Monday, July 30, 2012

We Made It!

Today, we have been breastfeeding for six months. When I say we, I mean, me, The Caddie, Tom and the village it has taken to get here.  Six months ago, I wanted to get to three months. The first 6 weeks were brutal. I have very little memory of most of it, mostly just a haze of late night feedings, sleepy newborn head on my chest, a LOT of lanolin, warm showers, learning to nurse standing up so I could sway my screaming baby side to side in an attempt to 5 S her into submission, learning to nurse laying down when I was too weak with the stomach flu to hold her, learning to nurse in a crammed airplane seat while she kicked her feet on the arm rests, learning to nurse in public so I could eat in a restaurant and breast pads EVERYWHERE.  Weeks 6-11 were pretty breezy.  I was still on leave, we’d gotten the hang of pretty much everything and 5 hours of sleep on the regular turned me back into a normal human(ish). I became one of the moms at breastfeeding group who was comforting the moms with 10 day olds. I could work the stroller with one hand and get six bags and the kid into the car with the other. My kid smiled at me (like REALLY SMILED) and took such obvious comfort in nursing, my only heartbreak during that time was knowing I would have to leave her for 10ish hours a day fairly soon.  My first few weeks back at work were surprisingly good. I was busy but not too busy. Pumping enough milk came easily and I was able to continue to add to the freezer stash. I found that I actually enjoyed working and was a more patient and energetic mom to The Caddie when I was home with her. We established play and bath and dinner and bedtime routines.  Her night waking petered down to a 3:30 a.m. session and then a 6:30 a.m. before I left for work. At Month 3, I was SURE I could make it to six.

And then Month 4 hit. I had a long trial that lasted for weeks and had to fight to find time to pump. I pumped in the parking garage before and after court (On battery, which SUCKED), and convinced a grumpy probate secretary to let me use her private bathroom (With an outlet! And a lock!) so I could pump once, maybe twice if I could catch a break, during the day in the courthouse. When I wasn’t in court, I was working long hours and would lose track of time and forget to pump until 4-5 hours had passed.  And my milk supply suffered. Horrendously. I counted ounces coming out of the freezer and realized we would be done before the month was up if things didn’t change. I cried because I was afraid that I would eventually not be able to nurse when I WAS around. (Explanation: My motivation has always come more from the relationship-aspect of nursing and less from the nutrition side. I could care less about pumping and providing expressed milk but without it, my supply at home could dwindle to where I couldn’t nurse The Caddie on nights and weekends and I would miss that part of it). 

So I emailed/texted my support team (We’ll call them A, J, K and L for anonymity sake). They rallied around me. Offered me hugs and pats on the back for making it so far. Did not judge me for considering letting it all go and gradually head towards stopping nursing. They gave me bits of gentle advice and lots of exclamation points of encouragement. (Slightly offtopic: Email and text are a working mom’s best friend because WHEN would we ever find the time to talk on the phone without a kid screaming in the background, let alone get together in person.) So I started with lactation cookies (recipes courtesy of A and K) and fenugreek and blessed thistle and committing myself to pumping every two hours no matter what. I took a cue from J and power pumped on weekends (which is a nursing and pumping combo that doesn’t sound nearly as fun as its name indicates) and added a pumping session before work and after bedtime. My supply recovered, my stress levels subsided and I was still nursing my baby when we were together. We had survived another month.

And then Month 5 hit. And I was sick and tired of how much effort everything took. Sick of staying up two hours after putting The Caddie down for bed to pump (or waiting that two hours to have a second glass of wine), sick of pumping my body full of cookies and disgusting tinctures and teas (seriously, more milk plus? That shit is GROSS. Someone needs to work on that.), sick of seeing my supply plummet anytime I tried to eat anything remotely geared towards me losing my baby belly, sick of stressing about how I was going to make it, sick of cleaning pump parts, sick of lugging my pump everywhere, sick of the SOUND of my pump. Also, in a cruel twist of fate, at this exact same time, The Caddie hit that lovely developmental stage where she was impatient and distracted so our post-work and pre-bedtime nursing sessions became a battle. She would cry because the milk wouldn’t come fast enough, squirm and pull and latch off and on and I would smile down at her (Quick explanation: I’ve always forced myself to smile at her while nursing because when I was going through the first 6 weeks, there were lots of tears and I hated to think she’d be seeing me crying all the time, and it ended up making me more relaxed. A fake it till I make it sort of thing. I know, it’s weird) but inside I was dying. I felt like I was starving her and should just throw in the towel and let her have a bottle (thus further depleting my sad freezer stash). With a little help from my working mama friends A and J, I stuck with it. They told me it was normal, it would pass and if I wanted to keep going I could. If I didn’t, I didn’t have to. So I took a LOT of deep breaths. I handed her off to Tom sometimes or laid her in the crib for a few minutes if he wasn’t there to take a break and start nursing again. I drank more water than I ever thought humanly possible. And I TALKED to Tom about how I was feeling, even the parts about starting to not like nursing (which was always the part that made all the pumping crap worth it). I admitted how hard it was and how painful it was to “make” The Caddie nurse when I knew she wanted the bottle. Somehow, it felt better just saying those things out loud. It all seemed easier and manageable for him to know how it really was. And we decided to take it day by day and week by week.

AND we decided to completely change up our strategy.  From here on out, no more taking from the freezer if I came up short. She got what I pumped and she would have to make up the difference when we were together.  To make his life easier (i.e. minimize any screaming hungry baby time), we also decided to start solids and get her on a nap, eat, play schedule (which we had never done before). Lactivists and the AAP should just leave the room now because yes, you read that right, this hardcore breastfeeding mama started solids a month early. The Caddie was just ready. I don’t know how else to say it. We slowly(ish) integrated into her day some sweet potatoes, pears and whole grain organic rice cereal (I almost want to throw up writing that last bit but my mom guilt sent me straight to the fancy schmancy health food store for the best whole grain infant cereal money could buy. Go figure). And holy shit, it worked. Two small “meals” a day and two big bottles before nap time and I was back to pumping enough for her to be away from me during the work day.  I even had EXTRA to put in the freezer.  We ran into some constipation issues, but after 2 days of no cereal (the culprit) a LOT of prunes and some prune juice and water, The Caddie’s large intestine fell right back in line. And man does that kid love food. It has been SO.MUCH. fun watching her try new things, and now reaching for the spoon and feeding herself some finger friendly foods. She LOVES peaches, pears and green beans. Enjoys sweet potatoes, peas, carrots and mangoes. HATES bananas (her only truly hated food at the moment) even when I mixed only one banana in a batch of 8 peaches, she refused to eat any of it. With that sensitive of a palate, maybe she’ll be a food critic someday.  I have found real enjoyment in making her food but we’ve also used some premade packets so it has stayed enjoyable rather than a burden.

And nursing. Nursing has become good again. She nuzzles herself in at night and it’s like the old days when she was just a wee 11 week old. She rarely becomes frustrated when nursing (and if she does, it’s usually during the day on weekends and a dark quiet room with her blankie in tow usually does the trick) and I don’t feel stressed or scared that she is not getting enough. We’ve estimated her milk intake to be 22oz most days, which means I have 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. wake-up calls most days, but I’ve adjusted to it so much it’s barely noticeable.

So here we are. The big SIX. MONTHS. I don’t know what the future holds. I still hate pumping and my supply is sort of down and I am finding it hard to find the energy and motivation to ramp up the pumping like I know I should. It’s starting to seem more important to take her to the beach on our Sunday family day rather than stay home and power pump. And to enjoy a martini with my husband and go to bed at a reasonable hour rather than stay up two hours to get that extra session in on weekdays. But I’m really okay with it. We are in a happy place and if things wind down from here, I know we’ll all be fine.

So that all said, here is my Reaching My Breastfeeding Goal Oscar acceptance speech.  I’d like to thank everyone who helped get me here, without which none of this would have possible.

  1. The Caddie: Without your Hoover-like first latch, and coming out of the womb making feeding cues, I don’t know if we would’ve made it past the first week. I hope we can continue on this journey together until it ends in a way that is best for both of us.

  1. Tom: Your openness to new ideas, your willingness to learn how to navigate this crazy working/pumping/nursing schedule, your patience with me and with The Caddie (lest we not forget her bottle-refusing days), your confidence in defending our nursing decisions (i.e. being the first one to tell anyone who would listen that feeding on demand would not overfeed the baby and that the baby using me as a pacifier was a GOOD thing), your eagerness to try new things (You want me to get through the whole day with only 10oz?? Whaaa???)  and your sympathetic ear when things get tough are qualities for which I can’t really express how grateful I am (I think me at a loss for words is pretty telling).  Your sense of humor hasn’t been too shabby either, nor has your ability to always know what kind of cocktail to have ready and just *how* much sushi to order when I get home on Friday based on the type of week it’s been.

  1. My mother: You made those early days bearable and every day afterwards manageable. You set the example of how breastfeeding and being a working mom could work even when it was hard. You laugh with me, not at me, and I have never felt anything but positive support coming from your direction. You’ve been a sympathetic ear and a role model for me as a mother. You give me breaks when I don’t ask for them, help when I need it most and such unconditional support in intangible ways that thanking you for the rest of my life wouldn’t be enough.

  1. My mother-in-law: If you told me now that you had never breastfed, I would never know. You have been so open to new ideas, which I know must have been strange to you, and learning with us along the way, without a single word of negativity or judgment.  Your positivity and patience has helped Tom and I become better parents. I feel so encouraged by you and so at ease when The Caddie is in your care. You should teach a class to all mother-in-laws. Seriously.

  1. My sister-in-law: You got me started with everything I needed. The right books, the right “equipment” (aside from my boobs of course) and an unwavering faith that I could do this. We don’t always have a ton in common as women or as people (feminist dystopian literature aside), but as mothers, you are a kindred spirit and I can not imagine going through this journey without you. You make me excited to see where motherhood takes us and the love and support you have shown to me and The Caddie makes me embarrassingly emotional.

  1. My breastfeeding support group: You were a place to go when I couldn’t go anywhere else. I showed up exhausted, terrified and overwhelmed and left laughing and ready to conquer another week. I learned from other’s mistakes (I was THIS close to pumping myself into engorgement when J put the brakes on that, I’m still thankful even now!) and saw the light at the end of the tunnel in the other mom’s older babies. You were my safe haven for so long and I still miss you sometimes.

  1. L, K and B:  We all tried breastfeeding and as you’ve all told me (in one fashion or another) “it just wasn’t in the cards for S (or B or M) and I.”  But you ladies have been as invaluable to my motherhood and nursing experience these past 6 months as any of my nursing friends. Our talks about sleep, food, behavior, post-baby exercise (or lack thereof), car seats, strollers, socializing, marital issues, crazy clients, crazy schedules and pretty much everything else keep me going some days. You’ve taught me that breastmilk isn’t a magic potion worth losing myself over. You’ve taught me that the mommy wars don’t have to apply to us and you give me perspective and tell me (in much kinder words) when I’m being a smug, insensitive asshole. These things stick with me and when and if the time comes to make a decision to stop nursing, I know I will feel right about it because of you. You make my life funnier and easier with every text, email, gchat and tweet.
  1. A and J: My working and nursing moms.  Whether or not I would still be nursing is irrelevant, the bottom line is I’d be a puddle on the floor without either of you. You make me laugh ALL the time. You make this whole crazy ride seem fun even when it hasn’t been fun for days. You read emails of mine that are of ungodly length and don’t even blink. I feel less whiny and almost normal because of you. I’m not scared of what the future holds because I know that if I want to keep nursing, you guys will help me find a way to do it. If I need to bitch about work being demanding, wanting to go Office Space on my pump, my stupid husband (that day), the constant state of disaster that is my bathroom and the laundry, the fact that I wore a pump-unfriendly dress and had to pump with my entire dress pulled up to my neck or just the general impossible expectations of working mothers, you are there and you make me laugh about it all. If either of you go anywhere, I’m moving to Australia.

  1. My own sheer force of will: Pumping in parking garages and court bathrooms sucks ass. But you did it. Trying to feed a screaming, squirming child who wants nothing more than to be out of your arms and in the arms of her dad with a bottle sucks ass. But you did it. Slathering your bleeding, cracked nipples in lanolin only to hear the baby grunting and smacking her lips to eat again sucks ass. But you did it. Telling clients and work colleagues that you have to pump because yes, you’re still doing that, sucks ass. But you are doing it. Having a kid who still wakes up in the middle of the night because you’ve had to reverse cycle her to meet her milk needs when all of your other friends’ kids are sleeping all the way through to the morning SUCKS. ASS. But you are doing it. Cause you kick ass. And I love you.

I may amend this list upon further reflection, because I am SURE that I am missing people.  My village is HUGE and it’s almost impossible to thank everyone on a day when I’m writing this but should be writing something else so I need to finish up or this will never get posted.  Thank you thank you thank you. You all fucking rule. And sorry Mom, I had to swear. I mean it that much.


Wife to the Daddy, Mama to The Caddie/CEO, Esq.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Nap Launch Procedure

There are now definitely things that I am good at with our little caddie: keeping her a happy baby during the day, feeding, going for walks, *cough* tummy time, even running errands like the grocery store are easy peasy now. By the way, when the Caddie is with me at the grocery store it takes at least 30 minutes longer. She's like a magnet for the 65-90 year old demographic. Seriously, if I were a single 70 year old man I could be cleaning up at the grocery store. Sorry, that got off track real fast. Anyways, I am good at a lot of things now but getting her on a nap schedule was NOT one of them. See, I loved when she napped on me. She always napped longer and better and frankly I just liked it. One day, when Mom got home from work and warned me that it was a bad habit, I laid down the law. I said "I like when she sleeps on me, she won't be this small forever so this is how it is going to be and that's final!!!" (P.S. It definitely didn't sound like that at all and all I got in response was an eyeroll from the wife.)  But, times have changed, and we finally got her on a nap schedule. And when I say "we" I mean the Caddie's mom spent her 5 days off over the July 4th week and established one herself. Basically I was there for moral support. I told you, I'm not good at naps. I mean I am really good at napping but, nevermind. But she is now a napping machine. 2+ hours at 10 in the morning and another 90 minutes in the afternoon like clockwork. Sounds great right? It definitely is but what is not so great is that getting her down for her awesome naps takes about as many steps as launching the space shuttle into orbit. So to keep my sanity, I'm going to go through the steps if for no other reason than if I ever forget one, I have it down in writing. So without further ado, here it is....

Protocol for the 10AM Nap Launch

T-minus 15:00 (9:45)- Mission control (The CEO) notifies us that a nap is imminent 15 minutes before the nap shall begin. The notification process is pretty easy to spot. It begins and ends with her not wanting to be put down, picked up, laid down, sat down, or stood up. I think that covers it. Basically she wants nothing to do with the waking universe.

T-minus 13:00 (9:47)- The nap crew obviously needs fuel so I start to get a bottle ready. This is very essential. She always needs her milk before going down for a nap. Now I know what some of you are thinking... "If you know she is going down for a nap, and she is already freaking out, then how come you don't have a bottle ready?" To that I say!... moving on......

T-minus 10:00 (9:50)- With the bottle ready to go, we have to head upstairs to her bedroom. This *should* be the easy part. But nothing is easy in this process. I go up and down the stairs all the time and they always look the same to me. They look like this. Most of the time it seems they look the same way to the CEO as well but soooomething changes when we are heading up to launch a nap. When we head up for a nap, something clicks. This is where the meltdown reaaaally starts to take shape. I can only imagine that this is what it looks like to her when we head up for the nap. I think I'd cry too.

T-minus 9:00 (9:51) - With mission control starting to get a little worried that this whole nap thing isn't going to go down, panic sets in. And it does not get any easier. Once we get to the room two things happen. 1. I have to get about 57 things done in 30 seconds or there will be no sleeping. Shades closed, white noise machine on, A/C set, blankie and pacifier are at the ready and crib cleared. 2. She completely and utterly loses her mind. I mean seriously, she never cries like this EVER. The second she hits the changing table to change her diaper and get her in her sleep sack she cries like I just put her in an apparatus from one of the SAW movies. It's almost, ALMOST, funny how much she screams.(By the way, it's not even remotely funny and most of the time I am sweating at this point.) Also, while she is screaming she is rolling around like she is on fire. It would be like trying to change this person’s diaper.  (Side note: To the list of things that babies have that I want, add sleep sack. I mean this thing is awesome. Zips up the front, your legs are always warm, arms are free, it's a snuggie that never falls off. Freaking awesome.)

T-minus 6:00 (9:54)- Diaper changed, awesome sleep sack on so now we scoop her up and it's off to the rocking chair (still freaking out by the way), and give her the bottle. BOOM, silence. Not a peep. No tears, nothing. It's amazing. If I'm lucky she starts to doze off while she is eating and we are off and running. There are two keys to this step. First, she needs her blankie. Let me repeat. SHE NEEDS HER BLANKIE. Nap sequence cannot be completed without the blankie. She is basically this in pink. Everyone who knows her gets it. Second, and this is the most critical part of the whole process, you need a perfect bottle/pacifier transition. I have perfected the one handed removal of the bottle and insertion of the pacifier. While there can be some gap, you really need to strive for a 0.5 second or less transition or you are at risk of an aborted nap. I'm actually not joking about this, she will start to freak out the second she's done the bottle and if you delay, you'll risk having to start the nap sequence all over again and this time with more screaming and no more milk.

T-minus 0:30 (9:59)- Carefully stand up and lay her in her crib on her side curled up with her blankie and get the hell out of Dodge! After all that (I mean really, it seems like she fought every second of the way) she passes out for TWO! HOURS! I have no idea or explanation but I just wasted most of her nap time writing this so I am outta here to try and make my living room not look like someone vandalized the toy aisle at a Babies R' Us.

Oh and in "happy toy news" we had a tragedy averted this week. Just like our late Cow, "The Sheep" was ripped from his hanging device by a vicious pull from the caddie. But we can happily report that after some surgery he is resting comfortably at GGH (Grandma General Hospital) and will make a full recovery. Just a wonderful story.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Jump the Stork.

So I have been away for a while..... I know....I'm sorry. The strange part is that it's because I have an easy baby (please don't stop reading or hate me). She is very fun and so happy that at the very least, I know I am in big trouble during the high school/college years (what dad isn't?). But I haven't had anything recently that's been bloggable (screw that spell check red line! That's a real word!)

I know this is a baby blog but this post is going to be more about the adults (so all of you who let your 3 year old read my blog...A. Thanks B. Let them sit this one out...and C. HOLY SHIT YOUR 3 YEAR OLD CAN READ THIS!)

We were a Mr. and Mrs. before we were a Dad and Mom and it's tough sometimes to be both so here are a few things we battle with and how we try to remember what got us there in the first place...

To start, we all know how the baby came to be in the first place right? Correct, the Stork (That's what one of my friends calls his but whatever you use is fine.... I'll be here all week.)  Well, over the last 4 months it can seem like sometimes me and the Mrs. are less of a married couple and more of 2 people desperately trying to keep ourselves and a small human being alive. That *could* be a slight exaggeration, but it really can feel that way sometimes. 

It starts where we sleep. Everyone knows someone who has given a tour of their house and used the re-diculous expression "This is our bedroom, ya know, where the magic happens." Well that a-hole obviously does not have an infant sleeping in the same room next to the bed or else it would be "This is our bedroom, you know, where we desperately try to get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep before the kid wakes up and we have to feed it and change it in the dark without getting baby poop on the sheets and each other." (See Poop Dictionary). Definitely not the time for magic. But this will definitely end. I think it will end. It's gonna end right? Bueller?.... Moving along. So, to keep the magic, we have to GO OUT WITHOUT THE BABY! I'll let some of you catch your breath before I continue.......... Yes, I know, it's tough but it has to be done to keep some sort of sanity between us. We have to go out and get crazy sometimes. Not college, 27 captain and cokes, a carbomb, 4 shots of Jager and wake up in a different state two days later crazy. Adult crazy, like 2 cosmos and a soda water with lemon. So just go out on a date with your significant other. Whatever you do on dates, dinner and movie, couples massage, turkish baths, all night underground raves in an abandoned barn... Whatever. Blowing off baby steam is good for you. 

The other thing that got you there is your friends. Hanging out with them together as a couple or separately, either way, they were around far before the little one came around. I'm sure, as was the case with us, everyone wanted to stop by when you had just had the baby in the first few weeks. Now all of a sudden the newness has worn off and everyone is off doing their own things (as they should be) and you are "stuck in" on nights you would normally be going out with them. That's why the Mrs. and I definitely make a conscious effort to make time for friends because, lets be serious, we can't be the only 2 people we talk to and continue to be legally sane. Now, we have some ridiculously generous parents who graciously watch the CEO and allow us to get out but if we didn't I think we would have found something by now. A friend baby sitter, local high school baby sitter, fellow parents who owe us a favor, highly trained chimpanzee (I mean, if they can go into space then...), something would work. 

I'm sure that was a lot of rambling but basically we have just learned to get "some" time to ourselves and our friends away from our CEO. It's good for us and it's good for her because we come back missing her like crazy. It's what got us to where we are today so we need it now and then. Holy crap, did I just write something heartfelt... I have been away too long, I'll make sure it doesn't happen again. 

Lastly, we have some sad news to report. On of the Caddies favorite toys has passed on.  The Cow, a favorite carseat toy throughout her life was tragically ripped off his rope by the CEOs ever developing motor skills. He will always be remembered for his hours of entertainment provided during car trips, his main talent being pulled on and rattling back into place. He will be missed. {Silently fades to commercial}

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Did You Know...

SportsCenter on ESPN used to have a daily segment called Did You Know. Just a daily random and obscure factoid related to a daily sports story. I was thinking about this during my first week of actually being home alone with the CEO. During 4 short days I compiled a pretty good list of things that I either didn't know or expect out of myself or any one else for that matter. Some of them are pretty amazing. So here they are, in no particular order....

Did you know....
That I can eat a meal, from start to finish in under 56 seconds. That includes a sandwich, chips and a drink. I think my record is 42 seconds. This should definitely be a category of competitive eating. Think about it. Five guys standing 10 feet from a generic kitchen, the horn blows and they charge towards the fridge where they rip out the ham and slam down 8 oz. of grape juice right from the carton. Then dart over to the counter where as they shove potato chips in their mouths while making a dry ham sandwich and devouring it. All in under 1 minute or a baby poops on you. OK, I made that last part up. A side note after week 2: There is no such thing as a sandwich anymore, no time. It's just meat and cheese rolled up and dipped into a jar of mayo. Bread is just too time consuming. Moving on.

Did you know...
That while caring for a child you really don't need to eat at all. One day last week I went from 7am-8pm and the only thing that I put in my body was 4 hard boiled egg whites, a slice of american cheese, and a cup of tea. Its the new celebrity 150 calorie a day diet. On that pace I should either be dead or 20 lbs lighter in the next couple of weeks so I've got that going for me.... Maybe. 

Did you know... 
5 minutes = 90 minutes of pre vs post baby uninterrupted sleep time. One morning last week (I couldn't tell you which one because the only days that I know what day it is would be the weekend because Mom is home) I would have committed acts of treason, clubbed a baby seal or cut off one of my fingers for just FIVE minutes more of sleep. It's like we live in a alternate universe where the five minutes of sleep completely rejuvenates you. Another thing with sleep, in two short weeks I have developed the special ability to be able to nap on cue and in any position. I'm almost certain at this point I could drive to the grocery store, grab a few necessities, drive back home and be completely asleep the whole time. Before anyone calls child services, relax, I would try it at least twice without the baby in the car. 

And finally, Did you know... 
I'm an idiot. Before Mom went back to work I was like "This will be great. When the CEO naps, I'll be able to work out and try and lose some of this gut I have accumulated." That previous sentence had been confirmed to be the dumbest thing ever said by a human being, ever. There is no working out, there is no exercise while she naps. The second she naps I dive into my bed like Scrooge McDuck dives into his gold coin pool in "Duck Tales" . In that same respect, I do always try to clean the house. The morning is great, I can straighten the kitchen, do the dishes, pick up the living room a little. (We don't talk about the second floor of our house, it might as well be an attic where we store things like beds, sleeping humans and a toilet. No biggie.) That being said, no matter how "clean" I can get things, it always looks like a Babies R Us threw up in the living room by 3:30 p.m. It looks like I run a freaking day care. She is 14 pounds for Christ's sake, how can she make this much of a mess? By the way, I know it gets worse, just had to get it off my chest.

OK that's enough for now, I'm gonna nap for 5 minutes while I shower. It's gonna be great.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Daddy and His New Caddie Day 1 :The Empire Strikes Back

Well, today was Day 1. For all intents and purposes, the fact that I can even type at all on a keyboard without passing out or throwing the laptop out the window is a win. I didn't know how to approach today so I chose the little league approach. For those who have never played little league, let me explain. The first time you ever play in a little league game you are soooo excited that you sleep in your uniform. Baseball pants, jersey, socks and everything. I'm pretty sure I did this for every team through college (the ladies didn't seem to like that in college, I don't know why, the metal cleats maybe?). So last night before bed I went with the same approach. Right before bed I thought, "What can I sleep in, wake up in, walk around the neighborhood in, go to Dunkin' Donuts in, go to the gym in, shower in, and put back on?"  I was going to be ready for anything. This outfit, for anyone that doesn't know me, is obviously a pair of Nike shorts and a grey T-shirt (Yep, that's me.)
The big issue with the CEO was if she was going to take the bottle. This was the only real problem she had up until now and I.was.ready. Nothing was going to phase me, we were going to make this bottle thing work, even if it took days. I would have a warm bottle ready for when we got up. She would be happily breastfed and full when her mom brought her to me and left, and I would be ready for the worst. A day full of the CEO partially eating and crying herself to sleep. Trying to keep my sanity. Trying not to let her see me sweat.  This is where she threw the curve ball. This is where the empire struck back.

I woke up on cue, was handed a breastfed and happy CEO and I was ready for battle. Then it happened. A nice breakfast for me, some "not" tummy time for the CEO, a stroll around the neighborhood and then, just as casual as can be, 2.5 ounces of nice warm breast milk out of the bottle. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM!!????! No tears! No screams! Sweet! Now we have a baby that will take the bottle! This will be perfect, just a little naptime so Dad can recharge... Just a quick nap?... Five minutes?... Anything?...Bueller?... Uh oh. That's when I saw that the CEO had recently sent out a company wide memo. It was like one of those song playing greeting cards and when you opened it, this was the song. I've attached the letter...

I would like to inform all of you that nap time will be suspended until further notice. For those of you who might be confused, the following actions will fall under the category of naps. Sleeping in my swing, co-sleeper, crib, car seat, or pack and play. I will also not sleep after eating and under no circumstances will I be allowed to be rocked or swung to sleep in anyone's arms. The term anyone includes but is not limited to Mom, Dad, Nana, Grandpa, Grandma or Pops. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.
          Molly B. Griffin
          CEO Griffin Household

A couple things. A. She needs some letterhead. B. I really should have thought harder about marrying a lawyer. C. Well-written for an 11 week old. D. WAIT! Did she just say she wasn't sleeping?!? Like, EVER? Ahh yeah. So that's how she is going to roll on Week 1. Maybe she will nap before we are up to our waists in trash, laundry, dishes and dust bunnies. You never know. There is one up side though. Today I ate 4 hard boiled eggs, a cup of broccoli, and a half a chicken breast from 7AM-6PM so at that rate I'll drop 50 lbs in 4 weeks. On second thought, maybe that is her plan? She must be using me as her test dummy for her new celebrity mom/dad diet plan that we will one day get Oprah to try and make millions. I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Last Will and Testament

Do you know who I am!!!
So this whole blog thing is supposed to be a journal of my escapades as a stay at home dad. There's only one little problem with that. I'm not exactly doing that yet. Alas, the day of the corporate takeover is fast approaching. One week from today the wife goes back to work which means I am in charge. Me. By myself. All day. With the CEO. Wow,  I almost got through typing that with a straight face. Seriously though, the CEO takes over a week from today, 8AM sharp. I can only imagine that at 8:05 a.m., I will be like this. We have had a few trial runs over the last week that have been, well, "interesting"...and by interesting I mean, filled with bloodcurdling screams from a very pissed off CEO. My main hurdle has been giving her a bottle. And by main hurdle, I mean "The one thing that terrifies me to my core because she will not take one. At all. Ever." (Big con of having such as kickass breastfeeder and breastfeedee). Shouldn't be an issue though, who needs food anyway? And hungry babies are really easy and happy, right? Soooo unless I can get that figured out, I will just have to walk her around all day long until Mom gets home with her precious liquid gold boobs. Which means in a matter of days I'll probably look like this

I figured the only thing to do before I enter the 7th circle of hell known as the Hungry Infant Who Refuses a Bottle Circle, was give a little summary of how the first 10 weeks of my little caddies life have gone. Since I last wrote about it, she has parted ways with her 2nd Mommy and 2nd Daddy and has begun a strong up and down friendship with her the bee that hangs from her carseat. I'd also like to note that the bee is actually a caterpillar but seriously, try saying caterpillar in baby talk over and over again. Screw that, that thing is a bee. At ten weeks she is already wearing 6-9 month onesies. This kid is taaaall. And with giant feet that attempt to bust out of any feetie pajamas we try to put her in. And another thing, I don't think I ever said the word "onesie" before January and now I can't get through ten minutes without using the word. "Can you grab me a new onesie?" "Did you blow out your onesie?" "Yes, she really is in 6 month onesies." I can't think of any other situation where this happens with one single word. 

Also, her favorite way to be put to sleep (aside from nursing of course) is like this. Which is A. Very obviously against her anti-tummy time edict and B. The one and only thing that I can do to her that Mom can't. Not that Mom hasn't tried, but the CEO has decreed this to be a daddy-only hold position. There had to be something right? Lastly, the kid can fart. Not like "awww that was cute, she must be pooping" farts. Like "Jeez Tom, did you really have to rip one right in the middle of the kitchen. IT WASN"T ME!!" type farts. Quite impressive actually. I just wanted to get a few of these things in writing before April 17th so if I'm found wandering the streets looking like a homeless person, talking baby talk to myself there will be some documented reminder of my former human self to snap me back to reality.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Tummy Time Tirade"

I really don't plan on this being a "raving every time I write" blog, I promise. What's that? You think we need one more? You think we need one more... Alright we'll do one more.  I'm going to tackle something that will cost me the better part of my tongue if it keeps up.  I will start at the only prudent place to start, by apologizing to the very people I'm about to flip out on in the next two paragraphs. I know I am far from a child care professional. Shocking, seeing I have only been caring for a child for 10 weeks, I know. There is plenty of advice we've received from the pros that has been totally awesome about breastfeeding, bottle feeding, talking to the baby, reading to the baby, or how you're not allowed to give the baby Ambien if she hasn't napped in awhile (how do you think I have time to write these...). But there is one piece of incessant advice I just can't stand. It is a term that has come to haunt me in these 10 short weeks... "Tummy Time". It took me three tries just to type those two words because I shivered every time I tried, so from here on our we'll just call it TT. 

In the two short months the caddie has been around, I've heard about how absolutely essential quality "TT" is no less than 129387128973237129 times. And I've had more than one of my parent friends be made to feel terrible (like tears terrible) that their kid isn't getting enough TT. Essential huh? Now I like to think that I am a good parent. By that I mean I will try everything and anything for my daughter to be smart, stop crying, and be as happy as she can be. I mean anything. We've heard it from every professional out there, "Make sure you get in plenty of TT," "You really need more TT," "You're doing plenty of TT every day right?" Really? Something with a totally ridiculous name like "tummy time" is that important? They make it seem like if we don't give her TT all the time she'll grow up to be like this. Question for all the TT-pushers: Have you ever seen a first grader who can't sit up due to lack of TT? Ever seen a 10 year old with a doctor's note saying they can lay in a beanbag at school because they didn't get enough TT?  The kid is going to be okay. My mother had never even heard of TT, let alone forced it on me every day of my infancy and I walked at 10 months old and look where it got me. I'm no Olympic athlete, I bartend, write a blog, watch an inordinate number of hours of sports television and, well, that is about it. My parents "joke" (i.e. not joking at all) that when my sister came along they never let her feet touch the ground because frankly, two mobile kids under the age of 4 is the SCARIEST THOUGHT EVER for a stay at home parent.  My little sister is smart, excelled in athletics and she was raised under the "no rush, she walks when she walks" approach (My philosophy by the way). And neither of us got the recommended dosage of TT. As long as you're not sitting your kid in a seat for 12 hours a day and you actually play and interact with them, they will be normal, happy and healthy.  Forcing TT on the CEO isn't going to get her anywhere any faster and will just make her (and therefore, me) super pissed off.

Lastly, and I saved the best for last, here is the thing that gets to me the most about the TT push. Supposedly, TT is sooo important because the baby's neck and back muscles need it to to be strong and blah blah blah. And with this comes the follow-up advice of  "It's ok if the baby cries when you do TT, let them cry a little before you pick them up, it's OK" (which is pretty much counter to every other piece of infant parenting advice out there for other situations). Without getting in to the argument for or against letting my baby girl cry with her face into the floor, I just want to say this: How about you all go home, lie on your stomach on the living room floor, hold yourself up with your arms and watch an hour of TV. I wouldn't last 10 minutes. It's like planking for infants. And if you have never been in plank position give it a try for one minute.. I'll wait... Sucks huh? Planking: The Adult TT. It is the worst. And while I will continue to put the CEO on her stomach to change things up, I'm not going to feel like a bad parent when I pick her up when she goes from laughing, happy baby to demon baby on fire after thirty seconds of TT. 

So in conclusion to my rambling tirade against TT, unless I see a 10 minute iPhone video of you watching TV on your stomach in your living room you can take your TT advice and shove right up.....Oops the CEO woke up, and it's baseball season, so Dad and the caddie have some sports radio to listen to.