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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Newton's Third Law - regarding babies

For every fantastic day, there is an equal and opposite horrible day.

Yesterday was fantastic! We didn't have one scream; mama predicted baby's every need and both were happy the entire day. We went to Barnes and Noble, well the parking lot to start, and wandered over to Starbucks to get a decaf one splenda iced latte. While in line an older lady begins the chatter I've become accustomed to - how cute!, how old?, girl/boy?, is she a good baby? My anonymous life is gone. Midway through the chatter I get nervous as baby shoves a fist into her mouth. "Is she hungry or teething?", Yes she's hungry. I debate leaving the line because my iced latte will only melt while I feed baby, but then I'll have to wait in this long line again - then my turn is up.

Outside, feed baby, when finished prop her up on my legs to take cute photos on phone which are texted to grandparents and husband - I give myself mad props for figuring this out. Move onto to 2nd half of bottle when baby releases her now customary while we are out BM and prepares for a big cry. I pack everything and rush to the bathroom to find no changing station - really Starbucks, I thought better of you! Forced to go back outside to the table farthest away from everyone to change a really messy diaper - but I really don't care because baby is still happy.

Wander down to favorite dessert shop for chocolate eclair and conveniently forget recent pact to lose weight.

Wander back to Barnes and Noble and read magazines. Read cue that baby is done for the day and bring her home.

For the remainder of day she is adorable.

She sleeps 8 hours that night.

Feeling like I've finally conquered this baby thing, I plan our trip to church. I should have known to stay home when it takes me 30 minutes to find my car keys. A frantic search of the house then leads me to the car which is unlocked??? I finally find them in the diaper bag outside pocket.

Leave home late with baby and she throws up as soon as we get to the car. Starts to cry as I clean her. Turn around Rachel, just turn around now!

Drive to church and she calms down; while walking to the nursery realize we are really late so once I get her there I basically throw her at them.

Service is about the end of the world - part II. Forgot pen when changing purses but someone lets me borrow a pencil. Very interesting sermon and when done I linger to read the bulletin while waiting for the crowd to disperse. Next go to bathroom and then back to the nursery.

"She's really good but she wouldn't let me sit down and did not want to eat", says the attendant. She hands my daughter over the counter who screams upon contact. I take this as communication suggesting she is hungry and must be fed immediately!

We go to the mommy nursing room and settle down for what should be an hour of eating and diaper change. Eating goes fine but somewhere during the burping stage she develops some nasty gas and becomes inconsolable. The next service has started and the moms in the room are there for the service. I'm the only hanger on with a crying baby. So I leave to pace the hallway; not working. Leave the hallway to pace the main hallway and finally lay her down on a bench and give her a tummy massage. She calms down. So I pick her up and she screams, put her down and she stops. Now this seems slightly unreasonable to me since I can't leave her here all day! They are on the last service for God's sake. Screaming or not I resolve to take her back to the nursery and pack our things to go. She behaves until we enter the quiet room with all the sleeping babies and moms listening to church and lets out a def con 5 scream that continues as I resolutely stuff her into her backpack and kneel to gather all her things. Can someone explain to me how my diaper bag got so full I cannot close it?. Meanwhile a mom I was chatting with earlier rushes over and suggests a pacifier - why didn't I think of this? The mom must assume I have something against pacifiers because she starts babbling about how there is nothing wrong with them and they improve a babies latching ability. I'm like, hey what ever works to end this endless shrieking. I begin a frantic excavation of diaper bag and realize it's gone! So new mommy friend gives me one of hers, "it's sterilized" she promises. Charlotte immediately calms down with pacifier. God bless other moms. I was so worried I was pissing everyone off with my screaming baby and at least one mom does her best to help. I will return the favor one day - this I swear.

At home Charlotte continued her wild ways but it's okay. She has finally fallen asleep on my chest to allow me this blogging moment.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby is 10 weeks old today!

Which means I've been allowed to exercise for 4, and I have sporadically but I've also been eating lots of dessert, potatoes, pasta and my favorite fast food - Chick-fil-a where I get fried chicken, waffle fries and cookies and cream milkshake.

Since the weight has not magically fallen off with breast feeding, sporadic exercise and eating whatever I want, I've decided to get back on the diet wagon. The next 4 weeks will showcase my ironclad commitment to eating better.

Oh yeah and happy 10 weeks birthday to Charlotte!

The ducks have reached a new level of stupid...

I live in a condo complex that surrounds a pond which is home to Muscovy ducks and seasonal wildlife. Yesterday I returned home from work and took family dog for his evening walk. At one point he stopped to do his business and about 20 ducks rushed towards us. They see human = food and noticed I had something in my hand. It was only poo bags. As I reached down to pick up the poo, they rushed in to investigate and began to eat it.

I left without picking it up. So sue me condo association.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend outing update

On Sunday Charlotte made my mommy dream come true. She slept sweetly at an outdoor restaurant while I read a book! Back up a bit...

Morning we left for church - on time - and I dropped her at the nursery. I'm such a trusting sort, I just dropped her off without a backward glance. 2 hours later, come back to find she slept the entire time. Slightly miffed considering she would not have done that at home, I take her to the nursing room for her lunch. 2 months of motherhood have taught that an awake baby must eat immediately. We lounge for another hour and listen to the next service start up along with all the songs and I get to sing to Charlotte.

She falls asleep on the walk to the car so I take her to my favorite lunch spot, an outdoor walk with restaurants and such. Considering she just ate and is likely to nap a bit since it's quite warm outside, I stuff her into her backpack and take a walk to collect a few things. First stop Starbucks for iced latte and bulk espresso beans, coordinate payment and such while balancing purse and diaper bag - I seriously need to downsize purse contents to fit into diaper bag so I can hold one bag. Sorry purse, you no longer define me as a prized leather accessory proudly purchased in Hong Kong, now need snappy diaper bag. Starbucks only has giant bags left, happily take one since it can consolidate all purchases.

Next stop Too Jay's for favorite chocolate eclair and dessert for husband. Chat with blond mom with 3 month old who's legs are much fatter then mine and discuss how chubby Charlotte will be in a month.

Next stop Barnes & Noble. I didn't mean to pull this stop but was passing the window and saw "Chasing Harry Winston" by Lauren Weisberger. I liked "The Devil Wears Prada" so thought this would be a good read.

Note - she is still sleeping.

Next stop, restaurant, order favorite chicken sandwich and proceed to book. Read about 7 pages and suddenly remember this author's 2nd novel was really bad. Her first was dealing with her real life experience and thus a richer descriptive novel. The 3rd threatens to be a repeat of the 2nd with one of the main characters sounding like a clone of Gisele B√ľndchen. I'm not sure why it irritates me so much that an author would first describe a character in such that I paint a mental image of Gisele but that she then goes so far as to say her character is thought of in Manhattan as the next Gisele. It dumbs down a readers ability to imagine the character when author feels need to be so specific.

Anyway, regardless of my critical outlook on book, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that Charlotte kept sleeping. Lunch arrived and I went to car to get her car seat, placed her in it and she kept sleeping! Finished lunch before she began to stir so I fed her. Around 3pm we finish and as I'm placing her into car seat she makes her poopy face so we rush with purse, now very full shopping bag, diaper bag and HEAVY car seat to bathroom. It presents a quandary, solid wooden door requires putting car seat on floor, prop door open, scoot car seat into next room where I'm presented with 2 more solid wooden doors - apparently each holds individual toilet with sink, neither with baby changing table, but one with marble counter top and room so small I have to prop door open with car seat. Thankfully Charlotte is back to napping while I set up her changing pad and such. She stretches sweetly and doesn't squawk about strange conditions.

Leave restaurant and on drive home call mom to proudly recount days events. Mom cheers me on as I come home to finish out the day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Baby is 9 weeks old today!

I'm told she put her hand into mouth, dug nails into gums, then pulled lip really hard when she realized it was her hand doing the damage.

Not happy folks! Not happy!

I was not warned that babies tend to do damage to themselves. I've spent 7 years making toys safe and never once was told of the pain babies inflict on themselves. I've witnessed her poke herself in the eye, scratch the face - this one is common, punch herself in the chest, hit herself in the face, and this doesn't even begin to cover the damage she inflicts on my person with those nails. I cut them at every opportunity and I swear they grow back to the same size overnight.

Anyway - Happy Birthday baby! Will try to make tomorrow a happier day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The business trip and the lactating mom

Warning - this is a girly posting but if you show up PapaTV, feel free to read on but I'm just saying - you've been warned!

Today was my first business trip since getting back to work. Everyone received fair warning that I required 15 minutes every 3-4 hour. The day went as follows:

night before buy dry ice
4:30am - wake up, get ready for trip
5:50am - breast pump while eating breakfast, pack cooler and breast pumping equipment
6:15am - meet co-workers at office and take off for Orlando
9:00am - stop at turnpike bathroom to breast pump, choose hand-i-cap bathroom, basically have to stand while holding equipment for 10 minutes. It's really quite an ordeal.

12:00pm - 1:30
We were supposed to break for lunch and go to restaurant but mid-meeting realize we have much more to discuss so meetings are extended into a working lunch. Left equipment in car so after quick huddle with fellow gal co-worker, decide to get equipment and pump while everyone takes off to order lunch in deli. Get back with equipment and everyone in the room seems to know what I'm up to. One of the clients who is a young mom, adopts me and drags me off to find a private room. I'm saved from another bathroom! Mom's rock!

1:30 - 3pm
More meetings

3pm - leave for next location of meetings
5pm - group decides to go to Panera Bread with my pushy guidance of "hey guys you will be more comfortable there and can get soup and latte's while I do my business."
5:15 - drag cafe chair into bathroom, no one saw me do it, get comfortable and read book while breast pumping. I'm all about diverting my mind and cannot stand to do nothing for 15 minutes.

6:00 - leave restaurant and go to downtown Disney to pick up reference samples.
7:30 - leave for home.
11:00 - get home, immediately pump breasts, baby was not interested as her agenda was to sleep.

Note to anyone interested in trying out this experience - expect no privacy from male co-workers and boss for discussion of this activity, expect many lactation jokes but by end of day you will have worn them down through sheer repetitiveness.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay!

YEAH! Off work today due to Tropical Storm Fay!

Weekend outing update

This past weekend I continued with my quest to get baby out of house, into car and stops as various locations in South Florida.

- finally wrestled baby into car at 4:30pm, somehow it took about 4 hours to hit the right combination of post feeding and sleepy baby.
- arrival at Barnes and Nobel and baby is fussing a bit.
- get out of car, go to release baby from car seat prison and her face is bright red with exertion. She hasn't had a BM since Wednesday and it appears the poop fairy has chosen this moment to show up. I grab baby, her bag, her new Bijorn backpack, purse and run for the bathroom (checking first that poop is not escaping from diaper). Poor baby, this is the worst one I've seen yet and cleaning her in B&N bathroom is a daunting task but managed.
- spend 1/2 hour reading magazines, breast feeding baby for first time in public
- stuff baby into Bijorn backpack and stroll the outside shops, stop at favorite to get chocolate eclair
- return home

- leave for church 15 minutes late, they offer nursery care but I opt to sit in the cafeteria with other moms where they have monitors of the church service, manage to breast feed in public again (I'm practicing for upcoming flight home in 3 weeks)
- go to Target for new onsies and other various stuff

All trips measured a success since baby did not get mad and hit any shrill high notes at any location.

It seems I only write about the successful trips. I should have written about how last week she was really angry with the Boca Whole Foods trip and I had to carry her through the massively crowded store and push the cart that only wanted to go left with the other hand. It's amazing how infuriating an insensitive crowd can make a new parent as I push the left wandering cart and correct the direction with my foot, I just want to scream I have a cranky newborn get out of my way!!! I just chalk it up as a learning experience of how-to-calm-angry-baby-in-public-and-stay-calm. Upcoming flight has me a bit nervous even though it's only a 2 hour flight and a following 2 hour drive to grandma's house - I have no idea how she will react.

I now leave her in her father's capable hands for a week of outings.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baby is 8 weeks old today!!!

Yeah! Another weekly milestone for baby. She celebrated by sleeping the entire night for the first time. Mom and dad were stunned to wake up and realize they had slept the entire night without interruption. Well mom got up at 3 to pump but otherwise had no interruptions.

I got a break to get a haircut with the sweetest Italian hair stylist in the entire world. I've been looking for years to find a great hair stylist. I've tried many different salons in every city I've lived in and finally found Nina. She has curly hair - just like mine - therefore she knows how to cut it perfectly every time. Nina is awesome!!!

Baby is awesome!!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Poop Intervention

Baby has not had a BM since Wednesday. I’m not sure we noticed on Thursday, at least husband didn’t mention it but by Friday she was angry. I worked from home and by 11:30 left to visit a childrens store to pick up reference samples. Upon my return, husband announced she cried 40 minutes solid. He has finally rocked her to sleep and put her beside me while I wolf down Chick-Fil-A lunch. Just as he announces how cute she looks sleeping, she wakes up with a shrill scream. He blanches and dashes out the door to teach his afternoon class. I call after him to pick up some baby suppositories from Target on his way home.

Later that day -
Husband calls from Target and says the baby suppositories are for children ages 2+ unless doctor advises differently but the pharmacist has suggested Karo syrup. We try it out with slight misgivings that all the sugar will keep her up all night, nothing happens, she sleeps fairly well throughout the night, but no poo.

Today -
I wake up determined to make my baby crap. Husbands escapes for work around 9am and I call the doctor to find out if baby suppositories are okay for a 7.5 week old. She says yes and can also try a baby rectal thermometer covered in Vaseline. Quick inventory of supplies shows only ear and under arm thermometers. Thus begins the dance to prepare baby for outing to Target.

She’s cranky and threatening to create a huge disturbance so I prepare a bath. According to my very own stay at home dad, a bath is calming and relaxing and will put her to sleep. The prep for bath is an ugly crying fest and the bath is one long cry - she is not happy, NOT HAPPY!!! But I hum along knowing that post bath she will eat and fall asleep. This more or less happens - she’s mostly asleep as I buzz around the house, lock front door, pick up all cords of breast pump so Satan’s spawn the cat does not chew on the cords, prepare bottle, grab bib & run out the door.

I arrive at Target to find milk all over the seat - the entire bottle leaked into the bag. Frantically grab bag and pour water on a napkin, remove all milk from seat, notice pants are now wet as milk continues to ooze out of bag. Remove baby from car, grab purse and milk leaking bag and deposit all into cart. Baby is sleeping and continues to sleep as I shop, so cozy in fact that I stop for an iced decaf one splenda Latte at the in store Starbucks. La te da, I have a sleeping baby, what else can I buy?

Finally make way to check out where cashier completely ignores me as she whispers frantically into her mobile, one thousand dollars, she pales noticeably. I pile everything onto the counter, pay and struggle to get everything back into cart because she fails to push it down to the end of the counter and grab extra plastic bag to house milk leaking bag. The lady behind in line looks at me sympathetically and asks if I need help. No, I’m just so happy I have a sleeping baby!!!

On the drive home, she cries a little but it’s an 8 minute drive and somehow she falls asleep as we get home. Bring her in the house and she waits patiently in her car seat while I go back outside to haul the rest of my crap in the house. Unbundle baby from car seat and take into bedroom to lay on bed while I prepare the bathroom for what is certain to be a nasty explosion. Come back to bed and she is cheerfully kicking legs and arms so I wait a ½ hour for her to fully digest the last meal. Once she starts to scream, I remove clothing in preparation of inserting baby suppository. Just as I start to remove diaper I notice brown goo coming out the sides. Hurray! The karo syrup worked. Gross, nasty sticky poo is everywhere - I’ve never been so happy to see you. Baby is now sleeping peacefully for one full hour and I’ve had lunch, washed all bottles, emptied dishwasher, filled top half and wrote this blog!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Baby is 7 weeks old today!

I can't seem to stop myself. Every Thursday I announce it's Charlotte's x birthday! Today I came home from work to the following scene:

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Charlotte's Revenge

Friday, husband called me at the office around lunchtime to say he had managed to get Charlotte in the truck for a drive and was in the area. Of course I invited him to visit the office so everyone could meet my baby.

He arrived with a drowsy baby and as everyone gathered around she started waking up. We took her to boss's office to show off and just as we were discussing who she most looks like, I feel a warm goo shoot out of her diaper and in total alarm see it squirt onto the floor in 5 or 6 locations.

Charlotte's revenge for mom going back to work early is served.