Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baptism

Well, I took several days off from blogging because this past Sunday was Julia's baptism. My parents and sisters came in town, as did Robert's grandparents, so it was quite the family affair. My mom left yesterday and now we're getting back into the "normal" swing of things. But, I'm not quite up to a whole blog post so instead here are all my favorite pictures from the baptism (thanks Laura, for manning the camera!)

All paying attention very attentively.

Nom nom nom.

"Things are getting kind of boring over here."

Aww.

And she's no longer a pagan.

Cute Daddy kisses with Aunt Sashi sneaking around in the background.

"I would like that candle very much now please."

"Candle candle candle."

Julia's so over it.

Fortunately there's some entertainment at hand. Get it? "At hand"?

Robert's family with Breakdancing Jesus in the background.

Godparents.

My family.

Today's theme - chewing on hands. And you thought it was babies in white dresses.

I love this picture because Mom's all, "Come here, your bonnet's not on straight." And Julia's all, "Ahhhhh get me out of here!"

Robert's mom and her parents and a very bored baby.

Nom nom nom.

Papa makes her laugh!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Enjoying the sunshine

Today on the porch!
video


And the photos aren't great but they're all I've got from our "outing" to the backyard today.


Think that's enough pink for her?

Perspective.

Well, the problem with blogging is that I really only write the emotional posts when something is spilling over. I never write about the normal, everyday ups and downs, and it doesn't really portray the whole picture. Which reflects me personally too - I tend to get caught up in the "omg omg omg ahhhh ahhhh ahhhh" spiral and fail to take a step back and be rational. (But who wants to be rational all the time, right? I like to think it makes me "quirky" haha.)

For example, I'm freaking out over an eight ounce milk shortage. I mention my freezer stash, but I don't say that I have over two hundred and fifty ounces of breastmilk sitting in our freezer. (I don't think it either - I'm not holding back on you!) One hundred and fifty of that is earmarked for a trip in April when I'll be away from the baby for five days, but that means I have a hundred ounces, at least, for backup. Either I'll get my milk supply back up or not, but if I do, I have plenty to tide me over in the meantime, and if I don't, I have plenty to string out breastfeeding for awhile still. And, even if I go to all formula, all the time, it's fine. It's not the end of the world. I'll be sad because I'll feel like I didn't accomplish my goal of six months breastfeeding, and it'll be inconvenient to make a bottle in the middle of the night and to deal with formula-fed baby poop on cloth diapers. But I also won't be the only one who can feed the baby, I won't have to pump when I'm away from her, and I'll discover other conveniences to formula. So there, Jess. Relax.

I know all this. I guess I'm still in the throes of an identity crisis. (And maybe I've been watching too much Grey's Anatomy lately... but seriously - those reruns are addicting! I watch them while I nurse and I usually can't wait til the next feeding because I'm so hooked. But anyways.) I can't help but think to myself - when I was in high school, I wanted to be a heart surgeon, and now look at me - I do laundry and clean and put together jumperoos. Am I ever going to do anything worthwhile with my life? I think, again, keeping perspective means realizing that I have years and years, God willing, ahead of me, and once my little one is more grown up and doesn't need me around as much any more, I can move on. I won't be stuck in the land of cloth diapers and jumperoos forever. (Geez I hope not.)

It's just hard to keep that in mind. I'd like to go ahead and accomplish everything I'm ever going to right away please, so I can spend the rest of my life enjoying it and not stressing out about what I'm going to do with myself forever. I don't want to have to try to sit back and enjoy things the way they are right now without a Plan or a List of Things Accomplished Already. I have been so blessed, but I also feel like I've done nothing to deserve all I have right now, so I really need to get to work making something of myself or making it all worthwhile.

But maybe this needs to be an exercise in patience for me. Not my strong suit by a long shot. But maybe I just need to take a deep breath, really grasp that I have a beautiful daughter and an awesome little family that truly wants for nothing, and remind myself to enjoy things in this moment right now.

Gah.

Pity party

So, long story short, my milk supply has dwindled rapidly in the last week or so. I never fully recovered from the mastitis, but I was planning to cut down on my extra pumping anyways, so I just stopped doing that but was still making enough to keep up with Julia. Now, two days ago, I was two ounces short for the day, and yesterday I was six. SIX ounces short. I think some of it has to do with Julia's long sleep at night. As I've adjusted to a full eight to ten hours without nursing or pumping, I've noticed I'm much less full in the mornings, and I guess that's trickling down (or not) to the rest of the day.

I'm beside myself. I don't really care if she gets some formula to supplement (although for now I have quite the freezer stash so we're not there yet). I can't see how switching her diet - from exclusive breastmilk to part breastmilk, part formula - could possibly do any harm or rob her of any benefit at this point. But, I'm just not personally ready to give up on breastfeeding. I like it, she likes it and it's super-convenient. I'm just afraid if I start to supplement that it's the beginning of a slippery slope (note the last two days' rapid decline in production!) and in a few weeks she'll be weaned entirely, which is not what I want.

So of course I'm taking this to the nth degree and feeling pretty much like a failure at everything ever in life. If I can't feed my child, what use am I? Anyone could take care of her and I could get my butt back to work where I could at least do *something* productive. I'm just having a massive pity party today, feeling like I seriously can't do anything right. I can't keep the house clean (the cleaning lady's here since I can't scrub my own toilets, and yes, the dirty dishes are back in plastic bags in the fridge - seriously), I can't get dinner on the table (yesterday's dinner: roasted chicken from the grocery store and leftovers), I can't feed my child, so why on earth am I staying home? What on earth am I doing with myself all day? Just rotting. Rotting like a rotten tomato in the garden I planted last spring and then abandoned to the weeds and the bugs and the dog. Bleh.

But I did take some pictures.






Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mopping up

Mishmash of thoughts:

1. I think my last post about the cloth diapers seemed a little too cheerleader-y for them. I think they're great, but they're not perfect. We had two fairly major leaks today and they are definitely more work. I'd just encourage anyone who's on the fence to give them a shot. I bought up a bunch of different brands and types off of craigslist, which let me (a) not spend a ton of money, (b) get a really good feel for how well different diapers wore and washed, and (c) get a really good feel for how brand new diapers would act once they've been used for several months.

2. Any of Julia's previous napping successes seem to have been aberrations. She now exclusively naps in half-hour increments, about 5 times a day. It's better than not napping at all, but it's driving me crazy. I can't get much done, and it's really tough to go anywhere because she's pretty much always either hungry or sleepy or about to be one of those two. We made it to the mall today for a few hours and it was exhausting. For both of us.

3. I think I'm out for the marathon. There's just no way I'll be up for it at this rate. My foot feels a little better, but that just means I can walk around the house, not take the dog for a nice walk, much less go for a jog. Of course it hurts much more when I'm lugging the baby across the parking lot with her 50-lb diaper bag because I couldn't find a parking spot near the door because assholes kept cutting me off and I finally found a spot twenty miles away and I'm hobbling inside muttering, "Oh sure cut off the lady with the baby and the broken foot watch me limp inside carrying my heavy baby on my freaking broken freaking foot."

4. We got a jumparoo today! Julia's not really big or strong enough for it but I put her in it anyways. Her feet don't come close to the ground so I just put boxes or a pillow underneath it. And she has a little trouble staying upright. And I don't have enough batteries so I couldn't put in the coolest toy. And I left all the plastic bags (suffocation hazard!) all around there on the floor too. In the middle of my front hallway because there's nowhere else to put it because my house is so messy. Feel free to nominate me for Mother of the Year any time now.

What is this thing?

I like it!

Toys above my head too?!

Taunting... (Check out that mess in the background)

Got it!

Now what?

Bang it?

Slouch over? Getting tired now...

Still adorable though.

And.... we're done.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cloth Diapers!

Soo... the big day finally arrived on Saturday - the cloth diapers I ordered were finally delivered! Around the new year, we made the switch to cloth diapers, but I had a hodge-podge collection of different brands and types. The idea was, I'd see what I liked, what fit Julia the best, and what worked best for us, then I'd buy a nice new set of the chosen type.

I finally settled on FuzziBunz Perfect Size (mediums). Rumparooz were a very close second, and I think I would have been happy with either, but the FuzziBunz just seemed to fit Julia a little bit better. I also ended up getting a sized type, rather than an adjustable size, but the FuzziBunz mediums are supposed to fit 15-30 pounds. Julia's around 14 or 15 pounds now, as best I can tell, so I was hoping they'd fit her from now until a long time from now (wouldn't it be nice if she were potty trained by the time she outgrows these!). These were definitely not what I initially thought I liked, so I'm glad I tried a whole bunch first. BumGenius is a brand that's really popular locally (they're somehow affiliated with Cotton Babies, a big cloth diaper store based here), so I was able to pick up several of those, but I just didn't like them as much. The velco closures seemed kind of cheap and I've had a hard time getting them completely clean. I also tried some Haute Pockets, Kangas, and Happy Heinies, but never could get them to fit right. FuzziBunz and Rumparooz both clean really well in the washer, the closures on both those are great (FuzziBunz only comes in snaps, Rumparooz comes with both snaps and velcro, both of which I've tried and liked), and they both contain messes really well. But, like I said, the FuzziBunz seem to fit Julia better so I got a 24-pack of those:



I'm a little disappointed in the colors. I ordered the "gender neutral" pack but I was hoping for a little less... pale green and yellow.... But I'm thrilled with the diapers themselves. They're supersoft, and even though they're pretty big on Julia, they do fit her now. Cloth diapers have proven to be far superior to disposables in containing Julia's big messes. We were having blowouts every time with the disposables, and we've never had one with the cloth. I kind of figured, if I'm going to be washing poopy stuff anyways, I'd rather be washing diapers than changing and washing her clothes several times a day. The only times she gets diaper rash is when we do use disposables (which we keep around for backup and for Gaga's house), and the cloth even keeps her dry overnight better than disposables. We have some hemp inserts which really do a nice job at soaking up moisture, and the inside of the diapers themselves are great at keeping her skin dry. Since we do washable wipes now too, I don't feel like I'm spreading chemicals all over her bum every time I wipe her (I mix a solution of warm water, a big squirt each of Vitamin E oil and pure liquid Aloe Vera, and a drop or two of tea tree oil for her wipes). I've got my washing routine down (I have a HE frontloader and do a cold soak, a cold rinse, and a hot wash with detergent and a cold rinse at the end). I also discovered a clean bleach cycle on my washing machine, so I run that before I run any of our other household laundry and it's all running smoothly and easy as pie at this point. It's almost no extra work now once we got things set up, and since it's also cheaper in the long run, it's a no-brainer for us.

Plus - they're freaking adorable! Robert said he wouldn't mind if I ordered a few pink and purple diapers just to make me happy inside, so I'm looking into that now. So stinking cute I can't help myself.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday!

Hooray Friday! And tonight I think R and I are going out to dinner - a true date night! Awesome!

The babe is still pretty darn cute. I was reading to her this morning, both of us laying on our backs on the floor, and she was way more interested in playing with my face. She grabbed my lips a few times and I nibbled on her fingers, which totally shocked her. Adorable. (Although I swear if she drags her little razor-sharp baby fingernails down my chest one more time when I'm nursing her...)

Gym yesterday: 3 minutes on stair machine, 3 minutes on bike. Which is kind of embarrassing when the gym is fairly crowded and you feel like everyone's looking at you hop onto a machine, get all set up with your stuff and your headphones, hit start, go, "OMG this sucks!" and get off three minutes later. And then do it on another machine, again. But, I did weights for awhile afterwards so it wasn't a wasted trip. I need to pick up some goggles but I might try some lap swimming since that shouldn't hurt my foot but still give me good cardio. Of course, I'm still pretty out of shape so I'll just do that three-minute thing again, which will suck, so we'll see.

Alright I seem to be tired enough that I'm having trouble spelling words and stuff, so I'm just going to post my pics and call it a day.  :)

Right after this, she jammed that leg in her mouth and started to gag. Someone's not ready for solid foods yet!

She loves being in her blanket tent!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hump day!

Again... not much to report! Julia is still raspberrying her way through the days. I finally got shamed into doing more tummy time with her, when I realized she is woefully behind in her arm and neck strength. She hates tummy time, but loves laying on her back playing with her toys, so guess which one I let her do more often. So far, we've done 3-4 minutes twice a day for the last few days, and already I can tell that she's getting stronger. My goal is to increase that to three times a day so that when my mom visits in a few weeks, Julia will be strong enough that my mom can stop harassing me about her arm and neck development.

My foot still really hurts. I'm going to make it to the gym tomorrow to do weights and try biking and see if I can't get some cardio in that way. Spinning scares me (the people seem so hardcore!) yet I'm also kind of disdainful - seriously how much of a workout can it be if you're sitting?? But, maybe I'll give it a shot.

Julia's going to her grandma's tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to it like nobody's business. Maybe it's because we've been stuck in the house these past few days because I've been trying to establish a nap schedule, but I'm really hankering for some time to myself. I don't even want to do anything exciting. I just want to go to the gym, the store, sterilize bottles, and weed out some clothes for Goodwill. (We're remodeling our closet (as much as one can remodel a ten-foot reach-in) and I'm totally excited for it - but that'll be another blog post.) (We also just ordered a whole set of cloth diapers for the baby, which I'm also really excited about but will - also - be another blog post.) But anyways, I'm psyched for the time alone tomorrow - usually Gaga takes Julia on Wednesdays so I guess I didn't realize how nice those couple hours are until I didn't get my mid-week break.

Here are the only pics I took of the baby today. I'm thinking I might try to do my own little photoshoot with her this weekend. I have a basket that I bet she'd look really stinking cute in.

Ttthhhhhbbbbbbbbbbt

Talking.

Give me that camera. Give it to me. (I have six other photos just like this one!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Same old.

Haven't written in awhile - just haven't been in the mood and not much has been going on.

Julia has gotten a billion times better about napping (knock on wood), which has been great these past few days. She's not consistent enough yet that I can really bank on getting a set amount of time, but the morning nap is lengthening, the midday nap is still short but it's pretty consistent, and the afternoon nap is slowly emerging and getting a little longer. I've had to learn to let her cry a little. I set a timer, which makes all the difference in the world to me (and I'm not talking about screaming - she just moans pathetically). It saves my sanity to watch the timer - I know five minutes is not an unreasonable amount of time for her to cry, but it feels a lot longer, but at the very least, I have five minutes to throw in some laundry or get the mail. It's paying off though. She's definitely falling asleep more quickly than she did a week ago. Famous last words before the infamous 4-month sleep regression kicks in, huh?

I also appear to have hurt myself running. It's either tendonitis or a stress fracture in my foot, and it hurts like a $%*&#. I tried to work through it last night and made it ten billion times worse. I could barely walk today, and I skipped our daily outing just because I didn't think I could walk anywhere carrying the baby. I don't know if I'm out for the half-marathon or not (I'm not giving up yet!) but I need to get back to the point where I can walk around the house and take the dog for walks. And not make it worse as soon as it starts to feel a little better. Just when the working out was starting to get fun too. :(

Julia has also learned to raspberry. It's so adorable. Or at least it is to her mom. It's so cool to see that she finally knows that she has control over her mouth. She's been "talking" to me for awhile but she has just been all about the raspberrying lately. Mostly when I lay her down to sleep - she looks up at me and grins and goes, "Pbbbbttttttttttt" and it's the cutest thing in the world and it kills me to have to just leave her in her crib. She's already learned to manipulate me.

My friend Sara did an awesome photoshoot with Julia over the weekend. I hope to get those photos from her at some point and post them. For now, these are all I have:
Love the post-bath, wrapped-in-a-towel shots.

Chewing on Daddy.

Thoughtful baby.
It also looks like I've figured out how to take and upload video, so for all the people who read this blog just for the baby stuff, I ought to get some good stuff up in the next few days.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bumbo seats and snow days!

Hmm...

Not feeling it.

Getting the hang of it.

But still pretty floppy.

Trying pretty hard here, Mom!

Snow dog!

Our backyard looks pretty with some snow and strategic cropping.

Play. With. Me.

That's what I'm talking about!
(Yes, I just now figured out how to make photos bigger lol.)