Saturday, June 30, 2007

Aunt Karin

We're home! Lots to say about how we got here-- and how grateful we are that Jen's mom flew out to greet us at the house and spend the week making sure the new parents don't go crazy from sleep-deprivation. (And, again, Aunt Niki has been saving the day with her support.) I've got the little guy napping in my left arm and I'm one-handing this post. Kind of cumbersome! Click on the pic below to see my sister from Columbus, Karin, appear in a video introducing her son, Ethan, to his cousin, Jack. Thanks for coming, sis!

Friday, June 29, 2007

What day is it?

Early days at Sibley

Jen and I had a great meeting on Thursday with a lactation consultant who put us on track to successfully feed our little Jack. I have to say that Jen is a miracle of patience as she adjusts to the new function of being a food provider for our baby. Over the past 24 hours, we have gotten a lot better about making sure he gets the food he needs to grow strong. His weight has stabilized nicely and he graciously allowed us to sleep for 3 uninterrupted hours last night between 3 and 6. What a guy!

Dad is getting better with diapers and swaddling. Jack has yet to hit his dad with any kind of sneak-attack, but you just know that is coming.

Hospital care in the postpartum unit is interesting. Obviously, there are a lot of new moms and dads who are trying to figure things out. We've seen more than one frustrated parent (especially dads) who get curt with the nursing and care staff, but like in any situation involving people, that kind of approach gets you nowhere. Despite a few frustrations of my own, I try to remain light-hearted. On several occasions, I have announced at the nursing station that my boy is obviously the most handsome baby they have ever seen, which gets a laugh. Then, today, Michael the food cart guy came in with Jen's lunch and said, "Oh yeah, you've got the best looking baby. I've been here 7 years and seen 8,000 babies-- no doubt about it." And then he chuckled and offered me a free tray of lunch, saving me a trip downstairs to the cafeteria. Absolutely made my day.

Visitors at Sibley

So our little family is here until Saturday morning. As a matter of course, they keep c-sections longer to make sure the mother is on the road to recovery and baby is happy and healthy. I'm thrilled to report that we're pointed in the right direction and we can't wait to get home (if for no other reason, we unluckily landed in the smallest room in the postpartum ward and are bouncing off the walls!)

In addition to Aunt Niki's presence, we've had a few visitors-- including my best friends since grade school in Ohio, Matt and Ben, with their wives (respectively), Mae and Tara. Mae is 6 months pregnant, so Matt was getting a glimpse into what it's like to hold a newborn (only 16 hours old when they arrived.) On Wednesday, Grand Aunt Lynne came in to see the newest Buening. On Thursday, our neighbor, Julie, extended her lunch hour to see the new baby. We appreciate the visits and look forward to seeing people when we're at home-- which after this week will feel like a palace of square-footage.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A few seconds of magic

Thank you to everyone for the emails, calls, flowers and well-wishes. This has been an overwhelming experience! Mother and child are doing great. Dad went home for a couple of hours yesterday to fetch some more clothes and shave! Here's a quick video shot with the digital camera. (Keep clicking the picture until the video actually appears-- I'm still getting the hang of some of these tools.) This kid has the most amazing eyes-- he's taking in the world in gulps and it's a wonder to watch him.
Quick Video

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jack Engle Buening joined us on June 26, 2007

The cell phone vibrated during my Monday evening class, causing a bit of a stir among my classmates who knew of Jen's pregnancy. I stepped out to answer the call and Jen promptly informed me: "My water broke." Like a sitcom character, I got wild-eyed, stepped back into the room, grabbed my books and drove like a maniac to get home.

There are all kinds of fun details to the story of how little Jack Engle Buening decided it was his time to enter the world, but I'll save those for another day. Right now, I'm gratefully using Aunt Niki's laptop in the cafeteria-- the only place in the hospital with wireless (free!) connectivity-- and uploading an album of photos so you all can meet our son. He is so wonderful, I can't begin to describe it. And his mother/my wife is perfection.
Click the album for birthday pics of Baby Jack

Vital stats: Born at 2:26am on Tuesday, June 26 via C-Section (Jack had been a breech baby all this time!). Weighed in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces and length was 19 1/4 inches.

More posts later, when I can get my wits about me. Not so much with the sleep last night.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Making room

Jen and I spent this weekend going through the storage bins in the laundry room and our under-stair cubby. We managed to create a wagonload for Goodwill and made room for some of the baby stuff that is taking over our world. After clearing a pile of kitchen renovation materials that had accumulated in the downstairs, I was able to set up the Pack-and-Play as well as the swing.

While rooting through one of the bins, I came across a lot of old photos I had taken with me to college. This one, in particular, caught my eye.

Yep, that's my mom (a.k.a. Nonni) with my sister on board. Karin stayed put until the end of March, and part of me is wondering if our little guy will hang on for a while because Jen has made such a great home for him. On the other hand, it's going to be a hot week here in DC and that full moon is coming! We'll see how things go.

And since the flowerbox shot is a pretty consistent angle, here is the Sunday, June 24, "bump watch" picture!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

April (baby) showers

I'm getting the hang of how to use the blogging tools and am posting a couple of links to photo albums uploaded to Google's Picasaweb site. It's pretty great because they give you a lot of storage space and have a built-in slide show button that makes it easy to view the pictures.

Now I didn't have all the photos that were taken-- just the ones that were on my camera. If you've got some good shots, please let me know and I'll be sure they get added to these albums.

Click the pictures below to see the Dayton album and the Vermilion album.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Keeping those flowers watered

June 8th

June 20th

Due Date vs. Full Moon

Jen's due date is July 7th (if you're listening to her-- July 8th if you listen to the doctors for all the good that will do you.) However, there is a full moon on June 30th. We hear that full moons make babies decide it's a good time to show up. Meanwhile, I have a co-worker who is a father of two confidently predicting Wednesday, June 27th. Do you have any predictions? Let us know!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weekly doc report

Jen dutifully called with the latest doctor check-up this afternoon. The boy has moved down from -2 position (high) to -1 (still up, but heading south). His heart rate is right on track at 150 and mother's BP is also good. The real surprise was going from 1 cm dilated to somewhere between 2-3 cm. Apparently this means the boy could make his move anytime, or he could hang out for 4 weeks. Doesn't he know that his mother is a meticulous planner?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

37 Weeks - Full Term!

Hello and welcome to our family blog, tentatively titled "Building Blocks." The plan is fairly obvious: we'll do what so many folks are doing these days-- post pictures and keep everyone updated as our little family grows.

It's Sunday afternoon, June 17th, and my beautiful wife has made it to 37 weeks with our little boy. He's been moving around a lot lately, or perhaps he's just getting bigger and she's noticing him more these days. This has been a wonderfully uneventful pregnancy, and we feel very fortunate.

Jen joined her sister at Pentagon City Mall for a shopping expedition today. Highlights included the search for nursing bras and blouses. I'll be sure to leave any stories about nursing for her to type up in the wee small hours of the night.

My to-do list today was longer than what is actually getting done, but I'm happy to report that the hall closet has been rehabbed, and the new shelving includes a nice little "parking space" for the folded up stroller. In our little house, it's important to have designated spaces to put things away, or the clutter just starts piling up. Speaking of clutter, we're desperately going through our storage bins trying to thin the herd and make room for our new arrival.

I'll work on getting some pictures uploaded from the baby showers as practice for when our little guy arrives on the scene-- I know that's when people will be itching for posts. In the meantime, thanks for reading.