Posted in Baby Foxes

Weaning the pump, not the baby

This post would have been published over 2 weeks ago if I hadn’t tried to be geeky while juggling a baby and accidentally killed this website’s database.  By the time I finished cleaning the damage the muse had gone on vacation and I just didn’t feel like writing.  It’s still not my best work but at least it out there now….

I have officially weaned off the pump.  Breastfeeding is still going well and there is no sign of that stopping anytime soon but I am glad that I’m no longer a slave to the pump, I was so over it.  I am tired of stressing over ounces.  I still have it for times when I’m away from Shammy all day but those will be few and far between and it will be used more for my comfort and health than to keep up with a freezer stash.

I don’t get along with the pump anymore, I can’t even stand to clean the parts, it’s such a hassle, as regardless of whether I use the dishwasher or clean by hand I don’t seem to get the nooks and crannies clean enough.  Plus the pump has been part of a recall and I have yet to receive the replacement part, I am so over it! I used to think that Medela pumps were the best but if/when #2 comes I’m definitely getting a different brand.

Update:  the universe has found a way to get a new and better pump for me as I just won a Facebook contest on the Hygeia page where I won professional grade electric pump valued at $320.  My husband asked me if I was going to cash it out on eBay but I said no way, this will come in handy in the future.

In other news, I have started training to be a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor with the Health Department and Shammy gets to come to work with me anytime that I don’t have babysitting available, they’re that cool. I like bringing him to work but it only works out if I’m working for 3 hours, longer than that feels like torture on the poor baby that gets bored and is lacking on proper stimulation.  I have what feels like a thousand hours of training to complete so it may be another month before I see a client but I am enjoying it so far.

 

1 cousin MIA but we still had quorum

I can’t believe that Shammy is already 3/4 years old (9 months old), when I dressed him up for Easter he looked like such a big boy/little man.

He is starting to refuse baby purees as he prefers self feeding so I really need to learn more about BLW so he’ll eat more.  Meanwhile spreading purees on wheat toast seems to be working well to use up the massive amounts of food that I have accumulated.

Recently we have experienced a sleep regression, call it teething, growth spurt, separation anxiety or all of the above but he was no longer sleeping through the night and would wake up at midnight exactly and would only fall asleep with my boob in his mouth.  God forbid I tried to move to get comfortable and the nipple came out of his mouth and he would wake up and scream bloody murder.

I asked the doctor if there was anything that I could do about this and he said “let him cry and cry… and cry…”  I just stared at him in disbelief that he would recommend that and then he said  “I wouldn’t do it if I were you, I didn’t do it with mine”.  I like him again.  I much rather get some sleep in an awkward position with a happy baby than not sleep at all and suffer while he screams for hours wondering why we don’t love him anymore.  I can never see myself letting him cry it out.

best dressed for Easter

 

On to the rants for this installment…

I enjoy the sitcom “Raising Hope”, it’s very funny, most times.  Recently they had an episode titled “Sleep Training” on you guessed it, crying it out.  This episode was painful to watch.  Even though they tried to get fun out of this theme I was very disturbed by it, so much so that I felt the need to write about it the next day.  I can understand that CIO is ok for some but don’t feel comfortable with a popular prime time show giving ideas to parents that don’t know better because they don’t seek the information elsewhere and take TV fiction as gospel.

My current peeve is seeing mothers that won’t hold their babies when giving a bottle.  Apparently this is a big enough epidemic that companies make money out of selling “bottle holders” that will prop the bottle so mother doesn’t even have to hold it.  If you’re not going to breastfeed, at least do the bonding by holding your baby close and looking into their eyes while feeding them.  Even on the pre-requisite training that I’m taking for the department of Health in the nutrition module it emphasizes how a person should always hold a baby when giving a bottle.  I feel bad for the baby.

 

 

 

Posted in Baby Foxes

I might get a C- in chores but I get an A+ in being a mommy

The title may sound arrogant and if there was indeed a grading scale I would not have a perfect score (more than once I put him in PJ’s and forgot all about the bath) but at least I’m good on the important parts.

For the past month I’ve been dealing with child proofing blues.  It’s something that we should have done long ago but kept procrastinating on. I look at our house and it feels like a baby death trap, there is so much to do that I don’t know how to accomplish it all without moving half of the house into storage/ dumpster.

Now that Shammy is mobile and getting into everything, it was time to get into gear. I’m very watchful of Shammy when he’s playing but sometimes I need to not be hovering so much without interrupting his play, like when cooking dinner or doing laundry.  Plus I am trying to find a balance between keeping him safe without being too overprotective and letting the kid crawl and explore.

We had wanted to get a playard aka baby jail for a while and found a very good deal on it at a consignment sale but once put it together I felt like it was too much like jail despite being so large.  So then it was time to sit down with the husband and decide on which room of the house we were going to surrender to the baby.  The natural choice would have been the baby’s room (which is currently only used for diaper changing and baby stuff storage, lol) but I didn’t want him to be isolated when playing.

We finally decided to surrender the dining room, the table had not been used for dining in months anyway and Shammy would get to enjoy the nice view to the backyard.  And so we started the process of relocating furniture and a bird to transform part of the space into a fun haven.

Shammy's new play area

 

Now that he’s becoming more independent I am actually starting to get stuff done at home besides the bare minimum.  It’s still nothing close to spring cleaning and it will take a while to recover from all of the months of spot cleaning and tidy messes.

I am very proud to have achieved the 8 month breastfeeding milestone, it was touch and go for a little bit there on the exclusive factor.  I no longer have a freezer stash and Shammy’s schedule since daylight savings time means that I never have an opportunity to pump at a time when I would get a decent output.

Shammy has never tasted formula in his life but I have reached the point where it’s not the end of the world if it comes to that, he’s older than 6 months, he’s eating other foods, it’s not the end of my philosophical world anymore.

No, I’m not done breastfeeding, not even close.  What I’m close to being done with is stressing over how many ounces are in the freezer vs how many he will need while hanging at grandma’s.  Stressing doesn’t lead to a good letdown and that leads to tiny pumped amounts, it’s a horrible cycle that I’ve been stuck in for a couple of weeks.

Nothing is official but the current tentative plan is that I will continue to breastfeed full time and pump while working but supplement to make up the difference when I’m not around.  95% or more of his milk will still be breast milk, I will still pump when away from him for more than 5 hours.  I have not made any purchases, but I already researched brands.  We’ll see…  I’ve said it before and I’ll say this again, I bow down to exclusively pumping mamas, I don’t know how they do it, here I am stressing myself dry over occasional pumping.

I’m glad to wean off the pump except for work but not yet ready to wean my son.  This week I cried along with a heartbroken mama whose toddler self weaned this week.  She had no idea that it was the last time when it happened.  Every time I nurse Shammy I try to savor it because I know that it will be over before I know it and will miss it too.

 

writing his first book

 

For the past few weeks we have been dealing with mild separation anxiety.  One of the things that I have found to help is laying the shirt that I wore that day in his bed, I have found that he sleeps better that way.

Now that he has learned to call me Mama I can no longer tell my husband “it’s your turn”.  He says that Shammy has quickly learned that saying that equals fast response and that is fine.  I’d rather him know that he can call me and I will come than having to resort to crying to get the attention he wants.

with his new BFF- Cat in the Hat

 

For a few weeks Shammy would eat from anyone that wasn’t me, it was challenging since I would be the only one available during the weekdays most times.  This made me consider BLW (Baby Led Weaning- where you skip the purees and let baby feed himself)  so I experimented and it was a success.  I can’t say that I’m a total convert but I will probably do it here and there.

Expert at self feeding

 

 

Something interesting that I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks, the first diaper to go in the pail after I put in a load of laundry is always a poopy one!  I wash diapers every other day and this has been accurate for 3 weeks and counting, lol.  So I guess that if I want him to poop on command I just need to throw some diapers in the washer.

 

This week’s rant is a short one:

If you’re thinking of breastfeeding your baby, be warned: People will think you’re stupid. That’s right, a recently published report highlighted not one, but three studies that found people think of women who breastfeed as less competent than “otherwise identical women.”  Seriously?!

In my opinion a woman that breastfeeds is smarter than a woman that formula feeds (by choice, not circumstance) because it means that the nursing mama is well informed about the benefits of breastmilk over formula and knows that it’s way easier to lift up a shirt in the dark than hunt for a bottle you hopefully remembered to prepare at 3am.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baby Foxes

I have the right to express, you have the right to be offended

This blog entry has been in the works for over 2 weeks, since the last week of 2010.  Usually as soon as I post an entry I already start writing the outline for the next one but the craziness of life hasn’t allowed me the opportunity to sit down and expand on that outline.  Usually when faced between writing on this blog and sleeping I choose sleep.

The past 2 weeks have shown a lot of progress on the food front, I have dumped cereal for real food and it’s going very well, he loves sweet potatoes but is still developing a taste for bananas.

I also broke in the food processor and started making baby food for him, it’s actually fun and not that hard.  Thankfully it can be done in batches as it wouldn’t be so much fun if I had to do it on a daily basis.  I’m still using jar food when out of the house because I wasn’t prepared with the appropriate containers for travel.  I like Earth’s Best Organics but that is not covered by WIC so we may end up with Gerber and Beechnut after all, just not full time and not the cereal, I have to draw the line somewhere.

He wouldn’t drink water from a bottle so I tried a sippy cup and he immediately took it so he doesn’t drink from bottles anymore except perhaps at grandma’s house.


independent boy, bottle free


A side effect to eating solids is having to say farewell to the nice breastmilk poop.  We are in the “peanut butter” aka transitional poop stage and have once even had a “big boy poop”. The cutest part is when I ask him “are you pooping?” and he says “yeah”, that’s my hint to be more aggressive with EC but I just haven’t gotten around to it, shame on me.

Why go out of my way to note the changes in his poop?  Because I can no longer toss the diaper in the washer and know that it will dissolve away.  Now I wish that I had a diaper sprayer but in the meantime I’ll just have to train myself to use liners on the diapers to simplify things.

On the co-sleeping front, he inherited a rare gene from me, the ability to somehow position himself on the bed so I’m left sleeping on this thin strip of mattress on the edge with no room to move.  He’s been growing but the bed is still several times larger than he is, how does he manage it?  Now I know how my husband feels, lol.

While we’re talking on growing, I have observed that he’s got a cute 2 stage growth process.  He will first bulk up and be all cheeks and leg rolls for a couple of days and then suddenly overnight he’ll stretch out and go back to being long and skinny.  I don’t know if I grew up that way, all of my baby pictures show a long and skinny noodle.

As he becomes a more social creature, we are less paranoid about going out with him.  We have been successful at taking him to restaurants with us, I’ll hold off on going to the movies though.  Shammy is such a ladies man though, he’ll flirt with any woman that will give him attention.  Young or old he’ll give them his cutest smile and bat his eyelashes, it’s so amusing to watch.

I always say “I love you” when I lay him down to sleep, the other night as I was laying him down before I could open my mouth he said “love you” and rolled over to sleep.  I really had to restrain myself from waking him up by squealing, lmao.

He’s also being good at recognizing things from afar, he saw his daddy out the window and he must have been at least 50 ft away yet he pointed at him and said “dadada!”.  He is also pretty bold when he wants something.  The other night he was being fussy and when asked “what he wanted” he leaned out of my arms, picked up the tv remote next to me and started to press buttons to try to turn it on.

first time at the circus- he ranged from mesmerized to unimpressed


Apparently he’s been crawling for months.  Doctors consider rolling for transportation, commando crawl and other movements as crawling.  He does get in the stereotypical crawling position but uses it to turn around to face a different direction, lol.

 

And for this installment’s rants:

This is not a penis measurement contest!  I get that it’s normal to compare babies, can’t help it, no problem I do it too.  What is not normal is to judge your baby in comparison to other ones.  There shouldn’t be a competition about whose baby does what first.  Don’t give me the apples to apples speech, apples from different trees and different colors should not be compared.  They are all normal and perfect for apples.  All babies are normal for their specific genetic makeup and developmental process, moms should stop trying to set the record for who rolls over first, crawls, etc.  Mom also shouldn’t force their babies into activities that they are not developmentally ready for just because somebody else’s baby is doing it.


Some people feel personally attacked because they identify as a practitioner of something that I rant about. First of all, nobody should feel singled out because you are one of over a million parents that does something that I disagree with so it would be unfair to take it up with one person and not the rest of them.

I am not an expert in parenting but I will arrogantly say that I have done more research than the “average” parent. This still doesn’t make me a know it all and I still don’t have a PhD in the subject which is why I get my learning from those that are considered specialists in the field.

Like everywhere in life, Dr. Spock doesn’t agree with Dr. Sears and yet they’re both considered specialists, it’s all about doing your research and determining whose facts make the most sense to you.  Everybody has different priorities and values, all I wish is for people to stop mindlessly jumping on bandwagons.

No, I will never identify anybody by name because I’m just seeking to share MY viewpoint and not attack or embarrass anybody. The only time that I will specifically address somebody directly about their parenting style is if I feel that they’re doing something that endangers their child’s life at which point I will do it privately and show the resources to back up my stance. Will I blog about it later? You betcha! respecting the privacy of the involved parties of course.

In this blog I advocate making educated decisions, whatever they may be. I don’t expect nor intend anyone to parent the exact way I do because this is not a one size fits all subject. What I do intend is to offer food for thought for parents that are either too busy or simply didn’t think to research the background behind their Doctors/ mother/ insert other character’s advice.

And no, this isn’t the first time that I have to give a disclaimer so instead of being redundant I’ll just quote:

Adventures in Mommyhood- week 17

“I happen to have good friends that are passionate about things that I am opposed to. I just skip over those posts and I don’t put anything negative, it’s my personal choice.

! It seems like every single time I post something (or a friend posts something) about breastfeeding or circumsicion, at least someone gets offended and acting like I am attacking them directly. Nothing I post on Facebook is aimed towards anyone but myself, and my fellow natural moms who might want to read the same article. If it doesn’t apply to you, or you don’t want to read it, then skip it. Though I am not as nice as some of my friends, I like to defend myself and I rarely apologize for anything I have said or posted, because again, its NOT aimed at YOU! Get over it!

Despite repeated disclaimers people still manage to get their feathers ruffled over my opinions, I must be doing something right!  I much rather get people upset and thinking than be walking on eggshells, specially on my own virtual home, this blog.

I don’t want to censor myself out of fear of whose wrath I’ll ignite everytime I click the publish button so I’ll reiterate:   none of what I write is intended to be offensive, so please do not take this personal at all. I’m ranting!  But if you do, that is your choice, I respect your decision and lets move on without attacking.

Yet I somehow have a feeling that these words will fall on blind eyes and I’ll continue to get hell from some.  I don’t get my panties in a bunch when someone rants about me and uses my name in their personal space because I stand behind my opinions and actions.  I find that those that get upset have guilt issues that they’re trying to redirect on others, it’s sad. Just because I’m a pacifist I’m not going to stroke anyone’s wounded ego.


enough with the whining


Since some have asked where I get my information from I’ll be happy to share.   I don’t pull information out of my ass, I use the internet.  Before you roll your eyes and start lecturing about the lies in the web I’ll go into more detail about my process.  A certain topic will come to my attention through a parenting website, blog or news story, I then do research to see what scientists and doctors have to say about it, this is the part where I get annoyed about how much American science is in bed with the baby industrial complex and end up looking at international scientific research instead.  I will read AP stories, news articles, scientific/ medical journal articles (not always in their entirety, those things can be heavy) and synopsis and excerpts from scientific papers.  I do read a lot of message boards (Mothering, My Best Birth, What to Expect, Diaper Swappers, etc as people tend to share good links and have healthy debate).  I avoid giving much weight to articles in any website that is published or sponsored by the baby industrial complex (Nestle, Similac, Enfamil, Gerber, etc).  I then formulate my decision/ stance on the subject.  So there you have it, my research process is a bit more detailed than reading somebody’s Facebook posting.

For those that want to learn more, the doctors that I respect the most when it comes to pediatrics, parenting, breastfeeding, etc.  Are:

Dr. Greene– renowed for natural pediatrics and author of “Raising Baby Green” and “Feeding Baby Green“, proponent of the “White Out” movement
Dr. Sears– renowned for attachment parenting and alternative vaccination schedules, author of “The Attachment Parenting Book“, “The Vaccine Book” and many more.
Dr. Newman– world renowned breastfeeding expert, author of “The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers” and more
Dr. Punger– family doctor specializing in breastfeeding medicine and author of “Permission to Mother“.  She was my doctor and Shammy’s pediatrician until our health insurance changed, I miss her.