Monday, December 29, 2008

First Christmas

And, as anticipated, the most popular item was (drum roll please....) - the BOXES!  Yep, typical kid, likes the boxes better than the toys. Fortunately he's started getting into the toys, but only because I've put the boxes in the recycle bin :)  

It's a good reminder sometimes that we do not need "stuff" to find fun.  I remember when a large box and a marker was all the toys I needed for fun. John and I have been trying to scale back on "things" focus, and it's kind of neat to see that we arrive on this earth without a need for electronics or fancy toys that require batteries. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Night terrors again

We had another episode last night - only lasted for about 5 minutes this time, but he woke up from it shaken and disoriented.  The Christmas tree lights seemed to soothe him.  Poor thing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Extreme Nursing! Or How To Get Milk To Come Out of Your Nose

Ever since JJ has been able to sit up successfully on his own, he's started trying new positions for nursing.  He'll twist and turn and try anything to get a new angle on things.  Currently I've been nursing him laying down on my side (easier to keep distractions to a minimum for Mr. Bright and Shiney moment) so his latest trick is to stand ON HIS HEAD while he nurses. Sort of like a downward dog yoga position with a face plant on the breast.  The other day he was doing this and sits up, smacking his lips, pleased as peach and I see - I am not making this up - milk coming out of his nose.  And I didn't even have to tell him a joke :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Signed "up"

Whoohoo!  JJ signed up!  He wanted out of his high chair and he looked at John and pointed up!  Hooray!  We have communication!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


All children have a favorite toy, right?  For some it's a little blanket or a love worn teddy bear.  Maybe even a stuffed frog or a doll.  What is JJ special treasured object that he clutches to his chest and will not give up for anything?  A large wooden kitchen spoon with a blue rubber handle.  The thing is almost as long as he his and he waves around like a knight with his sword.  What a funny kid.  I guess I watched too much "Tick" when I was pregnant :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Night terrors

You wake to your baby screaming.  He's terrified - you can hear it in the high pitched wail, see it in his staring eyes that can't see you, feel it in the tension of his little body as he thrashes trying to get away from whatever demons pursue him.  You can't wake him - his eyes are open but he doesn't recognize anything or anyone and he screams so hard it makes him choke and cough.  Tear stream down his face and there's nothing nothing nothing you can do.  This is what it is like when your child has night terrors, more properly called "confusional arousal". JJ has had these episodes about once or twice a month since he was around 3 or 4 months old.  Usually they only last about 5 minutes, and at first we thought it was just a bad dream.  Last night though he had an episode that lasted 15 minutes - which is a life time for a helpless parent.  I hope he never has another one.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's get ready to RUMBLE!

In this corner, wieghing in at a little over 18 pounds of wirey muscle we have JJ "the greased monkey" Baker.  And in this corner, wieghing in at, well she's not telling anyone what she's wieghing in at, but suffice it to say it's a lot more than 18 lbs, we have Mommy "I ain't taken no for an answer" Baker.  The stage is set and the diaper table is prepped...Let's get ready to rumble!

The first move is by JJ, taking a quick feint to his left before twisting in an amazing my-spine-is-made-of-rubber-bands move to elude Mommy's patented forearm diaper pin.  But Mommy is ready for him as she whips out a funny face to distract him.  Oh, she's good - that's a professional move right there.  But wait!  Yes...I think...yes, he's grabbed the diaper cream folks! Foreign object in the ring!!

Have I mentioned lately that someone's gotten a bit, um challenging to dress and diaper?

With a triumphant grin and cheese in his ear...

This is motherhood.  JJ squirms and wiggles and finally after fastening what must be the 700th snap on his onsie, I set him down.  On the way he snatches up a cranberry baby leg and with a triumphant, nearly toothless grin that says "ha ha!  see if I don't!" he's crab crawling off with, I now notice, a small piece of cheese nestled precariously in his ear.  
Yep, this is motherhood.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Signed "potty"!!!

We've been practicing signing with JJ for about a month now.  And he signed his first sign today and it was POTTY!  Hooray!  He signed it, we took him, he peed.  How cool is that?!?!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thank You Uncle Cousin Charles

JJ's cousin Charles (we call him Uncle Charles because he's really old enough to be JJ's uncle) came to visit for Thanksgiving this week.  JJ has known how to blow raspberries for a while now, but thanks to Uncle Charles, he has refined his technique to perfection.  So, Uncle Charles, this one is for you :

Prayers for Hazel

One of my BabyFit mommy friends, Amanda, has a beautiful baby girl, Hazel, who is currently in the hospital.  After a misdiagnosis by an idiot ER doctor who told them it was the croup, they discovered she'd swallowed a battery from a remote (the *good* doctor who operated on Hazel said this is a very common thing - especially with those little batteries from greeting cards.  Please take note and DO NOT send those kind of talking greeting cards to anyone with little children!!!)  She's had surgery to remove the battery, but has suffered some damage to her esophagus due to the acid in the battery.  Please pray for a fast and complication free recovery for sweet little Hazel.  We're all thinking about y'all Amanda!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

JJ's First Thanksgiving!

The whole Baker-side of the family came to visit and what a wonderful time was had by all!  JJ got to play with all his Aunties and Uncles (plus a bonus visit from Auntie Angela) and was just about as happy as you could want. All three turkeys were delicious (a roasted heritage turkey from Rehoboth Ranch, a fried turkey and a Greenberg smoked turkey) as were the traditional accompaniments that John made and the tasty desserts from Casa Linda Bakery.  

Poor JJ - all worn out from the festivities!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Since I was about, oh 4 months pregnant, I have been on a website called BabyFit.  It has lots of cool articles about how to stay fit during and after pregnancy, advice on breast feeding, etc. as well as a way to log your calories, track your weight, record your workouts etc.  It's a really useful little site and I found it invaluable while I was pregnant to help me watch my weight and really stay healthy.  

An unexpected area of the site that I would never, in a million year, have thought I would find interesting/useful is the message boards.  When you sign up, you enter your due date and they assign you to a message board with a bunch of other ladies who are all due the same month as you.  I've never really been much into the virtual interaction thing, so I sort of just lurked for a while, reading posts as the titles interested me and so on.  Once in a while something wierd would happen (because, well, being pregnant is sort of weird anyway)  and I started to post questions.  The answers were always so helpful and everyone was so welcoming that I started reading and posting more and more.  Eventually, I started to think of all the gals in my "February club" as my close and personal friends - people I could say anything to and who I would try my best to help if they were in trouble.  I've shared joys and sorrows with them and listened to theirs in turn.  I've never actually met any of these wonderful ladies in person, and yet I have this very real connection with them.   

What an unexpected and wonderful thing virtual communication can be. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Count JJ!

Well, all the fussing and drooling have finally produced another two teeth - and this time they're canines!  Got a little vampire on our hands here.  As soon as they come all the way in, I'll definitely be snapping some shots for future blackmail material :)  In the meantime, I'll just have to teach him how to say "mama, blah!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teething Myths

As poor lil JJ has only 2 teeth so far (on the bottom, like a little upside down rabbit) we know we've got lots more to go.  And with all the DROOL and fussiness and a host of other things that indicate we'll be seeing more cuspids any moment, I definitely have teething on the brain.  Well, one of the ladies on the babyfit board posted this really interesting site about the myths of teething:

OMG - some of this stuff is too funny!  But I guess maybe I ought to let the dog lick his face more often ;)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Standing without help - or anything to pull up on!

John and I were running around this morning, getting ready to go to work and had plopped JJ in the pack n play (playpen) while we took care of a few things.  He's playing quietly, sort of talking to himself and all of a sudden it gets really quiet.  John walks in and I here "OhmyLord!"  I come running in and JJ is standing there in his playpen smiling at us.  Standing.  Now, there's NOTHING in the playpen for him to grap onto - it's a mesh side affair with no bars or anything like that inside.  So how the #@% did he get standing up?!?!  Yikes!  John is going to have to get moving on the childproofing!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Well, we've got three out of the four limbs going - both arms and one leg (he alternates).  The final leg just kind of gets dragged along.  It's like he's just about to stand up so he doesn't really want to commit to having both legs crawling at once.  What a crazy little boy!  We shall have to change his name to Igor :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The law of conservation does not apply to babies

It's true.  The law of conservation states that in a closed system, mass will be conserved.  It might be converted to a different form (like energy) but it doesn't magically disappear or appear.  This, however, does NOT pertain to babies. Examples:

Sleep Volume - a small baby, that fits comfortably in his tiny bassinet with room to spare will take up 5 times as much space when placed in a bed with his parents.  

Liquid Mass - regardless of how much liquid intake an infant has, his output - be it in the form of drool, pee, or spit up - will be easily twice what was consumed.  

I'm reasonably certain that babies some how tap into extradimensional spaces, perhaps via a worm hole.  It must be something we forget how to do as we get older ...

Caption that picture!!

How would you caption this picture?

Suggestions so far:
“What do you mean, ‘bring it over here’? It was hard enough to get this far. I can’t even walk yet, y’know.”

The headline reads -- The Colossus of Rhodes exhibition comes to the North Texas area.

“Run and play games…You amuse me my loyal subjects”

As the anesthesia wore off, JJ realized the pumpkin for feet transplant was bound to be his best genius scheme yet.

Witnesses were unclear what started the fracas. But a picture was snapped of one of the hooligans shouting and gesturing his defiance before the fruit hurling began.

Helped from the ground, JJ protested the “sucker punch”.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cream peas...hmmm

We got some lovely cream peas at the Farmer's Market yesterday and John made some of them into baby food for JJ.  He wasn't exactly enthusiastic, but he didn't hate them either, so I'm considering that a "win."  We want to get more fats and protiens in his solids diet so we can transition him completely off of formula so he's only on breast milk and solids.  As it is, he get about 8-16oz of formula a day in addition to all the breast milk I can pump (when I'm working) plus nursing.  It's been a real struggle to keep his weight gain up - he seems to need more fat than he's getting from the breastmilk.  I suspect the issue is that I'm working - as a result, there are at least 3 days a week we're not working on keeping the production levels high, and the pumping doesn't do a great job of draining the good fats, unless I have him nurse first.  Who knew breastfeeding was such a tricky process?!?!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Farmer's Market

So if there was any doubt *who* the folks at the Farmer's Market really like, it was put to rest today.  We got there and JJ had fallen asleep in the car.  As we start making the rounds people are all excited to see us until we get up.  They're like "Oh.  JJ's asleep, huh? Well, if he wakes up you'll bring him back by here won't you?"  Mr. Popularity!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Ok, teeth and nursing, not such a good combo.  He's got two little sharp teeth on the bottom and today while nursing he decided that *chewing* would be fun. Ack!  I pulled away immediately and said "no!" firmly and turned away from him.  There was this utter shocked silence for a minute or two, then he started babbling away.  Let's hope he got the idea - that really smarted!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First tooth

Yeeeowch!  It's here - the first tooth.  He's been fussy and not sleeping well for days and at last we have something to show for it.  Before you know it he'll be getting his driver's license and chasing girls...oh wait, he already does that last one :)  Such a ladies man!  We were at Academy the other day and this cute little girl about his age goes by in a cart.  He's watching her and all of a sudden this leggy 20 something blonde goes walking the other way.  He nearly got whiplash following her!  What a little man :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Hooray!  We have "mama".  Ok, really it was "ah goo bah bah mamamamama aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" but close enough.  Figures he'd start that when John's out of town so I have no witnesses.  Darn!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Got his own toilet!

Well, we finally got around to getting Mr. JJ his very own toilet.  This is especially good for Mommy who's back has been KILLING her trying to dangle his fast growing tuckus over the toilet.  Now he can rest in splendid comfort on a cushy seat to do the deed.  Ah JJ, such a big boy you are!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sitting up

Two new milestones today - sitting up and blowing raspberries!  Yeah, I didn't know that second one was a milestone either, but there you have it.  Apparently it indicates that he's got some kind of muscular control important for speech going on.  It certainly make meal times interesting (can you say technicolor raspberries?)

And, by "sitting up" I mean, if I set him down in a sitting position, he stays there on his own.  Not that he can sit up on his own.  But it's coming - all too fast...

Friday, August 22, 2008


Salto arrived today! This is the 2nd toy I've gotten for JJ. He has so many toys from other folks, I've hesitated to buy him anything. The first thing I got him was Piro, an absolutely wonderful wodden clutching toy from Haba. It is his absolutely favorite toy! So, I was making some purchases from Amazon and saw Salto (also from Haba) - a great little chew ring/rattle made from wood. So far, it's a huge hit! I love that he gets such a kick out of the wood toys and seems to like it better than plastic stuff.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Da da da da da

I know it's not deliberate, but we officially have "da da" (albeit sandwiched in with "ga ba do ga zzzzzzz") He's turning into quite the little talker! Just gabbling away at us all day. Got to love it!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Moon and Stars Melon

Every Saturday, we get up and go to the McKinney Farmer's Market.  It's great fun and the food is fab.  Well, this week we were walking around and saw this amazingly cool melonthat was dark green with big yellow polka dots and just had to get it.  It's called a Moon and Stars Melon, which is a type of heirloom melon. Apparently, it's called Moon and Stars because of the yellow spots on the skin – large yellow spots (moons) surrounded by small yellow spots (stars).  Related to the Black Diamond watermelon, this melon can get up to forty pounds!

I did a little homework and found out that it was available from seed catalogs as late as the 1920s but disappeared during that time and many people thought it had been lost forever.  However, in 1980, the Seed Savers group was contacted by Merle Van Doren, a farmer in Macon, Missouri – it turns out he had been cultivating this unique watermelon on his farm!  He gave them some of the seeds and now this melon is back from extinction.  Pretty cool!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Update on EC

The increase in milk/formula volume has made it a bit more tricky to catch all the pee events, but it's made it way easier to catch the poos. And boy are we getting good at it! He's consistently using the toilet for poops every time! And it seems like he's actually holding it which is TOTALLY amazing. When we take him to the potty, he will wait until he's in position before he pees or poos. And, if he doesn't really need to go, he'll still try to squeeze out a few drops. What an amazing kid!

Monday, August 11, 2008

6 month appointment

Lookin' good!

14lbs, 8 oz
24.75 inches long

Dr. says he's looking great and thriving. We're back on the charts and cleared to start backing off the formula as long as he continues to gain weight. Whoohoo!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gaining weight, but snifflin'

Good news! According to the bathroom scale, the little guy is gaining weight. Also, by having them give him formula and pumped breast milk during daycare, I've been able to get my work done a lot more easily (so less stress on the mommy - hooray!)

However, he's come down with allergies or a cold or something and snores worse than his daddy these days. Poor little guy! I hope he can get on more breastmilk soon to help him fight whatever it is. Having a snotty nose and no way to blow has to really suck.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Figuring out the breastmilk issue

So, a little research and some looking back over the TrixieTracker logs, and I think we've got it figured out. For the last month or so JJ has been really distracted while nursing. So, to keep him interested, I'd let him do a few minutes on each side and kept switching him back and forth from side to side. In theory, it seems like a good idea. However, breast milk actually changes composition during the course of a feeding, going from a very thin fore milk (think of it like skim) to a fatty hind milk (think heavy whipping cream). And let me just say, isn't that the wierdest thing ever? I mean, what an amazingly cool and freaky thing that the composition of your milk changes during the feeding? But, I digress. Since he was going back and forth, getting just a few minutes on each at a time, he wasn't ever getting the hind milk, so basically he was filling up on skim but never getting the yummy cream! Which explains why a) he wasn't gaining weight even though he was eating for a long time and b) I kept getting knots (the hind milk was never draining out). In fact, it turns out that what I was doing (continually switching back and forth) is a technique for increasing your milk production!

To fix the problem, now I only feed JJ on one side at each feeding. We're also supplementing with formula during the day (and I'm pumping to keep the supply up). Hopefully, we'll be able to keep the formula to a minimum and eventually get him back on breast milk only. We'd like to get him back to breast milk only because a) formula is freakin' expensive! b) formula stains when he spits it up (ewwww) c) JJ likes the breast milk better (so would I - the formula smells funny to me).

Let's hope this works.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Failure to Thrive

We took JJ into the pediatrician today because he seemed a little skinny to us. Sure enough, he hasn't gained any weight since his 4 month appt (he's 5 1/2 months now). The doctor says we need to start supplementing with formula and adding proteins to his solids (ie giving him beans/legumes/etc.) He said that based on the charts, he's officially no longer in the "normal" range which classifies him as failure to thrive. He's grown almost an inch, and he hasn't lost any weight, and he's spot on or ahead for his developmental milestones, so the doc doesn't think he's sick, just not getting enough protein and fat.

I'm so upset. I've tried so so so hard with the breastfeeding and thought we had a good rhythm down and all. I make sure I'm available to feed him every two hours if he wants it, make sure he's having plenty of wet diapers, ... he's getting plenty of volume (10 wet diapers a day, easy)....apparently he's not getting enough protein and fat from the breast milk. The doctor says it's not an uncommon issue. He said that there wasn't anything I could do to fix it and that sometimes women just don't have the right composition, but that just sounds wrong to me somehow. I need to talk to my sister - maybe she's got some good lactation consultant type tips.

Intellectually I know that this isn't my "fault" and that I didn't do anything "wrong". But that doesn't mean I don't feel totally worthless and like I failed some how. I cried for hours after we got home. Poor John did his best to cheer me up, but I guess I just need to get on top of this. I mean, I will do whatever it takes to make sure JJ is happy and healthy. I just wish that "whatever it takes" didn't mean formula. :(

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

La Leche Conference

My sister came to Dallas this weekend to attend the La Leche League conference. She's looking into becoming a lactation consultant which is totally cool. She was invaluable in helping me with JJ when he first got here. I'm way more comfortable with her advice than any random stranger and she's so good about being non-judgemental and such. She got JJ and I cool shirts too! Mine is a black nursing tank that says Supply and JJ's is a little white tank that says Demand. Too funny!!

They had lots of really neat sessions at the conference including all sorts of medical studies. She got to meet some of the founding members and talk to them too. One of the gals told her this story that just cracks me up. Apparently she was on a plane, traveling in the crowded coach section next to a woman and her baby. The baby started to fuss, obviously hungry and the woman was looking a bit concerned about nursing in a very crowded plane. She told the lady who she was and to go ahead that it was totally cool. Meanwhile, the guy on the otherside of this woman was getting really uncomfortable realizing there was about to be breastfeeding right there next to him on the plane. The gal from the LLL leaned over and said "Sir, I can see you're uncomfortable with this woman nursing. I'm sure she has a blanket in her diaper bag and would be happy to give it to you to put over your head until she's done." LOL!!! That is classic.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Slept 9 hours!!!

Elves have snatched my baby and left a changling in his place. Except it's a changeling that naps really well and sleeps all night! JJ has always been upside down on his sleep - that is, babies are supposed to sleep like 14 hours a day or something and he's typically awake 14 hours a day. He rarely naps over an hour (usually only 20 minutes at a time) and he wakes up at least once, usually twice a night to eat, only sleeping 3-4 hours at a stretch. Well, Saturday night he slept 8.5 hours! So I'm thinking "total fluke". Then during the day he took 3 naps - 2 2.5 hour naps and 1 1hour nap. WTF?!?!? Then last night, he slept 9.5 hours and this morning he is currently asleep and has been for an hour and 40 minutes.

So, on the one hand, I'm all "whoohoo!" and on the other hand I'm like "what's wrong with him?" He's not running a temp and he's not fussy or cranky or anything - he's his usual upbeat and happy self. I think I may call the pediatrician just in case. How whacky is that - being worried because he's sleeping enough? Ugh - sometimes I think being a mommy means not being happy unless you're worried about something!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things I didn't fully appreciate before I had a baby...

  • Sleep
  • Using the bathroom without an audience
  • Sleep
  • The magical wonderfulness of one-handed foods
  • Did I mention sleep?
  • Being dry
  • Riding in the front seat of the car
  • Eating meals simultaneously rather than serially with my husband
  • Seeing my son smile and hearing him laugh

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Icklel Ickle Ickle

OK, so the freakiest thing happened today. I'm laying on the bed tickling JJ saying "tickle tickle tickle!" and he's laughing and all of a sudden he stops, looks up and me and says "ickle, ickle, ickle" clear as a bell, same rhythm and intonation I'd been using. I was so totally shocked I couldn't believe it! It was very freaky. Cool, but freaky. I mean, he's not saying mama or dada yet so to have something so clear come out was really weird, like possessed child weird! John says it's normal to have that happen once in a while and of course I couldn't get him to repeat the feat...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

7 1/2 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG - he slept 71/2 hours in a row last night! Whahoo! Of course, I woke up every 3 hours wondering why he wasn't awake and checking his breathing, but still very cool...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Visiting great granddad

We are currently up at my pappa's house on Table Rock Lake in Shell Knob, MO, visiting. JJ got to meet his great grandfather (my pappa) for the first time and the hit it off after a couple of false starts. At first, JJ was a little fussy, but after my dad showed pappa how to hold the little guy (facing out - he hates to be snuggled like a baby unless he's *really* tired), they got along great! Pappa took him out on the porch and they just sat there, swinging in the glider, looking out at the lake and woods, Pappa singing songs to him, for hours. Too cool!

In fact, this has been the "sing to JJ" trip - John and I always sing to him, but on the drive here he was soooooooooooo fussy (1.5 hours of crying nonstop in OK with nowhere to pull over?), we ended up singing to him in the car nearly the whole ride. Then, when we got here, anyone who picked him up would start singing to him - my mom, dad, granddad... his cousin Ben (5 years old) even sang to him at one point! Fun stuff :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sweeeeeeet Potatoes

First taste of veggies today - sweet potato! Well, technically, a yam, but either way, JJ was loving it and has the spoon thing down pat.

We decided to make our own baby food, so we had to do a bit more with this one (bananas are just mashable) To prepare it, John baked the yam, pureed it with some water, and froze all the extra in ice cube trays for later. Pretty cool (no brown sugar or marshmellows, before you ask ;)). He made some bannana cubes too so we're starting to get a stock of baby food laid by.

Why make our own baby food? Good question. Our reasons are:
  • Cost - baby food is largely water. It is way cheaper to by an extra fruit/veggie/etc., cook it with our own meal without spices/salt, and run it through the blender, than to pay someone else to give us 1/8 as much food for 5 times the price.
  • Contents - no preservatives or any fillers in homemade food. We know exactly what is in it.
  • Organic - we want to minimize his pesticide exposure at this age.
  • Environment - sure the little jars are cute, but that's extra packaging that has to be recycled or buried.

It's really easy for us since we a) love cooking and b)have a chest freezer. For recipes, we've got Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron (pretty good, but she tends to mix opinion and research rather freely - a chronic baby book issue), and I want to get William's Sonoma's Cooking for Baby cookbook - but then, I have a slight addiction to cookbooks...

Friday, June 27, 2008

My tumbling tumble weed...

Rolling rolling rolling
Like we're baby bowlin'
Watch that baby rollin'

Well, he put two and two together today - he's been turning front to back, 2 days ago he figured out back to front, and today he just kept rolling! Time to baby proof the house (or at least, install speed bumps) Fortunately, he's a right-hand only roller (can only roll to his right), so we just need to make sure there are no open doors or snake pits on his right ;)

Return of the Milk Blister (TMI)

So I'm in the shower the other day, massaging one breast because I can feel the knots starting from a clogged milk duct when I look down and notice a milk blister, Fortunately, I know what to do and gently remove the obstruction. Well, it must've been "contents under pressure" because milk shot out and arced back over my shoulder for like 30 seconds!! Wild! No more knots though - hooray!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flipped from back to front

Well, it happened. Rolling onto his back had gotten to be old hat - so today he rolled onto his front. Time to child proof the house! Must be the bananas...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yes, we have some bananas...

Since rice cereal is now "old" (the doc said give him new foods 3 times before you try something new), today we started bananas. Mmm Mmm good - JJ thought they were pretty tasty! He still thinks the spoon is a lame delivery mechanism - way too slow. The child has no patience :)

And yet another poop record - 10 days

Yikes! Thankfully, we caught it in the toilet (hooray for EC!!) so no messy cleanup. 10 days...that is one super efficient colon this kid has got!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My child, the cannibal

What is the definition of parent? Someone covered in baby goo. For the first couple of months, this was generally pee from leaky diapers. Then it was spit up. Now, we have entered the drool phase. This phase is characterized by JJ latching onto anything that gets even close to his mouth, including but not limited to his hands and feet, his toys, my fingers arms wrists, his shirt, his bath towel... you get the picture. And he chews HARD - it's a good thing this kid doesn't have teeth yet or I'm sure I'd be short a finger or two! John and I are both thoroughly chewed on and covered in baby slobber. Guess we taste like chicken :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Real Tears

Interestingly, there was a post recently on the Babyfit message board about crying real tears. JJ (a regular little drama king) has been doing this since he was less than 2 weeks old (I remember because my mom was still here and she only stayed for 2 weeks). Well, lots of people were saying their baby started doing that only recently - I hadn't realized it was odd hat JJ did this so early! So I tried to look it up on the internet. Boy - it was tough finding anything. Finally, I found this article that says they make tears from birth (otherwise the would get dry eyes, which sort of makes sense) but that no one really knows why they don't cry with tears until usually 2-4 months of age. It says some people think it is an immaturity of the nervous system, others a lack of emotional intensity. Weird. So I don't know if that means that JJ just has a super advanced optical nervous system (could be since his eyes have tracked together since birth which is also unusual, apparently) or if we should assume he has a future in theater :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What a day!

Ugh, what a day I had!

After the usual morning stuff, I weigh myself and find that I am 4 lbs heavier than yesterday - 4!!! I don't remember swallowing a midget, so I stump into the kitchen and throw some oatmeal in the microwave for breakfast, nearly tripping over the dog who is shadowing my every move. I realize she needs to be fed, so I feed her and realize that all my breast pump parts are dirty and if I'm going to pump this morning, I'd better clean them. So I clean them and while I'm doing that, the microwave dings and my oatmeal is done. SO I pull out the oatmeal and get some raspberries I bought on Friday out of the fridge and sprinkle them on the oatmeal,only then realizing that half of them are fuzzy! So I pick out the fuzzy ones (ewwww), finish cleaning the breast pump parts, sit down to eat breakfast and pump. 5 minutes later, JJ wakes up screaming. I get up, change his diaper, give him an opp-pee-tunity, and put him in his swing so I can finish eating and pumping. Commence ear-shattering screams. So, I quickly finish up pumping and take him into the living room to play on the floor. He jollies for a bit but keeps getting upset, so I'm just about ready to try feeding him when DING DONG - Jehovah Witness. Not kidding. I get rid of them, get JJ settled for feeding and RING RING - the house phone rings. JJ is all distracted by the ring, so I haul myself up and go to answer it and they hang up as I get there. Argh! Finally get JJ fed and back to sleep and am able to work pretty steadily for the rest of the day until late afternoon when all of a sudden my foot seizes up in an awful cramp. I rub it, stretch it, use foul language on it - nothing works. So I limp around trying to finish my day working and taking care of the baby. John gets home and makes dinner (yeah!) and I am talking to him and go to sit down on the kitchen chair while holding JJ. Well, I'm not looking behind me and I manage to catch the edge of the chair which scoots the whole thing backward landing me on my butt. Since I'm holding JJ (and I'm not about to let anything happen to him), I pretty much take the entire impact on my tail bone. JJ is fine. So, now, foot hurting so bad I'm limping and bruised tail bone, I think I'll just call it a day and try to start again tomorrow. Ugh.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ha ha - gotcha! (the tootsie tracker)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have feet! JJ managed to finally get a hold of those wiggly little rascals and show them who's boss by promptly sticking them in his mouth. I wish I was that flexible! Not that I want to put my feet in my mouth, just saying...uh, nevermind :)

Diaper changes are definitely getting more challenging!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a successful docking! After reading extensively about giving JJ solids, I anticipated a HUGE struggle with the spoon. Everything is plastered with big warnings to "not get discouraged" and "be patient" and "try again in a few weeks." So we went in armed for bear. Talk about anti-climatic! I tipped the first spoonful of rice gruel up to JJs lips and he slurped it down like a champ. There was no "crying at the unfamiliar sensation" - there was only crying that we ran out of cereal! Then there was crying about the gas later, but that's not the spoon's fault.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bad mommy...

Ugh. After successfully getting the little jelly bean off to lala land at 8:30 and myself to sleep by 10:30, he woke up SCREAMING at midnight. And not the, gosh-I'm-hungry-please-take-off-your-shirt variety. Oh no. This was the what-have-you-done-to-me-I'm-dying variety. John and I muzzily try to figure out what's wrong - change the diaper? check, burped? check, no hot spikes poking him anywhere? check. I try to feed him as usual and he just wails like this is the cause of all his heartache. John walks him around to calm him while I frantically google what it might be. Could it be the rice cereal?

Well, while the rice cereal probably did give him some wicked gas (which is what it turned out to be by the way), we apparently screwed up giving it to him in the bottle. Now, that's totally unrelated to the extremely stressful (and if you've never had an infant screaming at you in the middle of the night while you try to get your sleep-deprived brain to figure out what's wrong without breaking down crying yourself, you do not know what stressful is) screaming baby incident. According to what I read, giving the baby rice cereal in a bottle is *bad*! Why? Because they don't know the difference between milk and milk+cereal, they end up eating more than they should, forming bad habits which cause them to be obese in later life. Oh, and it also messes up their little digestive systems since you bypass the reflex that keeps them from eating solids until their tummy is ready. I am not making this up. So now I feel even worse than before because I didn't do my homework and find this out before I doomed my child to a life as a fat tub o' lard. Ok, not really, but I still feel bad. Why don't people tell you this stuff???

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Introducing Solids

At his 4 month appointment, the doc says we can start introducing solids now. We decided to give him just a little rice cereal in some breast milk in a bottle today at lunch and then again at dinner. When you feed children solids, the doc says you introduce a food three times by itself, watching for adverse reactions. After 3 times, the food is "old" and can be given any time in combination with other old foods.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I'm thinking "cool! Soon someone else can feed him without me." On the other hand, I'm thinking "crap! Soon someone else can feed him without me." It's a little odd - I really thought I'd be totally pumped. This reluctance is unexpected and a bit disconcerting. He still will be getting his primary nutrition from breast milk, but for how much longer? Sigh. If I'm this bad about introducing solids, what am I going to be like when he goes to school. Yikes!

I'm sure I'll get over it, but today I feel kind of sad.

(maybe I'm just worried about the legendary poo that solids bring... : ) )

Teething story

So, we took JJ in for his 4 month appt yesterday (12lbs, 2 oz, 23.75inches tall, head circ 16.5 inches) and I asked the doctor what we could do to ease his teething discomfort. He says,"let me tell you about a patient I lost because of teething" and tells us this story:

"I am called into the emergency room one day to see a little girl, about 5 months old. She's green. After examining her, I determine she's suffering from liver failure. It turns out her mother and grandmother decided that they didn't want her to suffer through teething so they had been giving her infant Tylenol every 4 hours for the last 2 weeks! We were able to get the little girl a liver transplant and she managed to go through the chemo to deal with the rejection just fine. Then her brother came home with the chicken pox and she died about 6 hours later from a major chicken pox infection (her immune system was just that low)."

ACK!!! Like I wasn't paranoid enough about giving JJ medications as it is. How scary is that?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baby Book Reviews

Children's books - ya gotta love 'em. Here's some reviews of a few of JJ's favorites:

That's Not My Dinosaur - a gripping tale of a mouse in search of his dinosaur. Using clever sensory detective work (too fuzzy, too rough, etc.), the protagonist eliminates one dinosaur after another.

Little Chick and Friends - a tour of barnyard animals. I originally supposed this review would be led by our cover character and star of the title, Little Chick. Unfortunately, he only makes an appearance on the cover, like so many celebrity "authored" books out today.

But Not the Hippopotamus - a timeless story outlining the inadvertent discrimination's felt by many in today's clique driven society. This story ends on a somewhat bittersweet note and may not be appropriate for very empathic children.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Nursing Necklace - it's here!

John ordered me a nursing necklace and it arrived today. JJ *loves* it already and so do I. John got me the "Earth Angel" one and it looks really nice. JJ immediately grabbed onto it while nursing and started playing with it. It couldn't have come at a better time - I've been getting pretty beat up during our nursing sessions! Yesterday, he managed to get a hold of a fistful of my hair (ow!) and he routinely pinches my breasts while eating (ow!) I'm so glad to have something his busy hands can grab that doesn't result in a bald patch on my head ;)

I hope it will help him concentrate better too - lately he's been having "bright-and-shiny" sessions where he'll eat for a minute, pull off and look around (as in "ooh, what was that bright and shiny thing?") then eat for a minute, pull off and look around, repeat ad infinitum. It got so bad the other day, he actually didn't even re-latch in between distracting himself! He just moved his mouth back towards the nipple and before he latched on he got distracted again and whipped his head back around to see Lord-only-knows-what going on behind him. I told him that a) he's going to get whiplash doing that and b) this is currently his only job around here, and unless he wants to start cleaning toilets, he'd better concentrate. I don't think he was listening though.

Monday, June 2, 2008

A new poo record!

Apparently I can't resist posting about poo. We have a new record - 9 days. I kid you not - poor little guy went 9 days between poos. Ugh! Maybe I need to eat more fiber (LOL)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

EC - the update

So, you're never going to believe this (or maybe you will). We have been *really* successful with the whole EC thing! Today, JJ only used 1 diaper all day long - he would indicate he needed to go and I would take him over to the toilet, take off his diaper and voila! he would pee in the toilet, even at the restauraunt! I am totally amazed that this worked. We've been working on it for about 2 weeks and I'm really impressed that it works so well.

If you want to try this yourself (they say it works best if you start before the baby is 6 months), here are some tips for you:

1) Check out and/or read one of the EC books out there (I read Infant Potty Basics: With or Without Diapers-- The Natural Way by Laurie Boucke but there are lots of books ou there) I'm so new at this - I'm sure there are lots of things I'm doing wrong.

2) It took me 2 days to start being successful a little and 2 weeks to be successful a lot. They reccommend having a diaper free day where the baby hangs out on a waterproof pad nekkid you can observe what he/she does just before a pee or poo. I think this would work well, but I didn't do it(no time) - I relied on knowing when he'd had accidents before and trying to watch for signs. As a result, I had a lot of changing table accidents during the first 2 days. (never got me wet, but I had to change the pad cover rather a lot) I give him an "op-pee-tunity" every time his diaper would normally come off (after waking, after eating, before bath, etc.)

3)Plot out how you're going to hold him and what your key word is going to be ahead of time. I hook my fingers under his knees so he can sit with his back leaned up against my chest and all his business bits dangling down. We use "would you like to pee? pss,pss,pss" as his cue. I was inconsistent at first and so it probably confused JJ a bit.

4)It's more about training you than training the baby. It's made me a lot more observant. Plan on feeling a little silly and having times where baby just doesn't need to go cuz you guessed wrong.

5) If you use diapers to back you up (I do - I'm not confident enough to go without yet), use All-In-One cloth diapers if you can. They are easier to get on/off frequently. Disposables get all stretched.

Friday, May 23, 2008

First sniffles

Poor JJ got his first case of the sniffles today. And being the obligatory over-protective first time parents that we are, we rushed him to the doctor. After sitting in the waiting room for 1.5 hours (ridiculous, I felt, since we had an appointment), we finally got to see our pediatrician, Dr. Hidalgo. He was great as usual - took us very seriously and checked the little guy over thoroughly. He couldn't find any indication of anything seriously wrong - just a very stuffy nose (which did not include his chest) and a low grade fever. He was very glad we brought JJ in though because it showed we were "paying attention". They weighed him while there and he was 12lbs 6oz. Way to go JJ!

Now the reason I was soooo concerned about a stuffy nose, is that I had read that infants are "obligate nose breathers"- a fancy way of saying they can't breath through their mouths. This is by design so they can breathe and swallow at the same time without aspirating milk into their lungs. Medically this is explained as follows:
"Infants are obligate nose breathers due to the posterior soft palate covering the oropharynx and the neonate's tongue in close proximity with the hard and soft palate."
So a stuffy nose can be really bad. But when do they out grow this condition and start being able to mouth breath and snore like the rest of us? Good question! I have found bits and pieces that say anywhere from 4-6 weeks to 4-5 months! So I guess, like so many other baby oddities, "it depends"...
Also, it's not like you can hand them a tissue and say blow. To clear a baby's nose, you use a suction bulb to vacuum it out. If you think that sounds a little gross and a lot distressing, you'd be right! It kinda feels like you're in danger of sucking out his little brain...but you gotta do what you gotta do. And a little freak out for mommy is better than no breathing by baby any day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Turning pages!!

I was reading to JJ this morning before putting him down for a nap (today's selection was That's Not My Dinosaur - a gripping story with several unexpected plot twists - impressive for a 6 page board book ;)) when JJ reached up and turned the page! I thought, yeah well he's batting at stuff these days, it's just an accident. So, I'm reading the next page and he does it again! I read the whole book to him 3 more times (did I mention it's really short?) and he turned all the pages each time. Obviously not an accident at this point. How cool is that?!?

Turning Over

So apparently today is a big developmental day for JJ. John got home and was playing with him during tummy time. JJ was getting a little frustrated, so John says "hey, you just have to turn over. See put your arm down here and kick your leg over and ta dah! You're over" And he demonstrated by rolling over himself (very funny btw). JJ looks at his daddy very intently for a few minutes then BOOM, he rolls over just like John did! Wow! If I hadn't seen it I wouldn't have believed it!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pumping - TMI

Alright, for those of you who don't know diddley about breastfeeding (BFing), let me bring you up to speed. This "natural" process is in, large part, a learned behaviour by both the baby and the momma - you both have to sort out how to get the little guy latched on (baby has to open mouth wide, get tongue under the nipple, suck voraciously etc., momma has to make sure he's at the right angel, has enough nipple in his mouth, doesn't slip off etc.) AND the mother has to figure out how to trigger what's called a "let down." A let down is an involuntary muscle reaction that pushes the milk toward the nipple. Note the "involuntary" portion of that. This means that you have to get in the right head space to relax enough to make this happen. If you're tense, it ain't happenin'. So, now, imagine you are trying relax and zen out while you have a screaming baby beating on your breast insisting he's hungry, dammit. Tricky? You ain't kidding.

Well, for the most part, I finally got this let down thing sorted. JJ and I have it all worked out. Enter the pump. Now, I've been pumping since the little guy got home, trying to get my milk supply up to his demand and trying to give myself a break and let John (and other folks - like daycare) feed him too. And I tell you what - I SUCK at pumping. Remember that let down thing? Well, you have to manage the same thing with the pump. Except, now instead of a snuggly warm sweet baby (or thrashing screaming baby, depending on where you are with this), you've got a little black machine with tubes coming out of it that attach to some fairly scary looking flanges that fit over your nipples. When you flip it on, it whirs to life with a disconcerting "voopah, voopah, voopah, voopah" and you look down in mild horror to see your nipples rhythmically extracted into the flanges as you once again attempt to zen out. Give me the screaming baby any day!

Getting so big

I looked down on JJ in the bassinet this evening and realized he's going to be to big for it soon. He's moved from 0-3 month cloths to 3-6 month clothes last week and none of his PJs fit anymore. It's hard to believe how much bigger he's gotten - and even harder to remember how very tiny he was. When I think that it won't be long before he no longer fits in the crook of my arm...that soon he'll be too big rest on my's amazing. Time just seems to fly past us and it's all I can do to enjoy him in the now. I try to take lots of pictures and not get impatient when he's crying because he needs me to pickhim up when he's lonely - I know that it won't be long before he'll be running ahead of me and wanting to do things "by self"
And as much as I'll enjoy getting a bit more independence, I know he'll never be so small and helpless again, never so sweetly innocent and guiless... I'm in no hurry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

sighing in his sleep

OK, so I still feel the need to verify that the poor kid is still breathing when I wake up in the middle of te night. At this rate, I'll be sneaking into his room when he's 16 and putting a mirror under his nose...
Anyway, I'm watching him while he sleeps and he does the funniest things. He'll have this great big sigh, or he'll grimace shaking his head from side to side - he'll even laugh in his sleep (he's giggling in his sleep right now while I wait for him to get into deep sleep before I move him to his bassinet)! I wonder what he dreams about. Let's face it - the whole "showing up at work naked/didn't study for the test/being chased by wolves" dreams are unlikely for someone who's nekkid a good bit of the time, doesn't know what studying or tests are, and thinks wolves are just another doggie. Does he dream about the goofy faces I make to get him laughing? Does he have nightmares about empty bottles or lost pacifiers? Makes you wonder...

Monday, May 12, 2008

First Mother's Day

Wow - my first mother's day as a mother! How cool is that? We drove down to visit my Mom and Dad (v. cool) and John really out did himself - he gave me professionally arranged flowers, delivered to work (they are GORGEOUS!!!), 3 cards (so cool), and he's building me a veggie garden and taking me out to dinner next weekend. Wow! I am overwhelmed - it is all so wonderful. And best of all, I have this wonderful little man to snuggle and kiss and love after trying so hard to get him here. I am the luckiest woman on earth, indeed I am. Best mother's day ever! I love my life.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nursing necklaces

So here's a cool thing - nursing necklaces! They give the baby something to do with their hands while the nurse. Neat! I am going to have to get one of these. JJ is at a stage where he loves to touch and feel everything. I don't know that he realizes that those are his hands, but he's grabbing and holding things pretty well. Especially my shirt while he nurses :) I bet one of these necklaces would be much more entertaining to fondle than a bit of cotton jersey.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Elimination communication

Diaper free, natural infant hygene - whatever you want to call it. EC, elimination communication, is a fancy phrase that means "paying attention to when your baby needs to go so you can park them on a toilet rather than letting them sit in a wet/poopy diaper." There's whole books and support groups for this - which is really kind of odd when you think about it. Sort of like having an advisor to tell you how to breastfeed (see previous rant on breastfeeding). I mean, half the world manages to do without nappies most of the time and they're not swimming in baby poo. So, we decided to try this - it's supposed to help the child potty train sooner and of course it cuts down on the number of diapers you use, both of which seems like a good thing for the baby (and for the parents).

Boy let me tell you, it's trickier than it sounds (just like breastfeeding ;) )!

So what you do is observe your child and see what they do just before they pee/poo. Then when you see them do that again, you whisk them over an appropriate recepticle (toilet, bowl, sink, etc.) and give them a cue word to let them associate with the act of elimination (like "pee" or "poo"). Eventually, they associate the word with it being ok to let loose, and you are home free, diaperwise. Sounds cool in theory, right? Well, there's a reason they have support groups for this kind of thing. I've been "observing" JJ for signals and as far as I can tell, he'll occasionally stare off into space if he's peeing...but sometimes he does that when he's tired or gassy or sees something interesting over my shoulder. I've talked to him about being more consistent in his cues, but he just gives me that great big gummy smile and laughs as if to say "yeah, right lady! you think I'm going to make this *easy* on ya?"

In spite of all this, we had our first successful "pee" yesterday and first poo today - I was changing his diaper and thought, hey that looks like that mile long stare he gets just before he pees all over me...So, I held him over the toilet and voila! he peed into the toilet. Cool! And this morning I was giving him an "op-poo-tunity" at the toilet and sure enough he pooed. It'll probably never happen again, but it was very encouraging to have it work this once! Hooray!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cloth diaper reviews

First, I have to say, I would want to buy these just for the names - they crack me up!

BumGenius - Excellent pocket diaper. It uses velcro as the waist fastener and snaps to change the length (it's one size, so it will grow with him - hooray). They cleverly ensured there's extra material above the velcro so that the hard part can't accidentally slip and dig into his delicate tummy. The liner is so efficient, sometimes I have to take out the insert to see if he's wet! So far this is also very stain resistent. Overall, the best value for your dollar (they run around $17) and a smart piece of engineering. It's easy to see why these are so popular with CD moms.

Happy Heiny - A very trim fitting pocket diaper. This one comes in some fun prints and works great - very adjustable. It uses velcro as a waist fastener, with the extra material to protect the baby's tummy. They also have a one size fits all, but I haven't tried it yet - I have a small one and it is wonderful. The lining is very soft and kushy on his little bum. They are a little harder to find, and a bit more expensive ($19), but nice if you want more choices on the colors/prints.

BumWare - These are my favorite All-In-Ones (AIOs) even if they don't come in a one-size fits all. They are very absorbant and trim-fitting - easily as small as disposables. I haven't had occasion to test the stain resistance, so that'll be the big deciding factor. Not terribly expensive at $17 for smalls, but I'll have to get mediums and larges eventually.

Fuzzibunz - The best snap pocket diaper and oh so soft! They're very adjustable. I like these a lot (no velcro to get caught in the washer or to chafe JJ) and they're not a bad price at $18. Unfortunately, they're not a one size fits all, so I'd need to get mediums and larges eventually. Good news though - it's easy to get "seconds" (slightly defective, but totally usable) from the company directly for about $14. And some really cute prints too!

ImseVimse - My least favorite of the AIOs, I've had an issue with the velcro creeping up and rubbing on JJ's tummy. Not good. The gussets around the legs are really cool and I imagine if he was to have a blow out it would easily contain it. I may give these a second chance though, the one I have is not the latest design and they may have improved on it. Kind of pricey though at $21.

Swaddlebees - This is a great looking diaper, but I keep having issues with these leaking. I have tried stripping them and may have to do it again. I've got 2 - one leaks and one doesn't. Very frustrating. The snap fittings look good, but it's hard to get a good fit with them. Overall - attractive and I want to like them, but can't recommend them from a functional standpoint (and let's face it - who wants a diaper that doesn't work? And at $21 a pop, they better darn well work.

Friday, May 2, 2008

3 months

JJ turned 3 months old yesterday. Hard to believe it's been that long since I was pregnant and waddling around. I've lost all the weight I gained during the pregnancy (now I just need to lose the weight I needed to lose before I got pregnant!!). Breastfeeding is going great - I can barely remember all the trouble we had at the beginning. While he's still so small and helpless, I know he's scads bigger than he was (almost 12.5 lbs by the bathroom scale) I still check on him all the time to make sure he's still breathing. And I already want him to stop growing up so fast - it really does seem like things just fly by. He "talks" and laughs and smiles and plays - he can roll up on one side and knows his daddy's voice well enough to turn and look for him when he hears him. He can grab toys if you put them near his hands and sometimes will follow my eyes to see what I'm looking at. But, oh, that smile....! It lights up his whole face - and my whole heart.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

7.5 hours!!!

Apparently my dire predictions of sleeplessness were for naught. JJ slept 7.5 hours - and I had to wake him up just now because I'm not entirely sure he's supposed to. I mean, if he sleeps much longer, he'll "miss" a feeding. Not something I thought I'd have to worry about. I guess I better call the pediatrician to see how long is too long. It would be really cool if he says "let him sleep"!!! (fingers and toes crossed)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First full day at day care

Well, today was JJs first full day at daycare (we have him in our company's daycare 2 days a week) Since it's onsite, I have them call me when he's hungry so I can go down and nurse and have given them a frozen breast milk bottle in case I'm on a customer call/meeting/etc. as an emergency backup

He seemed to like the lady at the center just fine, but he absolutely *refused* to nap the whole time! He's on the sleep,eat, play repeat schedule, and I would feed him, then play with him a bit, hand him off to the caregiver, go back to work, and when I would check on him again, he would've slept for maybe 30 minutes or not at all. He took two 30 minute naps during the whole 8 hours. Everything I've read says that if he doesn't get enough sleep during the day, he'll have a hard time staying asleep at night. We're doomed.

First day back at work

You know, it feels like I never left. More or less, the same projects to work on in more or less the same state. Sigh. It's kinda weird not being at home - I'd gotten a nice routine down with the baby and household chores. I also got used to staying at home all the time - this is the longest amount of time I've been out of the house since JJ got here! I think that, all things being equal, I wish I could take a year off, instead of 3 months. But, you do what ya gotta do.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

squealing and laughing

JJ started really laughing this weekend! John was making faces at him and he was squealing and laughing like it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen (come to think of it, he's only 3 months old, so it probably IS the funniest thing he's ever seen - it's not like he's a big Monty Python fan yet). What a great laugh!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Airing ourselves out

Well, this is my last week before I'm back at work so I thought I'd venture out with JJ and meet Angela for lunch at the local Rice Boxx. I was having trouble getting JJ to nap and had hoped it would help (for some babies it's the car, for my little social butterfly, it's a noisy restaraunt, go figure). We had a great time having a little lunch then going for coffee at Starbuck's. Not much luck on the nap though - maybe I should've gone to PF Chang's!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alternate, detatched delivery system

Someone recently posted on the Babyfit message board about what to tell people when they ask if you are breast feeding when you are pumping and giving a bottle. First - what a bizarre thing that anyone would ask you that in the first place (she said she was getting the question from total strangers - how wierd is that?!?!). So, I suggested she tell them she's using an alternate detatched delivery system with original source material :)

The fallacy behind "sleep when the baby sleeps"

Hah! The most common, most accurate, and most impossible to follow advice given to new parents - "sleep when the baby sleeps" Seems like sound advice when you realize babies sleep like 14 hours a day. Naturally, there's the inclination to finally get something other than diaper changes, feeding, brping, playing, and attempting to figure out what's wrong now - but that's not the biggest problem with this advice. No, the biggest problem s that the little booger only sleeps an hour at a time most times! I don't know about you, but it takes me a good15-20 minutes to drop off to sleep - longer if I'm wound up. By the time I'm actually getting into deep sleep, the baby wakes up again. And I feel worse than if I'd just stayed awake! Ugh.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ah, sweet elusive sleep...

Ah, for a night with more than 3 hours in a row of sleep... here we are at the 3am feeding again, and I am hoping he'll go back to sleep easily as soon as he finishes. I read the other day that babies have a different sleep cycle than adults - only 60 minutes with 20 minutes being in the "light, easily woken" stage. It's a survival thing, apparently - because they have such tiny tummies, they need to wake up whenever they're hungry (which for JJ seems like all the time - he is such a bottomless pit!). If they slept too deeply for very long, they might not get the nutrition they need. One more interesting factoid in the strangeness that is baby...

I've moved my computer to my bedside table so I can work online for these middle of the night sessions - might as well make use of the time, since I'm up! (besides, I'm out of trashy novels and my comprehension level for school texts at 3am is, shall we say, less than ideal ;) )

Saturday, April 12, 2008

smiling around his pacifier

Under the category of "too cute" - JJ will be sucking away at his pacifier when I'll catch his eye. He's so pleased to see me he'll get his big goofy grin around his pacifier! I've got to try to get a pic of it...

Speaking of pacifiers, those things are great. JJ has a *really* strong need to suck, and they do a great job of helping him stay calm and happy. He tries to suck on his little fists and fingers, but is a) a little to enthusiastic about it and b) not sufficiently coordinated. As a result, he often ends up accidentally gagging himself when he shoves his fist too far down his own throat. On the other hand, he may simply be training for a career as a sword swallower!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How to wake a sleeping baby

Babies (at least ours) seem to be able to sleep through all sorts of things: being moved around, major construction, house cleaning, and other loud noisy things that would wake the average adult. However, there are some very specific things that will guarantee the baby will wake up.
To wake your baby:

1) Put him in his crib (baby will fall asleep anywhere but will wake up as soon as you try to put him some place safe and convenient)
2) Contemplate having sex (baby will wake up while you are undressing)
3) Take a shower (baby will wake up while you are washing your hair)
4) Eat. (baby will wake after you have prepared food, plated it, and sat down with a cold drink - but before you actually take a bite)
5) Watch a movie (baby will wake in the middle of any important dialog or complex plot development)
6) Make a phone call. (if you made the call, baby will wake when the person on the other end picks up. if you answered the phone, baby will wake when the person on the other end finished the pleasantries and is about to tell you why he/she called.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

2 month appointment

JJ is now 22 inches, 10lbs, 11 oz.

He got his 2 month immunizations - 4 shots, 2 in each thigh. I did a lot of research on giving him the shots and decided that the benefits outweighed the risks for him. He'll be attending daycare a couple of days a week and has no counterindications, healthwise or from a hereditary standpoint. He took it pretty well - he's napping since he doesn't feel good. A little infant Tylenol seemed to help quite a bit.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Breastfeeding Soapbox

BFing is certainly more time consuming and challenging and emotionally charged than I imagined! I still remember the frstration and pain as we struggled to get a good latch, the wracking sobs while the doc told us we had to supplement for the first 2 weeks because my milk was slow to come in... Feeling like a failure and at the same time feeling angry because everyone at the hospital had pushed so hard (each with a different opinion) and I had suffered through a lot of pain and then being told I still had to supplement....

Things are working great now (we've made it 2 1/2 weeks with no formula as of today), but tomorrow it could all change. 2 days ago, JJ went from feeding every 3 hours to feeding every hour. Who knows what will be next?

I applaud each and every one who has tried, regardless of the results. We are having to learn a skill that is more art than science while dealing with sleep deprivation and the guilt from the well-meaning "armchair boobs"( who may or may not have experience or even the right equipment) around us telling us that we're not "doing it right." It is ironic that our culture today is all about "breast is best" while at the same time not providing the necessary environment to make it easy. I mean, for goodness sakes, there's a whole PROFESSION in telling women how to breast feed (enter lactation consultants). What does it say about our culture that such a profession is necessary?!?! And believe me, it is very necessary - it is a rare and fortunate mom in today's US that has the childhood and adolescent exposure to this art form such that it is second nature rather than a strange and some what foriegn concept. Yet, we are quick to judge and hand out guilt to those poor mothers who can't for whatever reason, manage to learn to do this.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Blow out!

May I just say ewwwwww... we had our first blow out. Or as my sister would say, an "ears to ankles" poo. Poor little guy. He was just hanging out in his duck chair, minding his own business when KABOOM! He started fussing (who wouldn't?) and when I went to pick him up to check on him, he was verschmutzed with poo. It took a good 15 minutes to get it all off of him. I swear, next time I'm just putting him in the sink and hosing him down.

For anyone wondering, Pampers Swaddlers size 1 - not so good at containing the big ones...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

PP weight -the jiggle factor

OK, so intellectually, I totally expected that my belly would be "loose" - I mean, let's face it, it's been stretched rather alot to accomodate a whole new person and accoutremonts, which have then been removed rather abruptly. However, I was not prepared from a practical standpoint about what that really meant. The jiggle factor. In recent years, I've had a little pooch, but it's never been jello like! Talk about wierd - you laugh and parts of you move independently of the rest of you - ewwwwwwwwwww!!!! I don't really mind the stretch marks or even the fact that my belly button is way bigger (another "who'd've thunk it" thing). But the jiggling...that's just plain freaky. I'm so glad breast feeding is supposed to help tighten that up! I'm going to end up being the crunch queen with this type of motivation.

Monday, March 31, 2008

What have we come to?

It happened. My husband called me on his way home from his hunting trip and asked me how things went for the last two days. The first thing I thought to tell him was "JJ pooped today!" and John was ecstatic. How very depressing. This was rapidly followed by a report of how much sleep I hadn't gotten (the little man decided 3am was a good party time) and how much breast milk I'd managed to express. The saddest part about all this is that I did lots of interesting adult things this weekend (met friends for lunch, cooked a birthday dinner for another friend), but the part I thought to tell him and I thought would be most interesting had to do with baby input/output and sleep patterns. I *really* need to get out more. I've noticed in my conversations with other people that they tend to interrupt me an unusual number of times. I suspect I must be just babbling on as I over compensate for not talking to adults all day long. I'm sure this will change when I get back to work - but it sure gives me a lot of sympathy for stay at home moms. How do they do it and still manage to hold intelligent discourse?!?!

Friday, March 28, 2008

And on the 8th day

Well, apparently my son is incredibly anal retentive, even at the tender age of 7 weeks. Today, finally after 8 days, he finally FINALLY pooped. It was, of course, copious. 8 days...I swear he's lighter.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

JJs first Easter! Aunties Angela and Crystal and Uncles Scott and Mike came over to celebrate with ham, salmon asparagus casserole and baked sweet potato, followed by pumpkin pie and fresh blueberry pie. The egg hunt was great with Uncle Mike stealing everyone's eggs when they weren't looking. What a great Easter for JJ!

Friday, March 21, 2008

OMG - something's EATING the baby

Talk about funny...
We have JJ in a bassinet next to the bed (highly convenient for BFing). When you're laying down you can't really see him over the side of the bassinet unless you prop up on one elbow. On a regular basis, he'll wake up and start flailing his arms and legs around making all sort of crazy grunts, groans, coos, etc. Well, all we can see is the occasional arm or legs moving spastically over the crib top with all these sounds! John turns to me in mock horror and says "Oh my God - what's EATING our baby?!?!?"

Finally worked out!

I had my 6 week check up on the 19th and the doc said I am good to go on all kinds of working out except abs - I have to wait for 8 weeks on those. So I plopped in my Shiva Rea post partum yoga DVD and managed to get through it uninterrupted (thankyou JJ for napping :) ) I'm feeling pretty good about that and hoping for a walk/jog later this afternoon. The weather is just beautiful and I can't wait to get out and about.

I can tell that my biggest challenge for working out isn't going to be the workout itself - it's going to be finding time when the little guy will let me workout or figuring out how to work out with him. Once he's not doing the whole bobble-head baby thing, maybe I can do baby presses! :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Poop Report

Once again, I find myself obsessing over my son's defecation schedule. It had been 5 days since he last had what is technically known in academic circles as a "poopy diaper". We were getting really worried after 3 days - so we called the doc and they said to give him 1 oz prune juice diluted with 1oz of water. So we did that yesterday, and then of course I read on the internet afterwards that babies can't digest fruit juice this early. ACK! And then I read I should give him Karo syrup or wiggle a thermometer in his rectum....apparently everyone has a solution for this. Finally, there were several sites that said this is totally normal and he's just getting better at processing his food. I guess no one really knows, but I found several other sites recommending the prune juice option, so I decided not to panic about possibly damaging my poor delicate little baby boy's internal bits.
Well, today he finally decided to let loose and my goodness had he been saving up! It was the consistency of peanut butter (GROSS!), and plentiful. Hooray for poop! (boy, I never thought I'd say that...)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

40 today

Today both JJ and I turned 40 - 40 years for me, 40 days for the little guy. How cool is that?
I am so utterly grateful that we were blessed like this. I mean, he's healthy and happy, minimally fussy, we've been able to breast feed him (a rough start, but we made it), the cloth diapering thing is working out well, we got all kinds of cool stuff from friends and family so that he's stylin'...I couldn't ask for more. What a great way to turn 40!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Smilin' JJ

Check out that smile! What a handsome little guy :)
JJ started smiling (other than the little smirks you get when he's gassy) last week (at 5 weeks old). Pretty cool stuff!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

well, optimism and all that

It appears I was a bit optimistic in the whole "hitting my stride" thing. JJ has decided he's having another growth spurt, so I've been more or less confined to a chair/bed/couch feeding the boy nearly every hour (and every 2 hours at night). Exhausted...I'm glad he's thriving, I just kinda wish he could do it every 3 hours ;)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Clogged ducts - OW! (TMI)

ow ow ow ow ow!
I woke up this morning and one breast was hard and painful. After a little research, it looks like I have a clogged milk duct. Several, actually, that are presenting as rock hard, painful knots in the breast. The solution? Massage (ow) feed on that side (ow ow), and apply heat (ahhh). What fun (not).

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Starting to hit my stride

Well, slowly but surely, things are starting to settle down a bit. JJ is occasionally sleeping 6 hours at a stretch at night (although he doesn't want to go to sleep until about 1 or 2am - ugh) And I've been able to stay on top of landry and dishes. John's been good about taking care of dinner (thank goodness Mom made and froze so much stuff!!) as well as fixing all of the things that seem to have suddenly gone wrong with the house. I'm getting an occasional nap and hopefully I can start working out soon. I've got this post partum yoga DVD I really want to try... Tomorrow I'm hoping to go all out and finish my thankyou cards for all the wonderful baby stuff we've recieved - I've been overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family, and neighbors. Everyone has been so good to us - we are truly blessed. And then I can get back on my dissertation work too! I finally figured out how to work on the computer and feed JJ at the same time, and my brain appears to be working again, so multitasking here I come!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Cloth diapers and first bath

I started using cloth diapers during the day this week and it's going really well. I've been trying out all the different kinds we got. The All-In-Ones (AIOs) are super convenient, but they take FOREVER to dry once you wash them. The Pocket diapers are also very convenient and fit quite well (plus they dry faster) They seem to leak about as much as the disposables. The big surprise is the prefolds - you have to change them a bit more frequently, but they leak less than disposables and are surprisingly easy to use and to clean.

Something I didn't really realize about cloth diapers - most baby clothes (onsies, specifically) are made with disposables in mind so they don't take into account the bubble butt the baby has when you use cloth (cloth diaper = baby's got back). As a result, he's wearing a lot of t-shirts during the day.

JJ had his first bath this evening. Boy, did he hate it! I thought babies were supposed to like bath time. You'd think we'd dipped him into molten lava given how much he screamed. Once it was over, he seemed to think that the lotion and towel phase was pretty cool, but boy he sure didn't like the water too much.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Yikes - home alone

Well, this is it - my first day home alone with el-bambino. John's off to work and Mom left yesterday. Eek!
So far, we're doing ok - I even got some laundry and dishes done! We may survive yet.
It's amazing to me how little time I seem to have these days. I spend at least 8hours feeding the boy, and then there's diaper changes, clean up, and soothing. Hmmm...guess I shouldn't be surprised there's not much time left over.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Never rains but it pours....

Boy, sometimes it just seems like the only luck we have with this house is bad. While I was in the hospital with JJ, the spa guys came out to fix the leak in the spa. A huge amount of money and days later, the leak isn't fixed, the cement is ripped up in front of the spa and it's leaking even faster. Next, our kitchen sink backs up on a Friday evening (why do appliances never break on a weekday?). We have to call a plumber to fix it after John and my Dad try everything else (got to have a sink to clean bottles/pump parts etc.) Then, while John and Dad are checking out the ducts in our attic, Dad slips and falls through the ceiling in the half bath (he's ok, thank goodness!!). So we have ice cold air coming into the house through a hole in the ceiling that's got to be fixed. All of this with a newborn in the house, trying to cope with lack of sleep, and all that. Oh! And let's not forget the cats. The day before we leave for the hospital, John puts a cat door in the garage so they can have thier litter boxes out there. Well, apparently, they didn't care for that too much and 2 of them started using the dining room as a litter box - GROSS! I think we've finally got that issue fixed, but John's had to steam clean the carpet in that room multiple times (like he doesn't have enough else to do right now). Sometimes, it's just everything all at once....

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2 week appointment

Great news! JJ is doing fantastic - his weight is back to his birth weight (8lbs 5 oz) and the doc says we can move to exclusive breastfeeding now. Hooray! Even better, we don't have to keep waking him up every 2-3 hours to feed him. I'm hoping he'll decide sleeping through the night is a good idea :)
My appointment also went well. I'm cleared to start walking and doing light yoga (as long as it doesn't involve any ab work). Still not allowed to lift anything heavier than the baby or drive. Sigh.
Life with a newborn has definitely been an experience. The sleep deprivation makes everything kind of fuzzy and frustrating - normal decisions (like what to have for lunch) seem like some sort of insurmountable horror. Thank goodness my parents are here helping out. Actually, I should say, doing everything since "helping out" doesn't really cover it. Mom has cooked every meal, done all the laundry, changed sheets on the bed, dusted,'s a life saver! And Dad has helped John with all sorts of big lifting chores around the house while still working. They both watch JJ when I need a nap. I don't know how I'd've survived this long without all this help.

The most unexpected thing so far is my near terror that the boy will stop breathing while sleeping. He's in our bedroom in his bassinet next to my side of the bed and sometimes I wake up just to check and make sure he's still ok. I don't know why I am so worried about this, but I really am. The doctor says he doesn't have any of the risk factors - I wish I could stop worrying so much.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

JJ's Photo Shoot

JJ got his newborn shots done today ( He was SO good (and only peed on me twice ;) ) Afterwards, we went to PF Chang's for his first eating out experience. He managed to sleep through the whole thing. Whew!
The photo shoot was fun, but I was exhausted afterwards. John keeps reminding me I just had major surgery, but it just seems like I should be able to do more. Oh well - guess I just have to be patient.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why are new parents obsessed with poop?

I'll tell you why. Because at the hospital, they make you record every diaper change you have, including details about the TYPE of poo involved, whether it was wet and how wet it was (I should've expected this since nurses seem to have an unhealthy interest in my excrement when I was in for surgery previously.). Now, there's a good reason for this. They want to see how long it take the meconium to pass, make sure the little guy isn't getting dehydrated, and to make sure that all systems are go, as it were. After 3 days of being asked every 2 hours about your child's diapers as well as being asked to keep a LOG of the events, it's no small wonder that new parents come home with poop on the brain. John actually set up a form so we could continue to track diaper changes and feedings for the first couple of weeks to make sure everything was still going well. While this might sound odd and a bit OCD, I have to say, it's a great idea. When you're new at this, sleep deprivation really makes you forget things like, oh, when's the last time you fed/changed the baby and should you be checking on that again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Catching up - Birth, Breastfeeding, and Becky

I went in for my scheduled C-section early on 2/7. We got checked in and through all the paper work quickly. They wanted to give me a combination spinal block and epidural, but were only able to give me the spinal. After they got me on the table, things went pretty quick. I started to feel a little sick due to the drop in blood pressure, but they were able to give me something for it. It was a little scary at first - I could smell something burning and realized that it was *me* (they use a cauterizing tool to keep the bleeding to a minimum during surgery). At one point I could feel all sorts of tugging and pulling and pushing. John says that the doc reached in to get JJ and he "made a run for the north). Guess he didn't want to come out! At 8:01am, I heard him cry for the first time. It was so wonderful I started to cry too. He is my special miracle and I am so blessed to have him. We spent 3 days in the hospital before they sent us home. He was slightly jaundiced, but not enough to keep us there.

My Recovery
I've recovered very quickly from the surgery. It was so much easier than my myomectomy! About 3 days after we got home, I was walking out of the bathroom and nearly doubled over in pain. I barely made it to the bed and John immediately called the after hours number for the doc. After talking with them on the phone (and crying my eyes out), we determined I was having uterine contractions, as my parts and pieces were reassembling themselves. I hadn't been taking my pain meds because I wasn't in any pain, so when they contractions hit, they were truly awful. I haven't had any more serious pain since then (and I have remember to take my meds, even if I'm not hurting). I find out on 2/21 if I'm cleared to work out again! Hooray!

Unfortunately, my colostrum wasn't enough for JJ, and he lost 1lb 2oz by the time we left so we have had to supplement. Breastfeeding was initially very difficult - he is a bit of a sneaky feeder, looking like he has a pefect latch, buth actually having a shallow one (just pooches out his lips, the little sneaker). I toughed it through, and ended up with awful scabs all over my nipples - but they healed up right away when I got home. We are both better at the breast feeding thing now, although we still sometimes have a bit of a fuss if he decides it's been too long since his last meal. I've been pumping as well as breast feeding, so my milk production is way up and I'm hoping the doctor will let me have him on breast milk exclusively after his 2 week check up.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Last appointment before C-section

Uterine height: 41 cm
Waist measurement: 46 inches
Getting to hear the baby's heartbeat: priceless :)

Had a non-stress test for JJ - everything went great and the doc is very happy with the results. Said the peaks showed his brain and heart are doing great! Now if I could just stop being so tired...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Last ultrasound today

Everything looks great! They estimate him to be 7lbs 3oz so far. Oh my - this is going to be one big baby!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Fetal non-Stress Test for Mr. Overactive

When I got to 30 weeks, the doc told me to start doing fetal kick counts every day. You are supposed to get 10 movements in an hour. Well, Mr. Overactive - aka, our son - manages to get 10 in 10 minutes every day. I time him morning (when I first get up) and at night (right before I go to sleep) because it's easy - count to 10 in 10 minutes or less. Well, this morning was different. I wake up, and he's giving me 2 in the first hour and 10 in the next 30 minutes. Hmmmm...I am vaguely concerned, but not overly so. But, being the good scientist that I am and having been told by the doctor to "report anything different" I call the office and tell them. They seem puzzled as to why I called, so I just reiterate what the doc says.

3 hours later they call me back and send me to L&D for a fetal non-stress test. This involves strapping a couple of monitors to me to make sure the baby isn't in any kind of distress. It took hardly any time at all - in fact, John was still checking me in when they told me I could go home. They said it was good I had called, but apparently the baby was just having a sleepy day. He's certainly making up for it now!