Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What now?

Night one zillion of bad/little sleep... I had a complete mental breakdown last night, costing me an hour of sleep I really needed. Where is the justice in the world?

Charles is healthy, he just can't make it more than two hours without food. I know that he "should" be able to do so, but my little guy just doesn't fit in with the norm. I've consulted books and sleep "solutions," to no avail. I refuse to let Charles "cry it out" when he has a wet diaper and is shoving his fist in his mouth in a panic because his little belly is empty. I don't get up at every cry, au contraire, he often is just shifting and groaning in his sleep. And I've attempted to calm him with a pacifier, but his face gets all red as soon as he figures out it won't feed him. What's a girl to do? I haven't had this little sleep since college, and back then I could drink a heeeeck of a lot more coffee and alcohol to deal with it. And slept in Saturday. I feel like I am losing my mind.

On the solid food front, Charlie LOVES sweet potatoes and avocados... he got angry with me when there was no avocado left in his mesh bag feeder! That was funny. Solid food is a mess, but thoroughly enjoyable for all. I'll try to get a photo of his adorably green face when he has some later today.

Hey, thanks for putting up with my rant and my little pity party. Giant thanks to my husband, who puts of with all of my shit. I know he would help out with Charles more if he could, but he is doing the very important job of supporting us while I stay home. Speaking of, next week, Charles goes to daycare part-time. I cried a lot about that yesterday. But then I realized this morning that the lovely ladies in the infant room at the daycare I chose will probably do a better job of mothering Charles than I do. They certainly will be better rested. So at least he has that going for him. I'm gonna miss him while I'm at work, though. A lot.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Watch Out, He's Mobile!


I'm not going to lie, the video here is probably pretty boring to most of you, but I post it for the grandparents' sake. I purchased the walker on Friday, and with the addition of little, flexible, leather shoes for Charlie's feet, he is beginning to scoot around alright. I think that once he gets a little bit taller, he'll have even more fun. Though he clearly loves it now. And he really did scoot around a bit more than the video implies.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friends

And I just wanted to say that I have the best friends in the world. Not only did Carole and Kelli offer me their backup Boppy covers (thanks, gals!), but today my friends Brandon and Deanna went shopping with me... we tackled Target and Costco! It is almost impossible for me to go to Costco alone because I have to put Charles in the front pack (he can't sit up in the cart yet) and then I can't pick up the box of dog bicuits, toilet paper, bag of chicken, or what have you to put in my cart, let alone on the checkout belt or into my car! Brandon did all of that for me, and helped me pick out a walker for Charles at Target. Add that to my parents and Tony's parents spending a ridiculous amount of time with Charlie while I was at the beach so I could sleep, walk the dog, and get some work done, and I feel so blessed and loved! Thank you all so much :-)

Blatant Disregard for Authority

Well, internet friends, Charles still won't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. In fact, last night, he went into his crib at 11, woke at 12, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8:30 to nurse. He pretty much follows this pattern during the day, which leads me to ask: Why have I not lost all my pregnancy weight? Seriously, I am burning enough calories through breastfeeding that I should have my svelte pre-mama figure back by now. But instead, I ripped a hole in my fat jeans today. So, I present to you a composition entitled "Apology to My Fat Jeans" or "I'm Sorry I Ripped the Only Pre-Pregnancy Pants That Zipped and Made Me Feel Somewhat Cute Again":
Fat jeans: you gave me all you could, but your stretch just wasn't enough.
I know you tried. You had the best intentions at heart.
But you couldn't hold against my girth.
My jiggly thighs, my droopy butt,
My loose hip joints, my spare tire
All conspired to keep you from making me look hot again.
Funny how you used to be the pants I wore when I felt fat.
You found new life and new joy, I'm sure
For awhile,
As the pants that I wore when I felt skinny.
Thank you for your years of service.
I am beginning to wonder if having food around that someone else cooked while I spent the weekend at my folks' house somehow turned my weight loss around. Or maybe it was the social aspect of eating? Like, I had people to talk to during a meal for the first time in awhile?
Speaking of meals, Charlie's doctor advised us to feed him cereal, but not to start other solids until six months. I read up on this, and it turns out that having food other than breast milk or formula is correlated with a higher incidence of pneumonia later in childhood, as well as allergies. I really don't think Charles, big, healthy boy that he is, is at risk for pneumonia, and that kid has been eyeing my food as if he were starving of late. Add that to the frequent breastfeeding, and I am willing to try feeding him solids earlier. Take that, doctor! The interweb tells me it will be okay!
So, Charles has sucked on a big piece of apple that I held to his mouth (don't worry, no choking hazards here), he has had pureed carrots, and just tonight he tried some banana in his little mesh bag feeder. He loves it! He wasn't sure about the carrots at first (even though they were mixed with breastmilk and rice cereal), but he got the hang of it.

I'll admit that I am feeling a little bit of "bad mommy" mojo for feeding him solids when the doctors and the American Academy of Pediatricians said to wait another 6 weeks, but I am still pretty sure I made the right decision. He's not going to wake up with pneumonia tomorrow, right? Right?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Also

Also, the zipper on the only Boppy slipcover I own just broke, so I now have to stop at a Target somewhere along the way. I am so frustrated I am almost crying. Do you even know how much I am dreading a 6-hour car ride with an infant and a big, excited dog? And now, to add yet another detour means possibly more tears on mine and Charlie's parts, not to mention that once I purchase said Boppy slipcover, I will still have to wash it before use. I swear, the universe is conspiring to push me to my limit. I think I need more coffee.

Ugh.

We didn't get out of bed until NINE AM today. I'm still tired, and it's raining. I have the vague feeling that Charles slept better for the first half of last night (perhaps because his first sleep session was closer to three hours than two), but the last half was not so lovely.

We had friends over for dinner last night, and Brandon stayed late to keep me company, which was wonderful. One of my friends brought her 4-year-old son, who used very sound reasoning and debate skills to convince us all that we should each be able to have another cookie at dessert. He also fed Buster full of treats, which resulted in Buster needing to go out at 2:30 am, a full half hour before Charlie woke. Damn! I needed that half hour!

Today we drive to the beach. I was going to go down next week, after my dad had surgery, but he will no longer be having his prostate removed to treat stage 1 prostate cancer. The drunk driver who hit him 35 years ago strikes again. As it turns out, there is far too much scarring in my dad's pelvis to allow for surgery, so it's on to radiation, a far less savory or effective treatment. Charles and I figured we were needed at the homestead to cheer everyone up and to instate a brutal training regimen to get my folks in shape so dad is better able to fight this. Also, I am tired of tax season, and I think I will really like being with people all the time again.

And so, wish us luck as we take off. I'll never be able to fit everything in the car that I want, but I think we'll do okay.

Look, Charles and Brandon match!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Learning

Doesn't he look nice in hats?

I think we have the food thing down. Charles hates soupy, thin gruel, but make that rice cereal thick like an Ilwaco fog, and he swallows it down eagerly. Now, for the sleep thing, we haven't learned that yet. Charles still wakes every two hours to eat from mom, which means I wake every two hours. We have also reached that point where Tony comes home extremely late and then passes out, so he doesn't wake up to change diapers or nuthin. Which is fine, he needs his sleep, but I do feel quite alone in the dark, cold, wee hours of the early morn, especially since Charlie fusses until his diaper is changed and then sleeps through feeding. Therefore, I AM THE ONLY ONE NOT SLEEPING!!!
"What'd I do?"

"Escape!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Overheard

Said Tony to Charles this evening, "... I don't know why that's relevant, though. We don't measure things in hot dogs. Certainly not distance or time."

Higher Math

During President Obama's Feb 24th speech, he said, "Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education."

Does anyone see a problem with this math? It's totally comparing apples and oranges. It's like saying, as Tony put it, 99% of Americans don't want to be garbage people, BUT WE NEED 100,000 GARBAGE PEOPLE! (But I bet there are 100,000 people out there who are perfectly happy being paid good money to be garbage people and we need not panic about having enough). Out of 300,000,000 Americans, how many want or can qualify for these fastest-growing jobs? What if there are only 4 "fastest-growing jobs?" What happens when we start to push all Americans to get a level of education for only 3 positions in the whole U.S.? Do you see what I mean? Obama's fractions have different denominators.

Now, I think the point our president was trying to make here was that Americans are not competitive because kids aren't being qualified for jobs available. I just wish he would use a common denominator so that he didn't look like an ass to those of us who are smart enough to know that his comparison is not valid.

Also, I have to say that I really hope that any educational "plan" put in place by this administration and others focuses not only on college/university as higher education, but also trade schools, technical schools, certification programs, and apprenticeships. I think we are doing a huge disservice to kids today by implying that the only worthwhile, post-secondary path is college/university. I think this is especially apparent when you note that, at least in Skagit County, the jobs available right now include police officer, welder, auto mechanic, marine mechanic, bus driver, and a host of other, more technical positions. Ones for which a person does not need a bachelor's degree.

So what if Charles' dream is to become a painter, like his great-grandfather Charles, and he someday runs his own painting business? Is this less valuable and praise-worthy than becoming an under-employable history major (which is what I was, after graduating cum laude and with honors from college)? Will he not still cultivate skills that include math, communications, accounting, management, marketing, operations, etc? Could he learn these things being an apprentice? Or, could he learn them by getting an associates degree with an emphasis in business at the local community college? The answer is yes, and I would love him for it if he is doing what he wants to do. If he wants to be a marine welder, then by all means, he should go to a technical training program to do that. And guess what? He'll probably always be employed, and make a boat-load of money, too.

I'm just trying to say that I think we are limiting kids today. And college is not for everyone. And President Obama should be smart enough to know when he is not making sense of his facts and figures. And, if there is money in these so-called "fastest growing jobs" and 3/4 of them require higher education, then I bet that is a good enough incentive for Americans to fill those jobs. If only we tell them about those jobs and how to get there. Which goes back to the college thing, because I honestly believe that lots of kids are not told that there are different paths. Or told about the jobs available and how to get them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

squeals!

Since the last video was somewhat, ahem, boring, I hereby give you baby squeals of delight:



Charles seems to giggle and squeal a bit more each day. He is also getting easier to read, as far as moods and schedules go, each day. But, we still have our rocky patches. He was quite noisy today and I had worked really hard all day (groceries, long, difficult walk with the dog and stroller, a couple hours at work, hospital visit, cooking dinner for Tony and for Buster, etc) and was possibly, maybe, a bit torn up from seeing a very dear friend stuck in a hospital bed due to complications from chemotherapy, so by the time Tony got home for dinner, I was on my last nerve. And then, Charles wouldn't eat but a few bites of cereal. Seriously, how is this supposed to help him sleep better if he won't eat more than a half-ounce of the stuff? Not to mention that I have to pump to get breastmilk to mix with the cereal, and I haven't pumped much lately and so am using up backstock. Which makes me worry about having enough for him when he goes to daycare, if I can ever find a daycare that will take a part-time infant. I am not very good at pumping, mostly because the only way I experience letdown is when Charles eats, and not just simply because I put a vacuum to my breast. This makes the process of pumping long and arduous (any advice, ladies?), and truly, I don't have an extra fifteen minutes in my day to do it! I am typing with one hand right now, the other holding a sleeping baby! [If I had a third hand, I would be holding a glass of wine to my lips.]

So, yeah, there you have it. I think I just really need some sleep. Charlie is still waking me to eat every two hours, and after feeding and then soothing to sleep in his crib, I am up for a half-hour each time. Good thing he is so darned cute.

Tomorrow, we are going to walk back to the hospital, and go into work at Goodwinds, and do the dog park thing, and hopefully be awake enough to make dinner. We'll see... I hear Leland might bring over a cinematic adventure featuring Leslie Nielsen, so I might just blow off dinner in favor of cold cereal and laughs. Speaking of, did I tell you that Tony is putting chocolate soy milk on his raisin bran these days? So weird...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sleep-deprived and COLD!

19 pounds... I was off by a lot, but I chalk it up to carrying this tub everywhere I go. He is also 26 inches long and his head is 17 inches around (why don't I get my head measured when I go to the doc?). 95th percentile for weight and 90th for length and head. Charles was given 4 immunizations and screamed mightily... he was also VERY cranky throughout the day and all night long, resulting in no sleep for anyone, including Buster, who appeared testy and put-out (as if we were all up and squirming and crying just to annoy him) at 4 am. It is clear that we were truly feeling the effects of the lack of sleep because we sure did forget all about the infant Tylenol until about 5 am. I'll mention, too, that Tony didn't get home from work until 4 am, and then was up with all of us at 7:45, so he suffered acutely last night. To top it all off, Baby Boy had been working on a poo for two days (totally normal for a breast-fed baby, I'm told) and finally cleared it this morning. It was obvious, however, that much of the grunting and squirming last night was related to this task. I think I'll start drinking apple juice.

The doc gave us the go ahead to try giving Charles some cereal to see if it would help him sleep longer (he wakes every two hours to feed, just like a newborn... gone are the days of six hour stretches of blessed, uninterrupted sleep), which it clearly did not do last night. He did not seem to mind eating "real" food, so we are going to try again tonight with some more, in hopes that we'll all get more sleep soon. For all you worry-worts out there, I am sure that his sleeplessness was directly related to the 4 shots and the subsequent leg pain, in addition to the difficulty pooing, and not an adverse reaction to rice cereal.

By the way, it is so cold here! In like a lion for certain!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a spectacularly boring video featuring my astoundingly adorable child eating his first bites of cereal:


P.S. Guess who's now sleeping soundly for his first nap of the day at 9 am?

Monday, March 9, 2009

il neige

Seriously? An inch and a half of snow? What is this, January? I guess that spring doesn't really begin until March 21st, but honestly, I thought we might be in for a nice, slow ramp-up to warmer temperatures and sunshine, not another dumping of snow and COLD breezes. Current temp: 32F or 0C. Which means that all the snow on the roads will melt and then turn to ice tonight.

Upside? It's pretty, and it's a good excuse to lay low.

Stay tuned for a Charlie update tomorrow, as he will have his four-month doc appointment, complete with official weigh-in (any guesses? Mine is 20.5 lbs).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Banner Day

We have had such a good day today, adding to our string of pretty great days lately. Charles is developing a happy personality, smiling at any and all humans who look at him, showing off his chubby adorable cheeks. And when I pick him up, he throws his arms around me like he never wants to let me go, which is funny, because I never want to let him go. It's as if he can't get enough of hugging his mom... awwww.

I have been systematically cleaning out his clothing drawers, since he is growing so rapidly. Ill-proportioned mite that he is, he is currently sleeping in size 12 month pyjamas, which are just barely long enough for his torso, the legs of which are just barely big enough for his chubby thighs (I just want to eat them up, they are so cute!). His size 12 month onesies barely snap, but his legs are really just long enough for 6-month pants - the same 6-month pants that do not fit around his belly. Fortunately, his hodge-podge of sizes still looks astoundingly cute, and I have been stopped on the street to be told how beautiful he is. {Aside: speaking of streets, I called in some hoodlums who were smoking weed on the trail where I walk the dog and the baby almost everyday and the 911 operator, when I told her my name, knew who I was! A case of small-town-itis? No, I just happen to call 911 a lot to report suspicious activity, loose dogs, and weirdos.} So, today, I noticed that we are darn near so low on clothes that we are in danger of not quite making it to the next load of laundry. So I went to the children's consignment boutique (easily the least expensive way to buy kids' clothing), but they changed their hours and now close at 5. Fortunately, my mom spoiled a fun little surprise and let me know that Grandma Loris is sending a bag of cute Charlie clothes up with my dad tomorrow. Good timing! And, Loris has great taste in baby clothes (you'd think that un-cute baby clothes were not possible, but they are, so I am lucky that my mother-in-law is so awesome).

Anyhow, we went to the consignment store and then to return a movie to Blockbuster and then I was going to go on another errand when I heard a dreaded noise from the back seat [ALERT: here is where I talk about my son's poo.]. Charles has taken to pooing only once a day, so it's a doozie. He is in big diapers now, ones that should last until he is 28 lbs, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can contain one of his deposits. So, I basically walk around all day with a TICKING TIME BOMB OF EXPLOSIVE POO, albeit a cute one. He generally makes some pretty tell-tale grunty noises when he is about to go, so that's fortunate. The dog was with us on this car trip and boy, was Buster surprised at the new smell from the backseat (I am not looking forward to feeding this kid real food and having to deal with the smelly consequences)! Charles, on the other hand, was so exhausted from the effort that he promptly fell asleep. I don't know how he managed it, but the carseat escaped the incident unscathed, even though all of his clothes had to be put directly to the hamper and Charles had to be awakened for his second bath of the day. What a guy.

And now, for your viewing enjoyment, flying baby (sorry for the orientation, I always forget that you can't turn the videos):
video