Ooot and abooot

Monday, April 30, 2007

This afternoon, Baby B and I got out for a few errands on our own for the first time. It was definitely more of a challenge than it used to be pre-baby, but we made it just fine and she was nice and calm the whole time. Up until today, if one of us had to run errands, the other parental unit would stay home with the baby. However, I had some things I forgot to buy during my grocery trip over the weekend that I didn’t want to wait a whole week to get, so we headed out. Of course, one of the major reasons I went to Wal-Mart was to buy some bibs with vinyl backing, but when the guy scanned it, it came up as “locked,” which means the computer wasn’t allowed to process the item. He said the bibs were probably recalled because that’s what his cash register does when there’s a recalled product. Well, poopie. No bibs now. Not that I wanted recalled bibs, but still just a little frustrating since that was one of the main points of my trip. If I’d been without Baby B, I might’ve stopped somewhere else to look for some, but we were both a little tired, so we just headed home.

We’re about to venture off to the backyard to enjoy some of this gorgeous weather we’re having today.


Her life in pictures

Friday, April 27, 2007

A friend watched Baby B last weekend while The Husband and I went to a play. This friend has a baby who is exactly two months older than Baby B, so the two babies got to play together for a few hours while we were away (well, as much as a three-month-old and a five-month-old can acutally play). When we returned, my friend said that they’d gotten several cute pictures of the two of them on the activity mat, and I was very eager to see the pics…but then she reminded us that they don’t have a digital camera, just a regular 35mm camera with regular film, so we’ll have to wait to see how the pics turned out. Did you know they even made such things anymore? ๐Ÿ˜‰

It got me thinking about how I can’t imagine having a baby and not having a digital camera! The best feature about a digital camera (besides being able to crop and otherwise “fix” the photos) is being able to take as many pictures as you want without feeling like you’re wasting film, so you’re able to get the shot you want. That also allows you to take fun, silly pictures that you might not want to keep, but every once in a while you get a great gem that you wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

This wouldn’t be a post about digital pictures without a recent one, so here you go. This is Baby B at 12 1/2 weeks:

Hidden messages

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The breast pump…it speaks to me.

No, really.

Okay, so I’m lounging (well, as much as I can) in the sparsely furnished interview/testing room at my work, expressing the nourishment needed for my daughter and wondering how the hip-high scuff marks got on all four off-white walls. The rhythmic hum of the pump motor lulls me into a relaxed, peaceful state of mind as I try to picture waterfalls, swimming pools, playing with Baby B–all the things that will help the milk flow. I’m nearly in a state of light sleep when I hear it: “spooky bat, spooky bat, spooky bat.” My eyes fly open, not certain what just happened. The “talking” is coming from the breast pump for sure. “Spooky bat, spooky bat, spooky bat.” I’m amused, yet try to lean back and relax again. Next I hear: “Don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that.” I swear I can hear talking in my pump! Hidden messages, it seems. And they’re different every time.

I’ve also heard:

“That is a book. That is a book. That is a book.”
“That’s a good one. That’s a good one. That’s a good one.”
“He loves his house. He loves his house. He loves his house.”
“The magic knives. The magic knives. The magic knives.”
“I left it there. I left it there. I left it there.”
“A crazy day, a crazy day, a crazy day.”

Anyone worried about me yet?

Potty talk

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

(This was posted on one of my message boards recently. I’ve tried to find where it was published originally so I could give proper credit, but I can’t find it. If anyone does know, please let me know.)

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we’re in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window. People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3- year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn up the volume. It’s always fully cranked. There’ve been several embarrassing times that I’ve wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last weekat Costco.

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you’d been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:

“Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on da toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?”

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full … 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued, “Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren’t you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh … Mommy! I’m trying to see in dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!”

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming newborn when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting. Trying to divert him, I said, “Why don’t you look in Mommy’s purse and see if you can find some candy. We’ll both have some!” “No, I’m trying to see doze more stinkies. Oh! Mommy!” He started to gag at this point. “Uh oh, Mommy. I fink I’m gonna frow up. Mommy,
doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!” As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall. I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject. I began to reason with myself: OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone.

“Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!” He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door.

“Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under da door? What were you wooking at, Mommy? You wooking at the wady’s feet?” More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation.

“Mommy, it’s time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.” He started pounding on the door. “Mommy, don’t you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!”

I saw that my “wait ’em out” plan was unraveling. As I sheepishly opened the door, and found an open sink, I thought, Where’s the fine print on the ‘motherhood contract’ where I signed away every bit of my privacy?

But as my little boy gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I’d sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

Written by Shannon Popkin, who is a freelance writer, and mother of three. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she no longer uses public restrooms.

Bottled up

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

We just bought some eight-ounce bottles for daycare to see if Baby B will drink more than her four ounces per feeding (and hopefully drop one of her feedings during the day), so I think we’re now officially swimming in bottles. I can’t even imagine how many more bottles we’d have if we were formula feeding; it already feels like half my evening is spent washing and filling bottles.

Baby B has done well in daycare during her first two days. The teachers have said that she fusses pretty much only if she wants to eat, and they said she has a lot of fun in the swing and bouncer. The Husband says she puts on a show of smiles and coos when he drops her off, and each time I’ve picked her up, she’s been nice and peaceful in either the swing or bouncer. She doesn’t sleep as much as some of the other babies do, but I’m fine with that since she’s still sleeping through the night just fine. We’ve gradually been moving her bedtime earlier each night, and we’re at her last feeding at 9 p.m. and bedtime at 10 right now. Not too bad considering a couple months ago, we were at a last feeding at midnight and bed by 1 or 1:30 a.m. I’d like to get her to a last feeding of 8:30 and bedtime of 9:30 p.m. eventually, though we may need to move it even earlier than that depending on how she responds. It would be moving it reluctantly because I actually want to spend time with her after work, but I know we need to do what’s in her best interest, and if that’s getting more sleep, then that’s what we’ll have to do. At this point we’re just taking our cues from her and playing it by ear. That’s worked for us so far, so no need to fix what isn’t broken.

In the spotlight

Monday, April 23, 2007

I’ve never been one to favor the spotlight. I’m usually much happier being part of the background, part of the crowd. In general, I try to avoid doing anything that will bring attention to me, and if it happens despite my efforts, I’ll do anything I can to take the focus off me. My wedding and baby showers, while quite lovely and something I certainly appreciated, were not relaxing because the focus was on me. One of the reasons we had a very small wedding (22 adults) was because I certainly don’t want to be the center of attention in front of a large crowd. I hate to sneeze around other people because it brings attention. I think you get the picture.

It turns out that having a baby brings you quite a bit of attention whether you want it or not.

Now, of course, nearly all of it is well-meaning, and I completely understand that and do appreciate all the kind comments and well wishes. All I’m saying is that it makes me slightly uncomfortable at times. I’ll talk about Baby B all day long with people I know, but it feels weird when I’m forced to have artificial conversations about being a mom with co-workers or strangers.

And at restaurants and stores, I never realized just how many people make comments about a baby as they walk by. However, it’s rarely addressed directly to us, so it feels weird to say thank you if, for example, they say she’s cute, but it feels rude to have these things said within earshot and not acknowledge them somehow.

You’ll be happy to know that I’ve nearly survived my first day back at work (just an hour to go!), which mostly consisted of going through the 4,000 e-mails I’d received and deleting all the non-important ones. Real work will resume tomorrow. I don’t normally work Mondays, but I started back on a Monday this week because I knew there weren’t as many people in the office (we have a lot of people who work on Sunday, usually myself included, so they’re off on Mondays), so I figured I could ease back in without every person stopping by my desk. I’ve made it my task tonight to figure out a good answer for, “How’s Baby B doing?” since I’ll be talking with more co-workers tomorrow. I find that people aren’t quite satisfied with “oh, just fine!” and then changing the subject as an answer (I told you I try to get the spotlight off myself!), yet I know they don’t want me to launch into the mind-numbing detail I could go into about her if I let myself. Gotta find the happy medium.

Back to the grind

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My goodness, how can it possibly be time for me to go back to work? Wasn’t it just last weekend that I couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes? Weren’t we just taking our first pictures of Baby B the other day? But now it’s time to resume my previous life, but as a completely different person. There are so many unanswered questions at this point. Will I be more distracted during the day, wishing I could be with Baby B? Or will I be more focused on work so I can be productive and get stuff done so I can come home and spend time with her? Will I care less about the small details of my job because I can see a bigger picture now? How will I find time to do everything that I need to do and still get a respectable amount of sleep? All these and more will be answered in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, I’m returning right as things become very busy, so there won’t be much of a warm-up period for me. At least my first day should be pretty light, as I imagine I’ll be catching up on e-mails and probably chatting with half the people in my office when they see I’ve returned. My blog posts may not be as frequent, or they may become shorter, but I’ll do my best to keep up with these updates.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Being around a baby a lot makes you realize just how many things are instinctive and not necessarily learned. I mean, sure there’s the eating thing and the sleeping thing, but I think about this regularly when I’m doing something to make her laugh. I mean, no one told her that me sticking out my tongue at her is funny (and it is, let me tell you!), yet she offers a big grin without hesitation. Her brain must understand “funny” (and other things) on some very basic level, probably by making comparisons to what she usually sees (ie, me not sticking out my tongue). I just think it’s interesting to ponder all the things she already has programmed into her.

Lock update

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I got a message from HR this morning saying she was able to get a lock for the interview/testing room door.

This is a huge relief.

Ham sandwich with a side of toilet water, anyone?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So, over a month ago, I talked to our human resources manager about making sure I have a private place I can pump each day (probably three times a day) when I return to work. All I need is a chair, table, access to an outlet, and someplace with a door I can lock so no one inadvertantly walks in on me. She offered the company’s testing/interview room since she said it has all those things and she doesn’t need to use it very often.

Well, she e-mailed me two weeks ago and said she was checking the room again down there and realized the door does not have a lock like she originally thought, so she said she was having someone get a lock to put on the door. That was two weeks ago. This morning she e-mailed me and said they’re “still looking into getting a lock for the door. Hopefully we’ll have it by the time you return on Monday.”

*blink, blink*

Excuse me? Looking into it? What’s to look into? You go to a home improvement store, you buy a handle with a lock, you install it. It’s not rocket science, as they say. What, do we need some kind of committee to explore all facets of this proposal?? And what bugs me most is that I talked to her about this over a month ago. I gave them plenty of time, and now it’s three business days before I return and they still don’t have this done? i mean, it’s either getting cooperation on stuff like this, or I don’t come back to work. I figure getting the very few allowances I’ll need to continue working is much better than having to look for a new full-time copy editor. Apparently they do not realize this.

So I heard back from the HR manager again this afternoon, and she said she was “unsuccessful in being able to get a lock” without further explanation (which I’ve asked for in my response). She then goes on to suggest that I could use the one-person basement bathroom (that’s about 7×7-feet big) if we add a chair in there. Well, it does lock, so that’s better, but there’s no room for the small table I’d need. Plus, one of the times I’m going to have to pump will be on my lunch break, so I’ll have to eat at the same time. Anyone else think that eating lunch within full view of a public toilet doesn’t sound appealing…or sanitary?

I realize it’s been years since we’ve had a new mom with this particular need at my office. But, that’s also why I bought this up weeks ago, so I wouldn’t have to be stressed about it in the few days I have left at home, but that’s exactly what has happened. Unfortunately, our state does not have any laws about the availability of private space in the workplace for nursing needs. Serenity suggested that I whip ’em out at my be-cubicled desk and pump away, saying that she guarantees I’d have a lock on that room by the end of the day. I’m that pissed off about this, but not quite that brave. A co-worker suggested that I just bring the baby in to feed her at my desk, and surely that would get a reaction. Again, interesting suggestion, but I’m just not that bold…yet.

If this isn’t resolved with the HR person, I’m planning to jump straight to our company president/editor (her supervisor), who often gets things done without all the crap. Perhaps I should have started there first, but I thought it was more appropriate to take the HR step first. I’ll keep you posted.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sometimes, it feels like 95% of my day revolves around something boob-related.

If I’m not nursing Baby B (which takes up most of the boob time), then I’m using the breastpump to express milk. Or washing bottles. Or washing pump accessories. Or pouring my expressed milk into bags to freeze. Or organizing my frozen bags of milk to put in the garage freezer for long-term storage. Or washing my bras. Or desperately trying to find a shirt I own that actually fits my enlarged chest.

That being said, I’m very glad that I decided to give nursing a try and stuck it out through the difficult first week when it was painful because we were both learning how to do it. I wasn’t sure I’d like it very much, and I didn’t really “get” the bonding thing beforehand, but I understand it now.

And I love the fact that she has to rely on me for her nourishment…I don’t know if it’s the sense of power/authority I get from it, or if it’s the instinctive desire to be nurturing to her, or something else, but it’s very satisfying, even when it makes me tired and when it feels like I do little else during the day.

However, I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those moms who looks down on other moms for making the decision to formula-feed (obviously, since we give her one formula bottle a day, and I was a formula-fed baby and turned out fine) or preaches endlessly and judgmentally about the benefits of breastfeeding and how it’s the only right thing to do, but my recommendation for friends who become parents in the future probably will be to at least give nursing a try and see how it goes. I’m afraid that if I had only formula-fed from the start, I’d always wonder how things could have been if I’d just tried nursing. It gives me a sense of calmness to know that I don’t have to wonder that now.

Once a writer, always a writer

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I can’t tell you how happy I am that I’ve kept this blog for the past year. Many of you know that I’ve kept another blog (that I still use for general updates and random thoughts for family and friends) for almost four years now, but I knew that when I had a baby, I didn’t want that blog to be overtaken with baby stuff. I give periodic Baby B updates and post a ton of her pictures since so many of our family and friends live far away, but I still make it a point to try to post about non-baby stuff there, despite that being what consumes 98% of my daily routine. But this blog is my place where I can be a little more candid about baby things, since not everyone I know has access to this one.

I still haven’t gone back and read this blog from start to finish, though I would like to at some point. Part of me wants to go back and see if I can detect any excitement (or just nervousness) when I found out I was pregnant. I want to see if I can tell from my writing how I was feeling when I had my morning sickness…did I make it out to be worse than it really was, or was I actually conservative in my assessment of it? Time has given me a different perspective, and I’d like to compare my current view of such things with my view at the time…which I can do because of the fact that I’ve kept this blog.

In addition, I’m so glad to have so many details of my pregnancy and first few months of being a mother on record, as I find I’m forgetting a lot of those things that I swore I’d never forget. It makes me a little sad, but it’s hard for me to remember what it felt like to get a baby kick, yet hopefully I captured a bit of what it was like in my writing.

Ever since about 6th grade, I’ve wanted to be a writer, as writing has been a great outlet for me. Even though my career path veered away from writing and toward editing, I’ve still enjoyed writing in my personal life; before blogs, I regularly kept diaries and have e-mailed friends in such great detail that it might as well be a diary. Writing forces me to face an issue, and it often helps give me an idea of whether I’m making a bigger deal about something than I should be; something about putting things in writing makes it seem more real, so you gain that perspective. The availability of blogs has made doing this writing even better, as it takes it to the next level and allows you to get the feedback that you often need. When I return to work, my blog posts will probably have to be shorter, and probably less frequent, but I still want to make time in my day to record the happenings of this new life I have. What a great gift that’ll one day make for my little Baby B.

Chillin’ and illin’

Monday, April 16, 2007

All is well in the house of Baby B, but we’ve spent the past couple days making our little girl comfortable through her first cold. As much as I’d love to blame daycare for her illness, it’s more likely that she got her cold from me, as I started feeling sick around mid-week last week with just minor symptoms. I thought I was getting better, but then Sunday was pretty rough with sinus pressure and sneezing. Baby B has handled things great so far despite feeling icky, and she still manages to find her smiles in between us suctioning her poor congested nose. She ran a low fever on Saturday night and some of Sunday, but thankfully that seems to be better now. I had planned to take her to daycare today, but chose to keep her home instead, so I’ll take her either Tuesday or Wednesday if she’s feeling better. I’m going to keep her at home with me on Thursday and Friday, though, because those are my last two weekdays with her before I return to work a week from today (boo!).


Friday, April 13, 2007

Baby B’s eyes filled up with tears for the first time this morning. *big pouty lip* Thus far we haven’t had to deal with the heartbreak of seeing tears streaming down her face, but it looks like her tear ducts are now mature, or will be shortly.

Meows, muscles, and more

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Just some miscellaneous notes that aren’t quite worthy of individual posts:

*Baby B sometimes meows like a kitten when she’s doing her happy coos, which are becoming more and more frequent each day. She’s come close to doing a real laugh, but hasn’t quite yet (at least not what I would consider a full laugh, just sort of half-laughs).

*I realized the other day that her neck muscles have gotten a lot stronger in the past week or so, and I almost never have to worry about making sure her head doesn’t flop over, out of control. As a result, we’ve been able to start using the Bumbo chair a little bit here and there to get her used to it. As long as she’s in the right mood, she loves it.

*We found out that we’re able to leave our car seat at daycare during the day. (Some daycares don’t allow this because they do not have the space available to store them, but ours fits under her crib there.) This is good news, because it means that whoever takes her to daycare doesn’t have to be the one to pick her up. I’m not sure yet how we’re going to handle drop-off and pick-up, but I’d like to take turns doing each (one week, perhaps, I’ll do drop-off and The Husband will pick her up, then we’ll switch the next week…something like that). I just don’t want to be the one stuck doing all the sad drop-offs, then he gets to be the one to see her happy when she’s picked up.

*Baby B almost never uses her pacifier anymore, especially for me. I’m not opposed to letting her have it if she does need it, but ideally I’d love to wean her off of it early. She’s taken to sucking her hand/thumb sometimes when she’s upset, so hopefully that’ll continue. I’ve noticed that she always favors her left hand; it makes me wonder if she’ll end up being left-handed when she’s older. The Husband is a lefty, and I was supposed to be until my parents and grandparents forced me to be right-handed. I still do most things left-handed, but I write with my right hand.

Dairy confused and dairy limited

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Okay, I hate to admit this, but I’m finding that I’m a complete moron when it comes to knowing if dairy is in certain foods. Grilled cheese sandwiches? I know those are out on account of both the butter and the cheese. But other things that don’t say “cheese” in the name? Well, I’m often finding myself more stumped than I should be!

Although I don’t need to cut out dairy completely, I do need to greatly limit my intake for at least a few more days. So, I’m also learning quickly that much of my diet is very dairy-heavy (which is normally good since I don’t drink milk). Finding something for lunch has been pretty difficult, since I also need something that’s easy to fix and quick to eat. That certainly limits the options. Aforementioned grilled cheese? Out. Oh, a burrito! No, that’s cheese-based. Leftover pizza? Nope. I forgot I had that box of mac and cheese in the pantry. Oh, wait, that won’t work. Pasta Roni angel hair pasta with herbs…no, you add milk to that (I could add water, but it’s not nearly as tasty). I finally settled on having frozen chicken tenders (does that have any dairy, I wondered as I read the ingredients. See, I told you I’m retarded about this, though in my defense, I thought maybe it could’ve been in the breading) and french fries. I wish I’d thought of this when I did my grocery shopping on Friday night, as I used up the last of the chicken tenders and fries yesterday.

My low moment, however, was when I had convinced myself that eggs were dairy. (If I ever see a cow lay an egg, I’ll be sure to take pictures.) I think I just got a low-dairy diet confused with vegan, for some reason. Any chance we can blame this on the lack of milk protein in my food lately?

I found my sheep!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I picked up Baby B a little while ago, and they said she did well. She took two four-ounce bottles every 2 1/2 hours during her half-day (that’s a big deal to know because I’m just having to guess what size bottles–and how many–to send since she’s been nursing and I don’t know exactly how much she’s been getting at a time. This is yet another reason it’s good to test-drive daycare before starting back at work, though my work is close enough to the daycare that if she ran out of food at the end of the day, I could always go feed her if I needed to).

She was in the swing when I got there and seemed happy and content. I sat on the floor beside her and chatted with the teacher for probably half an hour before going home, just to get a sense of how things run. They said she liked the swing, liked looking up at the mobile in her crib while kicking away and “talking” up a storm, and also kicking away while on the activity mat. She napped for only about an hour, but she doesn’t nap a ton during the day with me, which is just fine for now since she’s sleeping well at night. (Though, she’s been napping in her car seat for the half-hour we’ve been home, thus my ability to write this post).

The only thing that made me a little uncomfortable at first was that one of the older infants was walking around and fell and bonked the back of his head a little when he tripped over the leg of one of the swings. Each of the teachers had a child in their arms at that particular moment and made a move to go help him, but I was the closest one (and didn’t have anyone in my arms like they did) so I went to help him up and start getting him calmed down while one of the teachers made herself available to take over. I guess some parents might have an issue with me being the first one to the scene since I’m not one of the teachers, yet I figured if it’d been Baby B who fell and was upset, then I’d want someone there for her as soon as possible, even though it took just 10 or 15 seconds (if that) for the teacher to be available. It’s hard to see kids fall and get hurt like that, but I just have to remember that things like that would be just as likely to happen at home. The good part is that the teachers seemed appropriately concerned (ie, concerned enough, but not panicky), made moves to help out, and calmed him down fairly quickly. Kids will fall and hurt themselves no matter what, but it’s the reaction to it that matters.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet the other teacher because she was on her lunch break when I was there (the director was filling in for her). I think we’re taking her for another half-day on Friday, so hopefully I’ll get to meet her then.

Little Bo Peep, sans sheep

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

First of all, I’ll say that I did not cry.

But, I will say that my heart aches just a little this morning.

Why the sadness? We took Baby B to daycare for the first time this morning. She’s only going to do a half-day there today, but it was weird coming home and not seeing her cute face anywhere. I’ve been without her when I’ve gone out for a few hours at a time, but I just realized that I’ve never been at home without her here. The house feels eerily still, and I’ve got a whole list of things I’d like to be able to get done while she’s away, but so far I haven’t been able to start. (Though, in fairness, writing this blog post is on the list.)

The drop-off went pretty well. We stayed for about 25 minutes and chatted with the director and the one infant room teacher who had arrived. (I’ll get to meet the other teacher when I pick her up around noon.) We told them the big things to know about Baby B–mostly that she has reflux and will spit up a lot, and a certain way to hold her to calm her down, among a few other things–but I could have stood there for hours telling them all about her–what she likes, what she doesn’t like, how to get her to smile–all of that. There’s so much to know about my daughter, and I want them to know all of it! But, I didn’t want to overwhelm them on the first day, and I’m sure a lot of it they’ll soon learn on their own anyway.

Funny thing is that there are eight infants in the infant room at this daycare, and there are THREE with the nickname that we call Baby B! So she’ll be known by her name with a last initial tagged onto the end, at least until the older ones move to the next room. I figured that might happen once she started school, but I didn’t expect it in daycare with such a small classroom.

You want to know what’s really sad? Right now I’m watching The Dog walk around the house, peeking into her room, into her Pack N Play, etc., as though he’s looking around for her. I want to do the same, though at least I do know where to find her.

Is it noon yet?

The report is in

Monday, April 9, 2007

I heard from the doctor’s office a few minutes ago, and their report wasn’t any more detailed than what I was told this morning. She’s confirmed to have reflux, but there are no obstructions or any other stomach problems. I mentioned the milk allergy thing, and the nurse suggested I keep onions in my diet for now and concentrate on limiting dairy for a week or so, and if she does well with that, then add it back in to see if it bothers her. If so, I’ll need to call them back and we’ll pursue it further. She said if there doesn’t seem to be a correlation, then I can try the onion thing again while eating dairy as normal. She said it’s more likely to be the onions than the milk (if it’s either one of those), but she wanted me to try the milk thing first.

So yeah, we really don’t know much more than we knew before.

And, in case you were wondering: Barium poop? Yeah, doesn’t smell so great.

X-ray marks the spot

Monday, April 9, 2007

I took Baby B for her upper GI x-ray this morning, and things went well. I had to undress her and then feed her a bottle of the barium contrast while she was lying on the table and having the images taken. They said I could watch her swallowing the barium on the screen they had up, but I couldn’t see it when I was in the position I needed to be in to feed her the bottle. I thought about trying to turn around for a brief look, but I was having to feed her on a table while she was on her side–not exactly an easy position for feeding when you’ve never had to do it like that before–so unfortunately I missed out. While she was drinking, a physician’s assistant was watching the monitor to see what was happening.

He told me that the test did, in fact, confirm “quite a bit of reflux” but indicated no other stomach issues, so that’s good. I was pretty confident we’d end up with an official diagnosis of reflux since the symptoms are so pronounced, but there was part of me that was nervous we’d get there and they’d say, “We have no idea what you’re talking about. She has no indication of reflux at all. That’s just how babies are…suck it up, woman.” Thankfully I didn’t have to hear that!

So, now I’m waiting to hear from the pediatrician, probably either today or tomorrow, about the official test report, and we’ll discuss what we do from here, if anything. Something of note that I plan to bring up is the fact that she has not spit up when drinking her once-daily 2 ounces of Enfamil AR (which the pediatrician had us switch to as an experiment). I’ve also noticed she’s been better (for the most part) about her reflux symptoms in the past few days when nursing, as well. So, that could potentially mean one of a few things: 1) the Zantac has started working again; 2) the onions in my diet were irritating her (though, I had chili with onions in it last night as a test, and she did fine); 3) she possibly has a milk protein allergy, as I’ve also tried cutting back on dairy in the past several days just in case that’s the problem (this could also potentially explain her heat rash that I’m still not convinced is heat rash).

I’ll keep you posted when I hear something.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Size matters

Sunday, April 8, 2007

So, I’ve loved the Gerber-brand onesies (despite hating the word “onesies”) for Baby B since the beginning; she started in the newborn size and currently wears the 0-3 month size. Even though she’s just 11 weeks old and in the 50th percentile in weight for her age, she’s close to outgrowing the 0-3 month size, so I was going to go ahead and buy the next size up so we have some ready when we need them, since I imagine that’s what I’ll be sending with her to daycare (no need for her to spit up on anything fancy). I expected the next size up to be 3-6 month, since that’s how most clothes seem to run, but the next size up for the Gerber onesies is 3-9 month. You should see how long this thing is! There’s no way they’re going to fit her for a while, especially since she’s still on the smaller size (25th percentile) for height. The solution, of course, will be to look for other brands of onesies and go with that until the 3-9 month size fits, but it’s just annoying that we have to do that. I guess I’m not the only one who has trouble finding clothes that fit myself. Like mother, like daughter, it seems.

Do you hear what I hear?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

I think XM satellite radio should have a channel that plays white noise sounds around the clock. Of course, I’m thinking this would be handy for putting a baby to sleep, but there are plenty of adults who would enjoy this while going to sleep, too.

(Funny thing: Whenever I refer to “adults” in my posts and while talking, I almost always catch myself writing/saying “real people” first, as though babies aren’t also real people.)

Which one?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Funny game, or crazy mommy? Which one?


First of all, in my defense, when you’re at home all day long with a baby, a dog, and two cats–none of whom can talk–you start doing things to amuse yourself, even if you realize they might make you a little crazy to outside observers. One of those things for me is the “which one?” game, which consists of me posing two choices to either the baby or the dog, and ask them which one…but the catch is that it’s always both answers that are right (so how could they possibly choose?).

Some examples:

Are you cute? Or are you the baby? Which one?

Do you need a diaper change, or do you have brown eyes? Which one?

Are you drinking milk, or do you love Mommy? Which one?

I think you get the idea. I swear, this game amuses me to no end!

Let’s make this clear! She DOESN’T have an IUD inside her! Do we all understand this?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

In the April Parents magazine (we got a free two-year subscription with the order of our birth announcements), there’s a two-page advertisement for the Mirena IUD. On the right-hand page is the standard marketing information about the IUD. On the left-hand side is a full-page photo of a woman who’s wearing a drop necklace that mimics the shape of the IUD. Seems like your typical magazine ad, until you look at the bottom of the left-hand page.

There, in small black print, it reads: “Model used for illustration purposes only.”

Gee, you think so?

Spitting up(date)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I ended up calling the pediatrician and getting in to see him this afternoon. The primary reason for the visit was because of the recent increase in spitting up, but I also wanted him to look at a rash on her face and scalp, which I either figured to be mild cradle cap or baby acne. He was confident that it’s heat rash, which we can’t really do much about. We already keep her lightly dressed around the house, so there’s not much we can do beyond that. It’s pretty common, but it’s just something that will have to go away on its own.

As for the spitting up, the pediatrician asked me several questions about feeding schedules, my diet, etc. He thought that trying to eliminate onions from my diet was a good start and said to give it a week to see if that did anything. If not, it’s probably not the problem. He said that reflux tends to come and go in waves, so we may just be at another peak right now. He said to keep giving her Zantac twice a day (as we have been), and change what formula we use for her 2 oz. bottle before bed (he gave us samples of Enfamil AR) to see if that makes a difference at all. He wants us to do this (I’ll still nurse her as usual for now) because it may tell us whether she has some sort of milk allergy. I hope she’s not allergic to my milk; that will be devastating to me if she is.

He also wants to send her for an upper GI x-ray, which we have scheduled for Monday morning. He has no reason to believe it’s something other than reflux, but he wants to order the x-ray just in case there’s something else going on here. The x-ray should also confirm the presence of the reflux.

In positive news, Baby B slept for 11 consecutive hours last night!! We are very fortunate, and I do not take this for granted at all. However, I’m already trying to prepare myself for the fact that she might not continue this when I return to work, since she’ll probably want to nurse as much as possible with me when we’re at home. But a girl can dream, right?

Onion-flavored kisses for my baby

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Baby B’s reflux/spitting up/fussiness while eating has become worse in the past few days, so I think I’m going to have to try to eliminate onions from my diet to see if that’s part of what’s making things worse. Each time she’s had eating issues this week, it’s been after I’ve eaten onions, so that’s why it’s the obvious place to start. This is going to severely limit what I can cook, as it seems that most things I make involve onions. If this doesn’t have any effect, I’ll see about getting her medicine switched (or ask if I just need to increase her dosage since she’s bigger than when she was first prescribed the medicine).

One and the same

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I think that having a dog, especially from a puppy stage, is good preparation for having a baby. They’re not alike in every single way, of course, but they do have their similarities. We got our dog, a golden retriever, about a month after my miscarriage, and we had him housebroken fully within a week because I watched him like a hawk and took him outside–sometimes with me barefoot and in shorts when there was snow on the ground–the instant he made any sign that he was going to use the bathroom. It was exhausting for the first month, especially because I had to get up several times during the night to let him out, but the end result was good. We don’t quite have Baby B housebroken yet (if only!), but she does have quite a few similarities to The Dog:

*They’re both escape artists. The Dog escaped from a garage with his littermates several times when he was a puppy, and he routinely jumps just out of our reach if he’s got something he’s not supposed to have and we’re trying to get it from him. Baby B can easily get out of regular blanket swaddles and the Swaddle Me–and sometimes even out of the Miracle Blanket.

*They’re both long and skinny, definitely smaller compared to others their same age.

*They both L-O-V-E to sleep (thank god!).

*They both like to fart (and seem to have a contest between themselves to see who can do it more).

*Neither one of them cleans up their own poop.

*I’m convinced they both like to trick me into giving them baths. The Dog does it because he goes to the backyard and digs, and I have to wash his paws before he comes back inside, and Baby B does it by spitting up so much. They both like their baths so much that I’m beginning to think it’s a setup!

Some like it hot (but mothers get it cold)

Monday, April 2, 2007

In the beginning, there were hot meals. And they were good.

Recently? Not so much.

When Baby B first came home, we were able to time her feedings so that I’d feed her while The Husband was making dinner, thn put her down in the Pack and Play right afterward so she’d sleep while we were enjoying our meal together. “Look at us,” we thought. “We have a baby AND we’re still able to share a nice, hot meal together! We totally rock!”

How naive.

Fast-forward a couple of months and things are quite different now. Gone are the days when I can feed Baby B and move her somewhere else to sleep. She’ll either sleep soundly nestled against me after a feeding, or if I move her elsewhere, she’ll wake up and want to do something more active than sleep, and watching me eat isn’t on that list for her.

I’ve recently become good at eating most meals in the recliner while nursing her, so we started timing dinner so that I start feeding her, then a few minutes later I get my own food and eat while she was eating. This works well with most foods we eat, though sandwiches are probably the biggest realistic challenge. (I say realistic challenge because I would imagine soup would be more difficult, but I wouldn’t even try to eat that while nursing her.) The key seems to be getting The Husband to pre-cut my food so it’s in more manageable amounts and ready for bites.

However, this past week was more of a challenge because *somebody* who’s less than 22 inches tall would decide to not eat peacefully and I’d have to keep latching her on, which meant I needed use of my hands and had to put down my food until she was done. I wouldn’t say this happened every time, but quite close. Hot meals? Yeah, they’re not so hot when you have to put them down for a bit before eating them. I imagine that pretty soon, I’m going to be so used to eating cold (or, room temperature) meals that it’s going to become my preference. I’ll have to let my food cool off drastically before I can even touch it!

(On a semi-related note, we decided from the beginning when giving Baby B her once-a-day 2-oz. bottle of formula before bed to see if she’d take it at room temperature, as opposed to needed it warmed up. My thinking was that way, I could just put a bottle that has [pre-boiled] room temperature water in it in her diaper bag if we’re going out, then mix formula in if we need to feed her [I’m not comfortable with the idea of nursing in public, and I’m not sure how realistic it is anyway since she spits up so much during and after feedings]. I know a lot of babies love the heated formula and don’t want it if it’s too cool to them, so I was trying to avoid her ever knowing that heated formula existed. And, so far she’s taken to it without a problem at all. Of course, I can’t control the temperature of my breastmilk when nursing her, but we try not to heat the milk too much when feeding her milk from a bottle, just to prevent her from rejecting the room temperature formula. Again, so far so good, it seems.)

Small world and all that

Sunday, April 1, 2007

At my best friend’s wedding shower yesterday, I was chatting with a woman I’d just met, and since I had Baby B with me (which was a disaster at first, as she threw a fit and spit up on my shirt within minutes of arriving, though she pulled it together after about 10 minutes and was perfect the rest of the time), the woman asked me who delivered her. I told her who it was, and she said, “Oh my gosh, I used to date him.” I would have been fine with leaving it as, “Wow, what a small world!” and moving on.

However, she had to start going into all the reasons why he sucked as a boyfriend and as a person in general, making me pretty uncomfortable. I mean, I feel some loyalty to him, as he delivered my child, but I was around him for probably less than an hour total since he wasn’t my normal OB, so I didn’t have anything to counter her arguments with, nor did I really have the desire to get into what was obviously an issue that struck a nerve with her. So that left me standing there just nodding, showing enough interest to not be completely rude but not enough that it would encourage her further, and hoping she’d get her bitchfest over with soon. Thankfully, as a co-host of the shower, I had other things to tend to and finally found a way to make a believable escape.

Still, uncomfortable as it was at times, it really is funny who you might run into sometimes!