Friday, December 28, 2007

Coming home...

We had a wonderful Christmas week, despite all the illness. We are now starting to feel normal again, though both James and I are still coughing a bit and feeling very fatigued. Dorian is doing great...he has had a growth spurt the past few days and has been eating nonstop! He also started drooling like crazy today and keeps gnawing on my finger. Is he already getting teeth??? Plenty of pictures and video clips to come upon our return. We leave for Heathrow in 3 hours. It's been quite the trip. See you all again from Bloggerville, California!

I'll leave you with a photo of the family out for our Christmas Eve walk...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas week

Our holiday pictures are saved on the desktop computer here, which does not want to cooperate at the moment. Don’t panic, the pictures are safe, I just can’t access them right now! I will include some pictures of James' village and Dartmoor throughout this blog. I love all the history!

Pictures of the surrounding countryside (Dartmoor National Park)

Dorian is doing sooooo much better. The past couple mornings he has hacked and hacked, obviously trying to get gunk out of his chest. James and I spent about an hour each morning in the bathroom with the hot shower running to allow the steam to break up some of that gunk. Poor little guy. I know he doesn’t really have feelings yet – he’s mostly a machine with built-in reflexes – but it is horrible to hear him scream while trying to cough the stuff up. Still, his health is improving by the hour and I am so thankful for antibiotics. What happened to newborns who got this sick before antibiotics? I dread to think.

In other news, James and I have been very sick since Friday. Our colds became much worse over the week-end, complete with fever, extremely sore throat, aches and pains and the worst cough in the world. James is feeling better today, but I am still feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. I am so hoarse, it’s funny I suppose. Jen and Grae are now sick too, though they keep insisting they’re fine! It’s the British way, you know? Stiff upper lip, chin up, soldier on! It’s so unfortunate that we have now spent over a week dealing with illness on our 3 week trip. James had to cancel a night out with his close friends this week-end and we have not seen his sister Han, her husband Phil or our nephews Ro and Josh as much as we had hoped.

We drugged ourselves up (James more than me since I’m breastfeeding) and managed to make it up to Bristol to see James’ close friend James Hanlon and his wife Sarah. Their 7 week old baby girl Erin Rose has already had the cold so they were not worried about her catching it. We also made it over to see Kath and Sean (James’ former Equation bandmates) and their 6 month old twin girls Poppy and Lily. Yesterday was the open house day Jen and Grae planned for Dorian. Dozens and dozens of people from their village came to see us. Dorian was held by at least 15 people and did great! He is a little charmer alright.

Dorian finally got over his jetlag on Friday and, boy did he! The past 2 nights he has slept for 10 hours!!!! He woke up to feed both nights after about 6 hours and then fell asleep again for another 4. SUCCESS! Of course, James and I haven’t been sleeping because we’ve been coughing so much, but at least we haven’t had to deal with the baby at the same time. I hope Dori’s jetlag on the way back doesn’t take as long (2 weeks) to beat. Even if it does, at least we know he can do the long sleeps! He is also feeding much more efficiently – his sessions in the middle of the night take about 10-15 minutes. When I pump my milk now, it literally GUSHES into the bag so I know that something has changed. We still don’t have Dori on the bottle yet, but we continue to persevere. What a challenge this has turned into!

At 1pm today, we are going for a Christmas Eve walk with James’ immediate family (Jen, Grae, Han, Phil and the boys) – it is a family tradition. Tonight we’re off to the village pub – another family tradition.

Bridestowe’s White Hart, built in the 16th century
I will probably pop over to the village church for a midnight service with Jen, just for the full English Christmas experience. James refuses to go – he has never been and is not about to start now. I remember going to the service the first time I visited Devon and it was a barrel of laughs – we sang Christmas carols and laughed at the drunk vicar!

Bridestowe’s Parish Church, the third on the site – the present church was completed in 1450
We will celebrate Christmas day with Jen, Grae, Han, Phil and the boys. On Boxing Day (December 26), we will have Grae’s brother and sister and her family over. Finally, on December 27th, Jen’s 2 sisters and brother and their families will come over (more than 20 people!) On Friday the 28th, we will pack up and then leave at 3am for Heathrow. I will try to post again before we return to the US, but you can expect a couple of long blogs with photos and videos some time upon our return. You’re not going to recognize Dorian – he is so big and his face is incredibly expressive now. His personality is really starting to shine.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and messages while we’ve been ill. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday week. Enjoy every minute! Love to you all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Poor little sick baby

Yesterday was the worst day of my life. Dorian was so sick. We had a really tough night again on Wednesday night - lots of coughing, gagging, screaming when coughing. Everyone still thought it was just a cold but I started to doubt this when we began hearing constant rattling noises in his chest. He also became so pale and threw up A LOT of milk after one of his coughing fits. Then came the deep sleep and fever - almost 101 degrees (anything over 100.5 in a newborn is considered potentially dangerous and you are urged to go see a doctor). So off we went to Okehampton Medical Center, about 15 minutes from James' parents' house. I was very impressed - I wasn't expecting much for a small country town hospital. They got us in to see a doctor within 5 minutes of arriving and she was amazing. Dorian's cold had spread to his chest so he was prescribed a 5 day course of antibiotics and Paracetamol (acetaminophen aka Tylenol) to lower the fever. After 24 hours on the meds, he is a completely different baby. He is still coughing, but seems so much calmer and happier. He was MISERABLE yesterday and last night. And so was I. I am so relieved he is okay and that he received wonderful care. Now we can enjoy the last week of our trip. James and I both have a cold (the original virus Dorian had) but we are functioning just fine. We have a million people to see over the next week, and so many family obligations for the holidays. It is so exciting! I will post more pictures before Christmas Eve. Hope everyone is doing well - I hear it's been raining in the Bay Area. It rained the first day we arrived in England but has been sunny (albeit extremely cold and windy) ever since.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Still sick

Poor Dori is still sick. Last night was horrible. He kept coughing to the point of gagging. I was so scared. Luckily, James is very calm and kept control of the situation. I was almost ready to go to the hospital! It's funny, I am so excited to be a nurse and when other people are sick, I'm levelheaded. However, when I'm sick, I'm miserable. And it appears that when Dori is sick, I am terrified! He just seems so little and fragile and when the coughing made him appear to stop breathing for a second (an illusion), it scared the life out of me. He's going to be okay though - we're keeping a close eye on him and staying in for a few days. James and I are feeling sick now too! :( Plus, Dori is still jetlagged so we're exhausted (probably why we got sick as well!) At least we are staying with James' mom and dad (so even though we're sick, they still get plenty of time to spend with us).

Picture taken the day before Dorian came down with a cold - looking really alert and bright-eyed (and old!)! More pictures to come soon.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

England update

Sorry for no posts over the last week. We have been insanely busy (or felt like it anyway) since arriving last week-end. It's been great so far...we're catching up with loads of old friends and family. However, I am absolutely exhausted. Dorian is jetlagged. He sleeps all day and is then up from about 12-5am (4-9pm PST). We have had plans during the days though so I haven't been able to sleep when he does. Today we had Ro and Josh (our nephews) over and I had to go back to bed this afternoon. I felt so bad because Ro, the 5 year old, was dying to spend time with Dori and I. I am so sleep-deprived I felt sick though. I managed to get a few hours sleep this afternoon and do feel better for it. It's amazing that Dori is jetlagged (and still one week later) - we hadn't realized he actually had gotten into a routine in the US! Dori also woke up with a little cold today - he's snuffling and coughing. It's not too bad and he seems okay but of course, it breaks my heart to have him sick. Hopefully it will stay as is and not get any worse.

Here are a few pictures to tide you over - I'll try to get some more up over the next couple days...

The cousins
Auntie Han, Uncle Phil, Cousins Ro and Josh
All bundled up - it's in the mid-30's here!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dorian Roy has arrived in England

We have arrived safely. The flight was amazing! After all the pre-flight stress, we got the seats we wanted and Dorian slept the whole flight - he woke up to feed a couple times and fell back asleep. Not a peep out of him. When we arrived in London, Graham (James' dad) picked us up. We drove to Bridestowe (about a 4 hour drive) and only had to stop once to feed him. Dorian is a traveller alright! Last night was another story. He obviously had jet lag because he was up all night long fussing. I have slept about 4 hours since Thursday night. Still, I'm not complaining because he was as good as gold on the flight!


Granta held Dorian at Heathrow
Nana is in love with her newest grandson
With both grandparents
James has gone back to his roots with a cup of tea by the fire
Look closely - Dorian will be so much older when we return home in 3 weeks
Father and son (they happened to be wearing the same shirt yesterday!)
Oakland Crockers in England (very happy but very tired!)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dori's First Flight

We couldn't book the seats last night - they told us we get assigned seats at check-in today (not what we were told earlier in the day). They just make it up as they go along. So we're aiming to get to SFO 4-5 hours before the flight. Wish us luck.

See you all in Bloggerville from the other side of the pond in a couple days!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bottle blues and airline rant

Last night I tried to give Dorian 4 different bottles - I spent hours trying to give him the bottle. Obviously, if he got really hungry and screamed for more than a couple minutes, I fed him with my breast. Nothing worked. Then he did not sleep well last night - back to his up every 1-2 hour deal and very gassy. This morning, we woke up and I breastfed Dorian. We waited about 30 minutes (before he got too hungry) and then James tried the different bottles on him. No success. Screaming baby. Practically crying mother in the next room (it is AGONY to hear him cry). I have just about had it...we've tried everything!!! I am happy to continue breastfeeding full time, it just means I couldn't work in Half Moon Bay or go out on my own. We'll keep trying, but this is ridiculously challenging. It is such a drag to pump and then store and sanitize everything to then have him cry and refuse the bottle, I almost feel like, what's the point?

Then, get this!!!!!!! James called to confirm our seats with Virgin Atlantic this morning. We had booked the tickets back in May and had confirmed our bulkhead seats and baby bassinet at that time. Well, apparently, they did not save any of this information. We have to book the specific seats later today when we can check in online 24 hours before the flight. This is NOT what we were told in May - we had our seats confirmed! Plus, now they're telling us that they have no record of a baby and instead of him flying free like we were told, we have to shell out $400 for him! Plus, the bassinet which we were told hooks onto the wall in front of the bulkhead seat is actually a bassinet that you hold in your lap!!!! Can you believe this???? James just spent an hour on the phone back and forth to Travelocity and Virgin. We think it's more Travelocity's fault than Virgin's. This was added stress we did not need. Poor James has a million things to do and has to leave for work in 2 hours (and won't get back until 11pm). And we leave tomorrow morning! USE TRAVELOCITY WITH EXTREME CAUTION.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I am stressing big time here. I am so worried the flight is going to be horrible. Poor Dori is going through a minor colicky phase. I wouldn't go so far as to say he has colic because he doesn't cry all the time and we do have some quiet stretches (and smiles!) He has also been sleeping better the past week - we've gotten some 5-6 hour stretches for the past 5 nights!!! Plus, we really do think a lot of his cries are down to gas because he is often in distress when he passes gas. It is agonizing to hear him cry. Sometimes suckling on my breast helps (pacifiers and fingers don't usually work for him), other times he just needs to be held upright against our shoulder with a lot of pressure on his tummy and one of us making LOUD shushing noises in his ear. Today we were able to quiet him by turning on the vacuum cleaner and bouncing him right next to it. Sometimes nothing helps though and he just cries and cries and it is so sad. I am usually able to calm him eventually - no one else can because he eventually wears himself out from crying, takes my breast and then falls asleep on it. We tried various gas remedies - pumping his legs (works sometimes) and hot baths (he likes them but doesn't help the gas). Simethicone drops don't help at all. Gripe water calms him instantly, but only quiets him for about a minute (while he is tasting it I think). James and I are fine - it is hard for us to hear him cry, but as I mentioned, at least it isn't constant. I am just terrified that the other passengers on the 11 hour flight to England will revolt against us.

In other news, we're still working on the bottle. We think it's the flow rate and are still trying out different bottles and nipples. Fingers crossed. It is still very difficult and we can't find a bottle he likes. I think it's the bottle and not my milk, though I am not sure. It does taste a little soapy to me. I am just about ready to give up on teaching him to take a bottle - it feels like an impossible feat. Just when we think maybe we have it, nope, we don't! Up and down. I am desperate to get back into shape but I can't leave him yet.

Dorian seems so much older now. He does interact A LOT more and looks around at everything and everyone (when he's not upset). We are also able to put him down in his vibrating chair (thank you, Emily!) and he'll look around the room on his own for 10-15 minutes or fall asleep. He keeps growing and growing. He seems massive to me, but I know he still looks like a little newborn to most people. We have had a lot of visitors over the past few weeks. Dorian has been remarkably good with most of the visitors, though sometimes he gets overstimulated and just wants his mama. England will be interesting because there are several days where dozens of different people will be over to see him. I can't stand having him wail, so I am going to keep snatching him back from people. I hope I don't come across as too overprotective.

James and I (well, more me than James) are stressing about Friday - we have a million things to do before we leave. We've got his band's party here tonight, we have to get organized and pack and we have to move everything out of one bathroom, the laundry room and our living room because the contractor is coming to work on turning the laundry room into Dori's room and our second bathroom into a bathroom/laundry room. Plus, James has to work for the next two days and I have my new mother's group session, have to buy last minute items for the trip, go to the bank, pay our bills and let my grandma and parents have Dori time before we leave.

Anyone who says being a stay at home mom is easy has never tried it. I am due back at work (part time) on January 7th but we're obviously going to have to see how things are going with Dorian (and the bottle!) and how many days a week I would need to commute. I can't wait to just get to England and have a much-needed holiday. Still, I really shouldn't complain that much. Life is so amazing - I love my son more than I ever thought possible and when he smiles at me, I know I am happier than I have ever been in my whole life. And James feels exactly the same way. We are so lucky.

More pictures.......

Reading with Daddy (he actually looks at the pictures now!)
Visiting with Cara, my freshman year college roommate (and Daddy, of course)
With my colleagues Dorana and Erika
Found his thumb to suck on!
Dorian likes to listen to Rockin' Santa - I love how the toy is almost as big as him!

Special video of Dorian to be posted before Friday - our first on this blog! Keep checking! I was going to do it today but it was too large so I need James to resize it for me. :)