Sunday, May 31, 2009

Test Drive

Well, we did it - literally. We finally took my hoo-ha for a test drive last week! Just in case you were wondering - it is working just fine! I'm so glad I finally had the procedure done. I really do have my hoo-ha back now, and it is such a relief to have our relationship feel "normal" again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Playmat Possessed

I am not one who generally believes in possession. I'm not even talking the demonic kind here, just simple possession by an inanimate object of some type of spirit. There have been two times in my life I believed an object was possessed - my first car (a 1984 Chevy Cavalier) and my son's playmat.

My Chevy Cavalier was undoubtedly possessed. I would drive to school in the mornings, and very bizarre things would happen. Sometimes, the car would just decide to accelerate. All of the sudden, the accelerator would depress, and car would speed up and attempt to slam into other vehicles. For those of you wondering, I did not have cruise control on the car. I also noticed that on Thursdays, if I put the turn signal on while the radio was playing, the windshield wipers would turn on. What was particularly difficult about this is that the wipers were in the OFF position, so I had a hell of a time getting the wipers to stop! Also, if it was raining and you hit the brakes while turning left and the windshield wipers were at a certain speed, the blinkers would start flashing. Yes, the car creeped me out. I came home from school a number of times telling my mother about my possessed car. At one point, she was so irritated by my insistence that she agreed to take my car for a week to check it out. Her prognosis? My car was possessed! We took it to the car dealership, and after running a complete assessment... they informed me there was nothing wrong with my car. A few years later in college, my entire electrical system crashed and it turned out that Chevy recalled the computer chip because of similar problems. They also had to install the cruise control stick on my car . . . because the manufacturer default setting inadvertently had the "inactivated" cruise control feature set to on, so every time I hit a certain speed, the cruise control would try to "resume." Regardless of these logical explanations - I still firmly assert that my car was possessed.

My son's playmat is one of those Tiny Love Gymini Lights and Music playmats. It has all kinds of animals on it, and there is a little section of the mat that lights up and plays music if you turn the switch. Well, there enlies the problem. You see, it still plays music (randomly) when it is in the off position. Late at night when we are all upstairs (and the mat is off) it will suddenly start playing. Sometimes when Micah is sleeping or playing on it and it is off, the music and lights will start up again. At times, when the dog walks across the mat and it is off, the music and light show begins. In fact, we rarely turn it on anymore - the randomness of the mat when it is off is FAR more entertaining! The only logical explanation I have? Possession, of course!

Have you ever believed an object was possessed? If this entire post worries you, don't bother to call the authorities. They already know I'm nuts - remember my talking breast pump?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sneezes in Threes

Since the day Micah was born, when he sneezes, he generally sneezes in threes... atchoo, atchoo! atchoo! I love it - when he starts sneezing, we usually count 1....2 (silence) (wait for it)...3 (there you go - all done)! What I find particularly interesting about this observation is that I also sneeze in threes, and have since I was a child. It is obvious to me that we are born "hard-wired" (to some extent) to do and act in certain ways. I wonder how that works? Is it genetic? Is it a matter of how our brains grow and develop - caused by the random timing of how the cells divide and connect? Is it things accidentally learned in the womb as we grow, or because of the positions we adopted in utero? How are we wired for certain behaviors?

Since my niece was born, she pulls on her ear when she is tired. Every single time. It is completely unconscious behavior - she just does it absentmindedly. We have always known when she needs a nap because of it. She is now almost 3, and will probably do that her entire life. Micah sleeps on his side - he rolled to his side the very first night in his crib in the hospital - and has pretty much slept on his side every night since (he rolls back and sleeps on his back during the night, too, but he is clearly a side sleeper like his mommy, although he prefers his right side, and I prefer my left). When he needs some soothing and comforting, he sucks his thumb and uses his other hand to play with his hair. I'll bet he plays with his hair like that his whole life when he gets agitated or upset. Ironically, DH sort of scratches his head when he is agitated or upset, too.

My mother and I have many of the same mannerisms - I wonder how many of them are learned versus hard-wired? My grandfather used to sleep on his back with his one arm above his head. My father sleeps that way, too. I've noticed that when I sleep on my back, I also tend to put one arm above my head.

Have you ever noticed the hard-wiring in your life? Tell me about it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bath time is lots of fun!

Micah is growing so fast, and having so much fun in the bathtub that it is slowly dawning on us that we will not be able to continue bathing him in the kitchen much longer. He now likes to kick his legs in the tub (and soak the entire counter and floor) and he has started grabbing and pulling on the faucet (and has sprayed the room a few times). When we put him on the counter to undress him, he is starting to hang off the edge . . . and he grabs EVERYTHING in sight. He had the dish soap, a salad dressing cruet, my pumping bottles, and he was going for a glass that DH left on the counter when I finally managed to wrangle everything away from him.

On Tuesday night, DH still had not finished cleaning up from the BBQ, so it was too difficult to bathe him in the kitchen. We tried our hand at putting the baby bathtub in the big bathtub . . . and I think it was an unmitigated disaster! Micah isn't *quite* ready to sit up in the tub on his own even with the tub against his back. His tush kept sliding all over the place. My knees and back were killing me from bending down, so I'm going to have to get some kind of a pad. I ended up putting him back on the sling to finish the bath. I'm hoping that we can keep him in the kitchen until he can more easily sit on his own during bath time. Maybe just a few more weeks?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

All we are saying, is give peas a chance!

Yes, I did write that. DH has been walking around here for days singing that. You see, Micah had his first taste of veggies on Tuesday . . . peas! He loved them. We're not sure which veggie is next, but we'll be eating peas for a few days.




And by the way, we got a shot of Micah giving himself a bottle:

Belly Time

This morning, I heard Micah stirring and chatting around 8:00 am. I checked the monitor, saw he was relaxing on his back, chatting and trying to grab the mobile (which is too far above his head for that to ever work), so I decided to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth before going in to get him and nurse him. A few minutes later, I walked down the hallway, opened the door to his room . . . and found him all snuggled in on his tummy with his thumb in his mouth! Micah finally rolled over to his belly. Just after I walked in closer to get a better view, Micah's head popped up, he turned and looked at me, and he gave me a big, giant, heart-warming grin! I melted. I told him I was so proud of him for rolling onto his belly. He promptly showed off by rolling on to his back. Any chance he'll be repeating this new skill?

Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool

On Saturday, we took Micah swimming for the first time! He LOVED it. We just took him into the baby pool. It was a bit cold, and Micah really does not like cold water. I initially held him on my lap for a few minutes to get used to the water, and then I transferred him into his own personal flotation station. He cried when he first got wet, but about 10 seconds later, he was happy and relaxing. We had him in a cute little bathing suit with a matching shirt. Unfortunately, we forgot his sunglasses, pool shoes and hat . . . better organization next time! Here are a few photos for you to enjoy:




Naturally, we took video, too:


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On Sunday, we hung out at the park with his cousins. They had a great time - Micah even got to share a swing!



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Support Ben and Kari

As I've previously mentioned, I have a friend going through an ordeal right now . . . after 11 years of infertility she is pregnant with quads, and her husband was just diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma and is undergoing chemotherapy. As a community, we are banding together to help them through this rough time.

Mandy has created a support blog for Ben and Kari. We will be posting updates here about our efforts and helping to collect money for them to assist in covering their medical expenses. We are also working to arrange some in-kind donations to them for the babies and to help make these next 6 months easier for them. If you have any suggestions or connections, please feel free to let us know. We urge anyone who wants to help to visit the site by clicking below, and we also encourage you to display the "Support Ben and Kari" logo on your blogs, facebook pages, etc. Just copy the code below!



Monday, May 25, 2009

Connections

I was going to call this post "Memorial Day BBQ" but I decided instead to post about connections. Today we hosted a Memorial Day BBQ, and what struck me most was how something unexpected causes a wild series of events. My best friend Heather and her husband Brad initially met at DH's Memorial Day Weekend BBQ 4 years ago. They were the last ones to leave, and after everyone else had gone, my friend Laurie and her boyfriend Jeff stopped by to say hello on their way back into town. During their short stay, we started discussing how we were all connected, and the crazy series of events that had brought us all together.

Back in 2001, I got a phone call from my mom. She ran into a neighbor who had a cousin, Suzanne, who was also an attorney and moving to the area. The neighbor wanted to know if she could give Suzanne my phone number to help her with her job search in the area. I agreed, and a week later, I got a phone call from Suzanne. She seemed nice enough, and when she moved here, we met for dinner to meet in person. We did not exactly click, but I made it a point to go out with her once a month. A few months later, Suzanne and I had plans to go see a movie. She asked me if I minded if she brought another friend with us. Naturally, I agreed, and that is how I met Heather. We bonded instantly. Over the next years, our friendship grew.

In 2003, Heather hosted a Pampered Chef Party. I really hate going to things like that, but I went to support my friend. Laurie and Heather had been roommmates freshman year in college, and recently reconnected by chance when Heather spotted Laurie after she ran a marathon. While at the Pampered Chef Party, I ended up bonding with Laurie (we'd previously met once or twice in passing, but never really had a chance to talk before this party). Basically, Laurie and I were making fun of all the crazy people at the party who were SOOO excited about waking up early to chop chicken with their Pampered Chef products. We just laughed and laughed that night, and we exchanged numbers to hang out in the future. Laurie, Heather and I started spending time together, and a few months later, Laurie and I bonded again at a game party Heather threw. You see, we were being spoilsports - we did not want to play any of the games, so instead we mocked everyone. Our friendship was solidified! We went out together on New Year's Eve, and we quickly became inseparable.

Laurie and I were constantly making bets. When she lost, I made her do things like go out on a date with a bald guy to prove to her that bald guys were dateable. When I lost, she dragged my butt to a singles event - like she did on Valentine's Day 2004. That event was HORRIBLE. We walked into the room, and it felt like we were meat thrown into a lion's den. Someday, I'll have to rant about that night, but it was crazy awful. While we were at the event, a group of guys that Laurie recognized arrived. One of them was Dave . . . whom I *briefly* dated before we became friends. Through Dave, I met another friend, Jessica (he brought her to Heather's birthday party - yet another funny story worth hearing sometime!). Through Jessica, I met Bill, and in 2005, I met DH when Jessica and I went to Bill's Superbowl party. A few months later, Heather met her husband Brad at DH's Memorial Day BBQ (Brad came with his girlfriend at the time), although they did not start dating until they reconnected 3 months later through an online dating service. Through Dave, I also became friends with Niki (who happened to meet and marry a guy I graduated high school with) and her brother Sam. Through Niki and Sam, I met Sam's best friend Jeff. I introduced Jeff and Laurie, and now they are dating, too. And, in case you are interested, I helped Dave find and win the heart of his wife, Jen, too! So . . . from a polite request from a family neighbor, I now have three amazing friends (Heather, Niki, and Laurie), and Heather, Dave and I met our spouses, and Laurie is now in a steady relationship. Funny how one little thing that does not seem so important can change an entire course of events, huh?

Now . . . on to my original post about the BBQ. Let's start with the backstory about how we finally decided to host a Memorial Day BBQ on Monday this year. You'll have to tell me if all of you women have husbands as thickheaded and frustrating as mine!

My husband has a tradition of hosting BBQs all summer/fall on the Friday evening of every holiday weekend . . . Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, etc. He usually hosts a few others in there, and does a few special BBQs for Sukkot in the Fall (a Jewish holiday that celebrates the harvest by building a sukkah - a shelter with an open top to eat outside under the sun and stars). For the past two years, DH has been unable to host most of his BBQs because we had moved into my condo and put everything into storage so that we could renovate his house. The renovations were supposed to be completed in time for Memorial Day last year so we could host a BBQ. And then we were promised July 4th. And then Labor Day. And then Columbus Day. And then Sukkot. As you can tell, the renovations are STILL not finished, but we moved in anyway in November. Unfortunately, we never got to host any BBQs last summer.

For Valentine's this year, I bought DH a brand new grill. His other grill had seen better days. We got a beautiful fancy grill with 5 burners, a warming burning on the side, and an oven! He has been itching to fire up the grill for months now. About 3 or 4 weeks ago, I started asking DH about the annual BBQ. I asked him if he was planning to do it, I suggested he send out invitations early, and I stated that perhaps Friday night was no longer the best time to have a BBQ. I proposed that we host the BBQ on Saturday or Sunday late afternoon, because I figured that families with children could come early and get home in time for bed, and our other friends could hang out until all hours of the night. DH kept thinking we should do 2 BBQs - one on Friday night, and one on Monday. I felt that was a bad idea because I did not want to have to prepare, setup and cleanup 2x. I told DH to think about it, make a decision, and let me know.

Fast forward to date night on Thursday. DH looks at me and says "Are we still on for a BBQ tomorrow?" I looked at him and told him it was too last minute to do it on Friday night, no one would come, and it did not give me enough time to prepare! I also said to him it would be a problem for all of our friends with children if we just did a BBQ on Friday night starting at 8. He looked at me like I just spoke Greek to him. I swear, sometimes he acts like the fact we now have a young child is supposed to have no impact on his life and how he does things!! We went through the whole conversation again, and then he told me it was my fault he had not invited anyone because I had been dragging my feet about the whole thing. Once I worked through my anger (and elicited an apology) he finally decided to invite everyone over for Monday evening. I voted for Sunday (and lost) because I thought that people would need to be back at work on Tuesday, but DH went with Monday. He sent out the invitation around 11:30 pm on Thursday night. Not surprisingly, I expected the turnout to be rather low.

We got about 13 responses (about 26 people), and we told them to come rain or shine. Naturally, it started to rain today right about 3:30. A few people decided not to come because of the rain, but we were getting nervous about moving the party inside. We had no idea whether the rain would bring more people or keep people from showing. In the end, we had about 40 or 50 people here!! It was quite crowded in our small house. DH cooked chicken, burgers, dogs, and grilled veggies. I made pasta salad and potato salad. People brought chips and salsa and fruit and cookies. We had a zillion children here! Three ladies from my playgroup showed up with their husbands and babies, and we had about 10 other older children here, ranging in age from 9 months to 7 years.

Micah was such a good boy. He hung out on the playmat with the other babies, and they practiced rolling and kicking and grabbing toys. He started to get fussy after 5:30 whenever I got out of sight, but he was just so good! Even the dog was behaving (there were so many babies to kiss!!) I nursed Micah at 6, and he took a nap. I went up and checked on him a bunch of times, and around 6:30, he was awake and crying. I brought him back downstairs, and he was still fussing a bit. A little after 7, we gave him his medicine and DH put him to bed . . . which was the same time all the other families with babies started disappearing. The witching hour hit, and the babies needed to go home!

On a side note . . . one of the kids was eating Cheerios at some point tonight, and apparently some fell on the floor under the chair in the living room. The dog is currently playing the role of a Hoover, and desperately trying to get ALL the Cheerios out from under the chair and into her belly.

All in all, it was a successful evening. We had a chance to catch up with some friends, eat good food, and show off our house. I am looking forward to our next bbq (but hope it doesn't rain again). Poor DH barely got to speak to anyone - he was outside while everyone congregated inside. Luckily, the rain let up for most of the time he was grilling.

Just for good measure - here is a picture of Micah today in his outfit for the party. His hair was standing on end, but I decided to leave it because it made me laugh! What do you think?



I'm a big boy now!

Last night, I took Micah up to bed, put him in his pajamas, and sat with him in the glider to give him his medicine. We normally give him his medicine either in a special medicine pacifier or a thin 2 ounce tube bottle (the ones we were given in the hospital). The delivery method of choice last night was the tube bottle. Much to my amazement, Micah took the bottle from me . . . and gave it to himself. He held it the entire time, tipped it backwards and finished the entire thing without any assistance from me! He was clearly announcing that he is becoming a big boy. I was so proud of him . . . and sad at the same time. I love watching him grow, and it is so much easier to interact with him now that he can do more on his own and he has definite opinions and likes, and yet . . . I miss my little baby, and I'm flabbergasted by how quickly the time is flying. How is it possible he is almost 5 1/2 months old now?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sinus Infection

Friday, I called the doctor for the results of the nasal culture the took from Micah on Wednesday. Naturally, they told me that I would have to wait until next week sometime. After I explained that I really wanted to get an answer because Micah's cough was getting worse, the woman finally agreed to check into it and get back to me. Saturday morning, she called back and said the culture confirmed that Micah has a sinus infection. Additionally, they told me that with the type of infection he has, we do not "have" to treat it with antibiotics. I indicated that I would prefer to treat the infection (as he has already been sick for 2 months and it seems to be getting worse, not better). She consulted with the doctor on call, who wanted me to wait until Tuesday. She finally agreed to call in the prescription, so Micah is now on antibiotics. I hope I made the right decision! I certainly don't want to over-medicate him, but I do not want him to end up with bronchitis, or a nasty ear infection, or even a chronic sinus infection that requires months of antibiotics instead of one week. Apparently, the doctor on call thought I should "just be patient." I'm going to have to trust my instincts on this one.

Fire!

We had quite an adventure on Friday night. As you can tell from the title of this post, it involved fire. A small one. In the microwave.

As you know, we completely renovated our house last year. During that process, we purchased all new appliances, including a microwave. For the past few weeks, every time I used the microwave, I kept seeing some white steam/smoke coming out of the vent inside the microwave when I opened the door. Each and every time, there was no smell and the smoke quickly dissipated, so I assumed it was normal. Last night, however, DH decided to heat up his dinner in the microwave. I was sitting on the couch, and all of the sudden I heard DH exclaim "Oh, shit!!" As I always do, I assumed he did something dumb/absentminded . . . like turn on the wrong burner of the cooktop (remember Passover when he set fire to my beautiful apple charlotte?), or forgot to remove a paper label, or got distracted while the water pot boiled over. In my usual mocking tone, I turned and asked "What did you do this time?"

Much to my surprise, DH shouted that there was a fire in the microwave. I went running into the kitchen and there was smoke pouring out. We tried to look inside to figure out where the fire was and whether we could put it out ourselves or if we needed to dial 911 and go evacuate the baby quickly. I first assumed DH had just been cooking popcorn or his dinner too long and it caught fire. We quickly realized, however, that nothing INSIDE the microwave was on fire. Instead, the thick, white smoke was pouring out of the side vent of the microwave. We unplugged the microwave, and tried to touch the wall, unit, and cabinets to see if there was heat emanating from anywhere. The smoke slowly started to slow, and we were left with the rancid smell of an electrical fire. We turned on the exhaust vent, opened up the windows and doors, and decided we should call the non-emergency number at the local fire station.

About 5 minutes later, the fire squad showed up. All of them. We opened the front door, and they kept coming in . . . one after the other. I think there were ten guys who walked through the front door. For a non-emergency fire. It reminded me of a clown car, or one of those comedy routines where the person answering the door keeps trying to close it, and one more person suddenly appears, says hello, and enters. It must have been a slow night at the fire house!

They used a heat sensor to check out the walls and cabinets. There was a localized area of heat on the microwave, and they told us there were no active fires. They told us to keep an eye on it and make sure it continued to cool off, but that if we kept it unplugged it should be safe to leave where it is until a tech from GE comes out to replace it.

So, the good news is, we have a very responsive fire squad and there was no damage done to the walls or cabinets. We expect a tech from GE to come out on Thursday, and we'll be asking for a new microwave! Good thing it is still under warranty.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thoughts are with Ben and Kari

A friend of mine from SK has been dealing with IF for 11 years. After countless IUIs and quite a few miscarriages, they bit the bullet and did IVF w/ ICSI. To their amazement, they found out they were pregnant! To their even greater amazement, they found out they were pregnant with quads (including 1 set of identical twins).

Don't we all love a happy and miraculous ending? It seems that the story of hardship and triumph over adversity should end there. But it doesn't. Kari's husband Ben was just diagnosed this week with Stage IV Hodgkin's Lymphoma. All day long, this news is on my mind. I've never met Kari in person, but my thoughts are with Ben and Kari, and I was hoping that our big, giant online support circle of infertility and pregnancy and life in general could come together as a community and help support Ben and Kari through this journey. Over the next 6 months, Kari will attempt to carry her quads as long as she can, and Ben will be undergoing chemotheraphy, beginning tonight.

I'm not sure yet how we can help. But, it is ICLW, and maybe all we can do right now is give her a big community hug to show our support as they fight this battle. So I guess I am encouraging everyone to go check out her blog, and maybe as a community we can help Ben and Kari as they fight Lymphoma during a quad pregnancy.

Sitting, Playing, Laughing

Can you believe it?? Micah is big enough to be sitting on his own AND playing with toys at the same time!! I'm amazed each and every day how much he is growing. He loves to sit and chat, too. He has the most wonderful laugh and smile, and I just love listening to him. I think Micah laughs might be the most beautiful sound in the world. Here - listen for yourself! (Don't forget to push the triangle on the bottom left to play the video!)

Micah talking (we think he speaks Wookie):

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Micah laughing (the first one is a voice recording and I just added some photos of Micah to make it a video):

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

IComLeavWe

Today marks the beginning of International Comment Leaving Week (IComLeavWe), and I decided to join in the fun! The goal of IComLeavWe is to celebrate the world of blogging by leaving comments on blogs. Those of us who are participating agree to leave 5 comments and return 1 every day for a week, so I am going to give it my best try! So please, ladies, I invite you to comment on this blog and on others all week!

For those of you who are new to my blog, I have PCOS and my husband has MFI. We were married in 2006, and we quickly started TTC. After 3 months, we knew things weren't going well, so I embarked on a journey to seek out help. We were stunned when we learned that we were dealing with MFI, and that problem was far more severe than the PCOS. On our journey, we tried Clomid, I discovered I had a fibroid in my uterus, I had hysteroscopic surgery to remove the fibroid, we did IUIs with injectibles, and we finally moved on to IVF. We were very lucky that after a rocky cycle, we struck gold! My son Micah was born on December 14, 2008. Because of all the challenges we had ttc#1, we are already thinking about what we will need to do to ttc#2. We are not *quite* ready to get back on the IF treatment bandwagon, but expect to do that later this year. If you are interested, you can read more about my IF journey here.

Any particular topics you want to share?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Call the authorities!

I think that if Micah could talk, today he would have been telling you to call the authorities on me. Apparently, I have been practicing the worst kind of torture and abuse on my little man. He shrieked and screamed bloody murder today to try and get someone to notice and put an end to my torture, but to no avail. Let me put this in context for you . . . .

Micah came down with his first cold when he was about 5 weeks old. As we were instructed, we sprayed some saline up his nose and used the blue squeegy thing from the hospital to suction out the mucous. I can't say Micah enjoyed this, but he was usually fairly calm for the first few attempts to clear his nose. After 4 or 5 times, he would cry, and I would set it aside for another time.

A bit later (I think he was 3 months old?), Micah came down with another cold. This time, he was older, smarter, and stronger. He very quickly learned to recognize the blue squeegy . . . and hate it. He would begin to scream at the first glimpse of the squeegy, and if I brought it near his nose, he would hit and kick and shriek and turn his head away. I must say, he had gotten quite strong. I quickly realized that all the hysteria resulted in more mucous, and I made the decision that it was not worthwhile to even attempt to squeegy his nose. I did try using a squeegy that was not blue . . . but Micah was smart enough to quickly recognize that as well. I then began to just wipe his nose with a cloth. It is far less effective, but it seemed to create very little upset, and it was "good enough."

Unfortunately, this cold did not seem to disappear. It persisted . . . and persisted . . . and persisted. Micah has been stuffy for over 2 months now. At his 4 month appointment, I discussed it with the doctor, and he did not seem concerned. I have been working very hard to not be concerned about it, either. Since I am tired of being that crazy mom who brings her son to the doctor for everything, I've just let it be. Until today.

Yesterday, Micah started to cough. His congestion intensified, and he just did not seem to be feeling well. Today, he woke up coughing, and the mucous had turned green. I called the doctor, and we went in for a sick appointment. I made sure all the nurses heard him coughing and sneezing (just in case he miraculously got better as the doctor walked in the room). All this time, I have been wiping his nose with a cloth, with very little upset. That is, until the past few weeks. Lately, each and every time, Micah shrieks bloody murder. Yes, ladies and gentleman, to hear it from Micah, I have been practicing the worst kind of abuse . . . nose wiping.

Micah gets mad when he even sees the cloth. I have to sneak attack him, and he kicks and hits and arches his back and turns his face away. He then sobs these loud uncontrollable pained sobs indicating how tortured he is. He makes sure to do this in very public places so that everyone can tell what a horrible mother I am. So, on behalf of my son, you may need to call the authorities and inform them that, indeed, I have been nose wiping him. Daily. Multiple times. And if I had it my way, I'd be using the squeegy, too.

In case you were wondering . . . they think he might have a sinus infection. They took a nose culture to find out (you should have seen what he did to that nurse who tried to stick a swab up his nose!) and we should have the results back either Friday or Monday. They confirmed he was running a low grade fever, his throat was red (probably from post-nasal drip) and he does not have strep throat. If he has a sinus infection, they'll give us antibiotics. I did not get a very good answer about what they will do if it is not a sinus infection. Remember - they insist that babies do not get allergies. So, because colds do not persist this long, and babies do not have allergies, if it is not a sinus infection, we are SOL.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I've got my hoo-ha back . . . time for a test drive?

As many of you know, I had a nasty little band of scar tissue on my hoo-ha from Micah's birth. Ironically, I barely tore at all during labor/delivery, and the tear was so minor that it did not require stitches. However, while I was healing, somehow, the side with the very minor superficial tear managed to heal attached to the other side. I probably should have been paying closer attention - merely separating things before they healed probably could have done the trick! But, alas, I really didn't pay much attention to what was happening down there in the weeks after Micah's birth, and by my 6 week appointment, the damage was done. My midwife suggested that we should just proceed with caution when we had sex, and that it would all loosen up with time.

Well, DH and I have tried sex a number of times since Micah's birth . . . with very limited success. The first few attempts, I was in too much discomfort, so I stopped him. We had success 2 or 3 times, but I was uncomfortable the whole time, and frankly, just waited for it to end. I thought we should work on stretching things out, but frankly, it just hurt, so it was easier not to bother doing anything! Add to that my exhaustion level and lack of interest . . . well, let's just say we have not put much effort into sex since . . . March? At the end of March, I went to my RE for a fluid sonogram to check out Frank. I explained my scar tissue situation and asked him to proceed carefully. Well, my RE took one look at the band of scar tissue and told me it was "totally unnecessary for me to put up with that nonsense" and he instructed me to call my OB/GYN and have it removed. It was my most unpleasant visit with the magic wand to date - it hurt!

On the one hand, my RE's suggestion seemed reasonable. The thought of having sex again and quickly removing the problem seemed to make a lot of sense. I also knew there was no way to go through IF treatments again with that band of scar tissue in place. On the other hand . . . removal of tissue required a needle, and well, I go to great lengths to avoid needles! DH wanted me to go get it done immediately. I told DH I'd discuss it with my GYN at my annual appointment . . . in May. Like a good husband, he agreed to wait. Patiently.

We meant to try to have sex a few more times. Frankly, I started to think the band of scar tissue had relaxed (or stretched during the fluid ultrasound) and that it was no longer an issue. But, I preferred not to find out. I ran out of medication a few weeks ago, which finally prompted me to schedule my appointment with my GYN. I went in last Monday, prepared to discuss the band of scar tissue with her. I explained the situation, and she took a look, which prompted an "Oh yeah, that is strange" response. She tried to do a pap smear, however, I jumped through the roof at her first attempt to insert the speculum. Turns out, my hoo-ha was still broken. She suggested "taking care of it" on the spot. Naturally, as every true needle-phobic person would do, I freaked out. She agreed not to do it then, and tried to do the pap smear with the smaller speculum. Failure again.

After tears and negotiation, she agreed to let me go home and come back on Wednesday, but she refused to renew my prescriptions until she took care of the tissue and gave me my pap smear. She wrote me a prescription for some numbing gel, and suggested I topically numb the area before she inserted the needle to numb it completely. I went home, and spent the next 24 hours thinking of excuses to cancel or postpone, and thought about whether I really needed my PCOS medicine. I mentioned to DH that I was going to skip the procedure, and he looked at me and said "I haven't had sex in 2 months, you are DOING that PROCEDURE on WEDNESDAY." On that note, I decided to bite the bullet. I kept thinking the numbing cream worked so well for IVF that it would get me through the shot in my hoo-ha, too.

DH picked up the numbing gel for me, and I applied it liberally. Unfortunately, I didn't think it felt all that numb when I got to my appointment, which made me decidedly uneasy. I got in to the appointment, and she took me back to the room. She got out the tiniest syringe she could find. It really was bitty, and a normal person would not have worried much at all. Of course, I'm not normal. I panicked, and whined, and got freaked out, and then braced myself. She quickly stuck me and injected the spot. I winced a bit, but in truth, it was just a tiny little pinch followed by a second long slight burn, and then nothing. Nevertheless, I was freaked out, and I wanted to RUN. Then, I started to panic that the cutting would hurt. I didn't FEEL numb, so I got all worked up and did not believe the doctor that it would not hurt. She got all prepped to cut, and I kept telling her to wait. I finally told her to go ahead and cut . . . and I felt nothing. I made such a big stink about nothing. It was done in no time. She said I was bleeding a lot, and she said she was going to use silver nitrate. She said something about burning, and I freaked out again. I asked her if I would hurt, and she said "you didn't feel the cutting, you certainly won't notice this." She was right - again. I was being such a total wuss! She said everything was much better, and she was able to do my pap smear without any issues.

I left the procedure prepared to hurt. Much to my surprise, I did not start hurting later that day . . . or the next day. I had a fair amount of discomfort while healing post-birth, so I thought this would hurt, too. Luckily, it has not been a big deal. The spotting seems to have stopped, and I am only mildly sore to the touch. But, once again, logic takes a back seat to fear. I'm afraid to give DH the okay for sex . . . what if it hurts? I'm not fond of pain down there, and I have discovered I have a very low tolerance for it.

So, ladies . . . what do you say? Is it time to take my hoo-ha for a test drive? (That is, if I can stay awake and in a good mood long enough!!)

Food, Glorious Food

We have been feeding Micah rice cereal since he turned 4 1/2 months old. We started out slowly . . . just 1/2 tbs of rice cereal mixed with 1 ounce of breast milk. Initially, Micah could only eat 1/2 of that at each feeding. We have now "graduated" to 2 tbs of rice cereal with 1 ounce of breast milk every day. I think he would be willing to take more, but we are trying to ease into food since food is not really necessary until babies are 6 months old.

As I wade into this world of babies and food, I realize how complicated it is. No one can agree on when to feed a baby. No one really knows exactly how much to feed them each time. Some people insist you start with veggies, and others insist you should start with fruits. My pediatrician said we could start food any time after 4 months, and since Micah was showing signs of increased hunger, he suggested we at least start with rice cereal, but start slowly. We called the pediatricians another day to talk about the heat and dehydration, and the "on-call" pediatrician gave me a hard time about feeding Micah food so early.

I feel like starting rice cereal has been a good thing for Micah. It has resolved some of his hunger issues, and it has made it possible for me to continue breastfeeding. Now that Micah is 5 months old, we are trying to determine the "next steps" for feeding. At any time, we can increase his food intake. We can start adding vegetables/fruits. I have no idea what to do next! I think this week, we are going to try oatmeal, and see how Micah does. Next week, he will be 5 1/2 months, and I think perhaps we will start adding fruits/veggies. One new one every 3-5 days. That will take us until Micah is at least 6 months old. I know some people do not even start introducing food until then, but they are encouraged to do so at a far more aggressive pace at that point. I am not certain when we should increase to 2 meals a day. I'm thinking Micah is content with the quantity of food he is getting right now, and since breast milk (or formula) is supposed to be the primary source of nutrition for the entire first year, there is no rush to increase the number of times per day he is eating. Simply adding in the veggies/fruits will increase his intake. I'm thinking I'll wait until after we introduce the other foods (or Micah shows signs of hunger) before we increase the number of feeds each day.

Does anyone else out there find the whole feeding thing confusing? I sure hope it gets easier! I think I am going to worry about Micah and whether he is eating enough for a very long time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Routines are bad

Just a few short weeks ago, I posted that routines and repetition were a good thing. This post isn't exactly a retraction, but rather a discussion of the flip side of routines/repetition. Specifically, as I mentioned last week, Micah has been having some issues going to bed when it isn't Mommy and Daddy putting him to sleep.

I thought, perhaps, Micah's issue was limited to the circumstance last week . . . it was someone relatively new, and perhaps they missed his sleepy cues and gave him his medicine late. On Thursday, however, we went out for our "date night." My mom has babysat Micah tons of times, and been with us to put him to bed and even done it alone without incident. Because of his recent outbursts, I was a bit concerned there would be an issue. My dad came early and spent about one hour with Micah before we left. I thought easing out the door would keep him calm and relaxed. My mom showed up about 1/2 hour after we left, and the two of them proceeded to put Micah to bed. My mom noticed Micah started to get sleepy and rub his eyes, so she took him and went up the stairs.

Apparently, as they hit the third step, Micah started to get upset. Everytime she came back down the stairs, he was fine, but that third step kept setting him off! They got him upstairs, gave him his medicine, got him ready for bed . . . mostly while he cried and fussed. My mom sang You are my Sunshine to him, but that did not seem to comfort him. Ultimately, Micah calmed down when my DAD started to sing to him. He was quite clear . . . his Goppy needed to sing, and his Grammy needed to hold him. He was quiet as long as Goppy sang You are my Sunshine over and over and over again. He finally fell asleep in Grammy's arms and she snuck him into the crib.

It seems we have a new problem. Micah is great at bedtime, as long as Mommy and Daddy do it. Our normal "routine" is that Daddy takes Micah upstairs, puts him in his pajamas, gives him his medicine and reads him a book, and mommy comes upstairs to nurse him and sing to him. It has been two weeks since DH put Micah to bed alone, so we are going to test that out this week and see if Daddy has an issue when he is alone, too. My mom is planning to start coming by a bit more often to put him to bed, and I think at least 1 night every week DH should put Micah to bed alone. Hopefully, as we have more people putting him to bed, it will get easier for him. Ironically, I thought the change of locations on our trip to Philly this week would set him off, but he had no issues going to bed and staying asleep even in a new place. I guess as long as Mommy puts him to bed, all is right with the world. I sure hope we can nip this in the bud!

Those were the days, my friends . . . .

This weekend, we went to DH's college reunion. It is amazing how reunions everywhere are all the same. There is a lot of superficial chatting and catching up, a lot of checking out everyone to assess who got old, who got fat, who looks good, who is married, who is divorced, who has children, who has a good job, and the obligatory self-comparison . . . the "am I younger looking, do I have a better job, am I better off than . . . " line of thought. It is amazing how the same old cliques seem to resurface, and the same old insecurities can rise to the surface.

On a side note, DH is one of those guys that does not seem to have close friends. He has TONS of acquaintances, but no close circle of male friends with whom he regularly socializes. I bring this up to put him in context for his reunion. He went to this reunion not knowing who would be there, and without any plans to meet up with an inner circle of friends. As such, we were sort of "lone wolves" at the reunion. We did not have a select group of friends with whom we attended all the activities, and it was really hard to figure out the people I should try and talk to and befriend. Let's be honest . . . no one at the reunion was there to learn about me! If DH had a group of close friends, they might want to get to know me because they would be interested in learning about DH's life. But most of the people there learned I did not attend and just simply moved on instead of talking to me. I think reunions are more fun when you are the one who attended the school!

We did have a good time - DH got to see lots of faces from his past, revisit the campus where he spent a chunk of his life, and reconnect with his past. It was fun to see him in his element and hear some of his college stories. There was even a slightly embarassing clip of him in the class video from his college days!

Even better for me . . . we stayed with a good friend of mine who is a thoracic surgeon at the hospital there. She had to work most of the weekend, but she was kind enough to stay in on Friday night so we could leave Micah with her while we attended reunion activities. DH, Micah and I went to the class parade and picnic together on Saturday, then Micah and I stayed in on Saturday night with my friend while DH went to a party at a local bar. To be fair, my friend and I had exciting plans. We ordered Indian food, then rented Frost/Nixon. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner, put Micah to sleep, and then 5 minutes into the movie . . . we were both passed out and asleep. That is right, ladies and gentleman, we didn't even talk and catch up. DH got home around 11;30. I woke up and pumped . . . and went back to sleep around 1. It was a wild and crazy night.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Playing the noses

When my niece was almost 1 year old, we went out to dinner to celebrate my birthday. While we were walking to the parking lot, my DH was holding her, and she reached up and pinched his nose. As she did that, he said "honk." She looked at him, smiled, and pinched his nose again. Once again, he said "honk." She then looked at me, reached over, and pinched my nose. I promptly said "beep." Next thing you know, she is reaching around and pinching each of our noses, and we are each making a different sound. She was laughing, smiling and "playing the noses." She made lovely music that night, and every time we saw her after that for quite some time.

Micah has recently started to grab and pinch noses, and once again, DH says honk every time he pinches. He smiles, and does it over and over again, just like he pushes the buttons on his toys to see them light up and play music. Micah also loves to pinch my nose to hear it honk, and I will push his nose and say "beep, beep." We are slowly teaching Micah to "play the noses" - just wait, he is going to be a star! Maybe we can take him on Jay Leno's "Stupid Baby Tricks" to reveal his musical nose masterpiece.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

5 month photos

So, here they are . . . . (drumroll, please)









5 months!

Micah is 5 months old today!! I cannot believe how fast my little man is growing up. In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I would do a rundown of his "stats."

Micah is approximately 14 lbs. and wearing size 3-6 months. He can briefly hold a sit. He has found his feet (loves to grab them and play with them) and his thumb (he loves to suck it). He smiles and laughs all the time. He gives wonderful hugs, and loves to cuddle. He rolls from tummy to back, but doesn't fully roll from back to tummy. He can push buttons, and flip switches on toys, and he grabs and reaches and plays all the time. He loves to chat - he talks to his mobile every morning when he wakes up! We think he is teething . . . he has a white spot on his bottom gums, and he has been fussing and chewing and gnawing all the time. I think it will probably be a bit longer before an actual tooth cuts through. He can pick up and put in his own pacifier . . . although he is more efficient at taking it out. He has discovered the dog . . . he loves to pet her . . . or should I say grab chunks of fur. He is eating 2 tbs of rice cereal a day, and likes to help feed himself. His hair is LONG - it touches his back. He definitely recognizes me (and his Daddy), and he is starting to assert himself - he knows what he wants and he isn't afraid to try and communicate it.

I love listening to Micah laugh and talk. His laugh is adorable . . . it kind of bubbles up. His face just lights up when he is happy. I love when he smiles and reaches for me, and the joy that goes across his face when I rub noses with him. I love the look on his face when he sees me after a day at daycare. I love that he is happy when he wakes up in the morning. I love napping with him cuddled close to me in the bed. I love watching him study things and figure out how to press buttons and make his toys work. I love watching him twist and move and turn.

The past five months have been amazing, and I am looking forward to watching my little man continue to grow by leaps and bounds over the months and years to come. Today we will go take his 5 month pictures - I'll post them as soon as I can!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The things they don't tell you

I have posted before about the things they don't tell you about parenthood, and I thought I would revisit the subject again today. I had a rough pregnancy, and when Micah was born, we had quite a few challenges getting him to eat. That was one of the "things they don't tell you."

Nevertheless, I'm so thankful Micah hung in there long enough to avoid NICU time, and I'm so grateful that I was able to bring him home with me when I left the hospital. I've had two friends recently give birth very early - one friend at 31 weeks, and another friend gave birth to twins at 33 weeks. Thankfully, the 31 weeker made it home after 3 1/2 weeks in the NICU, no complications. My other friend's twins are doing well, but she recently learned that one of them has a heart condition. I think another one of the "things they don't tell you" is how hard it is to go through those first few weeks when you have a baby in the NICU. I cannot speak from personal experience, but leaving your baby (or babies) at the hospital must be devastating. Watching them struggle to grow and learn to eat . . . well, that is something I understand. It is exhausting to work so hard to bring those little ones along. And there are scary and frustrating times, too. I think we all expect to give birth and have a baby that grows and eats and is just . . . well, a baby. While you never can appreciate the demands of even a "just a baby" until you have one, I don't think anyone really can communicate how difficult things are when you are dealing with a preemie. They need to grow strong enough so eating isn't exhausting, and they have to learn to suck, and they have to figure out how to suck and eat and breath all together, and have enough energy to do that 8-10 times per day! I guess I just wanted to congratulate those moms of preemies out there . . . the challenges you face are more than anyone ever expects from a baby.

I have another friend who has been having a rough week with her 3 month old son. He has been waking up 4 or 5 times a night, and she is exhausted and melting down. That is another one of those things they don't tell you - those days are terrible. I remember the exhaustion from the early weeks, and the utter frustration I felt sometimes when I was functioning with no sleep and feedings were not going well, or Micah was fussy about something. We still occasionally have those nights (and sometimes 2 or 3 of those nights in a row) and they are the pits! In those moments, I kind of understood how some mothers come to hurt their children (and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I ever wanted to hurt Micah, just that I suddenly could understand how someone might get to that point).

My advice to new mothers is this: it is so important to allow yourself that frustration and find an outlet, and figure out how to walk away and take the time you need to recover. For me, there were nights I just turned to DH, woke him up, and said "I just can't do this anymore tonight. I don't care if you are tired, I don't care if you need to give him a bottle of formula, and I don't care if you have to stay up all night rocking him, but you need to take him and I am going to sleep" and I would walk away and go to sleep. I think recognizing my limits and asking for help (or walking away) was critical to keeping my sanity. We mothers feel guilty when we get that tired and frustrated. We feel as if we should find every moment joyous and exciting, because we are just so happy to be parents and we are so full of love for our children. I think I have learned that being frustrated and at wits end is nothing to feel guilty about - it is just one of those "things they don't tell you."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

EIGHT

Mandy, Sarah and Kerry tagged me on their blogs, so here goes . . .

8 things I'm looking forward to...
1. Watching Micah grow up.
2. Taking Micah swimming this summer.
3. Visiting my friend Tammy in Philly this coming weekend.
4. Going to the beach this summer.
5. Finally getting to Hawaii . . . hopefully this fall!
6. Baking Micah's first birthday cake.
7. Summertime . . . pool and sun, here I come!
8. Seeing my nieces on Friday.

8 things I did yesterday...
1. Fed Micah at 7:15 am.
2. Took a 9:00 am business call.
3. Took a 10:00 am business call.
4. Went to the gynecologist for my annual checkup, and learned I need to have surgery to remove some scar tissue.
5. Went and picked up a new outfit for my Mother's Day picture with Micah.
6. Went to the BBYO office to help out with a presentation.
7. Pumped two times (at 2 and 4).
8. Wrote a proposal for a client.

8 things I wish I could do...
1. Take off for a vacation somewhere exotic.
2. Lose weight.
3. Get pregnant again easily when we are ready.
4. Get childcare for Micah.
5. Do a better job of balancing work and Micah.
6. Finish the home renovations and sell my house.
7. Win the lottery and do some good for the world with the money.
8. Hire someone to massage me 24 hours a day!

8 shows I am currently watching...
1. American Idol
2. SVU
3. House
4. One Tree Hill
5. Law & Order
6. Bones
7. Without a Trace
8. Big Bang Theory

Now I'm tagging 8 people: Tammy, Chele, Amy, Kari, Molli, Dr. Heather, Carmen, Susie.

Monday, May 11, 2009

When he is good, he is very, very good, but when he is bad, he is horrid!

My grandmother used to tell me that nursery rhyme all the time when I was a child. Unfortunately, on Saturday night, Micah made me remember that rhyme. In all fairness, he was not intentionally horrid, and I am partially to blame for his behavior. You see, I think he was missing me.

We had a Bat Mitzvah to attend - my cousin's daughter. We took Micah to the service at the synagogue in the morning, but the nighttime party was not a place for babies who should be in bed asleep. So, I arranged with a friend of mine (and her husband) to babysit for the night. I had her come over one night to observe Micah's bedtime routine, but, unfortunately, we did not actually get a chance for her to put him to bed before the "big" night.

They arrived promptly at 6:00 pm. We had a chance to hang out so they could interact with Micah before we left. He had moments of whining before we left, so I was a bit fearful of what was to come. DH & I left for the night, and off we went!

At 10:00, I realized I had gotten a text from my friend. Filled with trepidation, I slowly opened the message . . . and realized she was asking for the password to my computer! I was filled with relief as I *knew* all went well. Needless to say, I texted back the password and asked how it went. Unfortunately, the response was not what I expected. Apparently, about 5 minutes after we left, Micah went from cute and smiling to hysterics. Uncontrollable hysterics. The kind that had him crying, coughing, choking and snot pouring out of his nose. He wouldn't let them give him a bottle or his medicine - NOTHING would comfort him. The hysterics went on for nearly an hour. It was my friend's husband who finally got Micah calm, and taking the bottle, and off to sleep. Poor guy . . .he missed his mommy and daddy. I felt awful for him, but even worse for my friends. I'm sure they'll NEVER agree to put him to bed again!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

For the past several years, Mother's Day has been bittersweet . . . it was a wonderful celebration of my mother, but it was tinged with sadness as I wondered if I, too, would ever get to be a mother. It was fun to celebrate the day, but at the same time, I would often bite back tears of grief and loss, as I was a "Mommy-in-Waiting."

Last year, we had just learned I was pregnant and had seen Micah's heart beating for the first time on the ultrasound only days before. Mother's Day was so emotional for me . . . I was so excited that I was a "Mommy-to-Be" on Mother's Day, and that this year I would finally be a mommy on Mother's Day. I also had moments of fear . . . I was only 7 weeks pregnant, and worried that something could still go wrong. But mostly, I was brimming with hope, and a sense that Mother's Day was truly a holiday for ME.

This year, all I can say is that I am so grateful to be a mommy, and so happy that Micah came into our lives. I was greeted this morning with a beautiful smile from my son, and several wonderful gifts from my family. DH bought me a brand new bike so we can go on some family bike rides together, my sisters-in-law bought me a gift certificate for a massage, and we are headed over to my parents' house for a wonderful day together. What more could I want today?

I wanted to wish a wonderful Mother's Day to all the Mommies, Mommies-to-Be and Mommies-in-Waiting out there!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Repetition is a good thing

I learned one important thing today . . . singing the same song over and over to your child has its benefits. Since the day Micah was born, there have been 2 songs that I sing to him when I soothe him - You are my Sunshine and The Rose. We sing other songs for fun, but those have been our soothing songs. I will sing them over and over when I am putting him down or comforting him when he cries. What I learned today is that he recognizes the songs. I barely had to begin singing You are my Sunshine on the plane today and he started to calm down. The flip side is he started screaming again every time I stopped, but I digress.

This morning, Micah woke up around 7, happy and chatting once again. I fed him and then got myself packed and ready for my meetings. DH joined us for one meeting (I brought him in as a consultant on a project for this client), so Micah came to our meeting for a bit. He was a really good boy - he hung out in his stroller and played, smiled, and laughed. He also wanted to talk a bit in the meeting since his Daddy and I were speaking. Everyone kept telling us what a wonderful baby he is.

We headed to the airport around 3:30. We made it to the gate in plenty of time. Once again, it was a packed flight, so Micah had to sit on my lap. We got on the plane, and he was a bit fussy. I nursed him, and he fell asleep just before takeoff. He slept for the first part of the flight, but we hit some turbulence, we changed altitude and Micah woke up crying. I think his ears were bothering him. I brought Micah close and began to sing to him, and he quickly calmed down. Within a few minutes, Micah was chatting and smiling again. I passed him to his Daddy, and they bounced, and played flying baby, and took a walk around the plane.

Towards the end of the flight, Micah got fussy again. I'm not sure if it was his ears, or if his reflux was the problem, or perhaps those possible teeth cutting through, but he was miserable most of the last half hour. I sang him to sleep and he cuddled close to me - as long as I was rocking and singing, he was quiet. Right when we landed, he started getting hysterical - exactly 12 hours after he took his last dose of Zantac. As soon as we got off the plane, I gave him his medicine and changed his diaper. We went to the parking garage, and I nursed him while we waited for DH to get the car. As soon as we got in the car and started driving, Micah got upset again. I was leaning backwards, holding his hand, and keeping his paci in his mouth. About 10 minutes into the trip home, he fell asleep. We managed to get him in the house and into the crib without waking him up. He is still sound asleep right now!

Here are a few fun pictures of Micah - he is sitting in a real high chair for dinner at his Aunt and Uncle's house, and playing in his new exersaucer they loaned us. Can you believe what a big boy Micah is becoming?


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My very noisy baby

The Micah man (one of my nicknames for him) had a great day today with his Daddy (and I was just excited that I managed to pump as much as he was eating!). I think his Daddy was a bit exhausted by the end of the day, and perhaps came to a new appreciation of how hard it really is for me most days, and how impossible it is to get much work done. Apparently, from when I left around 9 am until lunchtime, Micah was mostly wide awake and playing and chatting.

My boys came and joined me for lunch, and Micah was a huge hit (as always). He was sweet and smiling and just . . . charming. His nose is still pretty leaky, and he has been sneezing, but I still do not think he is sick - no fever, everything is still running clear. It is probably allergies (even though the doctors tell you that babies do not get environmental allergies until they are two). May I digress for a second? That theory is a lot of crap to me. If babies can develop allergies to food under 1 year of age, they can certainly develop allergies to the environment. I understand the doctors do not want to diagnose or treat it that young, but let's be honest here. His sneezing and coughing worsens when my allergies worsen - clearly there is a connection. The vet gave me the same story when Nugget was a puppy - she sneezed and coughed and itched, and I said it was allergies. She did it seasonally for 2 years, and after her 2nd birthday, they suddenly said "now she has allergies." Let's just hope the stuffiness doesn't give Micah an ear infection this plane trip. He was a little unhappy with the pressure the last flight.

Okay - stepping off my soapbox, and returning to the regularly scheduled topic . . . Micah! After lunch, Micah and Daddy went on a few walks, and played with toys, and overall had a wonderful day together. After I returned from my conference, we decided to head out to dinner. We went to a little restaurant that I remembered from my days at Emory called La Fonda. We had a wonderful meal (I ordered vegetable paella) and we drank some sangria. At the end of the meal, Micah was getting tired and hungry. I nursed him and hoped he would fall asleep in his carseat so we could go visit another old "haunt" from my college years . . . Cafe Intermezzo. For those of you who have never been, it is a chichi coffee place in Buckhead. The outside heated patio was built around existing trees. They play French and Italian language lessons in the bathroom. They take you on a "tour" of the desserts. It is the kind of place that you can show up to in a fancy evening gown or in your sweats while studying for exams, and both outfits somehow "fit."

We started the drive over to Buckhead, and Micah started to get really upset. We decided to pull into the Cafe Intermezzo parking lot, and I tried nursing Micah again while DH ran inside and checked out the place and picked up a slice of cake for us. Micah was really fussing, and refused to eat. I then thought he was getting hot, so I walked him around out in the fresh air, and he seemed to calm back down. When DH returned, we strapped Micah back in his carseat, and went to drive around Buckhead so I could reminisce about my college years. At this point, we were out past Micah's normal bed time, but we expected that he would fall asleep while we drove. A few blocks into the drive . . . Micah began to fuss and cry. We turned around immediately and headed back towards the hotel. It took me another few minutes to realize why Micah was so upset - I was a bad Mommy and I forgot to give him his Zantac! Luckily, we had some Mylanta in the car, so I gave him a bit to tide him over until we got back to the room. Not surprisingly, that did the trick, and my happy baby returned.

We brought him up to the room, got him into his pajamas, gave him his Zantac, and I tried nursing him again. He nursed to sleep, and I transferred him into the crib . . . and he woke up. I nursed him some more and sang to him - and he sat there smiling and chatting. I moved him back into the crib, and he spent the next 35 minutes playing with his feet, rolling around, and chatting very loudly. I can't believe how much how much my little guy likes to talk! I have no idea what he was talking to, but boy did he have a lot to say! He giggled, and squawked, and made gutteral noises. I wish I knew what language he spoke. I think maybe Wookie . . . he has these gutteral growling sounds he makes that remind me of Chewbacca. DH insists that the language does not sound like anything from Star Trek. I'm a little worried that he can be that definitive about Star Trek languages. (DH is sitting here insisting that he is only certain it wasn't Klingon, he cannot vouche for other languages). After a while, Micah just suddenly got quiet and fell asleep. My very noisy baby finally passed out around 10:00 pm.

One last note . . . Micah is officially a serious thumbsucker. I am not exactly sure how this happened - he was very happily a paci baby until a few weeks ago. He found his thumb one day, and it has been true love ever since. The nice thing is he does not need us to come in and reinsert the paci when it falls out, but the bad news is he sticks his thumb in his mouth while he is asleep - I hope he outgrows it, because that is going to be a nasty habit to break.

We fly back home tomorrow - wish us a good flight back, and let's hope this flight is not as miserable for Micah as the trip out. We are landing around 7 pm, and we are hoping to remember to give him his Zantac, nurse him, and put him to bed in his carseat. With any luck, we'll get him home and in bed without interrupting his sleep.

Oh, and we think Micah might actually be getting ready to cut teeth! It looks like there is a white raised patch on his lower gums - we think the 2 front teeth are not too far off!

New attitude?

I woke up this morning in Atlanta, here for a conference. Micah was a good boy last night . . . he went to bed around 8:30, and he slept really well. He did not quite enjoy the flight as much as our previous flights. He had several short crying sessions, and his ears seemed to bother him. He has been quite congested, so it is possible that the congestion was the culprit. Around 4:30 or 5 this morning, he woke up talking. He was so cheery, and he just rolled around in the crib and chatted. He didn't sound hungry at all, but after about 30 minutes, I decided to pick him up and feed him. He ate well, then fell back asleep.

I got up and showered, and at 8:30, I decided to pump again (rather than wake Micah). This time, I was pumping and dressing/applying makeup. Surprisingly, my pump appears to be a morning pump (and for those of you who know me, you know I am NOT a morning person). This morning, the pump did start off mocking me with its usual chorus of "wacko." The mantra slowly morphed into "get a clue." Then . . . perhaps just to mock me with morning cheer, the pump said a few nice things to me, such as "radical," "way to go," and "go for it!" I was so touched that maybe my pump is starting to like me . . . until it decided to call me a "ho' bag." This disturbed me . . . my pump has always been snide, but it descended today into name calling. I must also say there was a brief chorus of "asshole" before the pump remembered it was trying to be nice to me, and went back to singing "ragu" and "get it going." All-in-all, a decidedly improved attitude, and I will forgive it for its brief rudeness today.

Micah will be hanging out with his Daddy today - I hope they have a fun day together while I sit here in meetings all day. And, yes, I should be paying attention, not blogging. Back to work . . . .

Monday, May 4, 2009

The pump that really does talk

As many of you recall, I have blogged a few times about my talking breast pump (click here to see the original post). An SK friend of mine sent me this link . . . apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks her breast pump is talking to her! And now, there is an EnDeare Breast Pump that actually WILL talk to you. . . it features a special button that "can record your baby's voice or other sound to enhance your breastpumping experience."

Hmmm . . . perhaps I'm not as crazy as you thought!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Being Green . . . .

My DH is a greenie . . . as in eco-friendly, obsessively recycling, biking instead of driving, pro-conservation environmentalist. You know, in the Living with Ed sense of the term (and if you have seen the tv show, then you can understand some of my life!). I noticed very early on in our relationship that DH did strange things in the name of conservation. For example, when at a party, if he HAS to use a paper or a plastic plate, he will either use mine when I'm done, or he will take a plate and use it for both his meal . . . and the dessert. If people try and take it from him, he will not relinquish it. He doesn't care that he is putting chocolate ice cream on top of leftover tomato sauce. While sometimes I find his habits annoying, underneath it all, I respect that he has an intense desire to improve the world and improve our living environment.

I have always been pro-environment, and even before I met DH, I took steps to recycle as much as was convenient for me to do so. I tried to make environmentally responsible choices, but know that I did not always do so. As a result of living with DH (especially as his green-ness increases with each passing day), I have increased my efforts to be green as well (and I would guess my family members are more aware of their actions and make some greener choices now, too).

About 15 months ago, we embarked on a home renovation project. In fact, we completely gutted DH's house to make it more livable. Part of our efforts were focused on "greening" up his house. We improved the insulation, we replaced all the windows with low-e windows, we reused existing trim/floors to the maximum extent possible, we used recycled glass tile for our kitchen backsplash, we used a recycled glass and composite concrete material for a bathroom countertop, we used no-VOC paints (to avoid fumes that could be harmful for us and the baby), we donated and recycled everything we removed rather than dumping it in a landfill, we bought energy star appliances, we installed low-flow toilets and water fixtures, and we installed carpet made from recycled plastic bottles.

The "greening" of our lives applies to more than just our housing materials. As we started down this path, we began to think about different chemicals we use in our daily lives, and how exposure to them would affect us and the baby. While I was ttc, I must say, it was appalling the amount of plastic (in the form of HPTs and OPKs) that I trashed each month. Since my pregnancy, we have taken "greenness" to a whole new level. We have made so many changes in the chemicals we use since I became pregnant - we look for low-VOC paints/finishes, we use non-toxic bug sprays, and we try to use healthir products whenever we can. We look to reduce our waste, and we look to buy safe/green/organic products for cleaning and for Micah. We look into using local and organic produce whenever possible. We have acquired several toys from others (reutilization) and we do not throw anything out when we have outgrown they're usefulness - we give them to others whenever possible, or donate to charity. We recycle all the waste we can from all the baby toys (they come wrapped in SO MUCH plastic and cardboard!).

Our biggest challenge we faced in this process was diapers . . . one of the most controversial subjects on babies and being green. It may surprise you to hear that we use disposable diapers. When we had Micah, we considered the whole concept of cloth diapers, and those special "G Diapers" that are supposed to be "greener." We were also concerned about how other people would deal with changing Micah (family members, babysitters, daycare) if we had cloth diapers. Without starting a whole debate here, ultimately, we determined that cloth diapers were not necessarily greener than disposable diapers. The materials and energy spent in creating the cloth diapers and the covers, the tax on the sewage system for dumping and washing the diapers, the harsh chemicals used by most of the diaper services were factors we considered. In our county, most waste is burned for energy rather than dumped in a landfill, so the diapers we "throw away" are used for energy. G Diapers also tax the sewage system, and we have determined that there are few benefits to the new "green" diapers like 7th Generation (and the new Green Huggies diapers). While those diapers are made from recycled unbleached materials . . . the energy wasted in creating the diapers is the same, and we had a terrible experience with leakage on the 7th Generation diapers. So we have come to peace with our decision to use disposable diapers.

A bit belatedly in honor of Earth Day, I urge you to take a look at your lives, and the health of your children (or future children), and see if there are ways you can "green" your lives, too, and improve this world for all of us! For those of you painting your house (or nurseries), I suggest no-VOC paints. If you are buying new carpet, the carpet padding is often the stuff that is the most toxic - I urge you to consider "green" carpet padding (felt or wool), and look into recycled plastic carpets (anything made from 100% PET). Consider reutilizing toys and other products . . . Craig's List is a great place to start. Donate clothing, furniture, electronics, and anything else you are getting rid of (or sell it on Craig's List) rather than throwing it in the garbage. When you go to the grocery store, try bringing your own bags - either re-use the plastic grocery bags from prior visits (and when they develop holes, recycle them) or purchase those canvas reusable grocery bags (or bring your own). Many grocery stores will even give you a $.05 or $.10 credit for each bag you bring, so save some plastic! When you make new purchases, try and recycle as much of the packaging as you can. If you have a new baby on the way, consider the most environmentally friendly way to deal with diapers, however you see fit. When we are out and about and need plastic bags for dirty diapers, I have a bunch of biodegradable bags that I keep in my diaper bag. Look at chlorine-free products, and consider using cloth diapers or other washable/reusable covers on your changing table rather than those throw-away paper covers. Whenever you are considering buying anything disposable (spoons, bowls, etc.) consider whether you can buy something that can be re-used and kept in your diaper bag long-term (this applies even if you don't have a baby - consider not buying single-serving size drinks, and instead keep a refillable drinking mug around). Maybe if we all think about it and make a few changes, we can improve this world just a bit for all of us.