The bunny, the bunny, whoa, I love the bunny... think VeggieTales
Shortly after I gave birth to my son, I started sleeping with a stuffed animal again. Or I should say, I started sleeping with a stuffed animal regularly. And it's even the cat's bunny. She will seek out the bunny and kneed it with her paws while purring with contentment. We have an enormous, 3 month old child size Easter Bunny rabbit that has become a third occupant of our bed. Earlier this week, I thought I could give the bunny up, but no....
Shortly after Quint was born, I would hug the bunny so I wouldn't wake up panicked thinking "where is the baby?!" Lately I've stopped having the "where is the baby" dream but have now graduated on to the "gotta feed the baby" dream. The other night, I sort of woke up with this chant running through my head: "gotta feed the baby, gotta feed the baby, gotta feed the baby..." I even found the rabbit, tried to get it to latch on (tricky when your mouth is stitched on), then realized that of course the "baby" can't latch on because I'm not in the nursing rocking chair! I tuck the rabbit in my arm the way I frequently carry Quint lately - mostly sitting upright in the crook of my arm, firmly holding his thigh. I get over to the bedroom door where I realize that the rabbit is a rabbit and not necessary to feed the baby. I toss the rabbit over to my side of the bed. I put my hand on the bedroom door and stop to listen. There is no baby crying. I don't gotta feed the baby. Wait, am I even engorged? Do I need to pump? Is that what caused this dream? No. None of that. Go to bed.
There have been several times that I've been comforted by the fact that the "baby" was right there with us in the bed. Meaning the bunny. And then as I wake up, I'm really glad we've never had the baby sleep in the bed with us. Very frequently, one of us is laying completely on top of the bunny. Or just it's head. There have been several times that I've tried to determine if the "baby's" head was at the head of the bed only to determine that the "baby" had a fuzzy, pointed snout and therefore could be hugged upside down. Recently, my husband said that when he came to bed, while I was still completely asleep, I held up the bunny to show him that I had it. As in, I'm completely unconscious and launch the bunny into the air, the full length of my arm, then tuck it back in beside me and roll back over.
Last night was the second night that I slept badly because I was trying to do something with the baby in my sleep and having the stuffed bunny would have helped me accomplish it and just go back to sleep. I couldn't find the bunny in my sleep last night. It was cleverly hidden right beside my pillow. I gotta do better.
Random rant about my typically wonderful husband: Quint woke up at 12:30 last night wanting another feeding. We did not expect him to be awake until about 4am, but there it is. My husband wakes me up to ask me if I would like him to feed the baby. The point of him feeding the baby is for me to be able to remain asleep. I have told him several times lately that I'm pumping enough milk that whenever he thinks he needs to feed the baby and I'm asleep or not present, just feed the baby! If it makes me short on milk for the next day, I'll deal with it and I super duper really promise to not be mad at Hubby for using the precious pumped milk.
Also last night, he wanted to try to recognize Quint's midnight bottle habits so we could prepare better and "make a plan". Even in my semi-conscious state last night, I managed to tell him that Quint hasn't been much of a pattern keeper lately. The consistency has been that at some point during the night, he will sleep for 6 or 7 hours straight. There has been no pattern as to whether that stretch starts at 9pm or 1am. Breast milk can sit out for up to 6 hours. Because we can't predict when the 6 hour stretch will be, I don't want to set out a bottle that might go bad while we sleep. Hubby doesn't want to hold a screaming child while a bottle heats (about 5 minutes). Hubby needs to get over this. Hubby needs to hold the crying baby where I can't hear him while the bottle heats. Hubby does not ever need to wake me up to ask me if I want him to feed Quint. If Quint is going bonkers just on the other side of an uninsulated wall and I'm managing to sleep through it, I really, seriously, NEED TO SLEEP.
Perhaps I can figure out some way to convey this to Hubby during the day today when we're not sleep deprived with a crying baby nearby. Anybody got any choice phrases that might help me out here? Those of you who know my husband know how much he loves to "make a policy". For the first time in our marriage, I too want to make a policy on this. Typically policies only come back to beat me over the head and in the last year, I have refused to make any policies. Now here I am WANTING to make a policy and he's unsure. Go figure.
The grandparents have arrived and begun their grandchild adoration!
Let the festivities begin! Of course we had to play cards. It turns out that playing cards are black, white, and red which are great colors to hold a 3 month old's attention! So Quint played cards with us...sort of...
It was very cute anyway. He's been smiley and cute and only a little fussy when we couldn't figure out that he needed a nap. Or to go to bed. Stupid parents forgetting their kid's bedtime. Jeez.
Night before last, I was up 3 times with our little boy. Once to pump, then 2 hours later to feed, then 3 hours later to feed. And I hadn't put my book down until 11pm. In the Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Jamie and Claire arrived at Jamie's family estate and saw his sister for the first time in years. It's a good part in the book! Anyway, I was pretty tired last night.
I was sitting there nursing little Quint at about 8:20pm and watching my night owl husband obviously getting ready for bed. He was setting his alarm and I asked him what he was doing. Duh. "I's gonna lay down." "I wanna lay down," I whine. "Articulate what you really want." "How about you burp him and sing him to sleep and we crash out together." "Deal!"
I get done nursing and hand him over. I race around doing little chores and getting things ready for bed and mid-night pumping. I get a whole lot done and wind up sitting down in bed slightly out of breath because of my racing around. My heart rate has mostly slowed by the time I ask Hubs if he's ready for the light to go out. Yup! The light goes out. I tell him it's only 8:57pm he chuckles, and then snores. I start to wonder if that last little adrenaline rush of chores will keep me awake. That was my last conscious thought. It was a beautiful thing!
Small fry woke up hungry at 2:20 and again at 6am, but I was so well rested, that I'd been awake for 5 minutes before I heard him cry. He got a bath this morning after he proved that he needed it. He wanted to sleep again after that, so I swaddled him back up and put him back down. Not a peep - straight to sleep. I got some neatening done this morning! Of course, I didn't have to be at work until an hour and 15 minutes past when I normally do, so that helped. I went in to wake Quint up to take him to daycare and patted his chest like I always do when I come fetch him (usually crying) from the crib. He was still asleep, but smiled really big. Aaawwwwww how cute!
But we were in bed with the lights out at 8:57pm and extremely glad of it. Even my night owl husband! That's what time we used to leave to go to the pub on a Saturday night. Oh how times have changed.
My little bundle of joy is 3 months old today! Woohoo! Quint weighs probably 14 pounds, is nursing up a storm, and now likes to sit up on my lap and look around. He's not sitting up by himself, of course, but he prefers a sitting position now. He has realized that he has control over his hands and feet and therefore plays with his floor gym a good bit. The other day, he grabbed a plastic ring that was attached to a giggling octopus. He couldn't figure out how to release his grasp. He would try to shake it off and get distracted by the giggling octopus. He was confused, I was amused, and then he was interacting with the octopus. It's a beautiful thing!
Here's some very recent cute photos:
My cute little flirt!
The stunned clown. Never fear - his feet were MUCH closer to the camera than his head. He does not have feet that are larger than his noggin.
Those three magic words happened last night...for the first time: THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! We put our little boy down for bed at 10pm and he didn't wake up wanting breakfast until 6:08 this morning!!! That's eight, count 'em, EIGHT hours of sleep I've got today! I remember what this feels like...it's just been 5 or 6 months since I felt this rested. And after I nursed him this morning, he was mostly pretty happy until I dropped him off at daycare. He was a little grumpy then, but Priscilla snuggled him and he calmed down for at least as long as it took me to get out the door.
Also, yesterday I pumped 16 ounces! It's amazing what drinking nearly a gallon of water will do for you. This morning, I had 4 bottles of 4 ounces each lined up on my kitchen counter. Plus the bottle in the fridge that we didn't use during the night last night. It's a beautiful thing.
Here's a picture of my little boy saying "check out my guns".
I've had two "first days" recently and it's time I updated the world. Or whoever reads this.
Last Wednesday, I returned to work while my sister kept my little boy at home. I cried some on my way to work but had it done by the time I got to work. I was amazed at how very little I got done during those 3 days of work. The first day was spent mostly visiting with folks who stopped by my desk after the CFO announced that I was back. I started going through my emails, I pumped mid-morning, tried to figure out what didn't get done while I was out, what got kind of done, and what did get done. Thursday I finally figured out a plan of attack on how to check to make sure everything will get done to my satisfaction. At lunch on Wednesday, I went home to nurse my baby boy. It was really good to see him and he snuggled in to me while he nursed. Very satisfying. And I cried some more then. But because my sister was watching him at home, I could visualize what he was doing at any given time, and that helped me a ton. I didn't worry about him. She was loving on him, playing with him, and conversing with him. My sister has determined that he's the magic 8 ball of responses. She would ask him what he would like or what he thought of something and inevitably, he would respond with an emotive grunt or coo. It was pretty funny!
After three days of me going to work and pumping milk for Quint, my milk production had already dropped off some. I had been pumping enough to freeze nearly 4 ounces a day - a whole extra bottle. And I had been pumping enough for a midnight feeding for weeks. So that's about 8 ounces I had been pumping a day. My Saturday, I was only making an ounce or two extra and didn't have enough for a midnight feeding. Saturday night, it seemed like he wasn't getting enough to eat and that freaked me out. Looking back, maybe he was just crying because he wanted to hang out at the buffet even after he had enough to eat. But by 1am, I was exhausted, frazzled, couldn't get him to stay down, and felt like I wasn't making enough to milk to be a good mom. Why is it that after about 11pm, I'm more likely to view low milk production as a moral failing? Oh yeah, that would be a lack of sleep!
Monday, yesterday, was his first day at daycare. Only a week before he was to start daycare, the place we really wanted him to go (Priscilla's) miraculously had an opening for an infant! We were so relieved! A lady and her daughter keep 8 kids of every age in their basement. She's a big bosom black lady which seems like the height of comfort for a baby. He's one of only two babies. Monday morning, I arrived at the daycare crying, which Priscilla understood and she was ready with tissues. Usually, Quint is asleep again within 30 minutes of his early morning feeding, so we swaddled him hoping he would go back to sleep. He was fussing a little and I really didn't want to leave the first day with him upset. She said to hand him to her and she snuggled him up to her and patted and rocked him. By the time we finished with instructions and a check, he had that sleepy eyes rolled back in his head and limp necked look about him. It was wonderful. It made leaving sooooo much easier. Not that it was easy, but still.
Then I got to work and did managed to get some things done. But I managed to send out 63 emails saying "here's your September report" and attached the August report. (smack forehead). I got emails back pointing out the error before I went to pump for the morning. And I only got about 3 ounces pumped. Last Wednesday, I managed to get 7 ounces at the same time of day. So I start worrying about my milk production again. I resend the 63 emails with the correct reports attached saying that they haven't gotten the reports in 3 months because I've been on maternity leave. I'll be catching up all the reports hopefully this week. Thankfully, by the end of the day, I got about 20 emails back saying congratulations, we understand, send a picture of your baby, and about 5 also saying we know it's hard now, but it gets a little easier. So that was better. I went to Priscilla's at 1pm and fed him in person which was good for us both. And now I can visualize his environment better. He probably should have had 3 bottles yesterday with Priscilla, but I had asked her not to feed him after 4pm so I could feed him myself at 5pm. Turns out, he cried from 4 until 5pm wanting his dinner. So she'll probably feed him about 3pm today.
Which means that she'll feed him 3 bottles perhaps on a regular basis. So that's 12 ounces I need to pump on a regular basis to keep up. She only fed him two yesterday, and I did manage to pump about 9 ounces so I pumped just as much as he ate yesterday. So my extreme worrying about it yesterday wasn't really warranted, but that doesn't mean I won't. I talked to a lactation consultant yesterday and she gave me a bunch of tips for boosting milk production. And apparently a lot of women's milk production goes down around 3 months. Quint will be 3 months old next week. Last night, I pumped a whole lot during the evening. And I've got to get it through my head that even if I only get an ounce and a half at every pumping after noon, those added up to enough yesterday.
So my biggest worry about returning to work and sending Quint to daycare is my milk production. That could be a whole lot worse. I'm not worried about his safety or happiness.
I'm mildly worried about that no one did big chunks of my job while I was out and very few people noticed enough to find out why those things weren't being done. Is my work viewed as necessary by my department? Did they realize that they could split up my duties among three people and do alright? How secure is my job?
Like I needed something extra to worry about, right?
Last night, I sat around pumping and holding my little boy's arm and crying a little while I bounced him in the bouncy seat. He slept well until 10pm. After that...was another story.... He was apparently really, really hungry. Which reinforced my milk production worry. Great!
Saturday night, we had a sitter for our 2 month old so we could go to the pub together. Several of our friends were going to be there that night. One friend, the lead singer in the band, was having surgery Monday and wouldn't be back for at least 3 weeks to play music. Another friend was celebrating a new job he had just gotten. So it was a special night to go out.
Several times during the week, Hubby had mentioned that he wanted to see me in a dress for the occasion. Now, while I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, that's not to say I'm the same shape anymore. Belly skin is still floppy and there is NOOOooooo muscle tone under that. BUT, if I wore my ballet tights, they might hide that because they're pretty tight at the top.
Aside rant on pantyhose: Why the heck do those things have to be so stinkin' tight at the top? Why must we all be so uncomfortable? I remember in High School - HIGH SCHOOL!! - when I was 5 ft 9 inches and a whoppin' 110 lbs - little Miss Auschwitz - and I thought those things were too tight at the waist. If they were too tight on me THEN, who exactly are these things made for?! I am by no means 110 lbs anymore, by the way, but am a much healthier weight with a few extra dimples.
So I put on my ballet tights. And I put on my extremely sexy red dress that usually....um.... causes a delay in our departure. Hubby comes out of the bathroom and I give him a "TADAAA" type pose. "Hmmm" he says, eyebrows way down and mouth to one side. "Could you wear a bra with that?" This is not a question that has ever come up with this dress before. "I could, but why?" "What if you lactate?" Certainly not a question that has ever come up with this dress before. "I could be prepared for that." Darling son, bouncing in his bouncy seat at my feet gives a small shriek then a whimper in his sleep. Instantly, I, of course, lactate. "DA&%#$!!" Hubby says, "can you even wash that dress?" "I have no idea! Hand me a tissue."
While standing there trying to hold my dress so I can't leak on it any more, it crosses my mind to ask Hubby if, basically, I've still got it. Then it crosses my mind that at this moment, he might say, "well, yeah" in a thoroughly unconvincing way. That might just completely ruin my good mood for an evening out. I decide not to ask. Then Hubby says "why don't we go for something less overtly sexual." Ouch. I manage to not let that really sink in and ruin my evening. "OK, what do you suggest?" "How about your tartan skirt and those great boots?" This is still a sexy outfit and does not look at all motherly. It's the Catholic schoolgirl type of sexy outfit that you might still wear to church. I have worn it to church minus the 3.5 inch heel boots. "Alright, that sounds good."
My friend comes over to watch our baby boy and brings her grown daughter too. I leave them far too many instructions, kiss my child, and go. We have a great time at the pub! I sit with my good friend we have fun. I had said that I would only stay until 11pm because my babysitting friend had to be at church at 8:30 in the morning. I knew I'd be zonked by then anyway. Sure enough, I had trouble making it to 11pm. I only made it to 11pm because our waiter didn't split our check and we made him re-do it.
During the previous several days, our little boy would start getting really upset about 90 minutes after I fed him. We thought it was gas and would treat it as such, with little success. Typically, I'm not willing to feed him more often than every 2 hours. One of my babysitting friends had on a sleeveless top. 90 minutes after they gave him a bottle, Quint tried to "suck Kathryn's arm off" and they determined that perhaps he was hungry. Duh! Mom and I had had on sweaters which he didn't try to nurse on during his "gas". So they found and defrosted some frozen breastmilk and fed him that. All of that. That makes 8 ounces he's eaten in the span of 2 hours. He didn't spit any up either. Wow. I guess he's only been hungry the last couple days when he's been pitching a fit after 90 minutes. My sitters thought he wouldn't be hungry again for quite some time. They fed him the second bottle at 11pm. He woke up wanting to eat again at 2am. And again at 6am. Expect a growth spurt any moment now.
Wonderfully cute things he's started doing lately: At the 4 or 5am feeding and diaper change, I can almost always get a series of smiles out of him. That's a great reward. Also, when I'm switching from one side to the other while nursing, he will point one finger at his mouth like "I still need more in here Mom!" Very cute, this pointing at his pie hole.
Yesterday it was chilly here and I was taking him out for errands. I put some pants over his onesie and set him back in his bouncy seat for a minute to finish getting ready. Then I noticed that he had a dunlap. As in his belly dun lapped over his belt. No 2 month old should have that. So I went through all his pants checking sizes. Apparently he's out of the 0-3 month size in pants now and is on to the 3-6 month pants.
My sister had mentioned how annoying baby laundry could be, but I didn't get it. Until last night.
Usually with a load of whites, it consists of Hubby's undershirts, over shirts, socks, washrags, hankies, and towels. That's 6 items, and typically pretty tall stacks. Last night I had a whole load of whites and there were two of about 15 kinds of items, making a huge spread of tiny stacks. After folding and sorting it, I felt like I'd made a big mess. Two onesies, two sleepers, two bibs, two baby socks, two me socks, two undershirts, two over shirts, two towels, two hankies, two washrags, two baby blankets, and two burp rags. Annoying, but certainly not the worst thing in the world.
Today, I managed to go to the daycare for a couple hours and I feel much better about things. It crossed my mind while nursing him this morning that I could pop over there this morning. How odd for that thought to not be scary. So I finished nursing, brushed my teeth for everyone's safety, and went before I could think about it. It was a good visit and not really unpleasant. I stayed 2 hours, was told about all their regular procedures, met everyone, watched a lunchtime, and got to watch everything. The women were friendly and liked the babies. They were realistic about bumps (Isabella, you're alright, just get back up) and cuddled the bottle babies while feeding them. The biggest thing to me, was that the babies were all pretty darn happy. One little guy smiled at me whenever I caught his eye. Even when one baby was having a near meltdown because she was READY for her lunch would smile as soon as I spoke to her. The delay for her lunch was due to finishing cleaning up after another child's lunch and preparing her lunch. The same kind of delay I make Quint have when he wants to eat, but I need to go to the bathroom and gather a couple things before sitting down to nurse. None of the babies were neglected when they needed something. When a baby woke up grumpy, they tried to get them to sleep a bit longer. When they woke up happy, they would put them on the floor to play.
I was very reassured and only cried twice. They have no bouncy seat or swing, and my little guy dearly loves to sit in his vibrating seat. He'll have to get over it, which will not be fun for the staff.
Today I have been quite productive! I ate leftovers! I visited the daycare I brushed my teeth (this doesn't always make the list) I picked out pictures to print since the birth I actually printed those pictures I packed up maternity clothes to send to my sister I blogged I balanced the checkbook I had a video visit with my sister in law I talked to my mother for 30 minutes
My lower back has been a bit tight so I exercised it a bit today. A new goal of mine is to exercise each day. That sounds rather lofty until you hear my actual plan. I hope to exercise for at least 10 minutes a day. Oh yeah, I'm setting that bar HIGH! Crunches, squats, or toe touches. We'll see how that goes.
For Halloween our little guy was a pea pod! Isn't he cute! He will be 7 weeks old tomorrow. He has started responding to us more and more. We usually get at least a smile a day. My face is a comfort to him, even when I just show up at his swing. When we stick out our tongue at him, he sticks his out at us. He is now interested in toys dangled in front of his face and will track them, left and right. He is now content to gurgle, coo, and wiggle in his crib in the morning if he isn't hungry or dirty.
He spent his first times in the church nursery this week. One hour on THursday for choir practice and the whole time for Sunday church. I managed to not bolt from the service at any point to go check on him, but that was mostly because we were singing special music during the communion at the very end of the service. Otherwise, I would have been outa there!
One day this week, I really need to go to the daycare and have us both hang out in the baby room. That will be just LOADS of fun. I need to take a box of tissues, I'm sure.
It happened last night. We were both so astounded. Small fry had been feeding ever two hours for the majority of the day which was starting to drive me crazy. He fed at 3pm, 5:30, 7:30, 9:30, and 11:30 at which time I handed him to his father with a 4 ounce bottle and some rice cereal and went directly to bed. This is the third night we've added rice cereal to the breastmilk bottle and previously had noticed that it made a difference about 6 hours after that bottle. Well, not last night! Quint had the rice and breastmilk bottle at 1:30 and didn't cry to be fed again until 7:30!!! With the 2 hour habit he'd had all day, Hubby had crashed on the bed in the baby's room thinking he'd be up again quite soon. At 6am, I go in there to check that the baby is still breathing. I missed one of my Wellbutrin pills recently and that usually equates to 3 days of worrying about stupid stuff...this morning whether or not my baby was breathing. Also while I was up, I pumped and got 6 ounces total! A record for me so far.
Given his feeding habit yesterday, we're expecting a growth spurt. Small fry is now 6 weeks old. This morning, I noticed that a 0-3 month size sleeper was getting a little snug. Maybe that outfit is a fluke. When I tried to zip it all the way up and snap the throat snap, he cried. I unzipped it an inch and he was instantly better. Very communicative little guy. He's also started giving us a "dirty diaper" face. When he's upset now, I hold him away from me and say, "Ok, talk to me son. What do you need." Pretty soon, he will usually give me the dirty diaper face or one of the "feed me" indicators. Things are getting easier!
He has started vocalizing more. Instead of squeaking, grunting, or making noises like a chipmunk, dolphin, or a wild turkey, he has started to coo and sing a bit.
Oh, and I am finally at 100% for taking walks and basically doing whatever I want! I've been looking forward to my weight lifting class at the gym and got online today to look at class schedules. Can't find it. Found their phone number. The lady that answers the phone says the name of the gym and says it's only $14.95 per month. Odd. I ask about class schedules. We don't have classes anymore. Really! When did that happen? About July. About the time I was big enough I stopped taking walks at lunch. Well CRAP! And I paid in advance for my membership with the great rate of $20 per month. Not such a great rate now. OK, ok, there's got to be a bright side here. What is it... When it gets too cold outside is when I use the treadmills at the gym more often, especially for running. And I really will need to do some running this winter to fight off not only winter blues, but post-partum depression. So I'll still have that.
Considering that I'm still within my 3 day window of "likely to be a little sad", perhaps I should have an outing today despite the rain. Small fry needs the next phase of his Hepatitis shot, and I need snaps from Wal-Mart. And i can finally walk far enough to conquer Wal-Mart and their new *#^!! eight acre layout. That sounds good.
Oh, I was incredibly productive yesterday! It was warm enough and I actually got outside and scrubbed our recycling bins. I have not recycled a single thing since the baby was born and even managed to take all the recycling to the center the day before I went into the hospital. I mentioned this to a recycling friend with 3 kids and she said, "of course you haven't recycled since the birth. And you might not again for a few years, depending on how close together you have kids. You've got more important things to do." Wow! Permission! What a grand thing! And I needed new storage bins for things like baby clothes and maternity clothes. So I've jerked the labels off my recycling bins, scrubbed them, and they will soon hold baby things.
While I was scrubbing these things outside, a tree service truck paused at the stop sign near our house. We've been trying to get an arborist on the phone for months. We've got some branches touching the roof in one spot, and the chimney in another. This guy had a truck with a cherry-picker type boom and a mulcher. I waved him over, got an estimate, called Hubby, and got my trees trimmed yesterday! For about the amount we thought it might cost. Not cheap, but better than we had feared. It's one of those icky house maintenance things where you just gotta bite the bullet and get it over with. And it was $100 cheaper because he was already in the area. I explained to him that we love our trees and love our shade, but don't want the house damaged. I had him trim so that we might not have to have it trimmed again for 5 years. He understood! He had his cherry-picker put him on the roof and then climbed to the highest top ridge where he used his chainsaw on the end of a 20 foot pole. That means he was 30 to 40 feet off the ground swinging around this chainsaw on a pole. Scary stuff. Yes he was insured. And had been doing this for 20 years. I watched from inside while nursing small fry. It took them an hour and they had disposed of all the limbs and even blown the leaves off my driveway and sidewalk! Good deal!
OK, it's 11:30 and past my bedtime. Small fry was fed at 10pm and is currently being bounced by my right foot in the hopes that he'll stop squeaking and drift off. I read through my emails and thought of something witty to blog about. And, honest to God, by the time I actually pull up my blog page to write it down...it's gone. No clue what that witty thing was. It's not like it takes more than 30 seconds to get to where I can write this thing.
I realized in the shower this morning that it was 10 years ago, at about this time if year that I started dating my husband. A whole lot has changed in those 10 years, especially with a 5 week old little boy around. Oh, and little Quint smiled at me this morning! He focused on my face and gave me an Elvis smile (one lip) then I smiled and he gave me a huge toothless grin! Then I shrieked a laugh and he looked at me like I was nuts. Still! A smile on cue! Woohoo!!
Things that have changed in 10 years.
Where once my hubby would say, "Hey it's 8:30, we ought to get ready to go to the pub." Now he says "Hey it's 8:30. You need to eat something else and start getting ready for bed before he needs to nurse again."
10 years ago I was seldom in his bed at all, but would have to leave to return to my home state. Now he says in the morning, "Did you leave my bed for another man last night?" Oddly, the answer is "Yes, and he got to second base!"
Even this time last year, I was running frequently at the gym and would wash my extremely long hair every other day. This morning, the following thoughts crossed my mind: When is the last time I combed my hair out of a bun? Has it really been 10 days since I washed it? The good thing about waist length hair and newborns is that you only have to comb the first 6 inches of it for your bun to look nice.
Ok, so maybe a habit of not running to the child every time he cries has its good points. While in the shower, he was giving me his going ape-sh** cry which normally means that he's kicked off his blanket and is cold, or he wants lunch NOW!!!! So I hurried through rinsing my hair and dried off at lightening speed. I wrapped my hair in a towel and threw on a bathrobe only to look down at him and find that he had shut up and gone back to sleep. Hmmm... Guess he wasn't that hungry after all. So I hurried through getting dressed (actually brushed my teeth!) thinking that at any second, he could demand lunch. That was 45 minutes ago. I've now got partially dry hair, have washed a load of laundry, and have made a start into a blog. Weird. But good!
Yesterday, a friend who has become a much better friend since Quint was born called to tell me to go outside. She remembered how trapped she felt in the house when her babies were tiny and how much difference it made to get fresh air. She called at 3 to tell me this. At 5:30, I managed to get it done. And it did make a huge difference! It completely changed my mood! I came back in and emptied the dishwasher, refilled the dishwasher, cooked myself dinner (for the first time in Quint's life), folded and put away 2 loads of laundry, and neatened things a bit. Wow! That's the most I've gotten done in a long time!
Newer developments with small fry: He now loves the swing! As of Thursday! Seeing how I've been bouncing him in the bouncy seat with my foot for the past week, this isn't really surprising - just less labor intensive for me. Also, last Saturday, a friend came over to give me sanity (that's a good friend) and while changing Quint's diaper and clothes, said "you realize all these clothes are too small for him, right?" It's such a gradual thing, it's easy to miss. She was right, it shouldn't be THAT hard to button crotch snaps or get his knees bent enough to get his feet into a sleeper. I handed her a 0-3 month size sleeper and it was a breeze to get him into it. And it wasn't that baggy. Duh! After that, we only put 0-3 month clothes on him and dressing is much easier now. My 10 pound baby now wears clothes designed for a 10 pound baby.
A Baby Story is on in the next room. When in life is this a fun show to watch? Not while you're pregnant - it's scary. Not when your kids are tiny - your own story is too fresh. Not when you're thinking of getting pregnant - it's best to not be smacked with icky reality when planning a family that you know you want. So perhaps it's good to use as birth control. Or after you know for sure that you won't have any more kids - it would be good to reminisce.
There's a breeze outside and it's making it rain beautiful golden leaves off an Elm tree across the street. Ahhhh.... What a beautiful sight. Long pause to stare out the window.
Small fry is starting to wake up for his lunch now. A full our after his last May-Day (ape-sh**) cry. I really should start calling it a May-Day cry. Wow! A whole, lengthy blog was written today! But not edited, so reader beware.
Quint is a month old and weighs over 10 pounds! I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight and fit in to most of my old clothes. He has recently started going 4.5 hours between feedings at most which means that I can sleep a max of 3.5 hours at a time. My wonderful Hubby takes a feeding in the night which gives me more like 5 or 6 hours straight of sleep which makes ALLLL the difference. Any longer than that and I have to pump anyway. We've moved the crib and nursing chair into Quint's room and have reclaimed our room for ourselves. Quint hasn't really started smiling on cue yet, but last Friday, I gobbled on his neck and he definitely smiled! When he's on my shoulder, he holds on to my arm with his arm. He nearly has control of his head and can scoot himself along the floor with help. His little thighs are fat enough to squeeze and his cute little baby hair is incredibly soft and collar length on the back. I really think his face is wider than it was just a day or two ago! Just look at those cheeks!!
Yesterday, Hubby stayed home from work and we moved the baby's crib into his own room. With all our string of company, and for nursing reasons, we had originally put his crib up in our bedroom with the idea of using it as a co-sleeper. The co-sleeper thing didn't work out for 2 reasons: the crib is designed where we could not have the baby's mattress up against ours without a gap between and #2 I still haven't mastered nursing while laying down. What turned out to happen with our nightly rituals was this:
I would nurse Quint around 7 or 8pm and go to bed in our bedroom. Hubby would stay up until 1am or 2am playing computer games in the loft and feed Quint a pumped bottle at his feeding between 10pm and midnight, and then keep him in the loft. When Quint needed his middle of the night feeding, Hubby would bring him to me in the bedroom where I'd nurse him and put him down in the crib in our room. Hubby would sleep in the loft where he wouldn't be woken up by our baby's noisy sleeping habits. I would sleep in our bedroom where I quickly learned how to sleep through the non-urgent noises of a content baby. As a result, Hubby and I have not shared a bed for nearly a month WHICH SERIOUSLY SUCKS!!! Especially since we could spoon now that my huge pregnant belly is gone.
So yesterday, we took one side off the crib so we could get it through two doorways. We also moved my nursing chair and all that setup into the nursery so I can nurse him in the night and not have to wake Hubby up with lights and noise. I know some women think that the man ought to be awake every time the mom is awake during the night, but that's just not logical. Unless there's a bottle pumped, there's no need for Hubby to wake up to do what, wait until he's done nursing so Hubby can change the diaper? The few times that I have been awake nursing and Hubby was asleep nearby, I have been ticked that he wasn't awake as well, but I managed to refrain from throwing a bottle of water at him. Logic soon prevailed, even though it was 4am. Let the man sleep. He had already engineered 5 hours of consistent rest for me that evening which is a marvelous thing.
Anyway, so last night, Quint was in his crib in his room, and was fed a pumped bottle around midnight. Quint returned to his crib and Hubby returned to his computer games. Later, Hubby joined me in our bed. YEAH!!!! At 3:30 when small fry erupted, I went in his room and nursed and changed him. Back to his crib he went and I returned to my bed with Hubby. Same thing happened at 7:30. At the bright and early time of 10am, we all got up for good. Much snuggling and spooning during the night which has done us WORLDS of good.
I can hear the passionate cries of Quint through the wall between our bedrooms, so we won't have to move the monitor back and forth every night. We've got it set up where we can have him in the pack n play downstairs with the monitor and we can be anywhere in the house and hear him on the monitor. Every mother knows that one note that means business within their baby's cries. The trick now is to distinguish between imagining that I heard it in the night and actually hearing it in the night. And to remind myself that if I can't hear him crying over my husband's breathing (not snoring) then it probably isn't serious.
For those of you following my nursing progress, I think I may be past that first month hump of difficulty. We've figured out how to not hurt me and still get him plenty fed!
In case you wanted to see more of my new little family, I could send anyone who actually knows me a link so you can see all the photos I've uploaded to the Walgreens photo account. I believe you can see all the photos I've made public by using the same link, including the most recent things uploaded. I could be wrong on that, though.
Also, I've got a webcam now and if you sign up with my specific group thingy, you could see live video of my cute little boy if we're both on at the same time. I believe that you can see video of us even if you don't have a video camera yourself, but this is yet to be tested.
For either of these, I need to send you an invite or link to get you started. If you'd like me to send you those invites, please email me and I'll hook you up!
I've uploaded photos yesterday to the Walgreens site if you've already got a link to that. I usually just dump un-thinned quantities of photos to the Walgreens site because I'd rather get too many photos out there. The alternative is to spend my 10 minutes between feedings picking out the best 5 to download, only to run out of time and get nothing downloaded to Walgreens. So pick out your own favorites and ignore the 7 bad versions of virtually the exact same shot.
I've also stopped editing these blogs for clarity of thought, so try to read between the lines folks.
I am a hunch-backed appliance. My posture may never recover. I understand what milk cows go through. A milking machine may hurt the poor cows a bit, yes, but it is SOOOOO much better than not being milked. That initial 2 seconds of "yow" never crosses my mind as a thing to be dreaded. All those fruitcakes in college who boycotted milk because it was mean to the poor cows will seriously change their tunes once they try to nurse their own child and pump so they can bottle feed.
Daddy feedings are a gift from God.
I can sleep through lots now.
Stroller and/or baby sling = release from house arrest.
Laundry every day now.
My end of "how was your day, dear" conversation is really pathetic and only involves funny bodily functions of our child. Yesterday, the most funny one was a burp and the child's reaction. Our sweet boy was obviously having some gas issues and I was finally getting up to go get the gas drops (which always seem to be on the floor that I'm not!). I get three steps up the stairs and he lets loose with this bass, man-sized burp. I stop and stare at him. He looks confused and makes a sound that indicates "oh that was bad". To me, this was the big funny of the day. Wow. Today I'm looking forward to talking to the mail man who I know will have a package for me to sign for. Wow.
I love my little guy more and more and more. He's funny (usually I'm laughing at him though) and insanely cute and does the darndest things.
For the very first time since our little Quint's birth, it is just me and my baby at home this morning. We're at a break between company and Quint's Papa has gone to work today. I'm in fairly good comfort and haven't had any pain medicine today, though yesterday I overdid it and hurt pretty bad for several hours.
We're starting to learn our little boy's habits and/or alter them if we can. Last night, after some cluster feedings between 7 and 11, he gave us 4.5 hours and then 4 hours between feedings! And he was mostly quiet between those. Hubby took the first shift and brought the baby to me at 3:30 to feed. That's 11pm to 3:30am!! And Hubby got to sleep most of that time! This is huge great news! I fed him, changed him, and tinkered with him until about 5am and then he slept through until about 8am when I woke him to feed because I thought I was going to explode. We've got a 4 ounce bottle that we can feed him sometime soon during a night feeding and I've got another ounce in another bottle I've started. We meant to do that last night, but Hubby was so tired that he seemed a bit tipsy. Not the best time to start something new. Maybe we should plan to do that as an 11pm feeding instead of a 2am feeding. I haven't explained to Hubby yet that it might never work for me to try to bottle feed the boy. The boy is not dumb. He will know the boobies are right there, so what's this bottle thing about.
I've been really surprised at how easily I've shifted into Mommy-mode. It doesn't seem un-natural or like something foreign, which I had been a little concerned about. There was a day or two at the very beginning when I really didn't want to be the baby's only food source, but I got past that. I do need to work on focusing on Hubby more and giving him some undivided attention at times. That IS possible, I'll just have to seize those moments and put something else off. It's amazing how tasks are now divided in my mind into three categories: 1-things I can do while nursing 2-things only I can do while not nursing and 3-things others can do for me while I'm nursing or otherwise tending the baby. Very few things fall into the second category, but it's annoying to realize that personal hygiene ALWAYS falls into that category.
Hubby has been really spectacular about fetching and carrying. He has understood from the beginning that I don't want to be under "couch arrest" but getting around is really more difficult those first few days home. Sure I can get myself some ice water from the kitchen, but getting settled again where my bottom is comfortable can be a trick. That's getting to be less and less of a problem at 16 days after birth, but twice now, I've overdone it and set myself back by a couple of days on my bottom recovery. And I've realized that I'm a big wuss about pain. But narcotics are only occasionally necessary.
How did any child survive infancy without gas drops? It's amazing what those things can do! And it says right on the bottle not to exceed 12 doses per day! Seeing how our little guy can eat up to every 2 hours, that's a dose per feeding!
More later on the trivial details of our new normal life with our darling son!
In case you're wondering why I haven't blogged in nearly a week, it's because my hands have been full with my brand new infant! Little Quint was born at 12:26pm Tuesday, September 15th. He weighed 7lbs, 7oz and was 19 1/4 inches long.
Monday, I went in to the doctor for a quick check of some vitals, only to find my blood pressure ridiculously high. Since I was 37 weeks pregnant which is considered full term, my doctor wanted to induce me that day! Needless to say I was shocked! My Hubby hadn't even gone with me to that appointment. Being a bit hormonal at the time, I burst into tears. My doctor explained the risks involved with waiting, and how the baby was plenty "done" anyway. It would greatly help my health and wouldn't hurt the baby. I called Hubby and turned his world upside down. The doctor came back to me in a few minutes and let Hubby ask her any questions he had. We all agreed that I would go home, finish packing, take care of some things and check in to the hospital by noon.
No telling what folks thought of a huge pregnant woman walking out of the doctor's offices crying, but suddenly I didn't feel so ready to be a mom quite yet. Hubby told his co-workers what was happening, called half the world, and wound up beating me back to the house. He let me cry for a little while and then we started getting ready to go. I wanted to wash my hair, and we needed to pack up the computers. My bag was already packed and at 11:15 we were ready to go, but wondered if we should hang out for a bit or go look at the lake and arrive at noon. Nah, might as well go ahead and go.
We checked into the hospital feeling like we were moving in. We had my suitcase, my purse bag thingy, the boppy, and Hubby's computer bag. They started the IV and started the induction at about 1pm. We were in for the long wait since I wasn't dilated at all. The PG version of the procedure is that I was given one drug to "open the door" before we started pitocin to "put anything through the door". We emailed folks, Hubby played his computer game, I wrote thank you notes, they let me eat dinner, we called people, etc. At midnight my water broke all on its own, and at 2am I asked for some pain medication. Demerol is FUN!!! And it apparently makes me chatty. Hubby was finally telling me to just shut up so he could get some more sleep in the horrible chair/bed thing he was sleeping in. Somewhere during the night, probably between 2am and 5am, they started me on pitocin. At 4 or 5am, I asked for my epidural and then was really out for several hours. At 7am, I was dilated to 4cm and the family was back in my room to hang out during the wait. It's really weird to sit up when you're numb from the sternum down. My folks and Hubby's mom were there for patient entertainment.
At 11am, they said I was fully dilated and could start pushing soon! REALLY?! Cool. Everybody but Hubby left and I started pushing. For the first hour of my 90 minutes of pushing, I would drift off to sleep between contractions. Now that is the way to labor in my opinion! At noon, my doctor came in to help with the final push and catch. At 12:26pm, our precious baby boy bounced into the world! I can't describe all the emotions running through both of us. Hubby has tried to explaine it to folks. He says that you think you know the volume of love you're able to have for anyone else and then suddenly you're able to love so much overwhelmingly more. Hubby cut the cord and we both gawked at our curly headed little boy. They let me hold him for a few minutes, then moved him over to the warmer to get him cleaned up. After a few minutes I got my boy back and since I was cleaned up, the family came rushing in! It was really fun to show him off! He was maybe an hour old when he went to the nursery for all his checks, bath and whatnot. Hubby went with him and Quint held his finger for an hour and a half while he was checked out and brought up to a good temperature.
Apparently, because he did more grunting than screaming when he was first born, there was some concern about his lungs not being cleared out properly. They kept him longer in the nursery to make sure he got some good screams in and really cleared out his lungs. The result back in my hospital room was a very ticked off new mama who had a 2.5 hour old child somewhere that wasn't in her arms and didn't know why. So there were some sharp words with the only nurse in the whole place that I didn't like and I had to wait a while longer to see my little boy again. His lungs cleared out and he got warm enough, and my little boy was brought to me in due course, and I got to gaze at his royal cuteness once again. We took 400 pictures, tried to pin down the exact color of his hair, kissed his head and basically sucked all the goodie out of the whole experience.
We had some visitors in the evening and I sent my Hubby home for a good night's sleep. At some point in the evening, I gave a first shot at breastfeeding which had minimal results. During the night, he slet in the nursery and was brought to me for feedings. With the second attempt, I was gratified by the nurse saying I was doing everything right for him to nurse, but not much doing. By the third attempt, we had some success! And thus ends the first day of our little Quint's life.
My folks were in town for this past Labor Day weekend to (A) really get to see me huge pregnant and (B) help me get things ready for baby. Within my little notebook of lists (yes, a whole notebook of lists), there was a big list of things to do before my personal labor day. There was a Daddy list, a Mama list, a list of things I can stock in the freezer, a list of thank you notes to write, a list of pediatricians to examine, a grocery list (always), and a list of smaller home chores to do.
They took these lists and ran and it was a sight to behold! I was left with just answering questions (which gets harder closer to meal time) and occasionally fetching things. Here is a probably incomplete list of the things that got done this weekend by the four of us.
Large ham mostly devoured by the masses Crib is now assembled The changing table is now assembled (despite having all the wrong hardware) The hot air balloon mobile is painted (this took 10 times longer than I thought it would) The mobile is assembled The water hose is finally attached to it’s reel Ugly dead tree branches were jerked from various trees All three toilets now work properly Baby kicks were felt Baby presents were opened The light switch that wasn’t like the others is now like the others Mini blinds were purchased and hung in the baby’s room Home Depot was visited twice for more parts Draino was used on my tub with fantastic results. Laundry was washed Groceries were gotten Parents were schooled on GPS functions Parents were fully introduced to the wonders of Aldi Thank you notes were written The brass headboard was done away with (weird story there!) Several meals were made not by me! Trees were trimmed Walks were taken without me (Hubby has missed this) The changing tables were stocked and prepared Card games were played A recreational fire was burned in the fire pit Lots of porch sitting Several naps My computer was backed up so that the thumb drive, my home computer, and work computer all have the same data/pictures on them. Church was attended Furniture was re-arranged
That list will make anyone feel like a slacker! But there were 4 people and 3 days involved. Because of all this, I now feel incredibly prepared for the arrival of my little fella. Each of these nights I slept incredibly well because I was really tired and felt really accomplished. Parents are great! They really come through when you’re about to give them a grandchild!
Weird story about the brass headboard: I was going to give it to goodwill, but we were all feeling lazy about leaving the house to take it there in Daddy’s big enough vehicle. He suggested putting it out in the yard with a “free” sign and seeing if it took a hour to disappear. It took 90 minutes on a Saturday! The weird part was that it was picked up by two floppy haired teens, one with a shovel in his hand. A shovel? What’s the shovel for? Even if they were doing some unrelated project in the yard and walked down the street to fetch it at their mother’s request, why’d they bring the shovel? We jumped in the car to see where they took it, but it was stashed away somewhere by the time we made our rounds. Oh well. It’s a mystery.
Saturday afternoon, the baby crib assembly project got underway. My Hubby and Dad were going to put together the crib in our bedroom where we'll use it as a co-sleeper for a few months, then move it to the baby's room. Hubby and I neatened up the room a bit to have maximum floor space for the project, and moved furniture to clear out the corner the crib will belong. Oddly enough, there was a lizard under a swivel rocker we had. We fetched the cat and tossed her at the lizard. As soon as it moved again, she was on the trail and they darted under the bed. We finished moving the swivel rocker to another room and determined that the corner needed to be vacuumed.
Ingredients to a lizard rodeo: one cat, one lizard, a closed bedroom door, two dingbats and a vacuum cleaner.
Instructions: assemble all and turn on the vacuum.
Hubby turned on the vacuum about the same time I unearthed the the lizard amongst some papers under an end table. The lizard darts towards the vacuum, near the beater bar. Hubby jerks the vacuum up off the ground so as not to have fresh ground lizard. The lizard darts over to the dirty clothes basket. I go over to the cat, now sitting on the bed. The vacuum is still running. I try to pick up the cat to toss her towards the scurrying lizard. She manages to launch out of my arms WITHOUT scratching me and does two backflips before landing on her feet 3 feet from the still running vacuum. Hubby turns off the vacuum while I started to laugh hysterically. The cat is hissing before she actually touches the ground. She then hisses at the bedskirt, at my ankles, walks two steps and hisses at the TV cart, walks to a corner of the room and hisses at it while wiping her face with a paw. All of this took approximately 10 seconds.
Now Hubby is chuckling at the randomly hissing cat. Ok the cat is out of commission as a lizard weapon. I walk over to the dirty clothes basket, and we find it under a blue dress shirt. Hubby says, "well if the cat doesn't want it, then I don't want to kill it." I'm with him on this. So now we try to catch the lizard. We corner the poor thing and catch it in one of Hubby's cowboy boots. Still chuckling, I take the boot out front to free the lizard. I upturn the boot with Mom looking on. No lizard. I thwack the boot against my hand to knock it out of the toe and then can see the lizard. Now it tumbles out and scurries off to hide in the grass. Free and unharmed. End of lizard rodeo.
We now have a crib assembled in the corner of our room, a changing table assembled in the corner of the baby's room, and the mobile for the above the crib is half painted by Mom and I while the men did all that. Very productive baby preparation weekend! Thanks Mom and Dad! And Hubby!
I had a rough night Thursday night, but my wonderful Hubby handled it quite well. We were both busy and didn't return home until 10pm and 10:30. I had been inexplicably sad for a lot of the day and had drank some "happy tea" twice during the day which caused a slight lightening of my mood. Maybe it's the ginseng in the tea. I just figured the random sadness was hormone related since I wasn't worried about anything.
My sweet Hubby put me to bed and went about his business. At about 11pm, I started crying for absolutely no reason. Like nearly hysterical crying. I couldn't even catch my breath to call him. About 10 minutes later, Hubby came in. He said the Spirit had spoke to him and said I needed him. How very true! He came over to hold me while I bawled. He only asked me 2 questions: Are you worried about anything? No. Is the baby alright? Yes. Then he did the very marvelous thing that men usually have trouble doing. He stopped trying to figure it out and just held me while I cried hysterically for about 30 minutes. He prayed over me, and anointed me with holy water.
When I started to calm down, he said we should find something to cry about. What good will that do, I wondered. There was a box of Aldi brand cheese nips beside the bed. He said we should cry for all the poor cheez-its that had to be packaged and marketed as mere cheese crackers and deal with the ignominy of being labeled as an inferior snack. So let's cry for all the undervalued cheez-its of the world. He then proceeded to give a cute cartoon type cry. It made me laugh as hard as I'd been crying!
So do I have the best husband in the whole wide world or what! I love him so much!
I read in a pregnancy magazine this morning a list of some particular memories to take note of that might be amusing later. There were a couple I don't remember if I've written down anywhere. One they suggested was the first time a stranger noticed you were pregnant.
Memorial Day weekend, I flew to Texas by myself to visit my folks. While checking in to the airport, there was one black fella in particular that I kept going through lines with. I was in front in the baggage check line, he was in front of me through the first part of security, I was in front of him through the shoes & x-ray part of security, etc. About the third or fourth time he leaned down next to me to pick up his carry-on bag, he saw my baby bump, which was at eye level at that moment. He stared for a minute, then looked up at me and absolutely beamed! I beamed back and said, "Yep!" to the unasked question. I can still see his face. He told me "good luck" before we parted ways. All during my pregnancy, I've had this same kind of reaction from several black men and never from white men! Explain that one for me!
Tuesday night, our baby boy was kicking around something fierce and I was laying on the bed, belly exposed, to watch the action. Hubby was standing near our bathroom door talking and stopped to exclaim at one point. He said he had just seen both feet protrude at the same time and could tell which way the toes were pointing! I asked him if he was sure and he pointed out that feet are little wedge shapes and knees are not. Weird! And pretty cool. I keep telling the baby that that's not the way out. He'll catch on after a while.
A friend took some pictures of me while pregnant this past weekend and, for once, I'm showing our faces on this blog. Vanity run a muck, I know.
This weekend, I felt we needed to make our monthly pilgrimage to Wal-Mart, now called Walmart. Like most trips to Walmart for us, this was mostly based on laziness at not wanting to hit maybe 3 stores for the entire list. We needed Walgreens type items, grocery items that could be bought at Aldi, and a few grocery items that can only be gotten at a name brand store. When I first said to Hubby that I needed him to go to Walmart with me, there was a definite snarl on his face. I have no idea how much of that was "Walmart" and how much was "with me" but it was there none the less. I explained the need for Walmart and then explained that at 35 weeks pregnant, I needed him to help me cut down on how many miles I would have to walk within Walmart.
The plan: I split up the list between the Walmart side and the grocery side to avoid unnecessary mileage between the two. We got two baskets, had our cell phones, and planned on meeting up again at the checkout.
The problem: They've re-organized the whole freakin' store!
After a whole lot of time walking around this new, frustrating layout, the only organizational pattern I could find was that there is now a "frequently purchased \ consumable items" side and a "might only need it once a year" side. Otherwise, why would you put the produce near the health and beauty aides?
The tone of the customers can be condensed into two groups of people: 1- harried people with long lists looking frustrated and a bit angry and 2- whole families who have come to wally-world with plenty of time and are enjoying going down every aisle and blocking traffic for the rest of us. The larger group is the first group.
The whole time I'm searching for the photo albums (never found them - they're not with the picture frames) I keep thinking, "well America, you said you loved change. Do you love this kind of change?!" I wish I could have taken an exit poll of customers when they first encountered the new layout.
"Hello, ma'am, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?" "I couldn't find a ___ thing?! Do you people even sell cuz-cuz any more? There's six things I don't have off my list only because my feet are tired and I want to go home. Why did you change it?"
"Hello, ma'am, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?" "Look, you people could at least warn us when you're going to do something like this. It's taken me twice as long to get my regular groceries this week. I didn't have time for that today! I'm supposed to be at church in 30 minutes! Why was the layout changed?"
"Hello, ma'am, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?" "I walked every stinkin aisle of this place twice today with three now-cranky kids and finally have everything off my list. Plus no telling how much random stuff the kids put in the basket when I was searching for the yeast and baking chocolate. I would have left them at home if I had known you'd changed everything."
"Hello, sir, how do you feel about the new layout of the store today?" "I had three things on my list and it took me 45 minutes in this ___ place today. Pimentos, cream cheese, and beer. I needed the beer by the time I finally found my wife's ___ pimentos, much less the cream cheese. Did y'all just change everything hoping we buy more impulse purchases?"
While waiting 25 minutes in line to check out, (did I mention that I loved Walmart?!) Hubby and I talked about how, in reality, humanity hates change. It causes stress, takes more time, and only about half the time makes anything any better in the long run. Just ask anyone involved in a computer program upgrade at work. But you put a charismatic orator on the TV often enough touting anything, and suddenly America wants it.
It reminded me of the JibJab cartoon that went around the internet last summer. It was before the presidential primary and poked fun at all three (Hillary, Obama, and McCain) candidates' foibles and issues. Obama's part of the song included this priceless line. "There's the change we must change to the change we hold dear. I really like change, have I made myself clear."
Is anyone else tired of reading internet articles with "money saving tips" and finding not only that they don't have any NEW tips, but that the people in the articles were just dumb or clueless?
This morning at 5am, I was reading an article in a baby magazine that claimed to have three baby budgeting success stories. For each section of the article, during the first sentence of each family's situation, I thought, "well duh! Of course that works." One family, upon learning that they were expecting twins, suddenly started paying attention to their finances only to realize that they could live on one salary if they just started paying attention to where the money went each month. So they had been wealthy morons for how long? And if they weren't wealthy, then lets hear the nitty-gritty details of how they did that. One family realized that they could save a "ton" of money by not buying specialty coffee every morning and using a coffee maker instead. Is this news to them? I forget the details of the three families, but every single one of them were able to have one parent stay home with the kid or kids and still vacation and/or save money for the kids college. Well isn't that just hunky dory! Good thing they made a ton of money!
How about an article about successful baby budgets that actually has some new news in it? Let's hear some success stories for folks who buy what they can off craigslist, and grocery shopped at Aldi. We don't really have a lot of debt, we own both our cars, and we only have cable TV because it's like $10 more per month than only having internet service. We each spend $20 per week on "mad money" and don't spend more than $25 per week on entertainment. We take public transportation when it's cheaper than driving. My husband cuts my hair for me and he gets his cut where-ever has issued a coupon. We don't use coupons because there are only about 3 grocery items per week that we buy that aren't at Aldi (which doesn't issue coupons). I plan on using coupons for diapers once our bundle of joy arrives, at least until he grows to fit size 3 diapers. Aldi doesn't sell diapers smaller than size 3.
Lately, hubby spent some serious time on the phone with various kinds of insurance people and managed to save us about $1500 per year on our home and car insurances with roughly the same coverage. This is the biggest money saving change we've made in a couple years and I am darn proud of him for it! We got the great rate because of our great credit.
After this wonderful success, he started looking at all our other bills trying to find better deals on them too. The phone/cable/internet/cell phone group didn't go quite so well but we are saving a little money there. We figured out that we are saving $30 per month between the two bills (home phone/cable/internet and then cell phones separately). The annoying part is that for our primary TV, you have to have two remotes to turn it on and we still don't have our favorite channels memorized. We're not sure if we're going to keep the new system.
Some articles suggest canceling your home phone. That would work great if we didn't live in a valley AND we have trouble getting cell phone and radio reception inside the house.
Some articles suggest eating out less. We realized long ago that eating out was a special, expensive treat and as a result, most eating out money comes out of our weekly $20 "mad money" allowance. Otherwise, we spend $20-25 per week on entertainment which may or may not include eating out. I always roll my eyes at these folks who started saving $200 per month when they just started cooking at home more often. Really?! You didn't know you were blowing $50 per week?
After reading this frustrating article, I reminded myself that when we were first married and in our current house, we earned, combined, the same amount that Hubby makes now. So theoretically, we could do that again (if not for new baby costs), right? So what has financially changed for us in those 7 years. Oh yeah, we took ramen out of our diet as a staple. Along with vienna sausages and tuna. We eat real meat now. We've also added the following things to our budget: monthly saving for our next used car monthly saving for our next vacation monthly saving for our next unforeseen car repair (including tires) monthly saving for our next unforeseen home repair (including appliance repair) monthly saving for trips to see family (we don't have a relative in the state) monthly saving for Christmas adding $100 per month (up from zero) to our budget for clothing
That adds up to $810 for us. And notice none of those particularly frivolous! The new frivolous additions to our budget since then include: paying someone to mow our lawn ($50 per month that prevents a weekly fight!) cat expenses (ranges from $12 to $100 per month) my gym membership (averages out to $21 per month) paying extra to have unlimited long distance (no more than $30 per month) keeping up with friends abroad (recently reduced from about $30 per month to $10) recreational firing range supplies ($200 per year) masonic lodge memberships ($50 per month)
So where are the money saving articles for our kind of people?! Huh?! We can't be alone in our situation! I'm really tired of revelations that you don't have to use name brand baby wipes. Or that the store brand is cheaper than the name brand and is virtually the same product. Or that bottled water costs money when the tap is right there. Or that the library is free. Or that organics are expensive. There's got to be other folks out there that realize that when money is tight they can live without manicures, pedicures, massages, new shoes, or anything from the mall. Where are my kind of people?! And why aren't they writing frugal articles?!
Or perhaps I just need a nap because I woke up at 5am.
In preparation for my maternity leave, I'm writing detailed instructions on how to do all my monthly financial reports. I'm actually enjoying this more than I thought I would. I always enjoy writing, even, apparently, technical writing. One of the types of reports necessitates starting with the report from the same month last year, and building on that. I pull up this report only to find that it is obviously wrong. Very wrong. Only one region out of 63 might have paid in more than 100% of their expected funds for the year by August. This report shows that nearly all 63 regions have paid in over 130% of their expected funds for the year by August. How could I have missed this and goofed so very badly last year!? I check through several similar reports for that same month. They're all wrong too.
Did I have a stroke that month? Let's see, these are August reports, so they would have been generated the first week of September. What was going on then? OH! I was in Ireland! I didn't do these reports at all. Either my boss or my co-worker did them.
Oddly, I'm gratified that I consistently do them correctly month after month. (small smug smile)
Quickly on the heels of this little burst of feeling incredibly efficient and useful, I realize that I'm about to be gone again. And for longer. And while the quarterly reports will be generated which always draw more attention than regular monthly reports. Oh crap! And the reports were easier to generate last year than they are this year. Last year, our accounting system had a reporting system tied to these funds and you basically told it to run and then glanced over it to make sure it was right before publishing it. Now, you have to pull the raw data, download it to Excel, play with a pivot table to get the subtotals, then calculate the percentages yourself. This is due to a dubious "improvement" to our accounting system. Certainly sounds improved, doesn't it?
So I guess I better make doubly sure that my instructions are super duper clear, huh? Too bad I can't train my replacement with my instructions on this month's August reports which I will likely generate next week. There's been no mention of hiring a temp for my maternity leave. I hope they don't expect my Korean co-worker to do these reports while I'm gone. And I CERTAINLY don't want to be in charge of training her in doing this next week. She's only been in America for over 30 years and still speaks quite broken English. And she personally drives me nuts. Hmmm.... I think I'd rather do them from home 4 days postpartum while trying to nurse my son than help her try to decipher my instructions next week.
Hubby just called me and said that our cop friend has properly installed the infant car seat into Hubby's back seat! I didn't even have to remind him! The reason we couldn't find the other side of the latch/anchor system on the bottom is because it doesn't exist in that car. That WOULD make it hard to find.
Now I just have to figure out how to loosen those straps and get the kid in the seat!
Nothing like actually feeling good to point out how often lately I haven't felt good. Yesterday, as soon as I got home from work, I went to bed and slept for nearly 2 hours, feeling much better when I got up. I did get one thing done on my list (I captioned part of a photo album), visited/cuddled with hubby, and at 10pm, took two Benadryl and an acid pill to ensure that I'd sleep through the night. And I did sleep through the night! And today I feel like a million bucks!
I woke up early enough to easily wash my hair, so that feels good too. I left for work a little early and therefore will work an extra 15 minutes today (at least) which will keep me from having to use that as sick time when I go to the doctor this Friday. If I feel good enough to work an extra hour this evening, then that might take care of the rest of the time I wont' have to take as sick time.
I'm being productive, smiling a lot, nothing hurts, and nothing is really bad swollen. This is the best I've felt in quite a while! Yesterday driving home and feeling horrible, I wondered if I was going to feel miserable non-stop for the duration of my pregnancy - a full 6 weeks. Not a fun thought. But with occasional days like this, the prospect isn't so grim! And I'm very seldom miserable for a whole day. Woohoo!!
On my list of honey-do's this weekend was "attempt to install the car seat" in Hubby's car. Sunday afternoon was even nice and cool here for August (75!), so out to the driveway we traipsed, large box in tow. Hubby takes the base and starts trying to put it in the car. I tackle the child carrier part and try to remember how to loosen the straps enough so that you could actually put a child in there. After about 4 minutes, Hubby says, "well that was easy." I look up in astonishment.
"Does it wiggle?" I ask.
"Well...." he tries to wiggle the part closest to the front of the car and it can swing at least 3 inches each way.
"Ok, so it's not supposed to wiggle, like at all."
So we both get back to work on our project. Soon, cussing ensues from both of us. The part I'm trying to do (loosen the straps that hold the child) I've done before on the duplicate car seat we were given by my parents out of state. They will soon be traveling here with their Suburban and all the big gifts we received at that baby shower in July. When I managed to loosen these straps before, it took me and a friend, three college degrees between us, 30 minutes, the owners manual, and lots of cussing. But that was 7 weeks ago and my brain has deleted that info at this point. My biggest problem is that I can't find the English manual.
After 30 minutes or less, we have made a tiny bit of progress. I finally find the manual attached to the bottom of the carseat. That will be handy later. Hubby found one of the Latch system hooks and has attached it to the base. We can't find the other one. At the point where we're both in the backseat searching, digging, and straining, Hubby says with great annoyance and frustration, "Don't we know anyone who has tried to do this before?!"
"Yes! Remember our cop friend offered to do this for us when the time came."
"Just because he's a cop doesn't mean he knows how to do this."
"When he was here last, he said he had taken a 40 hour course on how to install a variety of carseats into a variety of cars. He offered to install both the carseats for us."
"You were standing 5 feet from us when we talked about it that night! And I sent you an email a week ago saying you should meet up with him at lunch downtown one day and let him install this thing."
"Really?! Then why are we trying to do this?"
"I thought we'd give it a shot." That's not a real answer and I know it. My big reason for the attempt is so we'll really appreciate the gift of having someone else do it for us and for us be extremely hesitant to ever move the thing again. Mostly, I'm astonished that Hubby with the perfect recall on all things verbal (which is SOOOOOooooo fun for me during arguments) has forgotten about this (to my mind) important conversation.
So we toss all the parts in the backseat, haul the box back to the garage, and go inside. Mental note to call our cop friend.
I'm sure that between now and when it is properly installed, some extremely helpfully annoying woman will completely freak out upon seeing that the carseat is sitting sideways and unattached on the backseat of his car and want to either leave a note or hang out waiting for the owner of the car just so she can tell my Hubby how unsafe it is. Like we don't know this. Now why does my devious little heart really want to put a life-like doll into the carseat with it sitting like that just to freak out passers-by? Then I'd want to set up a camera to watch the results. But even if I had a life-like doll, I couldn't get it in there because I never did manage to get the child-holding straps to loosen. A project for another day.
Short list of projects for another day before the big day: Assemble baby crib Assemble changing table (possibly with the wrong hardware) Adjust straps on carseat so it can hold a child. Assemble the high chair (this could wait a few months!) Practice setting up the pack and play Assemble the diaper champ
Sunday afternoon, I had a wonderful baby shower! I had done all my icky chores on Saturday so I was completely free to enjoy the baby shower and play with the loot afterward. Four of my friends went in together to put on a beautiful shower for me and my little boy. I had invited all the ladies from my church choir, my next door neighbors, and a couple other friends I've made around town. 19 ladies showed up! The food was wonderful, everyone seemed to have a good time, and I got a lot of really cool baby gifts. I laughed and smiled so much that my cheeks hurt by the end of the party.
The concept of baby showers seems to be as foreign to my husband as if I informed him that women frequently travel back and forth to the moon and that's where we get dinner. He doesn't understand why people would want to come, why it's not rude to invite people to shower one with gifts, or why they are entertaining. After he helped me bring everything in from the car, he was still astonished that so many people came. I was surprised at the number as well, however. On the way over there, I had thought, "even if only like 6 people come, it will still be a good shower." Ha! 19! We got lots of ultra soft baby blankets with Republican elephants all over them. We got 13 wonderful baby books, toys, sheets, bibs, clothes, a home made diaper bag, helpful car seat things, and diapers. The gifters who had brought what turned out to be duplicate gifts handled it with good grace, and everyone had included gift receipts in the bottom of their gift bags. Very thoughtful, all around.
As entertainment, the ladies wrote funny things on the newborn diapers. These really cracked me up. Things like "concentrated evil", "daddy's turn", "nuclear waste", "heavy load", "it won't last forever", "I love you!", "food in, poop out", "download in progress", and "health reform". These will be entertaining at 2am! Another sweet thing they did was each fill out their address on a thank you note. That will make things easier.
The shower was sooo much fun! But really tiring too, with my limited energy of late. I sent pictures to my mom and mother-in-law for them to enjoy.
At the ultrasound appointment last Friday, they told me that my little boy is already 6 pounds! I have 7 weeks left! I'm going to give birth to a toddler!! Ever since I heard that, he SEEMS bigger which is completely mental but it seems he's taking up much more room. But his head is down and it's his feet that are stuck in my right ribs. I'm really ready to see my sweet boy's face and snuggle with him while pointing his little feet away from me and my ribs.
Many months ago, on our wedding anniversary I believe, I had a dream where I really thought I was going to get to have a great deal of illicit fun with Patrick Stewart. At one point I tried to take control of the dream to make sure that it turned out like I wanted, but alas, that didn't work. The next morning, I told hubby about my disappointed dream and he very sweetly said, "oh I'm sorry honey" as only a very secure spouse could say.
Last night, in a dream out of the blue, I got to nibble on Patrick Stewart's neck and ear and IT WAS SOOOOO HOT!!!!! It was like that Junior High first touching hands kind of electricity. Ahhh.....Very fun to think about.
Even with wonderful Hubby singing to baby boy tonight, he still scarcely let me get to sleep for all his pointy footed wiggling. The singing did calm him down for a while though. I finally got to sleep with my hands and feet swelling almost to the point of pain, but not quite. After dear Hubby came to bed, something woke me up again and now my hands and feet were really hurting. And wiggle boy was still at it with the pointy feet. So now it's 2am and I'm downstairs holding an ice cold Dr. Pepper can to try to reduce the swelling in my hands, and watching one of my "ad nausium" movies and trying to drift off to sleep. Which is obviously working because I turned on my computer to see how the world was faring and thought I'd share the misery. Lucky you!
Yesterday, I gave in to my odd craving for a Blizzard with Butterfinger in it. Turned out that was lunch. And at 2pm, I really wanted to eat my Bar-B-Q chips I'd brought from home. This was not a good combination. Then I got itchy for no apparent reason and became so amazingly uncomfortable that I went home at 3pm. A bath and a 2 hour nap fixed me up well. The amazing thing was that I was ready for bed again at 9pm.
So the lesson from yesterday is not to necessarily give in to odd pregnancy cravings one after the other.
Our little boy is continually gaining weight and seems to be traveling around my right side. At times I can feel him almost directly below my right armpit, down where my waist line used to be. The kicks and pokes on my left side aren't nearly that far around my side. He continues to bang his noggin or something hard on my lower right ribs, though the "ouch" kicks are decreasing to mostly just "ooof" kicks.
My hands and feet stay a bit swollen now. As a result, my white stretchy sandals and my new 1/2 size too big sneakers are the only shoes I attempt to wear now. I had to take my wedding rings off yesterday which was rather un-nerving. I never take my wedding ring off. EVER! Well, I've had it cleaned twice. It took a good bit of ice water to get it off. As some of you know, my biggest fear in life is to be a young widow, as irrational as that may seem. This morning, hubby is getting on not just any airplane, but a small airplane for a day trip with work. So during my freaking out about that this morning, I managed with some effort, to get my wedding ring back on. So I had to endure more ice water to get it back off again later. A friend has lent me a ring today to wear on my wedding finger so I don't look as knocked up. It's gold with some diamonds and might be viewed as a wedding ring.
Pitiful & Whiny Rant: I'm starting to really miss my old body and my old activities. I miss the way my belly looked all flat and a little muscular. I miss going to the gym for the weight lifting class. Technically, I could still do this, of course, and my doctor would heartily encourage me to do so, but there's this big fatigue thing involved. Last night when I got home, I wandered around the house for an hour trying to be productive when what I really wanted to do was read in bed. Finally, at 8pm, I just went to bed and did that. I miss knowing I've got a fairly strong back because of the weight lifting. I miss taking our standard 2 mile walk with my husband where we can talk about nothing, get fresh air, and hold hands. I miss being able to sit up in bed without flopping around like a beetle. I miss laying flat on my back in bed without feeling light headed. I miss laying on my belly in bed. I miss enjoying sex without having to figure out logistics. I miss having energy to do what I want. I miss being able to carry heavy things around the house without having to wait for my husband to get home so he can do it. I miss going for daily walks at lunch with a friend of mine. Now I'm more prone to take a daily nap in my car during lunch.
Men at Hubby's lodge have started asking me if I'm really ready to not be pregnant any more, which is separate from "are you ready for the baby". I'm not there yet, but I can see it coming.
If you know me at all, you know I love to make lists. Even more fun is crossing things off the list. Best of all are the lists of things I've already done. These really do help me sleep better at night. My wonderful husband recognized this a year or two ago, when he started verbally listing everything I'd gotten done that day as he was putting me to bed. I always went to sleep with a smile on those occasions. Now I keep a list of everything I've done in a weekend and it makes me feel better. Especially since half the things I get done weren't on any to do list anyway! That closes the gap between "I've been productive but I didn't get to cross anything off a list."
So here's the stellar list that started Friday afternoon and ended at 10pm Sunday: Returned library books Bought sneakers and necessary maternity clothes Bought food for the food pantry at church started laundry baked a tuna casserole and froze it napped (an important accomplishment!) had hubby help me get the attic stuff into the attic found the Christmas cards to address hung some decor in baby's room made a menu for the week using older stuff out of freezer sorted the filing to be done (at least a foot tall stack!) returned the too small suitcase snuggled on couch with hubby forcibly removed 4,000 tiny "gift" feathers from the cat from our garage which had, collectively, started smelling like a dead animal. Big job. Hubby helped. balked at the idea of mopping the garage, though it could use it sang in choir at church napped pitifully addressed all the Christmas cards with the addresses I had at the moment (these will be baby announcement envelopes as well) ate leftovers (a rare thing for me, it seems) washed sheets and re-made bed bought groceries visited with Texas cousins and Aunt in town only for a day or two