Monday, November 30, 2009

New Doctor = FAIL

I think I've said a few times that I love our pediatricians office. Yet, here I am again with another RANT about them. (I'd just like to note that none of my complaints have involved our regular pedi-she's out on maternity leave right now, and I CAN.NOT.WAIT for her to be back.)

A few weeks ago at one of Little Sister's checks, she got a second dose of the hep b vaccine. I didn't ask for it, but the NP we saw suggested that since she was old enough, she could have it so that at her 2 month visit, she wouldn't have as many all at the same time. OK, sounded fine to me.

Fast forward to this morning at Little Sister's 2 month check-up. As is the case a lot these days-the earlier dose of the vaccine completely slipped my mind. The doctor was jabbing my little screaming baby with needles as I tried to keep tabs on my older child lest she reek havoc in the office. It wasn't until several hours later that the memory of last months shot struck me.

In a mild panic, I called the pedi's office. The nurse who called me back looked up her records and confirmed that yes, she had mistakenly received a dose of the vax today. She assured me that the CDC maintains that an extra dose is safe as up until recently most babies got 4 doses because of a combination vaccine that was being used. Also, she assured me that they would look into how their system failed to catch this and she would have the doctor call me.

My first thought is: Well, if it's safe to give 4 doses, why the switch to 3? Surely there had to be a reason why 4 aren't given anymore...

A little while later, I received a call from the doctor. While she again assured me that it was safe and posed no harm to the baby, I couldn't help but think how much they sounded like they were covering their own asses. She went on and on about how even if she had noticed it, she would have recommended proceeding with the extra dose to stay on schedule and that it was just a matter of a different style.

Um...that's where I have a problem. If you screw up, just say you screwed up. (Yes, I know they probably can't say that...malpractice and all) But, it makes me mad that the doctors don't follow the same protocols. I know that there are various opinions out there on vaccinations, just like everything else. But, if you all work together like that, at least be aware of that and follow the schedule of the child's primary pediatrician...or at least notice it and ask the parent if they have a preference.

Now, I am not in the anti-vaccination camp, so while I was mildly concerned that she had received 3 doses of a vax in only 2 months I'm more upset at the system (or lack thereof) to prevent similar or more dangerous errors. That being said, I will never let them vaccinate or prescribe medication without making them double check that it's right.

Other than that fiasco, the appointment was fine. Dr. said she looked great and was happy that she was rolling over.

At 2 months, Little Sister is 9 pounds 15 oz (25th percentile) and 23 inches (75th percentile).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

2 Months Old

Little Sister is 2 months old already! And, I finally caught her smiles on camera.

Sad news

Remember this guy? Well, now I feel kind of bad about that post.

Yesterday, our neighbor was rushed to the hospital with no pulse or respiration. We haven't heard an update, but it didn't look good.

We have no idea what happened, but our thoughts & prayers are with his wife and 2 sons.

Yet another reminder to be thankful....

The reason stores NEED to be open on Thanksgiving Day..

In recent years, stores have started to open on Thanksgiving day. I've always thought that was crazy. Can't we live without Target/Walmart/Kmart for 1 freakin' day?!?!

Well, at least until Thanksgiving Day rolled around and hubby and I packed our 2 kids in the car headed to my parents. About an hour into the trip, I pulled out my pump only to realize I had forgotten half of the parts. CRAP!!!

Now, if it was just a matter of feeding the baby, I would have given her formula. And, that we could have easily found. But, finding all the parts I needed? Well, that wasn't going to be so easy. So, after a few frantic phone calls, we decided the only thing to do was to turn around and go home to get it. I was not going to risk tanking my supply.

I was in tears looking at the traffic that had started to build and thinking of an extra 3 hours in the car. But, everything worked out and looking back, it wasn't a big deal. Except that now, I firmly believe that stores should never close...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I am thankful for...

Today I am thankful for my wonderful husband and 2 amazing children. I am thankful that while we are not rich, and money is tight, I am able to be a stay at home mom. I am thankful that we have the opportunity to raise 2 beautiful girls to be compassionate, loving human beings.

This holiday season, please remember its not the material things that matter. This year, with so many people struggling, be thankful for what you have and give what you can to those who don't.

We are teaching Mini Me the importance of the holiday season by having her pick a couple of her Christmas presents to donate to Toys for Tots. There are many ways to help the cause besides giving toys, so please check out their website.

I'll be posting a list of some of our favorite charities on the right. Hopefully, someone who reads this will be inspired to at least visit the site and consider contributing, be it an item, money or your time. Or, post a comment with your own favorite charity and I will add it to the list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hey! How'd I do that?

A few weeks ago, Little Sister rolled over. It was a complete fluke, I'm sure.

However, she just rolled from tummy to back in a semi coordinated motion. She was completely on her tummy and pushed herself up and over onto her side before I could grab the camera. But, I caught the second half of her roll:

Here is another attempt a few days later:

Friday, November 20, 2009

B-I-N-G-Oh, NO!

Note about the title: I'm desperately trying to make this story not nearly as terrifying as it really feels. Hubby says we'll laugh about this in 10 years, but at the moment, I see NOTHING remotely funny about it.

As some of you may know, my two biggest fears when it comes to my kids' lives are choking and drowning. In fact, I am so afraid of choking, that when Mini Me started eating solid foods, I routinely cut blueberries into 8 pieces. And, I even cut a few large ones into 16 pieces. Yes, you read that right. I cut a single blueberry in 16 pieces. (Borderline neurotic? Yup. )

Last night, Little Sister was in her bouncy seat and Mini Me was sitting next to her. This past week, Mini Me has been much better with Little Sister and they seem to be enjoying each other. So, Mini Me was talking to her and playing. She even wiped Little Sisters mouth when she spit up. I was standing about 2 feet away, facing them (because Mini Me can still be a little rough even with the hugs) folding laundry.

I see Mini Me trying to put something in Little Sisters mouth. At first, I assume it was the paci, but as I'm watching, I realize there's no paci in Mini Me's hand. I dove towards them and pulled Mini Me away only to find 2 of these little plastic bingo discs in Little Sister's mouth.

Now, I know that Mini Me has no idea how dangerous that was, but OMG! I was completely terrified. So, that particular game found it's way to the trash and all other games/toys with pieces that are really small are in the closet and can only come out fully supervised. Thankfully, Little Sister didn't even seem to notice there was anything in her mouth. She hadn't gagged or choked, so I think I got to her in time. There's still a lingering thought in my mind that she has swallowed one. How will I know?

And, of course, in the middle of the night, Little Sister starts coughing and my heart almost stopped for a second time because I was then convinced she had swallowed one. But, as it turns out, she sounds like she has a stuffy nose, and I think she's just not feeling well. The timing was kind of suspect though, so I'm still watching her closely for any signs of distress.

What a start to the weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And we have...


As in real, true smiles! I'll try to catch a pic of it soon.

Breast vs Bottle: Round 2

So, I have another breast vs bottle rant that came out of the pedi appt last night. Now, because it was the after hours urgent care, Little Sister just saw whatever doc in the practice drew the short end of the stick and was working last night. I'm almost certain he has a medical degree (see previous post).

As you all know by now, I exclusively pump for the baby. I won't repeat the whole story, but just suffice it to say that she gets only breastmilk for all her feedings in a bottle. Now you are up to speed in case you haven't read any previous posts. Here's the scene from last night.

I'm waiting in the exam room and little sister is fussy. I'm trying to offer her a bottle. In comes the doctor. Let's call him Dr. Dolittle, because really that's what he did.

We chat for a few minutes about her symptoms and why I brought her in. He seemed to have notes on this little cheat sheet/index card that the nurse must have written down for him. OK. So, he's listening to my story of what's been going on the past couple of days and I'm telling him about how she's been acting like she's hungry, but when presented with the bottle, she takes a few sips, but is more comfort sucking and just getting milk by accident and taking F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to take the bottle. But, that I keep offering it and she has generally taken her her normal amount of ounces and explain her other symptoms.

Here's the convo that followed two seconds later:

Dr. Dolittle: What type of formula is she on?

Me: None, she only gets breastmilk.

Dr. Dolittle: Oh. Really? OK, so you don't really know how much she's getting.

Me: Confused look (since I *just* told him she had taken her normal amount of ounces)

Dr. Dolittle: Well, I assume she's on the breast at home.

Me: Nope, just get's bottles.

Dr. Dolittle: Really? Oh, ok. So, are you supplementing with formula?

Me: No. Just breastmilk.

Dr. Dolittle: OK, well let me take a look....

Blah, blah, blah and the exam ensued.

So, of course because he saw me feeding her a bottle, he assumed it was formula. OK. Then made the assumption that because she get's breastmilk, that she's actually breast-fed. I never really realized how many assumptions are made about this. And, really, by 7pm last night, I was in no mood to explain to him why my baby gets breastmilk in a bottle. It really doesn't matter.

The assumptions just bug me, I don't know why.

Actually, maybe it was just because he clearly wasn't really listening to what I had said. I told him she had taken her regular number of ounces (I don't know many moms who feed from the breast that can discuss ounces.) and after his first questions about formula, I clearly said that she only gets breastmilk. Do you really need to question me about it again? It's not classified information or anything. If she had any formula in recent weeks, I'd tell you. I want her to feel better and I'll give you every shred of info I can if it leads to an answer.

It's situations like this that worry me. Do some people really place the 'status' of exclusively breastfeeding over the well-being of their child? Is there really a mom out there that is so wrapped up in maintaining the appearance of ebf that she would lie about giving formula to her sick child's pediatrician???? I really hope not, but I fear that I may be wrong.

Tummy Troubles

Poor Little Sister. She's not feeling well and I ended up taking her in to the pediatrician last night. Thankfully (I guess) she doesn't have an ear infection, but he also wasn't 100% sure what was wrong with her. He thinks its just a stomach bug and that she should get better in a few days. Glad he went to medical school...I would have never been able to decide on the "watch & wait" approach on my own. ::eye roll::

Anyway, if any useful information came out of the appointment, it's that she is 9 pounds, 5 ounces.

Oh, yeah. And his "back up" guess as to what is wrong? That she has developed a dairy allergy. Which would mean I would have to cut out ALL traces of dairy in my diet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More pics from the photo shoot

Here are a billion pictures of my girls. Note that I didn't guide Mini Me to pose for these...she seems to be a natural. And, yes, color accent is my favorite feature on my camera. :-) Enjoy!


Nap in the crib = FAIL

To the swing it is! Little Sister is 7 weeks old and has never slept in her crib....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Photo sessions

Just a preview of one of our photo sessions:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I've never been more excited about poop...

I've never been more excited about poop than I am right now. Mini Me has finally pooped on the potty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandpa(s)!

Mini Me would like to wish both her Grandpa's a special Happy Birthday. My father and my father in law have back to back birthdays. So, here's Mini Me:

Oh, yeah. And, if your wondering what is going on with her nose...

Well, yesterday she had a huge tantrum in her room and flipped herself over the foot of her bed and that is the result.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The epic post where I vent about breast vs. bottle

::steps up on soapbox for a very important (and long) public service announcement::

Let me preface this by saying that I was formula fed as a baby, and so was my husband. I think we've turned out just fine. Just like the millions of other people who were formula fed as infants. Right? Cool.

However, in recent years, the mantra that is drilled into expectant parents' heads is "breast is best". It's even printed on the freakin' formula can! (Note to formula company: Thanks for trying to make us feel better about using your product ::eye roll:: )

So, how can you, as a pregnant woman, declare that you do NOT want what is "best" for your baby? Well, folks, let me tell you. That declaration comes with a huge side of old fashioned guilt for many women. How do I know this? Let me explain...

When I was pregnant with Mini Me, I was one of those aforementioned individuals bombarded with the message that to be a good mom, you *had* to breastfeed. Even though I had no burning desire to, I just went along with it. Yup, I'm going to breastfeed. (However, I added the caveat that I was perfectly fine with formula feeding and I really thought I was--this will be important in a minute).

So, when Mini Me was born, I dutifully brought her to the breast and attempted to feed her. For 2 days in the hospital, every time she fussed, I brought her to my breast despite the fact that I was in excruciating pain, bleeding and just hating it. Still, I put on a happy face and declared that I was breastfeeding. woo hoo!

Until we got home. Then it all changed. There was no nursery to send her to at night. No lactation consultant there with me the instant I needed her. Just me, the baby, and pain. Add to that: a jaundiced baby who had NO desire to nurse and would just sleep every time I brought her near my breast, yet would SCREAM bloody murder if I wasn't trying to feed her. Between the pain, exhaustion and frustration (for all of us), I broke down. I remember the moment so clearly. I was in tears, and told hubby to go get a bottle of formula. I felt like a complete and total failure. Why was I devastated when I had already declared that I was perfectly fine with formula? Social pressure, plain and simple.

While Mini Me (and, by extension all of us) may have been happier once she had a belly full of formula, I was miserable. I felt incredibly guilty. I felt that I had given up too quickly and didn't try hard enough. But, looking back, it was the right decision for us. There's no way to fully comprehend how difficult becoming a parent is, much less learning all those new skills while sleep deprived.

Fast forward to present day... still the same "breast is best" message. This time, I remember the guilt I felt and decided I would give it another try. This time, I would not give up so easily since I KNEW how hard it was going to be. OK, let's go for round 2.

When Little Sister was born, I have to admit that I still had some reservations. I mean, I bought bottles, "just in case". It seemed that I was setting myself up to give up. And, I did waffle a bit in those early days. Here's the thing. I tried the breastfeeding thing. It went well for a few days.

But, I have to admit something: I felt no more 'bonded' with LS than I did with Mini Me. For me, there was nothing really special about it. I really wanted her to have the benefits of breastmilk (more on that later), but didn't really LOVE breastfeeding the way some women claim to. (I say claim, because I'd be willing to bet that not as many women love it as that say they do...just sayin')

Anyway, when little sister started to have some weight gain issues, and the pediatrician suggested just pumping for 24 hours to make sure my supply was sufficient, I obliged. And, you know what? Other than the time it took, I was happy. I didn't have to worry about how much she was getting. I *knew* she was taking enough, because I could measure it in a bottle. I could look into her eyes as she ate. She could hold my finger. Bottle feeding worked for us.

So, once we had established that my supply was sufficient, I didn't put her back to the breast. I could have worked with a lactation consultant to fix her latch issues. But, I didn't want to . I was happy with the way things were. She started gaining weight and was doing well. So, I spend a few hours throughout the day pumping. It's working for us. It's not ideal or convenient by any stretch of the imagination (it would be fine, if I only had the baby to deal with, but...well, you know) but it is manageable...most of the time.

Great, your thinking, right?

Um, nope.

See, even though Little Sister gets beastmilk, apparently it's not good enough for some holier than thou types. In some circles, unless your child is attached to your breast for the better part of the day, you don't qualify as a 'breastfeeding' mom. Um, okie dokie.

But, what's worse is the constant explaining I have to do. Why do I feel the need to explain my decisions to total strangers? I have no idea. And, really, why do random strangers feel that it's any of their business whether I'm breastfeeding or not? Sorry, but baby in hand or not, my breasts are not topics of public conversation (this blog post excluded, of course).

And, even at the pediatricians office, I'm asked if I'm breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Here comes the babbling about bottle, but breastmilk, blah blah blah. A better phrasing of the question would be breastmilk or formula. Maybe I'll put that in the suggestion box.

So, what's the point of this incredibly rambling post? It is simply that I wish that people, especially other moms, would just respect each others decisions and recognize that what works for you may not work for someone else. Yes, baby on the breast is the most "natural" way to feed a baby, but you know what? Who cares?

Unless you see me feeding my 6 week old a Jack & Coke in her bottle...STFU. Thank You!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The post where karma bites me in the ass

So, yes, I know there are MANY parents out there who hate us. Mini Me started sleeping through the night at just under 4 weeks, and Little Sister has slept through the night 3 out of 4 nights now at 5 weeks old. ::covers head and ducks under the desk::

But, rest assured that last night, karma bit me in the ass as a little reminder not to take sleep for granted.

Our little doggie Napoleon has been acting weird for a couple of days and has been sick. Last night, it got worse and progressed to diarrhea and some blood. :-( Poor little guy was dehydrated and is refusing food and water.

So, I ended up in the doggie ER with him at 2am. He got checked out, they gave him some fluids and meds. They offered to do a slew of very expensive tests to find out what was wrong, but I declined (with some guilt). After all, he probably just has a $250 tummy ache from eating something that Mini Me dropped on the floor. Sweet.

We made it home just in time for hubby to get ready for work, and Mini Me to be up for the loooooong day ahead. Napoleon is resting comfortably right now and hopefully will be feeling better soon. Me? I also require an IV...attached to the coffee pot. ::yawn::

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hip Hip Horray!

At the risk of completely jinxing myself...

Little Sister has slept 8-9 hour stretches for 2 nights in a row! Hip Hip Horray!

I'm getting more sleep now than when I was pregnant! Woo Hoo!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

Happy (day after) Halloween! I trust that everyone is sufficiently in a sugar coma.

Last night was Mini Me's first night of Trick or Treating. It was quite an experience.

First of all, it was a balmy 65 degrees. Perfect! Yay! No need to worry about coats and mittens. After, it is fall in New England.

At the first house, Mini Me was a little too friendly. She didn't quite understand why we went to someone's house and didn't go inside. In fact, she tried to walk right in a few times, and I needed to explain the idea to her.

After she got that first piece of candy, she caught on pretty quickly. By the time we had gone to the third house, and I prompted her on to the next one, she exclaimed, "I like houses!". She picked up the pace and was practically running from house to house, even up a big hill. My little Abby Cadabby ran into an Elmo. A perfect pairing, I wish I had gotten a picture of it.

Of course, we didn't stay out too long, as she hadn't napped all day and was exhausted. Besides, by 7:45 it was starting to sprinkle, so we decided to head home. Mini Me actually needed to be carried back. She was beat.
We let her have one piece of candy before sending her to bed. Then daddy and I divided up the candy. We made a pile for Mini me and then split the rest between ourselves. What? Don't judge...she doesn't need all that sugar.

Here are some pics of our night:

Picking up the pace..running to the next house.
The stash
I was very proud of Mini Me. Seems as if we are some of the few parents left in town that insist that their kids are polite. I heard very few "thank you's" from the other kids. My kid said 'thank you' to every single person who gave her candy. In fact, I required it if she forgot. Non-negotiable. In fact, there was this pair of older girls (12 or 13) who first of all, pushed in front of Mini Me a couple of times. We were at one house in particular where the gentleman was giving out full size candy bars. Nice, right? Not only did the girls not even bother to say "trick or treat" (again, which I made Mini Me say instead of just grabbing candy when the person opened the door), but they just took the candy and turned around and walked away without saying one word to the man. Then halfway down the driveway, I heard the one girl say, "I like it when they give full size candy bars". Then, would it have killed you to say thank you?!?!?!? The weren't my kids, but if they were I would have made the march right back up to the house. That's not cool at all.