Sunday, February 28, 2010

That is not quite what that is used for...

I have a Chicco Lullaby Play Yard which is very helpful because our house is 2 stories and it is no fun running a baby with a dirty diaper up and down the stairs all day to change pants. *Although, come to think of it, I would probably be skinnier if I did that.* My cousin has a Graco Pack N Play.

The changing table on both of these can get really dirty and I had no idea how to keep it clean when I was changing multiple diapers a day. On a whim, I took 2 of my sheet savers that are supposed to be for the crib and tied one on top of the other on the changing area. If poop or peep gets on the top one, I just take it off and can continue dressing Elle. At less than $7 a pop, these really made sense. Also, they come in pink, white and blue so you can gender coordinate the poop department.

Poop Profiler

The people at Similac tried to be classy by calling this link a diaper decoder, but it is really just a poop profiler...Kind of like BD Wong was a criminal profiler on Law and Order... anyway, kind of handy information to have.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lets talk about bottles

File this subject under too many choices, like most baby products. I use Born Free bottles because when I was researching them I liked the anti colic design and their history with BPA free products. I also read that these bottles were great if I thought I was going to try breastfeeding. So far we are very happy, although there are a lot of pieces to clean. I wish I could pump directly into these bottles instead of using the Medela bottle first, that would make my life a lot easier! So, dear Born Free or Medela...If you read this, make my life easier and give me one less thing to clean, and invent something.

I am going to offer a few links to other bottles that I have never tried and open up the conversation to anyone who wants to share anything about their experience (or their baby's experience) with the bottles. I would love to try other options, but I am not about to go to BRU and buy half a dozen different bottles...

Milk Bank
Avent -- one of my cousins used these, no complaints that I know of.
Dr Brown -- another of my cousins used these, only complaint was that they were hard to clean..
WeilBaby -- These seem new and trendy, clever adds.
Playtex -- these always freaked me out because the liners smell really plastic-y to me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Safety a close second!

My grandma likes to tell me stories about throwing her first four kids in the back of the convertible and driving to the beach with the three oldest standing on the back seat to look around and the fourth laying on the seat. When my husband was a baby he had a type of car bed the top of his carriage, no three point harness included. Now Elle rides in a virtual fortress. Her car seat is super safe, clicks into the car or stroller in a travel system and even has a fuzzy shower cap that goes over the top to protect her from the elements.

Even though I am not much for style myself, I can't help but get her dolled up and looking good before I go anywhere. I want her to have not only the best safety gear, but the cutest gear too! Elle's dad and I don't always agree on the fashion part...I think he likes me because I am low maintenance and he doesn't want me creating a high maintenance daughter! But really, is a Juicy track suit too much for a 3 month old?...not if she wants to look good! While we are at it, my dogs like to look good too!!!

Baby bumpers?

Like everyone knows, Elle has been pushing her head against the slats of the crib at night. This wakes her up and she cries. We are thinking about getting her a bumper for her crib.

What does everyone think about that? Elle's dad is worried about safety. I have heard bad things about little babies and bumper safety. I have also heard that some babies use the bumpers to pole vault out when they are able to pull themselves up.

Just call me nervous Nelly, but I don't know what to think.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Clogged Milk Duct Update (NSFW)

Note, if breast feeding skeeves you...this is another post you should not read and for Heaven's sake...don't click on the links at work!

Everything I read and the pediatrician said pointed to warm moist massages to get rid of a clogged duct. I was willing to try anything because a clogged duct can lead to mastitis (scary and gross).

I took a couple hot showers and massaged the boobie...then I massaged the boobie while was helping but I was getting sore. I tried using a battery operated back massage tool while I was pumping and ended up with a milk shake. So then I tried massaging while I was feeding. Elle did not love the interference in her face region, but that seemed to work the best at getting all the weirdness out. Now I am back to normal. Lesson learned...for me...don't try to wear a "normal" nice bra while I am nursing. Skip the push up under wire and low cut top until Elle has finished with her lunch boxes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

yeah right

How come I don't look like this mom?

Broken Pampers

I got another broken Pampers Baby Dry Diaper today...Emailed them again. I am not thrilled. Huggies are on sale at Costco and my cousin said she is trying Luvs and they are doing just fine. Not going to pay Pampers prices any more at this rate....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nursing is not easy

I have a clogged milk duct…I can empty it under hot water in the shower with massage, but Elle is not getting it sufficiently empty at every feeding. It hurts.

Like the nurses at the hospital said, “nursing is not easy, it is a process.” Some days it is a sucky process, pun intended.

Three month check up

Today we will go for Elle's 3 month check up. She will get her Hib Vaccine and Her PCV7 vaccine. Because Elle is out and about these days, I want to talk to the doctor about getting more than one vaccine at a time as is recommended. She has had no reaction to the last 3, and I don't want to put her at risk of catching something while she is out. We cant stay shut ins forever!

*** Update, she is super cranky and tired, no irritation at injection sites, but not a happy camper.

When I was "interviewing" pediatricians, I told each office that I was crazy. I told them that I was a first time mom and want to not only be told things were ok, but I wanted explanations. That is just how I am. The office we finally decided to bring Elle to said, "That is great!". We met with lots of other doctors and I am sure they were very competent, however I needed to have someone hold my hand a little bit. That is just who I am and I don't want a bad relationship with Elle's doctor! I also told the receptionists that I was a crazy person and they laughed...I wanted to start out on the right foot!

This is the list of crazy questions I will bring with me today (yes, I type them, print them and hand them to the nurse when we get there so the doctor can be ready for my barrage!): ---I put the doctor's answers in bold after the questions!

  1. Is she teething? Can I give her Hyland's? (Love them by the way, thanks to a reader!!!)--- Doc could see the white line where we will see a tooth soon...or sooner or later. Hyland's approved by doc.
  2. She rolled over a few times, now is not interested, is that ok? ---That is fine because she looks good on all the other developmental stuff.
  3. Are her toes weird looking? ---Yes, lots of people have weird looking toes.
  4. Should she be on a vitamin? (I ask this every time) ---She still seems fine without vitamins as long as I am taking the prenatal. Elle gained 2 lbs and 2.5 inches in 5 weeks.
  5. Her ears get dirty and sometimes I grab a "potato" while I am feeding her. Is that ok? Should I be doing anything else? --- Don't do anything else, just make sure you don't push the wax in further. It will fall out if you don't touch it.
  6. When do we start solid food? --- She is doing great on just breast milk, we will discuss at 4 or 5 months.
  7. Sometimes her spit up looks like cottage cheese, is that ok?---Yes, as long as it is not all the time and she is continuing to gain weight.
  8. Can I keep swaddling her or is she too old for that? ---Swaddle as long as she will sleep like that!
I told you I was a crazy woman!!!

Other stuff I asked about as spur of the moment:
  • Her head is not flat on the back, the bald spot is ok. (I call it baby pattern baldness)
  • I still just file her nails because I am terrified to cut them, that is ok too.
  • I showed my Dr. the lump in my breast. She suggested hot showers and massage. It is pretty annoying.

I LOVE my pediatrician.

Is good customer service dead?

Baby stuff costs a lot of money. There is always an expense pending. Because so many of the standard baby items are expensive, I expect some level of quality and customer service. A couple products lately have really upset me and more upsetting is the poor customer service that I have received when I have complained about the products.

Gerber crib sheets

I got 3 Gerber crib sheets and one Koala crib sheet for Elle’s crib. The Koala and one of the Gerber sheets fit perfectly. Two of the other Gerber sheets did not fit. I found this out one night a couple weeks ago when Elle puked over her dad’s shoulder into the crib, soaking the sheets (and various other items in the room). When I went to change the crib sheet, the brand new and freshly laundered (no I will not put anything on her bed that is not washed) sheet did not fit. I struggled for as long as anyone would at 2:00 am and in the struggle, the sheet ripped. Fine. I tried the other sheet. No fit. I gave up on that one before it ripped. Then I put the third sheet on and it fit fine. What is up with that? They were all purchased the same day and all washed in the same load of laundry.

I emailed Gerber. Four days later I got an email saying that I would get a letter telling me what to do. The letter told me I had to mail back the sheets (postage paid, thank goodness) and then they would find a suitable compensation.

I mailed the sheets the day I got the postage label and am still waiting to hear. It is frustrating because now if we have an incident which soils her sheets…I only have one back up. That is a scary situation!!!

Pampers Baby Dry size 1-2

I buy the big boxes of Pampers at Target. The biggest box that I have seen. There were 258 baby dry diapers in this box in 3 sleeves. Inside one of the sleeves I got 5 busted diapers in a row. When I went to put them on, the right tab kept breaking off. I emailed Pampers 4 days ago and am still waiting for a response. Not only are diapers expensive, but if I have a squirmy, cranky, no pants baby on the changing table the last think I want to be doing is fiddling with diapers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Product Review: Breast milk Storage bags

When Elle was born and took to nursing, I was crazy neurotic about ‘protecting’ my milk supply (pumping extra to make sure I made enough to feed her) and saving my milk to continue feeding her exclusively breast milk when I returned to work. Because of the over pumping, I really became a Holstein. I have tried three brands of storage bags (Medela, Lansinoh, The First Years) and rated them on several categories.

Ease of use

  1. Medela bags had a paper tab that allowed it to be attached to the pump equipment so I could pump directly into the bag, very easy. (Note: you have to know you are going to freeze that batch to make use of it. Often times I pump into a bottle first because it is much easier and sturdier, then I freeze the portion that we won’t need for Elle’s dinner with daddy.)
  2. Lansinoh bags are bigger and hold more, which make them easier to use. (I will talk more about that later.) These are also incredibly easy to pour, they have a handy picture on the package I bought.
  3. The First years, while this bag had a “pour handle” it was stupid and annoying to me.

Durability of bag (perceived and basic use *I didn't throw it out the window or run over them with my car)

  1. Medela seems thicker and better put together on the edges.
  2. Lansinoh is thick, but not as thick as Medela
  3. First years looks cheap like a store brand sandwich bag.


  1. Lansinoh has two zippers. I love it. Easy to seal. The capcity makes it very very easy to seal without getting milk stick in the zipper tracks.
  2. Medela has a good seal, but convenience of pumping directly into the bag often messes up the zipper tracks. Also, more than once this bag pops open in the freezer as contents expand (even when I only use it for a few ounces instead of the advertised capacity of 5 ounces)
  3. The First Years bags again look cheap and unreliable.

  1. Lansinoh bags are by far the least expensive at my BRU.
  2. The First Years
  3. Medela


  1. Lansinoh has a taller writing space which works for me. There is no space to write my name, but I am only pumping and storing for me, not at a hospital so I don’t care.
  2. Medela has a good space, but because I use a sharpie marker it is a bit narrow for me. It has a name line if you are storing milk for multiple mommies.
  3. The First Years label space is terrible. It is actually ON the milk, not a tab above and it is really hard to write on. I would be afraid of breaking the bag with a pen or contaminating the milk.

Capacity (actual in practice)

  1. Lansinoh actually holds 6 oz for freezing. That is great.
  2. The First Years hold 5 or 6 oz in practice.
  3. Medela says it will hold 5 oz, but if you actually put it in and freeze the bag the zipper pops. This has happened to me several times and I wasted milk. In practice I would say this holds about 2.5 oz in the freezer (I call them snack packs!)


Because I am looking for value, I like the Lansinoh bags. The Medela bags are much more expensive and hold less (I need to buy more). I would use Medela if they were less expensive, but at my BRU they are twice the price of Lansinoh.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reputable source of information?

Last night baby Elle’s Angel Care monitor went off at midnight. I freaked and ran into her room. She had wedged herself in the corner of the crib and was too far away from the sensor. She was fine.

I moved her back to the middle of the crib and went back to bed. At two, I heard her crying, not usual for her. I returned to her room and she was wedged in the corner again and had her head pressed against the crib slats, it obviously hurt. I put her back in the middle of the crib and kissed her goodnight again, no residual crying.

When I got back to bed Elle’s dad asked what was happening. I told her she had wedged her head and it hurt.

He said, “Some babies like the pain of banging their heads.”

I said, “That is stupid.”

He said, “I read it somewhere.”

I asked, “Where?”

He said, “I am not sure if it is reputable.”

I said, “Probably not.”

Apparently there is a Baby Center article about this. According to the article, Elle is too young to bang her head to soothe so I am going to assume she just got stuck in the corner.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Share stories, don't compare details!

As a new mom, I am super protective of my Elle. I am also super sensitive thinking that other people think something is wrong with her. It is really hard to hear people say, “she is so little” or “is that all she eats” or “why is she so fussy”.

It breaks my heart thinking there might be something wrong that I don’t see. I feel like people want to help, but really go about it all the wrong way. Every baby (like every person) is different and I wish people wouldn’t compare different people so much.

Look at all the different experiences moms are sharing on this blog. Even 4 kids in the same family do things differently. Remember that moms, trust your gut and talk to your pediatrician. Next time you are tempted to say to another mother, “but my son was much bigger” or “my daughter never cried when we gave her a bath” just remember how hard it is to be a new mom and how scared you were to do the right thing by your kid! When I want advice, I ask for it! I know I need lots of help, so lets share stories…it is much better than comparing the details!


This is a messed up story, and as I was originally posting the above last night, this is what I was thinking about and was scared to write about. I went to a luncheon about two weeks ago; it was Elle’s public (outside the family) debut. One woman was complimenting me on my daughter and how happy she was and then proceeded to launch into a terrible story about some terrible disease (which I will not even name here because it is so freekin’ horrible) that has no symptoms and no cure.

I was like, “WTF LADY?!?!?!?!!??!?!?!?!?!” My point with the above sugar coated post, which I tried to dance around, is DON’T SAY HORRIBLE THINGS TO WOMEN WITH SMALL CHILDREN.

Look at this, I have been walking around for two weeks freaking out and pissed off at a lady I barely know. Now I can move on! (It is about 4 am here and it is TIME to move on.) Good night all.

Your odds just got better!

The lovely people at Nickelodeon have given me 3 more DVDs to raffle…bringing your odds of winning to 1 in 24!!! Here is the catch, I need 120 total public followers before I draw winners. Tell your friends to sign up for a 1 in 24 chance to win one of these DVDs:

  • Kai-Lan’s Carnival
  • Rugrats: Tales from the Crib: Three Jacks & A Beanstalk
  • Go Diego Go! Lion Cub Rescue (4 episodes)
  • Dora the Explorer: Let’s Explore! Dora’s Greatest Adventures (8 episodes)
  • Olivia Takes Ballet (4 episodes)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

family outing

Tonight we went to Target as a family! Hot date on a Wednesday night! Elle fell asleep in her car seat on the way there and stayed asleep in the stroller. That was good because late evenings are her witching hour…she is a cranky puss after dinner and before bed. I let her rest until the 10:00 feeding, but sometimes she is over tired or over stimulated or just plain over it and doesn’t want to rest…We should take outings more often, that car ride was worth the gas money!

Things I can do one handed...

This is the beginning of a series titled: Things I can do one handed that took me two hands before Elle was born.

  1. Unload the dishwasher
  2. Load the dishwasher
  3. Fold laundry
  4. Put on eye make up (didn't say I could do it well one or two handed)
  5. Walk the dogs, pick up doggie doo
  6. Get in or out of the house
  7. Get the mail, open the mail, throw away the mail
  8. Read a newspaper or magazine
  9. Open frozen vegetables
  10. Vacuum (maybe I could do this one handed, but I never tried before. Hint: you would be surprised how soothing the sound of a vacuum can be to a baby in arms!)
I still try not to cook or chop veggies while holding her...the proximity of baby head to blades or heat scares me. More from this list at a later date.

by the way

I am sitting at the computer with my baby monitor, listening to Elle sleep and she let out a couple of really good toots...It is about diaper time!!!

DVD Raffle! Tell your friends

I am going to try something new today. I reached out to the lovely marketing people at Nickelodeon and they have sent me two great DVDs to preview. While Elle is too young to watch DVDs just yet, I am not! Soon I know she will like cartoons and I want to have stuff on my TV that won’t make me crazy!

Kai-Lan’s Carnival

This DVD has 4 Kai-Lan episodes. I liked it for the bright and simple animation and sweet resolutions to every problem. The episodes talk about emotions and problem solving in an easy to understand kids format. Patience and compromising were two of the important lessons I learned from this DVD. Now if I could only put that patience and desire to compromise into action in my real life!

Rugrats: Tales from the Crib

Three Jacks & A Beanstalk

I personally like anything that riffs the old fairy tales! This is a great “family movie night” movie. I can’t wait until Elle has enough teeth to eat popcorn. Rugrats are great promoters of imagination and have an endearing quality.

*** Nickelodeon just sent 3 more DVDs!!!

  • Go Diego Go! Lion Cub Rescue (4 episodes)
  • Dora the Explorer: Let’s Explore! Dora’s Greatest Adventures (8 episodes)
  • Olivia Takes Ballet (4 episodes)

Here is how this works.

As soon as I have 120 public followers (I cant see the private followers to include them in a drawing), I will draw profile names out of a hat and post the 5 winners on the blog. (Those odds are 1 in 24 to be a winner, better then Lotto!) The first name picked and posted will get to pick her/his DVD first and the second name will get to pick his/her DVD and so on. Winners can send me their mailing addresses through my Facebook profile or at my email address. (Don’t post your mailing address on the blog for all to see!) Then I will go down to USPS and grab a flat rate envelope and mail you your DVD! I promise I won’t sell your name to any crazy marketing lists. I signed up for Similac coupons and now I get so much darn junk mail I feel like an eco-terrorist. I promise I won’t even keep your mailing address.

If this works, I will start hitting up other fun kids gear places and see if we can make everyone a winner!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Review: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

Thanks to a great suggestion, I pulled out One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish to read to Elle. I did break it out for a mid day read, not a bed time story so we could really into it! Dr. Seuss is always a winner for mom because the stories are interesting and fun to read out loud. Rhyming is fun and I think Elle’s ears can pick up the rhyming. This was another book that she liked to turn around and look at me while I was reading.

The colors and pictures are still too advanced for her to really love it, but I think in a couple months this could be an everyday favorite as she refines her palate.

I hope she likes this one and Horton Hears a Who! (which we read at bedtime last night) another Dr. Seuss favorite of mine. I enjoy reading them and that makes our time together fun.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good Advice

This blog may look like it has a lot of advice for a new mom. I don’t want anyone to read this and say…that is how I am going to raise my kid. What I really want it to be is a quick read that moms can relate to and maybe grab one piece of information that helps them get through a day. I think new moms should listen to what people say, consult their pediatrician and obstetrician, ask all their friends and relatives and trust their own gut.

From the second I told people I was pregnant, I received a great deal of advice about EVERYTHING from my weight to child birth to naming to health care and my sex life.

Here is some of the good advice I got:

  • “Let her fuss it out, don’t pick her up the first time she cries.”
  • “Pick her up right away, you can’t spoil a newborn.”

Wait, what am I supposed to do with that??? For Elle’s first month I did not put her down. I held her constantly. I had a lot of help when Elle was born, my mom stayed with me for 5 weeks, so I was able to spend the time I needed holding her. The American Academy of Pediatrics, The complete Authoritative Guide for Caring for Your Baby and Young Child says that you cannot spoil a newborn (page 210 in the 5th Edition).

I guess we will find out if I did the right thing if she refuses to stop sleeping in her crib when she is 45 years old.

  • “Don’t give your kid vaccines.”
  • “Get all the vaccines right away as soon as you can.”

Again, what???

I have written about this before. My husband and I talked to our pediatrician. Our own guts said, we want to do one shot at a time so we can monitor any possible reactions. Our doctor made a schedule for Elle’s vaccines that makes sure she will get everything she needs to protect her as soon as possible. The most important thing is I trust our doctor to do what is right for our daughter. Just two days ago, reports of over 3,000 cases of mumps in New York hit the news. Just when you think, “My kid doesn’t need a shot for a disease that has been eradicated…”

When I was pregnant people told me:

  • “Don’t worry about how much weight you gain, it all comes right off.”
  • “Wow, you are huge.”
OK, thanks. Thanks a bunch. While the first comment made me feel better, it may not be the best advice! I gained most of my weight ‘trying to get pregnant’ and the weight I did gain in the actual 9 months did come off pretty quick. However, I am still a chubsy wubsy and still have people giving me advice on how and when to lose the baby weight. I am working on it. (By the way, NEVER tell any woman she is huge. That is just mean.)

I know people really mean well. Strangers in the grocery store see an obviously pregnant woman or an infant and want to share their own experiences and advice to help. It is with the best of intentions. And so with the best intentions, I politely smile and say thank you and go about my day.

Please feel free to share some of the good advice you have received in the comments section!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Book Review: The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein

The Missing Piece is perfect for the under 3 month set. It has very few words, great sections that can be sung and simple line drawings that are easy for Elle to focus on. She sits on my lap and I hold the book in front of her. The only danger is that she may pull a muscle in her neck when she swivels her head around who is singing out of tune.

Her favorite part is the, “Hi de ho here I go looking for my missing piece”.

A very strong recommendation as a daytime or before bedtime book because the reader can either read with enthusiasm, or quietly hum for a more relaxing tale.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

All about poop

Elle was wearing such a cute outfit today…Until she pooped out the side of her diaper. Somehow she managed to keep the diaper completely clean while poop ran down the leg of her jeans and yes…all over mommy. At first it sounded like it could have just been a toot, but no, it was poop.

Baby Girl Style

Elle’s dad helped me pick out her outfit today. We are rocking the layered look, a light pink short sleeved onsie over a dark pink long sleeved onsie! Pair that with blue jeans and pink socks and you have a perfect Saturday outfit!

His comment while fishing through her clothes was, “There is a lot of pink stuff in here.” Yeah.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I need mom advice: Formula


What formula do you/did you use?

Any convenience tips?

Any funny stories?

Anything I need to know?

I need mom advice: Teething

I think Elle is starting to head in the direction of getting teeth. I am not saying I see a tooth yet. She has started to drool nonstop. She is a regular drool bucket. Everything is going in her mouth and she is chewing on everything. Her cheeks have turned rosy read and she has been having diarrhea.

Every mom I talk to says that the pediatrician will tell me that rosy cheeks and diarrhea are not a sign of teething, but they are. I have never gone through this before, but I can tell you about 4 days ago the drool started flowing, the cheeks got red and the poop got loose. Her appetite has not changed at all. She has no fever. And the only discomfort she seems to have is soothed by a cold teething ring or any nubby toy in her mouth. Based on my limited experience, I say teething.

This is where I need the help of other moms. Please send me your teething symptoms and what you did to help your little one get through it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Hickey

Last night I was very tired by the time her 10:00 feeding came around. I was so tired, I did not notice how much feeding her was hurting…until it was too late.

She must have been very tired also, because she did not latch where the milk comes out and now I have a big red hickey on my boobie. It hurts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Daddy Bonding Time

Is it possible my 11 week old daughter understands snow day?? She slept in until 6:00 today and still is not up for her regular 8:00 feeding!

Since Elle was born, I pump a bottle for her dad to give her every night. It is a nice bonding time for them that they would not otherwise have because she is “EBF”. For a while I was a real crazy woman about it and I would make him take his shirt off so she would get the benefits of skin to skin. Poor kid got confused with skin to skin vs skin to daddy’s furry chest! It really is the cutest thing ever though.

Dad doing an evening bottle also has huge benefits for me. It gives me a 4 hour stretch during the day that I can go shopping, run errands or just be out of the house and not attached to Elle. I love her to pieces and am so happy I get to spend so much time with her, but it is nice to run around a bit in the afternoons knowing she is well cared for.

A funny thing has happened to my milk supply because of this arrangement. I dramatically over produce in the mornings and NEED to pump. Then, in the late afternoon early evening, my supply seems light. This is a challenge when her dad cant feed her on any given day. That evening feeding is her playful and fussy feeding anyway, combine that with a light supply and I get punched right in the boob every time!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

She smiles at the strangest times

My beautiful daughter shares some of my best traits. She loves to eat. The only thing she loves more is to sleep! Most nights she is ready for her bedtime feeding at 9:50 and is changed and in bed by 10:10. According to the pediatrician, she is an “efficient eater”. If she doesn’t lose her binkey or pee too much in her diaper, she will sleep until about 5:05. (My daughter also loves schedules.)

At 5:05 she wakes up ravenous. She eats like a crazy wild panda, burps like a wild gorilla, submits to a diaper change and likes to be back in bed by 5:25. Our record is 5:20, or a 15 minute feed and change.

These two feedings are not like waking meals. She keeps her eyes mostly closed, as if to tell me that she would not like conversation. Other feedings she chats and smiles, these are pure business. She grabs on and gives a good squeeze to get things going and then doesn’t even look up at me until I make her switch sides. At this point she usually gives me a look of irritation before returning to her focused state.

This morning she had her usual monster burp followed by a pretty gross monster burp/spit up combination. The spit up extended a full 3 feet past my knees on the floor. I showed some concern for her. She in turn gave me an enormous smile. I don’t know how a person smiles after something so gross and bizarre, but she just wanted a clean diaper and back to bed. I complied.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What no one told me: Baby Blues

I made reference to being postpartum in my first blog. It is really easy to make a passing reference to having been sad, or having a loneliness inside me that would not go away—even if my entire family and all my friends were simultaneously throwing me a birthday party and rubbing my feet. It is much harder to actually confront and talk about the huge hormonal letdown that devastated me after Elle was born. It is also hard to talk about something serious without making a joke about it.

All I wanted to do for three weeks was hold my baby. I did not want to eat. I could not sleep. I wanted to sit in the corner of the couch, in sweatpants, covered in blankets and hold my baby. I was terrified of doing something wrong. I felt like there was a hole inside me. I felt like she was so vulnerable, that I could never possibly do the right thing by her and all I wanted was to do the right thing.

For the last six months of my pregnancy I regularly talked to her in my mind. I felt like she could hear me. I did not spend a lot of pregnant time worrying about labor and delivery or even bringing her home.

When she was born, I could not talk to her in my mind anymore. I had to actually speak, but I did not know what to say. My body was very sore and my mind was very tired.

By the time I got home I was beginning to believe I could take care of her physically, but I did not know if I could take care of her mentally. I did not know if I could give her what she needed. It was a total sense of despair.

When she was about 5 or 6 weeks old, that feeling went away. It seemed like it went away as fast as it had appeared. It is like I did not even remember why I was sad. I remember being able to sleep for the first time without fear (both fear that something would happen and fear that someone would think I was a bad mom for sleeping). I started to get back my ability for rational thought.

Now, the one joke I did want to make before…Even though I could not eat that first few weeks, I didn’t lose any weight. That is lame! Now I have my appetite back and still look pregnant, awesome! I know that my kid likes me, even if I am a fat fatty!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Little Muse

Today was a fun and long day…It started with a poop that inspired the title of the blog. I gave Elle a nice warm playful bath this morning and got her fresh and clean in a super cute pink outfit with a kitten on the bottom! Right before we were expecting a visitor, she made a monster poop that went all the way up her back—yes out of the diaper, up her back, through the onesie stopping at the nape of her neck and soaking through the entire outfit. Honestly, she was only dressed in that adorable pink polka dot shirt and kitten pants for half an hour.

It was truly an inconvenient poop.

All you can do in that situation is get back in the tub! Rub a dub dub…

After that we had a great day and life goes on!

Friday, February 5, 2010

What no one told me: More Milk

I am going to do another mommy friendly post. If lactation skeeves you, don’t read this.

There was a ton of pressure on me to breast feed when I had Elle. Everyone talks about the virtues of it, but no one tells you how hard it really is. I feel like as a new mom, a lot of people wanted to tell me what I should be doing or how I could mess up my kid. That is not nice. As a mom, I have to make a lot of tough choices for my daughter. Some tough choices can be made easier by supportive, not critical, people.

This topic is why I should have started writing the week she was born. It was a hard time and breast feeding was kind of hard. If I had written this then, there would be big fat tears of frustration all over my keyboard.

I was very lucky that the hospital was supportive and placed Elle on my chest within a minute of her birth. She passed the APGAR with flying colors therefore did not need a lot of medical attention. She rooted around (I call it instinct, my cousin’s sociology professor disagreed) on my chest for a second and found boobie right away. That was the touching and heart warming part.

She was a “no bottle” baby in the hospital so I offered her food every 2 hours or so. She took in a lot of colostrum (you can tell by poop color) and my milk came in like it should.

Now for the hard part, the part that no one tells you when they are telling you what a warm and loving experience nursing is. Her gums were sharp and razor thin. When she was tired, she did not latch well and pulled. Her gums were so sharp I swore I had given birth to a baby piranha. (Later she would begin to waver between nice baby panda and angry baby panda *one is cute, the other has large pointy bear teeth and ravenous appetite.)

Thank goodness for modern technology. I had to invest in nipple shields and shells and all kinds of stuff to protect my raw boobies. The package said use lanolin if it is dry and the shells if it is humid. It was both humid and dry intermittently that week, so I started to cry trying to figure that out. Oh, and Elle wouldn't latch if she tasted lanolin, so I had to wipe it off and further irritate my sore boobies.

I made a ‘deal’ with Elle that no one starves in 2009 in New York. If breast feeding didn’t work for either of us I would not let her starve. She signed on the dotted line and we proceeded without any pressure on either of us. It is working so far and I think I lot of the reason that it does work is because I don’t stress about it. I have containers of formula on the ready if it stops working. We are both able to enjoy meal times with no anxiety. My husband has been supportive; he seems to understand that while they are Elle’s lunch boxes, they are still part of my body.

It is hard to be a new mom. It is hard that everyone has a story and something they did ‘better’ than you. I try to ignore them. The only people I need to worry about are Elle and me, and dad when he is being helpful!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Developmental Milestones

Elle did not sleep last I did not sleep last night. That means today I am not very witty. She seems ok though, maybe she doesn’t need as much rest as I do. I told her the American Academy of Pediatrics said she needs to more at this stage in her life. She did not listen. Speaking of, this book is awesome. Everything we have encountered in the last 70 days is mentioned in the book. From infant acne and infant milia to poop questions. The book also has nice developmental milestones listed under each age. As kind of a baby record, I write down how many weeks Elle was when she did each activity.

Developmentally, she is doing well on the verbal front. She is ‘talking’ a lot the last few days, and I don’t answer her right away she yells at me. She seems to understand that dialog is back and forth…not a big fan of the monologue. She also talks while she is eating. This leads to some milk leakage, kind of gross but pretty funny!

Will post later

I have to get up and out of the house with Elle today, take care of some obligations... I will post later. It is hard getting a kid out of the house! There is a lot of safety gear.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Tummy Time Paradox

Pediatricians and baby books make a big fuss about making sure your kid gets tummy time. Elle hated tummy time, like most babies I know. All the while, they are just training for the ultimate...the flip over. Once they flip, tummy time is limited to the 5 seconds it takes to flip over. Take that experts.

Roll Over!

Elle rolled over for the first time today. She waited until her dad got home from work and went to town!

Three times in a row. Just like her dear old mom, nothing is done in moderation!

What no one told me: MILK

Good Morning new moms! Or people who want to be a mom. If neither of those applies to you, you may find the following post disgusting, so don’t read it.

I wish someone would have told me about ‘let down’ or ‘milk coming in’. Now, in the hospital, the nurses all asked if I was going to breast feed and I said yes. I was informed my milk would come in soon, within 4 to 5 days. So that made milk coming in sound like a one time thing.

So that first time is a beast, I thought I was dying of the flu. I had hot flashes and cold sweats. (Note to moms not planning on breast feeding, your milk still comes in. Biology doesn’t listen to personal choices.)

After I got over the initial shock of what it felt like, we did get into some kind of a routine. I am very lucky that starting at about 5 weeks, Elle slept for 4 or 5 hours a night. I am even luckier that by 7 weeks we were up to 7 or 8 hours of sleep.

The down side to a full night’s rest is that I often wake up in a puddle of my own milk. New mommies, buy nursing pads. These are my favorite by Lansinoh, but many other companies make them, including Medela, Gerber and Playtex. In a pinch, a few washcloths tucked in your bra will work, but is kind of bunchy.

Now, we are really into a routine. After Elle’s 10:00 pm feeding, I pump out everything that is left. I use a Medela "Pump in Style" double pump to make it go quicker. I can then sleep with reasonable certainty that I won’t foul the bed with dairy products.

A last weird note about biology. I can tell when she is hungry because her cry or whine or grunt makes my milk come in. It is like a weird bond. Also very weird, if I hear another baby wailing…there is a good chance the milk will come then. So wear those nursing pads out of the house, unless you want people to talk about you and the big damp spots on your boobies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baby Girl Style

I love baby girl clothes. I cant get enough pink!

Elle is wearing three shades of pink today: pale pink, bright pink and (my personal favorite) stretch mark pink. She is practically camouflaged against my tummy!

Rattle Review: Sassy suction cup rattles

Even though Elle is only a little tot, I like to put her in her high chair (Chicco) and talk to her while I am cooking. (Of course she is a safe distance from the stove, microwave and any knives.)

For a while she was content to just stare at me or nap, but she is growing up and wants a little more action.

We went to Babies R Us to find some suction cup rattles. We tried Target first, but there was nothing at all at our Target. There is a wide variety on the internet, but here are the 2 we are trying out.

Sassy Harmonization Fascination Station Suction Toy
Ok, Elle loves this thing. It has bright colors; it is easy for her to make it move and spin. It ‘sings’ a crazy annoying song that makes her laugh. Elle gives it 4 stars. I give it 2 because the above mentioned crazy annoying music is a bit much for me in the kitchen. If she was playing with this in a room away from me, it would earn the full 4 stars.

Sassy Illumination Station Suction Toy
This is the clear winner in the suction toy competition! It has all the bright colors and activities of the “Harmonization” above, but instead of the annoying music it has a flashing light ball. The light is not just an adequate entertainment substitution for noise, but preferred by Miss Elle, and she is quite discerning. Four stars all around!


Ok, turns out rotavirus is an oral live vaccine…I could have skipped the Tylenol. Add that to the mommy guilt list.

Now, this is something funny. The nurse told me not to get the vaccine in my mouth because I might get diarrhea. So I asked if that means Elle might get diarrhea from it. The nurse said no, I asked why, she said because. I wilted like a flower. Second addition to the bad mommy list today! I should have asked more questions. Anyone know why?


Today we go for her rotavirus vaccine.

It is supposed to be given with the DTaP at 8 weeks, but being new parents and particularly neurotic we are only doing one shot at a time. Note: there are risks to not following the American Academy of Pediatrics schedule also. Too many choices as a parent. A cactus is easier to raise, but doesn't smile.

We give her a dose of infant Tylenol about a half hour before the shot. My mom told me this trick and I confirmed that it was ok with the pediatrician.

So far she has not had a bad reaction to anything, so lets hope our lucky streak continues... update later.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Book Review: Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert

This book is ‘tagged’ for ages 1-5, however, it is great for tiny babies also. Elle sits on my lap and I hold the book in front of her.

She is completely mesmerized by the bright colors and shapes. Because this book has very few words, I can flip pages at her speed when she starts to fuss. I personally am terrified of the tiger, but she doesn’t seem scared.

Unfortunately, the author put the octagon right after the hexagon and I think the subtly of six sided verses eight sided escapes Elle. Hopefully we will learn that one before the SATs.

Definitely a great book for the baby set.

Any other baby book suggestions?? Tell me what to read and I'll tell you what we think.

What were you thinking??

Last Friday, Elle’s dad came home from work…he works hard…he picked up his daughter and said to me, “I love how she is always so clean when I get home.” I said to him, “Put her down for a second and follow me to the kitchen” (subtext: where she can’t hear me scream at you or see me hit you with a frying pan). I then asked him what he was thinking, that I was raising some dirty faced baby, sitting on the couch watching 90210 reruns all day while he worked.

He replied, “No, I just meant she always smells nice.”

I told him to be more sensitive in his choice of compliments.

Where did the time go?

So, you may be asking yourself why a woman who wants to write a baby blog about newborns is starting it when her kid is 10 weeks old. You may specifically want to ask me, where did the last 70 days go? I asked myself that question this morning…and yesterday, I asked where the last 69 days went…and the day before, you get the picture. Let me break it down for you.

The first 50 hours are spent in the hospital. Elle “roomed in” which means that the baby girl was next to me in her Tupperware (the rolling plastic bassinet) 24 hours a day. They do give you a pen and pad in the hospital, but you have to write down things like when she ate, for how long, when she pooped or peeped and, this is the weird part, when I pooped or peeped…I didn’t poop. I had to measure the volume of my urine and dutifully report it to the nurses. Gross. So for the first 2 days, I was too busy measuring bodily fluids and counting diapers to write. Sorry.

Move on to the next 10 days or so. I was so programmed to count her diapers and write down every time she ate, that I kept doing it. I finally asked my cousin when you can stop and she was like, “probably anytime”. But really, I wanted to hear that from a medical professional who was simultaneously telling me my kid was just fine.

We took about a thousand pictures that first 2 weeks. I put them in a book. It might be overkill, but I was postpartum…many things I did made very little sense.

By then I started walking, which means you have to get her dressed and clean enough to leave the four walls that seem like a prison.

I spent the next few weeks feeding on demand (she is still exclusively breast fed- EBF- so she eats when she wants) and changing diapers on demand. I probably strung together about one and a half hours sleep consecutive at any given time. I didn’t think much about writing…except thank you cards. I got manic about that.

Then she got a little fun. I started dressing her up, putting her in all the outfits that people bought her to take a picture. Red pants, cherry print shirt, red band on her head. Click. Pink kitten pants, pink polka dot onesie, white sweater…click! Click! Flash! Click.

Poor kid. I hope they don’t discover in 22 years that the constant flashing of a digital camera impaired her ability to read or emote.

Really, I can’t account for much more time than that. There is no excuse. I am a bad blogger for not starting this earlier. Next week I will talk to my therapist about it and hopefully we can all move on from here.