Clutter

So. What do you do with all of the baby stuff when the baby outgrows said stuff?

Because seriously, my house feels like it’s overflowing with newborn/young infant stuff that the dumpling isn’t using anymore.

I’ve already put away his cosleeper (which he never used), his rock ‘n’ play (which we used as a laundry hamper for a while after he transitioned out), his swing, and the car seat base from my car (Luffy is still using his for a while, but we have the convertible seat installed in my car already). I’m eyeing the bouncer and bassinet that are in our room right now. Oh and the frame stroller. Oh and the nursing pillows. And then the infant bucket seat and Luffy’s base. All things I have to find a place for.

It’s fun, in a way, to see all of the things that the dumpling has no use for now. So many of them were a lifesaver when he was a newborn. The rock ‘n’ play was the only way he’d sleep for more than 50 minutes at 3 weeks old. Once he came around to the swing (around 8 weeks old maybe?), it was the best place to ensure a nice long nap. Even as he got older, the swing helped him through his overtired energy at the end of daycare days to get a final nap in. We only stopped using it when he became too distracted by the movement to snooze.

Of course, with plans for a second child at some point, I’ve merely packed all of this stuff away. In closets, under beds, you name it and it likely has a baby-related item stored in it. I’m running out of room. As a person who dislikes clutter, I’m already looking forward to the moment when I can donate it all.

It’s probably just begun, hasn’t it? All you parents of older children are probably out there shaking your heads at me. Bouncers give way to exersaucers which are taken over by walkers and then activity tables and then toys and legos. When does it end?!

Milks lady

Luffy, ever the analytical thinker, did the math.

Daily consumed ounces – current daily pump output = required supplement from freezer (RSfF).

Current freezer stash divided by the daily RSfF equals twenty-five days. Give or take.

Twenty-five days and the milk runs out.

I knew it was coming. My pumped output has basically been declining since I started pumping back in January. Slowly but surely, I’ve gotten less and less over the weeks. Fifteen ounces a day, then thirteen, then twelve, then ten, and now seven. In my head, my fuzzy non-math figured we could make it to twelve months when we could switch over to cow’s milk. Luffy’s 25 days fall short of my twelve month non-math.

In a way, I’m happy about this. I’m not sure if I mentioned this (a quick perusal through the archives tells me I did not): I had made up my mind to transition to formula during the days about two months ago. I was ready. I had researched formulas. Bought new bottles. Bought formula. Told daycare. And then, the day came, and I changed my mind. I just couldn’t. I thought about the freedom not having to pump would bring me and the relief I would likely feel at not being the dumpling’s sole source of food. I thought about the added benefit of iron in the formula (no iron supplements for the breastfed baby!). I thought about not having to drag my pump and all of its accouterments to work with me. I thought about how I’d never have to feel that unique brand of discouragement after pumping for almost a half hour and getting such a small amount. All of these thoughts – all of the decisive pros – and I couldn’t. I put away the bottles (which I had already sanitized) and tucked the formula into our pantry and kept lugging my breast pump to work.

So in a way, I’m pleased that the decision has been taken out of my hands. No more waffling about my supply is definitely decreasing and but I’ll miss the weekend nursing sessions. It just makes sense to get the dumpling acclimated to formula before the stash runs dry. I want to make sure that he does well with the formula I’ve chosen. Plus it gives me time to wean off the pump. I think it’s a good decision for both of us.

True, I’m sad about the timing. We’re so close to making it all the way. I never set goals for myself regarding breastfeeding (as was such a popular topic on my birth board) because I figured it took two to tango, so to speak. Both the dumpling and I had a say in how long we nursed. But since we’re so close to a year (the fabled year! when we make the switch!) I started thinking we could go all the way.

But then again, not being the dumpling’s sole source of nutrition means that I can really get aggressive with my diet now, which will do wonders for my self-esteem. It means that I can stop timing my meals and when I have caffeine. It means I can stop fretting over my output. It means I don’t necessarily have to be around when the dumpling needs his next meal.

But also, my baby! It’s irrational, but I’ll miss being his sole source of nutrition. His rolls, his length, his baby chub – all of it thanks to me. Literally his entire body thanks to me. Plus, I’ll miss the ultimate excuse when I want some baby snuggles – oh, I’m sorry, it’s time for him to nurse. Handy for whenever I want to regain control or when I just flat out miss that little cutie pie.


So, this is it. The countdown is on. His first bottle of formula is prepped and in the fridge for tomorrow. We’ll still nurse for breakfast, right before bed, and during the night, which, saying that, makes this whole post seem superfluous. Still though – don’t argue with my irrational momma brain! Mah baby!! Don’t forget me – don’t forget when it was just you and me and the milks.

Love, the milks lady.

Casual Slight

A casual conversation can sometimes reveal so much.

On Monday, I was chatting with the instructor who teaches after me. Having a fairly new baby means that most people start conversations out by asking how he is. So we chatted about how he’s doing and what all he’s learning. She asked me how motherhood was and I truthfully answered that it was great but a lot more than I was prepared for. It’s one thing to know about all of the care that goes into a baby and quite another to actually care for a baby, I told her.

She chuckled at that point and said that her husband was pushing for a baby and she kept trying to put him off, she wasn’t ready yet. Then she made the assumption that I stay at home and I corrected her, saying that I still work full time.

“Oh, where’s he at during the day then? Babysitter?” she asked, setting her music up.

“No, he’s at daycare -” and she interrupted me with, “yeah, I could never do that. That’s why I keep telling my husband no babies!”

And she returned to setting her music and mic up for class. I don’t want to say I walked away stunned or anything, I have more backbone than that, but the conversation stuck with me. What exactly did she mean? Did she think that daycare isn’t adequate? She assumed that I stayed home; did she think less of working mothers? Was this a casual slight against those of us who choose (or are forced by circumstances) to continue working after having babies? Perhaps it came from a dislike of daycare rather than a judgement against working mothers. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. I’d like to think it was simply a tone-deaf statement on her part. She likely just didn’t realize what she was implying with her casual dismissal of my parenting choice.

The real takeaway from this is the lesson to ignore what others have to say and to just do what’s best for you and your family. Daycare literally saves my sanity. While I’d love to hang out with my little dumpling all day – in theory – I really don’t think I’d be as happy as I am now. I’m good at my job, really good. I appreciate being able to use my skills again, to find solutions to problems and to receive acknowledgement of a job well done. Parenting is such a guessing game; Luffy and I are just trying to do our best. I know, with certainty, that if I stayed home with the dumpling I would take each missed nap or all-afternoon meltdown as a personal failure on my part. I can see myself feeling inadequate as a mother and caretaker if my only job was to care for the dumpling and he spent most of the day in tears. Which is completely unfair to myself, considering that he’s a tiny human who is allowed to have bad days and what not. Worse, I can absolutely see myself lashing out at Luffy if he offered a solution to a problem, like he always does because he’s a fixer, because WHAT? DO YOU THINK I’M NOT CAPABLE AT MY JOB? MUST YOU MICROMANAGE ME? Shudder. Definitely not a place I want to go.

So yes, daycare saves my sanity. The time I spend with my little boy is time for us to snuggle and play and help him figure out this whole crawling business. The time I spend at work is time for me to both hone my skills and also focus on myself first (it’s always nice when I can have my lunch whenever I please!). Daycare gives me a break from the monotony and sheer drudgery of caring for an infant. And I really appreciate that.

So cheers to doing what’s best for you! Now if we could only work on keeping our noses out of other people’s decisions, we could tackle world peace next and everyone knows that would solve ALL the problems.

GUESS WHAT??????

GUYS.

Last night, the dumpling slept through the night which is a rare thing and great and all, but guess what????

I SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT AS WELL!!!!!!!

Hot damn, I’d forgotten what that feels like. On the other rare occasion that the dumpling would sleep through the night, I invariably didn’t. I’d wake up in a panic at 4:30am, my body instinctively looking for him. Or I’d stress about flights and not be able to fall asleep until the wee hours. Or I’d wake up at 2am needing to pee. Or Jas would casually stroll through our room yowling at 3 in the morning. ALWAYS something.

But not last night.

Last night I closed my eyes a touch after 10 and did not open them again until 6:30.

PRAISE TO THE BABY SHEEP GODS.

(geddit, like counting sheep??? I’ll see myself out now…)

Anyway, I haven’t slept a full night since the dumpling was born. Or actually, well before that since I’ve been waking up for a nightly bathroom trip since about midway through my pregnancy. Ahhhhh, un-interrupted sleep, I’ve missed you so.

I mean, I SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT PEOPLE! WOOT WOOT!

And since I’ve posted about it, I’ve probably just guaranteed myself the crappiest sleep tonight with a combination of yowling Jas, crying baby, AND bladder calls. Oh well. Totes worth it.

Life thoughts while pumping

I’m currently sitting in the only conference room in my office without windows (actually, it’s the only space in my office without windows period). I’m on my second pump of the day and thought it might be fun to present a few thoughts I have while pumping. It’s like Belle Live!, only post-pregnancy.

I will never get over how weird it is to take my shirt off at work. 

[Puts on hands-free pumping bra and fires up the trusty Medela…]

I mean, my shirt AND bra are off. At work! So weird. 

My boobs are technically covered at least, should someone stumble in. Mostly covered. 

I like when I remember to wear a pumping friendly outfit – a tank and cardigan – that way I get the most coverage even with my boobs out. 

Ugh. I can hear my (male) coworkers talking outside of my room. That makes being shirtless even weirder. 

(Shirtless at work!)

I wonder if they can hear my pump. 

[Tries not to think about coworkers anymore lest this whole situation feel even more awkward.]

At least I can play on my phone in here. Pumping pre-smart-phone days must have been super boring. 

I bet that’s how men feel about going to the bathroom pre-smart-phone days. Why must they always be in there for like half an hour?

[Checks latest game]

All right, got my tasks done – feed ALL the farm animals!!

Ugh, I need to pee. I always forget to pee before I take my shirt off. And it’s not like I’m going to put my shirt back on just to pee. 

Honestly, that’s the worst part about this pumping business – taking my shirt off a hundred times a day. Or, you know, like three times, but it feels like a hundred times. 

And forget about wearing a dress! Like I’m gonna sit in this room naked. I would freeze. Plus, can you even imagine how weird it would be???

(Naked at work!)

[Massaging breasts which is really just fancy talk for moving the flanges around]

I always like when the milk spurts with enough force to hear as it hits the back of the flange. Much better than the slow dribble. 

My boobs are really uneven. I hope they even up after I stop nursing. 

Speaking of, what am I going to do with myself when I stop pumping?! I’m going to have so much free time!!

I could take up a hobby!

And quit timing my meals!

And quit timing my caffeine consumption!

Plus! No more taking my damn shirt off a million times a day!!

Ahhhh, a girl can dream. Only four more months. 

Or I could always switch to formula. 

But then I’d miss nursing on the weekends. Plus nursing’s just so easy. 

I will not say free, cause my time is worth a lot. (So there, imaginary argumentative naysayer!)

I mean, I’m hooked up to this pump three times a day for 25+ minutes a session, five days a week. That’s a lot of time!

Ok, but seriously, how much longer for this session??

[Checks timer]

Argh! At least another five minutes. 

I seriously envy the ladies who can pump in like 15 minutes. 

Or the ladies who can just pump once for every bottle. 

Or the ones who still meet the demands of their babies!

Seriously, I spend so much time hooked up to the pump and I STILL don’t collect enough. 

Must. Stop. These. Thoughts. 

[Pulls up baby photos. Again.]

My baby sure is cute. 

Ugh. Coworkers outside of my room again. Just chatting it up. 

I should join in on their conversation one day. Just like yell through the wall. That would be hilarious. 

I wouldn’t even have to yell because I can obviously hear them just fine and they’re not yelling.

On second thought, nevermind. I mean, what if this led them to realize they could talk with me through the wall and then they started asking my questions while pumping???

Cause that would be even more awkward than sitting here shirtless. 

[Checks timer. Again.]

25 minutes!! Oh thank you!!

And fin.

Blind as a bat

I’m sitting in my cubicle today, partially mostly blind because of a contact snafu that started back on Saturday night. (Also, I really do mean the mostly blind part, so please ignore any typos!)

Saturday night, the dumpling woke up soon after Luffy and I went to bed. I blearily made my way to his room and was halfway through nursing him when I realized that my right eye was bugging me. I thought there was an eyelash in it, perhaps, but didn’t want to keep rubbing my eye. After the dumpling finished, I returned him to his crib and made my way back to bed and sleep – desperate to close my eyes and let mother nature take care of the annoying eyelash.

I awoke Sunday morning quite sure that I was coming down with something. Sore throat. Check. Congested sinuses. Check. Watery eyes. Check. I moaned and tried to flop over to go to sleep again when I realized that my eyes weren’t just watery, they were swollen and painful. It hurt to open them. It hurt to close them. I feared that I was having another allergic reaction. (I’ve actually had several subsequent reactions, but they haven’t been as severe as that first one.) I finally gave up on trying to get back to sleep and stumbled into the bathroom to examine my poor eyeballs. They were extremely swollen and red and watery and hmmmm, what’s that little line there?? …. I am an idiot. Upon closer examination, I realized that I had completely forgotten to take out my contacts the night before.

WTH Belle? How could I have completely forgotten that I had perfect vision as I climbed into bed the night before? Or when I got the dumpling for his nursing session? To make matters even more ridiculous, I’d had two separate dreams that night about something being in my eye, like, I don’t know, my subconscious was trying to alert me of how idiotic I was being. Good grief. Way to make life hard for yourself.

Anyway, I took them out immediately and felt relief almost instantly (and then succumbed to food poisoning, but at least my eyes felt better).

So fast forward to today. Today is the first time I’ve attempted to wear contacts since then. They felt perfectly fine when I put them in this morning (and in the hour I wore them around the house before leaving). On the drive in to work however, things started to go downhill. Something must have happened to them; they almost feel warped now. I have astigmatisms, which mean that I have weighted contacts to hold the lenses in a certain position. It’s not working now so they’re slipping everywhere. Plus the left one keeps getting caught on my eyelid and dragged upwards or off to the side. It was driving me bonkers, so I pulled it out, thinking surely I could make it a day with only one contact (especially since I removed only the left, which is technically my stronger eye).

HAHAHAHAHA.

Yeah no. Blind, am I.

I am sitting a foot away from my computer screen and yet, I can’t read these words. I mean, I can, because I know what I’m writing. So my brain fills it all in (funny how we can do that right? like those little paragraphs that point out that we don’t actually need the letters in the correct order to be able to read a passage). But if I actually want to bring the letters into focus, I have to get closer.

Eh, a little closer.

There we go.

I am literally six inches from my screen. I brought my ruler out and everything.

So if you need me, I’ll be here. Nose to pixel with the monitor.

 

Post-weekend sigh of relief

It’s not that I’m psyched that the weekend is over (cause that’s crazy talk right there – who is ever happy to have the weekend over???). It’s just that Luffy and I both succumbed to a mild case of food poisoning over the weekend and we finally feel better.

For the record, poor Luffy’s been sick since last, last weekend and was just starting to feel better from that when we got food poisoning. Which is probably why his manifested first, poor guy. We think it was from Potbelly’s, which we had for lunch Saturday. His kicked in by that night and was in fully force by Sunday morning. Mine was ramping up Sunday afternoon and peaked in the overnight hours. We never actually vomited, but I don’t know if I’d actually call that a win since I, at least, felt like I was on the verge of vomiting most of that time. The rest of the time, I just felt like I had a lead weight in my stomach. Seriously, last night I tried to eat a bite of Luffy’s grilled cheese since I thought I was feeling a bit better. I swear I could feel it settle in my stomach. Gross.

But today! Today I was actually hungry when I woke up, so yay! Feeling much better.


So yeah, our weekend was a wee bit boring. We did see some friends. They came over to play with the baby and scope out our neighborhood. They’re looking into buying a house this Fall because they just adopted an adorable, though very energetic puppy.

I also taught my class Saturday morning in the pouring rain (I mean, not actually in it, but I did have to drive through it).

And, uh, we played with the baby. Totally a weekend well spent.