Thursday, March 29, 2012

Because I am behind. Again.

First of all, let me apologize for all the back posts recently. I've been a mite overwhelmed; mainly because I started back to work last week. Granted, it is only part time (until April 16th), but it is quite the adjustment nevertheless. It isn't like I was getting oodles and oodles of sleep BEFORE returning to work, but now I seem to be getting even less. And then there is the constant worrying. I laugh when I think that I used to consider myself to be a worrier BEFORE the baby. Obviously, I didn't know what worrying really was back then.

And it is starting to affect my sleep. Last night I woke up convinced that I had forgotten to give Banner his medicine. But I didn't. Mainly because Banner isn't on any medication. It was all a dream. Gypsy IS on meds (shocker, right?!), but I had remembered to administer her pills before turning in for the night. Thank goodness Trevor was there to talk to half awake/still dreaming me. Otherwise I am sure I would have spent the next hour searching for nonexistent medication. And that is simply no bueno.

Oh, and I've started crying again. And the number of white hairs on my head seems to be multiplying by the hour. I am totally bringing sexy back JT style. Trevor is one lucky dude.

Anyway, if I am ever going to get this post up, it is going to have to be in bullet point form. Segues are beyond me:

  • Why am I getting less sleep than before? Well, let me tell you! Babies need a lot of crap stuff when they go off to daycare. Ours requires a crib sheet, five extra outfits, bottles, milk, diapers, wipes...well, you get the idea. I do my best to get Banner all packed for "school" the night before. I sterilize his bottles and pour expressed milk into three of them for his meals during the day, replace dirty outfits, bibs, etc. with clean ones in the diaper bag, etc. All this takes forever for reasons I don't quite understand. Maybe I'm just bad at it? I dunno. But after I finish, I still have to pump for Banner's "emergency overnight bottle". He rarely needs it, but I still have milk ready to go just in case he wakes up between 10:30 PM and 6 AM.

    After I pump, I shower and get ready for bed. Somehow I never seem to crawl into bed until after midnight regardless of what time I started heading that way.

    Sometime between 2 and 4 AM, I wake up in agony because my boobs are full again. I've tried to go back to sleep because Banner doesn't need this milk in the middle of the night, but I can't because I am so uncomfortable. Plus, it makes it easy for Trevor (who feeds Banner when he gets up in the morning) because a bottle is already ready to go. If I dropped this overnight pumping session, it wouldn't be a big deal. Trevor would just have to heat up a bottle instead of one being ready made, but - again - sleep is hard when your boobs are roughly the size of watermelons and rock hard.

    It usually takes me awhile to fall back to sleep after I pump, and when I finally do, Trevor is just about to wake up himself. I've always been a light sleeper, so it isn't possible for me to sleep through his morning routine.

    Before I returned to work, I was able to go back to sleep after Trevor left for the day, because Banner generally slept until 9 or 9:30 AM. But now I have to either get up at 7 AM (if Trevor is taking Banner to daycare) or 6:30 (if I am). I am not used to it taking me 2 or 2.5 hours to get to work in the morning, but the entire time I am rushing around like a mad woman sterilizing bottles, pumping, getting myself and/or the baby dressed and ready to go. And don't forget about the dogs! I can't believe how quickly the minutes disappear in the morning. Some days I arrive right on time and others (like today when I took Banner to daycare) I was ten minutes late. I am exhausted before I even get to the office, and it probably doesn't help that the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep I got the night before was (at best) two to four hours.

  • I sobbed like a baby when I dropped Banner off at daycare for the first time. Actually, I started crying days before in anticipation of having to leave him. And then the tears continued after I dropped him off and every day since.

    Meanwhile, Banner doesn't seem to be phased by the daycare thing at all. Figures.

  • Banner has gotten exceptionally adorable in the past several weeks (not that I am biased or anything). He smiles all the time and is cooing up a storm. I joke that he is working on his vowels because all his little noises are of the eh, ee, ah, oh and ooh variety.

  • My worst fear was nearly realized last Monday when a thunderstorm knocked out our power. For nearly three hours (until the power was restored) I was in an absolute panic about my frozen milk supply. I even reported the outage to Oncor and told them about my frozen breast milk in the hopes that they would make my neighborhood a priority. I am pretty sure the person I was speaking to had to work hard to keep from laughing in my face. In my defense, though, I worked HARD for that liquid gold stored up in the freezer and it isn't like you can just go out and buy some more!

  • I love that Banner recognizes me by sight now (instead of just by smell). When I pick him up at daycare he gets the biggest smile on his face when he sees me. Melts my heart.

  • I joke that Banner thinks my name is Lunch. When he is really, really hungry and someone else is holding him, he follows me with his eyes and "Waaas" at me. And he all but goes ballistic if I leave the room. He turns to the person who is holding him, turns bright red and starts SCREAMING as if to say, "You let Lunch get away! You should have tied Lunch down! Now I am going to s-s-s-s-starve!"

    Once I reappear, though, he calms down immediately. Because, crisis averted, Lunch has been found.

  • Ever since he was a few days old, Banner signals to us that he is hungry by attacking his hands with his mouth. He will look at us, attack his hands (which makes a bunch of smacking sounds) and then look back at us as if to say, "Hungry. Now." Who needs baby sign language when you have a baby that makes his needs crystal clear?!

  • I think there is a biological reason why leaving Banner at daycare is so difficult for me. It is like I just can't relax when I am away from him, and the best part of my day is when it is time to pick him up again. It is absolute heaven when I finally get the little guy back in my arms. It is like every cell in my body breathes a collective sigh of relief. By the time I get Banner back home and fed, I am physically exhausted. Missing him so much all day is very taxing.

  • I have this sign on my office door:

    To be fair, I didn't feel comfortable emailing the staff and telling them not to open my door if it was closed during the day (it doesn't lock). And I knew having a sign on my door that just said "Do Not Disturb" would be disconcerting to my coworkers who would wonder what was going on in there (doors aren't often closed around here). So, I chose to make light of the situation and refer to myself as a cow. Everyone gets the reference and it has cut down on the awkwardness of pumping at work. Now if Nora would just stop mooing at my door...

  • Speaking of pumping at work, I no longer find THIS amusing. Because it is me at work now. Except I don't talk on the phone except to my female coworkers. I find typing on the computer and answering emails is a fabulous way to pass the time.

  • For whatever reason, a bunch of people have told me lately that what happened to me during labor and delivery was the same as Bella Swan from Twilight. I am assuming they are referencing the placental abruption and not the whole baby-clawing/chewing-its-way-out-and-turning-its-mother-into-a-vampire bit, but you never know.

  • Banner's daycare provides the parents with a weekly schedule of the class' planned indoor and outdoor activities. Last week, Monday's outdoor activity was "Watch the Squirrels". Tuesday's was "Feel the Wind". Yesterday, they went outside and then discussed what they saw. I am guessing the discussion was a little one-sided in a room of babies up to one year old, but I could be wrong.

  • My sister thinks it is horrible that Banner has a sticker on his crib at daycare that reads, "I am NOT rolling over yet". To her, they should be focusing on Banner's strengths instead of on his weaknesses. As if they are shaming her nephew by letting everyone know his limitations.

  • We are starting to recognize the other babies in Banner's class. There is little John (the Graduate), Michael (who is a speed crawler), Oliver (who is always in a bad mood), Caroline (who hangs in the crib next to Banner) and Kyle (The Cross Dresser). Mimi nicknamed Kyle because she saw a baby with a man's name wearing pink pants on Banner's first day of "school" and assumed it was a little boy that was forced to wear hand-me-downs from his older sister. Turns out, Kyle is a little girl. Oops.

  • I've been back in my pre-pregnancy pants for weeks and weeks now, but I am still wearing maternity tops because my boobs are ginormous. Problem is that all my maternity tops are in fall colors and it is spring. But the idea of having to shop in a maternity store when I am not pregnant makes me depressed. However, just buying shirts in a larger size from a regular store isn't ideal because they are way too big in the waist. Plus, maternity tops are stretchy and easier to pump/nurse in while wearing. So, obviously, I just need to bite the bullet and buy a few more maternity tops to get me through the spring. Either that or stop nursing. But with the cost of daycare being ridiculous, I'm planning on pumping as long as I can. After all, breast milk is free. Formula is not. And, well, I am cheap.

  • Just less than one week after Banner started daycare, he came down with his first cough/cold on Sunday night. It was inevitable. Especially after he spent most of his first week being hacked on by Caroline in the crib next door. It started out as a dry cough, but has now gotten a little juicier. The pediatrician says it is viral and just has to run its course. The good news is that Banner doesn’t seem to feel bad, has no fever, smiles all the time and is still downing his bottles like a champ. The bad news is that his stomach flap isn’t fully developed, so sometimes if he has a coughing fit after eating he throws up. Poor baby. I hope he gets better soon. Nothing like a sick baby to make momma feel completely inadequate!

  • The worst part about daycare (other than Banner getting sick) is that I haven’t been able to nurse my baby since he began. He is eating more (+/- 7 ounces a feeding), and my boobs seem to think it is a race to get the milk out as quickly as possible. Seriously, I can get 11-14 ounces in less than 10 minutes. Because of this, it has gotten more and more difficult for Banner to nurse comfortably. It shoots out with such force, that the little guy is always choking and spitting up. Throw in the cough he has now (which occasionally makes him lose the contents of his stomach) and I haven’t attempted to nurse him in days. I am terrified he is going to forget how or refuse the boob once he finally starts feeling better. I know it doesn’t really matter since the milk is still coming from me, but I hate to think that the bonding-while-nursing phase might be coming to an end.


And now I am going to abruptly end this post and go to bed. If I hurry, my head just might hit the pillow before midnight.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Grammy Pammy's Birthday hike to see the Dogwoods in bloom...

There weren't as many blooms as usual due to the drought and extreme heat of last summer, but it was still a gorgeous two and a half hour hike on a beautiful 80 degree spring afternoon.

Of course, I could have done without the rattlesnake sighting (it was as thick around as my bicep, people!) and all the poison ivy, but luckily everyone returned unscathed.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Surprise Bachelorette Fabulousness...

The day started with Chelsea and me surprising Amy with massages at the Riviera Spa on Travis at 2 PM with India. Then a short break for sandwiches and hummus at Central Market before group mani/pedis at the Hawaiian Nail Bar in Old Town with the rest of the crowd (Susie, Mandy and Kelly).

Nails were followed by a brief intermission (so everyone could run home and get dolled up) before dinner at Ocean Prime. The evening wrapped up at Dee Lincoln's with shots and a lingerie shower.

I can't believe my baby sister is getting married in less than three weeks!

I called it...

I knew Syracuse was going to lose in the Elite Eight to Ohio State.


Because every time Syracuse played - and WON - since the tournament began, Banner had blown his diaper off before tip off. But today? Yeah, nothing but a lot of gas.

Coincidence? I think not.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breast milk. The wonder drug. Well, almost...

Banner started last week with something wonky going on with his left eye. Turned out, he had a clogged tear duct, which is very common in babies less than nine months of age. Or so I am told.

To try and clear it up without medication, the pediatrician told me to squirt breast milk in his eye. Apparently, it has antibiotic properties or something.

But what really cracked me up (after getting over the whole a degreed medical professional in 2012 wants me to put what where?!) was when the RN told me to, "Just squirt milk into his eye a few times a day before nursing". As if I had mastered the art of aiming and hitting very specific tiny targets with my boob. Because, no. I haven't. Most days I have issues walking without tripping over my own feet. Coordination really isn't my strong suit.

(Although, what an awesome idea for a really bad super hero: It's Lactating Lucy to the rescue!)

Wonder Woman as Lactating Lucy
(My apologies to Wonder Woman)

I did, however, TRY. This, not so surprisingly, ended in disaster. Banner does not take too kindly to his lunch being wasted and dribbled all over his face. Especially while hungry.

(When a boob hits your eye like a big pizza pie...)

I ended up pumping and then pouring the expressed milk directly in Banner's eyes. And, shockingly, the little guy really didn't seem to mind. I worried it might burn or something, but apparently not.

The witch doctor's breast milk eye drop remedy, however, wasn't quite the miracle cure that the pediatrician’s office made it out to be. Granted, it DID seem to help. It definitely soothed the irritated eye and kept it from getting any worse. But the issue didn't completely clear up until antibiotic eye drops were administered.

As a sidenote: boob milk DOES clear up baby acne and heal scratches miraculously overnight. It is some pretty amazing stuff. If you can get over the fact that it is rather sticky and smells a little sour after it dries.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hanging with Daddy...


Top three (recent) things that make me a bad mother:

  1. I keep calling the pediatrician “the vet”.

  2. I am completely freaked out by the baby monitor. Thank you Paranormal Activity 2 and 3 and my a$$hat husband and sister who insist on taking me to see scary movies despite the fact that the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland used to freak me out as a child.

    Correction: It still does.

    I’m just not cut out for terror. I recently came to the realization that in the event of the Zombie Apocalypse, I’d totally give up and seek a zombie out and have it kill me. Because delaying the inevitable death-by-zombie is just a whole lot of effort for a person who is already afraid of their own reflection in a mirror at night and sometimes leaps into bed (just in case a monster is lurking underneath). Obviously, if I am already terrified of completely irrational things, I'd be a hopeless mess in the event of justified fear.

  3. I didn’t know I was supposed to be sanitizing Banner’s bottles until a month ago. Granted, back then, I was nursing a whole lot more (and pumping less) and it isn’t like you can sanitize your boob. Heck, I don’t even wash the area with soap because it dries out the nipple. But, still: Motherhood FAIL. If I was looking for someone to blame (which I’m not because this is totally the result of my own stupid ignorance), I’d point fingers at the hospital because they were the ones who told me to simply wash everything in warm soapy water and dry thoroughly before reusing.

    To be fair, though, Banner survived. In fact, his first health issue only started after I started sanitizing everything. Coincidence? Maybe.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day...

St. Patrick's Day started off with a bang. Literally. Banner blew through three diapers in half an hour. One blow out happened mid diaper change and the sh*t hit the fan. And the hamper. And the diaper genie. And everything in between. I am serious when I say my baby exploded.

Our little pooper.

Thank goodness it was a Saturday and Trevor was around to help clean up. Because I didn't know where to begin. Poo was everywhere.

I think it is because he is breast fed. Banner will go days without pooping and then *wham* it all comes out at once. Like he is storing it up just so he can see how far he can shoot it this time. And, as mentioned before, the B-Man always explodes with a smile. It is his early warning system.

The Great St. Patrick's Day Explosion O Poop meant that we got a late start getting to the Greenville Avenue parade. But we were lucky and managed to score a decent parking spot without too much effort. There was even space for another car behind us. We were unloading Banner when it was claimed by a white four door sedan. When the occupants exited, they did so in a cloud of pot smoke. The smell was unmistakable and there was nothing we could do to shield Banner from it until the wind carried it away. Trevor and I joked that it was Banner's first contact high.

[Shakes head...poor baby]

The parade was fascinating as always; mainly from a people watching perspective. My favorite float was the one sponsored by a law firm that specialized in DWI, misdemeanors and felonies. Talk about catering to your target audience.

After the parade, we made a beeline back to the car with the rest of the parents with small children. In years past, I never realized that a great exodus of families took place, but it makes sense. As awesome as it is, scantily clad coeds drinking heavily at 11 AM in green t-shirts while packed on "floats" with port-o-potties advertising bars, beer and strip clubs isn't really appropriate for the under 18 crowd. That said, if you were going to take your children to some part of the event or another, I guess the parade is better than having them witness the drunken debauchery that follows.

Not wanting to be completely lame after the parade, however, Trevor and I purchased sandwiches and a six pack of Guinness, and headed over to Auntie Mimi's house. She's rarely in town and wanted to see the baby so we thought it was a win-win. Mimi wasn't there when we arrived, though, so we waited for her on the front stoop of her house, while her neighbors watched us nervously from the sidewalk. Because if you were going to profile someone you suspected of possibly trying to break into your neighbor's house, it is obviously the couple sitting in plain sight in broad daylight with a ten and a half week old infant and the bag of sandwiches from Celebrity Cafe.

Mimi's neighbor's later claimed that they didn't see me or the baby. Only Trevor dressed in a bright green polo. Which, I guess, makes it a little better? Maybe?

(To be fair, though, Trevor did walk to Mimi's back gate at one point to see if he could open it so we could eat lunch on her patio. I am sure this could easily be interpreted as his attempt at breaking and entering. Guess it is just as well that he didn't take my advice to hop the fence. We would have all been arrested for sure.)

Mimi finally arrived, though, and let us in. I am sure the HP police were sad to no longer have a reason to continue driving back and forth in front of my aunt's house waiting for us to make our move.

I made Mimi split a Guinness with me to ring in the holiday. While it is true that my doctor said one beer is fine while nursing (he actually encourages it because he believes the hops increases milk supply. Plus, apparently I am a little high strung and he wants me to relax), I still feel weird drinking. But it was worth it to see Auntie Mimi down her portion at two in the afternoon. It is the little things in life, after all.

Afterwards, we returned home where Trevor and Banner promptly passed out on the couch. My boys were all partied out.

It was a good day.

And, better yet, when Melissa came over to sit with Banner that evening (while Trev and I made an appearance at a friend's engagement party), we could confidently claim that she wouldn't have to worry about changing any poopy diapers since the B-Man was - literally and figuratively - all pooped out! ;P

Friday, March 16, 2012

Banner's first trip to the arboretum...

Today was a beautiful day, so Grammy Pammy and I decided to take Banner to Dallas Blooms.

In typical Banner fashion, the little guy slept through most of the adventure; waking only to eat and indulge our need to take his picture repeatedly in front of all the pretty flowers.

See? Sound asleep.

Banner is such a good, easy-going baby. I am so lucky.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Banner's birthmark...

It is on the right side of his neck, and is more or less a collection of tiny, red dots.

The pediatrician said it will fade away slowly over the course of the next two or three years.

When I was little, I had a similar birthmark on the right side of my waist. The doctor told my mom that it would go away when I was three, but it stubbornly stayed put until I was seven or eight. My mother thought it was hysterical to tell five year old me that I must not be three yet because the birthmark was still visible. Drove me crazy.

Now my son has one.

Since Banner came out looking just like his daddy, I've decided to lay claim to anything that remotely suggests I had anything to do with him genetically. Not sure that birthmarks count, but I'm desperate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The next American Ninja Warrior...

Oh, the things that happen when you take the baby to the office to meet your coworkers!

Bouncy Banner...

Well, sort of.

Technically, the bouncer is still too big for Banner, but that isn't stopping him. The boy loves to stand and practice jumping, and has enjoyed such activities since before he was a month old.

So, way, way back on February 10th, we purchased his first bouncer from Target. His feet do not touch the bottom yet, so we have a pasta pot underneath it to help the little guy out.

I don't know what cracks me up more: The fact that we've rigged the bouncer using random pots and pans from the kitchen or the drumming noises he makes with his little feet when he is in there.

Love. It.