Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This post is how I feel today.  With barely any sleep for the last few nights, today I have managed to get up, shower, nurture & nurse my little sickie, go to his appt, pick up his meds, wash diapers/bottles/pump parts, administer his medicines (begrudgingly...I worry about overmedicating and side effects, but want him to get better/ feel better), utilize this, and wear him down for lots of napping.  Normally this would set me off whining (yes I'm a complainer, its a terrible habit)...
But the weird thing is, as a parent you just deal.
I'm sure the caffeine is helping, but I think the mama bear in you just comes out and rise to the occasion- and because this is my reward...

5 months and 2 days!

The blogging has been slow slow since returning to work....I sorta expected this.  For several reasons we haven't done a 5 month photo shoot (still plan on it eventually), so here is a favorite picture of mine that daddy took.

Almost 1/2 a year has passed since your birth.  This has been a month of firsts; first tooth coming in (boy it's sharp), first sickness (poor baby), starting daycare, squealing in excitement and just to be heard... I'm having a hard time with leaving you to go to work, and since you've gotten sick it makes it even harder.  You are so much fun now, laughing, playing, grabbing at everything!  Today is bittersweet, I'm home with you, but we have a Dr.s appt.  Last night I got a call from daycare while at work saying you had a 102 fever and needed to be picked up.  I about died, this is your first big sickness (last week you had a cough and congestion...yes two illnesses in the 3 weeks at daycare).  Your fever went down but your cough is getting worse and you wheeze when breathing.  I'm hoping the Dr says its nothing and I'm an over reacting first time mom. Nevertheless Daddy is gonna stay with you tomorrow, and Babka will be with you Friday- I think I will have them bring you to me on lunch for some nursing, can't imagine missing out on that connection mid-way through the day.

Love you bear bear!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We're all sick

(fell down the rabbit hole)
D, L, and I are resting and trying to get over this cold.  My streak of no colds/flus since Oct 2009 and L's streak of never in his lifetime are officially over.  It only took a week back at work/daycare to produce this. More fuel for wanting to stay home.  Having a cold is much harder when you're nursing as most of the medicines that alleviate discomfort are off limits- they dry up your milk supply.  So we have the humidifier running, some essential oil rubs, hot teas all day, and lots of rest.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Believe it or not, this is the song that calms and settles L when nothing else works.  D sings it often...

Things are happening...

L is making all kinds of growth and changes- he is actually sleeping/napping in the cosleeper for a significant chunk of time.  Now last night he wasn't having it and ended up in bed on the boob, but right now as I type he has been asleep in the cosleeper for almost two hours!  It's made me rethink needing/wanting a baby monitor.  Our house isn't very large but it would give me more peace of mind- I would be able to close the door and make more noise around the house without the fear that I'm missing his cries.

Here's a picture of L waking up from his long nap the other day, all smiles!

But about daycare and returning to work, I'm very conflicted.  A part of me feels excited to tackle this challenge and use my none mommy brain throughout the day- but the other, very large, part of me just wants to be with L.  Daycare has been difficult, I still cry when I leave him, and even sometimes on my lunches when I go nurse him.  I had a very difficult time when I was there nursing L on my lunch and a little 3 month old baby was crying by herself (it wasn't that the staff were ignoring her, but she refuses bottles and they had to put her down for a bit to tend to other kids- diaper changes and all).  I sat there nursing L, tears running down my face just imagining him crying by himself and not being able to console him.  Then there's the issue of possible crying it out happening for naps- well not just leaving him to cry, but patting his back till he sleeps.  I do adore the daycare staff and L is happy there, he smiles and coos at the ladies who care for him- but it's not me caring for him and that kills me.  They say it gets easier over time after you head back to work- so far one week in and it's just getting harder.

Pumping at work has been ok...but the nature of my job can always interfere- I get to talking about client issues with my supervisor and it eats into my pumping time.  Also, I do not have a lock on my door- just a sign that reads DO NOT ENTER and a door stop that doesn't actually prevent the door form opening but it slows it down.  I am going to try to use a locked room this coming week.  Having the mini fridge is  a big time saver and stress reducer- definitely a good purchase.  I think the worst part about pumping is all the maintenance- packing parts, cleaning parts, lugging around pump, transporting milk/coolers/ week in and it's already getting old.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Popsicles in January?

We are planning on waiting till L is 6 months to introduce solids and we are thinking of avoiding the rice/cereal/oatmeal altogether and going straight to the veggies- more of a baby-led weaning style. But we wanted to give him something to practice with as well as soothe his gums.  I found these instructions on making breastmilk popsicles a while back and figured now would be a good time.

This experiment has shown us that L is clearly not ready for solids- he has some ability to grasp and bring things into his mouth, but he still has the tongue thrust and drops the popsicle often.  By 6 months he should be just ready.  However, L LOVES his milk popsicles- as is evident in the photos below.

They were very easy to make- we used these popsicle molds

Just add the milk and place them in the freezer for a few hours/till frozen
(as you can see, L had already enjoyed a few)

Run them under warm to room temp water for a bit till you can pull them out easily

Make sure your little guy has a bib can get messy

Then watch the cuteness ensue...

And what happens when it's all gone...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wasn't So Bad...

(source captain d-wrecks quaters)
I did it, I went back to work.  I was super emotional this morning when I dropped off L.  I cried at work a bunch too...but thats ok when you work as a therapist (with mostly other mothers/fathers) and everyone is supportive and just think it's normal and appropriate to have a moment (or a few) throughout the day.  There are many new things to learn, new clients to build rapport with- definitely like going to a new job.  Pumping went much better today, so I have a new found confidence that I will be able to keep exclusively breastfeeding.

Hardest part of the day: When a client had her 5 month old son in group....L is 4 1/2 months and this little boy was making noises that L makes, and I could barely concentrate.  Also just talking about L, brought up all the emotions- I did best when I was distracted by work stuff.

I don't work tomorrow so for breakfast we will be making this.

Monday, January 10, 2011

We Survived!

We made it through day 1 of daycare- it actually went fairly smooth.  I cried when living him and when we came by to nurse him.  He was asleep in their crib- it was sad to see my baby in a crib that wasn't his own/in our home, but I was also so proud of him for being such a bug boy and sleeping so well.  It was cool to see 3 other babies are being cloth diapered.  Pumping didn't go as well- as in I didn't pump as much as L will need.  Hopefully thats due to stress and lack of sleep.

D and I saw The Fighter- really great film.  I wasn't really expecting/excited to see a film about addiction...I wanted to get my mind off work, but it was so well done.   I plan on getting a copy for work- it does a realistic and hilarious job of portraying the family dynamics of addiction.

I'm exhausted so I'm heading to bed early so I can be ready for tomorrow- real work.

Here is L chewing his Sophie after we picked him up.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'm a Wimp


2 days till work
1 day till L starts daycare

Lets just say I'm freaking out a little bit.  I'm naturally a pretty anxious person, add in 4 1/2 months of maternity leave ending, my precious baby starting daycare, and just a sense of chaos at home (not relationship wise, just organization/cleanliness) and I'm a rattled mess.  I have no idea how I will adjust to this new schedule, I haven't been very disciplined about sleep training myself- I woke up at noon yesterday after falling asleep after 2am.  I will have to wake up around 5:30 tomorrow for our "dry run".  

The plan is to prep everything I can the night before (L's daycare stuff, outfit for the next day, bottles, pump stuff, work stuff, my outfit, etc).  D has this week off so he will be there to help out.

The Plan

5:30   wake up, nurse L in bed
         get dressed
         pump (hopefully I wont have to do morning pumps, but I will till I know)
         eat breakfast
         get L ready
7:00   leave 
         commute is 30-45 min
         drop L off at Daycare (we will be hanging out a bit since it's the first day)
         drive to my work to test the route
         occupy ourselves near the daycare (go to breakfast, window shop, run errands)
9:00   pump (this will be around the time I will pump at work)
         occupy ourselves near the daycare
12:00 go nurse L (I plan to go to his daycare and nurse him on my lunches)
         occupy ourselves near the daycare
3:00  pump
        FINALLY pick up our bear bear.

Then Tuesday is a whole other ball game- instead of pretend work, I will go to real work.  I'm more then a little nervous about returning as a lot of things changed.  Right when I was leaving we were converting to an all electronic system- new scheduling, new charting...basically like going to a new job that has a different system/structure.  Also, most of the clients will be new, and even my coworkers have changed.  I expect to be learning the ropes for the first couples weeks.  And my job isn't a job that allows for being distant or preoccupied- I'm a therapist, being present is part of what I should do.  To make matters more emotional, I work in a program for women with children and the children participate with the mothers- so I will be reminded of L constantly.

I think I need to give myself a stern pep talk...but right now I'm just wallowing in being a wimp.

Oh and I changed the blog design a little- I'm still learning how to personalize things so expect changes.

Resources I have found helpful for moms returning to work:

Work and Pump- Great website, specifically this page.
Kelly Mom- obviously a great help

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nursery Tour

Here is L's room today.  He doesn't sleep here yet (I could add a crib to the list of useless baby items right now), we do all diaper changes here, play, nurse, hang out....and eventually he will sleep in here. We only had to purchase 2 pieces of furniture- the currently useless crib and the glider, everything else was already owned.  We just tweaked the furniture we already had by either painting or adding baskets to create storage.

Although the style of this room doesn't necessarily reflect "our" style, this is one of my favorite rooms in our home because most of the decorations came from family and/or were crafted.  I reupholstered the glider, sewed the pillows, made the bird mobile, and the quilt on the footstool.  D's mom is a real quilter and made the amazing one hanging over the back of the glider (she also made one for our wedding which reminds me of the wedding every time I look at it).  The framed carriage images were my grandmothers, as was the red light (we painted it red- it was originally cream colored).  The framed fairy tale needle points above the changing station were made by my aunt from Slovakia.  They are pretty old as a remember them always being in my mom's home growing up.  My mom made the needle point birth announcement thats framed near the diaper station.  And D took these amazing pictures.  Love him.

Nursery Evolution

When we purchased our home I already knew which room would be the nursery if/when we had a was the last room that we painted/fixed up just in case I got pregnant. Well I didn't for a while so we finally went ahead and committed to turning it into an office/guestroom- with BLACK walls. As soon as I deemed it "complete", I got a positive pregnancy test. It's pretty shocking that I even have these few pics of the room since it didn't stay this way for more then a couple months.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Art and Breastfeeding

Pieter de Hooch, Woman with Childen in an Interior

Leigh at Marvelous Kiddo regularly updates her blog with art of breastfeeding. I saw this one at the Legion of Honor.

Cloth and Craftiness

Countdown 6 days...

L had his 4 month appt today (a little late, but our original appt was cancelled- he is doing great in all physical/developmental areas btw). Our pediatrician is really sweet and L gave her many smiles and squeels. She commented on L's cloth diaper and how she hopes to use cloth with her next child. I was able to pass along info for Banana Peels, which is an online store that also has a show room near by. Having a show room/store is a huge deal because almost no stores carry a nice selection of cloth diapers. Online is great but it's important to feel them and see them to know what you really like- especially in the beginning.

We also received our wet bag from Monkey Foot Designs. It is absolutely perfect- great quality, adorable pattern (this is it). We needed a good wet bag to lug back and forth from daycare to home. Our daycare is awesome and will gladly cloth diaper as long as we provide the diapers and clean them at home.

Since L is getting close to the 6 month date (we are waiting till then to introduce solids), we picked up a cheap/functional high chair at Ikea (and a new cushion for our poang chair- it's great for nursing in). The high chair is just plastic so I decided to make a cushion out of some cute left over fabric. I was inspired by this design, but wasn't able to find the pattern for free so I improvised my looks great from afar and ok up close...much like most of my sewing projects. So although he wont be eating with us for over a month (except for a breast milk popsicle which I am thinking of trying soon since he is teething so bad), he will be able to sit with us at dinner.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Oh What A Day!

Countdown 7 days till I return to work...

Since my maternity leave is soon ending and D is now off work with me, I have had glorious plans to maximize our family fun.  Today was supposed to be the highlight; every first Tuesday of the month is free museum day in SF (De Young, Legion of Honor, MOMA are all free).  We especially wanted to go to the De Young because many of the art from the Musee D'Orsay are being displayed.  When we were in Paris it was by far our favorite museum, and who doesn't love post-impressionist paintings.  I hoped we could make it to both the De Young and the MOMA, D knew better.

The day started off alright; D went to the dentist, I pumped a hefty bottle to save for another day, and got L dressed.  We fixed ourselves up and left before noon, but soon found ourselves stuck in traffic.  Fortunately D knew a back way so we kept driving on side roads.  L had been great all morning but decided to turn down the charm on the ride.  We made one stop to nurse and change diapers- the crying/screaming hadn't rattle us too much and we were still in good spirits.  We arrived in the city, and made our way to the De Young only to find out the Orsay display wasn't free like the rest of the museum, and we wouldn't even be able to buy a ticket, it was sold out.  Major bummer!  At this point we were hungry so we stopped by the museum restaurant and ordered some food.  L was being such a cutie!  He was flirting with strangers at the next table, smiling up a storm, I saw many babywearing moms- our order was forgotten but came quickly after D went up to the kitchen to ask about it.

D and I decided to leave the De Young without even walking around (we had been many times before) and go to the Legion of Honor for their Japanesque display.  I think this is the point where L decided he was done.  L fussed in the ergo, I changed him, held him, nursed him...still fussing.  D took him for a bit in the ergo to see if he just needed to sleep (he has a hard time falling asleep while I where him, he only wants to nurse to sleep).  After pulling out all our tricks and still getting a fussing baby, we left the museum feeling a little defeated.  Yes, we went to two museums, but we didn't really absorb any of the art at either one.  Funny though- as soon as we get outside away from building, L falls asleep.

Then the day/evening just gets worse.  We attempt to eat dinner at Magnolias- L was so not having it.  It was loud, he was over tired, over stimulated, hungry, and just fed up with our plans.  D changed him, I nursed him, and as soon as our food arrived we asked for it to go.  I took L outside and he instantly settled.  What is it about being outdoors that calms him, I don't know exactly....I have always found it more peaceful though.  So there we were at the intersection of Haight and Masonic (not a calm or quiet intersection by any means), and L just seemed like his happy self.  We get to the car, planing to eat on the ride home (no utensils needed) and L lost it.  For a while L has decided he no longer likes being buckled into his car seat, and usually takes a bit to calm down in the car.  Tonight however, he went crazy!  The poor little guy was so distressed, screaming, no screeching, in the back seat.  I hooped back there, D sang to him, tears rolling down L's face- we pulled over.  I nursed him for quite a while.  It was one of those nursing sessions where he is still choking back tears for the first minute, then he is gulping it down like he hadn't eaten in a day, and finally is out asleep- at peace.  I put him back int he car seat (hey, we have to get home somehow!) and the crying starts again!  Luckily some singing, lullaby pandora station, and the motion of the car help him fall asleep.

Oh What A Day!!!  It was an adventure to say the least. We are all thoroughly exhausted, but hey, we got some cute photos.