Friday, September 28, 2007

the sands of time

Four years ago today, I was in a pizza parlor/ pub in Alexandria, Va, having my first drink in a bar. It wasn't by choice. My friends were ordering me shots and drinks for my 21st birthday, in hopes of getting me good and drunk. The guys thought it would be hilarious to make me do a shot of 151. They all thought I would gag and throw up, but I took it like a pro and didn't even have a chaser. I find it funny that I can down a shot of 151 with no problem, but cough syrup makes me gag and throw up. Their plan to get me drunk, failed however. I remember everything about that day and wasn't even slightly hung over the next morning as I started my new job in Washington DC.

Three years ago today, I was in Oklahoma, waiting in our tiny, smelly, temporary housing for my husband to come home from work. It was pouring down rain and we were poor. He gave me 2 CDs and a Barrel of Monkeys.

Two years ago today, I was in California. W was almost 3 weeks old and I was exhausted. I had just said goodbye to my husband, again, for 3 more months and I went out to lunch with my mom and my friend.

One year ago today, I was pregnant with CB and W and I were on a plane to Georgia to see my husband, who I hadn't seen or even talked to in two months. After W and I landed and picked up our rental car, I stopped at Cracker Barrel and filled up on some of their delicious food and amazing sweet tea. Then I drove to Ft. Benning, Ga, and got to see my husband. Four days later, W and I got back on a plane to CA and M got on a plane to Germany. We didn't see each other for 2 months after that.

Today, well, I'm in Germany with my two kids and my mom and a husband in Iraq. Today is nothing special to me. It just means I'm officially in my mid twenties. I'm not depressed about it but I'm not overjoyed, either. I've done a lot in my 25 years that I'm really proud of and I'm excited to see what the next 25 years bring. Who knows where I will be or what I will be doing on my next birthday.

My mom thinks we should be out celebrating but I don't really want to. So she says we need to at least celebrate the anniversary of the 36 hours of hard back labor she went through to bring me into this world. So, Happy Anniversary! Honestly, if I had gone through 36 hours of hard back labor and pushed this out,

I'd probably be asking for a refund. Thank goodness I've gotten better looking with age.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

cold turkey

So the whole coffee filter fiasco from a few days ago was really a sign from God telling me to wean myself from the habit. Too bad that sign didn't have enough flashing lights and blinking arrows for me to see it and follow it.

Today is day 1 of quitting coffee cold turkey and I hate it. It's day 1.5 of not eating anything that contains soy, wheat, trace dairy (because I don't regularly eat dairy to begin with), eggs, corn, nuts, seafood, caffeine, strong spices, beef or chocolate. I haven't started some new detox, quick fix lose weight program. It may appear that I have become a vegan who eats chicken but doesn't eat soy or wheat, but this is not the case, either. I don't even know what you would call a vegan who eats chicken... Oxymoron, maybe? Not sure.

No, I'm doing all of this because I'm too cheap and too stubborn to put my daughter on hypoallergenic formula. Since her pH probe came back negative, meaning she doesn't have reflux like we all thought she did for the past 6 months, her digestive issues have to be due to something I'm eating that is passing through the breast milk. That means I get to eliminate all "fuss" foods from my diet for 2 weeks and then slowly add one category back in, a week at a time, until we figure out what is bothering her. If it means getting my happy baby back, I'll eat nothing but chicken and rice and veggies for the next 2 years if I have to.

I'm assuming this diet will get easier with time. It's probably my karma for once upon a time making fun of people who eat like rabbits. As I sit here typing this, I'm eating my lunch of plain grilled chicken and eggplant with a side of plain cucumber. I don't think I've ever purposely eaten eggplant before. It's not as bad as I thought it would be but it's not on my favorites list. What I wouldn't give for a big piece of bread covered in Nutella right now...

The hardest part is giving up the coffee, for sure. I'm starting to get that glorious caffeine headache and there isn't anything I can do about it. It will be worth it in the long run, I'm sure. But if I'm really cranky for the next few months, know it's because I'm hungry and in need of a grande soy half caff toffee nut latte.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

well, ok then.

Last night I was playing with CB on the floor and W was messing around at the computer desk. He's figured out that he can open 99 internet windows by pressing buttons and that is too much fun not to do at least 6 times a day. Even better is the reaction he gets from his mother as she spends a total of 5 minutes trying to close all of the windows out. Really, the only thing more fun is when he manages to open Outlook Express and send emails. I don't even know how to do that! It just reminds me of the time that he typed in some super secret code and made my Mac type in all Greek letters. He's smarter than the Mac Geniuses, I'm sure.

Anyway, he was up to no good, but at least he wasn't stealing his sister's toys or crashing his trucks into her head. But he got quiet and then took off running. That's the number one indicator that he's being naughty. I started to chase him down when he stopped and slowly turned his head to look at me. He keeps his eyes focused in one place when he does this, so he looks freaky like the kid that always colors in a scary movie (have you ever noticed that the freaky kids are always coloring?) but I can't help but laugh. Then he took off running again and that's when I noticed that he had ganked the fork I used for dinner and so lazily left out. So he was running around with a fork, and that, people, is why I am Mother of the Year.

I asked him to stop running with the fork and that TOTALLY worked. NOT! So then I told him to go put the fork away, meaning, put it on the counter. But no, he's so smart and so literal that putting it away means putting it back where it came from. But instead of putting it back on the desk, he went straight to the silverware drawer, knowing exactly which drawer the silverware magically appears from, which surprises me because he's not tall enough to actually see what is in the drawer, opened it, and put the fork "away".

This scares the bad words out of me for 2 reasons: 1) He is way too smart for my own good and knows way too many things I don't think he knows and 2) I don't know how many times he's done this before so I don't know if we've been eating off of clean forks and spoons or dirty ones. Now I will have to check each and every utensil before we use it so I'm not eating off the dirty fork he launched behind the radiator one day after I told him he could not dip his chicken nuggets into his juice. Who knows if he found it and put it "away" because goodness knows I haven't retrieved it from behind the radiator. I guess I should go check to see if it's still there... If you're ever invited to my house for dinner, you might want to bring your own silverware. Don't worry, I won't be offended.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

the first step is admitting you have a problem

Two nights ago I went to prepare my morning coffee and I realized we had a crisis on our hands. I was out of coffee filters! How had I let this happen?! How could I have been so darn irresponsible to let myself stoop to this new low? What was I going to do? Last year I had bought a pack of coffee filters at Costco that I was sure would last me until at least 2010. I was sure there were at least 1500 filters in the pack. I was delusional, apparently, because the pack only contained 400 filters. But I still searched the entire kitchen 3 times to see if I had just 1 left somewhere. I didn't.

Instead of crying about it, I googled "coffee filter substitutes" and there were a few sites that said you could use a paper towel instead. But that was too much work and being my luck, I know the paper towel would have been too thick and would have caused an overflowing mess in my kitchen. So then I would have been without my coffee and with a huge mess to clean up. That's just not a good way to start the day. I searched the kitchen one last time and then compromised and decided I would drink a Coke in the morning instead so I wouldn't get that insane caffeine headache at 3 in the afternoon.

The next morning I woke up and did my habitual practice of walking to the coffee maker to press the button. And then I remembered; there was no coffee to be made this morning. It made me sad and the compromise of drinking Coke just wasn't sounding good. Then I remembered that my much loved Cuisinart Brew Central that I bought a couple of years ago might have come with a few sample coffee filters. I haven't used this coffee maker since we left Washington over a year ago because it won't fit into the outlets here without blowing the house up so it's been in it's box in the attic. I climbed up to the attic and opened the box and there, like a light from heaven, was a single coffee filter. Hallelujah!

In the literal hour I was searching for a stupid filter, I didn't realize how desperate and obsessive I was. But as I was drinking my delicious coffee, I realized that I had a problem. Hi. My name is JoAnna and I have an addiction.

(here come the justifications and excuses)

It's not the caffeine that I love, although that's a nice perk. When I make the coffee, I make 6 cups and drink 4 or 5 of them. I make it with 5 scoops of decaf and 2 scoops of regular coffee. So it really isn't the caffeine rush that I get which makes me so addicted but it's the routine of the coffee that I need. There's something really comforting about starting your day with a warm cup of hazelnut flavored creamer with a bit of coffee. I don't drink it after noon. I just drink it in the morning so it's not like I need an IV drip of it daily so it's not that bad. But the fact that it can make or break my day is what makes this a problem.

It can't be that bad of an addiction, though. There are some out there that are much worse. There are at least health benefits associated with mine, as coffee is filled with antioxidants and does great things for your body and mind. There's even an entire website devoted to the benefits of coffee. Granted, it's sponsored by the National Coffee Association and the people who run all of these studies are probably addicted to coffee too and are just looking for some justification for drinking so much...

But if my 4-5 cups of decaf a day helps cut my risk for liver cancer and Parkinson's, then I'm going to keep drinking up. Heck, if I drink enough coffee and red wine and eat enough canned tomatoes, then maybe, just maybe I can undo some of the damage I've done from drinking out of hard plastic bottles, living under high voltage power lines, eating so much high fructose corn syrup, standing in front of the microwave, living on or near farms that use pesticides, talking on a cell phone for more than a hour at a time, drinking too much soda, eating non organic produce and meat, being in the sun without sun block, driving a diesel engine car, having too many x-rays done, swallowing fluoride tooth paste as a kid, eating paste as a kid, painting tons of rooms, cleaning with harsh chemicals, etc... I better get a ton of coffee filters.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

jump! jump!

W had taken a particular liking to jumping all over my furniture in the past months and it was driving me crazy because our floors are cement with a thin layer of "carpet" over them and I was scared he was going to bounce off the couch and onto his head. A friend of mine suggested I get him a trampoline with handles for him to use in the living room instead. Genius!

After searching high and low for the perfect one (and for one that could actually be shipped to us for less than the actual product cost) I decided to go with this one. I called my parents and told them they had just bought W his birthday present, with their credit card, of course. I even got free shipping!

The thing finally got here last week and I made my friend J put it together. After about an hour, she had the frame put together with lots of "help" from W. Then she got to the part where you are supposed to weave the bungee through the mat and secure it to the frame. We were both baffled by the instruction sheet because it didn't make any sense. So we took a dinner break and decided to get back to it later. I pondered the instructions for awhile and figured out how to do it so I got to work. 2 hours later, I was still trying to thread the stupid bungee. This was not weak woman's work. This was scary body building woman or man's work. I have zero upper body strength. I can't even do a push up and forget a pull up. I would die.

To thread this thing around the frame, I had to literally sit against the couch, put my feet on the frame and pull with all my body weight. I finally got the thing threaded and then I had to secure the 2 ends together and even the bungee out so the mat was in the center of the frame. That turned out to be a 2, sometimes 3, person job. Meanwhile, W was trying so desperately to Jump! Jump! but he couldn't because he surely would have gotten his entire leg caught up in the bungee and we would have ended up in the ER. So we bribed him with candy and cookies and cars while we ever so slowly evened the dumb butt thing out. Finally, we got it. He was so excited to Jump! Jump! and he got on and bounced with all his might. That kid can get some air! Who says white men can't jump?

But there was a problem. There was too much tension from the bungee on one side of the frame, so the frame was uneven, making it come off the ground when he jumped. Real safe. So I made him go to bed (mean mommy) so I could fix the thing. I had visions of him jumping and being thrown into the TV if I didn't fix it. After pulling the entire bungee out, I re-threaded the dumb butt thing. Thankfully it went faster this time because I knew what I was doing... or so I thought. We all got the bungee ends connected again and stood back to admire the work that had made my hands raw and almost bleeding. And I'm not being overly dramatic here. They were really raw and almost bleeding from pulling on the bungee so much. It was all for nothing though because the trampoline was exactly how it was before.

So now I have to re-thread the thing again, before he catapults himself into a wall. This time, I think I need to draw flow charts and diagrams before I get to work to figure out the exact formula to making this thing look like it does in the picture; actually even and all 4 legs touching the ground at once. I have never taken physics, so I'm not entirely sure as to what I'm doing. Honestly, a stupid toy for kids should not require a physics degree to put together, but maybe my expectations are too high? I don't have much hope for this. I should just buy him a football helmet and call it good.

Monday, September 17, 2007

currently loving (09-17-07)

My friend J was visiting us for the past week and we went out into our itty bitty teeny tiny village to explore what it has to offer. I've gone into town numerous times, but have never really paid attention to the surroundings, as I'm always trying to deter a fit or catch a pacifier or sippy cup before it hits the dirt. Instead of just running to the market for a forgotten ingredient, we actually sat down in a little cafe and enjoyed some European ice cream and a cappuccino like real Europeans do. It was nice and I realized how much I do really like it here, even though there isn't a Target or Taco Bell or a mall. I should have done this 8 months ago...

PS, thanks J for taking these pictures! :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

my little conundrum

Before my husband left, we noticed that CB was getting floppy. She never wanted to stand up or try to sit. Just just wanted to chill out in our arms or on our chests. She did this all the time and she still wasn't rolling over at almost 6 months so that was causing me to worry. Plus, her good natured spirit had gone away and she had turned into a screaming, non sleeping mess. We went to her doctor and the doctor said her muscle tone was fine, but she hadn't gained any weight and had in fact lost weight since she was 4 months old so that could be why she seemed so "lazy". She decided to change the baby's reflux meds and have her closely monitored by another doctor until she got back from vacation.

For two weeks, we went to the health clinic three times a week for weight checks and for the nurses to watch her eat to see if the new meds were helping her eat better. Each time we went, we ended up spending 2-3 hours there. She was eating fine and always taking in enough milk, but still wasn't gaining weight, so the other doctor told us to start adding cereal into her diet. Big fat mistake. She spent the next week throwing up everything she ate all day and all night long. She was miserable and would scream for literally hours on end. She hadn't been sleeping well before and was usually up for 2-3 total hours a night, but now she was up 3-4 hours at a time, sometimes twice a night, and was sleeping maybe 6 or 7 total hours and, if I was lucky, was taking 2 hours worth of naps each day.

Finally I broke down in the doctors office and told the doctor that she had to fix my child, or I was going to go crazy. No baby should be that fussy without there being something going on. The doctor had us go home and write down every little thing we did for 24 hours and take the list back to her the next day. After she had looked at the list and watched CB for over 2 hours, she decided to do a chest x-ray to see if she had pneumonia from aspirating reflux into her lungs. So we did the x-ray and she said the baby did have pneumonia and probably had it for at least a month and that a dose of meds and a baby meth (albuterol) inhaler would fix her right up.

At 8:30 that night, the doctor called me at home and said she didn't like some of the things she saw in the belly area on CB's x-ray. There was a ton of air in her belly and coupling that with the fact that CB was throwing up all solid foods made her worry there was an abdominal abnormality that hadn't been found before. She said she was going to make us an appointment with the German GI doctors to find out for sure. A week later, we still didn't have an appointment so we went in for a follow up with the regular doctor. CB had lost more weight, so the doctor put in a call to the GI doc and the GI doc said to hospitalize her. I'm sorry, what?!?

Within 3 hours, we were on our way for a 2 day hospital stay. Thankfully, I have a good friend who was able to take off of work to care for the bigger monster because otherwise, I would have had to take him with us. When we got to the hospital, I didn't know where to go so we wandered aimlessly for about 20 minutes until I stumbled upon the room we were supposed to report to. Then we waited for about 45 minutes until they could finally see the baby.

We went into this little triage room and they weighed her, measured her, tipped her upside down, looked up her nose and mouth, and made her pee in a bag. Then I heard "german german german german german ketones german german german infusion german." And then they said "Ok, Mrs. B, we need to put an IV in her arm and take some blood, do you want to stay in the room?" And being the supermom I am, I said of course I was going to stay. But little CB didn't have any veins in her arm, so they decided to put it in her head. And being the supermom I am, I knew it wouldn't bother me... it didn't bother me until she started screaming uncontrollably and the cap to cover the IV thingamajig popped off and blood started pouring from her head. Then the room started to get small and very very hot... I ran out of the room as fast as I could before I hit the floor. After they had stopped the bleeding, the doctor came to get me and told me she was afraid I had passed out. Apparently, I was still drunk or extremely hung over the day they went over "what happens when we stick a needle in your child's head" in parenting class because I was NOT prepared for that.

After we all had calmed down, we were transfered to our room and I spent the next day and a half feeding CB non stop and waiting for her to throw up. Since she was being pumped full of fluids, we were tethered to the wall and couldn't walk more than 10 feet without unplugging CB from the monitors and the IV stand from the wall. She didn't sleep so I couldn't leave to go to the bathroom without her screaming like I was torturing her and pulling her gauze cap over her face, which made her scream even more. They did an ultrasound of her abdominal cavity and everything looked normal, except for the insane amount of gas she had in her belly. There was so much that they couldn't get a clear picture of her stomach.

On Saturday morning, the doctor came in and informed me that we weren't going home, but we were going to be staying for the rest of the week. That posed a logistical nightmare beyond belief. I had to call for reinforcements and make plans for my mom to fly to Germany on the first flight out. My friend was coming in to visit so she was going to be on W duty until my mom got there. And I had to leave CB for the first time in her life to go get clothes and groceries for my mom and friend. There was no food in the house because I was supposed to go grocery shopping on Thursday, but never made it. While I was gone, the nurses said they were going to try to get her to take a bottle and feed her some solids. CB actually did take a bottle, for the first time in her life, but promptly threw it up, as she did with the baby food they gave her and the other bottle they gave her. I came back to find 3 dirty outfits on the changing table in the room. The formula and solids made her so sick and she was up literally all night screaming.

Sunday was more of the same. They tried giving her more formula and baby food and she kept the formula down but not the baby food. The girl who was taking care of W and my friend came to bring W to see us in the evening and I realized how much both CB and I had been missing W. The poor kid threw a huge fit when it came time to leave. I walked them out to the car and as they drove past me, I saw W through the back window crying, holding out his arms and saying "no more, no more, no more!" It broke my heart to see him leaving like that. Apparently, he got so mad on the way home that he managed to take his entire shoelace out of his shoe.

By Sunday night, both CB and I had had enough. We were staying in a room that was in the middle of the ward, so we had babies on each side of us who would cry every time CB was sleeping. The door to our room was the loudest door in the history of the world and every time it would open, CB would wake up if she was sleeping. I was wearing the loudest shoes in the history of the world so every time I would walk across the room, CB would wake up if she was sleeping. The bed I was sleeping on was the loudest bed in the history of the world so if I sat or laid down when CB was sleeping, she would wake up. It was so frustrating.

She wasn't sleeping, I wasn't sleeping, we were both crying and I was hungry, having not been able to eat a good meal for the previous 3 days. At around 2, CB woke up for the 3rd time that night and stayed awake until 6, screaming almost the entire time. Nothing we tried worked to calm her down and eventually she fell asleep from exhaustion. I passed out too and we both slept until 8:30, when the doctor came by during his rounds. I didn't realize until after he left that I had a drool streak down my chin and one side of my hair was matted against my face. Oh well, right?

A few hours later, I had gotten CB down for her nap and the other doctor came in and said he needed to take CB for a brain scan right away, so I had to wake her up. He said they were worried because her head is so much bigger and growing so much faster than the rest of her body. I told them not to worry because I just have large headed babies. She's always had a big head; 37 centimeters when she was born (and she was born with her hand by her face, too! Um, ouch!) Of course they said her brain looked normal and fine so I was relieved, although I wasn't worried in the first place.

A few hours after that, the doctor came back and told us we could go home for the rest of the week, until the meds got out of her system so they could do more testing later. So we are home now, for the time being. We're trying to rest and relax and it's so nice to have 2 extra sets of hands to help me out. Of course, CB is perfect for everyone else. She will fall asleep for anyone but me with no problem, eat well if I'm not feeding her and she's happy as long as I'm not holding her. She also learned how to sit up on her own, which makes me very happy and confuses me at the same time. She won't roll over to save her life, but she will sit. She makes such a liar out of me. I don't get it. She's my little conundrum.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

update, kinda

So I know I've been really bad about updating this, but life is way out of control right now and I'm desperately trying to play catch up. Once I have a clear head, I will update everyone on all of the craziness that has gone on in the past few weeks. Sorry!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

ocd, much?

W has become borderline obsessive about things lately. He's always thrived on routine but these new habits are getting a bit out of control.

For instance, if we're putting his mega blocks together, we can't stop until each and every block has been used. If we're doing a puzzle, he won't stop until all of the pieces are put back, which really stinks when there's a piece missing. He won't even stop to accept my praise or to give me high 5's until the puzzle is done. If he's eating, he eats everything in a certain order, and one item at a time.

If we are going into another room, he will "clear" the room we are leaving by putting everything that is near the doorway onto the other side of the doorway. Then he will walk through the doorway and put everything that he just moved back into the room he just left. We can't go anywhere quickly.

He's also obsessed with lining everything up. Everything HAS to be lined up, or he's not happy. If he doesn't line things up, he will stack them on top of each other, or try to. If those things don't stack to his liking, he will make me stack them and God forbid I not be able to stack a toy boat with a curved hull onto a car that has a flat top. What is wrong with me that I can't do that properly?!

On the one hand, it's kind of cute, but on the other, it's baffling. I've never seen a toddler so organized. He knows exactly where everything is and even if he hasn't played with something for 2 weeks, if I ask him where it is, he will be able to go straight to it. However, the price I pay is that at any given moment my house looks like a used toy car lot, and if I happen to mess up the rows, I won't hear the end of it for at least 10 minutes. He's a funny one, that boy of mine...

Monday, September 3, 2007

i'm checking into rehab

Why? Because it's the thing to do right now and everybody is doing it. Plus, it sounds a lot nicer than checking into a nut-house or loony bin or funny farm and I'm about 2 more sleepless nights shy of being committed to one of those.

You can go to rehab for anything these days and honestly, the thought of having all my meals cooked for me and having access to outdoor activities and a professional to listen to all my problems sounds really appealing right now. Another plus is that I would have a good chance of meeting a celebrity (and then selling their crazy story for hundreds of thousands of dollars to a shady magazine). And, I'm pretty sure that I could get 8+ hours of sleep a night, which is even better than rubbing elbows with a celebrity.

Last night was another torturous night like the one we had last month. We had gone to my neighbor's house for a get together and W had played really hard and was really wound up. The baby screamed most of the time (big surprise) so I wasn't able to pay much attention to W. I'm pretty sure he ate something that makes him sick or drank from another kid's sippy cup because about an hour after I put him to bed, he was up screaming. We went through the normal motions of me picking him up and holding him and then putting him back down a few times and he still wasn't going to sleep. I climbed into bed with him and tried to get him to sleep that way, which worked, until I tried to leave the room. He kept pointing to his stomach and saying "owie" so I gave him some gripe water but 2 hours after he first woke up, we were still doing the screaming thing and then CB woke up.

Like before, I brought W into my room, which I knew wasn't going to work, but I did it anyway because I didn't want him screaming in his room. I laid him down and laid next to the baby to feed her, which made W mad because that meant I couldn't hold him. So he climbed all over me while I was trying to feed the baby. Then both of them were wide awake, screaming. These are the times that I literally have no idea what to do. Both of them wanted to be held and rocked, but we couldn't all fit in the glider. So I took the 5 pillows that are in our room and made a little nest in the bed. I sat cross legged, with W laying against my right leg and with CB in my arm, across my left side. And we swayed back and forth for about 20 minutes, until W thought it was irresistibly hilarious that his sister's feet were touching his stomach. uuuuggggggggghhhhhhhhhh.

Plan B. I laid W down on the bed next to me, laid CB on the bed in front of me and rubbed both of their bellies at the same time while bouncing the entire bed with my legs. That worked for about 7 minutes, until CB had a wicked reflux episode and started screaming. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Plan C. Laid W down on the bed next to me, held CB in my arms, against my chest and bounced while loudly saying SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I realized, after about 5 minutes, that I was practically hyperventilating and feeling dizzy from the lack of oxygen because I wasn't breathing properly, so I had to tone the shushing down, which meant there had to be more bouncing. I guess the good thing about that was that I was burning off all the food I had eaten earlier. After about 10 minutes, both appeared to be asleep (Ahhh! Great Success!). So I quietly laid CB down and laid down between the kids. And out of nowhere, W sits straight up and says "KA CHOW!!" Which, of course, woke the baby right up. I just laid there, as still as possible, because if I closed my eyes tight enough and didn't move, they would both magically go back to sleep, right? Wrong.

Plan D. Put W back in his bed, to which he went willingly, and rock the baby to sleep. After about 20 minutes of rocking, the baby fell asleep so I put her into her swing because she was still refluxing pretty bad. The second I put her down, she woke right up and started screaming, again.

Plan E. (banging my head against the wall at this point) Try to nurse her back to sleep, again. Nope.

Plan F. Try to rock her back to sleep again. 30 minutes later, I had almost rocked my glider off the rockers and she was finally asleep. I put her down in her swing and climbed into bed. She started to fuss and I prayed like I never have before that she was just crying in her sleep, which she was.

Sweet silence, for an hour, until W woke up screaming and saying "Uh- Oh!". So I rushed into his room expecting to have to clean up throw up, but he had just lost his binkie so I gave it back to him and climbed back into bed. An hour later (2:35am) he was up again screaming and the baby was still fussing in her sleep. An hour after that, the baby was up screaming for food. And an hour after that, W was up screaming again. At 5:45, the baby woke up again so I fed her and we got to sleep until about 7:30. Then she was up for the day and then W woke up at 9.

Now do you see why I want to check into rehab? Just to get some sleep. That's all I want. Normally the baby is the only one who is up all night and that is borderline intolerable. Having both of then up all night pretty much pushed me over the edge.

We were supposed to run some errands today but I don't think that's going to happen. I hope we will all be taking naps instead. But that's probably not going to happen either because every time I plan on taking a nap when the babies sleep, they only sleep for an hour. But if I don't plan on napping with them, they will sleep for 3-4 hours. It's not fair.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

on my list (09-01-07)

I've always disliked Applebee's for no other reason than I think their menu sucks and their food is always soggy and flavorless. But in recent months, my dislike turned to disdain, after reading about how a toddler was given a margarita in a sippy cup and has now turned to total boycott status after reading this story. (For an excellent commentary on this incident, go here)

I often hear about women being confronted (read: bullied) about nursing in public. I've even read stories about women being asked to leave doctors offices and hospitals for refusing to move to a "private area" to breastfeed their child. I've been approached by a Frontier Airlines flight attendant who suggested I "cover up" while I was breastfeeding a six month old W on a flight. Cover up, why? I keep "covered up" plenty! I don't want to flash people and I don't want people to see anything. You couldn't see anything if you were a sicko trying to see something. Besides that, I was sitting in a window seat and there wasn't anyone next to me. And besides that, it's nearly impossible to put a blanket over the head of a six month old and expect it to stay there. Believe me. I should have told her to put a blanket over her head because I was offended by the sight of it...

What boils my blood about this latest incident at Applebee's is the fact that the company had such an idiotic and poor response to the situation. Seriously, they think that keeping blankets on hand to give nursing mothers to use is a solution?! Um, gross! Airline blankets are nasty enough and they supposedly wash them frequently. I don't even want to think about what would be growing on the blankets they would provide (lice, small pox, STD's...) and I certainly don't trust people who mistake triple sec and tequila for apple juice to wash them after each use.

What else is infuriating is the fact that the president of the company that operates these stupid restaurants in KY accused the mother of having an "agenda" because she carries a copy of the law with her. I think it's pretty darn smart that she carries a copy of the law with her, as do others. I'd do the same thing if I had thought of it before and probably will make one of the CA laws to carry with me when we go back to CA. That's one of the reasons why having a baby in Germany is so nice. You don't have to worry about this BS and no one even blinks if they happen to see you breastfeeding in public.

I just can't believe that I could go into Applebee's, or anywhere in public, wearing a "skirt" that barely covers my bum and a "top" that barely covers my chest, while exposing my stomach, legs, shoulders and arms (goodness, that would be a SCARY sight to see...) and no one would say a word to me. But if I were to discretely feed my child at a secluded table, then I could be badgered and bullied. What is wrong with people?! The ignorance surrounding breastfeeding never ceases to amaze me.

For the record: I'm not a "breastfeeding nazi". I had to start giving W formula at 8 months and he still takes it to this day. I believe each woman has the right to choose what is best for her and her child. However, I do not agree with or tolerate people who make mothers who breastfeed feel like freaks and outcasts because of their decision. Likewise, I do not agree with or tolerate people who make mothers who formula feed feel like freaks and outcasts because of their decision.

It is my wish, though, that mothers be educated about breastfeeding and have resources available to them to make breastfeeding through those difficult first 6-8 weeks a little bit easier so they feel comfortable and confident enough to continue their breastfeeding relationship well into the future. It's also my wish that doctors and nurses (especially those on the maternity ward) not take the bribes and bait of formula companies to push formula but to be educated about breastfeeding, instead. I really wish they wouldn't tell mothers that their child is going to starve to death if they don't give them formula in the first few days and that they aren't producing enough milk, when in reality, the moms have plenty of milk to sustain the baby, but are being given horrible information and being pressured so they give up even though they don't want to. Misinformation is dangerous.

For fantastic information on breastfeeding go here: (seriously, this site is the first bookmark on my computer and has given me so much great information and saved me more times than I can count over the last 2 years. Hands down, it is one of the best and most useful sites on the net.)

For a great article about breastfeeding in the first few weeks, go here.