Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Woot woot, dinner party

So I was pinning stuff (if you haven't heard of pinterest, search for it...and don't blame me), and I came across a fall menu for a dinner party. I was immediately intrigued and FB-messaged these girls I know and was all "hey, we haven't gotten together lately...whatcha doin this weekend?" sly, right?

And of course one of them is on pinterest so she was enjoying my dinner party pins, which included this little gem here. I was perusing the menu as well, which included:

Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle


Caramel-Apple Cheesecake

Coffee, tea

Oh God...it was like a fallgasm. And only after I pinned and read and re-read the recipe for the chicken and pesto farfalle did I realize...I made it already. In 2008.


Hmm. Well at least I know it's good! So I volunteered to do the pasta and dessert, and the ladies volunteered to fill in the rest. Mags baked bread (we had the leftover bread tonight, it made our hamburger helper blush), and Lars came packing heat with some fan-freaking-tastic cheese with roasted vegetables in the cheese - yeah, I know, I thought cheese was only for hiding pills you want the dog to take too - and scallops with an apple-cider reduction. I think. She basically just waved her hands in the kitchen and things danced and sang like in Beauty and the Beast. I heart my friends.

Anyway, I digress - to the cheesecake:

Caramel-Apple Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 cookie sheets)
1 tablespoon egg white
1 tablespoon water
Cooking spray
{I did not measure the egg white, and added too much, and ended up coating a spoon with butter and pressing my crust down that way because it stuck to my fingers}

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 3/4 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
Dash of nutmeg
{and I totally forgot the half-and-half too...so I substituted my coffee creamer}

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare crust, combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press mixture lightly into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack. Wrap outside of pan with a double layer of foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
3. To prepare cheesecake, place 1 3/4 cups sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fat-free cream cheese) in food processor; process until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time; process until blended. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan; add hot water to larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.
4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove from oven; let stand in water bath 10 minutes. Run a knife around outside edge of cheesecake. Remove pan from water bath; cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
5. To prepare topping, combine 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and lemon juice in a small, heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Cook 4 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat. Add butter to pan; gently stir until butter melts. Stir in half-and-half. Cool slightly.
6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add apple to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in sugar mixture and nutmeg. Serve topping with cheesecake.

I used my mom's trick instead of the water bath - bake as usual, after one hour, turn the oven off, put a stick in the oven door, and let sit for one hour. And of course, there was a crack down the middle...but I covered it with not-quite-caramelized apples so it was all good.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin cookies!

yay for baking again!

now, let's see...for what did I make this glorious recipe...??? I think it may have been just for fun.
oh wait - bake sale!

I bought a Taste of Home fall baking catalog/book/wasteofmoney last month at the store and bookmarked recipes that looked good. I failed to realize that the pumpkin cookies I marked were full of *gasp* raisins. And as you all know, they are just humiliated grapes.

So, I looked for a new one. And I found...these babies! They did the trick. Next time, however, I may look for something that features the pumpkin flavor more prominently. And I totally did not make them as cute as the spirally frosting picture.

but they still get...

Baby's First Fever

Two weeks ago, we thought the burrito had a cold. When the mucus in the corner of his eye got worse, we took him into the pedi - pinkeye. UGH. And eyedrops, double ugh. We put them in when he was sleeping or otherwise distracted, 3x/day. He had a 7-day round, so it wasn't too horrible. But add that to the cough?

She had given us a script for additional meds in case the cough got worse...and after bringing him back to bed with us and hearing him cough two nights, we filled it. So it was meds 2x/day in addition to the drops for a while!

His cough let up some, and I recall saying something at work about this being the second time he was really ill (barring the baby cold earlier this year) since he was born - which I was thankful for, since I know some kids who have constant ear infections, sinus problems, breathing problems, etc.

And then? The universe heard. And sent me this weekend! Hubs worked, and I had a dinner party planned with friends, so I was doing errands and such. When we got home on Saturday, he was still warm, so I took his temperature, and around noon on Saturday he was at 100.3. Niiiice. First fever! Administered acetaminophin, made dinner, he ate like a pig, and his temp went down a little.

Sunday? temp went up to 103 in the afternoon, just in time for my friends to get there. Hubs called the on-call pedi, and they said in babies sometimes the degree of fever is less important than the symptoms. He was eating, drinking, and filling diapers normally, so we continued with the tylenol and fed and watered him normally.

Of course, this morning, he was at 100.2, and I called daycare and heard something about 101 or higher, so I thought he was good to go. We got all packed up and walked in, only to be told that I misheard the policy and they won't take them until they have 24 hours fever-free. Crap. And I can tell he was upset walking back out, because he gets so excited going in. Having the daycare lady say that you can see it in his eyes, and the he looks awful didn't help either.

I wanted to keep him home this morning, but I didn't want to be influenced by my mommy-instinct to stay home, curl up and cuddle the kid. I know they're always worse in the AM too. And, I'm out of sick days at work. I just felt awful when she said that. So, the kid is currently passed out on the floor. He's been sleeping for over 2 hours now, and his head feels normal and not hot at all, so I'm hoping the sleeping is doing its job and the fever has broken.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

First Haircut!

We took the burrito for his first haircut today! I had been putting if off, because 1) there's no way he's that old and 2) his curls were so cuuuuuuuute. But necessity won over the curls - we had been pushing his hair out of his eyes for weeks, and the back of his hair was touching his collar (gasp! not that! says my boot-camp-loving husband)...so I caved.

We took him to a place about four blocks from our house (so lucky to live in an area that has a "main street" with businesses like this!) that specializes in kid's cuts. It's called...wait for it...Kids Cuts. They have a couple chairs that are of varying height and design - burrito's had a wheel on the front. I was surprised, he was kept amused by that until almost the end of the haircut! We just had it trimmed, as I'm not a fan of buzzing little ones, and I love his hair. Towards the end when it was time to bring out the clippers he was getting a bit fussy, so his daddy held him for the clipper portion of the cut. He did great overall. And he looks like such a little boy now. *sniff*

such a head of hair.

Look, everyone!

all done! with new little-boy hair!

Friday, September 30, 2011

first birthday pictures

For your viewing pleasure!

The burrito the day before his party, with his present from his uncle, a new John Deere lawn mower:

At his party, "opening" his presents - or, watching the other kids open them. And, checking out a toy with daddy.


The presentation of the cake: momma and dada blew out the candle.

 Time for cake!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ahhhh, cold.

Not the illness kind, the temperature kind. This morning it was about 60 degrees. It still is, actually. and I LOVE it!

The Burrito let us sleep in for a bit - 9am, big stuff for us. This was after his 7am wake-up and whine for milk. We got him bathed and dressed (in his "will work 4 milk" tshirt, naturally). Came downstairs while the daddy worked on a cover letter for future use - he wants to work in an ER someday, which is beyond me, but go him, because I could not fathom that! I help people by feeding them, lol.

I got the Burrito started with some puffs while I got the rest of his food together: yoBaby apple yogurt, a nutrigrain-type waffle with a hint of real maple syrup, and a perfectly ripe pear. I made myself some coffee, and of course showed the Burrito the way to make a perfect pot in our mini-coffeemaker as I am the only coffee-drinker in the household (it would stunt Leroy's growth). Some caramel creamer and it was ON LIKE FALL. It was so glorious. Opened the kitchen door to the sunroom, let the cold sweep in, sipped my hot coffee, ate my waffle and pear - because if I have something the Burrito does not another whine-fest ensues. I try to make us the same food to get us ALL used to a healthier diet. I know, waffles...but come on now. We can't all make homemade bread ::coughashletcough::.

Actually - english muffin bread is on my list of things to try this fall. I'll add some more of that list later, now it's time to go buy/prepare for the Supreme First Birthday Bash!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not who I wanted to be today.

Did you ever have a day where you just weren't the person you wanted to be? Like, you got to the end of the day and looked back and said whoa... What happened? I wouldn't have done that. But, you did.

I had one of those days. Truth be told, i've been having a lot of them often. Days where I think to myself, I don't normally do this. I can get more done. I can do things differently. But, it's just not true. I mean maybe I could have - the me from two years ago. The current me? The one with a demanding horrible awful job and the wonderful child? Not so much.

Just another wonderful reason I'm in wonderful therapy.

Do you have days like this? Where you can't seem to get it together enough to make a simple phone call? You don't remember appointments? And at the end of the day when you say eff it instead of running which you know will make you feel better, you don't know who you are anymore? God I hope it's not just me. That would make going crazy awfully lonely.

Maybe sleep will help.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The current status of things; or, less than 20 days until his birthday.

I have no idea how it went this fast. The past year, I mean. I'm busy preparing for his first birthday party, which means attempting to make a #1-shaped photo collage, and just looking through the pictures brings back memories.

And also? Sometimes looking at those pictures after he's gone to bed make me forget what he looks like now, so I have to sneak into his room to peer at his sweet sleeping baby face.

And then, I have to take 5 minutes to tiptoe out on certain floorboards that don't creak. Stupid house built in 1925. But this may all be solved with the addition of "baby crack" to the burrito's room...

ANYWAY. An update of sorts, or a timeline rather, to show the boy's progress since I last updated:

9 months - two bottom teeth pop out; he completes his primer on crawling and begins to hate the bouncer; we start doing full meals with snacks and he self-weans to two bottles and three nursing sessions a day

10 months - two bottom teeth are fully in and two top teeth come in, one at at time; he begins to climb the stairs; table food is a must all of a sudden and he's dining with the big kids now

11 months - four shiny new teeth and momma's nips hurt; walking commences! he is now able to drunken-stagger from one room to the next; self-weans to two bottles and TWO nursing sessions a day; eating off of momma's plate and demanding bites when not in his high chair

That's right folks, walking. It's a crazy thing. He's also started this new hating-my-crib project, where the goal is to sleep in a parental lap or bed. Sooooooo we're letting him cry it out (CIO for you newbs). Sunday, Monday, suckage; he acted like the crib was torture. Chinese water-boarding. The Guantanamo Bay of baby sleep areas. It took over an hour of crying, with two breaks for momma-comfort and a replacement pac. I really need to get to the store and get that baby crack already. When it stops raining.

So, his birthday coming up. There was some dramz, because we have a tiny tiny house and don't want to sardine these folks. I'm planning some decorations, but there is a LOT to do - I took two full days off before the party (Thursday, the day of his birth last year, and Friday) to help compensate. We still need to figure out the food and the cake. Sammich tray, yes. Everything else? Clueless. As of right now, it's fall-ish outside, so do we stick with lemonade? Or go with apple cider? Argh!

Then, I'd like to finish that collage and make him a happy birthday banner that matches his colors on his invitation. Here is it, btw:

Cutest baby evah. I love the face, and the hat. It's from vacation. Saving that for a whole notha post, if I ever get the time for that. Bah.

So, time for bed - didn't get to run my mile tonight, but hey, I worked until 715 instead, for overtime - OH WAIT I don't get that. ::searches classifieds::


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Yes, I'm complaining about complaining.

So I like to vent occasionally about how life isn't perfect and not exactly what I want it to be right now. Everyone does it. Am I of the camp that If you don't do anything to change it, you should just shut up? Not really - freedom of speech is a pretty good thing, and you're never going to stop all the people all of the time from complaining. I have this argument with myself every four years or so around November, because of the inevitable voting gossip, and the amount of people who every year remark "if you don't vote, you don't have any right to complain about the outcome."

I may ignore you if you complain an insane inordinate incomprehensible amount though. I think venting is good to some degree, but there are those that take it too far. A lot of them live in my state. I had a discussion about this with hubs recently - he was remarking that it seems like the culture in our area is more prone to complaining and whining that others. I found that interesting, and would totally have researched it had I been in psych or soc 101.

But I digress. Recently I was venting about parental things - I believe it was when I was talking to someone at work about a dinner plan for some night in the near future - and my complaint went something like, I would like to have more time at night to be able to go out and do things, but right now with my schedule (getting home from work really late at different times each night) and with the burrito's needs (eat, eat, play, eat, sleep and maybe fuss a bit in there) I don't really like to mess up the home-night-life so that he gets more out of whack. And I've been noticing something when I complain lately: some other mothers keep saying "well I've done that before" or "yeah, we used to do that too" or even "we had it worse."

So, I figure I can take this three ways:
1) person listening is one-upping me 
2) person listening wants me to shut it
3) I am seriously failing at life in general if everyone I talk to keeps saying they've done it and I can't.

For 1 and 2, I'm pretty sure that I may  be underestimating the amount or tone of my complaining and I should just stop and solve my problems on my own. Pity party at home, with some alcoholic beverages instead. Whine to the dog, text my sister. For a set time limit. And then move on.

Maybe I'll use a timer.

Poor dog.

But for 3, ah, well that is a horse of a different color. Because lately? I totally feel like I am failing at life in general. I know that people have done what I have done. I know that I can use every hour of every day. But when I have ten unfinished projects around my house, laundry to be folded, and a sink full of dishes - and I just got the kid to sleep and all I want to do is write a blog entry and go to bed so I can get up to exercise and oh my good lord it's 11 and I'm running out of time - then, THEN, I feel #3.

Am I alone in this? I don't think so. But it would be nice to know others struggle(d) with it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Question mark?

Meaning, I'm not sure how to title this one. I want to write more here; lots more, in fact. It's one of the coolest things I like to do online, along with Pinterest, which is slowly replacing all my magazine clippings (insert hubs' excited face here).

But recent happenings have made me want to dig deeper into why I want to write. First off, I love writing and anything having to do with writing. My dream job at 15 was to be a book editor in NYC. I was the master of essays in high school - I could polish off one of those babies in 20 minutes (5 paragraphs, with thesis statement). I still yearn to be an English teacher when I grow up.

But what makes me want to share my thoughts/feelings/opinions/experiences with you, O Mighty Interwebz? Probably what I like to think of as my inner teacher/showoff. I love teaching. Sometimes, it gets to the point where I'm not sure if I've passed the "instruction" line and gone all the way to "because I know so."

Now I have been seeing lately that some so-called Mommy Blogs have become focused on one thing or another - you can tell some are about the dough, some are about photography, some are about daily struggles faced by many moms. I go back and forth between wanting to write to help people who may be in the same position, and wanting to be a blogger that people follow, and look up to, and enjoy - and who people recommend. I want to be humble, but don't want to end up shouting "look over here! Look how humble I am!"

So I'm going to look at the reason I started this blog: 1) to keep a record of my journey and Good Things I find along the way ::coughmarthacough:: 2) as a place for me to come to and vent, write, and share - with a possible side effect being advising others, but remembering that's not my main purpose. One of my favorite quotes, author not recalled, goes "the best way to give advice to the young is to give it and be uninterested as to whether or not they take it."

So, you may see some things that you don't know about me on here. I will be posting more about my daily struggles. You will see some bad things, and sad things, and whiny things. If you don't care to read, that's fine. If you care to comment, please do! If my choices have helped you in some way, that is a very welcome side effect.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tuesday List

Yes, that's right, I'm so behind in everything that this Tuesday list is coming out on a Thursday.

Or, I changed what day it is - I'm cool like that. More powerful than the World's Greatest Spokesperson in the World, more awesome than the awesomest babysitter. And, I watch too many TV commercials.

So, here goes:

1) clean your damn kitchen floor already, GOSH
2) decide on the burrito's 1st bday invitations (deadline: Monday) and send them out (deadline: Friday)
3) do laundry
4) clean up the sunroom, including the island and cabinets, and the dog's bed and kennel
5) give the poor dog a bone bath
5.1)brush the poor dog's teeth, then give him a bone
6) figure out weekend schedule, what with dinners, my aunt visiting from Fla, hubs working, and vacay bible school on Sunday
7) take the Burrito's 10 month pics on Saturday (technically, 10.5 months, but WHO CARES! Not you! I order you not to care! Besides, you get a supremely cute picture in exchange for not noticing the date...)
8) do something that closely resembles exercise.

Well, there you have it folks. A glimpse into my day-to-day listmaking. Also, Lefty, I want to publicly apologize for the amount of time it took me to find my way to the pumping room. I know, I hurt your mammary-feelings. Blame those damn chips I move across the country. Have I mentioned hating my job before? No? Then here's your quarter for the day.


(aaaaaand, I'm so behind that this was posted on a Friday!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

I hope I looked like hell this morning

because I totally ignored everyone on my way into daycare. I rather hope that they figured "eh, she's just bitchy cause she's exhausted/sick/undead."

Burrito fell asleep on the floor at 7 last night. I carried him up to bed, where we both had blissful sleep from 10 to 11, at which point he awoke and began to fuss. I figured he was hungry, so I fed him - after one side, he fell asleep. I rocked him for a few minutes, and then attempted to put him back in his crib.

no dice.

So back to the rocking chair, where he "fell asleep" again. I'm thinking he's playing possum here. Again with the crib, again no dice. I figured I'd try this "cry it out" thing, since he's almost 10 months, and normally sleeps through the night in his crib. I changed his diaper before it as well, to make sure there was nothing else he was complaining about. Everything seemed go for sleep.

SO, 5 minutes later, he's still crying. I go back in, pick him up, pat him on the back, put him back down, paci in mouth, blanket on. Crying again. Next time, just put his paci back in, pat him on the butt, done. Crying again. After an hour of this (I'm not sure if I kept it up every 5 minutes exactly, it was midnight-ish after all), I decided to try something, and moved him over into my bed instead of rocking him. He settled right down. Ah. Ha.

Back in the crib, buddy boy. There is no way I will get any sleep with him in the bed - and it's not safe. I had the huge body pillow on one side and me on the other, but if he were to wake up and crawl away without waking me up, his head + the wood floor? not good. And if he stays there, I'd be waking up every five seconds to make sure he's still there.

Sooooo, the crying went on for another hour until he calmed down and finally fell asleep. With me rubbing his chest. For about five minutes. All of this = one exhausted mom. I decided to take a mental health day today, as this weekend was insanely busy, and I was "ON" all weekend. You know the term, right moms? Or anyone who has ever watched kids? You have to be the go-to person, the entertainer, the caretaker, the feeder, etc. I needed some Cat time again. Just me. And I'm pretty sure that everyone's been there before. In order to be the parent I want to be, I need a little down time every now and then. This is only the 2nd time I have taken him to daycare and stayed home, and the previous time I had the stomach flu.

Today, I'm going to do some yoga, make myself some healthy meals, drink lots of water, and relax. Maybe some pilates too and a walk with the dog. Later on? I'll make my husband a pineapple upside down cake. And pick up the kid of course, feeling renewed and ready to play.

Of course, I'll have to go back to work tomorrow...but work is a post for another day.

And, happy birthday to my wonderful husband!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Red Red Whine

After this morning, I’m not sure who has worse separation anxiety – the burrito or the dog.

So this morning, I was planning to wake up early and give Leroy a bath before I dropped him off at the vet for his dental cleaning. Which is aWHOLEnother post in and of itself. Burrito had other plans. He woke up happy as a clam, played around in the office after he had his breakfast, and then I did the UNTHINKABLE – I dropped him in the crib so I could shower. *gasp*

I know, awful, right? You would think I made the kid crawl over hot coals. He would not be satisfied with me even being in the room, I had to be holding him and within crawling distance and in sight at all times in order for him to be content this morning. This did not bode well for my plans. So I did the only thing I could think of – turned on all of his normally entertaining toys, dropped him in the crib, and ran. It was a 1-minute bath for the dog, who was supremely smelly and in need, and then back to the burrito.

I sat him in his bouncy seat which does not “bounce” because all 19.8lbs of him is focused on crying as he watches me get in the shower. Now to be fair, the crying stopped when I picked him up from the crib and after he got settled in the bouncy chair – it’s just whining now. He can’t see me? Whine. The caterpillar toy is making noise? Whine. The monkey on his bouncy seat is looking at him with the wrong tone? Whine.

At the same time, there is a not-quite-soaking wet dog locked in the kitchen, licking his still-empty dog dish that used to contain food, and whining because he has no food in said dish. He couldn’t eat anything this morning due to his dental cleaning. So Bad Bad Leroy Brown is making pitiful dog noises in the kitchen, burrito is upstairs alternating between angry, indignant shrieks and whining, and I’m sure if there were any neighbours home on either side of my house, I’d have the cops knocking on my door wanting to know if I was hoarding animals/neglecting lots of children/keeping Gollum in my house.

Burrito’s whining continued until we got to daycare, at which point I took him out of his seat, set him down, and he turned around and started bawling. I handed him to a daycare lady and MOMMA RUN. This is only the second time I’ve had to do the MOMMA RUN, thankfully. He’s a happy baby most of the time, but when he gets into an “I want parent” mood, it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


It sounds like a whispered conversation in the corner of a backyard bbq; a name dropped at a parent/teacher meeting; a scene out of Desperate Housewives.

I've always avoided medication; I don't like taking pills (have a horrible gag reflex, insert BJ jokes here), I hate shots, and just generally figured I could get by without it. I hate taking bcp every day, and taking tylenol or my migraine meds when I do have one.

However, it was suggested last week that I could benefit from a medication that could help me to focus. And I have been considering it.

I felt ambushed when I walked into my counseling meeting and my husband had already been talking to the therapist and it was the first thing that was said - hey, how about going on this? Just like it was candy. Here, have a gumball. It'll make you more efficient. Hubs told me that I was taking it too personally, and that it didn't mean there was something wrong with me. Just that I needed a little extra chemical push in my brain to help my neurons to fire; or something like that.

I still don't know how to feel about it. After the Desperate Housewives scene popped into my head, I thought it might be good - I could get a lot more done! Prioritize better! Remember everything I wanted to do in a day! But would it really help? Would the side effects be too much for me? Would I be able to sleep? Would I end up doing all of the work around the house? Hubs looked a bit hurt when I balked at taking medication. He said that it worked for him, and I didn't have a problem with him taking medication for his chemical imbalance. I said that was because it was him who brought it up. He recognized a problem. Me? I didn't think it was a problem until it was a problem for hubs. I've always been a little scatterbrained, but I thought it had just gotten worse now that I was working over 40 hours a week and taking care of a kid. I never wanted to do housework in the first place - yes, dishes sometimes sit in the sink for up to a week. Other things were just more important to me.

But lately I have been forgetting things, and it's really getting to hubs. I'll leave something around the house, meaning to come back to it, and it will sit there for a week until he gets upset that it's been there for a week and I haven't done anything. Mostly, laundry. Dishes in the kitchen. My things lying around the house. I left two sweaters draped over a chair in the living room for two weeks. I'd walk by and think, "oh, I have to take those upstairs and do such-and-such with them." But then I'd never come back. It seems now? That I can't finish anything.

So, because I have such a fear - stigma, even - with taking medication for this, I'm going to tough it out and see how I do. I started a list of items that need to be done during the week on a regular basis: laundry, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning, etc. I check them off when they're done. It's going well so far. I just feel like I don't have any time in the evenings to spend with my husband and child - even though he assures me that I do spend quality time with them. I guess that's something that's hard to reconcile for me. I grew up with my mom doing the cleaning on the weekends. Since we go out and run errands, visit, and just generally have fun on the weekends that hubs doesn't work now, it's a little tougher. Especially on the weekends when he sleeps after working 3rd shift. I try to be quiet, but it's tough with a 9 month old! And if I go out, I get nothing done around the house.

I've also been trying to implement a plan to finish everything I start, and not take on anything new. After a recent crying-in-the-basement jag, I realized that I was saving all of these things for a life I didn't have right now. My basement is full of crap. Not crap to me, but just crap. Magazines, bags, bows, quilting items. It's all things that I won't use soon. I may not use at all. And I lost hubs' Father's Day card. I keep bringing so much stuff in, that the stuff I already have gets pushed out. This goes double for my brain - it's like every new thought pushes an old one out.

So I have decided to take Stacy and Clinton's advice and apply it to my life: dress for the body you have. Live for the life you have. All of my plans, everything I was saving, I can't use right now. Doesn't mean I can't plan, but don't plan and then think that it will happen the very next second - I won't be a housewife with time to make a beouf bourginon tomorrow. But, I can take a gander at the cookbooks I already have (I'm talking to you, Rachel Ray) this weekend. I won't be composting and making my own soil - but I can refill the birdfeeder.

Hopefully, letting go of things I don't use or need will help me to appreciate what I do have and make better use of it. Including the brain cells. And if not? There's always that next step.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You know you're a parent when...

#333 phrases like "don't eat mama!" and "don't eat the puppy!" work their way into your vocabulary.

#334 you now hum "sally the camel" while doing the dishes, and find yourself (still) incensed that your new kids CD actually lists that song as "Alice the camel." the nerve.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

All the better to eat you with

We have teeth. Two, to be precise. I first felt them about a week before he was officially nine months, and they have now both popped up and reared their sharp little heads.

It's the two front bottom, which I believe generally make their appearance first. They have turned his "mouth open slobber on eat part of your face" kisses into bite-marks on hubs' nose, lol.

I'm not sure how my kid is that old. Of course some days, I still don't know how I have a kid. This topic was touched upon last night as we were talking about what to do for our anniversary tonight. (Concensus was: stay home, make dinner, sleep. Much needed after a busy weekend!) I was thinking about what we were doing 3 years ago, the night before our wedding, and we both exclaimed about the time that has gone by since we first started dating - 8 years! - and how it doesn't feel like time has gone by at all. Maybe it's because of a small, almost-20lb, wiggly reminder of how far we've come that makes it all the more real, speeding by us as fast as he grows. *sigh*

Ah well, happy anniversary to my wonderful husband! I'm glad we've had the chance to grow together and been blessed with a wonderful baby boy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Long Nights, Impossible Baby

As a person, I know that not every day can be a good one. You'll have nights where you don't want to do anything but veg out on the couch and watch Conan. Which is totally what I'd do If I could stay up that late but - who does that anymore???

Now as a mother, I know that these nights are tenfold when small carbon-based lifeforms are involved. Especially when one or more of us is sick or fussy, or god help us teething. And there are points when burrito has been crying and he's not hungry or wet and just wants to be held but I feel nauseated and my back hurts and why can't he just tell me what he wants?? And I just feel like taking him by the shoulders like I would my husband and shaking him and yelling "what do you want!"

BUT OBVIOUSLY cannot do this. One, don't shake babies. It's just not good manners. It was one of those things we were taught early on, along with don't eat yellow snow and don't run with scissors.

Second, it will accomplish nothing. He still won't be able to tell me what's wrong, and odds are If I do anything he doesn't like he'll start in with the full-on banshee cry instead of being just a fussy baby. His fussy noise goes "meeeeeh meeeeeh" btw, which when uttered with downturned lips and pitiful face sounds a lot like he's lamenting that his mother is a disgrace. I can see the tell-all books now. (no wire hangers!!!1!11!!!)

I have found that laying him down and letting him kick while I take a moment to breathe helps. I have also found that he enjoys the alphabet song and oddly enough, "hit the road jack." so I rock him back and forth and sing. Or, lay on the bed while he flops around like a fish and sing.

Another gem I discovered this morning? A little thing I call the surprise mirror. I hold him with my back to the mirror, then spin around so we can see our reflections in the mirror while doing my best impression of that stunned squirrel-type thing that was all over the intertubes years ago. I even try to make the dramatic noises. He loved it. Totally weird, I know.

So there's your weekly update on the fussy part of my life. Which, coincidentally, happened last night (er, June 1st, hehe) every hour save 1 to 5 am. Yup, I got 4 hours of sleep. Someday I will punish him for this by showing his prom date embarassing baby/toddler pictures and wearing white go-go boots to pick him up from school.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thank you, Saint Anthony

You found my supply!

Last week I thought it was totally gone. I had been reading Kellymom.com and it said to still nurse when you are sick - well I was so dehydrated last week that I didn't think to keep nursing when I could barely move much less make any milk. I only skipped one nursing session, but apparently it KILLED my supply. I was barely pumping 3oz, and he was waking through the night to nurse. But nurse I did, as much as possible, and today? I'm at 7oz and counting at my morning pump. Whee!

So, future self who is sick and tired and wondering what the hell happened to your body/milk/youth (ok that last one really doesn't count I guess...):

~ drink gatorade. 2 L per day to be precise.
~ decide to start off your "new beginning of your diet" as healthy and stock up on chicken broth, greens, and whole grain items.
~ when supply has not resumed its normal schedule after one week, throw diet out the window and eat everything in sight including tons of oatmeal in a last-ditch effort to increase milk.
~ lose one pound and find milk supply back to normal.

There you have it. Eat, eat, eat. Kind of counter-intuitive when you consider all the healthy-eating i've been striving for, but oh well. At least it's not all chocolate cake! Here's been my foods of choice, and by choice, I mean what I have around the house after the baptism party on Sunday:
Mini sammiches from a tray from local store. Turkey, ham, roast beast and chicken salad with some Swiss on potato or pretzel rolls.
Potato salad.
Grapes, apples, and lettuce (oh my) and the occasional tomato.
Sunchips, triscuits, pretzels.
Pizza from local shop.
Iced tea and milk.
Egg sammich and oatmeal.

Now I'm hungry again...

Monday, June 6, 2011

you're damn right.

I have not made anything new in the last year. Er, wait...when was the last time I was here? D'oh.

Well that will all change, because my bff is getting married in January, and I'm sick of this extra baby weight (oh who am I kidding, it's cake weight) I'm carrying around. Plus? I don't like scrounging up food or scouring the frig for any old thing - I need to start eating real food. Like, the kind that normal people eat. Plus? I'd like to start instilling healthy eating habits in the burrito.

Here's the burrito just for reference:
Cutest damn thing evah? I think so.

And now he is stirring, so I'll say good night, and good luck. To myself. Trying to eat like a healthy person. Grapes, spinach, wheat bread in the frig - I'm referencing you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

stupid bug.

So my memorial day weekend was shaping up to be ok - had to work Monday, but it was only 5 hours, so no big deal. We had a giant heat wave knock us into the 90's so I wasn't that hungry Monday, which didn't really bother me as I am trying to whittle down the muffin.

However, later that night, after I had a turkey sandwich and ice cream I had been craving, the GI Bug that had been brewing reared its ugly head. I was nauseated for a full two hours before my stomach gave its entire haul for the day back to the porcelain throne. After that, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Every muscle in my body ached, and my back was killing me. I turned the AC down many times that night, trying to get comfortable.
Hubs had to deal with a slightly fussy burrito, and I kept apologizing for not helping (when I was coherent that is). He kept reminding me that I'm not the only parent... Oops. Fail on my part!

So Tuesday I called off of work and headed to the doc while hubs dropped burrito at daycare - with a frozen bag of milk, as I hadn't pumped enough the day before, tyvm bug. Got my info, stopped at the store, got some gatorade and chicken noodle soup. Slept. It was glorious. Until time came for hubs to leave for work, at which time it was just me and a fussy pre-bed burrito. Thoughts which were running through my head included: how did Mom do this?, can the dog entertain him, can I put out a mass request for help on FB?

Eventually after nursing 4 times, he was satisfied and fell asleep in the bed with me. We woke again at 130 to turn down the AC and eat, and 330 to eat, 630 for the day and he ate again at 745, which is hopefully telling my body he still needs milk.

Unfort, I am still running on gatorade and just starting to eat solids again. Hopefully I can ramp it up and be able to pump enough for at least half the day tomorrow. I have one bag of freezer stash available and I don't want to send formula...but If the kid needs to eat... *sigh* stupid bug.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gender Roles and Stereotypes

I see there is a post on BotB about this from last night, and I'm just starting to read all the responses now, which is good, because lately I have really been thinking about how what we do as parents and people will now start to affect the burrito as he is fully able to view and take in everything around him.

I have noticed that hubs' family is especially supportive of gender roles and boy stereotypes. I can't remember exactly the situation, but someone tried to give him something purple, and MIL said "no, that's a girl color!" I said that I don't want to tell him that certain things are meant only for girls or only for boys. I also pointed out that he has four spoons of differing colors and one of them is pink and I use it even though it's not a "boy color." Hopefully if I keep pointing it out, she'll get it. I try to make it more about the way I want him brought up and not a me vs MIL sort of thing (just because recently I've noticed that her mannerisms and way of acting around the burrito are not exactly in tune with mine...case in point: please do not let my child lick your fork which just had a seasoned steak on it).

But I digress...I don't want to post the whole conversation here, but I did want to put down some snippets so I recall them later:

(original thread)
(original original thread)

I don't know the answer, but I will say that I'm amazed at how much of a "boy" Gabe has turned out to be.  There's just so much that comes from society that you don't even realize.  I try to expose Gabe to a wide range of toys and experiences (he has dolls, he has play food, he has puzzles, he has trucks etc), but he's currently obsessed with cars, trucks, airplanes and trains.
Where does my responsibility as a parent lie?  Do I encourage the things he is interested in even though they are pretty stereotypically "boy" interests?  Do I try to steer him towards more gender neutral interests in order to "balance" him out for lack of a better word? - armandos

...listen to a child's cues and be aware of their comfort level. I have two friends with little kids who are displaying gender non-conforming behavior. Explaining why peoplereact the way they do without blaming the child or telling them what to do makes a difference. These are kids who know their sex, don't have the words to describe gender expression, but who are truly discovering what fits for them. - BGG

I am  thinking of a blog post (which I can't remember) where a mom was called in because in her 1st grade classroom, her daughter was in trouble for being violent.  They were writing a story and each kid built on the page in front by the previous kid.  Her daughter's had to do w/ something violent and the teacher insisted that she had NEVER seen such violence in a story before...but the daughter's page was building directly off of the MORE violent pages that came first...but no one cared about those because boys could be violent. - GBKC

But I also grew up knowing that physically, I am a girl and there are certain things that are expected of me as a girl (for lack of a better term).  I knew that going to church on Sunday, showing up in a dress would be less controversial than showing up in khaki's and a tie.  I was blessed to have incredibly supportive family/friends and not to have any serious inner gender/identity issues and could go between my desire to be more tomboy and societies expectation for me to be more girly. - Balls

As far as the coddling girls and toughening up boys thing... it is the total opposite at my house.  It has nothing to do with their sexes, and everything to do with their personalities.  Rough housing is an equal opportunity sport in this house, and nobody holds back anymore on Riley than they do on Nathan.  Nathan tends to be more sensitive if he gets hurt or feels upset, and he needs the hugs and cuddles to get over it quickly, so that's what he gets.  Riley tends to do better with the "you're alright, shake it off and get back up!" speech, so that's what she gets more often than not. ... I think that expecting everyone to conform to them is definitely not ok, but there is nothing wrong with "girls like to wear dresses" and "boys like to play with trucks" as long as people understand that it is ok for it to be the opposite. - Leslie

My MIL has voiced her concerns about us not teaching him proper gender rolls.  She sees photos of him playing with the vacuum, pretending to cook, etc.  She truly feels that we should be pushing the cars, trucks, and trains.  He owns "boy toys" and chooses not to play with them very often.- MadameFP
This is something I worry about with MIL. I believe that every kid no matter the sex should know how to do things around the house - laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. I know that hubs will support this, because he's a clean freak by nature (his time in the Navy added to this). But hopefully she won't discourage that. My common sense says she would not, but my inner monologue worries about everything. I just have to focus on how hubs grew up I think, because she raised him, and he makes a killer french toast. Score.

One of my favorite selections from The Parent's Tao Te Ching - A New Interpretation:

2. Take Care With Labels
When you teach your children that certain things are good,
they are likely to call all different things bad.
If you teach them that certain things are beautiful,
they may see all other things as ugly.

Call difficult things "difficult,"
and easy things "easy,"
without avoiding one and seeking the other
and your children will learn self-confidence.
Call results "results,"
without labeling one as success
and another as failure
and your children will learn freedom from fear.
Call birth "birth,"
and death "death,"
without seeing one as good
and the other as evil
and your children will be at home with life. 
 - AKA
↑ I need to get this, I completely agree with this excerpt. Thanks akalutts for posting this! ::adds to Amazon list::

Well, I have a little time before he starts being heavily influenced by outside sources...I'm not entirely sure that the other kids at daycare are giving him pressure right now. But I am interested to read the book that aka quoted and see if there's anything that I can start doing (or not doing) now to help make the burrito a more tolerant, well-rounded, and communicative individual. Or, just not screw him up. Isn't that what every parent aspires to?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Milestones - they make me *tear*

So here are the milestones that have been making me cry lately:

1) we moved the crib mattress to the lowest setting.
here's our crib, btdubs:

Several reasons for this: two weeks ago, he figured out how to sit up from a kneeling position. he hasn't yet figured out how to move forward, only backward, but he can roll over onto his tummy, push up, and move one leg so that if he pushes himself back, he's sitting up. I'd hear babbling in the morning and walk in to find him on the opposite end of the crib, pac in mouth, hands folded, watching for me as if to say "oh, you're up too? I'll take some milk."
This past weekend, I was ironing next to his crib, and he decided to see what was going on. He pushed into a sitting position, put his hands over the crib rail, and pulled himself up until he was in a straddle - not quite standing up, but close enough that I decided it was TIME.

2) He's saying dada. Not in any recognizable way, in that when hubs walks into the room he says it; just baby babbling. But it's enough.

3) He can now sit up on his own, and play with toys on his own, and at the beginning of the month we got him a Pooh stand-up-easel-looking thing that has wheels. And when I stand him up and he holds on to the handle? He takes steps with it. STEPS. Granted, the thing has to slide out so far that he is almost horizontal before he actually thinks "hmm, I should move a leg..." but still.

(obvs not the burrito)

4) He ate bananas the other day. Like, actual bananas. I cut up a semi-ripe one, and he was smushing it onto his fists, and then putting his fists in his mouth. It totally counts. Ish.
Of course, this past weekend, I had some melon on my plate and he was bored, so my plate was his target of choice. So, I let him suck on the melon (note to self: wear drop cloth). When I pulled the melon out of his mouth, a chunk was gone. WTG burrito, you actually gummed a piece of food off and down your little throat!

Soooooo, I will be taking a vacation day sometime soon in order to babyproof my first floor...he should be crawling any minute now, closely followed by high school.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day - my lesson.

I just got back from a loooong walk. You know the kind; one of those walks where you keep looking down over the canopy on your stroller to see if they're asleep yet.

It all started innocently enough - hubs went to lay down before going into work at ten, so I took the burrito downstairs and placed him lovingly in his pack 'n' play. In a few minutes, he was p'n'p-ed out, so we switched to the new convertible walker/easel-type toy with Pooh noises. He soon tired of that too. I knew he was tired, so I walked him around a little bit. Nada. He started to scream louder. The pac didn't work, holding him sideways didn't work, none of the usual tricks.

So, I resorted to the last trick I knew - The Stroller. I estomped (that's Legally Blonde for walked while pouting) upstairs, ripped off my PJ pants and put on some jeans, threw on a sweatshirt, estomped back downstairs, grabbed Yelling Child from p'n'p of death, grabbed dog leash, yelled over my shoulder to said dog, yanked stroller down the front steps, and attempted to shove Yelling Child in stroller. Pac in mouth, dog in front, all was good (read: distracted).

I felt...like a complete failure. Here it was, Mother's Day, the day when I should be celebrated (it's my first as a mama), and give myself a pat on the back, and pamper myself (the non-diaper variety of that word please). The day when I get to bask in the glory of my kid(s), and reflect on all I have done for them. And I have to push Yelling Child around the block in Stroller to get him to calm down. Normally when it's the two of us at night, hubs and myself, it works out better. I'm not sure why; it just does. But when it's just me? I swear that he senses it and is not satisfied with the norm. He wants more! Step it up mama! Work for that title!

So all through the walk, I'm wallowing. Rolling around like a pig. In the mud of my self-pity. "You had to use the last resort Stroller! on Mother's Day no less! What kind of mom can't calm their kid down?? What kind of mom can't rock their baby to sleep??" A tiny voice in the back of my head said, "ok, but you knew that the stroller would calm him down, and he loves walks." And I wanted to estomp it out and continue to wallow in my lovely mud.

And then I realized. I was giving up too easily. I'm not sure where, but somewhere along the way, I have come to be That Girl - the one who cries "this is too hard - I don't want to do it anymore!" and estomps back upstairs and into bed. I have no idea how it happened; maybe it was a result of my relationship troubles last year. Somewhere, after all the not giving up there, I apparently started to feel like I could now give up everywhere else. Maybe my emotional brain decided that I hung in so long with that aspect of my life that I deserved a little giving up elsewhere. I don't know for sure. But I know it's been happening more recently. Especially with Yelling Child. And I don't have a colicky baby, an awful baby, anything like that, which may make it worse - I expect him to be happy all the time because he is happy most of the time.

So...where does that leave me? When is it ok to "give up," to throw in the towel and go get a pedicure? Because I'm sure that there are times where that is acceptable. But not all the time. Not every day. Not even when, on the day we go out to breakfast to the place that I want to go to, where hubs utters two complaints (which I knew were coming), where the burrito gets fussy because he poops and then proceeds to rip off the wipe I strategically place upon his baby nether regions while changing him and then emit a stream of urine so powerful the second I turn to grab a new diaper that it not only wets his face, hands, jacket, overalls, shirt, and the changing table, but also myself and the whole underside of his outfit as well (which I did not discover until afterwards when he was sitting on hubs' lap while we were waiting for boxes for our food and the check because his spare outfit was used the day before). I kinda gave up then. And I really didn't have to, but I think I placed so much pressure on the whole thing to be perfect that it was doomed from the start.

I'm pretty sure that's the worst kind of perfectionist too - the kind who doesn't even do things because they know it can't be done perfectly, so why bother? I don't know, is that me?

Well anyway, I know what I have to do now. Self, this one's for you:
Realize that life will go on no matter what, and if you keep stopping to complain/give up/estomp upstairs, you may miss things.
Don't worry, it can always get worse.
You have been through worse - this isn't it.
While ruined moments may give you just cause to eat a whole pack of chocolate poptarts, they do not give you just cause to continue to ruin more moments. Only one pack is justified, so suck it up and say NEXT.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

hmm, I think I unintentionally plagarized... and, a blog question.

I was looking at my last post title, and the title of a fellow blogger who posted about bf'ing last week...and I'm not sure when I started writing my post, but when I published, it had almost the same title. oops. color me embarrassed.
I mean, I'm not sure if yoinking a title is considered as such, but I feel bad. I wonder if I saw it and it floated around in my brain until I pulled it out and attached it to the post. ah well, my apologies, danse!

on a brighter note: I can now fit into my size 12 tar-jay jeans. yay for small victories! now, to get rid of the pooch.

and, finally, a blog question, to you readers out there - I may pose this to BotB as I am not sure I have any readers other than my occasional click in googlereader to this blog thinking it's something completely different.
I am going to embark on a (yet another) get-healthy-lose-weight journey. Should I combine all of this into one blog, or post again in my Smaller Teapot blog? I'm just not sure whether or not to separate.

What say you, interwebs?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Breastfeeding: the Saga Continues

I figured it's been a while since I posted on this topic, and since I made it past my initial goal of 6 months, I'd better give a rundown. Y'know, for future generations and all. Or, so I remember what the hell it was REALLY like next time around.
So: dear future self, it only sucks for 4 to 6 weeks. Then, you don't need to wear pads all the time starting around 5 months or so. And also, your boobs may change size again around 4 months in, so don't go buying fancy-schmancy bras that cost an arm and a boob.

Things You Will Need:
Breast pads - disposable, washable, thin, thick, you name it, I've bought it.
Lansinoh nip cream
Medela soothing gel pads
Medela nip shells
Nursing wear

A note on the nursing wear. I bought bras 3 times: right before - for use in the hospital and the first few days at home; right after - when my milk came in and I started getting real high school chesticles: and 4 to 5 months later, when the girls decided to suddenly spike in size, giving me spectacular cleavage, but also veins and stretch marks, back fat and strap marks, and the lovely deflated pancake look after a really good nursing session. Sorry for that burst of reality there future self.

Breast pads:
At first, I didn't need these. Around 2 weeks, I started thinking burrito had wet himself right where the boob he wasn't nursing from was perched; alas, it was my letdown advising him that the milk he ordered was in stock. So, they became a necessity. At first, I'd wear them all the time, because we weren't in a routine yet and I'd have letdown occur at the most random times. About the time I was lamenting to bff "can I EVER stop wearing these things?!?!," I realized that burrito and my body had worked out some sort of deal, and there were times I could now go without the pads. I believe (don't set your clocks by my recollection of anything baby-related, folks) this was around 4 months old. I was able to go to work pad-free, but then would put them in when I went to sleep, because I never knew when he was going to wake up and want to eat, and there were times when I was too tired to pump right before bed and would wake up at 5am a but engorged with some slight leakage.
Now, I only wear the pads when 1) I don't pump before bed, or 2) when I feed him in bed in the morning - I keep them by my bedside and stuff one in there when I'm nursing so that my letdown doesn't soak me.
 - - - I have used the Lansinoh ones, which are tip-top-wonderful. I have used some Gerber ones as well, and some brand beginning with the letter A which was very colorful. Those ones were smaller. But all worked pretty well. Currently, I use some washable cotton ones - these weren't the best at first because of my engorgement in the am; I'd totally soak through a whole one of those babies and have to retire that night's sleep bra. Now, however, they're good to go. And less wasteful, and less money of course.

Nip Accessories:
Boob Cream/Gel Pads - best thing evah to sooth my sore ladies in the beginning. It took a few weeks for them to get used to their new position at work, and in the meantime they were red, sore, and occasionally bled. Yah, gross. Creams are able to be put on at any time, so the baby can nurse regardless.
The Gel Pads aided for those times when they were sore and red and just needed a little cooling off. Bonus, they acted like a shield for letdown, so I didn't leak hugely.
Nip Shells - during those first months; no, that's too scary weeks, these were a nipsaver. At times I could barely stand anything touching my nips, and these were the answer to that problem. I shoved one into my nursing bra as soon as I was finished nursing (after coating the nip with either the cream or a little bit of extra milk), and it got to breathe. No smushing, no drying against the bra and causing agony after I ripped it off band-aid-style not thinking that I was ripping the bra off band-aid-style.

Nursing Wear:
This is one thing that has changed throughout my nursing career. I had figured during my pregnancy when I was making my tens of thousands of spreadsheets that I'd go get a couple bras before and after. It was recommended to wait until as close to delivery as possible so that I could better gauge the girls' new size. So, over to tar-jay I went, and got 2 nursing bras (38B, because the only thing that had change was added back fat, TYVM burrito) and 2 nursing tanks. After he was born, my size didn't change much, so I got two sleep bras and started looking for sites to get the best deals on nursing bras.
My local thrifty outlet mall didn't have anything - oh wait, my mistake, they did have nursing bras, but for superplustripleboobed women. 40D???? Really??? That's the smallest size you have?
So, onto Gap - I wasn't impressed, because at the time I was looking for something without underwire. I ordered another tank from Glamourmom, which was highly disappointing, but only because I was actually an XL at that site and I ordered a M or L, can't remember which.
And then, when I had just decided to add more to my arsenal, they got...bigger. As in, I thought this was what should have happened before I gave birth bigger. So I am currently a 38C. As such, I went back to tar-jay, hoping against hope that they'd have some new stock in. Sacrebleu, they did! (they also had bangin maternity wear which made me instantly jealous...but not enough to have another baby.)

The timeline of this was:
Pre-preg: 36B
Pre-birth: 38B
4/5 months pp: 38C

And then...I discovered Undercover Mama, who makes nursing tanks that hook onto your bra, so you can NIP (nurse in public) without showing off your muffin(s). I heart them. They make pumping when it's a bit chilly in the little room in the basement at work bearable. And double as undershirts for my favorite new thing, cardigans.

So, my current stash:
3 nursing bras from tar-jay, wireless (white, black, and blue with white dots)
2 nursing "sleep" bras from tar-jay (white, black)
2 nursing tanks from tar-jay (blue with white lacy trim, black)
2 nursing bras from tar-jay, underwire (white, blue)
1 nursing bra from gap, underwire but not with padding on the cup (tan)
2 undercovermama nursing tanks (white, ivory)
2 sleep bras (nude) - these have totally fallen apart in the wash. they are super comfy, but apparently get stuck on everything and the elastic and threads come out.
1 nursing tank from glamourmom (tan w/ pink trim) - bought the wrong size, apparently.

I'm not sure if there have really been any big huge challenges other than the first couple (months, sorry), but some issues I've had to deal with:

 - fearing my supply is low, and eating oatmeal every morning, drinking tons of water, mother's milk tea
 - identifying when a growth spurt is occurring and realizing it's not my supply getting low
 - as the warmer weather comes, determining when the boppy is needed and when a pillow or end of the couch will suffice as we both get sweaty
 - distractions! he whips his head around (sometimes with the nipple, sometimes without) to see who is talking
 - keeping up the pumping at work, especially when people give me looks like "oh, you're still doing that?"
 - handling nights now that he wants to eat at 630 and again at 730, right before bedtime
 - trying to still stock a freezer stash when the only time to pump for extra is 10pm and I want to GO TO BED
 - attempting to get up early and run/walk/exercise with a child whose sleeping schedule has him waking up at 4-6am depending on the day to NURSE NOW NOW NOW

But that's about it, so I consider myself very lucky that I've been able to do it for this long.
So, future self, don't worry. (Rob Schneider voice) You can do it!

Friday, April 1, 2011

10% guilty

So the burrito was sick last week. Another early spring cold, runny nose, coughing, etc. We put him back in the co-sleeper at hubs' request and propped him up so he didn't stay all mucous-y. (side note: apparently I have used that word before, because my phone auto-corrected it...sorry inner grammar radar.)

So on the weekend, he started feeling better...and transferred his cold to moi, who then gave it to hubs. It prett much killed me all of Sunday; good timing, because it was a burrito wants to play all day kind of situation. So Monday morning I called in dead and said to hubs, If today is like yesterday, you may as well take him to daycare, because A there's no way in hell I'll get any better with no sleep and B he's not gonna sleep so may as well get him some mental stimulation other than ma blowing her nose and calling ships in from the harbor. And of course the unspoken C, I know you won't watch him hubs.

So I slept, and pumped, and all was well. I felt only 10% guilty.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 month pics. About 2 weeks late. Oops.

Happy five months Burrito!
the big boy
he ate the seahorse about 5 seconds after this picture.
looking a bit scared as I got the camera set up.
he found his feets!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A post about Communication.

Yeah, it gets a capital C. Cause it's that important.

I wanted to write a little about those first precious days home with your baby, because lo and behold, I have an IRL friend who reads this blog ::waves to Lars:: so, that's at least one reader, go me! And I wanted to give her some advice on bringing home baby. A real, live, small carbon-based life-form. Because that's one of the most-asked questions, at least in my mind- we're home, now what? So here are some things I noticed:

1. If people ask If you need something, for heaven's sake, tell them to do the dishes. Or whatever else it is you want done. Even if they just asked to be nice (their bad), you'll still get clean plates, a room vacuumed, or best of all, food.

2. It's okay to cry. You may do this a lot; every time a certain commercial comes on, or at 3am when the kid is going through a particularly hungry time ("but I swear, I just fed him! How can he be hungry again?! They're gonna dry up!" - ps, they won't).

3. It's okay to not have any feelings of insane, head-over-heels love for the kid that hit you like a freight train the second he exits the tunnel. It's also okay if you don't think you have any maternal instincts. This may not happen right away, so don't beat yourself up about it.

And most important:
4. Communication. Not only will you have to tell people which chore you would like them to take care of, you'll have to talk to Your Partner. Take, for example, this lovely exchange:

(me, having just fed Burrito on righty and attempting to burp him and simultaneously put my chesticle back in its home before moving on to lefty) out loud: "Benjamin! Argh!" in my head: dude, why don't you grab him and walk him around? Can't you see I'm having issues and he's crying?

(hubs, sitting on his chair trying to do something important but totally not important with the bills) in his head: hmm, did it really cost that much to have a kid? Hey, is he crying? out loud: "hey, is he ok?"

Me, out loud: "no, but don't worry, I got it." huff huff huff.

See, in this case, what I should have done was said, "hey hubs, grab the kid and burp him while I wrangle the boobs."

Or take another case, where I was waiting to change his diaper because I was going to give him a bath - but hubs got him out of the babycage, changed his diaper, and handed him back to me. This is also huff-worthy.

I find that it works much better if you actually voice what is in your head. Sometimes, especially at 3am, it is tough to do this in a calm manner. Or any manner befitting a human being and not the chupacabra. So I'd have to remind hubs that I was working on being able to let him know why I was upset, but sometimes, I just needed a moment to huff about it before I calmed down and said something - don't expect a reply right away!

I also have learned to let him know whatever is on my mind. As in, "hey, I'm thinking that we should wait to change him into his jammies until after jeopardy because I want to clip his nails and put some baby oil on his head for the cradle cap." (yes, these are the things you talk about at night when you have a baby.) Because every small thought will count when you are working with someone else to take care of the kid. Unless you have the type of working relationship where you are in charge of everything, and in that case, good luck to you, chupacabra.

Monday, January 24, 2011

4 months!

4 months means:

♪ 15lbs, 5oz
♫ putting his pacifier back in when he drops it
♪ grabbing his colored plastic rings and shoving them in his mouth
♫ leaning forward from a propped sitting position
♪ chatting up everything that smiles at him, real or fake
♫ moving on up to rice cereal (after his cold dissipates, of course)
♪ recognizing his parents from across a room
♫ 3 shots, 1 oral vaccine, 1 dose of tylenol
♪ and a new-found ability to scream like a banshee after said shots

His dr's appt this morning (after one on Friday just to make sure we're doing everything right because someone's nose was COMPLETELY blocked at 11:30pm on Thursday night) was good, he's still pretty booger-y, but his cough is better. He wakes up with a bit of a dry cough, and is sniffly throughout the day, but it is much better than it was a couple days ago. He's happy though, which is always how we can tell if he's really not feeling well - he's just a miserable baby. Not crying, just fussing and not smiling. If we can get him to smile, all's right with the world.

This marks illness #2 for the burrito. Since his first illness was something different with slightly different beginning symptoms, even though his cough had not completely gone away in between illness #1 and #2, it's a different type of infection/virus. Still a baby cold though. His little (15lb) body is doing a great job of fighting it off, though.

The shots? Totally different story. He's watching the swinging Winnie the Pooh on the ceiling, smacking his lips from the tylenol and oral vaccine he just got, minding his own business when WHAM, someone sticks a needle in his chubby thigh. Eyes widen fast, takes in a breath and - - "WAAAAAHHHHHHH!" Total red face, tears, the works. Thankfully, it only lasts a couple seconds and the regular crying commences, the kind he can breathe through. Shiny new band-aids on, and up we go, to bounce around the room and look out the window, which completely stops the crying - wait, what is that? Snow? Cars? LIGHTS? Awesome.

I do have month pics, I promise! I just have to get my rear in gear and get them up on the webs. But I have to clean bottles first, because MAN are there a lot of them. Criminy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

He Rolled!

So yesterday morning, we were giving the burrito a bath. He spit up all over, plus he was due (we bathe every other day right now). He's on the bathroom rug, awaiting the joy that is a warm bath in the morning, when lo and behold, he kicked his legs so far to the left that his tummy was now on the rug. Of course, his arm was stuck under him, and we were in somewhat of a hurry, so we didn't wait the appropriate amount of time to see If he would get it out on his own.

But no matter; the little guy rolled over. Back to belly. Stuck his little head up, started chatting to the cupboard. So cute. Next time hopefully we can get it on video, so everyone can marvel at our genius child, we can show his prom date and embarrass him, and the next child can wonder why there's no video of him/her and we get to explain how we're just too damn tired.

In other news, he has now reached the following milestones:

- he can grab things
- when sitting in his bouncy seat or swing, he'll try to lift himself toward his toys so that he may appropriately stick them in his mouth
- he held his own bottle for about ten seconds last night
- he chats with his bee bank and the penguins on the down blanket on our couch
- he has a "tickle spot" - but don't worry APers, I won't overtickle or do it without his permission ::insert slight snicker here::
- he has about the cutest laugh this side of the Mississippi

Benjamin is 17 weeks old

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WTG, Ladies!!

Yesterday since we had a snow delay (thanks, daycare. I really wanted to be late to work and sit around outside until you opened at 830), I got to actually finish a complete morning feeding. Woot for baby! So when I went to pump, a bit late because of the delay and people not being in, having to cover the phones - at 12:00 or so - I got 8.25 oz. What! What you say! Yes, lots of milk. Good job, boobs.

Now, I don't know if it was the delayed timing, or the oatmeal I had for breakfast (we'll see, since I'm gonna chow down on the stuff every morning from now on), but I just wanted to offer a gold star of sorts to my milk bags.

And for an update on pumping @ work. The other pumper here actually left to be a SAHM (JEL-ous), but she was replaced! So I still have a pumping friend here. I've got my times set at about 945, 1245, and 345, if I can get to all 3 of them - which I will have to, in order to keep up with the little man. It's going well, I sit there with my phone and check blogs and such while I pump. Usually go for 15 minutes. It gives me a nice mental break in the day, and it's gotten to be a part of my schedule, so I'm used to it by now. My boobs aren't painful anymore, hallelujah, and I'm really enjoying being able to stock burrito's shelves for free, if you know what I mean. I remember the days where it used to hurt so much, and if anyone out there is reading who is in that stage, IT WILL PASS!!!!! I can't stress that enough.

Ok, time to make the donuts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I left my phone at home today.

I feel...naked. But that'll fade. I didn't have a phone until I was 18, so it's fine if I don't have one.

I miss it for two reasons though: 1) I had some really cute burrito pics to share saved on my phone. He's wearing his Johnny Cash onesie today. 2) I'll have to find something else to distract me while pumping today!!!

ETA: and of course...I left one of my pump parts at home. This girl? Genius. S-M-R-T. So, I'll be going home for lunch, and to pump, and to get my phone.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Scariest Moment of my Life

It's high time I write about this, not just for me but for anyone else who may happen upon this blog so that their fears may be somewhat calmed If this happens to their child. Or so I hope. I worry all the time that an illness or injury may not get paid enough attention because the signs or symptoms are common or mimic something else, especially after what happened to my beloved Stella. But now that these things have happened, and we have survived, we can learn and be more vigilant in case they would happen again. So I guess what I mean to say is, I've been there.

So the burrito's cold is progressing, and we think he's getting a little better because of the lack of cough for a little bit. But at 3am on Dec 26, he woke up to eat, and during his 2nd side he started to cough. I propped him up and got the burp cloth in case he threw up everything he just ate, which he had done 3 times so far. He keeps coughing and nothing's coming out. I ask hubs to take him and hold him upright, in case he does spit up. He holds him and rubs his back, burrito still coughing.

At this point, we were getting worried, and that's when I saw him start to turn red over hubs' shoulder. I yelled out "he's turning red!" and had a moment of sheer panic in which the thought oh my god my baby's going to die ran through my head. Hubs turned him over and did some back blows in case there was anything lodged in his throat, as he was also choking and sputtering a bit. A little spit up came out but that's it. Finally, after what seemed like a millennium, he started getting air, slowed the coughing, and calmed down.

He handed him to me and said, ok we're going to the hospital. I panicked again, with the thought oh my god my baby's sick enough for the hospital, and kind of just stood there while hubs got dressed. I finally had to say to him, what should I do? Because my mind was in such a haze I had no direction but to hold my son. He said, get your pants on, put on a sweatshirt, and let's go. I went downstairs and he grabbed a blanket from the couch and wrapped it around me and burrito, and he opened the door. I asked if we were going to put him in his seat, but he said no, let's just go, I want to get there as soon as possible. We got in the truck and drove the mile to the hospital, with burrito fussing the whole way, but not coughing anymore. Valet parked, walked in to the ER. Hubs did all the talking, I just held my boy. They brought us back and got his weight (wrong, lol) and assessed him, got him into a ginormous hospital gown and put him on a pulse ox monitor, which he kept kicking off - he kicked it off 3 times until they finally got wise and put some of that tape-ish stuff around his foot. : )

It was a little while until we saw the dr, but he was very nice and spoke very fast but was to the point. He wanted to get x-rays to make sure that he didn't have pneumonia, and to take some blood to test for pertussis, and he'd call our pedi and let them know we were here. The blood draw was worse than all the previous ones because he was already upset, and then it took forever to get the amount of blood they needed. In between all of this we put one of those heavy hospital blankets on him and encouraged him to sleep. He was in a bed that could  be tilted up, so that if he did have any mucus, it wouldn't choke him. We got another bulb and continued to suction him when he sounded sniffly. We kind of half-rested while everyone came in and out. The x-rays were awful, as they needed to hold him completely still and he just wasn't having that. The x-ray tech would set the machine, have the nurse and hubs hold him, and then run - literally - to the control to take the pic. They did 3, since the first side x-ray didn't come out as clearly as they wanted. They put him in my arms after it was done and I held him and soothed him as best I could. Poor kid.

The pedi arrived around 8, and as soon as she got there, burrito decided to show off his new skillz and have a coughing fit, which was good timing, because when he wasn't coughing, he was contentedly talking to her. She said it was good that he timed it so, because she'd be wondering what he was doing in the hospital otherwise. She looked him over and decided that to make sure that he wasn't having apnea spells during the coughing fits, she wanted to keep him for observation overnight. We kind of looked at each other like - eh? Really? For a cold? But it made sense, as I can still recall the feeling of panic when that little face turned red. I wanted to make sure there was nothing but a cold going on here.

So hubs went home to shower and get our bags, bring me an actual shirt, and grab some food. I was feeding burrito on and off, sitting him on my lap so he wouldn't cough as much (or so I hoped), but he didn't eat a whole lot at a time. I figured that if he wanted to add more feedings, and not eat as much at a time, that was fine with me - whatever kept him hydrated. It was a little tough without the boppy, and with a very uncomfortable hospital chair that converted into a very uncomfortable bed-type thing. We got checked into our room and got settled in, I got my menus for dinner and breakfast the next morning, and hubs called his mom to update them. I had been texting my mom since early morning, she was catching a train to Florida at the time! He turns to me and says "ok if my mom comes to visit?" (to the phone) "I'm sure she'd like some company." I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I'm going to sleep." It finally dawned on him that we'd been up since 3am, and he said "I'll call you later mom." Good boy. They ended up coming by later on anyway, which, really, whatever. They brought him a giraffe toy, which was cute, but - he's in the hospital. He won't be very receptive, not to mention, he's 3 months. Ah well, it's the thought that counts.

So he was on monitors for oxygen, pulse, and something else throughout the night, as well as marking down when he ate, for how long, and how many diapers he had. They did give him some Tylenol early on because of his coughing - he looked like he was in extreme pain from his sore throat from coughing so much. I asked about it the next day, and they said as long as he doesn't seem to be in any more pain, he won't need it anymore. He slept on and off, and was generally just a content baby. He had one slight spit-up episode, but no real throwing up like he did before. The coughing continued, but wasn't as severe as before. The next morning, hubs came back and gave us the once-over before he went to work, and the pedi came in around noon - noon! I should've gotten lunch! - he was really great, did the donald duck voice and everything. Burrito loved it. He loved all of his visitors actually, and talked incessantly when people were around. Didn't give mama the time of day though, lol. Pedi said that he was hesitant to send him home and have the same thing happen again, but that he looked good and didn't have any apnea or breathing issues, and that if I felt confident being at home with him, he'd  be good to go with just a follow-up appointment. His x-rays were clear, his white cell count, though elevated slightly, was good, showing no signs at that point of pertussis (the test came back clear a couple days after we got home), and in general his cough was lessening. The suction unit they used which attached to the hospital wall helped greatly to clear out some of his mucus too. I asked if we could get one of those for home, but sadly they said no, lol.

So, at around 3pm Monday the 27th, our hospital adventure ended. And promptly after his first feeding at home, burrito coughed and vomited his food up all over me again. Thankfully, it was the last time, and I'm pretty sure it's because we got overzealous with our feeding now that we were home! and freely attached to the boob! on the boppy! He did throw up once more all over daddy the next morning, but that was just out of excitement, ha ha. Apparently it went over daddy's shoulder and hit the floor, and he looked back at the burrito and he was laughing at him. Lesson learned, smaller more frequent feedings til the coughing stops. The actual diagnosis we got from one pedi was bronchialitis, although I'm not sure what all exactly they wrote on his papers because I didn't look at them yet!

So, here we are, over a week later, and he's still got a slight cough from time to time, but is so.much.better. We still suction him and use the saline nasal spray about 4-5 times per day, just to make sure he doesn't choke on all the mucus, but he's so much happier and back to eating like a champ. He has started playing with the toys on his swing tray, actually moving them purposefully, and he even managed to grab his paci the other day and put it back in his mouth. He's talking like nobody's business too. Thank goodness that scare is over. I know there may be hospital visits in the future, but please, universe, can we limit those if necessary at all to the normal things like sprains, strains, bumps, casts, etc and not the terrifying choking non-breathing variety of things?

Benjamino is 15 weeks old today!
and wants you to know that no matter how dino-mite you think his new outfit is, he's still not going to hold still for your picture.

And that he's got team spirit!