Wednesday, September 29

Rain Rain Go Away

Do you know how hard it is to find a rain slicker in September? It's like trying to find snow clothes when it's actually snowing. And then once finding the lone rain slicker available in all the Northeast, do you know how difficult it is to get a Doodles to wear it, especially with the hood up? It's like trying to get him to eat carrots. I don't even want to think about what he's going to do when I try to put a hat on him when it snows.

The Last of the Birthdays

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to acknowledge it this year, as she doesn't want it acknowledged next year, but I'll risk it anyway: Happy Birthday, Mom! You can just keep celebrating the anniversary of this birthday in years to come.

But Mom, All the Other Babies Wear Prada!

If you people ever think I'm really an indulgent parent, just know that there are moms out there way worse than me. (Thanks to Melissa for the link.)

This Is Progress? Part 2

Remember when I said I offer Doodles everything I eat? He always turned down everything. So I just kept offering. Well, it finally back fired. He finally accepted something from me. I held it out to him, and he grabbed it.

"Yikes!" I said as he popped it in his mouth and then looked to me for more. Wanting to know if it were just a fluke or not, I handed him another. He popped it in his mouth and chewed.

"What did you do?" Adam called from the next room.

"Good news!" I said with false cheer. "I found something new Doodles will eat!"

"It's not Peeps, is it?" Adam asked worried.

"No, no, of course not!" I reassured him. "I'd never feed him Peeps!" Because let's face it--what kind of dilemma would that be when I have just one box of Peeps left and my child wants one? How does one choose between the happiness of her child and the last twelve Peeps?

"Then what is he eating?" Adam pokes his head out to check on us.

"Uh, well"--Doodles looks to me for more; I hand him another--"he seems to like candy corn!"

Doodles gives Adam a big grin.

Adam goes back to what he's doing, but only after giving me a concerned look. "Could you please not feed our child any more candy corn?"

Point taken.


Eugene points out that all 68,647 of the New Yorker cartoons are now available to own on two c.d.s (and a "best of" is in book form; of course, in one week, the "complete" set becomes outdated, but no need to nitpick that here).

My first thought was "Hey! Gotta own that!" But then it occurred to me, on c.d.? I mean, does anyone really want to read New Yorker cartoons on the computer?

When I was a kid, whenever I went to visit my grandparents, the moment I was dismissed from the grown-up conversation (often around the same time my grandmother chastised my grandfather with, "Little pitchers have big ears!"), I'd slip into the next room and pull down my grandfather's The New Yorker Album 1925-1950. I'd carefully turn the pages, reading each and every cartoon. It was a good visit when I had time to go through the entire book. I must have read that book over fifty times. My memory of my grandfather is linked to those New Yorker cartoons. When he passed away, my father gave me the book. Honestly, I didn't get half the cartoons. Some I loved. Some just befuddled me (the obscure ones don't seem to be online). Some were hopelessly outdated even thirty years ago. But I found them all fascinating.

While I know I'd enjoy looking over the 68,647 cartoons, it just feels, well, unholy to read them off a computer. It should be a tactile experience. New Yorker cartoons are history.

Wednesday, September 22

This Is Progress?

this is way better than eatingHe's still not eating much but he's back to accepting jarred baby food, especially if I hide it in applesauce (I'm desperate to make sure he gets his nutrients). And now instead of just pushing food away, he's examining it. Dipping his spoon into it. Pouring it onto his tray. Seeing the pretty pictures he can paint in it with his fingers. We have about fifteen minutes of fun and then he demands the Veggie Booty. And the worst part? Trader Joe's is no longer carrying Veggie Booty. So no more really quick runs out to replenish the Booty supply. I'm at the point where I truly think this boy is going to go to college still eating only Veggie Booty. Well, at least we'll save on his food plan.

Frosting Sucks

We went to a birthday party for a friend who turned one today. The one-year old at his cupcake. The eleven-month old ate her cupcake. And Doodles? Doodles wailed until the hostess very kindly broke into her supply of Veggie Booty. At least he's consistent...

At Least He Won't Go for My Peeps

halloween peeps!Today is the first day of fall. You can tell by the changing of leaves, the chill in the air, and the arrival of the Halloween Peeps. The best part of the season is all the cute new clothes I get to dress Doodles in. Did I mention my recent ebay killing? Thirty-five pieces of clothing for $25 (which includes shipping). Man do I love fall!

From the "Huh?" Department

"I used to sing you that song when you were little!" my mother, on her recent visit, said after hearing us singing to Doodles. "Well, the words were different and the tune was different but you loved that song."

60 m.p.h.

Anyone want to guess who the mysterious Type A, HBS-grad, double major German Lit/Econ major fast walker is? Hee hee. Of course when it comes to moving at home, he switches to slo-mo.

First-Time Moms

Is there anything more pathetic than a mother calling her doctor to say, "Um, my son won't stop sticking his finger in my belly button"? Yeah. I didn't think so. (And in my defense, it was getting pretty extreme!)

"It is foolish to pluck out one's hair for sorrow..."

I now know how those haircutting places get away with charging $15 to cut an infant/toddler's hair. If Doodles grew as fast as his hair does, well he'd easily be the youngest player on... okay so I don't know my basketball teams so insert the name of a good basketball team here. So the other night I went after him with a scissors. As he sat in his booster seat eating dinner (Adam fed him), I tried to trim his locks. Oy. You know that dorky kid in school--and every school has one--who smells funny and his hair just looks all wrong and no one wants to sit near him? Well, that's my son (okay, so he only smells bad certain times of the day, but work with me here, people!). Doodles, I apologize. Next time, we either invest in a Flowbee or I shell out the $15.

Wednesday, September 15

A Week Without a Blog

Sometimes life just takes over and there's no time to blog. Consider this week the summer season of this blog and watch a repeat. Here, go read about what I was doing two years ago today. We will return to our regularly scheduled blog next week.

L'shana tova everyone!

Wednesday, September 8

The Better to Bite You With

teeth marksSo, while food is out, varnished wood is in. At a restaurant in Rockport, Doodles leaned down and started gnawing on the table. Those marks in it are from his teeth. Cheese? Blech. Fruit? Gross! Table? Yum yum!

Fun with Belly Buttons

Out of all my body parts, my belly is the part I'm least pleased with. My legs look fine--all that long distance running has shaped them just fine. My biceps are definitely showing the effects of carrying a 21-pound weight around. But I just don't get around to doing crunches (even though I know it would be good for my running). Which of course means that my belly is the part of my body that Doodles is most fascinated by. And I mean fascinated.

For some reason, my belly button is extremely soothing to Doodles. When he gets upset--which he does frequently now that he's discovered the wonderful world of temper tantrums--nothing calms him like my belly button. Take just now, for instance. He wanted to type on the computer. I let him for a bit but when he began to get really aggressive, I set him down with his toys. This would not do. Not at all. Because he wanted the computer right now! Big fat tears rolled down his cheeks and sobs that could be heard down the block racked his tiny body. There was no distracting him. No calming him. I picked him up and tried to soothe him. But until I sat down with him and he was able to wiggle his way down and lift my shirt and stick one finger in his mouth and another into my belly button, there was no happiness. But as soon as he found the belly button, he sighed and rested his head on my chest, instantly satisfied.

Anytime I'm lying on my back, Doodles works his way over to me and finds my belly button. First thing in the morning during family cuddle time, in the afternoon when I'm just trying to relax for five minutes on the living room floor, in the evening when it's wind down time. One finger in mouth, another in the belly button.

Okay, no big deal. My belly button makes Doodles happy. Except that it doesn't just make him happy at home, it makes him happy everywhere. If he's worked up in playgroup, up goes my shirt until he finds my belly button. If he's overexcited in the playground, up goes my shirt. And Doodles doesn't have a real concept of how high the shirt needs to go for the belly button. While I'm really not excited about exposing my belly in public, I'm less excited about exposing what's above the belly.

Remember when I used to have a belly ring? Well now I have a belly finger. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Wednesday, September 1

Short Takes

--The new mantra in our house is "chairs are for tushies." Doodles has an Anywhere Chair that he loves to stand in. Then he lets go and lets himself fall backwards. Or he uses the chair as a launching point to reach the window. Repeat after me: "Chairs are for tushies!"
i look goooood in my sunglasses--Why would any child's toy come with a hammer? Plastic or not? Think about it!
--When did sodas stop coming in six packs? Has anyone else noticed this? You can now buy them either in twelve packs or mini six packs. Or is this just a local thing? This is definitely an evil ploy from the soda company to insure that we're all hooked on caffeine and therefore buy more soda, kind of like how the tobacco companies put more nicotine in cigarettes. I plan on writing my congressperson.
--Right around his birthday, it was like a switch was flipped on Doodles. All of a sudden, he's taking one nap a day. He's pointing at things. He's mimicking us (in a cute way), doing things like putting his toy phone to his ear and making the hand motions we make. He's resisting any forms of sitting (why sit when you can crawl?). He's starting to stand on his own. Doodles has declared, in his own way, "Infanthood is over, Mom! Let's get a move on this toddler thing!"
--We really fell down on trying to teach Doodles to sign. I had about four I was trying to use consistently, but the only one I ever remembered to do was the one for "milk" (which we used interchangeably for b*reastfeeding, formula, and now milk). And for the first time last week, in our morning snuggle session, he sat up with a smile and made the sign for milk. I was so happy! We got him his bottle right away. I was so pleased we were opening the lines of communication! And then, I screwed it up. While giving Doodles a bath, I sang "Five Little Ducks." And when I got to the part where "He led the others with a 'quack quack, quack," I opened and closed my hand like a duck bill quacking. Doodles loved it! And the next thing I knew he was trying to mimic me. Only his duck quacking motion is exactly the same as his milk motion (which also closely resembles his goodbye motion). So this morning, as we were playing, he made the squeezing hand motion. And I had no idea if he wanted his bottle, his song, or for me to leave. That'll teach me to communicate with my child!

B*reastfeeding Blues (Not for the Squeamish)

Before Doodles was born, I took the b*reastfeeding classes, read the b*reastfeeding books, and knew that I was going to reach the magical b*reastfeeding nirvana that every pregnant woman hears about (and to avoid using that silly asterisk, I'll just call it BF). So of course I was miserable when I had the worst time doing it. I had eight weeks of excruciating pain. Doodles heard every curse word imaginable every time he latched on (which in those days was about eight to ten times a day). I would sit in the glider, with my wee one in my arms, and tears would just pour down my cheeks, I hurt so badly. I saw a lactation consultant, I got a prescription for APNO (which can only be filled at a pharmacy in Cambridge), I tried the football hold, I piled on pillows for Doodles to lay on, I used the $11 a shot Soothies; nothing helped.

I was bizarrely determined to keep at it, though. I reached a point where an OB actually told me I should consider not BFing. But when I joined my local mom's group, I learned that a baby had died of SIDS just a few weeks before (many of the mothers knew the baby and people were still processing it). And it terrified me. I already had some issues with post-partum anxiety, and this sent me over the top. When we had all those problems with Doodles sleeping, I felt pretty relieved to be co-sleeping, because it was easy for me to check twenty times a night to make sure he was still breathing. I read the lists of how to prevent SIDS (and I was really freaked out that Dr. Sears said co-sleeping helped prevent SIDS and other sites said the co-sleeping was a cause of SIDS) and high on every list is "BF." So I did. I did it week by week. I told myself I'd just do it until the end of the week and then I could quit if I wanted.

Right around two months, the pain went away. Completely. And Doodles and I fell into a rhythm. I wouldn't call it nirvana. But it was pleasant. We found our groove. I was never a very discreet BFer. Some women can just sort of tuck their babies into their chest and no one can see anything. Yeah. Not the case for me. But I became comfortable with public BFing and I also appreciated being able to use BFing as an escape. When things were just a little too much, Doodles and I could escape for a while. I could BF until three months. I definitely could. And at three months, I figured I could make it to six. And at six, I wondered if I could go a whole year.

One thing I did hate, though, was pumping. Pumping is tedious beyond imagination. And it really made me feel like a cow being milked. Around seven months, I decided I wasn't pumping anymore. Doodles was on solids and was down to four feeds a day. So on Doodles's day care days, he got two bottles of formula (four bottles a week).

Around nine and a half months, Doodles decided he wasn't interested in his daytime BFs anymore. I would put him, and he'd pop off, give me a big smile, look around, try to play a little. I'd put him back on, and off he'd go again. I'd think, "That's odd! He's not hungry!" After about two weeks of this, I thought, "Hmmm, he must be hungry. Let me try a bottle." I made him a bottle of formula and he sucked it down in minutes. So I figured not only had I been starving my child for two weeks, but he was ready to wean. I cut out the two mid-day feeds and figured I'd lose the morning and evening feed shortly after.

Well, shortly after didn't come. Doodles was as enthusiastic as ever about the morning feed and he seemed to really relax with the evening feed. How could I get rid of them?

As we came up on Doodles's birthday, though, I realized that while Doodles seemed okay with the morning and evening feeds, I wasn't into them anymore. Let me say that I really admire women who BF their kids for years and years, but I knew that I wasn't comfortable BFing a toddler. The idea of a child walking up to me and asking to BF just isn't my thing. Also, Doodles was becoming very aggressive with his feeds and there was nothing sweet or romantic about it anymore.

So two weeks before his first birthday, I started alternating BF nights with bottle-feed nights. He seemed to have no problems with that. And three days before his birthday, I cut out the night BF altogether. I was most worried about giving up the morning feed because it was such a part of our morning routine. Yet last Thursday he was in a terrific mood so I just asked Adam to quickly get a bottle (which can be done quickly as Doodles is off of formula and on whole milk). So Adam brought a bottle up and Doodles took it without a second's hesitation. Every now and then, while he's eating, he'll put his hand down my shirt, but he's had no problem making the switch to the bottle.

Now that my chest is free of child, I have conflicting feelings. On one hand, my body is just my own for the first time in twenty-one months. But on the other, there's something bittersweet in weaning. My little baby isn't a little baby anymore. I miss that BFing was something that only I could do. Anyone could change his diaper or carry him or feed him solids, but I was the only person alive who could BF him.

I expect to be hormonal for a bit while my body adjusts. I'm happy that I made it a year and I feel strongly about not continuing into Doodles's toddler years. Yet I can't help but feel a little longing for the baby Doodles was just yesterday.