Posted in parenting

Back When I Was Growing Up…

I’m sitting here watching a re-run of “the Chew” while I feed the baby, and the hosts are all talking about when they were growing up regarding a certain subject–food. Of course. It’s the Chew, after all. Specifically chocolate milk (it’s the chocolate episode). The hosts are all talking about how when they were kids they drank water and how sugary drinks were an occasional treat, and not served every day in the school cafeteria.

Every now and then, that post gets passed around Facebook about what childhood was like when we were kids. It talks about how we played outside until the street lights came on and how our toys were simpler than they are today and yada, yada. I think that post comes from my generation. I graduated high school in 1998. I had a video game console, but we played with other things more often. I would get on my bicycle in the morning and be gone for hours. I didn’t have a cell phone to check in with. Kids got in fights at school and weren’t charged by the police. I shared a bedroom and for a while, a bed with my younger sister. And we didn’t have to practice active shooter scenarios in school, ever.

Adults are always telling their kids about “when I was a kid.” Heck, my husband and I do it, too. A few days ago, I was telling TJ that I didn’t get to pick the radio station in the car until I was the driver. He had been asking us to change the station to a “good station” instead of the 90s station that Rob and I like to listen to sometimes. I told him how when my mom was home, I didn’t get to pick what we watched on television. We had one television and it was hers, and I don’t remember harassing her about it, either. It was just the way it was. (We didn’t change the station for him despite his complaints.)

But my point is this. Yes, things were different when we were kids. My mother told me how her childhood was different from mine. I’m sure her mother told the same thing to her.

What good is complaining about it, though? These are YOUR kids. If they play all day on the game console, what good does it do to tell them, “When I was a kid, I didn’t have a game console. I played outside all day.” If your kids are drinking soda at school, what good does it do to tell them that you didn’t have that option when you were in school, you had to drink milk or water? If your kids are talking back, what good does it do to tell them that you got slapped across the face if you got fresh to your parents? If your kids are playing inside on game consoles, if they’re drinking soda or chocolate milk every day, if they’re talking back to you, or any other undesirable behavior–whose fault is that? Someone is providing them with those things or allowing the behavior.

If you don’t like something about your kid’s attitude, don’t tell them about how it was when you were a kid. Just like when we were kids, we didn’t care that mom and dad walked uphill both ways to school in the snow wearing socks. It meant nothing to us as we were waiting for the school bus. It didn’t affect us. We didn’t have to walk to school in the snow. And my kids don’t even have to walk to the bus stop! They can’t take the bus because we’re taking them to a school that’s out of our district, but when they complain about the amount of time it takes to clean the snow off the car, I remind them they’re lucky they get a ride at all rather than having to walk to school in the snow. But why bother telling them? They don’t care. Just like the kids before them didn’t care, and just how their kids will not care as they’re Face-timing into their classrooms from home 15 years from now.

If you don’t like the behavior, don’t write paragraph after paragraph about what it was like for you. Your kids aren’t going to read it. They certainly aren’t going to have an attitude adjustment if they did.

“OMG, mom. I didn’t know you only had a house phone when you were a kid… I feel much more grateful for my smartphone now.”

Psh.

You might feel good about being able to buy your kid their first car. But telling them about the beater you had to purchase yourself and how well you loved it doesn’t make them appreciate what you did for them or encourage them to take better care of it.

You might feel proud that you can take your kids on vacation every year. But will they appreciate the vacation more because you tell them you never went on vacations growing up?

It might feel good buying your kid brand-name clothing from the mall, but does your child appreciate it more because you told them you wore hand-me-downs and did back to school shopping at discount stores?

You might feel like a good parent as you usher your kids to music or to sports practices. Do your kids appreciate it any more because you tell them you weren’t allowed these activities? You had to help care for family members or the home during that time.

Probably not.

Hey, the only people reading that stuff posted online about our childhood is us, and we’re all just nodding in recognition of all the similarities in how we were raised. So if you don’t like it–do something different. Take the console controllers away. Don’t buy them Grand Theft Auto. Get your kids a bicycle and let them ride it. Pack their lunch for school with white milk or water. Leave the cupcakes in the grocery store until it’s their birthday. Let them buy their own car. Don’t give them a choice of what to watch on tv. When they talk back, punish them for it. Don’t tell them how you were disciplined–discipline them! Learn to say “no.”

There is a difference between discipline and abuse. Even though junior is hating his punishment and is screaming like you’re smashing him in the face with a hammer, threatening to call child protective services on you when in fact all you did was take their game away or not take them to their friend’s party–you know you’re not abusing him. You’re giving your child value and discipline, which they’re going to need–just like we did–to grow into healthy adults who can manage their own lives effectively. Be a confident parent.  Be decisive. Just because you got smacked with kitchen implements doesn’t mean it was right, but it doesn’t mean now you should avoid disciplining your kid altogether because of it. Commiserating on the Internet or on t.v. about how much different our childhoods were isn’t helping anything. It’s not adding any value to our children’s lives or our society.

I challenge you to make a change. Stop complaining. Stop doing nothing. If you don’t like something–change it.

Posted in diet, paleo

I Know, I Know, It’s Only Day Two

As day two of our Whole 30 is coming to a close I want to say what a difference it makes emotionally to have someone at home to do it with you. I am so impressed with the enthusiasm my husband is showing for this program. It has been such a difference in him from all the times I wanted to go at it alone. I know it’s only day two, but if he wasn’t doing it with me, I wouldn’t have made it past day one. For real. I’ve tried before.

Today, we put the baby in the car and drove all the way to the Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s markets which are not conveniently located to us, unfortunately. The produce there is noticeably so much more beautiful than the produce at our local grocery store. For the first time, after years of criticizing my label-reading, Rob was helping me read labels to ensure Whole 30 compliance. Hopefully we found enough ingredients to make enough compliant meals for us. 

ALSO! When we got home, we took our before pictures and took note of our before weights. I was actually pleasantly surprised by my before weight. When Rob told me how much he weighed, given all of the eating out and over-eating I have been doing, I thought I would weigh almost as much as him (my fear was I could have weighed more!). Come to find out I’m only a few pounds off of my pre-pregnancy weight and enough off his his weight to be satisfied with for now. It’s still too big a number for my comfort, but it was a nice surprise. I will share my before and after and total pounds lost (if any) when I complete the 30 days. We did take our weights on day two. We acknowledge you aren’t supposed to step on the scale for the entirety of the program, but we had no idea where we stood weight-wise, so we wanted a baseline to start with. We missed doing it yesterday or the day before. Actually, we didn’t even have a scale. But now I know! And I will be looking forward to comparing photographs next month. I think if it shows good progress physically, it would really motivate me to continue a Whole 9 type diet. 

So anyway, again, I feel so good about having a partner–my partner–going through this program whole-heartedly with me. Yesterday, he made his own mayonnaise, people. His own mayo. He said he didn’t even know before yesterday that you could make your own mayo. And now we have home-made mayo in our house for the first time. He is even telling his friends about the home-made mayo. I love it. 

 

 

Posted in ridiculousness

First Blog Post Since August 19th

I have to get this off my chest. 

I watch the news or news-like morning programs almost every day. Have you ever noticed when reporters take an event and tell you it’s the first time this happened since… whenever? 

Sooo you’re telling me it’s not the first time this happened, then. Right?

Why do they DO that? It makes me crazy. For example, hurricane Julio that just came through Hawaii last week. That was the FIRST hurricane in “decades” said CNN

Wouldn’t it be better to say that they haven’t had a hurricane in decades? It’s not really their first. 

The news does this all the time with practically any kind of news. It’s the first panda born since the last panda was born. It’s the first stock market plunge this bad since the market plunged five years ago. It’s the first time the nation has seen this in 65 years. 

It’s getting pretty ridiculous. 

Posted in CG, Uncategorized

Not Anyone’s Princess

Baby CG and I are enjoying an easy Sunday morning, watching Disney’s Aladdin on cable, no doubt the effect of dear Robin William’s death last Monday. Well, I am watching Aladdin, and CG is sleeping in her swing. 

I was ten years old when Disney’s Little Mermaid came out, and oh, how I loved Ariel and her undersea adventures. I learned all of her songs and tried to sound just like her. Aladdin was the first movie I watched in theatre more than once. The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas–it didn’t matter that I was getting older. The magic of the Disney movie didn’t fade for me. I loved the colorful animation and the songs… Never once in my memory do I remember wanting to be a princess. My parents never called me their princess, either. Brat, yes. Princess, no. 

On my first visit to Downtown Disney in 2008, I noticed their little “princess factory” shop, or whatever it is called. A little girl sat in a salon chair near the shop window, waiting as she was transformed into one of the Disney princesses. Her hair was being slicked back into a high bun and sprinkled with glitter. I wondered to myself what that indulgence was costing her parents and thanked the stars that I had a son. I greet numerous princesses at my door every Halloween. It is not difficult to find clothing screen-printed with “princess” across the rear end or the chest. If I wanted, I could have a license plate cover bejeweled and adorned with the word Princess. It seems that everyone wants to be a princess these days.

I cringed when someone commented under one of my daughter’s pictures on Facebook that she was her “daddy’s princess.” I made it clear to my husband before she was born that she would not under any circumstances be referred to as a princess. I let the comment go because my friends don’t know that we don’t have a princess. Yes, she is beautiful. Yes, she is special to us. Yes, she is loved. Adored, even. But she is not our princess. We call her our little lady. We call her our sweetheart. Our sweet, little, cupcake. We never call her a princess. And that’s the thing. She is special… to us. She is our gift. 

I cannot buy-in to this princess concept that seems to have caught such great momentum since I became an adult. Seemingly everyone is a princess now. And what are princesses like in these movies? Ariel disobeys her father–the king–because she is 16 and “not a child.” Typical teenager. Great role model there. Cinderella was abused by her step-mother, so it’s no wonder she was so willing to run away with a man she barely knew. Not such a smart move there, Cinderelly. Sleeping Beauty–another one waiting for a man to save her. Entitled much? 

I know I say now I will not have a princess living in my house. Those will be my famous last words until my daughter wants to be a princess. And of course since I’ve said this, now I have sealed her fate and she will most definitely want her tiara and princess costumes. But I do not want my daughter growing up thinking she will be catered to like a little princess. I don’t want her waiting on a man to rescue her or do anything for her. I want to teach her how to check her oil and change a tire on her car. I want her to be able to identify the different tools in the toolbox and know how to use them. I don’t want her waiting for the gentleman to put his coat down over a puddle so she can cross the street. Hell no. Your pretty little feet are getting muddy and wet, sweetheart! Your shoes are just shoes. Get ’em wet. 

I am sure she will dance on her daddy’s feet. I am sure I will lace her braids with ribbons if she likes that sort of thing. We can have tea parties and paint our toenails with glittery polishes. We can have tea parties and pretend for a little while that we are princesses. But I will not refer to her as my little princess. I will not buy her a tee-shirt, or pencils, or lunch boxes labeling her as such. At the end of the day, she is a little girl like all the others. She is special to me, but not to the world. There will be other little girls who feel they are God’s gift to humanity and deserve a princess’ treatment and entourage, and whose parents support this. My daughter will not learn to have those expectations. At least she won’t learn those expectations from me. 

 

Posted in CG

Two Months

Dear CG,

You are two months old today. You have made these past two months more memorable than you will ever realize. Unexpectedly, you were whisked off to another hospital on the morning we were supposed to be bringing you home. Your daddy and I watched helplessly as the transport team drew blood from your tiny veins and strung you up like a guitar with tubes. This was not the beautiful entrance into the world that we were hoping to give you. You accepted every poke and every prod with very little complaint. I cried more than you did.

Your grandparents, my mother and father, were our saving grace while you were in the NICU. They were the reason we could spend as much time by your bedside as we did. Your brothers were still in school and your grandfather made sure they got there and back when we were with you. Your grandfather made sure the boys were fed so I could make sure I was with you to feed you.

You were such a tiny girl to me, less than 7 lbs. Your little face was covered with tape to hold the oxygen tubes in your nostrils. It would be a couple more weeks before we saw your beautiful cheeks without tape. You always liked having your hands up by your face–we saw that in the many ultrasounds we had before you were born. You would bring your little hands up to your face and hold on to those tubes, threatening to pull them out. Sometimes you did pull them out. I was alright with that, hoping that you would show the staff that you didn’t need them.

You got worse before you got better. Your tiny lungs resisted the seven long days of antibiotics. You required more oxygen assistance than when you first arrived. I cried as I sung to you, holding your little body against mine, desperately trying to nurse you. The nurses needed to know how long you would nurse and I never really knew. You would get so tired. I tried so hard to help you drink, knowing that the threat of a feeding tube loomed if we were unsuccessful. I didn’t want you attached to another tube. It didn’t matter. They said you were too tired to drink properly and they would need to assist you, and the nurse put a tube in your nose through to your stomach.

It wouldn’t be long before you pulled it out. And another nurse came on shift and let me feed you again.

I practically lived at that NICU with you. Cuddling you. Expressing my milk into bottles for you so your daddy could feed you when I went home. Oh, your daddy is so in love with you. He worried about you. He held you and held you, hoping to bring you comfort in his safe arms. Listening to the doctors talk about you twice a day, hoping to convince them to spring you from your little hospital jail.

Almost two weeks passed like this. Your dad and I were there with you more than any other NICU parents that we noticed. Your direct neighbors were micro-preemies who would be in there for months. We remembered how blessed we were to have a full term baby as those babies monitors beeped endlessly and their mothers wept beside the isolettes.

Your first month was filled with lots of tubes and nurses and appointments, and ultimately so much love and compassion. You came home when you were fourteen days old. It was one of the best days of my life besides the days that you and your brother, J, were born.

Your second month, your dad and I decided to be a little… adventurous. We tested out how well you would breathe on your own. The doctor had cautioned us to keep you on oxygen at night, but the doctor didn’t understand how difficult it would be to keep the cannula in your nose when you would keep pulling it out.

The night we let you sleep without it was the best night of sleep you had until that day. Maybe it was time to let your body take control of itself and heal itself. We nervously left the oxygen tube off your face, bringing the oxygen canister with us, just in case you needed it. Soon enough, we were comfortable with letting you breathe on your own. Without oxygen being pumped into your lungs, you spit up less, proving that it wasn’t necessarily reflux making you gag and spit. It was the very thing the doctors were giving you to make you better that was causing you to cough up milk.

Unfortunately, we learned today on your two-month pulmonology follow-up that you still require oxygen at night for apnea. We are heart-broken, but will be more compliant. The oxygen may not heal you, but it will doubtlessly keep you breathing until your little body can do it on its own.

Just before you turned seven weeks old, we took you on your first vacation to Florida. You loved the beach and the gulf water. You got to meet your paternal grandmother who you were named after (you were named after both of your grandmothers, actually), your aunt and uncle and great-grandparents, too. Everyone loved you. Of course they did.

Your father and I decided to tie the knot on that vacation, too. I think you convinced him it was time. It was time to outwardly promise our commitment to one another and become one family instead of a mixed bag of a pseudo-family. I knew when I met your father I wasn’t ever going to let go of him. He is a good man, CG, and I know how lucky I am to have somehow earned his heart. I hope one day you find yourself in love with someone at least as good as he is. Our hope is that we give you a good example of what a healthy relationship looks like. What real love looks like.

Every day I look at your beautiful face and wonder how in the world your dad and I created something so beautiful. You are starting to smile now. I love your smile maybe more than I have ever loved anything else before. You smile with your whole face and it is magic. You love to be held more than anything else. We are trying to get you used to not being held as sadly, I have to return to work in a few weeks. Trust me, baby girl. I would never put you down if I didn’t have to. I wish I didn’t have to go back to work. I was blessed to be able to stay home with your brother J for more than two years. I wish I had the same opportunity, but unfortunately life is much different today. But I love you just as much!

CG, without even trying, you have changed all of our lives in an amazing way. You brought us together. You brought us closer. We all work together for you. You reminded us of the beauty of life. You have given us more to look forward to in the years to come. We all love you so much, sweet girl. I am sorry for the rough start you experienced, and I hope you have nothing but smooth sailing from here on out.

I love you,

Mama

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Putting on the “Brave” Face

So I saw this in my Facebook feed this morning from Women’s Health. Page one says it is “brave” to go anywhere without makeup and it’s even more “ballsy” to show your face without makeup on Instagram.

Whaaaaat?

Brave? Seriously?

The worst part is, these celebs look just as pretty without their magic makeup as they do with it. Every one of them. What is Women’s Health trying to show us? Were they seriously trying to show regular women with regular lives and paychecks that these celebrity women are normal, too? Cause it doesn’t. If anything, it showed me how I–an average woman–does not measure up. Not even close.

I went out to the grocery store without makeup today and was worried about scaring young children. I guess that makes me brave? My son, bless his sweet heart, tells me constantly that I do not need makeup and that I look the same with it as I do without it. Glad to know my disguise isn’t working and I’m still recognizable in my painted face. Anyway, I am rarely willing to leave home without at least a little makeup, usually mascara as a minimum to give my eyes some contrast. I would never, ever allow a photo to be taken without enough makeup on to hide what I really look like… Unless I looked like some of the women in that Women’s Health article. Which I do not look anything like they do. And my goal in wearing makeup is seriously to disguise my real appearance. I don’t personally wear heavy cosmetics and keep it to neutrals. I don’t ever wear unnatural colors on my lips. But my goal is to look much better than my true self.

So come on WH — Rosie the Victoria’s Secret model? Jennifer Aniston? Megan Fox? These women are just not typical, and it doesn’t make me feel any better that they can not wear makeup in pictures and look normal and pretty and I cannot. And showing real women who look pretty without makeup won’t help, either. No. Because I don’t look pretty without makeup. I don’t care what my son says.

Is it any wonder women are so frigged up when they look in the mirror? I admit I am a total victim of this type of media. I get sucked in. I compare myself even though intellectually I should know better. But showing abnormally beautiful women without their makeup masks on isn’t “brave” or “ballsy.” It just isn’t. Brave is running into a dangerous situation without regard for yourself in order to save another life. Not wearing makeup is just, well, normal.

Posted in J

What is There to Do?

We’ll be getting ready to go on vacation soon and thank the stars! I have two of the most bored kids ever living in my house.  This week away promises a reprieve to the day after day of being able to do almost anything they want (the horror). It is almost the end of July and we have not yet been to the coast, it’s true. I have been somewhat envious of the status updates being posted to my Facebook of friends on their day trips to the beach, with or without kiddos. That being said, I am only somewhat envious because I do not love New England beaches. Yes, they are pretty in pictures with their lighthouses and seagrass, but they feel horrible in the actual water. The Atlantic Ocean is the coldest, murkiest ocean imaginable. If you can get in up to your bellybutton before dying of hypothermia, consider yourself lucky. It is not refreshing, it’s tortuous (to me).

When I entered the Pacific Ocean waters of Oahu, Hawaii, I was instantly spoiled. This is what ocean water should feel like, I thought to myself–I knew something good existed. All those sea turtles and dolphins and whales couldn’t be wrong, right? Then I felt the beautiful gulf coast water, and I knew heaven exists and that God is good. I cannot explain how much I am looking forward to visiting that coast again soon.

But back to the kids. We are kind of protective of our boys. We live close to a big park, but we also live very close to one of the most dangerous cities in the Unites States, and this park borders that city. There are shootings every night, and I wish I was over-exaggerating, but sadly I am not. We have lived in this house for less than a year now, and I guess we didn’t take into consideration that we weren’t going to allow them to visit this park unsupervised when we purchased a home with a pretty small backyard.

If I get asked “So what can I do?” one more time this summer, we’re going to have problems. My child specifically, whenever a hand-held screen is removed from his possession, is likely to ask this question within the next 60 seconds. He also will probably tell you how bored he is now. No, son. It takes a lot more than 60 seconds to get bored. You are not allowed to be bored until you after you have spent hours playing with everything you own at least once.

I lived on a short street growing up. I remember riding my bicycle up and down that short street. I remember digging for worms. What for? No clue. I don’t know what I was planning on doing with the worms, but they didn’t stay put under the turned-over pail I kept them in on the grass, anyway. I laid in the grass and watched clouds go by. I played “Cars” where I would sit on the front stoop and try to guess the color of the next car that would pass by. I would get a point every time I was right. I also used up reams up paper on drawings. I liked to draw and color and this would amuse me for hours. I am young enough to have had a game system growing up (Nintendo), but it wouldn’t consume me. Yes, my sister and I would go through spurts of time when that was all we wanted to do. But it wouldn’t last forever and we would be back outside, either in the snow or the sun, stretching our legs and throwing softballs at each other.

My son has the same outside available to him, but he doesn’t want to do anything except play video games with the occasional break to get in our swimming pool, if it is nice out. We have our own freaking swimming pool, you guys. He does love swimming, I will give him that. But he loves his games more. He might love his games more than me, and this kid loves his mother, let me tell you. And since I have a 6 week old baby who keeps me busy feeding her around the clock, I am useless to help them. The only reason I am typing this right now is because her father took her out of the house for a couple of hours. I am watching the clock just to make sure I leave myself enough time to take a shower and get dressed before the baby comes back and needs my nipples again.

It just seems stupid that we have to fly 8 states away in order for the kids to have something to do. We have to take them to an ice rink. Let them have a friend over or go over a friend’s house. We have spoiled freaking kids. We did what we said we would never do. They don’t have simple lives. I wonder all the time if my son is going to be able to look back on his childhood as a simple time, and be able to tell his kids the free ways he had fun growing up. I don’t think so. I think he is going to remember having to be driven out of our neighborhood to a park or playground or a lake in order to have any simple fun. And we do that–but this summer has been hard with a new baby who requires oxygen support.

So we’ll see how vacation goes. We are planning on taking the hand-helds away once we de-plane so we can just enjoy each other. Should I take a tally of how many “what can I do’s?” when we get in the car without electronics?

Posted in diet

Just a Number

It’s time to go for it again–I’m talking food, folks. Real food. If I ever had a reason to before, it is now. Baby girl is breaking out, having belly-aches, and liquid dumps.
(Sorry.)

A few years ago, an old friend of mine posted on her Facebook that she just started a Whole30 program. I had never heard of it, so I looked it up. In the course of the day, I pored over the website. I thought I could never follow that diet, but something on their website somehow encouraged me to try. So I started right then. I made it a few weeks and the change in myself was obvious. Obvious to me and obvious to those around me. But someone came to my home, told me I couldn’t do that to myself… Couldn’t keep it up. Others chimed in with their agreement. And just like that, it was over. I stopped. I was discouraged. I gave in.

I wish I had kept going.

And I tell everyone how wonderful the diet is. How much sense it makes. And I still read nutritional books as often as I can. I research it online. I subscribe to Facebook pages that align with the Whole9 nutritional beliefs. Yes, I’m basically a paleo wannabe.

I have a friend who didn’t believe in it… and then her husband went away for 6 weeks. And she tried it. And she believes in the virtues of it, too. She gets it.

So I know that if I can eliminate inflammatory foods, not only will I feel better and healthier, my baby will feel better, too.

I’m not planning on doing another Whole30, just following the Whole9 as closely as possible. It’s a bit less strict, where the Whole30 is eliminating anything that could cause an adverse gut reaction in an effort to re-set your system.

I’m hoping my baby will soon become more comfortable and be able to self-soothe a little better if her gut isn’t freaking out by the contents of my breast milk.

I am also hoping my boyfriend will be more supportive of this choice than he has been in the past. He said he would be, and I think the difference is that now my diet is affecting his baby girl. His only concern is that I eat enough to nourish us both. I don’t think this will be a problem as I don’t like being hungry. I just have to make sure I keep enough of the right foods on hand so I don’t resort to an inflammatory choice.

Society has made such a big deal out of food. We have so many choices in the grocery stores and of grocery stores. Restaurants everywhere in varying levels of price and quality. There are television programs and entire television networks devoted to food. Nutrition and food preparation professions. Zillions of magazines about food. And books! So many books. And everyone has their opinion on every diet and option. It’s really confusing and not hard to imagine why there is such disfunction surrounding the American diet.
I feel like I have a grasp of what to do and how to do it–it’s the execution of it that I continually fail at.

I really need to be successful this time. If I can’t manage it for myself, then for my daughter who depends on me completely for her nutrition. I am hoping the gains I make and the progress I see will serve as motivation for me. As I sit here typing, I’m watching my little girl sleep, but she isn’t peaceful. She is visibly uncomfortable, moving and grunting. This, after hours of trying to get her to sleep. I need to help her.

I gained over 50 pounds this pregnancy. I was horrified by this. I sat in the midwifery and couldn’t control my tears when I saw the number on the scale. It’s just a number, people say. But it’s more than that for us, for our society. It feels like it’s worth. And so my worth was diminished that day with that number. And then the nurse blabbed the number to everyone in the delivery room without my permission. I was mortified.

I’m 5 weeks postpartum now, and 35 of that 50 pounds has vanished, thankfully. The other 15 I suppose is weight that never should have been put on. And I could easily lose 30 pounds to be where I feel I should be. It may be just a number.
And I may be a victim of this messed-up, vain, society.

So here we go again. The paleo thing.
I know it’s the right decision.

Posted in CG, lists

Sh*t People Say When You’ve Had a Baby

Firstly, before I start making a list, let’s talk about double talk. Ever since little CG was born, I’ve noticed it. When people talk to my baby, they repeat everything they say.  For example, and imagine this being said in a higher-than-normal voice register: “You’re a cute baby. Yes. You’re  a cute baby.”Orrrr, “Do you want your mama? You want your mama?” Almost everything that is said to baby, is said in double.

I brought this up to my boyfriend, CG’s father, when I heard him doing it, too.  I think I’ve given him a complex about it because now he speaks to our baby in triplicate or more… I think because he realized ‘shit she’s right’ and he isn’t going to be one of them. To be fair, I catch myself doing it, too.
Why do we do this?

1. She looks just like…

You think? I think people see what they want to see. If she hadn’t not left my sight from the moment of birth, I wouldn’t be completely convinced they handed me the right baby before we left the hospital. She shares features with no one. Boyfriend thinks she may have his family’s ears, but… We had to resort to her ears before we found any similarities. From a distance, she looks like she belongs in my family, but she is most definitely herself. Lucky duck. She’ll have a fighting chance at vanity.

2. Is she a good baby?

Huh?

How do I even measure this? Well, she doesn’t use swear words yet, but give her time, she’s only a few weeks old. I mean, she is a member of this family.
What does this question even mean? And what if I said ‘No she’s a little rascal.’ What do people expect me to say?
Of course she’s a good baby! She is the best baby! Every baby is.

3. Is she sleeping through the night?

Seriously? She was just born. No. Should she be?

4. Did you have her naturally?

People “love” it when I attempt to clarify the meaning of this question by asking, “Do you mean vaginally?” Yeah I went ahead and used the word ‘vagina’ for you. You are welcome. Yep, she came out the same way she went in since you were wondering. No, that’s not too personal, thanks! This question comes from women, so I can only assume they ask it so we can maybe compare birth notes or caesarian scars.

5. What’s it like having a girl?

I’m surprised to have been asked this as much as I have. I’ve had an only boy for 11 years now, and a baby girl for almost 5 weeks. She really isn’t any different than the average baby boy, except when it comes to cleaning the diaper area. Is it weird that I don’t find the different gender a big deal? Should I be more like, “Baby girls these days! It’s all makeup and tea parties!” Also, this question has come from parents of girls… Shouldn’t they know what it’s like having a girl? Or is this just small-talk, because I really don’t like small-talk.

 

I’m sure there will be more baby questions to answer as time goes on. My little one is only 5 weeks old and hasn’t even been visited by everyone yet.

But before I end, I want to bring up one more thing that parents do that I refuse to. Ever notice how some parents answer questions through their babies or small children? An example. Say someone asks me how old my baby is. I would respond “She is 5 weeks this Thursday.” Some other parents would respond in a higher register voice saying, “Say I’ll be 5 weeks this Thursday.”
This annoys the crap out of me. Just answer the question yourself. If I wanted your child to answer, I would have asked him or her… But I didn’t because I can see they’re too young to talk. And even if the kid is old enough to answer but too shy to answer… Just answer the question without telling your child what to say. We can see little Parker isn’t going to tell me himself, but don’t answer me by telling him what to say. I guarantee you aren’t helping your child learn how to converse with others by doing this.

Okay, I’m done ranting and raving!

-fin-

Posted in breastfeeding, CG, J

Heart, Lung, Belly, and Milk

Four weeks ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl I’ll call “CG.” CG isn’t my first baby, but it’s been 11 years since my last baby, so I’m practically starting over. My first baby, “J,” was a sensitive child who had a hard time adjusting to life outside the womb. I spent most of the beginning of his life trying to soothe him, and to a degree, still do. Well, my little CG is starting out life a bit sensitively also, though in a different way.

In the weeks leading up to her birth, I had numerous medical appointments for her to monitor her heart arrhythmia. I was at one hospital or another 3 or more times a week between the heart appointments and my normal weekly maternity visits. Her condition cleared up about three weeks prior to her birth and we thought we were clear.

Then she was born.

And she aspirated meconium.

And her lungs are more sensitive than average so she had a longer than average NICU stay.

So we’re still working through the lungs issue, and I’m still visiting the doctors all the time, and all of these other issues are coming up. She has reflux. Her brain is too immature to tell her lungs to keep breathing all the time. Now they’re telling me her digestive system is too immature to process cow milk protein and soy.

I can’t wait for the day when the medical community will agree that my baby girl is perfect just the way she is and stop making follow-up appointments. It kind of sucks that I have this beautiful baby in my arms and she looks like an angel. She is tiny and new and pink and lovely.

And the doctors keep finding things wrong with her. So depressing.

And on top of all of that, I have been having problems breastfeeding her. The first two weeks in the NICU were a nightmare. I wasn’t allowed to breastfeed her all the time. I got told “she is too tired to nurse.” They put feeding tubes down her throat through her mouth and her nose and fed her that way. They threatened me with formula if I couldn’t nurse her in time when they did let me feed her because they had to keep her on schedule. You can imagine how well that turned out. I spent the first two weeks of her life driving back and forth from the hospital, sitting at her crib side, expressing breast milk, and trying my best to nurse her. I got to the point where when they did offer to let me nurse her, I declined and gave her my bottled breast milk because I didn’t want to tire her out, cause her to aspirate milk through improper nursing, or not get enough milk into her if I couldn’t get a good latch.

We’re four weeks in now. Little CG is home so I don’t have to fight off any well-meaning NICU nurses. I am trying my best to breastfeed her. I also express milk as much as I can to keep my supply up, though it’s probably not enough. I have been experiencing painful latching, so I visited a lactation consultant at the hospital where I gave birth. It’s getting better–the pain goes away a few moments after the initial latch. I’m reading a lot about breastfeeding online and watching videos on YouTube to help me out. I still feel like we’re having difficulty getting a deep latch, but we’re working on it.

Now I have to deal with the allergy, so I’m cutting dairy out of my diet. Talk about a miserable thing to have to cut. When the pediatrician told me to cut dairy I said “Done.” This was no problem. So for a week I cut out anything with milk in it… Or so I thought. A week later, the pediatrician asked me if I knew milk was in bread.
Zoinks!
Why no. No I didn’t.
So now I’m stressing over every label to keep milk out of my breast milk. She told me even trace amounts will affect the baby, so that’s even more stressful. I had no idea milk was in so many foods that I eat.

This idealistic image of parenting this new baby girl as an experienced parent has gone out the window. I’m lucky to just hold it together.