Randomonium 1.0

Get it?? Random + pandemonium = a far-fetched blog title. Some things look far better in our heads.

Sooooooooo, welcome to the first (and possibly only) edition oooofffff Randomonium!!! The only game show host-y review of some random crap I’ve got floating around the ol’ noggin with no bearing on anything important or relevant to AAAANNNNYYYONE!!!

Random #1: If I had to take a course in Google+ I’d be failing. I just can’t wrap my head around the circles and the general mayhem goin’ on up in therrre. I’m sure it will probably be the replacement to Facebook, some day, so I’d better get a move-on, but seriously? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Random #2a: Two things that will never get old? “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” (See Rando #1.) and, of course, hashtags. #sarcasmrocks #almostasfunnyasanthonyweinerjokes #doyouevernoticethatitseemslikepeoplegooutoftheirwaytomakesuperdeeduperlonghashtagsimeanreallywhatsthepointwhydonttheyjustgettheirownblogandwritetheirlifestoryitdbewayeasiertoreadandlesstaxingontheeyesdoesanyoneelsethinkthatweregoingtohavemajorvisionissueswhenwegetolderthankstothesedangcomputersandphonescreensandsoforthbutidigresswherewasigoingwiththis

Random #2b: You know when commercials catch onto the hashtag thang, it’s only a matter of time before the funeral. Which is a little sad because they can actually be funny…on occasion…when done right. #herelieshashtag #weknewhimwhen #oncegoodforfindingthemainidea #alsogoodforaddinghumortoacomment #lostallrelevence #overusefail

Random #3a: I am enamored with all things British royalty. Who knew? I think my husband wanted to disown me while I was eagerly awaiting (unlike 98% of the rest of the world; I really think about 2% of us were thrilled beyond words; the rest wanted the “Great Kate Wait” to just not be covered, which I get) the birth of Prince George. C’mon, Wills and Kate are just the cutest little couple EVER, they’re my age (which makes me think that we could all be BFFs and hang out at a local pub…not really), and it’s just good to focus on something positive, for once. Given the unseemly history of the royals over the years (and I don’t even mean the whole Charles’ affair thing), it’s better than massive beheadings and poisoning your brother for the throne, amiright?! Side note: Louis…Lewis? Or Lewy? I should’ve placed bets; I got it right. (It’s Lewy.)

Random #3b: My iPhone case is the red “Keep Calm and Carry On” graphic. That is all.

Random #4: Groundhog…or woodchuck? Split the difference: ground chuck. I did this completely accidentally when I was about 12. While driving with my mother, I spotted a groundhog and blurted out, “Oh, look!! A ground chuck!” She laughed heartily and never let it go. Of course, this was also the day that we went to a movie and saw one of those pre-movie images of an old movie — and read “African Queen” as “A Fricken Queen”. I’ve since seen the movie and loved it. One of maybe two or three films featuring Bogart that I can stand to sit through.

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

Random #5: Speaking of woodchuck…I love me some Woodchuck. No, not roadkill. (I don’t hunt, either.) Woodchuck Hard Cider, of course! It happens to be made in our favorite home-away-from-home, Middlebury, VT. One day, when the little one’s older, we’re SO going to do a brewery visit. I mean, if we did Magic Hat during our honeymoon, the least we could do is visit my favorite cidery. Wait, is that a word?

Random #6: What’s more random than Jasper…admiring my clam chowder…and taking to Instagram with it…and my hubby responded. (Side note: Marry someone who can make you laugh. Consequently, marry someone who is hard to make laugh. Early on, when we were first dating and I made him laugh uncontrollably, it gave me the best feeling in the world to think, “This guy never laughs…and I’m making him cry-laugh. Either he really likes me or I’m just that good.” Either way, win-win.)

Randomonium 1.0 - image blogger-image--1350409690 on http://megactsout.com

And I’ll leave you with sweet Jasper for today.

Nothin’ But a Five Thang, Baby

Side Note A: I was totally going to finally pump out Hadley’s birthday post for today. You can stop holding your breath for now; I’m hoping to get it done for Monday.

Side Note B: Gotta say I’m into the white girl gangsta blogger thing lately. It’s a 90s kid thing.

Anyhoo, I noticed over on the blog, Nekaro, that there’s a meme going around the blogosphere: five questions with five answers. This could, for all I know, be an old wives’ tale. (Ha. A meme? Old wives’ tale? Right, Meg.) I haven’t seen it. But, who am I to look down my nose at a fun, MySpace-style list answering bonanza?

I’m supposed to tag folks to do this, but I hate that kind of pressure. “Will they actually do it? Will they hate me for shanghai-ing them into doing it? Do they know who I am??” So, if you want to do it, go ahead. If not, don’t tell me. Oh, the self-loathing.
Five Things I Have a Passion For:

  1. My Boys (furry and non)
  3. Louisa May Alcott & the Transcendentalists
  4. History & Antiques
  5. Interior Design (not necessarily good at it; just have a passion)

Five Things I’d Like to Do Before I Die:

  1. Complete our family and see the kids happy to adulthood.
  2. Get back on stage.
  3. Find a forever home where we feel accepted and safe, and where there’s enough room for big holiday get-togethers.
  4. Get a dog.
  5. Publish a book. Or ten.

Five Things I Say A Lot:

  1. “Gonna change your dipey ’cause ya pooped your pants…pooped your pants….” (there’s a whole song and since he’s in the wriggly phase, it’s necessary)
  2. “WINSTON!!! G****** it, Wee Wee!”
  3. “How was your day?” (Important to check in with the outside world and find out what good and bad made up the hubby’s day)
  4. Probably any number of weird things that make Dave laugh that I don’t realize are “funny.”
  5. S*it and f*ck. I’m classy.

Five Favorite Movies: (in no particular order…man, seriously, only five?!)

  1. The Philadelphia Story
  2. Since You Went Away
  3. It’s a Wonderful Life
  4. Holiday Inn
  5. A League of Their Own

Five Places I Want to Travel:

  1. Ireland
  2. England (yes, again; Dave needs to get there)
  3. Canada — specifically, PEI
  4. Across the U.S. — ROAD TRIP!!!
  5. Australia

See? Pretty painless! If you’ve got a blog, link to me so folks can see my boring answers. 😉 And let me know below so that I can read your awesome, way-better-than-mine answers…or if you have any questions, such as the rest of the diaper song. We could totally record it for you.

Booby Business

I’ve been a mommy for over a year now, which means that we’ve officially been a breastfeeding family for as much time, too. Over that time, I’ve written here and there about our breastfeeding experiences, but now that we’ve reached the one-year point (which was my mental goal all along) and are still chugging forward slowly but surely, I thought I’d give a little update.

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

When last we met our heroine, Hadley was tapering off his feeding amounts and she was taking it tough. (Okay, third-person mode off.) Since summer vacation got out, I (obviously) haven’t been pumping and have taken to an “on demand” sort of schedule — in other words, he hasn’t needed to eat as much throughout the day.

We’re on a schedule, but it revolves around his meals (real food – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and sometimes snack) and nap times. He always breastfeeds in the morning (around 5am) and before bed (around 8:30pm), plus a couple during the day (often before or after the nap), with a bottle or two of 1/4 apple juice (and 3/4 water). So, I’d say that breastfeeding is becoming irregular, but still “a thing.”

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

As I’ve said before, this makes me happy (to be continuing on as long as he needs it, and for the bonding, loving-my-little-boy time), yet torn (I. Miss. Wine. And a handful of other selfish things, like leaving the party or having to sequester ourselves from folks). Hearing folks (well…just my mom, who’s been incredibly supportive considering she didn’t breastfeed, herself) encourage me to move on to cow’s milk since I’ve “gone long enough” whips me back to trying to enjoy those 5am feedings again.

In fact, I was reminded by the bitter side of this bittersweet milestone (weaning) today when I finally offered him his first bit of cow’s milk. As with absolutely everything else that goes into his mouth, he liked it quite a bit. (He was confused, I could tell – continually taking the bottle from his mouth to look over while smacking his lips – but at least he’s been on a bottle while at his grandmother’s during the school year, so that part was fine. And, no, we haven’t been able to transition to a sippy cup yet. One battle at a time, I suppose.) His stool was a little more, um, shall we say “active”, and I’m not going to make it an everyday occurrence quite yet, but knowing that it’s on the horizon puts a lump of sadness into my throat.

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

He’s not walking on his own yet. He’s still got his fine, golden baby locks. He only has two adorable teeth. He still needs me more than anyone, and doesn’t care who knows that he’s my biggest fan. He only communicates in guttural sounds and the occasional “oof” (which started off meaning “dog” but now means “cat”, “zebra”, “my favorite commercial, let’s dance” and a hundred other things). He still eats “with me” (as I say it)…but not for much longer.

The milk in a bottle is the first stepping stone towards growing up. When I finally resolve to accept that which I cannot change, I’m pretty certain that I’ll handle it better than, say, his father. But, in the meantime, I’m taking it awfully hard. The only way to get through is to cherish the mundane everyday occurrences and the experiences that we can share joyfully.

Now, what to pick for a Halloween costume before he can really say “No! I wanna be Superman!!” (or, God forbid, Spongebob or some other crap)…

A Bit of a Jolt

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

I’m not against coffee or anything. With enough sugar and milk, it’s rather yummy. Garsh, there are even times that I miss it so much that I smell it. You know what that means, right? Yes. Sticking my nose in my husband’s cup. I’m not too proud to say it.

I know you’re thinking, “Why don’t you just HAVE some, then?” First, thanks for the judgmental tone. Not.

Secondly…just kidding. 😉 I’ve decided to cut it out of my diet while we’re nursing because, well, I’m not the woman I once was. I had a tiny bit of coffee while pregnant (mostly half-caf) but quit that when I noticed the lil’ fetus doing jumping jacks. These days, if I have coffee, I notice myself doing jumping jacks…and shaking…and, yeah, it’s not pretty. If I have it past noon, the baby has a rough night, which is even less pretty.

So, I’ve cut out caffeine in its coffee-bean form. It wasn’t really a challenge for me since pre-pregnancy, I wasn’t coffee co-dependent. On rare occasion, I’ll partake in chocolate (before, say, 2pm — for above-mentioned baby sleep reasons) and often drink decaf and herbal teas.

Today, for whatever reason, I decided to have some green tea — plain, ol’ caffeinated green tea. (The norm is decaf, in case you didn’t spot a trend.) I put a bit of sugar in it and was on my way.

No shaking this time, but I found myself in the “privacy” of my back room at school today, pumping, dancing what can only be described as a mash-up of an Irish jig and a Fred Astaire tap.

Let me say that again, slower, to let that set in. I was in the back room of our library today…attached to a breast pump…dancing. Not just the “stand in the back of the room and sway back and forth” half-assed type of dancing. No, I was full-on making noise with my shoes, moving all over the place, mugging for the audience dancing.

Take a moment. I laughed at myself, so you have more than a right to. Continue reading when you’re ready.

The thing is, I’m not even a good dancer. There are a few things that I can do passably well (onstage, in particular). I can carry a tune, I can do comedy, I can pretend that someone’s about to hang me and not make it seem INSANE that I’m not fighting tooth and nail, I can do an accent, I can scream like nobody’s business, and I can act blonde in a blatantly horrible blonde wig and have a handful of folks actually buy that I am, indeed, blonde. I cannot, for serious entertainment’s sake, dance.

It’s not for lack of trying. My sister and I had to pull off a ’40s-esque dance in a show quite awhile back, and since our dance instructor didn’t actually exist (we were promised one…several times…but such is community theater, am-I-right?), I studied a handful of YouTube videos and threw something together that could only be deemed “awkwardly cute” at best. What can I say? I’m Mr. Ed when I dance for realsies. (Slow dancing, I can do.) Great for a comedy. Great for an email address with a shout-out to Elaine from Seinfeld. Otherwise, I keep it in my pants. Read: Nobody needs to see that.

The only thing that I can attest my sudden spurt of footwork to is that tiny bit of caffeine. I didn’t suddenly have an out-of-body experience, nor did I have a song stuck in my head that found it necessary to make me boogie. There’s just no other reason.

In order to protect any semblance of future pride, I’ll have to stamp a reminder on the tea box: “Warning: May cause spontaneous dance parties while hooked up to a milking machine. Exercise extreme caution.”

God. What would happen if I could actually consume alcohol again?!

A Note From My 16-Year-Old Self

I’ve read some incredibly inspiring “letters” from individuals to their teenage selves, in the vein of “if I’d known then what I know now…” When I look back, however, I tend to find more inspiration in the person I once was. So, I thought I’d do a little method acting (think of that) and try to place myself into the brain of my 16-year-old self and see what advice I might have to give…to myself.

So, you reached 30, huh? That blows my mind on so many levels. Here are some things I hope you’ve remembered along the way…or, if you haven’t, START remembering:

Don’t stop being weird. There was a time that we were hurt at the prospect of being considered strange. I still remember telling Mom in the car on the way to the farm that kids at school (we were in about 5th grade, remember) were calling me weird. It wasn’t in a bullying way, but I found that it bothered me and even hurt. I liked different music. I read different things. I watched irreverent TV shows and old black-and-white movies. I was sensitive but outspoken. I wasn’t quite a tomboy, but was far from a girlie girl. Today, as my 1998 self, I’m terribly proud of the fact that I’m still that person. As far as the tiny school bubble in which I live, I exist amicably with most everyone, and have been lucky enough to find acceptance. I’m hoping that you’re able to maintain who we are without apologies.

Stay friends with the people you truly trust. You know, the ones who don’t talk behind your back and make you nothing but paranoid. The ones who accept your weirdness. And try to remember to be a good friend back at ’em, ‘cuz they may stick with you for the long haul. Oh, and anyone who’s put up with your Monkees obsession…yeah, they deserve a place in some Hall of Fame some place.

Say what you feel, when it matters. I know we have a tendency to be loud-mouthed, opinionated and incredibly outspoken when we’re around people we’re comfortable with, but at the same time incredibly insecure and shy when we’re intimidated by larger-than-life personalities (like a certain teacher we all know) or unknown experiences. It’s okay to be shy, but don’t let that stand in your way of doing things. And DON’T let ass&%#@$ pile-drive you. ‘Cuz there’s always gonna be ass&%#@$.

Try new things. I even have a hard time with this one today, myself. Remember when we were sick for “Oliver!” auditions and you didn’t take the chance to try out? We were lucky when Jen moved and you got her part, but it didn’t feel very earned, did it? Nope. Just go forth and have frickin’ fun. We’ll only live once, and as cliche as that sounds, it’s damn true.

Don’t live life for anyone but yourself…er, us. Recently, I told Mom (remember, after church school on our way home?) that I thought I’d like to get better at guitar and maybe try seeing if I could make a go at a folksinger type of life (ie not necessarily go to college). She immediately put us down. Didn’t feel so good, did it? While it’s important to make her happy, at what point will you realize that you have to make YOU happy, too? I hope you’ve been successful with this one. It’s a biggie.

– In other words, do what you love. Whatever that may be.

Marry a nice guy who you can laugh with, and who you don’t mind taking care of when they get old/sick. And if you can’t find someone you can laugh with, or who can accept you and your weirdness, just keep looking. ‘Cuz the dating pool here in Mohawk is not the end of the line, thank God.

Keep busy! Play at least one sport, and try to do something creative, like, always. I personally think you should stick with tennis, especially since Katharine Hepburn is STILL doing it in her frickin’ 90s! Plus, you can be competitive without needing a full-blown team. Oh, I suppose I should also clarify — keep busy DOING FUN THINGS. Things that you enjoy doing. Don’t keep playing oboe if it’s not fun for you…and DON’T feel guilty if you stop. But, if you ever miss something, try it again and see if it’s still in your blood. It’s okay to do that, especially since these days it’s more of a chore to do homework and practice oboe, sax, piano and voice for SoloFest, on top of tennis and marching band. It might be more fun when it’s less pressure.

Long live the Monkees. And Dave Foley & KITH. And Jimmy Stewart. And Bruce Ward. And NEVER, EVER wear tapered-leg jeans again, if you can help it, even if they come back “in.” Always keep a pair of flared legs on hand. No more perms. Oh, and no matter how much we love Peter Tork…don’t do the bowl cut ever again. That is all.

Be a mom. Don’t ever let anyone make you question whether you want kids; you do. Not only have you always wanted them (hell, remember cracking the JC Penney catalog to the nursery section every time we got a new one, instead of the toys? Gave Mom a heart attack, alright! Heh heh.), but you were born to be a mom. Even if you don’t have everything else figured out, HAVE KIDS. For me. And be a cool mom. Strict, but cool.

Lessons learned. And apparently I’ve always had a thing for bullet points.

Bathroom Update

I’m naughty. It’s been 20 months since I posted about my horrific bathroom. But, since this is a bit of a “no apologies” zone, I won’t be saying sorry anytime soon. Instead, I’m going to thank the heck outta my husband and pat ourselves on our slouchy little backs. We’ve officially been jump-started.

This is what we were faced with when we bought this place…

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

Say goodbye to poop brown. Hello, sleek, clean white!

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

Sure, it’s just the trim, but it was a pretty huge undertaking — especially around Christmastime. We did one coat of primer (probably should’ve done two) and we think about 7 coats of white semi-gloss. It wasn’t low-VOC because we’ve used the same trim color throughout the house from Day One.

I did a couple of coats; the rest were Dave. Originally, I hoped to do the whole job myself.

Psht. Yeah. Right. The downfalls of motherhood. The blindness of idealism.

As it is, we’re lucky that my stepdad has offered to help with a handful of the projects, and even says that “after the painting, it’s easy.” Then again, he was a plumber by trade. Here I thought that taking up the toilet would be the rough part.

So, what’s next? I’m hoping to paint the upper half of the walls (in a low-VOC paint); Dave’s not the best at cutting in, so that’s why I’ll be working on it. (Gotta do some more sanding and spackling first. Why can’t a project be as simple as “paint, done”?) THEN, the beadboard and floors will be attached (ie toilet up, sink out — we’re replacing the sink with something more practical; ya live, ya learn). Next, a bathtub surround fix-up. Then it’s really a matter of accessorizing and art-ifying!

Oh, and we’re also replacing the teetering monstrosity of a behind-toilet shelving unit that Winston loved to jump atop. Every time he did, I thought I’d get knocked out by the thing falling over. What a way to go — sitting on the potty.

Stay tuned! Hopefully, the next update will come this year rather than 20 months from now, ifyaknowwhatImean.

Public Display of Affection

You may notice that I mention my husband around this joint from time to time (and he makes a rare occasion, especially when we’re talkin’ wedding anniversaries and traveling). We’re not huge over-sharers when it comes to our relationship and some other stuff, mostly because we try to be cautious about how public his job is and the wackos that may or may not hunt down our family. You think I joke. It’s creepy enough that folks he’s never met refer to him as “Dave” at the grocery store (or shout to him from a busy garage sale at the corner of our street) and treat him like a long-lost friend that they can bitch to. Even creepier when people chase us down in Kmart to take a gander at the baby; that one makes my skin crawl a bit.

But, I’ve gotta give credit when it’s due. For the most part, I married an A+ guy. He tries SO hard. He does SO much for his family. He keeps his chin up and deals with major work stresses only to pick up a crying baby and schlep home in the dead of winter to…me. A lady who, odds are, is already in her comfy nighttime clothes (far from sexy, closer to Punky Brewster frumpy) with my wet, uncombed hair in a messy bun…and probably exhausted and in need of dinner ideas. Last thing he needs. But, he deals with it in such a sweet, loving way, I have to remind myself to try to pick up the slack sometimes. ‘Cuz goodness knows he’d never tell me to. Maybe he just knows better. Maybe he knows how Rita I can be when provoked. Either way, he’s incredible.

Just last week, before heading back from our luxuriously long holiday break, he went grocery shopping for me. Sure, I had to remind him NOT to buy ANY seafood unless it was on sale. (He’s also fully aware of which types of seafood to buy and from which origins, to say nothing of his religious following of the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15.) And, sure, he had to call or text a few times. But, he purchased thoughtfully and made life easier for me. He accidentally got Stonybrook yogurt’s soy strawberry (have you tasted that stuff?! And why, oh why, create something soy-based that still has dairy in it? I just can’t wrap my head around it) and the wraps he purchased were rye (yeah, I’m not a fan unless I throw some Thousand Islands on that sucker to make it Reuben-ish), but he tried so hard and everything else was stellar. I also saw that he sneaked a few Chobani yogurts for himself. I love that a deed well-done is self-gratified with such a healthy, delicious treat.

But, that’s not all. He’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I’ve been wanting to soup up the ol’ blog as part of a fun, exciting opportunity or two coming down the line. While many husbands would raise an eyebrow (especially with a needy almost-6-month around the joint), he welcomed it. I’ve seriously gotta buy that guy some pom-poms. He’s a frickin’ cheerleader, that one. Even when I’m being my usually “realistic idealist” self, especially when my admittedly low self-esteem rears its ugly head (even when an absolutely wonderful opportunity arises), he’s more “rah rah!” than “blah blah” about it. My successes are his successes, and he’s like a proud papa when good things happen. It’s nice to have a buoy around when you should be enjoying a moment, rather than questioning whether you deserve it and why it couldn’t possibly work.

When it comes to that shared successes thing, I guess you could say I’m pretty darn proud of his, too. Particularly when he achieves things that are in his realm of happiness (we’re both creative people, so when we’re able to nurture those tendencies), it’s an awesome thing.

Here I thought he was wary of blogdom, especially when I first started this venture — I can’t count how many he writes for these days, from All-Star Comics to Dorky Daddy (admittedly, my favorite) to his newsroom one (which I’m so happy that he’s using to try to find missing animals for heartbroken families; a news guy with heart). From here, I’ve also gotta brag about a venture with his friend, Andy, that I find simply incredible. If you’re into comics, check this out. If you’re not…still check it out. It’s an idea that he’s been incubating for years about a very adult web comic series revolving around the bar that caters to all those holiday characters that make childhood what it is. I’m not biased here — ‘cuz if one of his projects is a flop or lacking, I’m pretty honest about it (at least he knows he can give me something to read through and I’ll be a reliable judge). It’s hysterical. And the art that Andy has done for it? Amazing.

So, just for $#!@s and giggles, let’s take a moment to appreciate…the awesomeness…that is…Dave. (Feel free to start a slow clap…or view this pictures with any number of hilarious songs, like “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings” or “All Star” .)

Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
Patiently waiting for me to take a blog photo…which he doesn’t realize he’s in.
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com
His best friend. You didn’t think it was me, did you??
Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.comRandomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com Randomonium 1.0 - image  on http://megactsout.com

The Time Has Come

Randomonium 1.0 - image 09bff-dipe on http://megactsout.comWhat a dramatic title. Probably overly so, but this is one of the biggest topics I’ve had to get a hold on since we even got pregnant in the first place. Yeah, THAT big.

We’ve been putting off using cloth diapers for a bit of awhile for a couple of reasons.

#1. We wanted to get the hang of H.A.’s feedings (yeah, sometimes I just feel like calling him “H.A.” as if he’ll one day be a fancy schmancy author or professor who goes by his initials. Plus, I gave them to him, so I can call him what I want. Fartypants McGee. Poopsalot Poutyface.)

#2. The confusion of what dipes to choose has been a tiiiiiny bit overwhelming.

#3. (singing) Time, time, tiiiiiiime. Time-time tiiiiiime. Time.

Yeah, those’re about it. We recently discovered the VERY encouraging option of purchasing a $10, 2-week trial at a local diaper store but thought we’d put it off until we have lots of time with Hads, ourselves. It wouldn’t be fair to make his caregiver do all the testing, especially since she’s got a pretty active 1-year-old on her hands, too.

Then we heard about the whole Japanese plant explosion that may cause a shortage of disposable diapers (read: jump in price)…and upon reading about the lack of chemical that will be causing the shortage, it was hard for our brains not to jump straight to “Mmmmmaaaaybe we need to switch over sooner rather than later.” I guess it was easy to force ourselves into a world of conveniently ignorant bliss, but to think of the chemicals we’re subjecting his “lil’ bidness” to…shiver.

In regards to the above challenges…#1 – we’ve pretty much figured it out, with exception to his uncomfortable gas situation. #2 – the trial helps here (and just jumping in with the ones I’ve purchased…although I’m up in the air as to whether I should just wash ’em all since the first time is an undertaking or just do a couple so that I can resell ’em if they don’t work out). #3 – while things are still hectic (or, shall we say, difficult to schedule?), once we get the hang of it I foresee it taking as much time as the disposables…maybe a tad more laundry time.

Up until this point, we’ve tried several kinds and found a favorite. While I’d like to say we’ve been Seventh Generation-ing it up, we haven’t. Pampers Swaddlers (not the other kind…and, strangely, it does make a difference) has been our go-to. It’s what FEELS the most like cloth. The other brands feel like, well, paper. I’d LIKE to make the switch to SG for those as-needed times (they weren’t HORRIBLE…just not what you’d like to put on your newborn’s sensitive bits), so we’ll see how that goes. A little at a time.

So, we may be finally picking up that trial package soon to get an idea of exactly what kind(s) we want to invest in — most likely to be tried over the following couple of weekends and overnight as not to overwhelm the sitter. And, when the moment strikes (ie during my next sudden burst of energy; that’s the only way I get anything done lately), I’ll be laundering the dozen organic bumGenius dipes that I bought pre-Hadley that have been sitting, in their packages, in a corner of the nursery. I’m nervous yet excited to get them on his bum and see if/how they work for us.

And, of course, I’ll be stopping back with my *honest* opinion of all the goings-on. Oh, and I suppose a “final” (is it ever really finished? And is there ever NOT an incoming bag of outfits messin’ the place up again?) nursery tour is in order. Especially now that he’s in the crib and we’re able to call it HIS space. 🙂 Now, we just have to determine where to hang a few final pieces of art…the hardest part.

*BTW, totally off-topic. Whatchya think of this font vs. my usual? Snazzy? Better or worse?*

Leaky Boobs is Right

If you’re not into breastfeeding or think there’s too much of an “ick visual” (I mean you, brothers :-)), please feel free to skip reading this post. Otherwise, be sufficiently forewarned that this is a TMI post. Thankyouverymuch.

I “like” a blogger/support group (although there’s often more argumentation over whether folks are pro-formula, pro-healthy babies, pro-breastfeeding/anti-formula, etc — it’s still a good resource, though) on Facebook by the name of “Leaky Boobs.” Gotta say…their name ain’t lyin’. Those babies, on occasion and without any warning of any kind, will soak through a pad, bra and T-shirt. Can you say “wop wop” moment?! Thank goodness that it hasn’t happened in front of a library full of students…yet.

When I started this post, Hadley was three weeks old and was not on a true feeding schedule yet. We’ve come a long way! There have been ups ‘n downs, including fighting off the occasional blocked milk duct, but I’m currently claiming breastfeeding as a success in our household. (Please, karma, don’t bite me in the arse on this one — I know this can take a quick turn for the worse!!!) Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly (so far!) for any of those interested in knowing —

The Good

The benefits! All the antibodies and kazillion other goodies that are provided in breastmilk? Fuggeddaboutit. Crazy healthy. Oh, and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE know that I’m a total proponent of formula — heck, it’s FOOD made for BABIES, so it’s MUCH more important for folks to keep up the growth and nutrition of their babies rather than NOT feed them enough over principle. (I kid you not, I heard of a woman who didn’t feed her baby for DAYS after bringing them home, so stubborn was she over breastfeeding.) I know the guilt over not breastfeeding these days, and I would’ve been pretty devastated had I not been able to breastfeed, but ultimately what’s most important is that baby. As with all things, remember that we all have our own minds and MUST use them, regardless of the strong “voices” that insist we “must” do one thing or another. You’re the parent; do your own research and make your own decision. If you don’t, I honestly fear for your kid. Oh, and raise your hand if you were formula-fed. You can’t see, but my hand’s up…you also can’t see, but I don’t have a third eye or hugely horrific underlying conditions. At least, not of which I’m aware. 😉

He latched immediately. It was a miracle, and yep, I cried over it. (You’ll see below that miracles can be fleeting.)

At three weeks in, I was finally able to pump, so I could share one or two feedings a day (before returning to work) with Dave. While I wasn’t much for napping, it’s mostly about seeing him be able to share in and connect with the lil’ guy. (That’s what we found to be most rewarding, at least.) Now that I’ve returned to work, pumping in the library’s back room has been working out – although I always get a twinge of nerves over exposing my boobies in school (yes, it’s secluded and locked, but I’ve been trained to be appropriate at work!).

Now, at 7+ weeks, it’s become close to second nature. We’re bonding more, although he’s generally more concerned with staring off into space than looking at me very much. We still have the occasional fussy moment, but I’ve determined the two possible causes (more often than not, gas…or MAYBE a wet diaper, just maybe). Oh, and our secret weapon? The pacifier. More on that below.

The Bad

While he’ll fall asleep at the end of a breastfeeding session (woohoo!), for some odd reason he doesn’t find sleep at the end of a bottle. Makes it tough for his babysitter/grandma. He also doesn’t seem to be able to know when to STOP eating from a bottle, so he’ll go through a full 5+ ounces. (Actually, more like 6oz. even these days.) He was doing this at 2 weeks old. That’s ca-raz-ay! Chunkamunk!! (And, yes, while he was over 10 lbs. at birth, and is steadily increasing now, he doesn’t LOOK like a porker. I am observing some porkier tendencies lately, though – ie arms ‘n legs. Not that it’s a concern. Newborns are SUPPOSED to eat. It’s just something I have to continue to watch to know that he’s getting enough.)

Ouch. That whole “it doesn’t hurt to breastfeed” thing (for me, at least) seems to be a crock. The first time we fed, almost immediately after he was born, it didn’t hurt – but I was numb from the stomach down and was pumped with painkillers. Since then, I’ve learned about the variety of pains that accompany breastfeeding. Hadley started off to be a bit of a “chewer/chomper/grinder”, so I had lots of cracked/bleeding nipple issues. We now have this under control, but at 3 weeks he was still incredibly frustrated at times (which inevitably means he cried bloody murder, making his tongue shoot up to the roof of his mouth…taking forever to latch under those circumstances), so he’d still chomp from time to time. There was also a pinching sort of feeling at times, and often some soreness. And, of course, the pain of blocked milk ducts feels like a pinched nerve or pulled muscle, along with a lump or two or more. Way better than mastitis (which I’m PRAYING I never get!!!), but still obnoxious and, at times, unbearable. But, the pain is getting to be less and less, and some days not at all noticeable. It’s like your nipples change sensitivity…weird.

Over-exhaustion + frustration = where the eff did I put my patience?! My oh-so-kind husband has said numerous times lately, “I don’t know how you do it” (and sweetly says that I haven’t lost my patience…well, maybe once or twice…ha!) I have surprised myself at keeping my cool, but I’ve thrown my head back in frustration more times than I could count. Reason #1 is when Had’s either over-tired, gassy, or otherwise frustrated, hence gets overly aggressive and has a hard time latching. (Reason #2 is when he just WON’T fall asleep! Whether crying or not, when YOU’RE tired, it sucks.) At least I’ve got the hubby fooled into thinking I’m generally patient…mwahaha. 😉

Pay no attention to the pump instructions.
After days of sending Dave, my parents and, finally, myself to search for a different piece for my breast pump (eventually determined that it’s not MADE anymore), I realized that the instructions regarding nipple size, etc was a bunch of crap. It was a huge pain in the butt, especially in the midst of the exhaustion and trying to heal from the C-section. Damn you, Medela. Damn. You. To. Heck. Although, admittedly, the visual of my stepfather OPENING boxes of pump parts up at Babies ‘R Us with his Swiss Army knife still dissolves me into a fit of giggles.

The Ugly

I wasn’t raised in a very physical family. Not a lot of hugging or kissing. There’s love, of course, but emotions weren’t really worn on sleeves a whole lot. Needless to say, we were pretty discreet as far as nudity ‘n stuff, too. Sure, my sister and I shared the bathtub and a certain member of the household peed with the door open, but that’s pretty much where the line was drawn. So, no matter how I try to get my head into the “embrace public breastfeeding” game, I’ve got walls up. You can tell me a million times how okay it is to do and that people need to get used to public BF, but you just can’t break down that wall. I don’t feed in front of family (with the exception of Dave and my sister); not even my mom. This might change as time goes by, especially as it gets more streamlined and easier, and he fusses way less frequently. But, I should say that the places I’ve fed him so far include the mall parking lot, the Holland Farms parking lot (mmm, half moons), the Babies ‘R Us courtesy room, Dave’s bedroom from when he was a teenager, and a couple of other odd bedrooms. I’m sure it’s only gonna get stranger.

So. Much. Stigma. Sure, some of it must be based in truth. But, in my case, we’ve been lucky and the bad things I’d heard about that would SURELY throw BF out of whack simply didn’t. Maybe it’s because we’re publicly quiet about it. Regardless, the ugliness – be it from the “everyone MUST breastfeed, if you’re not you’re doing something wrong” side or the “I’m offended that you’re using your body in such a disgusting manner” side – is a sad thing. Luckily, we generally don’t deal with it.

Ouch 2.0. Sure, there’s been boob pain, but a less-expected pain? The ol’ back. Between leaning over a pack ‘n play for everything from changes to sponge bath sessions (yes, he does get bathed in the sink, too) and general games of peek-a-boo and mimicry, a new parent’s expected to have some aches and pains. Pile on the pain of wearing a bra 24/7 and the additional weight that these puppies now carry and it can be excruciating. I was big before (at times uncomfortably so), but this is…unpleasant.

Moo. I mentioned above the fact that I’m able to pump at work and when I’m not with Hads. It’s great, it really is. If we didn’t have the technology to be able to pump, I’m not sure Hadley would be on breastmilk at all. (I have yet to attempt hand-expressing.) But it is starting to feel normal to pump, and only because routine breeds a feeling of normalcy. Otherwise, there’s anxiety of being at school, or the fact that I’ve caught my husband staring, half in awe, half in what seemed to be terror, as this heaving, sighing machine milked me like a cow. I’ve milked cows and never felt this weird before. Oh, and I even had “the opportunity” to try out the battery pack for it, pumping in the backseat of my car in a full parking lot overlooking lots o’ city traffic. My first attempt was great. When I returned during my lunch hour, a woman was taking her lunch hour (apparently by sitting in her car doing nothing other than directly facing me). I’m used to putting on shows, but…yeah. It’s definitely one of the “uglies” of BF.

Not all nipples are created equal. I’ve never been a fan of mine, but throw in the extra heft goin’ on, they were bound to get…erm…bigger. So, all those shots that we see of a baby BFing but there’s almost a sense of modesty to it since their head (or mouth!) is covering all of mama’s *gasp*-inducing naughty bits…yeah, that doesn’t really happen with us. It is what it is.

And on that TMI note, I leave you with a video that I recently viewed. While I don’t use Luvs, I luv the vid (even though I’d never treat a waiter or other customer service provider this way!) I’m sure I’ll be back for BF follow-ups, but, man it took me awhile to finally write this one!