Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Next Big Change

Today we moved Lily's bassinet into her own room, and I feel like someone severed my arm. I can't believe it! I thought I wanted to sleep, but it's going to be really hard to sleep without her at the foot of our bed. When she first came home, she hardly made a dent in the bassinet, and now she's almost grown out of it. It's time to get a real crib. And a crib won't fit in our bedroom. Which means she'll have to sleep in her own room. Which means we have to get used to having her all the way across the hall. And she has to get used to it. So we moved her bassinet into her own room. Sigh.

Language Development: Stick Out Your Tongue!

I Don't Want to Forget This Later, It's One of Those Things That Only Comes When I'm Almost Asleep

In my mind while I'm sitting with Lily waiting for her to be asleep enough to put in the crib, I'm deconstructing This Is the House That Jack Built and thinking there is some structure there that I can make into an equation and make up a new verse with new characters and a modern plot and it could be really funny for adults or just for kids, it doesn't matter, if I figure out the equation, the relationship of each added verse to the previous verse, then I can make any number of new versions. It's just math with words. I can figure this out. I just have to go to bed now because I've taken 2 Percs for the pain in my head and I need some rest but I know I can figure this out later and I really want to. There has to be a wallabee in one version, because Lily likes that word. and Uffda, I said that to her tonight and she smiled. So maybe a Minnesota version. Yes. Just later.


she's beautiful in my arms sleeping and I'm looking down at her round little head that still doesn't have much hair and I see her long eyelashes and it melts me into a Mommy puddle and I remember how she stared and stared into my eyes earlier when I read Green Eggs and Ham to her in funny voices and thought wow, she's changing, she's becoming more and more alert and more connected to me and loves my voice and earlier today she fell asleep to me reading her Go, Dog, Go, one of my favorites, and I love doing different voices for her when I read, it's like I finally got an excuse to have this much fun reading and playing and I love it. And we didn't ever send out any Christmas cards or even buy any or even start on writing our annual Christmas newsletter that everyone loves to read because it's fun and silly and not boring and I miss doing it but I don't care, I don't care if it doesn't ever get done this year because she's beautiful and wonderful and I'm up at 1:30am after holding her and playing with her since her 9pm feeding and finally getting her to peaceful sleep at 1am and like a broken Baby Alive her eyes popped open when I lay her down in the crib and she was ready to eat again and I just had to grin at her and get the next bottle of milk ready and pick her back up in my arms and go change another diaper and now she can almost hold the bottle all by herself which is amazing and my shoulder hurts all the way up my neck into my head and down my arm into my back because I haven't been doing my physical therapy exercises like I thought I would on vacation like a lot of things I thought I would get done on vacation but I have her and she's always there and I'll always drop whatever I'm doing and no, I don't need that food heated up, I'm used to eating it cold and it's okay, it doesn't matter that much, not like seeing her stop crying and snuggle up against me when I pick her up and know what to do. I can't make everyone else happy with me anymore, like I ever could, that was an illusion and a guilt trip I can't afford to take anymore, there just isn't time because I've got her now and me and her, we're happy.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Beautiful Laughter

It's been a hard day, at times. They don't seem to last all day long, the hard bits, which is nice. The morning was awful, I couldn't get any rest and the dog and the baby were needing attention at the same time. At one point I was on the floor with Lily on her playmat and Cocoa wanted to play fetch with one of her balls. Since this was an improvement over the constant pestering to go outside every 3 seconds, I went with it. She'd bring me the ball, I'd throw it. She'd bring it back. Often she brought it back so close to me that the ball rolled right into Lily's head. Luckily it's just a rubber ball, and Miss Lily had a cushy hat on besides, but it just seemed a littly funny, like it wasn't totally an accident that Cocoa was bonking Lily's head with her ball. "Oops! Silly me!" My hairdresser friend said her dog is depressed right now about their new baby, that he acts like Eeyore.

Anyway, now it's 1 in the morning and I'm finally awake. I just fed Lily and John is sleeping. She fed very easily, hardly waking up, and just eating very steadily and smoothly, so no big burps needed. Then when she was done, I just held her for a good half hour and looked at her and kissed the top of her head a lot. I watched her face changing expression in her dreams, and she suddenly started laughing, it was so sweet. It wasn't baby coo laughter, it was real laughter, jiggling her belly and everything. Every now and then she does that in her sleep and it's the most amazing thing. It's like she's visiting heaven where she knew everything before she came here to us, and she's laughing with the angels. God is great.

The Raspberry Stage

I never knew about this stage in babies, when they start doing raspberry noises with their mouth. It's really funny, especially since Lily seems to work so hard at it. She has her practice sessions during the day when she'll just do them over and over and try different tongue placement and lip movements. And the dog is rather intersted in this. Cocoa has always taken it was a sign from us that it's playtime when we do raspberries. So now here's this baby, who she's doing her best to ignore most of the time, doing that fun noise. Cocoa has been glancing at Lily the last couple of days during raspberry hour and trying to figure out what it wants...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sleeping Through The What?

I got my hair cut last night, which is a good thing, it's been driving me crazy being too long, and then it gets in my face and when I don't get a shower (don't ask me how many days that happens) it just all makes me very crabby. So it was fun to go see my hairdresser, esp. because she had a baby about the same time as us, although hers wasn't a preemie, and I haven't seen her since she went on maternity leave. But her baby sleeps through the night. No, I mean really sleeps. From 9pm to 6 or 7am. Waaaaaah! The best we've gotten so far was 7 hours one time, but it still averages every 4 hours.

Some days the sleep deprivation is just really painful. I get that stomach ache you get when you just shouldn't be out of bed. It's my body protesting. And it causes me to get more headaches, which I need like, um, more headaches. Yesterday I got lucky and Lily fell asleep in her chair while I was on the phone with John saying I didn't think I could stand it, that I had to go to bed. So I didn't move her at all, I just curled up on the love seat in her room next to her bouncy chair and we snoozed for a couple hours. Phew. That was just dumb luck, though. Today she won't sleep unless I'm holding her, and Cocoa is driving me insane wanting me to let her outside in the fridid cold (12 degrees) every 2 seconds. She just wants me to leave the door wide open and let all the heat out. Aaaaaaaaaah!!! I need a vacation. Oh yeah, I get one in just a couple weeks here. I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Special Baby Skills

I think babies go to secret schools before they're born, where they learn how to spit up everywhere but where you want them to. Yesterday I had the bib on, the burp rag in place below that, and Lily turned her head and somehow puked up my sleeve. Now, how does that happen? Maybe it's like pets: they never barf on the hardwood floor or the kitchen tile where it's easy to clean up--no, no, they have to go find the carpet where it will soak in good and leave a pungent aroma. Ah, barf stories. Good times.

Motor Sounds + Butt = Motorbutt

It makes me laugh every time Lily farts. I know, I'm so juvenile, but there it is (pun intended). She's so oblivious to it, she just sits there tootling away and her facial expression doesn't even change. Sometimes she'll cough and fart at the same time, and I just can't help but thinking of an adult doing that and being all embarassed. The funniest are the little series of toots that sound like a motorboat. We start laughing and then that makes her happy so she smiles. I just hope when she starts talking that Grandpa Jack won't teach her to say "I feel better now!" like he did one of his other grandkids after a burp. Because then I'll just laugh more and it will be hard to tell her "No, we say excuse me," and be Mature Mommy while I'm laughing.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This Is My Daughter

Today I'm feeling really good about being Lily's Mommy. Days when I hold her for two or three hours at a time, several times a day, are becoming comfortable, familiar, not a "waste" of time, but something I even look forward to and relish. As she grows bigger I realize I won't get this time again, and that I want to enjoy it all I can now, holding her whole being in my arms and kissing her soft skin as much as I want and just looking at her. And it's good for her, it's a warm, safe, fun place to be, in Mommy's arms. I love to kiss her soft belly when I'm changing her diaper, and give her raspberries like my Grandma Furlong used to do with me and Wendy. And kiss her little feet and clap them together.

I can see her changing, developing more and more of a personality. She's making more and different noises, little coos, which we love to hear and often laugh at; she's working hard at stuffing all her fingers in her mouth at once, which is hilarious (and useful because she can always find her fingers and sometimes she can't find the binky as it drops on the floor a lot). She's looking directly at us more now, at our faces, and responding to our facial expressions with her own, and a lot of her expressions are happy ones.

Of course there are difficult times, when we don't know why she's crying and just try our best to comfort her and get through it, or when we're really, really sleepy and she's wide awake. But to me it's not feeling as overwhelming now. It feels like we're reaching a milestone--maybe because she's almost 6 months old now. We know the drill, even as it keeps changing, and we know we can do it. It's a really good feeling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Old Mommy Glasses

These are my new "progressive" lens glasses, you know, bifocals without the line. I like them, I think they look pretty good. But I'm still getting used to them. Sometimes I feel like I'm bobbing my head up and down like a pecking chicken trying to find where the focus is. I'm sure nobody notices the crazy lady.

The Bloody Finger!

Um, yeah, it's strawberry jam on her bib, that's it. NO, actually it's BLOOD! Because Mommy used those damn baby nail clippers that are supposed to be safer or something than big people clippers, and I clipped some skin off of my baby's finger! Oh, the horror! I felt like a murderer! She only cringed and complained for a minute, so I guess it didn't hurt much, but it hurt my Mommy pride. I've injured my child! I should be thrown in jail! So I took a picture of the evidence: the bloodied bib. I know, to you it probably doesn't look like much. But I felt awful.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cute Robot Alert!

John just showed me this dancing robot on the show Wired Science on PBS and it is the cutest thing! I already love robots but this is just the bomb. It was designed by this Japanese scientist to work with autistic children. Watch as he takes "Keepon" out for a day to interact and dance with the world.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wow! I've almost outgrown my tub!

Wow! I remember when her head didn't come up to the top of that blue padding. Now she hold her head up and is really almost too big for this tub. She still likes baths, too, which is nice. She's very cooperative about getting washed. She probably likes sitting in the warm water. Sweetie.

Hee hee!!

I was gonna do red-eye reduction on this one but then I thought it was cute that her orange eyes match her orange outfit. Lily likes to stick out her tongue and grin, it's super cute.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


When we were little, Wendy used to speak in tongues in her sleep. Oops, I gave away your alternate identity as a secret Russian spy! Sorry Wendy! This was when we were in elementary and junior high school, I think. I'd hear her talking and get out of bed and go in her room and she'd be talking but she didn't seem to hear me when I said "Wendy?" and I swear it sounded like a foreign language, maybe Russian. Not just nonsense. Scawy!

So Lily sleeps kinda funny like Wendy used to. She likes to sleep diagonally in the bassinet with her head against the side. Lily, not Wendy. I don't remember how Wendy slept in her cradle. But I remember her wrestling with her covers a lot. Anyhoo, we've taken to just putting on the blankets diagonally in the bassinnet. It looks sorta funny, like Salvador Dali baby or something. But she's comfy. I just wonder is she's going to start speaking in Scandinavian in her sleep...


Hoorah, sleep! Today I got a 3-hour nap. It was good. I slept while Lily slept, and she just happened to sleep for 3 hours. Of course, I didn't get a shower, no lunch until 4pm, and no chores or art done. But I got some sleep and I feel much happier right now.

What's That, Bert? I Can't Hear You, I Have a Banana In My Ear!

Aw, so cute! It doesn't look real comfortable, but she doesn't seem to mind. And I couldn't help but think of the classic Bert and Ernie sketch from Sesame Street.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Stands for Suck It Up. Which is what I feel like I oughta be able to do. Aw, poor Carrie, pity the 41-year-old mommy. No, no, don't. It's just complicated. I'm so incredibly happy that we have Lily, she's so wonderful and I look at her and think "Wheeeeeee!" but there's also hard parts. Not that I thought parenting was gonna be a piece o' cake, but I didn't care.

And I feel entitled to help like I never have before. I'm not usually one to feel entitled about anything, I don't think I was raised that way. I was taught you learn how to do it yourself and your work hard. And yet. Now I feel like people should just show up and clean my house (for free instead of the $150 we are paying now) and cook us dinner and cookies and babysit so we can go out to a movie or a play. Why do I feel so entitled? Maybe it's hormones. I realize my body chemistry is all whack now, like I'm getting used to a totally new body after pregnancy, and I have no control over that.

And maybe I'm just not asking for help, or not asking the right way. I expect people to know we need help, which is not very useful. Carrie Kennedy knows I need help, but she is going through the same mommy experiences right now, so she knows on a very immediate level the daily stuff that gets overwhelming. And she's my best girlfriend, so she knows me well. But she's expecting her second little baby on Dec. 8, so even though she offers help, I don't want to wear her out, she needs to take care of herself.

Today I woke up with awful cramps and a headache. Blah blah blah how very boring. SIU. Or talk about something else. Let's get some more cute pictures up here. And I need some more humor.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Progressive Lenses

I got my new glasses today and the woman who helped fit them for me said I shouldn't wear them today, but get a fresh start tomorrow. I couldn't resist, though, I wanted to see how they felt looking at the computer screen. Okay, nice and clear, but you can't move your head up and down. I find if I circle my head around and look through the glasses, it looks like those scenes in movies where someone has been drugged and their vision is going all sideways and wonky just before they black out. Neato!

I was also warned that I wouldn't really have peripheral vision anymore, that I'd have to turn my head all the way around to get a good view of what's on my side. Hmmm.

So let's list the stresses on my body right now: new glasses that will take me weeks to get used to and I'll have headaches during the adjustment period; speaking of period...enough about that; breastfeeding; high blood pressure; thryroid; depression; migraines. Quite a little list, isn't it? I think I do well keeping a positive attitude most of the time, especially when I look at Lily, but sometimes I just kind of collapse and have to acknowlege that I'm exhausted. John is very understanding. Last night after I got my period and was freaking about that and having really bad cramps, I said "I need comfort food for dinner. Can we have scrambled eggs and pancakes?" And he did it and was nice about it. I am so lucky. I have a prince of a husband.

Did I Mention...?

How much I really didn't need to have my period start up again already? Maybe it sounds like I'm a whiner, but this is hard. People joke about PMS, but it ain't funny. I've been crying a lot today, and not for anything in particular, except maybe that I really don't want to have my period right now. Cramps, headaches, exhaustion, and mood swings, whee. Or should I say "Oh, my!" and sing it to the tune of "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!"?

I've decided there really needs to be a more descriptive term for "mood swing." "Swing" just isn't enough, it doesn't convey the extreme nature, the great magnitude of the length of the arc between moods. "Swing" sounds so casual, like it ain't no thing. Like it's a romantic dance. It's more like a throttling. Mood throttle? How does that sound?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Getting Used to Interruption

I think I'm getting used to it pretty well now. John makes dinner, we sit down to eat, and Lily wakes up and wants to be fed. I feel annoyed for a minute and look longingly at my dinner, then get up and take her upstairs to get her what she needs. And I let go of the annoyance and kiss her and sing to her and talk to her.

Or we're watching a movie or a show together and suddenly I have to take care of her. She can't wait 'til the commercial break, or a nice stopping point in the action. Baby Rules. Or I'm reading a book. No, she can't wait until I finish this page, or this chapter. I have to drop whqat I'm doing without knowing when I'll get back to it, and really give Lily my whole attention. After the initial annoyance passes, most of the time it feels good. I'm taking care of her, she needs me. It is good.

Sleeping Through the Night, Or Most Of It

John told me that he talked to another daddy at work who said once the baby is 12 pounds, she should be able to sleep through the night. And so we looked it up in the bossy baby book (What To Expect blah blah blah), and it says, yeah, in the third month (which Lily is, corrected), they should start sleeping through the night more. Or more of it. Oh, okay, well how do you make that happen? You have to ignore the crying. What?! I can't do that. Baby cries, I pick her up, I make her happy.

Evidently by the time they're 12 pounds, they don't physically need to get you up three times a night to eat, they're just in the habit. So you're supposed to start imposing a schedule. But it's going to be hard at first. John's friend said the first night they didn't get up to feed their baby in the middle of the night, their baby cried for 45 minutes. HOLY CRAP. I can't do that, I'm sorry. I think I'd lose my mind. Not because I'd hate the crying, but because I'd feel so bad for her being that unhappy. When she cries now and she has little tears, I want to cry myself!

So we're starting out slow, trying to get her to go longer at night, like don't pick her up the moment she starts fussing. Wait, then pick her up and see if she just needs a snuggle. If you can stretch it another 30 minutes, that's still progress. Okay, I can do that, I think. Getting it down to one middle of the night feeding would be great. Then we'd get more sleep. I like that part.

The part I am having difficulty accepting is that soon we should probably get a real crib and put it in her room and let her sleep in there. By herself. Right now the bassinet is at the foot of our bed. And I like it there. Mmmm. I thought I wanted to change, but I guess I'm attached to my lil' pumpkin. As much as I am dissapointed some days that I can't put her down to go make art or do something else, I love to hold her, and sometimes sitting in the recliner for 3 hours with her in my lap sleeping is really wonderful. I stare at her face and see how her eyelashes are growing longer. I wonder if she really looks like me, I can't tell except for her cute little nose. I am proud of my button nose. Even if it's become a bigger button. But it doesn't matter who she looks like, to me she looks like herself, the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me, the cutest baby I've ever seen, the sweetest lil' pumpkin ever.


Oh, crap. I just got my period. I didn't think you got those again until you stopped breastfeeding!! Call me Ignorant (not Ishmael). I feel so betrayed! I thought this was one of the few easy things about breastfeeding, the mommy benefit, that I didn't have to endure monthly cramps, mood swings, more intense headaches, and the general pain in the a#* that is menstruation. Aw, bummer.

So I looked it up and just like pregnancy, just about anything is "normal." You can get it a few weeks after baby's birth, a few months, even a few years. Lovely. And it can be random instead of regular, like maybe I won't get it again for several months. Ah, I just love unpredictability. NOT! Grrrr. I am crabby now (probably my mood swing). I have to stare at my sleeping cutie baby to feel better.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Happy Clean Clean

Our house has been a disaster area for about 6 months now, like about since I had to go into the hospital. I couldn't stand it anymore and my allergies have been killing me with all the dirt and dog hair flying around, so I took action. Clean Green Homes came and cleaned our house today for about 3 hours. Ahhhh it's good. I've never seen my crappy kitchen cabinets look so clean. And the ceiling fan is no longer a distributor of phlegm-inducing grunge. No more cobwebs. They even cleaned the milk stains off several tables. Because there are basically milk rings on every flat surface in the house. We're going to try to keep up the service every two weeks, and I just hope to God we can afford it, because it gives me great peace of mind and keeps me healthier besides. They mostly use vinegar and water to clean things, so I didn't have to worry about anything toxic. It was great.

Stupid Baby Clothes

I have one baby outfit I bought at an upscale baby store over on Grand in St. Paul and I finally tried it on Lily today and I now want to burn it in effigy. The brand is Absorba, some European brand, and I'm sure they have some other outfits that are designed better than this one. It's a shirt and overalls. Aw, cute. Except the shirt snaps in back. Now how am I supposed to do that with a baby who can't sit up on her own yet? And the snaps are really difficult. And then the overall thingy has to go over her head! And also snaps in back! Stupid! Oh well, it looks like she's outgrown it anyway, and she hated it because it took so long to get on so she barfed on it. So there. What kind of a name is Absorba anyway? Sounds more like a diaper than a clothing brand. Now I'm just being mean.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

He Do the Voices

I love listening to John read to Lily and hear the different voices he does for the characters. Right now he's reading The House at Pooh Corner and his Eeyore voice is like Forrest Gump. It's pretty funny.

Uncle Steve and Lily

Steve likes holding Lily, too. Of course, how could you not when she is sleeping so cutely?

Uncle Mikey and Lily

Mikey left for Singapore today, probably for 2 years, although we expect to see him a few times a year. This was Sunday when we went over to visit and say goodbye. Mike is holding Lily in what Carrie K. calls her Quidditch outfit. Mary calls it her Rugby outfit. Anyhoo, she got snuggles from Uncle Mikey before he left.


Here's Lily's other Halloween outfit, and she's trying to fly.


Feel my Pumpkin Foot power!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Baby Protests in Style

Sometimes Lily does not want to be interrupted from her feeding to be sat up and burped. So she does her Ray Charles impression, swaying back and forth, making it very hard for you to hold her upright. I have gratuitously embedded a Ray Charles YouTube video in this entry, just for fun. He's singing What'd I Say, one of my faves. Check the white dude on tambourine, he looks a

Secret Squirrel Bifocals

I got my eyes checked yesterday because I've been doing that thing where I have to lift up my glasses to read but can see far away fine with them on. And you know what that means! I have to get "progressive" lenses, which are one step away from bifocals. The progressive lenses don't have the telltale line across the middle of the lens, so no one will able to tell I'm getting old unless I tell them. Which. I just did. Oops. But you'll forget. I'll be incognito with my ol' lady glasses, and I picked out new cool frames, so it won't be too bad. The doc said it may take a couple weeks to get used to the new lenses and the whole progressive thing. I'm hoping that doesn't mean I'll get a bunch more headaches and have to use up my Percoset before I'm allowed.

The bonus of this eye exam is that we went to SuperTarget for it, so afterwards I got to shop in my favorite store. Lily was great, John shopped while I was getting my exam, and then we both shopped, and she was asleep and cozy the whole time. It's funny, I told John it seemed like no matter where we went in the store, I could hear a whining, crying baby. "Is it following us or what?" I asked him. He thinks maybe we're just more tuned in to that sound because we have a baby now. I don't know, I thought it was just annoying.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hey! Did You Notice the Sound Clips?

Apparently some people have not noticed the sound clips that I put on the sidebar. They're those things that look like tiny VCR controls. There are 3, and I put a title above each one. No, it's not my favorite music (although maybe you could say it is, in a way), it's sounds of Lily that we recorded. All you have to do is click the play button (the one that looks like an arrow pointing to the right) twice, once to activate the control, and then a second time to hear the clip. They're pretty quiet so you may have to turn up the volume on your computer, and they're each only a few seconds long. But they're really cute, so please listen to them!

Lily's First Movie

So last week we went to a "Mommy Matinee" at a Kerasotes theatre in Inver Grove Heights. I put a link on the sidebar for anyone else looking for Mommy Matinees, and you can use a drop down list on their site to find theatres that do this all over the country, or at least the theatres owned by Kerasotes. They don't really do anything special for these matinees except note that parents with kids under 2 are welcome to bring them along, and then everyone else in the theatre knows there will be babies, possibly fussing, so they'll theoretically understand because they have babies there, too. They do the matinees on Tuesdays, the first show of the day, so it's not a big crowd to begin with.

The funny thing was, there weren't any other parents at our screening. They were all senior citizens! So Tuesday must be senior discount day, too. Anyway, Lily was very good. She only started fussing after we sat through 10 minutes of commercials and the movie actually started--oh my God, I hate these commercials! We actually had to sit through a music video for the National Guard! Can you say propoganda? So we had brought a bottle of milk and I ran into the bathroom to run it under some hot water to warm it up. Uh, except they didn't have hot water. What?! They had those automatic faucets that don't have any knobs, they just sense when your hands are under the spigot, or they're supposed to, although usually the sensor area seems about 1/16" thick and I feel like a dork waving my hands all around like I'm doing interpretive dance trying to get some damn water to come out. So I tried the hand dryers instead, holding the bottle of milk under the blast of hot air. That took forever and didn't work that great, but well enough.

Then Lily ate happily from the bottle while we watched the movie, and we traded off who was feeding and holding her so that we could each get some popcorn. Because I must have popcorn. At every movie. It's just a thing. I have to have it.

At first Lily kept turning her head toward the light of the big screen, like she wanted to watch the movie. We picked Dan in Real Life, which was really funny and sweet. The guy at the concession stand looked at us carrying Lily in the car seat and said, "Ah, let's see, bringing the baby, you're probably going to see...Saw IV?" Hahahaha. Everybody's a comedian.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tigger Lily

Here's Lily in the Tigger costume Aunt Wendy got for her. Aren't the little ears adorable? John's work, General Mills, had a Fall Festival last Friday night, and it was basically a big Halloween party for families. It was really fun to bring Lily, even though most of it was over her head. It didn't matter because we got to get out and be parents at an event with other parents, which felt really fun.

Zombies for Halloween

No, that wasn't Lily's costume, it was Mommy and Daddy after three days of barely sleeping. Lily must be going through a growth spurt, cuz she's been eating every 2-3 hours and not sleeping much. Wow, this is the hard part, being super sleep deprived.

Monday, October 29, 2007


This is my new nickname for Lily for days like today, when she is very hungry and very fussy. Sort of a pig and a squirmy creature at the same time.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Giant Mutant Freaks

That's what "normal" sized babies look like to me. I can't help it, I'm used to my wee preemie, even though she's up to 11 pounds now. I see other babies and I flinch. They're like those enormous prize-winning vegetables at the Fair.

When is 163 lbs. not 163 lbs.?

When it's your before and after pregnancy weight. I'm back down to what I was before I was pregnant, but it ain't the same. Things are not distributed in the same places. I still can't wear my favorite Eddie Bauer jeans, and the stupid company went and changed the style of their jeans so I can't just buy some bigger ones. I hate their new cuts, they all make me look fat. Very annoying. And none of my tops fit because I have these big melons full of breast milk now. I never thought that would be a problem, having big boobs. But it's a challenge! I know what you're thinking--oh poor baby, you got big boobies, wah wah wah. Really, I'm not whining. It's nice to have cleavage. It's just a strange surprise, and inconvenient, excuse me.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Perfect Baby Day

Yesterday was magnificent. I got out of the house, FINALLY, after being sick with cold/ick all for almost a month. I took Lily to Baby Storytime at my library and even though she slept through most of it, I had a great time learning the songs--I love "Wheels on the Bus," and now I know all the hand signal thingees for "Itsy Bitsy Spider," which makes me feel like such a real Mommy! I got to see my peeps that I worked with there, and several people held Lily. It was so funny, one of them tentatively asked if she could smell the top of Lily's head, and then everyone wanted to! It's the baby smell. Like a new car or something. Ha. Carrie K. was there too so I got to see her and Kieran, and I got to pick up a bunch of books I'd had on hold. Sean, ever the suprising gentleman, went and found me a bag to carry all my books in, even though the library doesn't give out bags anymore. Then Carrie K. and I headed over to General Mills and had lunch with John. Kieran was really good and we had a nice lunch. Lily slept long enough for us to eat and then we fed her.

I also found that I felt much healthier getting out of the house, which led me to confirm my suspicion that the dirty house is making me sicker. So I'm glad I had already made an appointment with a cleaning service to come do an estimate today. I think it's totally going to be worth it to pay for keeping the house clean, both for my health and sanity.

Oop, gotta go get ready to go, taking Lily to a Halloween family celebration at Gen. Mills tonight! Pictures later!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It's hard not to look at Lily and just think about how much fun we'll have later, like when she can walk, and we'll take her to the park and look at leaves and bugs and trees. And then when she's old enough to go to the Children's Museum and the Children's's hard to just enjoy now sometimes. I know everyone says "Enjoy it, it goes so fast." But you can't really see that while you're in the middle of it, so that comment doesn't really mean anything. I try to. I think to myself while I'm holding her how much I love holding her in my lap while she sleeps and just staring at her cutie face and listening to her little snores or sighs, and I think , this won't last forever, revel in it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Why Aren't Baby Farts Baby-Sized?

I mean, baby burps can be cute and little (and even when they're big they're still cute and funny), but baby farts are just as loud and stinky as adult farts! What's up with that? Sometimes we have to look at each other like, "Was that you?" "No, it was Lily!" Not very lady-like. And she looks so innocent.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How Do Ugly Babies Survive?

I think I've had two hours of sleep tonight, and now I have a migraine and I'm still recovering from my malingering cold. And yet, when I get up in the middle of the night to feed Lily, I look at that sweet little face and I feel a surge of love and generosity towards her that makes me not care about all that stuff. She is so darn cute!! I love holding her and comforting her with my body and soothing her with my voice, and that she knows my voice and responds to me. I love lying my cheek against the top of her fuzzy soft little head. I love kissing her cheeks and her forehead. I love holding her hand when she is asleep.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Having a Cold with a New Baby

Takes forever to get well. It's Saturday, Thank God, I made it through the week, but even with John getting up this morning and letting me sleep in for 7 hours until after 1pm, I still feel like crap. It's already been two weeks and this cold is lingering and lingering. Malingering. I keep wanting to get out of the house and then I wake up feeling like this and want to just huddle under a blanket and not come out.

Luckily Lily is still doing pretty well, only congested a few times and her boogies look clear, no infection. And no more fever. We have a doc appt. on Monday so that should be fun to see how much she weighs now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Baby's Cold Update

Lily's fever only lasted the one day and she's only been a teeny bit congested since then, so it hasn't been bad for a first cold. I think because she's eating breast milk, she's getting the benefit of the antibodies I am creating to fight my own cold. Score one for breastfeeding!

When To Do Your Laundry

Of course, you have to do baby's laundry every 2-3 days ,that's a given. But when do you do the adult laundry (that sounds funny...)? Well, it seems to be either when Daddy has no underwear to wear to work tomorrow, or when baby barfs on Mommy's comfy-wear-around-the-house clothes. Everything else you can let go. For instance, this evening Lily barfed down the sleeve (all the way up to my elbow) of my comfy fleece jacket with pockets that I wear around the house. Immediately it was time to do laundry. There are certain things I need to get through the day.

Your Face Is Going To Get Stuck Like That

Remember when your Mom used to say that? You'd cross your eyes to be funny and she'd say "Your face is going to get stuck like that, and then you'll be sorry." Well, I think I know why moms say that. It's because their faces do get stuck like that. I was so sleep-deprived today that my eyes kept crossing and it was a huge effort to uncross them. Then after a while I was happy enough if they were crossed and I could just keep my eyes open.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Baby's First Cold

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, and since John and I have been sick for the last week and a half, it should be no surprise that Lily had a fever today. So of course we called her clinic, and talked to a nurse. She said we can call 24/7, so that's a relief. We gave Lily some baby Tylenol for her fever, and she has a little congestion so we use the nose sucker when necessary. I know there's a more official name for that thing, but "nose sucker" is easier to remember. We also have humidifiers going in the two rooms we have her in the most, which brings back memories of humidifiers in my room when I was a kid and getting strep throat every other month, or so it seemed. I liked the sound of it, it was a white noise that made it easier to go to sleep, and I was always an insomniac when I was little.

Lily hasn't been very active today, no surprise since she's sick, and so she's sleeping a lot and we've been holding her a lot to keep an eye on her and also just to comfort her. I have her in my lap right now, sleeping all wrapped up in one of the blankies Gramma Jane made her, and lying on a pillow. She's mostly asleep but she's making these tiny little noises. Earlier today when John and I were both taking a nap, Lily woke from her nap all fussy and making little moaning noises. Oh, so sad! So we put her between us in bed and snuggled up next to her. Usually this comforts her and she goes to sleep peacefully, but she just kept moaning. That's when we suspected she might be getting sick.

So, no play mat time today. I missed the first Baby Storytime at the library last week because I was sick, and this week we'll miss it because she's sick. Darn. But as John pointed out, we have baby storytime here several times a day. Often we read to her after a feeding to either entertain her or soothe her with our voices into sleep. It doesn't matter that she isn't looking at the books yet. So I read her my favorites: The Golden Egg Book, The Sneetches, Baby Farm Animals, Winnie the Pooh: A Tight Squeeze, etc. I have a lot of favorites. It's so fun to read aloud and know my voice is soothing her. I've also been starting to collect more books, like anything my James Marshall, especially the George and Martha books, which are hilarious. George and Martha are two hippopotamuses (hippopotami?) who are the best of friends but are constantly annoying each other. The stories are short and very funny, and Marshall's drawings illustrate the characters' personalities in very subtle ways that makes the books worth reading over and over.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ah, Breastfeeding

I call this piece "The Glories of Breastfeeding." I just made it a few days ago for an art show my art group, MNAlteredArts, has at the Anodyne coffee shop this month. I haven't even been able to get over there yet and see it because of being sick. Very annoying. So anyway, Miss Breastfeeding here is meant to be very cheeky. Obviously. Those are real bottle nipples that I painted bronze. The postage stamps on her body say things like "Support Our Youth" and "Food For Peace." Haha. There's one on her back that's of Mary holding Baby Jesus. So, some of it is meant to be sarcastic about the pressures of breastfeeding put on women in our culture right now, but other elements, like the colorfulness and the music note paper here and there, is meant to convey the joy I feel breastfeeding (when it's working right and doesn't hurt!!).

Crapola Weather and Colds

Jeeeeeez I hate this weather, it's been hot and raining. It's supposed to cool off today but still with the rain. The barometric pressure keeps going up and down and that messes with my head and gives me headaches. John and I have had colds for a week with no sign of them going away yet. Very tiring. But Lily is well, so that's great. I know there'll be a time when we're all three sick, and I'm glad it isn't now. Lily slept for 6 HOURS last night!!! That was wonderful, we both got sleep which we especially need now that we're sick. So, what a great baby.

What's Your Name Again?

I used to wonder how people could stop calling each other by their first names when they became parents, but now I get it. You're so happy that you're in this new role, that you want to reinforce the feeling of really being a Mommy or Daddy by calling each other by these new names. I tell Lily, "Let's go see Daddy," or I just talk to John, addressing him as the new fantastic Dad he is, "How are you doin', Daddy?" or sometimes I get really sickening and address him in the third person in very small words and clipped sentences, "Daddy is tired?" Disgusting, I know. Go ahead and roll your eyes, cuz we're lovin' it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Carpool Poll Results

The results are in, and an overwhelming majority of you (5) say I should be able to drive in the carpool lane if I have Lily with me in the car. As far as John and I have been able to hunt down on MNDot, the requirement is only for another occupant, not adult or driving-age person. So there. As it should be.

In looking for this information, we came across a lot of funny news stories about people going to ridiculous lengths to use the carpool lane. The worst and silliest was the one with the pregnant lady, who when stopped by a police officer and asked where her other car occupant was, pointed to her belly. Yeah, I don't think so, honey. The judge in the case ruled that she was silly. Well, no, just that she had to pay the fine and no way were police officers going to be doing pregnancy tests on the side of the road to qualify single female drivers for the carpool lane. Other attempts to circumvent the rules to get into the carpool lane included a woman who planted a fake baby in a carseat in her car (it was a doll), a man who used a blow-up doll in the passenger seat--actually, several men have done this, and I wonder why is it always men doing the blow-up doll? Do they have these lying around at home?--and people claiming their pets qualify as multiple-occupancy. Hmm. A dog is an occupant, yes, but I think most laws specify occupants as humans. Too bad. Sorry, doggies.

Whackity Results

Yes, folks, she's done it! She's whacked the velcro hippo off the dangly bar!


Lily flails her arms about in the jiggly chair.


I never realized how wackity babies' arms are. When Lily is upset that we aren't getting her the milk to her hungry mouth fast enough or when she's just very energetic, her arms go flying all over the place. They don't really have any destination or purpose, it seems, just to flail about in an attention-getting manner. And whatever is in their path gets whacked. I mean, you know, not very hard, they are just little baby arms. But sometimes she hits herself in the face and then cries! How sad is that? But sometimes when she's on her playmat, she'll accidentally (at least I think it's accidentally at this point) whack one of the toys hanging above her head and this seems to please her. I probably get more excited than she does about it, like "hey, you accomplished something!" which is so overachiever of me. I don't think she's really expected to become aware of her arms and hands as part of her body until a few months from now.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Emily Holding Lily

My neice and Godchild holds her first Mercer cousin.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Before the Wedding

Here's me holding Lily in church in her fun outfit: Pink tennies, polka dot pants with ruffles, a white dress with flowers (yes, over the pants), and a fleece hoodie jacket. I wanna wear what she's wearing! I hate dressing up. This outfit (skirt, tank, fancy sweater) is one I wore three years ago at the last wedding I went to, and John had to dig through the attic to find it for me. Even then I never found any nylons and wore shoes without them because we didn't have time to go to the drugstore and get any. And my slightly hairy legs. Luckily no one probably even noticed because a)I wasn't the bride, and b)if they were looking at me, it was only because I was holding this extremely cute baby. So I survived, but I am just so unnaturally uncomfortable in a skirt or dress, it's criminal to make me wear one. I need to get a really snappy pantsuit and boots or something. Then everyone will think I'm a lesbian, great.

Lily's First Wedding

We dressed Lily for Mike and Sue's wedding in her fabulous pink tennies from my brother-in-law Bob. I can't believe how cute they are! And I think she likes them. It was her first wedding, and she slept peacefully through the incredibly loud church organ and the storm thundering outside. Everyone loved her shoes.

Oh Yeah, My Birthday

It was my birthday Saturday, I'm 41 this year. The last few years my birthday has been mostly an annoying reminder that I was getting older and still didn't have a baby--that biological clock was getting louder and louder in my ears, tick tock TICK TOCK TICK! TOCK! Now I feel a sense of relief that we have Lily and I don't have to give a crap anymore about those increasing digits.

Wendy sent me a package of goodies and Dave and Nancy Jo remembered me as well, so I did have a few presents to open Saturday night after we got home from Mike and Sue's pre-wedding fest. Otherwise we've really been busy all weekend with the wedding and haven't had time to go get cake or anything. I think I should still get some chocolate cake.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

MBB: Most Beautiful Baby

Last night we went to Sue and Mike's Oktoberfest party and Lily was a big star. She was quite content most of the evening. We think she likes being around lots of people, so she's a good party baby. Many relatives who'd not seen her yet finally got to see her and thought she was the bee's knees. Sue's mom said she was "the most beautiful baby I've ever seen." Wow. She got to be held by several different people and seemed to like them all. Except maybe this one woman...I turned around at one point to see that Mary was no longer holding Lily, but a younger woman next to her was, and I didn't recognize her. She didn't really look like she knew how to hold a baby and was kind of struggling. I half-jokingly said "Who are you and what are you doing with my baby?" and she turned around to me and said "Hi, I'm Renee." And I was waiting for "I'm Sue's friend," or "I know Mike from Med School," but nothing. I don't think she's a Mommy. I then half-jokingly said "Can I see some identification?" and a bunch of people laughed but Renee didn't really get it and just said something about a slide show downstairs and handed me Lily. Hmmm.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What I Want Tonight

Sleep. For both.

Night of the Living Fussbudget

That was last night. When the baby never went to sleep. Or slept on me after I breastfed her but as soon as I put her back in the crib, it was "Hey, hey, I'm not asleep!"

I got about 1 hour of sleep, I think. Then today it was the same, no sleeping, only fussing and crying. Oh my God am I tired. I got some breakfast about noon while holding baby and then I barfed some of it back up. Mmmm. When I breastfed her in the afternoon, she seemed calm and asleep afterwards, laying on me, but as soon as I lay her in the crib, spit up explosion through the mouth and the nose and all over the covers. Aw!! Po baby. It was a rough day.

I did get to go get a haircut after John got home, but I don't like it much. My normal stylist is off on maternity leave still and so I got "Lolita" instead. How can you get a boring haircut from a woman named "Lolita"?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

That's what my day was like today. Or I guess it's yesterday now, I just haven't gotten to bed yet and it's past 2am.

The Good: the breastfeeding is going much smoother now, usually not a wrestling match. Lily latches on and is quiet and steady and happy. The LC (lactation consultant) said I should be more of a "drill sergeant" in getting her to eat faster, that when she stops sucking, I need to immediately rub her arm or back or tickle her to get her going again. Excuse me, a "drill sergeant"? Is that really necessary, to go all militant on my baby? Other than for my convenience, why does she have to eat faster? Won't that just make her spit up more? In the hospital they were more concerned about making sure she was pacing herself, stopping to breathe and slow down. That seems more like it to me. I'm a slow eater, always have been, and I'm told that's good for my digestion. So why should I force my baby into bad eating habits?

The Bad: Headache. Right between the eyes. Probably because of the weather. We keep getting storms and low pressure systems, which create high pressure systems in my head. The Percoset I was using had suddenly started making me throw up after I swallowed it, even though it had worked fine before. So they gave me Vicadin, which always makes me think of Bret Favre and my gall bladder attacks. Well, you would think Vicadin would kick the headache to the curb, but no. The Vicadin does almost nothing. So I went back to the Perco today and cut it up and took it in shifts with water and food in between and that seemed to work. And it helps much more with the headache. It makes me drowsy and relaxed, which is good, but also bad because I get so sleepy I go cross-eyed when I'm breastfeeding because breastfeeding releases more sleepy chemicals, Prolactin, I think.

The Ugly: I got overwhelmed tonight because of all the little details piled onto lack of sleep. I breastfed Lily at 1am and it went fine, she did great. But the breast she wasn't latched onto leaked all over her sleeper, so I had to change it. Then I held her for a while because I love holding her, but also because the Pede says holding the baby upright for 20 minutes after she finishes eating can help prevent spit up. So I put her in her crib, all nice and sleepy, and guess what? A spit up explosion! Out the mouth, the nose, it was a wonder her head wasn't spinning around like in The Exorcist! I scooped her up and away to the changing table to clean her up and it just kept coming up no matter what I did. I felt so bad for her, that barf through the nose just can't feel good. Po baby. So I started crying. She seemed to be pretty calm, though. So I woke up John and he held her while I cleaned up the barf and the barf rags and myself and went to pump the overflowing breast. Jeez.

But let's go back to the Good. I'm feeling closer to my baby lately. I love holding her and kissing her and looking into her eyes. I feel so happy when I can comfort her when she's upset. It feels good that she and I are figuring out together how to do the breastfeeding thing, because it is a joint effort. In fact, I find that when she nurses, I am less sore than when I pump. And they do get sore, these milk machines. Sometimes I get really cranky about it. Anyway, I remember when I first held Lily in the hospital and she felt so fragile and tiny. Then when we got her home, I still felt awkward holding her, picking her up, trying to support her head and hug her body, and just carry her around. Now it feels right, like I know where she fits. That's a really satisfying feeling, affirming that I am THE MOMMY.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baby Calls

Like bird calls, once you learn them, you know what each one means ("Chicken Hawk approaching, fly away quickly"; "Hey, baby, wanna mate?"; etc.). So I'm learning Lily's different baby calls, which at this point are all pretty much baby cries. Generally the loudest one, the one she really puts her all into, is the one that means "I'm hungry. NOW," or, more literally, "My God, aren't you people ever going to feed me??!!" Then there's the kind of whiny one that's a bit half-assed. That one usually means "I'm tired but you can't make me go to sleep. So there." Several others are still a mystery.

I've had a couple dreams where she could actually talk in words and it freaked me out. One of them she said "I want to go home" and when I looked closer, I found it wasn't my baby I was carrying, but some other child who I quickly put down before anyone might accuse me of being a babynapper.

One-Arm Carry

I'm getting better at this. I can carry Lily with one arm and hold the bottle or other necessary item with the other. At first I thought this would be impossible, because I need to support her body and head, but I think it's getting easier as she can hold her head up more. I'd wear pants with pockets all the time so I could carry other stuff. Now it's getting better. But sometimes she'll just wing her head back and scare the crap out of me!

So now that you aren't supposed to let babies sleep on their tummies anymore (they call the campaign "Back To Sleep"--yes, we got a handout in the hospital), you have to give them tummy time while they're awake. So we do it on the play mat a few minutes a day, and it's torture to watch her struggle, I hate it. She gets all frustrated, which is normal, but I hate seeing her unhappy! I want to reach over and help, but then I know that would just delay her getting stronger. Ugh.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blah Day

Today I've felt sick like I'm getting a cold, so John stayed home and I slept until noon. It was good to sleep, but I still feel just drained of energy and motivation to do anything. Lily has been good today, I've breastfed her a a couple of times with success, but I am just so tired. It's a little scary, feeling sick when I have this little bundle of energy to take care of, so I'm really glad John could stay home today.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Start Reading To Your Child Early

And pick quality reading material.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

LGB's: Little Golden Books

I still have a bunch of these from when I was a kid in the 60's, and even some from when my sis Kathy was growing up in the 50's. I just love these books. The old ones are the best, now known as "classic" Little Golden Books. They also now have "character" LGB's, including Barbie, but let's not talk about that. Anyhow, Random House has been reissuing a lot of the old classics, so they're not hard to find. I've been going through the Paperback Swap database and using my credits on getting them. One of my personal favorites (that I still have) is now on the "classics" list: The Monster At the End Of This Book, starring Grover from Sesame Street. Ah, Grover, so loveable. This was B.E., that is, Before Elmo, who I find patronizing. He and Barney are just sickening, I'm sorry.

Garage Sale -- score!

I haven't been to hardly any garage sales this season, and I miss it. I missed the huge annual one over at Minnehaha Academy, dangit. So this morning on the way home from an appointment, I allowed myself to follow one sign and go see what I could find. Baby stuff! I got a bouncy chair for $5! It's a Fisher Price and looks very similar to the the one Carrie Kennedy is loaning us until her second bambino arrives. They probably cost about $30-40 new. I also got a a couple of clothing thingees and a Little Golden Book that I'll either use for altering or keep to read to Lily. I love garage sales and thrift stores. Some people buy lottery tickets, I like finding deals.

Friday, September 21, 2007

First Public Breastfeeding of Lily!

Yes, I actually breastfed her away from home. This is a huge deal for me. I still can't imagine wearing a nursing shirt and having that work, just tucking her in there like it's nuthin'.

So when I say public, I don't mean I sat in a public area, with signs pointing the way to the spectacle: "Free Show! Boobies! This way!" No, no, no. I visited John at work and after our lunch together we went to a private room to feed Lily. General Mills actually has at least half a dozen "mother's rooms" for breastfeeding or pumping. And they aren't little closets, either, they're really nice. The one we went into had a big comfy chair with nice fat arms to rest my arms on while holding Lily, a little shelf attached to one side where you could set your drink or something (breastfeeding and pumping make you really thirsty), a sink, a fridge, a big table, parenting magazines, and they even had breast pumps!! Way to go, General Mills.

So Lily did absolutely great with the breastfeeding. Good Baby! Minimal wrestling to get her latched on.

More Secret Words from the Breast Pump

My friend Lisa commented in my previous post about the breast pump talking to me that I should listen to music while I'm pumping so I can't hear the voices...but I like the voices! Maybe she's worried I'll start hearing it tell me to go postal.

Tonight while I was pumping and John was holding the baby, he said it sounded like it was saying a lot of different things:
powder bush
pile of what?
roquefort sofa
go Smith
don't stop
low flat
what now?

Wow, I think he's more tired than I am today. My favorite is "pile of what?" Well, he is technically sick, maybe that has something to do with it. I had to take him home from work cuz he had a bad stomach ache. So now he's hallucinating more than I am. Insanity loves company, isn't that a famous quote?

Binky Falls Out then Baby Wants It Back Immediately

Would it be wrong to duct tape it in place? Oh, shut up, I'm only kidding.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mom Loves Being A Grandma

I so love this picture of my Mom holding Lily. She just can't believe how fun it is to be a Grandma! It's really sweet to see in my Mom, that she's gotten this unexpected gift she never knew she wanted until it came.

Fore and Aft

Like a ship. Actually, it's fore and hind, like parts of a cow or other livestock. If you haven't guessed, I'm talking about breastmilk. Evidently there are two types of breastmilk: foremilk and hindmilk. It sounds like hindmilk should be from, oh, I don't know, your butt? But it isn't. Foremilk is the milk that comes out first in each feeding (or pumping), and hindmilk is the part that comes out at the end. Evidently, the foremilk is more watery, and the hindmilk is the rich stuff with the most nutrients. So the hindmilk is what's best for the baby. Of course it is, because that's going to be the hardest to get to. Now the Lactation Consultant says I have so much milk (good Lord, and to think how worried I've been about milk production) that it would be better if I could express or pump out some of the foremilk before I feed Lily, so that she's not eating too much "salad." Well, that's convenient. NOT! Crikey. I'm trying it, but you know, when Lily starts crying because she's hungry NOW, she's not too keen on waiting 10-15 minutes while Mommy hooks up and dumps the salad.

I'm cranky because breastfeeding has not gone well today. I suppose it's normal to have good days and bad days. She just wouldn't latch on to the right side this morning and I couldn't deal with it so I had to heat up a bottle. Which of course meant putting her down in the crib while I got the bottle ready, and she was crying and screaming unhappily. Aw. I feel bad for her when she can't latch on. It's like we're both trying so hard and we just can't get it sometimes.

Right now I can write because I have her in the Moby. It's the cradle hold and it's the first time we've tried this hold. I don't think she likes it too much, she looks a little squished. But I thought that was kind of the goal of this holder thingee, to squish baby up next to Mommy. Hmm. Well, some days you're just a fussy baby, I guess.

Sleep is a beautiful thing

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Explosive Poo

What's up with the anti-gravity poo? I'm holding Lily upright and suddenly there's a diaper-filling noise, and it goes up her back! Yipes! I think the diapers are on tight enough, it's just that the poo is so, um, forceful? Kind of scary.

The other day John had her diaper off for changing, and as will sometimes happen, his timing was off, and the poo exploded with no happy little nappy (there are Sesame Street muppet characters on these particular diapers) to contain it. It shot out like 4 feet onto a closet door! I couldn't help it, I said, "Holy Crap!" Then I cleaned it up while we were laughing. And she just lied there contentedly, kicking her little feet while John did damage control on the changing pad.

Why am I not breastfeeding all the time?

This was the question the lactation consultant asked me this week when I came in with Lily. If it's working so much better now, what's stopping me from doing it exclusively, as in no bottles, (even if what is in the bottles is breast milk)? I felt like I couldn't just say "because I don't wanna." But the more I think about it, no, I don't wanna all the time. Sometimes I want Daddy to feed the baby, which won't happen if she's always nursing. I think there's important bonding there. Sometimes I don't have the energy to deal with the concentration necessary for breastfeeding (keep her chin up, nose out, make sure she's latched on properly, tickle her to wake her up if she gets drowsy and stops sucking, if she is sucking 4 times between swallows, it's time to switch to the other breast, etc., etc., etc.). It's a lot of frickin' work. Sometimes I love doing it, but sometimes not. That seems normal. I don't want to be supermom.

She also said she wondered why the Neosure and Iron supplements are necessary, as our Pede doc said they are for about a year. The LC is sure my breast milk contains all the magical powers of nutrient that Lily needs, you know, nature and all that. Ah, c'mon. I think I'll have to side with the Pede doc on this one.

Should Baby Count for the Carpool Lane?

I think so. But then I would, being a new mom with a fussy baby in the backseat who I can't reach or see. I want the fastest possible way there, wherever there is. And besides, she's a future driver. The carpool lane doesn't have a sign that says "you must be this tall to go on this lane," so there. I mean, hey, I don't count the dog when I'm driving with her, so I'm not that crazy. But I think baby should count to get me carpool lane perks.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Breast Pump Talks to Me

I just got this new breast pump because it's time to relinquish the fancypants one we've been renting and insurance has been covering for 3 months. And the new one is not so quiet as the $2000 hospital-grade one. It makes a lotta noise and I swear it sounds like words. Not always the same words, either. One moment it's "halibut" and the next it's "The Black Pearl." It probably changes with my psychological state. For instance, the other night I was writing a letter to my dear aunt Louise, who is dying, and I could hear the pump saying, in the voice of my grandfather, "hell of a thing." I know it sounds like I'm on drugs, and okay, I am, but not those kinds of drugs.

The Glamour of Breastfeeding

Yeah, right. Well, I finally went to a lactation specialist this week and got a lot of help. She told me stuff the LS's in the hospital never mentioned, like how if baby keeps coming off the breast but wants more, and she's making a lot of noise breathing, it's because the milk is coming too fast. Solution? Slouch down backwards so gravity will help slow the flow. So now I'm slouching down to the point of reclining, and Lily is doing great! This makes me very happy. And it doesn't hurt, what a miracle! The other thing the LS said was that when the milk is coming too fast, baby will draw back her suck from the whole aereole to the tip of the nipple, which is excruciatingly painful. Aha! Finally some useful information.

I was really crabby for several weeks after bringing her home, about the bill of goods I was sold about breastfeeding. The medical profession really pushes hard on the idea of breastfeeding being the best thing for you to do for baby, but they don't talk about the difficulties. The general message is that if it hurts, you must be doing it wrong. Thank you so much, I needed that self-esteem boost, especially being a new mom and trying to figure all this out.

I'm not doing all the little widgety adjustments the LS told me, but hey, I'm getting the main thing, getting her latched on and comfy and it doesn't hurt me. It's just ridiculous how many tiny adjustments they show you, like I'm going to remember all that. Not to mention the fact that it's a wrestling match with hungry baby to get her latched on right, during which she can get frustrated (along with me) and start crying. Of course then I have a nice big open mouth to aim at the breast and if I can get her on the crying stops immediately! Magic!