Monthly Archives: October 2010

Mixed bag

So both girls cried for about a minute after their shots and were fine. I’m so glad. 🙂

However I’m not so thrilled with our pediatrician anymore. I’m very unhappy with being told I should start sleep training my two month old. “It’s ok to let them cry for a while. You need them to understand that they can’t be dependent on you.” What the fuck? She’s two fucking months old. She IS dependent on me. And never ever ever let your infant be in the sun, now here’s your synthetic vitamin d. And because we did HiB and PC with the previous pediatrician she was snotty when I said Shanna was in for Polio–her records didn’t show Shanna having those shots so started on a lecture about how it is pretty silly to worry about Polio while leaving my child open to Meningitis.

I want to go back to Kaiser.

In other news: Calli is 11 lbs 13 oz and 22.75″. Shanna is just over 30 lbs and just shy of 36″. Yay!

I’ll put pictures for rbus up soon. 🙂

Questionable scheduling

We have a doctors appointment this morning. By ‘we’ I mean both girls. Shanna is just getting a shot (Polio) and Calli is getting a well baby check and a shot (DTaP). It didn’t occur to me until last night that I am a complete fucking moron for scheduling shots for both of them in one day by myself. Ugh. I think it didn’t occur to me until last night because originally our plan had been to follow Shanna’s path and not vaccinate Calli until she was older. But you see… we are having this epidemic… Damnit! I have always said that if factors were different in Shanna’s life we would have made different vaccine choices. Well, things are different for Calli and we are going to make different choices. We spend a lot of time with the anti-vax crowd and that just wasn’t true when Shanna was little. I’m not risking many months of misery for my tiny little baby. To be clear here–I think Calli’s chance of dying of Pertussis is 0 with or without the vaccine. But I feel like it would be inhumane to risk her suffering for months. There were 257 new cases in the state in the last week and 20 of them were in my county. That’s still not that high… but it’s high enough for me to pay attention to the fact that I go out constantly with her and she doesn’t exactly have a highly developed immune system.

As I’m worrying about it this morning Shanna is narrating to her doll what the process of getting a shot is like. It’s so interesting listening to her thought processes about things. I feel blessed by how verbal she is because I get to know what she is thinking. It’s amazing seeing how much blind faith she has in me and in the things I tell her. If I tell her that this shot is necessary to keep her healthy she believes me. She will pass that on to whomever she talks to as if it the gospel truth. It’s humbling. I feel like I have to try extra hard to have integrity in my words because to her there is no one in the world who has more authority than me. Anything and everything I do is what I am supposed to do. Scary. That’s a lot of pressure. I need to get a handle on my frustration with life because I don’t want to model this kind of behavior. Not to someone who trusts me so much.

This parenting gig is intense. Sometimes I feel so strongly about my kids that I feel like I am going to choke on the feelings. It’s amazing.

Maybe I should drink more.

How’s that for sounding like an alcoholic in training? We got drunk together last night and it was glorious. We giggled and talked about silly stuff and serious stuff and realized we were getting sober again and fussy and drank some more! Then we had pretty darn awesome sex. And this morning I’m in a better mood than I’ve been in for quite some time. I think this is the first time I’ve been drunk in something like a year and a half. And I think there has only been one or two other times I’ve drunk more than a glass of wine in the past three years. I’m not actually in danger of alcoholism. 🙂

And… just because I’m a shit… I had a moment yesterday of feeling like an awesome parent with an awesome kid. We went to the tea shop for lunch at Shanna’s request. She behaved perfectly. She was a delight to behold (as every little old lady there told us). And then another little girl came in who was just a little older. The girl was extremely rude to basically everyone around her including her mom, the server, and to a lesser extent Shanna. After the girl was rude to server the server brought Shanna extra cookies saying, “Because you have been so wonderfully patient.” It was kind of funny. I was super thrilled given how much of a turkey butt Shanna has been at home lately. Ha. Save the good behavior for out in public–that’s ok. 🙂

Giving is better than receiving.

MDC (are y’all sick of hearing about it yet?) has a thing they do every year called Holiday Helpers. Folks who are in need ask for stuff they need. Last year I sent small boxes to like eight different families. This year I’m just adopting one family. It’s really nice to think about how happy this family will be. It makes me happy. 🙂 Christmas is coming!

Bits and pieces

I do not have to argue with every thing that makes me angry. It’s ok to walk away.

Shanna is arguing with every single thing I say and I feel like I am going to lose my mind. I’m feeling very frustrated with her yelling at me. And her saying, “Stop saying that!” is just… AHHHHHH

I’m really sick of nightmares. I don’t know why I am having so many. Not sleeping is keeping me on edge all day long and it’s not good for me.

I’ve had a headache for days. It is also keeping me on edge. I’m tired of wanting to whack my head off with an axe just to stop the pain.

So I’m bitchier than average but I’m not generally feeling bad. It’s kind of weird. In between bursts of anger I’m feeling pretty cheerful. Don’t like my mood? Wait three minutes. *sigh*

I need to get on ordering a new oven. I’ve been wanting to bake for a while and my oven just doesn’t work. I’m waiting until we have steady paychecks again. Then! A new oven! So thrilling! I am such a grown up.

I am ‘stripping’ a lot of diapers in preparation for selling them. I’m doing so much laundry it’s insane. Soon I can be done with this stage. I look forward to it. And I’m really unhappy about Shanna’s 100% regression to diapers. This is problematic when she’s outgrowing her diapers.

And through this all… Calli continues to be astoundingly mellow. Thank you second child.

Shit my kid says 2.0

Shanna was crying outside when we were walking to the doctor’s office and I was carrying her. I told her that she could keep crying if she needed to but I suspect the other people in the office won’t like her crying much. So when we walked in she looked around the room and announced, “You all might not like it if I cry but I like it so I’m going to cry now.”

Pretty much everyone there busted up laughing.

So independent

Sometimes I don’t know what to make of Calli’s self-sufficiency already. She freakin loves the swing. We could leave her in it for hours until she has a dirty diaper or needs food. She laughs, smiles, plays with the mirror baby, and thinks the mobile is awesome. Shanna sorta tolerated it when she was tired. She likes just hanging out on her blanket (when I can keep Shanna from injuring her).

I’m not complaining! It’s just… weird. Frankly I’m delighted and grateful. It allows me to get stuff done. 🙂 I have probably already accomplished more in Calli’s lifespan than I did in the first six months of Shanna’s life. 🙂

And she’s so cuddly and sweet. She has a very serious face most of the time but then she smiles and she lights up like a roman candle. I feel so blessed in my children.

Thoughts on tandem nursing

It’s… interesting. There are distinct advantages to it–I never have to worry about being painfully full, I can nurse them at the same time and Shanna doesn’t feel left out or fussy. I have a hard time sometimes with how pushy Shanna is getting. Her verbal abilities mean that she sounds super demanding in asking to nurse and I feel twitchy about that. I’m putting a lot of limits on how she gets to nurse. She has to sit very very still–no moving her head. She is not allowed to stroke, squeeze, pinch, or otherwise manipulate my breasts. She’s having an increasingly hard time keeping her teeth off my nipples and I think it is because the shape of her mouth is changing. She’s not biting her teeth are just pressing harder than I am thrilled about. I’ve read that at some point the mouth changes shape and it is harder for kids to latch properly. I’m wondering if we are already getting into that but I doubt it. I think it usually happens at a much older age.

I usually like it a lot when they are nursing together. Having them both nursing means that they are triggering let-down for one another and the milk comes out really fast and they are done quickly. They are starting to kind of cuddle together while nursing and I think that is likely to increase given how affectionate they are together. (Ok, mostly it is Shanna being affectionate at this point but Calli responds to her really well.) I think it has been a really good thing to nurse them together because Shanna is not showing any jealousy at all. She is completely thrilled by her baby sister. The closest she gets is telling Noah to hand Calli back to me so he can play rough with her when I am off doing something.

Shanna is approaching the supposed window of natural weaning. This is, of course, theoretical. Hypothetically children who are allowed to nurse at will for as long as they want/need will wean themselves sometime between 2.5ish and 4. Next month we hit 2.5. I can’t imagine Shanna wanting to wean soon. She nurses a lot still. It is, thankfully, down from what it was two months ago–I think she is only nursing 5ish times/day now as opposed to 6-10 times/day. It helps that each nursing session now results in a freakton of milk.

I’ve started pumping occasionally and I get 3 oz in as little as six minutes if a kid is nursing on the other side. If I’m pumping without kid assistance it takes almost fifteen minutes. I’m limiting my pumping to 3 oz at a time because I have to nurslings. 🙂 I have no interest in pushing my milk production much higher than it is. It’s hard to pump with both of them and I think my hopes of pumping enough to donate are evaporating. It’s just ‘one more thing’ and I can’t handle that. Pumping requires dedicated time to sit down and focus on something completely non-kid and it requires my hands and that doesn’t work well.

So yeah. I’m not sure how long I will handle this. I have so far been fairly committed to child lead weaning but I’m going to have to figure out how to talk Shanna into being more polite about it if I want to continue nursing without hating it. Right now she sometimes feels like she is seriously violating my personal space and that’s not ok. I’m not going to just ‘suck it up’ and deal with feeling violated while nursing. Not with a kid this old. It is still beneficial for her to get the milk but it is in no way mandatory for health. This has to work for both of us or it has to change. I’m going to work on changing it because she loves it so much and it does help my parenting a lot. It’s dramatic how quickly she can calm down, recenter, and generally get back to a good space with nursing. No matter how bad our day has been, no matter how upset, no matter how awful the tantrum… nursing can fix it. I think I am too lazy to want to give up that tool. So I need to work on making this work. 🙂

Ohhhh… now I get it.

A wonderful couple was willing to babysit Shanna when she was really tiny. The wife commented (I’m not going to get the words verbatim) that she was not easy/hard/difficult… something to that effect. I couldn’t understand what she was talking about! I thought Shanna was very easy! All she needed was 24 hour a day physical contact with me most of that with my nipple in her mouth. It’s not like she had colic or reflux or anything. Fast forward to Calli…

Now I get it. Calli is perfectly happy to take naps lying on the couch by herself. When she wakes up for the night time diaper change after five, six, or eight hours of sleep (I shit you not. She sometimes sleeps for eight hour blocks.) she nurses, gets her diaper changed, then I flip her onto her stomach and rub her back for a minute and she’s right back to sleep without a murmur. The reason I have her sleeping on her stomach is because she is having issues with passing gas. (Uhm. We’ve been eating a lot of cabbage.) On her back she has to kick her legs really hard in order to get the gas out and that often wakes her up but on her stomach she can just fart without a wake up. Much more peaceful for her. She has had enough head control to lift her head up and look around before putting it back down on the other side since birth. It’s neat.

She’s already getting to the point where she’s happy to be held by other people. Ok, sometimes it takes some jouncing, but she’s (almost) six weeks old. I have to jounce her sometimes. When she does get upset it’s pretty invariable that she needs a diaper change. (Though we did have one night where her gas was really upsetting her. The face down on your arm trick solved it.)

She likes to nurse a lot, really hard, and then let go of my nipple and get on with her life. THIS IS SO COOL!!! I’m really happy not having another nurseaholic. She’s already grown out of three month sleepers so I’m very confident she is getting plenty of milk even though she nurses way less often than Shanna did. 🙂

Noah and I are very happy our kids arrived in the order they did. It would be very hard having a kid with as high of touch need as Shanna after having a kid as mellow as Calli. However, it is fucking awesome having a kid as mellow as Calli after Shanna. Which is not to say that in any way we are bitter towards Shanna. I thought everything she did was exactly how it was supposed to be and I didn’t mind. What else did I have to do?

But of course she hates the car. I just have that luck. 🙂

Anniversary

Today my father has been dead for 12 years. He committed suicide to avoid going to prison for molesting me. It sounds so… dramatic. I wish I could stop having mixed feelings about it. I wish I could just get over it or hate him or feel at peace. I’m sad that I never really got to have a father. I’m sad that he made the choices he made. I’m sad that so many people were hurt because of him.

I’m not sad I broke the cycle.

Mmmm nervous energy

Otherwise known as: what I’m doing with all this anxiety. Cause I’m still feeling a lot of anxiety. Thankfully I’m capable of using it in ways that will make me happier long term.

I have been working on cleaning up the garage and paring things down a little more and a little more and a little more. The shed in the back yard has been awesomely handy for most of the time I’ve lived here, but at this point there are almost as many leaks in the roof as there is roof. Given that it is a cheap metal shed ‘fixing’ it would mean just tacking a tarp over it and my freak out about getting away from my white trash roots mean that I just can’t live with that as a solution. Last year with all the lovely rain we developed a rather unpleasant mold problem and a bunch of stuff had to be trashed. Thus my goal right now is to go through stuff in the garage and shed and get to the point where all of our stuff fits comfortably in the corner of the garage so Shanna can still have a playroom and we can get rid of the shed. I’m not sure how that will long-term affect what I do with the back yard but I can’t help but think it’ll be a good thing to not have random crap living out there that we never touch. 🙂 I’m working pretty seriously towards this ‘minimalist’ lifestyle thing and it’s making me happy. I am pretty convinced that we will not be able to move out of this house any decade soon and that means we will need to fit in this space comfortably as our kids grow up. This means making room for their stuff. So I’m getting a head start on that process so it’s not a tug-of-war power struggle over who has to get rid of stuff later. 🙂 Not to mention that the less shit we have the less cleaning we have to do!

So Shanna’s toys are consolidating. The pantry is consolidating. I’m trying to figure out the happy medium between getting rid of too much stuff that we will actually miss and getting down to just the stuff that improves our life.

I’m having a quandary about something though. (Hint: this is one of the rare times I’m open to advice!) I have a gorgeous crystal punch bowl shaped like a huge brandy glass with accompanying tiny punch glasses. This is like 40ish years old at this point so it is very fragile. I think I would be afraid to actually use it because it is a family sentimental piece. It was my moms–one of the few things she managed to hang on to through all the years of her hellish moving. Despite my overall lack of sentimentality I would absolutely never just ‘get rid of’ this. I won’t sell it to strangers and I won’t donate it. But I feel like giving it back to my mother is… awkward. If I leave it at my Aunt’s house for my mom to pick up I feel like I will be opening the door for her to do the same thing to me and I don’t want that to happen. If I ask my niece if she wants it (to ‘keep it in the family) it would be a passive aggressive way of getting it back to my mom because my niece will ask my mom about it, not to mention that they are living together. I would kind of like to just give it back to my mom. This is an important thing to her and I have enough respect for her sentimental attachment to it that I can’t get rid of it… but it doesn’t really mean as much to me. Any ideas on how to resolve this situation?