Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sure is dusty in here...

I think I'm coming back. To myself, I mean.

I've been gone quite a long time: not only from this blog, but from reality itself. I'd tell you the whole story but it's just run of the mill stuff. Life got hard, time sped up, priorities shifted, readjustments weren't made. I got lost inside my head and was barely able to get out. This is typical of motherhood, no?

Lizzie goes to preschool now and Charlotte is discovering her voice. Both of them are as defiant and emotional as they always have been, but they're smarter now. They beat me with logic. They manipulate me with my own emotions. They parrot my words at the most inopportune moments. They stomp their feet and "humph"-cross their arms. Charlotte slams doors when she's mad. She's 2. I am mentally and physically unconditioned for interactions with her.

Lizzie slings around "I don't want family" and "you're not my best friend anymore" and "I like insert-another-mom's-name better than you" like she's throwing candy off a parade float. She corrects me on the rules, reminds me of my promises, questions everything physical and metaphysical. There is no clear exit strategy from any conversation with her. I tire easily when communicating with her and I struggle to maintain interest and patience. She is always hungry. She's 4. She's running me into the ground.

These ages are so interesting though. Gone are the days revolving around eat-play-sleep and wondering what's on their minds. They tell me all about it now. In excruciating detail and muddled by their limited grasp of the English language and frenzied by their hormones. Every time their mouths open, THE END IS NEAR. I have to remind them to slow down, use their words, look at me, get a grip.

And then I have to remind myself. Take a breathe. Regroup. I consult a glass of wine. I scream into a pillow. I make angry gestures at the sky. I imagine myself rolling my eyes. I imagine them, when they have kids. I smile. I explain the concept of karma to them and I feel better. I watch SVU. I feel much better about my parenting skills. I watch Hoarders... Hey, I'm still a good parent though, right?

Lizzie's love is unemotional. Most of her happiness is in neutrality. She blossoms under routine and structure. Sadness and anger unravel her. Excitement always borders on insanity. Increased volume overwhelms her. Her love comes to me in small quiet words and I can never tell if she's talking to me or to herself. She will smile and say "I'm happy", "I love you", "You were nice today, Mom", "I love my family", "Today was a good day". My heart sings but I try not to get worked up. I hug her, agree with her, tell her I'm proud of her, tell her she's beautiful inside and out.

Charlotte's love is forcefully thrust upon the world. She likes to get riled up, wrestle, screech, jump around. Her hugs and kisses are assaults. Her words always pack a punch. I know her emotional status minute by minute, without breaks. I start each morning by stepping into her boxing ring and the gloves don't come off until bedtime. She gives the best brutal bear hugs and her glee is contagious (not to be confused with her energy level, which is inversely contagious). I tickle her and roughhouse with her as I compliment her. She is so easy to please.

Both of them love to swing and want to play outside as much as possible. I let them come and go from the backyard without much intervention. They spin around on the swings until they are dizzy or push hard and high to pretend they are birds or airplanes. They both can be caught laying calmly on their bellies, playing with grass, fingering the dirt, looking down at toys clutched in their hands, looking up at the clouds, daydreaming, talking to themselves. They have a fat black caterpillar (Fuzzy Bella) in a pickle jar that they feed leaves to from along the fence line. It is unnerving how much they don't need me anymore. That is, until it's lunch time or they hurt themselves or are a victim of sister violence, but even then, it's brief, and then they scurry off on their own agendas.

Bedtime is so idyllic now. They understand the concept and have grown accustomed to it. We read books. We talk about the day. We have our routine exchange of pleasantries. They like to be tucked in. I sing Amazing Grace. They ask for one more verse. They actually shut their eyes. I watch sleep come and pull them under. Their eyes stop twitching, mouths fall still, a last sigh escapes, breathes become slow and rhythmic. Every night I am amazed. I think I will bolt quietly out the door and be free at last, but I don't get up. Without all the daily blur, I can stare at them at leisure, overwhelmed by their place in my life.

Lizzie's extra tall body and lanky limbs betray my belief that she is a baby. She's a preschooler. A real person even. Making memories and choices that will be tangible for her later on. Charlotte's soft baby curls and her compact body are the reminder I need to build up all of her parts. Her fierceness, her empathy, her femininity, her insatiable quest for stimulus and experience. They are two very intricate and very different little girls.

They piece puzzles and color pictures and cut paper. They run and pretend. They fight and they share. They hit and they hug. Their manners are impeccable. They help each other up and mother the one who just got in trouble. If I give one something, they always take it to their sister before coming back for their own. They earn "gold" throughout the day and spend it nightly from the treasure box. Say "I have a surprise..." and they get goosebumps, wondering what it is.

And gone are the days of breast milk and cloth diapers and carrying that damn infant car seat around. They now wake up with a bang and I set them loose upon the house and the world. They race along unimpeded until they need something or get bored or try to kill each other (or themselves). They are bottomless in every way. We all fall exhausted into bed at night and do it again the next day.

I love the new "them" and I'm slowly adjusting to it all. Their words and deeds are so interesting and hilarious. I learn a lot from them and their fresh take on everything. I feel like someone should be taking notes on all of this. I don't want to forget our moments, big or small, happy face or sad face.

I also don't want to skimp on their paper trail. In the future there will be friends to investigate and boyfriends to interrogate and grandbabies (in a time far far away from now) that need to know what I know so they can bring it all full circle. I need to be ready for that future (karma) with advice (you should have listened to me) and empathy (yes, sometimes I wanted to punch you in the face, too) and humor (you'll laugh about poop smeared all over the walls one day, see me laughing now?).

It'll hit them hard, like it did me. And they will struggle, just like me. Until then, it's my job to record these memories and through them, learn to cling to the now. Every day is important and time is unapologetically falling through the hourglass. I love our family. I am amazed at this life we have. I am beyond grateful for this life I have carved out from the wreckage of my past. I blog as a commitment to myself - to keep my feet firmly planted on steady and rational ground.

End violin music and commence party mode. I'M BAAAAACK!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 3, 2011

I need to roto-rooter MY FACE.

OMG, ya'll.... I am so sick (and not just "of being preggo").... For realz....

I have crushing sinus pressure and I feel like I am walking around in a cotton-stuffed bubble of super gravity. I feel like crappo and poor Lizziebeth, she just doesn't understand why Mommy is so groggy and sad. She has her own problems to deal with, things like TWO UNCUT-ABLE CANINES whose tiny white appearances remain just under the surface of her gums. She is so miserable, whiny, and chewy.

We struggled through waffles this morning and then we fought our way through leftovers for lunch and in between, I hugged my box of Kleenex and E chewed her fingers and we both cried and we both loudly accused the other one of "being an ungrateful, insensitive asshole". (God, that kid has a MOUTH on her....)

Oh, and the contractors were in and out the door, up and down the stairs, banging and painting and continuing to transform our bathroom into the spa I deserve. (Do you have any idea how awkward it is to doze in your recliner while a crew of sweaty laborers tramples through your house?) (Also, have I mentioned how much drool I am producing this late in my pregnancy?) (Yeah. Awkward.)

By the time Stephen dared to step foot through the door from work, I was done. Lizzie was done. Chewie just wanted ONE PERSON to say hi to him and not scream or pull his fur. I had picked up some cheddarwursts and augratin taters for hubby to enjoy on his last night home (now that we are less than 24 hours out, I can say that he leaves in the early morning for 3-weeks). It was the most delicious yet least difficult hubby-fav-meal I could come up with. I do what I can.

The day is finally over and the heathen is tucked in her crib and I've partially got the dishes soaking and now I'm waiting for my sleeping pill to do it's magic. Yay! It's the small things in life. :)


We finally got Lizziebeth a big-girl car seat. We haven't been too worried because she was still within the height requirements of the infant seat and her weight hasn't topped 20 lbs for very long. Now that Charlotte is imminent, however, we need that seat!

I researched and google-ed and finally decided on the Britax Advocate. 
I. Love. It.

It is burly and stout and the fabric is softer than our sectional. And she loves it and doesn't scream in the car as much

The fabric is called Opus Grey. Doesn't that sound exotic?!

Side impact air bags. Crumple zones. That's hot.

Today, at the grocery store, I caved in to my sour cream and onion craving and bought a bag of chips.

I resisted opening the bag until just now and I'm sad to report that, due to mucus over-production and poor drainage, they taste like crap.

Well, more like cardboard, but equally disappointing.

*Also, I wasn't paying attention to the TV, but my husband just exclaimed "MAN! Catholicism is SO COOL!" and I am too scared to ask why.....*

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Resolutions. I haz dem.

I know it's cliche and kitchy, but I made a few resolutions this year. 2011 is going to be rough on me so I've decided to make it my bitch and make lemonade out of lemons and all that jazz. I've also gone the selfish route and decided to devote this year to myself.

I KNOW. How dare I?!

I'm not saying I'm going to neglect the dog or start feeding my kids twinkies or anything. I mean, COME ON, twinkies? Those are Mommy-snacks. Let's be reasonable.

Why has 2011 already gone down the suck-hole? Well, for starters, Stephen will not be joining us for most of the year. I'm not at liberty to say when he will or will not be home, but let's just say that mathematically; 

His days "on land" and not "under the water" / Days in 2011

comes to "roughly" 18%

Soooooo... yeahhhhhhhh.....

Out of those 18% days, most of them are still work days (5am to 4,5,6+ pm) and some of them will be duty days (not coming home between 2 work days). Sometime in 2011, he will deploy for 5-7 months. Now, understand, I AM NOT COMPLAINING. We are on sea duty now and this is what I signed up for and yada yada. I know. I'm simply setting up the story here so peeps know where I'm coming from. 

The other not-so-small change in our family is that we will be adding another person very soon. Like, any day now (unless I end up pregnant FOREVER). The first half of 2011, I will have two kids under two years of age and I'm not too sure just how that's all gonna work out. I am optimistic but realistic. I am sure we will survive. Somehow. Probably.

Our family is basically rolling +1 child, -1 parent this year so I think we can agree that Mommy needs to get her shit in one sock and find her big girl panties. This is where my resolutions come in. 

I gotta take care of ME. The kids and the animals and the house, they will need guidance and cleaning, but Mommy needs to have a happy place to go to when she needs a recharge. A calm, happy, organized, healthy, encouraging place. Here's my game plan to make that happen:

1. Good fuel - I'm going to continue tracking my calories like I did during pregnancy, to be accountable for what I eat. I'm not going to pin down a set intake amount or vow to lose 197 pounds or anything. I'm just going to be aware and give myself props for making good decisions. This worked very well for me in my 1st and 2nd trimester. 

2. FlyLady - I love this system and I incorporated a ton of good ideas from her this last year. I plan on building on this foundation, making more detailed schedules, continuing to declutter. This decision brings me great joy.

3. Focus on my hobbies - Blogging, photography, taking my girls on outings. Making time for the things that make me happy and fill me with joy. Letting go of the things that really don't matter. 

Now let me tell you what I'm NOT going to do:
-be a slave to my house chores
-take on activities that stress our schedule
-feel guilty if I don't cloth diaper
-feel sorry for myself
-stress about tomorrow or regret yesterday
-be too proud to ask for help

I know, I KNOW, I'm sounding like a gosh darn hippie now. I'm just trying to make it as easy as possible to get through the days, be a good mom and maybe even have some fun. WHO'S WITH ME?! 

End of this serious-speak, for now.


Holy SNOW STORM Batman! 
We got over 10" this last week and we were stranded in our house (sad) (not).
Now that it is warming up, the snow is finally melting, but still.....

Snow = Chewie crack
Vehicles completely covered

Back yard

Back yard

Front neighbors


38 weeks.

I'm there.

My feet are finally starting to swell and my rings are too tight and I whine and complain where ever I go.

I'm pretty sure Charlotte is head-butting my cervix into submission while kicking up stomach acids into my esophagus. Also? All I do is pee.

All. Day. Long.

I pee and I eat and I can't sleep. Needless to say, I am ready to get this baby out. Soon.


The other day I lost one of my brand new diamond earrings that I've had all of two weeks, MAYBE. I combed the house and screamed irrational things at my husband and threatened suicide. It wasn't pretty and I'm not proud. 

I found that earring yesterday and I cannot tell you how much happier I am now. I think I had more joy finding that lost little bugger than I did when I originally got them. Almost like I got them twice. How cool is that?!?!


Night interwebz. I've missed-ed you. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Lizzie (Picture A Day)

It's a new year and I'm ready to embrace a new attitude.

[more details to follow]


Let's start off with a video montage of 2010, Lizzie-style.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

The cutest Minnie Mouse you ever saw?

(I thought so too :)

We loaded up her stroller with cereal (I called it "hush money" all night long) and neglected to pack a blanket or 2nd layer for her. Because we are winners. As usual.

She smiled, three times, and that was it. The rest of the time, she ate her cheerios and simply stared blankly at each of our friendly, candy-bearing neighbors. Somehow that made her even cuter? I had various names for her; "Disgruntled Minnie", "Melancholy Minnie"......

She made it about 11.5 houses before she petered out and we went home. She ended up being hand-carried by Daddy, wrapped in a jacket. At the current time of 11:07pm, I have already eaten ~1/3 of her candy but the night's still young.....


2009 Halloween
She is a hot little pepper <3


 The. Coolest. House. 
Hands down.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Update: sore boobs and MY GOD, WHY ARE YOU CRYING...

Sometimes I forget why I started this blog.

The other day, I went back and read about 9 days worth of our first month as a family. I started to tell Stephen how, back then, every day, every hour, was touch and go. It felt like I was barely surviving. I think I'm going to start re-reading those early posts to remind myself that it DID get better. I need to get more grateful-er.

Because the last few months? Balls to the wall. I'm not even kidding. Stephen made Chief and went through a five week induction. Lizzie cut, like, a bazillion teeth (all four pre-molars) and I went from cute-preggo to grossly-distored-angry-preggo. Also? The dog won't quit eating baby toys.

I'd like to say I'm doing it all with perfect poise and a grateful heart and all that jazz but LET'S BE REAL.


Two More (GRAPHIC) Reasons I love being Pregnant?

1. My nipples are on fire. Every morning I expect to find a cheese grater and a lemon wedge in my nightshirt. Or maybe some 60 grit sandpaper and a salt lick. SOMETHING that might account for the rawness and burning. The nursing night-terrors have begun. I'm starting to get nervous about all that newborn nursing madness.

2. Constipation? Nah. Constipation is what E gets when she eats a banana every day for a few days in a row and then poops pellets. What I have? I don't even know. The only image I can bring to mind, the only metaphor I can imagine, has to do with bricks. In my bowels.

I've started rocking Lizzie before her naps. I don't do it every time and it doesn't make her fall asleep. She has never been the rocking type. When she's tired, she usually whimpers and whines until someone dumps her in her bed, where she prefers to sleep.

Something has changed recently. Maybe it's the pre-molars she had been working on cutting for over two months or a new found sense of separation anxiety or possibly even Daddy's erratic schedule during Chief Season. Whatever the reason, she seems content to be held close and rocked in her squeaky rocking chair. She fondles my necklace or insists on playing my least favorite game of all time; Fingers in Mommy's Mouth. GAG!

Eventually she starts half-humming/half-growling and that's my cue to start singing her a song. I hum a lullaby I made up or an invitational hymn like Jesus Saves or Just as I Am or Softly and Tenderly. She stares off glassy-eyed, listening, peaceful. I slow down and let myself relax and be in the moment. Things right now are so crazy and rushed and this is the time for Mommy to shush and rock.

Sometimes we barely get settled and comfortable before my brain sighs and the tears start to flow. Not sad tears or upset tears, I'm simply full to the brim with emotion and responsibility and this is where my body and my mind stop long enough to let my feelings catch up with the rest of me.

One day I will comfort my daughters as they cry over bullies or boys or shattered dreams, but not today. Today, Elizabeth comforts me as I silently cry over my insecurities. That I'm not spending enough time with her. That I will fail when Stephen deploys and leaves me to care for her and her sister. That I'm doing it wrong, this life-business, focusing on the wrong things, neglecting the important. Also? I'm pregnant; rational emotions are optional.

Life is tough. I know it's just a season and soon it will be over, but I am tired and crabby and selfish and jealous. As I rock, I think of Elizabeth. I hope she knows she is loved by her Mommy. Like my absent-minded husband, I forget that she doesn't just "know" I love her. She needs to be reminded, hugged, uplifted, every day. We don't read enough books or go on enough outings, but I try to be patient, to greet her in her crib with smiles, to look into her eyes and learn her personality. I hope I am never the parent to her that I had growing up.

I compose beautiful and humorous blog posts in my head while I rock. They never make it here, to this page, but the mere act of contemplating them, of solidifying their memory, THAT is the purpose of even attempting to blog them in the first place. So they don't get shuffled around and lost in the stacks of "other stuff" that won't even matter 20 years from now.

Sometimes I am selfish and think of myself. How my life IS hard. How my sacrifices ARE over-looked. I need that pity party. I need to acknowledge my feelings and cry out some angst and then move on. I feel better. I feel rejuvenated. Sometimes? I realize I'm being a big puss and need to check myself. Those are the best times because self-realizing that you are over-reacting is WAY BETTER than having someone else try to tell you. (Ask my husband :)

I'm really staring to enjoy our occasional rocking sessions. They probably won't last much longer. She is transitioning to one nap now and soon enough there will be TWO little girls grappling for my attention and before you know it, I'll be arguing with them over bare-midriff tee-shirts and curfews and junk and I'll be screaming in my head GET YOUR ASSES IN THE ROCKING CHAIR AND SHUP UP FOR A GOSHDARN SECOND. Mommy has needs too, ya little punks.


No, I didn't have two coherent thoughts to rub together for a blog entry today. Even with 6 weeks of down time, this is all I can come up with; preggo complaints and "that story where I explain why I'm crying all the time". I'm also working at break-neck speed on this little house of ours and preparing to lose my husband to a new submarine and it's hectic deployment schedule.

What I'm really trying to say is that I miss coming here and venting and I'mma try to come back more often but I'm not making any promises. This blog always seems to be the first thing to get left by the wayside when things get rough and I feel like that's how it should be. Let's just agree that life is crazy and we are gonna try to stay friends, mkay?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The days. The hours. THEY ESCAPE ME.

I don't want to blog at all lately. I want to eat the last two cupcakes in the kitchen and then take a nap.

Okay, that's a lie. I already ate those last two cupcakes a few minutes ago. But I'm still wanting that nap. So. Bad.

I'm 20 weeks pregnant with baby Geis #2 and these 20 weeks have raced right by me. They have vanished into thin air. The first trimester was a blur because I needed like seven naps a day. I figured the second trimester, the supposed "honeymoon phase", would be a place to relax and regain some energy.

That would have been awesome except then Stephen made Chief. He is getting promoted to E-7. Unlike the other promotions, this one involves an "initiation" period. I'm not at liberty to go into the details but I'll sum it up as five weeks of Homework, Late Nights, and Last-Minute Scavenger Hunts. He is exhausted, I am exhausted, Lizzie is amazingly MORE energetic. It's been fun.

Two more weeks. Two more weeks.


At Lizzie's one year check-up, the doctor was concerned at some of her social milestones she is missing. One of them was her lack of pretend-play with baby dolls or stuffed animals. I was totally freaked out, just like last time when the doctor was worried because she wasn't clapping. That very day, after we got home, she grabbed her baby doll, that she has never even looked at before, and started playing with her face. I mean, really? Gawd.....

And now, when Daddy gets home, she crawls over to his lap and climbs on him and lays her head down on his shoulder and pats his back. Never to me. Just to Daddy. FML....


No, Lizzie isn't walking. STOP ASKING. I'm totally getting a complex about it. She is 13 months and she pulls up and cruises but she HATES to be led to walking. She is the fastest crawler I have ever seen so I doubt she walks soon. I'm not too bothered because I'm just starting to get "really" pregnant and Mommy's too old/fat/preggo to chase a walker. Especially a new walker who's always falling and getting into sticky situations and making havoc.

Course, she's probably teaching herself to walk in the middle of the night, in her crib, and she's waiting to get good and stealthy at it before she surprises the shit out of me and like, runs out the door and into the street. Naked. Screaming obscenities. BECAUSE THAT'S SO LIKE HER.


Baby Geis #2 has a name. Her name is Charlotte. She is a girl. I can't believe we will have little sisters tearing through this joint soon. IT IS SO REAL NOW.

She is active and I have been feeling her since about 17 weeks. With Lizzie, I had an anterior placenta so I barely felt her kicks by 23 weeks. Charlotte is the opposite. Her placenta is in the back and that girl is a mover!  Also, she is always starving. Seriously. Like, right now, I have to go and scrounge up some chocolate. Sorry, interewbz. Duty calls.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Is it July?!? Wait, what year is it....

I feel like the blog has been on hiatus, like a sitcom, through my first trimester. I feel kinda bad.

A few weeks ago, I was cleaning out the medicine cabinet and I found a bottle of Tylenol that expired 05/10. I set it on the table and announced to the hubby and the MIL that "Hey peeps, we gotta finish this shit before it expires". Then I went upstairs to take a shower.

As I was loofah-ing, it suddenly hit me that OMFG IT'S JULY and those drugs expired TWO MONTHS AGO. Forget May; I had lost the entire month of June in a progesterone-induced haze of lethargy. Which is really sad because those were the cooler days of summer and now it's over 100 degrees every day with wilting humidity.

I have never been so tired in my whole entire life.


So, the Gramma was here for three whole weeks and I changed FOUR diapers that whole time. And that counts the one that I started and then couldn't finish because my morning sickness was being a pussy and I had to yell for Gramma to "OMG can you finish this? Come quick."

Another good thing about her being here is that I can share the bewildering "what do you wanna do for dinner tonight" debate. With Stephen, it's always "I don't care" or "whatever you want" or something irrational like "peanut butter cups". But with the MIL, it's a complex debate with references to what we have the ingredients for and what commitment level we have that night. It's less of a chore and more of a problem-solving crisis-avoiding solution-finding mission.

(Which is house-wife-speak for "I don't give a rat's ass about how cool your job is and how you juggle military training and confidential knowledge and get to talk to other grown-ups and what-not. You see this house? I RUN THIS BITCH. Food and all.)


Gramma also made E this little cloth egg and it's the simplest of designs but she loves it. The moment she laid eyes on it, she was hooked. She carries it around in her mouth, like a dog, while she crawls. It makes me really proud too because that little maneuver is a problem-solving masterpiece that I'm sure she learned from me (see above paragraph).

Now she carries all her belongings like that when she is on the move (even hard plastic toys and her sippy cup). She also likes to practice her doggie impersonations by face-planting on the table and lapping up her dinner. I don't know if it is easier or irresistibly novel or what, but she is obsessed with eating like that. I laugh so hard at that little Milk Monster. She is such a hoot to watch!


Speaking of dog, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, someone teach me how to teach her to leave Chewie's toys alone. His favorite toys are now her favorite toys and I spend so much wasted time on prying his slobbery rubber toys from her death grip or yelling across the room for her to "GROSS! Get that out of your mouth!"

The hidden blessing in it all is that Chewie FINALLY has a playmate and it warms my heart to see her playing fetch or tug of war (or keep-away) with him. Sometimes, to us adults, that dog is a burden. He eats pacifiers and whines and sheds everywhere, but to her, he will be a childhood friend and playmate. A child and their dog. Forever friends and partners in crime.


A few weeks ago, E finally clapped. It was right after the Gramma got here and I was starting to get worried because the pediatrician was asking us about clapping at the 9 month appointment and I totally freaked out when she seemed worried that the clapping skill was un-mastered. I had instant flash-forwards of remedial math and "summer learning camps" and panic set in.

All was for naught though because E just up and clapped in response to Gramma's cue and BAM, just like that, we're back on track for Harvard and a Ph.D and junk. Whew.


Did I mention my boobs are two ginormous ache-sacks of suckage?

Oh? Well now you know.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bye Bye Milkie Boobs

My milk is drying up. It's breaking my heart.

As much as I hate wearing the same two nursing tops (every day) and being gnawed on like I'm a chew toy, I'm not ready to wean E. I had just come to terms with extended breastfeeding and tandem nursing and now I can't pump and my daughter won't latch on for more than a few seconds.

She has been progressively drinking less and less over the past two months. First it was four feedings and then three and then two. And then sometimes only one. I got alarmed a few weeks ago and started emergency procedures. I'm drinking, like, 100 ounces a day. I'm back to eating oatmeal, "dry-pumping", offering the breast more, compressions, sacrificing small animals.... nothing..... not a drop....

I keep clinging to the mantra that it's simply Supply and Demand. Suck more, make more; but it's not working ya'll. I can't even squeeze a single drop out. My baby is starving and I can't provide for her.

Now, I know she will be a year old in a few weeks and she eats three square meals a day, with snacks, so she won't die of malnutrition. I know she's doesn't "need" my milk to "survive" now. I just wanted to keep giving her this "perfect nutrition" as long as possible.

I feel so helpless because part of the reason for my dry spell is my pregnancy. I've been Google-ing and reading up on KellyMom and LaLeche and something like 70% of women see a sharp decrease in supply aroud mid-pregnancy. Many of them lose their milk entirely. I guess I drew the short straw this time.

The good news is that I am FINALLY using up my freezer stash. Those cute little milk bags have been sitting in my deep freezer for almost a year. I have never needed them before. I had always wanted to give E the freshest milk possible so I tried to give her fresh pumped and straight-from-the-tap as much as possible. Plus, I envisioned every ounce as a "bonus" to my weight loss journey; "free" calories I burned, double even, since I pumped and also nursed. I figured I would toss them as they reached a year old (the max suggested time in a deep freeze).

(I almost donated them a few months ago, but I couldn't let them go. I was too attached to the them. They belonged to E.)

I tried to start E on whole milk and it didn't work out so well. She hated it and it made her poop gross-er. I tried rice milk and almond milk, and she loved them, but they aren't as nutritiously complete as cow's milk so that doesn't help the mommy-stress-level either.

I finally caved in and thawed out a freezer bag dated Aug 13 (a mere 13 days after E was born) and cautiously opened the zipper. I expected a blast of foul milk smell but the milk was fine. It smells strongly of iron, from my supplements at the time, but it was drinkable. As I poured it out into a sippy cup, I thought about all the drama and the pain that went into making each of these little boobie-packs. Every ounce, especially these first ones, was a miracle. I struggled to get more than a few ounces at a time. My nipples bled and my C-section scar burned and the baby screamed and when I pumped, it hurt like the dickens. Yet here I was, almost a YEAR LATER, goshdamn grateful that I put forth all that effort and saved each and every pack.

She didn't really take this milk so well in her sippy cup so I resorted back to her bottles. She hasn't had one in months and I was so proud that she had kicked the habit and moved on to the cup. It hurt a little to reintroduce them but what could I do? She was starving and I'm not a monster. You know, to her anyway. I guess I will deal with taking them away, again, later.

So that's where we are. I'm supplementing table foods with 8-12 ounces of year-old-milk per day and she seems happier, fuller and content. It still pains me to think that our nursing bond is quickly coming to an end before I am ready. That I won't be nursing into the second year. I'm still offering the boob throughout the day but she only gets maybe one good nursing in the morning.

Once again, I'm reminded that this whole child-rearing business is 20% good intentions/ planning/ personal philosophy and 70% "whatever the baby wants". You can say what you plan to do and what you want to do until you are blue in the face, but when the baby comes, the baby dictates a lot of what happens. With utter disregard for your "philosophy" and your parenting style and your baby-book-reading knowledge, even. And you just gotta roll with it.

((also, the other 10%, from the child-rearing equation, is PFM))


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

We had a wonderful Independence Day.

There was a little shindig we attended, at the neighbors, that involved food and booze and karaoke shenanigans. 

Also, I made the cutest flag-inspired cake. EVER.

Then, at the end, fireworks. Ours are extremely close to our house so we watched them from the comfort of our own driveway, after E had been put down for the night.

Hope yours was just as lovely and patriotic :)
***Freedom isn't free***