Friday, November 30, 2007

My bust is a bust

I’m at a weird place. I haven’t been producing much milk. Since I’ve been sick, my production is down to about 10-12 oz a day in 4-5 pump sessions. That’s about 1/3 of what The Baby drinks. My pump is also slowly biting it. Milk keeps getting backed up into one of the horns and the suction doesn’t seem as intense as it use to be. So, do I invest in new pump parts or just stop? The Baby is almost 8 months. Maybe the weekend will help production.

On a lighter note:, Awwww… The Baby has his first friend. She’s this cute little red head at daycare. I’m not going to be obnoxious and call her his little girl friend, but ... :-)

The Baby’s daycare is pretty sweet. Not only is it just three blocks from our home, making pick up for me and drop off for dad super convenient, it’s a small facility. The infants and toddlers are in one small building complete with playroom, sleep room, kitchen/craft area and an outside play yard made just for kids under the age of three. The preschool is in a separate building and features the same set up.

Anyway, the tots are just so nice to The Baby. When they sit him up in a Boppy, all the kids start bringing him toys and piling them around him. He smiles at each of the kids, but he absolutely cracks up at his little red head friend. Not only that, he actually interacts (rather than just reacts) to her. He actively tries to keep her attention if she walks away. Sheese. He barely does that with us!

You hear so many unpleasant things about daycare and I'm happy to say that I'm really pleased with the place we chose! While I've had misgivings about work (in particular, grappling over whether I should seek a job with part-time hours), I've never once questioned daycare. With the exception of all the bugs the kids are sharing, I think it's a great place and a good experience. If it were three out of five days a week it'd be even better -- at least for me. Finding a good center is so important and I feel lucky that we found one that is so ideal.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Guess who has an ear infection?

The Baby? No, thank goodness! Mommy has an ear infection. I’ve been out of work for a day and a half. I now feel qualified to speak for the millions of kiddos who get these on an ongoing basis. They hurt. Bad. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning on Monday with a horrible earache. As the morning (night) progressed, my ear went from feeling like it had to pop (like when you change altitudes) to feeling like it was being jabbed with the sharp end of a toothpick. Not fun. No wonder The Baby was inconsolable last week when he had a double ear infection. I feel much better now, but it’s kind of hard to keep my balance. I feel like I’m walking crooked. Oh, and half of my face and my infected ear are numb. I’m too tired to type. :-(

Monday, November 26, 2007


I’d like to talk a moment about a serious condition – restless baby syndrome. It most often occurs at night when a baby wakes up and can’t fall back asleep despite all attempts to feed, comfort and sleep train. RBS struck The Baby this weekend on Sunday morning. We were in another state in an unfamiliar house and despite white noise, a 6 oz bottle, and a lot of back patting, he just tossed and turned and cried. The weird thing is that his eyes were shut. He obviously wanted to go back to sleep but couldn’t. So I picked him up and brought him into bed, something that I never do. Not that I have anything against co-sleeping. In fact, I secretly wish I could snuggle and sleep with my little hot potato every night. He won’t have us. We try in the morning sometimes. He just wants to play and sit up. Plus, I’m afraid he’ll suffocate in our pillow topper.

The guest bedroom that we were in has two twin beds, so our sleeping situation resembled The Flintstones. I pushed my bed flush against the wall and put The Baby between the wall and myself. For 25 minutes he huffed and puffed and flipped around. I was on my side with my head resting on my elbow (so as not to get the pillows too near The Baby). He’d heft his head on my arm and move in really close as if to snuggle. He’d lay nice and still and just when I was feeling like Mom of the Year complete with a tear of joy in my eye, he’d sigh, roll off of my arm and squirm away from me. Then the noises began. It went from his typical, “Bah, bah, bah,” and short shrieks to releasing each breath slowly with a monotonous moan (my son, the Yogi). At one point he chewed my elbow. I was very tired, but I couldn’t help but laugh. At 5:45 a.m. I awoke to the sound of scratching. The Baby had rolled over to the wall and was scratching it. He had a huge grin on his face when I moved in to see what he was doing. Cute little guy. My husband deemed it late enough to trot the baby down stairs to his parents’ room and we got a few more hours of sleep before leaving for what turned out to be a 12-hour ride home.

From the Pump Room:
Okay, I confess. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. Our weekend away turned out just fine. I managed to find a private place to pump all weekend long, though I only managed to pump three times a day. I just switched the ratio of milk to formula to 50/50 for the weekend (except for bottles in the car… I used all milk as it was easier) and we were just fine. By the time I got home, I had enough milk for daycare and three bottles for tonight. Starting out the week in surplus is always good! The only downer of the weekend is that I got a cold, but I tried to look at it on the bright side: me being sick means that The Baby is getting a dose of antibodies.

Random thought: The only thing that sucks more than a fridge full of leftovers that you don’t know how you’re going to use, is a fridge with no leftovers. :-( That is the downside to traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Homemade Lullabies

I can’t carry a tune. Not even in a bucket. So it is no surprise that I don’t really remember any lullabies or kids’ songs to sing to The Baby. What is a surprise is that I sing to him – and often. He likes it. It calms us both down and gives us something to do.

Back in the spring, when I was still counting his age in weeks, I found myself singing Jingle Bells to him because I knew the words. One desperate day I sang 99 Bottles of Beer – the whole thing (I subbed milk for beer, natch!). He was on his back and every time I got to the part about “you take one down and pass it around...” I’d move his hips and legs in a big circle. He liked it, and when I stopped he cried.

Since then, I’ve wised up and bought a sing-a-long CD with all kinds of kid favorites. But as I write I find myself a little nostalgic for the old days (aka maternity leave) when it was just me and my buddy on the couch making songs up and hanging out.

Here are our two favorites. All can be sang to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider (it’s the one I know). If you too suffer from the inability to remember lullabies, hit print and change the name!

Song number one
Little baby Cole sat upon his mommy’s lap
On came a song and they began to clap
Off went the song – the room was quiet once more
So mom and baby Coley played upon the floor.

Little Baby Cole, played upon the floor.
Mommy fell asleep and she began to snore.
Cole kicked his legs and laughed at his good luck,
But his laughing and his playing woke his mommy up.

Song number two
I’m daddy’s little helper
Cute as cute can be.
When something needs fixin’
He can count on me.
We hammer and we saw until the job is done,
Then we put away our tools and have ourselves some fun!

Anyway, the year has finally caught up with my musical repertoire. The holiday’s are upon us. The baby and I can now sing Silent Night and not feel completely ridiculous. In less than three hours, we’re leaving for Ohio. The doctor said the trip would be fine. It’s at least eight hours, so wish me luck! The Baby is on the downside of a cold/double ear infection combination.

From The Pump Room:
I am jealous of you ladies with an office. I pump in the handicap bathroom at work because it’s the only private room and it locks. I won’t miss the disinfectant smell or the view of the sink and toilet this weekend!

I’m worried about my supply. My morning pump is down to a total of 4 oz! That used to be my biggest session – I’d get 8-10 oz. I pump 5 times a day and I’ve only been getting 15 oz a day. Every ounce counts, right? Then why do I keep obsessing over it!?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Working with a sick baby sucks

Ughh…. The Baby’s cold has reared its ugly head again and brought along a double ear infection for the ride. He had a 103-degree fever this morning and was up most of the night. Luckily, they got him right in at the doctors and gave him some antibiotics that should clear it up pretty quickly. I swear, that he’s been sick since the beginning of October.

I feel guilty when I go to work and my son is sick. I have only a few days left for the holidays. I used six weeks of vacation and sick leave when he was born. People are sympathetic with the “That’s just daycare for you,” “Get used to it,” and “Oh, he must be a daycare baby!”

Are we horrible parents? Do we value material comfort and status quo more than the comfort of our own son? So far he’s had three colds – all with bronchitis – and a double ear infection. But then I think about quitting my job and I also feel guilty. How could I take daycare away from The Baby? He loves the action. When I post and say that I think he gets bored with us, I’m serious! He loves being around and watching all the kids. They provide stimulation that I can’t. This, of course, isn’t to mention the loss of my income and the loss of our medical benefits, which I carry.

I know this is an issue that all working parents deal with – moms in particular. I’m just venting. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I just ate a really mayonnaise-y sub, a brownie (#2 of the day) and a handful of chocolate covered pretzels. I feel fat and bloated on top of it all.

From the pump room:
Oh, crap. Something is wrong with my pump. Milk keeps getting backed up in one of the horns. It’s not draining into the bottle. I have to break suction and then the backed up milk flows into the bottle. I have an Ameda Purely Yours. I’ve changed the white valves and those clear cup-like things are in good shape. There doesn’t seem to be a hole in the plastic tubing. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Monday, November 19, 2007

R.I.P. the electric snot sucker

That's right, after all this time it died on us after three whole days. *sniff, sniff* Naturally, the other aspirator was taken to daycare (and left there) so we didn't have anything over the weekend that worked. We have three other bulb aspirators in the house but the tips are so large that we can't get them in his nose. I know that's the point, but not going into the nose defeats the purpose entirely. Anyway, thank goodness for returns. If you decide to get an electric aspirator, beware the BeBe Sounds NasalClear.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I ordered a Bebe electric aspirator from Target. I didn’t realize it, but this model also plays music! OMG, I can now suck out my kid’s nose peacefully to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Okay, not quite. I was actually a little disappointed. The suction just isn’t strong enough to clear The Baby’s nose any more efficiently than a manual bulb aspirator. The Baby’s cold is going away and his snot isn’t the prolific runny kind, it’s the gunky stuff -- so I’m still holding out some hope. It does work, I was just hoping for quicker results!

When I first used it on him, he was actually quite curious. As a baby, he likes things that vibrate and make noise (he’s fascinated by a electric toothbrushes, razors and that type of thing). I got the thing up his nose and he was relatively still. “Wow!” I thought. And then SHNNNNNUCK, I found a pocket of snot and The Baby went into hysterics drowning out both Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and my husband screaming from the sidelines, “Hold his hands down, hold his hands!” Speaking of my husband, he likes it. It’s a gadget-y guy thing. He actually seems to get the thing to work better than I do. I’m serious.

From the Pump Room:
This has nothing to do with pumping, but this is what I was thinking about today in the pump room. As parents, especially first-timers, we get all sorts of things that we either can’t use or we can only use for a limited time. Here are few suggestions for extending the life of some things that you have laying around.

Receiving blankets --can’t use all 500 of them? They make great dust clothes.

Lanisol--great for the dry patches on my feet. How sexy. I also got a tip from someone on The Nest that lanolin works well to soothe rashes around a baby’s mouth.

Pacifier tether --put a toy on it instead (many infant toys have rings to attach them to carseats and strollers anyway) while shopping to keep dear child occupied and from throwing it on the ground and either a) giving you the cute uh-oh face, b) screaming, or c) losing said toy. For the record, I like the uh-oh face, but only the first three times.

Boppy --The Baby sits up on his own now, but still falls over… usually backwards. We put the Boppy pillow around his hips. It’s nice because it doesn’t touch him, but it’s there if he falls over.

That’s all I can think of off hand. Anyone have anything to add --any secondary uses for electric aspirators? (just kidding)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Have pump, will travel

It’s not the actual trip that bothers me, it’s all the plans that I am bound to ruin.

I’m traveling over Thanksgiving and am just convinced that people won’t understand the plight of the pumper. I can’t plan to be somewhere for more than four hours without taking into consideration where I will pump and what I will do with what I pump. And I admit it, I feel weird asking relatives in-law (most of which I’ve only met a handful of times) for a private room – preferable one with a lock – to pump. Not that anyone will mind, mind you, but for some reason I feel uncomfortable doing it.

I also know I’m going to feel like the party pooper. People, myself included, will want us to leave The Baby with grandparents and go shopping, go to dinner and go out for a night. Still, I have to pump. I’ll need a plan, a home base. While I did discretely breastfeed in front of others, I’m not lifting up my shirt and fiddling around with getting the pump horns on correctly in a car full of people. Putting the breast pump on is infinitely more difficult to do discretely than breastfeeding. Plus, I don’t want anyone to get an accidental glimpse of my poor, beaten up nipples being sucked into an unnatural cylindrical shape. Then there would be the whine of the motor, “eeerrr chaa… eeerrr chaa… eeerr chaa…,” that would sure put a damper on conversation. I’m not going into random bathroom stalls either (they never have an outlet close enough anyway). So I will have to interrupt plans to go back to someone’s house, which is bound to be waaaayy out of the way. My husband is never any help because he doesn’t remember that I have to pump until I say, “Honey, I have to pump,” and then I feel like I am the one who is throwing a wrench into the plans and being difficult.

*sigh* I tend to over-think things, can you tell??

From the Pump Room
Confession: Today was to be my quit day. At one time, I was planning to quit the week before we traveled to get The Baby used to formula only and to give my breasts a few days to be engorged and whatever other joy will come along with not providing breast milk any longer. But, I’m pushing ahead. It’s the right choice for now. :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Pump Room Top 10 List of Milk-Supply Boosters

The baby is feeling better today! He woke up (after sleeping all night long, I might add) looking all cute and stuff. Whoever thought I’d be daydreaming at work about my little baby? Goodness, did my mom daydream about my brother and me? Oh, yeah, she stayed home. She probably daydreamed about sending us away so she could get something done. LOL!

From the pump room
A couple months ago I was reading something on the Internet regarding baby / mommy fads and one made me nearly pee my pants laughing – breast warmers. I’m not making this up! There are honest to goodness breast warmers out there. Google it. Who on Earth would try such a thing?

Ah-hem… not long ago I decided to throw a burp cloth in the microwave and rest it on my boobs as I pumped. I was desperate. I needed that trick that might really increase production, and I recalled the bit about breast warmers and improvised. While my breasts had that fresh-out-of-the-dryer feeling, my milk supply remained the same. The breast warmer might work wonders at soothing engorgement and mastitis, but it failed me as a supply booster.

Here are some other things that I have heard of and some that I have tried to increase production. Please laugh with me and not at me!

1. Visualization
Chant with me, girls:
I must, I must, I must boost my supply
I can! I can! or I think that I shall die…

I believe in visualization, I really do. During labor (before my epi) I concentrated on being in my special place and breathed right through contractions. It made them manageable; however, the effort exhausted me more than the actual pain. I’ve spent considerable time (okay about 10 minutes) trying to picture warm milky rivers flowing from my bosoms, but I end up giggling. It just doesn’t work for me.

2. Herbs and drugs
I’ve tried Fenugreek, More Milk Plus and Reglan. Fenugreek didn’t work at all for me, though many have success with it. It never even made me smell like syrup – a side effect of taking 3 capsules twice a day. More Milk Plus (fenugreek seed, blessed thistle, nettle leaf, fennel seed, de-ionized water, grain alcohol) seemed to work a little. I’m talking an increase of about half and ounce per pump… but that’s extra 2-3 ounces a day. Since The Baby is eating more solids and less milk these days I didn’t reorder ( Reglan is an acid reflux medicine that boosts prolactin, which ups your milk supply. I was unsure of taking it due to my already weird reaction to prolactin, but – aside from giving me temporary restless leg syndrome – it didn’t do much for me. At least no more than the More Milk Plus.

3. Oatmeal
Some swear by this. I eat oatmeal a lot and my supply is a smidge lower than almost acceptable. How bad would it be if I didn’t eat oatmeal? Who knows!?

4. Half a beer a day (and water)
I think it’s just supposed to relax you, which aids in let down. A pumper at my work swears by drinking lots of water and a half beer a night. When I came back to work, she brought me a bottle of beer from a local brewery. How sweet is that? Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. Water, on the other hand, seems to help things slightly.

5. Massage and Jiggle
My husband has offered up his services for this one. I tried it (myself – haha), didn’t do a thing except annoy me. I’ve also read, and tried, jiggling the girls at the end of a pump session. It made me feel ridiculous.

6. Bending forward
The idea here is to get gravity on your side. If you lean over, your milk will flow. At the end of a pump session, I think that this might actually help keep things flowing for an extra 10 seconds or so.

7. Compression
This actually helps me. If I put slight pressure on different areas of my breast while pumping I am able to pump a little more.

8. Posture
If I sit up straight with my shoulders back and my chest sticking out, I can pump more. I swear!

9. Shower first
I guess it’s supposed to relax you and the heat is supposed to help. Meh… did nothing for me.

10. Cup and lift
Okay, maybe this goes along with compression, but if I cup and lift at the end of my session, I usually am good for another minute.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another day, another cold

Poor, Baby... he is sick again. I guess colds and daycare go along hand and hand. Of course, The Baby can't just get a cold and the sniffles, he also gets a really tight chest and trouble breathing. This means that he has to be on a nebulizer, which is a machine that sounds like a mix between a small generator and a pressure cooker. It blows medicine into The Baby's face, which then will help clear his lungs. This is cold #2 in a month. Since he got wheezy again, the doctor gave a prescription for a nebulizer rather than a loaner. He feels that this is just the way The Baby will react to run-of-the-mill colds (at least this season). We'll be able to treat him sooner and give him relief if we have the machine and the drugs on hand in the future.

I'm still waiting patiently for the electric snot-sucker that I ordered! Please get here soon. The Baby is starting to fear us. The sight of a tissue now sends him into hysterics. His poor nose is so red. Vaseline, by the way, is all you need to help the area around the nose from getting crusty and rash-y when baby gets the sniffles. I was ready to spend $8 on Auquafor, but read on my pediatrician's Web site to use petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline). I tried it out and sure enough, it worked!

On Saturday night my husband and I had a double date - yeah! Grandma and Pop-pop babysat for us. I'm sure other pumpers do this too, we add formula to his bottles to stretch the milk. He eats 6 oz at a time, so his bottles are 3-4 oz milk and 2-3 oz of formula. Well, guess who forgot the friggin' formula on Saturday? This was a sleepover night, too (we all slept at grandma's so that we would not have to wake The Baby at midnight to go home)! I had just enough milk to make 4 5-oz bottles.

I was worried and wondered if I should run home for the formula, or go to a store and get more, but I didn't. I felt sort of like I was living paycheck to paycheck -- I had no milk in the "bank," would I be screwed come Monday for daycare? But I brought my pump to pump that night and the next morning and had enough milk to get him through (plus, he had his solid food too). As it turned out The Baby began to get sick that night and didn't eat as much as he normally would have so I was glad that all he was getting was milk. It’s supposed to help prevent them from getting sick. Ummm, The Baby gets sick so much that I don't know if I believe it!!

From the Pump Room:
I only was at work for a half day today, so I only pumped once. I got all of 3.25 oz. Depressing. But, I'm not worried. The Baby's appetite is zilch and his teeth hurt, so I know even with my poor supply he's in good shape. That's bittersweet. :-/

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A little privacy please??

Well, I was busy and I missed posting yesterday. I promised myself that I would post on weekdays during lunch. I was busy on Friday. LLOOONNNGGGGG meetings. I have been blogging for a week now and I have to say that I find it slightly therapeutic—or at least fun. When I write things it’s like I get to recreate my life peppering it with a little more humor and more understanding than I actually felt the first time around.

Right now, it’s Saturday morning. I’m still in my PJs, the baby is taking a nap, and my husband is psyching himself up for the Ohio State game and fiddling with the other computer (I’m on my lap top so I’ll have to transfer this later). The Baby got up at 7 a.m. BUT he slept all night. YES! He usually gets up around 5 a.m. for a bottle and often times has a tough time getting back to sleep. We always lay him back down though. Don’t want him to get the idea that waking up and staying up at 4:30 is acceptable. Uh-ohhh… speaking of the little monster, he’s roaring to life! Oh, good, hubby is getting him. Anyway, in addition to the electric snot sucker that I ordered from Target a few days ago, I also got a Fisher-Price Waterfall Crib Soother. I am hoping this helps to settle and sooth him when he wakes at all hours. I will keep you posted.

From the pump room
This is a month-old story, but it merits telling. It’s about clueless people.

My company does large events from time to time that I help to set up and staff. I was setting up an event in a really pretty building that often hosts wedding receptions so there are several women’s bathrooms – one that has a sitting room with chairs and electric outlets. This is a wonderful switch from the handicap bathroom from which I normally pump. Anyway, I decided that I would pump before the event actually started when everything was set up but no one was there.

I put a chair with a large sign that said “Please Do NOT enter” in front of the door. My co-worker then pulled a large metal cart in front of that, just in case. When I went into the bathroom I pushed a chair in front of the door. Yes, I know, I am really weird. I fear someone walking in seeing me with my shirt up, boobs out and machine on. It would just be awkward for everyone involved.

Just when I started to relax, I heard what every pumper dreads, a rattling door handle! “Oh, shit,” I thought. I rose half way out of my chair, lost suction on my left horn, and sat back down fumbling with my bottles and blouse. I could hear my coworker rushing to the bathroom, yelling, “That bathroom is out of order, ma’am!” and the woman saying, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know.” Are you kidding me?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pass the squash

The Baby isn’t a great eater -- yet. We started feeding him solid foods when he was a little over four months old. I had out washcloths and bibs (and the camera), but all the food ended up in his mouth. Who were these children in pictures and video clips that had sloppy smiles and food from ear to ear? My little guy didn’t even need a bib! It finally occurred to me that if he won’t eat more than five friggin’ bites of something we’d never experience the fun get-the-camera-honey moments that I so craved.

Since he tended to button his lip after anywhere from two to 10 bites, I didn’t want to waste food by buying little jars that instruct you to discard leftovers after a day. Until recently, one of those jars would have lasted a week in our house! So, I decided that I would make The Baby’s food myself. All I needed was a mini-food processor (or blender), a couple of ice cube trays and freezer bags. It’s much easier to toss out leftover green beans when you know you still have eight servings left and that one serving probably cost you less than 10 cents (I didn’t actually do the math).

In the last week or so The Baby has been eating more in general (except when his gums are sore :(). Yesterday, he ate two sweet potato cubes and about two ounces of peach yogurt for dinner. Alas, he really is quite a gentleman in the highchair. The messiest he’s ever been was on Tuesday when he actually gagged on and puked up the sweet peas that I had so lovingly pureed for him. I’m still keeping a bib and a camera handy – just in case.

Here’s what he’s tried so far:
Acorn Squash: Loves it!

Cut squash in half, clean seeds, turn cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake (or roast as a better cook might say) for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. You can also do it in the microwave for 10 minutes. Just lay squash upside down on a micowave-safe plate. Let it cool down and gently rip the skin off. Puree in blender or food processor, adding milk/formula/water to thin out to desired consistency. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop out into freezer bags. Note: I've also combined acorn and butternut squashes for a The Baby-approved squash medley.

"Baked" Apples: Loves it!
Peel and core apples. Place pieces in a microwave-safe dish, sprinkle with cinnamon, add a 1/2-inch of water and nuke for 5 minutes. Puree apples in the water. Note: for older infants, you could just mash the apples.

"Baked" Pears: Loves it!
Follow above directions, omit cinnamon.

Green Beans: Bleh!
I used a bag of frozen beans. Be sure to read the ingredients. Beans should be the only thing listed. Cook according to package instructions. Puree in blender using the water they cooked in to thin out to desired consistency. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop out into freezer bags.

Sweet Potatoes: Loves it!
I bake two potatoes in the microwave. Let them cool down and scoop them out of the skins. Puree in blender or food processor, adding milk/formula/water to thin out to desired consistency. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop out into freezer bags.

Peas: Hates it!
Same directions as green beans.

Butternut Squash: Loves it!
Same directions as the Acorn Squash. But I’m going to give you a recipe that will make your husbands, friends, mothers or whoever else tastes this, think that you are a domestic goddess (well, really, you are!).
This is from and is especially quick if you are making squash for your baby anyway.

Adults-Only Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash (buy a small one to make for the baby while you are at it!)
6 Tablespoons of chopped onion
4 Tablespoons of butter (I use light)
4 oz of cream cheese (I use light)
3 cups of water
4 chicken bullion cubes
1 teaspoon of marjoram (optional… if you’ve never heard of it, you’ll never miss it, trust me!)

Cut squash in half lengthwise, clean seeds, turn cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let it cool down and gently rip the skin off. At this point I usually puree squash for The Baby and do the whole ice cube thing and put the large squash in a container until I’m ready to make the soup. To make the soup: Puree the squash and cream cheese together and set aside. Sautee onions in the butter and sprinkle with marjoram. Add water and bullion cubes and bring to a boil. Add in the squash/cheese mixture and heat but do not boil.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tooth number 9

At a recent doctor’s appointment the pediatrician warned us to get ready for four more teeth and I think she was right on! For the last three days or so, he doesn’t want to eat much and he fusses at his bottle. In fact he fusses no matter what he is doing. And bites and chews on anything he can manage to fit into his mouth, up to and including my knee cap. Poor guy. :( He is going to be seven months old in a few days and he already has eight teeth!

So, during my first pump of the day today I was thinking that he’s probably going to get a stuffy nose again. The Baby hates the snot sucker. His twisting and turning make sucking out his nose a family affair with dad wielding the aspirator like a demented doctor and me trying to hold The Baby’s head still. Each time we try I’m sure we add years of therapy to our son’s future. I also had been reading about someone else’s miserable attempts at clearing their child’s nose with a bulb aspirator and decided to see if Target or Wal-Mart carried an electric version (I can return it to larger stores if it doesn’t really work). Sure enough Target online has one. I ordered one and will post a review as soon as we get it and opportunity presents itself.

From the pump room:
I already said that I thought that I might have post partum depression. Not because I feel really sad, but because I seem to think awful thoughts. Because I have such a bad reaction to prolactin, when I pump these thoughts appear in spades. Today I finished my book and had nothing to do. I caught myself wondering why I still pump. I have complete faith that the nutritional value of formula is excellent. Certainly if anyone where in my situation and asked me about it, I’d say, “Are you nuts? Quit it already, happy momma equals happy baby.” My conclusion was that I don’t have enough self-esteem to quit providing BM for The Baby. I would beat myself up over it. I hate that I have been like this for months. I can’t seem to make any decisions without second guessing them to death. It’s awful!
Anyway, at least I get to start a new book tomorrow! That is something to look forward to. Oh, and if you haven’t read “Memoirs of Geisha,” go to the library. It’s very good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Travel System Review

Rating: 1 lowest and 5 highest

Evenflo Journey Premier - ****

This includes the Embrace infant car seat and the Journey stroller. I like both pieces. We have two bases for the seat so that we don’t have to move them between cars. We had the bases installed by professionals. Actually, re-installed. We’d put them in ourselves, but didn’t manage to get them tight enough or leveled correctly. An organization called SafeKids hooked us up right. The infant seat is comfortable and lasts to 22 lbs. The Baby travels in it daily and has even gone on an 8-hour road trip in it with little fuss. At 20 lbs he’s still comfortable. The “Z” handle makes it easier to carry. We’re also pleased with the stroller. Getting the carrier on top of the stroller if fairly easy, though sometimes the safety strap was hard to pull on. It’s easy to fold and open, it reclines for occasions when baby wants to sleep. There is ample storage behind the seat and cup/bottle holder near the handle.

Sling/Baby Carrier Review

Here's a list of what I have and how I like it. This by no means is to say that any of these brands are better than other brands, it just happens to be what I have! I've given them ratings: 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest.

Lucky Baby Wear Sling - **
The color was nice. Black on the outside and a pretty celadon on the reverse -- it was reversible too, which was nice. Another feature was a hidden pocket for keys. The sling is a sash (folded to create a pouch), and there was no give in the cotton. I felt like I was squishing The Baby in it. He didn't like it at all. I'm wondering if I would've gotten a sling that had more give to it if it would've worked out? I ended up selling this on Ebay. I'm giving two stars instead of one because the company gives money to charity, which is really cool. I'm sure there are people who had a great experience with this sling, I just didn't.

Evenflo Snugli - ***-1/2
The Baby loves riding in the Snugli! It has pockets for keys/phone/money. It's a pain to put on though. I've never wore another brand so couldn't say if the Bjorn, for example, is easier to use. My husband and I both use the Snugli and hope that The Baby continues to like it!

Nursery Furniture Review

Here's a list of what I have and how I like it. This by no means is to say that any of these brands are better than other brands, it just happens to be what I have! I've given them ratings: 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest.

Storkcraft Beatrice Combo Tower in Cherry - *****
I'm very happy with this unit. I'm not a hanger of baby clothing. All of The Baby's clothes get folded and put in his dresser. Each drawer is spacious. During the summer, when clothes are a little less bulky, I am able to keep all of his current size clothing in a single drawer… all the pants/shorts, onesies, shirts, socks, sleep & plays and PJs all fit in the top drawer. SOO convenient. I organized the next sizes up in the other two drawers. Now that the weather is getting cooler and the clothing is getting bigger and bulkier, I'm using the other drawers. The tower is great! It has three shelves that fit tons of diapers, wipes, various creams, disposable pads, hats, shoes and there is still room to spare! In time, it will be a great place to store toys/books/CDs. A standard-size changing pad fits perfectly on top of the dresser. This will be a great dresser that will grow with The Baby. It will look good in his room at any age. The drawers pull out easily and the tower drawer shuts completely.

Storkcraft Rochester Crib - ***
This is a nice looking crib. The drawer on the bottom is convenient storage for sheets and blankets. There is plenty of room. The crib features a drop-down side for us short mammas. Unfortunately, it's difficult to work. I can't hold a sleepy / sleeping 20-pounder and get the rail down with one hand. Now that his crib is on a lower level it's not comfortable holding the baby as he sleeps and lowering him to the bottom. Lifting him out is also more difficult. I think that this is a fact of life for a short person. I was hoping the drop-side would help, but it doesn't look that way. Also, the drawer has fallen off of its rails twice. I have no doubt that this crib is safe to sleep in and sturdy… but it's add-on features leave something to be desired.

Rocker - ***
I have no brand on the rocker. It's a garden-variety rocking chair that cost about $90. It looks great. They are just so much more charming looking than a glider. They are also much less expensive. I did and do use it, but it's not all that comfortable. A glider really is your best bet for comfort. That being said, I could invest in a nice rocker cover, which I am sure would help, but I'll just keep that in mind for baby #2.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Look, no hands!! Hands-free pumping

I never thought that lunch would get here! It's not that my morning was all that busy, but I had to leave to go to a chiropractor appointment at 11:40. I feel so much better now. Since I was about four months pregnant my back has really been bothering me. I assumed that it would get better once I had The Baby. It's gotten worse. I'm starting to think that it may be my mattress. I hope not... that's one thing I don't want to have to purchase right now.

This weekend was pretty uneventful, but it was nice because of that. I've learned to really appreciate it when we have nothing to do. Friday night we went to a new WEGMEN'S (yeah, we have a Wegman's in the area now!) for Sushi and overnight diapers. You know you're a parent when you've learned how and where to get sushi and diapers at the same time. My sushi happened to come wrapped in thinly sliced avocado, which The Baby happens to love. I peeled some off and mashed it up with the end of a chopstick. He gobbled the avocado off the end of the chopstick... so cute! The next day we went to a sports bar (with a no smoking section -- yep, you can still smoke in PA bars/restaurants) and watched the Ohio State game. The Baby likes to get out. Really, he does. He gets whiny at home. I think that we might bore him!

From the Pump Room:
The confession: My husband and I were both asleep by 10 p.m. on Saturday night and by midnight on Friday. :( We used to go out ALL the time. Dinner, movies, out with friends, parties.... Not that I want to do those things instead of having family time, but I do wish I could do those things in addition to spending time with The Baby. When you only get two full days as a family, giving up a part of that is tough! We are fortunate to have my parents just 20 minutes away. They love to baby sit. Thank God. We really should take them up on it.

Pumping hands-free tip: If you're at work already you may have already figured out a way to pump with no hands... if not, read on! For me it's easy. I simply put the pump horn on my breast and fit the bottom rim into my nursing bra and then close the bra as normal. It keeps them in place but not too tight. I do have a bra that is cut too high to do that with. I keep two rubber bands in my breast pump bag. I thread a rubber band through the nursing bra clip. Pull one side of the band through the other and tug so that it creates a loop that you can then attach to the latch of the bra. This simply extends the reach of your nursing bra clasp if it won't close around your pump horn. It's very similar to The Rubber Band Trick to extend the waist of your pants while pregnant. For more helpful tips, search on, there’s a link to the side.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Pumping at Work

Not only is it Friday, it's lunchtime! Generally, I eat lunch at my desk and surf the Internet. I figure I might as well do something constructive so I decided to start a blog.

If you've made your way here you're probably either another mom with a little time to spare at work, you're at home and the kids are napping or you're totally confused and wondering what in the hell a breast pump is and why someone would subject themselves to such torture, or at the very least why someone would want to blog about it.

I don't really want to blog about pumping per se, it just seems to really define this part of my life. I'm 34, married to a wonderfully kind/sweet/sexy/silly/cute (and only occasionally annoying) man, I have a gorgeous 7 month old son, I have a career, and all these crazy wonderful things in my life. But, as any new mom will tell you, time is scarce. Sometimes I feel as though the only time I have for myself to think and / or read is in the Pump Room at work.

The confession part??? I think I may have a little touch of post partum depression. *gulp* There. I said it. I've always been a little on the down side. Bono once said, and I'm paraphrasing, that he is happy to be sad. That is sort of how I am, except I would say that I am really a happy person trapped in a sad mind... I’m haunted by sad thoughts and grim realities. I could go into examples and such, but I don't want the blog to be about PPD either. It's just part of my life right now.

My other confession? I didn't care for breast feeding. OMG... SOMEONE CALL THE LACTATION POLICE. That's right. I didn't like it. I bought a pump by week 3 and began to pump because, for some reason, breastfeeding agitated me. Pumping does as well but to a smaller degree. I did BF (breast feed) 2-4 times a day for approximately 6 months despite all of this. The Baby liked it, it was good for him, so I continued. When The Baby got his 8th tooth and took a shine to biting -- no CLAMPING -- down on my breast, I went to exclusive pumping. Ouch.

I feel proud that I was able to BF for so long. It was a horrible challenge for me. The only thing that the LLL and a lactation consultant could figure was that I was having an odd reaction to prolactin (a hormone secreted during BFing). Generally, it relaxes a woman. It makes me feel like kicking the cat. *sigh* I really feel sad that it wasn't a good experience. In fact, it makes me feel like I failed and that something must be "wrong" with me. I hate that I think like that!

Anyway, I hope, in time, to post links that I find helpful, funny and inspiring as a woman and a mom. I hope to make note of products/advice that help me along the way. I hope that my honesty about parenting issues and experiences helps someone else feel a little less alone. We're all under a tremendous amount of pressure - bless us all!

From the Pump Room:
I'll start with the obvious. I have an Ameda Purely Yours breast pump in a black tote bag. I got it for about $170 at Baby Depot. It works great. I use it 3-6 times daily and have for 6.5 months. Note: I also tried to the Isis Manual pump and it didn't work well for me.

What I'm reading: Time to read - Hooray!! Memoirs of a Geisha. This is a great book! I now LOOK FORWARD to pumping. :-)

Anyone else have any good Pump Room books?