Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Max - 6 weeks

Max is 6 weeks old today. The irony of this picture is that he has hardly slept most of last night and all of today. He only took short 30, 45, 60 min naps and he would wake up crying for food. Another growth cycle probably. I will try to remind myself of today when he is sleeping so long that I worry. LOL.

I am so glad I have another month off from work. I’m still trying to figure out the nanny/child care situation. I still like the most expensive option the best. I have a few more leads.

All is well, just busy. I had a sore throat and ear ache earlier in the week and backed off my schedule quite a bit. Something has just had to give and it has mostly been computer time. That son of mine has a knack for sniffing out if I go anywhere near the computer and then starts demanding my attention. Occasionally, I can browse while feeding him, but my hands aren't free so it is hard to type/respond.

I’m reading this book called “Raising Boys Without Men” by Peggy Dexler. At least, I think that is the author and the book is all the way on the other side of the house (all 1390 sq feet) and I am too tired/lazy to go look for sure. By read, I mean it took me over 3 days to get through the introduction. I got a bit more read when lying around trying to get rid of the sore throat/ear ache thing I had going on. So far, very good read of parents of all types (single, married, with boys or girls).

Bad Mom Redeems Herself

Probably the worst thing I have done as a mom so far is put Max into a baby bathtub while he was still asleep. He woke up when he hit the water and was FURIOUS with me (and probably scared and confused as well). In hindsight, I can really see his point. It would be very disconcerting to wake up when you were put in water. I’ll give him that. I was in a rush and really didn’t think about it until I got his reaction. I have promised him I will never do it again. Since then, as you might have guessed, he has been a bit weary of baths. Okay, so he cried every time I put him in the tub since then. I love baths and couldn’t believe I scarred my little boy so he hates them so early in his life. However, I came up with an idea and have redeemed myself. Over the weekend, I took him into my big sunken bathtub with me. I hugged him really close at first with his head near my breast in case he needed a food distraction. (smile) He loved it. He just floated away and kicked his feet and hung out for a good 20 + minutes. He was wide eyed with wonder. It was so nice. I so wish I could get some moments like it on film. (sigh) We did it a second time earlier in the week and I think he liked it even better the second time. He has started cooing and making more baby noises when he is happy/content. I’m so happy I was able to turn the situation around. I don’t think we will be going back to the baby bath again. We will see. It is just so nice for both of us in the big tub. Truly one of my favorite memories so far.

Max in baby tub before the "incident".

Friday, September 23, 2005

Another week gone

I can’t believe another week is coming to a close. Where is all the time going? It has been a somewhat busy week. I interviewed a nanny who I REALLY like and she felt it was a good match too. She is almost EXACTLY what I was looking for except she doesn’t cook and I was hoping to get someone to make a decent meal a few times a week. She isn’t completely opposed to cooking, just doesn’t think she is very good or knows how. She said if I showed her a few things she would give it a shot. I need to decide by next week because she needs to give her current family a months notice. The only reason I haven’t snatched her up yet is because of the money factor. She isn’t cheap (about $400/mo. more than what I was hoping to pay), but I think her fee is comparable to what I will pay for anyone if I want a day nanny (as opposed to live in). I’ve looked into a local day care center, which is about half the cost of a day nanny, but I don’t think I can do it. I just got a listing today of family home day care centers in the area that I will check out next week. I forewent a nap today to pay bills and look at my finances to see where I can cut to make up the $400 difference. However, I didn’t even get one bill paid before Max woke up. I did get all of my receipts entered, my accounts balanced, my desk a bit organized so it should make it easier to get in here on Sunday (no time until then) to get bills paid, a meeting set up with a financial advisor, Max’s PCP assigned, and a few other things done while I had the chance though. Then, I visited with a friend I haven’t seen in weeks, treated myself to Sushi on the way home, and just got back from walking the dogs. I’m getting ready for an early night for me. I hope Max’s cooperates. I was short on sleep going into today anyway because the Ex-Boyfriend visit was this week. No hanky panky. Not even any desire for hanky panky, sadly enough. However, we did have a great time playing cards (until 3am – Yikes!). I was ahead until the last round where I completely blew it and lost the game. Oh well, I was so tired by then I really didn’t care.

I have been post about Max and the dogs. They are great together. I had Max on the floor in front of me this morning while I pumped. Lucky came and lay next to him and gave his arm a little lick. It was so cute. The lady that cleans my house a few times a month told me that the last time she was here, when Max was still Jaundice and needed sun, that Max got a little fussy while I was in the shower. She started to go check on him, when Lucky got up and went into Max, nudged Max with his nose and then lay next to him. Ana said, Max quieted right down once Lucky was around (feeling her presence) and fell asleep. Ana said it was really touching. Shadow could really care less. She has no interest one way or the other. I think her philosophy is as long as he leaves me alone, I could care less. Poor Shadow is really the looser in the deal because Lucky makes sure that she gets her attention and love. Max takes priority. Shadow only gets what is left, which isn’t much. Then again, she still is getting walked twice a day and is tuckered out from that most days.

Time to go wake my sleeping baby (as much as it pains me to do so) because I need him to eat (or I need to pump soon). And, he has been asleep for a few hours and I want him up for a few so he is ready to go to sleep when I am. Remember, I had no nap today. We will see if this works the way I have planned. LOL.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Nanny/Day Care Situation (a.k.a Why do I have to work?)

It’s back to just me and Max today. I dropped my cousin off at the airport last night. It was great having her here. She really was a big help, not with Max per se, but with getting errands and shopping and other stuff done for me. Not that she was unhelpful with Max, she helped where she could most of the time, but when you are breastfeeding, there is only so much that someone else can do to help. As much as I enjoyed her company and her help, I am glad to have the house back to myself (and Max) again for awhile. It has been a nice low key day today with just the two of us hanging out and a nice long nap for both of us.

One of the things that has been on “the list” that I started taking action on today was finding a Nanny/Day Care for Max. Can you believe that he will be 5 weeks old on Wednesday? Thank God that I don’t have to go back to work at 6 weeks. I don’t think I could do it. Physically, yes. Emotionally, no!

I came to the realization as I started taking action (and pondering on my procrastination on this) on how much I don’t want to go back to work. For the first time ever in this process, I wish I was married or someone else was covering the bills so I could stay home full time. I love my job and am very good at it. I just love Max and enjoy being able to spend almost all my time with him even more.

I have even started pondering taking longer than I thought at reduced pay. I need to run the numbers and check in to check the political climate because things are changing and I do need to support us in the end no matter how much I dream of a miracle that can allow me to stay home. Depending on day care options/nanny, it may not be as cost prohibitive as I originally thought to have the reduced pay. I don’t know. Like I said, I need to run the numbers and think this through a bit more.

I need to talk to my benefits department, but the way I calculate it, my go back date is either October 31st or November 1st. It seems like it is just around the corner. Never has time gone by so fast as since Max is here. I got together with some friends this weekend and one asked what I do all day. I had a hard time answering. It seems like I don’t get much done except feeding, changing, and caring for Max. Before I know it, one day has ended and another has begun. I thought I would be bored and have tons of down time. It just hasn’t happened. I’m not bored at all and just love it.

Going back to work is going to be very, very hard. Not just from a scheduling/logistical perspective, but mostly from an emotional one. I could cry now just thinking about it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blessed Computer Time and Other Hodge Podge of Topics

Boy, I sure miss having time on the computer. I have been feeling serious withdrawals. Seriously. My mom and sister were over yesterday afternoon and I thought about being really rude and not visiting with them and spending time on the computer instead. But, I behaved myself. It was hard.

Jen - Email me at and I will give you my phone number and get you information on the local SMC groups. We just had a meeting with one of the groups on Saturday and it was a great time. Nothing to be nervous about. It is a group of the nicest women around. The next meeting is already set for next month. I think they are the second Saturday of the month usually around 11ish – 2 ish or so.

My cousin is off doing several hours of errands for me. Very nice. Max was sleeping, but is starting to wake up. Maybe I can get this finished before he does and wants to be fed? It really is great to have her here. She has only done 2 things to annoy me so far.

Last night, Max was a tad fussy. He was in one of those snack all day moods and only sleep for 20 – 30 min. at a time.

[ha ha Max just woke up and I am attempting to feed him and type one handed…just shows you how desperate I am for computer time since this method is very slow.]

The problem with the hang out on the boob snack all day routines is 1) the boobs get sore 2) he doesn’t get enough sleep which makes him a bit fussier 2) I can get nothing else done, including taking a good nap which makes me a bit less patient 4) because I was so tired, I fell asleep for a few min. with Max on me breast and he latched wrong causing my nipple to be extra sore. My cousin took the dogs for the night time walk for me and left me to feed Max. He fed, but didn’t doze off and was starting to get fussy, so I put him in the sling and decided to walk him for awhile. I saw my cousin on the way back with the dogs and took them with me for a longer walk. I got Max into a nice sleep state which I kept going when I got back by rocking him outside (because the rocking chair/glider I ordered in June still isn’t here, but that is a whole other story). After about an hour, my cousin offers to take him for awhile so I hand him over and give the dogs some attention and brush out Shadow.

[break to do a needed diaper change and move laundry from washer to dryer and to put Max in his crib since he seemed so content]

Not 10 – 15 min. later, Max is screaming. She decided he needed a diaper change and he woke up while she was doing it. Well, duh!!! She hands him back saying he’s hungry and wants to eat. I was pissed, but didn’t let it show. I really wanted him to sleep at least another 30 – 60 min. He needed it and I needed the break. He could have lived another 30 min. without having his diaper changed. Next time, I will be more specific and tell her that I want him to sleep and not to do anything to wake him like change him. I know she did it without thinking about it, but still. Sigh. Like I said, my boobs and I could have used a bit more rest time and the dogs could have used a bit more attention. A lesson learned. I did not clearly state my wishes.

The other thing she did to annoy me was put a cookie in his car seat carrier with him when she was carrying him to the car from the SMC meeting yesterday. The crumbs got all over him and the car seat. She said she would clean it, but she didn’t before I needed to use the car seat again so I ended up doing it. Yes, this is minor, but I don’t typically eat in the car or walking around. She and her kids do and it makes a mess. I am told that as Max gets older, this will change. Maybe it will, but for now, I just find it plain annoying.

These are just two very minor things. All and all, she is great to have around and has done a lot to help.

I left Max with my cousin this morning and took the dogs out alone. He was sound asleep and I would have had to change him before I took him because Terri had put him in a sleeper bag last night after changing him and I couldn’t latch the car seat with him in it. This would have woken him up, which would have required a feeding, etc… This technically isn’t the first time I left him because I have left him with my neighbor, sister, and/or cousin watching him at night while I took out the dogs. On those occasions, I felt free and really okay with him not being with me. This morning, I felt like I was missing a vital body part. I was so not expecting the emotion behind this. Maybe because it was my leaving in a car or for a longer period of time, but I had to restrain myself from calling several times and getting impatient with the dogs for walking too slow so I could get back to him. Terri was just changing him and he was crying to be fed when we got back 85 -90 min. later. She said they had just woken up and he just started as I walked in so the timing was great. I do believe her. It was so great to just hug him and have him in my arms again. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard. I had to fight the tears and kept thinking how glad I am that I work from home.

[break to feed Max from right side which I can’t do and type at the same time]

My youngest sister is such a prude. She had a soccer tournament in Orange County and had her ride drop her by my place so she could visit my cousin and Max (and presumably me) for a few hours and ride back the rest of the way with my mom. When she arrived, I was on the couch feeding Max. Two of her players came in (girls under 12 team?) to use the bathroom. I jokingly said something like, “the parents don’t want to come in for a few minutes too. I have a cute baby I can show off.” She replied, I am sure they don’t want to see your breast hanging out. I responded that breast feeding is perfectly natural and not offensive in any way. She said something like “as an authority figure, I need to watch what the girls are exposed to”. I held my tongue, but wanted to go off on her since I was in my house sitting on my couch breastfeeding my baby in which barely any breast could be seen anyway since Max was attached. You could have seen more on a flimsy bathing suit. I did restrain myself, but am still amazed that she commented and felt that it was any way inappropriate. Whatever.

I met the most interesting man while hiking the other day. Before you go there, he is married and I am sure he thought I was married since we started taking when he saw Max in the sling. But, we talked for at least 30 – 45 min.. I think we could have spent a few hours just talking. We went through a whole range of topics and he gave me a book recommendation of “Punishment by Reward” (I think). I’m going to have to pick it up. It was just a nice encounter. I haven’t met anyone so interesting and easy to talk to in quite awhile
Okay, Max has had his fill of me being on the computer. Must go attend to him and then maybe get a real nap in today. Please excuse any typo’s and grammer errors as I did not have time to proof it. It was a type as you can, when you can post that took all morning.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Last Night

Max got lots of sleep last night. His mommy didn’t get nearly as much as she worried so much about him being so lethargic.

It’s sad. Max was sleeping in the co-sleeper and I kept getting up to check to make sure he was still breathing he was so still and sound asleep. I finally got up and pumped at 1:30 my breasts were so engorged and sore. I woke him up at 2 am and fed him about 3 oz of what I pumped and then he promptly fell sound asleep again. He slept again until 5:30 until I woke him up to feed again and we both fell asleep for a bit before getting up to take out the dogs. I basically woke him up to feed him every few hours, he would eat for about 10 min. on one breast then zonk out again and I couldn’t wake him up for the other side. It was just so different than his previous behavior that it was worrisome.

I finally called the peds office this afternoon to make sure that this was normal. She said that it could be, but to call back if he didn’t snap out of it within a few days. I think it was just the calling that did the trick. By the time I got back from picking up my cousin from the airport, he had a great feed and has been awake and alert ever since. Thank goodness.

After very little sleep and no nap today, I am wiped out. I’m just waiting to give Max another feeding until I crash out.

I’m so glad my cousin is back. It is totally doable by myself, but very nice to have an extra set of hands. She went out and got take out for dinner (Cocco’s Fried Chicken Salad). Very yummy.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Max is 3 weeks already

I can't believe how fast time is going. It seems like the days are flying by and I get almost nothing accomplished. How can that be? The time when trying to conceive seemed like it moved in slow motion, especially 2ww. Pregnancy time seemed normal time. Mommy time seems to go at warped speed.

Max slept all afternoon. I took the dogs to the vet for a 4 pm apt. and thought he would wake up there screaming and hungry. He slept through the whole thing. Got him home, still sleeping. Finally at 5:30 I tried to wake him up. He woke up enough to feed for about 5 min., then fell back to sleep. It wasn't until 6:30 that I really got him awake after stripping him down and wetting him with a wet washcloth. A neighbor came by at this time and I think she thought I was a big meanie. Even now, he will only feed for a few minutes and then fall asleep. First off, I hope this doesn't mean he is sick or it is a problem. Second, if it isn't a problem, why couldn't he sleep like this at night? Third, I am really worried about tonight and that he is going to make up for it by being up all night or that he will continue to sleep like he is, which will of course prompt a call to the peds office in the morning. There is no pleasing me. I tell myself I should just enjoy it, but I can't. I'm worried. I hope for nothing.

Max 3 Weeks Old

Max Making Faces

Sunday, September 04, 2005

If I had an extra set of hands

If I had an extra set of hands, yes, I would be more productive and efficient. That would be helpful about now as the laundry and dishes pile up and to do all of the little things not getting done around here that need it. But, what I would really use them for right now would be to film Max feeding or about to feed. He is just so cute I can’t stand it. You should just see his facial expressions. They are just priceless. Sometimes his eyes get really big when boobie is whipped out and he makes an “ooooh” face puckering his lips. If he is really hungry and a bit fussy, his face is all scrunched up until he attaches, then he is instantly content and the cry and/or whimper stops mid stream. Often, he is like a little bird waiting for the momma bird to drop in a worm or something with his beak (mouth) open wide. Sometimes he gets so excited his face just starts quivering back and forth as he tries to find the nipple and attach. It really is too cute for words. It needs to be recorded. Maybe when my cousin is here we can get some footage of this.

I would also take a few more pictures of Max and I together. Granted, I have not really been “made up” or picture ready. Although I have gotten a shower in every day mostly it is a quick basic less than 5 minute wash with no frills. If it is a hair wash day, which I try to do a few times a week, it takes a bit longer. Too long to dry the hair or spruce up after. So, I am not really looking stellar and probably don’t want to see what I look like in print, but I would like a few more of just the two of us. I think I will take him in for an official one month photo at Sears or something to get one of just him and one of the two of us. I can’t believe that is just around the corner. I wonder if I need an appointment.

Max lost his umbilical cord today. I went to change him and it was just gone. I had to search around inside his onesie for it. I guess he gets to graduate to a “real” bath soon. I wonder how he will like it.

In other news, you can take a class at my local JC called “All About Blogging” for a mere $59 and 3 hours of your time on a Wednesday evening in November if you would like. For $49, I can spend 6 Monday's "strollering for fitness" around the campus for an hour and a half with other Mom's if Max met the prereq. of being at least 6 months old. LOL.

I have been able to be a bit more mobile. Not so mobile that I plan to take any class at the local JC, let alone a blogging one. I was just looking to see what they are offering these days.

We made it to Baby’s R Us yesterday evening for a few things. I bought Max a Halloween sweat suit. It is an orange two piece with a pumpkin face. It was only $10 and too cute to pass up.

I have found that two outings in one day (other than walking the dogs of course) seems a bit much at this point, but we are getting one in and slowly getting a few much needed things done. We made it to the grocery store this morning after hiking to stock up on some basic supplies. I was very good and didn’t by ANY junk although the chocolate chip cookies were screaming my name. I pretended not to hear and got out of there quick. I am about 10 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight at this point. It is very motivating. I blocked out the cookie monster by repeating “I don’t need it and Max doesn’t need it”.

I managed to make a two course dinner for one tonight. Okay, it really was for two, but this way I have left overs for tomorrow. Grilled steak and boiled corn on the cob. Nothing fancy, but decent. I finished off the last of the Lasagna dish my friend C brought by earlier in the week and was getting desperate for real food.

Max has been asleep for awhile now so I had better get going and head that way myself. Waking for the night time feedings is hard and getting harder. I have to drag myself out to walk the dogs in the morning, but once we are going it is good and I am glad I am up. I am tired enough that I have to consciously make sure that I have Max with me and that he is buckled up securely. I know it sounds odd, but I just have this fear that I will forget him at home on accident. I am sure it will get more routine soon and easier once he starts sleeping longer.

Days have been going very well although I really must have a nap somewhere between 11 and 2 to make it through.

I have been trying to pump once a day at night after his last feed, that would be now except I am on the computer instead. This helps me not wake myself up so engorged I want to wake him up to feed and is easier for him to feed at night.

Okay, really, got to go. I think I have decided to forget pumping tonight and take a warm bath instead. It is almost night night time for me.

Friday, September 02, 2005

breast milk jaundice info from

CLARIFICATION: In my previous post I indicated that breast milk had bilirubin. This was incorrect. There is "something" in breast milk that causes an increase in bilirubin, but it is not directly in the milk. Thanks to my friend C who found this article that explains more.

Background: Arias first described breast milk jaundice
in 1963. Breast milk jaundice is a type of neonatal
jaundice associated with breastfeeding. Specifically,
it is an elevation of indirect bilirubin in a
breastfed newborn that develops following the first
4-7 days of life, persists beyond physiologic
jaundice, and has no other identifiable cause. It
should be differentiated from breastfeeding jaundice,
which occurs before the first 4-7 days of life and is
caused by insufficient production or intake of breast

Pathophysiology: The etiology of breast milk jaundice
is under investigation, but this type of jaundice is
thought to be caused by a substance in the breast milk
that inhibits uridine diphosphoglucuronic acid (UDPGA) glucuronyl transferase resulting in a prolonged unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia. Accumulation of unconjugated bilirubin pigment in the skin causes jaundice. Physiologic jaundice results from immaturity of newborn's liver and its inability to produce enough UDPGA glucuronyl transferase, the enzyme required to conjugate bilirubin. Conjugated bilirubin is water-soluble and can be excreted.

Please see Jaundice, Neonatal for an in-depth review
of the pathophysiology of hyperbilirubinemia.


* In the US: Jaundice occurs in 50-70% of
newborns. Moderate jaundice (bilirubin level >12
mg/dL) develops in 4% of bottle-fed newborns, compared
to 14% of breastfed newborns. Severe jaundice (>15
mg/dL) occurs in 0.3% of bottle-fed newborns, compared
to 2% of breastfed newborns.

* Internationally: International frequency is not extensively reported but is thought to be similar to that in the United States.

Race: Whether racial differences exist for breast milk
jaundice is unclear, although an increased prevalence
of physiologic jaundice exists in babies of Chinese,
Japanese, Korean, and Native American descent.

Sex: No known sex predilection exists.

Age: Breast milk jaundice manifests within the first
4-7 days of life and can persist for 3-12 weeks.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

15 days already

Hard to believe 15 days have gone by since little Max joined the world. He had is 2 week check up today and all is well. He weighed in at 8 lbs 5 oz. His weight gain has been good so the dr. said I don’t need to wake him at night to feed him. Yeah! He still looks a bit yellow/jaundice to me. The ped said that he may look like that for awhile because breast milk has bilirubin in it and that back in the day before antibiotics the beli helped prevent against disease and infection. He was a tad taller, but I don’t remember the measurement. Unless there is a problem, Max doesn’t go back for 6 weeks for his 2 mo. check up when he will get all of his shots.

I was well on my way to being a news junky with lots of time to watch while feeding watching the devastation on the gulf coast. I cut myself off today after hearing the story of the mom who sent her 2 m.o. on a bus with stranger because she had had no food or water for days and was afraid he would die if he stayed with her. Can you imagine how bad it must be for a mom to do that? I just started balling. The whole situation is just such a tragedy!

The other night, Max and I fell asleep in bed with him feeding. I woke up a few hours later panicked about SIDS/suffocation because his head was a bit down and he was just so still. I tried to move him and he was like a rag doll. It was scary. I lifted his arm and it just flopped back down. I quickly turned on the light and saw that he was breathing and all was well, he was just very relaxed and sound asleep. Since, I have made sure that I have the triangle “blockers” in every place he sleeps to make sure that he doesn’t roll over and that he is sleeping on his back as recommended by the ped.

We have still been taking out the dogs twice a day. Mostly, this has been going well. Once or twice I have timed the feedings wrong or he was hungry sooner than I thought and cried a bit until I could get us to a point where I could feed him.

My peds office is right by my RE’s office. I called and they were slow this afternoon so I took Max up to show him off. Everyone was so happy to see us and I am so glad I did it. There was only one person in the waiting room. I quickly walked through and with him in the sling, most people don’t even realize he is there, but she had to hear all the cooing and talk on the other side of the door. I really hope she was at a point in the process where seeing someone else with a baby wasn’t too hard (or should I say hearing everyone go on about it). Dr. N was there and he got another lookie. Pretty much everyone has been saying that Max looks like me. I need to pull out some old baby pictures of me to compare and see. I think he does have my nose and ears.

We ventured into Target today. Got in and out without a melt down ($200 + later), although it was a close call since I was pushing the daytime feeding limit.

With the walking, the target visit, and the trip to the peds, I am very tired tonight. Max is calling for another feeding. I think I will try to make it a good one, and then put us both to bed.