Friday, September 30, 2011

Hmmm. That can't be good.

This whole baby thing is just full of surprises.  Some good (catching his first smile, watching him roll over, hearing that first giggle, etc).  Some not so good (Seriously - how much hair is going to fall out?  Am I going bald??).  Some other stuff is just downright bizarre and a little shocking.

Take last night for instance. 

I was all amped because the manual pump I ordered had arrived and I wanted to try it out.  (I bought a Medela Harmony in the hopes that it would be awesome and I could use that one at home for the evening and morning pumping during the week and not have to lug my Ameda back and forth to the office every day. So far I'm not impressed, but that's a story for another day.)  Anyway, I was like a kid on Christmas with a new toy and I couldn't wait to try it out.

I popped it all together, inserted righty and started to pump.  Instead of looking down to see milk beginning to flow I got a complete shock and saw blood flowing instead. 

I must have gasped out loud because J asked what was wrong (he was sitting behind me on the computer).  I showed him the blood that had dropped into the bottle instead of milk.  "Is that blood?"  I wanted to say "No, my boobs just magically started dispensing bloody mary's"  but instead I went running to the kitchen to wash everything out and then to the bathroom to start inspecting righty.

I doesn't appear to be a cracked nipple or anything. And I don't think I have mastitis - no fever, no unbearable pain, no redness.  To test it out I hand squeezed some milk out and everything began to come out clear - or more accurately - milky white.

I of course consulted Dr. Google and it seems like it could be one of the following:
  • Rusty Pipe Syndrome (Vascular Engorgement) - The blood is caused by slight internal bleeding due to increased blood flow and development of the breast tissue in late pregnancy and is most common in first time mothers. It is more common in both breasts though it can happen in one breast.
  • Broken Capillaries - Rough handling of the breast tissues as seen in improper use of a breast pump has been known to cause blood in breast milk.
  • Intraductal Papillomas - Benign, harmless tumors in the milk ducts may cause bleeding. Such a tumor is usually only found in one breast and does not cause lumps that can be felt. Sometimes intraductal papillomas are painful. The bleeding usually stops on its own without any kind of treatment.
So far it's only happened in righty and as of this morning there was no blood when I pumped.  It's slightly sore right now, but nothing too noticeable.  From everything I have read a little blood in the milk won't do the munchkin any harm so I'm not too worried. If I start seeing blood in his diaper from it passing through his system I am going to freak the hell out, though.

Anyone else out there in baby-land have anything like this happen?  I'd love to hear your feedback  :)

And just because he's cute, here is a picture of the munchkin in his new hat that I bought him yesterday. I don't think his peach fuzz is gonna keep that noggin warm this winter so he needed some cute headwear.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Second attempt with actual food

A week or so ago we tried giving the munchkin some banana chunks to see if he would eat them. He succeeded in squishing one hunk in his hand and pretty much ignored the rest of it.  Obviously he wasn't quite getting it.

On Tuesday I decided to cut up the avocado that I bought to go for round two.

"Hmmm. What's this green stuff?"

"Should I squish it?"

"What do you think, daddy?"

"I'm not impressed."

"Nope. I don't like avocados!"

After this I turned my back for a minute to stir the dinner cooking on the stove. When I went to get him out of the highchair there was no avocado on the tray.  A quick scan of the floor confirmed that he hadn't chucked it everywhere and I knew damn well that he didn't eat it. 

So I pull the tray off and find that he had stuffed every piece of avocado next to him in the seat. It wasn't all over his lap like he had knocked it off haphazardly. It was like he has purposely tried to hide the little chunks and had placed them all in a pile under his left arm. I swear if the dogs were in the house he probably would have been feeding it to them under the tray to make us think he ate it.

We're gonna have to keep an eye on this one - he's sneaky!

Monday, September 26, 2011

6 Months!

Ahhhhh!  This little munchkin is 6 months old today!  You are growing way to fast my little sweet!  Part of me can't believe it's been 6 months since he came into our life because it's gone so fast. The other part of me can't believe we've only had him for 6 months because I can barely remember what I did without him.  I love this little guy more and more every day.

Age: 6 months

Stats:  He has his 6 month appt at the pedi this afternoon at 3:00 so I will find out then. I'll come back and fill this in later.  I'm guessing he is at least 17 lbs now.
   * just got a call from the pedi and we have to reschedule for next week since Dr. Graham is out sick. I guess I won't find out how big my little munchkin is til then.

Size (diapers, clothes, etc.):  He's pushing the limits on the size 2 diapers and as soon as we run out of the ones we have I think we will move him officially into the 3's.  He's mostly in 6-9 month clothes. Some 6 month size outfits are getting snug but others are still roomy.  May be starting him in the 9 month sleep-n-plays soon because he is so long.

Sleeping: Last week was a little rough and he was getting up some at night, but this past weekend he was back to his wonderful 11 hours at night and I am beyond grateful.  I know we take it for granted that he sleeps so well at night so I think this past week made me realize how lucky we are.  He naps great at daycare and ok for us on the weekends.

Eating: Still EBF when I am home with him and bottles of pumped milk at daycare.  I take four 7 oz bags for him to daycare every day. Some days he goes through them all and some days he only eats three of them. It depends on how much he naps. I think he went through a bit of a growth spurt last week because he was eating a LOT.  He will also now eat an entire tub of baby food in the evening (2.5 oz).  He LOVES sweet potatoes and squash, sometimes he likes the green beans and sometimes he is indifferent. He's not too fond of the carrots and he doesn't like apples. I think maybe they are too sweet - the face he makes when he eats them is hilarious.  We tried giving him some chunks of banana this past week to see if he would  eat them, but he pretty much just smooshed them in his hand and dropped them.  We'll keep trying, though, and I bought an avocado to try next.

Not sure what to do with those bananas

This is his 'apple face'

Milestones:  We're working on sitting with him and he is getting close to being able to sit on his own.  He is ticklish now and I get big giggles out of him with some tickles.  He is rolling with purpose and rolls across the playmat or blanket in order to get to what he wants to play with (normally newspaper that he wants to crinkle!)

New adventures:  We didn't do anything overly exciting this month, but he did have his first time being babysat by someone other than my MIL (or daycare) when my friend, Karen, watched him last weekend so mommy could get a haircut.  Hmm - we need to start doing more exciting stuff!

Favorite toys and activities:  He loves the jumperoo at daycare.  Loves it!  We were at a friend's house yesterday and they have one - he was in it for 15 minutes and was just going to town jumping up and down. He loves to bounce.  He also loves to play with/watch the other kids at daycare.  He'll be sitting in the bumbo with the other kids and I've watched him staring at them in wonder while they play around them. It's very cute.  I think his favorite "toy" right now is his toes - he can't get enough of them!

He loves the jumperoo!

Funny happenings:  We went to dinner with some friends a few weeks ago and while we were there Andrew had a bit of a poo explosion.  So much that he got it all over the outfit he was wearing. When I took him to the restroom to change him I realized I had forgotten to put another outfit in his diaper bag.  So he spent the remainder of dinner and our trip to Wal-Mart afterward in just his diaper.  Oops!

What I'm looking forward to:  We are getting 6 month/family pictures taken this Saturday and I can't wait.  I'm also looking forward to taking him to a pumpkin patch and getting some cute pictures. I know he won't remember it, but it will be some great memories for us  :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And it only took 6 months

Yesterday we finally got something hung on the walls in Andrew's nursery.

We've had the letters for a while (a few months), but we hadn't figured out how we wanted to hang them. Yesterday we finally decided to put them up.  And now he'll have something to look up at during diaper changes so maybe it will distract him from eating his toes and making changing his diaper a challenging task.

We also worked on some sitting:

He's not quite there yet, but he's getting there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You're letting me down

This is what I am saying to my pump on a regular basis now.

I'm starting to stress out that I am not getting enough anymore when I pump.  Andrew is a hungry little bugger and I'm struggling to keep up.  I'm extremely upset that he won't eat the milk that I froze when I was on maternity leave.  I still have probably 70 ounces in the freezer, but I haven't even tried any with him lately.  I don't want to thaw it just to throw it out.

And now I just feel like my pump is not working as well.  I can still feel milk in the boob, and I can hand express more when I am done pumping, so I know there is more in there.  It's just not coming out with the pump.

I'm thinking my trusty Ameda needs a thorough cleaning and I probably need to get the replacement parts kit since some of it might be wearing out from the extended use.  I think there is an air leak on the one side and it's causing my output to go down.  I see a trip to BRU in my very near future.

To help with production I'm drinking 'Mother's Milk' tea like it's going out of style and popping fenugreek like tic tacs (I'm following the instructions on the bottle - no ODing on it!).  I feel like I drink plenty of fluids, too.  My weight dropped down in the past week and I probably haven't been eating enough, so maybe that's part of it.

Monday is the magical 6 month mark that was my first goal to reach with breastfeeding.  I honestly never in a million years would have thought that I'd enjoy it as much as I have. Sure, it was rough at first. Being a first time mom I had no idea what the heck I was doing. He took a few weeks to get back to birth weight and I was a mess thinking that I was starving my baby.

But now that we are in a rhythm it has been wonderful. I love the closeness of it, especially in the mornings.  The excited yell he lets out when I sit down with him in the glider makes me smile every time.  He is so anxious to get to the boob that he will practically latch on through my shirt.  Then once he gets going he has one hand on either side of it, holding it like a bottle, and he'll give the boob a little pat as if to say "Good job - keep that milk coming!". It cracks me up.

For someone that was apprehensive about breastfeeding before giving birth, this has been a huge turnaround.  I thought that I would at least give it a try, but I never thought I would be so in to it.  I think part of it is the pride I take in knowing that I am able to nourish my baby just with my body. Like it is me and him against the world. (The buttload of money we are saving by not buying formula doesn't hurt either!).  It's also the bonding aspect that I love.  I know you can bond just as much when feeding your baby with a bottle, but when he's nursing and pauses for a second to look up at me and give me a goofy grin before he dives back in for more, my heart just melts.

So here's hoping that we can make it to my new goal of a year.  I know it's possible he'll self wean before then, but I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that my body (and pump) don't fail us before he's ready to quit.  I just hope he doesn't start popping out teeth and gnawing on me when he's eating - but that's a whole other hurdle to get over  :)

Now I'll leave you with my happy munchkin after a meal of sweet potatoes last night.  He LOVES sweet potatoes.

Damn I love this kid and his big smiles.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Daddy time

Whether it's hanging out on his lap and helping him with his football picks...

or rolling around on his playmat...

or hanging out after bathtime...

or watching him make silly faces...

or settling on his shoulder for a little snooze...

...there is no doubt about it - Andrew LOVES his daddy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I almost forgot what that was like

Being a complete zombie I mean.

Saturday night Andrew decided that he missed the days of the all night all-you-can-eat buffet that is mommy.  I put him to bed a little after 9:00 and he was up (and yelling) at 12:30.  He had a pretty wet diaper so I got him changed and let him nurse. He was back in the crib around 1:00 and I hopped back in bed.  3:30 he was yelling again.  Another diaper change and some more nursing and he was back in the crib at 4:00.  I trudged back upstairs and got in bed.  A little after 7:00 and he was at it again.  I rolled over, grabbed the monitor and grumbled "Are you kidding me? What is wrong with him today?"

I got him, changed him, and we went in the back room so I could at least recline while he feasted. I knew there was no way he was going back to sleep since it was awake time and I wanted to be comfortable at the very least.

J came downstairs after about 20 minutes because he had told me that he would hang out with him after I fed him if I wanted to go back to sleep.  I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to bed (I am a really crappy sleeper) so instead we had some family time hanging out with the munchkin.

Needless to say, I felt like crap all day yesterday.  Burning eyes, low grade headache, and sick to my stomach from lack of sleep.  I had almost forgotten the fact that this is how I felt for the first 10 to 12 weeks of his life.

I also didn't get a lot of sleep Friday night because J had a 70 mile bike ride on Saturday morning and his f'ing alarm went off at 5:15 AM and I never fell back to sleep. I hate that damned hobby and need to start sleeping downstairs on Friday nights.

Anyway, I didn't really get to enjoy my last weekend day with my little cutie because I felt so miserable. And I was terrified that he would pull the same thing last night.  Luckily for me he decided to let mommy get some uninterrupted sleep and he didn't make a peep after I put him down at 9:00 until 6:30 this morning.

Thank you, munchkin!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Football Fridays and why I have to keep working

Fridays in the fall are football Fridays at our wonderful daycare. They encourage us parents to dress our youngin's up to support our favorite college or NFL teams. 

J and I are both very big football fans, but we support different teams.  For some reason he is a Dallas Cowboys fan even though he is from NC. I think it has to do with watching the cheerleaders on TV as a young kid.  I, on the other hand, am a die hard Steelers fan, having grown up in southwestern PA.

People find it amusing that a Cowboys fan and a Steelers fan got together. And now it's a battle to see which team we can get the munchkin to pull for.  Obviously at the moment he doesn't know any better and has no say in it so he wears what we put him in.  Since I am the one who normally dresses him in the mornings I get to pick out his clothes.  Last week I was nice and dressed him in his NC State outfit to support J's college team.  But today he is all black and gold:

At least I didn't go as overboard as I did last Sunday for the Steelers season opener (which completely sucked by the way):

And now for why I need to keep working.  It's so I can continue to buy super cute things for the little guy, like his new taggie.  I ordered it last week and it came yesterday.  I had a dream the other night that it came in and they had messed up his name (it had Andrww in my dream).

I was very excited to see it when I opened the box and I think it is adorable.  Andrew is already enjoying chewing on it.

I also bought him a halloween costume yesterday because I found one at Marshall's for $9.99.  It's a cute little cow one, but I haven't put him in it yet to take any pictures.  I'm sure he'll have more than one costume since they are so damn cute and he is adorable and I can't wait to dress him up.  I figure he can wear one to daycare for halloween, one for my company's fall lunch/halloween party, and maybe one more for the actual halloween night.  Of course J might kill me if I buy that many halloween costumes!  Eh - what he doesn't know won't hurt him...

(*disclaimer:  No - I am not really working just so I can continue to buy frivolous things for Andrew.  It's just an added bonus to having my income.  I'm really still working so I can make my damn car payment and student loan payment. Ugh.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thankful Thursday

There are many many things that I am thankful for on a daily basis. Our beautiful baby, the health of said baby and the rest of our families, job security, the roof over our heads - the list goes on and on.

One big thing that I have been very thankful for recently is our wonderful daycare providers.  After the disaster with what would have been our daycare (she died at 32 under somewhat suspicious circumstances before Andrew ever started there) I was a little hesitant to go with another in-home provider. 

I did some research through the DSS website (Dept of Social Services) and found some that were regulated and had permits.  After a few phone calls I found Andrea.  When Andrew was 6 weeks old we went by for a visit and I was very pleased with what I saw.  I love the small in-home feel and the fact that there are only 6 kids and two providers. Much better ratio than there would have been at a conventional daycare center.  They are less than a mile from our house, they do weekly outings with the kids (I pick him up from the farmer's market on Tuesdays), and they both genuinely love the kids.

I was worried when I dropped him off for the first time because he had been a really crappy napper and loved to be held a lot. I was terrified that he would be the screaming baby that they would dread having show up every day.  The first couple days were an adjustment, but by the end of week two they had him settled into baby Laurie's schedule (she is the only one younger than Andrew - by two weeks).  Now every day when we pick him up I ask how he did and they assure me that he is doing great.  He loves to watch and interact with the other kids (there is also a 1 yr old, a 2 yr old and two 3 yr olds), he has been great about napping, and he has just been a genuinely happy baby.

Andrea sends me pictures to show me how he is doing and it always makes me smile to see him happy.  There are many times when I wish it was me that was taking care of him all day, but it helps to know that he is in such good hands and that he is enjoying his days.  I feel like it's a win-win for us.  I get to interact with adults during the day and use my brain (and the paycheck doesn't hurt!) and he gets to play with other kids and have fun all day.  I'm always so happy to see him when I pick him up in the afternoons and I cherish the time that we have together in the evenings.

So a HUGE 'Thank you' goes out to Andrea and Marc for taking such good care of the most precious thing in my life.

With his girlfriend, baby Laurie, doing some tummy time

Porter loves baby Andrew

At the park smiling in the stroller

Some playtime with Marc

Andrew and Marc are buddies

Monday, September 12, 2011

"I'm outta here!"

Andrew has begun rolling with a purpose.  It is becoming very apparent that we can no longer lay him down and expect him to stay in one place for any length of time:

He had actually started his little journey laying on the play mat seen on the left in the first picture. I just wasn't quick enough with the camera to capture the first couple rolls.  Right after that last one that landed him practically in the fireplace I quickly picked him up and deposited him back on the play mat.

I think he is loving his new found 'mobility'.  All I can think is "Man, we are in trouble once he starts crawling!".

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago

Like most Americans (I assume) I remember what I was doing that awful morning a decade ago.

I had just gotten home from work. I was doing the overnights at the local ABC affiliate (WTVQ) in Lexington, KY. After my 10p - 8a shift I got home, made myself a snack, and got on the computer. I was playing a game (Turbo 21) and listening to 'Good Morning America' on the tv behind me.

It was the usual morning chat going on with Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson, when they suddenly went to a live shot of the World Trade Center, smoke billowing out of one of the towers.  They weren't sure what exactly was going on, just that a plane of some sort had hit the tower.  Everyone figured it was some sort of horrible accident.  Until all of a sudden another plane came barreling into the screen and struck the second tower on live television - flames shooting out all around.

I sat there staring at the screen, mouth hanging open, not comprehending what I had just seen.  How could one commercial jet hit the WTC, much less two?  I couldn't fathom that people had somehow hijacked the planes and carried out a terrorist attack on our soil. That just didn't happen here.

I was exhausted, having been up since the previous afternoon, but I couldn't tear myself away from the tv. I was home alone - my sister that I lived with at the time was in the Outer Banks of NC with the rest of my family. This was before my parents had cell phones so it wasn't like I could get a hold of them.

I sat there, continuing to watch the coverage, and was horrified when they showed the Pentagon - a hole in the side of the building with more smoke pouring out.  What was going on?? Who could be attacking us like this?

I continued to watch, tears in my eyes, as the first tower fell.  My heart was in my throat, thinking about all of the people who were still in that building, trying not to imagine the horror that they were experiencing.  Eight minutes later came news that another hijacked jet had crashed into a field in southwestern PA (where I grew up). They speculated that it had been headed to DC to take out another target.  We wouldn't find out until later about the heroics of the passengers of that flight.  21 minutes later I cried more when the second tower fell.  How could this be?  How could two such huge buildings be gone in a span of less than two hours?

By now I was fighting to keep my eyes open, but I was afraid to go to sleep. Terrified of what else might happen.  Eventually  I gave in and crawled into bed.  I slept for a few hours and then woke up to watch the continuous coverage on all the channels.  I was off work for the next two days (Wed and Thurs was my weekend) and was home alone.

In the following days, weeks, and months we would learn more about the terrorists and we would see a rush of patriotism in our country.We would also never again feel like we were untouchable.  We now knew that horrible things could happen right here at home.

Now ten years later, here we are.  As I sat watching the coverage of the memorial it took me back to that day.  This time I could only wipe away the tears and hug Andrew a little bit closer.

We will never forget...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

You saw WHAT??

This week J has taken the week off because he has some vacation time that he has to use or lose.  I had been planning on taking Tuesday off to have an extra long weekend, but if I did I would lose out on the OT that I worked over the weekend. There was no way I was passing on an extra $400, especially with the bills we still have to pay for Andrew. This little munchkin isn't cheap!

Anyway, J was home doing some work in the yard (Andrew is at daycare since 1.) it's already paid for and 2.) so J can get some stuff done without worrying about making sure Andrew is taken care of).  Late Tuesday morning we had this conversation over instant messenger:

J:  I just saw two snakes out in the backyard

Me: Where??

J:  A little garter snake went under where the A/C is.

Me:  Ugh

J: The other one scared the hell out of me.  Big one went under the dog pen.

Me:  How big??

J: About as big around as a quarter and as long as my arm.  Not sure what kind. Maybe a copperhead.

Me:   WHAT??

Umm - yeah. I'm never going in the back yard again.  At least not until there is physical proof that it is gone.

I hate snakes.  Terrified of them.  There is just something so creepy and unnatural about something that can move that quickly with no legs.

My other big fear is spiders. They just have too many legs.  Little ones that I can squish are tolerable, but if it's one that is too big (will make an audible crunching noise) I can't deal with it and it scares the bejeezus out of me.

We want to plant some fall produce in our garden, but until I know that snake is gone there is no way in hell I am hanging out back there. I don't care if it is more scared of me than I am of it.

Ugh - I hate snakes...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our weekend

I love three day weekends.  Except for the fact that I had to actually do work this weekend, so it wasn't all fun and games. (I won't complain about the work, though - 11 hours at time and a half will be a nice little addition to my next paycheck - and I got to do it from home).

Anyway, we did some fun stuff and had some good family time during our three days.

Saturday morning Andrew hung out with me while I worked. I put him in his PSU romper in preparation for our opening game:

Clearly I should have waited until closer to kickoff because he spit up all over it before the game even started.  So then I dressed him in his NC State onesie so he could support J's team.

He decided that playing with a cup is way more fun than an actual toy:

That night we went to dinner with some friends and took a nice family picture:

Apparently Andrew didn't want to get his picture taken.

While we were there he had a bit of a poo explosion.  And it figures that this would happen to be the time that I forgot to pack a change of clothes for him.  And we still needed to go to Wal-Mart to get dog food.

Naked baby in a car seat - yeah, we were kind of white trash that night.

Sunday we attempted to hit the beach for a little bit, but it started sprinkling as we were walking out there.  We lasted all of 20 minutes before we decided to throw in the towel and head home to dry off:

Yesterday the little man decided to not sleep in so I got to spend some time with him in the morning - until he passed out on my lap after breakfast:

Later he hung out in the bathroom with me while I got ready so we could go shopping:

We bought him a new convertible car seat since he is rapidly approaching the height threshold on his infant seat. (Plus Target had it on sale for $60 off).  After a stop at Sam's (where we yet again spent waaaaaaaay too much money) we headed home and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

I love good weekends with my little family  :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

This is what happens when I'm not looking

I put Andrew on his play mat while I was pumping the side he didn't nurse on.  When I was done I walked into the kitchen to clean everything and store the milk.  After less than a minute I heard rustling paper. I walked back out into the living room to see this:

He had been laying the other direction on his back in the middle of the play mat. I just wish I could have witnessed him getting over to the paper.  Apparently he can scoot pretty quickly when no one is looking!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Prayers for Ellison

A while back I mentioned baby Ellison in my Thankful Thursday post.  Ellison's mom, Ashley, is my  mom's friend and co-worker. 

Little Ellison was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (M5) at her 8 week appt, and has already gone through two rounds of chemo with the third one starting this past Sunday.  They found out that their 5 year old son is a match for Ellison and they will be doing a bone marrow transplant once chemo is complete.  She will then have to stay in the hospital for 40 straight days and then in the immediate Charleston area for another 100 days after that (they live in Myrtle Beach - 100 miles away from MUSC where Ellison is being treated).

J, Andrew and I will be attending a benefit bbq for her next weekend up in Myrtle.  They have had such an overwhelming response of people who will be attending that they actually had to move it to a bigger location - which makes me very happy.  My mom emails me updates and pictures of sweet Ellison and I get a lump in my throat every time I think about what she has had to go through so far.  Oh, and to top it all off, she has a cleft lip and palate that will also need surgery down the road.

Anyway, my point with all of this was to ask everyone out there to keep sweet baby Ellison in their thoughts and prayers.  Any positive healing thoughts that you can send her way would be greatly appreciated.

If you want to read more about Ellison and her journey you can read it here.

I told her mom I was so impressed that she is sitting up here - she's almost a month younger than Andrew and he can't do this.  She's a special little baby  :)