Sunday, April 30, 2006

Our weekend

Phew! What a busy weekend! On Saturday we took Iris to her first parade, the Procession of the Species. It was SO much fun! The Procession is in Olympia, which is about an hour and half drive south of Seattle. It was pouring rain the whole afternoon and was looking like it was going to completely ruin the parade, and most importantly, Iris's first experience watching it. Amazingly, pretty much as soon as the parade started, the sun came out, and it ended up being the most gorgeous afternoon. Here's a few pictures:

Iris and Matt eating pizza at Old School before the parade. This used to be our favorite place to get pizza!

Iris watching the parade (well, sort of!) from Matt's very tall shoulders

Watching the parade from my only slightly less tall shoulders

I made Matt take a picture of this amazingly beautiful, pregnant belly dancing mama with a painted belly who was part of the parade

After the parade Iris ran through the fountain and got completely soaked and freezing cold, then we met some friends at Mini Saigon for dinner. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this restaurant, and would give just about anything to have one in Seattle! They have a huge menu of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food and an insane amount of choices that are vegetarian-- and not just tofu, but vegetarian chicken, pork, etc etc. It's SO yummy. We left Olympia at almost 9:00, so half way home Iris zonked out in the car. We hoped she would sleep in pretty late this morning, but nope, she was up extra super early, at about 6:00.

Today we went to have lunch with a few friends. Two of the couples have brand new babies so it was sweet to see Iris interacting with them. During nap time Matt went to the toy store to buy Iris a new trike! We got her a Kettler Brummi, which is great for lazy parents like us who need a push bar to push her around the neighbohood on it. She just loves it, and is even happy to wear her helmet when she's on it!

I caught a touch of the nesting/cleaning urge tonight and unpacked a bunch of baby clothes and the cloth dipes. I was hoping to not have much to buy, but if we want to use cloth from the start with this baby (we started with Iris at about 4 months) then I'm going to have to get new dipes and covers, because there isn't anything small enough in our stash. Grrrr. Hopefully I'll find some nice used stuff so that I don't have to spend too much money on it. It's also starting to occur to me that we're going to have to cut down on a whole lot of the things that we store in the apartment in order to make room for the baby. There is seriously NO room for anything else right now-- we obviously need a bigger place to live, but until we win the lottery, we're stuck here and are going to have to figure out how to make due.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Reflections on this pregnancy

While at yoga tonight I was starting to realize how little I actually reflect on the little person in my tummy and who she is and how she is going to fit in to our family. Right now I focus so much on Iris, of course, and how all of this is going to affect her. I rarely have time to turn inwards and be more present with the baby. I suppose this is a really common thing that mamas in their second (or more) pregnancy deal with. Honestly it feels like the only time I do connect with the baby is at yoga, and sometimes before I fall asleep at night. Even at night, however, I usually use the time to read.

Most of the time when I am focusing on the pregnancy it's more on the logistics, like prenatal appointments, getting ready for the birth, making sure we have enough money, making sure we have all the gear we need, etc etc. I just remember when I was pregnant with Iris I was constantly in touch with my body, and thinking about the baby and how life would be after she was here. It was just such a different experience. My last pregnancy was worlds different than this one, I was single, didn't have any friends with children to rely on, knew of very few people on the internet to connect with (unless you count all the bullshit I encounterd on the babycenter message boards) and the most marked difference, I didn't have a walking, talking toddler to give every ounce of my energy and love to.

And give my love and energy to her I do . . . to the extent that I wonder where the love and energy will come from when the next baby is here. I always hear that your heart just grows, expands to fit all of your children, and I certainly don't doubt that is true, but I struggle with how I will know the best way to divide my attention. Iris is VERY good at letting me know when she needs me. She has from day one! I fear that I the next baby will be so laid back that Iris will continue to run the whole show (to the deteriment of the new baby getting enough attention), or that the next baby will be just as strong willed as Iris, and I'll collapse under the pressure of responding to both of my children's needs.

Basically, I really need to purposefully take more time with this pregnancy. This will be my last, and however much I don't enjoy being pregnant, there is still so much mystery and magic associated with pregnancy, it would be very sad to some day reflect on this time and wonder where it all went.

Your prayers, good thoughts and crossed fingers needed!

Okay, no, no one is injured or sick, but I still need your positive vibes!

Matt has three big interviews this week, and we really, really, really, REALLY want him to get this job! Any good thoughts you could send his way would be awesome :)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Oh, yay!

Our living room carpet is finally GONE GONE GONE! I have been dying for this disgusting carpet to get ripped up-- between the cat peeing on it and the inexplicable stains that kept showing up on it, blech. It was so gross. But as of today, the carpeting is gone, and now our whole apartment is hardwood floors. I am sure the neighbor below us is jumping for joy that he no longer has a sound barrier from our daughter's screaming. Hee hee. Matt and a friend spent a good portion of the day doing the work, all I had to do was keep Iris out of the apartment. I'll have to post some pictures of our awesome new floor! It's pretty beat up, but I actually like it that way. I won't have to worry that every little thing that happens to it is ruining it, like I do with the rest of the hardwoods in the apartment. They laid new flooring everywhere but the living room, where they apparently decided it would be better to cover the floor with cheap carpeting than actually refinish them. Blech. At any rate, Iris can pound away on them and I won't blink an eye!

So, Iris and I left mid-morning to spend the day with Melissa and her son. There was some shopping, some lunch, and then back to Melissa's so the kids could get their naps in. After naps we decided to do what apparently ever other person in the city decided to do today (on the first day it was actually really nice all year), which is go to Alki beach. I had never been there before, and it was quite entertaining! We ended up walking about a mile from where we parked down to the beach, but were so tired by the time we got there, we just got some drinks and a little food and walked back to the car. We didn't plan very well, so we had one stroller for two toddlers and the kids took turns riding in it. Iris quite enjoyed running down the sidewalk as fast as she can, forcing her mama to go waddling along after her. It was so interesting to see so many different kinds of people down along the beach. Lots of families, guys on motorcycles, big thumping cars, skateboarders, young girls in bikini tops (which was puzzling, I mean, this is Seattle-- it never really gets THAT hot here!) so lots of fantastic people watching. A few cars were driving down the street with music blaring and several guys sitting on the roof. Where were the cops? I didn't see a single one in the three hours we were there. At any rate, it was cool, and the kids had fun even though the mamas were more than worn out by the time we walked all the way back to the car. Tonight Matt, Iris and I are all completely pooped out. Hopefully we all sleep really well!

I bought Iris a bike helmet today so that she's all set with it when she gets her trike, which looks like it might be as early as next weekend (we're waiting on Matt's tax return). I never told her what it was for, I didn't want to get her too excited. When we got home from our day out Auntie Maegan was here, and I was showing her and Matt Iris's new helmet. I forget who, but one of them asked Iris what the helmet was for and she said "new bike!". Our jaws just dropped. We have NO idea how she knew that, other than at some point along the way it must have been mentioned that she needed it for riding a bike and she picked it up.

She's also been singing her ABC's for over a week now (which, let me tell you, is cuter than cute) and today she sang them along with Auntie Maegan. It was so sweet, and I think Maegan was using a higher voice to sing than Iris usually hears, and she was trying to sing in a higher tone, but it just came out all squeaky. Yep, super duper cute.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My new obsession

I have moved many, many times in my life, therefor I have had many friends gained and subsequently lost. I went to two different high schools in WI, moved a couple of times after high school, went to college (and moved while there many times), left that city to move in with my sister before coming out to Seattle to finish college. I have lived in four different places in the 4 1/2 years I've lived in Seattle. Obviously, I have a little trouble staying put :)

So, like I said, many friends (and old flames!) gained and lost. I often wonder where they all are. Several weeks ago there was a brutal murder at a home in Seattle, and my dear friend Melissa lost an old friend in the shooting. She's been dealing with the effects of that ever since. One thing that has come of it is that Melissa has gotten in touch with alot of people she knew back in high school, just touching base, sharing stories and grief, that sort of thing. I was so inspired that she made so many contacts and it made me think more deeply about the people in my past. Where are they now? How can I even get ahold of them?

All of this wondering has led to several fruitless hours of online searching and a few bucks lost to registering with (although I now wonder if people actually still use that site? It doesn't seem to have much recent activity) and, well, lots of thinking. I was contacted by an old friend last fall, he wanted to invite me to his upcoming wedding. Through that conversation I got the number of my old BFF and finally, after all this time, I called her and left a message today. I haven't talked to her in four years-- she doesn't even know I have a child, or another on the way, and I obviously know nothing about her life.

Even though I love all the travelling I've done, and where my life has taken me, I certainly am jealous of people who've had friends throughout their whole lives. Matt is one of these people. He has known his best friends since grade school. One of them lives just across town, and we see them fairly often. I couldn't imagine still being that close to my BFF. How wonderful would it be to be raising my children along side of her, or just being able to meet for coffee or dinner once in a while.

So, this is my new obsession. Connecting with as much of my past as I can. I honestly don't really know how to go much further than I have been, but maybe just having the intention out in the world will make something happen :)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

So cute

Matt came home from work and was relaying a story about having lunch with a male co-worker. Apparently his co-worker's wife just had their third baby, so he and Matt were chit-chatting about babies. This guy asked Matt where we were planning on having the baby and he answered that we were going to have a homebirth. No kidding, he then HIGH-FIVED Matt because he was so excited. Apparently his wife has had two babies at home. The story continues with them talking about birth tubs and other details of labor. Isn't that so cute?

It reminded me of a while ago when Matt was wearing Iris in the sling in the grocery store. I think it was last summer, but I'm not sure. Anyways, he was wearing her in the Mei Tai and another guy stopped him to ask about it. Not that it really matters, but this other guy was big and burly and thought the sling was pretty cool. These two men were standing there chatting about baby slings in the frozen foods isle of the grocery store-- again, SO cute!

I know many men who are great fathers, I just really wish they had more opportunities to bond with each other over their experiences. I spend a great deal of my day talking to other mamas, blogging and reading other mama blogs, reading and posting on message boards, bringing Iris to a myriad of play dates, etc etc. I feel pretty certain it's the same for most men, but Matt just doesn't have as much of a support network as I do when it comes to being a parent.

Hmmmm, maybe some day they'll be a with a Fatheringdotcommune for them to share fathering stories :) How cute would that be?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Public praise of my lovely boyfriend

Let me just start by saying, I'm not the world's happiest camper. It doesn't take much to tick me off, especially when I'm pregnant. I've been working a lot on this personality trait, actually (although Matt might beg to differ!) but I really do value Matt quite a bit.

Take tonight, for example. He worked all day, as usual, and I was home with Iris. My day went something like this, wake up at 8:40 (on a side note, this is quite a bit later than usual) get Iris ready to go while she throws a tantrum, get to co-op, come home from co-op, take a shower, eat lunch, take a nap (her, not me), get up and go to the grocery store, come home and eat ice cream and other unmentionables, go to the park, meet Matt and many families from co-op for dinner out, come home, I leave to go to yoga and Matt stays home with Iris. Phew! SO-- did you notice that no where in there did I write "wash dishes" or "pick up the living room"? Nope, you sure didn't. Because I didn't. When we got home from dinner, it literally looked like a bomb hit our apartment. There were toys everywhere, dishes, half eaten lunches and half unpacked groceries everywhere, pretty much a gigantic mess. Want to know what the apartment looked like when I came home from yoga? Every toy was picked up. Every dish was done, every grocery was put away-- Matt even arranged the magazines on our coffee table in a fan shape. Pretty good, huh?

Like I said, I get ticked off alot. Heck, just last night I was off my rocker with insanity at the suggestion Matt would be gone an extra day on top of the four day work trip he has coming up. I can't imagine him being gone for a whole night, let alone that many days straight. The thought is already sending shivers down my spine. I mean, my god, what would I possibly do without him? I would be heaping mess of a mama, that's what. No one to share in Iris care, and no one to take over when I'm on the verge of insanity, no one to take the dog out, no one to massage my shoulders, and perhaps most importantly, no one to arrange the magazines all pretty.

What a wonderful book!

I have Sara to thank for turning me on to this book called Raising Your Spirited Child. I read a little bit of it every night before bed and even though I will certainly need to re-read parts in order for it all to sink in, it's really been helping me. One interesting thing that I've learned from the book is how important it is to "set the stage for success" with a spirited child. To set up the day with regards to how your child can not only avoid completely melting down, but so that you can actually help them be as successful as possible. I've become more in tune with Iris's needs and how to help handle the times she does fall apart. We both have a long ways to go, but so far, having the information has been a life saver.

Speaking of falling apart, Miss Iris completely lost it at co-op today. It made me feel really sad because she LOVES going to co-op. All of her friends are there and there are so many things to do. Even from day one I could walk away from her and she would be perfectly happy. In fact, she rarely ever needs me at all while we're at co-op. Something happened today to just cause her to lose it. I don't know what-- I had said goobye to her while she was happily playing with the dolls and went out in another room. Not two minutes later she comes running out crying her eyes out and saying "mama! mama!" and jumped in to my arms. She calmed down a bit, but never wanted to be off of my lap. She actually started saying "go home!" and at one point ran over to the gate we have to walk through to leave. I decided this was clearly an important time to honor her needs, and so we packed up and left. We hadn't even made it to the parking lot and she was completely fine. She's been fine ever since. Not that this ever really happens to her, but I wish I had known what caused it. Sigh. Now that I am so adamant about trying to be in tune with her, it drives me crazy if I can't figure something out. After we got home she was pointing to the pantry saying "some! want some! PLEASE!" and I had NO idea what she wanted. I ran through a few things, each causing her to get more aggravated with me. I never figured out what she really wanted, but some crackers seemed to suffice.

I have been talking to Matt about the importance of trying to understand what she is telling us, even if we don't know what she is saying. That children feel valued when their parents are at least attempting to understand them instead of throwing up their arms and walking away. Again, according to the book, it helps children just knowing someone wants to help them, whether or not we get it right.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Matt's parents and sister were here for the weekend, and we had a very low-key brunch at our place today. I took a boat load of pictures of the day and finally, after all this time, realized something about my digital camera. Even though I have it set to have the flash go off only when it needs to, it still goes off almost 100% of the time indoors. I hate using the flash because my photos always seem so washed out to me. Of course, my camera isn't the fanciest thing in the world, but I still was annoyed. Today I finally just turned the flash off to take my indoor shots. Brilliant! You'd think I would have already figured this out about my camera, but nope, today was the first time.

So, without further ado, here's more shots of my girl:

Eating her Easter donut.

With her new doll stroller.

Using the play-doh camera her auntie made for her.

This is the best shot of her Easter outfit, unfortunately. She ended up with her coat off pretty quickly (I was too neurotic to let her get it dirty) so the rest of the phots are just with her t-shirt. Here is also Auntie Maegan.

Playing with the play-doh the Easter bunny brought.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Lots of new pictures!

This morning we went to the "Bunny Bounce" at the Woodland Park Zoo, which was just a big Easter egg hunt. Well, not so much hunt as just a "look down on the ground at the piles of eggs and pick them up" type thing, but it was pretty fun. There were SO many people there, as was expected, but I always forget what it actually is going to be like. Even though Iris is such an outgoing girl, sometimes in situations like that she gets really reserved. She spent most of the time just standing there looking around. It was fun to see so many friends there, and to see all the children, too. Here's a couple of photos from the egg hunt:

Last weekend I went to watch Iris and Matt's swimming lesson, so here's a few pictures from that:

Here's Iris sitting in the new glider that I got a few weeks ago:

Looking cool in her (actually, my) Sonics hat and her backpack:

At the zoo a few weeks ago (check out the snot!):

Iris's play area in the corner of our living room:

That's all for today!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Not sure how much I like my result, but here's the latest quiz going around this circle of mamas (not sure who to give credit to originally, let me know if you know!)

What type of Fae are you?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Random musings

We've had an interesting past couple of days. Yesterday I watched a little guy, about 6 1/2 months or so, for ten hours. I thought I was completely crazy for agreeing to do it, but it was a favor, so I turned over my day to baby care. He was a great baby, actually, almost 100% different than Iris was at his age. I wouldn't consider her "high needs" but she was definitely needy. The little guy who was here literally sat and played and played and played all on his own. I was beginning to realize the trouble with children who are so laid back is that they might not get as much attention as they need-- whether or not they are demanding it. I know that if next time I got a baby that laid back, Iris most certainly steal the majority of my time and attention away from the content little baby.

I also discovered something I never knew would be so sad to me. I changed the little guy's diaper several times, obviously, and one time Iris was very interested in some, um, new parts she saw. I explained to Iris that was his penis, and that she shouldn't touch, only look. It's not like we were in there for hours or anything, but I noticed that he was cirumcised. Well, not only that, but he had a very obvious scar around the head of his penis. My heart immediately sunk. For some reason it just really hit me. I've seen adult circumcised penises, but never quite noticed a baby's. My nephew is uncut, and the only other baby penis I've ever noticed in my life (okay, this post is taking a wierd penis tangent . . . sorry about that!) I am strongly anti-circumcision, but having almost exclusively dealt with girls, and having a baby girl myself, the subject is one I rarely come face to face with. But there I was, feeling so sad for this little boy, it just really was a bizarre reaction that I never thought I would have in the face of a circumcised baby penis. I honestly don't mean for this to be some kind of political statement on circumcision, just more an observation on going through the situation.

Anyways, so, back to all things non-penis related, Iris had a pretty rough rest of the night. Matt and I figured that even though I was home with her all day, she didn't get me all to herself, and therefor spent the whole night going "mama! mama! mama!" I was so worn out by the end of the day, I was pretty glad to get out of the house to go to yoga. Yoga is ALWAYS good :)

Today we actually had a really, really good day. Iris had few melt-downs, and the ones she had she got over pretty easily. She also took almost a two hour nap, which is totally unheard of for her, so I was one happy mama! This afternoon a friend and I went to meet the woman who makes these slings. I bought one and my friend bought one. Of course, it is for the new baby and I could barely even try it on on account of the giant belly that was in the way. Oh, I got this fabric. I really wanted a girlie looking sling, since I am the only one who will use it, and the peanut's a girl. We're going to look so dang cute using the sling! It felt good to give my moola to a work at home mama.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One of those terrible mama days

I am trying really hard to cut myself some slack, because I'm just tired and cranky alot of the time, but I'm just feeling like a terrible mama today.

Let's see, so I'll start with the stroller struggle. A few posts back I wrote about the new stroller I got, complete with pictures and all!, and Iris barely sat in it for a second. So today she was carrying her baby, baby Carl, around and we were getting ready to go for a walk. Usually when we walk Iris just walks along with me. It's alot of work to keep her even remotely on task, but she really enjoys it, so that's what we do. She kept putting baby Carl in the stroller and saying "stroller?" (which comes out more like "shoulder?") and so I said, "do you and baby Carl want to go for a ride in the stroller?" to which she kind of confusedly agreed. I lugged the stupid thing all the way down the stairs, which is quite a chore considering how heavy and wide it is and then set baby Carl in it and I ask Iris to hop in, which she does. I try to buckle her up, which is kind of all skewampus because I still haven't figured out how the buckles and padding work. We aren't even 10 feet away and she is saying "out! out!" and struggling to get out of the stroller. I stop and say, "Iris, you need to stay in the stroller" and walk a couple more feet and she starts crying. Okay, so we turn around and walk back to the stairs (all of 12 feet at this point) and I ask her if she just wants to go back inside or if she wants to go for a ride in the stroller. She nods her no and says "no inside!" so I say "okay, let's go for a ride with baby Carl, then" and we walk back down the driveway and head the other way. We make it maybe 30 feet this time and Iris starts struggling and crying again, asking to get out. "Okay" I say "let's just go home" and we walk back to the stairs and I take her out and carry her up and then lug the stupid stroller back up the stairs. Meanwhile she is now in hysterics because she wanted to go for a walk. I am just fuming mad. Why? Well, duh, because I had my stupid agenda to use the stupid stroller and damn it, I worked so hard getting it down stairs that she WAS going to ride in the stupid thing! Not suprisingly she continued to freak out on and off for the next half hour or so, only being eventually distracted by a Baby Genius DVD.

God, it was so ridiculous of me. I have a really sensitive "spirited" daughter and seriously, you can very rarely make her do ANYTHING she doesn't want to do without being in for a struggle. I just get a bee in my bonnet sometimes that we are going to do something, and if she doesn't want to, then by golly we've got a battle on our hands, cause mama sure isn't going to back down! And why? Why couldn't I have just left the stroller at home knowing full well she would want to walk instead of ride in it? Even though I lugged it down the stairs, why couldn't I have just let her walk anyways? Cause I'm stubborn. Hmmmm, wonder where Iris gets that lovely trait from?!?!

So I spent the rest of the day exhausted, now I have a headache and a upper back and I'm crabby as hell. I ruined my own day over this thing. What the heck is wrong with me?

Monday, April 10, 2006

We're having a . . .

. . . GIRL! I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited! Matt and I went for the ultrasound this morning. It was mostly kind of long and uncomfortable, but it was super fun to find out the sex. I really wanted to have another girl. My main rationalization was that, as far as sibling relationships go, the strongest ones I know are between two sisters. I actually don't know a single brother-sister relationship that's any stronger than just occasionally playing catch up on each other's lives. I do, however, know plenty of sisters who are very close. Obviously my own little theory on relationships, but hey, I get another girl and all is well in the world :)

We had a pretty great weekend. I think the highlight for me was going suit shopping for Matt. This week he has a third interview for a really great job and it required that he looks his absolute best. I have never seen him in anything fancier than a shirt and tie, so it was pretty cool to see how sharp he looked in a suit. We dropped a huge amount of money on it, but the way I see it, if he gets this new job, it will MORE than have paid for itself. If he doesn't get the job, well, then he wears the suit to future interviews.

Last night we brought the "Hook Up" to Melissa's family for dinner. The Hook Up comes from a local BBQ joint, and it comes with bbq ribs, chicken and a hot link as well as beans, greens and hush puppies. I know very, very little about southern food, but I really have enjoyed the few times we've eaten it. The place that we get the Hook Up from is a pretty sleazy hole-in-the-wall, they obviously put more effort in to the food than they do the atmosphere!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Some good news!

The other day I ran in to an aquaintance I have known since I've moved to Seattle. She actually lives a block away from me now, so once every few weeks or so we see each other out walking our dogs or something. The last time I saw her she told me she was studying to be a midwife, in addition to becoming a naturopath. She had attended many, many homebirths as an apprentice under a local midwife, as well. I was 11 weeks pregnant at the time and still hadn't decided on my prenatal care or where I was going to birth the baby, so we just made some sort of baby small talk. Okay, so fast forward to the other and I run in to her again. She asks me how I'm feeling, blah blah blah and out of the blue asks me if I would like her to be at my birth, totally free of charge. At first I was like "sure! it would be great to use you as a back-up!" but now the more I'm thinking I am going to ask her to be the doula, the only doula, at the birth. I can't see how I could go wrong with a girl I know and trust, who is a midwifery student who has attended homebirths and who lives a block away. I'm going to call her and talk to her a little more about it and see if she wants to do that. The one thing that's been hard with planning this birth is how expensive it all is. The doula, at least $500 for a professional, the birth tub is $250, the hypnobirthing classes are $300 or $400. plus we have an 80% co-pay just for the birth. I mean, geez, we are poor, poor people and if I can get a great doula for free, I need to jump all over that!

I also decided to contact La Leche League about my issues with pregnancy and breastfeeding. I found a local woman's email address and sent her a note asking for suggestions and she sent back a really nice email. It probably seems dumb, but it really helped me deal with things. I learned that there really isn't anything a mama can do to change the volume or composition of her milk while she is pregnant and breastfeeding. This was nice to hear because I was freaking out thinking I would need to do all these things to change my diet or take (possibly risky) supplements to deal with it. Also, it sounds like it really is up to your child. If they're going to wean, they're going to wean. They may actually wean temporarily and then start nursing again once your regular milk comes back after the birth. I just need to relax, offer nursies to Iris occasionally if she's not asking, and get comfortable with the idea that from now on, things are going to be different. I also am realizing that she doesn't seem to be terribly affected by the changes. Actually, she doesn't seem to be affected AT ALL. Isn't it interesting how some mamas are so averse to BFing that they never even try it and some mamas are just absolutely heartbroken when their toddler isn't interested anymore?

I certainly can't beat myself up about it if she does wean, that's just how it's going to be for us. Paxye also told me that only about 25% of children will wean when their mamas are pregnant, so at least we have good odds.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Nursing while pregnant

I have finally hit another bump in the road of my nursing relationship with Iris. The first was my "flat nipples" which was cured in a day. The second was hit-or-miss ability to pump enough milk for Iris when I was away from her working (I could often be seen feverishly pumping milk minutes before I had to be out the door in order for her to have enough to eat while I was away) and now it's becoming pregnancy-induced supply issues. Grumble grumble.

For a while I was sure my supply actually increased. My boobies grew, anyways, and Iris was nursing like a madwoman. It at least seemed like there was more than enough to go around. These days, the boobies seem to be telling a different story. Iris has taken to asking for "that one?" after nursing one side, so I will shift her to the other. I am beginning to think it's because she hasn't gotten enough. In the past few days I have tried to express milk by hand. I don't get the long gushing streams I used to get, but now, not even a drop. Not a single drop. Not even after Iris has just finished, when I could ALWAYS get some milk to express. I may be more in tune with it in the last 24 hours because I just got home and was extra freaked that I damaged our nursing relationship by being away from her for a day and a half. She seems fine, still wanting to nurse as normal.

I just wish I could A) tell if she was getting enough milk (meaning, enough to satisfy her) and B) if not, what can I do about it? I emailed my naturopath to see if she has suggestions for increasing supply while pregnant, I'll have to wait and see.

Has anyone else gone through this? Did you struggle to keep up your supply so as to not prematurely end the nursing relationship? I really don't feel like losing supply due to pregnancy translates to child-led weaning, which I am striving for. Anyone have any thoughts on that, as well?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'm baaaaaack!

Yes, the day and half of frolicking and fun is over. I am back safely in the comfort of my home, sitting in my glider, working on my computer. Sigh. I barely blinked and I missed the vacation (if you can call being gone a day and a half a vacation).

Melissa and I went to Portland. We took the train down yesterday morning at the wee early hour of 7:30 and were in Portland by noon. We checked in to our hotel and then promptly ran right out and got pizza. Somehow, inexplicably, Portland has devine pizza and Seattle got all the crap. I don't understand how that happened. I could understand if bad pizza plagued this whole area of the country, but no. Apparently just Seattle. We then went on to see the very famous Powell's bookstore before walking up towards the Pearl District. All we had heard was how cool the Pearl District was and what a great neighborhood it was to shop in. Whoever decided that 1. has more money than I'll ever see in my lifetime and 2. is an idiot. The Pearl District is boring and has little going on, as far as we could tell. We then walked a good 12 blocks west in to the Northwest District (apparently not cool enough for their own website) and found it to be much more our speed. Lots of people out and about, lots of fun stores and shopping to be had. We enjoyed browsing in Lush and both left with a "bath bomb" and Melissa got some cool soap. We also stopped in a toy store very similar to Top Ten Toys in Seattle and a kids clothing store where a shopper let her gigantic dog wander unattended through racks of the most expensive kids clothes I've ever seen. $140 for a dress?!?! Yikers! Let's see . . . then we wandered back towards a Trader Joe's to get some snacks and water before trying to figure out how to get back to the hotel without walking. We discovered a friendly cab driver who took us there. Oh, on a side note, everyone in Portland was SO. FREAKIN. NICE. I couldn't believe it. Not a single person we interacted with was even the slightest bit crabby. It was pretty cool after understanding pretty deeply what the "Seattle chill" means. Let's see, so we got back to the hotel and decided to go to dinner. On our way out the door we pass two of the dudes from Eagle's of Death Metal (maybe better known from Queen's of the Stone Age). To be honest, I didn't know who they were, but Melissa knew immediately. We called the daddy's to let them know about our celebrity run-in and they were impressed. So, we wandered on down to Jake's Grill, a fancy "surf and turf" type joint. I had a steak. A real, live, $27 steak (and that was the cheapest one on the menu). We also split a decadent dessert before retiring to the hotel room for the evening. It was 8:30. We were pooped.

The next morning we hung out and watched a little local news. THIS NEWS STORY WAS VERY INTERESTING! Any mama would have to have SOMETHING to say about this. Check out this link: Husband on Strike. So, the way this news story goes, this couple has two children. The first child co-slept until 6 months of age, then moved in to his own crib. Now the baby daughter is co-sleeping IN A CO-SLEEPER and the father is all pissed off and actually started this website to prove to the whole world what a jackass he is. He's literally "on strike" on the roof of his house (which is purely symbolic, he only goes up there a few hours a day, and certainly wouldn't sleep up there) to prove some kind of juvenille point. There's not much to see on the website so far, but his banner states: Welcome to Home of the National Association of Desperate Husbands! My Mission Is To Get My Wife To Remove The Children From Our Marriage Bed! My Bedroom Should Be A Den Of Love And Not Some Dungeon Filled With Diapers And Toys! 'Nuff said.

After that we went out for breakfast, a little more shopping, and caught the 12:30 train back to Seattle. All in all, it was a fun, relaxing, rejuvinating trip and it has completely solidified my desire to move to Portland. I absolutely love this city and the affordability and family-friendliness is really appealing to me. Plus, seeing mulitudes of children carried in slings (by moms AND dads) just had me going gaga.

Before I leave you, here's one more link. This story from the Oregonian is absolutely terrifying, but it also demonstrates to how freakin' cool people can be when someone needs help. The people of Portland are amazing, thank you for letting us partake in your beautiful city!