Sunday, July 31, 2011

Speakin' Good

I'm a big of a "talker"....wait what?!! No, surely, I'm making that up. You never would have guessed that. Err...right.

Anyway--I talk to LM all day long. We talk about what we're doing, what we're doing next, silly talk, running commentaries on whatever and so on and so forth. I know that talking is important to language development, and paired with a few of our baby signs, it will hopefully help LM develop a strong whole language base.

It's always been a pet peeve of mine when I hear people talking to babies with poor grammar usage. It seems like around babies, people who are normally well-spoken adults begin using random tenses, leave out words and just use poor grammar in general. It really bothers me---especially since I see the bad habits children pick up when it comes to grammar when they come to school.

But, like all good parental intentions, I've been catching myself doing it. AAK!! NO!
Just the other day, I heard myself say "You so cute!". No No No...bad Mommy! Why is it so hard to talk that fun syrupy mom talk (occasionally) without lapsing into poor grammar?? It shouldn't be so hard. I'm not perfect with my grammar usage (especially with nearly five months of sleep deprivation in play) but I thought I'd be better about it. I thought I would retain the ability to speak in clear, grammatically correct sentences to my baby. Apparently not.

Will it really hurt him if I'm not the model speaker? Probably not. But, at what point does it become influential on your child? Repeated exposure, like anything, becomes a model for little ones. They are what they live/hear/eat/see/experience. I need to do the following---a)stop worrying about it and b) try a little harder to make sure I model the language I want him to emulate. If he hears the random misspeak...that's fine. But long term, I need to make sure my speech acts as a good model. Just as my interactions with TH will model how to handle annoying people who can't seem to grasp that you're tired and really could care less about the state of the dust on our shelves :-)

Perhaps it's just a pet peeve of mine. Perhaps it's the teacher in me. But, I never thought it would be me dropping these "badder" sentences.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I got permission to share a little bit about what happened to Jacob so that other babies can be kept safe.

A couple of months ago, Jacob started rolling front to back. This was a big help for him because with his severe reflux, this is the only way he would nap somedays. He slept in his swing and rock n play for a long time, just recently transitioning to his crib. Like I mentioned, because of his unusual sleeping places, his mom put the Snuza monitor on him. During his third month, Jacob gained a good chunk of weight---he's a super cute little chubby monkey! But, what no one realized, was that he could no longer roll himself over because of the weight gain. He was spending a lot of time in upright toys--jumperoos etc. On a particularly rough day, his mom laid him down in his crib for a nap on his belly. He had had a rough night before and was really cranky/fussy. Both mom and him needed sleep desperately. His mom woke up to his alarm going off--she's not sure how long. Because he could no longer roll over or move his neck as well, he had gotten facedown in the crib and was rendered unconscious from the CO2 he was breathing in. When his mom found him, he wasn't breathing and had no pulse. She ran him downstairs, where she did CPR on him while calling 911. By the time the paramedics arrived, he was conscious but struggling to breathe. He was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Doctors and nurses worked on him and they figured out what had happened. Since he never turned blue (the CO2 basically put him in a stasis before he could suffocate), there is no presumed brain damage and he got to go home that night. He is since happy and acting normally!

His mom on the other hand is dealing with a lot of guilt. She feels that it is all her fault and that she nearly killed her baby. We've reassured her that she had no idea he couldn't roll over anymore/move his neck. I honestly had no idea that changes in weight could result in this---I always went with what people say about tummy sleeping being safe once they can put themselves on it, roll etc. I never knew their skill set could go backwards. It is because of this that she says it's okay to share her story---so that no other baby might be put in a dangerous situation.

As scary as it all is/was for them, I consider myself lucky to know them. She is an amazing mom who knew how to rise above crisis and save her baby. She is handling her guilt admirably and using her mistake to help keep other babies safe. It has taught me an important lesson on assuming nothing in parenting. Thank goodness LM doesn't like to roll unless necessary, so I've never considered it remotely safe to let him sleep like that.

I hope this helps you and your little ones and little ones you may know.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Today is our last summer fun day. We still have next week off before being on contract time but we'll be spending most of it getting our rooms ready. Normally we'll pop in and work a bit during the summer but I haven't wanted to be away from LM anymore than I have to.

As we're organizing and getting things ready for him to start at daycare next week, it has occurred to me that I'm going to have to prepare myself mentally as well. Not only have I not been at work since mid-February but I've never spent more than a couple hours away from LM since he was born. That's a big change for both of us. Our little sweetheart has been spoiled by having me home for almost five months and TH home for all but six weeks when he had to go back to work after his paternity leave. We pretty much are our own little special cocoon of family.

I'll have next week to adjust to dropping him off and working out the kinks (additional supplies, nap difficulties, bottles etc). But, when I think about the first real day of school that I have to drop him off...I pretty much have a bit of a panic attack. We have to walk out the door on time, get through drop off ok and make it to work on-time/early enough to handle the numerous first day of school fires (like the time I showed up and was given five extra students to prepare for).

There's going to be a lot of irony that day. After I gather all of my kindergartners from the buses and car rider area, they all have to say goodbye to the parents who have brought them. I'm a mean teacher and I don't allow parents to follow us into the classroom. The kids stay upset, the parents stay upset and are generally in the way. So--for us to get off to a smooth start and get our day going, my rule is that everyone says goodbye in the hall. It's not a popular edict with some of the parents. But--it is what it is. AND it works.

But this year, about an hour before all of this happens...I'm going to be the one not wanting to leave my baby on this big day. I'll be the one fighting back tears. And DL will be the one making me say goodbye before I'm ready.

I totally get the irony...I do. I wonder if that'll change anything :-)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A natural proclivity towards paranoia

I had a long post planned about our visit with the IL's and all the things I need to vent about somewhere where TH won't see it :-)

But, the whole thing with Jacob yesterday has thrown me for a loop. And I need to write about how I'm feeling instead.

I'm a worrier...I get it from my mom, who is the queen of worrying. I'm not a crazy, bubble wrap my baby kind of worrier. I am just cautious and I think things through. I can come up with a whole host of scenarios for what "could" happen with most things in my life. I analyze and usually take the cautious route. I did well in school because I hated the idea of disappointing my family. I behaved in college because I worried what would happen if I got in trouble doing something wrong.

I can talk a big game, but I usually only take calculated risks.

As a mom, I worry about keeping LM safe. I worry about the decisions I make and how I will feel about them in the long run. I worry I'll miss the big things when I go back to work.

BUT--I'm not the paranoid mama I thought I would be. When he sleeps an unexpectedly long time, I don't wake up in a panic. I don't check on him in the middle of the night. When he's being watched by my mom or TH, I don't create horrible scenarios about what might be happening. I don't visualize him being dropped. I'm strangely much more rational and calm.

Which totally goes against my norm.

But last night and today...I'm worrying. I worry that he'll stop breathing in his sleep...possibly struggling to breathe all alone in his crib down the hall. I worry that there's something wrong with him that we don't know about. I worry about him napping at daycare starting next week. Just when I'm supposed to be starting to worry less about the risk of SIDS is going down, as he can move his own body more and eventually choose his own sleep position...then I realize how much of a reason to worry I have. I just want to swaddle him up and put him back in his PNP by my pillow.

I also worry about how I would react in a crisis. How do you know you'd know what to do? Is it like when your car skids on the ice and you're taught to turn into the skid but who the heck can remember that when you're you just react and you do it right???

Would I be able to save my baby? Would I be able to forgive myself if I couldn't? Or if I could have prevented something bad happening by worrying about it more and being proactive about a solution.

Jacob's mom had a Snuza for him...because she worried, not because there was a known concern. And it saved his life. Her instinct to give him CPR and revive him from unconsciousness saved his life.

It's heavy stuff.

I just can't stop worrying today. And I can't shake the horrible nauseous feeling that comes with it. The confidence I was gaining as a FTM is rocked to the core..because what do I really know? What if I'm so hung up on something silly like bottle nipple flow that I miss something important?

I was doing ok. And now, my worrying side is back. Does that "feeling" in your stomach ever go away?

Monday, July 25, 2011

An urgent request (updated!)

One of the little babies in my birth month group stopped breathing today. Thank god for his Snuza monitor going off(no breathing, no pulse) and even more than that---his amazing mom performed CPR on him. They're at the hospital trying to figure out why.

I know now everyone prays but if you do, please include little Jacob in your prayers.
If you don't, please send a positive thought out into the universe for him.

Not, I'm going to go kiss my LM (and possibly start sleeping on his floor). Give your LO's an extra hug tonight.

**Little Jacob is home and doing well. For privacy reasons, I'll leave out the personal medical details. But--the most important thing is that he's home--happy and safe--with his parents. Thanks for everything you did!**

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The cool side of the pillow

You know that feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night hot and bleh...and then you flip your pillow over and it's nice and cool? Ahh...lovely.

I've discovered that LM has the same opinions about pacifiers. Last night after his middle of the night feed, he wasn't falling back asleep. He was squirmy and unhappy. I kept trying to coax him to take his paci but he kept spitting it out after a few sucks (yes, I checked to make sure it didn't have something on it). Finally, I grabbed another one that for some odd reason had ended up in his room and gave it to him.

It must've been just like that feeling when you flip to that cool side of the pillow, because he started sucking away and passed out.

Whatever it takes :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011


As a kindergarten teacher, I know how important routines, procedures and repetition are to successful learning/living.

I also know that having routines in your home help your baby/child/dog know what to expect and that this comforts them. I can't wait to have more "routines" with LM.

But, what I've noticed lately, is that I've developed my own mama routines. Strange little things that have become a habit...unintentionally.

For instance, when I climb into bed at night, I do the following:
I turn on the monitor
I turn the monitor to that the lights face directly at my pillow
Set my phone down in front of the alarm clock
Put a ponytail holder around my phone so when I get up to feed LM at night, I will be able to pull my shedding hair back as I walk down the hall.
Set my glasses down between my phone and the bottle of water I keep on my nightstand.
Turn off the lamp.

Now...would the world end if I didn't follow this routine every night? No. At least I don't think so. But, it helps me settle in for the night. I know that in the throes of sleep deprivation and that fabulous sensation of waking up in the middle of a weird dream to cries, I will be able to grab my phone and glasses and be on my way in no time. With no thought :-)

My other slightly embarrassing routine is slightly more of a superstition. After I turn out the light and close my eyes, I calculate.

I calculate how long it's been since LM went to sleep. And how many hours it has been since he ate. I then tell myself something like this, "Ok, he's been asleep for two hours, it's been two and a half since he ate. It's 1030 now...I'll be 'ok' if he sleeps until 1. That'll give me enough'll be ok.". Then, I think...but I really want him to sleep until 3.

It's my little superstition. It makes me fall asleep thinking that he won't wake up in 30 minutes. And if he doesn't sleep as long as I want...I've convinced myself that it's ok. I want him to sleep until a certain time, but I always "undershoot" it so that I am pleasantly surprised if he sleeps longer.

I know this makes no sense. But, it helps me. And it reinforces my belief in the importance of routines in parenting.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Buttoned up

At least that's what I tried to do with my mouth today when we met with the daycare lady. Now, don't get me wrong...I talked. I asked my questions and answered hers about LM. I even chit-chatted about her daughter and losing teeth (I really don't like small talk!).

But, what I managed to do even more than talk was something much more important---I watched. I watched our daycare lady (henceforth known as DL) light up at the sight of LM. I watched her snuggle him, talk to him, marvel at his chunky thighs and arm rolls & introduce him to the other little ones---two 10 month old little girls (there are twin 3 year olds that will start when the school year starts up).

I watched her love my son. Now my cynical side realizes a little bit might have been for show---but honestly, it didn't appear anymore faux than when I turn up the syrupy factor when the principal pops into my classroom...not fake, just not something I have the energy to do 100% of the time.

She seems to truly love babies. She incorporated him into their day while I watched...bringing out the bumbo for him while she changed a diaper, holding him while she helped another little one work on her green beans in the high chair. I watched while she disciplined her own 11 year old daughter who was there (and a bit high-maintenance, touchy feely with the babies for my taste but hey! she'll be in school soon and she was really good with my hang up mostly).

And then, I watched while he fell asleep on her lap...and she shifted him to rest on his stomach on her I had mentioned to her very early in the visit about how he really loves to sleep when we're softies and don't make him nap in his crib or PNP.

So, overall, it'll be good. He was happy and mellow the whole visit..taking it all in. I think she really is sincere in her excitement and joy about him...his birth announcement was in the collage of her daycare kids photos. I'm glad we went and more importantly, I'm glad I watched more than I talked :-)

**Some nuts and bolts just in case you're interested**
We have to provide a PNP (so we're now in the market for a simple, cheap but comfy one), diapers (we'll leave a box for her), bottles/formula (I LOVE that she already has some kiddos who take warmed bottles and some that do room temp like us, so I know she's down with it), extra clothes and a lovey if he wants one. Besides that, we'll leave our diaper bag with random normal stuff in it since TH will do pick-up and I'll do drop off.

She has wipes, a swing, bouncy chair, bumbo, age appropriate toys etc. She'll use whatever sippy cups etc that we transition to but in her story-telling (man, can she talk!) she talked about how she likes to buy toddler things like plates, silverware and cups in colors they like so they have their own little I think her tendency leans towards making it a little bit more like they're a part of her home and spoiling! She also will cook some table finger foods when they're older--fruits, veggies etc. For instance, today she made green beans for the girls on top of their baby food.

Anyway--he'll start for six hours Tues-Friday the first week of August for a trial while I start prepping for the school year. I'm excited...nervous but excited.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hope her ears are ready :-)

Tomorrow LM and I are going to go hang out with the daycare lady that we chose. This will be the first time he's met her...not sure how all the time disappeared, I had meant to do a couple meet n greets before leaving him. But--since I am a Grade A procrastinator, we're visiting tomorrow and he starts limited visits the first week of August when I go into school to start setting up for the start of school the following week.

I'm not sure if you've noticed this about me...but I don't take the short route of saying anything. So tomorrow, I KNOW I am going to have the overwhelming urge to tell her each and every little thing about least all of them I think she needs to know to make things go smoothly. Ok it'll be each and every little thing about him.

There are so many things I feel like she needs to know. Part of that is my fault. As we are currently transitioning to formula and losing the swaddle, discussing feeding habits/info and napping info is not exactly straight-forward. The whole he "most naps after he has eaten and played but sometimes he falls asleep after he's eaten and normally naps 30-45 minutes at a time except for the times that he naps for 1-2 hours etc etc" conversation will probably end with me tongue-tied and her confused. The type A part of me wants to type it all out but I should probably wait until after we meet and I can judge a) how clearly I explained things and b) my perceived interpretation of her reaction.

Heck--I'm not even sure what all to tell her. I'm hoping she is a good question asker. I've got a list of things I want to talk about but man, I'm not good at these conversations. The wordiness might get out of control! I'm also a little unsure about what is "normal" to be expected to bring/leave at an in-home daycare (5 kids including LM) and what might be FTM not knowing I'm being duped. Not that I don't trust her...I just always feel like I may be offering to do/provide too much.

Any tips? Experiences? Anything to help me not turn into a crazy speed talker :-)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

“Reading is sometimes an ingenious device for avoiding thought.” - Arthur Helps

That pretty much sums up why Half Price Books made me go into labor. Did I ever tell you that?

Ok..slight exaggeration. I didn't go INTO labor there. But, I blame them.

I had been home on workrest for 2 1/2 weeks when I couldn't take it anymore.

What is workrest, you ask?? Workrest is when your feet look like Spongebob Squarepants and your cankles would look at home on an elephant...then your doctor tells you it's time to stop chasing around the kinder-sweeties and get off your feet.

Luckily, after a few days at home the the swelling went down (and by "went down" I mean that five pounds worth of fluid went away). I finished nesting (not a long process as I was planning to work until 2 days before my DD and had gotten most things done during a lovely ice storm that cancelled school for several days). I puttered around the house pretending to do things so that TH wouldn't realize I mostly just slept in and watched Cr.iminal Minds, House Hunters and CSI all day. But finally, I just couldn't take it anymore. I felt great. My Braxton-Hicks had stopped and stripping my membranes hadn't accomplished anything. I had been the same amount dilated/effaced for 3 weeks. I WAS GETTING OUT.

So, I went to Half Price Books. I meandered around, buying a nice slew of chick lit, mysteries and a few "what to do after the baby comes" type of books. I figured that this would give me plenty of time to read up a little on what to do with the the little man whose feet lived in my ribcage and then read fun, mindless books until my induction (scheduled for three days after my DD...another story).

I came home, wiped off the kitchen counters (you know, making it look like I had accomplished something!) and took a nap. Later that night, I was wide awake (yay third tri insomnia) reading The Girlf.riend's Guide to the First year when *POP* water broke. I retrieved TH from the guest room (someone said I snored) and off we went on our new journey...

So, I blame HPB as why I went into labor 26 hours before my DD and mere hours after I SWORE to anyone that would listen that I wasn't giving birth anytime this decade. Way to make me look like a fool HPB :-)

Aren't you glad I shared this with you? I figured I would share this story since today I went back to HPBooks for the first time since that day. I had run out of books (well, ones not on my kindle) and had a coupon for $5 off. As I wandered through the aisles, I remembered that hard it was to squat down and get books off the bottom shelf, how awkwardly I hauled my bag of books to sell around and how I was so sure I'd read them all before LM came.


The funniest thing was when I saw a book that I sold back that day...on the clearance shelf, with the purple sharpie smudge on the spine from a minor sharpie mishap I had. It's amazing to me that in as much as my life has changed in the last four months, that book had sat snugly in its spot on the shelf, waiting for someone to take it home and love it. And in fact, hadn't changed at all.

There's a lot of uncertainty in life and there's a lot of fluidity. Some things are out of our control and some things we over-control. I used reading and book-shopping as a way of dealing with my uncertainty (and some ironically hubris-like certainty) about giving birth. I was avoiding thinking about what was actually about to happen...because I was sure it wasn't.

Getting off my ever-growing a** and going to Half Price Books that day was probably the "get up and move around" that I needed to jump start things. All the books on those shelves have seen a lot of people walk by since then...people sure and unsure about where their lives were taking them. They watch and wait for the right person. And someday, someone will buy that book and take it home to read and maybe love it...and hopefully not go into labor (unless they want to).

(I never did finish reading the book I was reading that night...maybe I should get to it!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Letters to LM

Dear LM,

I know you love the dog and I love that you know how to get your hands from point A to point B. But please stop sticking them out for the dog to lick. On that same note, please stop laughing when he licks you in the mouth. It makes us laugh and now the dog thinks it's a fun trick.

It's all well and good until he sneaks up on me and does it to me.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Like a middle-aged man

I know you have never seen me or my hair, but you'll have to trust me that I'm going to be bald soon. I've always had thick hair--somewhere between shoulder and chin length after a series of unfortunate years where it was WAY too long. I didn't get "pregnancy hair"---it didn't get thicker, more luxurious or growth like a weed. It did get less oily, which was nice.

However, I figured that since it didn't really change during pregnancy that I wouldn't have some of the post-partum affects I had read about. But, like clockwork, around 12 weeks old...I started shedding.

And shedding and shedding and shedding. I have to wear my hair in a ponytail because I shed all day long. I have a daily freakout that there is a bug on me when a stray hair hits my skin. I even pull it back in the middle of the night when I get up to feed LM----and I often don't even put my glasses on! It's in the carpet (thank god for Dynson's), it's on the counters and it's even IN my dog (trust don't want to know how he know he's ingested it).

I figured it would stop didn't. I'm SO tired of it. I really don't think the "bald" look is for me...I can't really pull off the middle-aged man look well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On our way....

Yesterday, LM had his first bottle of formula. I tried it "straight up" instead of mixing it with breastmilk at first so we could see if he'd take it that way.

He did. He sucked it down like we've been giving it to him since he was born. It was harder than I thought to see that. In the back of my mind, I figured he would prefer BM and that it was a "special" thing. But--my uber-flexible baby was good to go with it. We only did one feeding yesterday but since I really wasn't too uncomfortable, I think I'll start dropping two a day---one am, one pm--leaving the breakfast/bed ones until last in case I change my mind about stopping those.

It's such a big step for us. I know that some babies get formula from Day 1 but to me, I feel like we're going down this new path where LM is growing up. This path has bottles, daycare, returning to work, solids etc all on it....I can't believe how fast it's flying by. I see LM doing new things every day and I know this isn't stopping :)

So, we're exploring formula now and learning lots of the smell sucks. It's also a lot thicker when LM spits it up. I'm still trying to figure out how many ounces to give him and if the brand we're using is "the one". I've also got to figure out a better way to mix bottles without making a mess when I'm shaking it.

But, he seems happy and still snuggles with me while he eat so I guess we're one step further down this path.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wascally Wabbit

Yesterday LM went to the pedi for his 4 month.
His stats are:
Weight: 16 lb 2 oz (61.34%)
Height: 25 7/8 in (76.06%)
Head: 16 1/8 in (24.84%)
General comments: happy, good head control, affectionate and healthy

He also got his shots...which I hate. He seemed to get madder about them this time. Getting all red-faced and screaming. It took him a few more minutes to calm down this time. But, once he did, he was good to go. He was fussy and sleepy in the evening but seems to be in good spirits today.

Which brings me to my title...LM's band-aids are about the cutest little things ever---Bugs Bunny. They looked adorable on his chunky little thighs, complementing his rolls well. But, they were going to meet their end this morning during his bath. However, LM had his own idea.

He was playing on his playmat--laughing and drooling while I loaded the dishwasher. When I was done, I went over to him just in time to see him stick the band-aid IN HIS MOUTH! Somehow, he had managed to pull it off and coordinate his little hands to get it in his mouth. Thank god I walked over when I did. It never occurred to me that he could pull hard enough AND get his fingers/grasp just right to be able to pull it off. When I think of what the outcome could've been...eesh. I guess it is a good example of how coordinated he has become since his last shots.

That other band-aid came off lickety-split.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And then there were donuts....

Three years ago today, TH and I got married.

Despite a few minor glitches (like our unity candle almost setting the church on joke!), I got to marry my best friend. And then we had donuts :-)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I can't believe he puts up with me :-)

With LM, our family is complete (for now....).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Current Love

This is our current love. We are starting to teeth...or LM has bought stock in a drool factory and is singlehandedly in charge of supplying the inventory!

So, we've broke out all the fun things to gnaw on. This is a clear favorite. Made by MAM, all four rings are chewy, textured fun and (my favorite part), rotate which helps LM hold on to it. I'm so glad I read about this in a magazine and added it to my registry!

Bring it on teeth!

Friday, July 8, 2011

TH: The Parenting Expert

A while back I talked about our attempt at un-swaddling....our failure rather. I had big plans on how we'd try again. We'd start out by leaving his arms out at night for a few nights, then do the same for naps.  Then, we'd totally un-swaddle at night for a few rough nights, then add in naps too. 

FYI--I chose night first over naps because if he gets good naps, then he naturally sleeps better at night. So I figured it would be best to start at nights....though, what do I know? I just make this stuff up as I go along :-)

Anyway--I went out to a Wine & Canvas night with my BFF last night and TH had bedtime duty. Normally, this is my realm because LM tends to fall asleep during/immediately after his last nursing session, so I put him to bed.  This was his first time to handle it. I left him bottles and had the swaddle sack all laid out for him.  While I was out, I get a picture on my phone of LM rocking some new super cute sleeper pj's that we bought him. I remarked on how cute he looked and because I was engrossed in my painting (oh...and I had some wine!) I didn't pay attention to what time it was.

Well...long story kinda short.....TH decided that he was just going to put LM to bed unswaddled last night. Because...and I quote...."I wanted him to wear the new pj's".  (Normally he just wears a little onesie under his sleep sack because it gets hot). So, my new parenting expert husband clearly used all of the research and knowledge he has to make this decision (Can you hear the sarcasm?).

It didn't go horribly. Ok, yes it did. He was up to eat 2 or 3 times (I'm so tired I honestly don't remember how many that bad?) and once or twice for just some patting/paci/soothing.  By the end, the last time I patted him, he did flop out right back to sleep so I guess he liked it. But...I feel so groggy today.  The one time that TH went into soothe him turned out to be the time that he really needed/wanted to eat. 

So, like all best laid plans, we're on a different course now. I'm willing to give it a few nights to see how it works. He is a few weeks older and has discovered the love of sucking on his fingers and playing with his feet since last time, so maybe it'll work. But...damn...I had gotten used to getting up once for a feed at night. 

Besides...I wouldn't want TH to not get to put all the cute sleepers on LM and ruin the parenting study he's doing :-)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Winding down...

I know that people have strong opinions on the whole issue of breastfeeding, formula, weaning etc.  Please know that I believe to each his own.

I enjoy breastfeeding LM.  It's been a really smooth process amazingly....I was sure there'd be problems.  But--he latched right on and never looked back.  It's always been my plan that I would transition him to formula when it was time for school to start up. Yes, I know I could pump. But the age group I teach is high maintenance and requires a lot of energy and time at the start of the school year. Most years, the first week of school usually results in me grabbing a quick snack while running around on my one break of the day (we don't get a second prep until later in the year when we feel the kids are more self-sufficient for not all of the teachers to be there). I don't sit down and honestly, there's just not going to be time to pump on the one break. I'm trying to be realistic. The last thing I want is for LM to be relying on pumped breastmilk (my freezer stash is pathetic---I can only pump about 3oz at a time, on a good day) at daycare and my supply tank.  I have panic attacks at the thought of leaving him at daycare after so long home together, so I cannot imagine trying to transition to formula in the midst of all of that. 

He'll be 5 months three days before school starts. We plan to start solids at 6 months. (I totally get that this statement doesn't fit here...but I wanted to include it and couldn't figure out a good spot for it).

Once things settle down at school, I'll still have just the one late morning break. And I could pump...but honestly---this is my one time a day to sit and talk with my team, get things done etc...and I know how stressed I get when I lose this. I don't want to be a stressed, mean teacher...and as a result, a cranky mommy.  I get that some people might view this as selfish....and it probably is. But, it's something I've been really really thinking about and I feel comfortable with my decision.

Guilty, but comfortable. 

I'll miss the time with LM but he loves bottles and will take them from me, so hopefully we'll still get our snuggle time. Plus, it'll help TH and him get some much needed snuggle time as he'll be back to school too.

So right now, I'm exploring the idea of weaning (without feeling like my bo.obs will explode) and learning about formula/bottles etc. It's a lot to learn about....and I feel a little overwhelmed. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like not being "good" at something right away so I have anxiety about the transition.  I'd love advice from anyone who has weaned (un)successfully and anyone who can give me tips about formula/bottle and all of the life lessons you've learned.

We go to the pedi next week for our 4 month so I'll talk with her about it then and get her advice too. But--you know I love the real mama advice.

So we'll start soon....but until then, I'm just going to enjoy my time breastfeeding LM and prepare ourselves for this new transition. And's a big one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What a surprise...

I hate calling customer service lines. I hate the options to listen for/punch in, trying to understand the person (I inevitably get a bad connection) and everything else. To top it off---I get nervous trying to explain why I called and end up sounding like a fool as I stutter over myself. It doesn't matter if it is a simple request, question etc...the way I behave, you'd swear I was trying to pull a heist. 

We've been struggling with an insurance claim for LM---yes, since March. The hospital mistakenly filed the claim under his name even though he was still under my umbrella of insurance (and yes, it took multiple conversations to figure out the problem). There was a lot of back and forth between me and the insurance company & me and the hospital. I was starting to get worried I'd get stuck with the $4000+ bill because the hospital seemed clueless about it all!

BUT--for once, it was a great customer service experience on the insurance side. Every time I called An.them, the agent on the phone was helpful and *gasp* informative.  If they didn't know the answer, they didn't send me on to someone else with the inevitable long hold time...nope...they found the information themselves.  This last time, after realizing that the provider was going to have to write off some of the cost and the hospital was days away from taking out a hit on me, the customer service agent said that she would just put me on hold and call them herself to get it straightened out....and she did.  Bam! Just like that.

So for once, I had a great experience with customer service.  I honestly still can't believe they were that helpful..and made phone calls for me.  I know have extra time since LM is still napping and I didn't end up on the phone the whole nap as I imagined! And now TH will get off back about taking care of it :-)

It's almost enough to make me call a customer service line next time instead of looking for an email or online chat option.....almost.!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

This time of year, there's always a lot of talk about freedom and independence. Usually, it has to do with the basic rights we have in this country. Or appreciation of the brave military men and women who give/gave/will give their lives to defend this freedom.

However, late last night while I was up pumping, it occurred to me that the idea of independence has shaped motherhood as well.

We are able to put off being mothers until we are ready and able. We are able to use science and technology to help us be mothers when our bodies need support. We are able to choose to mother other's children when they cannot. We are free to talk about the struggle of not being able to be a mother and advocate for the funding etc to help support those in this struggle.

We are able to choose whether to work or stay at home. We are able to decide whether to breastfeed or formula feed.  Our babies can co-sleep, sleep in a crib/bassinet or wherever we can get them to sleep. We have the independence to choose what parenting "methods" we want to use---whether it be discipline, sleep training, attachment parenting etc.  We have the freedom to cloth or disposable diaper.  We are have the freedom to research and learn about how we want to raise our children. And we have the equality in the home to have our voices heard about these issues. The list goes on and on.

Being a mother today is much different than our mothers and grandmothers.  The freedom and independence that a mother today has is a special thing.  And it will only continue to grow. Our babies (or their wives, partners etc) will be even more independent from the guilt that accompanies many of our parenting decisions.  They will have an independence that allows them to "mother" their children that women generations ago could only dream of.

So, on this Independence Day, be thankful for this special kind of independence we enjoy---it's made possible by all of the other freedoms we celebrate today.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I know awhile ago, I wrote about how I was making a photobook out of LM's photos (I did finish it by the way--Picasa's new photobook tools rock! Plus I got it for only shipping!).

But, I've been looking for more ways to preserve data and memories about him---especially since I know that I'll probably start slacking on his baby book.

So---I came across this  ---> Kidmondo.  It's an online 'baby book'.  You can upload photos, create growth charts, blog/make diary entries and just in general keep track of things. I've only been playing with it for a few days now but I really like it! Hopefully it will help me keep up! Plus--I can share it with other family members!

Just wanted to share!

The damages...

I thought since I bored you with what I took, I'd share with you what I actually used. Data and all.
  • 3 outfits per day---plus an extra couple outfits----so 15 outfits. That's two onesies and a romper per day give or take. We had a favorable spit up week and used only about 9 outfits.
  • 3 pair of shorts, two pair of pants We only used the shorts...too hot for the pants.
  • 5 onesies to sleep in We used 3 of the 5 onesies--the other nights he slept in the onesie he had on when he crashed
  • 2 sleepers in case needed Not needed
  • 2 overalls---long and short Not needed
  • 2 hoodies Not needed
  • 2 long-sleeved onesies Not needed
  • 4 pair of socks Used just one
  • 1 big blanket for the floor Worked out well!
  • 2 smaller snuggley blankets Big help for laying him on top of furniture/bed etc to play
  • 2 swaddle blankets Used 1 for naps
  • 1 swaddle sack Wished we had two...the first night he added a feeding and peed through it by the morning
  • 2 extra PNP sheets Used one extra plus the one already on it
  • PNP Obviously important as he slept in it nightly!
  • Playmat Didn't end up getting it out--I laid a blanket down and played with toys with him. It if had rained more, we probably would've got it out.
  • Swing (yes, the full-size one. It's a big cabin and LM takes at least one nap a day in it--plus, if all hell breaks loose, he can sleep in it at night) So glad we took it--it worked for a couple naps plus some baby dolls got to ride in it too.
  • 3 carriers--my Baby K'tan (swoon), Ergo and Baby B'jorn (for TH) These were lifesavers as where we went ended up being not very stroller friendly.  The Ergo ended up being a bit hot but TH carried him in the Bjorn quite a bit. And I used the K'tan to both carry him and soothe him the first night.
  • Diapers (lots) We went through 35-40 diapers of the ~60 we took.
  • Wipes (lots) We went through almost a 64 pack. I didn't touch the extra pack we took.
  • Mini baby shampoo, lotion and baby wash Body wash was used for a sponge bath.
  • Aquaphor We put this on some of his cute leg rolls when they got irritated from heat.
  • Nighttime books Our nighttime routine was changed up some so we didn't get to these.
  • Random toys (plus the ones on the playmat) I'm glad I took the toys--we used a lot of them but I could've left some. He's starting to drool/teeth so it helped that I brought some of his teething squishy ones.
  • Stroller Didn't use it as much as I thought.
  • Baby brush and nose sucker Didn't use
  • Baby monitor Lifesaver as the place we stayed had 3 stories and a hot tub :-)
  • Breast Pump Didn't end up needing it but obviously would take it again!
  • Milk storage bags Not needed
  • 4 bottles ( case I might have an extra glass of wine or leave him with my BIL/SIL for a bit) Again, didn't need them but necessary.
  • Diaper bag (of course) Never leave home without it
  • Every burp cloth we own We actually made it through the week with some leftover--yay less spit up!
  • All pacifiers We kept track of all of them! But LM developed quite a penchant for his fingers this week so we weren't even using them all.
  • Swimsuit, swim diaper Didn't end up using them.
    So, obviously, I overpacked. But--I felt good about not forgetting anything major.  The one thing I wish I had brought...our free/clear detergent for when I had to wash his Halo, sheet etc after that first night. The stuff provided was harsher than I would've liked so we used the sanitize option on the washer/dryer instead.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011


    One year ago today (at about this time of the morning), this is what I was.


    I had convinced myself we were out.  It was 15dpo and I certainly didn't feel pregnant.  Our timing was poor---just once "in the window". I was so sure that I'd wasted a Clomid round.

    But, I was wrong. 

    Seeing those double lines on the pregnancy test was not a moment I had prepared myself for. All of the other times, I'd be excited and hopeful and "sure" I'd see them.  I was wrong.  When it actually happened, it was amazing to see. I thought I'd pass out from shock.  My stomach dropped and immediately, I felt giddy.

    I wanted immediately to tell TH.  But, he'd been out partying with friends the night before and was still out cold.  I knew from experience that waking him up from a night out would not result in the best of moods or reactions---and that was not how I wanted our moment to be. So, I waited.

    I had lunch plans with the BFF.  I wanted so bad to tell her but knew TH should come first.  I had already told the F.ertility Friend message boards because I had to get it out! I bought a digital test so that I could show TH the word pregnant so it was obvious.

    When I got home, I POAS and went downstairs to show him the good news.  In true male fashion, he was excited but asked whether I was sure...umm...duh! We went out to dinner to celebrate and talk about our excitement.

    I tried to keep my excitement in check though...I had read far too many stories about losses.  Due to the Fourth of July holiday, I wasn't able to get in for a beta until Monday.  We spent the holiday weekend with family, keeping our secret close.

    And now my little secret is downstairs napping in his swing, making sucking faces in his sleep.  We wanted him for so long and we finally got him.  And every day is still an amazement.

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    Home Sweet Home

    Yay! We're home! What is it about vacations that make your more tired than before you left?

    With a week of sketchy cell coverage and no internet, I'm feeling technologically deprived! I have several posts I've written in my head that I'll be publishing in the next few days but, tonight I'd like to share with you the one thing I came away with from my vacation...

    I'm going to stop worrying about when he's hitting milestones, whether he's "textbook" or how he compares to others.  Unless a doctor tells me to worry or my gut tells me something...I'm going to focus on raising a child that is respectful, helpful and a good person. 

    (Can you tell that I spent the week with some children who are allowed to talk back?)

    Okay...back to laundry! I missed you!