Friday, December 30, 2011

It's All Worth It

All the stress of trying to make sure I have enough milk to feed the munchkin.

All the time spent pumping at work and at home in the evenings.

All the sleepless nights when he's teething.

All the rushing around in the mornings to get out the door after yet another outfit change.

All the messes to clean up after he flings a spoonful of baby food across the room.

All the handfuls of hair that he has yanked out while nursing.

All the laundry created by poo explosions and throwing up when I try to feed him finger foods.

All the rocking and soothing when he's gassy and screaming.

When I see this face

It's all so worth it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Maybe it's me

So I've been having some issues with pumping and getting as much milk as I was in the past.  I've been blaming it on my pump.  Especially since the new Ameda pump is not the same as my original. It's not as strong and doesn't function as well.

Well, now for the last few days I've been using a Medela Pump In Style Advanced and I'm not seeing an improvement.  As a matter of fact, my first pumping session at work this morning resulted in only 5 ounces.  I used to be able to get 8-10 the first time I pumped.


So maybe it wasn't the pump. Maybe it's my body that is crapping out instead.  That makes me sad.  We still have three months to make it to my goal of a year of breastfeeding. If things continue on the way they have been that is never gonna happen.

I know I should probably increase my number of pumping sessions at work, but I am already spending an hour a day with the two that I do right now.   It would be one thing if I had a private office and could pump while I worked, but I share an office and have to go to an empty room to pump, so that is an hour of productivity out the window.

I'm not totally throwing in the towel and stopping.  But I might have to resign myself to the fact that we are going to have to start forking out some cash for formula to get us through the next three months (he has been getting some formula right now, but only about 5 oz a day).

In the meantime I am going to chug water like it's going out of style and nurse him and pump the hell out of myself this 3 day weekend and see if that helps.

Please body, go back to working like you were. I want to provide for the munchkin for just a little while longer...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

9 Month and Christmas Update

I wouldn't call Andrew's first Christmas a total success.  Starting on Saturday (Christmas Eve) he was just all out of sorts.  We took him to get his picture with Santa (attempt #3) and while he didn't scream and cry, he also wasn't the smiley baby I'm accustomed to:

That night he was miserable.  He was very fussy and wanted to be held all the time. When we got him down to sleep he lasted an hour and then was up screaming.  He had only pooped once (that morning) which is unusual for him. He always goes two (sometimes three) times a day.  He was arching his back and crying. We could tell his tummy hurt and it broke my heart to see him so sad.  J was able to rock him and get him settled and he slept a few hours before I was up at 3:00 with him.

Christmas morning he seemed a little bit better. He smiled a few times and I fed him some prunes to get things moving.  He pooped twice and took a nap before we opened presents.  He wasn't as into it as I hoped he would be, though.

He watched the train with daddy:

This was before his nap and outfit change.

Then hung out with us while we opened gifts:

Sitting in a box watching daddy open his infrared smoker/cooker

Not thrilled about being put in daddy's cooler

Playing with his stacking toy

Once 2:00 hit he was a mess. I had tried getting him down for a nap and he lasted 15 minutes. He spent the rest of the afternoon and evening being sad, uncomfortable, and downright cranky.

He did have fleeting moments of happiness

But this better illustrates what we were dealing with that day/night

Thankfully after a night where he woke up about every hour and fussed before passing back out, he seemed to be slightly better yesterday morning.  He finally ate, he passed a bunch of gas, and he had a couple nice poos.

I wouldn't say that he was his normal happy self, but this was a big improvement from the night before:

This morning he seemed to be back to his old self. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he isn't an absolute nightmare for Marc and Andrea.

Now for his stats.
Age: 9 Months

Stats:  I'll find out just how big my little munchkin ha gotten at his appointment next Wednesday.  I'm guessing he'll be around 19.5 lbs and I wouldn't be surprised if he is 30 inches.  He has a very long torso.

Size (diapers, clothes, etc.):  Still comfortably in size 3 diapers and in 6-9 month or 9 month clothes.  He fit nicely in a 6 month outfit the other day. When I tried a 12 month one on him last week it was huge. He still has some room to grow to get into those (which is good since I don't have a ton of 12 month outfits... yet).

Sleeping:  Sleep has been hit or miss lately.  This past Thursday night he gave us 12 straight hours.  Sunday night he was awake about every hour fussing and whining and last night he was up at 3:00.  For the most part he is a great sleeper and I can't really complain when he has a few bad nights.

Eating: Mostly EBF and bottles of expressed milk, but there is some formula thrown in there every once in a while. Especially since my pump has suuuucked since getting the replacement. But I'm hoping that problem is fixed now that I have a Medela Pump In Style Advanced (Thank you again Christina!!)  He is still doing great with the purees, wasn't a fan of yogurt when I gave it to him (but I'll keep trying) and still not really getting the whole solid food bits thing.  He did suck on a sweet potato fry when we were at dinner the other night, but I'm not convinced any made it into his belly.  We'll just keep trying. I mean, he won't be eating purees forever, right?  RIGHT???

Milestones:  He learned how to go from his belly to sitting on 12/17 and now we can't keep him laying down.  I also find him sitting up in his crib occasionally.  He is this close to crawling and I think it will be any time now.  I was actually hoping he would do it when we were off with him for Christmas because I don't want to miss it.  Maybe he'll wait til this upcoming 3 day weekend.  And I think he is about to pop out one of his top teeth (which might explain part of this past weekend's complete crankiness).

New adventures:  Took him for pictures with Santa on Christmas eve and he did just fine.  He didn't smile, but he also didn't scream and cry, so I count that as a win.

Favorite toys and activities:  His favorite thing in the car is a pack of tic tacs.  I have it in the cup holder on his car seat and he grabs for it as soon as I put him in.  We need to make sure he can't get it open - that would be a total choking hazard.  He is also a big fan of the toy he received at the gift exchange at daycare.  It's a Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Baby's First Blocks toy.  Right now he loves playing with the lid, but he also tosses the blocks around.  Still loves the jumperoo, although once he starts walking I assume he won't be interested anymore.  I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Funny happenings:  Yesterday I put him in his crib for a nap.  I was watching him on the monitor as he sat up and was playing instead.  After a few minutes I saw his head drooping.  He fell asleep in a sitting position, leaning forward with his head on the crib bumper.  I left him like that for a while until J decided we should move him since "That can't be good for him".

What I'm looking forward to:  Welcoming in the new year with our little guy and all the awesome pictures I am going to take of him with my new camera.  I'm no professional, but they have to he a helluva lot better than my crappy iPhone pictures  :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

9 Months!!

Holy cow! Andrew is 9 months old today.  It seems like just yesterday that we were anxiously awaiting his arrival.  Now here he is - 9 months old.

Being that the past two days have been very rough I haven't been able to do his stats, but I'll be back in the morning with all his info and some pictures.  Right now I'm praying we don't have a repeat of last night's hourly wake up calls.  Please please sleep little munchkin!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to all!

I'll come back later with more details and pictures (hopefully from my new camera - yay!!), but I just wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.

Now I have to get back to dealing with my very fussy and screaming baby.  It's been a rough couple days...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry (early) Christmas to me!

Not sure what is up, but Andrew slept 12 hours last night and is now almost an hour into his first nap.  Just to be sure I took his temperature and he's fine (although he is a little snotty).

I'm not going to get my hopes up that my fantastic little sleeper will keep this up, but I'll gladly take the early present from my munchkin.

And once he wakes up we are on a mission to find a Santa to get his pictures taken. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No wonder I'm not in the mood

For Christmas, that is.

I just looked at the weather app on my phone. It is currently 71 degrees and sunny out. Yeah, not exactly feeling like Christmas out there. Don't get me wrong - I love not having to bundle up, heat up the car in the mornings, and deal with the general unpleasantness that is winter weather.  It does make it a little more difficult to get into the holiday spirit, though.

I grew up in southwestern PA. We normally had snow on the ground starting around Thanksgiving and it would snow all the way to April some years.  I can't really say that I miss that (at all!), but sometimes I do miss having a white Christmas.

Unless we decide to pack it in and move up north (sooooo not gonna happen!) Andrew will only be accustomed to the balmy Christmases that we experience here in Charleston.  My sister (the one at the center of the baby name drama) moved back to Pittsburgh in October, so theoretically we could visit her and experience some winter weather.  But since I'm still not feeling too warm and fuzzy about her and the thought of a 10 hour car ride with the munchkin makes me break out in hives, I don't see that happening this year.

Instead I think we'll enjoy not having to dress in multiple layers and scrape our windshields while we cook our Christmas dinner outside on the grill.

Andrew (and his fabulous hair) are in the grinchy holiday spirit

At least his ornament made it here in time for Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Big 4-0

Saturday was J's birthday.  He kissed his 30's goodbye and moved into the next decade.  I tried not to give him too hard a time about it since he doesn't seem overly pumped about reaching this latest milestone.

I did have a little party for him at our house on Saturday evening - complete with lots of yummy food, a delicious cake and a "special" birthday hat.

He kept calling it his pimp hat

I didn't even try to do 40 candles

We had 12 friends over to help celebrate and it ended up being a very nice evening.  Andrew hung out for the first hour and then it was off to the bath and bed. He didn't even seem to be bothered by any of the noise from people talking in the kitchen less than 10 feet from his door.

I tried getting a picture of him in his daddy's sweet hat - but as soon as I'd plop it on his head he would pull it off.  It was funny trying to do it, though.

Maybe if it actually fit him he would've left it on.  Either way, it made for some funny pictures  :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Andrew's Newest Trick

I know a month or so ago I was saying that Andrew seemed to be behind with his being able to sit unsupported.  Well look what he's doing now!

He started doing this yesterday afternoon. Just in time for daddy's birthday.  Aaahhh - my little man is growing so fast!!

Friday, December 16, 2011


As I mentioned previously, my pump crapped out last week.  Last Tuesday to be exact.  Ameda had wonderful customer service, though, and had me a new one (free of charge) by Friday.

Well, I felt like that one didn't work very well, so I called customer service again this Monday.  Again, they got a new one out to me and it arrived yesterday.  I ripped open the box and got that puppy out for a test run last night.

It sucks.  Or actually it doesn't - and that is the problem.  I thought maybe that first one they sent me just didn't have good suction. It appears that they have had some sort of redesign and that it how they all work now.  My old one had some stellar suction and I was very happy with it (most of the time).

Now I am disappointed. I'm not getting nearly the output I did with my old model.  My crappy (and LOUD) Evenflo SimplyGo single pump is getting me more than the new Ameda Purely Yours Ultra.

Not good.

I still think Ameda had wonderful customer service - I just don't think their product is as kick ass as it was.  Bummer.

On a happier note - it's Friday and I get to spend the next two days with this little guy:

He's pretty excited about it, too  :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Andrew and his friends

A few months back our daycare held a couple fundraisers to raise money to buy a 6 seater stroller (6 seats!). Well, they made all the money they needed and were able to order it. 

Yesterday they tried it out and took a little trip to Pitt Street to go to the park.  Andrea sent me a picture when they got under way.  How funny is this?

Later, after they got back, they were hanging out on the couch.  This picture cracks me up - they remind me of the Duggars  :)

L to R: Porter, Olivia, Laurie, Andrew, Gavin, and my munchkin

I love that Andrew is in such good hands during the day and that the other kids love him.  Every day when we leave if there are some of the kids still there they all yell "Bye baby Andrew!" (he's "baby Andrew" since there is also the other Andrew).

It makes my time away from my munchkin so much better knowing that he is being taken care of so well.  I'm so thankful for them every day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Best customer service ever

Ok, so I hadn't been feeling the love for my Ameda for a little while.  Lately it just seemed like it wasn't up to snuff.  I was only getting 11 or 12 ounces at work when I used to get 16 ounces easy.  I cleaned everything and changed out some parts, but it still wasn't great.

Well, last Tuesday at the end of my second pumping session at work it all of a sudden made this loud whirring sound five or six times and then stopped altogether.  Dead.


Not knowing what else to do I called the customer service line.  I explained what happened and let her listen to the whirring (it would do it six times and stop every time I turned it on).  She said something about it being a known problem and that they would send me a new unit with overnight shipping and that I'd have it Thursday (they were getting a shipment in on Wednesday).  They would have even paid for a rental for me, but there is no Ameda place anywhere near my zipcode.  So I stopped at Walmart on the way home and picked up a little single electric to get me by (Evenflo Simply Go - that thing is so freaking loud!).

My new pump ended up not getting here until Friday because there was a delay. We had left to go out of town at 1:00 so I didn't even try my new pump until yesterday.  I was unpleasantly surprised to find that it barely worked.  I mean, the unit turned on, but there was barely any suction (at least compared to my old one). In 10 minutes of pumping both sides I got maybe 1.5 ounces.  I should have easily have had 4 or 5 by that point.


So I hand expressed 4 ounces of milk and decided that I would just leave work at 4:00 and go home and pump with my loud ass single pump before picking the munchkin up from daycare.

I called customer service back and explained what was going on.  She asked a bunch of questions, got the number off the bottom of the pump and had me try some things with the pump to check the suction.  When I told her it just really wasn't working she said "I'm so sorry for the inconvenience - we'll send you a new unit and you should have it on Wednesday."

Wow.  I honestly don't think that I have ever had such an easy experience with customer service.

Hopefully when the new unit gets here tomorrow it is awesome and has some stellar suction and I will go back to loving Ameda completely. But at least right now I am loving their customer service.

Monday, December 12, 2011

First Christmas Parade

This weekend after a trip to Charlotte for our friend's 40th birthday party we came back to town in time for the Mt Pleasant Christmas parade.

On the trip back Andrew entertained himself with a slim jim and some tic tacs:

Then we got him all nice and bundled up in preparation for the walk down to the parade route.  He wasn't amused:

Once it got dark the fireworks started:


I was afraid that they might freak him out, but he was doing just fine watching them:

There were some floats and some bands. And two idiots on riding mowers decorated with lights (I didn't get a picture of them).

It was chilly and Andrew got fussy at the end, but all in all it was a nice little experience.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How far we've come

I had some feedback recently from a new parent (Hi Rob!) and it compelled me to go back and read some of my posts from the early days.  Back when we had first brought Andrew home from the hospital and we were navigating this new world of parenthood.

Not that I feel that we are experts by any means, but I really feel like we have come a long way over that past 8 months.

I think back to my early meltdowns.  The nights when he had me up every couple hours and kept me up for an hour or two at a time. Now that he isn't doing that anymore - and is back to a blissful 10+ hours a night - I really did forget how that felt.  The zombie-like state I was in for the first 8 weeks or so really is a distant memory.  I always thought people were full of crap when they would say that you forget, but I honestly did.

And reading about how it would take me three hours just to get out of the house to take a walk now seems comical.  I was so nervous about going anywhere if he was the least bit fussy.  Back then I was still having trouble figuring out what he was crying about and what I needed to do to appease him.  I never wanted to be the mom with the shrieking infant when I went anywhere so I was afraid to go places.  Now I know that he will most likely zonk out in the car seat on the way to whatever my destination is, and the world won't end if he fusses a little bit in the middle of Target.

Lastly, I think back to me worrying that we weren't doing things "right".  I would read message boards and hear about how everyone else was doing things one way and we were doing them completely different.  I always had the fears that I was screwing up. That I wasn't good at this.

Luckily I also had a husband who could comfort me and help me to see that we were doing just fine.  We had a happy and healthy baby and that was all that mattered.

And he was right.

Now I can look at my son's sweet face and just smile because I know that we are doing alright. We have an amazing little guy who is the absolute light of my life (our lives).  Even with all my previous doubts about my abilities as a mom I now know that I was meant to be his mother.  No matter what, that will always be my most important job and I would not trade it for anything.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Our battle with the Christmas lights

Last night after Andrew was down for the night at 8:00 we made a valiant effort to get our Christmas tree decorated.

That effort failed.  Big time.

J and I pulled out all the strings of Christmas lights from last year to see what worked.  Ummm... yeah. That answer would be 'not many'.

We got two strings working and started putting them on the tree.  The first one went on relatively easily - I held the ball of lights and walked around the tree in circles while J walked behind me and shoved them in towards the trunk.  Pine needles were flying left and right and I had a nice layer of them stuck to the bottoms of my bare feet (why the hell didn't I put on shoes???).  Then we plugged in the next sting and went to work.  Halfway through the wire got tangled and when I pulled on it to get the little knot out half of the lights went out.  Son of a ...

We both stood there (J standing on a bar stool and me on the ground) and checked every single light that was out. The stupid things still didn't come on.

At this point it was 9:30, I still needed to pump, and I had about had it with the lights.  I told him to forget it and I would just go buy some new ones during lunch. We took off the half working string of lights and admired our handiwork.

Yeah - that tree is still looking pretty sad.

At least we got a few of the other decorations out...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trying to get into the holiday spirit

Really - I am trying.

I think I am still in denial that Christmas is now less than three weeks away.  Which means we don't really have all that much time to get all the things done that I would like to do.  With this being the munchkin's first holiday season I want to do all the cute stuff that we're supposed to do as new parents.  I'm just having trouble figuring out how we will have time.

As of right now our tree is up:

but it's still not decorated.

We need to get our butts in gear if I plan on taking pictures to use on Christmas cards (at this rate people will be lucky to have them by New Years).

We dragged out all the boxes of holiday decorations, but none of them have actually made them to where they need to go.

Andrew had some fun wrestling with Santa:

Chewing on our little snowmen:

And playing with the lights.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that tonight we get that tree decorated. And that it doesn't fall over like last year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December already???


It's that time of year again already?

Not to come across like this guy or anything

but I'm really not ready/in the mood for December yet.

There's just too much going on.  Both of our company holiday parties are this Saturday (J's is a picnic at 4:00 and mine is a fancy schmancy shindig at 6:00 downtown - at least I can drink this year!).  Next Saturday is a friend's baby's 1st birthday party and another friend's 40th birthday party.  My niece's 2nd birthday is the 15th, J's 40th is the 17th (yes - he's old), and then the following weekend is Christmas.

It's not that I hate Christmas, it's that I hate Christmas shopping. I never know what to get anyone. If I paid better attention throughout the year to things that people mention that they wanted/would like then maybe I wouldn't hate it as much.  But going out and searching for something to get someone just because it's Christmas and I feel that I need to buy gifts is sucky and wasteful in my opinion. That's why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It only involves food, family, and football - no gifts required.

Oh, and the fact that J's birthday is 8 days before Christmas royally sucks.  Of course when I asked if he had any birthday/Christmas requests he said he's been looking at a new bike.  He has his eye on a tri bike because he wants to try doing triathalons.  Umm - you bought a $2500 bike less than a year ago.  Ride that one!  He said he is looking at one that is a hybrid so he could use it for triathalons and regular road cycling and then he would sell the one he currently has unless I want it.  When would I actually get to ride it?  It's not like we can leave the kid at home while we go cycling.  And I'm not too keen on wrapping myself in a spandex cycling outfit at the moment anyway.

So yeah - I'm in a cranky mood because this month if chock full of crap to do and that means there will be little down time to relax and enjoy the munchkin's first holiday.  On the bright side, he lets me dress him up in cute outfits like this:

So I guess it's not all bad...