Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hanging on

I'm not even sure what to say. The workday is sprinting by in a blur of phone calls, emails and trying to actually get some drawing done. I'm reading the occasional blog and nest post to save my sanity, but I'm not really keeping up with everyone right now or participating like I would like. (Someday I'll post a picture of my sewing machine. :-)

Heather started getting two "meals" over the weekend, so we've had them start giving her rice cereal at daycare. Honestly, she hasn't had oatmeal in the evening the past two nights because I've been too pooped. After a fruitless search for ice cubes trays at three downtown stores on Tuesday, I got home over an hour later than usual. And last night, R wanted to take Heather with him to pick up our take out during the best window for feeding her, and I wanted a few minutes to myself too much to argue.

I realize that this doesn't make me a horrible mother, and I also wouldn't be horrible if I fed her jar food instead of making it myself. But the thing is that I want to enjoy feeding her and I want to make some of her first fruits and veggies. So I'm a happier mom if I skip a few nights of cereal and if I hold off on veggies and fruits until I can squeeze out the time to make them. In a couple of weeks I might be buying all of her food, but at the moment this is where I am. ;-)

I don't think I'm going to stop feeling stressed out until everything is done for the house tour and/or when things get less crazy at work. I've got two days off, a deadline and 3 business trips in the next four weeks. In other words, it will be at least a few weeks until I really relax. :-) But I'm okay. I know this isn't going to last forever, I'm enjoying my time with Heather (and R) each night, we had a nice visit with my parents last weekend (and I came home with new shoes, new clothes and new yarn...not to mention Heather's new toys!) and I'm really just tired more than anything else.

On the happy front, two baby sweaters are almost done, I'm enjoying the baby genius burp cloths in progress and I've started another baby sweater that I think will be adorable. I can't go into any more detail since most of the recipients read this blog, but I will say that I'm anxious to finish my baby commitments so I can make things for Heather and me again. (I pulled out lace weight yarn and a pattern to make a stole for me, but I haven't cast on yet.)

It's taken me about two hours to write this in between phone calls and emails, so I guess I should post it before the day is over. How is it 3pm already?!?!

Thanks to all of you who have commented and encouraged me recently. I really appreciate it, even though I haven't had much time to comment in return. All of your support means a lot!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


These things seem to come in cycles, and now I'm on the overwhelmed part of the roller coaster ride of the working mom.

I have four projects going at work, all in various states and with competing needs for my time.

Deadlines are approaching for the house tour. I have a lot of stuff I need to assemble before the weekend so I can spend my free time assembling the program.

I'm still barely keeping up with Heather's milk needs, so I'm still pumping 1-2 times a night.

This cereal thing not only takes time but dirties more laundry and dishes.

I think Heather's bedtime might need to be even earlier if we ever want to have a hope of putting her in the crib tired instead of putting her in there asleep. And I really don't know how everything is going to get done every night if she goes to be before 8. As it is I haven't managed to give her a real bath in almost a week.

And on top of all that I'm really tired, which makes it all seem that much harder. In the past few weeks I've only had a couple of nights when I managed to eek out 8 hours of sleep, so my average is probably somewhere around 6.5 hours. I can't tell you how good 7 hours straight felt last night, but I still need more to stave off my bad mood.


Cereal is going okay. Heather is accepting of it, although she's not crazy about being constrained in the chair and I don't think she loves the rice cereal. Maybe oatmeal will be a bigger hit.

(Part of me thinks I should have them feed her cereal at daycare so she needs less EBM and we have one less thing to do at night...but then that is one less thing that I get to do with her. In a month or two she'll need two "meals" a day and I can stop fretting over this particular decision.)

She's also babbling up a storm and sitting on her own. She still needs to sit on a soft surface or with some adult arms nearby, but she is pretty stable for several minutes at a time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy news!

When I opened my bedside table drawer last night to grab the remote, I happened to see my sad iPod. I honestly hadn't been using it much since I came back to work in May, but the past few weeks of not having the option of listening to it has made me want to listen to music at work again. (oh, what complicated creatures we are)

So I decided that I had nothing to lose by trying to turn it on again.

And I'm glad I did, because it worked! I guess it finally had enough time to dry out and/or forgive me for mistreating it. :-)

I will be accompanied by tunes all day and I can get caught up on the Cast On podcast again!

Friday, August 10, 2007


I have removed the button for the Dulaan project from my blog. For those who haven't heard, you can read all about it here.

I have to say that I'm not quite sure yet how I'm going to spend my charity knitting time. I like the idea of the Red Scarf Project, but with all of the baby knitting on my plate, I don't know that I can have anything to the OFA by October 15th. Then there is the fact that I've been meaning to go to the charity knitting time at one of my LYSs for ages, but I've never made it. I think that has more to do with our preference for family time on Sundays than anything else.

I think once I'm ready to do some charity knitting I'm going to have to do some internet searching for either national or local organizations. I'd really like to help local groups, but I've never found good results from google searches. If anyone knows of any groups in the Pittsburgh area that are in need of donated knitting, please let me know. I'd even be happy to maintain a list or share the list with the Pittsburgh Knitting site.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Goal Reached

Heather is 6 months old today and she's had nothing but breast milk!

I've decided I'm not setting any more goals. I'm not going to force any weaning but I'm also not going to do any more than I'm already doing (3-4 pumping sessions, oatmeal, mother's milk tea). It's going to be a busy fall, so we'll see what happens.

Thanks to all of you who have provided support to help us get this far. :-)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Many thoughts

It feels like I have ideas for blog post multiple times a day, but just can't seem to find the minutes to get them written. (Yesterday's post was going to be longer, but I gave up when I hadn't gotten back to it for an hour).

So I'm going to stick with list format in order to share a few things with all of you. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have time to elaborate some of the points.

1 - I *think* Heather is moving herself to two naps a day using the 2-3-4 pattern. She's only done it for 3 days in a row (maybe longer, I didn't ask about her naps at daycare last week) and only followed 2-3-4 for the past two days. But the fact that she did it two days in a row is significant since she's never even come close to that pattern before.

2 - The other exciting aspect to these new patterns is that she went to be at 8:30 last night. Earliest bedtime ever. She woke up at 9:30 to eat, went right back to bed, and other than a few random cries/noises overnight, she wasn't up until she started rolling in her crib around 6:45. (But don't be too jealous, on Sunday night I got about 4 hours of sleep...)

3 - I'm reading "Child of Mine" by Ellyn Satter. It's about feeding babies and toddlers and was recommended by several friends with older babies. So far I'm really enjoying it and am getting ready to start solids with a little less trepidation. (We start on Saturday, BTW)

4 - Things are good at work. The firm just got a big job that should give us some financial security for a while. I was also just offered a role on a new job starting in late September. The downside is the travel that will be involved. But the upside is that because the President and VP of the firm will be the only people "above" me on the job, it will probably be the closest I've come to running a job so far. Exciting and scary at the same time.
The nicest thing is that I was given the option of saying no because of the travel involved. I will discuss the implications with R, but as long as I have a couple of days between trips for this job and another one that I'm already working on, I don't see it as being a problem. (Though it might be a bigger issue during construction - will have to think about that.)

5 - The essence of my breastfeeding post is still in my head, but I don't know that I'll ever have the time to write it as eloquently as I'd like.
There were two specific events that precipitated my thoughts. One, I was telling a coworker (2 kids, never breastfed) about my pumping schedule and the fact that I won't really be going to any lunch seminars until I stop pumping due to limited express bus runs, etc. Her response was "Better you than me. I couldn't do it." The second was a message board post where a woman was getting advice from her pediatrician to supplement with formula because her baby was suffering from reflux and medication wasn't helping. Without going into more details about the post, the gist is that all of the breastfeeding Moms were coming up with alternative strategies and encouraging this mom not to give formula if she didn't want to. The formula feeding moms responded with "If formula might help, why not try it" and "I would follow the pediatrician's advice".
I guess both of these incidents made me think about the commitment involved with breastfeeding. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to parenting, but as a parent you have to decide which decisions are critical and which ones aren't *for your family*. (The old cliché - choose your battles) For me, doing everything in my power to give Heather nothing but breast milk for 6 months is a priority. (On the other hand, it doesn't bother me that Heather doesn't have a consistent bedtime, but I'm sure that would drive some other mother batty.)
The more I think about it, I think the thing that bothers me is the implication the formula feeding is so much easier than breastfeeding. The idea that I'm making motherhood so much harder on myself by breastfeeding and pumping at work is just ridiculous. Yes, it is harder in the beginning because of the time it takes and the lack of sleep...but it is SO much easier once you get in a groove. And while I agree that formula isn't poison, it doesn't make me some kind of martyr just because I'm willing to make a few sacrifices to avoid it. I'm mostly trying to avoid it because I'm worried that if we supplement, my supply will go down and the problem will get even worse.
I don't mean for this to be a rant. I just find it interesting that there are mothers and pediatricians out there who would hear a mother say "I don't want to give my child formula yet" and then go ahead and encourage them to give formula. I guess it goes along with my wish that there were more doctors out there who were more knowledgeable about breastfeeding so that they could give new mothers better advice and not be so quick to recommend supplementing. More people should understand that there are few medical reasons why it is necessary to supplement right after birth, that sometimes it takes more than a week for a woman's milk to come in (without negative consequences) and that just because it is easier for the pediatrician to "fix" a problem with formula doesn't mean that it's the best idea.
I guess this is kind of a rant. Oh well. I probably just need to spend less time reading message boards - then I wouldn't have other peoples' problems to get agitated about. :-)

6 - I enjoyed HP5 even more on the second viewing and I had a great girls night out at the same time. A lovely Saturday evening. I think HP5 is tied with HP3 as my favorite movie. I'm very excited that David Yates is directing the next one, too.

7 - I'm sure that you are tired of hearing about my milk supply. But that's too bad since this is my blog. :-) I've noticed a pattern that makes me think that the Mother's milk tea and the oatmeal really do work. The past two Mondays I have had really crappy pumping days but the next day I've gotten almost as much as I needed. I generally haven't been having the tea or oatmeal over the weekend since it's hot and I'm nursing, but I'm pretty good about having both at work eat day. So it seems like they must really work.

I totally understand if that post was so long that you just skimmed it. :-)

Monday, August 06, 2007

halfway to 32

The only reason that I remembered that today is my half birthday is because Heather will be 6 months old on Thursday. We shall see if I can more easily remember my own birthday when February rolls around. :-) Although we all know what it will be overshadowed by! (I will just be happy to see "and Amy, too" in tiny letters on Heather's first birthday cake. ;-)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Unexciting title

I have a post about breastfeeding floating about in my head, but not the time to write it out. It's not meant to be condescending, but recent things that I've read tell me that formula feeding moms just "don't get it". Not that FFing moms are bad, but just that I've seen some examples of moms who don't seem to understand the rewards that come from a little extra effort. I'm probably not making much sense - I'll try to flush my thoughts out soon while I still remember them. :-)

Right now, I'm counting the minutes until it's time to go pump again so I can get back to Harry. (Maybe I should have just taken a half day off of work, LOL?) When I got to work this morning I had 90 pages to go...I'm soooooo close. And I'm really happy about what I read at my last pumping session!

Counting down - 1 week until Heather hits the 6 month mark. :-) I'm still debating what to feed her first next weekend - oatmeal? sweet potato? avocado? banana? So many possibilities, and I'm sure I'll be much more excited about it than she will be!