Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Emotional Ouch

Last evening Preston went on strike and refused to nurse. After an hour of crying, screaming and refusing to go to bed despite being exhausted, Danielle handed him a bottle of pumped milk and he instantly went to sleep. So much for thinking he wasn't feeling well, had gas, or that I ate something that made my milk taste bad. To be totally honest, my feelings were hurt. It felt like utter rejection. Now while I know that my 8 month old doesn't have the capacity to be intentionally hurtful or be angry because I didn't make it to daycare at lunch to visit him like i usually do, or be upset at the memory or my stern voice the day before, man did it sting.

So I went to bed now eager to go in and console him at 2am and that little bugga didn't even wake up! He slept the ENTIRE night. I woke up at 6:15am to check on him and brought him to bed to nurse, which he did.

So he nursed while sleeping. Great right? No. To make things worse, I got my monthly breastfeeding newsletter email this morning and what was this months topic? Weaning.

I haven't really given weaning much thought. I just automatically assumed that we'd nurse until his first birthday. I know I'm jumping the gun. One evening of not nursing doesn't mean our breastfeeding relationship is coming to an end but I guess I have to consider it right? The thought makes me ill. Hopefully, it was just a fluke. I mean he exclusively breastfed our entire trip without any problems (we were just in Florida visiting grandparents). Last night was the first time he refused the breast.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ouch

We are 36 weeks in to our breastfeeding relationship and it wouldn't be a relationship without a bump or two in the road right?

Last night Preston bit me twice while nursing. Both were towards the end when he was just grazing and playing. The first time I ignored it but removed him. The second time I told him "no" in a stern voice. Well talk about mommy guilt. He looked up at me with those bright brown eyes and his lip quivered. It was a look of surprise from the sound of my voice and hurt that I would use that voice and take the boob away. We went back to nursing a little later on with a better outcome. I'm not sure I'll ever forget that look.

The other bump has to do with Preston instituting a 2am feeding. If I go to his room to console him, he spits his binky out and wails louder and louder until I give in and nurse him. So tonight we are going to switch it up a bit and send Danielle in. I know he will fall asleep if she rubs his back or face.

Fingers crossed.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Recommendations please

We are going on our annual cruise next month. This time with Preston. I'm debating on whether to lug my full size stroller or invest in an umbrella stroller. My friend thinks we should buy a cheap $20 stroller but Danielle and I are both very tall and I refuse to be hunched over all week. So we're looking for a lightweight stroller that reclines and is ergonomically suitable for tall people. Any recommendations? I've heard great things about McClarens.

P.S. I'm also bringing my Ergo because we never leave home without it. It's an absolute life saver.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Joy




Ahhh, we are getting ready for Christmas. Unlike any other Christmas, this one is filled with buying toys, thinking about which family traditions we want to encorporate in to our own, taking pictures with Santa, and ordering photo christmas cards. It's very exciting.
We're leaving for Florida on Thursday to have an early Christmas with my parents. I'm looking forward to laying out in the sun. Christmas in Florida is always funny to me. Palm trees donned with christmas lights and not a flake in sight.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Last Night

Yep, it's getting a little easier. Last night he didn't make it in to our bed not even once. I'm trying to work on nighttime feedings so that he only wakes up at 4am but I realize that with any new change comes a little disruption so for now it's up twice a night. Thank god for the cozy glider and soft warm blanket to get us through those middle of the night feedings.


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Sunday, November 28, 2010

First night

Attempt #2 went rather well. Preston woke up at 2am at which time Danielle brought him to our bed for me to nurse him. I contemplated keeping him there with us but decided that I needed to follow through with my plan so after nursing he went back to his crib. He woke again around 5am but drifted back off to sleep without any assistance. Then at 6am he woke up again so I brought him to bed knowing that the alarm would go off in 50 minutes. I'm quite proud of myself. In fact tonight doesn't seem as scary.


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Attempt #2

Well it's 11:49pm and here I am awake in my bed. Preston is sleeping blissfully in his crib. It's cute to see him move around so much and the odd positions he ends up in. It's like he's discovered this new found freedom. I'll admit that I've already been in twice to check on him.

In my room it seems so very quiet. No soft baby breathing next to me. Just the ticking of the clock in his bedroom that I can hear on the monitor.

I can do this.

Yesterday, both Danielle and I were so Ill. I'm convinced it's from thanksgiving dinner but because Danielle's mother is the only other one to get sick, Danielle thinks it's a 24 hour bug. At any rate it was so bad that we had to call Danielle's sister to come watch the baby because neither one of us could function. Today we felt better but I'm left with a nasty cough which was another reason I gave attempt #2 a shot. I didn't want to keep him up with my coughing.

In 4 hours I can bring him to our room if needed. Some day this will be a funny distant memory.

Tomorrow is his christening. Pictures to follow.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Attempt #1

Failed. I'll try again tomorrow. Maybe with a little more effort this time.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Dirty Little Secret

Well it's not dirty per se, more like something I'm having a difficult time with and feel embarrassed about because my other mommy friends don't seem to have the same struggle that I do. I will preface this entire post by owning that this is my issue and not the baby's.

Preston has been sleeping in the cradle next to me for the past 7 months. I love having him close by and it's served it's purpose for breastfeeding easily during the night and being able to tend to his needs. I've never felt sleep deprived because it's been so easy to pull him in to bed with me and nurse while we are both half asleep. However, with much regret it has to come to an end and the thought of it literally makes me sick to my stomach and well up with tears.

To be completely honest, I don't want him to move out. I love having him close by. I don't want to get up at 4am and pad in to his room to nurse him. I want to remain cozied up in my warm bed with him just an arm length away. I don't want him to completely awaken because it takes me more time to realize he's crying in the next room. I don't want him to think that I've abandoned him (extreme, I know but honestly it goes through my head). I don't want to deal with sleeping with my door open because it's always freaked me out and I don't think I've ever slept with the door opened since I had control of it. I don't want to have to worry about someone breaking in to our home again and being paralyzed with fear and not being able to protect my son (yes, it was 3 years ago but it still triggers anxiety. Btw- the house is on the market). I want to know that if anything happens to him, I'm right there.

However, I know in my heart it's time to transition him (me? no him). He has a beautiful crib in his room that he's never slept a full night in. He takes naps in there and starts out each night in there until it's time for me to go to bed. However, the cradle next to my bed is only suppose to go up to 15 pounds and my son now weighs 23.7 pounds. Not only that, it's becoming a safety concern because this weekend he perfected his ability to pull to his feet. He doesn't try to stand in the cradle but he tries to sit up which could lead to him very easily tipping out of it. And lastly, my 7 month old is TALL. I noticed the other day that he's pretty much the entire length of the cradle.

So what to do, what to do? I've considered pulling him in to our queen sized bed with us but it's difficult to get a good night's sleep with him in there all night because he spreads out and Danielle and I are plastered to the edge of the bed so not to impose on his space. It's funny to think about a 7 month old taking over!!! I've also considered buying an Arms Reach bed which I could kick myself for not doing in the first place because then I wouldn't have to address this issue for a few more months. But to spend that money for a few more months doesn't make much sense. I've considered bringing his pack and play in to our room but I'm not convinced that would make for a comfortable overnight sleeping space for him. I hate putting him in it for even a short nap. So I'm going to relent and admit that it's time for him to move in to his own room.

I don't want to I tell you. I feel like kicking and screaming. I've been reading Dr. Sears book on Attachment Parenting. He 100% endorses co-sleeping. However, they talk about the possibility of cosleeping with kids until age 4. I was thinking maybe 1 with Preston (age 4 is a bit of a stretch for me). I was hoping they would talk about transitioning (maybe in hopes of validating my feelings) but what they wrote didn't feel relevant to me. I've read both in Dr. Sears book and elsewhere that a reason working full time moms enjoy co sleeping or having their baby close by at night is because it's a way for them to bond over the missed hours during the day while mom was at work and baby at daycare. I totally subscribe to that thought.

So I'm coming up with my own game plan. I ran it past Danielle, and while she said she'd support me on it, I think she thinks I'm a lunatic.

Game plan A: this week is a short work week. Starting Wednesday night I will put Preston in to his crib at his usual bedtime. Nurse and change him when it's time for me to go to bed and put him back in his crib. At 4am when he wakes up to nurse, retrieve him from his crib and bring him back to our bed as usual until the morning. Once he stops with the 4am feeding (an entire post by itself) leave him in his room until the morning.

Game plan B: starting Wednesday, put him in his crib at night. I sleep in his room on the aero bed and work my way out of his room over the following few days (weeks? j/k. maybe).

I'm wondering if this is going to be much easier than anticipated. Maybe the thought just seems more anxiety provoking than the actual action. I remember when Preston was a few months old, I couldn't bare the thought of leaving him. However, a friend, encouraged me to have a date night with Danielle for a few hours. The idea seemed so difficult but I forced myself to do it, discussing my feelings with Danielle and once we were out, we had a blast.

Dang, who knew it would be so. Honestly, if you had asked me about this when I was pregnant I would have laughed so hard. My initial plan was to have him in our room for about 3 months and then transition.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Playdate


















Weekends are now my favorite part of the week. Yes, there are obvious reasons like no work. But in our house, it's Family Time. We usually have something fun planned out in the community and then on some days, nothing but reading, playing, and cuddling at home.

Yesterday, Preston "hosted" his first play date with some of his friends at My Little Outback. It's an indoor space that caters to children ages 6 months to 6 years old. They have a sectioned off space for babies which is awesome. Our group kind of took over the space and the boys really dominated with soon to be 8 month old twin boys, Pleasantlyfurious and her 6 month old son Leo, Preston, my friend Shirley and her 18 month old son Harry, my new friend Sheena and her 11 month old son, and finally we had my friend and her 10 month old daughter. I won't post pics of all of the children because I didn't obtain permission, but here are a few of Preston, Leo and Harry.



Homemade Baby Food Pitch

I'm not one to usually impose my practices on others. However, if you are considering making your own baby food, give it a try. When people find out that I make Preston's food, it's usually followed by a look. If I told people I made my 2 or 5 year old's meal, they wouldn't bat an eye so what's the big hold up that I make my 7 month old son's food? Why is it viewed better that I buy him jarred food vs making my own when it isn't a hardship? I think people feel it's an elitist thing to do in the sense that you feel jarred food isn't good enough or you're striving to be a super mom. However, there are so many perks to making your own food. For one- it's incredibly cheap. I'm not sure of the going rate of jarred food but lets say it's 2 for $1 and you are feeding your baby 3 times a day, that's $1.50 if you're just using one jar per meal. While $1.50 isn't a lot of money, check this out... this week, sweet potatoes, which is one of my son's favorite meals, are on sale for 2 pounds for $1.00. Let's just say you get 5 sweet potatoes in those two pounds. Once you put them in the oven and put them in the food processor and in ice-cube trays, you have 24-36 cubes of food if not more. Each cube is about 1 ounce. Preston only eats one cube but even if your child eats two, you still have 12-18 meals for less than 9 cents a meal. Consider then when you buy a bunch of banana's for 60 cents, a bunch of spinach for $2.00, a bag of carrots for $.99, a butternut squash for $2.50, several apples for $2.50, and or mangos for $1.50 (my son loves mangos), if these are fruits and veggies you are already buying for your family, why not buy an extra one and get several meals for your child?

Another perk of making your own food is that you know and control what's going in it.

I'm working really hard on going partially organic in our home. It's difficult at times because I have to hike it to Whole Foods to shop easily for fresh produce vs figuring it out at my local grocery store who doesn't carry many options due to low demand. However, even if you don't go organic, making your own baby food is still a great alternative, it's fun and it's rewarding. I love the look on my son's face when I see him enjoying the fruit of my labor.

Lately, we've been working on combinations. Last week I made berry and apples. He absolutely loved them. I also mixed Spinach and apples. Cooked apples with a pinch of cinnamon smells heavenily and Preston gobbles it up. They also freeze really well in the ice cube trays along with the other produce I've mentioned (with the exception of bananas). I tried to introduce ground chicken and he's lukewarm about it so I'm thinking about combining it with butternut squash.

In two weeks we are going to Florida to have an early Christmas with my parents. I'm really excited for the new foods he'll try there. My parents grow a lot of fruits and vegetables so it will be neat to have truly organic produce. I love visiting my parents because they make all of my favorite foods and it will be nice to share one of them in particular with Preston. There's a hot cereal Jamaicans make called cornmeal porridge. It's one of my favorite things to eat. I think this visit will be an educational one for me because I want to learn how to make certain things so I can make them for him.

Oh and just one more thing... yesterday we traveled with homemade baby food to our play date and it was incredibly easy. I just carried it in the little diaper bag cooler with a spoon and it was great. I have one of these and a batch of these.

I Love....

I love:
  • being a mom
  • breastfeeding my son
  • taking care of him
  • reading to him
  • watching him work on his new skills
  • his beautiful eyes and wide mouth smile
  • making his baby food
  • watching him take in new surroundings. He just quietly sits for 5-10 minutes looking around
  • seeing him try new foods. He makes a funny face and then opens up for more and more
  • hearing him squeal
  • his wet attempts to give kisses.
  • the way he manages to scoot super close in bed so that you can feel his breath on you
  • the way his face lights up when he sees me enter the room
  • the way my heart feels when I see him

I absolutely love being a mom.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween



















Crawling

Preston started to crawl last two Wednesdays ago. At lunch he was scooting and then 4 hours later when it was time to pick him up, he was crawling. I wanted to upload a video but it won't load (maybe it's too big).

Now that he can crawl he likes to exert his independence and will let you know if you are getting in the way of that. For example, in the morning, he generally hangs out in his room playing while we finish up and get bags together, etc. Well playing is not good enough these days, because he crawls to the baby gate, holds on to the bars, and whines for you come get him.

He is working on speed and in the meantime it seems to frustrate him when he can't get to me fast enough. It so cute and pitiful to watch.

In other news, Preston's come down with his first ear infection. Mommy guilt experience #26 occurred around this. About two weeks ago, I noticed that his left ear was kind of crusty. I wondered if milk had somehow dribbled down his chin while nursing and caused it. A few days later he felt warm but I gave him a bit of Tylenol and just kept an eye on him. His temp went down and he continued to be his bright, bubbly, happy self. Well the other day I noticed his ear again but this time there was a crapload of goo coming out of it. I read up in my baby book and concluded that it was a ruptured eardrum from an untreated ear infection. We went to the doctor the following morning who confirmed that this was the case and prescribed ear drops and antibiotics. The poor little lovie. I feel bad for not catching this earlier but the rational side of me knows that I did what I could when it was apparent.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Art project

Here's a picture of Preston's first art project done at daycare. It's titled "pumpkins"...



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Monday, November 1, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

6 months

Preston is growing leaps and bounds. For his six month check up he weighed in at 21 lbs, 14 oz. He's now 28 inches long and last week we bought him a pair of size 4 shoes. The sales associate assured us that we were in for trouble. Even though he's still big for his age, his weight has slowed down considerably so maybe he can stay in his 12-18 month clothing for the entire winter.

New skills this month include rocking on all fours and getting around in a caterpillar like fashion. It's not a fluid motion but it gets him from point a to b. Other skills include trying to feed himself with a spoon and responding to our comings and goings. He gives this killer smile and a chuckle when we come to pick him up from daycare. It just melts your heart.

Over this past week his appetite for solids has grown. He likes yams, mashed potatoes, blueberries, and acorn sqaush. He doesn't care for peas and is lukewarm about bananas. With solids comes a change in poop. Yes, I went there. I miss breastfeeding poop for both the consistency and smell. His new poop is foul and difficult to clean. It's also causing redness.

Weekdays are incredibly overwhelming that I find myself longing for the weekend to just rest more than anything. I'm trying to figure out what could make it easier and the only thing I can think of is a housekeeper. A good friend of mine has one and finds her indispensable. Not only does she clean their apartment but she also does their laundry AND puts it away. God, the jealousy is immeasurable.

I'll figure something out in the meantime. What works for you guys?




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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

25 Weeks

Drive by posting:

Preston was diagnosed with broncholitis two weeks ago. It's an infection of the lung's airway. He was prescribed breathing treatments from Thursday to Sunday which seemed to help. Seeing your child sick is so sad. It really triggered memories of being in the NICU. He still has cold like symptoms but his breathing has improved.

I've started to make Preston's baby food. It's really fun and incredibly easy, not to mention really cost effective. For about a $1 per fruit or vegetable, I'm able to get several meals (cubes). We haven't ventured into combos yet because we're still making sure he doesn't have any allergies to common fruits and veggies. However, he seems really lukewarm about solids at this point. He'll take a few bite and then resist the rest by blowing raspberries. I don't push the issue so we generally just end it at that point. But so far he's tried peas, sweet potatoes (seems to be his favorite), avocado, peaches, banana, and acorn squash.
Our breastfeeding relationship is still going strong. It's interesting to see how Preston now noticeably uses nursing for both nourishment as well as comfort. He's generally a really happy baby but if he gets worked up for some reason (dreaded car rides) nursing will calm him. Even though I can tell when he wants to nurse, I'm trying to teach him the sign for milk. Right now, he just throws his body back and paws at my breasts/shirt until it's available to him. Apparently, I'm not fast enough for Preston. What a demanding kiddo!
Other signs that we are going to teach him include mom, eat, more, and sleep. On one hand I can see the use for these signs but on the other hand I feel like I'm pretty aware of his needs such as when he wants to eat and when he's tired and wants to go off to sleep. I wonder if they will become more useful in a few months as he gets older.
We go in and out of teething hell. Last week, he woke up several times per night and could only be soothed by nursing or gnawing on my finger. Let's just say, I was very tired last week. However, we seem to be back on schedule. His gums are swollen, a sign that teeth are coming but none have sprouted yet.
Preston continues to amaze me with his skills. He can scoot backwards and is circles. He rocks on his hands and knees but isn't able to move forward the way he wants to. He can sit effortlessly on his own which is awesome because I can put a toy in front of him while I get dinner started.
His smile is infectious. He is so aware of our voice and face and lights up when he sees that we've entered the room. One of his daycare teachers said that when he hears our voices in the hallway when we pick him up in the evening, he gets excited and smiles. For some reason, it just melts my heart.
Until next time...



Getting ready for church.




Breast milk popsicles are a big hit with Preston. Simply freeze breast milk in ice cube trays. Then put a cube is a sassy mesh feeder and there you go. He really enjoys it during the day to ease the pain of his gums.

Friday, September 17, 2010

First illness

Mama took the day off from work yesterday to snuggle with me. We had a great day despite my 103.1 temp. It was so nice to take naps together with me tucked away in her arms and unlimited access to nursing. I know my mama was worried about me becoming dehydrated and going back to the NICU. As great as those nurses were, my mama never wants to go there again.

The doctor said it's viral and I most likely picked something up from daycare. You see, I'm teething now and I put everything and anything in my mouth, including trying to put Gracie in my mouth. She's just so cute and fluffy, I couldn't resist. She said because of the broken skin from teething, I'm more prone to picking something up. No worries though because I feel much better. I think it was all that snuggling. Mama said I was such a trooper because I wasn't fussy at all.

The only downside is that I got my first diaper rash. It's from all of the poop. The doctor warned that this would happen. But the upside is this just means I get more "naked hiney time." Not to brag, but I have a cute little tush!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Preston heads to NYC



















This weekend we went to The Big Apple to visit some friends. Being in NYC is awesome. There's just something really exciting about the noise, the people, the culture, etc. Our day started very early in the morning with a walk around Central Park. I recently read And Tango Makes Three to Preston so we had to go to the Central Park Zoo to "see" Silo, Roy, and Tango. Afterwards we had a lovely picnic in the park before heading off to FAO Schwartz for a new toy. Talk about an intense but fun place to shop.

Later we met up with my friend Brad. Once upon a time in Grad School, Brad and I were thick as thieves. We have some good memories of livin' it up in our 20's. Everytime I visit him we always end up somewhere fun. This time around we ended up at The Park to eat dinner. We sat in their lovely outdoor garden and I enjoyed a lovely glass of mint lemonade and a steak salad. We stopped off in Chelsea Market to have what has to be THE BEST hot chocolate I've ever had in my entire life. Brad, best described it as a melted chocolate bar. It was so rich and velvety. OMG, I'd love to have another cup right now. The night ended at my favorite bakery in the whole wide world, Rocco's. Honestly, going to this bakery was one of the highlights of my trip. They have the most amazing cannoli's.

We went back to Long Island to stay with Dina. Last year she bought a beautiful little home. It was fun to just kick back around the firepit and enjoy the crisp air. The following day we went to Cedar Beach which is a really rocky beach on the north shore of Long Island. We also went to Port Jefferson which is a cute boating area with lots of shops, places to eat, etc. All in all, we had a great time.
Preston, as always, was such a little sweetheart and did really well traveling. Although I can't see any signs of teeth emerging, he is teething and seems to be handling it really well so far. As long as he can put something in his mouth, he's good to go. I'm considering making breastmilk ice-pops for him in ice trays and putting it on that mesh feeder. Any thoughts or ideas on what helped your little ones? He can also sit up on his own now which is really amazing. It feels like just the other day we were celebrating the fact that he could roll over.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

19 Weeks

What a cool time in my life.
  • I am so interested in the world around me. I just sit and watch everything because it's all so fascinating. Simple things like trees swaying in the wind or cars driving up the street intrigue me. Because of this, Mama lets me face forward in my stroller.
  • I outgrew the car seat that came with my stroller so Mama and I went car seat shopping last week and then today she bought the new Britax that just came out.
  • We also test drove some high chairs but we haven't decided on one that we like. I want Mama to decide soon though because I like sitting at the dinner table with them but right now I'm in the Bumbo on the floor and let's face it, that's no fun.
  • I can roll from my back to stomach with ease. Now, I just have to work on going the other way.
  • I enjoy my exersaucer.
  • I hate my swing
  • I like to turn the pages to my story books.
  • Mama calls me a wiggle worm because I'm incredibly active these days.








The Baby Milestone Police Really Don't Exist

Didn't I just post about being confident in my decisions? Well for a day or two, I actually lost my mind a little. I read 2-3 different things that said Preston should be sleeping through the night (which he does by their standards) but if he wakes up, he should be encouraged to self soothe himself back to sleep rather than being fed. So despite being absolutely okay with our current routine, I got myself in a tizzy because when Preston wakes up after 6-7 hours of solid sleep, I pull him in to bed with me when he starts to stir and nurse him. Keep in mind, that he never fully awakens and neither do I. Did I mention that this routine works really well for us?

So why, I felt the need to conform to the practices suggested in these articles is beyond me. Where was my confidence? I told you I lost my mind a little because that night Preston woke up around 4am and I gave him his pacifier and rocked him in his cradle. Well that clearly wasn't working because within less than 5 minutes, he's fully awake and crying and I'm fully awake and not happy. In the end, I said "to hell with this," pull him in to bed and nurse him. It was evident that the boy was hungry. He wasn't comfort sucking, he was clearly filling his tummy. As I drifted back to sleep, the words that I tell myself all the time came to me clear as day: "you have to do what feels right for you and your child." So screw the articles, we're going back to what works for us. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the baby milestone police really don't exist. So if he doesn't self soothe himself back to sleep at 4 1/2 months, that's quite alright.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yum

I'm putting the yum in yummy mummy. Similar to Justin bringing sexy back. This morning I reached my second weight goal. It's ironic how the pounds are melting off effortlessly but when I tried to lose weight it was a challenge. Thank you breastfeeding!!!!!

I havent decided my min weight but i think it's no more than 8-15 more pounds. So with 47 pounds down, yep, I'm going to rock on with my bad self.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Confidence

Honestly!!! I don't know why people get their knickers in a twist about the decisions I make for my child. If they were poor decisions, I could kind of see where they were coming from but they're not. I swear, if I didn't have confidence in my decisions, I could easily feel like a crappy parent.

From the early weeks of Preston's existence there has been this push, nag, if you will about giving Preston cereal. I would say that this all started around 5 weeks of age. I was adamant that this was not going to happen that early on. I've never once complained about breastfeeding my son or waking up in the middle of the night to feed him. Some people come from the school of thought that feeding them cereal at night in their bottle is the way to go. I do not attend classes at that school. Nor do I attend classes at the school where because so and so's mama did it, then you should do it too.

I have a friend who has been on my case about giving Preston cereal. I told her that at 4 months we would revisit the idea. Well during the 4 month check up, the doctor said I could continue to exclusively breastfeed Preston and revisit it over the next two months, keeping an eye out for cues that Preston may be ready. Clearly, my son is not underweight or malnourished. Well today I got an email from my friend saying in two days Preston is due to start cereal. When I told her our decision to hold off, she let loose on me saying I was depriving my son. She told me that I had promised her and Preston this (no, no, I don't think I did), and that she hopes that he doesn't seem satisfied by my breast milk and cries to be fed (cereal). Who says that to someone? And more importantly, why? I find it all quite peculiar and I'm still trying to understand how starting my son on cereal affects her directly or indirectly for that matter.

Is this what seasoned moms do to each other? Bully other moms in to conforming to their ways? Where is the respect for each other that says "I know you are a mom, you love your child and you are doing what you feel is right for your child. And while that may not be what I chose to do for my child, the decision is entirely yours." Yes, I'm a semi crunchy yummy mummy. Yes, I cloth diaper, exclusively breastfeed, plan to make my own baby food, co-sleep half of the night because we both fall asleep while breastfeeding at his 4am feeding, wear my child when we go out sometimes instead of using a stroller but dear god, I'm in no way putting my child's health in jeopardy. Her comments really struck me today. I am 100% confident with the decisions I make but I think if I didn't have the ego strength to support that, she could have easily crushed me. So what's the take away? Respect each other as moms.

Here's a pic of my little sunshine at the park yesterday:




Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5th

A year ago today my wish came true. My life changed forever. Those beautiful two lines that I prayed to see for two long years showed up on a simple plastic stick. It was at that moment that I learned I was going to become a mom.

I remember how excited and surprised I felt. I also remember how scared I was because how after so many tries, failed iui's, failed fertility drugs, was I pregnant? Surely, the other shoe would drop.

But a few hours later we saw a speck on the screen that assured us the universe had kissed me gently. So I suppose August 5th will always be a special day for me.





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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

4 months

I'm 16 weeks old now. Mama says I'm growing up too fast. Sometimes she shows me pictures of when I was only a few days/weeks old. I was pretty skinny back then. Nothing like the big boy I am today.

I had my 4 month check up today. I now weigh 19lbs, 8oz and I'm 27 inches long. Since birth Ive gained over 7 pounds and grown 6 inches. The doctor said I'm off the charts. There was a little panic on mama's face but the doctor reassured her that I was just fine and proportionate for my height and weight. I'm in 9-12 month clothing, medium in cloth diapers and size 3 in disposible diapers. The doctor said it's normal for ebf babies to grow fast the first few months and then thin out.

Talking about being exclusively breastfed, I love my mama's milk. Not only does it make me big and strong but it also makes me feel better when I need comforted like today after my shots. Because I'm growing so well my mommies decided to hold off on cereal for a few more weeks unless I show them that mama's milk isn't filling me enough.

So until next time....
Me at the beginning of my appointment. Mama warned me that I was getting shots but I thought if I flirted with the nurse she would forget.


No such luck. This is me after getting my shots (see how red my face was). I got lots of cuddling when I got home and took a really long nap. I feel much better now.



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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Preparing for Cereal/Solids

I'm not in a rush to start cereal or solids but I like being prepared. As you can see, Preston is doing rather well on breastmilk alone. But in a few weeks/months I'll start to introduce some cereal and solids. There are so many products out there for solids and I'm just wondering what's your favorite plate, bowl, spoon, high chair, food storage container, recipe book, or gadget? I already have the food processor picked out and I know I need to pick up a steaming basket. What else do I need? A friend of mine uses this bowl with her daughter and really likes it. I also like this bowl.

What cool products are out there that I'm missing?

Roll Over

Preston rolled over from his back to his tummy today. It wasn't a fluke because he did it five times. He is still having trouble figuring what to do with the arm that is on the side he's rolling to but he manages after a while. Can't wait to capture it on video.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

LA or Bust

We placed our house on the market last week and had our first viewing today. Although I would love to unload this house fast, I'm aware of the market and our crap neighborhood so it may take a while. We've received a lot of negativity about moving. Yes, I know L.A. has a crap job market, yes I know the cost of living is high, yes I know there are earthquakes and wild fires...I know already! However, I've been dying to live there for a while. We know we can easily afford to live in Pittsburgh and if we want to return we can. However, we don't need to commit to settling down long term until Preston reaches school age. So L.A. here we come (at some point).

Week 14

This was a very exciting week for me. Mama took the morning and early afternoon off one day and we went to the library for baby and me time. I love bouncing around and dancing to the songs. Mama teaches mommy the songs when we get home and sometimes we have silly time and sing the reggae, rock, country and techno versions.

Now that I'm older I'm really interested in the other boys and girls and I stay awake the entire time.

Mama noticed that I'm really into grabbing things so this weekend she surprised me with TOYS!!!!!!
I got a spinning toy that doesn't travel well in the car because the bumps make it sing. I also got some refrigerated teething rings because I love putting things in my mouth and I also got some oval rings to extend the length on some of my car seat toys. But you'll never guess the biggest toy that I got. Give up? It's an exersaucer. Mama's book club friends bought it for me when I was in mama's tummy but today mama took it out of the box and put it together. Both of my moms were a little surprised with the amount of toys that came with it and said it's oversimulating. No wait, I mean overstimulating. I'm not sure what that means but all I know is that mama removed the overhead bar that had toys and said she would put it back in a few weeks. I like this toy but by the time it was put together it was time to wind down for bed so I was a little cranky after about five minutes. It says it's for 4 month olds so maybe we will hold off for a while.

Anyway, it's past my bedtime. Time to nurse and then off to bed I go. I have daycare in the morning so I need lots of rest. The girls hound me at daycare!!!! I like when Gabriel is there cause then I have another boy to play with.




Excuse the weird eyes.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Week 13

I'm soooooooo drooly these days. I can't help it though. I give my mommies my million watt smile and it just comes out. I suck on my hands and tons of it escapes my mouth.




Thursday, July 15, 2010

Teetering Along

I'm on the teeter totter of creating some balance. This week started out in tears and is ending with, well less tears. So we are making progress yea? My impatience doesn't allow me see that "it" will get easier. It feels like the opposite. It feels like it's getting harder. I've been in my head all week trying to figure out how I can make this work. I thought about working 2 evenings a week so I could spend the day with him. Unfortunately, Preston can't go to daycare part time or else he will either lose his spot or I will have to pay full time tuition for part time care.

I stumbled on a small solution on Monday when I forgot my pump parts at home. Instead of running home to get them, I decided to go see Preston at daycare and nurse him. I can't explain how this brightened my day. So now I know that if I'm really missing him, I can just simply go see him. My other small solution was every once in a while to work an evening which will allow me to spend the day with him. We are testing it out next Thursday. You don't know how excited I am about it. I think we'll go to Baby and Me at the library like we did during maternity leave and then go to the park and enjoy the weather and some books. I'm sure playing hooky is not in the How to be a Great Parent Handbook but oh well, I'll deal with that guilt later.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Week 11 and 12

My mom ain't kidding when she says I grow like a weed. She put me on my baby scale and I'm over 17 pounds. Let me just remind you that I'm only 3 months old. I'm the same size as some of the 6 month old girls in my daycare room. I'm sporting 6-12mo and 9mo clothing. In case you missed it earlier, I'm only 3 months old!!!!

Daycare is going well. I'm one of two boys in my room and the four other girls really dig me. When I come in in the morning, they stop chewing on their books and toys to check me out. One little girl L. really digs me. My mom thinks she's a cutie because she looks like a little doll. However, I'm too young for girls so I just enjoy hanging with them for storytime and tummy time. My mommy really like my afternoon daycare teacher. I don't think she even clears 5 feet and when she holds me, my mommy jokes that we're almost the same size. She's really grandma like with white hair, a tiny voice, and gentle ways. I really like her too. My morning teacher is awesome. She too is a grandma and gets us all moving in the morning with stretching our legs and arms, tummy time, reading, and playing. I'm never left in my rocker or crib for too long outside of naps. And to boot, they are also really cool about cloth diapering me.

Speaking about cloth diapers, I think my mom has developed an addiction to buying them and asking Nana to sew more. Nana's awesome and sent some 4th of July dipes in the mail last week. I'm cloth diapered pretty much 95% of the time now and only wear a sposie to bed.

At home, Mama puts me in my bumbo seat every once in a while but I can only tolerate it for about 5 minutes. I've almost outgrown my swing. I know both my moms were hoping to get more use out of it, but I'm a growing boy (remember 17 pounds, 3 months old). I really enjoy my Ergo carrier though. I love snuggling up to mama and enjoying some aromatherapy with the smell of breastmilk. It usually lulls me to sleep within 5 minutes.

I'm squealing and smiling a lot now. This always brings a smile to my mommy's face (you know, I do what I can do to make their day).

Well that's it until next week.



Gracie loves hanging out with me.


Mama and I at 4th of July event.


Mommy and I.


Thanks nana for the new dipe.

Searching for Balance

I'm having a terrible and I mean terrible time transitioning back to work. I'm sleep deprived for the first time since giving birth but I'm even more consumed with guilt because the time I spend with Preston each day has dramatically decreased. I'm really mourning the days of my maternity leave. I'm not sure how to balance being a mom, going back to work full time, handling the day to day activities, in addition to preparing dinner and getting us ready for the next day. I'm utterly exhausted by the time I get home from work that sometimes I have to work really hard at mustering up the energy to play, sing, and read to my baby and if I'm honest, there have been days where we only get one book in and some snuggling time before he's off to bed.

Preston wants to be nursed as soon as we get home. Seeing him at the end of my work day and sitting to nurse him is a true joy. But after that, it's off to wash diapers, bottles, make bottles for the next day, storing pumped milk, making dinner, getting lunch and clothes ready for the next day. Preston enjoys being toted around in the Ergo while I do some of these things. He looks around for a while and then snuggles in and goes off to sleep. Daycare really tuckers him out and shortly after we get home he's asleep for the night. I feel like I get 1 quality hour with him after work and 30 minutes of that is from nursing. Something has to give.

I really want to be a stay at home mom but it's not an option so I need to stop wishing and hoping for it and problem solve through my current situation. I feel guilty that he's at daycare from 8:30am-5:45pm Mon-Fri. I feel guilty that he's the last kiddo to be picked up in his classroom because I work 8.5 hour days. I'm jealous that his daycare teachers, as wonderful as they are, get to spend more quality time with him than I do during the day. I miss him during the day and I have to will myself not to cry at work. I've considered working evenings so I can be home with him during the morning and day. It would save money on daycare which isn't really an issue (quality time is) but then it would be like playing tag with Danielle and we wouldn't see each other until the weekend. I waited so long to be a mom and now I feel like we're being cheated. Does it get any easier?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Too cool







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First day of daycare

We, okay, I made it through the first day of daycare yesterday. I stayed for about 3 hours to see what their morning looked like. I also spent some time showing his teacher how to use the cloth diapers, the wetbag, reviewed his likes (swaddled to sleep), put away his stuff in his cubbie, and taped a pic of Danielle and I to the inside foot of his crib (suggested by my friend's husband).

By 11:30am I was ready to transition and went to get my hair cut by a scissor happy stylist. It's shorter than expected but I still like it.

Picking Preston up from daycare is definitely the highlight of my day.

And so as I transition from being a SAHM on maternity leave to a full time work outside of the home mom, I think we will be okay.


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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Week 10

We've decided to let "Preston" write his weekly updates from here on out.


I'm becoming a seasoned traveler. My mommy (Danielle) jokes that she didn't leave Pittsburgh until she was 19 years old and here I am, 2 months old, and already I'm traveling here and there, flying on planes and staying in hotels. This week I went to Washington DC to see my godmother and then a day later I took my first airplane ride to visit Nana and Grandpa. Mama said that I was the best little boy ever because I did so well on both trips. You should have seen my mama working all of our gear by herself like a pro. She had me in my Ergo while we went through security and on to the plane so that her hands were free to carry our suitcase and diaper bag. I think people were quite impressed with how she was able to handle everything and if they weren't, well I was. I slept most of the time, because lets face it, I love being in the Ergo snuggled close to mama or in her arms. She nursed me during take off and landing to help prevent my ears from popping.

I had so much fun at Nana's and Grandpa's. My mother's cousin's 7 year old daughter was there for the summer and we went to the beach for my very first time. The warm water felt great crashing on my skin. Grandpa even took me and my cousin to the park one evening when the sun started to set. It was 100 degrees one day- yikes! Nana is awesome. She made all of mama's favorite foods and showed mama how to sew paci clips for me. Nana even made me a new wetbag for daycare and some new diapers. I can't wait to go back.

Milestones:
- I've started to take a pacifier. I would much rather use mom as a paci but she said she won't be there with me at daycare so there are times I will have to rely on the paci to help me sleep and soothe.
- I'm losing some hair on the side of my head. I'm still a stud muffin though.
- I can hold upper chest and head up for a long period of time when I'm on my tummy.
- I can use my legs to "stand" when held in that position.
- I'm growing out of my small cloth diapers.
- I consistently smile in response to others smiling and talking to me.
- I know how to bring things to my mouth and love to suck on my hands.














Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Week 9

This week brought about envy and other conflicting feelings. I've met some other new moms during my maternity leave. We've met for music time at the library followed by lunch, frozen yogurt, jaunts at the zoo or picnics in the park. It's been great. However, I'm reminded that this will not last and soon I'll return to work while some of my new found friends will remain home with their babies. On the one hand I know I will be grateful for the intellectual stimulation work brings. But on the other hand I desperately long to be home with my son.

Unfortunately, being a SAHM is not an option for me. However, working different hours is. Working the evenings 3:30pm to midnight would allow me to be home during the day with him but then it takes me away from my Danielle. Working 9am to 5:30pm as I am now allows me to be home in the evening with everyone but not spend as much quality time with Preston as I would like. How do you 9-5pm moms feel? Do you feel cheated by the small amount of time you get with your child during the week? Maybe this is just my anxiety about returning to work and separating from him. However, I am annoyed that a lot of enrichment activities are limited to morning and afternoon hours such as diaper gym, baby lapsit, swimming lessons, etc.

We had another exciting road trip this past weekend. This time we drove to Washington DC to visit Preston's godmother and her mother. I haven't partied like that in a long time and my body reminded me of that the following day.

And as always I'll leave you with a picture of my little stud muffin from last week's photo shoot.






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Monday, June 14, 2010

8 Weeks

My darling SugarPlum survived his first round of vaccinations. He was fussy in the evening and insisted on being cuddled while he slept. Of course, I eagerly obliged as cuddling him is one of my favorite past times. By 8pm he woke up and was back to his bright, bubbly self.

I feel like I write this every week, but he is truly growing like a weed. At his 8 week check up, my beautiful baby weighed in at 14 pounds, 12 ounces and is 24 3/4 inches long. He easily fits in to 3-6mo clothing and has grown out of his newborn prefold diapers. I remember not too long ago he had plenty of space to stretch out when we breastfed in the nursery rocker. Now, we have to find somewhere to put his legs and keep him comfortable. I can only imagine the scene when he's like 5 months old and still breastfeeding.

Speaking of breastfeeding, it is going unbelievably well. Preston is going about 3 hours now in between feedings and wakes up once between 10:30pm and 6am to eat which we both do half asleep while laying in bed. We are not starting solids for a while but I've already researched the food processor that I want and I'm excited to make his own baby food.

In other news this week also brought about Preston's first road trip. We went to visit my brother and family in Ohio. The little ones had a photo shoot which went incredibly well. It's very easy to get suckered in to buying lots of pictures. The kiddos had a great time, especially my 5 year old niece who hammed it up for the camera. However, note to self about going away for the weekend... ALWAYS remember to pack a pump, even if it's your manual pump. I woke up so engorged on Sunday and hand expressing helped but is not nearly as powerful as a pump.

We are gearing up for another road trip this weekend to DC to visit Preston's godmother and attend her mother's 55th birthday party. We've been looking forward to this road trip for a while. I hope Preston does well with this trip as well. The hardest part of a road trip with an infant is not being able to pick them up out of their car seat and hold them when they cry.

And as always, here's a picture of the little tyke:


Monday, June 7, 2010

7 Weeks

The reality of going back to work set in when I wrote the check for daycare. Preston starts Wednesday, June 30th and I go back to work July 1st. I'll spend the day with him at daycare that Wednesday to see what his day is comprised of, help the daycare workers learn his needs, and lets be honest... help me deal with my own issues of placing him in daycare and being away from him. I'm sure I'll be a mess at work on July 1st.

I was advised to go back to work on a Thursday or Friday to ease back in to the work week. That way I'll have the weekend to recuperate physically and emotionally with my baby and then start a full week the following week. Luckily for me, I have a 3 day weekend (4th of July) to recuperate.

On the agenda for week 8: Pediatric appointment with shots, first road trip- going to Ohio to visit my nieces and get professional pictures taken with them, and establish a nighttime routine. Preston's silly face.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

6 Weeks

Additional things I've learned as a mom:
  • A public bathroom is as only good as it's changing station. If you lack one, you've already become a terrible bathroom.
  • There's a high likelihood that you will have some form of baby bodily fluid or dirt on your clothing by the end of the day. No more expensive clothing for a while.
  • Accessibility to my boob is now vital when shopping for new tops. If I can't breastfeed in it, there's no point in getting it. I have a really pretty long dress that I can't wear at this time because there's no way I can bf in it. I wish I had thought about that when I bought it.
  • The breastfeeding diet rocks. I've lost all of my pregnancy weight plus 17 pounds of prepregnancy weight. Only 11 more to go because goal weight #1.
  • Each day of maternity leave brings on a stronger desire to be a SAHM. I wish we could afford that as an option.
  • The mama bear is me in fierce. I never knew this side of me.
  • I detest car seats. Not for their function but because they are a PITA to get a baby in and out of. Plus they are freaken heavy if you decide to carry them.
  • You learn to prioritize which store to go in due to the aforementioned car seat issue.
  • The Ergo Carrier is a lifesaver.

Preston's Development:

  • He's starting to coo which is delightful to hear.
  • He is kicking his legs and moving his arms with more fluidity and enjoys his activity mat.
  • He's growing out of clothing like I work for a clothing store. What fit him last week, can easily be too small this week. BTW, I stepped on the scale with him yesterday and it said he was 15 pounds. I'm waiting for Danielle to do the same for confirmation. Holy Cow.
  • He can hold his head up longer on his own.
  • He still loves to be held and I love holding him.

Here's a short clip of him.

video

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5 weeks

  • My beautiful boy is getting bigger and bigger. Pulling him in to bed with me at night to nurse requires much more effort on my part these days. Before I could do it half asleep, now... not so much.
  • I fall deeper and deeper in love with him each and every day. Sometimes I feel like I can't get enough of him. He honestly brings me so much joy.
  • He enjoys tummy time and playing on his activity mat. He's discovering that he has arms and enjoys moving them. It's fun to watch except when he accidentally hits himself in his face.
  • I still wake up at night to make sure he's breathing. Damn you SIDS!
  • He loves to cuddle but can also fall asleep on his own in his cradle. However, with that said, he'd much rather fall asleep in your arms and I'm okay with that.
  • Sometimes he stops what he's doing just to listen to my voice as though he thinks it's the sweetest sound ever. I'm sure as a teen, he won't feel the same way!
  • I feel so incredibly lucky to be his mom.



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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

4 Week Check Up

Preston now weighs 11 pounds, 13 ounces and is 23 1/4 inches long. Talk about a growing boy! It's hard watching him grow so fast. Even at four weeks I want to freeze time.

At this age:
  • He turns his head to the sound of my voice
  • He stops crying when I sing to him.
  • He can turn his head while on his tummy
  • And he loves loves loves to be held.
  • Fussy time is usually between 9p-10p
  • He loves to nuzzle at the breast after eating
  • Wakes up around 2:45am and in the 5am hour to eat

Question: When did you pick a bedtime for your little one? And when is it? He still sleeps alot during the day and night. Did your child's bedtime change once you went back to work? I still have 8 weeks of maternity leave.


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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Our First Mother's Day

I wanted to do something special for our first Mother's Day so we went to Color Me Mine and painted mugs with Preston's footprints on them. Yes, my son has really big feet!!! It was one of the first things Danielle noticed about him after he was born (I anticipate a really tall boy). We had a great time and I'm sure it's something I will always remember. I can't wait to pick up the final product next week after it is fired and glazed.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

I read over my blog entry from last year on Mother's Day. I was in such a different place then. It was my third Mother's Day ttc and just another reminder of what I wasn't and yet so desperately hoped to be. It was very painful and I can still remember and feel what that hurt was like.

This year I'm looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day. I've waited so long to be a mother and I'm honored to have such a role. To make it special for our family, we have plans to go to a local pottery studio to make each other mugs with Preston's footprints on it (thanks giggleblue for the idea) and then we are meeting Danielle's mother and sister for lunch (pics to follow tomorrow).

So for my readers, I'll leave you with a passage from last year's mother's day entry which was so meaningful to me and helped me get through the holiday.

To those that are blessed to have children on earth, to those who have angels in heaven, and to those who are mothers in their hearts and just waiting for their miracle, Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baby Acne or Rash?

It started out with a few spots but over the last week it has gotten progressively worse. At the last pediatric visit we were told it was baby acne. However now it's spreading to his upper chest. We're returning to the doctor next week for his one month check up. In the meantime any thoughts?


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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Music Time


Can be so exhausting at times.











My little love is growing like a weed. I bet he is going to be tall like his mamas. Within a week he gained 1 pound 1 ounce so as of Monday he weighs 9 pounds 1 ounce.

He's had some fussy moments but is easily soothed. The past few nights he wakes up for feedings vs having to be woken up. This weeks goal is to practice nursing while lying down.

Next week Danielle returns to work (sigh).