Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Baby Memo

I am fairly confident that there is a memo. Perhaps better characterized as an alarm, that when babies do something that otherwise makes all other babies look bad... a memo is issued, or an alarm is raised. Some may wonder where I am headed. Others can probably predict exactly where I am headed. Sleeping through the night. I am fairly certain that when E slept through the night last weekend, an alarm was issued, and a memo was sent. Well... she got the memo.

Friday night I mentioned it was the weekend and time for Daddy's night. Well Saturday night she woke up at about midnight and had a bottle, and went back to sleep. Really, it wasn't a bad night when all was said and done. She had gotten up only once, right in the middle of her night. Ok, maybe that meant Saturday would go well. Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha! Last night she only got up twice, I mean, overall not a bad night. And Daddy got up again. But as I've mentioned, Mommy is a light sleeper. So every time E and Daddy got up, so did Mommy. And I was having trouble sleeping anyway, so Mommy really didn't get a lot of sleep. Oh well. Really. It wasn't all that bad I guess. But after last weekend, every night I am so holding out that she'll sleep through the night again.

After our day being cooped up inside yesterday, today we made an active attempt to get out of the house. So after E's morning nap we all bundled up and braved the weather. It was a piping 23 degrees outside. After a quick trip to Walmart... what a mad house as usual, we decided to pop in and see our family. E had not been over to visit them since she was born, although they have visited several times. So E got to see her cousins. Two boys, ages 3 and 5. They were as excited as could be to see her. And for the first time since her birth, I think they found her a little interesting. She was looking at them this time, and smiling, and cooing. They would make funny faces and try to make her laugh, and she would blow bubbles, chew on her hands, laugh and smile at them. They were having a great time. I can't wait until she gets older, it will definitely be a relationship that will bloom. As the boys get older and understand she is their baby cousin, I am sure the protective bond between them all will grow. I wanted to show Uncle and Auntie that E was rolling over now. So we lay her down on a blanket to do her show. But she spent a good 5 minutes just sitting there. (sure, make a liar out of me) She was far too entertained by her cousins. They were rolling around on the floor, rough housing and trying to show her what it looked like to roll over. She was so entertained by these other "small" people, that she wasn't interested in rolling over. Just laughing, smiling, and, did I mention chewing on her hands? She did finally roll over, and everyone cheered, and she looked a little amused. I rather imagine she thinks in her head "these poor people, they are so boring they need me to roll over for entertainment. Oh well. I guess I'll give them something to be happy about." It was a success. Everyone had a nice time. It was a short visit, but the first time I could really see what it would be like to be part of that family unit. We've always been close to Auntie and Uncle and the 2 cousins... but now we would be an Auntie and an Uncle and a Mom and a Dad. It's just somehow different.

So anyway, that about summed up our weekend. E didn't nap well today. So as with every other night, I'm holding my breath that tonight she'll miss the memo and sleep!

To all the Mommies and Daddies... if you find the memo, or hear the alarm, please shred it, or shut it off! And as all mommies and daddies wonder at one time or another... who dropped the pacifier?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sometimes being a mommy is just boring...

As I sit down today to reflect on my day, it has occurred to me, that sometimes being a mommy is just boring. I can admit it, I was a rather boring person to begin with, but after months and months of something interesting to say happened every day, I see a day that is pretty boring in retrospect! But I realize, that sometimes, that's being a mommy too.

We started our day at 6 AM as usual. And I managed to keep E up until almost 8. She seems to be able to make it 2 hours more often, if I try hard to push her. So at 8 we all went back to bed. I mean really, what else should we do when the thermometer reads 14 degrees outside. So into the swing E goes, and back into bed I go. I planned on letting our nap be for about 2 hours, but when my alarm went off in 2 hours I shut it off and fell back asleep. So at 10:30ish, I woke back up with a start, and pretty much pushed Daddy out of bed. He could go get up with her. I was going back to sleep. Or so I thought. I ended up getting out of bed shortly there after. She was up until about 12 when she started getting cranky. She can't make it through the day on only 2 naps. So I tried to put her down in the crib, but she wasn't having any of that. So back into the swing she went. She napped for about 45 mins to an hour and then was up at about 1. I try to have her down for a nap at 2, so I wanted her up for a little bit before she was down for her long nap, but really she was rather cranky so it was a little difficult. We made it to a little bit before 2, and headed upstairs to get ready for her nap. We had a nurse and got all swaddled and cozy and into the crib she went. It took a few trips upstairs, but she was asleep by about 2:30. At about 3 she woke up again and Daddy put the pacifier in, and back to sleep she went. She slept until a little before 5. Which is just about right. So we all got up and had some tummy time, and played in our jumperoo, and sat on Daddy's lap, and then Mommies lap. By about 6 E was tired. So we tried to get her to take a little snooze. That probably lasted about 15 - 20 mins. And then we just prayed we could keep her awake until 7. We barely made it. Daddy is giving E her bedtime bottle, and that is pretty much that...

So really... sometimes being a mommy is just boring. But today was a good day to be boring. When the thermometer didn't break 20 degrees, it was nice to have a day that consisted of just napping and playing and napping and playing. I hope she'll have a good night, and maybe we'll try to leave the house tomorrow... that should result in a story to tell. It's never easy to travel these days. Sorry I couldn't find anything more interesting!

I hope all the Mommies and Daddies have a good evening, stay warm and sleep well. Can someone tell me? Who dropped the pacifier?

Friday, January 29, 2010

This weeks sleep in retrospect

I can't tell a lie, I've been very hush, hush about E's sleeping habits this week. In case anyone didn't notice. And, for good reason. I believe you can jinx anything good. You don't brag about things going well. It's kind of like when you've driven a very long road trip, driving slightly over the speed limit, and you turn to your passenger and say: "I haven't seen a cop this whole trip." And then the lights come on in your rear view mirror. That's just the way I view it. You don't brag about good fortune. But since my good fortune has gone away all on it's own. I can now tell the truth!

Last Saturday, was supposed to be Daddy's night. And much to our amazement we didn't hear a single peep out of her until 6 AM. It was the first time she had actually slept through a whole entire night. Yes, ALL NIGHT. Of course, I've been waking up 3 - 4 times a night for so long now, I still woke up all night long. But it was good to know that both E and Daddy had gotten a good nights rest. Of course, one doesn't claim victory over 1 night. Could have been in error. So, I didn't mention anything about it, and Sunday night we headed into the night, skeptical that it would happen again. But come 6 AM, E was still asleep. This time, I had only woken up twice. Ok, maybe things were headed in the right direction. I doubted she'd keep it daily, but a couple days a week would be heaven sent! Headed into Monday night, I slept, didn't wake up. Well, until E decided she was done sleeping through the night. She woke up at 4 AM. I really couldn't fault her for this choice, as she had already been asleep for 9 hours. And most people would consider 9 hours all night. But again, as I've said, I don't like to brag. So really, 9 hours was pretty good. Couldn't expect her to sleep through the night every night. I would take what I could get.

Are all you experienced Mommies laughing yet? She only got worse, and worse, and worse. Until last night. I don't even remember how many times she woke up. So here I am again, it's Friday. Tonight is Daddy's night. I hope I can try to get some extra winks of sleep. And knowing his luck... she'll choose tonight to sleep through the night again. And probably tomorrow. But we'll see. I really hope it wasn't a fluke.

The thing is, since we've already accomplished moving her to her crib, if she'd just keep sleeping through the night we'd be golden. So I continue to trudge up and down the stairs, and sometimes just giving up and sleeping upstairs, all the while thinking to myself "She did it twice, she'll do it again, don't give up, just keep trying."

I hope all the Mommies and Daddies have peaceful slumbers, that they don't wake up anymore than necessary, and as I wonder every day: "Who dropped the pacifier?"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Internet, sometimes too much information is a bad thing

I've mentioned before that when it comes to parenting there is an endless amount of resources. In some ways this is an extraordinarily good thing. But in many, many ways, it's a really bad thing. I find myself googling anything and everything when it comes to E. When should she start teething? When will she roll over? When will she start walking? What is this strange rash like thing she's got? How do you deal with Cradle Cap?

The problem with the Internet is that #1 you can not guarantee that the source of the information is any more educated than yourself, and #2 the information you receive can differ enormously.

When should she start teething? Maybe she is already? Maybe not till 6 months. Might show symptoms from 3 months until 6 months. Can take months and months from the first sign of the symptoms until the first tooth is cut. Some kids are longer. Some kids are shorter.

When will she roll over? The early side is 4 months, the early early side is 3 months. Some kids can't be bothered at all, and won't do it. Some kids are longer. Some kids are shorter.

When will she start walking? Some kids start somewhere around 9 months. Most kids start by 1 year. Some kids are longer. Some kids are shorter.

What is this strange rash like thing she's got? I won't even go there. It could be life threatening, it could be nothing, some kids have it for longer, some kids have it for shorter.

How do you deal with cradle cap? Some suggest an adult danruff shampoo, some suggest olive oil, some suggest nothing, some say you can scratch it off, some say do NOT scratch it off. And as always, some kids have it for longer, and some kids have it for shorter.

And that's just if you google it. Forget about it if you go into one of the endlessly available parenting boards. You can get the opinions of 6,498 other parents who will tell you just what they think the issue is. I seriously once read a post that started to the effect of: "I was at the Drs today, and the Dr told me this is the best thing that we should do. But I am not sure. I wanted to get your opinions." Seriously? If you have such little faith in your Dr that you are going to solicit the advice of a thousand Internet unknowns, you need to find a new Dr.

So while I think having information is a good thing, and being informed is useful. I also think that there is a point which one can become over informed. In a bad way. So for the time being I have decided the following:

She's not teething, she's just crabby, She rolled over VERY early, I hope she'll be an early walker, but time will tell, she had baby acne and it wasn't life threatening, and putting olive oil on cradle cap does little more than make everyone smell like olives... and... well... then it makes everyone hungry too!

So for today! While I love the Internet and google things endlessly, remember to take everything that you find with a grain of salt, remember the source, and if you don't trust your Dr, get a new one. And for sure... who dropped the pacifier?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Parenting, homeownership and doorbells

As though I wasn't having enough trouble at night. I was head upstairs last night at about 4:20 and was halfway up the stairs when the doorbell rings. LOUD, LONG... Who could possibly be at my door at 4:20 in the morning. And seriously? What do I look like? Stupid? I wasn't planning on answering it. That's what Daddy's are for! But I pause on the stairs in fear. Then I run to the top of the stairs to open the nursery door, E's room overlooks the driveway, which has a motion sensor flood light on it. So I wanted to see if the light had been activated. In my panic stricken moment, I forgot about the baby gate, and as I fling the nursery door open I walk into the baby gate, making a HUGE CLANGING noise, of course scaring myself and E in the processes, not to mention stubbing my toes and shins! Well, back to the motion sensor light, it was not on. That seemed odd.

Oh well. I go on my "merry way" to trying to get E back to bed. Thinking maybe I can just give her the pacifier and rub her tummy. She has other plans. So we settle into nurse. I never heard Daddy get up to check out the doorbell, so I'm still feeling a little scared as I sit in the nursery. Perhaps if I didn't have to go back downstairs I'd feel safer. I could just sleep in the guest bedroom. That would solve my problem. So anyway, E finishes her snack and I put her back in the crib. And as I tiptoe out of the nursery. The DOORBELL RINGS AGAIN! Loud, LONG! Now I'm totally freaked out. I'm standing on the landing in the dark looking down at the front door, thinking, it's dark, if someone is at the front door they can't see me. But I'll stand VERY STILL. Finally, I do hear Daddy get up. Lights start getting flipped on downstairs and I hear Daddy go to the back door. Now that the lights are on, and Daddy is up. I am feeling MUCH braver. So I come downstairs and actually look out the front door. But on my way down the stairs, the doorbell rings. AGAIN. And while I stand in the hallway trying to talk to Daddy, it rings AGAIN. Well if anyone didn't see this coming... the doorbell was BROKEN. It was ringing itself. It wouldn't stop.

Daddy is standing in the front of the house in his PJs ripping the doorbell off the front door so he can take the batteries out. And then, not feeling as though this was sufficient enough to resolve his aggravation with the issue, he proceeds to go out the backdoor and rip the doorbell of the backdoor as well, and pull the batteries out of this one too. The good news is this DID seem to resolve our issues. Unfortunately, all this doorbell ringing definitely woke E up. SO I now have to trudge back upstairs to get her back to sleep.

When I finally return to bed Daddy is still trying to fall back asleep, spending an hour in the dead of night with a ringing doorbell isn't good for anyone to sleep through. I said to Daddy "I was so scared! I didn't know who it was." And Daddy says "I thought it was the recycling guys coming to tell me I hadn't cut the cardboard down into small enough pieces".

So I guess that's the difference between Daddies and Mommies, Mommies worry about horrible things, and Daddies worry about the recycling. So I guess we're going to keep the doorbells down for the rest of the week. Not like anyone important comes here anyway. And anyone I do want to actually see, usually just walks right in!

That's all for today... I hope everyone has a quiet night and no dysfunctional doorbells. And really... who dropped the pacifier.

Monday, January 25, 2010


For anyone who was following me via facebook before my blog days, I have been working on getting E into some form of a schedule. My most recent conquest has been afternoon nap time. I have read that there are 3 forms of schedules for babies, parent led, baby led, and then a combination of the two. I guess you would have to say we are on a combination of the two. I work very hard to keep the start to her day and the end to her day constant, and then we kind of play the middle by ear. But it does seem as though she is beginning to fall into a routine of her own making.

After we wake up in the morning (6AM), she is awake about an hour and a half, sometimes a little longer, and sometimes a little shorter, but no shorter than an hour, and no longer than 2. After that, it's time for our little morning snooze. That works out for Mommy because if I play my cards right, Daddy is home for most of it, and I can avoid becoming too awake, and consequently can crawl back into bed for another snooze myself! Our nap lasts about 2 hours. Then it's usually about 9:30 and E lets me know it's time to get up. We then eat, play, eat, play, eat, play, snooze, on demand until about 2. At which point we're ready for a good long afternoon nap. By we, I really mean E is ready for a nap. By this point, mommy is ready to get some grown up errands done. E usually naps till about 5. At which point she will be up until it's time for bed at about 7. Again, sometimes that's a little earlier, sometimes it's a little later. And if we're lucky E is lights out for the night by 8 PM. Which really serves Mommy and Daddy well, because then we get some alone and quiet time. Can talk to one another and watch a tv show without interruption!

Her nights are entirely dictated by her. Although all she gets at night is food and/or rocked back to sleep and/or a pacifier. Otherwise, there is no playtime at night. We work no nighttime schedule. If she wakes up, we get up, if she doesn't, we don't. She USED to sleep pretty well at night. The past month or so, not so much. Hopefully as the gas issues get under control so will her sleep "issues".

As for where she sleeps. The week Daddy returned to work (when E was 2 weeks old) Mommy decided to take on the crib battle. And we started in the middle of that week putting her to bed in her crib. As I vaguely recall (mostly due to sleep deprivation) Daddy would stay up and battle her with the crib until 11, and then Mommy would get up whenever called for the rest of the night (at least during the week). During these days, E was only going to bed at 10. And then we tried putting her to bed at 9, and then 8, and finally, we settled on 7. And somewhere along the line, she stopped waking up immediately after being put to bed. In fact, most nights we could guarantee her asleep by 8 and not waking up until at least 12. The rest of the night was spotty. But really, we were lucky. In the beginning it was hard, Daddy could get her to bed, but when Mommy got up with her in the middle of the night, Mommy couldn't get her straight back into the crib. But after weeks of trying, that was no longer an issue. And then, it was to bed at 7, up to feed, feed, back into the crib, back to sleep, then start over, up to feed... etc... etc... etc... But once we made that jump to the crib, Mommy refused to bring E back downstairs. She remained in her crib from bedtime through 6AM.

Daytime naps however, for some reason, Mommy didn't bother with the crib. Perhaps because in the beginning succeeding at napping was hit or miss, and for that reason, keeping her in the swing in the living room with Mommy seemed like the easiest solution for a sleep deprived Mommy. But when E was about 10 weeks old, Mommy decided, it was time to get her living room back. If E spent all night in her crib... SURELY Mommy could get her to take a NAP in the crib! So Mommy embarked on her Nap time Battle. The first day, as I recall, Mommy spent an hour and a half, running up and down the stairs. I would call that day a draw. Mostly because Mommy didn't cave in, and because E didn't actually sleep at all that day. But I had to believe she'd get tired enough to fall asleep eventually. Of course, it was Mommy's luck that when she would "eventually" came when we were eating dinner. Passed out cold in her highchair. Oh well. The second day, Mommy ran up and down the stairs for an hour, but after running up and down the stairs for an hour, E went to sleep for an hour and a half. And so the battle went. Some days are better than others. But every day from at least 2 to 4, E would be in her crib, and Mommy would be getting a really good workout!

So anyway, the afternoon nap time has been improving. She goes down easier. Stays down longer, and sometimes I don't even have to run up and down the stairs THAT much. So as we launch into week 3. There are good days and there are bad days. Just in case anyone was wondering, today was a bad day. Oh well. Tomorrow is yet another day. And don't forget. It starts at 6 AM.

To Mommies, Daddies, and future parents everywhere, I hope the naps are long, the diapers are clean and dinner is uninterrupted. And as always... who dropped the pacifier?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Parenting Isn't All Bad

Lest anyone think that I don't love being a mother. I do. And it isn't all bad. And in the past 13 weeks of motherhood I have learned a great deal! So I dedicate this weekend to the good:

I have for example learned that E is an overachiever. The first milestone E achieved early, was loosing her umbilical cord. She was only 5 days old when it fell off. I was terrified. I googled and read endlessly, everything said 7 days. Was this 2 days ahead of time dooming her to some horrible infection? Was this a big problem? Should I call the emergency hot line to find out what I should do? I called the Dr. during regular hours and was ASSURED it was PERFECTLY fine! Well, ok, fine then. The next developmental milestone was far more exciting. Rolling over. She did it for the first time at 7 weeks and 2 days. She did it twice more that evening for Daddy to see and she did it a couple more times the next day. Then she stopped doing it. When I told the Dr that she rolled over at 7 weeks and 2 days, the first thing she said to me was "but she didn't do it again did she?" I said, sure. And explained. The Dr then said, Ok then, let's see what other milestones she's FLOWN by. I WAS SO PROUD! She rolls over all the time now. I found out the reason she stopped doing it was that the tummy time mat was too slippery. But a couple weeks ago I tried to put her down on her tummy right on the carpet. She took, one look at me, and then FLOP, onto her back she went. I was so excited. I jumped up and down and clapped every time she did it for several days, now it's old news! The only bad thing is I now can NOT keep her ON her tummy for "tummy time". But that's ok. She'll be walking by next week anyhow! I've also been told her head control was far before her time, but as I have nothing to compare that to, I'll just have to take others words for it. My husband and I call her our little bobble head because when she gets tired she tries so hard to keep her head up, but it starts to bobble all over the place.

Anyway, onto the next thing I have learned about E. She's impatient. When she decides she can't wait another second for dinner, she starts screaming bloody murder and won't stop until she's getting food. Which can be a little entertaining because 1 second she'll be a happy content baby and the next screaming bloody murder, and then back to smiling and eating. Honestly, she came by this trait naturally, both Daddy and I are like this about food. But it's really hard to rationalize with a 3 months old. "listen sweety, Daddy and I heard you the first time. You're about to get food in just 1 minute." Nope, doesn't work. Daddy always says from the other room "HEY - Stop pulling her toenails out with pliers." Really, you'd think it's something horrible. It's not. just 30 seconds too long. Oh well.

She LOVES bath time. Some people talk about having trouble with baths for young babies, but she always liked bath time. When she was a little over a month we started taking baths in the big bathtub. She loves it. She starts to look all around the bathroom when we go in. And she wiggles her feet and legs around in the water. She's such a good girl about it that she'll even lay back and wash her hair under the faucet. This should prove to be a good thing in the future!

She's already Daddy's little girl. I can hear him in the nursery with her. "Open up, no? Please? Open up?" He'll come back down telling me she was just laying there smiling at him, refusing to let him put the pacifier in her mouth. Or he'll be trying to put her clean diaper on and she won't put her legs down. And he'll be going "put your legs down, come on, down, please? down." She finds it thoroughly funny that she can control herself at this point. So until she's decided it's time to put her legs down, they won't go down. Or my favorite, if he's trying to get her in her PJs for bed, and she won't bend her arms so he can get them in the sleeves, I'll hear "COME ON, WORK WITH ME WOMAN!!!" LOL. Or when she had a big poopy diaper he'd declare to her "youa stinka lika caca," and she'd break out a big grin and start laughing, but he has since stopped this, as I pointed out that she'll some day repeat this, and perhaps, stopping while we were ahead of the game was a big idea.

So Parenting isn't all bad. It's good to remind myself of this. As I sit here, and eat my turkey sandwich (no mayo, no cheese). The bread is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and guaranteed taste-free. But really. I'd make any sacrifice for E. So as always. I hope all the Mommies and Daddies had a restful and productive weekend, that the naps were longer, the nights were sleep filled and as always, come on! Can't anyone figure out who dropped the pacifier?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Soy Intolerance?? Have you read the labels in your food lately?

So as I was mentioning yesterday... we think E is lactose intolerant. She was very gassy when we first gave her milk based formula, and when we tried a milk based formula again, she projectile vomited it all over the crib. It could have been perhaps a coincidence, but it scared me enough to throw the entire expensive can of formula in the trash! Some may ask, why, if I am nursing am I bothering with Formula at all? My mother wonders the same thing regularly, pointing out I am obsessing over something that is potentially completely unnecessary. Well, note potentially completely unnecessary. I will unfortunately have to return to work. And I just do not know what will happen then. How nursing will go, and if pumping at work will prove positive, or if the whole thing will become too much. At any rate, I want to feel like I have something to back me up if for some reason we have to change to formula when I return to work. So, as I began, we've tried to give her milk based formula with very bad success. So, we of course moved to the next type that is advised to parents. Soy.

Well since we primarily nurse, and I pump extensively, mentioned again in a previous post, we started only giving her 1 oz a day. Honestly, it started because I heard adding formula at night could help them sleep through the night. And about 3 weeks of age, I was desperate. Now, at 13 weeks, my motives have changed slightly. Any way, I digress. So we started with 1 oz. Didn't seem like a big deal and she seemed fine. We gave her 1 oz for a long time. And then we moved it to 2 oz. Since E is my first child, I have nothing to compare her to, and consequently, nothing to compare her digestion, poop, gas, etc to anything other than what I know. So it wasn't until we moved her to 3 oz and started seeing an increasingly unhappy baby that I started to look into things a little closer. Honestly, when she was about a month old, she was exhibiting signs of sleeping through the night. But the older she got. The less she did it. That didn't seem to make much sense. So again, I started to look into it. And what I finally stumbled upon was mucus. Mucus in baby poop is a sign of intolerance. And *gasp* there was mucus in E's poop. AHAH! A moment of clarity. I was fairly certain that it was the soy formula. So I stopped the formula immediately and started to see a change in her poop immediately. CHECK. Put a win in mommies column.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

I think I mentioned over and over this week, being a mommy is much harder than I ever imagined. Well. It is. So only this afternoon did Grandma (my mother) and I begin a conversation about Soy. It went something like this:

Grandma: I've been thinking, you mentioned eating Chinese food last weekend. You know what's in Chinese Food?
Mommy: OMG, SOY!!!!
Grandma: Yes. And I've been doing some research you realize soy is in a lot of things that we don't realize. So if she's developed a heightened sensitivity to soy, where you are picking it up in other things could also be bothering her.
Mommy: *sigh*

We had already realized that the prenatals I was taking for lactation were soy based. So I had stopped them a couple weeks ago. Only slipping up once while sleep deprived and forgetting NOT to take them, and reversely. Took them. But otherwise had not been taking them.

At any rate, Soy intolerance. Have you read the labels of the food you eat lately?

I decided today after listening to Daddy grumble about not having anymore sandwich baggies at 6:30 AM this morning. That a trip to BJs might be required today. Since Grandma had come down to help with E, we decided to make a trip of it. Perhaps getting out of the house would be good for her. So off to BJs we went. Grandma, Mommy and E.

I was on a mission. Food I could eat. Nothing with dairy. No gas causing veggies. Nothing with Soy. Check, check, and check. Oh, and don't forget the diapers. So up and down the isles we went.

Gerber Baby Cereal, rice and oatmeal (planning ahead) - have to return it, it has soy in it!
Frozen Angus Meatballs - didn't buy it, it had soy in it
Graham Crackers (to meet my sweets craving) - didn't buy it, it had soy in it
Peanut Butter - Had to buy the super expensive all natural variety, because otherwise, there is soy in it! (that include Jiff and Skippy brands BTW)... And now I'll probably find out she's allergic to peanuts.
Bread - Didn't buy ANY... couldn't find a single loaf w/o soy
Chicken fingers (2 different brands) - didn't buy contained soy
Non butter spread - Didn't buy apparently your spread will either have milk OR soy, but you can NOT have NEITHER
Quaker Oats granola bars - Bought them for Daddy, but apparently Mommy can't eat them (soy and chocolate)
Cheese Itz - Again, bought for Daddy, but Mommy can't eat them (soy and cheese)
Tuna Fish - Had to dig around and find the 50% more expensive variety that was actually packed in REALLY ONLY WATER, had no soy. But, BTW, there are water packed varieties that still contain Soy.
Perdue Shortcut Chicken Strips - Didn't buy, YES, seriously, it has soy in it someplace.

I left disheartened. I had bought ingredients for peanut butter and jelly, but couldn't find bread. I had ruled out virtually all the food we liked to eat.

I had Cape Cod Potato Chips for lunch. In case anyone is wondering they do NOT have soy in them anywhere. I am avoiding the tuna fish my husband made because #1 tuna has soy in it, and #2, has anyone read the ingredients in mayonnaise lately?

Daddy came home from work and we proceeded to discuss what Mommy can and can not eat for a while. Don't worry. We found our pasta has no soy, Classico sauce has no soy, I can have all the ketchup and grey poupon I want. But we also found I can NOT have the kielbasa in our freezer, the soups in our cabinets. And oh, BTW, would you believe there is soy in our wild rice mix by Uncle Ben?

So anyway, I have found there is no soy in most alcoholic beverages (I say most because I haven't investigated them all) and there is no soy in steak, and eggs, with roasted potatoes and ketchup. Obviously. That's what we've managed to put together for dinner.

Hopefully after getting E back on keel we can try to re-introduce some of these products and see just how much soy she can tolerate and how much goes through when we nurse. But until then, it seems as thought Mommy is on a diet.

So to Mommies and Daddies everywhere read your labels! And as always: Who dropped the pacifier?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nursing, why some moms choose formula...

I realize the topic I am about to launch upon is in many ways controversial. Although it shouldn't be, it's a personal choice, and the decision can go either way for different people. I pass no judgement on the choices of others, this is only my experiences:

As all parents do, we head into parenting intending to do everything "right". Achieving against all odds to accomplish what we must and provide for our children. There were three things that floated in my head as I was contemplating becoming a mother. #1 - I wanted to have a natural childbirth without an epidural. #2 - I wanted to nurse and #3 - I wanted to restrict her TV usage for at least the first couple years.

I can proudly declare that I was successful in #1, we had an epidural free delivery. Note I did not say a non medicated birth. I did accept SOME form of relief during labor, but I had held out against the epidural. Although, as it became time to bring E into the world, I did contemplate how wise a decision it had been to refuse the epidural. That being said, it was an accomplishment, and I was very proud of it.

I then moved promptly onto goal #2, nursing. E didn't want to eat most of the first day, and my downward spiral for nursing began around 11PM that night when one of the nurses was SHOCKED we had not achieved a good nurse, and said that the nurses in the nursery would be upset if E hadn't eaten and it was over 12 hours after her birth. I kept telling everyone that she just wasn't interested in eating yet. Alas, every nurse came into the room to "show me how to nurse" every one tried to show me with a screaming hysterical newborn. E wasn't having any of it, as I had told them, she wasn't ready. But they decided she must eat. "She has mucus in her tummy, if we feed her formula, she'll spit that up, and it will take the mucus with it, and then she'll be hungry and ready to nurse." So I conceded to let them feed her a little bit of formula. They brought me a bottle, and I tried to let her feed on this. She didn't want it. The nurse took E from me, and said she'd show me how to feed E. She tried to give E the bottle. She sucked a few times on the bottle. The nurse removed it from her mouth (and I couldn't have been more proud of E), she sat on the nurses lap for a second and then opened her mouth and spit it all out. The nurse tried several more times to show me how it was done, and several more times, E took a few sucks, and then spit it all out. I told them she didn't want it. But alas, they declared they would succeed in the nursery. They would take her there and THEY would get her to take some. It mortified me. I saw how they were showing her how to nurse in front of me, what would they do without me there to supervise? But they took her. I waited for several hours, she did not come back until after 2AM. And when they returned her, they declared, with such confidence that she had taken .5 an ounce, but that had been in .25 ounce increments. I wanted to laugh. Ok, so you're telling me she sucked on the bottle like two times twice, in the past 3 hours. I hoped they all felt better. Both E and I felt traumatized.

That was the beginning. And I have to say I think it set us both back a bit. It was a hard time getting E to nurse. But after some time, she did get the hang of it, and so did Mommy. It had been a victory of immense proportion. But alas, during my insecurity during the first days/weeks, I had pumped constantly, not wanting to loose my "supply". It was only when E was about a month old that I started thinking something was wrong. It was then I found out about 2 conditions that had otherwise been NEVER mentioned to me. Oversupply, and an Overactive Let Down. By pumping so much in the early days, and also obsessing about the time of nursing, I had contributed to the condition called Oversupply. In short... I had too much milk. I'd never heard this discussed, only endless amounts of moms finding out they didn't have enough. So Oversupply? Really? And to be the cherry on the ice cream was Overactive Let Down. In short, nursing was something akin to trying to drink out of a fire hose. I was drowning my baby in my Oversupply! Great!

We overcame that obstacle, we still deal with Overactive Let Down, she's gotten bigger, so maybe now I can compare it to drinking from a really strong garden hose, she gets annoyed with it sometimes, but most of the time can handle it. Just when I thought against all odds we were ready to consider this an easily won battle, we encountered our NEXT obstacle. Dairy.

Some mothers find out rather quickly, especially for formula fed babies, that the baby has a dairy intolerance. Unfortunately, for the most part. I don't like milk! However, I love cheese. So after a week when I had more than a couple cheese filled meals, I noticed that E seemed to be dealing with more gas than usual. I didn't see what the problem was. I'd ONLY eaten as follows:

Sunday: Split Pea Soup (milk in the recipe)
Monday: Split Pea Soup (milk in the recipe)
Tuesday: Chili with Cheese
Wednesday: Pork chop with Mac and Cheese
Thursday: appetizer of a huge serving of cheese and crackers, brie, cheddar, and horseradish cheddar, followed by... Chili

Really? I don't see how any of these things could have given her gas. *sigh*. Ok, I was starting to see perhaps, Dairy was NOT her friend. So I have since then given up dairy. No biggie... or is it? For the time being, I'm avoiding anything with a milk product in it. No butter on my bread, no pizza for dinner, I can't even have chicken wings, because no blue cheese dressing, or even ranch dressing. I can't have raviolis, or Parmesan on my pasta. No buttermilk biscuits, etc, etc, etc. Really when you start to think about it. Milk is in our diet places we don't think about endlessly!!! Don't worry, as if milk weren't enough, I'm also avoiding Chocolate and any vegetables known to cause gas.

Before anyone wants to point it out, there are actually a lot of cheese products that claim not to have lactose in them. And once we get things under control I will test them out, and check to see exactly what sets her off. All cheese? Some cheese? Milk? Yogurt? Ice Cream? We'll find out eventually. But for the time being, cold turkey, NOTHING.

So I have to say after my personal experiences with nursing, although I definitely feel as though it's worth it, I can TOTALLY tell after 3 months, why some moms choose formula!

So I still haven't had to address #3, TV. I can only hope that I hold out as strong as I did on #1, and #2, but I have to wonder, after months and months of no Pizza. Maybe TV isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. But we will see. As usual, I send moms the strength to make the right choice for them, the strength to ignore all the negativity presented by well meaning professionals, and the strength to be Ok when things don't go exactly as planned. And I did anyone see? Who dropped the pacifier?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trying to find the good in a bad day

If I already said it, I'll say it again. There are so many things about being a mother I was completely unprepared for. And let me tell you (for those who don't know me), I'm a planner. I research, read, google, and otherwise obsess about anything and everything in an effort to prepare for even those things in life you can't prepare for. Motherhood is one of those things. They print book after book, and there is an endless amount of Internet based resources for mothers. But nothing prepares you for the nights where you get 2.5 hours of sleep, and that isn't even in a row. Nothing prepares you for the days/afternoons when they just cry and cry and cry.

E has been having a tough day today. Went to bed last night and everything seemed fine. Didn't go down with much of a fight. But the day technically starts at midnight, and starting at midnight... she started having a tough time. Unfortunately, and not her fault, Mommy hadn't been able to fall asleep. So when the baby monitor started buzzing a little after midnight, Mommy had already failed to get even a wink of sleep. So our night began. Try the pacifier and hope she soothes herself to sleep. E does this sometimes. And when it works, Mommy feels like she has hit the lottery! But tonight, it didn't work. So around 12:30, back up the stairs Mommy is trudging to nurse. A little before 1, E is snug back in her crib ready to get some more Zzzs. And back downstairs Mommy goes. I have a lot of trouble sleeping, so getting E into bed by 1 meant that I was probably asleep by 1:30. Not so bad, plenty of hours left in the night. Unfortunately, the next time the baby monitor started to buzz, it was only 3ish. So trudging BACK up the stairs Mommy goes. Change her diaper, at this point it's soaked, seems only fair, and cuddle into our rocking chair for a nurse. Only she won't nurse. She has gas. She doesn't want to nurse. She wants to wave her arms and legs around and try to get it out. She managed to pass some of it... but then I had to settle into the attempt of getting her back down to sleep. A little before 4, she's back in her crib again, and AGAIN Mommy is trudging back down the stairs. At this point, Mommy is FREEZING. It is after all the middle of January. And jumping in and out of bed all night does not keep one cozy. So I resort to the only thing that a freezing cold Mommy can do, warm her toes on Daddy's warm feet. And for some reason I get a sense of revenge when he surfaces from the cold contact on his otherwise cozy body. GOOD. He doesn't get up. It's the smallest pieces of revenge that somehow keep Mommy going. Somehow Mommy warms up and falls back asleep, probably sometime between 4 and 4:30. As I think I've mentioned before, 6 AM is the start of our day, so E only has to stay asleep for another hour and a half and we're good...

Well apparently she didn't get THAT memo! A little after 5, the baby monitor starts up again. Mommy runs up the stairs, pops the pacifier into E's mouth, and then runs back downstairs, hops back into bed, and prays that she'll go back to bed until 6. HA HA HA. E has a sense of humour. Not even 5 mins later she's screaming. So out of the warm cozy bed Mommy goes, and back through the house, up the stairs, into the nursery. E decides to nurse this time. And then drifts back off to sleep about quarter of 6. At this point Mommy has no strength left to do anything but sit there and wait, and HOPE that when Daddy wakes up, he'll come find us. He does. And when he carries E downstairs and Mommy crawls back into the nice warm bed... she lays there and gives nasty glares across the bed at the little, beautiful girl that she brought into this world, and for some reason won't let her sleep. E is now laying in the big bed, cooing, and laughing and smiling. Doesn't SHE know we didn't get enough sleep last night? Apparently not!

It should end there. But of course it doesn't. The morning passed with little to speak of, but as we started the battle for our PM nap, the cranky started. I don't know how people have babies without a support network around them. I read in a book, today actually, that babies were never intended to be raised solely by the mother, and this is why it's so challenging today, without a good support network (historically of family) it can be incredibly difficult, especially with a cranky (READ COLIC) baby. At any rate, I still live near my parents, and my mother was eager to come down and help me. What a relief, I could lay down, while she tries to get E to nap. Unfortunately, there is nothing programmed into Mommy about ignoring a hysterically crying baby even if baby is under the good supervision of another loving family member. Since I could not drift off to visit the sandman, I opted to get the entire experience off my chest.

There are days I lay here and I hear her cry, and there is nothing I can do but cry myself. I wonder what I need to do differently to ease her pain. Her cries aren't just of general fussiness, but E really does struggle with gas. Painful gas. That makes her cry for hours, bring her little tiny knees up to her chest, flail her arms around, and cry with big tears rolling down her cheeks. And being Mommy makes you just feel so endlessly responsible and somehow completely insufficient to fulfill her needs, that you can not make it go away. And even after days like today, where the entire days running total of sleep has gotten as high as 5.5 hours (again definately NOT in a row)... When she finally returns to my arms, and curls into my body, starts to let her sobs ease and then falls asleep, somehow, all of my own emotional pain and exhaustion, is just worth it. She's E, and I'm Mommy. And that's just the way it is.

So for today, it's just got to be enough to find the good in what has otherwise been difficult, and as always, I hope all the mommies find the strength to keep going, the peace to know sometimes we can't fix everything, and as always... does anyone know... WHO DROPPED THE PACIFIER????

Parenting is 50/50: "Is this the first time she got up?"

Let me start off by saying, I am married to the most wonderful man in the world. I might be partial, but I really do think he is very amazing. He cooks dinner on a regular basis, cleans the kitchen when he's done. He likes to grocery shop, and has been known to do the laundry if I'm down for the count. I could go on, but I don't want to make all the other women jealous! So as I was saying, I married the most wonderful man in the world. So when we approached parenting, we both declared 50/50. We share everything in our lives together. Why would parenting be any different.

But being a Mommy is different. Somehow, being a Mommy isn't 50/50. No matter how wonderful Daddy is, he's just not Mommy. Among other things, Daddy is not a night person, he's a heavy sleeper, and can NOT function without sleep. The only night I've ever seen Daddy go without any sleep was the night that E was born. He didn't complain about it, or say he was tired. But that night I think shear addrenaline took over. I'll never forget the next night, crying in the hospital room, telling him I didn't think I had the energy to take care of E and that perhaps we should send her to the nursery. Being the wonderful man that he is, he said to me "we can do it together, don't worry!". I believed him, he is calming and convincing. So we kept her with us. And then at about 11 PM. We started a conversation. About what, I have no recollection, but I said something to him, he said something back to me immediately, and then I said something back to him immediately and... well... ZZZZzzzz, he was down for the count. Out cold. How could he have fallen asleep so fast? Somehow in that moment, I understood how parenting is 50/50.

Being mommy means that you skip sleep for months on end, and when you're offered a nap, you somehow can't imagine leaving your little one in anyone elses care. And after months and months without sleep, the 50/50 of parenting becomes clear. Again, let's return to being married to the most wonderful man in the world. While I am up in the middle of the night, he is still cooking dinner, and getting laundry from the basement, and taking care of most of the household chores.

I realized just how 50/50 parenting was when Daddy rolled over in the middle of the night, while I was sitting on the edge of the bed, watching the baby monitor, and said to me "Is this the first time she got up?" I told him it was, and I was hoping she was going to go back to sleep. E did, dozed off, and I crawled back into the warm bed to try to get some more sleep myself. Another few hours passed and E was back with us. Cooing and crying annoyed in the baby monitor. So as usual, I crawled out of bed, dragged myself upstairs, and saw to her needs. Another hour later I came back to the bed, crawled under the covers, and picked up the baby monitor to see if she was going back to sleep. She did. She dozed off. And Daddy rolled over and said "Is this the first time she got up?" Somehow the pure exhaustion prevented me from snapping or loosing my mind. I just laughed. Were we really having this conversation twice in one night?

Now before anyone thinks that my WONDERFUL husband is slack in his daddy duties. It is not uncommon for him to walk the house with her for hours on end during the weekend, while Mommy tries to catch some extra ZZZzzzs. And every night he puts her to bed. He can make her laugh in ways that I can't. And he always gets the biggest smile out of her. Their Daddy/Daughter bond is unmistakeable.

Parenting is NOT 50/50. There may be some rare moments, but the majority of parenting moments are uneven. At least in the beginning from my perspective. When I can no longer go on, and I just have to put my head down and cry, the odds are in his favor, and they are 0/100. And I'm Mommy. So there are many days, when let's face it, he just isn't here, he's unfortunately having to work, and then, I'm at 100/0. We all have the things we are great at, and then there are things that we are not so good at. Daddy makes a mean pasta sauce, and makes amazing dinners. Daddy keeps us nourished and does oil changes on our car. Daddy works his magic during the day, whenever he is home. And Daddy is a truly amazing man. But alas I'm Mommy. And even though I'm Mommy. I've come to realize, that parenting is not 50/50. And although I feel as though I'm on 100/0 a lot of the time, I've come to realize that sometimes, I can't give anything more of myself. And then... it's good to have Daddy.

So as always, I hope all the mommies are strong, the diapers are dry, and the naps are long. And as always... Who Dropped the Pacifier?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Diaper Disaster and Animal Heads on PJs

I always dreamed of becoming a mother. It was right up there with marrying prince charming. And I have to admit, like all other dreams, it's just not exactly how I dreamt it would be. Some things far surpass anything that I ever dreamt. Some things are harder than I ever thought possible, and yet... some things are more entertaining than you can even imagine.

I'm struggling with creating a routine for E to follow. So every work day, when daddy gets up at 6 AM, we ALL get up and start our day. Doesn't matter how many times we got up in the middle of the night, or when I last got her to go to sleep, 6 AM every work day, is the start of our morning! So this morning started, as all mornings do. With a sleepy daddy, a sleepy baby, and one exhausted mommy. We woke up a little more than usual this morning so that we could get dinner started in the slow cooker. Mommy chopping carrots and E cooing and laughing in her highchair while watching me in the kitchen. Daddy finished his coffee and off he went to work. At one point I looked over at her, and she was BRIGHT red. She'd been holding her breath. I think she was trying to poop. So no big deal. But when I went to scoop her up out of her highchair once I had finished getting dinner ready... imagine my shock to find her soaked. I rolled my eyes back in my head and thought to myself, "please let it be pee, please let it be pee." Well, you know how that story goes. It was NOT pee! So into the living room we go to strip down and, YEY, mommy finds out that the cats threw up on the carpet. Ok, now I have a poop covered baby and an icky carpet. GREAT! I peel all her clothes off, peel the diaper off, and just pick her up and dunk her in the bathtub. Sometimes, it's really just best to use soap and water. I threw the outfit in the garbage and called daddy to let him know about all the excitement since nobody else would be awake at 7:30 AM who would want to talk to me about poop! Imagine my annoyance to have daddy say he LOVED that outfit, and couldn't I wash it and get the poop out? So now mommy has to run to the basement to start a load of baby clothes JUST because daddy likes the little animal heads on the feet of the PJs she's wearing. And really, isn't it a little disturbing to put animal heads on the feet of PJs anyway?

Well that is the story of the day, the exploding diaper, and animal heads on PJs. Hopefully things will get better... they kind of have to right?? Until next time, may your diapers stay dry and your babies nap for a long time and really... who dropped the pacifier?

So here we are...

Well I got a note from a friend from highschool today. In short she suggested I create a blog. So, here we are. I would like to believe I have always had the gift of gab, but I've never really had anything worth talking about until now. Now that I'm a mommy. For some reason, people really do love to hear about babies. The good, the bad, and the ugly. So today, after running up and down the stairs 10 times to win the nap battle, I have decided to take my friends advice, and create a blog. So to all the mommies and future mommies and anyone else who just needs a good laugh! Let's Toast to babies, and really... Who dropped the pacifier????