Voyeur

A week and a half ago, the dumpling woke me up at 6:30 in the morning, howling. He usually wakes up happy in the morning, so this was odd. When I went in to get him, I immediately noticed he’d made a 180 degree turn, with his head on the opposite side of the crib from where I’d laid him down. As I squinted down at him in the darkness, I suddenly realized I was also looking at the back of his head. Great.

He was clearly less than pleased to find himself on his belly, with no way to get back to his back. For the record, this was the first time he’d EVER rolled back to tummy (or even tummy to back, for that matter – first roll ever). He’s always stopped at his side when laying on his back and he’s never, ever attempted rolling out of the tummy position.

Alas, it was time to purchase a video monitor.

Back when I was pregnant (or even shortly after birth), as I scrolled through the recommendations for monitors, I couldn’t fathom getting a video monitor. Why do I need to watch my baby all the time? Ugh. So many crazy, helicopter parents out there that NEED to watch their child 24/7. All I could think about was the casual stories from moms on my birth board who carried their video monitor around the house and couldn’t do anything during nap time except watch the baby sleep – checking again and again to see if they were breathing and wondering if they were too hot or cold and was that a cough?! RELAX – is what I wanted to tell them. When I bought a monitor at two months (when we moved the dumpling into his room), I purchased a fairly inexpensive unit with sound capabilities only. I liked it a lot and figured we’d be all set.

As is (always?) the case with parenting, I’m eating my words now. As the dumpling becomes more mobile, I realized that I wanted the ability to check on him without disturbing him. Plus, when he wakes up in the morning, he’s usually so quiet that we’re often left wondering exactly how long he’s been awake in there. So, back to the monitor recommendations I went, hunting for a well-reviewed video monitor.

(Side note – I really like Baby Gear Lab for this sort of stuff. We bought our high chair based on their recommendations and I LOVE it. The monitor has been a great buy as well. Plus I just really like reading through their reviews on everything from strollers to diapers (both cloth and disposable) to breast pumps. Very entertaining, if you’re me and easily entertained.)

I hemmed and hawed for a while weighing the pros and cons of each, as is my nature. I finally settled on the iBaby Monitor, even though the Amazon reviews weren’t as stellar as Baby Gear Lab’s. It came in last week and I LOVE it. It doesn’t have a dedicated receiver; you use an app on your phone or iPad. I chose to use our iPad because I had read that it can be a resource hog (for obvious reasons). I love being able to bring up the app to make sure he gets to sleep. When he’s fussing, we’re able to tell if his eyes are open (he’s probably actually annoyed and we should go in) or closed (he’s basically just talking to himself, let him be). When I wake up in the morning, I bring the app up to make sure he’s still asleep and check on  him periodically until he wakes up. (He’s seriously super quiet in the mornings and it’s very hard to tell over the sound monitor alone that he’s awake.) It was a godsend over the weekend when the dumpling suddenly decided to add his newly acquired screeching skillz to his protest cries and the sounds we heard over the monitor seemed unearthly yet the video feed revealed him to be mostly calm.

I did pause though, our first night using it. A slightly creepy feeling washed over me as I watched my son drift off to sleep. I felt like a voyeur, peering in on a private moment. I turned the app off as soon as he was asleep and I kept it off through the night, only bringing it up to check on him when he stirred. I wondered if every parent felt that way, peeking at their children through video monitors. I definitely like having it and can see myself using it for years to come (especially when the dumpling’s transitioned into a toddler bed – oh lordy), but I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those parents glued to the monitor. The kid needs some space, you know?

Boring Mama

I am the definition of boring right now.

It’s all work and life and taking care of the dumpling.

Here are the “exciting” things that have happened in the past week:


Luffy and I ordered a bunch of Disney movies. We’re starting to build our collection for the Dumpling. …. Who are we kidding? They’re totally for us.

The Dumpling finally fits into his cloth diapers. I bought a few (and had a few gifted to us) before he arrived with the intention of using them as soon as possible. Our diapers said we could start using them at eight pounds, so I thought we’d be using them pretty quickly. And then the dumpling got here and was a peanut. Even when he finally hit eight pounds, he was so long and skinny that the diapers still didn’t fit quite right. Now that he’s (probably) over 13 pounds, I think he’s got enough chunk to wear them. I’m still not 100% pleased with the fit and will probably look into other varieties, but for now they’re working as daytime diapers.

Speaking of momentous occasions, the Dumpling’s high chair is coming today! Our pediatrician gave us the green light to start solids at four months, but I waited a bit. Now that he’s almost five months, I think he’s ready to start. I made some sweet potatoes last weekend so I think we’ll let him play with that this weekend! I can’t believe he’s already old enough for solid food.

In more Dumpling news, he’s sitting better and better each day. It’s kind of a frustrating milestone though because he still needs support/supervision to sit and yet, now that he’s experienced sitting, he’s not really happy laying on the floor anymore. So basically he can’t just be *put down* right now. But still… happy times.

Also…. this has not happened again. What gives child?! I would say #seriousbabyisserious, but he’s not really all that serious. He has all these big hammy grins and he’s working on a few screechy sounds, along with all of his ahhhhs and hoos, and yet no laugh. It’s getting to the point now where I’ve thought about googling baby laughed once and not again problem????? and yet I don’t want to open that can of worms, so I haven’t.


And that’s about it. See? I’m totally boring now.

PS – Jas would like to remind everyone that she is still here and as beautiful as ever. Thank you very much. Signed – demoted first baby

Like a boss

My new work arrangement – working from home part of the week – has been working out beautifully. The days I work from home are so much less stressful. I get more time with my dumpling, both in the mornings and the evenings. I’m much closer to home (obviously) but with that comes the added convenience of being close to things like the grocery store and our auto mechanic. I can run a quick grocery errand at lunch or do a load of laundry between answering emails. The dumpling’s daycare is two minutes away, as opposed to between 45-60 minutes away from my office. All in all, it’s been fantastic and I’m so grateful my company is even willing to do this.

The only downside has been my setup. When I first approached my boss about equipment, he hedged, saying that he wanted to wait a while to see how this would all work out. That was almost six weeks ago. Since I’ve been back to work, I’ve been working off my laptop and a portable monitor. If you’re familiar with a typical office setup, you can see how limiting it’s been. I’ve been toying with the idea of just purchasing my own, but kept procrastinating. But, last Friday I discovered that my laptop’s Ctrl key was no longer working. This, ladies and gents, is what sent me over the edge. (In my defense, I use short cuts in Excel constantly and kept erasing my work as I tried to copy and paste or search.)

So, over the weekend, I took the plunge and purchased two monitors, a new keyboard and mouse, and a dock for my laptop. It came in Tuesday and I have been in work heaven (if there’s such a thing) since then.

It’s amazing what good tools can do!

A challenge

Me to myself when I look over recent blog posts…. hmmmm… you know, I haven’t talked about anything non-baby-related in…. a while. And, tbh, that was a weird post that really didn’t turn out how I had it in my mind. So let’s see if I can come up with something non-baby-related to talk about… it’s time… now, what to write, what to write?


You guys probably know I’m an accountant. I feel sure I’ve mentioned it before. I used to be an auditor, working for one of the Big Four accounting firms. With that in mind, I can absolutely fathom the mortification that the partners at PWC must be feeling over this flub:

Ouch.

I really don’t know who to blame/pity the most. I mean, if it were me handing the envelope to the presenters, I’d be checking that envelope a half dozen times to make sure it was the correct one. So, no bueno for the PWC partner handing over those envelopes. (And it is a partner, by the way, not some lowly staff 1). On the other hand, the presenters looked at a card that didn’t line up with the category they were presenting and announced it anyway. If I were presenting, I probably would have made some light joke but asked for the envelope to be checked before announcing the pinnacle of the awards to the wrong group. So, no bueno for the presenters either, even though they technically weren’t at fault (unlike the Steve Harvey fiasco).


Speaking of award shows, I’m not really into them. I know several people who LOVE the Oscars and go all out, hosting black tie parties and fun watch parties. Meh. Just not my cup of tea. However, I stumbled across this incredible opening performance from the insanely talented Neil Patrick Harris and I just… holy moly.

I could watch this a hundred more times.


So that’s about all I have for today. One last thing though: if you’re ever bored and looking at some time to kill, go look up the “feud” between Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon. Hilarious.

On Nursing and Pumping

I have a confession for you guys: breastfeeding is wonderful for us.

I had so many worries during pregnancy about breastfeeding because you hear of so many horror stories (bleeding nipples! low supply! no supply! thrush! mastitis! poor latch! lip tie! tongue tie! I COULD GO ON). My standard quip to anyone’s inquiries on if I was going to breastfeed was always that that was my plan and I’d see how it went.

And then baby boy came along and I thought my fears were being realized. He wasn’t so patient at the breast and would sometimes scream and cry and give up before my milk would ever let down. We had to use a nipple shield for one breast because he just didn’t seem to like that side. I was really nervous about our one and only lactation consultation because I thought we’d get there and nothing would happen – he’d just refuse to nurse – and the LC would send me off with some failure to nurse diagnosis of shame (note – that’s not a thing, that’s only a thing in Belle’s neurotic mind).

Of course, all of this “trouble” happened in the first couple of weeks. We just needed some time to practice nursing, that’s all. Little boy quickly realized my milk would let down soon and got a little more patient. We weaned off of the nipple shield within the first two weeks or so. Ever since then, we’ve been trucking along beautifully.

I’m so grateful for the nursing relationship that we’ve enjoyed so far. It truly has been wonderful and while the middle-of-the-night feedings are certainly draining (when you’re the only one who can feed the baby), there’s part of me that enjoys those dark quiet moments with my son. I know I’ll miss them when they’re gone.

So nursing – yay!

But pumping, you guys. Ugh.

Pumping is not so fun. And I’m one of the lucky ones who has a pretty great set up.

At work, I utilize our only conference room without windows (it’s literally the only place in our office without windows). My boss had the building put a lock on the door for privacy. I have no restrictions on pumping “breaks” (I usually take my computer into the room with me). My coworker even brought in a mini fridge for my exclusive use. And remember – I’m only at the office for two days a week! The rest of the time I’m working from home which means I have complete freedom to pump.

And yet, I still put it off. I still find the pumping breaks intrusive to my day. I’m constantly at odds with pushing the sessions back, but not too far back lest I throw off my entire schedule. And just this morning I got thrown another loop. The dumpling’s daycare teachers suggested increasing his bottle sizes. He’s gulping down the 4oz bottles he gets right now and it’s increasingly clear that he’s still hungry afterwards. My problem is that I produce just enough to cover the three 4oz bottles he consumes while he’s at daycare. Upping those bottles to 5oz means that I don’t currently produce enough, so I’m pumping every hour on the hour today, trying to increase my output.

I blame part of the problem on the fact that I can now specifically measure how much milk the dumpling gets and how much milk I can pump (notice – not produce, I produce enough milk for him just fine while he’s nursing). Being able to measure things just adds a whole layer of complexity and worrying though. Especially on days when I don’t pump enough to meet his needs as it’s so much clearer now. I can no longer say, man! He’s eating so frequently today – growth spurt! Now it’s more like so he had his usual 12 ounces at daycare and I only managed to pump 10.5 ounces… guess I’m pumping before bed tonight. Because that’s the other thing – technically if I don’t produce enough during my daytime pumping sessions, I could always add extra pumpings at night, either before I go to bed or in the middle of the night between his nursing sessions. It all depends on how much I value my sleep and sanity versus how much I really want to make sure he continues to get breast milk. And cue mom guilt, because it’s always just around the corner.

And – oh look at the time! – it’s time to pump again.

Reminiscing

One interesting part of being back at the office is that I keep having flashbacks to being pregnant. I suppose because the last time I was in the office for any measurable amount of time was when I was pregnant. So every time I use the restroom, I remember going to the restroom a bajillion times. I remember walking waddling from the parking lot to the building. I remember making snacks and lowering my chair.

This has prompted me to look back through my archives here and I realize that I’ve already started to forget things about my pregnancy, especially in the early months. For instance, I totally forgot all the burping I did and how uncomfortable I used to be after eating and how I took up napping. I’ve already forgotten how I waffled for weeks over whether I had really felt the dumpling move. Most of all, I’ve already forgotten how long it too us to accept that I was really pregnant, after months of infertility.

Last night, I was browsing through posts and I came across this one. It’s so crazy and amazing to look back at it now and know that this WAS our cycle. This was it! We just didn’t know it yet. This cycle would be the one and we’d have a beautiful baby boy to show for it. Incredible.

Also, there’s one small piece from his birth story that I keep forgetting to tell. Like all crazy sane women trying to conceive, once I had a positive pregnancy test, I tested multiple times. I had cheapie tests from Amazon that I was using, but did splurge on a fancy digital one. Of course, they all said the same thing, but the digital one just gave a wonderful feeling – seeing that word “pregnant” displayed. Even more fun was the fact the the box boasted the result would be displayed six months, long enough for you to plan fun announcements or something. That’s sweet, I thought to myself, as I tucked the pregnancy test into my bathroom drawer. Each morning, I would open the drawer to get my hair brush or my makeup brush or my contacts, see the test and smile at that word again. I sent a picture of it to my mom when I told her. The test was a happy little reminder, especially in the early weeks before I started showing. Six months, however, came and went and the test still displayed its cheery little result. I stopped giving it much attention as my belly grew larger and larger each day. I was however amazed to find it still said “pregnant” by August. And September. And October. By the time late October rolled around I joked to myself that the test was going to outlast my pregnancy. Then, on the morning of October 25th, that momentous day, I opened up my bathroom drawer to find the test window blank. That’s right, I thought, in a few hours I won’t be pregnant anymore. Somehow, the test knew. My little silent testimony to the Dumpling’s existence was no longer needed.

Blissfully Happy

I’m sitting on my couch right now, with Friends on as background noise for Little Dumpling. Luffy is napping beside me; he came home early from work. Little Dumpling is in his pack ‘n play in front of me, napping like a champ. Jas is soaking up the last of the afternoon rays in the office, worn out from our play session earlier.

I am blissfully happy at this moment. Wonderfully, completely, absolutely happy.

Everyone and their mother has told me to sleep when the baby sleeps, but I just can’t do it right now because it would be such a waste of this perfect moment.