Posts tagged Michigan

Brooklyn Visits the Big House

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Last weekend, Brooklyn got her first taste of Heaven on earth when we stopped in Ann Arbor on our way home from a trip to Ohio. Even though I didn’t actually go to the University of Michigan (although I did get accepted), most of you know I’ve been a die-hard fan my whole life, and my family used to take yearly trips to Ann Arbor for a weekend each fall when I was growing up. I grew to love the university as much as the football team and have been dreaming of the day I could take my kid(s) to visit.

Brooklyn and I at the Big House

It certainly didn’t have the same feel as a college football fall Saturday, but the couple of hours we spent on campus gave Brooklyn (and Carrie, who is a Notre Dame fan) a glimpse of the greatest university in the world.

We started out with lunch at Zingerman’s Deli. It’s an amazing restaurant in the Kerrytown district of ann Arbor with way too many sandwiches to choose from, and lines down the block on college football Saturdays. Carrie was lusting over the the massive amounts of cheese they sell, but she can’t have it because of Brooklyn’s GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). But anyway, the food was amazing as always and Carrie loved it. Brooklyn just slept the whole time.

After Zingerman’s, we drove into central campus and went to Moe’s and MDen to find Brooklyn a floppy hat since it was so hot and sunny. We found a good one and then walked the diag before Brooklyn started to get fussy, so we then went to the Big House to get some pictures. It was Brooklyn and Carrie’s first time seeing the mecca of football stadiums and it was the first time I’ve seen it since the renovations added a new press box and luxury boxes to either side. It looks amazing and the only thing missing was the scoreboards, which are being replaced from the old outdated ones to widescreen HD video boards.

Brooklyn and I at Zingerman's

Before we got back on the road, Carrie had to feed Brooklyn, so we were parked in the Crisler Arena lot right next to the Big House. The next thing we knew, a UofM golf cart pulled up about 50-feet away, right where we had been a few minuets earlier getting pictures, and the basketball coaching staff got out and walked into Crisler. Too bad we weren’t still standing there, or Brooklyn could have met Coach Beilein.

It was a short visit, but I’m glad both Brooklyn got to see campus and the Big House, even though she’ll never remember it. At least I got pictures to show her someday and I got the indoctrination started!

A Look Back at Week One

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A few days ago, I posted the birth story and promised that Carrie’s version would follow. Well, it’s still on it’s way, but she hasn’t had much time to write it in the past week in between feeding Brooklyn and trying to get some sleep. So while we wait for that, I’ve decided to give a one-week update.

Brooklyn was born a little over a week ago and I can’t believe she’s growing up so fast! She’s going to be going away to college and dating guys before we know it. But seriously, she does feel like she has grown a little bit since last Friday (or maybe my arms and chest are just getting more and more tired from holding her). We won’t know for sure until next Sunday, the 27th, when we have our next appointment with the pediatrician.

Brooklyn's first cab ride

The past week has been both challenging and rewarding. We left the hospital on Sunday and Brooklyn got her first cab ride (welcome to NYC, where you don’t bring your baby home from the hospital in her car seat in your car; you either strap her car seat into a cab or take her on the subway). Bringing her home was pretty amazing. We both couldn’t believe the hospital actually let us bring this little thing home by ourselves. The first thing she got to do was meet Buddy. I was really interested in seeing how Buddy would react since he’s been used to being the center of attention the past eight months.

I had taken a class at the hospital on dogs and kids, so I learned that the best way to introduce them when you first get home is to have one person go in first, greet the dog, and let him settle down, and then the other person come in with the baby, sit down on the couch and let the dog come up to her on his own. So that’s what we did. Buddy didn’t quite know what was going on or what this little moving thing was, but he started licking her feet and was really curious. The first time she started crying, he didn’t know what to do, so he kept barking.

As the days went on and he learned that she’s here to stay, and that her crying from time to time is normal, he got used to it and is now the protective older “brother.” When we’re holding her on the couch, he loves to come up and lick her feet or hands, and see what she’s doing. When she’s sleeping in her swing in the living room, he lays right at the foot of it. When Carrie is feeding her in the bedroom, he lays at her feet. I’ve been amazed at the way he has handled this change. He gets that something is different and that he’s not the center of attention anymore. I have tried to play with him, take him to the park, and pet him as much as possible to make sure he still feels loved and important, and I think that has really helped as well.

Buddy and Brooklyn

As for Brooklyn, she obviously has no idea who or what he is, but by the time she’s able to crawl and talk, she’ll be used to him since having him around is all she has known.

We took Brooklyn to the pediatrician on Monday for the post-hospital check-up. He’s an old Jewish guy in his 70s named Dr. Gordon and came highly recommended by our doula, Tanya. His office was straight out of the 60s with a big wooden baby scale that uses the little weights to measure instead of digital. But he was very nice and we really liked him. He said he was a physicist before becoming a doctor, so he comes about everything through well thought out reasoning. Carrie described him as very non-alarmist. For every worry we had, he gave us a long reason for why we shouldn’t worry or what it meant. He did all the tests on Brooklyn and basically said everything looks great so far.

Carrie’s mom has been here since Sunday evening and has been a HUGE help. She has cooked us some great meals, helped us keep the apartment clean, helped take out Buddy, and best of all, helped take care of Brooklyn so we could get a little sleep. Since Carrie is breastfeeding, we have been sticking to an every two hours schedule during the day and stretching it to every three hours at night. So that means that Carrie has to wake up every two to three hours and spend 30-45 minutes each time feeding Brooklyn. She definitely has it worse off than I do, so I won’t even try to make my plight sound bad.

I’ve been taking the late night shift with Brooklyn since March Madness games usually go to about midnight. She sleeps on my chest or in my arms as I watch the games, upload the day’s photos or work on stuff on the computer, while Carrie sleeps. Once we get to the after midnight feedings, we put Brooklyn in her crib, or in her swing seat inside her crib, and I try to sleep. Brooklyn doesn’t like sleeping on her back in her crib yet, so that’s why we have improvised by using her swing seat inside the crib, since it vibrates and keeps her a little bit upright. Even so, she stirs a lot throughout the night, so I sleep with one eye and ear open during those hours. By 5 or 6am, Mrs. Barnes wakes up and takes the morning shift while I get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Brooklyn meets Nana and Pappy

She’s going home in a few days, and it will be just Carrie and I, and then I go back to work next Monday, the 28th, so we’ll have to figure out how to manage without her taking the morning shift, but I think we’ll be able to handle it. Carrie has been amazing performing the most important role of all – feeding Brooklyn. She sometimes reflects that life is passing her by while all she does is feeds and sleeps, but this won’t last forever and she’s doing such a good job of it. She’s sustaining our child while all I can do is hold her.

Carrie’s dad came for a one-day visit to meet Brooklyn, so that was fun. I’m glad he got to meet his first granddaughter (he already has three grandsons) this soon. Brooklyn has now gotten to meet Nana and Pappy. I can’t wait until she meets my parents in a few weeks!

Another big highlight of the week was letting Brooklyn make her March Madness picks. I laid her on her back and held up two fists in front of her and said “Duke or Hampton” and whichever hand she touched first was her pick. I did that for every game and she ended up picking Michigan over BYU in the finals. I honestly didn’t cheat or make it up…it just goes to show that she’s a Michigan fan already.

This week flew by, but it has been so amazing to hold and comfort and sustain this little girl. She’s seriously the most beautiful little thing ever and some of the faces she makes are priceless. I wish you could all see them…pictures and videos don’t do her justice. If anyone has Skype and wants to meet her that way, let me know. I’m jpotts424. We already Skyped with Aunt Jenny all the way from Dublin, Ireland, as well as my parents and Aunt Jandi in Ohio.

This past week has been amazing and I’m so thankful for work allowing paternity leave so I can take this time to comfort her and get to know her and welcome her to this world. I look forward to all of you meeting her soon. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.

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