Archive | April 2012

Chompers!

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I had my first night away from Lucy EVER Weds and Thurs night. Before I left, I spent way too much time planning all the logistics of bottles, prepping Whit on all the routines we’ve instituted (“just remember, bath, bottle, book, bed!”), daycare packing, and then planning how I was going to pump every 4 hours and bring it all home in an ice-filled cooler (make sure to have a fridge in your hotel room, working moms!). Thankfully, it all worked out and Whit did a great job taking the solo shift. I was worried that Lucy would be upset with me when she saw me again for the first time (she has pulled this before, suddenly realizing I’ve been gone and letting me know she was not happy about it!), but she went easy on me. I got home right before bedtime so she gave me a big smile, held on tight, and immediately got to filling her tummy for her nighttime fast. Whit said, “When you get a chance, look inside her mouth!” I checked all around, and there they were – 2 tiny white tops of her front bottom teeth, poking out of her shiny pink gums. Finally! She has been working on those for months, and soaking her shirts with an endless fountain of drool (sorry for the visual). This week, too, she was waking up more at night, stuffy, and developed a less-than-normal eating routine at daycare. I’m hoping my girl gets some good sleep tonight now that mama’s home and those teeth finally made their grand entrance!

 

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D-I-V-A

Somebody was pretty excited about their school pics… 🙂

Disclaimer: I of course don’t think she knows this is a picture of her, but rather a shiny object that happens to contain a face. Still, she was pumped!

Sorry, folks…another boob post

I thought I’d update the blog on how breastfeeding is going with sweet Lucy. I went to exclusively pumping starting when Lucy was 3 weeks old due to issues with latching, and lots of choking and crying (mostly Lucy doing the choking and me doing the crying). Then I gradually tried adding back in one breastfeeding session at a time. For many reasons, pumping is a lot more difficult than good ol’ fashioned nursing. First of all, there are lots of parts. The nipple shields. The membranes. The tubes. Bottles. Storage bags. Cleaning wipes. Etc. And in you want to keep your supply up, that means putting all those parts together in the middle of the night. In case you were wondering, motor skills for pump assembly are not at their peak at 3 AM. And of course, all those parts need to be sterilized after being used! Whit and I dreaded the task every night of bottle and pump cleaning, and prepping bottles for night feedings. If anyone does find themselves in this predicament, we found the easiest thing to do was to prep bottles before going to bed and put them in a cooler by baby’s crib. That way when sweet baby wakes up hungry, you’re ready to go! We are lucky that Lucy is not particular about the temperature of her milk. Straight out of the fridge is fine with her. Anyway, that’s how we did night feedings for a few months. Each time Lucy would wake up hungry, Whit would give her a bottle and I would pump. Truthfully, it sucked. On several levels. I felt pretty worthless having to pump while my husband fed my daughter. However, it was better than the alternative of being completely unsuccessful at having a peaceful feeding. This is where I stop myself and remember I am actually very thankful for my pump. We have a love/hate relationship I suppose. But I digress.

So after I started gradually adding in more nursing sessions (starting with bath tub feedings before bed then working my way up to daytime feedings), Lucy eventually just figured it out! For the last 6 weeks or so, I have just been pumping for what she needs at daycare, and nursing the rest of the time! Woot woot! Over spring break, I pumped one time in 9 days. It was wonderful! That little bebe has become quite a champion nurser, I must say!

And here’s a little secret about pumping at work, ladies. There is no law that says you can’t pump while you drive. Just get yourself a hands-free pump bra (I like mine by Pumpease), and voila! Make milk while getting to your next destination! I probably shouldn’t admit it but I do this twice a day. Aren’t we moms supposed to be good at multi-tasking?

Here are some other nursing tidbits that are working for me:

– Try out different positions. Lucy’s favorite is when I lie on my side. It keeps the milk from coming out so fast (gravity!) so she can drink more slowly.

– When baby doesn’t want to nurse, wait until she’s sleepy or asleep. When Lucy is teething, eating quickly becomes a big ol’ mess. Sometimes I give her her pacifier, rock her until she’s good and drowsy, and try again. This has done the trick many times.

– Shiny objects work wonders. When Lucy hit 4 mos old, she started seeing, literally, a whole new world. She can be super distracted while eating, and not get much down. If I wear a shiny necklace or even just hold a mirror or picture up above her head, it helps her to stay latched. I swear she does the best when it’s a picture of her. That little diva!

– Sometimes babies choose sides. Early on, for a few weeks, Lucy only wanted to nurse on the left side. She’s quite particular! I learned that this is normal, and quite common, and the worst thing that can happen is your supply can go down on the less-preferred side, and you might be a bit lopsided. I mostly just kept trying. I’d start and finish on the nonpreferred side, to keep trying to get her to change her mind. Apparently you can make the problem worse because the milk in the underused breast gets salty to the taste. Several times, I did pump the other side to be sure my milk didn’t become like ocean water, and to keep up my supply. Eventually, Lucy learned to be an equal-opportunity nurser and got over her side preference.

I suppose that’s enough on nursing for one post. Time to go do Lucy’s “dream feed!”

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A Spoonful of Sugar

Want to know how to get 2.5 ml of baby Tylenol into your sweet suffering infant’s mouth, and actually get her to swallow the stuff? A nurse clued me in – put the dropper in along the right side of her tongue, and push that liquid goodness (that your baby totally knows is nothing close to breast milk) out into her mouth. Then quick! Stick the pacifier in her mouth! If she has something to suck on it will help her swallow, and less of that liquid will run out of her mouth. Magic!

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On the road again

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This weekend marked Lucy’s 2nd, and longest, road trip. We drove to Virginia to visit with the Sellers’ clan. Here are a few things that we learned along the way:

* Respect the nap. We found it more difficult this weekend to plan out Lucy’s naps and feedings with all the traveling, meeting family, and excitement surrounding little baby Lucy! She was quite the celebrity this weekend and she had quite a fan club waiting for her in VA! One thing we learned was that Lucy could hang for about 45-60 min at a time, then we needed to take a breather from all the hub-bub. All day Saturday, our schedule went something like, visit for an hour, nap/rest for an hour, visit for an hour, nap/rest for an hour, and so on. Towards the end of each hour of visiting, you could practically see the steam coming out of Lucy’s ears as her brain worked hard to take it all in.

* Teething while traveling (or any time) is not fun. For baby or parents. It would appear that Lucy is teething again. She is a pitiful puddle of drool and has been chewing on everything in sight, including any toy within a reach, her fists, her blankets, her pacifier, the ring of the pacifier, and her shirt. While changing her diaper today I had to quickly stop her from putting the dirty diaper straight into her mouth! She has quick hands! This translates into interrupted sleep as well for sweet little babies that normally sleep 12 hours at night, only waking once or twice to quickly nurse. On Saturday night, I don’t think Whit, me, or Lucy got any sleep until around 3 AM when I gave in, gave her some teething tablets, and tucked into bed with her. I know the whole thing about building bad habits (“Co-sleep, and she’ll NEVER sleep alone again!”), and of course I’m very aware of the need for safety precautions when sleeping with your baby (no pillows, blankets or gaps around baby…). But in the end, we were desperate, including Lucy. After a bit more fussing, Lucy settled in and slept until 9 that morning. I do think that, when we’re in pain, we want someone there to comfort us. As soon as Lucy was nestled in, she could sleep. And so could I.

* Long car rides need to be broken up. On the way there, we did most of the drive at night. This proved to be a great tactic, as Lucy was passed out in her car seat by 6 and slept until we go to the hotel at 1:30 AM. Once there, I stayed in the car while Whit got everything inside and set up her Pack n Play. We left all the lights off as I got her inside, nursed her, and put her down in her travel bed. She slept on until 6 AM. Go, girl! That only left us a short 2-hour drive for the next morning. On the way home, I thought, “there is no way we’ll make it 7-9 hours without a meltdown.” But we tried our best by sticking to our “Eat-Activity-Sleep” schedule. We would stop to nurse, then let her out of the car for 10-15 min just to roll around. In the grass, in the back of the Xterra, in the front seat. Having those brief breaks to stretch her legs proved to be really helpful. I also loaded her up with toys and sat in the back with her for the last 100 miles. She was such a trooper! Of course, I’m certain this will get harder as she gets older and isn’t so easily amused by a colorful ball, her stuffed rabbit lovee, and her hands and feet (recent discoveries she has made). Oh, and Bear. He rides in the back of the Xterra and sticks his head through a tiny hole in the Pet-Net. She smiles and laughs at him, too. Regardless, I chalk this trip up to a success!

Overall, Whit and I both agree we had a wonderful trip and had so much fun watching Lucy meet more of her family. And of course it helps when you have amazing grandparents who had everything set up for Lucy (including new clothes and toys!) when we arrived. Thank you, Gram and Pap! Lucy is a lucky goose.

Chivalry isn’t dead…it’s just redefined!

I’ve been meaning to post on this topic for a while. Ladies, remember the days when flowers and chocolates would melt your heart? A well-planned date night would sweep you off your feet? Well, those expressions of romance certainly haven’t lost their flare, but what I’ve discovered since I’ve become a working mom is that my idea of romance and chivalry has been completely redefined. Getting up at 5:30 one morning last week to feed Lucy so I could be at work by 7, then getting home at 5 that evening would mean I would spend a total of 1.5 hours with my girl before she would be out for the night to start another long day all over again. I walked in the door already wanting to cry, knowing I’d need to cram in a whole day’s worth of quality time into 90 minutes. But just the day before, I had dropped my phone in a cup of coffee and ruined it! Sooo the remaining evening hours for that particular day would need to be spent going to the Verizon store (a dreaded task) to solicit a new, not-too-expensive phone. Ugh. Obviously, my problems could be worse. I was just not looking forward to the evening. Here’s where my knight-in-shining-armor came into play. Arriving home, I walked in to find Lucy and Whit playing on the floor of the living room. I quickly explained that the only way I was going to get time with Lucy is if I loaded her up in the car and she came with me to the phone store. Taking pity on me, my sweet hubby said, “Why don’t you and Lucy take a walk together and do bath time? I’ll head to the store for you and sort out your phone issues.” To Whit, this was the obvious choice – he knows how much my Lucy time means. To me, it was like someone had just handed me a fine bottle of champagne and some chocolate-covered strawberries. It’s funny what makes me swoon these days. Not to mention, the house was clean, the laundry was done, and when Whit returned with my new phone that evening, dinner was waiting for me when I came out of Lucy’s room after she’d fallen asleep. Now THAT is romantic!