Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bite me, sports fans

Seriously folks, I'm really happy that the Phillies won. I didn't even watch the game for fear of jinxing because the one game I went to they lost spectacularly and the one pennant game I watched on TV they lost as well, so I thought it safest to hedge my bets and do my part for the home team.

Seeing as how I did my part - the drunken yelling out in front of my house at fucking 1.30 in the morning was something I could have done without - especially since the episodes of drunken yelling or the damned firecrackers always occurred the moment I got my sick baby to sleep causing him to wake right back up.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for baseball fans, but you are fast approaching the disdain and sometimes outright disgust I reserve for football fans (so says the woman, again awakened by all night partying to the dulcet tones of "E, A, G, L, E, S, EAGLES!"). I like baseball, I enjoy keeping track of who is ahead in the various divisions and I look forward to going to a game next year and then taking my kids in another year or so. So baseball fans - let's not be assholes, OK?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trying to lower the pedestel

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I hold my self to some crazy-high standards - standards that can only be achieved by an amount of effort that few people are even remotely capable of achieving. My most recent foray into the land of, "It's my fault because I'm not doing enough," has led me to the fact that once again I have to take a good look at the difference between what I can and am doing to what I think I *should* be doing.

No matter how many times people might say it, I have a huge blind spot when it comes to realizing that I do I hell of a lot for my kids. I put together a post about Alex's most recent issues and put it on a private board where I'm a member. My main reason for posting it there and not on Mothering is because I couldn't deal with the likely barrage of well meaning tips for increasing my supply. I dread pumping and trying to find the time to do it. If I wasn't suffering from chronic sleep deprivation and didn't have Michael, yeah, maybe I could make it work - but the couple of days I did manage to do it were awful, I felt way too stretched and considering Alex nurses at least ten times a day there just isn't the time. My emotional state is already raw due to the fact that I am not getting the down time that I need to be functional - evidenced by the fact that I've had a cold for 6 weeks. Hell, a few weeks ago I was ready to wean Alex cold turkey - something that would most likely result in several days worth of screaming, because I was JUST THAT DONE and there wasn't anything more that I could give. Obviously, I worked past that - but the dream of not breastfeeding any more is still there at times.

So here I am. I'm trying to do the best I can with too little sleep and an emotional bank that is so overdrawn it's ridiculous and I have the gall to feel guilty for not doing more. Alex is getting half of his calories from Gerber Puffs, arrowroot cookies (the evil ones with HFCS), cheerios, and jarred baby food and I am learning to be OK with this - it's not optimal, but it's what he'll do and he's at least gaining weight. Michael is finally agreeing to eat more than just fruit and goldfish crackers so his meals have been pepperoni and monterey jack cheese, fish sticks and french fries or *gulp* chicken nuggets - and to be honest I'm thrilled that he's willingly eating protein. Michael goes to preschool three mornings a week and I try to take the two of them out to at least the park once a week. I've managed to cook enough the past few weeks that we haven't had to order takeout because I was so wiped, there have actually been leftovers to fall back on. I've helped Michael make birthday cards for my mom and his uncle, helped him make a leaf garland out of construction paper and yarn, and taught him how to play tic-tac-toe. I finished three knitting projects and have started making frogs to sell in my Etsy shop. Most days, I've been able to do at least a quick straighten in the living room and kitchen.

So no, I'm not doing all that I want to do and I'm nowhere near doing all that I think I should be doing, but seeing it written down and considering the sheer size and force of my situational depression, it's not all that shabby.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Same old song

I had a glorious week above the situational depression haze - I cooked, I did crafts with Michael, my cold was almost totally gone, and I didn't need to complain about life because everything was tolerable. Then I missed a dose of fenugreek two days in a row, started doing before and after weights again and literally watched my supply go down with each nursing session while his irritability increased, finally realized that the spots I was seeing on the disposables every second or third change were uric acid crystals, and the icing on the cake - I'm sick again.

I called an LC at Pennsy and probably sounded like a raving lunatic who weighs her child every 5 second and spends way too much time on Google - in my defense I do neither of these things, well I try to keep the Google-ing to a minimum lest I go completely insane. At first the LC was pushing for me to just call my ped and get an appointment (probably also thought I was a bit crazy for thinking that I was going to be sent to the ER for mild dehydration, but with my luck I know better having been there so many flipping times in the past nine months and the fact that I was home alone with two kids). We were talking a bit and I mentioned how he refuses to take anything in a bottle even when obviously hungry and she asked about a sippy cup - yeah have four and at least six different bottle nipples. I also told her about the GERD and the laryngomalacia. Her tone changed slightly from, "this is a hypochondriac mom who spends too much time on the internet" to, "maybe there is something here after all" and she gave me a name and number to call over at CHOP to have him seen in their feeding clinic.

I just want this to end - I got a week's breathing space. Yeah, probably about a third of Alex's calories were coming from solids but that's better than the half it is now. Because of all the supply issues, he won't tolerate staying with John so I had to turn around and head right back home as soon as I got off the subway in town yesterday. Consequently, I was not able to go to Jersey yesterday and get the fabric for Michael's Halloween costume and had to ask my mom to pick up some stuff for me to make him a pumpkin and further realize my limits and take her up on the offer to make the damned thing.

The dehydration thing is really bugging me, especially since his output is on the low side to begin with and in hindsight the uric acid crystals have probably been showing up a lot more often than I realized so I will most likely be spending a chunk of time at the ped's tomorrow where I have no idea what they'll do since he can't/won't take anything from a bottle, sippy or syringe. GAAAHHHH!!!! Breastfeeding was supposed to be easier dammit - I'd take washing ten bottles a day with a flipping q-tip over the heartache and self-doubt this debacle has caused. Yes, there is no guarantee that he would not have had the same if not more problems had he been exclusively formula fed and yes there are aspects of breastfeeding that I love and would not trade for the world, but the fact that every time I build up some self-confidence in my ability to nourish my child something comes along and rips it to shred is getting really old.

There is a cup of coffee downstairs waiting for me. Sorry to disabuse you of the idea that no news was good news. Knock on wood, at least it's not a complete train wreck and damn it those words better not come back to bite me on the ass.

ETA: Just so you know, my fears of being sent to the ER stemmed from the fact that I was waiting for another diaper with uric acid crystals and it didn't appear until 4pm - just in time for my ped's office to close and for them to pawn me off on the ER.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh sweet alchemy

I somehow managed to cube and brown 3lbs of chuck and saute a couple of onions so I could get some stew going for tonight's dinner to the sweet music that is overtired children. I got everything into the oven at 5.30 and pulled it out for a peak at 7. It definitely could have passed muster at that point, but seeing as we hadn't put anyone to bed yet, I decided to let it cook a bit longer. When Alex was finally down, I pulled it out just after 8. Stew does not even begin to describe what I pulled out of the oven - that magical brown sauce where the onions have completely merged with the broth and beer (alas only lager this time, I didn't have any stout on hand), bite-sized chunks of meat that just dissolve in your mouth, and the heady aroma of thyme.

Seriously, something magical happened in my oven tonight. I love a dish that gets better the longer you cook it. It's also so versatile - as long as I have meat, onions and broth I'm good to go. I've made it with non-alcoholic amber beer, lager, and my favorite - red table wine. I've had it turn out equally well with chuck, top or bottom round (because sometimes you have to use what's on sale). It's one of those dishes that I can sit back and tell myself, "man, I did a great job on this," and I have to thank my inability to plan ahead enough to use the crock pot to make stew for it. Yes, more often than not we are eating around 9pm, but it's so worth it.

Now for cherry pie and vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crafts Update - Swap edition

There has been knitting going on, precious little, but it has been happening. Unfortunately, I have not taken the time to actually take pictures of anything in progress, so instead I'm going to show off my recent magic yarn ball swap. You've already seen the temari ball, but here's the rest of the package I sent out this morning...

Temari Side View



Ready to go

My Swap Package

So, so many goodies - a lovely selection of teas, four balls of the KnitPicks Kettle-dyed sock yarn, a project bag, some options cables, note cards, and a book mark.

Lunch and family beckon - hopefully I can get a full crafts update up over the weekend. TTFN!

For your viewing pleasure


At long last after so much life got in the way, I am sending off my magic ball of yarn swap package to my ever patient swap partner. To make up for being so late with everything, I made her a Temari ball. I haven't made them in ages and I forgot how much fun and how satisfying it is to see one come together.

Who knows, I may actually make myself a few this time 'round (yes - friends, family and even extended family have one but I don't).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

How 'bout some cheese with that whine

Went to my family doc for the URI that just keeps giving and now am the proud owner of some nasty broad-spectrum antibiotics which will hopefully prevent my URI from turning into the pneumonia it so wants to be and will not add thrush to my nursing woes. Seriously - I've been sick for going on three weeks now, and because of circumstances beyond my control I'll probably be sick for another two at least 'cause stay-at-home mom + four year-old + baby who won't take bottle + low supply = mom who still gets sleep in 90 minute intervals at night who can't sleep during the day because she's the primary care-taker.

John came home from work early so I can get some more rest today and also brought some of the good probiotics from Whole Foods for me to start downing so I can keep the foul spectre of thrush away. Not that Alex would put up with it, but it's be so nice to just pack to boys off to day care for a few days while I just slept and slept so I could knock this bug out rather than pumping myself full of ibuprofen to achieve some level of functionality and prolonging what should be a week long illness into a 5 week hacking cough ordeal.