Thursday, April 1, 2010

3 years old

It's hard to believe that my oldest son Cole is going to be 3 in just a week! Even if I'm no longer a regular writer, I'm so glad that I have this blog to go back and read. It's true, you do forget so much. It's also funny to see how some things just never change!

So many of my posts are about Cole's eating habits, or lack there of. Cole is still a picky eater. He won't touch a cooked vegetable. My saving grace is that he eats salad with ranch dressing. Thank goodness for ranch. Instead of using nutritionally-void iceberg lettuce, I use baby spinach. I toss in a little broccoli slaw. He loves fruit, but will only eat apples and pears with regularity. He is hot and cold with bananas, will only eat pineapples if they are large chunks and will only eat strawberries if left intact. Cut them up into bite-size pieces and it loses its palatability (oh, you're right, that's not a word. hmmf). I've learned to stop worrying about it. If he will only eat the cheap nuggets made with rib-meat, as opposed to organic breast meat nuggets, meh. 

Cole has grown into a great kid. But he is hard to entertain. Kids are just such peculiar little things, aren't they? He will obsessively industrially pick up sticks and put them in the yard waste bucket. He'll do this for 20 minutes at a clip. Usually when I want to go somewhere. But I've yet to see him play with a toy for over 5 minutes. What kid doesn't like toys? He likes books, he likes having his stuffies around, but he doesn't really play with anything. So when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said a box a Mini-Wheats, rather than a toy. He does like Thomas the Train and he really loves an empty cardboard box, so we got him this for his birthday:

I hope he'll go inside and be able to envision the same things that he did when he was in the cardboard box:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What goes on in their little heads?

Example One
When I went into Cole's room this morning he was naked from the waist down. He'd stripped off his pj pants and his overnight pull-up.

"C'mon, let's go pee," I said.

"I pee in my bed."

Sure enough, I peeled back the covers to reveal a spot about 14" across, warm and wet. About an inch from that lay his dry pull-up. WHY?!

Example Two
Cole all of a sudden has an aversion to buttons and zippers and throws a fit if he doesn't get to wear sweat pants.

Example Three
"I need my privacy."
The boy who will streak through the living room wearing nothing but a towel over his head no longer wants me in the bathroom while he poops and pees. He's two and three-quarters. His aim sucks. His "wiping" skills are worse.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Storkcraft Crib Recall - speedy response

I, like millions of others, have a crib that has just been recalled. No wonder we could never work that drop-down side correctly! I know there was no way I would be able to drop down that side while holding a sleeping infant and then raise it up again. Since we assembled our crib ourselves (by "ourselves" I mean my husband) there was no way we were going to take it apart to get a new one. We decided we didn't care that the side would only go down with brute force. It never occurred to us that this could be a danger. In hind-sight I should have at least reported it to the company.

On November 30 I contacted Storkcraft via their web site to get my new crib part. I waited a week because the phone lines and the Web server were jammed. My request was easy to process. All I had to know was information that is on the instructions, which is glued on the part of the crib that holds the mattress. I guessed at the date that I got it.

It wasn't impearative for me to get a new side (or a part, as it turns out) right away. Cole is using it as a daybed now. In a few weeks we are planning to move Owen, who is 11 months old, to the crib and Cole to a twin bed. I was hoping to have the part by then.

Much to my surprise, the part and instructions showed up in my mailbox in just 10 days. During that time I was sent an e-mail saying that the company is doing all they can to get the part out. I guess it's unprecedented that they would have such a large recall. 2.1 million is a lot of cribs! If just half of those people ordered the replacement part that is still a lot for a company to do. In just a couple weeks they created and manufactured the part, produced and printed the directions, and began to ship it out. As someone who used to work in marketing I can appreciate the efforts.

Right now Owen is in a mini-crib. He's almost as long as it is! He's going to feel like a small fish when he starts sleeping in a full-size crib!

Isn't the art cool?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Making up stories and other stupid parenting mistakes

Cole loves reading. He won't play with a toy for more than a half second, but he'll read Curious George over and over. He loves Biscuit, quotes Loonette, and will point out if I miss a word in Little Bear Won't Take a Nap. He will insist on leafing through one book while I read another. This drives me crazy. I test him. I will replace "witch" with, say, "ghost" to see if he is listening. Sure enough his little head will pop up and he'll correct me.

Honestly, I love that he reads. I have so many fond memories of getting lost in a book--even as a youngster. I would read The Berenstain Bears over and over, Raggedy Ann and Andy's Rainy Day Circus was falling apart. It's an amazing feeling to get lost among words.

It's a horrible feeling to trip over.

Once upon a time, a very foolish mother made the mistake of deciding to be Super Mom and make up her  own stories. Now she is stuck.

Every night before bed (and nap!) I have to "tell the one about Coco [Cole's story name] and the witch's mask," or "tell me about Coco goes to the bus stop," or "say the one where Coco scares Grandma," and on and on.I'm not a very creative storyteller. I don't think well on the spot. Couple these things with a two-year-old who thrives on consistency and doesn't really want to go to sleep and you got a messy situation.

One thing I've learned to do well is plagiarize. No, not my blog or in my professional life (I am a writer of brochures, web sites and other not-so-literary works). But I will admit to ripping off Mother Goose and Hans Christian Anderson (my favorite child's author!). I do so unapologetically. I can't just keep coming up with masterpieces such as Coco Puts on a Witch's Mask and Scares Santa to please my son. Especially at 8 p.m. when How I Met Your Mother is on.

Anyway, on Sunday night, Cole stays at his Grandma's house. She too has learned to steal from the masters and she made up a story about a little girl named Goldie Locks (at least I change names for Pete's sake!) and the Three Bears. Yesterday afternoon when Cole went down for his nap, he wanted to hear this story. No problem. I start telling the story relieved that I don't have to make anything up. Here is where the consistency thing comes in to play. My version is different than my mom's. This leads to many protests on his part.

Tired and frustrated, he finally looked at me and said, "Stop. I don't want you to tell me about this one  anymore."

I wonder if I start messing up all of the made-up stories if I could get out my role as storyteller altogether? It's worth considering.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hello, stranger.

I don't know if I remember how to do this! There's lots of new buttons on top of my Blogger Composer. I let my blog go well over a year ago. I just started to feel like it was too important, if that makes sense. It was interfering with my work. I felt like every time Cole did something, I had to take notes. It started to bug me. I needed some space. It is the same thing that happened to my diary when I 12 and when I was 16 and when I was in my mid-20s. Plus, I was pregnant and bitchy.

I have a 2 and 3/4 year-old and 10 month old! The new guy's name is Owen and he is a sweetheart. He's a cuddly baby who loves to play, eats like a champ and is a pleasure (most of the time).

So, when I was 8 months pregnant, I learned that my department at work was to be downsized. Nice, huh? I worked at a newspaper, so I saw it coming. The industry is in trouble. I decided to take 6 months off with the new babe and pursue a part-time freelance writing career. So far, it's okay. :-) We are a lot poorer. But I get an extra few days a week with my kids and I never have to wear panty hose.

Here are my guys:

From Top to bottom, Owen on the day he was born (1.13.09), Cole recently (big and cute,eh?), Owen recently .

Hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If you're unsure who to vote for...

Cole's Platform:

Mandatory naps for all
Fair play
No more shots
Any corporation currently being bailed out with taxpayers' money due to questionable investment practices shall go without dessert until said money is paid back in full
No name calling
Vegetables shall be taken off the food pyramid
Mother's day should be observed on the first Sunday of every month

Happy Voting!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Confessions galore

Thanks so much for all the kinds words and congratulations, it means a lot to me. This summer was definitely one of growth. I can’t believe how big my son is. He is a little boy now. See?

But it wasn’t just growth for him. It was growth for me as well. I have a confession. In fact, I have two. They are the entire reason I started this blog and named it Pumproom Confessions. I never intended to tell friends or family about this blog. I just wanted an outlet to get some things off of my chest (no pun intended) in an anonymous environment. But then I realized it was a good way to share stories and photos, so I invited my friends and family, and I became a writing wimp. I didn’t want to be judged. Not by friends or family and not by those who stopped by the Pump Room regularly. I did that well enough by myself. So I stuck to safe topics and just mentioned the other things in passing.

Confession One
I had post partum depression, something which I didn’t get help for until my son was almost a year old. I thought it would go away on its own. I thought, for good reason, that it would go away when I stopped breast feeding / pumping. It didn’t. So I started seeing a specialist who has helped me work through it. My PPD manifested in a much milder manner than some, thank goodness, but one that created a lot of issues for me. While I was able to function and able to tenderly care for and love my son, I felt no joy after his birth. It was like I was swallowed up. Oh, I was glad / proud of my son and loved sharing stories, but I always felt like somehow I was going through the motions. I never felt happy, even though I was aware that I should. I never felt unhappy either. But I knew I was missing something and that something was very wrong.

Blogging was a savior for me. It allowed me to relive moments and memories. It was therapeutic for me. It made me feel normal, whereas I spent a lot of time in my everyday life wondering WTF is wrong with me? So thank you for being part of this. And if you are a new mom and hurting, please see someone. It helps. I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but I just can’t tell you the joy I get now out of family life and my son and my pregnancy. I’m back to “me” again.

Confession Two
My second confession is I experienced D-MER (dysphoric milk ejection reflex). And a rather bad case of it, at that. Breastfeeding and pumping were not good experiences for me. About 50% of the time I felt a surge of rage (and I mean RAGE) when I breastfed. The other 50% of the time, I would feel anything from mild irritation to pretty darn angry. I can’t even express to you how complicated the feelings are when you do something that is suppose to be so good and it goes so wrong. Of course, when I got the real bad feelings, I stopped the nursing session immediately and got a bottle of expressed milk or a formula/milk combo. I found ways that made it easier.

I was in contact with my lactation consultant and it baffled her. I even emailed my local LLL director (I was to embarrassed to call or go to a meeting). She did some research and came up with nothing. Nobody ever heard of this reaction. I felt broken. I was extremely hard on myself for this, though I obviously couldn’t help it. I should have switched to formula only, but I didn’t. I was determined to a fault, and I think that part of being depressed was to force myself to do something that so obviously wasn’t working. Maybe I even felt as though I deserved it, or that it was the only thing I could offer my child, though I never consciously thought those things.

At 10 months my supply plummeted and I shelved the pump. I had quit breastfeeding at six months in part because my son teethed so early and wasn’t grasping the concept of “No Biting!!” but also because I was exhausted from dealing with negative feelings while breast feeding and then dealing with the reality of experiencing those feelings in the first place. Pumping yielding the same reaction, but I wasn’t holding my son. It made a difference.

The first time I went to see the women’s specialist, she directed me to Though I was no longer breastfeeding/pumping, I cried. I was so relieved that I wasn’t alone and that there was a reason for what I felt. It wasn’t just me.

Am I going to breastfeed this time? (Hey, did ya know I’m pregnant??) I am going to try. I have nothing to lose. I’ve got some tips from D-MER to go on. I have support. If those feelings come back though, I will stop immediately. I am committing to not committing to it. Hehe.

Again, blogging has helped me greatly. I was able to highlight the look-back-and-laugh side of pumping and the daily supply obsession that women go through. But the whole confession aspect of this blog was lost. I wanted to write about what I felt daily because if ANYONE else felt like this, I wanted them to know that they weren’t alone and didn’t have to suffer and hold all of their feelings inside. Since I’m no medical expert, I’m glad to be able to point to a Web site run by a lactation consultant who also experienced D-MER.

Did you read all the way to the end??!! You win the booby prize. :-) ahhhhhhhhhhh… the boob puns never get old.

But seriously? THANK YOU.

E-mail me anytime. anne[dot]pumproom[at]gmail[dot]com
AFF: I didn’t get your email! Stupid, Yahoo. I get so much in my spam folder that I stopped going through it. I imagine you ended up in the spam folder. :(