Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Billy Goat

My baby E climbs. Every. Thing. The stairs. The couch. The DVD/bookcase. The kitchen chairs. His bed. The rocking chair. The high chair. Me. The baby gate. The kitchen table. The oven door. He climbs.

Also? My baby eats compost. Yes. That means exactly what you think it means. Baby E has eaten the scraps of food we set aside to throw outside into our compost pile (scraps that many of you would call "garbage"). While, of course, this isn't something we've served to him, still he's eaten it. More than once, she whispers. (hangs head in shame)

We can't keep him out of things. We can't keep him off of things. We can't keep things out of his mouth. You know, like out of cabinets. And off of the the kitchen table. And compost out of his mouth. He is simply into everything.

Now, I know kids go through a stage where this is the case, but, when I think back to how the kid was at this age...there is no comparison. The kid was never a climber, and he was fairly easily distracted. Baby E, however, is damn persistent. You may be able to distract him for a minute or even 5, but, by george, he will be back over there/up there/into that as soon as YOU forget about it. And then forty more times before he finally stops. And he only stops when he's good and ready to do so. You are simply an annoyance. Not a deterrent.

While in some ways I kind of admire his determination, mostly I find it exhausting. And, in truth, at times exceedingly frustrating. It's like I can hardly get anything done because I have to always be on the watch for what he's gotten into now. And then there are the times when I'm sure he is into/on something, but I weigh the risk with the benefit of having a few minutes to do ___________ (fill in the blank - mostly things like reading on my Kindle, or going to the bathroom, or putting away laundry). Usually I regret the few minutes, but I don't know what else to do.

I know these days are limited. I know it won't be like this  forever. But it sure is tiresome.

But, then I catch him sitting on the kitchen table with a banana peel hanging out of his mouth, grinning from ear to ear, clearly incredibly proud of himself. And I can't help but giggle as I pull the peel out of his mouth and take him over the sink to clean the goo off of his face and hands. I move the chairs away from the table and my kitchen looks ridiculous with them scattered all about. But it's the only way I can get a few minutes of peace. And, besides, he seems to find the challenge of how to get back up on the table enjoyable. It will at least give me 30 minutes to read another chapter of a new book.

My little billy goat. He makes life never boring.

Today's lesson: Parenting comes with unique challenges. And unexpected joys as well. Who'd have thought seeing your baby eat garbage would be the  highlight of your day?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Crud

We've been fighting the crud - me and both boys - for 3 months now. We seem to keep passing it around. And around. And around. This is now the 4th round. Just call us Momma Snot and her two little Buggers. It's congestion, and headaches and just feeling crummy. It's super fun.

And, really, that's about all that's been goin' on around here. Nothing else too exciting. Really. Nothing else. Unless you count how much I adore my new Kindle. It's just the basic one (that's what I asked for), but I love, LOVE it. And this coming from the girl who said she'd never forsake real books. Count me in as a convert.

Oh yeah. I've started my new job as a social worker at a hospital emergency department. That's been interesting. It's going to be a bit of a change for us as a family as we adjust to what will be (in a week or two) my new work schedule (2-8hour days and 2-12 hour days, along with every 3rd Saturday). I like the job thus far, though that schedule does have both hubby and I a bit nervous.

The kid continues to do much better with Mrs M and I am so very happy with our decision to switch him.

Baby E...sigh. That child. He is such a daredevil. Scares me, he does. I feel like we spend a majority of our time at home getting him out of things. Or off of things. Or taking things out of his mouth. I mean, I know you do that with all kids. But this one. Wowziers. Compared to the kid (who can be a bit of a handful on his own), baby E is quite the little tornado. That smile he constantly has on, though, it makes it worth it.

So, yeah, that's about all here. At least for now. I know this was a terribly exciting post. You're welcome. I'll try to be more riveting next time. (Really, I will!)

Today's lesson: Toddlers are notorious for being picky eaters. However, this apparently does not extend to things they aren't supposed to put in their mouths. Like paper. Or compost.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Momma the druggist

Last week I took baby E to his 15 month well child. He's perfect by the way, still skinny, with an enormous head (big heads are good in babies after all because big head = big brain) but absolutely perfect.  Except for that whole not sleeping thing. (big, huge, sigh) But, for the very first time, the pediatrician was able to offer a possibility of something to help. Her suggestion? Melatonin. 1mg about a half hour before bed, crushed up. Our decision? What the hell, it's worth a try.

I must admit I feel a little uncomfortable with giving him the Melatonin. I mean, I fall into the whole, "no antibiotics unless absolutely necessary/a fever doesn't necessitate Tylenol/delayed vaccination" camp. So, to give my babe a pill (albeit it crushed up in applesauce) every night, makes me a feel a bit ugh-ish. The boys' pediatrician was a bit flippant about it all, throwing out a dosage that she just guessed on. However, as you well know, we're a big desperate for sleep around here and, short of a hot toddy, we're willing to give about anything a shot so to speak.

Hubby and I - desperate beyond belief to get some freaking sleep - jumped on it. The 1st night we crushed up a 3mg pill, giving him approximately 1mg mixed in applesauce. Imagine my surprise, when little E was asleep in my arms before I even finished the bedtime routine. And then slept 6hours straight. Followed by a brief waking, and then another several hours of sleeping. The 2nd night, he again went to sleep super easy. He was pretty restless, but didn't necessitate parental intervention. I mean, I was still awake several times, but at least I didn't have to get up. The 3rd night, he was up twice, but 1 of those was because of a leaking diaper, so I still count that as a success.

Tonight is the 4th night, and we are back to him taking forever to get to sleep. Not sure what's up with that...maybe we didn't give it to him early enough? No idea. He's in there screaming "night-night. Night-night!!!". But I've got my fingers crossed for a decent night. Please, whoever-is-the-patron-saint-of-babies-and-sleep, make this baby sleep tonight!  [Update: After about 45minutes, he's out. This is still a huge improvement!]

But, I continue to worry a bit about whether it is safe, appropriate dosage, long-term effects, etc... So, when trolling facebook the other night, I was reminded that one FB friend from high school is now a pharmacist. I decided on a whim to send him a message and ask him his opinion. (Side note: it's so funny/odd to be faced with someone you knew that long ago as just your kid brother's friend, but he's now this super smart professional. Cool, but weird.) Well, awesome person that he is, he called and gave me all the info he could dig up. He asked about E's medical history, current symptoms, and a myriad of other clinically relevant questions. He shared his concerns, the primarily one being that he could find no information regarding what might be an appropriate dosage for baby E based on his age and weight. He was professional, informative, empathetic, and so very kind.

He's going to continue to see what he can come up with for appropriate dosage. He suggested getting a compounding pharmacy to make up the right dosage (once we figure out what it is - probably .5mg) so we know for sure. He recommended absolutely not using it if there is any child-specific or biological family history of seizures or liver problems. Certainly baby E hasn't had issues with either of these and the medical histories we have from his birth families doesn't indicate a history there either. The last thing he recommended was using a specific company for the supplement, as herbals aren't regulated by the FDA but this company sends their products to a 3rd party for verification. Because I'm thorough (Read: slightly OCD), we also spoke with hubby's aunt who is also a pharmacist and she's looking for some info for us as well.

Based on all that, the decision we've came to is to continue with the melatonin, for now. It seems to be working for E. He's sleeping - much - longer (for him) and the little circles under his eyes have started to go away. My circles are still there, but I have faith that a few more days of 6+hours of sleep will help those start to resolve as well.

Today's lesson: Some time you do things you never thought you would. I mean, we delay vaccinations and hesitate to even give our kids Tylenol. Giving them a pill to make them sleep is not something I ever thought I'd do. And yet, here we are. You do whatcha gotta do. And that's okay.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Carpe Kairos

You may have tried to read this post a couple of days ago and when you clicked over it was gone, you have my baby E to thank. He somehow managed to publish the post in the 45 seconds I walked away from the computer. I'm in trouble with that one, I tell ya. Anywho, here it is now, for reals.

Have you read this article? If you're a parent or hope to be one some day, you should. Actually, even if you're not a parent, or don't plan to be one, yo should still read it. Really - since I hate the word "should" and all - you need to.
So, if you're not going to click on over there and read the original article, here's the short version. The author hates when people (often well-meaning older people whose kiddos are probably old enough to have kids of their own) tell her to "treasure these moments because they're gone way too fast" or that they "loved every single moment of parenting/when their children were young". Because, the author asserts, that's crap. All moments in parenting are not glorious. Some of them suck big ones.

And I'm gonna have to have her back on this one. Take my Friday night for instance. I put baby E down at 7:30. It was 9:30 before he went to sleep. Then he was back up at 11:45. This eventually necessitated me rocking him to sleep. I finally crawled back into bed at 1:15. He slept til 4. Then was back up at 4:45. And 5:30. And then 7:30 for good. Hubby was out of town at a meeting so it was all me. Tell me, who is going to enjoy that crap? I mean, do I love him? Of course. But was that something to be appreciated and treasured? Not. So. Much.

Funny enough, I feel guilty about all the cussing that was going on in my head that night. It's that infertility thing. You know, I asked (more accurately begged) for the gift of parenting, and all that came along with it. I spent nights pleading with god to just give me a baby and I'd love every single moment. The puking, the diapers, the sleepless nights. Through all of it I would be happy and loving and calm and patient and...and...and...

And yet, I don't enjoy all of it. I am grateful for being a parent, but those moments...those moments, well, they kinda, sorta, for real suck. I'm pretty sure God was laughing at me through all those tears. You know, in a loving kind of way. God knew there would be times when I hated parenting. Times when I would be pissed off to be covered in baby vomit. And not want to read "Goodnight Moon" for the 13th time that day. And hide the play dough because I don't want to have to clean it up again. When I would think, to paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson, "Go the F to sleep!". Or "You are not that cute" in the midst of changing today's 3rd disgustingly explosive diaper. Or come in to find the playroom rug and walls covered in bright red and purple finger paint.

And that, my friends, is okay. Because nothing in life is all good or all bad. I mean, I adore chocolate, but too much of that and I have heartburn for days. And if one of my kids gets it on their clothes, it's a pain to get that stain out. Parenting is like that. Wonderfully delicious at times. A miserable pain at others. I know these well-meaning people had those painfully crappy moments, too, so why don't they remember them? Didn't they, too, get inundated with people telling them to treasure every little moment and feel like a failure at times for not loving every minute? Do they feel the need to - for some reason - pass along the errant belief to unsuspecting parents that everyone else loves every minute of parenting?

But all those things do is make the rest of us also feel crappy about the moments - the very normal and universal moments - when crappy things are happening. I think that when we ignore or try to hide the bad parts of parenting, all we do is set each other up for more feelings of guilt and inadequacy. It makes us all feel more alone, more isolated, more ashamed.

I would suggest that what we should instead do, is walk up to the mom whose 2 year old is throwing a very public tantrum and remind her that it won't last forever, and that we've been there, too, or at a minimum smile at her. Or remind the mother of the middle schooler that we, too, every day have moments of wanting to both hug and kill our children. Or tell that new mom that we, too, had that moment (perhaps nightly) where we truly "got it" as to why people shake their babies.

And I know that that some of you are still waiting for your child, you're still at that place where I was, bargining with God to be happy with every single moment, poopy diapers, screaming fits and all, if only you could have your baby. And I'm not negating that place where you are. I've been there, too, so many times.

But this article (which I don't think was written by someone facing infertility) still stands true in my book. Even when all you want in the world is to be a parent, it won't be perfect. You will hate moments. You will think "what the eff was I thinking?". There will still be moments when you're pissed off at your kid, exhausted beyond what you thought possible, painfully embarassed at your 4 year old's tantrum at Target, and wanting nothing more than a day to yourself.

And that is okay.

Today's lesson: Carpe Kairos, y'all. Living in God's time allows us to treasure the small moments, without feeling the pressure to treasure all the moments. You don't have to love the screaming and poopy diapers as long as you can find the moments that really make you happy. Like those giggles, and kisses, and "you're the best momma in the world"  moments. Those are the important ones.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Smiley School Meeting

Thursday afternoon I met with Mrs M and the counselor. We'd discussed meeting a few weeks ago in order to determine if we wanted to continue with the 504 plan, and just to see how the kid's adjusting in Mrs M's room. Y'all, seriously, the meeting was great. And very interesting.

So we started off with Mrs M just giving me an overview of how she structures her classroom. It's so much more free-flowing and Montessori-ish. Be still my momma-heart. Then she told me about the movement breaks she has worked into the schedule (for the kids and herself). And that in "centers" there are always choices. Like the kids get to choose what they're going to do from 2-4 different activities (novel concept, eh?).

And then she broke out the sheet. You know, the one that Mrs L used. But, instead of describing everything as an "area of concern", everything was "accomplished", with the exception of 3 areas that all involve him not being able to wait to be called  on to speak out (and - for real - no big shocker there). And these were classified as "progressing plus" because, according to Mrs M, he's shown drastic improvement with this already since he started in her room, without intervention. This was about the point I exhaled in relief the enormous breath I had apparently been holding.

She went on to say lovely things about the kid. "She likes him! She likes him!!!!!!". That's about all I was hearing. So I hope there wasn't anything really important in there. 'Cause if there was I totally missed it.

Overall, it was such a relief to hear all these things. And a confirmation of the decision we (uh, I) made to switch his classroom. I must admit the validation was nice. But, mostly, I'm just happy that my kid is happier and that he's being treated kindly. And that the other major woman in his life also likes him. Shew.

Today's lesson: Save your blog post before you walk away from it . Otherwise your children may decide to pull your laptop off the ottoman, type their own crap on it, delete half your (unsaved) blog post, change completely your Internet settings, and send an email to who the hell knows who on your work email. You know, of the job you just started last week. Such things are apparently possible in less than 3 minutes. Even though it takes your 10x that long to undo all of it. Or you could just put your laptop where they can't access it. In hindsight, this may be the most helpful lesson the day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Book

One of my most read posts is this one, about the brave family who chose to give baby E the milk pumped for their sweet baby boy...a tiny soul who passed away just one short month after he was born. At the time I wrote it, I knew nearly nothing about this family. I particularly didn't know what had happened to their son, how he had died. I was torn about using the milk. Saddened that the milk that momma had so lovingly pumped for her own babe was being used to make mine healthy and strong. Heartbroken for the family who would not see their son grow to be a man. Guilty that I had severed one more tie they had to him. Just so sad at the loss of this tiny person.

I wrote my post, eventually used all the milk, and continued to think of that special family. Then, one day several months ago, I opened an unexpected email. From the father of that baby boy. He thanked me for my post. He said they were in the process of writing a book about their dear son. He asked if they could include my blog post in the book. I was floored. I mean, what could I have said that was in any way important compared with what they had to say about their experience, and their son's. But of course I said "yes". How could I not? He thanked me and offered to send me a copy once they were done.

I didn't really think anything else of it. I mean, I continued to think about them, but I didn't think about the blog post or book.

Until a couple of weeks ago. When I received in the mail a most beautiful and heart-wrenching book. Giving witness to their sweet little boy and his short life. Oh, the beauty in this family is even more than I knew. They are truly amazing. One thing they wrote, was they hope that in the giving of the milk, baby E would know God. And I can say, without a doubt, that he will. I mean, he would have anyway, but this gift was such a tangible and extraordinary example of God's love. And of the beauty of the human spirit. Such beauty, such love, could only come from one source. And so, while this milk does not introduce my child and our family to God's love, it does remind us in an immensely unique way.

They have a website, A Song of Suffering, to which I'd like to direct you, if you're interested in knowing more about them. They're a family who suffered a horrible, tragic, unimaginable thing. They survived. Their faith sustained them. They sustained each other. They have changed me. And so I thank them yet again. Because I can never thank them enough.

Today's lesson: We never know how our lives will intersect with others. We never know how our words may affect others. We never know what role our words may have in the lives of others. Sometimes I am reminded that it behooves us all to chose our words so carefully.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet Mrs M

Nearly two weeks in with the new teacher and things are going so well. I felt the need to clarify this after my post the other day. Please know, she's awesome and, if we must live under the auspices of public school (which for right now we must), we couldn't ask for a more fabulous teacher. She is responsive to our emails (always within less than an hour - shocking, right?!). She seems to really like the kid. She wants to meet with us so she can get to know him better and share info about what she's observing (holistically, not just academically) in the classroom. She isn't putting him in time out. She's even letting him get in the treasure box because he's having days that good. These things are all amazing to me. Which is kinda sad, if you think about. Which I'm trying not to do.

The best, part, though, is that the kid is coming home and he is able to tell me at least one, but often more, great/fun/happy thing(s) that happened that day. At first those things were still of the "I didn't get in trouble today" variety. But even those were different, in his delivery at least. They weren't said in this beaten down, sad tone. They were with this lit up face, as if he was amazed that such days were even possible. But now, he says honest to goodness positive things - about his day, about the other kids, about Mrs. M herself. It's wonderful.

Funny enough, he still mentions MG1 (mean girl 1). I think it really bothers him that she doesn't like him. We're gonna need to have a convo soon about bullies and how it's about them, not you. But we'll get there soon enough.

A friend, who's child previously had Mrs. M raves about her. She said Mrs. M is early childhood trained, and that is so very obvious. She - really - is fantastic and I am so grateful that we made this switch.

That said, the kid has been an honest to goodness MESS the past two weeks. I mean OHHHHH. MMMMMM. GGEEEEE. He is driving me up a wall. All the walls. The attitude and disrespect coming out of his mouth is not my child. "So, what? Who cares what you think about that?!". "So?! What are you going to do about it anyway?!" "Just put me back in my normal life already, will you woman?!" I mean, what?! I'm not sure where my sweet boy went, but I'm gonna need him back. And sooner rather than later. You know, before I kill him. I jest. (Sort of...)

In truth, I think he's just adjusting to this new big change. He doesn't really completely understand the reason for the change. And he's not sleeping well of late (had a cold, asthma started acting up, ran out of meds --> not sleeping well at night and waking early in the morning). So all of those have left me with a mess of a kid. Even though Mrs. M is perfectly lovely, and a total keeper.

Today's lesson - The "fix" doesn't undo the damage caused by the problem. The damage doesn't just go away. It still has to be addressed and allowed to heal. Which means you should try not to make it worse. You know, by like telling him that he'd better care what you think because you're the momma . So there". That's probably not a good choice. You know, to help in the healing and all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This One Time...

A post from another blogger (CallMeMama) reminded me of a similar experience I had when the kid was a newborn. And I felt compelled to share it with you.

I was in my 2nd semester of grad school to get a Masters of Social Work when the kid was born. (Side Note: Yes, working full time, going to grad school almost full time, and parenting a newborn does suck. Big time.) I skipped my classes the first week he was born because, well, I mean, wouldn't you? And my professors were wonderfully understanding. One actually went so far as to order me to not come in. I adore her to this day for that.

When the kid was about 10 days old, though, I went to class. I, as I think most new parents would do, took in a few pics of my darling babe. At the beginning of class I passed them around and shared some basic info. I mean, we'd been in class together for only a few weeks and though none of us knew each other well, they did know me well enough to know that I hadn't been pregnant 2 weeks prior. So, I told them that we were adopting him and thrilled beyond words to have been chosen by his birth parents to be the parents who would raise him.

Most everyone oo-ed and awe-ed over my baby kid (as they should have because, I mean, he was freaking adorable). One girl, however, kind of freaked out, wanting to know why we had a black baby. She, too, was black and didn't think we, as white parents, should have this baby. I explained that we didn’t decide to parent a “black baby” (her words). We wanted to be parents and were open to whatever child came to us/was meant to be part of our family. We were chosen by the kid's birth parents and the difference in our races didn't bother them. I said that it was their decision, not hers. And if she had a problem with it, then I recommend she look into adoption herself. The rest of the graduate level social work class nodded their heads in agreement and we went on.

Fortunately, that was nearly 6 years ago and it’s been the only experience of that kind that we’ve had. However, it’s hard to feel like you have to “justify” your family. And what I know now, is that I don't actually have to justify my family to anyone. But I didn't know that then. Now, I decide when presented with situations whether I will let things be, or whether I will take the opportunity to educate people about adoption in general or transracial adoption specifically. I used to just babble on and on about it. Now I tend to be much more judicious about what I say. I used to probably tell a lot of my son's story. Now I realize that his story is his own. And that means that he gets to chose what to tell others. Not me.

On the flip side, I feel like it's so very important how I respond to adoption related comments and questions. Because he's there, always listening. And how I respond to questions - whether I'm uncomfortable, or how much I chose to share, or whether I am respectful  - affects how he thinks about adoption (his own, his brother's, and in general). It also affects how/what he thinks about himself. I have to be so much more intentional in the words I choose to say, and with those choose to share with others. Because he has big ears.

So, when I think about the incident that happened almost 6 years ago, I wonder how I would respond to such a thing now. I think I'd probably say about the same thing, if he weren't there. I don't know how I'd react and what I'd say if he was. I think I'd better figure it out. Because I suspect that it's just a matter of time before it happens. And I need to have my ducks in a row, so that I project confidence. So that he knows we can talk about adoption, that it is a safe topic. And that he only has to share the information he wants to share.

I have a post brewing in my head about the reasons why I think this woman had such a strong reaction. I think it's multi-faceted with cultural and historical components. Will let ya know when I get that cranked out.

Today's lesson: I'll leave you with the words of that adorable kid. The sweetness of the apples is only topped by the sweetness of the love my brother gives me in his kisses. Sometimes the heart nearly bursts from the amount of love in it. This, is a most wonderful feeling.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Heart Outside of Your Body

I don't even know what to do with a kid who is old enough to lose teeth (as in he's lost more than one now!). I mean, surely that means he is GROWING UP. Like, a big kid. Not my little boy anymore. I don't know how to handle that.

I frequently think about that quotation that goes something like "having children is like having your heart walk around outside of your body" (I'm sure one of you knows how that actually goes, and even who said it; I'm much too tired to even care to google it). I am not immune to my kid's flaws, but in truth he is really a sweet, empathetic little being, and he gets his feelings hurt easily. It's one of the reasons I have worried so about him going to public school. At his Montessori school, they were just as worried about kids' feelings and emotional well being as their academic achievement. And, as a social worker, a therapist, a momma, I am all about that.

However, public school simply isn't set up to work that way. It's a much more cut throat kind of environment. Kids are taught to suck it up and focus on the damn test. They're expected to sit and attend for what I feel are long - and frankly age inappropriate - periods of time. The expectation is that they will engage in adult-directed activities for the vast majority of the day. They are allowed to make very few decisions about what they will be doing.

And, as I've been recently reminded by an old friend, that just isn't the way we parent; those aren't the expectations our child has grown up with to this point. We haven't trained him to sit for long periods of time by providing him with the opportunity to watch television shows (he didn't get to watch TV til after he was 3. I mean at all). He doesn't sit in front of a computer playing games. We allow him to choose what he is going to do/play at any given time. We engage in play with him when he requests it, following his lead, not forcing our own agenda. We gently suggest activities, but ultimately it's up to him. We talk about feelings. A lot. It is as important to us that he learn to be a compassionate person as anything else.

Is it any wonder public school has been a challenge for him thus far?

And yet, him growing up means that I am no longer in control over his days. The public school system doesn't care that my goal as a parent is to raise a compassionate, caring human being. They care that he can read. And count by 5's to 50. And the way it's set up to do that is by teaching all children in the same way. Which means sitting still. A lot. And we're just - ALL - going to have to get used to it.

Or find a new school. Which we're not ruling out.

Today's lesson: Childcare has been, and continues to be, one of the most difficult parts of parenting. To trust someone else to care for you child is scary. Because the chances of them doing it just like you want or would is nil. So, your heart walks around outside of your body. And you have no control over how it is treated or cared for. Hard.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh, Domperidone...

So, I took my last Domperidone. I've been titrating down the dosage for a month or so. I noticed I was getting low and had to decide whether or not to order more. At about $50-60/month, we'd spent a lot of money on the medication. I mean, it's been, geez... probably 2.5 years that I've been taking it.

Also, I never saw what I'd consider a significant result. I mean, I don't really know how much milk I was able to produce, but I'd be willing to go out on a limb and say it was certainly less than an ounce per feeding (maybe up to that much when he was little, before I went back to work). It just seems like a waste to be spending the money for so little, uh, output.

I also stopped pumping a few months back. Because of my hectic and unpredictable work schedule, I just never knew when I'd have time to pump. Or where I'd be when I had the time (Kroger parking lot anyone? Random church parking lot? Not ideal locations). One time, I was sitting there pumping (with a hand pump because I don't have a car adapter for the electric one) and someone pulled up and parked right next to me. Super uncomfortable. And, again, the output was so tiny (less than 5ML always), that the effort just didn't seem worth it. So I gave myself permission to just stop.

But here's the thing, I feel guilty about stopping the medication (and pumping, too). Here's the main reason - we're continuing to give baby E donated breastmilk (hopefully til he's at least 18 months - so another 3 months). So, all those mommas are still doing their part (the endless pumping). And, yes, I realize that they're also feeding their babies, but if they weren't committed, or at least willing, to also in part feed mine, they wouldn't have to pump as much or as often.

So now I'm feeling like I've shirked my responsibility. I'm not putting in the extra effort that they are. To feed my baby. It's already one of those things I "should" be able to do on my own. One of those things that I so wanted, want, to do on my own. I already rely on others to do it. And while of course I appreciate them beyond measure, I still carry that guilt, that feeling of pissed-off-ed-ness at my body for not doing what it "should" have be able to do.

I keep telling myself that it's okay. That baby E has a full belly. That he's happy. And that's what's important. But that nagging voice telling me I'm a failure just won't  go away.

Damn the mommy guilt. Damn the infertility. Neither of them ever seems to go away. Neither of their effects ever seem to lessen.

Today's lesson: It's interesting how pervasive guilt can be. How it can show up in places both expected and unexpected. It's also funny how some lessons show up over and over in your life. They seem to keep showing up until you really and truly learn them. Note to self: Learn the damn lesson already.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Head Injuries

Here's a running list of the head injuries baby E has sustained in the last couple of days:
  • Getting head stuck in between banister railings. Necessitated a little finagling to get him out. He screamed for about 3 minutes afterwards. Because he was mad. And then he stuck his head right back in there. Whole process repeated. Including the part where he stuck his head back between the railings. For the third time in less than 10 minutes.
  • Me, dropping him. On his head. He was squirming to get down. He was less than a foot off the ground. Man, he was ticked at me. And so torn because he also wanted me to comfort him. I only laughed on the inside. And, of course, because he was okay.
  • Me, colliding heads with him after he stood up, finally consoled about the whole dropping thing. That set him off, pissed at me again.
  • The kid running into him, knocking him to the floor. He bit his lip. There was blood (ew). And lots of pitiful crying. For about 5 minutes, then he was trying to console the kid, who was really upset that he'd hurt his little brother. That was pretty cute.
  • Falling down half a flight of very hard stairs. There were LOTS of tears, many of them mine. He seems no worse for the wear. My Grandmother said, "My, isn't it great that they have such bounce in them". I think that means she was glad he was okay. I think.
Today's lesson: It will be a miracle if this baby gets through the next year - heck, the next month - without a trip to the ER for something head related.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The New Teacher

I'd write an ode to Mrs M, if only I remembered how to do such a thing. Or a haiku, which I seem to remember was easier. But I can't actually remember the rules for those either. But, suffice to say, we're loving Mrs M so far! Hubby sent an email to her early in the day just to introduce himself and check in. Imagine our surprise when she replied. Like immediately (And by immediately I mean within the same hour because that's never happened before). And she had lovely things to say. Like that she was also an active and social person, so she thought they'd get along well. And that he was lovely. And she was thrilled to have him in her class. Picture one big grin from this momma.

The, out of the blue, I got a very kind email from Mrs M at the end of the day. She said he'd had a good day and reiterated that she was glad to have him and felt he would do well in her class. I could kiss this woman. I wanted to tell her that but fortunately I restrained myself and instead just thanked her. Perhaps profusely.

The kid came come smiling and said honest to goodness GOOD things about his day. I mean, GOOD THINGS!! As in more than one good thing. Sure, he was still able to come up with something sad (a girl was poking at him), but the fact that he could give me anything good is a good step in the right direction. This is one happy momma.

Today's lesson: Head injuries are common in toddlers. See the next post for more on that.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Oh, you missed me?

I have certainly been the absent blogger of late. I have a good reason. Well, a few. First it was the the holidays. Second, things have been super busy (see first). Third, well, I just really haven't had much to say. I mean, I've been busy (refer back to 2nd reason), but there's not really been anything in particular that I've wanted to write. Or, I suppose there have been things (like when my baby fell down the very hard stairs at my grandmother's house, or the awesome man-cave hubby and I made for the kid for Christmas, or how awfully baby E slept while we were traveling, then slept through the night last night - unpredictable little creature), but no time to formulate a full post about any one of them in particular. (And you're welcome for all the vagueness in all that.) Maybe I'll come back at some point and fill in some of the holiday breaks. Maybe not. I have a feeling many of us are just ready to move on from the holidays. I am at least. We'll see...

Anywho, here's the deal-io with today. What, you don't remember why today is important in our little household? I can't imagine why. Well, I'm willing to remind you. Today the kid starts in his new class at school. We're finally done with Mrs L. Now, Mr P (the principal) was supposed to call the week of Christmas with the name of the kid's new teacher. He didn't. Really, this didn't bother me because I hope he was spending the time with his kids and family instead of worrying about mind - I have no doubt he was. But, come yesterday evening and we didn't didn't know anything I was getting a little concerned. Finally. about 7 he called and told us the kid's new teacher will be Mrs M.

I don't know anything about her other than that the kid who lives behind us is in her class. Really, that's all I know. But it's got to be better. So, we're going with it. I walked him in this morning and met Mrs M in the office. She took the kid to the room and I briefly checked in with Mr P. Then I headed down to the room. Mrs M was showing him around. He had a huge grin on his face, though I know he was nervous. She just is what I picture when I think about a Kindergarten teacher. Kind eyes. Welcoming demeanor. General warmness. Friendly and slightly humorous smile.

Dear Lord, I hope this is a good fit. We need this woman to like our kid. To get our kid. To undo the damage Mrs L has done. To remind him that he loves school. And, poor woman, 'cause that is lots of pressure to put on one person. Thankfully, I haven't told her all this.

So, here's to holidays being over and the kid having a great day with a (sweetbabyjesuspleaseletherbeawesome) new teacher.

Today's lesson: Probably your baby who doesn't like to sleep at home won't just decide that he'd love to sleep when you're visiting with family.