Kate Bishop lives on an island with her husband and first daughter, Elle. She wishes it was a tropical island. It is not. The taxes are high, the pressures to be a perfect mom are high. She pays her taxes and tries to be an adequate mom. Oh yeah, the pressures to be a perfect wife are high too. She gave up on that.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Everyone that reads this blog knows full well that I tried to breastfeed and Elle quit on me. So my choices were as follows in modern America:
Let her starve
Feed her formula
I read a horrible article today. This article was written by a man who, I am going out on a limb here, has probably never nursed a baby. I strongly suggest he not use one data point to spread fear, look at other products and try nursing my baby first.
Elle loves her binkey. Some people call it a paci. Some people call it a pacifier. Some people call it a plug.
When we are home, she only gets it in the crib or in the car. However, on vacation or travel, and especially on planes...she kind of gets it all the time. This means I have to do a little retraining when I get home. The good side of the transition is, sometimes she wants it so bad that she will sit in her crib to get a little binkey time. This is not quite nap time, but she gets a little rest. Kind of like quiet time. So that works for mommy and baby!
I took Elle to a funeral this weekend, on a plane...in a rental car, on a bus, on a train. She is a really good sport. She is a great traveler. She does not cry at the drop of a hat and is rarely inconsolable. Elle is not the problem on trips, other people are the problem. Adults are idiots. I got on the plane with my folding umbrella stroller that goes behind my suitcase (note, 1 suitcase for me and Elle...a back pack). I no longer gate check my stroller because the lovely people at Delta destroyed it. I had bought a travel bag to gate check it, and they still managed to not only wreck it...but then refuse to fix it. They wanted me to bring it back to the airport and leave it with them. How the heck does a parent of a 10 month old do that??? Go to the airport, pay to park, find the "helpful Delta Courtesy Desk" (BTW, WTF?!?!?!) and leave the stroller there. Ok. Great idea. Jerks.
So, I get on the plane with my little stroller and back pack. Load them into the overhead compartment and sit down with our small diaper bag. Good to go. Two old Jerks carrying 3 suitcases each (as carry on luggage) get on and loudly ask..."Shouldn't this stroller go under the plane?" I replied, no, it fits in the overhead and we only have that plus our ONE carry on bag. How about you mind your business and get on the plane faster if you have more JUNK to shove into the overhead bin.
It was nap time. Elle refused to nap in my arms, so I made a pallet on the floor for her to cozy up on. Yes, I let my kid sleep on a pile of pillows and sweatshirts on the floor. Would you prefer I let her scream in agony because she is tired?
I just read this article in the NYTimes...All about environmentalists biggest vices...and I got the same problem...DIAPERS! Here is the thing, disposable diapers are bad bad bad bad bad for the environment. They are so bad they warrant bad bad bad grammar.
However, cloth diapers ain't so great either. Have you ever tried to kill the bacteria in poopies and peepees without using super hot water, a super hot dryer or *heaven forbid* chemicals like bleach that then have to be double rinsed out of the cloth you put right next to your baby's fanny (or tushie, or coolie, or whatever you call it at changing time when you are trying to beg your kid not to run away with no pants on).
So Elle wears disposable diapers...when I can get them on her without her running away. She runs away now, for real. I am sorry I don't blog more, I love it. But my house is currently a mess under everything that Elle can get into while I am actually supervising her...I can only imagine what my house would look like if I took time looking away from her at a computer screen to update you on the gates she climbed or chairs she toppled.
Anyone who has read this blog knows I have given Similac props in the past for their phone line support. But today they get a big fat boooooo for the way they are handling this recall. For those who have not already read this all over the internet and tv news...apparently there are bug parts and larvae inside some cans of Similac. I am deliberately NOT linking you to the official Similac recall site because I have been trying for 10 hours to get on it with no luck.
If you are going to recall the sole source of nutrition for infants all over the country...have a DARN plan in place to get info out to parents about EXACTLY what is wrong and EXACTLY what is tainted. As of right now, I can't check my cans because the web site and phone lines are overwhelmed. I went out and bought a can of Gerber Good Start last night....
Ok, so I do consider myself lucky that Elle sleeps soundly from about 8pm until 5 am...when she wants a little nip to tide her over until she wakes up at 630 or 7 am. By little nip, I mean just that. It is the only time she wants to nurse so that is what we do. I am actually glad she still wants to nurse at that hour and has not rejected it like she does the rest of the day. I could not under any circumstances manage to make a bottle at that hour. I am a freekin mess. She cries, I stumble in, pick her up, nurse, put her down and stumble back to bed. I don't know how long this will last, but it is starting to get a little old.
Teeth: 5, brushed occasionally with the safety first toothbrush
Walking: meh, a couple steps here and there, but not fast enough for Elle
Climbing: check, up gates, up furniture, up the stroller, up the stairs
Laughing: only when something is funny, she really makes you work for it
Head bumping: yep, so stressful for mommy - Elle loves to explore and takes the occasional spill
Crying: yep, this is a funny one, she cries when she is mad now, for example when mommy takes away a "toy" (read garbage found on floor) or stops her from putting her finger in a light socket *mommy is soooo mean
Talking: babbling, cute, she will chat away in her car seat or to her toys, she has a lot to say
Play: check! Now having play dates with friends, Elle is learning to interact with kids her age
Eating: only feeds herself, I have given up on yogurt or anything spoon fed - spoons are for playing - fingers are for eating
Elle does not like napping but I really think she needs naps. I am not just saying that because I get exhausted during the day. After a nap she is happy and playful...if she skips a nap she is fussy and pulls her ears and does not eat. However, when I put her to nap she gets very angry with me. Then she sleeps. I hate when she is mad at me!
I don't know how mommy bloggers do it. I don't have time to cater to my child's every need and still blog!!!!!
She is growing and growing and growing! She now outright refuses to be fed because she can get plenty of good stuff in on her own! She eats cheese cubes and cheerios and fruit and veggies at every meal. At least 3 days last week she ate EXACTLY what we ate for dinner. It was awesome. One night I made us "Chard-A-Roni and cheese". It was regular macaroni elbows with chard (from the farm share) and tomatoes. I broke up all the pieces on her tray and she loved it! I even cook with red pepper flakes and she loves spice! Her diapers stink after that, but she likes it. (BTW, when I was pregnant I could not get enough red pepper flakes...on everything...so I am going to say she was born like this until someone can prove otherwise!)
I went to the diner for lunch with a friend the other day. I got a greek salad with chicken and Elle and I shared it!! She got all the olives, half the feta and some of my chicken and cucumbers and peppers. She passed on the lettuce. It was so cute. She and her new friend, who is a big kid (20 months) also shared a grilled cheese.
9-10 months is such a fun age. She is busy and happy and plays and laughs a lot. She seems to nap nicely most days. Some days she wears herself out and takes a few short cat naps...but our regular schedule is about 10 hours at night, 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. Awesome. I love it. All the time in the world to do laundry and dishes and work and blah blah blah...all the un fun stuff that I need to do until we get to play again!
I took Elle car shopping yesterday. We have an older car that still has some value and it may be time to upgrade to the dreaded mini van. When we drove to Philly a couple weeks ago we were packed in like sardines into our station wagon and our little sedan won't run for ever. Eeep...is it wrong to covet other mommy's minivans?
Who brings a teenager with pink eye (conjunctivitis) to a 6 year old's birthday party with MANY OTHER CHILDREN and their parents. Come on people...really? You can just sit this one out? Not like it was your family party...just a friend...sit this one out, I promise there will be other occasions for your 15 year old to hang out with clowns.
I took a child care and delivery class when I was pregnant. It was great. One of the things the teacher told us was, "seat to eat". Always make your kid sit down to eat. Makes sense, right? Until you have a kid like Elle that quit nursing during the day on her own because she had to be still and wont take a bottle unless she is standing up. I try to feed her exclusively in her high chair...but sometimes she is hungry but wont sit down...so I feed her in her saucer. She loves to play and be busy. She does not stop moving for a second until she is so exhausted she can't stand up any more. She is such an active child and I don't want to fight constantly to have her sit down. That is why we stopped nursing, because it was a fight (she still nurses her first feeding of the morning before she gets fired up and ready to go). That is why when we read books we each get our own and Elle reads hers in a crawling position. She is on the go...
One: Even if you pediatrician says you can introduce 'solids' to your 4 month old, you don't HAVE to... I didn't. I waited until Elle looked ready to me. I waited until her pincer grasp was strong. I waited until she sat up in her high chair by herself. That worked for us. She nursed exclusivly until about 6 months (some pumped, some frozen). Then we added some formula and started her solids.
Two: I introduced foods 'fast', some of those non alergenic foods I introduced after a quick 48 hour waiting period. This allows me to feed her pretty much what we eat now. If we have pasta with tomatoes and cheese...I cut up her pasta and cheese and hold back the tomatoes and instead give her another veggie. This has made my life very easy. I did not introduce tomatoes yet because they can be too acidic.
Three: Elle goes on hunger strikes. Some days she eats a lot, others she doesn't. She is growing great, her color (skin tone) is great, her fingernails are growing and she makes healthy poopies and peepees....so I don't worry. As a matter of fact, Elle is not the only hunger striker... I have tried to find out if it is politically motivated, but she aint talkin'....
I am shy. Believe it or not, I am very shy. It is hard for me to connect with other moms because this is such a new phase of my life. Another mom in my neighborhood reached out to me today and I felt comfortable asking her to go for a walk. It was really cool. My life changed radically when Elle was born. The old me went to work out of the house and was defined in that role. That role is completely gone now. I get to make new friends as me, just me. Having Elle has made me a different person because the things that define me now cannot be taken away.
I want to have a cool blog and have facebook friends from around the world...but I am an old mom who does not know what is going on. How do I get a like button? I want people to like me and my blog! BTW, my kid is sleeping and I am happy!
We took Elle to Sesame Place this week! She was to young to enjoy it. She was too young for us to enjoy it. That is ok. We had a good time anyway! The highlight of the vacation for Elle was the full length mirrors in the hotel room. Those were winners.
I was watching Elle's milestones this week also. Updates for everyone out there. Elle is 9 months old. She crawls like a maniac, anywhere she needs to go. She can climb an entire flight of stairs in less than a minute if there is another kid at the top having fun. When her knees get tired, she does a cute crawl where she is on her feet and she lifts her knees off the ground and walks like a triangle on feet and hands. She can stand up, walk along furniture and take 2 steps unsupported to get to her next piece of furniture. She loves being mobile and HATES being restricted.
I do not compare her milestones and mobility to other kids.... at all. I don't even ask other parents what their kids are doing. When I am asked about Elle's movements I reply, "Everyone does their own thing". I really believe that. For a while I would freak out because Elle would not "regard her own hand" which was a milestone at the pediatrician and in the books. Finally I decided that she just did not feel like regarding her own hand.
I mean, is it possible to stalk my own baby? For example, I love to watch her sleep. I love to peep in when she is fast asleep...face smushed into the bed...cuddling her Pooh Bear and dreaming. It is so freekin' cute. I can't get over it. I want to take a picture every morning of how big she is and how cute she is in her little footie pajamas.
There, I said it. I said a BAD word. But it did. She had to give blood through a finger stick. She had to have a Tuberculosis test. She got two vaccines. It sucked. There was nothing fun about it.
However...she did grow!!! A bunch! She is now 29 inches long and a hearty 17 pounds and 8 ounces. She is my biggest girl!!!!! That is what I tell her every day!
Elle has also cut another tooth...right on top! She can now make her bottom teeth and top tooth touch. And she found out it makes a cool noise when you grind them together! Yeah!
She had her first egg yolk the other day, winner. We are going to give her a sample of soy formula because we have like 5 cans sitting in the cabinet.
Oh yeah, the biggest news...Elle pretty much has weaned herself. She refuses REFUSES to breast feed any time during the day except her first morning feeding. At first she just would not do it in public. Then she would not do it at home. Then I started to really worry because she was not nursing at all during the day. I was really worried about dehydration and the nutrients she was missing out on. So I offered her a bottle one morning after I had tried to offer her morning boobie...and she drank it all. 5 oz gone in seconds. I offered her nursing later that day and she refused, so I offered a bottle and she drank that. So that is where we are. I had told the pediatrician at 6 months that we were just going to keep nursing until she did not want to anymore...I just did not expect it to happen this soon.
So now I am a formula consumer. The problem is, all the coupons from Similac have expired...and I am not about to pay retail!!!! So if anyone knows anyone at Similac...tell them to send some more coupons! Sincerely, a really cheap mom....
Elle was workin' hard today. Some days she plays. She looks whimsical and moves from one toy to another and then peruses and eats a magazine or two...then chases the dogs. Today was a workin' day. She keeps a serious look on her face and explores and tests and climbs and thinks. She turnes things over and pokes them seriously. She smells things and licks them. Workin' days are harder with Elle. She is harder to keep happy and busy. She also usually refuses her nap times on workin' days. She has too much to do to take a nap. However, she usually goes to bed earlier after a workin' day. Tonight was no different. Elle was all tuckered out from a hard day at work and turned in early.
I like to cook dinner while Elle is having her afternoon snack. The other day I had her in her high chair...eating her diced nectarine and cheerios (favorites in our house) and I turned my back for exactly enough time to remove 2 spoons from the dishwasher and put them away.
By the time I turned around to continue our conversation, she was standing up. In the high chair. Looking for a way to jump over the back. I promptly strapped her back in and reinstated the shoulder harness that I had previously deemed cruel and unusual and *not necessary* because we already used the lap belt with between the legs strap and the locking tray with between the legs security feature.
How did little Elle Houdini do it? I don't know. I know that now she is on lock down in that thing with 3 point safety restraints now. I have never left her alone in it. Usually I position it so that I can see her while I am cooking...so we can talk and stuff. Terrifying.
The other day we were at the zoo with some friends. We had 3 adults and 3 children. Baby Elle...Little Guy**, who is 2 and Mama's Helper**, who is 4 and 1/2. Mama's Helper is a great kid to take places. She is really well behaved in public and causes no stress. Little Guy is super sweet and also a *good* kid. Baby Elle goes along to get along.
We were wrapping up our day and I asked Mama's Helper if she needed to go to the bathroom before we got in the car. One adult stayed with Elle, one stayed with Little Guy. Little Guy was posing for a picture in those cute cut out things that you put your face in...you know, the ones that make it look like his head was on a baby eagle! Sooooo cute! I love those things. I had just taken Mama's Helper's picture and sent it to her mom!
All of a sudden. In less then a second. Seriously, in the time it takes to say smile. Little Guy's head was stuck in the cut out. This cut out has been at the zoo for 50 years...and our Little Guy got his head stuck.
The zoo keepers wanted to lotion him up to get him out.
I got in a fight with a couple "not nice people" as I called them to their faces who tried to take pictures of Little Guy stuck in the eagle's next.
After about 25 minutes of Little Guy's mom keeping him as calm as she could (she was GREAT by the way), me keeping Baby Elle and Mama's Helper busy and away...and Little Guy's aunt running interference with the zoo keepers...FDNY showed up. That is when New York's Bravest cut our Little Guy out of the eagle's nest with a saws-all and a tee shirt covering his head.
Little Guy was SO BRAVE. When they got him out the fireman told him he could have anything he wanted for being so brave. Little Guy just wanted to go home. Good choice Little Guy, it was time to go home.
So all I am saying is, kids move fast! Too fast for old mommies. Way too fast for old mommies. So us old mommies need to adapt and stay focused...and when stuff we don't expect happens...we just gotta adapt and keep calm. I have found that screaming like a wild howler monkey doesn't help any situation...unless you are trying to talk to the howler monkey's at the zoo.
**Names changed to protect the identities of Little Guy and Mama's Helper.
Elle is growing fast and changing. Her eating style has changed and it is making it very hard to breastfeed her. She still is focused and relaxed during our first feeding of the day (around 6 am these days) and I feel confident she is eating. However, she is starting to refuse to nurse during the day. She wont latch, she plays with mommy's assets, she climbs off my lap after less than a minute. I have tried nursing in a quiet place. I have tried her "favorite" chair in the living room. I have tried the rocking chair in her bedroom. She is on strike. This scares me because I want her to get the food she needs.
This has been happening for about a week and I think we are going to switch to formula for the daytime feedings. I would like to keep nursing her in the morning because it works for us. Does anyone have any experience with nursing only once a day?
She is eight and a half months old and I want her to get the calories and nutrition she needs and I am not confident she is getting it from me now. Today I gave her 2 bottles during the day at times when I would have tried to nurse her and she sucked down the bottles and seemed happy. She has not been happy at a day time nursing session in a while.
My kid basically uses her high chair tray as a plate. Yeah, it would be cute if I got her little dishes or something, but honestly they would just end up on the floor serving as dog food bowls. (By the way, super cute that Elle feeds the dogs cheerios from her chair! Super cute that they gently and gingerly take them from her hands! And super funny that she won't throw them overboard because she likes to talk to them!)
So, after meals that consist of a lot of small cut up pieces (as many people know, my kid does not like spoons of mush but will eat ANYTHING cubed) of veggies and cheese followed by a few cheerios for dessert...I need to clean that disgusting tray. I have these snap on covers for it, but food gets stuck underneath and it is kind of gross. I also don't want to spray it down with crazy kitchen cleaner because she eats off it and I *try* to limit chemical exposure where possible. So I take the whole freekin thing and spray it with the kitchen sprayer and dish soap. Any better suggestions???
I really love my kid, but it is hard to be by myself with her all day. She is my little side kick and we do so many things together, but sometimes mommy gets selfish and wants grown up time. I don't really like to go out that much and I don't really need adult time like all night out...I just want to go to the grocery store by myself some time or talk to other grown ups.
The hardest part about being laid off is that they money that I would have had for child care is gone, so I don't get to take adult time in the middle of the day. I can't do a ladies lunch anymore or meet people after work at the driving range. I can go to the driving range, but I have to push her carriage and set her up to watch me and play and only buy a small bucket of balls in case she doesn't want to golf any more. Everything revolves around Elle and that is a blessing. I am glad I do not have to make her fit my arbitrary schedule...but I would love a bit more arbitrary in my schedule!
Elle's birthday is coming up and I am going to suggest to her friends and family that they wrap up all their old magazines in boxes and bring them over. Also, for close friends who want to give more than paper...I will suggest they throw in a few old water bottles.
Elle has a laundry basket full of toys. She prefers playing with old magazines, empty or partially full water bottles and ... the laundry basket. She will take every item out of the basket, turn it over and push it around. She walks behind it like a real pro. Then she will turn the basket right side and sit in it. Did I mention that she has Vtech Sit and Stand walker that her grandparents bought her? It is fun for me, but I am going to tell her granny to spring for a bag of garbage instead of new toys!
That is what Elle says. She fights that nap tooth and nail. She rubs her eyes, she whines and when she gets into the crib she screams...for about 20 seconds without fail. Like I am murdering her. Then she falls asleep! And mommy tries to clean the house, work or get something done.
Some people know that "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" are my guilty pleasures. I think I no longer enjoy the programs but watch because I genuinely feel bad for the people on the show. I feel so grateful that I have help with Elle. I feel so grateful to have had the first 29 1/2 years of my life to be VERY selfish so that I now feel ready to give Elle everything. I feel grateful to have my own home to give Elle a stable living situation.
When Elle was a tiny baby...she stayed in my arms and I dressed her in little outfits and she was so cute! She was always clean and always had that nice baby smell.
Now she is a wild woman. At 8 months old she wants to be crawling on the floor (or GROUND! Gross) and rolling and touching everything. Her knees are always dirty and I wash her hands 50 times a day. Even worse, she likes to feed herself and it is cute...except that her face is stained with blue berries and beets and little streaks of dried yogurt. I take her to the sink after every meal and wash her face and hands and arms...and remove her bib. But somehow, mommy always misses something. Elle delights in her new found freedom and messyness. She is never happier then when she is 'running' away from a washcloth or a clean pair of pants.
Last night I was a dirty stay out. As soon as Mr. Bishop came home...I left for a big night on the town. I went to Trader Joes for some recreational grocery shopping. I like Trader Joes and I like Whole Foods, but they are not every day grocery stores. I can't get everything I want or need there. I can get some treats for the whole family...but I can't get regular stuff and if I try to get regular stuff I end up coming home with "punishment food". So my trip to Trader Joes was for fun. I got some good bread and spreads and apple sauce for the baby. It was fun. I did not dress up. I did not even shower. But I had a great hour by myself.
Yesterday Elle and I were official beach bums. We got to the beach at 9:30 and did not leave until 5 pm. We put in a hard day! She swam in the pool an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. She took 2 long naps and she ate a bunch of blue berries (cut in quarters) baked potato (cut into little niblets) and mozzarella cheese (also cut into niblets). I find that she does not mind if I put all these niblets in the same tupperware. So I did. And she snacked all day. I had some peaches that I ate and she likes to gnaw on the edge of my peach (as soon as I bite the skin off for me). That is super cute and she loved it!
Elle is also learning how to drink out of her sippy cup. Very cute. We got the soft spout version from Born Free and she likes the handles. I think she actually prefers her little plastic shot glass that I let her drink out of in the high chair...but really, she doesn't get much in her mouth from that method.
Since the introduction of many more solid foods we have had many more poops. This is a good thing. Often the first food in tolerances manifest themselves through constipation (or so my mom says). Elle has gone from a once a day pooper to at least 2 good ones. Now that she eats the occasional meat, these poops can be real stinkers. Also, because she likes finger foods I often get to see the blueberry skins and pieces of produce in the diaper. Awesome.
I am introducing foods at a pretty rapid pace because she has had no reactions. She eats a wide variety of dairy now...yogurts and cheeses. Yum. She has also had turkey, chicken, beef and salami. She ate pasta for the first time at a party a couple days ago. She loves it all.
I let her do a lot of finger foods and try to feed her off the spoon at least once a day so she knows what that is all about. I don't want her to be a monkey baby. She is still nursing 2-3 meals a day and gets a 6-7 oz bottle at night before bed. Overall, she is eating so much better (read more) than she was 3 weeks ago. It is like she finally got the hang of it. I try not to obsess over the "normals" and "milestones" that the books and websites give me (apparently she should have been eating food off a spoon regularly by 6 months...but she didn't). She would taste the food, but rarely eat as much as she does now. I feel like she has what she needs to grow now...we will find out at her 9 month checkup!
I was so tired last night that when Elle went to bed, so did I. I usually like to stay up a while and tidy or relax, but I went to sleep. The bad news is, now my body thinks I had a full night sleep at 3 am.
Elle is my little helper. We went to a fundraiser yesterday and sold raffle tickets. She is the best little sales girl. However, she is not a good ticket picker. I think she wanted everyone to win so she grabbed handfuls of tickets out of the pot.
We are trying to learn to drink out of sippy cups. It is a whole new experience, one that looks an awful lot like a bottle to me. She is good sipping out of my water cup but I think she should probably learn to drink out of her own- hence the sippy cup.
It is late. I was just thinking about the day and how much I love my kid.
I love when we are playing on the floor and she takes a break to rest her head on my leg or my chest. I love when she "fish hooks" my nose with her little fingers. I love when she laughs and my "eat your belly" game.
I have no idea how to be a mom. The first time she took a break from playing to pause and stop being the wild woman she is to rest her head on my chest I was baffled. She was not tired. She was not hungry. She was just resting. And I think she likes me. So I patted her back. And she smiled. And everything was good.
I don't know why she laughs at the eat your belly game. I don't know why she laughs when she sticks her fingers up my nose. But I roll with it. It is what we do.
I know she loves going in the swimming pool. So I love going in the swimming pool. I used to prefer the ocean. But Elle does not like the ocean, she likes the pool. So I like the pool.
I think she may be getting a little tan on her arms, even through the SPF a million organic sunblock I bought her for $32 dollars a tube. I have not spent $32 on myself since the week before she was born, but she is worth it. I don't know if it is bad that she may have a tan, but she is so happy and seems so healthy...and the pediatrician has not yelled at me yet. It is not like I give her baby oil to rub on her belly. And she doesn't eat ice cream...yet. What am I going to do when ice cream makes her happy? I hope blue berries always make her happy.
By the way, a little note to a friend of mine who may read this someday. I don't talk about it a lot because it seems like a long time ago...but my beautiful daughter came into my life after a lot of trying and hoping. I thought it would be easy and I tried to control every situation but I learned that the best things in life are: a) worth waiting for b) take some time and are out of my control c) are given to us when the time is right d) are worth working for and e) all of the above.
Elle is very busy and she relies on her mommy to make her nap. She does not want to nap, but she will if I take care to follow a schedule. The routine is good for her. It is not good when I break her routine. She gets crazy.
Formula smells bad. To me. To Elle, it must smell good because she scarfs that stuff down like it is her job at night. I am still to lazy to formula feed the rest of the day, so she still is a boobie baby until that last feeding.
Someone asked me the other day when she will stop nursing. I really have not thought that far ahead. She eats a wide variety of people food, but not in great enough quantity to stop the bottle yet. She is only 8 months old (this week) and The American Academy of Pediatrics says to nurse for a year if possible. If you don't nurse for the year you need to do formula. She can't get everything she needs yet from solid food and she has not had cow milk yet. (she has had nibbles of cheese and yogurt, which she likes!)
I don't know when we will stop nursing. I feel like I have other things to worry about. I have stopped pumping extra bottles because that was getting to be very hard on my body. I was starting to either feel tired or resentful of the pump and that was not good. So for now, we will keep nursing as many meals as we can and figure out the rest later.
Sometimes Elle just needs some quiet time. Not a nap, just some silent play in her Chicco Play Yard (known around the neighborhood as a Pack n Play even though that is a different company). She is sitting in there now, talking to her stuffed animals and enjoying a little alone time.
Elle is eating everything! She had cheese and cheerios today! She ate peaches and prunes with cereal for breakfast. Cut blue berries and cheerios and peaches for lunch. Cheerios and cheese for a snack. Peas and cereal for dinner. Such a good eater!
She is moving all over the place. She was a busy kid today. She ate and played and wore herself out.
I asked my LaLeche friends about Elle's sleeping and eating today...they said the same thing as my friends did...it is all normal. I don't need sleep!
Thank you to everyone who sympathized (but did not offer a solution * lol*) to my sleep deprivation problem! Last night Elle changed it up and got up at 2 to eat! Then Mr. Bishop woke me up at 3:30, 4:45 and 5. Then the dog had to pee at 5:20. Then Elle got up at 6 ready to rock and roll. Right now she is balancing herself on the dog crates, that is the funnest place to stand because mommy is to tired to object!
Elle is not the big eater that her mom is. We are usually lucky to get 5 or 6 spoonfuls of whatever she is having in her. She will eat 11 cheerios. She will eat 3 pieces of any fruit you give her. None of those things concurrently. Patience is a virtue.
Her favorite mush is peaches and blueberries mixed with cereal.
To all you moms that want to try making baby food: Don't make it hard. It is easy. Today I washed and peeled some peaches (they were very ripe and juicy) then i washed some blue berries. I microwaved them all together for 2 minutes and put them in the magic bullet. In less than 10 minutes I had 8 portions of fruit to mix with cereal. That is over a week worth of breakfast made from local fruit.
Elle still is waking up at 3 am every night. She used to sleep 9 to 5, now I am lucky to get to sleep until 3:14 am. Why is she still doing this? Is this something I can ask the pediatrician about without sounding like a major jerk? (like, I just want to sleep...not like I care about her well being)
She wants to nurse at 3 am. She is not interested in nursing during daylight hours. She squirms and bites and pushes (even when she is hungry), but at 3 am, she wants to nurse.
We are home again...and Elle is even more mobile then she was when we left. She loves to stand up and play, "look mom, no hands". She does not love what happens next. I don't mean to imply she cries and whimpers when she inevitably falls down, but she gets mad. She occasionally bumps her head on the way down. On what? On anything. There could be a shoe that seems impossibly far away and she will manage to find it on the way down. She does not like that.
This brings me to her saucer, which she has grown to hate. What was once a place of joy and fun is now a prison so mommy can work or type or do laundry. Poor kid.
Elle stood up yesterday!!!! It was awesome! She took her hands off my leg and raised them in front of her, got down in a knees bent, balancing position and smiled SOOOO BIG! She knew she was hot stuff!
Elle has made a far trek to the west coast to visit her grand parents. Mr. & Mrs. Bishop were in tow.
Elle is the most popular girl in the airport. She talks to flight attendants. She talks to other passengers. She talks to the TSA. She is a very happy kid.
It is weird to me that people ask me, "Is she a good baby?". I would like someone to define to me a bad baby. Does a bad baby cry? Does a bad baby not eat all the mush you make for her? What does a bad baby do? I am pretty sure that Elle is a good baby. I am also pretty sure that even if she cried and bit and threw food (wait, she does all that) that I would still think she is a good baby. She is my good monster baby!
Judging by Elle's diaper this morning, she ate most of her blueberries and peaches last night. I can always tell by the diaper how much she likes something and how how much gets fed to the dogs.
On a diaper note. I love the way Luvs fit...however, they seem to hold moisture closer to Elle's skin so she requires more frequent changes. I love them in the house and close to home, but for a road trip I need something that wicks more moisture away.
Our living room is completely Elle proof. I have gates in front of the TV and book shelves...gates to close off all entrances and exits...Elle likes to kick these to try to break them down. I still never leave her alone in the living room, but I think she wishes I would!
Elle has never seen a tantrum, but she knows how to throw one! I took my cell phone away from her yesterday and she flung herself on the ground, face buried in hands and kicked her feet. She simultaneously screamed. Good work kid.
Elle is a water bug! She loves the swimming pool. She likes to be face down supported only under her belly. She likes her hands free to splash and she likes to put her face in the water. She LOVES to put her face in the water.
I make her wear a hat in the pool. I hope the other babies don't laugh at her but I want to protect her little scalp.
I also make her wear super sunblock. I tried to buy the Target baby sunblock and it burned our eyes and that sucked. Yes, I said sucked because it did. It was awful. After that I got worried about what kind of chemicals burn eyes...so I went to the Environmental Working Group's best sunscreen list. I found a sunscreen that did not have a lot of questionable chemicals and conveniently enough, it does not burn eyes! I bought UV Natural Baby on Amazon and have been very happy with it. It leaves a whitish residue on her head in her hair...but it does not drip, it stays on in the pool and it does not burn or make her gag. It was expensive. But this is one thing I will splurge on.
I got Simelac formula from the hospital. As I lament regularly, I can no longer exclusively breast feed Elle. I was so open to formula on day one, but by month 5 I was so accostomed to whipping out a booba that I could not fathom doing anything else.
Because of the breast feeding, I had NO IDEA how much my kid ate at every nursing session. I could not have even guessed accurately. I could take a guess, but not accurately. Because of this, I did not know how much formula to make at night for Elle.
I called Simelac and asked. They were really nice. For a 7 to 9 month old, the average consumption is 7-8 oz of breast milk or formula 3-5 times a day...better bust out the big bottles Mama!
It is hot hot hot this summer... Last night I cooked a brisket in the crock pot over night with tons of veggies. Sliced thin it is good for sandwiches, or just warm in the microwave is good eating also. It was also an opportunity to introduce beef to Elle's diet.
I cut a piece of beef without fat...threw it in the magic bullet for a spin (to chop the beef first because I figured it was tough) and then added some boiled carrots and apples and let her whirl...It was a bit thick...so I divided it into a few portions and added a little milk of the boobie to tonight's portion. She ate it. Mmmmm protein and iron!
She is getting a bigger appetitie. Tonight, even after meat, veggies, fruit and 10 cheerios...she still had about 8 oz of boobie milk/formula at bedtime! Monster baby is hungry!
The pediatrician said we could introduce anything in the meat family after her 6 month check up. I was a little slow getting them done...but we are going to start now. We do not eat much chicken in our house...and we buy beef by the quarter cow from a local farm...so Elle's diet may be a bit restricted for the time being! I am sure she will be introduced to chicken nuggets at a birthday party soon enough.
Elle is napping. She does not usually nap long, but today I skipped her morning nap because it was "graduation day" at moms & tots. Soooo cute! She got a certificate and presents!
Now to the sick part. I decided since she was napping I would try to wax my legs. I could just shave every day except I can't because it takes too long and I am super neurotic about leaving her alone while I am in the shower for an extended period. What if she cries? And I really can't bear to pull myself out of bed at 4 am to make sure Mr. Bishop is still home and she is still sleeping. So my choices are, be hairy or wax on the long nap day. I choose poorly. My leg hurts. I need a professional. So now I have one half of a leg that looks silky smooth and pocked with red blotches and one and a half legs that look like Sasquatch. Awesome.
Someone is going through a growth spurt...or a torture mommy spurt. It is 5pm and Elle just laid down for her 3 o'clock nap....yeah, rough day. She was a wild woman today. I left the gate down from the living room to the stairs today to see what would happen. In 20 seconds flat she had traveled the 20 feet and was standing at the first step with her hands on the second step. She was trying to figure out what to do next. So I scooped that baby right up and bolted the gate back in place. I now have 4 gates permanently up in this old house. I need a couple more. I don't think that builders cared about babies in 1920....
It is a cruel joke of pregnancy...while I was pregnant my boobs looked great! Bam, biggidy bam! Big and in the right spot. The rest of my body looked a bit puffy...but the boobs, BAM! Now, I am starting to look a little more like me everywhere else...except the boobs...wha wha whhhhaaaa.....
I think Elle will like me regardless...until she turns 16 and nothing I do is right anyway. Which brings me to my next thought: I have a few tattoos...I am going to get tons more so that she rebels against me by NOT getting tattoos on her perfect skin...do you think it will work??
Now that Elle is fully mobile, she seems to have a sixth sense of what is dangerous and what is safe. She chooses danger every time! This morning I became convinced she wants to be an electrician. No matter where I put her down, no matter what room or what part of the room she can find the outlets, wires, phone jacks, surge protectors, and cords within a second. Her particular method of learning about electronics involves tasting various parts...so I have removed, taped, covered and baby proofed most of the floor boards in my house.
Yesterday I thought she had some plumbing aptitude. No matter where I set her down she went right for the radiator pipes. Her great grandfather was a steam fitter and would be proud that she can trace any radiator pipe with her hands to find where it hits the floor or where a valve appears. I don't know if he would be so proud that she can achieve the same task by chewing on the radiator. So for the summer, there is furniture planted in front of every radiator.
Yesterday Elle ate pieces of grapes by herself. Skinned, diced into tiny pieces and deliciously slimy. Tonight she had cheerios and bananas all tiny, smashable and delicious. Today she had a piece of skinned apple in the safe feeder. I can't justify forcing the spoon anymore. I just need to figure out how to get yummy stuff onto her tray.
For a while Elle would eat whatever I smashed for her, but lately she has rejected the spoon. I thought my cooking was bad, so I tried to go back to some old favorites (avocado, peaches). Apparently it is not my puree skills but the spoon itself. She is more than happy to eat what I am eating off my utensil. She is more than happy to feed herself little tiny pieces of stuff. However she does not like to eat her food off her spoon from her dish.
I wonder if she is too young to self feed? I put little pieces of food on her tray and she gets most of them into her mouth. It is very cute to watch her delicately pick up each item and diligently get it into her mouth. I supervise the whole operation because it is terrifying to me!
I would not mind if my kid was a nerd. A geek. Whatever. I was talking to a colleague yesterday and her son is in the band and the bag pipe band and just won a "German" prize for some nerd fair where you go and speak a foreign language in competition! I love it! Given her genetic code, Elle may be a bit nerdy...but that is something to strive for!
The best toy and tool combo I have ever bought are these rings. I originally bought one package of them at Target for about $4. I use them to link Elle's binkey to her carrier or car seat (we like it so we put some rings on it). I use them to link toys to her stroller or carrier (we like toys so we put a ring on them). I use it to string toys together and drag them across the room like a crazy toy chain gang (we like to chase toys...so we put some rings on them!). Oh Oh Ohhh Oh Oh Oh...
Anything that is not secured with rings outside the house is most likely going to be lost. That is no fun. Because I am a little germ crazy, we only bring hard toys out of the house so they can be washed easily. These rings are the best. They go right into the dishwasher basket when we come home. Because I am relatively happy with their cleanliness, Elle chews on them uninhibited by her mean old mommy....and when she likes it, I am sure to put a ring on it!
Those two bottom teeth are serious business. She bit my arm (left marks) and will bite anything she can get her mouth on. Sometimes if she is not hungry, she bites the nipple. Yes, the nipple. I don't mind so much when she bites the nipple on the bottle....but the alternative is kind of a bummer.
The first time it happened I got shocked. She cried. Then I asked her why she was crying when I was the person on the receiving end of the bite. She looked confused. I get scared sometimes when I am feeding her, but I have found that if I stick to feeding her when she is actually hungry instead of trying to guess, that I don't get bit. I also have found that if she is not hungry, she doesn't go for food...she just wants the binkey. This biting situation has added another layer to the great binkey debate. Sometimes she just wants to soothe and she uses the binkey for that when she is not hungry.
When I was at the pediatrician to look at Elle's heat rash she mentioned off hand that I should stop giving Elle the binkey during the day. (This is the pediatrician I DONT usally see, the vitamin incident pediatrician)
She said that the suck reflex is gone at 3 months and that the binkey is just a habit now. She said I should still give it to her at night up to 1 year because it helps prevent SIDS.
One friend of mine said, "good, take that thing out of her mouth" Another said, "don't worry about that, she will give it up on her own, don't take her soother away now". Round one of the binkey debate begins...am I a bad mom for letting her have it or a bad mom for giving it to her?
I would wrap her head to toe with her little face showing like the snowsuit kid in A Christmas Story...This would be a special snowsuit that would protect her from not only physical ailments but also stupid choices and mean people. This snowsuit would make sure she never licked a frozen flagpole. This snowsuit would make the mean boys and girls not be mean to her. This snowsuit would make sure she never skinned her knee or got a rash.
Elle got a rash. I took her to the pediatrician. It is little spots on her back. They were coming and going for a while so I thought it was heat rash and I did not take her to the doctor. Until yesterday, when I thought it was spreading and I freaked out. She had no fever, no more crankiness than normal and was eating fine and pooping fine. But I freaked out anyway. When the doctor came in the room and asked me how I was (she was being polite), I replied, "neurotic".
Doctor said it was heat rash. Take her home and keep her cool and dry.
Mr. Bishop is an involved dad...he knows his way around the diaper pail. However, financial circumstances take him away from us to work more than we would like....check out this great article on Swedish paternity leave from work (not to mention guaranteed return to work for new moms...what a concept!)
So I went to my regular La Leche meeting yesterday. It is a great group of women and I found out some of them even have the same farm share we do...so that is fun. When I told some non La Leche moms that I was going to the group they warned me not to talk about bottles or formula...well, I had to tell my group yesterday about the surgery and what it did to my milk supply.
They were super supportive of everything I have done so far to keep Elle fed. They said my supplementing was fine. They were helpful in telling me how to try to bring back my supply (which is why I told the surgery story) and were supportive overall. Sometimes nice people just make your day.
This is my first week without help in the house (note how I write that like I am affluent and hire people...not like it was my wild and fun family). The incision is tender and does not feel great, so I am trying to take it easy when Mr. Bishop gets home. I think he is tired also. Maybe I should get affluent so I can hire people!
On a side note, I went to Sex and the City 2 with my cousin and her sisters in law and her cousin in law...so fun. Stupid, terrible movie, but there was a little throw out line to the ladies in the cheap seats (that is where we were) when Charlotte said (not a direct quote), 'Being a mom is hard and I have full time help, imagine those women that do it alone'. No Poop Char....we out here...thanks for the recognition now loan me your nanny for a day so I can get my Poop together.
It is bad enough that Elle is the stamp, twin, clone of Mr. Bishop. The kid has his hair line (cowlicks and all), his eyes, his face shape...all she got from me are her thighs (*wait until she turns 16 and she can hate me for that too)! Now she also makes faces like him. These particular faces come out when she is mad at me, or when I have caused her some injustice. For example, she was playing this morning and made a large and stinky poopy in her pants. As I began changing her diaper she gave me a face that was a combination of, "you are killing me" and "what kind of idiot are you" and "how could you possibly do this to me". It was like the time I tried to make Mr. Bishop eat salad for dinner and he said, "you don't make friends with salad".
Elle goes face first for anything she sees with a wide open mouth....chairs, dogs, toys, grass, sand, shoes...everything...except what I make her for dinner. Anything on the end of a brightly colored spoon has to be coaxed for the first bite.
By the way, my carrot & spinach souffle is delicious. Mr. Bishop and I ate it for dinner also. Maybe it is the spoons that scare her, I could try just putting it on the tray to mash around for a while.
I was lucky to have a winter baby so she was 6 months old on her first trip to the beach. I slathered her head to toe in SPF 50 and used the same stuff on myself (gotta protect that skin). Within five minutes Elle and I were both crying because we had touched our eyes! I have tried a couple brands with the same results. Stupid sunblock.
On a barely related note...I was at the beach and I saw a mom putting sun block on a 4 or 5 year old girl. The girl was squirming and saying, "don't mommy, it is gross". The mom appropriately replied, "you have to wear sunblock". However, as soon as she was done with her daughter...while the girl was still standing there...she grabbed a towel and furiously wiped off her hands saying, "I have to get this gross stuff off me". Way to set that positive example!
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I rarely get to give Elle a bottle. But because she is strictly bottle fed right before bed (my supply is too unpredictable for her) I got to give her a bottle last night. She looked at me strait in the eyes with the same love she does when I breast feed her. That made me feel like we are all good...I don't think she even cares that her last feeding is a bottle every day... I think she is just happy and comfy and cozy!
Since my surgery I have not been able to cuddle with Elle like I like to. So every morning, she cuddles with me in bed because I can't stand not having that special time with her. I don't sleep while she is in bed but she dozes off and on and we talk about her dreams the night before and what we are going to do today. Between my 16 lb kid, one 14 lb dog and one 11 lb dog...I was forced off the bed this morning. They ganged up on me. Between the three of them I was hanging off the edge of the bed while they played!
Elle ate turnips last night! We got a share of a local farm and I expect her diet to expand exponentially over the next few months as we collect our boxes of veggies!
Also, on the good news front...I had my first cup of coffee in over 18 months last night. YUMMMMMMMY!!!!!!! I stopped drinking coffee when I was trying to get pregnant and then was just on a roll for the pregnancy and since I have been nursing. According to LaLeche a cup or so a day should be fine for my little Elle. Actually, I can have a couple cups. I don't think I need to go there yet...but I may! Yummy!
Also, on the great news side my milk production seems to be improving. I am still a little short at night so Elle is still eating a frozen or fresh pumped bottle supplemented with a bit of formula. Maybe the caffeine gave me a boost in production last night! (totally unfounded and unscientific, but a fun idea)
We are trying 3 new things today....apricots for breakfast, LUVs diapers and ordering from Diapers.com. I don't find Diapers.com to be less expensive than Target or Costco or WalMart....but I got a 15% off promo (BDBabyBaby) and free shipping today so I will give it a try.
Apricots are a winner...I will fill you in on the LUVs and order service when my goods arrive!
I have been talking about this a lot with other moms (and a soon to be mom!) lately. First of all, yes I did covet the Beeba Baby Cook...I drooled over it and thought about it but did not want to spend the $$$ on it (like $140). On a good day I am frugal, on a bad day I am cheap!!!
I also did not buy the special baby food storage containers...Most Gladware and Tupperware is BPA free now and I rarely if ever microwave in the plastic anyway...So I used some of the 1 cup and 1/2 cup containers with lids I already had (also a fast clean in the dishwasher).
Here are my cooking techniques for some of the foods we have eaten so far (note, our farm share starts next week and we will be getting huge boxes of veggies...so watch for dinner to get super yummy soon!!! as for the last month or so, we have done a lot of frozen veggies and root veggies) Note, everything I store is 'single serve' to prevent spoon contamination.:
sweet potato: Scrub the outside skin under running water (I use a very small drop of dish soap), punch a bunch of fork holes in it and put it right on the oven rack with another pan on the rack below to catch the drippings. I usually bake 3 or 4 of these bad boys at a time, one for Elle and a couple for our dinner. Bake on 350 for about an hour. Let cool for about 25 minutes (or as long as you need...) then I peel the skin off it (good dog treat) and drop it into the KidCo to mash. I do not add anything to this paste. Then I divide it into 4 or 5 containers. I usually serve one that night and then put one in the fridge and 3 in the freezer. Elle only eats about 2-4 tablespoons of food at a time...but I like to make extra in case she gets hungry. We do not enforce "clean plate club" in our house. When I get ready to serve it I warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave and then add breast milk until it is a nice consistency...something like a creamy mashed potato. WINNER!
pear, plum, peach, apple: Scrub the outside skin under running water (I use a very small drop of dish soap), peel the pear before you cook it (chemicals used to protect fruit from bugs hangs out in the skin so you don't want it leaching into the fruit sauce). Dice it up, put it in a pyrex or other oven safe glass dish, add about 1 teaspoon of water. Cover and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. Let cool for about 25 minutes (or as long as you need...) and drop it into the KidCo to mash. This is usually the consistency of apple sauce. Then I divide it into 4 or 5 containers. I usually serve one that night and then put one in the fridge and 3 in the freezer. WINNER!
Peas, green beans, carrots, corn (frozen) white potato: Put in a small sauce pan on the stove barely covered with water. Put the lid on. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 6 minutes (everything should be fork tender). Drain in a small strainer and drop it into the KidCo to mash. I do not add anything to this paste. Then I divide it into 4 or 5 containers. I usually serve one that night and then put one in the fridge and 3 in the freezer. When I get ready to serve it I warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave and then add breast milk until it is a nice consistency...something like a lumpy mashed potato. WINNER!
I mix a lot of veggies together....I also mix them with white potatoes. Bananas and avocados are served raw, very ripe and smashed. Usually the bananas and avocados don't need any breast milk to thin them out. I also keep a list of what day I introduce each food (partially to watch for allergies and partially just to remember what I did in case Elle gets to be a big sister).
Blue berries and grapes have been introduced via the Baby Safe Feeder. It is like a double mesh bag that you stuff food into with a handle...Elle gnaws on it and in this way both self feeds and soothes those tender gums. I cut the grapes in half. I also sometimes freeze the fruit. What a treat that is. Elle was waving that thing over her head like it was a party!!! It is strawberry season soon, so I want to introduce them (worried about allergies, but will watch careful).
I know how to dress Elle for cold nights...but what do I do now that the weather is changing? Do I still put an undershirt/onsie under her cotton pajamas? Last night I put the ceiling fan on in her room with regular pajamas and a onsie. Is that ok? We will install her air conditioner when it gets a little warmer (probably over the weekend because we have to clean it and put a filter in). What temperature should I set it to?
As I have lamented, since my hospital stay I just don't make enough milk anymore and so we have started supplementing Elle's night time meal with formula. Last night I had about 5 oz frozen breast milk to which I added 1 oz of formula. I want to start slow! For the first night since I have been home she slept from 9:15 to 4:00 am. That was great for us. I think I will do the same thing until we run out of frozen breast milk. I have several packets ranging in volume from 2 to 5 oz...the pediatrician said she can eat up to 6 oz before bed and so if I use a packet of frozen or two and supplement that volume with some formula we are making a nice transition for mommy and baby alike. Hopefully that will make her sleep more.
Bananas strait up are not a hit. I don't know if it is their "silky" texture (as I tell Elle) or their "pleasant" aroma, but they make her do a funny little gag. So we don't eat them neat anymore. She likes them cut with veggies so we will try that more often.
Elle is onto 2 feedings a day for the last 5 days. That has increased her food filled poops to 2 a day also. Yummy. You really don't think about how useful water in a toilet is in covering the aroma of poop until you are changing food filled diapers.
Like Mr. Bishop says, it was gross until it is your kid...then you just do it.
Last night Elle had a potato for the first time. I got little white potatoes and she had potato and carrot for dinner. They were a big hit swirled together...the potato must have been a little bland on its own because it was decidedly less popular than the carrots.
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Mr. Bishop experienced a 'major fecal incident' last night (his words, not mine). Elle poops regularly now, every 24 hours...usually at about 9 am. Mr. Bishop usually is not home for the festivities. She went a whole 36 hours last night which created a bit of a back up. As he was playing with her she had a good blowout doody. He had to do double tub water. He was also impressed with how noticeable the aroma of veggies was! He didn't think she ate that much.
At the doctor yesterday we got approved to introduce a massive list of veggies and fruits and even meat. I can't wait. We are also going to start doing two meals a day, breakfast and dinner. Our pediatrician said at 6 months we should be comfortable introducing a huge list of food. She saved a list of "other" items for 9 plus months...that is where all the treats are!
Elle has her six month check up today....back to our regular pediatrician in the group. Initial questions include:
Why did the other doctor tell me she should have been on vitamins if you said for the previous 5 months that she did not need them? (need to find a way to say this without sounding like a psycho) *Dr. said don't worry and sorry that it came across stressful. Now at 6 months she can start a vitamin with fluoride and iron supplements that is by prescription.
I had massive abdominal surgery, did I mess up my kid? Is she ok that I can't pick her up? (my dad will be with me so I have to explain the bearded old guy anyway) *She will be fine
Any formula suggestions? (yes, like vitamins, still agonizing over this) *Try what you have first...if no reaction, stick with it. Also, she can have up to 3 full food meals a day including a wide variety of fruits, veggies, meats and yogurt! Also we will be introducing water!
How do I know how much formula to give her at night when we switch to formula? *4 to 5 oz is good for now.
When I put Elle to sleep (on her back) she usually rolls over on to her tummy now. Sometimes she smushes her face into the crib mattress. Is that ok? I stand there for a long time watching her breathing. Is that creepy for her? *It is ok.
Should she be sitting up more? She really doesn't like to sit up unless I am sitting with her. She usually sits for a second and then 'rolls' into a forward cobra pose. *She is fine. She seems strong. Look for a supported sitter now (either arms in a tripod with her legs and fanny. By 9 months she should be able sit and play.
When should she crawl? She puts her fanny in the air and sits on all fours and rocks but doesn't really get the crawl thing yet. She also 'swims' on the ground...arms and legs going furiously! Funny, but not particularly productive. *Don't worry, she is on track.
Is it ok that we let her play in the bath tub? She sits in there and plays with her toys. (We sit with her) I assume she is peeing while she is playing because it is a nice warm bath and she is a baby. Is that gross for her? *Don't worry.
An old friend posted on her facebook yesterday that if you breastfeed one or more of your children your insurance company should "pay to put the goods back". I happen to agree! I am not even done with the first kid yet and already Elle has turned my boobies into pancakes. They look so full and lustrous right before she eats, but by the end of breakfast I have to hoist them back into an underwire bra.
I think it is time for me and Elle to start moving away from exclusive breast feeding. It has become a physical toll on my body and I don't think post surgery I am making enough for her at her last feeding of the night.
Last night her dad gave her a 5 oz pumped bottle before bed and we got 7 hours of sleep from our little angel. Since I have been home she has barely slept 4 hours at night. I think it might be that I just don't have a sufficient night time supply.
This is hard for me. While I say I am flexible, we have been doing this thing for 6 months now and it is a routine. It is also the only thing that I could do for her my first 10 days home from the hospital. I still can't pick her up or play crazy. I feel like it is all I can do for her. But I need to do what is best for her. This is best for her and for Mr. Bishop and me. I think we will spin down our frozen reserves of pumped milk and then go to a formula bottle at night.
Change is hard for this mama bear! Some change I just roll with, like the constant kind...today Elle is rolling, tomorrow she is creeping...that works. But big change like this is hard! Or I am just crazy.
Elle had a great nap routine. We had general times she slept (you know, between 9 and 10) not totally rigid times, but a good schedule. I would watch her eyes and face and put her right down at the first sign of sleepy. She usually yelled for about 10 seconds. When she yelled her Granny hugged her and kissed her and rocked her. Her mommy tells her everything is ok and walks away! I could never do this for any prolonged crying, but it never lasted more than a minute on the clock (yes I watched because her crying breaks my heart) so I was ok.
When I tried to put her down for her nap this morning (she was obviously tired) she yelled and looked right past me over my shoulder. Then she turned over and pulled herself up to look around for Granny. She yelled and looked and yelled and looked. She was angry. I kept coming back and holding her hand and telling her everything was ok, but she would not look at me! She wanted her Granny back!
We had a busy day today. Elle is loving sweet potatoes. I want to start maybe some green beans tomorrow. She went for a walk and met some friends out...everyone that Elle meets is a friend. She is such a pleasant human being, yet another reason I am not sure she is actually my kid... She looks just like her dad... she likes EVERYONE... she is happy in the morning! She is my little yang to my crazy yin.
Every day Elle amazes me. She has started 'talking' in full sentences. When people around her are having a conversation, she interjects. Sometimes she waits for a pause in the dialog and chimes in. She has several different inflections, several different syllables and multiple facial expressions and hand gestures.
It is so cool watching her grow up. She learns new things every day.
She got on all fours today and made an attempt at crawling. She was so proud of herself... I got out the camera and pointed it at her and she was beaming!
I went back to the doctor today. The stitches/staples are out and the cut looks ok. I asked a lot of follow up questions that I could not ask in the hospital. The surgeon had to take out the ovary. The 'baby' was large, he gestured with his hand as if it was as big as his fist. He said there was a lot of old blood and fresh blood.
Please, any women out there...if your periods are weird and something isn't right with your body...demand an ultrasound. Don't let your OB tell you everything is ok.
Elle is still STILL still teething. Nothing has cut yet. On her bottom gums I can see two white nubs under the surface. The right nub is actually pushing the gums up into a little bump. My poor girl is so cranky. She cannot understand why he mouth is trying to murder her!
I thought she was not hungry yesterday...she played a lot but did not nurse much. When it came time for solid food dinner she ate a ton...lots of sweet potatoes mashed with carrots and bananas.
Then I went to give her her customary dessert. She loves to nurse right after dinner. Again, she acted un interested. My mom said that maybe her teeth hurt too bad to suck. I did not even think of it. We gave her little tylenol and then I tried to feed her 10 minutes later. She ate like a champ!!!! The poor little girl's teeth hurt too much to suck.
I am so lucky that my mom is here to take care of everything, and even the unexpected things that are unrelated to the reason she had to come visit in the first place. I need to get her to come visit with out a crisis!!!
I think a lot of people can tell from my writing that Mr. Bishop and I are pretty tough. We don't ask for a lot of help and we are very happy to work hard to make things work. When I lost my job, we just figured it out. When our roof blew off the house, we just dealt with it.
I can't deal with this. I have been butterflied like a pork chop. Stuff me with bread crumbs and I would be on the menu at any fancy restaurant. I can't pick up my kid. At all. I have to be handed her so I can feed her. I can hold her hand while she gets a diaper change. I can watch while she gets dressed. I can hang out while she gets her bath. Try to do anything with a 5 month old without picking her up.
My aunts covered a couple days right after the surgery. My mom is here to help me this week. Then my dad and each of my brothers will take a week. My husband continues to go to work because...well, he is the only income we have right now. We needed help and my family has jumped in with both feet.
I have given up a lot of control for the good of my daughter. My pride doesn't change a poopy diaper so I better keep that pride in check.
She had sweet potatoes, carrots and bananas for dinner tonight. Her granny fed her. It was super cute. I think this will all be just fine. Elle will have some quality time with her family and I will recover.
Elle is eating peas! Since my return from the hospital we have added peas. She enjoys sweet potatoes, carrots, avocados and peas. Yum!
When I got back from the hospital I came home to a cling on baby like I never imagined. She nursed non stop for the first few days I was home. I think part of it was growth spurt and part of it was just good will nursing on my part. Bottles are good but boobas are better in Elle's world.
My supply was hurt by the surgery and hospital stay. I pumped constantly. If I was not sleeping, I was pumping. I had to dump most of it due to morphine (I had no choice) and unsanitary conditions. So I pumped and I dumped. I had a stock of frozen milk at the house that can last about 10 days of normal consumption. That has dwindled now. I don't think I can re build it and I think we are going to go to one formula feeding a night right before bed. Since I left, my good sleeper now gets up a couple times to eat. That is really hard on me right now. And really hard on whoever is taking care of me and her because I cant lift her. So to feed her, I need a lifter to place her in my lap and then change her diaper.
We are still doing one solid food feeding at dinner time. At her six month check up I will ask about introducing a morning feeding also.
She is a happy kid. The last week really threw off her schedule. I am trying not to show her any of my pain. I am trying to only be around her when I can keep a big smile and feel good.
My family is each taking a week off of work to come stay with me. That gives me 4 weeks of lifter coverage. My aunts covered the days until my mom could get here. The doctors are saying I need 6 weeks before I can pick her up. If I can make it to 4 without dieing of heart break, we will be in good shape.
This week I lost one baby I wanted and can’t even pick up the one I have.
I had massive abdominal surgery to fix a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The problem had gone on so long that I have a huge scar rivalling that of a Cesarian Section.
I am devistated. The last thing I want to do is write about this and have everyone in the world know how bad I feel. But nothing else is making me feel better.
I had abdominal pain and abnormal bleading for a few weeks. I also had some right side numbness. I went to my regular family doctor. She told me to see my OB and a neurologist. I went to my OB. My OB told me I was pregnant. I was shocked because of the bleeding. Mr. Bishop and I were very excited for another little winter baby. The OB called me and said my blood test HcG was weird and my progestrone was low. I went back for a blood test 4 days later and the numbers got weirder and a little lower.
She called me back with that information late on a Friday night and told me to go to a radiologist sometime in the next week. She said it was possible ectopic pregnancy but not to worry. By Monday it had ruptured and I left my baby girl at home with her dad as I left in an ambulance. Mr. Bishop had strict instructions not to come to the hospital or anything. He was not to let that baby girl leave his sight for one minute. His only job was to make sure she was so happy and healthy she would not have time to miss me.
In the ambulance we did not yet know what was wrong. My family doctor had ruled out liver problems. The pain was unbearable. It was worse than child birth. Worse than a nose job. Worse than having emergency gall bladder removal. Worse than falling off your bike. Worse than a hangover.
I was throwing up. I was writhing.
The ambulance crew were angels. From now on when I see them in town, I can actually see their angel wings. The only thing I brought to the hospital with me was my breast pump. I wanted to pump and dump to protect my supply. I had an emergency ultrasound. It was bad.
I was scheduled for surgery.
I was told that the surgeon would do anything he could to save the fallopian tube. He was actually going to try three successively more serious surgeries...starting from least invasive...to try and correct the problem. He was very kind to me and spent a lot of time treating me like a human being. I told him all I wanted was to go home and hold my baby girl.
It turns out there was so much hemorrhaging inside my abdomen that the surgeons had to do the most invasive surgery. The scar is big and painful. They did a nice job making it a clean looking line. I don't look too much like Frankenstein.
My body still hurts. My body hurts so much I am only just starting to feel the pain of losing the little baby. The baby would have never been viable.
The doctors said that it is not my fault. I could have done nothing to prevent it. It is a freak accident of nature.
Elle is an early riser. She likes a farmer's breakfast around 5 am and she is shot out of a cannon by 6 most days. Five days a week, this is all good. On Saturdays and Sundays I offer her money, candy, toys, pet puppies, gold plated binkies...anything for just a half hour more sleep. Nothing works.
So I do the one thing that makes some moms cheer and some moms cringe. I bring her to bed with me to play. I can lay there and doze while she plays with a toy or two and rolls around. Sometimes she even takes the social cues and uses the time for a little nap. Big score for mommy.
She is cuddlier on the weekends. I think she knows these are special days. I think we all enjoy just five more minutes of rest on a Saturday.
Elle had avocados for dinner tonight! Big winner!!! She ate everything available!
A great reader sent me this link today to Mark's Daily Apple, the section about babies eating what primitive babies ate is great! I like eating whole foods and I think that is why I like introducing Elle to veggies first...she will have plenty of exposure to processed foods when she gets old enough to ride her bike to Dunkin Donuts.
Tonight Mr. Bishop and I ate avocados also. I don't know if my theory is sound, but here it is: If we eat at the table together as often as possible, and all eat some components of the same things, I feel like it will be normal for Elle growing up. I want her to eat a wide variety of foods and *selfishly* I don't want to have to make her 'special' Elle only dinners. I want to cook one meal for the family and I think eating it at the table is a good habit for all of us to have.
Check back in 3 years to see if my theory holds water...
My cousins gave Elle a super cute onesie that says "little girl, big dreams". I have big dreams for my daughter. However, if we were to take the onesie and put it in the tangible present...it would read, "little girl big poops". The best part about that is, I am proud of her poops! It is a sick fact of motherhood that I suffer while she is struggling to poop (dear readers, imagine trying to poop while laying flat on your back). I celebrate nice healthy poops and I examine everything in between to make sure my girl is healthy. I also send Mr. Bishop emails at work updating him on the poopy situation. Because he is super dad, I know he enjoys those emails!
Today was another sweet potato poop and that is awesome! Here poop schedule has remained the same with the introduction of solid foods and that makes her poop watching mother happy! No constipation for my sweet potato girl! Tonight we see what avocados will do to the diaper!
Has anyone ever experienced a sweet potato (or yam) allergy???
We introduced yams two nights ago and have had no problems and I want to try avocados tonight... I know that the reccomended wait between solid foods is 2 to 4 days...but if I wait 4 days between each food she will be 17 before she gets arugula!! Not to mention ginger!
We chose to skip cereal and go right for whole foods. I baked a yam (it was a biggie) on Sunday night and Mr. Bishop and I split most of it and cut a small piece out for Elle. I mashed hers with a little breast milk until it was a very runny consistency (like the cereal would be). She had a huge smile on for the first few bites. I think she ate about a tablespoon of the mix on Sunday and at least that much on Monday.
We decided to breast feed right before solid food time to about 3/4 as long as she normally eats so she would not be famished before trying a new way of eating but would also be a little hungry for a new thing. I also offered nursing right after she came out of her high chair just in case she was still hungry. Babies should still derive most of their nutrients from breast milk (or formula) because it is hard for them to get enough calories from food.
We want to introduce her to flavors and eating with the family without depriving her of her primary source of nutrition.
So far it is working. She did the really cute baby spit the food out (tongue thrust) and we had to wipe her chin with the spoon and re feed the same sweet potatoes a couple times! Overall we kept it a very mellow experience and she seemed to enjoy the new flavor.
Mr. Bishop and I will decide tonight if we should do one more day of sweet potato or try the avocados. I suppose it depends on if we want sweet potatoes again for dinner or taco Tuesday!!!
Elle is the responsibility of Mr. & Mrs. Bishop. If we don't like what you are doing with our kid, we have not only the right to tell you to stop but the responsibility. If you choose not to listen to Mr. or Mrs. Bishop when it comes to matters of Baby Bishop, we don't have to pretend you are right.
Elle is five months old. She does not eat cookies and she does not like things frantically waved in her face. She is taking in the world one moment at a time. Respect the fact that she is learning slowly. Respect the fact that as her parents we not only want what is best for her, but have a pretty good idea of what that is. We are not morons. We have read a few books about child development, we have talked to a couple pediatricians and we have common sense. Most importantly, we pay attention to her cues. She is small, but she communicates what she wants. If you listen. So, do me a favor. When Mr. Bishop tells you how we are raising our kid...listen to what he says.
Sincerely, Elle's mom
(Funny story, my last OB visit pre delivery the doctor came into the exam room and said, "Hi, I am Mark's dad..." I smiled politely and he said, "Get used to it, it is your new title, your new name and your new full time identity." It is true. I am Elle's mom and I take it very seriously.)
I have to be honest...for those who have read previous posts, you know I am obsessed with vitamins. Obsessed.
I took Elle for her 5 month check up and we saw a different doctor in the practice. Here is how it all went down:
Weight: great. She gained one pound and four ounces. Great progress. Length: she SHRANK?!?!?!? What? That is weird and the doctor was like, "someone must have measured her wrong." Ya think? Annoying
General Check Up: All good
This doctor was very chatty and did not ask me if I had any questions. So I just started interjecting my questions. When I got to the question about vitamins she said, "all breast fed infants should be on a ACD vitamin." WHAT?!?!?!??!? I instantly felt like dirtbag mom of the year. I may as well have brought my kid into the doctor with a poopy diaper running down her leg.
I told her that our regular doctor said no vitamins. She said I was wrong. Dirtbag mom. Worst mom ever.
This doctor wanted me to start Elle on rice cereal right away. I told her I wanted to start veggies first and she was not happy with that. I don't want to give her processed food when we can just as easily smash sweet potatoes with breast milk to start. She was not supportive of that.
I can't wait to see my regular doctor again. I am never changing doctors again.
Elle is the best traveler ever. I rarely use superlatives, but in this case...she really is the best. She ate and pooped before we left for the airport on our way out. She took a nice nap in the car and then we loaded up her Chicco travel system and took her into the airport. I strapped a large backpacker type back pack to my back with all of our stuff. It was both of our "carry on" luggage. I also carried her diaper bag as her "personal item".
Going through security was by far the worst part of the trip. I had an infant, a car seat, a stroller, a small diaper bag and a large back pack to put through the x-ray machine. I had all Elle's liquids and gels in a small bag and all mine in another small bag. All TSA approved. First I put our liquids and shoes in a TSA bin, then I threw our packs on the conveyor also. Then I removed my baby girl from the stroller system car seat and put her on my hip. I popped out the car seat and set it on the conveyor belt with her blankie, one toy and one bib inside. These were the "critical items" for our trip...the little things that make my girl happy. The only time the TSA agent noticed what I was doing was to TURN OVER her car seat...dumping her three critical items on the belt. I jumped into the x-ray and grabbed her stuff and placed it an another bin. I told the agent that the stroller did not look like it would fit and two agents said... "you have to try". Ok. Then I folded her stroller and hefted it onto the belt. No one seemed to want to help me with that. I then asked why they turned over the car seat and the agent said, "because". Ok Mama, keep movin'.
The stroller did not fit, big surprise. So the agent told me to take it off the belt (note, infant still on my hip) and hand it to another agent. I did. That agent walked away. Ok. I went and stood at the end of the conveyor belt waiting for our stroller so I could re load our belongings. I waited. And waited. And our stuff was in a big pile and the other travelers were not pleased with me. I politely apologized to all the people who were behind me, but I had nowhere to go.
The agent handed me back my stroller and asked me why I bought my kid a ticket. I said, "because". She told me it was a waste of money. I thought to myself (using all my internal restraint to not THINK OUTLOUD), "my kid, my money, my ticket". I then went on my way. Elle flashing her best movie star smiles at everyone in our path.
Elle loves people. She thinks everyone is here to see her. She is mostly right. She fussed for about five minutes during taxi, so I lifted her up above my head so she could smile at her audience...she loved that. She spent most of take off trying to climb over me so she could smile and WINK at the rest of the passengers.
I have to thank one gate check agent in New Orleans. I did not get his name, but he was the only person on the entire trip that helped us. He took our stroller and gate checked it for me. Saving me the stress and embarrassment of having to bend over and flash my fat can in-front of the entire boarding plane while I fold the stroller and gate check tag it. He was really nice to us and his two minutes of help made my day.