Posts Tagged ‘papoose’

Transformation: Complete

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

It’s official, I have become a crazy hippie tree hugger. First it was the breastfeeding. Then the co-sleeping. Then the baby wearing. Then the baby-led weaning. Then I started foraging for all my food in the woods, sticking mainly to twigs, berries and the occasional mushroom cap.

Ok, so not that last one. But I am FINALLY making the switch to cloth diapers.

It was something I have considered  before, but never got around to actually doing. Sort of like scrapbooking, making my own whole wheat bread and learning Italian. Only with a lot more poop. But the stars aligned and suddenly it seemed ridiculous NOT to cloth diaper. The final straw was the promotion Franklin Goose ran, where they paid $5 in store credit for each product review you wrote. After racking up over $200 in totally free money (seriously, whoever came up with that promotion is SO TOTALLY FIRED) I broke the news to E that we were switching to cloth and he couldn’t object because they weren’t costing us anything.

Of course, then I spent $60 on accessories at Papoose. And then $95 on a huge lot of (barely) used diapers from my friend Emily. But she gave me a really really great deal – REALLY great, like, I sort of feel bad taking advantage of her great – and I’ve heard you really can’t have too many.

Since I don’t have all my diapers yet, I’m currently only part-time cloth diapering. And by “part-time” I mean “after I know Baby Evan has already pooped because I’m not sure I’m ready for that mess yet.” Plus I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing. For example, laundry detergent. I usually use Dreft and All Free & Clear for the babies clothes and our clothes, respectively. But for some reason I’m not supposed to use Free & Clear on diapers? So I bought a bag of Charlie’s Soap powder for my diapers. Although apparently Charlie’s is an all-or-nothing sort of soap, so I can’t switch back and forth with the detergent I already have. But I’m not willing to throw out 100+ loads of laundry detergent just because I’ve got THREE diapers to wash.

Like I said, I don’t really know what I’m doing.

But doesn’t Baby Evan look adorable?

This one is a Katydid, which is a pocket diaper. If I stuff it with both the regular insert and the infant insert it hold a LOT of pee. It’s also a nice soft cushion on his butt when he falls down. Plus I don’t have see Elmo in my kid’s pants anymore. THANK GOD.

A nap, a nap, my kingdom for a nap

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Although in my current sleepless state it feels like a zillion years ago, it was only early January when I first attempted to night ween Baby Evan. It went pretty well. Not great, but well enough that I was optimistic that things would only get better from there. I was prepared for set backs during new developmental phases but was super relieved I wouldn’t have to go through angry, stressful, cry-it-out sleep training every couple of months. I was not prepared for a baby who forgot absolutely everything about sleep and how to do it.

First we had the horrible vomiting puking disease that made everyone exhausted for 24 hours and then ravenously hungry for a week. No matter how many times we nursed during the day, Baby Evan woke up every 2 hours crying. Between my own exhaustion from the flu and my fear he might be dehydrated I was in no position to wean anyone, so back to night feedings we went.

Then one of his lower incisors started coming in and the paaaaaaaaain was aaaaaaawful. Teething is one of those “developmental milestones” that almost always disrupts sleep routines everything. My happy smiley baby was cranky and angry and spent many an hour wailing and gnashing his teeth gums. The only time he felt better was while he was nursing. So how could I say no?

Now we have almost no schedule. The baby wakes up for two or three feedings between 10 pm and 7 am. Mornings can start any time between 5:30 and 7:30 with no rhyme or reason. Although bedtime is still supposed to happen at 7 every night, when Baby Evan is still chasing the cat, rolling on the dog and throwing every toy he owns on the floor at 6:55 he’s clearly not tired yet so we push it back. Then there’s the mysterious screaming and thrashing that happens 40 minutes after E puts a full-stomached, sound asleep baby in his crib with his blankey. And don’t even get me started on naps. We’re down to one a day – sometimes for 30 minutes, sometimes for 3 hours. I can’t even remember the last time I took a nap but I’m pretty sure it was before Christmas. Or maybe before I gave birth. It feels like it was before Y2K. Or maybe before the invention of electricity. So I would really like to take one some time soon.

The only reason I’m not back to the same angry, miserable person I was the last time we tried sleep weaning is that E has really stepped up. He’s still doing all rocking at bedtimes and every nap when he’s home. He handled the mysterious screaming fit at 8:45 last night and rocked the baby back to sleep after I fed him at 11 pm the night before. And on Sunday mornings I get to sleep in as long as I want until it’s time for church. He understand that one morning a week where I get to pee and brush my teeth without a child hanging off my knees is vital to my sanity and good for our marriage. It also helps that Baby Evan is at a really good age – able to entertain himself for a good chunk of time (when he feels like it) and fun to play with when he needs someone to interact with. I also get mini-breaks during the various playgroups, classes and activities we attend at Papoose because my social butterfly spends the whole time climbing into other mama’s laps. Thank God he’s cute enough no one seems to mind.

I think I’ll probably try the night weaning again in a few weeks but it doesn’t really seem worth it right now. I’m tired but not incredibly exhausted, frustrated but not overly so, and I fear the other incisor is about to make an appearance so it might be hopeless anyway. I think my only hope for night-weaning is ACTUAL weaning, which is so far in the future I’d need a crystal ball to see it. And since my psychic abilities aren’t all that great (but really, who saw that Tiger Woods thing coming? What kind of rich, powerful, famous dude cheats on his wife?!) for now I’m just going to go rest my eyes for a minute.

What’s the sign for WAIT, COME BACK?

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Before I was a mom I thought the idea of signing with your kids was sort of silly. I mean, shouldn’t a one year old be focusing on learning WORDS instead of waving his hands around to tell you he needs his diaper changed? But now I have a kid, and my kid has NEEDS. Needs and WANTS. He wants things like the one specific block that’s over there. No, there. NO. THERE. NOOOOOOO NOT THAT ONE THE ONE WITH THE DOG HAIR NO NO NOOOO WAAAAAAAAAAH. And then there’s the frantic shirt pulling and grabbing when he wants to nurse. I’d really rather he learn the sign for “milk” than continue to do what can only be described as motorboating my boobs when he’s hungry (Dear Mom, please don’t ask what that means).

So on Thursday, Baby Evan and I started our Sign, Say & Play class with Miss Amy at Papoose. It’s a small class and I have to admit part of why I signed up was I already know the three other moms participating. I think they’re super awesome and my goal is to end up as more than just class friends. It’s definitely easier to stalk them at an organized group than by “accidentally” bumping into them in their driveway. AHA JUST KIDDING. Getting caught in someone’s driveway is a rookie stalker move. And now they think I’m nuts. Great job, weirdo.

Baby Evan is actually a little young to mimic any of the signs yet but I’m hoping that an early start will get us on the right track. He is…a hard child to keep focused. It doesn’t help that he spends most of the hour crawling towards the far corners of the room as fast as possible and refuses to sit anywhere near the group circle. He is a really, really, REALLY active child – his favorite game is “Attack of Babyzilla” where I lie on the floor and make “oh no you’re so strong!” noises while he climbs all over me – and shows no interest in slowing down for cuddles, let alone long enough to learn hand motions. Luckily, E is on board with the signing so Baby Evan is getting reinforcement from both parents any time he wants “more” or “milk” or is “all done” (Can you tell our first week was food/feeding signs?) We have five more weeks of class as well as a book and a DVD my friend Amanda gave me to work through, so my goal is to know all the signs we might use on a daily basis (hungry, bed, wet, dog, cat, more, milk, please, thank you, mama, dada, etc.) (no, not the SIGN for et cetera, just more every day signs I can’t think of right now) (I wonder if there even is a sign for et cetera) before Baby Evan is a year old. Then I have to remember to USE THEM.

Do you sign with your baby? How old were they when they “got it?”

9 Month Stats

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Weight: 22 lbs on the dot (above average)
Height: 28 1/2 inches (average)
Head circumference:  46 cm (above average, “Which is good” my pediatrician said, “so he doesn’t look like a weirdo. Because his weight is above average too.”)

We had a different doctor today, one I had never met before but I immediately liked based solely on the fact that he shares a name with a certain TV sitcom paleontologist. Let’s call him Dr. G. I thought about asking how Rachel was doing but figured it wasn’t good to piss off the guy in charge of sticking my baby with needles. Alas, it didn’t do me any good since he still suggested we finish Baby Evan’s Hep B series AND talked me into the H1N1 shot. You know I was on the fence about it back in October at his 6 month appointment but it became a moo point (like a cow’s opinion)  when the office didn’t have their doses yet. But after The Great Sickness of 2009 (which I’m not totally convinced WASN’T H1N1) I’ll do anything to keep Baby Evan from suffering though another week of misery.

Besides his name, I also liked Dr. G based on his total support of breastfeeding. He said he knew my lactation consultant well, referred new moms to Papoose for support all the time and used to be very active in La Leche League. His own wife nursed their children until they were 2 1/2 and he said as long as I was happy doing it I should definitely continue nursing Baby Evan past a year.  Instead of asking “Where does the baby sleep?” he just asked “How’s the baby sleeping? Do you lay him down on his back?” And hold on to your hats, AP mamas, but he also said bed-sharing was a great idea as long as E and I were comfortable with the situation. He and his wife bed-shared until their son was FOUR (although the story he then told about kicking his son out after he vomited ON HIS FACE one night made me pretty glad Baby Evan likes his crib). He’s my new favorite doctor at the practice and I’m going to make a point of asking for him in the future.

In other news, the trauma of being stuck with TWO GIANT ENORMOUS MASSIVE SHARP HORRIBLE PAINFUL POISON-COATED NEEDLES disrupted Baby Evan’s sleep patten enough that he woke up twice last night. It may also have been because we forgot to feed him any solids yesterday (oops) so he needed the calories. I will not make the same mistake again today, and plan to offer a six-course baby meal tonight (sweet potato, avocado, applesauce, teething biscuit, baby cheese puffs and yogurt) so he’ll be nice and full at 7 pm. Mama likes her sleep.

Oh hey, where did this wall come from?

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Can someone PLEASE help me explain to my husband how hard and exhausting and exactly like a job taking care of a baby is? How although on the surface it might look a lot easier than driving to an office every day, in the end you get to leave an office but you never get to leave a baby? And how even if you don’t really, truly, 100% believe that being a stay at home mom is work it is NEVER a good idea to accuse your wife of “playing” all day while you’re at your Real Job? And not just because when you say shit like that your wife might storm out of the house and leave you dinner-less, but because it really hurts her and makes her feel useless and unappreciated? Yes, please help me explain that.

(Sidenote for fairness: in my uncompleted posts queue right now is an entry about how awesome E was during The Great Sickness of 2009 and our holiday travels. He slept with the can’t-put-him-down-or-he-screams baby almost every night and did at least 50% of the daytime comforting. He’s also helping with the night weaning, which proves he cares about my sanity at least a little, as it doesn’t matter to HIM if the baby nurses all night. But yesterday I did not care about any of that.)

From the point of view of someone who doesn’t have kids, my day looks easy. Get up, eat breakfast, workout class, hang out with friends, lunch, some housework, errands, computer time, start dinner, serve dinner, clean up kitchen, watch some tv, do a little knitting and then bed. Yawn, a life of leisure.

But when you do all that stuff with a baby it looks like this: Up at 6 am with baby, nurse baby, change baby, dress baby, make sure baby is occupied long enough to go pee, rescue dog from baby, run upstairs to brush teeth and put on clothes, clean up baby spit up, get the baby a snack, clean up snack, clean up baby, change baby, eat an apple, nurse baby, get baby and all baby’s stuff in the car, take baby to baby-themed stroller workout class, take baby to breastfeeding group, entertain baby while trying to have adult conversation, put baby back in car, take baby home, try to get baby to nap, nurse baby, rock baby, nurse baby, baby falls asleep, jump in shower, start laundry, finally find something to eat…and that’s just before noon. I could keep going but I’m trying to finish this post before the baby wakes up from his nap. As you can see, baby-free time is precious around here.

Now from E’s point of view, at least 70% of that “work” is my own fault. I don’t HAVE to go to Stroller Strides. I don’t HAVE to go to breastfeeding group. I don’t HAVE to go to the store with the baby. I can stay home. I can run errands on the weekends. I could, quite easily, never leave the house. Like, duh, that’s why pizza delivery was invented. I could also quite easily go TOTALLY FRICKIN INSANE and end up babbling incomprehensibly about poopoo and diapeys and numnums and nappy naps. I’ve already used all those words at least once this week. The edge is near.

It doesn’t help my case that on the weekends I try to give myself as much time off as possible, so E sees me sitting on the couch while the baby naps and imagines that’s how I spend all my days. Never mind the clean socks in his drawer and the toys in the toy box and the milk in the fridge and the food on the table. Never mind the baby is dressed and fed and happy. Never mind my lack of a full night’s sleep for the last 9 months. Obviously if I have time to knit a sock mitten wrist warmer AND maintain a blog, taking care of a baby is cake. And since our not-ever-officially-negotiated-but-status-quo relationship is I’m in charge of the household, why should he have to do more work after his Real Job is done? What do I mean I can’t unload the dishwasher and watch the baby at the same time?

I know I have friends and readers who are thinking to themselves RIGHT NOW that I got myself into this and it’s really my fault for having such an old-fashioned, gender-stereotypical marriage. You’re thinking you’re way too smart to marry a guy who doesn’t have a truly feminist and shared view of parenting so you won’t ever feel like this. And I hope you’re right. But I think every parent in every kind of relationship ends up feeling unappreciated at some point, be it every day of their marriage or just for a few hours once in a while.

The hardest part of this whole thing is sometimes I feel like I DON’T do enough. I feel like since I don’t earn a paycheck I need to earn the right to stay home. I feel like dishes in the sink or unfolded laundry or a funny smell coming from the living room (which turned out to be BURNT CAT VOMIT from where the cat threw up on a radiator) are big black marks against me in my Wife & Mother Weekly Performance Review. I mean, there are moms who have three kids and a real job and a house and a dog and still manage to make organic, homegrown, vegetarian lasagna every night with time left over to volunteer at the soup kitchen. I definitely don’t work as hard as that mom. I don’t want to work as hard as that mom. I want to be happy. I just want to be happy.



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