Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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Officially a Mom

Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why I should wear a muzzle

Said by me today to a coworker after he impatiently overhead paged me two times in about 5 minutes and then asked why I didn't call back immediately:

"Geez! I was pooping!! Do you mind???????"

Side note: I wasn't pooping, I was pumping but whatever. Who does that????


Said by me today after discovering the husband had eaten the last of the cheesecake. Cheesecake I had been craving ALL day:

"You are a WHORE!!!!"

Gavin came running into the kitchen after my exclamation hollering some jibber jabber that sounded like "whore". I feel as though that was parenting at my finest. The boy should know anyone who finishes off the last of the cheesecake is, in fact, a whore.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Saturday Sweet Saturday

I haven't talked about sleep in awhile so here goes: I GOT SLEEP!!!!!! I got a good 8 hours sleep last night with only one interruption. I needed sleep more now than ever. Can I just tell you, internet, that I dryed 3 loads of laundry yesterday without ever putting laundry in the dryer (imagine my dismay when I opened the dryer three times after hearing the buzzer and nothing was in there) AND I spent a good 20 minutes pissed off while trying to open a bag of shredded cheese because I was trying to open it from the wrong end! This morning, I feel like a new person! The sky is bluer! The birds chirp louder! Food is tastier! Diapers are slightly less smelly! Dude, sleep rocks, man. Seeing as how sleep begits sleep, I made sure Grace took a long nap yesterday and I even managed to squeeze in a Pilates video (my abs and thighs are still quivering) and I know this contributed to my peaceful sleep, as well. She is stll napping in her swing but baby steps, internet, baby steps. I have been following some of the principles set forth in the NCSS and this was Grace's routine last night-

Nurse- 6:30
Bath- 7:00
Bed- 7:20
Nurse- 12:00
Nurse- 5:00
Awake- 7:15

She fell asleep on her own at 7:20 with no boobies or rocking required. At her midnight feed, I refused to get in bed with her and I statyed awake to nurse her so I could put her back down in the cosleeper. That was always the one caveat; I was too tired to stay awake and nurse her so I brought her into bed with me for that first feeding and while in the short term we would get some sleep, this began nightlong nursing session that interrupted our sleep and upset her belly. I'm all about cosleeping but it just wasn't working for us. Thanks to NCSS, I found the inspiration I needed to stay wake for that first feeding. I was also psyched because I figured if I was up around midnight I could catch some Saturday Night Live (something I haven't done in ages) but the damn Olympics were on. Damn Olympics. Side note: am I the only American who didn't watch any of the Olympics? Other than to catch up on the catfight between Chad and Shani, I didn't watch a minute of them. Anyhoo, at the 5:00 feed I did bring her into bed with me but she nursed and fell right back to sleep and we could snuggle together since I wasn't sore and awake from nursing all night and her belly wasn't upset from overeating in an attempt to use me as a paci. It's not the quantity of snuggling but the quality and we had some quality snuggling from 5-7. Now if only Grace had a crib instead of the cosleeper so we could put her in her own room and Lloyd and I could go back to sleeping in our bed instead of in the living room, life would be excellent.

On a Gavinator note, his newest word is "pee pee" which he says like a little drunk Frenchman. Imagine oui oui, French accent and all, with a "p" in front of it. He will occasionally go pee pee in the potty but more often than not he points and says "pee pee" to show me where on the carpet he has peed after I discover his naked body running through the house. This morning I was enjoying sleeping so much I have no idea when Gavin awoke but it was obviously some time before me. I entered his room to find my naked, drunken Frenchmen bouncing on his bed, pointing at a large wet circle in the carpet yelling "pee pee! pee pee!". Who cares, I got sleep. Even pee stains rock when you've gotten your first 8 hours of sleep in 8 months!

Off to buy a crib!

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Just for fun

The trick is that you have to watch the car very closely because it will do something funny as it comes from behind the tree. The sound is also kind of low, you might want to turn it up.

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Go fly a boy

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Tale of the Three Quarter Honeybun-Eating Raccoon

I have decided that if Little Debbie made their honeybuns one quarter smaller, my car and my kitchen would be 100% cleaner. See, I have this three quarter honeybun-eating raccoon that up until now I thought only lived in my car but thanks to the one quarter of honeybun left on my kitchen counter this morning, I now know he has found a way into my house. Before anyone calls CPS on me for allowing my children to live with a raccoon that eats three quarters of honeybuns, I should clarify that technically there is no raccoon but rather a husband who eats like a raccoon. Or rather, how I think a raccoon would eat. A husband who can only bring himself to eat three quarters of a honeybun and leaves the other one quarter on the passenger seat and floor of my car and now on the counter in the kitchen. I think there was a point when I could have taken all the left over one quarters and made the world’s largest honeybun but the husband pointed out that should I ever be stranded in my car in the snow (it’s 62 degrees here in South Carolina) I would be able to survive off the left over honeybun quarters (aka emergency food supply) until help arrived. Who knew that making the passenger side of my car look like raccoons had picked over the honeybun wing of The Little Debbie Factory was all for MY benefit should I ever be stranded in a snowstorm.

I called the husband this morning to caution that while I did not want to alarm him, I thought he should know the three quarter honeybun-eating raccoon had made its way from my car to the house. After he hung up the phone his coworkers wanted to know what kind of conversation we could possibly have that contained the words “honeybun, stick of butter (there was a time when we had a half a stick of butter-eating raccoon in the car but he came and went in a day), raccoon, car, and kitchen. The husband explained our inside raccoon joke to his all male coworkers. He told them that every morning he likes to eat two honeybuns but after eating one and three quarter honeybuns, he is just too full to eat the other quarter so leaves the quarter in the car as a favor to me should I ever be trapped in the car in the middle of a snowstorm and need one quarter of a honey bun an emergency food supply. His coworkers totally understood. In fact, one related that it was just like when you know a value meal is not going to be enough so you order an extra cheeseburger but by the time you get to the cheeseburger you are just too full to eat the last few bites. So there the cheeseburger remnant remains (giving the appearance of a visit from a little cheeseburger-eating raccoon) until either

a. one is stranded in the car in the middle of a snowstorm and must eat the cheeseburger remnant emergency food supply
b. wife picks up the leftover cheeseburger remnant emergency food supply and throws it in the trash because she is apparently the only one who can recognize the cheeseburger remnant emergency food supply for what it actually is: garbage.

I don’t know what I understand less: why men don’t throw food away or how men can NOT eat the last few bites of something to finish it off. Lloyd always takes about how he only likes to eat until he is comfortable. He hates to be full. I imagine this is how he maintains a healthy weight in spite of the fact his diet consists primarily of the nougat and nugget food groups but I don’t understand it. How can one or two bites of honeybun make anyone more full than not eating one or two bites of honeybun? How can one have the sweet, yummy, glazed goodness of a honeybun and stop with only a bite or two left? How can anyone have a delicious, warm, cheesy burger and not eat the last few bites. Perhaps this is just one of those strange things that separate the sexes because I know of nary a woman who would be able to resist the last tempting bites of something so good. Maybe that’s the problem with me and why the last few baby pounds are lingering. Maybe I need to make like a raccoon man and start leaving food remnants emergency food supplies in my wake

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A new day

This morning, Lloyd was running late getting out of work and I was already at work with the kiddos waiting to do the old switch-a-roo (my work is the halfway point between our hosue and Lloyd's work so we meet there and exchange cars and hand off the kids) and rather than making the kids sit in the car for a half an hour, I brought them inside with me. I was a bit hesitant because Gavin tends to have a sensory freak out in my workplace and I'm not really a fan of being fired. I work in a pediatric environment so there is a waterfall, giant fake wild animals all over the place, brightly colored kites and stuffed bears hanging from the ceiling, and toys galore in a huge open space and this all tends to send my boy into a tizzy. I wasn't keen on sitting in the car with them for a half an hour and I'm a big 'ol geek who doesn't like to be late for anything so I went against my better judgment and brought the monsters inside with me.

I prepared myself for the worst and I figured if things got bad I could walk away from him and act like I didn't know him. Maybe if I was lucky the nurses would think he was a patient and sedate him and then Lloyd could have a good day. We went inside and much to my surprise, he held my hand, thoroughly enjoyed his ride on the elevator, entered the cafeteria (a place that usually sent him into freak-out mode), waited for me to get some milk, sat in a chair, drank his milk, smiled and flirted with all my coworkers, got up when it was time to go, walked past all the toys still holding my hand, and exited the building to meet his daddy.

WHAT?????? WHAT??????? It was EASY!!!!!!! This trip inside my workplace was totally new and unplanned and we went through I don't know how many transitions that included bright lights, strange people, and more lights, colors and sounds than Disney World and he was fine. He didn't scream. He didn't cry. He didn't try to escape. He listened to me. Listened to me. L. I. S. T. E. N. E. D. to me. Is there something in the Bible about this? Is the end of the world near? What gives? I was shocked. Nothing with Gavin has ever been this easy. Lloyd and I always stare longingly at the people who could take their kids into the mall or grocery store for 5 minutes without a meltdown and here I was hanging out with my own kid outside of my home for a good 30 minutes without any tears. It was like being in an alternate universe. I was one of those mothers I have envied for two and a half years. I was one of those mothers who could take her child somewhere!!!!!

Later on, Lloyd took Gavin to therapy and his physical therapist informed him Gavin had already met all of his goals and she would only be seeing him once a week from now on. His goals? He met all my goals. World, I think I may be able to live again.

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For Kelly!

Grace gave me your message! I hope you like it!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

G-mail #8

Hey y'all! I'm 8 months old today!! Can you believe it? Time flies when you're not the one doing all the changing, feeding, bathing, entertaining, and holding! So much has changed in the past month. Some good and some bad... do you want me to start with the bad? Awwwwww, who am I kidding? Nohing really bad happened but according to my doctor, I did have Oscar the Grouch in my ear. I got a really bad cold compliments of big brother spitting all of his cooties all over me. Why that boy likes to spit so much and why he has to do it on me is beyond me but hey, I'm only 8 months old. Maybe I'll understand when I'm 9 months! I couldn't get rid of my cold and the doc said I got crud in my ear and Mr. Oscar likes to live in crud. I was really sick but mommy and daddy took good care of me and gave me this weird pink medicine stuff that tastes REALLY good and next thing you know, Oscar moved out and I'm feeling waaaaayyyy better!

I am officially MOBLILE!! Oh yea! Who's your baby! Go 'head Grace, go on get down! That's right! If I see something I want..... say a big 'ol choking hazard.... I can use the 15 seconds every day mommy and daddy take their eyes off of me to make sure I get it and attempt to shove it down my throat. I'm not walking or crawling but I have figured out how to butt walk. At least my big 'ol caboose is good for something. Butt cheek by butt cheek I can scoot myself across the floor and I am getting faster and more efficient every day. Butt walking rules. I can't wait until I can scoot enough on the carpet to get some bunches of static and shock the you know what out of big brother the next time he tries to sit on me.

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I have really started eating solids really well. I eat about 4 ounces of solid food a day and I really, really dig fruits but mommy makes sure I get my veggies. So far, I am really diggin' pears, bananas, prunes, and peaches but tonight, I ate butternut squash like it was going out of style so who knows? I may be a veg head one of these days! I'm still breastfeeding 'cause I ain't no weaner! I sleep with mommy and nurse aaaaaaallllllllllll night. She's threatened to give me the boot a couple of times because she is in some serious need of beauty rest (no offense, mama, but you know it's true) but I'm only a baby once and mommy agrees that for at least the first year my wants are my needs and she complies. Sucka!!!!!! I mean, great mommy (snicker, snicker).

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I celebrated my first Valentine's Day and mommy brought me a balloon to play with. Balloons are like the coolest thing ever. I really enjoyed playing with it during the ten second intervals before big bro snatched it away from me. That boy so does not get the concept of sharing.

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We were supposed to go see Ally play a basketball game but since big bro and I were sick we had to miss it. From what I understand, Ally is an awesome b-ball player and she rules the court. She makes me so proud. I hope I can be like her when I'm older. Precious Grammie and Papaw sent me a really cool rocking horse and so far I can only gnaw on it but big bro loves riding it and I know one day, I'll ride it solo.

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From what I understand (mommy talks loud on the telephone) we are planning a trip to West Virginia next month and I cannot wait to meet all my homies from C-town. I get a little scared around strangers and have something called separation anxiety these days but mommy has told me so much about you fantastic folks, I know I'll be totally cool around all of you.

That's all from here! Love you all and I can't wait to see you!

Grace E. Goose.

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That's it. Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. Every time I look at this picture of my nephew asleep in the snow, I just say a mental "aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh". I remember those winter days in West Virginia spent playing in the snow when it was 20 degrees on the outside but inside your snowsuit it was more like 80 degrees. You would hold your pee for 12 hours before you would go inside (or maybe you wouldn't hold it.... perhaps that is why the snowsuit was so warm..... not that I would know.... I'm just sayin'...) and later, your muscles would ache from all the trips up the hill to just slide back down.

Playing in the snow is exhausting work and my nephew fell asleep being pulled in a sled. I Picasa'd the picture up a bit and I really love it. It makes me wistful not only for days spent playing in the snow, but also for sleep. Aaaaahhhhhh, the elusive slumber.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

La Leche League- 1 Stereotypes- 0

I just got back from an LLL meeting and there was a mom there in black stiletto boots, an ultra short mini skirt, and more jewelry and make-up than I have worn in the past two years AND (I hope you're sitting down for this) her daughter's ears were pierced. To boot, rice cereal was mentioned as an excellent first food for babies.

I hope all you naysayers have some ice for those burns.

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Sunday, February 19, 2006


Gavin is changing so fast. It is so cliched but I really cannot get over how fast they grow up. It seems like just yesterday he was my little helpless baby and today he is climbing the barstools to eat my People magazine and forcing his little sister to put her whole fist in her mouth. Gavin has been extremely high needs since birth. Actually, since he was in utero. He was so active in the womb and always rolling, pushing and jabbing and doing what appeared to be looking for an escape hatch just under my right rib. Granted, I was an ignorant first time mom but even I knew newborns weren't supposed to be so very active... so very alert... so very loud.... so very everything. In fact, I describe the Gavinator as my "very child". Take any adjetive you want and put "very" in front of it and you have Gavin. When he's hapy, he's very happy. When he's sad, he's very sad. When he is excited, he's very excited. Let's face it, he's not just cute, he's very cute! The Goose has the cute part down but the differences between the two are marked. I know it isn't good mothering etiquette to compare your children but they are as different as night and day. I'm so glad I had Gavin first because I would have been in for a world of hurt if Gavin sprung had on me when my frame of reference for infant behavior was the Goose.

About 5 months ago at my niece's birthday party at Build A Bear, Gavin's high neediness came to a head. I won't get into the specifics but after a three hour tantrum ensued upon merely entering the mall that resulted in Gavin throwing himself into a wall, I had my suspicions that there was something more to his behavior than "high needs". He has since been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder and is receiving therapy twice a week. I have to admit that while I looked forward to Gavin receiving treatment for something that obviously pains him in high sensory situations, I didn't want therapy to take away what made Gavin Gavin. He always leaves an impression- good or bad- wherever we are because of all of his "very" qualities. The depth to which he feels emotion can be tiresome when negative but makes my soul sing when positive. Lloyd and I coined the the behaviors that make Gavin who he is "Gavinisms". He just has such a way about him that I know are influenced by how deeply he feels and his need for sensory stimulation.

The way he hears music, for example, and methodically rocks to the beat of music or the thumping of the clothes dryer. He has been doing this since 8 or 9 months old and it can't be just any rhythm. There are certain songs that put him in almost a trance like dancing state. He feels it from the speakers to his sneakers. The way he likes the light on his face and he'll sqint his eyes and turn his head ever so slowly while keeping his eyes focused on the same spot and smiles while he enjoys his personal light show. The way he lies on the floor and rolls his cars, trucks and trains right in front of his eyes and nose for minutes at a time while staying perfectly still and breathing so slowly. The way he notices the minute details of even the most minute details.

His most recent Gavinism have been more toddlerish than Gavinish. His vocabulary is growing and his newest word is "help" which he pronounces "helf" and says all drawn out and pathetic like "heeeeeeeelffffff". He also insists on making us kiss his boos boos. Even the slight and self-inflicted boos boos made soley for the purpose of getting a kiss result in Oscar-worthy "oooohhhhhhhhhhhh"'s and boo boo rubbing until he receives a kiss. Madonna's song "Hung Up" and James Blunt's "Beautiful" still reign supreme but recently he has begun moving his arms up and down along with his ritualistic swaying to the beats. My dancing boy. He looks like Atari's Donkey Kong.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

She's mobile!

The Goose. She's mobile.

No, she's not crawling and she certainly isn't walking (if her almost 8 month old legs could hold up her 23 pounds it would defy all the laws of physics); she is butt walking. What? You don't know what butt walking is? Considering it is a term I coined, I'll explain butt walking. She sits up and ever so slowly- butt cheek by butt cheek- she creeps to her destination. I don't have it captured on film as it would probably take time lapse photography to capture the Goose in action but it is quite deliberate and filled with intent.

Just a couple of days ago I was lying on the floor reading a magazine and the Goose was about 3 feet away from me. She spied the magazine and she wanted the magazine. I could see in her eyes that she wanted the glossy pages. She wanted to touch them, crumple them, squeeze them, gnaw on them.... She watched meticulously as I flipped the pretty pages; drool flowed from her mouth, her arms reached out, and her eyes narrowed and then... then.... then (drum roll please)... she began the March of the Goose. From her sitting position she put her legs in what can only be described as an "S" shape and inched her left butt cheek forward. She paused and then put her legs in an "S" shape in the reverse of the previous "S" and inched her other butt cheek forward. She gained about an inch but it was progress and she kept at it. Sometimes she would forget to reverse her legs and use only one butt cheek to propel her and this would result in a circular formation but she corrected it and continued on with the March of the Goose. It took about 20 minutes (roughly half of one Elle magazine) but she finally reached the pretty, glossy, shiny, edible pages... and I sat up and scooted back another 3 feet. So the March began again.

More often than not she forgets to reverse her legs and gets trapped in the vicious butt walk circle but when she gets things straight, watch out! You only have a good 30-40 minutes to move yourself another couple of feet and buy yourself another 30-40 minutes until the Goose gets you.

Obviously the Goose takes after her mama with her odd means of mobilization seeing as how TWO people mocked the way I walk yesterday. TWO people. They weren't even in cahoots with each other in an attempt to make me self conscious and actually found it quite hysterical when I told the other one what the other one had said on that very same day. They didn't necessarily mock me in a negative fashion but apparently I have a distinct walk. A signature walk if you will. I have my walk and Goose has her butt crawl and it doesn't matter how you got there but whether or not you got there at all.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My day in music

This song pretty much sums things up.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

Feel the love.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Love at first type

I can honestly say I fell in love with my husband the first time I laid eyes on him. He's very pretty, can you blame me? Actually, I pretty sure I started falling in love with him from our very first e-mail. Lloyd and I met online (Yahoo personals.... yeah, we're losers). He had an ad posted and I answered it. I can't remember the specifics of the e-mail I sent him but it something along the lines of "5'7", 125 pounds, Master's degree, did I mention I'm cool? Because I am cool. I'm really cool". Later on I would find out that my "did I mention I'm cool" line was what prompted him to write back to me. After we confessed our undying love for all things Air Supply and laser tag, we made plans for our first date: a movie at my house. He was late and forgot the popcorn but the worst offense was that he drove a Mustang convertible. I would rather he arrived on a Schwinn ten speed with streamers and a bell than on the official redneck car of the state of South Carolina but as soon as he stepped out of the car I knew I was in love and besides, the car could be traded. We spent the night talking and making out and two weeks later he moved in, three months later we were engaged, 5 months later I was pregnant, 8 months later we were married, and 10 months later he traded in the Mustang. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Conversation with my Dad

Him- Ummm yea, Amanda, I just wanted to give you the heads up that the end of the world is coming.

Me- Really. Do you think it will be before I come home next month or should I not bother asking for the time off?

Him- No, I don't think it will be that soon.

Me- Oh, ok.

Him- I sure hope it doesn't happen before I get the chance to retire.


I should also add that later in the conversation my dad mentioned he had been reading my blog and wanted to know what I was doing stripping.

For the record, in my profile picture I am NOT on stage stripping. I'm singing karaoke (Blondie's The Tide is High) at the Cat's Meow in New Orleans.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cooties, Cooties Everywhere

The girl-

Diagnosis- Right ear infection

Status- Runny nose, low grade fever, explosive poops. Ok, the explosive poops aren't new but they smell worse now that she is sick. By worse, I mean rather than smelling like one racoon crawled up into her colon, died, and rotted away; it now smells like two racoons crawled up there, died, and rotted away.

Treatment- Antibiotics, culturelle twice daily to hopefully prevent thrush and the smell of three racoons dead and rotting in her colon, something to dry up all the crud, frequent nose sucking, and all the loving, hugging, nursing, and cosleeping her little heart desires.

The boy-

Diagnosis- Left ear infection

Status- Runny nose, low grade fever, and 50% more evil than usual. That's well above the legal limit for evil.

Treatment- Antibiotics, culturelle twice daily, and all the goldfish crackers, juice, videos, Noggin, and loving his little heart desires.

The man-

Diagnosis- Not sure. He claims he is dying.

Status- Who knows. He won't get his butt out of bed. He did call of work this morning so it must be pretty bad.

Treatment- Cold shoulder. No fair. I want to be in bed.

The woman-

Diagnosis- Crazy and sleep deprived.

Status- Covered in snot, goldfish drool and breastmilk

Treatment- More sleep deprivation, more video playing, more goldfish fetching, more boo boo kissing, more nursing, more cosleeping, more nose wiping, more medication delivering, and more praying that I don't get sick. Here's hoping Zoloft contains anti-infective properties.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Diagnosis- Oscar the Grouch in her Ear

Studies schmudies. The Goose has her first ear infection. Apparently all those scientists failed to account for cootie-filled brothers who take great pleasure in spitting all over their sister.

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Poor thing is so pathetic that she couldn’t even yell at the doctor when he tried to examine her. She lifted her head off her permanent resting spot- my chest- and quivered her lower lip at him. That was all she could muster before burying her head back into my chest. We think the Gavinator has an ear infection, too, and we are taking him to the doctor this afternoon. It is supposed to rain and snow this weekend with a high only in the teens. Am I bad mom that I wish I had to work this weekend?

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Belly fat fame

I am so proud that pumping collage has been referred to as this poignant pumping collage over at Blogging Baby. Little weird that my flabby belly is out there for all to see but pumping definitely needs more public support and maybe my abs can do for pumping what Britney's did for pop culture. Ummm, yea right.

The sweater is from The Limited circa 2000 (BC- before children). That is probably the last time I bought new clothes. I'm sure your local Salvation Army may be carrying it.

Off to do some crunches!

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Working mom

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Monday, February 06, 2006

She brings home the bacon.... err, breastmilk

Breastfeeding and working outside the home full-time all too often are two concepts that don’t go together. In fact, only 10% of full-time working mothers breastfeed their 6-month-olds It hasn’t necessarily been difficult to continue to provide my breastmilk to the Goose while working full time but it has been an experience and commitment like no other. I went back to work when the Goose was two months and one day old and I have been pumping three times a day, five days a week for the past five and a half months. I have committed myself to pumping until she is a year old and then breastfeeding when we are together until she self weans. Having said that, I don’t see myself nursing a seven year old. If she doesn’t wean by two or three I can see myself forcing the issue but we have got to make it to a year first.

Pumping at work certainly takes “working mom” to a totally different level. Not only do I have to worry about getting up and dressed at the crack of dawn after 10 hour long nightly nursing sessions and being nice and professional to people all day, I have to pump. My day revolves around trying to find the time to stick my boobs in plastic and stretch my nipples two to three inches to the nauseating rhythm of the Medela Pump in Style. When I first started pumping, I was very anxious about the amount I was able to pump and even now, I’m still all too obsessed with it. Yes, the Goose has always nursed all freakin’ night but for some reason, it is like my worth of a mother is going to be measured by the ticks on the Medela bottles showing the amount of breastmilk pumped. What kind of day I have can be translated into ounces. If I’m smiling and laughing, it was a six ounce a session day. In a crappy mood? Must be a two to three ounce a session day. I’m happy to work in the kind of environment where I can pump but I long for the day my happiness is not dependent on the amount of milk I bring home daily.

My first pumping session is at 10:00 am and since I share an office part time, this pumping session is done in what is essentially a closet. I hunker down in a chair with the bottles resting on my thighs and flip through a magazine or a book for 20 minutes or so. I try not to watch how much milk is collecting in the bottle because trying to experience a letdown while keeping track of ounces is like trying to pee while someone is banging on the bathroom stall. You know, performance anxiety and all that. Anything to take my mind off the task at hand is beneficial. At 1:00 and 4:00 I can pump in my office and get some work done or surf the internet. I usually take the time to complete monthly reports and return phone calls. I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to colleagues, clients, and coworkers in my hunched over, hands-free pumping position trying to stifle the urge to blurt out “do you know what I’m doing right now? Do you? Do you? I’m milking myself!! That’s right! I’m pumping! Bwahahahahahah!”.

I don’t make my pumping at work a secret. In fact, I’m pretty vocal about it. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is because I knew I would be doing this for almost a year and I didn’t want to hide and sneak and make excuses for having my blinds closed and door locked for 20-30 minutes at a time. Of course, it could very well have to do with the fact I am totally uninhibited and I like to talk about myself. Or perhaps I am just trying to normalize pumping at work. Maybe it’s the old lactivist in me clawing to get out but in all honesty, I think my attempts to normalize pumping is more for my benefit than the benefit of my coworkers. Several pregnant coworkers have toyed with the notion of breastfeeding/pumping when they come back to work after maternity leave thanks in part to my speaking out about pumping in the workplace which is fantastic but I don’t care how you slice it, putting your nipples into plastic horns three times a day to extract milk from your breasts for your child to ingest the next day is odd. Taking your boob juice and storing it in the refrigerator next to your coworkers’ turkey sandwiches and coffee creamer is weird. Explaining to a coworker you were locked in a closet for 20 minutes because your were pumping only to have them stare at your chest then and every time they see you thereafter is odd, weird, and everything in between. I actually work with a woman who whispers the word “pumping” like it is a dirty word. She told me someone was looking for me and she told them that she didn’t know where I was because she didn’t want to tell them I was (insert whisper) “pumping”.

Every day, I take my pump and my daily milk collection home. Lloyd is sweet enough to be on daily pump parts washing duty. Thank heavens for these Medela steam bags because they do make daily sterilization a snap. I only sterilize nightly. During the day I rinse my pump parts off with cool water after pumping and store in the refrigerator in a freezer bag to prevent possible bacterial growth. Three times a day, every day of the work week I tote my little plastic baggies with bottles of milk and pump parts to and from my lactation stations. I never imagined before I did it that I would find the time and I would be successful at exclusively breastfeeding my daughter 6 months and providing breastmilk for this long after going back to work at only 9 weeks. The maternity leaves here in the US don’t exactly make it easy on moms but I'm glad I have made it work. Even mroeso since I was unable to make it work with the Gavinator. Now whether it can be enjoyed is up to the person. I know very few women who enjoy the act of pumping. I have been told to use my pumping time to sit back and relax and enjoy a few moments of peace. Rrrriiiiggggggghhhht. Because having your boobies stretched every which way but up (who am I kidding, sometimes they're even stretched up) is oh so relaxing. The Pump in Style is the Cadillac of breast pumps and there is no relaxation to be had while the horns are on the breast. While I’m in no hurry to see my little Goose grow up, I wouldn’t mind never seeing the old black case or these bottles again.

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So excited!

Blogging Baby picked one of my photos for the Baby Image of the Day.

Hey, when your life revolves around poopie diapers, breastmilk, and working, it doesn't take much to make you excited!

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jazz Hands

Here is the Gavinator rockin' out to Madonna-

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He obviously has his daddy's dance skills. Poor boy. As the former tap captain and winner of Best in Tap 1993, I should know.

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Because my last post wasn't about sleep

Both kids are napping and I'm typing away at the computer. I know, I'm an idiot. I have succeeded in getting both monsters on the same nap schedule and I'm not taking advantage of it by cathcing a few z's myself but for one, I'm a horrible napper, for two, I must have a daily shower, and for three, I actually got some sleep on Friday night and feel sort of kind of almost human.

Naps really aren't my thing. It is hard for me to shut the brain off and it never fails that the minute I catch that train to Sleepytown a kid wakes up screaming. If I'm awake they are sure to sleep for several hours and I would rather have a few hours of kidless bliss than 5 minutes of sleep. So sue me. As far as the shower thing, I may stay in my pajamas all day but they are clean pajamas and the body underneath is clean. I also must wear eye makeup and earrings at all times but that is a totally different post. I feel especially strong about not skipping the daily shower since I'm nursing the Goose. I mean, I washed Gavinator's bottles daily, right? You wouldn't want your milk out of a less than fresh boob, would you? Don't answer that you freaky internet, you.

Then there was Friday night- also known as the most sleep I have gotten since June 19, 2005 night. Grace has been blessing us by falling asleep quickly and quietly in her cosleeper at 7:00 with zero interventions. No rocking and no nursing necessary. She cuddles up next to Magenta (the lesser known Blue's Clues puppy) and she is out. She consistently wakes up at 10:00 pm screaming her head not really wanting to nurse or sleep. She can be rocked back to sleep but then wakes up as soon as she is put back down. Well, on Friday at 10:00 Lloyd put her in the swing where she slept until about 2:00 am when she woke up wanting to nurse. I put her in bed with me and nursed her on and off until about 6:30 then I put her back in her swing and she fell right back to sleep. I crashed on the couch totally forgetting there was another monster awake in his own bedroom. The Gavinator took one for the team. Poor kid was stuck in his room with a pee-filled Huggies overnight and no food or drink for several hours. He managed to break out of his room at 8:30 and I awoke to a naked two and a half year old standing above my sleeping body saying "uh-oh". I can't believe I forgot to check on him and I can't believe I didn't wake up considering he trashed his room and knocked all his furniture over.

When I woke up I felt refreshed, alive, and I swear I could see better! I have horrible vision. I got glasses when I was 7 and contacts when I was 11 and I went to the eye doctor on Thursday because I felt as though my vision has drastically changed since Grace was born. Well, it hasn't. I only went from a -11 to a -11.5 (side note: I also found out I am too nearsighted for Lasix eye surgery and I'm totally bummed). I was dumbfounded. It turns out, lack of sleep makes the eyes not see so good because I could see on Saturday. Grace sleeps and the blind can see again. Hallelujah! Praise God. I knew it would be a miracle when I got some sleep but I didn't know it would be a miracle miracle.

Anyhoo, last night wasn't so good but the poor thing has a cold. I'm only focusing on the positive for this post (that and my penchant for eye make-up and earrings) and sucking green snot out of your daughter's nose at 3:00 am and sleeping with a 22 pound infant on my chest does not count as a positive so I'm going to stop right here.

Go Steeler's!

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Slightly disturbed

That the boy constantly pulls me over to the stereo, screaming and crying until I play Madonna's new c.d.. It has to be the Madonna c.d.. No other c.d. will do. Radio? Oh no you didn't. The Killers? All hell breaks loose. Frank Sinatra? The seas turn blood red, crucifixes turn upside down, and the Gainator throws himself on the floor and pounds his fists in a fit of fury. Once Madonna starts singing (time goes by.... time goes by so slowly....time goes by....) and all is right in Gavin's world, he proceeds to watch himself dance in the oven window.

Please tell me this is normal.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Halfway there

I swore over on the this thread that I was done. That was it. I quit. I was starting the No Cry Sleep Solution. No more colseeping. No more night-long nursing. No more using my chest as a scratching post and my boob as a teether. No more sleeping on my side night after night after freakin’ night. I’m happy to post that I’m halfway there. No, she’s not sleeping through the night and yes, she is still in our bed BUT there has been no crying. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any sleeping, either. We have the “no cry” down. Now we just need the sleep solution.

Speaking of sleep, has anyone ever had recurring dreams? I haven’t dreamed that much in the past year but when I do, it is almost always the same dream. Well, not exactly the same dream but the same dream premise; variations on a common dream. The dreams are the same in that in every one, Lloyd comes to me and tells me our relationship is over. He has no feelings for me and that is the end of that. It is not even up for discussion. It is like his feelings for me have been turned off like a faucet and there is nothing I can say or do. The dreams vary with regard to the status of our relationship. Sometimes we are married with kids and I’m trying to rationalize winning him back and how am I going to handle being a single parent. When we have kids I’m usually contemplating how to make sure he gets no visitation with them. Nice, right? Sometimes we have only been out on a few dates and I’m searching frantically for his cell phone number because I have strong emotions for him and I’m trying to figure out who I can date if it isn’t him. Cell phones and missed telephone calls are common in the “we’re dating” dreams. Other times he ends it with me but I run into him at clubs or we still have travel plans together and he is totally over me but I use these events to dredge up old issues.

In my ever dream I am trying to understand and rationalize the emotionally devastating loss of his love- or even like- for me. My reactions to his change of heart is sometimes anger and other times intense grief but the constant is my attempt to rationalize how this could happen and where to go from there without dealing with the current situation. Usually I’m pleading with him to stay or explain what has changed while thinking proactively about what my next step will be to move forward without him. I never confront the actual issue and I never let him know I’m thinking of the next step while wanting him back. In my attempt to not confront the actual issue- the fact he doesn’t love me anymore- or allow myself to feel the hurt deeply, I create more emotional issues by trying to understand and rationalize and finally, trying to figure out how to move on.
The emotions are difficult to put into words (especially considering the lack of sleep) but they’re always the same and I wake up even more tired than before I had slept and still feeling the emotions I felt in my dream. It is so odd to dream such a myriad of conflicting emotions all at the same time.

I don’t know why I have these dreams and I don’t know what they mean. Lloyd wonders if I am insecure but honestly, I couldn’t feel more secure in our relationship. Maybe somewhere deep down I am but outside of LaLa Land, I can’t seem to tap into it and I’m certainly not going to try. Perhaps recurring dreams are a result of the slow torture brought about by 8 months of sleep deprivation. I’m getting used to the dreams, though. I’m used to waking with a racing, achy heart and sometimes when I go while without the dreams, I start to miss them. I suppose much like sleep deprivation, pain can become comfortable over time.

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