Posts Tagged ‘breastfeeding’

My Week(43) in iPhone Photos

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

It’s amazing how even a really challenging week looks so nice in iPhone photos. Do not be fooled by these posts.

Sunday:

Before I had kids, I never thought going to the grocery store alone would be considered a good time.

This is what went into that galette I made

Daddy's idea of playing with the baby

Monday:

Playground after Stroller Strides

LARGE iced Dunkin' Dark with skim milk and 3 Splenda

I think we need a bigger toy box. Or FEWER TOYS.

Tuesday:

Hi hi hi hi hi hi! Watcha doin????

Battle wounds from an asphalt vs. face fight. Poor baby.

He looks pretty happy for someone getting Taco Bell for dinner.

Wednesday:

I may have overreacted to it being just SLIGHTLY chilly that morning

Flowers & stripes

I ended up buying this outfit, mostly because the kids started SCREAMING and I felt guilty about making such a spectacle and leaving empty handed.

E had hockey so I had my own private knit night at home instead of going to the shop. Much less fun.

Thursday:

Thank God for baby gates. HAHA YOU CAN'T TOUCH ME NOW.

Lockup has turned her into a hardened criminal. Obviously.

Fiona Baby Sundress (pattern from Ravely)

Friday:

Ready to go to Stroller Strides

Presents in the mail. People like me!

Nursing the baby now comes with a risk of being kicked in the face

Bread aisle at Target. I guess people are taking this hurricane thing seriously.

Saturday:

Laughing cow wedges on toast

Back off woman, I'm just trying to watch WonderPets!

Concerned dog looks concerned, but our fronch porch has been cleared and we're ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us.

So there isn’t much going on this weekend, besides waiting to see if Irene hits us. We’re directly in the path but our house is in an area safe from flooding and they aren’t talking about evacuating for any other reason. I’m a teeny tiny bit worried about our big tree falling down – apparently there used to be a matching tree on the other side of the house. It fell down during the LAST hurricane – but there’s nothing I can do to prevent high winds so I’m trying to use my energy on more important things, like taking a nap and baking cookies. I hope all my East Coast friends stay safe – and the rest of you enjoy the nice weather our hurricane is giving you!

Did you take any camera phone photos this week? Link up with one or lots using the linky below and grab the code (so it shows on your blog too!) over at Amy’s . It’s really fun!

Bottled Up

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Even though I had a wonderful time at BlogHer and am so glad I got to attend this year, leaving Caroline was a mistake. I shouldn’t have done it. I should have realized this wasn’t the right time to go and sold my ticket and spent the weekend hiding from Twitter, feeling sorry for myself and glaring at Caroline…but at least I would have been here for her. Every time I saw someone with a baby I was wracked with guilt and babbled endlessly about how I had a baby too but she was at home and I was pumping and I’m sure my husband had gotten her to eat by now even thought she’s never taken a bottle before but don’t think I’m a bad mom… and I secretly worried they thought exactly that.

It didn’t help that one mom said “Oh, I could NEVER leave my baby” in that tone of voice moms use when they’re judging you (even if they don’t THINK they are judging you and would deny it TO THEIR DEATH). Like the SAHM to the working mom: “Oh you are so strong! I don’t know HOW I could leave little Johnny all day!” or the cloth diaper mom to the disposable mom: “Oh I WISH I hated the environment so much that I didn’t care about filling up the landfills!” Well, maybe not that last one. But you get the idea.

One of my challenges is that I have never pumped with a purpose before. The freezer full of milk I left E with was just overflow from my early days of engorgement or Caroline sleeping a few extra hours at night. (Sidebar: I thought I had a GAZILLION GALLONS of milk in the freezer but between bottles she refused, bottles she didn’t finish, and a few bags with holes/freezer burn I came back to less than 20 oz. I was shocked.) I’ve never pumped to actually empty my boobs before, or to keep up my supply, and both proved to be a lot harder than I anticipated. While I was traveling all I had was a couple of hand pumps – my plan was to pop one on each side and get the job done faster – but doing that while standing up in an airport bathroom was impossible. And messy.

I was so sore. I couldn’t move without a constant reminder I was away from my baby and I SHOULDN’T be. My body was straight up guilt tripping me with the added benefit of physical pain to make it EXTRA GUILTY. It distracted me from focusing on the people I was there to meet and prevented me from giving everyone the hugs I was there to give.

Thank GOD the kind people from Hygeia Baby lent me a double electric EnJoye breastpump while I was at the conference  (and that my roommate was kind enough to drag it back to the hotel for me)(and also show me how to use it because I was freakin’ TERRIFIED the first time I looked in the box). By Friday afternoon I had gotten the hang of the fancy double electric action and was a regular milk machine, filling up bag after bag to donate to a local mom. I LOVED that pump.

But Sunday screwed everything up again – I returned the fancy pump and was left with my hand pump, I was stuck in an airport, and it was almost midnight when I got home. I had only pumped three times all day and after just a few minutes of nursing Caroline I was out of milk. My once insanely-overabundant supply had dwindled and we had to use the last of the frozen stash to calm the baby down. BOOB FAIL.

I threw my diet out the window and threw a giant chocolate bar into my face and I THINK we’re almost back to normal in terms of milk production but there still seems to be a lot of screaming. I suspect a top front tooth is to blame (which was NOT such a nice surprise on my poor nipple) but I’m going to worry about my supply constantly until the screaming quiets down a little. It’s made reentry to real life post-BlogHer (what?! it’s HARD) stressful and sleepless, both of which hurt my supply even MORE and then I’m trapped in a vicious cycle and can’t get out.

Also, I don’t think E is ever going to forgive me for the screaming he put up with before Caroline caved on the bottle. (She DID eventually cave, and now sucks them down like a champ. She might actually even PREFER the bottle, but too bad so sad baby girl, it’s back to the tap for you.) I suspect there was a LOT of screaming, but he’s being vague on exactly HOW AWFUL things were. Bless him for not complaining – although it might be because he’s barely speaking to me – but it hasn’t helped me feel any better about the situation.

So, to sum up, I am a selfish bitch who is now starving her baby and her husband hates her. I’m not doing so good at this mom gig right now.

Caroline: 7 Months

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I want to start this post out by telling you that Caroline the best, cutest, smartest, most advanced baby ever in the whole world, but I know you would think I am just saying that because I am her mother and I am SUPPOSED to think she is the best and the cutest etc. And yes, that is true. But she also is a really, really awesome baby and if you were to come spend the afternoon with her you would also agree she is the best – except, of course, for your OWN baby, because obviously you feel the same way about your baby as I do about Caroline.

But I also don’t remember thinking these things about Little Evan as much. I thought he was the cutest and the best, but I was constantly worried he was behind in his development – not rolling soon enough or catching on in baby sign language class. Some of that was true – he did take longer to roll and crawl – but I suspect a lot of it was first-time mom worry-warting for no reason. In fact, I think I STILL spend a ton of time worrying that Evan might not be hitting his milestones as fast as other kids, while when I think about Caroline’s milestones I think “meh, she’ll get there.”

Wow, that was a lot of words to say what I really mean, which is Caroline is awesome. Other than refusing to take a bottle (ARG BLERG BLAH) she is the perfect baby – easy, predictable, happy, and a good sleeper. She gets up sometime between 5:30 and 7, takes a short nap almost exactly 2 hours later, is awake until around noon when she goes back down for her long afternoon nap (conveniently at the same time as Little Evan!). She wakes up again around 3 and is her happy, playful self when Daddy gets home from work and while I make dinner. We’ve started giving both kids a bath together right around 7 pm and Caroline is asleep before 8. She usually gets up to eat once at around 2 am, but occasionally needs me twice and even more occasionally she’ll sleep straight through. She still sleeps in the swing at night in our room, but it is broken and doesn’t actually swing anymore. I’m just too lazy to set up the pack’n’play. Mother of the year, right here. We run a nightlight and a white noise machine and the classical music on the swing for her to make up for it.

I have no idea how we fell into such a pleasant schedule so easily, but I suspect it had a lot to do with already HAVING a schedule with the toddler and Caroline being easy-going enough to just fit herself in. Sometimes I feel bad for that – I don’t want her to suffer from Second Child Inadequacy Issues – but she is so obviously loved by everyone she meets I think she’ll probably avoid therapy at least a few more years.

She is still kind of a peanut, wearing mostly 3-6 month clothes with an occasional 6-9 month sleeper or dress. I like to think she’s conveniently pocket-sized for those times I need to carry her while chasing a toddler across a playground. It’s nice of her to accommodate me like that.

Caroline’s favorite things include boobs, the dog, the cats, crawling, pulling up on things, eating mulch, swinging, Twinkle Twinkly Little Star, her brother, biting me with her one teeny tiny tooth and nomming on things. Dislikes include bottles, sippy cups, purees, falling on her face, the sun in her eyes and not being able to walk. It fills her with Baby Rage.

Other things that fill her with baby rage: being forced to pose for photo shoots. Although I may have gotten just a FEW shots to post. And by a few I mean a bazillion.

All my tutu pictures are out of focus, because she wanted to eat it.

There was a little girl, who had a little curl

You have a baby...in a camera bag!

 

7 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual. New chart this month!)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Sits without support – Yes, easily. We’ve reached the “oh just set her anywhere” stage where I don’t worry about putting a pillow behind her.
Drags objects toward herself – Yes, although it’s much more likely she’ll move herself towards an object.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Lunges forward or starts crawling – Crawls like a champ. She can do both a regular baby crawl and a funny half-sitting monkey butt scoot, where she has one leg up.
Jabbers or combines syllables – I swear on a stack of Twilight books she’s started saying “Mama”. I wouldn’t bet any money she actually MEANS mama, but she can say it.
Starts to experience stranger anxiety – My kids have never met a stranger they wouldn’t go home with, although today at the park a friend tried to hold Caroline and she was NOT HAVING IT. So maybe?

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Waves goodbye – No waving, but she can sign milk. Like I said, smartest baby ever.
Stands while holding onto something – Yes. Our hands, my leg, the couch, the bouncy seat. STANDING IS HER FAVORITE.
Bangs objects together – Well, she’s not going to be playing cowbell with the Blue Oyster Cult anytime soon but she could probably whack a couple sticks together if I gave them to her.
Begins to understand object permanence – If I am in a room and she is looking at me and I leave a room, she sometimes gets upset. She will crawl around a corner to look for me. But I don’t think she does that with anyone else, so it’s more likely “Oh no my food is too far away!”

On Leaving My Children

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

This isn’t a post about going to BlogHer (although I AM leaving to GO to BlogHer so if you’re as annoyed at all the conference talk as I was last year you can skip it – or just go read that post). This is about whether or not leaving my kids – especially Caroline – with my husband for three days is something I can handle. I also apologize if this is the bazillionth time you’ve heard me talk about this, because I’ve been word-vomiting all over everyone for weeks anytime any subject even remotely related comes up.

I asked for similar last year and got lots of reassurance that going to a bridal shower without my 15 month old didn’t make me a terrible mother. Then a month later I left him again for The Creative Connection Conference…and again he survived. Since then, I’ve even managed to leave him in the care of other people who are not his father (although never for a weekend) and he’s a total champ about it.

But that first time I left? Little Evan was 15 months and done nursing. Caroline is going to be just short of 8 months old and still totally addicted to the boob. So addicted, in fact, that besides the one bottle she took at a few weeks old (when I foolishly declared “Yah! She takes a bottle!” and then stopped offering them. Idiot, party of one) she gets all her milk straight from the tap. I have tried every suggestion the internet has for bottle/cup/spoon/sippy feeding but I think the only thing that’s going to work is me being completely unavailable and her being extremely hungry. So I just have to…leave. And let E deal with it. Or find some poor sap and pay them a bucketload of money to do it for us.

I suspect there is going to be the kind of crazy inconsolable screaming that makes parents genuinely those their minds, and although E is a little less sensitive to it than I am I cannot help but feel like the world’s biggest jerk for (sort of) intentionally creating that situation. What if she screams the WHOLE TIME? What if she never does take a bottle? What if she gets so dehydrated she makes herself ill and E has to take her to the ER and the doctor says “Oh, did your wife die?” and E says “No she went to San Diego to talk about blogging and party” and I end up on Dateline as the Worst Mother In The World?

Part of me realizes there is nothing FAIR about being a parent. Someone is always going to feel like they are doing MORE, and in general we take turns being that person. But this isn’t about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher. This is about – forgive me if this seems a little overdramatic, I am feeling VERY OVERDRAMATIC – intentionally making Caroline miserable, ruining a baby’s sense of security and happiness and leaving my responsibilities with someone else.

(And hundreds of working moms just decided to slap me right in my face if they see it at BlogHer. Please understand that is NOT what I mean. I’m worried because I am upsetting my own personal status quo for what is basically a girl’s weekend, not making a general sweeping statement about leaving babies for any reason.)

I suppose I could bring her. Lots of people bring their babies. It’s not unheard of. Since all of my roommates are moms -plus one of my roommates is pregnant and one is leaving her own nursing baby at home – I’m sure they would understand. She’s an incredibly easy going baby (BESIDES THE BOTTLE THING) and loves people and would probably have a great time distracting me from the sessions and making me whip my boob out in front of all my blogging idols.

So there it is. I don’t WANT to bring my baby to BlogHer. I’ve been looking forward to this mommy-gets-a-break time for more than 2 years and nothing would ruin that faster than 20 hours of travel time in 4 days with a baby in tow. I want to wear real bras that hold my chest up and dresses and high heels. I want to have TWO glasses of wine and not feel like I’m abusing my child. I want to be awake at 2 am because I WANT TO BE, not because a baby needs me.

That sounds SO SELFISH, right? What kind of mother thinks that? It’s not Caroline’s fault she loves me and needs me, she’s a freakin’ BABY. And like my husband keeps pointing out, BlogHer will be there next year. This is not my LAST CHANCE IN THE WORLD to go have fun with my interwebs friends. But at this point it’s too late to not go at all without being out a big chunk of change and letting down at least one person I was looking forward to meeting in person.

I would never have even bought a ticket if I knew Caroline was going to be just as stubborn about the bottles as her brother. But now it’s down to the wire and I’m so stressed about it I am literally making myself sick.

Seriously, what do I do?

Wordless Wednesday: Three Evans Edition

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

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I am ALL OVER the interwebs today, thanks to a couple of beautiful ladies who are letting me guest post.

If you’re going to BlogHer, Suz at Suz’s Treats is running a series of advice posts for conference newbies. Since I haven’t actually BEEN to BlogHer, I have no idea why she agreed to include me, but check out my very calming advice.

And Julie from Back to the Basics (she’s basically my twin – she’s about to have her second, a girl, has an almost 2 year old boy and also loves Hanging with Friends) is taking some much needed bloggy rest time during a hectic work month so she let me fill in today with a post about how I’ll do anything to get my kids to sleep.