You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2008.

I’ve had friends who have had trouble with breastfeeding. It’s not the easiest thing to do and it certainly isn’t instinctual.  The Pea and I didn’t have trouble once we got going.  (Though we weren’t reunited after her birth for 6(!) hours due to some minor medical issues1 on both our parts and a very busy nursing staff.  And by that time she was super-sleepy, so it was hard to get her to latch on.  The lactation consultant basically shoved her face onto my breast and manipulated her face into a sucking action and sent us on our way.2)

Our difficulties with breastfeeding have manifested themselves in dietary restrictions for me.  After about 1 month, the Pea started having bouts of painful gas every other night or even every night.  It was heartbreaking to hear her wail, scream, shake, even hyperventilate.  All we could do was hold her, give her Mylicon (which wasn’t much of a help), rock her and just be there as she go through it.  It was terrible.

I had read once long ago that sometimes dairy or wheat could aggravate babies’ tummies, so I tried to think about her crying jags in terms of what I was eating.  When three days had passed without a crying jag, I thought back to what I’d eaten — sushi, rice, potatoes, salads — no wheat.  To confirm my suspicions, I had a giant piece of french toast on my birthday.  Sure enough, that night, major crying jag.  It was unbelievable and the whole time she cried, I told her I’d never eat wheat again if it hurt her like this.

So I went gluten-free and have been subsisting on salads, potatoes and rice.  And the Pea’s been happy as a clam.

But then her skin really started to act up — she developed a TERRIBLE case of cradle cap (which was hard to help with since she has a headful of hair) and it began to creep onto her face, down her neck and all over her belly.  After 3 trips to the doctor and a few prescription creams, it turned out to be eczema.  We finally got it under control with a steroid cream and now we’re on a maintenance routine of lots of lotion, Aveeno products, mild hyrdrocortisone creams and more dietary changes.  I’m off of eggs and seafood too.

And then of course, no caffeine, because she won’t nap after I drink a Coke.

So no cake, no pizza, no cupcakes, no cookies, no coffee, no crackers, no toast, no pasta, no fish, no Coke, no shrimp, no crab, no quiche, no egg on my salads, no scallops, no omelettes and the list goes on.  (This negates a lot of breakfast.  I’ve eaten granola bars and oatmeal for way too long.  My cholesterol must be lower than the floor.)

I’m left with potatoes and rice for my starches.  And I’m working an egg into my gluten-free pancake mix since it’s just one egg in 4 servings of pancakes.

This isn’t for forever because already the Pea’s getting better with wheat (I try a corner of bread ever month or so) — it doesn’t cause her screaming gas pains, but does noticeably mess with her digestive system and makes her uncomfortable.  The egg/seafood thing might last a bit longer, since she probably won’t grow out of the eczema for several years (but I certainly won’t be breastfeeding for that long).

But she’s happy and healthy and I’m so glad there’s something that I can do about it.

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I used to look forward to the weekends as a chance to stay up late, sleep in, relax, go see some live music and hang out with friends.

That, along with many other things, have changed with my entry into Parenthood.

Now, I can’t wait to get home on Friday to begin 60 straight hours with my baby girl.  I certainly don’t get as much sleep as I used to, but the amount I get isn’t too bad either.  I don’t get to see live music much any more since most of it takes place in smoky bars and you just can’t take an infant to smoky clubs.  (Apparently, it’s frowned upon.)  But I do get to hang out with my 2 best friends in the world.

The 5:30 a.m. feeding is a treat any day of the week, but the 9 a.m. feeding which turns into Tuggles (talks AND snuggles!) for the whole family in our bed is restorative (though last week it ended abruptly due to a diaper blowout and stripping the sheets).  I get to give her a lingering bath in her tub and give her kisses on her belly.  I take my wallet and phone out of my work bag and place them in the diaper bag for the duration of the weekend.

I love going to church with her.  She’s such a good baby and will sit through the service in my arms and smile at the folks around us.  Her meal time falls in the middle of the service, so I occasionally have to take her out and feed her, but can listen to the sermon in the Nursing Mothers’ Room.  But just as often, she’ll patiently sit through the whole service or fall asleep in my arms and wake up for the songs at the end of the service.  Also, she gets cooed over by all sorts of people, young and old alike, and gets to see her baby friends as well!

This weekend the only thing we have scheduled is church on Sunday and going to Sears on Saturdayto get some baby portraits done (by the same woman who took my baby portraits some 28 years ago).  In between there’ll be Tuggles, grocery shopping, long walks, probably some ice cream and little house projects.

Perfect.

Sweet Pea.

Sweetie P.

Sweetest Pea that Ever Peed.

Buh-bee.

My Sweet Buh-bee.

B.

Goobi.

Goo.

CarrotCake.

Baby Bugshine.

Buggiest of Bugshines.

Buggie.

BabyBug.

And then of course there’s her given name, it’s associated nicknames and her middle name.

I’ve been flipping through the Sunday circulars and I’ve got a heads-up for you.

In case you’re wondering, the top gift for Father’s Day this year is a giant flat screen TV and a new gaming system. Because nothing says loving like sacking out on the couch and not interacting with your family.

Alternately, you could buy him a fancy GPS (to further the stereotype that he won’t ask for directions) or some power tools (which I think is a bit akin to buying a mom a vacuum cleaner).

Here’s what the ads say: Be technologically savvy. Bigger is better. Have more stuff. Meat + Fire = Food. Grunt grunt grunt.

Lies lies lies.

Here’s the truth though:

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. I Timothy 6:11

How radical that a man should pursue gentleness — being sweet and kind and peaceful.  And steadfastness — standing by the ones he loves, standing strong with those things he believes in — not running off to pursue each whim and pleasure and sowing whatever oats he’s got going.  Righteousness.  Godliness.  Faith.  Love.  Those are the things that make a man. And I’m ever grateful that those are things that my man is pursuing.

And he’s got that grilling thing down, for sure.

Note: I don’t subscribe to our town’s ridiculous excuse for a newspaper. They just leave it on my doorstep in hopes that I’ll become so enamored by it that I’ll pay money for it. But I do love a good coupon-clipping session, so I take advantage of the ads before tossing the whole thing in the recycling bin.

SweetPea found her voice on Saturday and I got it on video.

She’s been making throaty, grunty noises for weeks and weeks now (uhh, ahh, ehh), but in the last week she’d occasionally let out a surprising squeal — very high-pitched and very alarming until we ran in to see that she was not in mortal danger, but merely delighted by her mobile.

On Saturday morning, she was happily hanging out in her crib with the mobile turning slowly above her head and when it stopped, she started gabbing at it.  She stumbled onto the squeal a few times and then kept practicing it until she was letting out 6 or 7 squeals in a row.  In between, she’d let out new sounds that she was actually forming in her mouth (as opposed to her throat): huhs, hahs, etc.  She was at it for a few minutes before I managed to sneak in the video camera to catch her in the act.  (She is mesmerized by the red light on the camera and always stops whatever cute thing she was doing when we break it out.)  She kept at it for about 10 more minutes and now breaks it out whenever she wants.

And now she won’t shut up.

She mostly likes to talk to things that go in circles above her head — namely her mobile and any of the three ceiling fans in our apartment.

I have always said that the sound of children laughing is my favorite sound in the world.  I had no idea that the sound of my own child’s voice could be so incredible and make my heart ache with all the love I have for her.

My husband and I wonder what she’ll learn to do next.  Probably website development and computer repair at the rate she’s going.

We had the most simple Saturday this past weekend. My husband had had a late gig the night before and didn’t get home until 2 a.m. SweetPea and I had long since called it a night. (Well, I had called it a night. SweetPea woke at 3 a.m. jonesing for a little snack. And again at 7 a.m. And again at 10 a.m.) The Pea and I, we’re late sleepers. My husband on the other hand, got up after just 6.5 hours of interrupted sleep. It’s tough being a jazz musician and a morning person.

After her 10 a.m. feeding (during which I anointed her head with olive oil, so as to combat the cradle cap — rubbing oil into her scalp before washing helps to loosen up some of the “cradle crap” as my mother-in-law calls it) we gave her a bath, played for a bit and then laid her down for her morning nap.

During her nap, we furiously accomplished small house tasks, including cutting my husband’s hair and cleaning out my stash of shoes and shoeboxes and coordinating a stack of clothes and shoes to donate to Goodwill. All very satisfying tasks, I must say — plenty of instant gratification.

When SweetPea woke up, we headed out to run a few errands and dropped off three bags of things to Goodwill.

My husband, the resident chef, cooked up a delicious dinner of New York strips with a mushroom/red wine/roasted shallot sauce, chinese broccoli, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. We ate and watched a movie while the Pea slept.

What was so so lovely about Saturday was that the three of us were together and loving each other. Sweetie P brings us so much joy and her smiles are abundant and unsummoned. While a year ago, I would have thought this past Saturday’s activities to be chores and as such, boring; and five years ago I would never have dreamed I’d find the day’s activities to be entirely dreadful, this past Saturday found me cheerfully enjoying my husband, my daughter and our domestic bliss.

Here’s to many more days like these. I was sad to see Monday come.

(As a side note, at one point on Saturday, my husband told SweetPea that he couldn’t wait for Monday when he got to spend all day with her. And while his sentiment was entirely good-hearted and full of love, he could immediately see that I was heartbroken that, at this point, I cannot spend Monday with her. He apologized profusely for his poor phrasing. I am _unbelievably_ grateful that our situation is such that my husband can care for SweetPea each weekday. And I’m sure that he will treasure this time he can spend with her for the rest of his life. I just wish I could stay home too.)

From the Field