Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out of town guests and the 4 month check-up

This weekend Paul & Geri Custodio came down from Seattle. Paul, of course, has been my best buddy since the early 80's and was also the best man at our wedding. Plus we were on vacation with them in Mexico when we found out Heather was pregnant. So, we were excited for them to finally meet the girl. 

They brought a bunch of goodies for us and Sabine. We didn't do too much but hang out with Sabine, and go out to eat. Geri was kind enough to give Heather a really cute (and professional) haircut. A very fun weekend.

Then Sunday afternoon Katie Murphy, Heather's college roommate stopped by for a few hours to catch up. Hopefully we can see her and the family next time we are down in L.A.

Yesterday we we took Bine for her 4 month check up and 2nd round of immunization shots. Heather and I had a bet going on how much she weighed, and I won when it was revealed she is a little over 15 lbs. She's also almost 26 inches tall - what a big girl! She's in the 95th percentile for height, but I think we all figured that was going to happen:)

Everything checked out well during the exam and she did pretty well for the shots. Damn, those needles were long! I would cry, too. On the bright side, she always sleeps well after being dosed with tylenol and last night was no exception. I had a little scare this morning, though. Sabine was crying and cranky, not her usual self. So I checked her temperature (for the first time, brave daddy!) and she had a temperature of 100.7. I called the doctor and they told me that a fever was normal after the 2nd round of shots and not to worry. Well, that would have been nice to know ahead of time!

Anyway, the fever went down pretty quickly and she was her usual cheery self by the end of the day. Unfortunately, I scared the hell out of Heather when I called her at work and she thought I said 107 degrees. Yikes! No fun. But, all is well now and here's one last cute photo to end this post.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy 4 month birthday!

Wow, the first post in a long time that's actually current. Today was Sabine's 4 month birthday and she is doing just great. In the last 3 or 4 weeks she's become more and more active and aware. She laughs a lot and smiles and squeals. She really likes when we make raspberry noises, which you will hear in theses videos. Unfortunately, she's a little camera shy, so you won't get the full effect of her beautiful smile and giggles. You'll just have to come see her in person!

She keeps her head up really well, so we've been using the Baby Bjorn from time to time, but it can be a strain on our backs. She really loves the Jumperoo that Heather Savoy handed down to us (she's actually given us a ton of great stuff - thanks, Heather!) and can entertain herself for quite a while in it - as long as we don't leave her view. She is pretty good at grasping things like rattles but hasn't really dialed that in yet. She's not a big fan of "tummy time". She can hold her head up while on her tummy, but she can't support herself with her arms yet. No rolling over or scooching around yet, either.

She's been doing much better with sleeping and getting into a routine. During the day she is generally up for 2 hours then sleeps for 45 - 60 minutes and then repeats that throughout the day. At bedtime she gets a bath and a big bottle then goes down around 6:30 or 7 and usually sleeps 4 - 5 hours. We take turns getting up to give her a bottle and she goes back down again really easy. Then it's usually the same thing in 3 hour increments till around 7 am. She had a couple surprising meltdowns this weekend, but she has been going to sleep in about 5 - 10 minutes now, sometimes without crying at all. This has made our lives so much better:) Still, we would like her to sleep in longer stretches through the night. Still reading up on this, but I assume it all works out over time. We'll see.

And how do I know all these details? Well, I got temporarily laid off from my job on January 15th and I'm now a stay-at-home dad, at least for a little while. My company Site9 has been having a lot of money struggles, which is typical for a start-up. On the bright side, our new software ProtoShare is doing really well. The company just isn't profitable yet. The company is due to get another round of funding in February, and should that money come in I will hopefully be back to work in March. In the meantime I am collecting unemployment and looking for new work opportunities. (By the way, I designed both those websites).

Obviously, it really sucks to be out of work in this horrible economy. Luckily I can hang onto my health benfits, stock options and laptop for the time being. But on the bright side, I get to spend every day with Sabine and that's been great. And we no longer have to pay for daycare. Once I came to terms with the fact that I would not be able to actually get anything done during the day, I started to enjoy my time with Bine more. Analia, our nanny, comes in on Thursdays so I can get a break and take care of my job search stuff and other errands & business. Heather is now coming home early on Tuesday's, so I get a break then, too.

I figured out that it's better to do my chores and house stuff while she is awake, instead of during her naps. She seems fascinated by daddy's activities, so I just bring her into the kitchen while I'm cooking or cleaning and she's happy. Same with doing laundry (I think I've done more laundry in the last month than I've done in the past 5 years). She also hangs out while I shower and get dressed. So when nap time rolls around I can actually get a break from the activity to take a nap or relax a little. The only thing Sabine doesn't like me to do is work on the computer - which is one of my favorite activities. I guess it's really boring from her perspective. And that's why I'm writing this now instead of going to bed.

But it's not all work, we go for walks every day, meet friends for breakfast or lunch, go to the store and generally spend lots of time playing together. Today we went down to see mommy on a rescue mission, since she had forgotten part of breast pumping apparatus. I've also started serenading her with my guitar while she's in her Jumperoo. She gets really excited and jumps around like crazy. I don't know, maybe she's trying to run away:) But, it's good for me too, I haven't played and sung for a long time and I'm a little rusty.

And now that I'm Mr. Mom, I'm charge of dinner, too. I've started to enjoy this a little bit as I try new recipes and ideas, since Heather informed me that I couldn't make rice and beans for dinner every night. Let's see, I've made spaghetti (from scratch, not a jar), vegetarian chili, fish tacos, stir fry and a few other things. I've been looking up some polenta recipes, so I'm going to try that tomorrow. Yes, I'm a vegetarian again.

When we were still expecting, I used to joke that I wanted to be a stay-at-home dad while Heather worked. Now that it's actually happening, I realize that I had no idea what I was wishing for. Child care is exhausting, though obviously rewarding. This is a great opportunity to spend time with our little girl, but I'll be ready to go back to the office again. But not too soon.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Very Merry Belated Xmas

Well, this is incredibly overdue, but here's a little post about our trip to Ohio for Xmas. Besides getting to spend time with the family on the trip, I wanted to show Heather our family tradition: the "authentic" German Xmas with candles on the tree and celebrating on Xmas eve and everything. Also, it was the first time that Sabine got to meet Uncle John and her cousins, Anna, James, Katie and Christian. Heather and I also managed to squeeze in lunch with Kevin and Mark, two old friends from high school.

I kinda wish that we could go there for Xmas right now, because Sabine is just so much more aware and fun now. And way less colicky. Oh, well. It was a little challenging with her at first, with the time change and not having all our stuff there, but we eventually got it under control.

We had a really good time and Sabine did really well on the airplane. Except when our flight was canceled and we had to wait in the airport for 6 hours. But, we got to spend an extra 2 days in Ohio, so that was nice.

The odd thing was that while we had mild weather in Ohio, Portland was hit with the worst snow storm in recent history. By the time we got back it had all melted, so we're not sure if the whole thing was just a hoax.

Sabine always loves bath time.

Pete and Christian.

Anna, Sabine and Katie.

Pete and James getting a tree.

Heather and Sabine by the tree.

3 generations of Ficht women and 1 generation of Ficht men.

Omi and Bine having fun.

Sabine just discovered mirrors! More pictures here.