Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm So Stupid

Sometimes I wonder how I manage to get through life. I can be so incredibly dumb.

My post from last night indicated that we were going to try Jack on some formula. I mixed a 4-ounce bottle for Jason to give him during the night. He doesn't wake up for feedings so I thought by being sneaky, he would take to it easily. WRONG!

He gagged. While sleeping. He wasn't happy. This was not a fluke either because Jason tried feeding it to him again while he was awake. Gagging. Not exactly how I want my child to associate with food.

All day I worried and gave myself heartburn because I thought "What if he never drinks it? Is he going to starve when I run out of milk?" I literally worried myself sick. Then I called Jack's pediatrician. They told me that you can mix it with breastmilk so it's less harsh and more appealing. Ease them into it slowly.

DUH! My friend Jenn told me this as well. Double DUH!

So I tried it tonight. 2 ounces of breastmilk to .5 ounces of formula. Guess what? He drank it.

This will be the protocol for the next week. A couple of bottles of this ratio and then we will increase it to 75/25 breastmilk/formula.

In the meantime, I am doing everything in my power to boost my milk supply. I am trying to give him breastmilk for as long as possible. However, if my boobies don't work, at least I know I have a backup plan.

How am I so dumb people? I can't believe I thought it would be okay to give my kid straight formula for the first time. With his gag reflex and reflux, this was a dumb idea.

Monday, June 28, 2010

First Formula

This is going to be a quick post, but tonight, we are giving Jack his first formula bottle. We don't have a choice unfortunately. I am not able to keep up with his eating. I am only pumping about 30 ounces a day and he generally eats a little more than that. It's only a 2 ounce deficit, but I am not freezing as much as I am taking out of the freezer.

Before the stash gets completely depleted, I want to start him on formula so he can get used to it. I will keep pumping for sure, but going back to work has definitely affected my supply. I knew it would. I have had a long time to get used to the idea.

Surprisingly, I am not disappointed or sad. I am actually liking the idea of transitioning him at some point. Not having to lug my pump to work and deal with the sore nipples. Or washing bottles that I have pumped into.

We will see how tonight goes. My husband is going to give it to him in the middle of the night during his feedings. I hope he tolerates it.

Oh, and no snarky comments about giving my baby formula. He has nothing but breastmilk for almost 5 months. Give this hardworking mama a break.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our Roles

I am sure I have talked about this before, but I have a wonderful husband. He helps out immensely when it comes to caring for Jack. Even on Father's Day, when Jack was very fussy, he helped out and played with the baby. I was going to give him a "free pass" for the day, but he wasn't having it.

Jason and I work different shifts, which means we hardly see each other. On a good note, this also means that he cares for Jack at night. Here is a rundown of our schedule:

5:00 am: I wake for the day, shower and get ready
6:00 am: I take over caring for Jack. I change him if Jason hasn't done so already and get him dressed to go to Karen's.
6:15 am: Jason goes to bed
6:30 am: I take Jack to daycare
6:40 am - 4:00 pm: Jack is at daycare
2:00 pm: Jason wakes up and gets ready for work
3:00 pm: Jason arrives at work
4:20 pm: Jack and I get home and play, eat, get ready for the next day, play, eat, nap. Play, eat, nap. Did I mention playing and eating?
7:15 pm: Change into jammies and get a final diaper change for the night
7:45 pm: Jack goes to bed
7:45 pm - 8:45 pm: Mommy does things around the house (packs lunches, washes bottles, surfs the interwebs).
8:45 pm: I bring Jack to bed with me
11:15 pm: Jason arrives home from work
11:15 pm - 5:00 am: Jason cares for Jack

See the nice chunk of time that Jason takes care of Jack? That means I get to sleep. That also means that my sweet husband gives Jack his bottles, burps him, puts him back to sleep and miscellaneous baby care that comes with the territory.

These roles work for us. There are pros and cons. The biggest pro is that I get some sleep. The biggest con is that I hardly see Jason. This has how it's been since we have been dating so it's not a huge surprise. Some days I wish he had a normal schedule, but then I remember I would probably be getting up with the baby in the middle of the night if this were to happen.

I can't say how much I appreciate that Jason helps out so much with Jack. I tell him time and time again just how much help he is and that I love him. Of course, I can't tell him enough. Maybe he will read this and see just how thankful I am.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

How We Live

I am stealing this idea from someone else's blog (thanks for the idea Ibis!). She posted pictures of her house in its current state. I wanted to do this as well.

Since we have such a tiny (very tiny) house, it is important to me to keep it tidy. Not necessarily spotless, but tidy. I try to keep the clutter to a minimum.

Without further ado, here is our house in its current state:

This is our living room, where I spend the majority of my time. Food Network is on in the background (yes, my child is subjected to tv, gasp!!!). On the coffee table is a variety of baby paraphenalia. Bottle, pacifiers, burp cloth. I always have a water bottle and my cell phone. I reuse water bottles so recycle Nazi's can calm down. My pill bottle sits here also because I will forget to take them unless they are right in front of my face.

You can see that there are baby toys in the middle of our living room. Jack and I play here when he's awake and happy. If he's awake and not happy, I pace around the living room trying to get his gas out or just walking and holding him.

We got back from errands earlier, so Jack's carseat and diaper bag are by the front door. They usually sit there, unless company is coming over. Then I move them to his room.

The basket below the coffee table also has a variety of baby stuff: Extra burp cloths, gas drops, his swaddle blanket and extra pacifiers. Even though our house is small, I am lazy and don't feel like getting up and going into Jack's room to get his necessities.

The Boppy sits on the couch, or on the back of the couch, depending on if Jack is awake or asleep. He sleeps in the Boppy in the living room at night when Jason watches him. Since he wakes up every hour or so, Jason hates to put him in the crib. He can see when he starts to stir and can attend to him much more quickly this way. Yes, I know, this sets up some bad habits for later. We don't care.

My laptop usually sits on the end table (you can see the cord on top). The bouncer is over in the corner easily accessible for when we need it.

Below the end table you can see my pump. I leave it here all the time on the weekends. I pump right on the couch in front of the window. Don't worry, I cover up so no one can tell what I am doing. I personally don't want to close the stupid window every time just in case someone walking by might see and get offended. They can shove it.

Our tiny kitchen. Notice the laundry in both the washer and dryer. I do all our laundry on Saturday. When I was home on maternity leave, I would do a load every other day. Now, I do about four to five loads on Saturday. Notice the hamper in the corner and the small pile of dirty laundry on the floor. I told you my house isn't spotless.

On top of the dryer is Jack's bottles, my lunch bag and the bag I store Jack's bottles when he goes to Karen's. Since our kitchen is tiny, I utilize every bit of space I can.

The dish rack is always on the counter, unless we have company. I wash dishes all day because I can't stand to have dirty dishes in the sink. Oh hey, I am out of paper towels. That's the empty paper towel rack above the sink. Currently, when this picture was taken, there was no dirty dishes in the sink (I swear!).

On the other counter sits our microwave, coffee pot, knife block and utensil holder. Jack's bottle warmer sits on the stove. We move it if we cook or run the oven.

The last picture is Jack's room. His room is usually the most clean. Are you horrified that our pet rat, Lucy, is in Jack's room? Well, where else would we put her?

The only thing out of place in this picture is the sleeper on Jack's changing table. He wore it for less than 30 minutes this morning after he had a diaper blowout. I put a fresh sleeper on him and then ended up putting him in normal clothes after a while. I will just have him wear his sleeper again tonight for bed.

Our closet is off to the left in this picture. I occasionally will have some clothes on the floor. Usually, it's just my pajamas from the night before. Sometimes, I am lazy and will take my clothes off from work and throw them on the floor. I hang them or put them in the hamper later.

I refuse to post pictures of our bedroom. I am not a masochist. It's not dirty. It's just not perfectly spotless. It could use a good dusting and I don't typically make the bed every day. Plus, when I took these pictures, my husband was still sleeping.

This is how we live. It's not immaculate. There might be some dust on the picture frames and an item or two out on the coffee table, but there you have it. It's our tiny house. We made do when Jack came along. You don't need to have a McMansion to live with a baby. It might be easier, but it's not a requirement.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thankful On Thursday

Taking a cue from my friend Jenn, I am going to try this today! After a stressful day at work and my last post of whining, I thought I could cheer myself up.

I have so much to be thankful for and it's nice to be able to remind myself of that.

1. Jack Jack - My baby is an absolute joy. He amazes me every time he does something new. Heck, he amazes and entertains me just by smiling. Melt my heart!

2. Coffee - Yes, I am thankful for coffee. It wakes me up every day and I love the taste of it. My favorite? A mocha from Seattle's Best.

3. My home - So many people are losing their homes in this economy. Our house may be small, but it's tidy and we own it! We have a roof over our head and I am grateful for that.

4. My health - Who cares if I have an extra 15 pounds that I would like to lose? I am healthy and free of disease. My body took me through pregnancy and a c-section. I recovered so quickly because I am healthy.

5. The sun - We haven't seen much of it lately, but when it does show up, it makes me all the more thankful for it. Please Lord send us some more!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Annoying Advice

We all get it right? That advice that makes you roll your eyes. The advice that you take politely but immediately dismiss. When I get annoying advice, it makes me mad. Especially when that advice eludes to the idea I might be doing something wrong as a mother.

"Is Jack sleeping through the night?" When I say no, I get all kinds of advice about starting him on formula or putting cereal in his bottle.

"Do you have him on a schedule?" Again, no. People seemed shocked or tell me that I better put him on one because he won't be happy, reach his milestones, etc. All kinds of bullshit (sorry).

It bothers me that people question my parenting style when I explain that Jack doesn't sleep through the night or isn't on a schedule. These are the two things I get asked most and they very much irk me. My child has reflux and doesn't eat very much at a sitting. This makes it not only hard for him to sleep, but makes it even harder for him to be on a schedule. He has a loose schedule and he has the same bed and wake time every day. Apparently that isn't enough for some Judgey McJudgersons out there.

Putting cereal in his bottle, giving him solids, forcing him onto a schedule, letting him cry it out when he wakes in the middle of the night, giving him formula......None of this are things I want for my child and people have a hard time understanding this.

These suggestions make me feel like I am being judged or my parenting style is being questioned. I am sure I get the side-eye from some of my coworkers and family members but you know what? My baby is happy and healthy. That is all that matters. None of the crap advice should.

I am still bothered by it though.

Does this child look like he's struggling or miserable?

I think not. I want to tell my coworkers to shove it. I want to be able to stand up to the critics and tell them that what I am doing as a mom is working for not only my child, but for my husband and I. I am not in a hurry to get him to do things that he's not ready for.

And if I hear any more comparisons to other children I am going to scream. "Oh my son had bad gas. Maybe that is what Jack has?". "Oh as soon as I put John on formula, he slept through the night. Maybe you should try that".

Le sigh. I know people are probably trying to be helpful, but this annoying and unwanted advice is going to make me go batshit crazy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Boob Post

This is not what you expect, but a boob post nonetheless.

I have always had an issue with the girls standing at attention. In high school, some of the guy's nickname for me was Nipples. Not a flattering nickname. Ever since then, I have worn super duper padded bras so the weather centers wouldn't predict cold. Working at Victoria's Secret for a period of time was awesome because I could be picky about the bras I wore making sure the nips weren't exposed.

Since I have been pumping exclusively, the girls have been.....how should I say this? Erect. No matter how much padding is in my bra, they are extremely noticeable. Even with my nursing pads, the girls are blinding.

Now here is where I am going to vent. Why must everyone STARE? It's so incredibly annoying. Men, women, dogs, everyone just stares at my boobs. I know they are distracting people. I know that I appear cold. I can't help it. I just want to scream at them "STOP IT!". Even at work, people's eyes automatically gravitate to my chest. I cannot wear bulky sweaters since it's now June. I can't fathom adding more padding to my bras. They are already padded enough.

What is a girl to do? I want my girls to be un-noticeable. The attention that my boobs are getting is not the attention I would prefer to get.

If anyone has any solutions, I would love to hear it. I may have to resort to wearing three sports bras at once if this doesn't resolve itself soon.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Daycare Review

It's been well over a week since I returned to work, so I thought I would post how I (and Jack, duh!) is feeling about daycare.

Jack goes to Karen's house four days a week and to Nana's on Fridays. He is dropped off at the butt crack of dawn so Mommy can get to work early and then leave early so she has more time with the wee one. 6:45 comes quickly, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

I really like Karen and her very laid back attitude. Jack is always incredibly happy when I pick him up. He is also incredibly tired from all the interaction with the other kids. Jack is the only baby at daycare but he doesn't seem to mind. He is constantly smiling and cooing at Isaac, one of Karen's sons. He probably doesn't realize that they aren't the same age.

When I arrive in the morning, the house is very quiet and neat. Jack is the first child there and he gets some one on one time with Karen. They play on the floor with toys or read books. If Jack is asleep, she lets him sleep in his carseat until he wakes up. Funny, but when I arrive to pick him up in the afternoon, it's completely opposite. It's loud and chaotic and there are toys everywhere. But you know what? That is life at a daycare. The kids are all happy and polite and have fun playing. Jack doesn't seem to mind either.

Like I mentioned previously, Karen is very laid back. She is Christian and bases her daycare on Christian values. She teaches the kids about God and Jesus. This was very important to me when I was on the hunt for a provider. We want to raise Jack Christian, so I wanted a provider that was in support of that. Woo hoo! She is calm, and even when one of the kids yells, she calmly tells them that yelling is for outside and tries to re-direct their energy.

And can I say that I LOVE that she washes the bottles that Jack uses while he is there? It might be insignificant, but with bottles that have four parts to wash, it's so nice that she does them for me. It's 16 less pieces for me to wash when I get home.

All in all, I am happy with Karen. I love that she has the kids on a schedule but that she's flexible. I love that I get a report of how Jack did every day. I love when she tells me about something new Jack has done. I don't feel bad about leaving my baby there every day. Confession: I never cried when I dropped Jack off the first day, or second, or third. I thought I would be very sad about putting him in daycare, but you know what? I need to work and he's in good company, so I can't be very sad. I am just blessed that I found someone that takes good care of my baby.

When Jack gets older, if he is still at Karen's, I am really pleased to see that she is participating in the USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program. She also continually goes to training and classes so she can stay up to date on the newest childcare information. She has an excellent philosophy and provides such an informational packet that I had to ask so few questions when I interviewed her.

And for those who are interested, I thought I would post the schedule she uses for the kids. Clearly, Jack doesn't do some of these things, but I think it's neat that she has a schedule.

6:00 am: Daycare opens; free play
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:20 am: Walk to bus stop
9:05 am: Free play
9:30 am: Morning snack
10:30 am: Outside play
11:45 am: Art
12:15 pm: Lunch
12:45 pm: Clean up
1:00 pm: Story time
1:15 pm: Nap time
3:45 pm: Afternoon snack
4:30 pm: Outside play
5:30 pm: Clean up
6:00 pm: Daycare closes

Such an orderly schedule! I found out that Jack LOVES to go outside for play time. He mostly just watches the other kids and plays on a blanket, or sits in the bouncer watching the other kids. Obviously, he gets held a lot by Karen too : )

Here is her thoughts on outside play: Children need the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and exercise their large muscles. Toys provided include small climbing equipment and slides, balls and bats, basketball hoop, sandbox, water table, playhouse, riding toys, and bubbles. We will be going outside every day to the bus stop, and playing outside unless it is raining hard or near freezing temperature.

Since it rains all the time in Portland, I like that a little rain or drizzle doesn't detour her from bringing the kids outside. If it is terrible weather, she does indoor activities with the kids like dancing, jumping, playing musical instruments or playing with balloons.

The kids get a lot of variety and play, as evidenced by my very sleepy baby. He is so tired most nights that he has been going down to bed at 7:30. A whole half hour earlier than I am used to!

I will continue to post reviews about Karen's. For now (and I hope for a very long time), I really like taking Jack there. He loves it too!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Four Month Appointment

I realized that I never posted about Jack's four month appointment! With the hectic-ness of the work week and juggling house duties and taking care of Jack, I don't have any time to update blogs, post on the Bump, or even make a phone call.

On Wednesday, Jack turned four months and he had his four month pediatrician appointment. The day started rough for him. He threw up at Karen's and didn't feel really well.

The appointment went as usual in the beginning. He was weighed and measured. Here are his stats:

15 pounds 6 ounces (60th percentile)
26 inches (90th percentile)

When the doctor came in, she did her exam. The first thing she did was use a wooden tongue depressor and look in Jack's mouth. Well, he didn't like that. He immediately gagged. She seemed concerned so she tried again. Again, he gagged. Apparently, she states, that only the most severe cases of reflux babies react that way.

Since there is a history of seasonal allergies in my family and Jack's reaction to the taste of the tongue depressor, the pediatrician recommended that we don't start solids until Jack is closer to 6 months. She is concerned that not only will he have allergic reactions to food, but the texture and mouth feel might make him gag. I am going to have to puree all his foods into near liquid she says. Poor baby. I am completely fine with having him wait for solids. I want the best for him, and Lord knows with all his eating issues now, the last thing I want is for him to have more bad food issues.

The pediatrician finished her exam and labeled Jack "perfect". She is very happy that his Prevacid is working. Since he won't take it on the spoon anymore, we usually give it to him in his bottle. This isn't the ideal way since he gets it over the course of an hour or so, but it's the only way he will ingest it without gagging. I am not worried about giving it to him in the bottle anymore though because Dr. D says it doesn't matter HOW he is getting his pill as long as he is getting it.

The nurse came in afterwards to give Jack his shots (eek!). She started with the oral Rotavirus and Jack did NOT like it. In my previous post I mentioned that he started gagging. Well, he continued to gag and even though I warned the nurse, he still threw up everywhere. I felt so bad for him. He still had over half the tube left and he needed to take it. Rotavirus is no joke. He toughed it out even though I knew it had to be hard for him. He still gagged but managed to get most of it down.

He took the shots like a champ. He only cried a little at the first shot. I think it startled him more than anything else. As soon as I picked him up, he was perfectly fine!

Jack's appointment went relatively well except for the puking incident. He didn't seem sore at all later on. I even managed to give him a bath (I had to because that Rotavirus liquid was incredibly sticky and it got everywhere), give him a baby massage with lotion, and bicycle his legs. He got one dose of Tylenol before he went to bed and another at around 2:00am but after that, he was fine! He doesn't seem to be more sleepy after his shots like other babies. His nap routine remained the same the rest of the week.

My big boy is growing up so incredibly fast! Where have the last four months gone? It's crazy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jack is Four Months

Happy Four Month Birthday Buggy! You are a quarter of a year old today. I can't believe it! You have changed so much in the last month, heck, in the last week! I can't believe how much of a big boy you are becoming. You are growing out of that "baby" stage and getting to be so independent and mobile.

It has been a bit of a hard week because Mommy went back to work. I knew it would be hard, but it just makes me appreciate our time together so much more. The lady that takes care of you already loves you and you seem really happy and that also makes me feel better.

Here are some things that you are doing these days:

* You now roll over from your tummy to your back. You did it three times in a row the very first time you did it! You still try from your back to your tummy, but your arm gets in the way so you only get about halfway there. Daddy still hasn't seen you roll yet, but I am sure you will show him soon!

* You giggle. Your giggles are sometimes elusive, so I treasure them when I get to hear. The first time you giggled, both Daddy and I heard it. I was smiling for hours afterwards. The best way to get you to giggle? Either tickle your belly or "eat" your toes. I am lucky and get a giggle almost every day now.

* You are reaching and grabbing for toys and quite successfully keep them in your hands. It's so cute to watch. You are still working on sticking them in your mouth. Once in a while, your eyes are bigger than your mouth because the toy you try and stuff in is HUGE! That doesn't seem to detour you though. The more the merrier I guess!

* You are so sociable. You smile at everyone. Literally, everyone. You grin at the newscasters on tv, at yourself in the mirror, strangers at the grocery store. People cannot stop telling us how adorable you are and so alert. I am biased, but you are simply just a happy, beautiful baby.

* Since Mommy has gone back to work, I put you to bed in your crib every night but when I go to bed, I bring you with me. I sleep better and you sleep better if we snuggle together. I look forward to this time every night. We snuggle and snooze until Daddy gets home from work and takes care of you.

Jack, you are amazing. Every single day you do something different. I can't keep up with how fast you are growing and learning. What will you do tomorrow? I hope I can hear you giggle again. Maybe by tomorrow you will be walking...........

I am only slightly kidding!

Rotten Day

I figure I would get the crappy post out of the way first so that I can have a positive one at the top of my blog! Today was Jack's four month appointment. That itself wasn't too terrible. It was just the sequence of events of the day.

I picked up Jack from the sitter's and she had told me that he was a good boy all day but he had spit up quite substantially. Usually, he only spits up when he hasn't burped well so I will need to show her some burping tricks tomorrow. Spit up = first bad of the day.

Second bad of the day: I was walking down the steps from the sitter (carrying Jack in his carseat) and I bit the dust. I won't remind you of the post from a few months ago when I dropped his carseat before he was born. Jack only fell a couple of inches, but I was still pissed at myself. I can't believe I dropped my baby! What kind of freakin' mother am I? He wasn't hurt, just a little startled. I, on the other hand, have two trashed and bruised knees.

At his appointment, he needed to take one of the immunizations orally. Third bad of the day. He gagged and choked until finally, he spit up. Everywhere. There was spit up on the exam table, on the nurse, on me, on the floor and on him of course. EVERYWHERE. I don't think I can remember a time when he has spit up twice in one day. At least not recently.

Fourth bad of the day: Shots. Enough said.

Poor Jack. He just felt rotten and tired at all the goings on of the day. Here is his reaction to everything:
"I got my shots and have a boo boo, but this cool bandaid makes it a little better"

"I am so tired. Woe is meeeeeee. Look at how sleepy I am."