Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday, May 31 . . . MOMMY'S DAY OFF!!!

So at my 6-week check up with the midwife, we talked a lot about how I was handling this whole mother-hood thing. Normally, an appointment like this is simply for a quick check of all the parts and to talk about birth control/when we would want more babies. That discussion is tricky, because as it stands right now, I'd be willing to remove all my reproductive organs and sell them on ebay and/or trade them on Craig's List for something awesome like a Vespa. I could not imaging doing this again, let alone doing it with a toddler running around. Everyone tells me that I'll feel different in a few months, when he's not a baby anymore, but we'll see. (BTW, I LOVE my midwife even more, because when I told her this, about people saying I'd feel differently soon, she said, "Or you may not. There's nothing wrong with having one kid." Everyone else just assumes that I should have more than one . . .).

But, as part of this conversation, she made the very accurate assessment that I am burned out and need a break. And not that I was doing anything wrong to get to this point -- being the one at home, exclusively breastfeeding, and not having family close by is a recipe for burnout. So she instructed me that I was REQUIRED to spend at least 6 hours away from the baby over this holiday weekend. This way, 1) I get a break and 2) Chris gets to see what it's like to be alone with the baby and have to get other stuff done too.

As it happens, my BFF Megan had decided that she was going to take me out for some pampering. I seized the opportunity and we extended the "quick lunch an a manicure" to "Let's go shopping and get our nails done and have a big lunch that includes several margaritas!!!!" (Megan and I have a very special relationship with the Perfect Margarita at Applebee's; most of the pivotal moments of our lives have involved this sacred drink. For example, this one . . .
is "Margartia Man", which saw me through a very rough day, where I had demanded Megan come pick me up, said "I have something to tell you but I'm not allowed to tell you so you have to guess!" (which she did, of course), and then spent the ride to Applebee's yelling "I'M SPEECHLESS!!! AND I'M YELLING!!! I'M SPEECHLESS AND I'M YELLING!!!")

Anyway, I spent the weekend pumping enough to spend some time away from baby, and Tuesday afternoon Megan picked me up. We got frozen lemonades from McDonald's, and then tooled around Target, where she bought the baby a Boston Bruins outfit (something about the Stanley Cup Finals, I don't know), and I found the laundry detergent packets I've been looking for for AGES. We then got our nails done and headed over the Applebee's, and I pumped IN THE CAR on the way over! It was wild!

Lunch was wonderful, and the margaritas were perfect! We ran into our friend Maggie, who followed us home for the baby time.


I "pumped and dumped" when we got home, because I was still a little buzzed (the current rule is "If you're too drunk to drive, you're too drunk to nurse. And buzzed driving is drunk driving, therefore, no nursing if you're still buzzed").

Side note: I'm afraid I only know how to "be a mother" based on what I've seen on TV, because I thought I was going to be a wreck the whole time! Calling over and over, weeping when I saw someone else's baby . . . but no. I had a great time! I didn't miss him at all! The only reason I talked about him the whole time during the manicure was because the manicurist kept asking! I would have actually preferred to talk about Mariah Carey's babies, rather than mine.

Also, I had instructed my mother not to help Chris, so he could get the full effect of being alone with the baby. She didn't listen, apparently.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday, May 30 . . . Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day. Thank you to all our veterans and people in service!


We went to the Great Barrington Memorial Day parade to see Grampa Terry march in uniform.

Memorial Day 2011 (5)
(That's Grampa, 2nd from the front)

Memorial Day 2011 (6)

Memorial Day 2011 flag
Totally patriotic

Memorial Day 2011 (8)
Grampa in uniform

Later that day we net Auntie Megan!

Auntie Megan (2)

Auntie Megan (3)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday, May 29

Chamberland Family Day

We spent the day at Chris's parents' house and everyone got a chance to hold the baby. As usual, he cried all day.

Rowan and Matthew

Gramma Robin (2)
Gramma Robin is not afraid of crying babies.

We also went over to the Gravity Car Races, where I met a very persistent little girl, with whom I got to use the trick "Babies like to be touched on their feet." I also promised she could hold him when he turns three.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday, May 28 . . . Photo Shoot!

Janna from Capture Our Moments Photography came over today and took some amazing photos of us and baby. We had tried to "schedule" a happy baby for her, since sometimes he'll give us some happy, smiley time right after eating in the morning. Of course, because we tried, we failed. He was a bundle of screaming crying passing out poop. And that just proves how good Janna is, because she was able to get these shots of Dr. Jeckyll between his bouts of Mr. Hyde.

(a while back Janna did my maternity photos too!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday, May 27 . . . Learning to use my hands

or how to pull out my own pacifier.

We headed out for our first family vacation today. We're going up to Massachusetts to see all the family and make the rounds among the friends who can't come down to visit us in NYC. This was our first long car trip with the baby.

He wasn't thrilled about it at first

1000000205   1000000206
But after a while, he enjoyed the "in flight movie" out the window

The first issue arose the morning we were going to leave. Dad was working a half day and then going to pick up the rental car. I was going to finish packing up all the baby stuff during the naps . . . so of course he wouldn't nap. I was able to get everything gathered while carrying him around in the sling, and shove it in the suitcase whenever I was able to get him down for a few minutes. And I don't think we forgot anything! 1 point for mommy.

Dad arrived home around 3:30-ish and loaded up the car. We then had a decision to make. He had eaten at 2pm . . . should I feed him before we leave so we could possibly make it the whole way up to my mother's, or do we leave now and stop somewhere on the way for a feeding? We decided on the latter, because traffic was already getting crazy, and 4pm on the bridge would be better than 5pm. We made the right choice, as baby fell asleep after about 15 minutes in the car, and we got over the bridge with minimal issues (btw, who 1) closes a lane half way across a major bridge, and 2) keeps it closed on a holiday weekend?!). He slept until 6 when we pulled off at a Dunkin' Donuts for a snack for mom and a snack for baby. Good choice! Another point for mommy (though it was dad's idea to bite the bullet and leave without feeding him)!

After dinner we headed out again. Baby was certainly interested in things out the window, but soon got fussy. Thank god he's starting to get used to the pacifier, because it SAVED US for the rest of the trip. He played this great game of sucking, sucking, almost dropping it, and then catching it on his arm or on the buckle of his carseat and shoving it back in (pure luck, I'm sure, but it was fun to watch). After a bit though, he discovered the issue with being 7 weeks old and having opposable thumbs . . . they can help one grasp things, but not left go.

Holding the pacifier in . . .

Grasping it with his thumb . . .

Accidentally pulling it out and getting pissed.

Side note, we've decided we're going to call the pacifier a "suck it", simply because it will be hilarious when he starts talking and just yells "SUCK IT!!!!" when he drops it. Also, I amuse myself by singing the Suck It song from The Office.

We may also need to find a pacifier that says "The Yankees can Suck It" (and since we're in Queens, Mets country, he probably won't get beat up for being a Red Sox fan).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25 . . . On Evolution and Boobies

First, a bit of a tangent . . . So I am a big fan of evolution. In general, it's an easy answer to a lot of questions, such as "Why did birds learn to fly?" and "Why does sex feel good?". Which is why I have such an issue with breastfeeding. You'd think that the most important, keep-your-child-alive function would be easier. Part of my desire to breastfeed comes from how natural it seemed, how perfect -- my body makes the best food for my baby, in the exact amount he needs, in a container that goes with me anywhere and is available to him any time. So why is it so god-damn difficult!?!?!

First, it hurts. All the books say that "if you're doing it right, it shouldn't hurt." But I swear, talk to a real mom and she'll tell you that you can do it perfectly, and the first few weeks STILL HURT! Second, it's too easy to do it wrong! Tilt his head wrong, sore lipstick-shaped nipples. Latch him wrong, cracked and bleeding nipples. Manage to do everything right, and your reward is plugged ducts and Mastitis. That's what I've been dealing with this week.

So Monday I woke up with a sore left boobie. I had a plugged duct a few weeks ago, but nothing major. Just a little sore, and with some heat and position changes, it cleared up the same day. But Monday evening, I suddenly got super dizzy, like I was sick. I thought I just hadn't eaten enough and was over-tired, so I made Chris bring home some protein-rich snacks, and laid down on the couch to rest. I just felt worse and worse, and I finally took my temperature. 99.9, uhg. Now I normally have a temp of around 97.7 (I had to make my own FAM charts, because the ones from the book didn't go low enough to chart my normal waking temp of 96.5), so I consider anything above 98 suspect, and anything above 99 a fever. I went to my book and figured I definitely had a plugged duct, and might be on my way to having Mastitis. 

I posted a message on FB with my symptoms, hoping for a "it's only a plugged duct, don't worry about it" response from my other lactating peers. Instead I got a lot of "GO TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT NOW!!!" responses. I was really surprised at how many people responded with "when I had it" or "what worked for me" stories; I figured this was a rare occurrence -- one definition has it listed as only occurring in 3-5% of nursing women, though other sites count it as closer to 20%. I guess I just found it odd that I had so many friends on facebook tell me they had had it, and some of them had it multiple times.

1000000200   Ice pack

Anyway, I stayed in bed the next day with my heating pad and my puppy (and a bag of frozen corn, at one point). I called the midwife and she called in some antibiotics, and told me to take them if I didn't feel any better by the end of the day. I still felt bad by that evening, so I took them. Today was better, but I made sure to shackle myself in my rocking chair instead of cleaning up.

So to bring this back to evolution . . . why would the very act of feeding my child cause me to develop a condition that makes it more difficult to feed my child? Not only is the treatment Bed Rest (which makes it difficult to take care of my baby), it makes the boobs hurt, which makes me less inclined to have a ravenous child suck on them. uhg.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday, May 23 . . . SMILES!!!

It's true what people say . . . just when you think you can't take it anymore, they give you just what you need.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday, May 21 . . . More Aunties!!!

Got a visit from Beth and Kerri today!

It seems that, at first, we weren't too sure about our new aunties.



But then we relaxed and decided they weren't so bad.



That evening, Emily and Stephanie stopped by for an impromptu party!


We ate burgers and milk shakes. Baby ate Emily's hand.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20

I've discovered that this is my new purse . . .


I've also discovered that a box of 84 diapers only lasts us approximately 8.4 days. And while Amazon Prime 2-day shipping is amazing, the 30% discount that negates the 2-day shipping is even better. So when we ran out today, we put in an order, and set mom and baby out to get more.

Thankfully, baby was having a good day, and despite the rain, behaved himself while out. We hit up the library for our "how to get your baby to sleep on his own" book (more on that later), Starbuck's (again, difficult to navigate with a stroller, but it only bothered the other patrons, not the baristas, who LOVE when I come by with baby), and the drug store for diapers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday, May 18

Sleep Training

So I was at my whit's end about this whole sleeping thing. Not the nighttime sleep, which actually has been descent. He wakes up every 2-4 hours, eats, and goes back to sleep. This works until about 6am or so, when he wakes every hour, which is rough. The real issue was during the day, when he won't sleep on his own -- he HAS to be held. This means that my whole day is either feeding him, or sitting there while he sleeps on he. And if  it had been a particularly bad night (more 2-hour intervals than 4-hour intervals, for example), I don't get a chance to rest, save a cat-nap while sitting in the chair. I was getting a little crazy . . . and by "little", I mean full-blown melt-downs. After calling Chris on his way to the subway and basically demanding that he come back and take the screaming baby for a few minutes so I can have a meltdown with BOTH hands, I decided we needed a change.

I decided that I just needed to be stubborn and try everything, to keep putting him back in the crib over and over until he got it. I started simply, just putting him in the crib while half-asleep. That lasted about 10 minutes. When he cried, I picked him up, rocked/bounced until he fell asleep, and put him back. We did that until it was time to eat again.
The next time, I remembered something about "white noise", how people run the vacuum or a hair dryer. I pulled out the vacuum and ran it while holding him. He zonked out, and I put him in the crib leaving the vacuum on next to it. He woke up about 10 minutes later, I picked him up, and bounced him while sitting next to the vacuum. He stayed asleep for a few minutes each time, but wasn't very "sound" (plus the vacuum was making the house sort of hot).


After the next feeding, I pulled one of the speakers down from shelf and put it in the crib. It's attached to Chris's mp3 player/radio, so he can listen to the radio in the living room. I set the radio to a static station and turned it up. It was VERY effective! He zonked out immediately! After a few minutes he woke himself up by flailing, and I realized that I was missing one more step -- he needs to be swaddled.


So, the static radio turned up pretty loud plus a full body-bind swadding . . . and he slept for AN HOUR AND HALF!!! ON HIS OWN!!!! I couldn't believe it!


I was so excited, I ran around getting things done. I scanned pictures, wrote thank you cards, stashed my yarn, and ate a real lunch.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday, May 16 . . . Family Snuggle Time

or "how to violate all the rules for co-sleeping at the same time"

Family snuggle time

Note the sheets, quilt, pet, and over-tired parent. Oh, AND I had a beer last night!

And yet, he's still alive.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday, May 15

Weekends are for Dad time with baby. Which means that weekends are also for Mommy to do things that require two hands. As fast as possible.

Hence the one-day knitting project!



Boobie Hat!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday, May 14

Today we had a visit from Rowan's two aunts (plus one honorary aunt).

Auntie Katelyn

Auntie Jess

"Auntie" Taran

By the end of the day, I felt like I had done my part to instill in the two younger ladies the more undesirable consequences of having a baby -- I appreciated some FEAR in their eyes when he hit his high-pitched screaming time.

Today was also a big day for Daddy! I've began pumping this week, and today we introduced the first bottle!



I think he liked it :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thursday, May 12 . . . Nursing on the Go

Up today on the "fun things to get mommy out of the house" list -- Babies R Us! We were in the market for: a wipe warmer (to minimize the screaching during middle of the night diaper changes); pacifier (oh, and you KNOW I was one of those "my baby will never use a pacifier" people, until about day 2 of his life -- I held out until 4 weeks though!); one of those pumping bras that holds the pumps on for you, because I didn't realize you need three hands to work it, and the addition hand does not come standard with the pump; and a super cute outfit for our trip up to the grandparents' at the end of the month.

I was determined that it was going to be a good trip, not like the Starbuck's trip on Monday. I fed him right before we left, and he fell asleep in the stroller on the way over there (about a 20 minute walk, though I "strolled"  and called my friend on the way over, so maybe 30 minutes). The SECOND we got in the store he woke up and started screaming. It was not the best time because I was finally opening up to my friend about how rough things have been, and all of a sudden he's screaming, I'm crying, and the sales guy is coming over and asking me if I need help, which of course I interpret as "you clearly don't know what you're doing, you need help". Luckily I had been in this store about a month ago, very pregnant, so I knew exactly where the bathroom was. I was pleased to also find a Mother's Room, with a changing table and a couch, so I could sit and feed him.***

So I calm him down and decide to put him in the sling, since the bouncing might get him back to sleep. The SECOND we exit the Mother's Room, cue the screaming!!! UHG!!! Now, the day before I had been at the Baby Wearing meetup, and had asked how other moms go about nursing while their babies are in carriers/slings, and a few showed me how they did it, but also assured me that "nursing a 1-month old is difficult enough; don't beat yourself up about not being able to nurse on the go yet." But we were in a desperate situation now (as I saw it), so I went for it. I walked around Babies R Us (because I came there to shop, dammit!), with baby attached to my left boob. And it worked . . . at least it kept him quiet. He zonked out after a few minutes, I went on my merry way. I even dared to hit up the Kohls across the way, since BRU didn't have any newborn clothes dapper enough for my taste.

I found some cute things at Kohls and headed home. However, it was now about 5:00, the "witching hour" where all he does is scream. It's like in a horror movie, when the young girl is headed home right at sundown and all the crazies come out! About 5 minutes from the store, he completely lost it. I stopped on the street, put him back in the sling, and whipped out the boob. I walked the rest of the way home with him attached, pushing the stroller with one hand (holding him up with the other, since he's still not quite big enough to stay attached on his own).

Now, I thought I was pretty well covered, considering. I'm all for the right to nurse in public, which I do, but I try to keep covered for my own modesty, and to not make other people uncomfortable with the skin, cause my boobs are pretty big. However, but I'm not the tallest person, so if you were to talk past me and glance down to see the baby, you were going to get a eye-full of side boob. Oh the looks I got walking home!!! Some were simply "woe, that's surprising", but some full-on "what the eff does she think she's doing!?!?!" Sigh. And I was getting the same looks before when he was crying, so I really felt stuck.

I know I shouldn't care what people on the street think (and my neighborhood can be a little 'old world', so the Granny's probably think I'm some crazy hippie who might as well be going topless), but it just makes me so self-conscious to go out.

Side note, I think my baby needs on of those Boob Hats. He can wear it with his pink onesie.

*** Stay tuned for a separate post about my issues deciding what sort of parent I'm going to be regarding "scheduling" . . . do I get this kid on a schedule so I can get some sleep, or do I feed him whenever he wants forever, and what does that mean for the future?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 11 . . . One Month

Happy One-Month Day!!!

One Month

(BTW, how cute are these? I may be crafty and creative, but where are these people finding the time to be so cute?!)

We celebrated by going to the "baby wearing" group meeting at the library. We played with carriers and learned some valuable lessons from the other moms, such as "your baby won't die if you let him cry while you go pee" and "everyone's baby is crying at 5:00 . . . and most of the moms too. It's not just you."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday, May 10

First Subway ride!


Mommy and baby braved the mean streets of Manhattan to visit friends at work! Unfortunately, the our 67th Ave subway stop is not "accessible" (the MTA website actually recommended I take the bus several miles and then get on the subway. Getting on a bus with a stroller is, I feel, way more inconvenient than carrying it down the stairs to the subway). But I figured I might get a handsome stranger to help me get down the stairs. Instead, I found a well-meaning man who offered to help after I had already taken the carseat out of the stroller in order to fold it up. Gratefully, I went to hand him the stroller part, and instead he picked up the carseat -- with the baby in it, mind you -- and took off down the stairs. The rational part of me knew, of course, that he was not kidnapping my baby, because where was he going to go when he got to the bottom of the stairs; but the irrational part of me saw a stranger carrying my baby away. So I tailed him pretty close, and it was all good.
I then learned how to use the service entrance to the subway, and the booth agent was very nice and didn't make fun of me when I seriously couldn't figure it out!
Then I successfully carried both baby/carseat and stroller down the next set of stairs and got onto the subway all by myself!
The stations near the office had elevators, so I wasn't worried about getting back up to the street . . . just FINDING the elevators. I ended up riding up with another woman with a stroller . . . with puppies in it. (Side note, I may have to have an adventure to a new store I heard about -- Raising Rover and Baby. Their website mentions "one of a kind matching puppy and baby clothes", which may be the best thing I've ever read.)

The trip to my office was great. Everyone loved him, of course. A little screamy, though most people didn't seem to care. The second half, the trip to Daddy's office, didn't go as well. It was about 4:30p, he was hungry when we got there, and was super cranky even after eating. We'll do Dad's office first, next time, so people can see a happy baby.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday May 9

Lesson Learned Today: don't go to Starbuck's during Frappuccino Happy Hour with a stroller. On a normal day, people will be helpful and move out of your way, and won't give you dirty looks for taking up precious Starbuck's space with your baby. During Happy Hour, however, the shop is full of teenagers and penny-pinchers, who couldn't give a damn that you're just there to get out of your rocking chair for a few minutes. They will look at you all slanty until you, the new mom on no sleep with the fussy baby that you can't manage to calm, get out of THEIR way.

All for a half-price Mocha and some fresh air.


So I'm still coming to terms with the fact that the universe gave me a son and not a daughter. Throughout my pregnancy, I couldn't help but notice one universal truth: baby girl clothes are WAY cuter than baby boy clothes. Just head to your local Target or Old Navy and you'll see. I mean, come on!? Tiny demin skirts with ruffles? Tiny Ruby slippers!? ANYTHING WITH CRINOLINE!!?!?!


All the boy clothes I saw were lame! Just your stereotypical boy stuff -- baseballs and dinosaurs and monster trucks. No class.

But I have to come to terms with the fact that I have a little boy, and that it is MY job to make him fabulous. And that means I just have to look a little harder. But first, I had to "define my brand".

I found this at Old Navy, and thought maybe by son could be "hipster":

Hipster Baby

Daddy said no.

Then I found these, and though maybe he could be preppy:

I said No.

Then last night, some friends came over and brought a gift. She said, "I saw this and thought it was just so dapper."

Yes. My son will be "Dapper".

Cause let's face it, there's nothing cuter than a little boy in a three-piece suit.

Unless of course he's in a tuxedo onesie. That might win.

Punk Rock Baby Gift Kit black white Tuxedo Bowtie onesie star hat box