Thursday, January 31, 2008

Info for parents and a little rant

I've heard great things about the book "The Wonder Weeks" by Frans Plooij and I've also heard that copies aren't so easy to come by without paying through the nose.

Well here is a link to a summary of the book. The highlights for those of us who want to understand sleep regressions and developmental milestones better without having to track down the book and read the whole thing. :-)

For those unfamiliar, Ask Moxie has some great posts on the topic, too.

I find the sleep regressions kind of fascinating. Not only because they are so predictable (the number of message board posts I've seen titled "4 month sleep issues!" and "8/9 month sleep issues!" is astounding), but also because absolutely NO ONE warns you about them. If I wasn't a regular reader of Ask Moxie's blog I would have no clue why Heather went from sleeping all night to waking 2-3 times a night at 4 months.

Is there a reason that pediatricians don't talk about this stuff??!! No offense to the doctors out there, but I hear about so many doctors telling their patients to just let their kids cry or that their BABIES shouldn't be waking up overnight after a certain age or weight. Is there not enough guilt in our lives already without making us feel like failures because our babies want a little comfort or food when it is dark? If the parents aren't upset about getting up then why is there all this pressure to change the behavior? And if we know that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to adults, why would we possibly expect that every baby should be doing the same thing at the same time?

And most importantly, adults don't sleep well when there are stress or changes in their lives. They might have trouble falling asleep, or bad dreams, or they might wake frequently. With all that babies are learning and the all the ways that they are changing and growing, how can we possibly expect them to sleep like perfect angels every night from the time they are weeks old?

And no, this isn't sleep deprivation talking. Heather slept from 8pm to 6am last night. (We were just woken once by a cat having a hairball on the bed. Thank you, Stewart.) I'm hopeful that the breaking through of her 4th tooth and the antibiotics for the ear infection that we didn't know she had will mean more good nights of sleep in our near future.

*knock on wood*

And by good nights I don't mean that I expect her to sleep from 8 to 7 every night without a disturbance. It would be nice, but I'm not going to push my luck. :-)

I hope that some of this information is helpful to those of you with younger babies. You might be lucky and have kids who sleep through all of this developmental stuff, but if you aren't at least you will know why it is happening!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mood and Milk

I started a blog post like this yesterday...

"I'm really, really, really trying to move beyond my crankiness.

Granted, I probably have a right to be cranky. Even before the thrush I felt like I was barely holding it together and this new 'fun' has added another layer of things that 'have to be done'.

But yet, I'm also really lucky. I have a very happy and mostly healthy baby, and we have been able to breastfeed for almost a year (and we're still going). I have a wonderful husband who has been very helpful and supportive (especially lately). I have a good job that I enjoy with nice coworkers and good clients. I have so many friends both in and out of Pittsburgh that I can't possible see and knit and talk with them all as much as I would like...or even as much as I should. My grandmother has recently made a fabulous recovery and my other two grandparents seem to be doing well."

And then I didn't know what to write.

I guess the point I wanted to make is that I'm trying to be very aware of my mood and how I interact with others. Even my boss made a passing comment about me being cranky (he wasn't being mean), and that's really not the "Amy" I want to project to the rest of the world. So, I'm allowed to be annoyed about things. I'm allowed to be tired and overwhelmed. I just don't want to allow myself to let it take over my life.

Some other tidbits:
- Heather stood on her own for 5-7 seconds last night. I'm not sure if she even realized it. She let go with her steadying hand so she could open her Elmo book. Later R was helping her stand and letting go, and she seemed to think that was pretty fun. We may need to come up with make-shift gates if we don't get on the ball soon and order some. :-)
- I cast on for "Ivy" last night. It's a wrap cardigan pattern from Knitty. I've got two cones of Jaeger Wool Silk (I have no idea how many yards/cone, but I'm sure it will be enough) and I had to buy a new circular needle. In my desperation to start asap I bought a metal needle. I hope I don't regret that decision.
- The Tulip sweater is close, but not done. I have to wind the extra skein of border yarn in order to finish the knitting.
- I would not wish thrush on my worst enemy. I hate feeling like a germaphobe and I hate pumping now more than I did before. We will see whether I make it another week.

Lastly, a quick question for the moms and pediatricians who read this. I plan to stop pumping at work next week and once we get the go ahead for whole milk, Heather will just get that at daycare instead of EBM and formula. I still plan to nurse morning, evening and overnight (as needed) for some time frame yet to be determined. (I'm not anxious to wean, but I don't want to go on for years or consider tandem nursing). When I travel for work, do you think R is going to need to give her bottles of EBM or formula? Or will she just eat more solids when I'm not around? Any advice or thoughts? My next trip is right after her birthday, so I'm sure he'll need milk then, but I'm more curious about what to expect in March or April. Thanks!

Monday, January 28, 2008

One more obstacle...

(If you aren't a reader with any interest in breastfeeding or women's health issues, then you can just skip this post.)

I considered taking a photo just like someone I know, but I decided that if I haven't been posting any fun pictures lately, then I don't want to post "unfun" ones like that. :-)

Heather and I have thrush. Ugh. I'm not really sure when it started. My right side hasn't been quite the same since the bouts of plugged ducts and mastitis in November/December...but it was never really bad enough to call anyone. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. What's done is done, right? What I can tell you is that I started noticing some real discomfort and even a little pain overnight on wednesday. I freaked out a little, but then pumping and nursing sessions on Thursday and Friday were okay. And the irritated areas were primarily the side where Heather's new upper tooth was hitting. Starting Thursday morning, I applied lanolin religiously after every session and kept myself in clean breast pads. By later Saturday afternoon, I knew that my problem was not getting better and I'm sorry to admit that I was a bit of a cranky pants myself for the rest of the least to poor R.

This morning Heather and I visited the pediatrician and this afternoon I spoke to an LC and made an appointment at a local Breastfeeding Center. We're primarily going to get a prescription for me for a cream that will fix my pain and I plan to ask about other strategies we can take if Heather's meds don't work. (From what I've read, about half of the yeast strains out there are resistant to what she's been given and the pedi found an ear infection, and the antibiotic she's now on isn't going to help our situation either.) I'm also going to ask about how best to clean and steralize around here. I've boiled all of the bottles, pump parts and pacis. And my bras and her blankets are currently in the washing machine in hot water.

I don't know what to do about all of the stuffed animals that I can't put in the washer or the plastic toys that make music, noise, etc. I'm hoping the doctor will have some good suggestions for us.

If we were down to fewer feedings, I might consider weaning. But I'm just not ready yet and I don't think Heather is either.

Ah well. I must extract myself from under the sleeping kitty to go pick the peanut up from daycare. (I dropped her off so I could get the boiling, washing and cleaning done. I had hoped to do some work, but I didn't sadly didn't get to that. Sadly because I don't want to get any further behind...)

Friday, January 25, 2008


1 - Birthday invitations are in the mail.

2 - Presents that need to be sent for Christmas, an October baby and three birthdays (*shame*) and two gifts to be returned to amazon were sent with R today for mailing.

3 - A gauge swatch for a sweater for me has been started. I'm not sure what the pattern will be yet. I decided that there are enough patterns I want to make that I will see what gauge I get when I like the feel of the fabric, and then look for patterns with that gauge. I can do this easily in Ravelry, right?

4 - The second sleeve of the Tulip Sweater has been started. I predict that the knitting will be done by the end of the weekend, but I'll still have ends left to weave in next week. And I'm really glad I bought more of the border color than what came in the kit because I'm definitely going to run out.

Heather still has a cold, but she only woke up once last night and didn't need the marathon nursing session she's been prone to lately, so hopefully that means that she is on the mend. I will not miss the fight to clean the dried snots off her nose each morning and night when she is healthy again! But a minute after finishing the morning face wash she loves me again, so it can't really be that bad. ;-)

R turned the timers off that light the Christmas trees each night and Heather has shown less interest in them recently, so hopefully we can take the trees down this weekend without any backlash.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A blur

Things are a bit of a blur at the moment. I'm behind on sleep, there is a lot to do at home and a ton to do at work. I find myself using my bus rides to play solitaire or sudoku (I think it is a bit of escapism on my part) although there was some knitting over the weekend with my parents here and the usual sunday brunch. I've finished the body and one sleeve of the Tulip sweater that I started on the 13th. Good progress for someone that doesn't really have a lot of time to knit. :-)

Heather and I had a lovely playdate on Monday with Amanda, Eleni, Lisa and Eliana. I didn't take any photos (I know, bad mommy), but Heather enjoyed her visit with Bella quite a lot. She giggled watching her run around the room and most of the times that she was licked. She didn't even seem to mind very much when Bella licked her right on the face (is this really my child?!). We all started with a nice lunch at Eat'n Park where Heather ate well despite her cold and then we hung out at Amanda's for a little while. It was our first playdate where Heather was the oldest child there. Kind of fun to be the one answering all the questions instead of asking them for once!

Nights have been somewhat difficult lately. I think it is primarily due to Heather's cold and maybe tooth #4. Although I think it is more about the cold because she's woken up with tylenol in her system and that usually takes care of teething pain. I'm trying to go to bed early and not freak out about it. I'm not good at going to bed early...but I decided that lying in bed from 9:30-10:30 is better than going to be at 10:30 even if I don't get that extra hour of sleep I was aiming for. Rest is still rest.

Heather still isn't walking, but there have been several more instances where she has stood for a couple of seconds or taken a couple of quick steps. She's also happy to walk around the house with us for long stretches (only holding one hand, instead of two), so I think once she decides that she can walk there will be no stopping her.

No, we haven't ordered gates yet. It's on the long to do list that keeps getting put off because I need extra sleep. That and sending out the invitations to her birthday party. Hopefully everyone we're inviting doesn't have plans on February 9th from 4-6pm because I don't know if the invitations will get in the mail before this Saturday... ;-)

I must finish my lunch and get back to work. My managers are traveling tomorrow and I want to finish a few things for them to take with them!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Knitting, Walking and Food

1 - First about me. I'm struggling with the knitting a little bit. I still really want to work on a sweater for me. But I get to the point in the evening (like now) where my choice is either to go to sleep or do something for me. I've been tired enough that the thought of planning out a sweater is a little too much for 10pm. I have hope though. Heather has slept through the night the last two nights (*Knock on wood*), so maybe there is a more rested Amy in my future.
I'm still working on the Patchwork Tortoise for Heather. I'm working on the patches now and should easily finish them before knitting or Sunday, or at least in the first hour that I'm there. I don't want to spend the get together seaming, so I need to get something else on the needles.
I started swatching for the Tulip cardigan. Santa brought me the kit for Christmas. If I don't make the time to start a sweater for me before Sunday, then this will be my next project.

2 - Heather isn't walking yet, but she's still painfully close. She's moved up to the older infant room at daycare, and she's the only one in the room not walking, so it is certainly just a matter of time. She can climb the steps by herself (with someone behind her, of course, as a safety net), push the wagon by herself and cruise all over the place.
Her eating has reached a new level, too. Since the new year, she's eaten pasta with sauce, grilled cheese and shared some of my chicken, rice and broccoli casserole. Sometimes she won't pick up and eat things when they are first offered, but will come back to them later. And other times she'll eat her fruits and veggies from the spoon even when she won't pick them up herself. Last Sunday at brunch, she ignored her apple chunks on the table, but was happy to eat them from my hand later. She also ate quite a bit of potato, egg and cheese from my breakfast.

It seems like there was more I wanted to post, but my mind is blank. Must be time to go to bed.

Fingers crossed for another long and quiet sleep!