Thursday, September 29, 2011

Confessions: Week 14 & 15

Confession #30:  (More of a plug) Medela nipple cream, WHERE have you been all of my breastfeeding life?

Confession #31:  Wednesday was the first time in two weeks that I was able to get in all three of my pumping sessions while at work.  It was glorious.  I don't know how you twice-a-dayers do it.  Hats off to you!

Confession #32:  Sometimes while doing my breast compressions, I accidentally squeeze the skin inside the breast shield, and it makes a farting noise because of the air getting through. 

New to my Confessions of a Pumping Mother series?  Get caught up here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday

About this time 21 years ago, my mom was stuck in the transition phase of labor.  She was one week past her due date and induced with Pitocin.  She labored for over 18 hours before finally having a cesarean.  Like mother, like daughter.   

21 years ago, I was in Lucy's shoes.  Just a sweet, chubby baby that loved to be in her momma's arms.

And in 21 years, I pray that I have the same (freakishly) close, loving relationship with my Lucy, that I have with my mom.  Am hoping Lucy will be significantly less bitchy than me when she's 21. 

This year, for my birthday, I got some perspective.  I can appreciate what my mom sees when she looks at me. I am beginning to appreciate what she went through/goes through as a parent.  I can appreciate the big picture.  I love you Momma Bear, thank you.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Homemade Baby Food

I make Lulu's food.  The end.


I had planned to make homemade baby food since before Lulu was even conceived. ::dusts imaginary dirt off shoulders::  I had read on a few different parenting forums and blogs that it was a fun and easy way to serve the best quality food to your baby, so I figured why not?

Turns out, it really is fun and easy.  (I'm just assuming all of my readers find mindless food prep enjoyable...)  I like to pretend I'm a sous chef and a head chef in a five star restaurant, serving a panel of baby judges that include Lulu, Baby Robert Irvine and Baby Gordon Ramsay. 

Last Tuesday I spent a few hours in the kitchen and prepared over a month's worth of solid food for Lulu.  Bringing a whole new meaning to the concept of Freezer Meals.

I peeled and diced and steamed and pureed until my heart was content, and my freezer was packed.  I made acorn squash, white sweet po, carrots, apples, and pears (all "recipes" can be found here). 

When I finished my last batch of sweet potato, I felt very...accomplished.  It was a great feeling to know that my girl would be eating (mostly) organic food, free of any additives/preservatives/fillers/salt/sugar/etc.

To make things a little easier, we froze the purees in ice cube trays, which makes it easy to pull out one or two cubes at each meal.  It's also nice because the ice cube trays make perfect one ounce portions.  They should last up to six weeks in the freezer, but I'm hoping Lulu's appetite will kick in soon and she'll start to go through our stash quicker than that.  Any excuse to use my Mother's Day present.  ;-)

Do you make your baby's food?  What are your favorite recipes?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Introducing Solids

We rolled in Lulu's Half Birthday with the introduction of solid food.

Whoa, they're finally giving me "real" food.  

Oh God.  I hate it, I HATE IT!!!  Never again, please!
As you can see, it was not well received by Goosey Girl, and her attitude hasn't changed much over the last week... 

Lulu has been interested in food for months; but, Casey and I agreed to wait until she was at least 6 months old before introducing solids, because we read that introducing them too soon could cause problems (digestive system development, childhood obesity, rapid and unhealthy weight gain - and so on).  

Fun fact:  Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life increases protection against disease and improves the chances of continuing breastfeeding throughout the first 12 months of life.   

We gauged a lot of our decisions on the Wholesome Baby Food website - I highly recommend all mommas check that site out, if you haven't already!  They provide SO much information: from deciding if your baby is ready for solids, to baby food recipes, to allergies, and so much more.  We chose to introduce pears first, after reading the list of appropriate Stage 1 Foods.  To date, she has had pears, sweet po, and acorn squash.

I thought we were being progressive by skipping over cereal, and plunging into the fruits and vegetables; but, in retrospect, I think Lucy would have enjoyed solids more if we started with something that was mixed with breast milk.  I'm sure she'll eventually get over this aversion to all things solid, maybe once we introduce some bananas.

Fun fact #2:  Bananas are the solid food that taste closest to breast milk. (Thanks for that, Meg!)

For now we're abiding by the 3 day wait rule.  (Some people do 2 days, some do 4 days.)  Meaning we introduce one food at a time, for a period of 3 days; which gives us a chance to evaluate Lulu's reaction to the food and make sure there's no allergy or constipation.  Eventually, once we've gone through all the foods, we'll be able to serve multiple foods at one time.  Lulu hasn't had any constipation problems ::knocks on wood:: and that's something I hope to avoid completely.  

Fun fact #3:  Exclusively breastfed babies are more prone to constipation because their digestive systems are so used to processing breast milk, which is easily digested.  

I originally planned to combine two posts into one: telling you all about introducing solids and making homemade baby food; but, having typed it all out, I realize now that that would make for one verrry long post.  I'll leave you with a few more priceless photos from dinner - just look at her expression! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nighttime Nursing

I created The Boob Monster.

I want your boobs, Momma!!!
We all know Lulu likes to eat.  And I, especially, know she likes to eat at night. 

Lucy has never slept through the night; at best, she's only woken once a night, and that only lasted for a few months.  All things went to hell when I returned to work (when I actually needed to sleep).  First I blamed reverse cycling.  Lucy wouldn't eat all day long, while she was with my dad, and then she'd literally nurse for hours when I got home from work.  Fast forward to the 4-5 month wakeful period, Lucy's night wakings moved upward of four times each night.  And that's when it happened, that's when I created The Boob Monster.

I have always nursed on demand and comfort nursed - my mom likes to call me the human pacifier.  There is nothing wrong with doing either of those, but there can be consequences...  Hunger is one of the strongest cues for the human body, and I essentially trained Lucy's little body to eat at these set times each night.  D'oh!

I once read on a breastfeeding forum that some mother's were eliminating nighttime feedings or scaling back their nighttime feedings by choice and/or by their pediatrician's recommendation, and I thought, "Well that's kind of mean.  Why would they do that?"  Now I get it!  (Does that make me judgey?)

I still nurse Lucy to sleep every night, with no intention of stopping anytime soon.  But now, when she wakes at 9 pm, 12 am, 1 am, and 2 am, I soothe her back to sleep without the breast.  By doing this, I've eliminated the hunger cues that caused her to wake previously.  It took us almost one week to reteach Lucy how to go back to sleep without nursing (and Holy God was that a long week!), but after only two days we saw a decrease in night wakings.  Now we're back to waking once a night!  YAY! 

So if you're a breastfeeding momma that also comfort nurses, keep doing what you're doing!  Just be sure to alternate your methods of soothing, especially for nighttime wakings.  Yet another lesson learned!!!

How did you handle nighttime wakings?  Or are you one of the lucky parents whose kiddos slept through the night at an early age?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

10 Reasons: Why I love bed-sharing

Whenever I tell people that we are a co-sleeping family, they look at my like I have two heads.  People just assume Lucy sleeps in her crib, and that she has for months.  I find that quite frustrating, and even offensive at times.

I know we've already had this conversation about why bed-sharing is awesome, but I feel like taking it a step further and sharing the top ten reasons why I love it... 

10.  Lucy sleeps better, and that means I sleep better. 

9.  I get to fall asleep listening to Lucy breathing.  (Does that sound creepy?)

8.  It gives new meaning to the phrase "Fast Food", I can whip my boob out and go right back to sleep.
7.  Saturday mornings.  (My favorite part of the week!)  We wake up and play, and cuddle, take pictures, and just enjoy each other.  No rushing around to get to work or wherever else.

6.  No need for one of those pesky baby monitors! 

5.  It put my mind at ease knowing the SIDS risk was decreased.  

4.  I like to think that this bond and closeness is creating a foundation for our relationship in the years to come, as it did for my mom and I.  (Maybe that's an Italian thing?)

3.  Catching Lulu laughing and smiling in her sleep. 

2.  Watching Casey kiss Lucy and talk to her in the mornings, before he leaves for work, when he thinks I'm still asleep.

1.  Waking up to Goosey's sweet face.

Of course there is one small drawback to bed-sharing...  Now that Lulu has gotten a little bigger and more mobile, I occasionally have to fight for my side of the bed!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

6 Months

Happy (belated) Half Birthday, Goosey Girl!!

I feel like I repeat myself in every monthly birthday post, but you are just quite simply the happiest, sweetest girl in the whole wide world, and there is no other way to say it.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, who has ever met you has commented on what a happy baby you are. 

In this last month you've shown your Daddy and I just how much you've grown.  You have made it abundantly clear that you are becoming more and more toddler-like, and less and less infant-like with each and every day. 

At 6 months:

Your personality is really shining through!  You are so silly and sweet, and I know that you will be a happy person when you grow up; you take after your Daddy in many ways, and for that I am so thankful.

You are incredibly vocal and you like to let people know how you are feeling.  Several peeps have heard you say "Hi", and Daddy thinks you say "Momma" when you cry - haha, how appropriate!

You are eating solids!  YAY!!!  We reached our first breastfeeding goal, you have been exclusively breastfed up until this point.  We celebrated your 6 month birthday by introducing solids.  Your first solid food was pureed pears, and much to our surprise, you didn't love them.

You still love to nurse, and I love nursing you.

You can sit up, totally unassisted.

You reach for your toys and transfer them between hands.

You love your jumperoo, you are such a good bouncer!

You play with your feet all.the.time. and it is just about the cutest thing ever!

You are still toothless.

You had your first legit ailment, who could forget Battle Molluscum?  And you are almost completely rid of that nasty virus.

You still sleep right between Daddy and I.  After a massive sleep training fail, we realized that's just where you belong.  We've started scaling back the night time nursing, and it seems to have reduced your night waking.

You started the N.A.P.S. program (better late than never) and your nap quality has hugely improved.    

You are finally on a schedule.  It only took us 6 months to figure it out.

6:00-6:30 Wake up and nurse
6:45-8:30 Hang with Grampy and Uncle Cole
8:30-9:00 Enjoy bottle #1
9:00-10:00 Take a nap
10:00-12:30 Hang with Grampy and Auntie Fal
12:30-1:00 Enjoy bottle #2
1:00-2:30 Take a nap
2:30-3:15 Hang with Grampy and enjoy bottle #3
3:15-4:45 Daddy gets home
4:45-5:30 Momma gets home, nurse and nap
5:30-7:30 Play, bath time, and bed time

You weigh approximately 21 pounds and you are approximately 28 inches long.  (will update after your well-baby visit on Friday)

You are wearing some 6-9 month clothes, for now, but they're already tight.  We all know how I feel about the clothing manufacturers tailoring clothes towards the skinny babies...  And, I think its about time we graduate to large diapers.

And now for a few of my favorites from your 6 month photo shoot:

You are the greatest blessing two people could ask for, and we love you more than anything, Baby Goose!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Littlest Camper

Casey's Dictionary 

1. Live for a time in a tent or camper, sans bathroom or electricity, when on vacation.
2. Take part in "real" camping activities, including hiking, fishing, and canoeing. 

Taylor's Dictionary 

1. Live for a time in a tent or camper, with bathrooms (complete with flush toilets and showers) and electric, when on vacation.
2. Explore the nearest tourist attractions, including shopping, restaurants, and the occasional historic landmark.

As you can see, our definitions differ quite a bit.  Casey likes to be manly, dirty, and active; and I like to be clean and only moderately active.

No bother, we still LOVE to camp.  And so will our kids.  When I say our kids will abide by my definition, I mean, we will always be in an RV park or campground with facilities and (usually) electricity.  I do NOT pee behind a bush.  I have done so one other time in my life, when I was a Girl Scout, nonetheless, and that was not my proudest moment.

Anywho...Call us cheap vacationers, call us outdoorsy.  This past weekend was one of the best, most relaxing weekends we've had in a long, long while.  We didn't venture far from home, just 45 minutes east of Fountain Thrills, to Payson.  Yet we managed to encounter several hiccups right off the bat.  Soon our $20 vacation blossomed into a $200 vacation... 

Hiccup #1:  We no sooner began setting up camp, when we realized our tent was missing some vital pieces...the support frames.  A quick trip to Wal-Mart, and we had a new tent, air mattress, stakes, flash light and beef jerky.  

Hiccup #2:  We bought this wonderfully large and luxurious air mattress, under the impression that it came with an air pump and battery, only to find out that the battery was sold separately.  A quick trip to the Dollar Tree and we had an inflated air mattress.

All jokes aside, we had a great time.  We were able to unwind and escape the run-around that is our home life.  We slept in, we cuddled, we acted silly and spent time as a family.  And it gave me a chance to appreciate the Phoenix climate for once (yes, the girl that hates Arizona), when I had to breastfeed Goosey Girl in a hoodie sweatshirt.

So how was it camping with a 6 month old?  Pretty damn easy.  We used disposables (and had a blowout...), because Momma Goose didn't wash the diapers in time.  We packed for the worst - hot/cold, blowouts, drooling, etc.  We didn't bother bringing the stroller, and I wore Lulu whenever we ventured out.  And she entertained herself, briefly, while we set up the tent.

Maybe it's because we were only gone the one night, but it was really no harder than being home.  I look forward to the first time we have to give Goosey a bath or feed her something other than boobs while "roughing it".

I cannot wait to go camping again - we're hoping to start going every other weekend or so!   Here are some pictures from our glorious weekend...

Happy Goose, all bundled up!

Co-sleeping while camping, no exceptions!

Tonto National Forest

Tonto Fish Hatchery

Wearing my Goosey Girl!

Getting in touch with my inner Pocahontas, breastfeeding under a Weeping Willow Tree

Walking around with Daddy

Piggy back from Daddy in the park

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gone Camping...

Casey and I are campers.

Family camping trips were a big part of both our childhoods - even though our definition of "camping" differs quite a bit. 

We don't go as often as we like, but hopefully that's something we can remedy now that the weather is starting to break.  The plan is to ultimately raise a pack of Baby Shelton campers.  (and they will undoubtedly abide by MY definition of camping!)  And we're starting with Lulu.

So we've gone camping.  Just the three of us.  Just for the night.  No lap tops, minimal cell phone reception...just us, in a tent, surrounded by nature. 

It's a weekend of firsts for us!  First time camping with Goose.  First time feeding Goose solids.  You can look forward to those posts and a belated birthday post next week! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Confessions: Week 13

Confession #27:  One time I accidentally sterilized my breast pump tubing.  And it melted.

Confession #28:  During my second pumping session on Thursday, Mrs. Right started a lot.  I was reading my book when I looked down and saw a thick ring of blood in the breast shield tunnel; then I saw blood dripping down into the connector, pooling in the valve.  ::gag::  I stopped pumping immediately, and, thankfully, no blood dripped down into the milk.  Commence freak out.  I called four lactation consultants (yes, FOUR, and not one of them answered), my OB, another breastfeeding momma (hi Stacy!), and my momma.  My Momma Bear suggested that I call the pump manufacturer, and that's when I finally got my answer.  Apparently my breast pump, The Swing, can only be used with one type of connector/pump body....  Meaning, my Medela Accessory Value Pack is proving to be less and less of a value.

Confession #29:  Today marks one full week of no walk-ins while pumping.  Hoorah!  Maybe my barricade is working? 

Happy Friday, dears!  I hope everyone has a great weekend.  If this is your first time visiting for my ohsobrilliant series Confessions of a Pumping Mother, you've got loads to catch up on!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cloth Diapering: Maintenance & Stripping

Now that we've got THAT out of the way....

On Sunday morning we noticed a lot of redness on Lulu's tush; the culprit:  wicked diaper rash.  So we buttered her up with Desitin and waited.  The rash continued to get worse and worse, and it eventually got so bad that when I wiped her bum, she would scream bloody murder.  It was heartbreaking. 

Goose has always had some kind of redness on her (otherwise perfect) buns.  And so, girlfriend gets/got Desitin and a liner at every diaper change.  Not normal - not normal at all.  I always chaulked it up to sensitive skin and not being changed frequently enough; but, I'm laundering over a dozen diapers each day - so clearly the girl is getting changed plenty.

It never occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, there was some detergent build up in her cloth diapers.  ::smacks head::  Whoops!

Fast forward to Monday morning.  I decided to stay home from work to take care of my Goosey's tush.  (I didn't want my dad to have to deal with her when she was like that.)  We had a lot of nakey baby time, in hopes of airing out the evil rash:

And when Lulu did need to be diapered, I put her in (way too small) prefolds and used luke warm washcloths instead of wipes.  I also stopped using Desitin and started using a prescription diaper rash cream.  That's when I had my revelation about the detergent build up.

I turned to google, this site and this site, two other cloth diapering mommas, and this cloth diaper boutique for advice.  Eventually I wound up with these instructions:

Wash once in hot water with one tablespoon of original liquid Dawn and up to 1/2 cup bleach in the wash cycle. 

Do two additional hot water washes with no detergent to completely rinse the diapers clean. If you still see suds, keep rinsing until the diapers are rinsed clean.



So after many, MANY rinse cycles, the stripping was complete.  We decided to put Lulu in disposable diapers in the interim.  Boy, was I glad to get her back in cloth last night!

I should have known to strip the diapers sooner, but I'm still a novice in the cloth diaper realm.  Lesson learned!  As a preventitive measure, I plan to start doing a bleach wash every two weeks.  And, one helpful tip I picked up along the way, you can test your diapers absorbency by spooning a few tablespoons of water onto the diapers.  If it takes an inordinate amount of time to absorb, you know you've got some build up.

ETA:  Lulu's tushy is all better, good as new!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I really, REALLY do not care.

What other parents do. 

Today I planned to tell you all about how I had to strip Lucy's cloth diapers on Monday, but I've been bombarded with sass ever since my post on CIO, and now I feel obligated to set the record straight - not just on the whole CIO thing, but parenting styles in general. (ETA:  This is not directed at the lovely ladies that commented on the CIO post)

I DO NOT CARE what other parents do with their kids.

I don't care what you feed them (breast milk or formula).

I don't care when you start solids (4 months or 6 months or anywhere inbetween).

I don't care how you diaper them (cloth or disposable or straight to underwear).

I don't care if you do or do not vaccinate.

I don't care how you put your baby to sleep each night (Cry-It-Out, comfort nursing, in the swing, whatever) OR where your baby sleeps for that matter (in their crib, in your bed, or in a dresser drawer).

Do you see where I'm going with this?  I hope so.  I'm not saying that I don't enjoy conversing about these things, because I do - I really do!  But when it comes to thinking about it after the conversation has ended and "judging" the other parent's choices, my logic is pretty simple and pretty straightforward:  Not my kid, NOT my problem!

Maybe it's because Lucy was the best surprise ever unplanned, that I didn't have time to decide beforehand what kind of parent I wanted to be or what was the "best" way to parent.  Maybe it's just the sheer desperation to keep my baby happy, that I'll exhaust any means necessary.  But I believe we parent the way we do because we love our daughter.  

We all love our kids.  We all want what's best for our kids.  And since all kids are infinitely different from one another, our parenting styles and choices have to be too.

When I hear the words judge, judgey, or judgemental, I laugh.  If people honestly think that I have the spare energy or brain capacity to even think about what they're doing with their kids, they're even more sleep deprived than I am. 

How do you feel about judgey moms and dads? 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I hate CIO, I hate CIO, I HATE CIO

I caved.  I decided to try the Cry-It-Out Method for Lucy's first nap this morning, and whaddya know, I was right. 

Cry-It-Out just isn't for us.  I've known this for years, since I heard my brother and sister in-law using it with my niece.  I'm the mom that cries when her baby cries.  I'm the mom that drops everything and RUNS to my baby when she needs me.  Why I ever thought that I could go through with this method is beyond me.

Oh ya, I was stupid and I was selfish.  That's why.

We had a terrible night last night.  Lucy went down later than she should have and she was up all night.  Finally, around 4:30 AM, we threw in the towel and put her in the car seat.  We drove around town for 30 minutes, got home, and she actually stayed asleep in her car seat for two hours.  Lucy is almost 6 months old...we should NOT have to resort to the car seat trick.  I told myself, "Tonight she sleeps in her crib."

So, tired and frustrated, I tried putting Lucy down in her crib this morning.  For my first attempt, I tried nursing her in the glider; when she fell asleep, I waited for "limp-limb" sleep and tried to transfer her....she woke up instantly.  Rinse and repeat.  Attempt #3, Casey rocked her.  And, attempt #4, CIO.  I read the Ferber Progressive Waiting Chart on this blog and away we went.

The first interval was three minutes.  Lucy didn't cry for the first two minutes, but once she started, she didn't stop.  I went in for two minutes, patted her belly, held her hand, and stroked her face - which made her cry harder.

The second interval was five minutes.  After three minutes I was sobbing.  Casey went in for the second "visit" and just as I was about to throw the baby monitor through the window, he and Lucy came marching into the kitchen.

He said, "She pooped....  And we're never doing that again."

And then we both started laughing, which made Lucy laugh.  But as soon as he set her down to change her, she started screaming again.  I think she so overtired and afraid that we'd leave her again...  After much soothing and nursing, she finally went to sleep in our bed.  Where she belongs.

Call me a wuss, call me an idiot, I don't care...  I'm not judging mothers that use the Cry-It-Out Method, not at all, its just not for our family. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"You're due for x-rays"

I had an interesting visit at the dentist's office this morning (yes, I had a Saturday appointment - whoa!).

I say it was interesting because two sorta crummy things happened.  First, the dentist tells me I'm due for x-rays and that I need to get them done today.  I didn't know how that would affect breastfeeding, so I was sitting there having this internal debate, screaming "My boobs, MY MILK!!!"  And then, once she started cleaning, I start bleeding.  Like a lot.  Like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was taking place in my mouth. 

Problem #1 was easily avoided, I just asked that we wait for the next visit to do the x-rays.  Nbd.  Even though, come to find out, there is no known impact on breastfeeding.  So, nursing mommas, if you plan to visit the dentist while you are breastfeeding and you happen to need x-rays, rest assured knowing that its a-okay.  For more info, peep these sites:  here and here and here.

Problem #2 was not so easy peasy.  The dentist needed hella gauze and suction to control those ridiculous gums of mine.  She really didn't know what to say about it, she thought it might be hormonally induced but wasn't really sure.  I've been researching since I got home, and I haven't found anything on postpartum bleeding gums...  Bleeding gums can be a symptom of pregnancy gingivitis (which I did have), but that's supposed to clear up after giving birth.  She said to watch it for one month and to call if there's no improvement. At which point they'd have to use a local anesthesia and do a "deep cleaning" of the gums to stimulate the healing process and reduce inflammation.  

Sounds fun (and expensive), huh?  Is anyone else experiencing something similar?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Confessions: Week 12

Confession #25:  Sometime last month I decided to save some money and be (even more) environmentally friendly by storing my breast milk in bottles instead of bags.  The switch has been great for the most part!  We're saving $5.99 a week on bags and we've cut down on trash; and, my dad/Fallon/Cole also seem to appreciate the conversion as well.  They no longer have to transfer breast milk to bottles (and risk spilling it all over themselves, the counter, and the floor - yes, they've done that a time or two).      

Confession #26:  After last week's confessions, I realized I needed to step up my game as far as keeping intruders out of my pumping lair. 

So far it has actually stopped one person from coming in - those office chairs are heavier than they look!  YAY for privacy!  I've also started hanging a sign that says, "In Use, PLEASE Knock".

New to my confessions?  Check out my other posts!  And, while you're at it, maybe you've got some confessing of your own to do...  Fess up, ladies!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Dream

Disclaimer:  These are my feelings and my opinions.  I don't judge those women that choose to work, and I hope to not be judged as well.

I'm an old-fashion girl at heart.  A simple girl, really.

When I was little, I longed for two things; and to this day, that hasn't changed: 

1.  Get married and have a big family.
2.  Own a bakery.  (seriously)

I realize neither of those things are very ambitious, and I'm okay with that, that's just who I am - sorry Mom!

My sister wants to join the Navy, travel the world, and have a complex linguistics career.  My brother wants to be a high school history teacher.  And my youngest brother in-law wants to be an engineer.  All huge dreams!  None of which are mine. 

In my opinion, family is the most important thing in this world.  I know that once I'm old and wrinkly, all I will have left is my family.  And I want to be able to look back at this time in my life and remember the time I spent with my family - not the time I spent working, not my job title or big projects, not the numbers on my paychecks....

Nothing would make me happier than to be home for my child(ren) and my husband - to take care of MY child(ren); make a nice dinner every night; clean my house every day; and, maybe start up a small bakery one day.  

A friend, who shares similar dreams (less the bakery), recently asked me:  Is it so wrong to want these things? 

My answer:  Hell to the NO, girlfriend!

I don't care if my dreams set the women's movement back 50 years.  Maybe I'd like to be a homemaker, thankyouverymuch.  Maybe I'd find that to be fulfilling.  Maybe others would too.  Did those feminists ever consider that??

And now, for the the lingering question, what are my dreams for this little beauty?

My hopes and dreams for Lucy Lu are that she be happy.  I won't shove college down her throat.  I won't arrange her marriage.  And if she decides she wants to be a stay-at-home-mom, too, I will fully support her.  Although, if that's the case, I will insist she become my partner in Shelton Sweets Bakery.  ;-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Darn you, clothing manufacturers!!

I'm a little frustrated.

But what else is new, right?

Over the weekend I washed all of Lulu's 6-9 month clothes (yes, the clothes I said I'd wash 2 weeks ago), only to find out that NONE of her pants fit.

Not a chance in hell, Ma!

For most of my life I have hated jeans shopping, and now my poor, sweet Lulu seems to be following suit.  ::insert sad face::  I am so over the clothing industry accommodating only the skinny people.

Who are all these skinny babies?

When did skinny babies become the norm?

What about the phat babies of the world?

Okay, okay...I know the 97th percentile isn't exactly normal, but the weight ranges on baby clothes is absolutely absurd to me.  Now I have a bunch of baby pants that will go unworn....  And don't even get me started on bloomers!  Between the ass genes in this girl and her cloth diapers, she has never been able to wear bloomers.  But then again, I guess that's why God made stretchy pants - just for our pumpkin! 

Anyone else in the same boat?  Or are Casey and I the only ones that grow big babies? As a side note, I've got about a hundred bloomers free to a good home, if anyone is interested give me a shout!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lucy N.A.P.S.

Please ignore Casey, who is also a great napper, passed out on the floor...

I know that I've complained a time or two about Lucy's napping abilities, but over the past week it became very clear to me that her napping abilities are just fine. 

My nap-giving abilities, on the other hand, need(ed) some work.

With the help of my darling friends, Jaye and Meg, one very informative mommy blogger, and ultimately, Dr. Polly Moore, I have discovered the secret to infant napping!!

Its called, The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program or N.A.P.S.

Note time when baby wakes up
Add 90 minutes
Play, feed, or pursue other activities
Soothe baby back to sleep

Now, right off the bat, I know most of you are probably thinking, "Gee, that's A LOT of napping!"  (*cough* Mom!)  Well, let me tell you, 1) It is NOT and 2)  Frequent napping helps baby sleep through the night.  Babies brains are in a constant state of development, even when they're sleeping - which is a whole other post, and so consequently, they need to nap every couple of hours!  

This book taught us so much.  We've learned to recognize Lulu's sleep cues; we've actually developed a schedule; we finally realized that the mysterious fussiness was actually over-stimulation; and, it has made for an overall happier Goosey.  What I loved most about this book was that it didn't advocate Cry-It-Out, because neither Casey or I agree with the CIO method, and it seems like the majority of books on infant sleep do so.  Dr. Moore actually points out that sleep training should not be used until at least 6 months.

From the very first day we used N.A.P.S. we noticed an improvement in Lulu's sleep quality.  Lucy is very much on a 90-minute clock (some babies are 120-minutes); she is very expressive in her sleep cues, it is unbelievable to me that we never noticed them before last week.  Prior to reading this book I always had to nurse Lucy down, but now she'll go down in her swing!  And if we catch her cues at the right moment she'll go down verrry easily. 

As for sleeping better at night...she's up to 8 hour stretches!!!  After almost a month of hourly waking, it is a very welcome change!!  I recommend you all go buy this book immediately, you will not be disappointed.

A well rested Goose is a happy goose.

Has anybody else used (and LOVED) the N.A.P.S. program?  What is your baby's nap time ritual?  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our battle with Molluscum

Disclaimer:  Graphic, yucky pictures to follow.  You've been warned...  I promise to conclude this terrible post with super cute pictures of Lulu.

My beautiful baby girl has Molluscum Contagiosum.

July 27

Goosey's case is apparently very mild, with about twelve spots on her right hip and one spot on her left.  

I first noticed these nasty little bumps towards the end of July - right around Goosey's 4 month birthday - during a family shower.  So Casey did a little research, and decided the symptoms most closely matched those of Yeast Infection.  The next morning I called the pediatrician and described the appearance of the rash, and I told him that we thought it was yeast...  So, without seeing her, he prescribed an anti-fungal cream and asked that we follow up in a week.  

A week later the bumps looked the exact same.

So that Friday, Grampy and Auntie Fal brought Lulu to the pediatrician.  (Now, I really like our pedi, but this next part still kind of pisses me off...)  The doctor looks at Lulu's hip and says, "Hmm I really don't know what that is, but its definitely NOT yeast..."  Brilliant!  He sent them home with instructions to "watch it" for a week and "let him know how it looks".  During that week we alternated using Desitin and baby powder on her hip, and it didn't do a thing. 

A week later the bumps looked the exact same. 

I happened to be off of work that day, so Grammy and I took Lulu to the pediatrician - only this time we saw another doctor.  This doctor walks in, and the moment she sees the rash she says, "That looks like Molluscum".  Ahh, where were you a week ago???  She proceeds to tell me that Molluscum is a type of virus, similar to warts, that is harmless and self-healing.  

She presented us with three options (each with pros and cons):  

1)  Leave it alone, let nature take its course, and eventually these suckers will heal on their own.  The Good:  Natural; no meds, no pain.  The Bad:  The process can take up to 6 years.

2)  Use a prescription cream three times a week for one month, it will dry out the rash and cause the bumps to scab over.  The Good:  The rash will clear in 4-8 weeks.  The Bad:  The medicine can cause numbness, itching and burning.

3)  Freeze them off with liquid Nitrogen.  The Good:  Kills the virus completely.  The Bad:  Verrry painful; the virus can come back; possible scarring. 

We chose to try the cream.  

August 24

After more than a month with these damn spots, we've finally got some improvement.  They've begun to scab, and her left hip is actually completely clear.  Our follow up visit is in mid-September, and we're optimistic that the infection will have cleared by then (thank you, God!).

So how did my sweet baby girl get this infection? 

The doctor said that once someone gets a wart they become a carrier of the virus (even after the wart has been removed); and anytime that person itches the site of that wart, the virus gets on their hands.  Since all of Lucy's caregivers (myself included) have had a wart at one time or another, any one of us could have given it to her while changing her diaper.

The doctor did point out that this infection is very common in young children and infants (daycare setting, sharing towels at the pool, using public bathrooms, etc.).  It can appear anywhere on the body, the most susceptible areas are the arms and legs.  The most effective way to prevent this kind of infection is by washing your hands often.  While this infection doesn't cause any pain to the child, it can be pretty darn concerning to the parents. 

Now, as promised, to take your mind off of this evil infection, some pictures of Lulu...

Fresh out the bath!

Airing out the tush!

"Oh geez, Mom!  You HAD to post that picture of my butt, didn't you?!"