Mia's First Year

Jenn and I have a baby girl! Her name is Mia Magdalena Umali, and she was born Wednesday, March 28, 2001. This is our first baby. And this blog will be a daily record of my thoughts during her first year growing up with us.

This page only shows one week's entries. To see older entries, access the archives.

I also have plenty of pictures of Mia.

Rick's Ramblings BLOG is still being updated.

More Rick Umali web sites at:

Lycos Tripod
The World
My Tech Blog
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Saturday, February 02, 2002

She's still with the flu. Although she drank her formula, and had her normal breakfast and lunch, she faded away by the late afternoon. When we took her temperature, it was again high (102). Again, more Tylenol.

On top of this all, Jenn has started to feel a little under the weather. I doesn't help that the really cold weather has settled onto New England.
posted by Rick Umali 10:08 PM

Mia has learned how to stack the stars on her stacker.
posted by Rick Umali 10:05 PM

Friday, February 01, 2002

Jenn just called. According to the doctor's office, Mia has the flu. Whew! At least it's nothing out of the ordinary.
posted by Rick Umali 10:31 AM

When Mia woke up, her fever was up again. 103. Jenn will be calling the doctor's. Jenn said that the folks at day care reported similar experiences happening with the other children in the infant room. This is the longest fever that Mia's had. Tylenol helps bring the temperature down, but the fever sure it taking its time.

As for me? I head off to work.
posted by Rick Umali 7:17 AM

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Mia was sick. Jenn was needed at work. So I had to stay home.

I don't recall ever staying home while Mia's been sick. Because Mia exhibited a fever of 102, she was listless, and sluggish. Food did not interest her. Getting her to take liquids was a challenge. And at 10:30AM, I gave her some Tylenol, which by yourself, is quite the task. Since there was no real routine, I really lost track of time.

Jenn smiled a bit when she came home (mercifully, by 3PM). "Now you know how hard it is." I think I always had some clue, but it's far more real now.

I also have dropped all thoughts that I could have been a stay-at-home Dad. It requires a completely different mindset, one that would take a long time to develop, one that is not natural for me. It's hard to articulate, so let me put it this way: Without Jenn, I'd be helpless.

I can't hope to ever equal the raw care and effort Jenn puts into being with Mia. When I think of the coffee breaks, the lunches, and the quiet time at my office, and then I think of Jenn working hard in the house, I am sometimes filled with shame. Surely, it's not fair.

The mindset goes beyond gender roles too. A little baby is overwhelming, and requires a complete subjugation of yourself. I know this eases up as babies grow into young children. But for a small baby, you can't "do your thing". You take care of baby first. Your needs are last. Your needs are secondary.

Thankfully, Jenn and I have our evenings. I can get a lot of recreational computing done in the late evening. Jenn and I read, watch TV, decompress. We slowly recognize ourselves, and then it's off to sleep, then more of the same.

Tomorrow is my wife's birthday. I gave her presents tonight (including the obligatory card from Mia, which I was delighted to shop for). But Jenn will stay home since Mia can't go to daycare with a fever from the past day.
posted by Rick Umali 8:11 PM

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

We gave Mia a bath tonight.

One nice thing that Jenn does is she warms up Mia's bath towel in the dryer, during Mia's bath. This way, when Mia's ready to be dried, she gets to sit in a warm towel. Mmmmmmm.
posted by Rick Umali 7:26 PM

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Mia's fever was much reduced by the time I got home. She was still feeling sluggish however.

Last night, she woke up three times in the evening, once at 9:30PM, again at 2AM and another time close to 5AM. Each time I trudged in, rocking her back to sleep. She was crying like she was a newborn again. At 2AM, in fact, Jenn suggested that we feed her some formula. Both times, when she woke, her diaper was messy with diarrhea.

It's hard for me not to feel the old resentment: why are you up? why are you sick? can't you see that Mommy and Daddy need our sleep. Alas, this feeling, which flares up from time to time, is one that is balanced by the supreme joy that she brings. The highs are truly high with children, and the low times are truly low.

At 5AM, all alone, rocking her, I wondered if this is what I signed up for. Of course it wasn't. I signed up for the love, the joy, the smiles and kisses. I forgot that being a parent is also about the early morning soothing and cooing, because baby is sick; being a parent means administering medicine, despite the howls of protest; being a parent means dealing with her crying, despite the fact that you're too tired. The "love" for a baby is all action. Pick me up. Hold me. Bring me a toy. Stand me up. Feed me. Make me warm, and safe. It's a job that, for the most part, one can't get out of.

Mia is sleeping quite nicely now. Just the usual moans and groans. (When she hits the side of her crib, it makes such a racket.) She should be well enough for daycare on Thursday, although I signed up for a possible day off if she couldn't come in. We'll see.
posted by Rick Umali 10:46 PM

Monday, January 28, 2002

Somehow, in the span of twenty-four hours, Mia developed a fever. Jenn took her to the doctor's, and the diagnosis was a fever, not another ear infection. I always feel bad whenever she gets sick. Tonight, when I got home from work, Mia was not her usual self. She was prone, lying on Jenn, quite warm and quite sluggish. Normally, she makes a mad-dash crawl to me when she notices where I am, but not tonight.

Jenn gave her Motrin tonight. We took her temperature, and it was still over a hundred. I hope the fever breaks tomorrow.
posted by Rick Umali 10:47 PM

Sunday, January 27, 2002

We took a nice walk today, Jenn, Mia and I. It was a splendid 50 degree day, which is balmy compared to previous days.

During the day indoors, we notice Mia trying to stand more and more.
posted by Rick Umali 11:40 PM

Jenn's figured out that during the day, Mia will spit up some of her milk about one hour after she drinks it. Interesting.
posted by Rick Umali 11:39 PM

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