It's All About Coco

It's All About Coco
The Love Of Our Life

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cabin Fever

We couldn't ask for a better baby. She eats well, sleeps well (most of the time) and is generally a very happy little girl. She isn't a whiner and makes her needs pretty clear so that us first time Dads don't have to spend too much time scratching our heads and wondering what the heck she needs or what that cry means. From the stories we've hear from other parents, we realize that WE ARE LUCKY!!!!! That said, we've also been cautioned that our little angel may switch things up on us at any moment so we are just enjoying exactly where we are right now and not worrying too much about what could/couldn't happen in the future.

The biggest adjustment for me (Victor) so far has been being trapped in the house. Now, before you brake out your violins or start offering to come over to offer me babysitting services, let me tell you that we DO have a baby nurse on hand 6 days a week. So, in reality, I could leave more or less as much as I want but this strange thing has happened since Coco was born that makes me not want to go anywhere despite wanting to go out and get things done!? Know what I mean? If you're puzzled, don't worry, you're not alone. It's a paradoxical want to get out and do things but some switch in your psyche has been turned and you just can't. Even with a very qualified professional sitter on hand, I feel like I have to be at home or else who knows what could happen! It's crazy but nevertheless the way I feel (maybe you can relate). Also, on the day that our nurse is off (mid Tuesday - mid Wednesday), I really can't leave...not even to walk the dog! Thank goodness that Chris takes care of that for me before he heads off to work. So, for 24- hours, I get cozy in my sweats and bandanna and spend lots of time doing laundry, working on the computer, reading magazines (I actually re-read US weekly yesterday!!!), snacking, doing crunches on the floor, playing with NeNe....oh yeah and taking care of Coco!

For someone like me who is completely accustomed to coming and going as I please, this is quite an adjustment. In some ways it feels great to be "trapped" in the house. I mean it's nice not running all over the place all the time and I love our home so that makes it a great experience. Plus, I get to do fun things like call Chris at work and say "could you stop by the store and pick up some jelly beans for me, I can't get out to get them myself"... LOL! Still it's an adjustment that I'm getting use to it BUT the payoff....being able to spend all day with SOOOOOOOOO worth it!

Our little angel is waking up so I'm off....

Saturday, February 20, 2010

NeNe & Coco

Before Coco there was NeNe! We've had NeNe since September 2006 and she has been the center of our attention (other than each other!) since then. We were so worried about how NeNe would react to Coco and spent many hours discussing how to introduce her to Coco and wondering how to make sure she still felt like a very important part of our family.

When Coco was born, they put a cute little hat on her head. Later that night, our friend Robin came to the hospital to visit and we asked her to take the hat home and to put it n NeNe's bed/carrier. Robin later reported back that after she put the hat in NeNe's bag, little NeNe promptly dragged it out of her bag and left it in the middle of the room. Undeterred, Robin tried a couple more times, with the same result. But, Robin's persistence paid off and eventually NeNe let the hat stay in her bag. After hearing about NeNe's reaction (which we had to pry out of Robin!), we were even more unsure how NeNe would react when we bought Coco home the next day.

So, as soon as we got home, we put a blanket down on the carpet and placed Coco on the blanket. NeNe came over and circled the blanket a few times, wagging her tail and taking quick little sniffs at our beautiful squirming little Coco. She gave her a few quick licks on the feet, started running in circles around the room, came back and licked her head and continued to be very very excited to meet Coco. Phew, what a relief!

As time has passed, NeNe seems to be bonding with Coco. When she hears her cry, she goes to her room (unless it's the middle of the night or early in the morning, in which case she just looks at us with a little annoyance on her face) and waits for us to pick her up. When we are feeding or holding her, she likes to be right there with us. She also occasionally goes to her crib and jumps up on the side to see if Coco is in there or not. She likes to lick her on the top of the head and seems to enjoy sniffing her ears too! It's really cute to watch!

I think she is a little sad that she's not the complete center of our attention anymore but she is adjusting really well. It's going to be fun to watch her develop and relationship with Coco and we know that as Coco gets older, she will love NeNe as much as we do.

Thanks for being such a good big sister NeNe!

Friday, February 19, 2010

2 Weeks Old

It's hard to believe that Coco is already 2 weeks and 1 day old! The time is really flying by and she is changing so much everyday. She's getting more animated and getting bigger right before our eyes. It's really quite amazing to see the changes. Every minute with her is so valuable and such a gift.

Today, we went to see our pediatrician in NY for the first time. It was so much fun! OK, maybe it was just fun for us (Coco didn't seem too thrilled!) because we got to see how much weight she gained (almost a pound since 2/8/10) and how much she's grown (about a half an inch) since she was born. We also got to ask all our neurotic "first time parent" questions. Our doctor was great. She spent a lot of time with us and was much gentler in examining Coco than the doctors were in CA. (I thought Chris was going to tackle one of them because he thought he was handling Coco a little roughly!) Coco is doing great! The doctor gave her a very thorough exam and said she's in perfect health. What a relief!

These past 2-weeks have been wonderful. YES, we're tired and YES we've been thrown up on (Coco actually threw up in my hair!) and YES we are pretty much confined to our house right now BUT it's so much FUN hanging out with her and getting to know her. She makes these cool little sounds that melt your heart and she smiles (we've been told it's just gas but I prefer to think she's smiling at us) and drools and pees and poops A LOT! She's got a great personality and watching her change is a privilege.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quality Time Coco Style

Welcome to the world of feeding, sleeping, pooping and more feeding, sleeping and pooping. AND, it's all pretty much on a schedule. First Coco eats, then she sleeps then she poops. Then we clean her up and basically it starts all over again without much variation. It's nice and predictable (so far) which is comforting in some odd sort of way.

Every 3 - 4 hours we know that we will get to spend some real QT (quality time) with our little angel because she'll need to eat. We start watching the clock about an hour before her scheduled feeding time and are constantly asking each other "was that her?", "did you hear her crying?", "should we see if she's awake yet?" It's hilarious! In the mornings we actually stand by the bedroom door and wait to hear the first peep from her and then we bound into her room and start loving on her. It's the highlight of our day and we think she really likes it too!

At this point, most of Coco's day is spent sleeping so when she's awake we really try to make the most of it. She is starting to stare deep into our eyes when we feed and hold her and we're always wondering what she's thinking? She also grips our fingers and the feeling is magical. She likes the be rocked and a little bouncing makes her happy too. After she eats she gets super relaxed (we call it the "food coma") and she just stares up at us with such a beautiful, satisfied expression. It's the simplest, purest look but it melts our hearts. This is how we're spending her waking hours.

This morning, after she ate at 5:30 AM, I put her on my chest and we laid down on the bed. She was making the most delicious cooing sounds...the sound of feeling safe and satisfied. It makes us feel safe and satisfied too.

These moments are precious and we are enjoying each of them.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tears of Joy

You hear so many things about how you will feel when your child is born but once it happened to us our emotions really kicked in. We both felt an intense and immediate feeling of overwhelming, overpowering love for Coco. It's hard to put into words all the thoughts and feeling that washed over us in the moments just after she was born but suffice it to say it was POWERFUL.

Now that we've had a few days for Coco's birth to sink in, the emotions only continue to expand and deepen. We feel such a powerful sense of love and responsibility to her. We want only the best for her and want to do everything we can to protect her. We want her to be healthy, we want to be healthy for her. We want our families to meet her and to share her to our friends and loved ones. We want her to grow into a happy, loving person and to be filled with as much love for herself as we have for her. The list goes on and on and we are just taking it day by day and processing our feelings as we experience them.

Every since Coco was born, really even weeks before, Chris and I have both been very emotional. I was walking NeNe last Wednesday morning and burst into tears spontaneously. These were not sad tears rather they were tears of joy at the realization that our daughter was on her way. Just today, I was stretching at the gym and as I stretched I was looking at pictures of Coco on my iPhone and immediately started crying and smiling. I am so happy! When we got home from the gym, we were looking at our blogs and reading comments people have left regarding our posts and Chris was moved to tears. Just yesterday, Chris was sitting peacefully with Coco on the couch and a tear ran down his cheek. I asked him what was wrong and responded "nothing, I am just so happy." Amazing...

The emotional experience we are having is a blessing. It feels raw and makes us feel vulnerable but we are soaking it up. Coco is already bringing out things in us that were buried a little deeper before but have no surfaced. Thank God for her and this wonderful experience.

Monday, February 8, 2010

First Doctor's visit

Yesterday (Monday, Feb. 8th), we took Coco to her first appointment with the pediatrician. I will admit, I was a little nervous about the 1 hour car ride (each way) and had the normal jitters associated with visiting the doctor.

Turns out Coco slept soundly the entire way to doctor's office. Phew!

When we arrived at the doctor's office, the first the I thought was, well if Coco's not sick now, she will be when she leaves this office! That place was a germ factory and I wanted our little angel out of there as quickly as possible. (I know, I'm being a neurotic first time Dad but hey, that's what I am!) Fortunately, they pulled us into a private office within minutes (maybe the fact that I was shielding Coco every time anyone breathed heavier than I thought normal helped) and I felt instantly relieved.

After that, the visit was great. Coco did not enjoy all the doctors pokes and prods but they had to be done. Coco is in perfect health, though she did have a little eye gunk which I was concerned about (see neurotic Dad comment above!) but that the doctor said was normal. (That said, I did persist and he did prescribe eye drops which he said weren't necessary but that we could use if it would make ME feel better!)

After the doctor's appt., we headed over to Kira's house to spend some time with her family. It was a fun visit. Kira's 4-year old son Liam, was so cute with Coco. He kept rubbing her leg and saying "nice baby". It was adorable. Her daughter Ellie also chimed in with"baby" and a pointing gesture several times during the visit. We had a wonderful time, all just staring at Coco and talking about how beautiful she is. (OK, I know, all parents think their baby is beautiful!).

We headed home after our visit and again, Coco slept through the entire ride. Phew!

Day out #1 is now successfully under our belts and it went much better than I expected...

Happy Birthday

On February 4th at 1:27 PM, our lives changed forever when our daughter, Coco Lee Fraley Self, was born. You hear all kinds of stories about how much love you feel for your children and all I'll say is it's 100% true. We fell in love with Coco long before we saw her. We've wanted her for so long and our love for her has grown exponentially over the months as we waited for her to be born.

Seeing her birth was nothing short of a breathtaking. The sight of her eyes for the first time melted our hearts and we will never forget the first time we touched her perfect little hands and kissed those chubby little cheeks. In our eyes, she is perfect and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to love and raise her.

We will be continuing to chronicle our journey into parenthood over the coming months. We hope that you'll keep reading and enjoy the ride with us.