11 Months

The party invites are out which can only mean one thing: the big first birthday is fast approaching!

CB turned 11 months last week and I absolutely can not believe it! Suddenly he is so much of a little boy as opposed to a baby. I'm still in awe of how quickly time goes.

  • 26.8 pounds. Know that exactly after a trip to the doctor this evening. Diagnosis? Double ear infection. Those ears...that's a post for another day.
  • Pulling himself up and taking steps when pushing his walker or around furniture.
  • Loves to open (and close...and open...and close...) cabinets and drawers.
  • Goes to sleep with a binkie (we prefer Mams) in his mouth and one in each hand...just for good measure.
  • Which reminds me...next time I have to buy a crib buy one with a SOLID back. I pull the crib out and retrieve pacis on a daily basis.
  • We suddenly have an aversion to eating fresh vegetables. So that's been fun. Pouches and baby food have been reintroduced!
  • Quite--QUITE--obsessed with finding belly buttons. The other day I was sitting at the kitchen table and he pulled himself up behind me. Unbeknownst to me, my shirt was up a little in the back and all of a sudden I felt a cold little paw on my love handle. Scared the bejeezus out of me! He was just looking for my belly button; that's all.
  • Toofers: bottom central incisors are in and pretty much all the way up. Top lateral incisors are in. Top central incisors are on their way. That's right...my son's name is Edward Cullen.
  • Still thinks Macy is hilarious, though we are working on gentle petting. She does not appreciate being bitch slapped--literally.
  • Waves hi, can kind of do "more" and "all done" in sign language (he's really masted "more." Please refer to bullet point #1--my son's weight). Working on finding our nose, blowing kisses and TOUCHDOWN! 
Shopping has commenced for his and Jesus' birthday, and here's what's on our list so far: 

1. Pottery Barn Kids' Anywhere Chair. Purchased with the awesome gift card we won as a result of their Spooktacular Costume Contest. BOOYA! (Again with the pun! It's too easy!) And yes, we dominated comment count. 

2. Y Bike. Ordered it from Yoyo.com just last night. Can't argue with the discount on your first purchase from that site and free shipping! 

3. Red Piano. Of which I am sure I will regret. 

Other than that, he's getting other small things. He is obsessed with Slide and Find books and he also needs some new hooded bath towels as his current ones are getting a little. too. snug. 

Now, do share...gotta have great gifts for the one-year-old? 


The Milky Way of Life

I've always thought breastfeeding was so weird. Maybe it's just my modest self, but although it's one of the most "natural" things you can do, I always thought it was so strange.

And then I had a baby, I breastfed, and I became slightly obsessed.

Moms do a lot of things. Change diapers, do the laundry, drop off and pick up. We do a lot. But that's nothing dad, grandma, grandpa, the nanny, aunts, uncles or friends can't do.

Being the sole provider of baby's food...when you're nursing...only a momma can do that.

My modesty went out the window when I was nursing. Feed CB in front of family and friends? Check. (Though there were definitely some people I felt a little less comfortable nursing in front of.) Pump in the backseat of the company vehicle with two co-workers (both female, of course) up front? Check. Whip out a boob on an airplane to calm down a hyperactive boy? Tried it, but nothing would calm Hurricane Chuck that day. I digress...

Nursing became this maternal sense of empowerment that I had never envisioned happening. It was a huge part of my life for 10.5 months. 10.5 months! My goal was six months and I made it 10. While not intended to be an "I love myself" post, I will pat myself on the back for sticking with it for that long. Nursing takes time. There are sacrifices in what you can eat and drink. Your wardrobe is planned according to what is easy to strip down in. (Dresses...bad.) You miss out on the party or conversation-at-hand when you have to wander into the other room to feed the baby. Pumping is another meeting added to an already busy schedule at the office. And if you travel for business...well don't forget to call the hotel to get a fridge in your room and figure out how to not be in the security line behind your boss so he doesn't see your breast milk bags get screened for explosives.

But all of that was easily outweighed by the benefits. The fact that you are the source of nutrition for your baby (I, I, got CB to a meaty 25 pounds! No skim milk here, people.) That dependency, while overwhelming at times, was so cool. And the bond, that one-on-one time you get to spend with your little one will never be replaced.

Stopping nursing was harder than I thought it would be. When we started needing to supplement with formula around 9 months, I had a really hard time with it. It was another realization of how quickly time has passed, plus the culmination of that special thing between CB and I. When he got his two teeth, I was asked if I was done breastfeeding. And while it hurt like a MOTHER when he bit me the few times, I didn't give myself a hard and fast end date. I just kind of let it happen. I had heard friends discussing that approach many many moons ago, before I was a mom. I didn't understand the big deal then, but I do now. Knowing "this is the last time I am going to feed the baby," would be a much harder feeling than, "wow, I haven't nursed since Thursday," which was hard enough in and of itself.

So, I'm done. My partner in crime (not the teats; the pump) was packed down this evening. The yellow Vera Bradley tote that replaced the black Medela nylon bag will soon be repurposed for another role. The ice pack will start to keep other types of bottles cool. It's quite bittersweet. I have awesome memories of and from nursing my little babe. Like when my brother tried to keep the nurse from entering my hospital room while I feeding CB (she did not care...at all). And when I attended a breastfeeding support group meeting (What.A.Cluster. I need to blog about that before I forget all of the details). And when housekeeping started opening my door while I was pumping.

The primary reason I was able to breastfeed and pump so long is because I was fortunate to have a good supply. I have many friends that physically couldn't produce enough. I feel blessed that God gave me this gift. If you're a nursing mom, or considering it, and have the same gift that I did...stick with it. Don't give up because it's inconvenient. Things that helped me (beyond just being a little dairy cow):

1. Cheerleaders in your hubby, friends and family. If they support you and encourage you, it helps immensely. When asked if I was done feeding Charlie once he had teeth, I suddenly felt I had to start defending why I was still nursing.

2. Comfortable environment. While there were many sessions spent in bathroom stalls, and the aforementioned vehicle with co-workers (which happened twice), having the lactation room at the place I pumped the most--work--was awesome. Cheers to the Milky Way! And being surrounded with co-workers who also support your dedication as a breastfeeding working mom is huge. Most women stop breastfeeding when they go back to work, and I thank the awesome environment at my company for helping me stick with it so long.

3. Good gear. The Medela Freestyle is awesome. Double electric, hands-free (though it looks like a torture device when you're wearing it) helps you multi-task. Would have been even cooler if I got mine for free. (Dang it! Missed that one by a matter of days.)

4. iPhone. I'm not sure how women pumped pre-smart phone. Do you know how much Pinteresting and Words-With-Friends-ass-kicking I did while pumping? And let's not forget about CB's Hallmark photo shoot that was a result of a quick Facebook find while in the Milky Way one afternoon. (Note: CB was way. too. huge. for the Hallmark cloths. Please see point about me producing Whole milk.)

5. An "I can do this" attitude.

To each their own, but I truly believe this (while sometimes feeling like a burden and obligation) has been one of the coolest parts of being a mom; one of my best memories. When I meet, hear of, talk to or read about a breastfeeding mom, I want to give her a huge high five and tell her she is awesome. It's the one and only time I turn into a feminist and want to say, "We. Freaking. Rock."

Life in the Milky Way. Truly out of this world.


And in other pouch news

After sharing the news of the Plum recall with my mom, I thought she was a bit dramatic when she threw out any pouches, any brand, at her house. Maybe she was on to something. 

My sister-in-law called me tonight to tell me something that happened to an acquaintance of hers. This Facebook friend had fed her daughter a pouch, and her daughter refused it. Mom examined it and found..wait for it...LIVE LARVAE crawling inside.

After I threw up in my mouth, I told my SIL about the Plum recall and assumed these two incidents were related. But upon further investigating, the second story was an Earth's Best pouch. Visit the brand's website for more information on the incident. And yes, we have Earth's Best pouches in our pantry as I type.

So now I'm officially grossed out. I've always wondered how an organic produce product, with no preservatives, remains shelf stable for years. The answer I've received was the cooking process enables this to happen, but alas, I'm afraid I have the answer...they don't. They spoil. 

This all on a day when CB had not one, but two, pouches for lunch. Not hungry for the sweet potato I packed, or perhaps he just craved the extra protein in the pouches. 

Line crossed and puking shall commence right ... about ... now.

Plum Organics Issues a Recall

Check your pantries; Plum Organics has issued a recall on several of their products, including various pouches. The company says products may be spoiled inside the pouch because of a manufacturing defect. You can find more information here

I was trying to get CB off of pouches and canned food as I'm trying in general for all of us to eat a little less processed/packaged food. We had signed up for Door-to-Door organics, but it seemed a little pricey and the produce was going to waste. It was a bit of an eye-opener though--if organic produce doesn't last as long as non-organic, what is on/in the "normal" stuff that extends its shelf life? I also didn't think that organic bananas tasted as good as the good ole' Dole ones; again...concerning? Although I don't think D2D will work out, we did enjoy an outing to Trader Joe's over the weekend primarily for fruits and veggies*--fresh and frozen. I was impressed by the low prices and it was nice to be able to buy the amount I think we will need, as opposed to what comes in the bitty box 

While I am trying to feed CB fresh as much as possible, a friend reminded me that sometimes you can't argue with the ease and convenience of pouches/jars. Especially as the little one requires a lot of steaming, peeling and chopping, if it's a rushed dinner hour opening a lid, squeezing into a bowl and spooning + serving is the best route to go. But I am curious if others agree. And if you do, what do you look for in these packaged fruits and veggies in terms of sugar, sodium and other nutritionals. 

Just want to make sure the apple of my eye is getting what he deserves! 

* We also came home with a box of Peppermint Joe Joes and, as someone who isn't a real fan of Oreos, O.M.G these things were amazing. Especially crumbled over some vanilla ice cream! 


32 years later

My grandpa has always carried two ballpoint pens in his shirt pocket. Always. When I was a baby, I would slyly pluck a pen from his pocket, look him in the eyes and drop it on the floor.


So when CB was reunited with his great-grandfather yesterday, it was only natch that him holding one of Great-grandpa Jim's pens would be documented and compared to me at that age.