Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The first day of spring in Massachusetts brought us an inch or so of snow on the ground, cold temps, and nasty driving conditions. But, today, though grey and dreary, is much warmer---all the residual snow has melted, although this morning I had to tip-toe through the slush to the car in my little flats with no socks on. You'd think I'd learn my lesson living in the Northeast for, oh, my entire life.

Work is going well--okay, it's only been two days. I should clarify that the work is fine, but me, I am not so fine these days. Last night I began feeling shaky and feverish--sure enough, I took my temp and it was over 100--not high, but high enough to make me feel plain awful. Couple that with a sore breast, and I am guessing I had/have a little bout of mastitis or another infected/plugged duct. Ugggh--will it ever end? What is wrong with me?

To add to my pity parade, this little boy is so, so gassy--so gassy that he wakes up screeching, hollering, and farting in the middle of the night. My heart goes out to him because he is obviously so uncomfortable but my god, the screaming...I started my first day of work running on about 4 hours of very interrupted sleep, and my second day with a fever and a sore boob. But I soldiered on and even got a nap in this afternoon while he dozed after grocery shopping. I love being back in the classroom, but my body feels totally whooped.

Please tell me this is not forever.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Yesterday felt good--I won't lie, it was nice to interact with adults, catch up with people I haven't talked to in three months, and it was even mildly comfortable wearing real clothes. Even the pumping in the training room in the nurse's office wasn't so bad after all. Max performed his part to perfection, even taking a nap...in a crib! Of course, when I tried to reproduce this performance once we got home yesterday afternoon, it was a no-go. I am feeling like a serious napping failure right now, but that's another story.

And..ugggghhh...another plugged duct. Not what I feel like dealing with on my last free Friday. But so it goes. Also, my defrosted b.m. tastes like soap--lucky me, it looks like I have the special enzyme which makes breast milk gross...but he's seemed to be eating it anyway, so should I do anything to it before freezing?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dress Rehearsal

We're doing a dress rehearsal for our normal work day today. I got my part-time position, so until the end of the year I'll only be working until about noon and not leaving the house until about 7:45 every morning. This obviously cuts down on in-school pumping and the number of bottles Max will get--although yesterday while at our sitters as I got a facial (oh man, that was nice), he scarfed down 4 oz. in one bottle. Yikes. At that rate I'll be burned through my freezer stash in a month. Not thinking about that one...

So this morning, S. woke up, got herself dressed as Theo jumped around in the bed. Theo got his diaper changed, I got up and got dressed, Max woke up, I fed him, dressed him, diapered him, scarfed down Eng. muffin, threw pump parts into bag, threw milk into a cooler for the sitter's, helped bring it all out the car and---they're gone. I'm leaving to catch up with my sub in about a half-hour from now. I have "real" clothes on (a.k.a. no sweatpants), make-up, and gel junk in my hair. This is real. It's time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


It's kind of felt like a nuts couple of days--Theo randomly threw up, we bought a new mattress--okay, I know that doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but Theo had never puked before, and we've been sleeping on a double bed for the past 7 or 8 years and now we're getting a queen! Oh, luxury...also on the board has been the potential for me to be able to go back only part-time, but it looks like logistically the schedule won't work out in my favor, and definitely won't work out financially, so back to work full-time I go. But you know what? I actually feel ready. It's like, all of a sudden, something clicked and I thought---I can do this, it's okay, and it is time. Max will be in such capable hands, plus be spending all day with his big brother--there's really not a loser here. Our biggest worry is the total and complete wreck our house will become. It's been quite nice having me home keeping things tidy as the week goes on. But we'll manage. We will find a new normal.

Also--postpartum hair loss? Oh my goodness. It's in full-effect. Not cool.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

About those naps...

Here is why sleeping is on my mind. There's an infant group I go to with Max on Friday mornings at our local community center, and this past Friday there was a sleep "consultant" who came into speak to the group. This woman makes her living, from what I can tell, by being hired by desperate families who need help teaching children to sleep. I totally get that--not having a kid who sleeps can seriously change the quality of your life, as does having a kid who does sleep. All throughout Theo's infancy, people at work would ask me, "Getting any sleep? You must be exhausted!" But the truth was, Theo was a good sleeper from the get-go, so we didn't really have that sheer exhaustion most new parents have. We didn't have to learn how to put our kid to sleep, really--he did that for us himself.

Then along came Max. Max was pretty much up every hour on the hour the first couple of weeks we brought him home. I think this is normal behavior for a newborn, but just so not what we were prepared for. Fast-forward three months, though, and we have a boy who is a good sleeper, usually waking up only once during the night. Our problem is that we haven't really set a routine to get him to go down to sleep, but we're working on it, and not worried.

So Miss Sleep Consultant made me feel really bad because I didn't put Max down at a regular time to sleep at night. She says that babies need 12 hours of sleep--excluding the time they're up to feed in the middle of the night. Then, there are the naps. Naps are necessary. One need only look at our toddler when he misses naptime to understand that. I think I mentioned last post that Max is not a great napper. Sleep Consultant looked at me like I was nuts when I mentioned that Max doesn't really nap when we're at home. Or, like, ever really. The last couple of days I tried following her advice and just putting him down sleepy. He slept for an hour-ish each time. That's it. Can some babies really just not want to sleep? It doesn't seem like a priority for Max like it is for the rest of us.

Thus ends my sleep rant. I know this can be a big issue for people, so if anyone has any ideas that worked, by all means, fire away. I am pretty much depending on our babysitter to whip Max into shape (Napping Boot Camp, as S. calls it) when he starts there in a couple of weeks, which leaves me feeling like a failure that I didn't manage to at least get my kid to sleep during my weeks of maternity leave.

Now, for cuteness.

Tolerating (barely) tummy time

Are YOU talkin' ta ME?


Theo and his cousin F. holding Max. Actually, Theo just wanted to be in the picture and probably could have cared less about holding the baby!

Monday, March 07, 2011

No Nap Til...

Well I was clearly not up for the challenge. It's okay--with only two weeks left of my maternity leave, I am certainly not going to beat myself up for missing a few posts. It is March--which in New England is known as mud season, pothole season, or, more pleasantly, maple sugaring season. Lately it's also been rain and flooding season. We have a brook at the edge of our backyard, and right now it is roaring. I mean, will carry away my babies in an instant roaring. It's terrifying, but luckily there's still too much snow to play out in the backyard, decreasing the danger of my children being swept away down into the river.

I want to thank you all (a post late-sorry) for suggestions on the pumping issues I'm fearing I will have. I should have also mentioned that my over-supply is not an everyday thing. Max tends to not eat as well when we're traveling and out of our comfort zone and pillows and perch where my posture is perfect with my nursing stool. Then I get oh-so engorged and, a couple of times, have been caught sans pump and in great agony. I've learned my lesson and take either a hand pump or stash my electric in the trunk of the car, just in case.

Next topic I've been obsessing over--sleep. I have a lot to say about this that I won't put down here right now, but let's start with napping. My child doesn't do it. Thoughts? Suggestions? Sympathy?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Day late, dollar short

...although, thanks to Max, we got a *huge* tax refund this year. Thank you, little baby!

I've already failed my challenge--and yesterday would have been the easiest day to post! All I would have had to do is put up Max's three-month picture--oh well. I was preoccupied with taking care of all 3 (including S., who was home sick with the flu) babies yesterday. Wow. That totally whooped my butt. Yesterday also included my first solo trip to the grocery store with two kids in tow, and my second trip to Theo's music class with both babes. Fortunately, both went smoothly.

So, here is Max at three months and one day, I guess, since I'm a day late. Oops.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Clumsy Cook, Engines, and Machines

Nothing exciting to report today. Max is this close to laughing out loud, and I caught him trying to turn himself on his side on the bed while I was putting laundry away. I attempted to make granola bars and, while their flavor is killer, they were not the chewy, tender yummies I was hoping to replicate from my favorite K.ashi ones I buy pre-packaged. Anyone with a good recipe? I'm trying to stop buying granola bars because I end up eating them all alone somehow, and seriously----what are they but oats, some sugar, some nuts--certainly not worth the money I'm spending weekly on them.

On another totally random note (since I'm sitting here watching Thomas the Tank Engine with Theo), I have a serious issue with a couple of Theo's favorite kids' shows (two of the three we allow him to watch). On Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder, the anthropomorphic trains and construction vehicles, respectively, seriously annoy me. They make stupid mistakes and what are their consequences? A stern lecture. Worse, Bob the Builder usually just laughs and points out the machines' mistakes. I mean, I don't know what would happen - they all get sent to the scrapyard? That would be a terribly traumatic end to an episode, I suppose. But I really wish those machines would just stop screwing up.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Pump it up & down

Look! Look! A post! Two days in a row!! I'm so proud of myself.

So, one thing I definitely haven't bitched much about since Max was born is breastfeeding. I've been lucky enough to not have many major issues with supply, and while I've had one plugged duct and two near-plugs, my nipples and ducts seem to be in good shape.

One thing I do struggle with is an over-supply issue. I know, I know--why should this be an issue? But seriously, when you leak through a nursing pad and then your baby won't eat sufficiently to suck you dry, it's a problem. This happens. More than it should. This baby is not a ravenous eater. He eats what he wants to, which seems to just enough to keep him full and peeing and pooping a good amount. He doesn't freak out about being hungry most of the time, and doesn't show a lot of signs of hunger that often. What I wonder is--why hasn't my supply adjusted to his needs? If I were staying home indefinitely, this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but with my impending return to work, I worry - a lot - about pumping at work, about getting too engorged, and then somehow in that mix watching my supply plummet altogether, which I know probably will happen when I switch to a daytime pumping, instead of feeding, schedule.

So this has all been on my mind lately. Oh, and along with my serious pumping-at-work anxiety--how do I get anything done at work now? Does anyone have a good recommendation for a hand-free pumping bra? I need to be able to read and grade papers while pumping.