Monday, March 30, 2009


What am I supposed to do about bathing suits going forward? I'm still trying to decide how I really feel about my new body. I have days, when I stand in front of the mirror and I think, "Ya know, Mommy? You look so pretty. Soft and supple like a woman should. There are other days, when I'm like, "Hey, it's ok. You had 2 babies in 2 years. But, bikini's may be off the menu.".

I don't hate anything about me. I never have. I haven't fallen for our culture's hateful programming of the feminine kind. Sure, I'd like to have a six-pack, less cellulite, a toner body over-all. BUT, I also know that if I REALLY wanted that, I'd spend the requisite 7 hours a week to make it happen. Can't say I'm THAT interested.

I feel like every woman I talk to has body issues. It's almost like the thing to do. Is it the current days' brand of modesty? Do so many women, young and mature, really loathe their bodies? I know too many women who are completely concerned with what they eat, how much they weigh, what everyone else eats, what they weigh, what size clothes they wear, etc. Projecting onto eachother, even on loved ones, their body image issues. I don't get it. What the hell?

Being a Mother, and all, I feel like I owe it to my kids to love myself, all parts of me. I'm teaching them how to feel about themselves. Right? I need to acknowledge my kindness, my fun loving spirit, my intelligence, my accomplishements, my emotional depth, my life, my good health. I'm not talking ego - the inflated/compensating kinda posturing. I'm talking, be cool enough with myself that I don't hide behind self deprication. It's not cute. It's sad. Why do we feel like we have to point out our flaws? Does it make us more likeable? Is it the whole, misery loves company thing?

I want my children to feel good about themselves, as youngens and oldens! So, I'm not going to fall into the trap. We all have character... and in my book, that weighs a hell of a lot more than the number we see on the scale.

So, now I know exactly how I feel about my new body. I'm cool with it. A seed was planted, it grew into a beautiful blossom, and I am charged with tending to it for the rest of my days. And I will love that blossom by loving myself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spilled milk

I just spent the last 40 minutes pumping. It's the end of the day, my husband's on his way home from work with the Indian take-out and I want a glass of wine. I know shouldn't have waited until the end of the day to pump- I didn't have much to offer up. But, I was getting a bit here and there, so I kept at it for a while. As I was changing sides, I turned the pump off, and heard my little guy crying...loud! OH! I jumped up so fast from alarm that I accidentally lost my grip on the liquid gold and it flew out of my hands (bottle and pump and contents) and crashed on the floor, spraying the good stuff all over the ottoman and the floor. Shit!

I'm so annoyed at myself. Oh my god.

Baby boy was ok, he just wanted a warm snuggle and a topping off before he settled for the night. My goodness, he smells dreamy.

Take-out tonight

Hey people.... ch-check it out. I just did the coolest thing. I'm so excited....

I just put $150 a month back in the bank by refinancing our mortgage! Yeeeah-hoooo! Look, I'm not the bank-rates-watching type. You'll NEVER catch me talking about it. Although, I really do think I'm pretty good at managing the household finances. I'm a SAHM, with 2 babies (a 2 yr old & 5 month old), so I keep a close eye on our dollars so we can keep it up. I look for sales when I shop, squirrel money away, plan for big purchases, and don't splurge... often. Hey, I never said I was a tight wad. I'm not above a nice bottle of wine, or eating out. Vacations, though none are being planned right now... are essential to good living, if you ask me. I love to travel. But that's another story. Ok, so we did splurge on our double-stroller. And I will NOT justify that. It's about quality, you know. If I see a toy I, I mean, my babies MUST have, then, sometimes I just can't help myself.

Anyway, as soon as we signed the dotted line on closing day for our house, I put that waste-of-a-tree (stack of paper) in the file cabinet and called it a day - haven't seen it since. I hadn't really even THOUGHT about refinancing until a colleague of my husband's suggested we look into it. So I gave it a whirl. I'm SO glad I did!!I spent 30 minutes on the phone with Wells Fargo and went from a 6% interest rate to 5.25%, without spending a shiny copper cent! We're gonna save $1800 per year! Hell, yeeeeaaahhhh!!! This is THEE BEST! I'm almost buzzing from excitement... I love it when I can pull money out of the air. And this isn't chump change, either! I'm thinking a few extra bucks towards our kiddies' college tuition, some towards our savings, and maybe even Indian take-out tonight! I love a delicious reward :)

Baby steps

We brought our baby boy home on Nov 6th, two days after he was born on Nov 4th - election day. He was so frail, so peaceful, so totally newborny and helpless. I remember pulling him out of the car seat, all 8 lbs of him, and introducing him to the house. His eyes wide, mouth pursed in awe. It's surreal to think about it. I have a lump in my throat.

That's why, when he does something like he just did a second ago, I get all flummoxed and weepy. One minute he can't hold his own noggin up, and the next, he's trying with all his might to, practically vibrating from muscle fatique. All of the little milestones in between now and then just get me good. Baby steps fascinate me. Like, right now. He just rolled over from his back to his stomach!!!!!! How'd he do that?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The right one

Before you dive into this entry, I'm throwing caution into wind. This is not for the squeamish. I had every intention of sitting down to write about something pretty simple. But, in usual form, my thoughts turned at the fork in the road, and before I knew it, I ended up in the delivery room during labor with my second child. It's was an exquisite moment in my life, beautiful beyond description. But I get that these things are highly relative, so you know. Consider yourself warned. And do what ya gotta do.

Ok, so... I can't help but wonder why my right breast is the preferred one. I mean, why is it the right one? The left one will do, but when it counts, the right one's the right one. My 1st baby felt the same way. Is it the way I hold them, with a better snuggle on that side? Does the right one flow better? Is the cereal I had this morning in the left, and the banana I had in the right? Ha! Yeah, "banana, please.". Is it that my right side is the dominant one? While I'm ambidextrous, I lean towards my right in physical strength. Maybe that's why?

It can't be because our first latch-ons after birth were on the right, because I deliberately started on my left when my 2nd baby was born. And how I was able to remember my plan for starting him on a different breast only moments after I pushed him out, still baffles me. Seriously, I remember having a bona fide mental break down in the last minutes before he came out. A was hysterical in panic, freaking out. Like... yeah. Melt down. Then suddenly, my midwife cried, "take your baby!". "Wha?? Do what?", the voice in my head said. I nearly died from the intensity, I swear. Then I heard it in my head - like the directive registered in my brain. And I did exactly what she told me to do. I had my hands tucked under his armpits. On top of his blue shoulders bobbed his blue head, his eyes swollen shut, skin glossy, mouth grimaced. I didn't know he was a boy yet, cause only half of his torso was out. Then I pulled him out of me... and onto. my. belly. Then... silence. My ears rang from the adrenaline. A baby boy. He looked into my eyes. He cried heartily. I felt no pain. Hysteria left the room in a vacuum. Then, just moments later, I positioned him on the left side of my chest and waited for him to signal his interest in suckling on my left breast. He did shortly after. He was beautiful. He stayed on my chest for a long time. They measured him in at 8 lbs 8 ounces. And I measured in a changed woman.

I still can't believe we did that. I can't believe that's my birth story. Well, part of it anyway. I see that scene in my head often. It has been imprinted on my memory slate for the rest of my days.

So, here we are, 5 months later today - and having my baby boy feels... just right.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Alright, I'm just warning you. Today's a bit of a rant. Why? Cause I read an article that whistled my steam pipes but good. It's titled, "The case against breastfeeding". For curious minds, check it out:

Ok, so my knee-jerk reaction is this:

Are you SEEErious?! Why build a case AGAINST breastfeeding, for ALL OF THE OTHER MOMS out there? You don't need to make someone else WRONG to make yourself RIGHT. It felt like she was trying to rationalize her way out of breastfeeding her 3rd born. It's hard enough to tough it out, what with all of the latch-on trials, especially in the beginning. We live in this ultra “convenient” culture, that tries to lure us into believing we're not capable the moment we enter our 3rd trimester. Once we enter the delivery room, it's a process of, "Just in case you can't do it... sign here for your epidural, here for the C-section, and your consolation prize? Here’s a “gift” of ready-to-eat formula." We are barraged with these messages from jump!

If she doesn’t want to press on with her 3rd, so be it. No need for the histrionics, really. She could just be honest, quit judging HERSELF and bow out. It’s her choice. It's ok. Look, I can see how a child #3 would present a logistical challenge in the nursing department. I just had my second, and I’m juggling nursing him and entertaining/caring for/feeding/toilet training/etc. my toddler at the same time. I'm up late at night, several times. Truth is, it can be exhausting. And I only have two babies. But it’s doable, mainly cause I want it to work. I knew the 1st year would be marathon. It's ok, I'm good for it :). Now, I know there are women who simply can't breastfeed, no matter how hard they try. And I empathize with how painful this can be. I'm only talking about Rosin. Just had to say this... cause I don't want to offend.

NOW…Another quote that's itching my back-side: “Being stuck at home breast-feeding as he walked out the door for work just made me unreasonably furious, at him and everyone else.”....

Sounds to me like she’s got a lot of resentment for her husband. Perhaps she should take a look at what she’s REALLY so angry about. I get that there are things that take a back seat while we’re nursing. I get it. But it’s short lived in the big scheme. Breastfeeding is NOT A SENTENCE, it’s a gift to your child, for goodness sake!! But, I've got to say. If she FEELS checked-out, then for goodness sake, she NEEDS to check out! Given how "furious" she feels, she probably should stop breastfeeding her baby, so that poor child isn't absorbing all of that negativity! Seriously. But, I digress.

Sadly, what I took away from her article is a woman who’s lost sight of the gifts she has: her healthy children, her employed husband, her ability to nourish her baby. She’s resentful - trying to explain away why she doesn’t want to nurse her baby, instead of just being real about it. Her watery excuses feel like a mask. How about, "I just can't press on this time around."? She’s defensive, and looking for the information she needs to back-out of it, at the expense of all of the women who are currently/plan to breastfeed. It’s annoying, quite frankly. I feel sad for young girls in our society. It's like swimming upstream against the messages we're encouraged to believe that we're just not good enough. Not thin enough, rich enough, smart enough. Not strong enough... to handle what we were born to do. Enough... is ENOUGH!

Just do what ya gotta do, lady, and never mind anyone else. I don't believe that breastfeeding is for every woman. We're unique people, who can't be expected to follow some cookie-cut standard. That's the glory of parenting: you do your homework, find out what suits you, and do your best.

She seems like the kind of lady I would avoid at the playground… always complaining about motherhood. Not that we're not entitled to our moments of frustration. BUT... please. She needs a bubble bath, if you ask me.

I'm sure it's no surprise here... But, I feel good about being able to breastfeed both of my children. While there's a ton of literature backing the cause, and this has undoubtedly motivated me during the early phases of acclimation, it really just, instinctively, feels like the most natural thing... for me and my babies. I love the bonding, it's dreamy. I nursed my 1st for 17 months - weaned when I got preggy with #2. I plan to nurse my 2nd baby for as long as he wants to. I stay at home with them and I know this has facilitated my commitment to nursing. And yes, I do feel proud. I've worked REALLY hard at this.
Rosin didn't need to "build a case against breastfeeding" to stop doing it herself. Why feel compelled to minimize the value of something that has sustained us through time? Now that's just silly.
You know? We don't need a MOTHER in this day-and-age to reinforce these outdated notions. Just look at a baby's eyes when they're being breastfed by a mother who wants to do it.
Enough said.

Nursing my 5 month old as I type…

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I'm shedding. Like seriously, shedding hair. 5 months after my little guy was born, and my hair's falling out. I guess it's pretty normal, but damn!! Since we don't lose hair when we're preggy, I forget what it was like to see my hair everywhere. Jees, it's gross. I wonder if I were more diligent with taking my prenatals, would it help? I don't know. I'm going to put them in a better place, so I can remember. Like near my night-time moisturizer. I never forget that step, for some reason. Now, if I could shed pounds from my pregnancy with the same gusto, that'd be great.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

On the mend.

I spent the day out yesterday with my kiddies and another Mommy and baby. We're on the mend after being sick for weeks - thank goodness. The weather was beautiful - blue skies, in the 50's. Yes!! We were ripe for a playdate. We went to the local library and then to the mall for lunch and shopping. We all had a ball. The older silly girls gave my little guy loads of unabashed giggles. Warms my heart!

So, I nursed in public the whole day long. I've always felt a little shy about it, and I usually don't do it. Instead, I usually bring a bottle of formula with us when we're out. While I brought the bottle as a back-up, I decided I would just focus on nursing him instead. I got a few stares, a few under-the-breath comments. One man, while his wife was eyeing the jewelry counter, kept ogling in my direction. Maybe he didn't notice that I was in the process of setting-up with my blanket, baby and latch-on, but I could feel his eyes waiting for a glimpse. What can you do? I used a blanket to cover-up. I wore a zip-up vest and a wrap around top for easy access. It was my mission not to let people interfere with nourishing my baby. He'll take a bottle, but it gives him gas, and I can see the pause in his face when he drinks it. I've carried pumped milk, but it leaks and I don't always have time to pump before we leave the house. Anyway, the nursing worked out beautifully, really. At the end of the day, I noticed that he was in much better spirits having the close contact with me all day. It's a lot, for a young baby, to deal with all the commotion and a bottle, too. He just wants the comfort of my chest, and, frankly, I want that for him too. We just did our thing and I tried my best not to look at anyone. After I finished up on one session, I got a wink from another Mom, that beamed, "You go, girl!". My little guy felt relaxed and satiated. And I felt good about it.

I've nursed in public before. In my early days with my first baby. In a dressing room, I'll do a diaper change, babyfood (that's our word for it) and down time. If there's a quiet corner I can go to, I'll nurse. No big deal. I've even nursed while walking from the parking lot into BJs. But, at the mall on a bench, at the food court, by the carousel? Not until yesterday. A good nursing top and a spoon full of courage went a long way for us. And the tranquility on my little guy's face after being out for 7 hours was all I needed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is it only me?

Do you ever hear your baby cry, even when he's not crying? Every time I settle down with my little girl in her room for bedtime, I swear I hear my little boy crying. So I pause in the middle of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and stretch my neck in the direction of where baby boy is, not sure if I can identify a cry in the air. I've come to learn that I hear his cry even when he's peacefully asleep. His voice rings in my ear. Sometimes I'll interrupt the sleep-time flow with baby girl and get up to see if I'm hearing things, and sure enough I am. When I'm in the shower, I hear it too. Or the few times I've been out without him, I hear him. I've even caught a whif of a stinky diaper when we're apart. But that's another story. It's a strange thing. My ears are always peeled for my baby's cry, and my trusty bionic hearing will fill in the blank even when he's silent. Shhh...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tidying up

After E's nap today, I brought her downstairs. I whispered, "Shhh... baby boy's sleeping." She nodded and we tip-toed over to the big red couch for quiet book time. I read my Twilight book for like 15 minutes or so. She read her Dr. Seuss ABC mini book, one of my faves, for sure. We each had a yogurt drink - and put them on the coffee table when we were done. Some time later, probably like 15 minutes later, she stood up and took both empty plastic bottles to the kitchen and put them in the garbage. All by herself. Woa! I told you, E rocks! How cute is that? I caught a glimpse of her walking purposefully to the kitchen. When she returned she had the sweet smile of pride. She was very pleased with herself, and me too:) ILYEJ.

A King in my dreams

My poor husband and I are outgrowing our bed. Well, we aren't, but we are when the monkeys are in it! We have a queen size, relatively new and I tell you this. We don't need a new bed. But I'm having visions of a king. I think about it all the time. While I brush my teeth, I think, "We could totally fit a King in our room, if we knock a wall down.". While I'm drinking my morning cup of joe, I think, "I'd love to get a temperpedic". When I'm making dinner, I think, "Yeah, it'd be nice to have a big 'ol bed with new sheets and s-p-a-c-e to lay on my back with a few inches on either side of me.". I'm dreaming about a bigger bed, too. The deal is, we are being squished-up in between our little ones. Our two year old has been moonlighting in our bed most nights lately. She knows her little brother is sleeping in our room, so this is incentive enough to join the club. Even when we return her to her own room & bed, albeit reluctantly in the middle of the night, she'll come again later, or try again the next night. Our 5 month old still takes residence in our bed a few times each night, quenching his thirst for Mommy's milk. This morning at about 3:20, I had visions of a sandwich. Me, as cheddar cheese, and him, as salami... nestled in between our babies, as two hearty pieces of whole-wheat bread. My left hemisphere had gone numb (except for the sciatica) from snoozing on it for hours, so I tried to turn onto my other side, but I couldn't get enough space to make that happen so I embraced my numb side, stared at the ceiling and listened to the symphony of post-nasal drip snoring and the humidifier's hum. Truth is, I don't think we could get a king to fit up our staircase. And even if we could, our room isn't sized for a king bed. It just doesn't make sense. So, what to do? Plan: Get sleep! We've GOT TO get our toddler back into her bed. And I've GOT TO return the baby into his bassinet after he nurses. For goodness sake, I'm on to something! Yawwwn.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vicks and Honey

So, I've decided to mark my calendar for next year, with a big reminder on the month of February, that reads... "Proceed with Caution, Vicks and Honey". Let me explain. For goodness sake, the monkey tribe has been sick THE WHOLE MONTH long. It pains me to hear my baby boy and girl cough like sailors. I. Just. Can't. Stand. It. I feel a stab in my chest when I hear either of them labor over a stuffy nose and a cough. It's awful. Awful. Though, given all the usual symptoms of a bad cold, we're in pretty good spirits... most of the time. The key is to keep baby girl happy. Cause once she's in the cranks, the whole house is. Baby boy is still young yet, so any mood dip can usually be remedied with a snuggle, a boob (the right one, thank you very much), a bounce (on the exercise ball) a bed, or a diap. Lather, rinse, repeat. We didn't get flu shots this year, so you can bet your sweet bippy that I'm going to give it a whirl next year. Please, oh please let this be the cure for the sick-house doldrums in Feb 2010. Wha? 2010?! Anyway. Literally, 5 weeks of illness in tennis match style. One gets it, then serves it to the next, then back again, then delivers another round, and again, and again. And the crowd runs for the hills to avoid contamination. Oh, man. I'm spent. And I look like it too. I've got perma-chapped-lips. Hair in a pony tail every day. Mani & Pedi not even thought about until right now... for like EVER. Protein stains on my shirt. Speaking of, I thought breastfeeding was the miracle immunizer! I guess when big sister affectionately licks your face, sneezes on you, and sticks her finger in your mouth, the wonders of liquid gold can only go so far. While I try to encourage a little hygienical distance, it's fruitless in the climate of big sister-little brother love. Plus, I guess it's part of the deal.

If only I could get these babies to spit. How awful it is to hear their productive coughs followed my an icked-out swallow. Save me. I just wish they'd get rid of the gunk. But alas, they don't know how, so the congestion elevates to new heights. Ugh!! I've tried everything I can think of to ease their discomfort. Doc says they don't need meds, since there aren't any infections - thank goodness. Just major post-nasal drip accumulation. T.M.I. I know. Sorry.

So, what do you do when your little ones are sick? Tips, please! So far, I'm doing humidifiers each night and replacing their filters regularly. Lotion massages. Saline nose drops. I've even gotten my suddenly-picky-eating toddler to acquire a taste for a spoonfull of honey to sooth her soar throat. Hey Winnie the Pooh loves the stuff, so can you! For fun, cause I think happiness is next to healthiness... lots of books and stories, drawing, picture taking, dress-up, song singing, dancing, puzzles, favorite kiddie shows, imagination games, Yoga, and other indoor fun. Oh, and naps. I can get them to go down at the same time at least 3 days out of 5. On those days, I snooze too. As far as meds go, I don't do the over-the-counter stuff except for: Vicks vapor rub on the chest for my little girl, on the feet for my baby boy. I even use of those Vapor plug-in doo-hickies. They're really cool, if you're into the scent of eucalyptus.... and camphor. I especially love eucalyptus. Ah, inhale. It's green and it smells like the most beautiful shade of green should smell.... it just resonates with me. One of the good things that came out of this month-long-boogie-bout has been those plug-ins. Love 'em. They smell devine. Another really sweet thing, the sound of my little girl's hoarse voice. I can hardly explain how fuzzy I feel when she speaks with a raspy voice, and stuffy sinuses. I know. That's a little out there. But she's so sweet when she sounds like that. I've decided to embrace the hell out of these colds, since I can't rub them away with Vicks and Honey. My monkeys are sick and I've got to make the best of it. We can't play with other kids and their Moms. Can't go to story time or the library or other fun playdate stuff. We're holed-up. It's cold outside. I think it's going to be in the 20's again tonight. Gag me out. Now I've got the flu: fever, achy body, runny nose, and I'll spare you the rest of my ailments. Suffice it to say that while I don't like being sick, and I REALLY don't like my kiddies being sick... it sure makes for lots of snuggle time. And I'm down wit dat.