Friday, December 16, 2005

I absolutely love this time of the year. I love the family time, the food, the decorations, the music, the feeling. I'm not especially religious, and waffle on my beliefs. (I blame that partially on my upbringing in a liberal protestant church mixed with conservative parochial school. Got some mixed messages at a young age.) But during the advent season, I find myself drawn to the church, although this year the draw hasn't been enough to actually get me into one. Maybe Christmas Eve or Day or both. I love the advent wreath and candles and the readings leading up to Christmas. Now that I have a child, the whole birth of Jesus is especially poignant. As a child, I always romanticized the birth in a stable...nice clean hay, a cozy little stable, a few fluffy sheep hanging about. As an adult, I realize what it truly would have been like...smelly, dirty, cold at night, hot during the day. And there was the birthplace of a child, to a young woman, probably scared out of her wits. Did she have anyone else in attendance? Would a local midwife or relative of her husband's have been there? I doubt Joseph would have been. Even today, it's not common for middle-eastern husbands to attend births. (Although an Egyptian student I know did stay in the delivery room for his daughter's birth last year and was so happy he did. He told all his male friends and relatives about it and encouraged them to do the same. Way cool.)

I especially love traditional Christmas hymns. My preference: those written or arranged by Rutter. I have a Rutter CD that I play nearly nonstop during the holidays. My favorite on it is "In the Bleak Midwinter". The lines "Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay; Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before" always hits me. There was the holy child, the Creator in human form, and all he had and all he needed needed were milk and a place to lie. Humble needs indeed. Needs no different from any other newborn.

Another favorite is "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime". The images it presents are beautiful, although I have issues with its origins (a Jesuit missionary in Canada who converted Native Americans to Christianity wrote the lyrics.) The history of the hymn is interesting, though. Most of the Hurons were wiped out, yet the song was preserved and now is considered a treasure.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Yayyyyyyyy!!! Hubby comes home tonight. He's been in Myjammy (Miami) all week for a forensic investigations class. Sounds like he's had a week of very depressing case studies. And he and his classmate stayed at a hotel right at the airport, so poor Hubby had gotten very little sleep. The flight pattern goes over their hotel from roughly 4:30 am - 11 pm. Hubby said he could look out his window and wave at the people on the plane looking out their windows.

Anyhoo, Peanut and I survived quite well. Sunday night was rough and he ended up in bed with me by 1 am. All the other nights he STAYED IN HIS CRIB! WOO HOO!! He did have a few little wakeups each night, but those were remedied either by himself, by me sticking the binky back in his mouth, or a combo of binky and butt-patting. And on all but one morning after his 5 am bottle, HE WENT BACK TO SLEEP IN HIS CRIB. He has never done that. Never ever. After the am bottle, he always wants to snuggle up to Daddy. I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that we can keep this up even after Hubby gets home. I also moved his last bottle up to 10 pm, 60-90 minutes earlier than usual, and that worked without affecting his morning wakeup. I hope we can continue moving it up until we phase it out. He's definetly old enough to sleep the whole night without it. I'll be out of town 2 nights next week, so Daddy will be tested.

And yesterday, he had a check-up. So after his 5 am bottle, I pumped and showered, like on a regular work day, then got back into bed at 6 and was able to sleep from 6-8!! Peanut woke up at 8 and was even happy. He didn't realize I was still in bed, so he kept peeking out of the crib toward the door and making little "oooooh? ooooh!" sounds. I think he was asking where everyone was. So I brought him into bed with me for a few minutes of snuggle time.

I can't believe how well he did with sleeping on his own. Each night I laid him in the crib awake at 8:30 pm and within 15-30 minutes he'd be asleep. He still fusses and cries and I have to go in a few times and pat his butt, but he's falling asleep by himself without a full-on freakout.

Now all we need to do is phase out that late-night bottle and get him to self-soothe back to sleep in the night and we'll be all set.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I'm going out to dinner tonight with a friend. She's actually a coworker of Hubby's and he's been trying to get me to hang out with her for a while. We've been out a few times with her and her girls and I decided to make the effort to do a girls' dinner out. I'm such a lazy-ass when it comes to girlfriends. Best Friend and I rarely hang out, although that's a different story (all the times she's bailed on me, the continuous whining about money...) A have a couple of good friends at work, but we live 30-60 minutes away and after commuting every day during the week, it's hard to be motivated to go visit them. So this is a big step for me.

Anyway, Hubby's friend from work, I'll call her Karen, is having a shit time. Her husband is stationed in Afghanistan and has been there for at least a year. They've had rocky times in the past due to him cheating, which led to him being temporarily kicked out, and some issues with his daughter from a previous marriage. They have a daughter each from their first marriages and a daughter together. Both of Karen's girls live with them. The husband's daughter lives with her mom. She stayed with them for a while and caused a bunch of trouble, so Karen laid down the law and told her to go back to her mom. The daughter made up a bunch of crap about being abused, so DCF came and took away Karen's 2 biological daughters. They eventually got things straightened out, and the girls were returned. If I was in the same situation, I probably would've done the same. You don't mess with my kid and you don't do shit to get him taken away from me. Period. And from what I've gathered, her husband is fairly useless at home, in everything from dealing with his daughter to doing any housework, so he didn't step in and help with the situation. So she did what she could to preserve her family.

Her husband was recently giving her stress about wanting the daughter to move back in. She said absolutely not, given the history there, and the fact that he's still overseas. So he threatens to divorce her. They patch things up. Then she starts getting e-mails confirming his membership to an online singles service (the dumbass used their home e-mail to set up the account.) She confronts him, he gets pissy and changes the e-mail password. Then he starts accusing her of cheating on him. Apparently someone in his unit is married to another cop from work (both Karen and her husband are cops) who was spreading a rumor about Karen and a cop known for getting around. She isn't cheating and finally convinces him she's not. Then he comes back with some crap that she may hear a rumor that he's cheating, but he's not, he's only good friends with the woman, yadda, yadda. Well apparently they're so friendly, their commanding officer separated them so they no longer work the same shifts (sounds fishy to me, but whatever). They get things calmed down.

Then this weekend he tells her that after being away from her for a year, he realizes he can live alone and wants a divorce. She wants to keep the family together, although it sounds like mostly for the girls' sake. She's afraid he'll try to get custody of the younger (his) daughter, but the two girls would be devastated if separated. If you ask them, they're not half-sisters, they're sisters.
So dumbass husband then e-mails the girls and tells them he has a new girlfriend and is going to divorce their mom. Classy. And a hell of an emotional load to dump on your 5 year-old daughter and 12-year old step-daughter who considers you her daddy.

The next day he and Karen talk and work things out. No divorce (for now, anyways). I can only imagine what she and those 2 little girls are feeling right now. My opinion is that she should dump the guy, fight tooth and nail for custody of her younger daughter, and use his philandering and the closeness of the girls to her benefit. But that's just my opinion. And like they say, opinions are like assholes...

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A big sigh of relief! Peanut's ear surgery went fine. He was such a little trooper until the surgery: no babas after midnight (he normally has one at 5), up early to be at the surgicenter by 6:45, and hanging out there for another hour until the surgery. He barely fussed at all and seemed to enjoy all the nurses fussing over him. He only cried when they gave him gas to go to sleep. I mustered up the courage to hold him, and it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be. He slowly drifted off to sleep.

Within 10 minutes, the tubes were in. We could hear him screaming as soon as he woke up, all the way out front in the waiting area. He was like a little wild child screaming, flailing, and arching his back. Poor Daddy spent the 45 minuts of post-op holding a little screaming demon. The little guy was still "drunk" from the anesthetic as was apparent by his barely-focusing eyes. Once we got him settled into the carseat with a binky, he was fine. By the time we got home, he was smiling again. And after a baba, he was ready to play. Daddy passed out on the couch, so around 10, I took Peanut into the bedroom and laid him in bed. He rolled around and played, then noticed a sock had fallen off. He took one look at those juicy toes, spit out the binky and stated sucking on his big toe. I laughed. He was adorable. A little while later he rolled around until he was comfy, then zonked out - for 3 glorious hours. Which meant I did, too. Pure bliss.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving was quiet and enjoyable. Mom came over, so it was us 3 adults and Peanut and a whole feast of yummy food. Mom was pleasant most of the time, although she drove us crazy insisting on making a jell-o mold that neither Hubby nor I wanted. The recipe made enough servings for about 15, and we both suggested she halve it. She would have So, she ended up with a huge bowl of pink crud only she would eat, then complained about it. Mom will never change.

Friday, things got hectic. Hubby was called out to an unattended death, then to another. Saturday he had to go to an autopsy and that night a toddler died of apparent meningitis. Sunday he went to the autopsies for the two Friday deaths and the toddler.

I could not do what he does. One of the unattended deaths was a 30-year-old man, who probably died from liver disease due to drugs and alcohol. 30 years old. Younger than me. Someone who should have been in the prime of his life.

The toddler got to me even worse. Apparenly she had an ear infection, was taken to the doctor on Friday and given antibiotics. By Saturday morning, she was crying/screaming and every time she tried to stand, her legs buckled. It was meningitis and had already become pneumonia as well. She was dead by 11 pm. She went from "just an ear infection" to dead in less than 48 hours. Scary shit. Now we understand why our pediatrician sent Peanut to the ER when he had the horrible bilateral ear infection. Even though I griped about it at the time, and Hubby was pissed because he felt that she overreacted, we're glad she was on top of things.

I'm still thinking about that poor child and praying we never have to go through anything like that.

Peanut's ear tubes go in tomorrow, and I have worries about the procedure at the back of my mind as well.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Happy Birthday, Peanut!

Today you are 1 year old. At this time a year ago, I was fully dilated and getting ready to push. The epidural was so good, I couldn't feel anything, so we had to wait for it to wear off. In another 3 hours, out you popped. And our lives changed for the better.

Daddy and I never knew how much we could love you. As you get bigger and develop more personality, our love grows. You've become a real little person with your own opinion on things, even if you can't always express them in a way that we understand.

You've decided that the butt scoot is way better than crawling, and boy, you've gotten quick. A few nights ago, you made it to the dog's bowl before I realized what was happening. Luckily I got to you just as you were shoving kibble into your mouth. I'm afraid of what would've happened if it made it in. I also removed another 3 or 4 pieces from your greedy little fists. Let's just say you were not happy and made it clear. I guess if it's good enough for the dog, it's good enough for you, and you're not one to pass up on food.

You look like a drunken sailor when trying to walk. (An adorable little drunken sailor.) I think it'll be a while before you have your land legs. And still NO TEETH. Where the heck are they?

We're working on teaching you baby signs, but nothing yet. Last night you did point to the mashed potatoes when Daddy wasn't feeding you fast enough. Way to go. You also clap when we say "Yay". We're working on waving and blowing kisses, but you don't seem interested in either one.

Did I mention how cute you are? You are adorable. Of course, I'm biased, but everyone says what a cutie you are when they see your pictures. Nearly every time we go out, someone comes up and mentions your cuteness. Don't let it go to your head, though.

This morning, when you had your 5 am bottle, I whispered "Happy Birthday" into your sleepy little ear. As much as I'm not a morning person, I love our pre-dawn time together. You are so warm and sleepy and cuddly when you have your bottle. As soon as you're done, you roll over so you're chest-to-chest with me and fall asleep. And usually within about 30 seconds, the cute little snores start. As I hold you smelling your sweet hair, hugging your little body, everything is perfect. I lay you back in bed with Daddy so I can get ready for work, and you snuggle up to him, often putting an arm over his neck. I know we'll miss these days when you're too big and too cool to cuddle with us.

Tomorrow we're having a birthday party with Gramma and a few friends. I can't wait to see your reaction to the cake. We even have a little cake just for you. I wonder if you'll smash it and moosh cake all over yourself. I hope so.

Mommy xoxo

Thursday, November 17, 2005

One year ago today, I left work early. I was tired, swollen, and wondering how I was going to keep working up until Peanut's due date of January 3rd. I wanted so badly to save my paid leave until after Peanut's birth. Or to at least make it until the holidays. Little did I know that I'd be awakened before dawn by the popping of my bag of waters; that in less than 24 hours Peanut would be making his grand entrance into the world...-

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gramma passed away Thursday afternoon. She had a rough night, but had settled down. My aunt was there with her, which made me feel better about the situation. Even though she was unaware, someone who loved her was with her at the end.

Mom seems to be coping pretty well. I know she's sad, but she'd hanging in. I need to give my aunt a call. I last talked to her a day or two before Gramma died and should see how she is.

It looks like the family will have a memorial service sometime in the spring, when the weather is warmer. Gramma wanted to be cremated, so there's no hurry. As Aunt said, she can keep Gramma on a shelf over the winter and Gramma can keep her company. A springtime memorial sounds good. We wouldn't be able to go now, as Hubby is in homicide training, I have only 2 or 3 days of paid leave left, and we have no cash. Hopefully by spring we'll have some bills paid off and maybe I will have accrued some more leave.


I can't believe I forgot to mention Gramma's clothes and jewelry in the previous post. Back in the day, Gramma was quite the fashion hound. She had closets of clothes, shoes, purses, hats, scarves and gloves. And drawers of sparkly costume jewelry. It seems that her style of brooches are making a comeback and I always think of Gramma when I see them.

I loved going to Gramma's house and playing dress-up. She let me have free reign of the shoes, hats and jewelry and I loved it. I borrowed purses for several proms/dances over the years and still have a couple that she either gave to me or I forgot to give back.

When she went into the nursing home, my aunts cleaned out her house. They divvied up the jewelry and donated the clothes. I think some may have made it to our old church, where I went to nursery school. My best friend and I used to play dress-up nearly every day at nursery school, mostly with clothes Gramma had donated. I hope a new generation of little ones are having as much fun as we did.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gramma was rushed to the hospital a few nights ago with heart failure. The doctors didn't expect her to hang on this long and she's now in hospice care on a morphine drip. She could slip away at any time, and although I'm sad, I also realize it's her time. She's lived in a nursing home the past 6 or 7 years and has slowly succumbed to dementia. She had the occasional lucid spell, but she was to the point of no longer recognizing her own children. At least she was cheerful and seemed genuinely happy.

Gramma was never one of those super-involved grandparents although she was good to me growing up. After raising her own kids, she made it clear she was done and wasn't going to raise the grandkids, too. Mom is the baby of the family and I'm the youngest grandchild, so by then Gramma was definitely done. She did watch me in the summers when Mom didn't have daycare for me, or during the school year if I was home sick, she often came so Mom could go to her job. Gramma used to take me to the community pool in the summers, although I don't think she ever donned a bathing suit and she never got in the pool. We'd also go to Marcus Dairy for ice cream. Gramma always loved the sweets. Always. Marshmallows, Mallomars, and RC Cola were staples in her household.

Gramma was born in 1910 in Fairburn, GA. There used to be rumors as to whether or not her parents were actually married (they later separated and her father re-married) but I think my aunt did find a marriage certificate. Anyway, Gramma was raised by her mother and grandmother. I think she and her mom had a rough relationship, possibly her mom wasn't cut out for mothering, but her grandma doted on her. Her mom and grandma ran a lodge in Ormond Beach, FL during the winters, where they had regular residents who would stay for the winter season. Somewhere, Mom has a wonderful old scrapbook filled with turn-of-the-century postcards from the lodge residents. They are great.

She had wonderful stories of her childhood. The kooky uncle who kept pet squirrels and lived out back on the property. A sea turtle so big that she and 2 friends could comfortably stand on its back. Getting to church late on a Sunday and sitting with John D. Rockefeller, who gave her a nickel for the offering plate and a whole dime to keep for herself. The pet bear cub "Johnny Bear" they kept until he was too large to handle - her uncles accidentally killed its mother while hunting, not realizing she had cubs. Somewhere, there's a photo of a young Gramma standing on a chair next to the bear, holding onto its leash. He was eventually sent to a zoo.

At 16, Gramma married her first husband. They had 3 sons, the oldest died of pneumonia before the age of 10. Her husband liked to play the stocks and lost a substantial amount of (her) money in the crash. When money got really tight, she went to work in a factory that manufactured razor blades, as an inspector. The employees were paid per unit inspected and apparently she worked too fast, so the other employees told her to slow down. She and the husband eventually divorced. She later married my grandfather, who was also divorced (his first wife cheated on him). They went on to have 3 more children together - my aunt, uncle, and Mom. In all, they had 7 kids in the house. Grandpa was a pharmacist and had learned his skills by apprenticing - back in those days, you didn't have to go to pharmacy school if you apprenticed under a licensed pharmacist. He owned a pharmacy and all the kids and Gramma did their share of working in the store. Grandpa was a kind man who truly loved Gramma. And I think she truly loved him as well.

Grandpa died of a heart attack and Gramma later married a 3rd husband. I think it was mostly because she was lonely and was of an era when people didn't "shack up". I vaguely remember him, but he died when I was young. He seemed like a nice man, but I'm not sure the marriage was all that great.

The last 10 years or so became difficult. Gramma had a hard time living on her own, but none of the family wanted to take care of her. Mom tried for a while, but it took a toll on her. Gramma had become paranoid and would fairly regularly called 911 for no apparent reason. After several falls and a hospitalization, she was sent to the nursing home by the doctor. She hated it for the first few years, but once she was put on anti-depressants (to also help with the paranoia), she became happy. What a wonderful change.

As much as we used to gripe about Gramma and her idiosyncrasies and her often childlike behavior, she really was an amazing woman. She outlived 2 of her children and 2 husbands. She divorced her nutty husband in an era when that was not done. She lived her life the way she wanted and nobody could change that.

I love you, Gramma. I hope you go to a good place where you'll see your sons and Grandpa. Every time I see a butterfly, I'll be thinking of you.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

After much debate last week, my parents kept their plans and visited over the weekend. They flew in Friday and have a flight out later this afternoon. We got lucky as far as Wilma. Neither of their flights were affected and our weather was iffy Sunday night and yesterday morning, but not terrible. The worst for us was actually Sunday night when a couple of tornadoes touched down within a few miles of our house.

My parents enjoyed their time with Peanut and he thoroughly enjoyed his time with Grampy and Grammy. He adores my dad and it shows. Last night, he fell asleep while Stepmom held him and this morning he reached for her to pick him up - both times she glowed. I was so happy to see him so affectionate toward her. She always seems a little nervous around him and I know how good it made her feel for him to snuggle her. I know how wonderful it makes me feel when he reached out for me and gives me a big monkey hug.

We toodled around town, ate too much, they bought Peanut some jammies and a cute cool-weather outfit, they watched Peanut so hubby and I could catch a movie and dinner for our anniversary, and we bought them dinner for their anniversary (we felt bad about that - it ended up being takeout as Peanut's been very cranky. We think he's teething. Lots of drooling and inconsolable crying/screaming. Especially in the evenings and at 4 am. Like clockwork.)

Now I'm feeling sad and trying not to cry at work. I always feel horrible when they or we leave after a visit. I have no idea when we'll see them again. It'll be a while before we have the vacation time and money to visit them. The past couple of visits with my dad, I've noticed little things which make me think he's not quite as sharp as he used to be. God, it breaks my heart. He's 67, and I know he's at the age where that happens. And I know it shouldn't dwell too much on it, because it's mostly little his reflexes aren't what they were when he drives, although I think he's still a safe driver. And yesterday after we visited my mom, he accidentally called Stepmom by Mom's name.* (They both start with the same consonant sound, so it's understandable. And a visit with my mom is enough to rattle anyone.) I don't think she heard, thankfully.

Hubby and I are both exhausted from Peanut's teething. He hasn't slept well since last Wednesday or Thursday, so he's up and down in the night, then wakes up a 4 for his early bottle, which then ends up in a screamfest. A couple of mornings he's fallen back asleep. This morning he only fell asleep for maybe 30 minutes, then woke up when Hubby moved to pull up a blanket.

Mom called at work to thank us for stopping by, but I think the real reason was so she could unload on me. Apparently the new cholesterol medication is causing muscle damage (the same reason she went off Lipit0r) and she's been in severe pain. It sounds like she'll have to go completely off cholesterol meds. She's freaked out and I can't deal. She also misses Peanut and me, but I can't deal. I can handle a phone call once every few days, or a half hour visit, but that's about it. I nicely told her that I'm trying to take a break because I think it's better for both of us. Honestly, I think it is, but the remainder of the truth is that I simply can't stand to be around her. I'm still angry and hurt by her comments about Hubby. And I don't want to get sucked into the world of her health problems. I'm having a hard time keeping it together with lack of sleep, Peanut's crankies, and knowing that Hubby will probably be transferred to the homicide unit within the next month. I want him to get that transfer, but I'm beyond stressed trying to figure out how I'm going to cope with Peanut and work when he's working 60 or 70 hour weeks. That may actually be a way for me to spend more time with Mom, if she can promise to be nice.

*This morning I called the dog by Peanut's name. So maybe I'm getting senile?

Monday, October 17, 2005

So, tropical storm Wilma is on the loose. I pray it doesn't hit anywhere on the gulf coast of the U.S. I hope it doesn't develop into anything strong. Enough is enough.


This weekend, the family had our first portraits taken. Peanut's approaching 1 year old, so we figured it was about time. Hubby's sisters send us professional pictures of their kids all the time and we were beginning to feel like bums. I think neither of us wanted to deal with a potentially cranky Peanut, which was why we put it off for so long. We had nothing to worry about. He was really clingy at first and didn't want to smile for the photographer (who was really nice and patient. We went to S3ars and were very happy with them). We got a couple of really nice family shots and a couple nice ones of hubby or me alone with Peanut. Then we put Peanut in a Halloween-themed onesie (printed with glow-in-the dark candies - adorable) and cute little pumpkin socks and got a couple of different fall-theme poses. They are adorable. He loved the pumpkin prop and kept turning around to knock it over. I can't wait for the photos to come back.

Yesterday afternoon, Peanut sort of crawled on our bed! Hubby was on one side and I was on the other encouraging him along. I think he'll be motoring around soon. He only scooted a foot or two, but he definitely moved.

This morning was a rough one for the little guy. I noticed he was wet when he had his early bottle. When I laid him on the changing table, I realized his whole front was damp. And he had pooped which luckily didn't leak. Poor little bugger just wanted to get back in his warm bed, so he CRIED all through the diaper and clothing change. I felt like the meanest mommy ever. All the fuss woke up Hubby, who whisked Peanut into bed with him. Peanut immediately snuggled up to him and wrapped his arm around Hubby's neck. So sweet. I think he was back asleep within 2 minutes.

Friday, October 14, 2005

More of the same....the a/c at work is broken yet again. It's about 90 degrees in here and I don't know if I'm going to fall asleep or end up with heat exhaustion. I'm getting over another icky bug. At least this time it was something different - a horrid sore throat and fever with alternating chills and hot flashes. I dragged my sorry butt to the doctor on my 6th day of fever (which I didn't even realize I still had. I assumed since I was over the chills my fever had broken). Several tests later and I discovered that I am not suffering from strep (which I already knew), mono, a systemic infection, or anemia. The following day I woke up feeling fine. Of course. Not that I'm complaining.

Peanut is growing up so quickly. He's been chowing down ever since he figured out how to feed himself. You'd think Gerber Puffs were crack the way he devours them. Scrambled eggs and French toast sticks are his two other favorites, as they are easy to grab and manipulate. When he sees me get the Puffs can, he bounces and squeals in anticipation. He's getting better with the sippy cup, although if he can't get fluid fast enough, the cup ends up on the floor. He feels heavier, too. I swear he gained a pound overnight and Hubby has noticed it, too. Peanut is like a stuffed little tick. A cute, cuddly, giggly, fat little tick.

We've been making an earnest effort at getting him to sleep in his crib. We've had 2 or 3 whole nights of crib-sleeping this week and the other nights were pretty good with 5-6 hours before bringing him into bed. Hubby sleeps on the side of the bed closest to Peanut, so he can reach over and pat his head or little bottom when he wakes in the night. He'll usually settle back down within a few minutes. Last night he slept until his early bottle with nary a peep. Except he decided that 5:30 am was a great time to rise and shine and protested when I stuck him in bed with Hubby (I knew there was no way he'd go back in the crib). The little stinker wanted us up to play with him. As soon as he and Hubby left for daycare, he fell asleep in the carseat.

I recently saw mention of silly nicknames other bloggers have for their kids. It's gotten me thinking of the ones we use...

Little Man
and my favorite (I came up with this one myself when Peanut was first home and had tons of gas) Mount Asskrakatoa

I'm a dork. And I admit it.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Yesterday, after an unsuccessful attempt at getting Peanut to nap in his crib, we settled down on the couch. He has a case of the sniffles, so I knew the crib probably wouldn't work, but it was worth a shot. Once he dozed off, I turned on the tv. I ended up watching "My Super Sweet Sixteen" (an MTeeVee show). Holy shit. It's an f-ing train wreck. I knew it was going to be horrible, but I couldn't stop watching.

I saw 3 episodes. All 3 were sickening. Spoiled rich girls throwing parties for their Sweet 16s. Parties with VIP rooms, limos, hired dancers, fancy invites, name it. One did a Cinderella theme complete with a horse-drawn carriage. Another did a Moulin Rouge theme with dancing girls.

All 3 girls were nasty. Two of the 3 treated their moms like crap; the moms who were paying for their snotty little asses to party. The third girl was recently adopted, so I have a feeling that's why she was nice to her mom. (It was odd, she had come from a really bad situation including a poor upbringing and many years in foster care, and she was just as nasty as the girls born into money.) These girls completely got off on the power they had over who was/was not invited. They all had lists of Cool People who were invited and Losers who definitely were not. One girl flew into NY on her family's private plane to shop for a dress. Unreal.

One of the moms spilled the beans. The party: $180,000. Yes, $180k. For a party. For a 16 year old.

Shit. Our house didn't cost that much (although now, with appreciation, it would be in that neighborhood, maybe more.) In fact, we could pay off our mortgage, car loan, Hubby's student loan, both our credit cards, all our other debts, buy another car, and still have money left over.

All for the price of a party.

I may gripe about not having a lot of money, but I know I have it good. Hubby and I are able to pay our bills on time every month and put food on the table. That's more than many people have. We have each other, our health, a nice home, our cars, and jobs. And those sorry little girls threw tantrums because an "ugly girl" was dancing on the stage at her party, or a loser somehow snuck in, or her dress wasn't perfect, at her $180k party.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

My household has become thermometer central. Before Peanut, we had 2 thermometers, the regular run of the mill digital, and I added a basal thermometer when trying to get pregnant. Really, who needs more than that? Who even needs two?

Peanut came home from the NICU with an additional digital thermometer. Since it was good enough for the hospital, it was good enough for me. For his first few days at home, we kept an eye on his temperature, just to be sure he was maintaining an adequate temperature.

Hubby got tired of holding it under his arm (big struggle), and we knew rectal temps would soon be the norm, so he bought one of those funky, expensive temporal thermometers as an alternative. Problem: it only gave accurate readings on me. So back it went. In the meantime, I misplaced the hospital thermometer, so I bought a bright yellow Sp0ngeb0b one to use as a rectal thermometer. (Bright yellow will not easily be mistaken for the oral thermometer. Ewww.) Damn if Sp0ngeb0b isn't slow. So hubby bought an in-ear thermometer. It also doesn't work well on Peanut. But it does work on us adults. So we kept it. Then I found a cheapie 1o-second rectal thermometer with a safety tip. The NICU nurse had told me they don't take rectal temps due to risk of perforating the anus. So now I'm super paranoid about that. It works, but it reads about a half degree low. It's fast and at least can tell me if Peanut has a fever or not, but I like to use Sp0ngeb0b as a backup. So I don't know why I even bother with it.

At some point, hubby also bought a paci thermometer. Peanut knows it's not a real binkie and therefore will not suck on it long enough to get a reading.

And just now I saw they make actual underarm thermometers. Hmmm....One of those may be in store in the future. Peanut is much to wiggly for one now.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sinus infection 1 selzach 0

I'm finally feeling human again after a shitty cold that turned into an even shittier sinus infection. I'm counting my lucky stars that Peanut only had the cold...which he gave to me and which developed into a horrid sinus infection complete with tooth pain and a plugged ear.

I saw a different doctor than normal, and he was quite the character. Lots of calling me "dear" and staring at my chest. Not exactly the best way to instill a sense of confidence. Him digging wax out of my left ear didnt' exactly warm my heart, either. Now I understand why Peanut screams when he sees the nurse come at him. Holy shit, it hurts. And my ear wasn't infected.

The lovely doctor also put me on Augmentin. I reminded him I was nursing and he told me it was completely safe. Paranoid that I am, I went home and checked online. It's excreted in breastmilk. None of that "this hasn't been tested" bullshit. Straight up, no doubt about it, excreted. So I asked the pharmacist who told me to expect Peanut to get the shits. Which then led to me explaining that Peanut vomits from the stuff and should I take it or ask for another antibiotic, and he gave me a non-commital "it could possibly make him vomit." Luckily, no shits and no puking by either of us, although I've had some funky vile gas and a queasy tummy.

Speaking of funky, ever since we started Peanut on table food, his poop has gotten stinkier and stinkier. Oh. My. Lord. It's baaaaaaad. So bad I could smell it through my sinus infection-plugged nose. Yowza.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Yesterday was truly a lovely day. We had a friend from work and her family over for the afternoon. They have two kids, a 4-year-old boy and a little girl who’s about 6 months older than Peanut. Peanut seemed to really take to the kids. The little girl kept trying to climb on him and play with him and the little boy kept giving him hugs. It was adorable. The little boy was enraptured by the cats and several times grabbed my hand and asked if we could go see the kitties (who were hiding under the bed). The little girl gave me big hugs when it was time for them to leave. It was nice to sit and eat a (as much as you can with kids) leisurely lunch with our friends.


Saturday was the Day of Shit. I brought Mom over after work on Friday. We started the evening out with her pulling a “I need to take my medicine an hour before we eat” as we were getting ready to leave for dinner. She did that last time, too. When I nicely suggested that next time maybe she could take the medicine before leaving her house, she replied with “Oh, I thought you ate dinner at all different times.” Hmmmm, I guess she hadn’t noticed that since having Peanut, we give him dinner, then eat ours right after. Sometimes they even overlap. The contrariness had begun. On the way home from dinner, Hubby pulled over a pizza delivery guy for tailgating us, nearly hitting us, then honking when we stopped too long at an intersection. When Hubby got out of the car, Mom started in with “Why’d he pull that guy over? He was doing the same thing. He was TAILGATING THAT POOR MAN IN FRONT OF US.” He wasn’t and Mom can’t see for shit at night, but whatever. I told her to keep her mouth closed.

So Saturday rolls around and I’m already annoyed with her and not looking forward to cleaning the house and mowing the front yard. Hubby was working all day (12+ hours), so I knew if I didn’t do it, it wasn’t going to happen. Mom had commentary on how she “wished you didn’t have to do all the cleaning and do you really need to mow and Hubby should do more.” Honestly, Hubby could pull more weight in the housecleaning department and I’m frustrated enough about that situation, but I don’t need it thrown in my face. Not the right way to start out the morning.

In addition, Mom can’t do anything with the baby on her own, yet she keeps pushing the babysitting issue. So all morning it was the whiny “how do I…?” “where is…?” I had to tell her how to heat up a bottle (heat the water, put bottle in the hot water…) She’s deaf and I’m hoarse from yet another cold, so I had to tell her 3 times in order for her to understand. Never mind that Peanut is 10 months old and she is only just learning how to do this now. I was annoyed and frustrated, she didn’t like my tone. So a little while later, she says in a pathetic, poor-me voice “I want to go home” and that I was being “verbally abusive”. Abusive, no. Rude, yes. I was being rude and I knew it. In fact, I was purposely being rude. I asked her to let me pump milk, then I’d take her. By that point I was fuming, so I let it out.

I told her I don’t need her badmouthing hubby or telling me how to raise my child and that if I want conversation on either of those topics, I’ll initiate it. That I don’t need her stressing me out when I’m already at the end of my rope about getting the house clean for company and worried how the night is going to go with Peanut. How I’m tired of getting shit from her when we try to help/do favors, but we don’t do it right/fast enough/whatever, so she gets all pissy. I tried to make it clear that we don’t mind driving her to doctor’s appointments/picking up prescriptions/grocery shopping/etc., but we’d appreciate not getting attitude about it.

So of course, she couldn’t let it go at that. Oh no. She had to pull the old “I know Hubby doesn’t like me and I don’t like him. He didn’t like me from the start. I’m sensitive I can tell. And do you know what he said when you were first dating. He said don’t let Selzach ever move back north. He could never live in the North. He hates all Northerners. … except you.” (OK, that last bit was funny. Good save there Mom.) Never mind that she didn’t like him from the get-go. She thought he was rude and told me all about it the first time she met him. Never mind that he welcomed her into our home when she was at her sickest (craziest) and babysat her during his summer break from teaching. Babysat her during the time when she took to wandering off from our house when we refused to take her to the grocery store to buy food she didn’t need with money she didn’t have (that was the time period before disability kicked in, so I was paying her mortgage and whatever bills I could afford while still paying my own). Never mind he’s the one that still talks about selling our house and buying one with an apartment for her.

No, he doesn’t like her now and neither do I. He doesn’t like her because she’s rude, contrary and disrespectful to him. No matter how hard he has tried to make her happy, it doesn’t work and he’s done going out of his way for her. And so am I. I’ve been done for a while.

Then she had to go on about this past week. She had testing and required rides to and from the hospital. Hubby had originally planned to do it, but was out on call the night before. I dropped Mom off and gave her a list of numbers for the nurse to call when it was time for pickup. She called Hubby about 30 minutes before Mom was ready to leave. Hubby, having been up for 24 hours straight, then getting maybe 4 hours of sleep, fell back asleep. OK, dumb thing to do, but understandable. The nurse had to call back and wake him back up, so he was late picking up Mom. An annoyance, yes, but it’s not like she had anywhere else to go. Hubby had already told me about it, but Mom had to be sure and tell me the whole story, and to let me know that she thinks Hubby is L-A-Z-Y. I reminded her of his on-call status. She reiterated “L-A-Z-Y”.

Then she had to mention Peanut being spoiled. (The whole co-sleeping and clinginess issues). I so did not need that. You know what? I know we got ourselves into a bad situation. I’m reminded of that every time I try to put him in his crib and he screams. In fact, when Hubby was out on call, I had to lay Peanut in his crib so I could pump and get dressed to take Mom for her testing. Peanut cried so hard, he puked. If she thinks I’m not aware of the situation, she’s stupid. Dumb as a rock. Hubby and I want to get him in his own bed, but we work and neither of us can cope with less sleep than we get. We planned to do a weekend of cry it out over Labor Day, but Peanut was on breathing treatments and steroids for labored breathing brought on by bronchiolitis and was dealing with an ear infection. We’re not heartless and decided to postpone crying it out until the next long weekend (Veteran’s Day? I’m not even sure if it’s a holiday for us). And there are times when I have to pump, go to the bathroom, need a minute for sanity, that I let Peanut sit on the floor with his toys and cry. I generally do pick him up when he’s upset, but I also know that when he’s well fed and rested, if I just leave him alone, he’ll often get distracted and stop crying.

So, we’re not speaking. I feel guilty about our fight, but I am so relieved not to have to deal with her for a few days, weeks, or however long this lasts.

I’m sad that our relationship has turned into this. I’m sad that I don’t have the patience or strength of character to let her comments and attitude slide. If I could find a way to ignore them, then I could come to some sort of peace with her. I’m especially sad that all this will probably taint Peanut’s relationship with her. He loves her and gets all smiley and bouncy around her. She’s the only grandparent within 500 miles of us; the only one he sees more than 2 or 3 times a year.

I have so much pent-up anger towards her. I know I need to deal with it, but I have no idea how. The idea of counseling has crossed my mind more than once, but I’m not ready for that step. I know she’ll keep on whining about her ails and giving attitude about Hubby and I’ll keep it in until I blow up again.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Remember last week's post when I said Peanut was over the ear infection. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahaha.

He woke up the next morning, had his bottle, then started fussing. By noon daycare called because he was running a fever. I immediately made an appointment with the pediatrician. Yep, the ear infection was raging, worse than before the antibiotics. Peanut ended up on a 3-shot series of R*c*ph*n. Final injection is today. We took him back to daycare the following day since it was just an ear infection. At noon they called again. Yep another fever, this time a degree higher. After his nap at home, I took his temp and it had spiked to 104 - this right at 4 hours after T*len*l. After another call to the doctor's office they gave to go ahead to stagger T*len*l and M*tr*n which did the trick.

We still kept the well baby appt. on Friday and his ear was looking much better. He's growing and gaining weight consistently although he's still only in the 5th percentile. I don't know if it's his preemieness or if he takes after his short, small-boned mama. The doc seemed happy, although he wants Peanut to start crawling, and we've now added meats and finger foods to Peanut's diet. His not real sure about the finger foods yet. We bought some star-shaped puffed snacks by G*rb*r and they are the best. When he gets one in a certain way, the points on the star look like buck teeth. Daddy had lots of fun with that.

Speaking of illnesses, Hubby and I had yet another stomach bug this weekend. At least this time it hit me several hours after eating, so my stomach was mostly empty already. I laid in bed most of Saturday, then Hubby had his turn yesterday.

In the past 6 months I've had: 3 stomach bugs (2 complete with puking), a cold, and a flu/respiratory infection. I still have a cough from that.

Assvice (unsolicited, mean-spirited or just plain bad advice) has been a common topic on some of the blogs I read. It generally is applied to mommies, especially new ones.

I've been lucky in pretty much avoiding unsolicited advice other than the occasional bit from family. Youngest SIL has spouted off a few times, but that was totally expected as she offers unwanted and verbose advice on EVERYTHING.

So here's a gem my own dear mom came up with: We were discussing whether or not Hubby and I would like another child. I'm leaning toward yes, Hubby is a NO!!! As stressful as one has been, and given my leanings toward anxiety and depression, Hubby may be on to something. Besides I'm a singleton and it didn't scar me too badly.

Anyhoo, Mom's assvice was: You really should have another. You know, for insurance.

Translation (although I immediately got what she was implying): Have a second kid in case something happens to the first one. That way you have a backup.

As if one child could replace another. Asif it's implausable that something could happen to both children. There are no guarantees in life, whether I have one child or 10.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I've come to the conclusion that Peanut's daycare is nothing more than a hotbed of germs. Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little bit. Well, not that much. I'm getting over a hideous summer bug complete with sinus pain, major stuffed nose, and a cough I am so sick of. Enough already with the coughing. Peanut has gotten so used to it, that he slept through a 20 minute hack-a-thon in bed last night. Hubby has the never ending sore throat and Peanut started coughing this morning. (Peanut, please hold on till Friday. We already have a well baby appointment then.) Hubby and I have never in our adult lives been sick so often.

Peanut, bless his little peanuty heart, is finally over an ear infection combined with pinkeye. At least this time we mixed things up! What a mess that was. The doctor put him on A*gm*ntin which not only caused watery shits (a la last ear infection), but had the added bonus of making him throw up. Poor hubby took direct hits 2 or 3 times. The replacement antibiotic stayed down better, but continued the shit issues. Peanut finished his course of treatment on Sunday and still has loose poopies. As was illustrated by this morning's incidient.

I took Peanut to daycare because Hubby had an interview for a homicide detective position (fingers crossed). Everything was hunky-dorey, I was running a little early, Peanut was all smiles, and I was feeling good. Until I went to put him down and noticed my arm felt squishy. Yep, he had pooped in his carseat and it squished out all over his butt and onto me. It was still nice and warm when I picked him up which is why I was oblivious. So we had a major cleanup on aisle 6, complete with an outfit change for Peanut. Luckily, the poop was limited to my arm, so I didn't require a change (I need to carry a spare outfit in the car).

Peanut sat happily on the floor and played while I put his bottles in the fridge. That is until another kid got too close and he started crying (if he's anything like Mommy, he needs his zone of personal space). As I sat him in a bouncer thing, he started with the juicy cough.

Here we go again...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

College Part 1

College was a time in my life when I partied a lot and met a bunch of colorful people. My first year was spent at a large Northeastern university. I was in heaven. My mom only had enough money to pay for one year, and I wasn't eligible for enough financial aid to cover more than that first year, so I went knowing I'd have to transfer out. We were planning to move to the less expensive Southeast once my mom sold our house after I turned 18 (which was part of my parents' divorce agreement), so I knew I'd transfer to someplace near our new home.

I live on a coed hall that first year and partied waaay too much. Study? I had no concept of such things. I had something like an impressive 2.6 gpa (somewhere in the BC to C range). Most of the students on my hall were a good, albeit partying, bunch. We mostly hung out together, regardless of year. We freshmen got picked on a little, but nothing personal or mean. We'd have hallwide parties involving much alcohol and our favorite game, 3 man. I can't even remember the crazy-ass rules of the game, just that they involved dice and lots of drinking.

There was the girl we nicknamed Hoover because of the amazing hickeys she left on her boyfriend (both resided on our hall).

There were the royal couple, both upperclassmen, very preppy. Last I heard they had gotten married right after college and divorced within a couple of years.

I became good friends with one neighbor. We kept in touch for several years. Last I heard he and his parents were moving someplace in South America.

I dated my next-door neighbor for a while. He was in his 3rd or 4th year of a physics-astronomy double major with a minor in English. He was amazingly smart and kind, but I was so hung up on my high school boyfriend our dating was doomed from the beginning. He wound up so stressed out from classes and his horrible roommate that he dropped the physics-astronomy bit and wound up majoring in English. He and Hoover had hooked up before he and I dated, and I think his bad luck with women also contributed to his stress.

We all did goofy shit together. The guys decide to shower in the dark at midnight on Halloween. (I'm pretty sure some doobage was the inspiration for that). So a bunch of us girls snuck in and dumped cold water on them.

There was the camping trip. About a dozen of us went to a cheesy little campground. As always, it poured rain, so we huddled under a tarp, drank our asses off, and sang theme songs to tv shows. Later, in order to start a fire, one guy dumped about half a can of lantern fuel on the logs. Immediately, everyone backed away. It was the first and last time I've seen a 15-foot-tall campfire. Somehow nobody caught on fire. I don't even think Mr. Lantern Fuel had any damage. And of course, we suckered a girl into snipe hunting.

Thursday nights was skate night at the local rink.

On several drunken occasions, lounge furniture was launched off our sixth-floor balcony. (In retrospect, what a stupid thing to do. Thank god nobody was killed by a falling loveseat.)

During spring break, Mom and I visited our new house and checked out schools in the area. I cried, no, bawled when I saw the town and our house. It was 10 miles from "town". The town was a horrible, depressing place with no industry other than a small paper mill. Our house was in the woods, isolated from our neighbors, most of whom were only weekend/summer residents. Winters were hell - we lived a half mile up an unpaved mountain lane, off a dirt road, off a secondary road, a few miles in from a main road. Mom only stayed in that house for about 4 years. Bad snowstorms which meant no power, heat or water for several days changed her feelings for her cute little cabin. She developed pneumonia during the last storm and had to be evacuated twice by the rescue squad. They told her to stay in town until she got well because they weren't coming back a third time. Coming home and finding burst pipes yet again was enough to push mom into selling the place.

I had been accepted with a full scholarship to a small college about an hour from home. On the way there, we passed a small liberal arts university (which it turns out is the same one flea graduated from). It was love at first sight.

We went on to the college where I had appointments with admissions and the biology department head (a very nice man). We started with a tour...I was in culture shock. The other students were incoming freshmen, very country and seemingly naive. As the tour leader walked up, Mom had to sharply elbow me several times to stop my giggles - he was in ill-fitting overalls straight out of the Beverly Hillbillies. I couldn't help but wonder if he had left his straw hat at home. As he began the tour, a rickety pickup filled with cowboy hat-wearing men and completely with a shotgun hanging over the back window roared by. Holy shit, what was I getting into?

The campus was very nice and the rest of the tour uneventful. Until I discovered that religion classes were mandatory, attendance at Sunday services highly recommended, and no members of the opposite sex were allowed in the dorms. In fact, the men's and women's dorms were on opposite sides of campus. That's when I realized I couldn't go to school there. I'd get kicked out. After spending elementary and middle school at a parochial school, there was no way I was going back for more.

I ended up getting accepted into the liberal arts university, which was a much better match for my personality. I think it may also have been a better choice academically. It consistently places in the top 20 as a best buy and was the 3rd ranked public university in its state. I acutally pulled my shit together, started studying and did well in my classes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Hubby and I took a long weekend to visit his family over the 4th of July. As usual, it was an event to be remembered.

In a nutshell:

Youngest sister is either severely hyperthyroidic (is that a word?) or on crank or crack. She's used before, so anything's possible. She drove us absofuckinglutely crazy with the non-stop, rapid-fire yakking, the unsolicited and verbose advice on EVERYTHING, and her posse of friends & family that followed her everywhere. We'd go to Hubby's dad's to escape...she and crew would show up. We'd go to Hubby's mom's....same shit.

Youngest sister's daughter (aka Princess), who's 2 1/2 is extremely possesive of her grandma (hubby's mom). She threw an absolute hissy fit when she first saw Grandma holding Peanut. It was so bad, Grandma had to hand Peanut over to Hubby and hold Princess. Later, anytime Grandma held Peanut, Princess had to be on her lap or in his face the whole time. Apparently Princess runs the show, her moms don't do much about it, and Grandma feels its not her place to discipline/offer advice. So we got about 3 hours total alone with Grandma over the whole 4 days there. Youngest sister was spending the whole week there and didn't have the consideration to allow us alone-time with Grandma.

Peanut got sick with an icky throat infection, so our last day there and the drive home were iffy. Of course, youngest sister kept telling us he was JUST TEETHING. I'm sure our neighbors in the hotel didn't appreciate the midnight and 5 am screamfests. Oh well. I've been tortured plenty of times with squeaking beds and wall thumping in my day.

Otherwise, we enjoyed ourselves. Seeing Hubby's parents was great. We practically had to pry Peanut away from them in order to return home. We visited with some friends, saw the new Batman movie (heaven...a movie in a theater), and scoped out Hubby's plot of property. We even (for maybe a half hour) considered selling our house, building a place on his land, and moving there. Then reality hit. Nice place to visit, not such a great option for full-time residence.

Just because Peanut is so cute and Blogger allows free pix, here are some gratuitous cute Peanut pix:

Here he's 9 days old - the day he came home from the NICU.

He's about 5 months old and chillin' out:

This was taken about a week ago. If we pull him away from the computer, he gets PISSED and throws a fit. He even smacked Daddy a couple of times during one of his hissy fits. Yes, that thing hanging from his onesie is a binky on a tether. Something we SWORE WE WOULD NEVER DO. I can't imagine life without it. In the middle of the night when he starts to cry, it's oh so easy to roll over, find the binky, and plug it back in. Peanut has started a drool rash on his chin, so I'm afraid the binky days may be numbered. The horror.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Holy sh*t, it's been nearly 2 months since I last posted. I never seem to find the time at home and I'm always paranoid about posting from work.

So Hubby and I have been trying to watch our language. We both have potty-mouths (me worse than him). Peanut isn't talking yet, but we really don't want his first word to be fuck or rat bastard (OK, rat bastard is a little too complicated for a beginning speaker...but he'd say it sooner or later).

We don't want to end up like our friends who, after their 4 year-old started saying "fuck", had to warn their proper, non-potty-mouthed neighbors (who are the stand-in babysitters) before dropping her off at their house. They used the old "I don't know where she picked that word up" excuse, although we all chuckled and knew where it came from.

So, I'm trying to force myself to say poop and effing. And an occasionally "whoopsie" when I do something clumsy. I just can't bring myself to say gosh or darn. I'm not June Cleaver for eff's sake.

It makes for some interesting conversations:

Me: Some fucking asshole nearly hit me on my way home.

Hubby: You mean effing jerk

Me, Yeah, like I was saying, some effing jerk nearly hit me...

Yeah, Peanut's gonna be the only kindergartener dropping f-bombs.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Finally, my links are updated. I’ve been wanting to that since before Peanut was born. Hey, it only took me 6 months! These days my internet time is gold. I generally can just squeeze in enough time to read a few blogs and maybe make a comment or two.

A good bit of my online time is spent on the exclusively pumping (EP) boards. Although I mostly lurk there, again due to lack of internet time, I cling to the support like it’s a raft on a stormy sea. This whole experience of EPing has been a rollercoaster. At first, pumping was just to provide supplemental bottles until Peanut was big enough to latch. Then he was big enough, but still hadn’t figured out how to get a good latch. Then we came to the point where he cried every time he saw my boobs. Then came the point where he cried every time I laid him down on the nursing pillow. He didn’t even need to see the boobs, he knew what was coming. So I took a few days off from attempting breastfeeding, at a lactation consultant’s suggestion, and realized that Peanut and I were both much happier. I was no longer crying at every attempt to breastfeed. I wasn’t tense while feeding him. And he was still getting my milk. I still felt like a failure, but at least I didn’t have the constant failed attempts to add salt to my wounds.

Now Peanut is almost 6 months old and I’m still EPing. It’s still a struggle, especially when I’m home alone and all he wants is to be held by mommy. Nothing is more heartbreaking then having your crying baby look you in the eye, when you know he just wants to be cuddled and you have 5 more minutes to go in order to get enough milk.

One recent discussion on the EP boards was initiated by a mommy who attends a breastfeeding support group (I won’t name them although I’ve mentioned them in the past). Let’s just say this group has a reputation for being hard core about nursing. Although I’ve had positive experiences with them, other mommies haven’t. I also found little to no help from them in dealing with trying to nurse a preemie. The group leader tried her best to provide information, but it did no good. So for a group that’s all about helping women to breastfeed, I have to admit I’m disappointed in them.

Anyway, she attends meetings of this group and was looking for ideas to bring to them about EPing as some members are not so friendly to women who don’t breastfeed.* On the website for this group, EPers have been referred to as “human milk feeders”. Nice label. Great way to insult women who have had to make a hard choice. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it a choice. I tried unsuccessfully for 8 weeks to breastfeed. Had I not given expressed breastmilk, Peanut probably would not have gotten enough nutrition to thrive. So, I never had a choice between breastfeeding and pumping. It was a choice between expressed breastmilk and formula and I chose milk.

This whole elitist crap gets me every time. Why do we feel the need to judge other mothers. Is a formula-fed baby less loved than a breastfed one? Is a mom lazy because she gives up on breastfeeding because the baby can’t latch, it’s painful, she has recurrent mastitis, she needs to return to work, or she doesn’t like doing it?

*I consider baby breastfed even if he doesn’t get it directly from the tap. He’s getting breastmilk, I have to bust my boobs to provide it for him, and both my ob and the pediatrician consider what I’m doing to be breastfeeding. If I had a “choice” I would breastfeed – it’s much easier than lugging a pump, parts and bottles all over, making sure I have a private place to pump, cleaning and sterilizing the parts, and cleaning bottles.

Does this make me better than a mom who formula feeds? No.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A letter that will only exist here.

I’m having a difficult time coping with my mom. She’s generally difficult to get along with. Her bipolar quirks are annoying at best and infuriating at worst. This past weekend was one that sent me back to a rotten teenager who wants to slam doors and tell Mom to fuck off. I can honestly say that if she wasn’t my mother, I’d have written her out of my life, or at least limited contact, long ago. Nothing that happened this past weekend was exceptionally horrible, but it’s all been simmering a while.

She’s generally OK if I go visit her. But when she comes over to our house, the gloves come off. For whatever reason, being off her home turf brings out the worst.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for turning into a spoiled child this weekend. As you know, I have little patience with you and find you difficult to get along with. I know it’s because of your illness and I truly am sorry for what it has done to you. I get so angry with you, then feel guilty afterward. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and it’s taking a toll on me. I hate that you’ve become a 62-year old with the mentality and emotional stability of a 14-year old and the frail body of a 75-year old. And I know you do, too.

You picked the worst possible week to decide to go out of town and dump the responsibility for daily special feedings of your elderly cat on me. Of course I would figure out a way to feed him even though it’s a huge inconvenience. And I think you were counting on that. Luckily, Hubby was able to do it. You hanging up on me when I tried to explain why it was inconvenient and how I would have appreciated more than 3 days notice – or better yet, you ASKING me first, was fucking classic. Yep, you act like a child. No, I wasn’t really nice to you, but my patience has its limits.

These are the reasons why this week was so bad, since you didn’t let me finish:

It’s my first week fulltime since Peanut was born and I’m hating it. I’m feeling guilty for him being at daycare, but glad I’m not home with him all day because I get stressed when I am. I feel like a shit parent, but hate that he has to be at shit daycare even worse.

Hubby had to teach Monday, work late Tuesday and is out of town for class today and tomorrow. That means that I have to both drop off and pick up Peanut all days except Tuesday when Hubby dropped him off and yesterday when Hubby was on a normal schedule. I have a 40-45 minute commute to work. Stopping by daycare ads another 30 minutes on to that. Which means I have to leave the house by 6:40 to drop Peanut off by 7:15 in order to get to work on time and have to leave work early to get to daycare before they close at 5:45. Running by your house ads another 30-40 minutes on top of that…meaning I wouldn’t be home till nearly 7 pm. Throw in an unhappy baby who has been at daycare all day and is hungry and tired and wants to be held and you can see where this is all going.

The guilt trip you laid on me just before you hung up was crap-tastic. You know, when I told you to please give me some warning next time and you replied with “There probably won’t be a next time. I never get to go anywhere” CLICK. It almost worked. I started to feel guilty about that. Things aren’t easy for you, you have little money, don’t drive, have frequent arthritis pain… Then I realized those things have nothing to do with me, nor are they my fault. Then it became funny, because you do occasionally get out of town. You just have a selective memory. Remember last year when Hubby and I bought you airfare to go visit Grandma and your sisters and arranged all your transportation to and from the airports. Remember the year before that when Hubby and I took you with us for a long weekend to your favorite beach. So don’t fucking guilt trip me. I do the best I can. Hubby and I aren’t exactly loaded, yet we’ve managed to give you a couple of little vacations and recently have coughed up money for your medical bills even though we’re up to our ears in our own.

Yes, the baby has a cold. It’s just a cold. No, it’s not allergies. Quit implying that it is, because I know the implication includes our pets. Yes, we did take him to the doctor AGAIN just to be sure. No, we didn’t need you telling us to make a doctor’s appointment. No, we don’t need your fucking vaporizer that takes K*z medicine. The cool mist vaporizer works just fine. Yes, we do also have a steam vaporizer but don’t want to risk any burns. So fucking drop it. As far as I’ve been told, you were institutionalized for pretty much the first year of my life, so don’t try to pull the childcare expert crap on me.

The reason we don’t let you babysit is because we’re afraid to. Period. I’m tired of beating around the bush on that one. I always hedge the answer because I don’t want to hurt your feelings. The bottom line is that Hubby and I agree on this one and we don’t think you’re physically or mentally up for unsupervised care of Peanut. You have nearly smothered him on the couch twice. Remember when he was crying and you accidentally smooshed his face into the back cushion and had no idea because you’re so deaf you couldn’t tell his cries were muffled? You sleep so much of the day we’re afraid you wouldn’t wake up in an emergency, or that you’d fall asleep holding him and drop or smother him. And you just plain do some bizarre shit.

Finally, DO NOT INSIST ON PUTTING THE BABY ON THE FLOOR TO PLAY WITH HIS TOYS. AND DO NOT PICK HIM UP OFF THE FLOOR. You can barely get down to the floor on your own and you don’t need to do it while holding my child. I watched you pick him up off the floor when you refused my help. I witnessed how you had to cling to the entertainment center for balance while getting up. It’s dangerous. Get over your mule-like stubbornness and quit insisting you’re able to do things safely when you clearly aren’t. Peanut is my only child and if something happened to him while in your care, I would never forgive you. In fact, you’d be permanently out of my life.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Peanut turned 5 months old yesterday. Where has the time gone? He’s almost a half-year old. The first couple of months I wondered how I would survive getting no more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep at a time and the endless pumping sessions. I’m still sleep deprived, but Hubby and I have worked out a system where I can get 6-7 hours of sleep a night and I dropped the night pump a couple months ago. Oh, the luxury!

Peanut is developing into a real little person now. He’s so curious and drinks everything in. The ceiling fan and the musical activity gym with moving critters enthrall him. He grabs onto the critters with such strength, I’m afraid he’s going to break them. He loves our daily stroller walks. Anytime we pass under a tree, he gets wide-eyed and stares at the leaves. The white fence at the end of our street also grabs his attention. I recently got a funky Wh00zit mobile for his crib in hopes of transitioning him to at least napping in it and yesterday he giggled at the mobile. That is until he decided he wanted OUT and started screaming.

And he’s impatient. If he doesn’t get his bottle NOW he screams. Once the bottle is securely in his mouth, all is good. He knows Mommy and Daddy and smiles endlessly at us – even when the bottle is in his mouth. Those bottle-in-mouth smiles are adorable. He loves kisses on his cheeks and belly and giggles and cackles with delight. Bath time is sort of iffy. Sometimes baths are fun, other times they’re screamfests.

He’s a little uncertain about strangers. He’s curious with new people and will sometimes smile, but if they get in too close, hell breaks loose. He takes after Mommy in needing his personal space. He also is very, very cranky when he first wakes up. Also like Mommy.


Next week I return to full-time status. Something I’m dreading. We seriously need the money – our mortgage increased $300 a month in January. Apparently they didn’t estimate this year’s taxes correctly, so our escrow is in the negative, and not only do we have to make that up, but we have to pay extra to cover next year’s taxes. We still owe $2000 to the hospital for Peanut’s NICU stay (thank goodness for decent insurance or it would’ve been 10 times that), and we started getting bills for his $ynagis shots. He’s had 3 so far and we’re not sure if he’ll get another. They run to the tune of $430 a pop (again, insurance is a savior they would otherwise be in the neighborhood of $1800 each).
Mom’s been doing amazingly well. She’s not in too much pain and seems to have her emotions in check. She has been laying on the guilt trips and passive crap about not seeing enough of Peanut, but I can generally let it pass in one ear and out the other. When she starts the passive crapola with the baby “I know you want to see more of Grandma” I respond with “Grandma is being passive-aggressive.” It generally nips the comments and is a lot kinder than what I’d really like to say. She still gets on me about letting Peanut stay with her which is not going to happen and I have become more blunt about it. Who knows, maybe she’d be perfectly capable and safe with the baby, but I’m not taking my chances. She also has no safe place for him to sleep other than the carseat if I leave it with her and I’m not too keen in that. One of her cats is a little too nosy with the baby and I’m afraid she might scratch him – she has an attitude and is not shy about using her claws.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

This past weekend was....hell. The good part was I finally got to go shopping.

Hubby didn't get home from work Friday until about 1 am Saturday. A scumbag dude decided to plant a pipe bomb in the yard of a woman he had a grudge against. Luckily it didn't discharge, she found it, and called the cops. Guess who got the case. Yep, Hubby.

Shortly after he came to bed, he started feeling icky and got the trots. No, the full-on gallops. The kind he refers to as "peeing out your butt". Later in the morning he threw up, but felt better after. At around noon he seemed to be feeling good, so he gave me the A-OK to go shopping. At around 3 I called to check on him and he sounded terrible, so I headed back home.

After a quick sandwich (which I will forever regret) I ran to the grocery store for g*tor*de, ginger ale and chicken noodle soup. By the time I got home, Hubby was on the mend. Still achy and feverish, but feeling good enough to eat. That's when I started peeing out my butt. Then came the nausea. Then came the 8 or so hours of puking. Which included me pooping my pants twice while puking. So I spent the rest of the weekend wearing a diaper inside my underpants and felt too sick to even be embarrassed by it. In the wee hours of Sunday am, I finally stopped puking, although my tummy was all sorts of unhappy and tried to sleep, but that's when the muscle aches started. I ached so badly I could not sleep. I finally got a couple of hours after daylight, and dozed on and off in the afternoon.

Yesterday I stayed home and slept in after getting up to give Peanut his early morning bottle and get him and Hubby on their ways to daycare and work. Once I felt human again, I disnfected the bathrooms as best I could, scrubbed the kitchen counters and sink, and did about a ton of laundry. I still can't get over the feeling our house is a hotbed of nasty viral funk.

Somehow Peanut has managed to avoid the bug (oh, how we are thanking our lucky stars and praying he stays bug-free), but my mom caught it, probably from me when Peanut and I visited on Friday. I called her Sunday to see if she could watch Peanut so Hubby could go out and I could sleep but she was in the throes of gut-churning gastroenteritis.

Now I'm busy trying to build my milk supply back up. I missed a couple of pumps while I was sick and was probably too dehydrated to make much anywas, so I'm only producing about half of what I was before - which is about half of what Peanut needs. Luckily I have a freezer stash. But if my supply doesn't come back up, he'll go through it in a couple of weeks.

I have a feeling we may have caught the bug at the pediatrician's office last week. Next time we're there for a follow-up, we're sitting on the well kid side and not the sick kid side.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Ahhhh...things are settling back to "normal". Peanut was sick last week with a nasty cold/virus that turned into two infected ears and bronchiolitis. We're all set with a nebulizer at home as the doctor is suspicious he may develop asthma. It's very possible he had RSV, so at least the $$$ vaccine kept him out of the hospital. He probably picked the bug up from daycare - a little girl had a snotty nose about 2 weeks ago and I had that bad feeling. Peanut was generous and shared his germies with us. I'm finally feeling human again after a week of sinus pain and clogged ears. Hubby is still getting over bronchitis and we're beginning to think he may need round 3 of antibiotics (he's already had round 1 for a respiratory infection and round 2 for bronchitis). Amazingly, Peanut doesn't mind the nebulizer. It has a binkie attachment that he really likes. It's positioned so while he sucks on the binkie, it blows medicine at his nose. We did have a scary episode of tremors with Albuter0l, so he was put on another med that seems not to have as bad side effects, although he does seem to get hyped up after treatments. One afternoon last week, I was so tired I laid him in the bassinette after a treatment while I tried to doze on the bed. Peanut wiggled and kicked for a good 45 minutes, fell asleep for maybe 30, then was squirming again.

Peanut just amazes me and brings such joy. He's 12 lbs now and into 3 month clothes - not too shabby for a 4-month-old baby that was 6 1/2 weeks preemie. He smiles a lot and is finally learning to entertain himself. Yesterday when I got to daycare, I started talking to him and he ignored me. He was way too interested in the colorful things hanging from the ceiling. When I got up close where he could see me, he broke into a huge, gummy smile. Later, while changing him at home, he got talkative. I started tickling his neck which brought out peals of giggles. When I smooched his cheeks, the giggling continued (a first). So I called Hubby and laid the phone next to Peanut while he cooed and giggled away. It was one of the best moments ever.

Things with Hubby and me haven't been going so smoothly. We're both tired, stressed and have been sick. Last week I stayed home with Peanut, but ended up doing a lot of the baby care even though I felt like utter crap. A couple mornings I asked Hubby to feed or nebulize the baby while I pumped and he started with the attitude about how he was going to be late for work. On a normal day I wouldn't care, but I was sick and with Peanut not going to daycare, he was able to sleep in an extra 30+ minutes each day. Yet sick Mommy still had to get up early to feed, nebulize and pump. A regular work day is me up at 5 in order to pump, shower and dress, feed the baby (and now nebulize, too), pump again, get all our gear/food in order, and maybe walk the dog. Hubby gets up at 6:15-6:30 and basically only gets himself ready...maybe walks the dog. He does take Peanut in to daycare, but that's where I drew the line. I have a 40 minute commute. He works 10 minutes from the house. On days I have to take Peanut to daycare, it adds 30 minutes to my drive.

Hubby also just bought an rc plane which is consuming a lot of time. I wanted to go shopping on Saturday, but slept in after the early morning feed-nebulize-pump seesion, due to the nasty bug. Hubby was out all afternoon doing plane-related stuff, so by the time he got home, I didn't feel up to going out. Sunday afternoon was pretty much dedicated to the plane, and so was last night. Last night Hubby held the baby while I ate dinner (Peanut has radar and always gets needy at dinnertime), then was back at the plane until it was my bedtime and I asked him to come in. We spent no time even hanging out together. I'm trying to be patient and I realize that Hubby's work has gotten more stressful lately and that he needs time to unwind. But so do I. In the evenings I'm too tired to go out and if I stay home, I'll end up holding the baby for 2 or 3 hours while sitting on the couch. Not such a horrible thing, but not exactly Mommy relaxing time either. Tonight I'm going shopping for a baby shower and a bridal shower. I can't wait. Pretty sad.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I am feeling worn out and disappointed in myself today. It's been a rough week or so. Last week was Hubby's on call week which always is a source of stress for both of us. Peanut is still co-sleeping, but sleeps best when he's snuggled up to Hubby. One of us always sleeps with an arm under Peanut's head/neck just to make sure he doesn't get rolled on or smothered under bedding. While Hubby was sick, he slept in another room. Peanut did well in bed with me one night, I think because I didn't go to bed until he had his last bottle and was zonked out. The other night he couldn't settle down, so I put him in his bassinette. So of course he woke up in the middle of the night and needed to be fed. He went back into the bassinette until he started coughing, then he came back in bed with me and wiggled and squirmed and kept me awake. (He does a coughing/choking thing now - we don't know if he's choking on saliva or if it's reflux. His chest is clear, so the pediatrician is not concerned.) Solo feedings mean that I have to hold him upright for 20 minutes or so to keep reflux in check, then get him settled down so I can pump. Generally, a solo feeding takes an hour or more. Not my idea of fun at 3 am.

Peanut had his 4-month Well Baby appointment on Monday. What a mess. He was sound asleep at daycare when I picked him up. He was fine until I put him in the carseat. The crying began. He dozed back off during the ride, but as soon as we were in the door at the pediatrician's, the screaming started. I tried giving him a cold bottle, which pissed him off more, and he just spit the milk out. Then we had the shots. More screaming. He zonked out during the car ride home and was very happy to get a warm bottle at home. He did fine all evening, but woke up at 4 am screaming for a bottle and with a fever. Hubby freaked at how warm he felt, so I took his temp, and it was below the amount that would warrant a middle-of-the night phone call, so we gave him some Tylen*l, fed him, and went back to bed. I decided to stay home with him yesterday since he was still warm in the morning and was really fussy. No matter how I held him yesterday, he couldn't get comfy. He finally napped in his swing for a short while in the morning and for a good 2 hour nap in the afternoon. Those naps allowed me to pump, eat, and catch a little sleep. Nothing is more stressful than trying to pump while the baby is screaming. And I feel like shit that he doesn't seem to like having me hold him. No matter how many times I try to find a comfy position, it doesn't work. Give him to Hubby and he settles right down.

During one of his naps, Mom called, crying, asking if we could put some money in her account. Turns out she's really sick and had difficulty breathing during the night, but wouldn't call the ambulance. She did get to see the doctor and has the flu and a respiratory infection. They gave her 2 antibiotics plus a shot for her neuralgia. The Lid*caine patches she was using for the neuralgia gave her a rash and they attempted to put her on Neur*ntin for it last week- she had been on it twice before as a mood stabilizer and it messed her up. I reminded her of the side effects she had last time and suggested she tell the doctor. The doctor wanted her to try anyway. One dose was all she needed to realize it wasn't going to work. So I have a frightened Mom who is sick and in pain and scared to be alone and I won't risk exposing Peanut. I feel like shit for not helping her, but I am also burned out from dealing with her health issues and relieved to have a valid excuse not to deal with them.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

It's only Tuesday and already the week has been crazy. I've been in a bad/down mood because Peanut started daycare on Monday and I'm sad about that. I'm only working half-days for another month or so and I hate that he's there for roughly 5 hours a day. I'm dreading going back full-time and him being there for 9 hours a day (I'm having mother's guilt big time). So far he's doing really well, though. The daycare ladies say he's happy and they seem to enjoy him. They're also mighty impressed with his loud "Daddy burps". I've jokingly asked Hubby if he slips beer into Peanut's bottles...I guess I'm not the only one who's impressed by his burping abilities.

Yesterday, one of the people from work discovered that our ultralow freezer crapped out over the weekend and everything thawed. DNA samples, reagents, everything. Some of it irreplaceable, some of it very expensive. The freezer has an alarm that sounds if it warms above -70C. So that fucker had to have been beeping all weekend and noone noticed or bothered to notify any of the labs that use the freezer.

This morning our lab flooded. A pipe joint separated and flooded our whole lab. Luckily the shop guys and custodial crew had it mostly mopped up before I even got there, although my boss's office still has a wet carpet (thank god he's out of town this week.) The pipe has been repaired, but the cabinetry under the sink is a swollen mess, the laminate is peeling off, and one of the doors fell off.

Tonight hubby called to say he'd been in a fender bender. He was issued a brand new car last week and somebody rear-ended him, then tried to run. He managed to pull them over and had to stay at the scene until the investigation was complete.

Then best friend called to say they had been in a fender bender, too and she's worried about the guy that hit them - he had no license or insurance and appeared to be strung out on something, so she's afraid he may come after them since he has their address from the driver's license.

Hubby finally got home and went out to walk the dog. As I was washing baby bottles, I heard a noise in the back yard. A punkass kid flew threw on his bike. As I was heading to the back door to tell him to get the fuck outta my yard, hubby (followed by the dog) ran after the guy yelling at him to stop. Then our cop neighbor also ran through. Apparently the kid was smoking weed and hubby was trying to catch him. The kid got away, so Hubby is now out in his car looking for him.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Peanut is three months old today! The time has really flown by. He's smiling more, cooing occasionally, and is still a squirmy wormy. He tolerates diaper changes now (thanks to the mobile over the changing table) and will even smile during changing time if I talk or sing to him. He's a once-every-three-days pooper and let me tell you, he POOPS. He'll grunt 3 or 4 times, then fill his diaper. The grunting is adorable. The diapers are scary. We've started giving him an ounce of apple juice a day (at the pediatrician's suggestion) to keep him pooping since 3 days is the most they want him to go in between poops. He absolutely loves his juice and smacks his lips when it's finished. It's a completely different reaction from the one he gets when we try to give gripe water. He coughs as if we're choking him to death. The stuff tastes like licorice and both mommy and daddy hate licorice, so he came by his aversion honestly.

I started back to work this week, just half-days for a couple of months. It wasn't terrible since hubby's mom is here to watch him and I know he's in good hands. When he starts daycare, I know I'll be a crying mess. Today was a tough morning, though. He was colicky until around 11 last night when finally snuggled him to sleep. He slept really well for 2 hours until he got hungry (it had been 5 hours since his last bottle - unfortunately the first 3 hours were spent with him crying and screaming). After a peaceful bottle, he fell back asleep, but was squirmy and restless. We slept in until he woke up for another bottle at 6:30, an hour later than normal. I really didn't want to go into work, knowing that I was an hour and a half behind my usual schedule, but I made myself get dressed and go. He actually went 5 hours after the middle-of-the-night bottle, but by the time I held him upright for 30 minutes (to avoid spewage) and pumped, I had been up for an hour and a half. I love the nighttime feedings because he's so happy and cuddly and falls asleep on my shoulder, but I hate the length of time the holding upright and pumping take. Now that hubby's over his respiratory infection, he can help out at night.

My mom seems to be doing better with her shingles outbreak. She has no new blisters and the doctor prescribed a painkiller patch that it doing its job. It deadens all pain, so she had to be careful not to accidentally hurt herself.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Where does the time go? I've been meaning to blog, well, forever, and can never find the time. Peanut is an awesome baby, but generally cannot be put down or else he screams. Sometimes if I lay him down when the planets are in aligment and he's in deep sleep, he'll actually stay asleep for an hour or two. Usually as soon as I lay him down, the crying starts. I bought a handsewn sling from one of the LLL mommies and am typing while wearing him. He's getting squirmy, so I'm not sure how well it'll go...Ok, binky in mouth, crisis averted...maybe. Oh yeah, I swore up and down no binkies, but that went out the window once I realized he wasn't going to breastfeed. Since he can't comfort nurse on me, the binky it is.

He's getting big - up to 10 lbs now - more than double his birthweight. He's big enough to be on the charts, even if it is in the 8th percentile. The pediatrician thinks he'll catch up to average fairly quickly. He's much more alert now and loves to look around and take in the world. The mobile above his changing table is a lifesaver and keeps him somewhat distracted during diaper changes (which he LOATHES). He's already a TV junkie, much to my dismay. The playmat and bouncy chair will keep him happy for about 5 minutes, and he cooed the other night at his reflection! His smiles will melt your heart. Hubby and I can't wait till he starts to giggle.

Hubby is back to work now and we're surviving it OK. I go back in about 2 weeks and am not looking forward to it. Mom has been pressuring us to let her watch the baby part time and do daycare part time. Financially it's not worth it - they don't do part time, so we'd pay the full amount. We also both wonder how safe she'd be. She loves him and is good with him, but she's just not as aware as she needs to be. She was holding him over her shoulder trying to soothe him and his face mushed into the couch cushions behind her - enough to where it muffled his cries. She's gotten so deaf she didn't realize it. Luckily hubby was close enough to hear it and told her to move the baby. This is the second time she's done it. She's also unsteady on her feet due to arthritis and poor balance, so I worry when she walks him. She stumbles fairly often.

Our compromise has been supervised visits. She comes over for a couple of days a week which allows me to do chores or sleep while she holds him, but I'm always around to keep an eye on things. We don't have the heart to tell her this, but there's no way we'll leave him alone with her for more than an hour or two until he's older.

I'm still pumping and though I don't really like doing it, plan to keep on. I keep on reminding myself that mommy's milk is the best thing for him. I found a couple of online support groups that have been a sanity saver. It's reassuring to know I'm by no means the only one out there and that there are some super mommies who have gone a year or even two years pumping.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The new year has gotten off to a mixed start. Peanut is doing very well, for which we are thankful and happy. The other really bright news is that our friends who were trying unsuccessfully to have children are now pregnant with twins! They're well into the second trimester, and the genetic tests came back fine.

On the other hand, Mom checked herself back into the psych unit on New Year's Day. She's out now and seems to be fairly stable. She was/is depressed (which explains a lot of her not-so-nice behavior at Christmas), had a urinary tract infection, is in a lot of pain from her osteoarthritis, and has an accelerated heart rate, which the hospital seemed concerned about. The hospital has put her in touch with a pain management specialist, got her infection under control, and is monitoring the heart issue (which is odd, because she's always had an irregular heart beat and apparantly had a rapid heart rate last time, but it didn't raise any red flags that time). She seems to be doing better emotionally now that the holidays are past, the infection is cleared up, and she knows that someone is finally doing something about her pain. I'm trying to get her to find a new internist - he dropped the ball on the infection 2 weeks ago when she last saw him (was having indications of infection then) and he has supposedly been trying to get her in touch with a pain management specialist and new neurosurgeon for the past 6 months or so - all to no avail.

I'm doing pretty much OK. The lack of sleep is still really hard for me. The fact that Peanut still won't/can't breastfeed is really getting me down. I had to back off trying for a while because he was to the point of freaking out, screaming and arching his back every time I'd put him to the breast - even with the nipple shield. He can latch with the shield on, but doesn't get enough milk -he'll still be hungry after an hour of nursing and constantly falls asleep at the breast no matter what I do. The shield also seems to really interfere with my letting down since he always is gassy and has green poop after nursing with it (which indicates he's not getting enough hindmilk). I've been surfing all sorts of websites, attending LLL meetings, and been in touch with 2 lactation consultants. The second one finally suggested not nursing at all for a few days, getting a lot of skin-to-skin contact and bathing with Peanut. It seems to have worked in that he's not freaking every time I put him against my breast and will root around onme. She also had me doing cycles of several pumpings in an hour to keep my milk supply up - it's diminished some and I can barely keep up with his needs. And to add insult to injury, my period started last week - I'm only 7 weeks postpartum, pumping every 2-3 hours and I already have my freakin' period again.