from the passenger side. It was kindof a bummer, but on the bright side they left the rest of the car untouched- so it could be worse. That said, who breaks into a car on Easter weekend? Geez.

Another bonus- I'm learning how much food I get to eat now that I'm nursing. I know I will have to eat normal portions once he's weaned, but being responsible for feeding two of us makes for a hungry Nicki. After nine months of nausea, overwhelming smells and limited room for food- I'm enjoying having an appetite again!

Happy late Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

more sweet baby pics...

His sweet tiny feet... and the boo-boo from his hospital poke

How he lets us know he's hungry.

How he lets us know he's dreaming.

I love how he's getting fat little chipmunk cheeks already. He's still so tiny, but his face is filling out.

And I figured out how to use the wrap that I made so that I can do some things around the house, go shopping, and even nurse him so that no one can tell! Hooray for hands-free parenting!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Elliott's first week

Here are a few more pictures to satisfy you guys.

This was taken the day Elliott came home from the hospital. David put him near our balcony window and took several truly beautiful pictures.
We gave him his first bath a couple of days later, and he does not like to be cold. Most of the pictures after this point are of him protesting at the top of his lungs.

This guy is my hero. Seriously, I've never loved him more. I'll stop being gushy, but I thought you should know that he has gone from amazing to superhero in my book.
Elliott is also starting to become more alert and is making some truly hilarious faces. Sometimes he looks like Mini Me. Not Mini-Nicki, but the Austin Powers character. I love it.

He doesn't have many of these moments, but when he's mad he lets us know. Usually when I change his diaper, or we put him in the car to go somewhere, or if he's really hungry. His voice will shake and it is heartbreaking and adorable all at the same time. I love this little guy!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Life with Elliott

So today marks our official fifth day with our little boy, and so far the whole experience has topped every expectation I have had about life after baby. This could be due to the fact that we have had amazing help so far, with my mom and Peggy helping me by making meals, doing laundry, and helping with the baby in general. Despite the interrupted sleep schedule, I am so happy to wake up to feed my baby that I don't seem to be getting groggy or grumpy (yet). I'm trying to nap when he naps, but it is a little easier said than done.

Elliott is making it about 3 hours at night between feedings, but isn't quite used to laying down by himself in the bassinet, and like his momma prefers to be snuggled while he dozes. I'm trying to ease him into the idea of napping on the couch, or in the bassinet during the day, so that eventually I can reclaim our bed and avoid him getting used to sleeping on my chest. For now, however, it is just a little easier on me to have him sleep between feedings at my side or on my belly because David and I can sleep too. David is adjusting to the little grunts and noises that babies make, and hopefully they won't keep him awake all night too much longer.

We took him to his first pediatrician visit on Thursday, and then again yesterday. His weight initially went down (like all newborns) but they were concerned he would lose too much too fast so we came back on Friday and he was gaining some back again. I also forgot to pack a diaper bag for the first appointment, so of course when we undressed him to be weighed he had a dirty diaper and I had to ask for supplies to change him. Whoops. We also went on our first family outing yesterday, and I figured out why infant carriers are sometimes nice to have. We had to play "pass the baby" so everyone could eat their meal since we didn't have anywhere to set him down. My mom didn't seem to mind being the main baby holder, although David had to give her a little break so that she could eat her burger with more than one hand. It was also funny to see her become a germ-a-phobe, because she would cover the baby's head whenever someone walked by the table. Even with tons of experience with babies, it's funny to see how much of a rookie mom I am, and how much I have to learn.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We're home!

We left the hospital and arrived at home this afternoon at 1:30, and we are settling in nicely with Elliott and the Grandmothers! I will post more details for the birth for those who might be interested in that kind of thing a little later, but for now I am resting whenever possible and helping the little guy figure out eating and sleeping. Here are a few more pictures that David has gotten of Elliott, and we'll do our best to stay on top of updates. Thank you so much for all of your well wishes and congratulations. We are really enjoying this little guy.