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Archive for November, 2008

five months.

dear jude,

eleven days ago, you turned five months old. this means that, for eleven days, your dear old mom has been trying to get around to writing you a letter. our lives are all a bit busy right now, especially mine, and finding time to reflect thoughtfully has been really difficult. i am an unrelenting perfectionist, little one, and i confess that it is exhausting. not writing your letter until now has eaten away at me a little every day, and i’ve gotten more and more frustrated. here is a life lesson for you: don’t do this. obsession over things you can’t make perfect is a ridiculous waste of time and energy. you can’t win at perfectionism. perfect never happens. ever.

but enough about me! this letter is all about you!

you grew up a whole lot this month. your bouncing skills have evolved into a kind of elaborate riverdancing. you are on your feet all the time. you thrill yourself for long periods of time by playing a little game called “stand-sit”, wherein you stand up, and then sit down. over and over. big grins and drool ensue.

oh yes. drool. this month, you rolled out the new cascading waterfall kind of drool that only comes with teething. you’ve been periodically miserable over the state of your raw, wrecked gums, but a combination of teething tablets, baby teethers, and your beloved baby tylenol seem to make it all better. as of today, none of your evil teeth have poked through. you wouldn’t think that true judging by your hardcore style of clamp-jawed nursing. but i digress.

while we’re on the subject of health and medicine, i must say that we are holding out a lot of hope that you will grow out of your constant ear and eye infections. they make you so sad and miserable and goopy-eyed, and they also keep you awake. this means you want to be snuggled up with us at 3 am, but not in a sleepy way. you want to be entertained at 3 am. your long-suffering mama h often takes you into the other room so i can sleep, but jude, it would seriously make all our lives better if you could just get over the infections. thank you.

this month was a very important one in the grand scheme of things as well. you sat on my lap on november 4, as we watched live reports of barack obama being elected president. (you voted for him in early elections.) i am so proud that, even before your first birthday, you got to see a black man elected. this bodes so well, i think, for how your generation will view race. “black president?” you’ll all ask. “what’s the big deal? we have an asian lesbian as president now.”

november 4 was a sad day for families like ours in california, however. in your history books, i’m sure you will read about prop 8, and the revolution it sparked. all over the country, people protested in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in california, and we joined them here in austin. we stood downtown at city hall on a blustery, impossibly sunny day, you decked out in your i ❤ my moms tshirt from grandmas mary and nancy. you smiled and cooed and snuggled close to me. we ran into old friends and met new ones. you’re a wee activist already, little chicken. you make us so proud.

on that fateful protest day, we introduced you to solid foods, as you’d been staring jealously at us while we were eating for weeks. we started with rice cereal mixed in breastmilk (mmmm!) and some pears. i took a million photos of your priceless wtf expressions. we laughed until we couldn’t breathe, because you’re just so hilariously adorable. and, oh my little girl, you absolutely love food, even though the photos may not quite show that…

in other news, we found out, after taking you on a 3 mile walk around our neighborhood, that none of the playgrounds around here have swings. mama h and i had such hopes for introducing you to the wonders of swinging, but alas, it wasn’t to be. in the end, you settled for going down the slide on mama h’s lap, and staring dumbfounded at the monkey bars. don’t worry. we will find swings for you. that is a promise.

also, this month, you experienced your first halloween, dressed as wonder woman, thanks to the fabulous costume that uncle g bought you from six flags. you really loved the bowl of candy, and now i know for sure that you are my daughter. a few days previous, you enjoyed your first big party at our house, as we celebrated my 30th birthday. you basked in the presence of our dear friends, and even spent a moment in front of a big fire in the backyard. and then you fell asleep.

it’s time for me to close this letter, as you are now awake and it’s playtime.

i love you more every day, jude. who knew that kind of love is possible?

love,
mama

at the park
at the park around sunset.

first taste of pears
i don't like pears, thanks.

you love your moms
i <3 my moms.

post food face
joy.

protesting
my little protester.

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my daily life lately has been all about constant editing and improvisation. work demands have included a weird schedule with even weirder-timed pumping breaks, and my supply is suffering. my left breast seems to have all but dried up over the past few days. picture me in a tshirt, right boob huge and left one non existent. the girls have not been so lopsided since 6th grade, when i stuffed my bra for about five minutes, before they grew from training bra to a d cup.

i’ve been combatting the um…inequality…by pumping as much as possible (after replacing the membranes. oh powerful suction, how i missed you!), as well as keeping jude latched on my left side more than usual. i’m hoping things will even out soon. my right side always produces more than the left, but this is ridiculous. i don’t like operating at half capacity.

little j is all about solid foods these days. she shakes with anticipation when we put her in her high chair, and her affection for her fancy spoons is rivaled only by things such as applesauce and cereal. she only really nurses undistracted late at night and early in the morning anymore. she needs absolute silence and, preferably, darkness, in order to stay latched. otherwise, there is a sensory world all around her that demands her attention. distractions are so very frustrating for both of us. for me, it’s like trying to pee, but feeling painfully bladder shy. for jude? i imagine it feels like being about to take a big bite of a juicy burger, and then someone asks her a question. over and over.

i digress.

so yeah. solids. solids = less nursing. less nursing = less supply. less supply = supplementing with formula because i’m not producing enough to meet little j’s needs during the day. this cycle is depressing me. a lot. breastfeeding is at the top of the list of Ways I Feel Like a Mother. yesterday, when after 20 minutes of hardcore pumping, one of the bottles was still bone dry, i nearly lost my shit. i felt like i was losing the only firm hold i have in meeting jude’s needs. because i’m gone so effing much. i kiss her sleeping head every morning, and come home every night to a cranky, tired baby who is about ready to go to bed.

i know i meet her needs. she loves me. she is connected to me. but nursing is the tangible proof of that. and when faced with the possibility of losing that integral part of our relationship now, i panicked. i cried. i made h feel sad and helpless because there is nothing she can say to make it better. and then she went out and bought me new membranes. she brought jude to work so i could nurse her over my lunch yesterday. this morning, j snuggled in bed with me and nursed for two hours before i had to get up and go to work. and i’ve pumped often and long today.

the good news is that i’m still producing milk. and i know i can keep my flow going. and the other good news is that it’s now my job to find non-nursing ways to feel bonded to my child. i think it will involve a lot of snuggling, sharing baths, and copious praise for her near crawling pushup skills.

wednesday baldness.

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nablopomo: fail.

so i’ve been away from the computer for the past couple days, sadly. and instead of getting up super early or staying up way too late just to say “hey, real post coming soon. here have some boring, empty words” in the meantime, i gave up. sorry about that.

now, i’m going back offline by necessity, but maybe there will be a post in the near future. i can’t make any promises, though. the promises were too much pressure!

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not quite a post.

but. it counts?

we just got back from the land of sugar (um sugar land, yeah) after a soul-filling early thanksgiving weekend with jude’s pop pop and gabby. many gorgeous photos were taken of little j soaking up the love, and much wonderful food and libations were consumed. my heart, it sings. we are so blessed with fambly.

i’m frustrated with my lack of posting opportunities, but i’m hoping to carve out more time this week. maybe. hopefully. oy.

there are so many photos to upload from my camera, so many stories to tell, a 5 month letter to write to my beloved little girl. but it all must wait because we are all exhausted and sleep is calling.

love to you, my internet friends. and goodnight.

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priceless.

us. now. snuggling. after she slept in her own bed for nearly 8 hours.

saturday morning

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blargh again. night time is most definitely not the ideal time for me to write. it’s 10 o’clock and i just climbed out of bed after realizing that i hadn’t blogged. super perfectionist me couldn’t simply skip a day in this nablopomo insanity. nope, here i am, bleary eyed, wondering just what the hell i’m going to write about.

i had today off, glory be. what i thought would be a lazy day with my girls turned into a day of too much money spent, and lots of driving. i got a haircut today. see?

haircut!

yeah, i only get haircuts about every 3-4 months, because they are so effing expensive. i love my girl. she cuts hair like a pro, but she charges an arm and a leg. it’s worth it to have happy hair that lasts for a long time, but ugh, how i hate forking it over. she brought up the possibility of working with my color, which is long overdue, and i nearly cried. no thanks. i’ll keep the dishwater blonde thang going.

after my haircut, i stopped at the store for:

a. ginger ale for an ailing h. she’s fighting what i’ve been fighting all week. my poor beloved.
b. cat food, because the cats will cannibalize themselves if their bowls are empty for more than five minutes.
c. dial foaming soap, because my hands are craving a rich, foamy lather. we are typically dr bronners type people around here, and although i enjoy the good doctor’s product, its lather is lackluster.

moments after arriving home, it was back in the car with us, for our monthly visit with the psychiatrist. uncle dr c, as we call him, was running an hour and a half late with appointments, so a sick h, cranky baby, and i sat in the waiting room till nearly 7:00. h discovered an article in national geographic about migrating beekeepers. hopes for her next career move were dashed when we realized that the issue was from 1993, and it is probably no longer cost effective to migrate with rapidly disappearing honeybees, especially with the economy, gas prices, etc.

after being deemed sane enough by uncle dr c, we made the half hour trek home, as little j passed out in her seat.

and now, my girls are asleep. i should join them.

so, i may have to break my every day posting spree tomorrow, as we are traveling to gabby and pop pop’s for an early thanksgiving extravaganza. forgive me?

here, have a photo of me and the baby being silly:

thermal.

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alas

my internet time has been severely diminished over the past couple days, and should resume normally tomorrow.

for now, i must say that jude has another potential ear infection. the culprit appears to be fluid draining improperly from her tear ducts. it seems that they haven’t yet opened properly, and are wreaking havoc. we’re holding off on yet another round of antibiotics, but do have antibiotic drops for her increasingly goopy eyes. we need to make an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist, and the possibility of surgery after j is 6 months old is on the table. i’m not sure what to do with all this new information. dear ivp, do you have any experience with this sort of thing? comments are wide open.

for now, i must tend to my freshly bathed 22.9 pound child, and will hopefully resume posting entries of some substance tomorrow.

goodnight.

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