Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pitching Change

I come home the other night, and walk into my bedroom. All I hear is, "I'm done, you take him". Umm, thats not good. I guess little Casey had a rough evening, fussing and crying. And Mom needed relief. So, you know in baseball when your closer is on the mound, most of the time, the game is good hands. He's usually a shut-down, goto guy, probably with a 100 MPH fastball or some close-the-deal pitch. Think Trevor's change-up, or Mariano's split-finger. In any case the closer is the guy, and you win or lose with him. Well, as a fan, think about how you feel when the closer gets pulled for say, a middle reliever... Picture a dude with a number in the 60's or 70's, that you have never heard of, straight up from AAA. Confidence inspiring huh? This is exactly what is going through my head when V tells me to relieve her. Great, if the closer just got shelled, imagine what is going to happen to me, the rookie with no experience. But, being the last guy on the bench, I'm eager to contribute, so I take the assignment.
I take Casey in the other room, and rock him. 3 minutes later, he's quiet. Damn, I'm good, there's nothing to this... So I sit down in the recliner, get some pillows and blankets, start to get comfortable... WAAAHHHH, WAAAHHH! Casey starts wailing. Uh, not good. I try the shussing, the swaddling, the sideways hold... every pitch in my repitoire. WAAAAHHH, WAAAHHH! Nothing helped. Reluctantly, I get up and start pacing the room. Bam, quiet. Now its pushing midnight, so I try to sit and get the pillows and blankets; yup, you guessed it... WAAAHHH, WAAAHHH! Get up, sit down, get up, sit down. I gotta wonder if Casey's thinking, "Dude, I rule this place.. watch this, I control daddy like a puppet."
I finally think I diagnose the problem.. He's got gas. What can I do about that? It's not like I can pull his finger... All I'm thinking is, "I got one play left"... Skin on skin... But that aint wise, considering whats happening. I'm holding him, in a diaper, in pajamas, in a swaddled blanket, and I still cringe everytime he lets one loose. Each time, I instinctively, I check my hand and fingers to see if they are wet... I should be putting on the HAS-MAT suit, but instead I strip him down to his diaper, and take my shirt off. GENTLY place him ( oh, please diaper, dont leak and seep) on my chest... and voila, he falls asleep.
All in all, a pretty good outing. Definitely a little shaky, sort of like lots of walks, some LONG flyball outs, and leaving the bases loaded, but I got out of the inning!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Breastfeeding Poses

PJ's many breastfeeding poses. Breastfeeding is an experience...some good...some bad. Some of PJ's poses make me chuckle as we share our many moments together.

This is the "Don't bother me I'm eating!" or the "Boy it's bright out there!" pose


This is the "More Milk Now!!!!....Ouch! Who's pulling my hair?"

He likes to throw this one in the middle of a feeding just to make things take longer. "Utter concentration a.ka. Poopy face".


Grunting one out... Looks like he's going to blow a gasket!


Whats up with this?

Like I alluded to before, having a child is a learning experience. And what I learned yesterday has me puzzled. Did you know child car seats have expiration dates? Yup, just like milk and sour cream, the car seat will expire... Somebody help me with this concept. The way it was explained to me, is that the 'recommendation' is that 'due to normal wear and tear', car seats should be retired from service and destroyed after 5 years. It goes without saying that after the 'retired from service and destroyed' there is the 'replaced' or 'buy a new one' that went unsaid... How convienent for the manufacturers of these seats. Hell, why doesnt everyone who makes/ markets and sells anything slap an expiration date on their product? Maybe the bailout car companies should start doing that with their cars... "Our recommendation is to replace our POS cars every 5 years, due to 'normal wear and tear'". The way I see it, that'll pretty much insure people will continue to buy cars, and guarantee profits for years to come.
Now, I havent reverse engineered the car seat, but as far as I can tell, it is mainly constructed of plastic, fabric, and probably foam padding with a tiny bit of metal mixed in there. Lets start with the plastic. What part of this plastic is subject to loading during 'normal wear and tear'? Its supporting an infant who weights approx. 7-15 lbs. You're telling me you constructed these seats with plastic that cant support 7-15 lbs, without deteriorating? And the fabric... and I'm talking about the fabric used on the tiny harness that secures the infant to the seat. It appears to me that this fabric is similar to the fabric used to manufacture regular occupant restraint systems in vehicles... IE: Every seatbelt out there, which are used to restain adults... So, if it is indeed the same fabric, how could this stuff lose its structural integrity in 5 years when regular seatbelts, subjected to far greater loads (picture a 250 lb adult in a 35mph frontal collision) dont have an expiration date? And if it aint the same fabric, WTF... Use the same fabric...
I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that the expiration of these seats have nothing to do with the cloth 'upholstry' or comfort padding under the upholstry.
Now, to be honest, I havent scoured the NHTSA archives to review and compare crash tests performed on new car seats and those that are 5 years and 1 day old. But I'm guessing the occupant acceleration plots wont look that different.
Hmm, I got an idea for my next research project.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Family day

Hey Casey, lots of people came to see you. And they are all related to you. We had Han's, Tung's, Wang's and Hua's... Some day we'll explain the relationships to you, but I warn you, its hard to understand. Here's the abridged version. There was cousin Andy and your niece Angela. Yup, little Casey, you're an uncle!


Then Uncle Tony and cousin Young came to visit you. They brought your Dads 3rd aunt. You'll learn soon enough that we just number them, never mind the names. She was happy to see you, and commented, 'We have the oldest, and the youngest'. Indeed, 92 years old paired with 2.5 weeks old. Two extremes. I gotta say though, you guys are somewhat alike. 3rd aunt decided it was time to go, she wanted to TAKE A NAP! Kinda sounds like you, little guy!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Road trip

Casey just had his first roadtrip. He went to San Diego to visit Nai-Nai and Ye-Ye. Our departure time from LA was timed around his feeding/nap schedule. We ended up leaving LA around 10pm. We got Casey all strapped into his newborn carseat, packed all his stuff and started driving, just hoping he would sleep during the car ride. Anytime the car was in motion, he was happy and more importantly quiet. BUT, anytime we stopped at a red light, he would fuss. Impatient little guy. Hmm, like father, like son! As soon as we hit the 405 freeway, he slept... All the way to SD. Then, about 5-10 minutes from our destination, Casey got hungry and woke up. He cried and cried until we reached out destination and he was able to eat.

Casey met KC for the first time! In some ways, those two are a lot alike too. They both spent a good portion of the day taking naps. Like grandfather, like grandson! Below are a couple of photos of Nai-Nai, Ye-Ye and PJ...

The trip home was again timed to coincide with Casey's naptime. We launched from SD about 8PM. This time, he only made it about 1 hr before he started crying and crying. We werent going to make it back home, so we sought other options. 'Hey, cousin Andy lives a few exits away, lets stop there to feed him.' So, we took a detour and introduced Casey to Uncle Andy and Auntie Angela. Casey said, 'thanks guys, I was HUNGRY!' Now, with a happy, and more importantly, quiet baby, we finally drove home. It only took 4 hrs to get from SD to LA. I guess this is life with a newborn.






Monday, February 16, 2009

Breastfeeding

First, I want to thank everyone who has shared their advice, encouragement, and stories of similar experiences. Knowing I wasn't alone in my struggle really helped keep me going when things got tough. A special Thank You to my husband for posting a call for help, looking for advice and assistance from everyone he spoke with, giving me his shoulder to cry on, and just supporting me when I needed it most!!!

Breastfeeding is a great experience....when it's done right....without all the cracking, tearing, burning, pulling, and all around pain!

Thanks to advice from many of you out there, a lactation consultant, and the information from the classes I took during pregnancy, PJ and I have finally been able to get to a point where most of the time we latch on correctly the first time. The correct latch and unlatch is key!!

Once we identified what I was doing wrong, how to get my nipples to heal (almost completely healed now), and how to latch and unlatch correctly breastfeeding life started to get a little more bearable. Now one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the lack of sleep.

Thank you all for your support!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weekend!

Woo Hoo. Its Sunday. That means Sunday brunch, NFL football, beach volleyball (for those of us in Southern California) or maybe tranquil afternoon naps... Yeah, not so much. This Sunday in the Wang house, it was Bathtime!
We are starting to learn; right now, its still a tag-team effort, with Mom and Dad both working on this project simultanously. We dialed in the water-temp sensing Ducky, filled the baby bathtub with appropriately temp-ed water, stripped little Casey naked and put him in the bath.... And he wailed.

But, once we got some warm water on his body, his expression changed. Below, he seems a little confused, but not uncomfortable. "Yo, what's up with that camera, can I have a little privacy please?"


Friday, February 13, 2009

Expressions and Emotions


Amazing how many expressions and emotions a 10 DAY old human being can have. Below each are my interpretations of PJ's expressions and emotions. Feel free to interpret for yourself.

Stubborn!

Focused


Sticking out his tongue at daddy

So happy with himself for sticking his tongue at daddy

Close-up

So, everyone who has kids has been telling me, 'savor every moment, they change so fast'. I'm trying hard to take that advice to heart. I pulled out my old macro lens for my camera. I'm used to photographing cars that have been crashed and stuff like that. I'm certainly not a good photographer. More like a point and shoot guy with an expensive camera. But, no better motivation to learn how to photograph than having a kid. So, ya'll get to suffer through blurry, dark and otherwise jacked up photos on this blog. Here is my first effort at a 60mm macro close up. I think I'll get better results in the daytime. Little Casey is taking a nap, in between his frequent feedings. He looks so peaceful. Too bad life cant be like this forever.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

1st Moments of Life

The first moments of life. Think about that for a second. Thats some powerful stuff...


video

I know this isnt in chronological order, but I haven't exactly had a ton of free time in the last week to capture and edit video.

Family Time

Its been a whirlwind few days for little Casey. He is in the process of meeting lots of family members. Tio Angelo and Tia Ana brought lots of Casey's cousins (primos) to meet him. Ashley, Chelsea, Samuel and Elias all greeted little Casey with open arms. In fact, they couldnt get enough. Two days later, they made the 2 hr. trek back here, this time towing Grandma (Avao) and Grandpa (Avo) Rocha with them. Tomorrow Grandma (Nai-Nai) is coming up from San Diego. We'll have to give Casey the test, and see if he can repeat everyone's name. Good luck with that son, Daddy still has a hard time with that anytime he meets multiple people. Pix to follow soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bathtime

So, last night was the first time for us to give Casey a bath. Previously, he was given one by the nurses at the hospital. So we get the portable bathtub ready, with a towel inside it, 2 small towels, one for soapy water, and one for pure water. We get a bottle of baby soap, and a bottle of baby shampoo. Oh yeah, and we get the special little ducky.. This guy is supposed to float on the water, and tell us if the water is too hot. What I was dying to know is exactly how this guy was going to alert me that the water was too hot. SO, I intentionally used straight hot water, waiting for the duck to quack, "OUCH, you burned my &$$". Alas, he does no such thing, there is merely a heat sensor on his bottom which changes color depending on water temperature. Now that the water temperature issue is settled, we begin the bath.. Did I mention that while daddy is running his ducky burning experiment, PJ is screaming and crying? Dude was butt naked in his tub just waiting... So, I guess I cant blame him too much. Anyway, we decide to tag team him, Pup holding him and PSW dabbing and washing. I'm trying to get in all the folds, creases and bends, all the while trying to remember all the rules... No soap on the face, no water in the ears, dont get the belly button wet... Man, this is a lot of constraints. I was by no means graceful, but we got him clean. Then, I was in charge of drying. I had a plan.. I was going to dry his body first, so I could put some clothes on him and get him warm while I dried and fixed his hair. This didnt go exactly as planned. By the time I got around to the hair, it was pretty much dried... and standing straight up, shooting out in all directions.. Think of a Portugese- Chinese Don King... I promptly got his little comb and... it didnt make a bit of difference... Below is a photo of his new hairdo...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Misleading

Happy Sunday morning to all. These two photos were taken this morning. They both fell asleep on the couch after another frustrating breastfeeding session. I labeled this post 'misleading' because in the photos, both pup and PJ looks so relaxed and content. Yeah, not so much. They have had a hard time getting this breastfeeding thing down. If any of you can offer suggestions, support, advice, or even a shoulder for mom to cry on, or an ear for her to vent into, I think she and PJ would both REALLY appreciate it. If any of you want to contact them thru my email address, I'll be sure to forward it to mom. Alternatively, you can post comments below. Thanks in advance.


-Concerned and helpless dad







Saturday, February 7, 2009

OH MY!

OK, you know how sometimes you go to write and you dont know where to start? Yeah, well this aint one of those times. As it was happening, I knew I was going to write about it. So, PSW and PJ are spending some quality time together. We are doing 'tummy time', where you put babies on the tummies. I am told this helps them develop neck muscles etc.


After tummy time, we engage in another recommended activity... Skin on skin. This is where the parent takes their shirt off and the baby is naked... EXCEPT for a diaper. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. This is actually quite an enjoyable experience, PJ's skin is so soft and warm. We are just relaxing, his eyes getting heavy when he gets the hiccups. How cute. His whole little body shakes each time one comes. Then the little guy gets some gas. For a rookie like me, this takes a little getting used to. I'm just not used to having something fart on me and not moving away. But, the little guy just keeps ripping em. I can't blame the guy, I mean we've all been there, it does feel good. Just as I'm getting over the fact that I'm being farted on, I hear this other noise. PFFFFT... Ya know, I don't even know how to describe it, maybe someday I'll record it and attach it as a .WMV file. Anyways, it takes me about a second to realize, "That aint farts". It was... wet. Slowly, I'm getting an idea of whats going on, so I look up at his cute, innocent face... and he is a picture of concentration... He's grunting one out! Face is turning red, eyes squinted, muscles flexed. PFFFFT, there it goes again.. Thar she blows.. Thank god for that diaper, I'm just praying that it holds the torrent in and I dont get gushed on. At this point my inclination is to hop up and change that diaper..
Meanwhile Pup, is about 3 feet away, comfortable in the fact that she isnt in the spray-zone. Cracking up laughing, she manages to say, "You might want to wait awhile". I'm thinking WTF would I want to wait for, I want to get this smelly, watery, bubbling shart/poop/gas/liquid cleaned up ASAP. Pup says, "He might not be done"... REALLY? Hmm, that's cool, Dad is now approximating a piece of Charmin. I'll spare you the details of the toxic abatement and cleanup. Below is a photo of "skin-on-skin" BEFORE the eruption.








Friday, February 6, 2009

Labor & Delivery

This motherhood thing takes some getting used to. Starting with the whole labor & delivery. Remembering back to the day I started to have contractions...I had mixed feelings. At first I wasn't sure the contractions were the real thing until I started to time them. As I started to see a pattern I got excited..."the big day is coming"...I also got nervous..."Oh, boy this is the real thing!" Looking back now I wish I had labored a bit longer at home but my nerves got the best of me and I wanted to be sure the baby was okay in there. So, at 4:00 am I walked into the bedroom and told Phil I think we should go to the hospital. He was up out of bed in seconds with a little excitement in his voice. Off we went.

What next, a little disappointment, the nurses checked and I really hadn't dilated much at all. Now what? They decided to keep me for a few hours to track the contractions, monitor the baby, and then check if the contractions were producing any change. Needless to say, after a few hours they officially admitted me to the hospital....yes the big day was definitely upon us.

Unfortunately laboring in the hospital kinda sucks, you can't really get up and move around and they have you strapped to contraction and baby monitors. So here you are having these very uncomfortable, painful, contractions and all you're really allowed to do is just lay there....not fun. As for the breathing, I don't care how many different sounds you make as you breathe out Hoo Hoo or Hee Hee, or Hoo Hoo Hee, the contractions still hurt and seem to last forever.

So finally at 4cm dilated I gave in and asked for the epidural. I honestly believe if I had been allowed to be up and walking around I would have been able to make it through the pain longer. Oh well, live and learn.

Poor PJ didn't like the epidural, his heart rate dropped quite a bit, so they strapped on an oxygen mask and attached more monitoring wires. Then we just waited.

Slowly but surely things started progressing. They gave me Pitocin to induce contractions and they ended up breaking my amniotic sac to try to move things along as well. Nothing like feeling warm amniotic fluid pouring out of your body....yeah, modesty goes right out the window.

PJ didn't like that all his amniotic fluid was disappearing so then they had to add another tube to inject fluid back into the sac....this settled him down....and gave me the sensation that I was continuously peeing myself. Woo hoo! Ok, more waiting.

Hmm, now we're getting close, look you can see his head...lots of hair on that head. Ok, test push....uh oh, PJ didn't like that. Hmm, gotta labor down...meaning wait and let the contractions push PJ almost to the exit door. Now, we wait for the doctor to come back so we can deliver PJ into our world. Even though I had the epidural I could still feel things at this point. I could tell for the most part when I was having a contraction, and I could feel this immense pressure between my legs because PJ's head was so far down.

Finally, the doctor comes. Ok, its showtime. You have to push like your about to grunt out the biggest poop of your life. After a couple of pushes I see scissors...NOOO....not an episiotomy....too late she did it and I kinda felt it...ouch...ok PUSH! PJ's not doing too hot....doc: get the vacuum....mom: NOOO....nurse: we're missing a piece....mom: Good!....doc: ok, mom you gotta push NOW! PUSH....out pops his head....PUSH out pop his shoulders and the rest of him....WOW! Relief!

PJ came out crying, he didn't like the show he was just a part of. They laid him on my chest, crying and still all wet. Once I got him to hear me saying his nick name he calmed downed. It was AMAZING! He was crying and his arms were flailing around but once he heard his nickname above the sound of his cry...it was like an off switch.

After that, a lot of what happened was kind of a blur. The doctor was still working on me. Phil and I were watching our son in amazement. Then they had to clean him, and check his Apgar scores etc. Then they gave him to us for "skin to skin" and the "Golden Hour".

They put naked little PJ on my bare chest everyone except mom, dad, and baby are left in the room for some one on one time. One of the best hours of my life!!

1st night at home

Well, its 6:45am friday morning. Casey and mom (pup) came home from the hospital yesterday. (thurs). They were released at about 11am, it was about noon when we got home and settled.
One of the first things I did was goto the CHP to get the child carseat installation checked. Good thing I did, since the officer told me we have it all wrong. Turns out, since the Volvo has 'comfort feature, inertial locking-system 3 point harness' as the rear center belt, I need a locking clip for the car seat. So, I have to get one of those, and make another appointment. (The appointments run about 2-3 weeks out at this time).
The afternoon went pretty smoothly. Dad watched Casey while Mom took a well deserved shower. Then Mom knocked out and caught up on some sleep, while Dad put Casey to bed, all swaddled up in his bassinet. He slept so peacefully next to my feet as I worked on the computer.
In the evening, father and son watched the basketball game on TV. Ok, father watched the game, son slept.
The first night at home went relatively smoothly. (At least from dad's perspective; we'll see what mommy as to say when she posts her POV) Dad went to bed around 10pm, while mommy was giving Casey his 'last feeding of the day'. I put that in quotes, because I am realizing that this is a 24-hr job; the days and nights run togther and morph into the next one without a clear delination. Shortly thereafter, Mom and Casey came in the room and got some sleep. Evidently, the two of them were up approx. every 2 hours, feeding. No need for an alarm, Casey took care of that for us. During some intervals, he was more tired than hungry, he slept a little longer than 2 hrs; other times hunger won, and he was awake, politely asking for food. All in all, a great first day and night home. LETS HOPE IT STAYS THIS WAY!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Random Photos

Daddy holding son.

Just hanging out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Baby Burrito

This fatherhood thing is very educational. Who would have thunk that wrapping your kid like a Cotija burrito would have a name; swaddling...

Ya learn something new everyday. Here is Casey the burrito.

PJ

Some of you may be tempted to get your ears checked. Many of you might have heard us refer to Casey as 'PJ'. Relax, your hearing is just fine. 'PJ' is our nickname for him.
How do you get PJ from Casey you ask?
Well, let me start by telling all of you who dont know that PSW really loves dogs. I love my wife, so I started calling her 'Pup'. One day, as our son was growing in her belly, I looked at him and said, 'Pup Jr.'... hence- 'PJ'
Here is Pup carrying PJ


Whats in a name?

We picked the name Casey as a tribute to his Ye-Ye, K.C. Wang. For those of you who dont know, K.C. Wang is PSW's dad. We decided on this small tribute as a son's show of appreciation for all that his father (and mother) did/do for him. PSW is committed to being the best father he can, hopefully raising and teaching Casey as well as his parents raised him!

Welcome


INTRODUCING:

Casey Xue Xian Wang

7 Lbs. 15.8 oz
20 inches

Born 2-3-09