She’s on a Bottle Strike

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photo by Liane Metzler

The past four days my child has been on a bottle strike at daycare.   She will not drink almost any milk, only drinking about two ounces in three days.  This has been a slight issue for about a month, but not to this extreme.

Abby resisted the bottle initially when I began trying to introduce it to her close to the end of my maternity leave.  For a time she would only take it from me, the opposite of what most moms have told me happened to them.  We tried several types of bottles until she took to the MAM brand.  By the time I went back to work Abby would take the bottle from others.

Now that she is eating solids twice a day at daycare, a requirement of the state food program,  Abby seems to have completely turned up her nose at milk during the day.

My babysitter seems to think the current strike is due to the bottles I gave her to use.  I disagree, as Abby has been using these bottles for almost 7 months and for at least 6 months daily at daycare.  I tried introducing a faster flow nipple, thinking maybe she was just frustrated with not getting as much milk as she wanted fast enough, but that didn’t help.  I brought other bottles for the sitter to try, to no avail.  I have tried having Abby use a sippy cup instead of a bottle,  but she only wants to play with it and thinks it is fun letting all the milk dribble out of her mouth.

The last two evenings after arriving home from work and daycare I have had my husband give her a bottle, instead of me nursing her, which she has sucked down with out a problem.  I know she is getting some nutrition twice during the day, but not nearly as much as she should be.  I don’t know what else to do.

Has this ever happened to you?  How did you deal with it?

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THINK Before You Speak

I am the type who often speaks and them immediately has a *facepalm* Why did I say that?! moment.  I tend to have the same verbal vomit issue with e-mails, as well.  A friend sent me the following and I typed it up and posted it at my desk at work as a visual reminder to THINK before I speak.

think

 

Random Thoughts II

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photo by picjumbo.com

I find it annoying when people say that a dessert is “too rich” or that it is so rich that they can only take a couple bites.  I’ve never felt that way about a dessert in my life.

I left work for lunch today and as I drove back I was contemplating how strange the clouds look today. They really resemble clouds on Monty Python. I keep expecting the clouds to part and the hand of God to poke me in the eye or something Monty Pythonesque.

The other day at work I was wearing heels and as I was walking over the tile near the cafeteria a lady told me that I “walk with authority.”  I told her, “That’s funny because my dad always told me that I stomp like an elephant.”  I don’t think she found it very humorous.

As I waited in the doctor’s office before my appointment,  an old lady wearing a fur coat and pearls was flossing her teeth.  It was weird.

Dear lady expressing breast milk next to me in the lactation area at work: the Spanish telanovella you are watching on your phone is really annoying.  Maybe that’s how you get in the pumping zone; maybe that’s how you keep up on your stories… but they make headphones for a reason.

Last night the baby was wide awake and didn’t want to sleep from midnight to 2:00 a.m.  I figured I would be incredibly tired today,  but I am surprisingly not.  I must be getting used to chronic lack of sleep.

All day long I have been having an internal dialogue about how stressed out I feel and that I want to eat a copious amount of chocolate… and how I really need to lose weight after going clothes shopping last weekend.

I find it very weird that all the kids I used to babysit are all having kids. It makes me feel old, but at the same time I just had a baby.

On Easter Sunday my parents’ neighbor’s truck caught on fire. My dad, who is a fireman, walked over and put the fire out before the city fire truck responded. It was pretty awesome.

The Little Things

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photo by picjumbo.com

 This morning as I drank my coffee I was reflecting on a small sign on my bookshelf.  Enjoy the little things in life, for some day you will realize they were the big things. 
I believe this saying and have always found it to be true.   We don’t need big orchestrated vacations.  We don’t need a big fancy house.  We don’t need lots of possessions.   We don’t need the latest and greatest technology.  Its the little things that make us happy.  Its the little things that matter.
Yesterday I had a nap and it was glorious.  This was the first real nap I have had in the eight months since having baby… perhaps I should clarify,  it was the first real nap over half an hour long without holding the baby while laying in an uncomfortable position on the couch or falling asleep in the chair while watching a TV show with my husband at night.  I had gone home from work early because I had the stomach flu, but still, it was glorious.
After work today I drove to Abby’s babysitter’s house with the windows down, enjoying the feel of the warm spring air and the sound of a U2 song on the radio.  The trees are budding and flowers are blooming.  It was beautiful.
Last night as I nursed Abby she sleepily caressed my arm with her sweet little hand.  She wants to do so much.  She moves a mile a minute and is rarely still.  It was a sweet little moment that won’t be repeated for too much longer.
My grandma and I climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower the year I graduated from high school and I remember thinking that this was one thing that she and I would share forever, an experience that no one else in our family could claim.
Growing up on Sunday nights as a family my mom, stepdad, sister and I would watch The X-Files and Star Trek on TV together.  Those were our shows. That was our weekend ritual.
My grandpa died when I was 17 but before that I would often go to his house after school.  We would watch TV: usually a baseball game, an old war movie, wrestling, whatever.  Sometimes we would tinker under the hood of his truck in the garage or take a trip to the lumber yard to pick something up.  We spent hours doing nothing,  but we did it together, and that’s what matters.
A few nights ago my husband and I had finally finished a movie that had taken us a few nights to watch between one of us falling asleep or the baby waking up. He tickled me and I fell out of the chair.  We collapsed on the floor, laughing so hard.  We hadn’t had a moment together like that since before the baby.
All these little things really are so big.  I’m sure in time, looking back, we’ll still agree.

Goal Time

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photo by picjumbo.com

 

Starting my own blog has gotten me thinking about goals lately.  Short term goals, long term goals,  professional goals, personal goals, “probably will never happen but wouldn’t it be awesome” goals… you get the picture.
Starting a blog has been on my list for a while, so now I can check that one off!
I have never done well at visualizing a goal and actually working to achieve it, so I have resolved to work on that.  I decided that the easiest way to stay accountable and on track to fufulling my goal is to blog about it.

Goal #1 (Long term goal) – Be a healthy role model
At the beginning of the year I didn’t make a list of resolutions, per se, but I did vow that I was going to work towards being a healthy role model for my daughter.  I want her to see me eating healthy, exercising, and being a healthy weight.  I did great with going to an exercise class several days a week and making an effort to eat well.  I felt good; I was losing weight.  Unfortunately, my milk production went WAY down as a result of my exercise routine.  Work obligations got in the way and I stopped going to class.  These work obligations also caused a lot of stress and a lot of stress eating.  Case in point, my lunch yesterday was half a bag of Whoppers Robin’s Eggs.
Starting today I reaffirm my resolution to be a healthy role model for Abby.

Goal #2 (Short term goal) – Relax more
I recently posted 20 ways to relax.  My original purpose in putting together this list was to find ways to relax for myself.  I have been very stressed and tired lately.  I’ve noticed that I have been very grumpy, impatient, and pessimistic. I need to take some much needed “me time” to relax. When that will actually happen,  I’m not sure.  I did tell my husband that it would be nice to have a massage for my birthday,  hint hint 😉

Goal #3 (Long term goal) – Blog more
My original intention was to post something new every day.  So far I have not done too well with that.  I have written a little each day, usually in a notebook during my pumping sessions at work.  But often getting some sleep at night after the baby has gone to bed seems more rewarding than sitting down at the computer to type it up.  I am going to really try to push myself to fulfill this goal.

Goal #4 (Long term goal) – Do something creative every day
I have always been the creative type.  I used to draw all the time as a kid.  As an adult I started painting and would often get lost in a project and realize that half the night was gone. Last year we bought a new house and between moving and getting things ready for the baby- then having the baby- all my time and energy for art has been spent on other things.  I really really need to get back into taking time for myself to be able to explore my creative side again.

OK, now since I am posting this I guess it is official.  I have some work to do.  I will keep you updated.

Random Thoughts

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photo by picjumbo.com

 

You never realize how squeaky the floors of your house are until you try to carry a sleeping child to bed.

One day you wake up and your kid suddenly became able to move so fast – like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fast.  She can wiggle out of a diaper or grab a spoon so quickly it is ridiculous. In our house diaper changing has become akin to the calf roping competition in a rodeo.

Easter candy is the best candy of the whole year.

Easter and my birthday should not be so close together.  Between my birthday cake and Easter candy, Spring should be called “The Time of Year Sarah Gains 10 Pounds.”

The next time we buy a new couch I am totally paying extra to buy the kind that have the chaise section on one end.  I’ve been doing a lot of couch sleeping at night with Abby lately I have to have something more comfortable than this before we ever have another kid.

I always picture Donald Trump in the White House as Biff Tannen in his Casino in Back to the Future II.

The other day I was telling my coworkers about how incredibly forgetful I am lately and how I always thought “mom brain” was just something silly that people made up.  I warned them that at the rate I am going I may show up to work without a shirt some day.  They laughed, but I was dead serious.

I never thought it was possible to fall asleep standing up… until I caught myself starting to nod off standing and rocking my baby to sleep.

Sometimes when we are looking at the 100 First Words book and I am making all of the animal sounds for Abby I say “Aflac” when it comes to the white duck instead of “quack.”  I am waiting for the day when she says “Aflac,” too.

 

Thinking of My Father as My Birthday Approaches

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My birthday is approaching and I wonder if he remembers the significance of the date?  Will he think about me on my birthday?

Each day since becoming a parent I am amazed by my child. Abby makes me smile. She makes me laugh. I love watching her grow and learn and develop her own little personality. I am excited to see how she changes. I don’t want to miss anything. Just a few moments ago I was sitting and holding her as she slept, looking at her little face and wondering how in the world could I create something so beautiful?

Becoming a parent has made me reexamine my biological father and the relationship we have had throughout my life. My birthday is approaching and I wonder if he remembers the significance of the date?  Will he think about me on my birthday?  Will he remember what it was like to hold me as a baby, like I hold my daughter?

My father left my mother when my sister and I were very young. He remarried quickly and soon had two other girls. The only real interaction we had with him for a long time was visits at Christmas, where he would try to buy our love with gifts and brainwash us with his new-found religion and crazy beliefs before ignoring us until the next Christmas. As a naïve child I always wondered what was wrong with my sister and I, to make him not want us and to replace us. Of course, as an adult I know that it was nothing my sister or I did and there was nothing wrong with us. I wonder how one can miss out on almost 30 years of your child’s life and be OK with it.  For a long time I have been hurt and angry. Now I just feel sorry for him.

I am sorry that he didn’t experience all the feelings that I feel in my heart for my daughter. I wonder what was so wrong with him that he didn’t feel those things for us, but I do hope that he felt that for his other children.  I feel sorry that he missed out on two beautiful children; I feel sorry that he has missed out on two strong and intelligent women. I feel sorry that he will never know our amazing children.  He will never be a grandfather to them.

I have not forgiven him and I don’t know if I ever will. But I feel more at peace with it now than I ever have, and that’s fine with me.

Separation Anxiety

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photo by picjumbo.com

I walk in the door and sit her car seat on the rug.  Immediately, Abby looks up at me and gives me a look like I have betrayed her.  Her eyes well up with tears and her bottom lip sticks out.  I get down and my knees and tell her to be a good girl today.  She lets out a painful sounding shriek.   I kiss her forehead and whisper, “I love you,” only to hear her shriek louder.
For the last two weeks she has done this each time I drop her off at daycare.   Her babysitter tells me she quits as soon as I am out the door and she is out of her carseat.  She forgets I leave her as she begins to play with the other children, but I don’t forget.  Even though this has been our morning routine for two weeks it still feels like the first time every day.  She sure knows how to pull on mama’s heartstrings.

My Mother’s Hands

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photo by picjumbo.com

 

My mother’s hands are rough and strong.  They have been that way as long as I can remember, no matter how much lotion, balm, or cream she uses.  I always assumed that’s just how a mother’s hands are supposed to be.  Her hands are like that because she’s never been a stranger to hard work, from the time she grew up on the farm to all the physical jobs she has always had, even now.
As a child those hands were cool when my forehead was feverish.  They picked me up when I fell.  They always pushed me to do my best when I needed it.  They held my smaller hands and made me feel loved and safe.
As a pregnant adult, I remember gazing at my own hands, turning them over and wondering to myself, When are they going to look like Mom’s hands? not really realizing that they weren’t going to magically change into hers.
The day I woke up with contractions I labored at home until the evening.  My husband and I went to the hospital and waited through the night as each new contraction came.  When I lay in my hospital bed writhing without medication, feeling nervous, anxious, and scared, all I wanted was to feel my mother’s hands.
I am a mother now.  My hands do not look like hers; they do not feel like hers.  They look the same to me as they always have.  I just hope they hold the same magic touch that my mother’s have.