Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dear Edie,

It looks as though your 6 month birthday will always be a bit elusive since there IS no February 30th. So we'll just call the last day of February your half birthday, shall we? Which means that today you are half of a year old! It is almost impossible to remember what our lives were like without you in them.
Every night we try to eat dinner at the kitchen table with you in your high chair. You watch us eat while playing with a giant plastic serving spoon that I'm pretty sure you love more than you love me. On Tuesday this week we get to start you on table foods, which will be a big adventure for all of us! For now, you're still getting a combination of bottles and breastfeeding, but that won't last much longer. For the last week or so of this month, you've lost a bit of your appetite for nursing, which has coincided nicely with my desire to wean, so I think by the end of this coming month, you may have transitioned to a diet of table foods and formula.

This month was a roller coaster in the sleep department for you, but things do seem to be getting better. I was starting to think you'd be a cat napper forever, but your naps are starting to condense and are getting longer. You fall asleep easily each night around 8pm and (on average) wake about 3 times per night to eat. You do throw us for the weekly loop by waking up 6 times in one night and then on the flip side you periodically give us a good 12 hours of sleep and only wake once in the middle. You are particularly hard to put down in your crib after we feed you in the middle of the night. You will be out cold in my arms and then the second I lay you in your crib, you wake up and writhe around fussing until I pick you back up and start all over. I guess you like to keep us on our toes.

Your Dad puts you to sleep almost every night and you and he have developed a routine of chugging a bottle around 7:15pm, then rocking out HARD to the Black Rebel Motorcycles sing "Beat The Devil's Tattoo" and then promptly transitioning to bouncing on the yoga ball in your bedroom for a few minutes, which usually knocks you out so hard that I swear we could play the tambourine next to your head without waking you sometimes.
You make lots of noises these days and imitate talking all the time. Blowing raspberries has been a major focus recently and your Dad recently captured this photo of you blowing one that I just love:
When I take a toy away you grunt, reach for it and get angry and I swear if you could talk you'd be saying "MIIINE!". Your favorite toy this month by far is the cat. We call the cat Moose and now when you hear us say "Moose" you turn your head to look for the cat. Unfortunately, the Moose is a little less fond of you than you are of him, but hopefully that will change when you start to respond to my frequent requests of "be gentle".
You still hate rolling over. You know how, you just hate it. Tummy time is alright and you are trying more and more to scooch forward with a combination of kicking really hard and sometimes getting one leg up and under you as if to crawl. While on your back you will twist WAY over to the side to grab a toy, but keep your legs twisted the other way just to keep from having to roll over. The end result is that you have this twisted upper body and stiffly arched back that's sort of ridiculous.
You are one of the most energetic babies I know.
Your legs are constantly on the go. Your Dad thinks you might start a fire the way you rub your ankles together and Katherine suggested that maybe you have Restless Leg Syndrome. Regardless, you love jumping more than anything in the whole world (except maybe the cat. And your plastic spoon). You also love scooting around in a half walk, half hop in the walker your Grandma B bought you.
You like to sit facing out in the stroller and get bored if I take the quiet streets. You prefer the noise of Roosevelt Avenue with its construction, store fronts, and runners with dogs.

You are incredibly social and the first thing everyone says when they meet you is to comment on your big blue eyes. They are pretty enormous and your Dad and I take turns taking credit for them. I'm biased but I really think you are the most adorable baby - funny, giggly, and affectionate - you LOVE rolling around on the couch with me and have started giving real hugs where you hug me around the neck and try to eat my face. Just tonight you laughed so hard at your Dad making sneeze noises that I thought you were going to give yourself a side cramp.
It seems as if we are on the precipice of something new. You are becoming less and less of a baby and more and more of a person - a person with a BIG personality. Which truly is my favorite kind of person.

signing off,
Your Mom

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flip Friday

Edie still loves her Johnny Jump Up more than just about anything. Two funny videos of Edie and Dad jumping:

video video

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A conversation after the episode of Mad Men where Don Draper as a child meets a hobo

Jeff: I have a book of hobo-code.
silence
Jeff: Maybe one day I will show it to you.
Jill: I hope you don't.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunshine

We've had the most fabulous weather here the last few days. Sadly, it left us today, but here's how we enjoyed it while it lasted.

Gardening in the front in our sunhat:
Spending time with Heidi:

Stretching out on the bed:

Wearing adorable sundresses:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Umm

Jeff and I spent at least 20 minutes last night searching for "Dog with 2 legs walking" on Youtube.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Breastfeeding

I simply cannot believe I'm still breastfeeding. That isn't to say that it isn't normal to breastfeed for 6 months. In fact 12 months is the current recommendation, but I never really thought I'd make it this far. I have so many thoughts on the subject that when I decided to write this post, I didn't really know where to start.

Should I talk about how frustrated I am when I think about that stupid breastfeeding class I took while pregnant? Or how about all the lactation consultants I've spoken to or met with? Or maybe I could mention the complete stranger in my post-natal yoga class who offered to breastfeed my child when she saw I was feeding her formula. Or maybe I could talk about the woman who works at Bartells and saw me walking around with Edie in the candy aisle 2 weeks ago and asked me (totally out of the blue) if I was nursing her. Ugh, ugh and UGH.

So let's start with the breastfeeding class, shall we? The one where I paid someone about 80 bucks to essentially tell me how easy and essential breastfeeding is, that all there is to it is a good latch. No mention of the fact that just about every woman I know who breastfed experienced a good deal of pain before things evened out (if they evened out). Or the fact that there are some women who just never really produce enough milk to feed their baby completely. Nor did they discuss clogged ducts, mastitis, cracked and bleeding nipples... It was basically just a Ra Ra Breastfeeding session where they made us take a quiz about the benefits of breastfeeding and watch a video from the 80's where women with mullets breastfed their babies and talked of how wonderful it was. As if discussing the very real possibility of struggles would scare us off from the whole thing rather than just allow us to go into the process with our eyes wide open.

I think it's important for people to know (and by "people" I am apparently referring to my vast reading public of approximately 10 people) that there are variations of success when it comes to breastfeeding. Some people are able to do it with ease, but many others struggle and switch to formula for a variety of good reasons. And as a PS, I'd also like to point out that formula isn't poison. In fact it has raised many a healthy (and smart) individual - ME being just one example!

When Edie was born I assumed things were normal. I breastfed her whenever she seemed hungry and if she slept for more than 3 hours, I woke her to feed her. When on day 3 or so, it didn't seem like my milk had "come in" as they say, I worried. But everyone told me to relax. The class I took said that I was bound to wake up on day 2 or 3 (4 at the latest) engorged with milk and might even need to pump before feeding the baby as a result. This never happened.

On day 4 or 5 Edie didn't have a wet diaper for 6 or 7 hours. This wasn't normal and made me worry that she was probably dehydrated. The pediatrician concurred (based also on her weight drop since being born) and told me to try feeding Edie formula after she breastfed to see if she was still hungry. Well, she chugged that bottle like she'd never been fed before and peed right away. And so began supplementing.

I was put on a strict pumping regimen which involved pumping like 8 times a day in addition to nursing Edie whenever she was hungry, tried using a weird syringe feeding device that required me to have no less than 10 hands to use, took Fenugreek (am STILL taking it) which is an herbal supplement meant to increase supply and I'm sure tried other things that I don't even remember. The whole process was really quite a nightmare and most of the lactation consultants I talked to were much more concerned with me making milk than they were about the toll the whole convoluted process was taking on me.

I remember pumping in the nursery one night and crying - I find the process of pumping so degrading to begin with, but to watch nothing but a teaspoon of milk slowly drop into the pump for the 7th time that day instead of actually spending time with my new baby? It was too much. I produced so little milk those days that it wasn't even worth putting in a bottle, I would just drop it into the nipple of the bottle to feed it to her in the cap. Eventually, I was able to get my supply up enough to provide Edie with about half her diet. And I stopped pumping so regularly after seeing very little results. But still! Still I feel judged and self conscious sometimes when I feed Edie formula. Obviously not by the people who really know me, and this is really all that matters, but the stress put on breastfeeding - particularly in the northwest - is hard to ignore. I feel that a lot of people fail to remember that many people who aren't breastfeeding aren't doing so for a reason. In my small circle of friends alone, 4 of us have the same type of supply issues and/or had to stop because of medications they needed to take.

The thing is, I really gave the whole breastfeeding thing more than a good college try. And in the end, I definitely give myself an A+ for effort, but I think my boobs get more like a C for performance. As I told Jeff once, "I think these boobs were maybe just made more for form than function."

I'm sick of the words lactation, breast milk, boobs, pump, and latch, and if I never hear the word nipple again, I will die a happy woman. All of this is to say that I've decided to start slowly weaning Edie next week. And yes I have mixed feelings on the decision, but most of the negative ones are really more associated with my fear of judgement from others and less about the idea of stopping. Sure I've had a few of those nice moments so many mothers told me about where I could look down at Edie's little head nursing away and feel all Mother Earthish, but those moments were also frequently laced with anxiety about whether she was getting enough to eat, trying to fix a bottle at the same time, or waiting for Edie scream at my boob when the food ran out. Plus, if I'm being totally honest - I miss wearing dresses and regular, cute bras, I'm tired of having to whip my boob out in public places, and I'm really sick of taking 9 Fenugreek pills a day. Edie starts on solid foods next week and the timing seems appropriate. I'm not sure how long this whole weaning process will take, but I'm ready to get started.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flip Friday

No baby in the whole world loves practicing her raspberry blowing more than Edie Bee. She blows zerbers while jumping in her johnny jump up, she blows them her in sleep sometimes, and as you can see in this video, she even gets distracted while crying by her raspberry skills.

video

video

Monday, February 15, 2010

High Chair

We went to Ikea and got Edie her high chair yesterday! It matches our dining room chairs, was only $19.99, and look how adorable she is in it:


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dear Husband,

This is a love letter. Don't be embarrassed, everyone already knows I love you. Now they'll just know some of the reasons why.

Dude, this is our *16th* Valentine's Day together! Pretty horrifying how time passes, yes? Remember the year you were living in St. Louis and I made you a dozen roses out of paper and shipped them to you? I think that was the same year you made me paper heart collages. Oh 1995 and how much we loved collages. Oh 1995 and how much we loved each other! So much. I remember my phone bill (or should I say my parents' phone bill) would show pretty much only your number over and over with 1 minute, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 5 minutes listed because I would call you at college and hang up when your answering machine came on until you came home, or we'd talk for just a minute to say we missed each other before going to school in the morning. Ridiculous. But this was before cell phones and text messaging, and I didn't even have an email address.

Remember also that time we parked in the Alaska ferry terminal lot to make-out and didn't know that they close and lock the 10 foot tall chain-link gate after 8pm so when we went to leave, we were locked in? And how we had to climb the fence and run home to my house to make it before curfew? Then I sat in my basement bedroom and worried about how you were going to get your car out of the lot to get home... And I know you're reading this and thinking, "Jill! This is so embarrassing - my Mom reads your blog! Why are you telling everyone such personal things?!" But Jeff, it's cool. Because it's okay to make-out before you get married and we have a baby for Pete's sake so I think the jig is up.

Now I will tell you some nice things about yourself:
You are incredibly patient, loyal, funny, really smart, ambitious, responsible and a fantastic father to Edie. You make a really good oven pizza, you're terrible at making the bed (oops, that wasn't nice. But it IS true), you always do the laundry without complaining TOO much, you're the safest driver ever, and best of all, you GET ME. Like no one else can, you get me. And in the words of Sonny, babe, I got you too.

Basically - I love you. Hopefully you already know that. But this year we're busier than ever and it's easy to remember to ask if you'll bring the clean laundry up but not as easy to remember to tell you that I still love you. So just in case you were wondering - I do.



Happy Valentine's Day,

Jill


Monday, February 8, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

24 and 30 weeks

The babe appears to be 24 weeks old (although I had to actually count on the calendar to remind myself):

This babe has been baking in the oven for about 30 weeks. So pumped to meet him. The countdown is ON.



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Play Group

As I mentioned yesterday, Edie and I have formed a playgroup with some other moms and babies we met through First Weeks. We've been casually getting together for a while, but decided to officially schedule Thursday gatherings from now on since most of us are now staying at home more or less full time. So that I don't have to introduce you repeatedly, let me tell you everyone's names up front -

Alison's daughter is Mae (3 days younger than Edie)
Deb's daughter is Alison (2 weeks older than E)
Tina's daughter is Emmeline or Emme (4 weeks younger than E)
Hopefully soon to join us are:
Sandra and her son Gavin who is 6 weeks older than Edie
And we have one more potential mom and son combo that we're inviting

Some fun pictures from last week's gathering at Deb's house:
Deb with Alison
Alison holding Edie and Mae
All the girls with Edie waving to me (and a giant pan of brownies behind them).
I like how it looks like Edie is listening thoughtfully to Alison's opinion on something.
Emme and her adorable cheeks.
Emmeline, Mae and Edie
Mae and Edie sharing Edie's sophie giraffe


Friday, February 5, 2010

Flip Friday

We've officially created a play group with some of the Moms from First Weeks. Here's a video of Edie and Mae trying to hold hands at yesterday's get together.

video

Also, Edie has developed a complete aversion to putting her pajamas on at night. Below illustrates how seriously Jeff takes this new problem.

video

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It, um, premiers tonight. I'm a little excited. If that wasn't obvious. Currently trying to convince Edie that she wants to go bed early so that we can watch the premier at 8.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Edie called my bluff

Well, since I post about things when they're hard, I felt it important to also give props to Edie when she performs like a champ. Last night she went to bed at her usual 8:30 and didn't wake up until 1:40am. THEN. She didn't wake up again until 7am! Even better, that ONE wake-up was a short feed fest after which I only had to put her down twice before it "took". I suppose having it stick the first time would be just too much to ask... Standing ovation Edie.