Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hey Left Boob, I thought we were cool.

I have mastitis, which is basically a boob infection. I think my left breast still harbors resentment from the time I put a green cabbage leaf on it to relieve extreme engorgement in the beginning. (Do not use red cabbage leaves.) (And don’t use them overmuch, only enough to provide a little relief. It can hurt your milk supply, which it might have done anyway? That one has always been the lesser performer of the two, if I’m honest. It has been called the Milk Dud a time or two. Is this post getting uncomfortable for anyone?)

In a way I’m glad I have mastitis because it gives me an explanation for how I was feeling all weekend…side effects feel like flu symptoms, such as fatigue, nausea, light-headedness, achiness. It might even excuse some of my bad behavior? I’m hoping? Such as yelling at Michael for “cleaning up too much” when all I wanted to do was “watch Julie and Julia” which I’d recorded on the “DVR” after a long day of “standing around making artwork framing decisions with a very chunky baby attached to me via Ring Sling.”

I was worried I was coming down with something even after my boob started hurting. I'd read about mastitis before but I thought it would be more of a show-stopper...not being able to get out of bed, being curled up in the fetal position, etc. It was only after talking to my boss that I decided to get checked out. “I had a cat that got mastitis,” Boss explained. “We had to take her in to get surgery to have her milk ducts scraped out and all.” She was awesome and let me go early because my equally awesome new Hawaiian primary care doctor could fit me in. Verdict was in: mastitis for the win. I’m now on the meds and will hopefully not require duct scraping.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Starting Solids

June is 4 1/2 months old and the subject of starting solids has come up. "They" say you can start anywhere around 4-6 months, though plenty of people wait until much later than that. It's hard to know exactly when you should start. Our daycare provider said she sometimes acts fussy at the end of her bottle, so maybe we should start solids. The American Association of Pediatrics says it's best to wait until 6 months, and to continue breastfeeding until 12 months. Our pediatrician just told us to read June's cues and do what feels best, and that it can't hurt to wait rather than rush it.

It's suggested to wait until:
  • She can sit up well while unsupported. June's doing pretty well at this. If I'm behind her she'll sit up carrying all of her own weight, but she still totters back and forth quite a bit. If she gets distracted she leans too far forward and plops on her chest.
  • She seems interested in our eating and food. June's definitely interested. She watches us intently while we eat and has reached out for our cups and utensils.
  • She no longer has such a strong tongue-out reflex, meaning she wouldn't be so inclined to push the food out of her mouth. I know June still sometimes spits her pacifier out, but in general I think she's around this stage. She'll chew on our fingers without trying to push them out.
There are plenty of good reasons to wait.
  • The longer you wait, the more likely she'll be to have a lot of interest in the food you're giving her.
  • She's less likely to develop allergies to the foods you give her.
  • She'll be better protected from illness since she's still getting full helpings of breast milk.
  • Her digestive system will be better developed, so she's less likely to have issues digesting food (gassiness, constipation)
Right now we're thinking her first food will be mashed up avocado mixed with breast milk. I can't wait to see how she likes it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How do breastfeeders go on hot dates?

Michael and I have been on one solo date since we had June and it was short enough that I was able to pump (or feed- can't remember which) as soon as I got home. My mom has offered to baby sit when she comes back in town and it has my head filling with romantic ideas for a night out on the town, possibly for our three year anniversary coming up. O yes, folks! Who knows what could happen! Holding hands, walking under a dark sky and bright city lights. Quiet conversation over a candlelit dinner. Stolen smooches behind an unfolded menu. Dancing, lots of dancing. And sitting in the bathroom pumping breastmilk for 20 minutes while Michael checks Facebook from his Blackberry alone at the dinner table.

….Wait?

Electric (and manual?) breast pumps make a funny sound while operating. Sometimes I try to read messages into the sound. “Ruh-Roh, Ruh-Roh” is obviously some kind of message from Scooby Doo, and “I-Pod, I-Pod” is interesting. I don’t know what to think when my pump starts saying “Don Trump, Don Trump” to me, which usually only happens near the end of my work day.

What do people do when they are away from their babies for a feeding but it’s not possible to pump? Surely I’m not the only person who has ever asked this question. But my search of the almighty Google for “pumping while away from baby” and other variations only showed results about how often to pump (every 3 hours) and how to store expressed milk.

The reason why this is so important is because breastfeeding is very much a supply and demand thing. You will create as much milk as is being taken out. In the case mentioned above, the solution might just be to skip a feeding/pumping session. Maybe pump as soon as you get home from the date (now there’s a hot way to end a date!) to relieve any discomfort and then resume feeding as normal. Missing one feeding isn’t bad, but what about two? I can imagine that getting pretty uncomfortable.

This issue is really a lead-up to a bigger question I have (for a different post), but I would love any suggestions or advice in the meantime!

Breakfast (In Minutes) Gobbled

The alternate title for this post is "Breakfast In: Minutes Gobbled"

We have a little tradition of going out to breakfast every Sunday morning. There's a little local place that serves all fresh and local stuff and we go there and order the same 4 things over and over again. We only forego this tradition if we had gone out for most meals of the weekend, which is exactly what happened this past weekend.

So we stayed home and Michael decided to make a breakfast feast at home. He looked up a recipe for sweet potato hash. He scrambled eggs. He made pancake batter from scratch. I was watching June, but I also came in to help cook the pancakes. He slaved in that kitchen to wonderful results:
But right as we sat down to eat, June started having one of her rare meltdowns. We tried everything to get her calm and sleeping. She obviously was very tired but wasn't really taking to any of her usual techniques to go down.

Eventually we got her calmed and napping with the secret weapon: the Moby.
But the damage had been done. Michael gobbled down his food while I tried calming June, then we switched places. Michael's awesome work in the kitchen had been scarfed in a matter of minutes.

Thanks anyway, babe. I guess this is what being a parent is all about, huh?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saturday Night Outtakes

"Michael, get your head back further! Further! Do ANYTHING to get your head back further!"
Remi's lunge to give Cole a boost up.
We didn't know if Michael would ever get his head back out from the armrest.

June's new favorite thing to do is touch peoples' faces. Bonus points if you're wearing glasses.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What do a plank, an owl and a headless horseman have in common?

I did them all on Saturday night. Wait...that sounds bad.

Remi, Cole, Michael, June and I got together to take some pictures. There was Planking, which you also read about here:
...on public seating...
...and out over water.
Don't worry, that's not a garbage can. Remi would never plank on a garbage can. It's a doggie waste center...EVEN BETTER.
On top of signage. This picture is also useful to you if you are interested in learning about Dining at Biltmore Fashion Park. Might I recommend Zinburger?

And across the 1" wide top edge of a bench.

And Daddy's lap.

There was also Owling:

And Horsemanning:


(...don't you hate it when you've been beheaded while standing up?)
And can we all agree that this one needed to be done...
...despite it being creepy?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Must be nice...

...being a baby.
Aren't they so sweet? The way they love you, the way that their favorite thing EVER is when you're holding them and singing. The way they instinctively trust you. The way they allow themselves to be picked up, carried around and set down where ever you want.
And, of course, the sweet baby sleeps.
And rolls of forearm chubb.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday Prescott Adventure

A Saturday morning and sweet adventure lay ahead! The kids were buckled up, bright-eyed and ready to explore!
We drove north to Prescott to peruse an art festival and generally spend time outdoors in temperatures lower than 110'.
The girls wore hats.
Small boys stood next to large buildings.
And naps were to be had upon shoulders.
And break dancing was to be done on stages.

Treats were enjoyed to the sound of live music.

And an old couple reminded us of what we are to become, if we are so lucky.
(Michael already has the socks.)

Later, we stopped by a grand saloon that was rebuilt in 1900, with the old time bar from even before then.
Some villains sat at the bar, but Kai challenged them.
The damsel was distressed.
But all ended peacefully.
And the damsel was reassured. Kai was even named Sheriff with a badge to prove it.
Yes, it was a day of great adventure, virtue and love.
Which is enough to tucker small children out.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jersey Day!

It was jersey day at daycare yesterday!
Go Colts!
Factoid of the day: this onesie, that came with these little booties and a bib, was the first baby-related thing I bought. I gave it to Michael as part of his gift for our anniversary.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dear Photograph

Michael brought my attention to a photo blog that it just awesome. It's called DearPhotograph.com.

Here are some of my favorites:
"Dear Photograph, There's a reason we had to paint these stairs blue. They just weren't as colorful without these two."




"Dear Photograph, I fell in love with a woman. I'm not ready to let go, but she is."




"Dear Photograph, I hated it whem grandpa said, 'let's let the TV nap and go for a walk.' I miss those walks now."




"Dear Photograph, Thank you for everything we had."

How beautiful, how bittersweetly nostalgic these are! Doesn't it make you want to know these people more? Doesn't it make you heartsick in a good way?

It makes me want to go out and create my own romantic Dear Photographs. I pledge to ransack my parents' home next time I'm there to find pictures I can do this with.

It makes me want to waste not one single day.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Baby Play Date

On Saturday we had these lovely folks over for a play date:
That's Derek, Jaye and their new addition Ariadne! She's a little over 2 months younger than June and she's such a little sweetie.
Of course we took about a million pictures. First, of the new dads:

And the moms:


Towards the end of the night we set the babies down together to get some pictures.

At some point June realized she could reach out and touch her new buddy and that's when the laughs really started.
Aria kept trying to suck on June's hand and it was so funny. June didn't mind...quite the contrary. She kept sticking her hand into Aria's open mouth and twinkling her fingers around.
These two were cracking us up.
Good thing there were no non-parents there because we were probably pretty obnoxious. For a solid 20 minutes the only things to be heard were "OMG they are so cute!" "Look at that face!" "What is she doing?!" "Look at the picture I just got!" and the like.