Tuesday, November 29, 2011

100 Days...

One year ago today marked 100 days until my due date...now this year, today marks 100 days until I return to work...I'm in denial & don't want to talk about it...

I took Elena to meet Santa...

As you can see, she was none too impressed...

It was really funny actually...when we got there Elena was mesmirized by the lights & decorations & was laughing at the other children meeting Santa & seemed very excited for her turn...she loved his bells & the bells the Elf shook to get her attention, she loved Santa's beard, his faux fur cuffs & his gloved hands...she was all smiles & I was so surprised & thought we might actually get a smiling photo...until I stepped away! Oh well, I think it's pretty darn cute :)

I have new worry & stress about Elena choking...she won't eat anything bigger than a small pea & that she swallows whole without chewing. Anything bigger she pushes out with her tongue & spits it out, literally spits it! I've tried Farley cookies (which she loves to crumble up but won't eat), I've tried chopped instead of mashed bananas, I even caved & bought some organic baby food...no dice. She does, however, have no problem picking up paper or lint from the floor & trying to eat that!! Oy!

We had our awesome photographer over again to take some photos for our Christmas cards...here's the 3 shots we used...

It was also our 1st snow that day...I'm happy to have a photo of Elena's 1st experience...she was none too impressed, lol!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why Buy the Cow When You Can Get the Milk for Free?

My Grandmother, Elena’s Great-Grandmother, whom she’ll call GiGi lives with us. She was born in 1918 on a small farm in New Brunswick & when I say, “on a farm” I mean she was born in the farm house. She grew up on said farm with few luxuries, she had to be frugal & couldn’t be wasteful. She married & had 6 children…money was always tight & she had to make it stretch between a family of 8.

To this day, she will cut mold off cheese & eat the rest of the brick, she’ll make a sandwich with stale bread (including the ends) before she’d even think of throwing it away. She keeps napkins that, “weren’t used much” for a second go. She has bought at least 3 new winter coats since moving in with me but she refuses to get rid of the old ones…because you never know. She has practically every dress she’s ever worn to various family weddings, events, etc & she always resists when one of her daughters insist she get a new outfit saying, “I can just wear what I wore to so & so’s wedding/birthday/retirement.

I believe that her upbringing & adulthood molded her into this frugal, prudent women & having lived thru periods of hand-to-mouth has made her reluctant, nay loath to take anything for granted…even though she’s financially comfortable now she still wouldn’t think of being even the slightest bit wasteful…because you never know.

With everything Elena & I went thru when she was born, her losing so much weight & my milk taking almost a week to come in, I believe it’s made me a little bit of a breast milk hoarder. I have obsessively pumped at least once a day…at first I pumped to encourage my milk to come in, then I pumped to build up my production & then to build a stash & aside from a bag or 2, I haven’t used any…if I was going to be away for a feeding, I’d pump a fresh bottle rather than dip into my stash.

Now that Elena is almost nine months old, a bunch of the bags will expire being older than 6 months. I’m having trouble dealing with having to throw them out…it’s silly, I know! Aside from the bags, it has cost me nothing to collect this milk, yet the thought of throwing any out makes me feel so wasteful.

So I have officially stopped pumping…it was a difficult decision…thoughts of, “what if I run out?!?!” & the more irrational thoughts of, “Elena’s going to STARVE if I stop pumping!!!!” I know it is the right thing though…I have to go back to work soon & I never planned to pump then so it’s better to stop now than spend my 1st day back at work engorged & uncomfortable. Soon enough I’ll have to wean Elena from her 2 afternoon feeds. Once I’m back to work, I’ll still nurse her in the morning & at night until I dry up & switch her to cow’s milk. It was just a little scary getting here.

We’ll cover the emotions over weaning in another post ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

November Rain

It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper update post…I have so many blog post ideas whirling around in my head & some half written but nothing has really formed into anything post-able…in the mean time Elena is growing & learning & changing…


Elena has been crawling for over a month now…once she was purposefully crawling, I completely baby-proofed our entire living room & made it her space. I didn’t want to spend all our time saying, “No, don’t touch”…I mean, she’s a baby, she’s curious…she’s going to be in a lot of places where I’ll have to do the “No, don’t touch” thing so I wanted her to have a space that was hers…but there are 3 spots that are off limits: 1 electrical plug, the cable box & a corner that has my file & scrapbooking boxes…so in a room entirely dedicated to her, FULL of toys, where she can play freely, what is she obsessively focused on? Yep, you guessed it: the plug, cable box & file boxes!!!

Elena seems to believe she can stand now too…only one problem, she hasn’t quite figured out balance & gravity yet. She pulls herself up on things then just lets go…She’s also taking tentative steps…it’s very exciting. I blame her GiGi (her Great Gramma)…when she started belly crawling in August, GiGi said, “She’ll be walking by Christmas!!” My reply was,
“Oh Gramma, she’ll only be 9 months at Christmas, there’s no way Elena will be walking by then!” Apparently Elena has other ideas!! We'll see...


I’m afraid to even type this for fear of jinxing it but teething hasn’t been nearly as bad as I heard it could be…Elena has 3 teeth with her 4th breaking thru now. The saving grace for us has been Camilia…really seems to take the edge off…she'll get a “super dose” when a tooth is 1st breaking thru (when pain & discomfort is at it’s worst)…the “super dose” is 3 doses 15 minutes apart…plus I give her 1 dose just be before bed. Thankfully, we’ve only had to use Advil or Tylenol very sparingly.


We have been plagued by sickness lately…nothing too serious, it just seems like one thing after another…I got a cold a few weeks back. The worst of that cold was trying not to cough & wake Elena in the night…oh & the lack of sleep.

Then last week…I got shingles!!! I’ve had them before & for any of you who don’t know, shingles are a strain of the chicken pox virus & aside from the itchiness, they hurt like HELL!! I got my outbreak along my rib cage & it felt like I’d broken a rib. Since I’m still breastfeeding I was doubly concerned with Elena either catching it or chicken pox or the medication crossing into my milk. Thankfully, Elena didn’t catch anything & it turned out the meds do cross into the milk but in a lower dose than would be prescribed so I took them.

Just when all that starts clearing up…Elena gets the sniffles. At first I thought it was from her top teeth coming in until I got the sniffles too…it’s a cold & it started Saturday night. I was so worried about the time change but it didn’t make any difference since we were up every hour that night…poor Elena couldn’t breath. During the day she does alright since she’s upright & her nose drains…so Sunday night, I propped her up on our nursing pillow & this made all the difference. She’s slept relatively well these last few nights. Also we’ve used Coryzalia made by the same company as Camilia…she gets 1 dose before bed & it helps.



Well…sleep has been our most challenging aspect…Nights were hit & miss for a long time but Elena napped really well during the day (2 or more hours twice a day!!). I read so many (too many) books, articles etc…so much conflicting info…I really overloaded myself, over thought the whole situation & was feeling like an epic failure that I couldn’t get Elena to sleep with any consistency at night…then one Saturday a few weeks ago we spent the day at my brothers & Elena barely had any naps, ½ hour in the morning & maybe ½ hour in the afternoon. My brother said, “maybe she’ll just konk out tonight!” I smiled & nodded but in my head was thinking, “Nope, that’s not how it works. The books said so.” Well guess what? Yep, she slept like a log!! So I tested it the next day…and day after that…limited Elena to no more than a 1 hour nap twice a day…well lo & behold she started sleeping straight thru…until she got the sniffles but that’s just a blip. Are you kidding me? I felt like such a dummy!! I mean now it makes perfect sense but I feel like a real idiot for not figuring out on my own that Elena wasn’t sleeping well at night because she was sleeping so much during the day!


Elena is doing really well in this department & her weighing in at 22 lbs proves it! I’m still making most of her food. I still puree all her veggies but for fruits I’ve been buying the Motts unsweetened apple sauces…she’ll eat just about anything mixed in applesauce!! Elena’s funny about trying new foods…my system is to introduce something new & offer it daily for 4 days to allow for reactions. Elena always resists & does not take it well. After the 4 days, I give her a break then re-introduce it a week or so later & she always just takes it without complaint from then on…so weird!

I’m going to be honest with y’all now…I am terrified of the next eating step of finger foods & Elena feeding herself. I am petrified she is going to choke & I am not confident in my first aid skills & worry I’ll panic. If it were up to me, Elena would eat pureed foods until she was 12! I know I have to get over this for Elena’s sake but I am gripped with fear at the thought of her choking. I am constantly thinking & worrying about having to start more textured foods…my stomach is in knots just typing about it. She does get some texture now with her green beans & peas & I mash her banana instead of puree it & the apple sauce isn’t smooth…but that’s about as much texture I can bring myself to offer her. Can’t we just wait until she has ALL her teeth? And is old enough for me to explain how important it is for her not to choke?!?!?

Okay, now that I’ve worked myself up into another panic attack about Elena choking, maybe it’s time to wrap up this epic update post. If anyone has any advice about any of the above, please share…