Friday, September 28, 2007

One down, nine to go...

I chopped off my baby's finger yesterday.

Well, maybe it was just the tip but it certainly bled a lot!

Ok, "a lot" may be a relative term, but it did bleed!

I'll admit, others may not have noticed the blood, but still I felt bad.

Ok, here's the full story:
I cut my baby's finger nails yesterday for the first time (I've been biting them off in fear of cutting her fingers). And of course, on the last finger... she moved. Then cried. Then bled.

I learned something about bandaids yesterday... they're wasted on babies.
Bandaid 1 - used to cover cut finger
Bandaid 2 - used on opposite hand to detract baby's attention from bandaid 1
Bandaid 3 - used to keep bandaid 1 in place
All were off within 5 minutes - tops.

Luckily the bleeding seemed to stop when she finally decided to move on with her life and play with the orange tiger (if only we all had an orange tiger). Luckily for me, I think I'm in the clear - if she tries to show someone how her mom cut off her finger, most likely it will be mistaken as reaching for something instead. Whew. Close one.

And for the flat-tipped finger? I figure if it's needed, she can always go to physical therapy to learn how to play the piano with her disability.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bladder Massage

As a baby who likes to be held (and really, who can blame her), Ellie ends up doing a lot of standing on my stomach. She remains content longer if she's playing with her toys while sitting or standing on me than if she were sitting or standing on the floor. For as much as this results in me complaining about the effects it has on my bladder, Michael reassures me that the medical benefits of bladder massage will never be fully understood.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Shameful Confession

Continuing my story...

"Chip" was trying to sympathize with me by saying "That must have been really difficult having to pour all that bad milk down the drain."

My response to this?
"... uh... um... not really. I haven't poured it out yet."

Yes, there you have it. I confess that I still have 60 or so oz of possibly bad milk in the freezer. Do I know it's bad? No. Do I ever plan on using it? No. Should I just toss it? Yes.

But it hurts too much to toss. I have issues. Thanks, Chip, for the reminder.

An Embarassing Confession

A couple days ago I was catching up with a colleague and much to my surprise I found out that he reads my blog! And he's the second colleague to admit to it! I do not go out of my way to have people read it, but I do find it easier to show updated pictures by just showing people the ones I've posted. Anyway... apparently some people actually keep a link to my page and have been reading all my entries.

This doesn't really bother me, but I have found myself in a position where I wonder just how many people do read these entries and how many of those are the guys I work with on a semi-regular basis.

Oh well, the damage is done.

And to continue causing this damage... when colleague 1 (we'll call him Chip) was talking to me about how he never knew that women experienced the same uncomfortable effects that cows do when they don't get milked often enough (add that to the list of conversations I never thought I'd have at work)... colleague 2 (we'll call him Doogie) came into the office and asked what we were talking about. I responded "oh, I keep a blog about silly little thoughts." Doogie, being the nice guy he is, showed interest so I of course showed him the blog.

Ugh. I of course showed him the blog, not remembering that the latest post was titled "The return of the boobs". Sigh. I'm sure that was more information than Doogie bargained for.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

That's my name too!

You would not believe it, but I met someone recently who has a new (4 month old) niece named Loriella! LORIELLA. Hey, that's not fair! Michael and I specifically picked the name because it would be unique. We got it first! Taking an A onto the end of it doesn't fool anyone!

The funny thing is that I don't know which I like better. They're nicknaming the girl Ella instead of Ellie, which I think is adorable. However, Loriella has 4 syllables (I know you can count), which I think is a bit too long. But hmmmm... did I pick the right name?

Either way, it actually kindof upset me to know that there is another baby out there with a similar name. My mom claims that when she named me, she thought Jennifer was the most uncommon name she could come up with, and look where that got her! She knew she was in trouble when she took me to my first pediatian appointment and the nurse came out and said "Jennifer?" and all three mothers in the lobby stood up.

Do you think that's going to happen to me? Please no. Not me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The return of the boobs

The little one slept from 7:30 to 4:15 AM, and damn! These things can be used as weapons! No, seriously, I'm talking about an extension of the kind of "weapon" you might be thinking they're already be used as. If a bad guy got too close to these things, I could knock him out. Imagine how safe the streets would be if every police officer was equipped with two of these babies!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The brain is a funny thing

Since getting back to work I've noticed a few strange things things about auto-typing (you know, like auto-pilot, only not).

1. I type phonetically. Instead of typing "one" I type "won".
2. When I type my password, it's almost always an old password from over a year ago, not the one I had before leaving on maternity leave.

At least I should be grateful for still typing quickly. Go me.


I decided to write this post today because it occured to me that I can still count on one hand the number of things that have scared my baby (to the point of crying).

1. Auntie Erin's dog barked and woke Ellie up with a startle.
2. Air brakes on a shuttle bus while picking up Daddy from work.
3. Air brakes on a bus at the airport.
4. Mommy blowing her nose (I try not to take that one personally).
5. Daddy giving her a rasberry on her back (she was attacked from behind!).

I guess gone are the days where she just jumps when surprised, but doesn't actually cry. I suppose that's what happens when you start becoming aware of the fact that there is a whole world of stuff out there!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One huge step backward, 4 big steps forward

At 5 months of age, I believe that Ellie is sleeping through the night again, like she did before going to Colorado. Whoohoo! Finally!

Here's what happened:

After returning form Colorado, for two and a half weeks she would only sleep an hour at a time. Often it would be 15 minutes at a time. You try getting sleep if you have to get up every 15 minutes to put a baby back to sleep. We once got desperate and tried to let her cry it out but that lasted 2 hours! Ugh.

Finally, she got to the point where she would sleep 3 hours at a time again. Obviously this wasn't as good as the 7-9 pre-Colorado times, but it was a significant improvement.

Last night marked the 3rd night in a row that she slept 7 hours! Woohoo! Go baby, go baby! I've even been able to get a small stock-pile of milk stored because of this!

So it has taken us a month and a half to get back to where we were pre-Colorado... but even that's not true. We're ahead of pre-Colorado because of the following MAJOR accomplishments:

1. She is no longer swaddled at night.
2. She has recently been putting herself to sleep.

It's still not perfect. Supposedly a baby her age should be able to sleep 10-12 hour stretches, but at this point I'm not complaining. I think we're pretty lucky to find ourselves at this point without having to do any real sleep training. Go baby, go baby! It's your birthday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can't we all just be friends?

This last weekend we were going to attack the 3:00 AM feeding that Ellie has gotten herself in the habit of needing. Her current schedule is: bed at 7:30, wake and feed at 12:00, wake and feed at 3:00, wake somewhere between 5:00 and 7:00. It's not nearly as nice as what it was before taking her to CO, but we're managing.

Anyway... Operation Attack 3:00 Feeding did not end up happening because we keep going back and forth on "fix the feeding first" vs "learn to put herself to sleep first". As a compromise, we ended up spending hours at the bookstore looking up our options for sleep training.

At the bookstore, we met an older lady who said that you really need to let the baby cry it out or getting them to fall asleep on their own doesn't work. She said that the book she used with her kids was great and was written by "Farber, I think". Oh yes, Dr Ferber. He's the father of the concept of "cry it out", which essentially means that you let the baby cry herself to sleep and in a couple days she learns to put herself to sleep. The theory is "more short-term tears, fewer tears in the long run."

After this lady left us, we were approached by another, younger woman. She said "I overheard you saying you were thinking of Ferberizing your baby and I wanted to plead with you not to do it. I would hate to have to cry myself to sleep thinking that no one out there cared for me." She recommended a book by Dr Sears. Oh yes, Dr Sears. He's the father of the concept of "no cry", which essentially means that you do everything in your power to prevent your baby from crying, even if it means sleeping with them or waking up every hour to feed. If this idea bothers you, then you just need an attitude adjustment.

Come on, folks!? Can't we all just get along? Just because Ferber lets his baby cry for a couple nights does not mean the baby will need counseling because his mommy and daddy didn't love him enough. Nor does it mean Sears' baby will still be sleeping in his parents' bed when he graduates and goes off to college.

Ugh. Unfortunately any book we find with a middle of the road attitude ends up lacking specific alternatives. Once again I have to realize that there are no instruction manuals for this little bundle of jiggles.

P.S. Funny thing about lady #2 was that I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt and asked her "oh, what technique did you use to get your baby to sleep through the night?" Her response was "Oh, she doesn't. She's 10 months old and still wakes every hour and sleeps with me, but at least she knows I love her." Ummm... yeah. Let's not touch that one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Honest Moment

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

I love that quote. Always have and always will.

I have a friend who asked me to keep her informed on how having a baby affects my career and today I have come across a related dilemma. It's no secret that I want to move back to Colorado. I have always wanted to be close to my family and friends when I raise my children and now that I am a mother, obviously that time is approaching, if not already here.

However, as you will soon see... it's not easy leaving. Take a look at the videos I've added to the right of my blog. They are videos of the prosthetic arms that I worked on. I wish I could show you some better ones, but alas I'm sadly restricted to only what's available in the public domain (and to be honest, I was surprised to see so much because a couple of these were only presented a month ago and only in one location).

Point is this... You have to admit that a project like that is a "once in a life time" sort of thing to work on. How rewarding it is to see Jesse and Claudia move their arms like that again! It's humbling to know that I was involved in making it happen. I doubt anyone can watch those videos and blame me for extending my stay in Maryland like I have.

Yesterday the Branch Head held a meeting and talked about the upcoming projects we are going to be involved in. Many of them are extentions of the prosthetic arm (there are so many applications for this new technology!) but there are other extremely interesting projects as well. And they all fit under the "do the world good by improving the quality of life" category that makes my soul sing.

So, my friend, I must tell you that the biggest way in which having a baby is affecting my career is just that... do I choose my family or do I choose to save the world? It's a tough one. Really. I wouldn't want to have to be the one to decide. Would you?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Life as a working cow

Well, I'm starting my third week of work and I bet you're wondering what I think of being back and since it's Monday morning I will try to keep it short:

1. I miss Ellie. It is so hard for me to wait the entire 8 hours before leaving to pick her up again. I doubt this surprises anyone.

2. Pumping bites. I'm pumping every hour or two. How am I supposed to get anything done with a schedule like that? I can see why a lot of working moms give up breast feeding. I feel like the only thing I've accomplished at work is pumping 15 oz every day. Moo.

3. I think daycare is good for Ellie because, in general, she's been a lot easier to get to smile since starting daycare. So yay!

4. It's very apparent that I have already lost a good portion of my adult vocabulary. When I talk to Ellie, she doesn't care what I say. Heck, she doesn't even care if I say real words, just as long as the sound that comes out is entertaining. This method doesn't work so well when conversing with coworkers.

5. I'm bored. Things are slow at work and I haven't gotten any real project to work on yet. Do you realize how long the day is when you're bored?

6. It's too bad there isn't a sleep budget I can charge to when I'm feeling exhausted from dealing with a baby that doesn't sleep nearly as well as I know she's capable of.

7. I was hoping to make it to 10 things on this list, but like I said, it's Monday morning and I have a baby who doesn't sleep like I know she's capable of. Give me a break.

Friday, September 14, 2007

She ain't a farm girl

I thought that Ellie was getting tired of the limited number of songs I know the words to. She should count herself lucky that I know 5 songs! Please don't remind me that three of them of the same melody (Twinkle Twinkle, Bah Bah Black Sheep, and ABC's) because as long as the words are different, dammit, they count!

Anyway... because I'm sure there is a limited amount of time before she realizes that ABCs doesn't really contain words, I figured I'd try to expand my playlist when, with delight, I realized that I knew the words to Old McDonald!

Sadly, though, Ellie hates Old McDonald. She hates his farm. She hates his cows and their moo moos here. She hates his sheep and their baa baas there. And here a cluck and there a quack, yep she hates them too. She even hates the pigs and their oink oinks everywhere.

Bummer. I do think, though, that I should still get credit for knowing the lyrics!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boob update

I'm not sure when it happened, but I noticed the other night that I was sleeping on my stomach! You don't understand. Let me repeat myself. I was sleeping on my stomach! I wasn't even doing anything to prop myself up to take the pressure off my chest. I was completely sleeping on my stomach. WOW! I thought the day would never come and it turns out it came and went and I didn't notice when. Go figure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Princess Ellie

This last weekend we went to the Renaissance Festival, which is something I always enjoy doing every year. At the festival, an elf sneezed on Ellie and I swear we're still trying to get the green glitter out of her hair. I'm hoping she plans on wearing green to her senior prom!

We were also told that it only takes 10 minutes to cast a baby's butt. We're putting that one on the list of things we don't need to ever hear again.

But when all is said and done, of course I had to make Ellie into a princess and get great pictures of her. Look how cute she is! Oh my god! I have a cute baby!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Abs of Flab

Tell me the truth, should I be embarrassed by the fact that my almost 4.5 month old daughter can do a better stomach crunch than I? Sigh.

Good luck baby

Last weekend when we were in Green Bay for a wedding, I got a kick out of how people responded to the baby. There were so many people who would shake her feet on their way out of the church. Instead of rubbing Budda's belly, just shake our little baby's feet and you'll have a long and prosperous life.

I decided to include a picture of the wedding cake just because it might be the only thing I've taken a picture of other than my daughter, so it must be worthy of comment. Is this not the perfect image of a wedding cake that every little girl dreams about having, but no bride really ends up wanting??? It must have cost a fortune!

PS On a related note... Happy anniversary to Ellie's parents! It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years since we had a much much much less extravagant cake of our own!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Too Small

Last week when I was packing for Green Bay I came across the first outfit that Ellie never wore. It was a super cute purple onesie that was size 0-3 months. It tugged at my heart strings because she would have been so cute in it and I thought for sure that I'd never allow an outfit to go unworn.

In my defense, it's not my fault. I have a system. I put all the clothes away in piles according to sizes, and somehow, someone (it could have been me, but I'll blame everyone else instead) put the onesie into the 6 month pile. And because of their mistake, I was left to realize how big my baby is getting. I hate it when I have to put more clothes into the "Too Small" box.

Big News!

I officially got down to my pre-pregnancy weight this morning, which is sadly still 7 pounds above what I want to be. That's not to say that my body looks the same as it did, because it doesn't. That seems strange to me. However, I did manage to take off the weight. So yay! Please, no applause. Just throw money. =)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

August Pictures

You would not believe how hard it is for me to cut down the number of pictures we take of Ellie to 255 per month. That's my goal, but the older she gets, the cuter she gets. I think I deserve a cookie for being able to limit myself like this, and to think... I only included 62 of them for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, September 07, 2007

You used to be that small

I remember our first pediatrician appointment. Ellie was only 4 days old (we had to go in daily because of her jaundice). There was a mother there who had a 5 month old little girl and she quietly told the girl "you used to be that small". I remember thinking proudly "yes, look at how perfectly cute and small my girl is."

Earlier this week I stopped by the doctor's office to pick up some paperwork for daycare. I saw a newborn girl, only 6 days old, who was born at 6 lbs 3 oz. I quietly told Ellie "you used to be that small" and I saw the new mother smile. Sigh. I'm now the mother of a big baby. Still perfectly cute, but no longer small.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

White Gold down the drain

We have over 100 oz of breast milk frozen in the freezer. I've been proud of my stock and we planned to use it to help feed Ellie when she started daycare since I will most likely produce less as I pump.

The thing that sucks most about parenting must be all the books. Every book says something different and the book we went by said that freshly pumped milk was good for 5 days in the fridge. So I happily pump my way along and when I got to 10 oz or 5 days, I would freeze a new bag of milk.

Bad milk. I now know that. The book that my sister is learning from says that freshly pumped milk should be frozen if not used in 48 hours. UGH!

I have no idea how much of my milk stock is bad but I do know the oldest bag was. I am hoping that not all of it is and I know that at some point I started freezing it sooner than 5 days. But it's so damn frustrating!

Instead of giving the daycare frozen milk, I now need to thaw it myself to make sure it's not bad. What would the daycare think if I gave them bad milk to feed my precious little bundle???

UGH. It just kills me to think of how much wasted milk it might end up being.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

How are you?

Some questions should just be banned.

No, seriously. When is that question a good one to ask? If things are going well, you always get the "Fine" answer. If things aren't going well, you get the "Fine" answer.

For me, you get the "Fine" accomanied by tears.

I've never been good at holding back the tears, especially if someone shows any ounce of sympathy.

I have been back at work now for 2 hours and 2 minutes and it's going to be a long long day...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Traveling with Baby

As I mentioned yesterday, we all went to Green Bay for the weekend. Traveling with Michael was significantly nicer than traveling alone, as it always was even before Ellie came into our lives. Really, he just had an amazing ability to get her to calm down or sleep during the flights. Oh, don't get me wrong... she still cried. And still cried a lot, but it would have been so much worse if he wasn't so great with her.

I have a great family. Really. You should be jealous. =)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Today's Deep Thought

We went to Green Bay this weekend for Michael's cousin's wedding. It provided us a nice excuse to go see all of his grandparents so that they could meet their great-grand-daughter. More about the trip later, when I have more energy to type, but for now, I bring you today's deep thought...

How can Michael's grandma, at the age of 95 years old, be the youngest in her family, yet Ellie, at the age of 4.5 months old, is the oldest. Deep.

* This deep thought was brought to you by Michael and the letter T.