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Archive for November, 2012

Drying Up

Warning to the menfolk: Boob talk ahead. And not the sexy kind.

I’ve officially started the weaning process. And by weaning, I mean letting my boobs dry up. I’ve heard that to avoid the pain of engorgement, you should gradually decrease the frequency of nursing (or in my case, pumping). Until recently, I’ve been pumping on a 5 times a day schedule. 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm and before bed (around 10:30pm). Some days my 3pm ended up closer to 5pm, so I’d skip the 7pm and just pump before bed. This started becoming the norm over the last few weeks (chalk it up to a combination of forgetfulness and laziness). Now I’m actively trying to reduce the amount I pump so that I’m eventually just pumping in the morning and before bed. I’m going to try 7am, noon and 10pm for awhile and see if that works.

I’m feeling a little bummed about all of this though, and I’m not really sure why. I mean, there are definitely downsides to weaning. The cost of formula. The inevitable return of Aunt Flow (have not missed her). But there are positives too. The time savings from pumping and pump part washing. The reclaiming of my body and my boobs as my own. The ability to eat or drink things and not be overly concerned about how it could affect the baby. And most importantly, the fact that I no longer have to plan my life around my aching boobs. It’s such a pain to travel with a pump and breastmilk, I can’t even tell you. I’m ready. I’m ready to move on to the next phase and try to get this wrecked body of mine back into something that resembles my old self, hopefully better, so that I can use that closet of clothes that haven’t been worn since Winter 2010. And while I know it’s possible to get in shape while breastfeeding, I’ve been using it as my entire excuse for not putting more effort into dieting or exercising. “I’m so hungry! I can’t cut calories because of my supply!” or “If I didn’t have to spend 20 minutes pumping every morning, I’d get up and work out instead.” Once I finally pack up those pumps for good, I won’t have any more excuses. It’s kind of terrifying, actually. I haven’t worked out in almost two years. TWO. YEARS. That’s crazy.

But the hardest part about giving up breastfeeding? Is knowing that my kid prefers breastmilk to formula and having to take that away from him. When we make his cereal with formula, he won’t touch it. When we make it with breastmilk, he eats every last bit. So consciously taking away something he loves for reasons that have nothing to do with his well-being, only mine, make me feel selfish and conflicted about this whole thing. But then the rational part of me speaks up and reminds me that it’s not like he’s going to drink breastmilk his whole life, so I just need to figure out what’s best for both of us and go from there. So that’s what we’ll do. We’ll start now, at 6 months, just like my original goal, and maybe by 7, we’ll be completely dried up.

And then I’ll sob into my hands-free bra, wash it one last time, and pack it away.

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Holidaze

So much for my 30 Days of Thankful series, huh? Sheesh. Blogging every day is way harder than I thought it would be. Even with my WordPress app on my phone, I still couldn’t bring myself to write an actual post every day. Maybe I’ll cram it all in over the next few days or something.

Anyway, Thanksgiving happened. In the blink of an eye – SWOOSH – November is almost over.  It feels like just the other day I was silently judging people on Facebook for putting up their Christmas tree on Nov. 17th. “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, people! What are you doing?!” And now? I wish I’d put my tree up that weekend too. If we get it up on Dec. 1, it’ll be a miracle. There’s just so much to do – between holiday parties, meals, baking, shopping, wrapping, gift giving, photo taking, card-sending, etc – I forget how overwhelming December becomes and I regret not starting my shopping or decorating sooner so I could just sit around, sipping my hot cocoa, oohing and ahhing at lights, and watch some classic Christmas movies. Instead, it’ll be rush-rush-rush with all the other yahoos that waited until the last minute, like me. But then again, maybe not. Maybe I can get my act together, wrap up all my shopping online after the babe goes to bed. I do have several vacation days left to use in December so maybe I’ll be able to spend a few of those days relaxing and enjoying the season.

Thanksgiving is usually a pretty hectic holiday for me too. Every year since we moved into our house in 2006, we’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house. And every year, my mom and I cooked while my grandparents came over for our one and only holiday gathering (we’re always at my in-laws on Christmas). Since this is the first year without my grandpa, we had intended to let my mom host at her house in Kentucky. Believe it or not, she is STILL battling some obscure mite problem so Thanksgiving was cancelled and we went to my in-laws, which is nothing but craziness when you put 9 adults and 8 kids together under one roof. It was a nice distraction when the alternative was sitting at home or going to my grandma’s sad little house, and crying into my sweet potatoes. But it was still hard, being away from my family, when that was our only holiday together. It feels as if my side of the family is crumbling apart, and my cousin and I are the only two who care enough to try to hold it together.

I guess every family goes through this though – dealing with death and changing the family dynamic. At some point, the kids become the parents, and then the grandparents, and each life stage has its own time and traditions and this is just the way life goes. But in all my 30 short years, my family has been the same. So dealing with this change now, so late in life, has turned my little world upside down and it’s hard, yo. I feel a little lost, like our little family of four (dog included) is still trying to figure out our place, our traditions. Will we always travel for both holidays? Once my grandma is gone, will I ever see that side of my family again? Why is this all so complicated?

Does anyone else feel like they’re still struggling to figure out how you spend time with family over the holidays? Or is this just us?

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Five Months

(I started this about two weeks ago. The boy is about 10 days away from 6 months old. Clearly, time is getting away from me.)

My goodness, where does the time go?

I have a feeling I’ll be saying that a lot in my life.

Baby D is now more than 5 months old and the weeks fly so fast I have to stop and recount. So much so that I just went ahead and made notes on my calendar through the end of the year so I always know that this week he is 21 weeks or 25 weeks or 30 weeks. Right now, he’s 23 weeks old, so since I’m a little behind, I’m going to go ahead and do his monthly update.

Weight/Length:  As of a couple of weeks ago at the pediatrician’s office, he was about 16 1/2 lbs. More on that later in this post. Not sure on length but considering some of his 6 mos onesies are starting to be too short, I’m guessing he’s on the long side.

Sleep: Great! Most nights he goes down between 8 and 8:30pm and wakes up around 7:45 or 8am. Occasionally he’ll wake up crying around 10pm or 5 or 6 am because he somehow rolled himself into a stuck position or he lost his paci or who knows why. But he always goes right back to sleep . It’s glorious.

Nap schedule varies day to day but it generally follows this pattern:  A morning nap, an afternoon nap, and sometimes a very brief evening snooze during dinner.

Feeding: This kid can EAT! We got serious about solids this month, starting with oatmeal. Even though he’s fantastic at eating from a spoon, it took a couple of weeks for his digestive system to catch up and adjust. He had a lot of tummy aches and poop-splosions which tells me we probably started solids a couple of weeks too early. Once his system balanced back out, we tried sweet potatoes with great results – both going down AND out. Although he enjoys eating oatmeal, he LOVES sweet potatoes. He loves them so much that he gets super verbal while eating and I’m always worried he’ll choke because he’s practically yelling with joy with every bite. It’s hilarious.

Firsts This Month:  I know I’m going to miss some but so far: first solid foods, first trip to Chicago, first time rolling from belly to back, first time laughing at the dog.

Developments:  D’s eye-hand coordination continues to improve. He reaches for things now, like his bottle, his toys, my phone, the dog, etc. He loves to hold something and study it before trying to put it in his mouth. He does it with his bottle when he starts to get full. He’ll pull it out of his mouth, look at the nipple and watch a drop or two of milk fall out and then stick it back in his mouth. He does the same with his paci (but no milk comes out, obviously). He’ll lay in his crib, pull his paci out of his mouth and look at it while turning it around with his fingers. He’s also laughing a lot more. Oh and one of the coolest things, I think, is that he knows his own name already. We’ll call his name and he’ll turn his head to look at us. Who knows how long he’s been able to do this though because we didn’t even test it until he was 4 mos old, and he recognized his name immediately.

Likes: Same as before with a few edits/additions: Eating, bathtime, Goodnight Moon, going places, his toys, his jumparoo, Sophie the Giraffe, music – especially when mommy sings Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and ABCs, his feet, mommy & daddy – especially if one of us is holding him and the other one is making faces at him, the mirror, being naked, belly kisses, neck kisses on his right side (I guess that side is ticklish?), meeting new people – especially little kids, and the dog. He thinks the dog is HILARIOUS. But only if the dog is looking directly at him. If he does that, D justs cracks up laughing. Oh and he really likes the color yellow. He stares really intently and then smiles whenever one of us wears something with a lot of yellow. He also has a bright yellow Michigan onesie and one day when he was on the changing table, he was squirming around like usual. I pulled out the onesie to put it on him and didn’t really think much of it, but he immediately stopped squirming and just stared at the yellow onesie – all open-mouthed and in awe. The kid definitely has a favorite color.

Dislikes:  Same as last time: Being hungry, tired, or bored. Having his clothes changed. Putting on clothes after his bath and lotion (REALLY hates that one). Being held like a baby (he prefers to be held upright, or looking over the shoulder).

Nicknames: (saw this on another blog and figured I’d incorporate it into my monthly wrap-ups) Dez, D, biggins, booger, bub, buddy, baby (original, I know), dude, duder, peanut, punkin, sugar bear (I swear we don’t watch Honey Boo Boo!), honey bear, sweetums, booger bear, babydoll, sweetheart, Mr. Adorable, Captain Adorable, wiggle worm, cutie, sweetness… We are totally those people.

What I’m Thankful For: Considering I’m already doing a whole “30 Days of Thankful” series, I feel like I’ve covered this already, but really, I’m just thankful to be this little man’s momma. He’s adorable and fun and such a mild-tempered baby, I couldn’t be luckier.

What I’m Looking Forward To:  Sitting unassisted. This will come in handy during bath time. Right now he’s a bit of a wiggle worm in the bathtub so he’ll start kicking his feet and immediately slide down in his little baby bathtub, so I’m constantly having to pick him up by his little armpits and sit him back up.

How Mommy’s Doing: I can’t complain, I guess. I’m getting enough sleep (when I go to bed at a decent hour) and although we started the month with a few wakeups every other night or so, they were minor. And as we close out the night, wakeups before 7:30 am are now few and far between. Pumping is also easier, and though it’s still annoying to take time to do it, wash pump parts, and buy nursing pads to keep from leaking all over the place, it’s a huge cost savings (and of course a health benefit to the baby). So, I’ll probably stick with it a little longer than expected. But in general, I’m pretty content with the way things are going right now. We’re in a good groove.

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 13

Thankful that our son seems to be equal parts both of us – and so far, all the good parts!

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 12

Baby giggles. ‘Nuff said.

Apparently our dog is hilarious.

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 10

Today, I’m thankful for my iPhone and the fact that I live in the day and age of having a camera and videocamera at my fingertips at all times so that I can capture priceless little moments like these.

Turn up your speakers so you can hear one of the most adorable sounds in the world. BABY SNORES! Sounds a little like a cat purring.

Ok now turn DOWN your speakers, unless you want to hear Ellen Degeneres blaring in the background. Here we have a baby who has discovered how to use his feet for added amusement.

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30 Days of Thankful: Day 9

(These are a tad out of order. I’m trying to catch up.)

Thankful for my relatively easy-going baby. There will surely be payback in the form of an out-of-control toddler or a high-maintenance second baby, but for right now, I’m enjoying this time. Even our bedtime routine is enjoyable since I figured out that the best way to get through a lotion-and-pjs session is to sing while I’m doing it. Yells are replaced by smiles and giggles. Then it’s story time and if he doesn’t start dozing before the end of the book (which has happened a few times), he rolls over and falls right to sleep within less than five minutes. It’s fantastic.

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