Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The week of Easter and a nursing scare

Last week was busy.  On Tuesday Andrea went to the doctor for her four month appointment.  They put her on the scale to weigh her and it read 10.13.  I have people tell me all the time how small she looks but I was pretty convinced that she's finally broken the eleven pound mark.  So when I saw that number that began with a ten I almost started crying.  I worried they would tell me she's not getting enough food and they'd make me stop breastfeeding.

Honestly, I have never really wanted to breastfeed before.  I had seen the trouble my mom had and I thought I would encounter the same problems.  I planned on bottle-feeding but perhaps try to nurse for maybe a couple of weeks just so I could tell people I tried and couldn’t.  It might have been the health food store bubble I lived in but it seemed that a lot of women looked down on formula feeders.  However, this judgment was less harsh if you at least tried to breastfeed and gave up because of pain or low milk production.  I wanted to do whatever would be more socially acceptable.

So, I breastfed, and at first I hated it, but not because of pain or low milk production.  I only experienced some mild soreness for two or three days and I produced milk like a cow.  No, I just didn't like the challenge of feeding my daughter around people while staying covered and private.  Especially during the holidays when I had to be around family and in-laws and had to sneak away to nurse or wrestle with a nursing blanket.  One wrong breeze and they might be seeing more of me than they bargained for, if you know what I mean.  My sister-in-law brought me a breast pump to borrow and that solved that problem.  I pumped before going out and fed Andrea out of a bottle.  She experienced no nipple confusion and could switch from bottle to breast seamlessly.  While I initially hoped for a way out or excuse to quit, I struggled finding one and it was so cheap to nurse.

A couple months ago Andrea and I had a rough night where she refused to eat.  Paul and I eventually discovered she was teething, but I had a moment of panic thinking perhaps she didn't want to nurse anymore.  It was that moment that I realized how much I had grown to love nursing my baby.  I love the snuggle time it provides.  She doesn’t snuggle much when she’s not eating because she’s so curious about the world.  This was hard for me at first because I am a snuggler, so nursing has become the perfect answer.  I get to hold her close and she gets food.  Win win!  Ultimately, I know it’s better for her nutritionally too, and on the few occasions before I had the pump that she had to have formula while being babysat, I felt so bad for her.  Formula made her little tummy upset.  I’m grateful that Heavenly Father knew what was best for the two of us and gave my body the capacity do it.

So, when I saw the 10.13 on the scale (which turned out to be 10 lbs. 13 oz. which sounds a little better) my heart sank.  That puts Andrea in the 3rd percentile for weight.  The doctor talked to me about it and said she looks perfectly healthy and advised me to always feed her when she's hungry, which I was already doing.  Looks like she just got her dads metabolism.

At the doctor Andrea got a couple shots and took a very long nap when we got home.  She woke up lethargic and mellow.  She went to bed that night fairly easily but by about two o'clock she started to develop a fever which broke the next day.  She was a little trooper through the whole ordeal.

We got a package from cousin Jax (thanks Linda!) and Andrea tried on some new clothes and showed off her ab muscles.

For Easter Paul and I tortured some peeps.

Mmm. . . peep smores. . . 

Easter morning Andrea wore her new Easter dress to church where she chewed on it until it was soggy.

We took some fun Easter pictures of her first Easter.  She kinda looked like an Easter elf.  Apparently, Santa lent out some of his helpers.

Monday morning we had green eggs and ham with Easter leftovers.  Yum!

This week Paul is graduating with his bachelors!  I'm so proud of him-- he's been working on this for so long.  I'm throwing him a party on Sunday.  Stay tuned for pictures!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dancing to sleep

While Andrea and I still have our sleeping challenges, things are getting easier.  She's started sleeping through the night again.  She did this for a while before reverting back to waking to eat every two hours to increase my milk supply.  Once my supply was meeting her needs she continued to wake in the night like it was some sort of game.  It took a really late night and crying for forty-five minutes, both of us, to break her of the habit.  Putting her down for naps, which is typically my biggest challenge has been going really smoothly.  I swaddle her naughty arms-- naughty because they pull her binky out of her mouth and make her cry-- and then we sit in my rocking chair and rock back and forth as we borrow each others warmth in our chilly little apartment, and Andrea's eyes start to droop shut.  I slowly lay her into her bed and shut the door quietly.  Ten minutes later I breathe a sigh of relief as feel the triumph of another successful nap in the making.  How I have waited for this day!

This morning she woke up smiley and when I retrieved her for her breakfast she was talking up a storm, telling me all about her dreams with her hums and squeals.  We curled up on the couch in my little nest of make-shift armrest pillows and I watched the morning news.  Okay, I lie.  While it seems a little more grown-up to watch the morning news I watched an informercial for the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer.  Andrea nursed until she was asleep again, which is unusual for her, so I put her back in her bed and then I crept back into mine.  Two and a half hours of napping later we both awoke overjoyed to feel rested.

When the time came to put her back down to for a nap around noon she wasn't having it.  I swaddled her up and sat down in our chair as she began to wail.  I stood up and she stopped.  I sat down and she began again.  So I stood.  I held her more upright with her right ear pressed against my chest.  She listened to my heartbeat as I swayed back and forth like a high school dance.  I nestled the tip of my nose on her little fuzzy head and inhaled her sweetness.  She sighed and melted until her eyelids surrendered.

As I walked her to her crib I soaked in the moment.  I wanted to hold her small body forever.  But she won't stay small forever.  She's going to grow up, and someday she will think I'm lame and totally out of touch with reality.  Like, whatever.  But right now she thinks I'm everything and I think she's pretty something and I don't want to lose moments like this. . . moments of calm sighs, sleepy hums, and dancing my daughter to sleep.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Everyone seems to have a variety of friends on facebook.  One hundred, two hundred, a thousand individual people with distinct personalities.  Yet, we all have those certain friends, and you know who they are, that seem to fit into one of these categories.

This is pretty much the category I fall in.  These are the young moms with young children who mostly just post updates and pictures of their children.  "Carry rolled over!"  "Bob said his first word: Bleubop!"  "Here's a picture of Leonard's first poopy diaper!"  I know a lot of girls who love to see the babies, and I know a lot of guys who don't care at all that little Samantha can count to three.  But they can't stop us from posting pictures of our young prodigies.

Weekend warrior:
The weekend warrior is the person who lives for their weekend.  The most likely hate their job and love to be social so every post (and they post daily, probably on their lunch break) has to include the word "weekend."  For example:
Monday:  That weekend went by way too fast!  Not looking forward to this week.
Tuesday:  Party!  Can't wait till the weekend!
Wednesday:  Hate Wednesdays.  Too far away from the weekend.
Thursday:  Tomorrow is Friday!  So close to the weekend!
Friday:  Finally the weekend!
Saturday:  Having a barbecue.  I love the weekends!
Sunday:  So not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.  Where did my weekend go?

There is always that person who mostly just posts about the weather.  "Can't believe there is snow on the ground!"  "Rain rain, go away."  "It’s so sunny and beautiful.  I think I'll go for a walk."  Do I need to watch the news?  Do I need to look outside?  No, I just need facebook to know if I need a coat or shorts or a shovel, thanks to the facebook weatherman.

Want to know about the deficit spending, debates on gay marriage, or shocking scandals in Washington D.C.?  CNN, step aside.  We've got our facebook news feed and at least five friends who keep up with the current political situation in the country.  There are Democrats and Republicans.  I even have a very vocal Independent.  It's like watching presidential debates everyday!

Mama's Boys:
I have a couple of these on my friends list.  These are boys who have left home for college.  They are usually in a different state than their family and they are excited to be out in the world on their own.  However, their mother joins facebook and comments on everything they post, and those comments often embarrass them.  Example:
He posts:  "Whoa.  Hot girl in the mall!  I'm checking her out, if you know what I mean."
His mom:  "I hope you are checking her out in a respectful and pure way."

Obscure Relatives:
Being married is not a prerequisite for this kind of friend, but it helps.  This is a relative, often your spouses, which you have never met.  They ask to be your friend on facebook and you accept because you feel obligated.  They don't post often but when they do you see their name and wonder who they are.  You go to unfriend the stranger when you remember they are your husband's cousin's wife.  Opps.  Better keep them in case their car breaks down nearby and they show up at your house to use the phone and maybe the bathroom.

Emo Kids:
These are the friends that almost every post is about how horrible their life is.  And by their description they're right.  Their dog dies on Monday.  They lose a finger in a lawn mower accident on Tuesday.  The wound from the finger amputation gets infected and they have to lose the rest of their hand on Wednesday.  Thursday their car breaks down on the freeway in the middle of a lightning storm.  Friday they show up to their hardest class only to find out they had an eight page paper due the day they lost their finger.  The purpose of keeping these friends is to remind you how blessed you truly are.  (Unless you are this friend.  In that case, I'm sorry for your loss.)

Demotivational posters and random pictures of butt cracks in Wal-Mart are common posts that emerge from these friends.  These people like to laugh, they like to make others laugh, and their sense humor is a little twisted.  Their status can be anything from "Just had a dream about making out with my high school lunch lady" to quotes from their favorite show (often The Office).  Anything they find remotely amusing is fair game.

The Lyricists:
These are the friends that only post song lyrics as their status.  You may notice their relationship status changes to single and before you know it “It’s too late to apologize” has popped up on your news feed.  These are the people who wake up feeling like P. Diddy and pretend that airplanes are like shooting starts.  And if it weren’t for all the teardrops on their guitar they might write an original song someday.  Until then, I guess they’ll just keep chasing pavements, even if it leads no where.

Did I miss anyone?

Thursday, April 7, 2011


My older siblings and I are just two years apart, but some of my best friends from adolescence had sisters and brothers that were already thriving, married adults.  I watched them with their spouses in their little apartments with jealousy.  Married life looked so glamorous because it involved. . . Jerry Seinfeld.  They all watched him like it was a requirement or perhaps part of their nuptial vows.  He was their personal best friend whom they quoted and shared intimate inside jokes with.  Thanks to Jerry they deprived each other of soup and laughed about it.  They debated black and white cookies and Yankee uniforms and hooted and the humor that I didn't understand at all.  But I wanted to, and it made me all the more excited for marriage because marriage didn't just come with a man.  It came with Jerry.

When I tied the knot in May of 2009 Paul and I had a television that only played movies for the first six months and when my aunt sent us a converter box we were thrilled we could watch American Idol, General Conference, and (of course) the Rachel Ray Show.  Honestly, I had sorta forgotten about Mr. Seinfeld until after I had the baby.  I was pushed into my new life as a nursing mother which entails hours a day sitting and cuddling.  Rough, I know.  The television became my new friend to keep me from watching the clock and getting antsy during those sitting hours.  I liked watching cooking shows and MythBusters and medical mystery documentaries.  But I could only take so much before my brain went numb and the shows were melting together into cardiovascular risotto explosions.  One fine afternoon, with Andrea eating in my lap, I flipped through the stations hoping something new might catch my attention.  What I found was Jerry.

I stopped on the station.  I had completely forgotten he was suppose to be such an integral part of my marriage, and I decided to repent by watching the rest of the program.  It was time to see what I'd been missing out on.  What I saw was. . . absolute confusion.  Perhaps it was because I missed the first ten minutes, or the first however many seasons, but I mostly think the show was written to be confusing.  I don't remember exactly what the episode was about but it felt something like this:

[Enter Elaine into Jerry's apartment, where everyone seems to enter without knocking or permission.]
Elaine:  He actually did it.
Jerry:  No!
Elaine:  Yes!  And you won't believe where.
Jerry:  Where?
Elaine:  In the elevator!
Jerry:  Is that even legal?
Elaine:  Apparently.
[Enter George]
George:  Hey guys!  What's going on.
Elaine:  He did it.
George:  Unbelievable!  When?
Elaine:  Yesterday!
Jerry:  Yesterday?  But that was a state holiday.
Elaine:  I know.  On a state holiday in an elevator.  How much lower can he stoop?
George:  How much?
Jerry:  I think that was rhetorical.
Elaine:  No, it wasn't.
George:  Alright then, how much?  Tell me!  The suspense is killing me!
Elaine:  He used a couple of magnets and my toothbrush.
Jerry:  I can see how the magnets would help in the elevator.
Elaine:  But he used MY toothbrush!
George:  Someone ought to be using it.
Elaine: [Evil glare at George] I do use my toothbrush.
Jerry:  So, did you ask him about it?
Elaine:  No!  What if he does it again?  Asking only makes it worse.  Besides, he was wearing the yellow suit.
Jerry:  [Shrugs] Oh, well if he had on the yellow suit I wouldn't worry about it then.
[Enter Kramer]
Kramer: Hey Jerry, can I borrow your blender?  My TV reception is getting a little fuzzy.

I was completely confused.  I have a feeling I was suppose to be.  This man-- this show that was suppose to be such a huge part of marital bliss was nothing like I expected.  I thought five minutes would send me reeling with laughter and fill my soul with one liner quotes just like it did for all those couples I looked up to when I was a tween.  Instead, I think it killed a couple brain cells. 

I'm not saying it was horrible, Seinfeld lovers.  Just not for me, not right now.  Paul and I have made it this far happily married without it.  Did you hear that, Jerry?  I don't need you!  But if there comes a time when things are feeling strained, I'm sure it'll still be on, waiting to save us from being too serious (or logical).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Springtime walk

On Thursday Andrea and I went for a little spring walk.  There were birds out and bugs and little children squealing at the park.  We strolled past small clusters of moms sitting on blankets in the grass, eating fruit snacks and string cheese.  A father and son stood beside the bathrooms frowning at the locks on the doors.  Andrea smiled at the sunshine and managed to put her pacifier in her mouth when I wasn't looking.  Her hand coordination is really developing.

Some days being cooped up in the house keeps me sane.  I don't have to worry about being in the middle of Wal-Mart with an exploding diaper or calming her get-me-out-of-this-car-seat cries.  I don't have to share her with gawking strangers and middle-aged women who think her head is too small.  She is all mine-- all mine to kiss and cuddle and I am all hers to drool on and coo at.

But the air is stale in here and smells like those tuna cans in the garbage which only slightly mask the smell of the chicken I burned last night.  When I stepped outside Thursday in my safety green hat and some jean shorts I felt a little euphoric high from the fresh oxygen.  Andrea sported a little pink jacket with a cow on the front which she thought was quite tasty.  She actually thinks most things are quite tasty with the exception of her actual teething toys.  Go figure.

I worried the bright sun would bother her, or perhaps she'd find the bumpiness of the sidewalk irritating.  She surprised me with how much she seemed to love both.  I'd stop occasionally and peak at her in the stroller only to find her smiling like a goon.

A very cute little goon.