Monday, September 28, 2009


I tend to randomly bring things up on this blog and complain about them, or need help finding solutions and then I never speak of them again. I find this annoying, so I am going to attempt to give some closure to topics that I have spoken about lately.
  • Diapers. As you all know I was using g diapers for the girl. I loved them. Well I don't know if love is the best word, but I strongly liked them. And then The Girl grew out of those cute little pants that I bought when I was pregnant (and when I had money). And I was/am broke and I couldn't afford to buy her new cute little pants in the bigger size. So I had been using disposables and feeling guilty every time I threw one out. I have a new solution. My BFF recently had a baby and is using these earth friendly diapers. She loves them. They look and feel like a disposable (and hopefully work like one too) but are treated like a cloth. There is a service that comes every week and picks them up and drops off new ones and they actually take the diapers and compost them for you at their fancy composting plant. So there are no inserts to deal with (a con of the g diapers for me), they look and act like disposables (bonus) and I don't have to do anything fancy. The price per diaper is totally equivalent to disposables but you do have to pay once a month for the deliver service. Take a look at their website. I will let you know how I am feeling about them once I get started. My delivery should be here in about a week or so.
  • My "night time dilemma" that I spoke about with bed times a couple of weeks ago. If you recall, The Girl was needing to go to sleep before The Boy but was having trouble falling asleep with him running around her all crazy. So I kept putting The Boy to bed first, although it appeared The Girl wanted to go to bed at around 7:30pm and that was far too early for The Boy. The solution? Between 7:00 and 7:30 it is jammies for everyone. Then around 7:30 I get The Boy set up with a TV show in his bedroom (usually Curious George) and he sits in his room with the lights off and watches a half an hour show. This keeps his attention (aka he doesn't leave his room and come out and bug The Girl) and allows him to wind down for the evening. I take that half an hour and do my night time routine with The Girl and get her into bed. Then once I am done with her, I go back into The Boy's room and watch the rest of his show (if it isn't over yet) and then we brush teeth and get into bed and read books. It works great because now I don't feel at all rushed with The Boy's bed time and we are reading at least 4 books a night and I can relax and enjoy him because The Girl is already asleep. It means an extra 1/2 hour of TV a day but he doesn't watch too much TV during the day and I make sure it is a PBS show that is nice and mellow.
  • My annoying post pregnancy carpal tunnel. It is bad and getting worse. I am not very good about wearing that damn brace thing because, hello, have you ever tried to take care of a baby, and cook and clean, and be a bookkeeper without moving your wrist? It makes everything all kinds of annoying. So I haven't been wearing it much. And as a result, things have gotten much worse. I can no longer even hold a pen without a significant amount of pain. So right now I am making myself wear the damn brace (except for when I meet with clients--I draw the line there) and I am going to schedule an appointment with a specialist. However after what I read about what Carey had to do for her wrist, I am not sure if I want to go there anymore...
  • Breast feeding and pumping and working. If you recall, I was freaking out a bit over the amount of milk I was pumping a day versus the amount of milk my child was drinking while at daycare. I have mellowed out and things seems to be working fine. I have not had to supplement and I don't think I will have to in the future. What I am doing is this: Every night The Girl goes to sleep around 7:30pm and gets up to eat around 5:00am. I don't pump or anything during this period of time. However, when she wakes up at 5:00am I am understandably full. So I feed her on one side only and then I get up and pump the other side. I usually get about 6 to 8 ounces at that time. I do this everyday. So even the days she isn't at daycare I do this. Therefore the days that I pump less than she eats are supplemented by this daily 6 or so ounces from the morning. Right now I am pumping on average about 14 ounces while she is gone at daycare. She eats around 16 ounces a day while there. So I am making more than she is eating at this point. Right now I have about 150 ounces frozen that is waiting to go to daycare, so we are good to go. I am getting ready to start her on rice cereal soon so I will also be using some of this frozen stuff to mix with her cereal when the time comes. But I am no longer freaking out about not making enough milk for her. We seem to be doing just fine.
  • The sickness and the medicines. Thankfully, I am finally better. And I did take some medication, but I took very little. I ended up taking Sudafed only three times (and not in a row), and there was one night that I used Afrin to breathe. And while doing all of that my supply didn't seem to be effected in the slightest. Although I did drink a ton of water while taking these medications just to be on the safe side.
Okay I think that is about all the subjects that I can remember mentioning but never achieving closure. I will update some time in the future about these new diapers and how they work, but I have high hopes. Oh, and soon I will post pictures of the new organization that took place in The Boy's room. I don't know about him but it just makes me shudder with joy. I love it when things are organized and his room was becoming quite chaotic. Now I just go sit in there and look around and smile at the fact that everything has a place and everything is in it's place. I'm so anal, I know. Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the little boy/regular boy/young man/man that my son is going to one day grow up to be. Up until recently these glimpses have only been in a look in his eye. Or a one-time random comment that came out sounding MUCH more adult than it should have. Or the way the sun fell onto his legs to show the little hairs starting to grow there. But recently...well recently they are becoming much more often. And I am not sure how I feel about it.

It could be that I have this little comparison in the house that at this point can only be categorized as a baby, and he just SO doesn't fit into that mold anymore. It could be that as he gets older it stands to reason that I am also getting older and therefore all things just seem to be moving in that horrible directly of...well, growing older. And I am equal parts enthralled and horrified by this little person that is growing into becoming his own human being.

It is still just little things. I mean he hasn't asked to borrow the car yet, but it feels as though that could be a few mere weeks away. But he gets dressed by himself now. He actually told me not to kiss him in public recently. He doesn't yet know the benefits of lying, but he has figured out the benefits of manipulation. He just alerts you to it ahead of time. Case in point: Tonight he told me he had a tummy ache (which I know at this point to translate into a warning that a poop is in his near future). He then looked at me and said, "I tink dat mean I gonna poop." I smiled at him and nodded, and wondered when we could give up the "tummy ache" thing if we both know what we're really talking about.

When I asked him if he wanted to go sit on the potty he told me no. He said, "Mommy, I not gonna poop poop NOW... I gonna wait until after I be in bed for little while, den I call you and I say, 'Mommy, I hafta make a da poop' and den you hafta let me get outa da bed and go and sit on da potty. And den I watch Spiderman on you iphone while I make a da poop and I no hafta sleep!"

That would be brilliant, if he didn't alert me to the entire plan ahead of time. But it is coming...yes, it is all coming. I can already see him concocting intricate schemes and lies about how he is going over to a friend's house to work on homework but really he is going to the 7-11 to buy a pack of smokes. And I am just not prepared yet.

But there are also moments of pure sweetness that show me a different glimpse into my future. A glimpse of a little boy who was essentially raised by a single mother and who will (please let this be the case, please, please...) stand up for and protect said mother and learn to be "the man of the house." A glimpse of a little boy who, if I do this right and don't screw him up, is going to grow into one of the most wonderful men out there.

While eating lunch today a spider crawled across the wall. I am petrified of spiders (don't involves a skiing trip when I was 8 where a spider fell from the ceiling of a log cabin we were staying in and onto my head and crawled all over my face and my head and was stuck in my hair and I couldn't get it out and OH MY GOD I AM FREAKING OUT AGAIN JUST TYPING THIS...) anyway...I hate spiders and right now, there is nothing in this world that The Boy loves more than spiders. Nothing. He thinks they are the coolest thing on the planet.

So when the spider crawled across the wall I lost all color in my face, jumped out of my chair and just pointed to the wall with my hand covering my mouth (to avoid screaming and freaking out my child/ren). The Boy saw this and turned around and saw the spider. "Hi little buddy," he crooned lovingly. Then he looked over at me, poised to run into the kitchen and grab a paper towel and a shoe to SMASH it against the wall and end my panic attack, and said, "Mommy, don't smush it. I gonna take care of it..."

And I shit you not. He put his finger on the wall and let that horrific creature climb off the wall and onto his precious baby skin that I birthed out of my very own, and he carried it from his finger, out the back door and into the back yard and put his hand down on the tree and let it climb off.

"See Mommy? It okay. I protect you. Spiders nice Mommy, you no have to worry. I make it all better."

Yes you do my son. Yes, you do.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Internet, I Need Your Help!

First let's talk about the good.

I made it through an entire pregnancy and 5 months of my baby's life without getting sick once. I rule!

Now the bad:

I am ssiiiiiiccckkkk!! (she says whining...) Sick, sick, sick! And I am not happy about it.

And for the first time in, I can't remember back this far, it did not come from my child and/or his daycare/school. Amazingly enough both of my kids appear healthy while I walk around on death's door mat. Although I should say that I keep staring at each child just waiting for the first sign that they have contracted my evil cold from hell.

So internet, I need your help. I remember from my pregnancy with The Boy that Sudafed is safe to take while pregnant. (And not that lame over the counter PE crap. I am talking about the stuff you have to show your drivers license to get. The good stuff). And pretty much nothing else. So I googled to see if it was also safe to take while breast feeding, which I assumed it was. And it is. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, apparently it is linked to lowering milk supply. Like up to 24% lower. And that sucks. A lot. I furiously emailed my step sister, who also happens to be a lactation consultant and is therefore my go-to person on all things boob related, in the hopes that this was all one big farce and that I could take my little red pills happily. She wrote back that she had personal experience with people who had their milk supply lowered by taking Sudafed.


She said that if it helped that I could take Tylenol. I don't know about you, but Tylenol never helped me to breathe better. And I seriously can't breathe. Like no air flow whatsoever. And I am getting a little bit cranky about it.

Here is what I have tried. I slept last night with my kids' humidifier on high. I have used the saline nasal spray more times than I care to recount. And I put one of those eucalyptus herbal packs on my chest several times. And I am still miserable. I am about to haul out the Afrin and say screw it! What am I not doing? What can I take that won't A) kill my child, and B) dry up my precious breast milk? HELP!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frustrations With Speech Therapy

I have been wanting to do a post on The Boy's speech therapy for a while now. I have hesitated because I am having a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I don't want to come off as ungrateful or as offensive, so I have just not written it at all. And I do think that this is something that needs to be discussed, so I am just going to come out with it.

His new speech therapy through the school district sucks.

There. I said it. It is horrible. The level of care is pitiful. The difference between the services he receives from his private therapy (that I pay top dollar for) and his therapy through the school district is similar to the difference between shopping at Walmart and Nordstrom. (No offense meant to either company). My son is in a room with three other preschoolers for a half an hour a week. There is absolutely no time for any one-on-one interaction. What the teacher does is he takes out a picture book and the kids go through the book and pronounce the pictures that they see. If they say it wrong, he corrects them and has them try it again and then moves on to the next kid. I could do that at home with him!

When he started the therapist (we'll call him Mr. H) said that according to his paperwork we just needed to work on pronunciation. I told him that was his issue initially but recently he had been having fluency (stuttering) issues. At this point we are most concerned about that. He acknowledged that something was written on the notes about that. He said he assumed it would fix itself because it usually does for kids his age but that he would take a look at the situation.

After the second class he said to me, "I heard him stutter about 4 times. He said things like, 'I I I I I had cereal for breakfast.' I counted on my fingers and told him, 'You know [Boy], you don't need to say "I" five times in a row. How about trying the sentence again and just say it one time?' He tried it again and did it better. I don't know what method you are using at home but maybe you should try this."

So let me get this straight...your method of dealing with my son's stuttering issue is just to tell him not to do it! Why didn't I think of that? Hey, I hear you're stuttering, how about if you just don't do it? Great... Not only that but he said all of this right in front of The Boy. I am VERY conscious of the fact that he hears and understands everything. With his private therapist we basically type up notes to give back and forth to each other so that we aren't talking in front of The Boy. The last thing I want is for my son to think that he has a problem. I don't want him to feel like I am judging the way he talks or how he says things. So because of that we always refer to his stuttering as a "fluency issue" and we never blatantly demonstrate it in front of him and then talk about how he has done it wrong. When we walked away from therapy that day, and after that particular conversation, The Boy said to me, "Mommy does Mr. H think dat I talk wrong?" "Am I doing it wrong?"

No my precious. Mr H. is just A TOOL!!! How dare he make my son feel less than adequate?

Okay, do you see why I was hesitating to post about this? Obviously I feel very strongly about this and I don't want to come off as some asshole. I understand that this poor therapist would probably rather be in a class with ONE kid and be able to give them all the attention they need. It isn't his fault that the school district has no money and are giving him more kids than he knows he can handle. He does the best that he can with what he is given. I truly believe this. I do not fault this particular speech therapist at all. But as his mom I have to look at this situation and weigh how much this is actually helping him versus whether or not this situation is making him feel worse about himself and therefore hindering him.

Last year he was at a different school but his therapist at the time said that for this year he was going to be transferred to his "home school," aka the school around the corner from our house. When Mr. H called to set everything up he told me that he wouldn't be at his home school but instead would be at a different elementary school that is about 20 minutes away. This particular therapist does teach out of The Boy's "home school" but apparently the preschoolers have to be at this other school. So for a half an hour of [quality] therapy we are spending close to an hour and a half with the entire process. To get both The Boy and The Girl up and ready to be out of the house at 8:00am for this is tough.

I just wrote an entire paragraph and deleted it. Before saying something I felt like I needed to PROVE that overall I am not a judgy person. I have had my share of prejudices in my life and therefore try very hard not to be prejudice toward others. But another frustrating thing about this is that my son is the only one in the class who has English as his first language. I am all for all different types of people and races coming together. I love the melting pot we call California. I love that my son goes to a Montessori Preschool and is surrounded by different races and languages all the time. But when he comes out and tells me that the other kids talked about him in "words I don't use" (a different language), I have to draw the line. I sit in the teachers lounge during his speech therapy and my experience is that the three other moms all sit together at a table and speak in their native language and never even THINK to include me in the conversation. I sit alone at a table with The Girl for the half hour while we wait. And I am fine with this. I am a big girl. I can handle it. But The Boy? He is feeling ostracized in his little class of four kids. And no kid should have to feel ostracized at this point in their education. And did I mention what I had to do to actually get him to qualify for these golden services through the school district?

This entire process makes me want to cry. Honestly it does. I just want my son to have the best chance at life. I don't want him to get to kindergarten and come home after his first day in tears because the other kids made fun of him for how he talks. I am so frustrated that here in California we pay arguably top dollar for our homes and then have to deal with sending our children to one of the worst rated school systems in the country. I don't know how I am expected to shell out the money needed to pay for my mortgage and live here and then on top of that shell out money to some private school in order for my child to get a decent education. And for the record, I am NOT into sending him to private school. I want to believe in our public school system. I want to support it. I want to send my children there. But I also want to feel like they are getting a decent shot at the education in front of them. If this is any indication then we have a long, tough road ahead.

Disclaimer: This was a tough entry to write and I sincerely hope I did not offend anyone who is reading it. This is MY experience with my son and our own frustrations within that situation. I am not bashing anyone who works hard in the public school system. I am simply expressing my frustration at a system that is clearly lacking due to no fault of the people working inside of it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy 5 Months Old Peanut

I can't believe my little Peanut is already 5 months old. Time is flying. But then again, we are having a good time. I said this last month, but it bears repeating: This child is simply a ray of sunshine. She is literally happy all the time. She is very happy-go-lucky and just goes with the flow. Want to stay home all day long? Cool with her. Want to be out and about all day long? That's okay too. She'll just nap in her stroller. Want to go out to dinner to celebrate Mommy's 35th birthday and be out during her normal bedtime? This is her reaction:
The only time she really gets upset is when I leave her alone in a room. She needs to be with other people. As long as Mommy or brother is around, she is cool. But if she is chillin' in big brother's room and for whatever reason he and I both vacate the room at the same time, this is her reaction:
So pitiful... But those moments are really few and far between. We are still loving our breast feeding experience. Both of us. You love that it gives you those munch-able little rolls all over your body and I love that we get to spend so much time together. My favorite times of the day are when we have just finished eating and you are laying there chatting with me and looking into my eyes. Your new favorite thing is to put your fingers into my mouth. You think it is hilarious. I just think you're perfect...
You continue to want to be wherever big brother is. He can ALWAYS make you smile. I don't know how you know it, but he is your biggest fan. He loves that you will always light up for him and constantly seems amazed that "she likes me Mommy!" I hope you two will always have a relationship that goes beyond me and that you two will always be friends and look out for each other.
You learned to roll over from your back to your tummy this month. Although you have not yet mastered the art of doing it the other way. So you love to roll onto your tummy and then scream once you deem you have had just about enough of that tummy time thing. Once I flip you back over you smile at me like "thank you Mommy," and then proceed to do it all over again. This is adorable except for during the middle of the night. It isn't quite as cute then.

A normal day for you begins at around 5:30 or 6:00am when you nurse and then go back to sleep in my bed until usually around 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning. I take you and your brother to daycare at 8:30 and you charm all the ladies there until Gigi picks you up around 4:30 or 5:00pm. During the days that you are home with me you seem to have settled into a two-nap routine although one of them is usually spotty. But I can usually count on at least one two hour nap out of you. With me you eat pretty much every three hours still and you have started eating on both boobs instead of just one. The ladies at your daycare say you are eating around 15 or 16 ounces in the time you are there. That seems like so much to me, but hey, you are a growing little girl. We haven't yet started you on solids yet and don't plan on it for about another month or so. Once you get home from daycare you nurse right away (even if you just ate. I think you want to make sure that it is still there if you need it). After that you hang out and play either on your play mat, or just on a blanket on the floor. You are really into your teething toys right now and put EVERYTHING in your mouth. The drool is now substantial enough to require a bib pretty much all the time.

We changed our night time routine a little and now I put your brother in his room with the lights off and let him watch a half hour of TV while you and I get you to sleep. We still put on our jammies and sleep sack and turn out all the lights. Then we nurse and Mommy rocks you with your binky and your kitty lovey for about 10 minutes. Then it is off to bed with you and you watch the lights on your mobile while you fall asleep. This process usually starts between 7:00 and 7:30 and you are always down by 8:00 at night.

I continue to congratulate myself on the excellent decision I made to have you. You have brought such joy and happiness into your brother's life and mine as well. You bring joy to everyone you come into contact with. You complete us. You make us a family. And we love you more than words will ever be able to express. Happy 5 months little Peanut. As we do every month, here is your monthly bean bag picture:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Just because, seriously, how cute is she right now?
And there's nothing like a little surgery to make you all soft and squishy inside toward your three year old (note the Spiderman jammies as well as the spider web he made me draw on his cast...he is nothing if not obsessive...)
Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, September 14, 2009


"Does your Mom live in the area?" the nurse asked me after The Boy's procedure. I had just told her that she meant almost as much to him as I did. I told her that, yes, she lived 10 minutes away.

I went on to say, "She's a HUGE part of his life. She picks him up everyday from school and is pretty much my co-parent in raising him. I am a single parent..."

"Oh really? Is he an only child?" Nurse asked.

"No. I have a four month old daughter at home."

"Oh my gosh, I am SO SORRY!..." (Sort of an awkward pause here but I didn't really notice because I was focusing on my baby who had just come out of surgery and was NOT happy about the cast he had found on his wrist).

She went on to say, "I totally understand. I mean you are me. I mean like 10 years ago. My husband asked me for a divorce when I was pregnant with our second child. It must be so hard on you, I am so sorry you are going through this."

"Uuuuhhhhh...." I responded with great intellect.

She kept going, "But you will be so happy later that you ended up having both children. I mean my girls are the best of friends. And if things hadn't happened when they did then my daughter would have been an only child and well, they are best friends now. So even though it may seem horrible now, you will be glad later because you will have them both. Are they both boys?"

"Um no, I mentioned a minute ago, my baby at home is a girl. I have a son and a daughter..."

"Oh well it will still probably end up the same way. They will be great friends. And they have you for a mother and you are a great mother. I can tell. We nurses can tell these kinds of things. They are both lucky to have you; you are doing a great job."

It was such a weird exchange. I mean the timing was simply not appropriate for me to explain that if we were talking about 3 years ago then yes, I was in a similar position as her. I was married and my partner DID leave me when our baby was four months old. BUT for one thing the partner was a woman. And for another thing that was four years ago. And for my latest child I would identify as a single mother by choice. But that wasn't the case with my first child. In that instance I would have been considered that wounded divorcee, but this time? Not so much.

And like I said, I wasn't about to get into a discussion with this woman while I was there to make my boy feel better and get him out of his anesthesia safely and in the best way possible. So I just left it at that. But it was weird. And conversations like these seem to come up often. I haven't really figured out a way to handle them yet. I just take it on a case by case basis.

When I met my mother at my house after we were discharged she said, "That nurse was really concerned about you."

"Huh? What?" (Have I mentioned how tired I am?)

"When you went outside to pull the car around she asked me if you were okay. She asked if you were handling the divorce okay and if you were devastated etc."

"Yeah," I answered, "I wasn't sure how to handle that situation so I just left it alone and focused on The Boy."

"Oh, well I handled it for you," my mother went on. "I told her, 'First of all she's gay. And she was with a partner for over 7 years who left her when [Boy] was four months old. But then she didn't want him to be an only child so she decided to have her second daughter on her own. So this time she did it on her own and she is MUCH happier. So you don't need to worry.' It took her a minute to process it all but then she seemed to get it."

Leave it to my mother to just lay it all out there like that.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this post anymore and I have been awake since 5:15 this morning and am officially kinda loopy. I just thought the entire situation/conversation was weird. Nothing is ever just an easy answer or conversation with people when you are gay, and divorced from your partner, and then a single mother by choice.


Let's Not Do That Again Anytime Soon

Actually it all went fine. But man, talk about stressful on the Mommy... I think I slept a total of about 4 hours last night and it WASN'T because of the baby.

I got up at 5:15 this morning and did all the stuff I needed to go (pumping, getting ready, loading up a back pack full of stuff for The Boy during surgery etc.) before getting The Boy up. I woke him up a little after 6:30am and we were out the door by 6:45am. The Boy thought it was cool that I let him leave the house in the sleeper. One nice side effect of having a kid that doesn't eat is that he wasn't the lease bit bothered by not being able to have any food before his procedure.

Once we got to the surgery center they were very nice and checked us in quickly. We got back in our little area and basically just waited. He didn't want to put on his hospital gown/shirt so I had to bribe him with letting him watch the DVD player if he would put it on. Once that was taken care of they put the little thing on his toe to monitor his heart rate and his little hospital bands on his ankle and we sat back to wait. Here is a shot of him waiting, watching his DVD player (thank God for that thing!): Doesn't he look so little and sweet in that big bed?
About a half an hour before his procedure they gave him a "cocktail" to make him get a little sleepy. He got pretty loopy off of it. It was kind of amusing for me to watch. He was playing little games and holding the DVD player and letting it bonk him on the head and thought he was hysterical. (He was actually pretty funny). All the nurses kept coming by and commenting on how cute he was. He smiled and told them ALL that he had a "stuck thumb." His surgery was scheduled for 8:30am and at about 8:45am they told me it was time. I gave him a big hug and he got a little weepy and said he didn't want me to leave him. But then the (great) nurses joked and asked him if they wanted them to race his bed down the hall. He thought that sounded like fun and told me he was going on a race and that he would see me in a few minutes. And off he went.

I waited out in the waiting room and after about a half an hour the doctor came out and told me everything went fine and he was good to go. The anesthesiologist came out a few minutes later and told me he did great and gave me the little mask that they used to put him under so he could take it for show and tell at school. They said he was stirring so they would be out in a couple of minutes to take me back to him. And a couple of minutes later they were.

The sight of a small child after surgery is not for the faint of heart. My poor boy is pale in a good day in the sun, but man, he was white as a ghost. And he had a bright red cast on his little arm. The nurses were holding it down because he was pissed about that thing on his arm and he kept almost clocking himself in the face with it. He started crying immediately and sobbed to get that thing off of his arm. He just kept saying it over and over again. I tried to calm him down but he wasn't having it. He wanted to damn cast OFF!! (Not going to happen...). Finally I sat on the bed and put him on my lap and set up the DVD player which calmed him down a little. He was still doing the little heaving with his breathing because of how much he cried and every 2 minutes or so he started crying again and demanding that the cast come off. After about a half an hour they let us come home.

Here is is now, sitting on the couch under his Spiderman blanket with his fancy new red cast (that in case you were wondering, he still wants OFF. NOW!) relaxing and watching TV. He is fine, but man, I'm exhausted...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember to Breathe...

First of all thank you to all that sent suggestions on my night time dilemma. It sounds as though the consensus seems to be to have The Girl go to bed first and basically alter her night time routine so that she learns how to go to bed without the world having to stop and be quiet for her. I agree with this concept although I will admit that I do enjoy my quiet, alone time with her at night. So it is probably more my enjoying that time than her insisting on it being that way. The thought of feeding her amongst the chaos and then dumping her in bed while doing fifty different things makes me a little bit sad. (From the time the kids get home from daycare until the time they are both in bed I am literally running around trying to take care of dinner, bath time, jammies, teeth brushing, etc...) I love our time at night where it is dark and quiet and we can nurse and look into each other's eyes and then sit in the rocking chair and rock quietly until her eyes get heavy and I carry her down the hall to her room. But, like you all pointed out, she needs more sleep than The Boy (to clarify she does get way more sleep than him because after she gets up at 6:30am to nurse she continues to sleep in my bed for at least a couple more hours...) and should probably go to bed before him. So I will do what's best for my baby but I can't promise I won't pout about it.

The Boy goes in for surgery on his thumb on Monday. If you see me on the street and ask me about it I will answer very casually and tell you that it is a very routine surgery and he will only be under for about a half an hour. I will tell you that I had it done when I was three and I was fine and that this situation is much less scary than the last time he had to be put under (for a brain MRI to make sure his brain was okay). I will puff out my chest and tell you no biggie and that I will be strong for my little dude and that really, it is no big deal!!! But the truth of the matter is...


Okay now that I got that out I feel better. I don't care who you are or what the circumstance is, if they are taking your small child into surgery it is scary and it is shitty. I WILL be strong for him and in front of him I will continue to tell him that it is no big deal and that they are just going to fix his "stuck" thumb. I will point out that the cast he is getting is going to be red so it will be just like he is Spiderman with a web-shooter on his wrist. I will tell him that he will drink some yummy juice and then lay with Mommy and take a little rest in the doctor's office and when he wakes up Mommy will be right there waiting with him and his thumb will feel all better and best of all, he has a big bandage he can show all his friends at school. And I will keep up with that brave thought and concept until they take him away from me and I have to go out into the waiting room and wait by myself (Mom is taking care of The Girl until it is late enough to take her to daycare, then she will be coming to the Surgery Center) and then promptly lose my shit.

I am good at being tough before and during the fact but after we get home and probably when he goes down for his nap on Monday afternoon it will all come flooding out. I will let it all go. But not until then. Until then I am the picture of strength. The Boy and I have been through worse than this. No big deal. Piece of cake. We can handle this. He and I can get through anything. (She says with a forced smile on her face as the tears well up behind her eyes...)

Here is the before picture of his "stuck" thumb. I will make sure to post an after shot of his cool cast when we get home on Monday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Night Time Dilemma

The Boy goes to sleep at 8:00pm He doesn't actually fall asleep until at least 9:00 but he always goes in his room, lights out, at 8:00pm.

My routine for the last 4 1/2 months has been to have the baby awake during The Boy's night time routine. She now reads books with us and brushes teeth with us and hangs out until we say good night to The Boy. Then I take her out in the living room, turn off all the lights, nurse her and rock her in the rocking chair for 10-15 minutes and then put her in bed and she goes to sleep. Both kids are in bed by around 8:30pm. And both kids sleep until at least 6:30am. This has worked really well until lately.

It seems as though The Girl is wanting to go to bed earlier than 8:30pm now. She gets tired and fussy and I am usually bouncing her and rushing through the end of The Boy's routine so that I can get him to bed and therefore put her to bed. Why don't I just put her to bed first, you ask? It isn't that easy.

The Girl will not go to sleep unless it is completely dark in the room and there is no one around except for me. If there are people around, or if something is going on, then she wants to be a part of the action. She isn't horrible and screaming, but she won't go to sleep. And then we pass the point of no return and things get rough and I am desperately nursing a baby for the fourth time at 11:00pm with no milk left in the boobs. I have realized this on the rare occasion that I entertain and people are here later than 8:30. I am not too worried about her at this point because she is only 4 months old and I am not going to be all strict on a bed time routine at this point. She will figure it out. But for right now, this is what she needs to wind down, get relaxed and be able to go to sleep.

Which brings me to the answer to the question about why I don't just put her to bed first. If The Boy is still awake he is running all around us and kissing on her and asking why the lights are off (I have tried this before which is why I know the outcome) and generally making a ruckus. The Girl will NOT go to sleep if her brother is all up in her business. So he has to go to sleep first so that I can get it quiet and focus on her and get her to sleep. (Plus if I'm being honest, I love my end-of-the-day time with my baby girl...she is so sweet and cuddly and...I am digressing).

So that brings me to my dilemma. If The Girl needs to go to sleep before 8:30pm AND The Boy has to be in bed first and his bed time is the hell do I make it happen? I either put The Boy to bed WAY early (which really isn't all that fair to him) or I figure out some way to trick him into staying quietly in his room while I go through the process of putting The Girl to sleep and then after that we do his routine. But he won't stay in his room. If he knows she is up and he doesn't HAVE to be in bed then he isn't going to sit quietly in his room. He just isn't. And I can understand that. I can also understand that a 4 month old baby may need to go to sleep for the evening closer to 7:30pm than 8:30pm. But as a single mother, there isn't anyone else in the house that could perhaps read to The Boy while I dealt with The Girl. It is all me and only me. I can't clone myself, so I am at a loss as to how to handle this. Internet, do you have any words of wisdom for me? Any ideas? Assvice? Anything?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rolling and Wrists and Gifts, Oh My!

Guess who rolled over for the first time yesterday? I will give you a hint...she's chubby and looks good in a bow SO damn proud of herself! See?
The only problem is that she is rolling from back to tummy and she is SO proud of herself for about 5 minutes before she realizes she has unknowingly given herself tummy time at which point she screams for the situation to be rectified. She hasn't yet rolled from tummy to back so once she masters that she will be good to go.

That picture was taken of my Peanut who happily sat in her stroller while I enjoyed my fantastic feast on my birthday. She's such a good kid. Actually they both are. The Boy was equally well behaved. Of course it helped that my grandmother brought him a bag full of bugs that he played with during the entire dinner, but nevertheless, they both did great and allowed me to enjoy a very nice relaxing dinner.

One of the greatest things about living here is that I am surrounded by so much family. I don't take it for granted that on any given occasion I can drive around the corner from my house and we can have four generations together. Here is a picture of the four generations of women (Boy was being a punk and refused to be in the picture, so we took it without him).
Doesn't my grandmother look hip for 87? Those of you who know me in real life know that she is actually quite hip. And quite cranky. But that is part of her charm. Plus we are all jealous because she is living out her golden years in one of the most fabulous places and we all wish it were us living there. But since we live very close by we can take advantage of it often. And we do. :)

I had a fabulous birthday. Thank you to all that commented and sent me emails. It really was a wonderful weekend. And now we must go back to the real world. Today was the first day of The Boy's new speech therapy through the school district, and I had a doctors appointment and had to see three clients. It was nuts.

I continue to be graced with the fabulous "side effects" of pregnancy and was told today that I have a pretty severe case of carpal tunnel on my left wrist. I just thought I tweaked it since I started lifting weights again but it wasn't getting better. So when I went to see my doctor for my blood pressure follow up (finally going back to normal!! Should be able to get off my meds soon!!) I randomly asked her about it. I was so annoyed when she told me this happens to lots of people during and after pregnancy. So remember those annoying wrist splints I was wearing while sleeping during my pregnancy? Now I have to wear one on my left wrist all the damn time. It is not only unattractive, but very difficult to function with. But I would like to avoid surgery so I will do what they tell me. But there anything else that would like to come from behind and bite me in the ass in terms of pregnancy? Mercy!

I must go put The Boy to bed but I will leave you all with my best birthday present ever. Here's a picture of me and my kids on my birthday. How cute are they?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

35 Is Pretty Damned Good

Today is my birthday. I am 35 years old. I am good with that. Really, really good.

When I turned 33 years old I wasn't so good with it. As long as I can remember I have had certain goals. I wanted to find my "true love" by 28. I wanted to own a home by 30. And I wanted to be done having two kids by 35.

When I met The Ex at age 26 and fell in love I just knew that I had made my first goal. At 28 we were still very much in love and I was trying to get pregnant. Later that year I bought my first home. I mentally smiled as I checked my goals off the list. I was living the life that I had always dreamed. I was going to make it all happen. When I finally got pregnant and gave birth to The Boy I was 31 years old. My dreams were reality. I was on top of the world.

And then it all came crashing down. The Ex told me when The Boy was 4 months old that she wasn't sure if she loved me anymore. She wasn't sure if she "could do it" anymore. She moved out on his 6 month birthday. We spent the next two years in counseling before it was officially over. During that process, and after, I mourned the loss of my relationship. But even more I think I mourned the loss of my dreams and my goals. I no longer had my "true love," and while I still had the house, who knew if I could afford to keep it being single. And most devastating was the fact that The Boy would grow up as an only child.

When I turned 33 I remember thinking that I had lost the goal of love, and that there was no way that I would make my final goal of having two kids before the age of 35. I had a hard time coming to terms with that. And if you have read my blog from the beginning you know how it all turned out. And for those of you who haven't read from the beginning I will give you the nutshell version.

I decided that I didn't have to let that final dream of two kids go. I decided to fight for my own destiny and fight for The Boy to have a sibling, and fight for the life that I had always wanted. And fight I did. And now I have my beautiful 3 1/2 year old son and my 4 month old daughter and I feel so blessed. A boy and a girl. My beautiful kids. They have given more to my life than anyone else on this planet (except perhaps my mother).

I woke up this morning, the morning of turning 35 to the sweet sound of "Mommy, I wake!" from the room next door to mine. I went in to greet my son and he stood up and wrapped his arms around my neck and gave me a big hug and said, "Today you birfday Mommy?" I smiled and nodded at him. "Well den I you best present!"

Yes, you don't know how right you are my boy.

Fifteen minutes later my daughter woke up from her spot next to me in my bed with a smile. She grinned at me and then looked past me to see her big brother and smiled even wider. I rested there in bed, with my two kids, and I knew that I had made it. Rather than today being a day that I felt sorry for myself for what I didn't have and what I didn't achieve, I had the two most important things in my life right there next to me showing me that you can make your life what you want it to be. It's hard and things didn't go as I had planned (and damn if I don't love a good plan) but I am here and I feel great. I still own my house and I have my two kids. It's true that I still haven't found that love part, but with hope, that will come in time. Right now I am choosing to focus on my family. Very soon I will be ready to venture out into the scary world of dating, but right now, today, things are as they should be.

Later tonight I will be going out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants with my mom, my step dad, my grandmother and my kids. Then tomorrow morning my best gay boyfriend (who also happens to be a certified massage therapist) is giving me a massage while his boyfriend watches the kids. Then later on tomorrow evening they are both coming over to fix me king crab legs for dinner. My very fave. I have gotten texts and phone calls and emails from lots of people who love me today and I just feel so lucky. I live a very full and wonderful life thanks to all the fabulous people who surround me. To all of you who know me in real life, thank you for making my life rich. And to all of my internet readers who don't know me in real life, you bring something to my life as well. This internet community helped me for years before I even engaged and started writing my own blog. And I appreciate the comments and emails from all of you.

The main thing I have learned in my 35 years on this planet is that life is what you make of it. It will never be what you plan, or end up exactly how you want it to be, but your life will be what you fight to make happen. I intend to keep on fighting for years to come and hopefully one day all of my dreams will be fulfilled.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This Should Have Been Posted On Wednesday...

It was a banner day here at house of the long haul... The Boy actually made a poop in the potty. At school. The fact that he managed to poop in the potty at all is cause for celebration, but he even did it at school? Well, that just rules. And in addition to that his teachers told me today that from now on they are leaving him in his big boy pants during nap time because for the past week and a half his pull up has been dry when he has gotten up. So today he slept in his big boy pants and woke up dry. It was a good potty training day over here. But as I have learned, we have good days and then we have some not so good days. But today? Today was a keeper.

Also adding to my cherub-like demeanor today? It is Wednesday. And on Wednesdays The Boy goes to school, but The Girl stays home with me. It is literally the only time that I get alone with her. For an entire day. Every other time that I am with my daughter my son is around. Don't get me wrong, I adore my boy, but he is challenging right now. He is exhausting. And he takes a lot of effort. Plus, he's older so he knows how to say, "Mommy! I need you!...Mommy! Over here...Mommy! Come look at my spider..." And when that happens the cute little well-tempered baby gets set aside while I go and deal with her brother (positive reinforcement and attention and all of that...). You know the old saying about the squeaky wheel getting the grease? Let's just say that The Boy gets all the grease and The Girl gets the shaft a lot in this house. There is only one of me and two of them so usually the louder one wins.

But Wednesdays are all for my daughter. I get to spend the entire day with just her. It reminds me of when The Boy was little and he was just the center of my world. I spent hours and hours just holding him and talking to him and cooing at him and making faces at him... I would lay with him on the ground and try and entice him into rolling over; I would stand him on my legs and let him practice his balance; I would cuddle him up in my arms and rock him to sleep... I get to do all of this with The Girl on Wednesdays. Granted I am also working from home, but she does take a couple of decent naps so that allows me to bust out a bunch of work when she's sleeping. But I don't have to resort to the evil pump. I can breast feed her all day long. I can just focus on her and enjoy her and drink her in. I soak up that baby-ness because I know it ends all too soon. I love Wednesdays.

So I appear to be obsessing on the amount of food my daughter is getting from me. For some reason over the past few days I am convinced that my supply has gone to shit. I don't ever feel full anymore. Plus, when she eats she used to lay there peacefully and drink and milk used to dribble out of her mouth. Now she is chomping around and moving her body and checking things out all around her. And I never see milk. I am convinced it is because she isn't getting enough milk so she is literally trying to chew it out of me. Plus, I asked the people at her daycare how many ounces of milk she is drinking a day when with them. They told me around 15. FIFTEEN?!?!?!?! Are they serious? On a good day I only pump about 12 ounces while she is gone. Lately it has only been 8 or 10. And she is drinking 15? No way. That's insane. So now I am freaked out that I am going to have to supplement her. I know that's not the end of the world, but I was SO enjoying the whole breast feeding thing. I really want to exclusively breast feed her until a year. Now I am paranoid that I am not going to be able to make that happen.

I should note that when she is home with me I have never once had to give her a bottle of pumped milk as a supplement. She appears to get enough food with what she eats with me. Plus, she is sleeping at least 9 to 10 hours at night and she wouldn't be doing that if she were hungry, right? And in terms of milk for daycare, right now there are 120 frozen ounces of milk at my mom's house waiting to go to daycare. So even though she is drinking more than I am pumping right now, I probably shouldn't freak out until I am actually close to running out of milk, right? So why am I freaking out? I really don't know, but I sure wish I could chill. I guess I will see how things go, but man, I am spending WAY too much time worrying about this.

Finally, let's talk about baby hair. My daughter had a good amount of hair when she was born. Of course it has done that attractive thing that babies hair does and fallen out all around where she lays on it. So she has a very fancy mohawk all along the top. And she has some long hair on the sides and back underneath where she lays. Then there is the hair that is growing in underneath all the newborn hair that is cute and fuzzy but WAY shorter than all the craziness elsewhere on her head. What's a girl to do? If you remember WAY back when I was talking about the possibility of having a daughter, doing her hair properly was one of the things I was having anxiety about. I don't know how to do hair. I can blow dry my own hair and run a flat iron through it only because my gay hair dresser taught me how to. But pig tails, or braids or anything else? Not so much. I realize that she is not anywhere near the point of pig tails or braids, but if I can't even handle the standards, how am I supposed to come up with something to do with this in-between hair style? So I present to you what I have come up with. I put all the crap on top up in a little clip-like thing that makes a little pompadour on top of her head. I don't know about you all, but I think she looks cute. Any suggestions would be wonderful.
This next picture is to remind myself that (hopefully) I am not starving my daughter. I mean look at her. Check out the rolls on this child. She can't be starving, right? Although I am only convinced that I have started to starve her over the last few days so it wouldn't be showing yet... But I need to relax, right? She looks hearty, doesn't she?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Postpartum Crap

Just a couple of things that I want to throw out there. I am a little over 4 months out from having my baby and having surgery. There are some good things about where I am and some not so good things.

The Good:
  • I lost all my baby weight (and then gained some back, but that can't be blamed on anyone but myself; see previous post).
  • Since I am breast feeding my boobs haven't fallen down to my waist yet.
  • The baby is sleeping through the night so I am finally getting some decent sleep.
  • I am back at work and getting back into a routine.
  • Daycare is working out well and I am (so far) able to pump enough milk that she is staying exclusively breast fed.
  • Still no sign of the dreaded monthly visitor, although I am cranky as all hell so I keep thinking that it MUST be PMS. So far it isn't. I am just a bitch.
The Bad:
  • This happened with my son as well, but I am TOTALLY losing my hair. Like handfuls of it every single time I shower. And I have two bald(ing) spots on each side of my head near my temples. It isn't my greatest look. AND because of that I can't wear it up in a pony tail since it shows off the bald spots. Boo.
  • No matter how many sit ups I do, there is still that little ridge of pudge that sits right over my c-section scar. I don't think it will ever go away.
  • Even though my baby sleeps through the night, no one sent the memo to my boobs. So I either get up and pump, or wake up engorged and beg the baby to eat enough to bring me relief.
  • She never eats enough to bring me relief so I end up letting her eat on one side and then pumping the other.
  • Even though we have been successfully breast feeding thus far, I am petrified that my supply is going to go to crap at any moment and it will all go away.
  • My step sister is a lactation consultant and she swears that if I just let my boobs adjust to what the baby is doing (eating during the day like crazy and then sleeping for 9 hours at night) then they will be perfect and give her exactly what she needs. No more, no less.
  • I can't seem to believe her and therefore freakishly pump to make sure that it all doesn't go away.
  • Even though daycare is fabulous I am not sure they understand the whole "liquid gold" thing and I think they make her 4 ounce bottles throughout the day when she doesn't drink that much. I am pretty sure they are throwing away at least 3 ounces a day.
I think that is pretty much it. I am so thankful to be 4 months past having this baby as opposed to wear I was 4 months before having her. If you happen to be a new reader, don't think that I don't appreciate my child or being able to conceive her and give birth to a healthy baby. It's just that I really don't do pregnancy well. My body rebels against me. And while there are some yucky parts about postpartum things, it is WAY better than being pregnant.

If anyone out there has any info on the breast feeding thing and whether or not my sister is correct that I need to chill the F out, please let me know. I would love to chill out. But with the baby being in daycare 3 days a week I just want to make sure that my body continues to give her all that she needs. If that means I have to pump even during the times that she is home with me, so be it. But if my body really WILL adjust to a point where I only need to pump when she is physically at daycare that would be awesome. Any advice, or ass-vice, would be appreciated.