Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And a one, a two, a one, two... two.

Two months old and a Two months check-up that is.

It went, er, well? How well can a check-up go when you have to watch your precious baby's thighs be injected with 3 shots/5 vaccines. I was THAT mom who teared up and sniffled while the whole thing went down, and my husband, who luckily is off this week, was there to squeeze my arm back to reality to soothe Gabriel.

The babe is sure gaining well, though-- he is 13 lb. 9 oz. now, up from 10 lb. 15 oz. at one month. This is assuring especially because of his reflux issue.

And the reflux issue is a whole other barrel of monkeys. The doctor we saw for his well check-up was not happy with the doctor who met with us last week and offered Gabe the Baby Zantac as a solution for his 'reflux.' This doctor, who I much prefer, wants Gabe to have a chest x-ray of his upper GI tract to confirm his reflux and to eliminate all other possible stomachish problems. I really am happy this whole investigation is thorough, but I have to give my baby barium in a bottle.

Barium in a bottle. Now, if you have been following this blog at all, you know my baby HATES bottles. Tell me how I am supposed to get my baby to drink liquid chalk out of his most-hated thing in the world.

Well, we'll get through it, right? Of course, right.

Other good things? Gabe is meeting his milestones like a champ. Lots of cooing and smiling and attempting to move forward/roll over. (Yeah, he rolled over at 6 weeks-2 days, but we are yet to see this happen again!)
In other news....
Gabe LOVES his rainforest playmat (part 1 of the Evenflo triple fun jungle), and he talks to the koala, butterfly, and whatever else he can attempt to whack with his little arms like a crazy fool. He squirms and wriggles his little butt as he kicks his legs and squeaks out lots of random syllable combos and sounds. It is truly awesome watching him learn and blossom and all that. It's just plain fab.

Stay tuned for my first entry of "Erin's Edibles." It'll be a fun one, too... an interesting and strange little sweet treat I made to kick it off.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Let's just get down to business here, okay?

I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I will say things are beautiful for my little family, but listen, I need to get down to business here.

I need to just come out and say this, and since you have come to a Mommy Blog, you should be prepared to read this. If you are not ready to read this, leave now. Because... I just can't stop thinking about the fact that I cannot avoid this horrible thing...

and it is called snissing.

Yes, I said snissing. This is a combination of sneezing and pissing. And it is gross. And I hate it. And it has been happening since late 3rd trimester. And I thought it would stop by now. But it has not. And I am trying very hard to strengthen things to make that NOT happen. BUT I JUST KEEP DOING IT.

Seriously, I can't laugh, either. I cracked up over Christmas sitting on my parents' chair, and I was afraid I had just flat out pee'd my pants like a sleeping child who has a bladder problem. I expected to get up and look down upon a puddle, and I was ready to waddle over to my Mom and whimper, "Mommy, I pee'd my paaaaaants," with a sigh.

Luckily, I did not do any damage. THANK GOODNESS.

The only thing that saves me when I sniss-- (yes, again, I am using the word "sniss")-- is that my husband laughs when I say the word, and he takes our child into his arms at any point in time with a smile upon the use of this word, even if the said baby is drooling with chunky spit up and is screaming bloody murder. That is to say, this is a scene from our lives yesterday night...

Me: SNEEZE. SIGH. UGHHHH. Hey babe, take the baby. I just snissed.

Husband: SMIRK. Aw, sure. You go do what you need to do. SNICKER. (kiss on the cheek for me and baby.)

Thinking about this now, I realize I should call sniss like the boy who cried wolf whenever I need a shower or want a coffee break. Hell, maybe I could call him home from work sometime on this snissing issue. "Honey, I snissed. Come home so I can change my pants." That'll work, right?

My husband probably thinks I am some gross alien being when I call sniss, but because I say the word sniss, he snickers instead. It's probably a pity-smile-because-I-knocked-you-up-and-half-caused-your-body-to-start-snissing laugh, but at least it is a laugh. And I really need a laugh after the snissing happens because it is getting old, and I want it to stop.

All in all, it's ridiculous, this snissing business. When does it end????

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reflux in HD

So Goober has had a few rough days. He spent his time over Saturday, Sunday, and Monday crying bloody murder, spitting up copious amounts of congealed disgustingness, waking from sleep with shrieks, not sleeping, looking ashen, and simply seeming way off his usual swagger.

Concerned Mommy? YES. So I called the doc, and fastforward- nothing was found to be wrong with the little fella. Other than the reflux we already knew he had and we were avoiding treating it with meds.

But Goober was too far miserable and off his game to ignore meds anymore, so he is now on 1 ml 2x/day of zantac (ranitidine)... alla baby zantac.

And if he looks ashen again, he will need to be monitored for other issues.

He is still Grouchy McGrouchsterson today, but hopefully he will be feeling better asap.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Flashback Photo: December 2008

We were living in Queens just across from the Upper East Side of Manhattan this time last year. So here is a photo of Central Park South last December, the weekend before Christmas. Weirdly, my husband and I had no idea we would have a little baby boy to celebrate with us in December 2009.

It snowed this year, too, interestingly enough.

Note to self:

Do not eat chocolate chip granola bars while nursing baby.

Doing so may result in. . . chocolate chips leaving a stain on baby's skin, creating the appearance of a bruise. This mistaken contusion will freak Mommy out, making her wonder how baby got a bruise-- "baby is treated like gold; any bruise would be a result of something mysteriously medical. This must be bad." Mommy will start to breathe quickly worrying about baby's medical issue.

And then she will gently touch this bruise and realize it partly stains her hand. She will smell this stain and realize it smells particularly yummy. Further examining the situation, Mommy will see a chocolate chip plastered to baby's sleeper and breathe a sigh of release, smile, and murmur a small "Are you kidding me?" at the possibly-ruined baby garb.

Mommy FAIL.

Gobs and Gobs and Gobs of Snow.

Gobs and gobs of snow. It makes a girl warm in her heart, especially when it is the week of her first baby's first Christmas.

What is not so heartwarming is the fact that we are still stuck without a condo. My husband and I would give anything to be snuggled at home right now, our heat jacked up with a blanket over the pair of us, our little Gabriel snuggled into his own blanket in our arms, our Christmas tree twinkling with white lights and crimson decor, Mommy and Daddy chomping on pieces of freshly-made fudge and enjoying our snow-covered and enchanting woodland view.

But this is not yet possible, and so, in the meantime, we hope the snow stays just a few days more so that we may enjoy this scene, this winter wonderland moment with babe, in just a day or so more.

The condo should be painted today or tomorrow, allowing us to return tomorrow or Tuesday evening. Just in time to get our tree decorated in time. I still have many presents to wrap, and 1 or 2 to purchase!

Our little female cat, Sage, is returning home today from the Pet Hotel (my husband ventured out onto the awful roads to drop my sister off at work and get Sage home in my Mom's 4-wheel-drive-equipped vehicle). I am sure she will be happy to sit in our windows and chatter at squirrels again.

What's sweet about our current not-so-snuggly situation is that we are holed up with family, and that is certainly nice. If you are going to be snowed in for an evening(see the aftermath picture-- i.e. where is our bumper?-- at right), I sure don't mind playing Taboo with my 3 sisters and my parents.

And so, that is the way of the weekend... enjoying family, gazing outside, and longing for the moment the Christmas my husband and I dreamed of from the moment we knew were expecting truly begins.

Oh, and while I lament, we also would like for Gabe's behavior last night to never occur again. He screamed everytime he was put down in the pack and play, and would immediately stop crying when my husband picked him up. I nursed him when he seemed hungry and when it seemed just a little milk would make him drunk enough to sleep, but the longest he went down was one hour. On weekend nights (most Fridays and all Saturdays), my husband tends to Gabe's antics between feedings, and I felt awful knowing he was not getting any rest. And to be honest, what sound rest does a Mommy get while she is hearing her babe cry and her husband sigh anyway?

Mommy FAIL post coming very soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sweet Love of Mommy Blogs,

What a sweet contest! Head over to babyrabies.com and enter to win a Dyson asap! Drawing is tomorrow.

Alas. Alack. A period.

I got my period.


No, Seriously??

I am exclusively breastfeeding, and I started the mini pill last week... and BOOM- period here, cramps and all. At least the cramps are minor compared to what I had prior to pregnancy, and I hope that continues. I was worried at first that getting my period after a week on the pill would be problematic, but I then discovered that because the progesterone-only pill does not regulate my cycle at all. So I guess it is good I can go along as usual with the little pill. It's good I am not pregnant, right? Yeah... (in a severely sarcastic tone) because I was worried about that.

But, Seriously?

No, SERIOUSLY??? I thought I was going to miss my period for months upon months with breastfeeding. Yes, I know that does not always happen, but still, I am lamenting.

Alas. Alack. A period.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thank You, Nordstrom...

...for the Women's Lounge and Mother's Room at the Cherry Hill Mall in Cherry Hill, NJ. It made an evening of holiday shopping with me, my husband, and my son, as convenient as possible for a breastfeeding new mommy.

Southern New Jersey Moms, check this out in a youtube special from ByMomsForMoms here.


And thanks, Target, for having huge carts that fit my baby's carrier safely in the back of it, as well as dressing rooms with super fat plastic benches that made feeding Gabe possible on a day of interview and shopping mayhem with my Mom.

For the record, it was really awesome watching Gabriel coo in awe as we strolled through the mall and walked through Target over the past few days. My little man is so much more alert, and he is soaking in the world. This was confirmed when he started talking to (my parents' -- we will not be in our condo until Sunday at least-- arrrgh) Christmas tree.

In other news, Gabe changed his entire grumpy late afternoon attitude yesterday when his Daddy got home from work. He looked up when he heard his Dad's voice in the room, turned toward him, and immediately stopped crying. In his sudden quiet alertness, he shifted to small smiles, realizing his hero was in da house. It was awesome.

Christmas Sneak Peek

Well, Gabe is still a wee lad of under 2 months so I am not too worried about him seeing my blog and having his Christmas spoiled so I figured I would share with you his "Top 3 Gifts." To give you an idea of what my husband and I decided to do for the little man this Christmas, we decided to build his library with books, and Santa will be giving him some Dr. Seuss among other favorites. Santa is also stuffing his stocking with little must-haves-not-already-had such as MAM pacifier holders and some more of Gabe's favorite butt paste. We're not spending more than $100 this Christmas on him, and I think we came to a total around $80, which, for a newborn, seems just fine to me.

Gift #1. Sassy Me In The Mirror (Santa's "big" gift)

First of all, he needed something for his crib that can entertain him and stimulate his senses. I was pretty disgruntled with the cost of most crib "soothers," as they are called. For the money ($35-$70), a little light up aquarium with mini sparkly fishies seemed really lame. My Mom swears by mirrors for little ones; it makes sense-- babies can see themselves, smile, coo, and watch their little lips move in a mirror. Bonus: Sassy makes a mirror that doubles as a tummy-time toy... you can lean it on the ground for little one to explore his face, too!

Gift #2. from the Urban Babies Wear Black Series:
Urban Babies Wear Black
Eco Babies Wear Green
Foodie Babies Wear Bibs
(Mommy and Daddy's "big" gift)

The cutest damn board books you will ever read or discover. Hell, I would put them on my coffee table even if I didn't have a 7-week-old. The text is hilarious, clever, and adorable, but when paired with the books' satirically-cute illustrations, I would suffice to call the series "genius." I highly encourage you to find them and enjoy them for yourself. The series consists of the three my husband and I are giving Gabe, as well as a book about Rocker Babies, Jet Set Babies, Country Babies, and Winter Babies, etc.

Gift #3. Babylegs
Union Jack, Yellow Dots

So I caved and bought babylegs. For my baby BOY. Go ahead and say they are a waste of money because they can be homemade, but I got a buy one/get one/free shipping deal, and it seemed worth it to me. And for those that say these little leg warmers are not for little boys, let me just say this: Gabe is a BABY. He will look AWESOME.

Gift from Mom-Mom and Grandad
a.k.a. Gabe is already spoiled, and it's wonderful.

Evenflo Triple Fun Jungle ExerSaucer

Lucky guy. It starts as a playmat, converts to a stationary play seat with incredibly colorful and interesting jungle creatures, and then forms into some sort of curvy amusement station for toddlers. I can't wait to watch Gabe's bright eyes look up at the rainforest on Christmas day!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Feeling Ornamental

Gabriel's First Christmas Ornament is here! And we just love it.

I found it on Department 56's website, and it was sold out almost everywhere I looked, online or in stores. Luckily, Boscov's internet store had it in stock (and on sale), and it got here in time for Gabe's very first Christmas!

Here it is:

Full Price: $12.50 new

The Battle of the Bottle

In middle school, it was Battle of the Books. In high school, it was Battle of the Bands. Now, in mommy-land, it is the Battle of the Bottle.

"What does that mean?" you may ask, thinking I am simply blogging dreary-eyed and delirious. "Why would there be a battle over a bottle? Baby hungry - baby eat."

Not so simple with Gabriel, my (not so) little breastfed baby. Every single evening when he gets his single bottle feeding (of pumped breast milk), he is a fussy, crying mess. He whimpers as he sucks, milk drips FLOODS all over his chin and neck, and he seems to be losing more milk than he eats.

I hate it. It breaks my heart to hear or see his feeding time as a battle of burps, air bubbles, spit up, and tears. It makes me feel like I'm evil for scampering off to another room for a shower or even *gasp* out into the world at Target while he is having a hissy fit during a meal.

I suppose it is the curse of the breastfed baby. Well-nourished, well-protected, well-almost-everything, but not well-adjusted to bottle feeding. Part of me wants to skip it altogether (Who would not like to avoid pumping one's breast as if it were a cow's utter on a dairy farm?), but it seems to be a necessary evil for the following reasons:
A. If I get sick, etc.
B. If, in some crazy world, I actually leave Gabe for longer than 4 hours, like on a date with my husband
C. If I get a job
(I am currently interviewing for a make-your-own-hours part-time position with a nonprofit-- I would love this sort of job situation, and the money would be excellent to have) i

I do think part of the issue is the nipple/bottle itself. I've tried Avent, and we regularly use Medela, but the nipples are just too easy for Gabe.I have read great things about MAM bottles, and in tandem with the fact that Gabe exclusively uses MAM pacifiers, it makes sense to purchase some of them to try. I am probably going to get them tomorrow. (will update how they work for him.)

And I hope my concerns over the battle of the bottle do not give you an all too rosy idea of nursing. Gabe and I have had many battles at the breast, too, but they do not happen often, especially these days. Some days I have to battle myself to keep breastfeeding because it is simply exhausting, and on growth spurt days, it can be beyond demanding.

Still, we're going strong- I pump in the morning after his 6-7ish feeding and get 4-5 oz. for a daily bottle, and I pump circa the time he eats his bottle to get 3-5 oz. for freezing.

I will leave you with this:

We're still staying at my parents' right now, and my sisters and Dad had thought my Mom bought a new type of lemon water ice when I started putting my stash in the garage freezer. Teehee.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Welcome, Josie Brooklyn/ Adios Internet Negativity.

At 1 lb. 6 oz., the 19th Duggar baby arrived via emergency c-section on December 10, 2009. She and her Mama and the rest of the Duggar fam are in my prayers. Read the story here and here.

What kills me when I read the story beyond being concerned that the little baby was born at a mere 25 weeks-- almost a medical marvel for surviving her birth alone-- is that people are so cruel. The comments under the story on People, Us Weekly, etc. are condemning of the Duggars. And hear me out-- I understand when people disagree with their lifestyle choices, but here's the thing: A woman and her baby are in serious medical trouble (pre-eclampsia for Michelle and preterm birth for Josie). Regardless of different life views and philosophies, shouldn't people be hoping these people recover and live happy lives?

Prayers are needed right now. Save the nastiness for another time.

Soapbox time done.

Highlight/ Lowlight

High: Gabe rolled over at 6 weeks and 2 days, holy moly go baby!!!

Low: I got a freaking flat tire in my parents' neighborhood due to my own idiocy.

Now, I am waiting for my lovely husband to get back from getting a new tire so that our little fam can go Christmas shopping.

The 6 Week Wait...

is over! I'm cleared and free for all physical activity. So woot woot- I am on the mini-progesterone-only pill! Now... when this mini-pill actually is used as a means of protection is a whole other story seeing as A. I AM TERRIFIED OF HAVING SEX. and B. WE ARE STILL STAYING AT MY PARENTS due to the flooding in our condo until at least Friday.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Finally 6 Weeks Postpartum: The Beautiful and the Not So Beautiful...

So I have made it-- 6 weeks of mommyhood. Sorry for the hiatus in writing... things have been busy in new mom life.

The baby gained 3 lb. 7 oz. from his lowest weight by one month, reaching 10 lb. 15 oz. It was AWESOME to see how successful breastfeeding is going.

Gabriel goes between sleeping like an almost-angel in the night, sleeping from 10:00 p.m. until somewhere in the 12 o'clock hour, going down again by 1:30 until somewhere in the 4:00 hour, going down again by 5:00, and then waking up again sometime after 7:00 a.m. If I was a better sleeper, this schedule would not be too bad.

However, sometimes, Gabriel likes to stay up all night as if it were the middle of day. This is fun, like a middle school sleepover stay-up-all-night-playing-mash evening, for about... 5 minutes. I'm tired. My husband is comatose once he falls asleep. Gabe is cooing and smiling with nobody to enjoy it.

And then there are the nights when Gabriel cries. He cries the cry of the gas. It makes my heart fall every time I hear that whimper grow into a baby shriek. These nights are exhausting, and the only solace I take is that Gabe is bound to fall asleep in his swing sometime after the Today show starts, and then I get to pump, chomp down some oatmeal, and fall asleep on the futon in the living room, lulled to sleep by the mechanical music of the fisher price lamb swing and the voices of Matt Lauer and Ann Curry.

What has been clearly the most rewarding moment of the past six weeks? SMILES! All the sleep deprivation, over-sized (to the point of possibly disturbing) breasts, senseless arguments with my husband resulting from our new-found responsibilities, and general dirtiness, etc. is totally worth his little lips curling like a Christmas elf's into a bright-eyed, sunny, sweet smile. Seeing him smile is heaven on earth, and possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced.

What has been the worst moment? Well, we're in the middle of it right now...
Our condo flooded due to a unit above flooding. The carpet in the master bedroom, the bathroom floor, and the walls in my closet all have to be completely replaced and redone. At least we are renting and we are not financially responsible for it. But my husband had to get home from work asap yesterday to move all of our furniture and clothing and yadayadyada out of harm's way. Our condo is a disaster, and right now it is legally deemed uninhabitable. Our poor cat is stashed in my parents' upstairs bathroom right now because we can't take her to a pet hotel yet (she is 1 month overdue for her rabies vaccine)-- she is NOT dog friendly, and my parents have a dog. This is definitely not a fun situation AT ALL.

But enough complaining. It is time to focus on the beautiful... Christmas is almost here, and I have a darling, smiling, little man to share it with me and my husband.

(Stay tuned for my 6 week appointment update later this week.)