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A Change in Direction

I admit it: I’m a really horrible blogger.

I have so many friends who are religious with their blogs and I am actually really jealous of their ability. Oh, I don’t mean their writing ability, no, I don’t think I could recognize good or even mediocre blogging if I heard it. I mean their tenacity in continuing to blog. I can be tenacious  with much of my life, but blogging (or even writing in general) doesn’t seem to fall into that pile. I was far from an English major, and in fact I don’t ever remember receiving an “A” in any of my high school English classes. I have forever shrunk away from essays and term papers. I tend to write like I talk: fast and all over the place. My daily conversation is forever filled with ellipses (….).

Add to that, I am a failure when it comes to grammar and spelling. Since, this post started I have used spell check not less than a dozen times. I partially blame this on some sort of undiagnosed dyslexia or learning disability. This has led me to being very cautious of how and what I post on the internet, for fear I might be called out by the pilkunnussija (n. Finnish: A person with exceptional and unnecessary attention  to detail; literally, a comma-fucker) that roam the internet.I also blame this with my lifelong inability to discern my right and left apart. But I digress…

As I said, I’m terribly jealous of my bloggy-friends. I want that. I want something my friends and family will follow and look for cute baby pictures and updates. I want to talk about my life and interesting thoughts I’m thinking. I want to show off every damn craft project I make and then pin it to Pinterest with a tutorial on how I did it instead of just a damn photo. I want to have epic, windy, lengthy, short-story style posts. I want it all, blog-style. But you know what? Nobody has a blog like that. Every blog I see (and I’m speaking about the people that I know personally, here) picks one of those things, just one, and follows that path. They either blog about their pregnancy/baby or their family vacations or their feelings on religion or or their Etsy Shop or whatever, but they don’t do everything. One blog, one topic.

“But Sarah, can’t you just start a second blog if you want to do everything?” asked nobody, ever. In theory, yes, I could, but one does not go from playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on the recorder to composing Pachelbel’s Canon in D. I’m trying for baby steps. As stated earlier, I am already an awful blogger, full of spelling errors and run-on sentences. So, I’m going to make an effort to focus more.

Initially with this, I wanted to be a mom blogger (hence the title).  I wanted to post regular updates with Colt’s growth and progress and pictures of him doing endlessly adorable things. However, in the blink of an eye, he is 5 months old and I have become a very bad mommy-blogger. I know I’m not the first mommy blogger to do this. I actually think mommy-blogging is better suited for Daddy, especially when it comes to those first few months. I told Mike that, with our next child, baby book upkeep will be his responsibility. It’s not like you need to be creative, you just need to keep track of dates, milestones and photos.

(side note: as bad as I am at momblogging, I am keeping up with baby-booking. Growing up, I LOVED poring over my own baby book and I want that for Colt) 

I’m leaning on making this a more crafty/DIY Blog. I want this to be something more I can use as a Pinterest tool rather than an exercise in self-gratification although, to be fair, that is exactly what Pinterest is, no?

I guess I accomplished one thing with this entry: a long, rambly, windy, going-nowhere post.

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We had our first trip to the ER this weekend. I’ll preemptively say that everything is fine, but here was the scenario that led to Colt & I spending 4 hours in the ER.

-Friday Night, Mike and I were going to hang out with some friends. I had already planned to pump & dump. We dropped Colt off at my co-worker’s house for babysitting around 6 pm with 3 bottles of formula & cereal.

-Around 7, I’d already had a glass of wine. Babysitter texts me a photo of Colt crashed out on the couch. I’m so happy I have one of those kids who is good with people. I’m in social situations so often, I don’t know what I would do if he were always anxious with people.

-By 8, we had moved the activities to my friend’s house to play some beer pong (my first time. It went about as well as expected). By 10:30, Mike and I were done for the night. I had had a total of 1.5 glasses of wine and roughly 1 Bud Light (beer pong beer).

-We pick Colt up around 11. Babysitter says that he slept almost the entire time. This isn’t unusual. Colt usually sleeps from about 7 pm-1 am. She did mention that he “threw up” a couple times. I didn’t think anything of this. “Throw Up” and “spit up” are pretty interchangeable for a baby, and Colt has a habit of spitting up. we head home, I pump and dump and go to bed. I notice a little bit of a cough.

-Like clockwork, Colt wakes up at 1 am. I feed him formula, try and burp him, he spits up a bit and falls asleep.

-Colt begins to fuss about 3:30 am. I try and feed him off the breast but no latching , so I assume he isn’t hungry. I give him his binky and he falls asleep.

– Colt and I wake up at 6:30 am for food. I breastfeed him, but he’s not to eager for it. I continue to try and latch him though and he feeds a little. I try and burp him and he spits everything back up. He still has  that cough, which is triggered by his burps.

– I try to get him settled but he’s not having it. I assume that maybe my milk wasn’t right yet and  maybe he’s still hungry since he spit everything up. I get a bottle of pumped milk from the day before. The same thing happens: he eats, he fidgets, he burps, he spits up, and this is more spit up than usual.

-By this point, I need help, so I wake Mike up. Once again I assume that, since he spit everything up, his hunger must be causing his restlessness since nothing else is calming him. Mike makes me a small bottle of formula, which he promptly regurgitates (it was a lot) all over me. Mike points out that that isn’t spit up, it’s throw up. Since he isn’t keeping anything down, this is the first time it has happened and we get free trips to the ER, we decide to take him.

We spent 4 hours there for a very fancy “We’re not sure what’s wrong.” The Doctor’s best guess was that the rice cereal (prescribed earlier by his pediatrician for GERD) was affecting his little belly. He advised to cut out the rice cereal for a few days, but Mike and I are going to cut it down for a few months.

I’d like to say that was the answer to the problem, but it’s not. True, cutting out the cereal has helped, but this morning Colt spit up a whole lot down the front of my shirt (Honestly, what is with babies believing that cleavage is the perfect spit-up receptacle?)

So, that was out ER trip. This was actually the perfect preamble to my next post:

“Try Everything Until Something Works.”

A Post for Danielle

Ahhh, Danielle… Friend, Yogi, Foodie, and Lover of Life. This post (and my activities with a Gumby doll) is for you. I hope you appreciate that my hours spent in an office are always productive.

As you can probably guess, Fridays are a thrill a minute here </sarcasm>

Things I’ve learned since having a baby #2: Breast Milk is Best… but a little formula won’t hurt now and then.

I know I’m going to be crucified for this by the Nursing Nazis but I’ve spoken to so many women who have had this same issue, I know I’m not alone here.

Colt was 9 lbs 4 oz  and 22 in when he was born. That’s a pretty big baby. My brother and I were both big babies (10 lb/22 in and 9lb8oz/22 in respectively). From the moment he was born, I could not feed him enough. It didn’t help that I was induced and given Pitocin for 48 hours. I had been told by every lactation consultant that my milk would be in by 2 days post-partum.

It came in a day 10. And even then, we’re talking about 2 oz.

During that time, I was pumping what I could and supplementing with formula (under doctor’s order), looking forward to the day when I could just straight-breast feed my son. Yet, even when my milk did come in, it still wasn’t enough for the baby. I saw the lactation consultant numerous times, hoping for some magic trick to keep him satisfied and produce more milk. I took the fenugreek supplements, I drank the mother’s milk tea, I pumped before and after feeds in order to stimulate production. No luck.

When he was three weeks old I went to a La Leche League meeting. Colt had begun clamping down on my nipples to the point where he was causing blisters. While there, the women were all very nice and helpful. I asked questions, got some advice and finally learned how to latch him. I was actually a little sad that I couldn’t attend their meetings more regularly since they were during my normal working hours.
While I was there, I spoke to a mother whose daughter was a couple days younger than Colt. She said something that really spoke to me when I brought up having to give formula to Colt.

“My mom attended La Leche League meetings with me. I remember going to them as a child. There is a lot of good information here, but you have to do what you have to do. Don’t worry so much about it.”

She was basically saying that if it comes down between only breastmilk and and fed, happy baby, take the happy baby. After that Mike and I began feeding Colt a bottle of formula a night before bed. Now when he goes to daycare, I send him there with formula and feed him breastmilk at home. So, yes, I supplement. I have to. I have seen that child at 6 weeks old take down 10 oz in one sitting. I can’t even produce that in a day.

I recognize the benefit of breast milk. It is absolutely the best thing a baby can have, and believe me, my son is getting every ounce I create. I refuse to feel guilty about supplementing. Oh, believe me I don’t like the cost or the smell (truthfully, I don’t care for the smell of any type of milk), but I don’t feel guilty about supplementing his diet. Colt will be 2 months on Friday. In that time, he has gained 3 lbs and almost 3 inches. Not bad for a baby who was still under his birth weight at 2 weeks old.

I still hold out hope that my milk production may one day catch up with his appetite, but I’m not holding my breath. I still pump. I still breast feed him. Yes, breast is best and for the most part easier, but when he’s screaming and I am physically, mentally and quite literally drained I need to be able to feed him somehow.

A Meme for Crafters

I like the “What my friends think I do” meme, so I made one of my own for myself

Yeah... we all eat paste

Trying a New Thing

Colt turns 6 weeks old on Friday. I can honestly say I am absolutely crazy about him. I get little smiles from him now and then, he can follow things with his eye, and we’re even making progress on tummy time and holding his head up a little.

When I was pregnant, there were about 4 or 5 other couples who were due about the same time as I was. I was the last one to have my baby of that group. Now, there are about 4-5 other women who are due around April/May. Most of these ladies are 2nd time moms, however there are a few first-timers like myself in that group.

There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned in the 5 weeks since Colt was born regarding pregnancy and dealing with other pregnant women. Lessons I wish others would have taken into account when dealing with me.

10 Things I’ve learned since having a baby

(BTW, this is going to be the running theme of the blog for awhile)

Lesson #1: Buy Off the Gift Registry

At my shower, I received clothes. A lot of clothes. Oh, I received other gear as well (bouncer, diaper cake, the diaper bag I’d been drooling over), but mostly clothes. So many adorable little outfits that I could not wait to dress my little boy in.

Now, though, I’ve come to the realization that, as cute as those little outfits are, Colt might never be able to wear them. Why? They are almost all for cold weather, made for 3-6 months, and we live in Florida. It’s only February and already it’s 75-80 degrees everyday, too warm for long sleeves or pants. Mike bought colt the cutest little flannel shirt and overall set. It breaks my heart that he might only get to wear it once or twice. It was my favorite outfit.

What does this have to do with anything?

I never registered for clothes, not one stitch, and now all the well-meaning gifts may go to waste if Colt won’t even be able to fit into any of them until it’s too warm to wear them.

It’s always tempting when attending a baby shower to buy loads of cute little outfits, but always remember that clothes on a baby are temporary. If you have an extra small child, she may be in 3-month outfits at 9 or 12 month. A big baby (like Colt) may never be in newborn clothes (Colt didn’t). When shopping for a shower, think of items moms could use for awhile: burp cloths, receiving blankets, level 1 or 2 diapers, etc. None of these items are expensive and usually all of them are on the Mom-to-be’s registry.

Always review the registry and see what Mom has asked for. Some of it may be superfluous (I’m so glad no one bought me this), but much of it may be needed almost immediately (I made Mike bring me my Boppy while I was still in the hospital). The registry will also give you idea of what mom doesn’t want. Does she not have any bottles on the list? That may be deliberate. Has she registered for cloth diapers? Avoid the Huggies.

My friends Ruben and Emily are having their first in a couple months and I bought them this. This. Is. Awesome. Emily, you will thank me. When changing a poopsplosion, and organized changing table is Fuckin’ necessary.

Always buy off the registry, or at least take a look at it. If you can find something better that is in the same vein, more power to you. We always want our gifts to shine, but the ones that usually do are the ones that you can use for awhile.

(Full Disclosure: This is not me being ungrateful. I really do love every baby gift I received. From the Baby Tylenol to the Breast Pump, everything is thoroughly appreciated. Some of the gifts which I thought “When will I be able to use this?”, like the chenille blankets, have become my favorite items. I am truly angry that the weather won’t cooperate so that Colt can wear his stylish winter wardrobe longer. Maybe they can blast the AC at daycare)

Let’s start at the beginning, sort of


Colt turned one month old on Friday. It’s so fucked up that I am a parent. Every day, I tend to stop and think “Holy Shit! I am responsible for a human being.” I’m still awe-struck by this fact. There’s a tiny human (a teacup human!) who is completely dependent on Mike and I. He’s tiny and can’t even hold his head up yet.

Today I went online and looked at the milestones he should be reaching at this point. Bad News: His massive cranium makes it nearly impossible for him to hold his head up while he’s on his belly. He can do it a little (which is the fist milestone) but one if Mike and I hold his torso up. I am going to say this counts. Good News: He’s already at a 3-month milestone in that he can support weight on his legs. If I hold him by his underarms, he can stand up. The kid is pretty strong

I had to fill out his paperwork for daycare . With the amount of stuff I had to sign, you’d think I was taking out a second mortgage on the house. A good portion of the paperwork is a series of questions designed to tell the caregivers about your baby’s personality/likes/dislikes/etc. They ask questions like “How does your baby like to be woken up?” and “What does your baby like to do during the day?” While these are great questions to determine the personality of a one-year-old or a toddler, it’s really hard to describe the personality of a one-month-old. I’m not saying that Colt doesn’t have any personality. On the contrary, it’s very clear right now he is energetic, stubborn and manipulative. I I gave faith to astrology I would say he is a true Capricorn.

However, I have no idea how he likes to be woken up. At this age he hates being woken up. I know he’s woken up when he starts fussing and making sounds. The only thing that I found that entertains him during the day is staring at the damn ceiling fan. I’m not knocking the form or its purpose, but I’m at a loss with some of these questions (“When does your baby eat?” When he damn well wants to! Trust me, he will make you well aware.)

We’ve finally reached that point where I can read his cues and can pretty much determine what he wants, although to be fair what he wants usually falls into one of three categories: diaper, food, cuddling.

The cuddling part is the most time-intensive. This child doesn’t sit still. Even on the rare, short-lived occasions when I can get him down in his crib and he’s awake, he’s constantly moving and stretching. More often, he only wants to be held and cuddled. During the day this isn’t so bad. I can deal with one arm being monopolized and even can manage a few chores. The best baby item I invested was a Moby Wrap.

I’m actually thinking of getting a second one to keep in my car for “just in case” scenarios like the party I was at yesterday. It actually allows me to keep my hands free and do stuff like laundry and make coffee.

In non-baby related stuff, I had my first run today since mid-October (full disclosure, first work-out in 4 weeks). I have the River Run 15K in 7 weeks and I am completely not ready for this. I didn’t put on a lot of weight during my pregnancy and I lost all of and then some, but my cardio strength is nil. I did four miles today and it was tough. It’s going to take a lot of determination (which I am unsure of) and a lot of time (which I do not have) to complete a training regimen I would have scoffed at 4 years ago. I don’t know how I’ll be able to handle the last bridge of the run.

That is a very steep half mile.