ten things tuesday...

  1. Finally got the clog out on Friday night... over 80 hours after I originally noticed it.
    I can't believe I didn't get mastitis, but I'm thanking my lucky stars. It took a combination of heating pad on the boob, lots of nursing, massage, dangle feeding (where you lay the baby down and crouch above them on all fours to breastfeed... feels ridiculous, looks worse... but the gravity is supposed to help), ibuprofen, and desperate prayers to get it out. My poor boob still feels a little bruised.

  2. Friday was not quite the stay in bed all day reading and eating bon-bons, recuperation day that I had envisioned, but it wasn't bad either. Gwen was sweet. At one point I grabbed my book, a toy for her, my drink, the dog, and headed up to the bedroom. We flipped on the A/C, and snuggled together on the bed. We played until she was tired, then I fed her laying down, so that once she fell asleep, I was able to just grab my book and have a leisurely lay and read session. Very nice, and very helpful for my tired self to get some down time. I'm feeling way better now.

  3. The weekend was mostly lazy, which was good since it was hot as all getout. In the 90s and majorly humid to boot. We didn't want to leave the house much. The one thing we did have was a handfasting ceremony on Saturday evening. It was fun. Hot, humid, buggy, and a large amount of driving, but fun! The location was beautiful. We pitstopped at Premise Maid for amazing, homemade ice cream on our way home too. Pictures when they are posted online, since I forgot to take my own.

  4. One week and three days until we leave for the Cape.
    I. Can. Not. Wait.

  5. I'm feeling out of sorts lately and I'm really hoping a week away with my family will help solve that.
    I don't know what's up with me, but my brain seems on overdrive and I just have so many things I want to do that I can't, or don't want to do that I have to, feel like I'm running constantly and don't have enough hours in the day, but at the same time don't know what I'm doing that fills up my day so much.

  6. Plus I'm really looking forward to a week away from work and this stupid breast pump.
    Work has been very busy lately, but at least it makes the days go by quickly.

  7. I am ridiculously, stupidly excited about the new HP trailer... have you seen it? HERE or HERE. Just about 4 more months! I'm rereading the last book now and its making me even more excited.

  8. The heat is finally supposed to break tomorrow, and I'm so glad... I can't do anymore days of 90s and 50+% humidity. Not right now, not in a row. I need a break, and thankfully we're supposed to get that this week. 80s tomorrow, then high 70s on thursday... its going to feel amazing. I'm hoping that helps to clear my head a little bit too...

  9. Looking back at my past few posts, I've been really wordy lately. And not all together so cheerful. Sorry about that! I think it all goes back to #5.

  10. This was supposed to be a cute picture of Gwen that I took over the weekend... a reward for making it through my doom and gloom, and non-pic posts of late... but my silly phone is having trouble sending the picture to my email at the moment... so I have nothing. Picture reward soon, I promise.


Just a quickie while Gwen plays on her playmat.

Lame = another clogged duct (lefty this time).

So clogged that I had milk up to the bottom of my armpit. Its emptied a bit since then... but its been almost 72 hours its still there. Almost 72 hours since my breast was completely emptied. No fun at all.

Also no fun is this cold. I decided to take a sick day today to recover (actually decided this at 1am, when I woke for the third time...). I was so looking forward to sleeping and reading and just relaxing. Well, daycare was canceled, so now Gwen and I are hanging out. It won't be quite the day I had pictured, not so relaxing... but hopefully we can take a nap together later, and I'll definitely read her some Harry Potter while we're nursing. I can sleep in tomorrow.

Its a good day to take off though... since my train isn't running anyway. We had some WEATHER yesterday. Humongous thunderstorm with hail and high winds. Reports of a tornado touching down. It was quick, but damaging. Trees down, power lines felled, windows broken. We really lucked out in the whole thing... it took me a while to get home since the trains weren't running... I had to hop the El, then would have taken the trolley, but my line wasn't running, unrelated to the weather, so would have taken the shuttle instead, but they were stopping short of my stop... so I hoofed it a few miles with a guy I ride the train with, and his wife picked us up and drove us to the train station to get our cars. That said, we were some of the first people to get their cars (and I didn't get home until 7pm)... and we have power, and no real damage, just a branch down in our neighbors back yard, and into ours. Daisy, the mulcher, is happy to take care of that for us.

Well, Gwen is done with the playmat, so off I go. A weekend awaits.


wandering thoughts

I'm drinking orange juice to help with the tickle in my throat, the one from the cold I think I'm picking up from my daughter, who got it when her immune system was tired from fighting the fever/stomach bug. I'm not too worried about it though, since I know that every cold she has now will help her immune system strengthen and help her fight off those big things. Still hate hearing her little cough though, and seeing her uncomfortable.

I brought in one of her 3-month pro pictures (which we got in the mail yesterday) to put on my desk. I glance at it when I'm pumping in hopes that it will kick the boobs into high gear. After my orange juice, I'll switch to a big Nalgene full of tea... with the duel purpose of it being good for my cold, and it pumping me full of liquids which is good for, well, pumping.

A little afraid to put this out there, but you might notice from the update on the Gwen month-to-month page that the % stat for her weight has dropped a bit... she's still gaining, but not as fast as she was. I think this was just a fluke month, with starting bottles at daycare and us learning what she needs there, plus the stomach bug (which the doc also pointed out could be the cause), plus bf babies just tend to gain at a slower rate then non-bf babies (thus throwing them below the curve), but it hit me a bit and I felt like my previously rock star mammaries had let me and my daughter down. Hard not to beat myself up. Hard not to find myself in tears this morning when my poor unsuspecting husband told me that he did something different with my pumped milk then what I had planned for it. Yipes.

Excerpt from the email I wrote him after he left with Gwen, post tears:
"I'm sorry about this morning. I didn't mean to make you feel like I was upset with you. I am very tired, and was caught off guard (a recipe for tears)... I figured you would ask me what to do with the milk, since I had asked you to put that milk in the fridge this morning. [...] I know that we have a lot in the freezer, and that's good. But its really not as much as it seems... maybe only a few days worth. If anything were to happen, I want to know that it is there so she can continue to get breast milk. [...] The more we feed her at daycare, the less I'll be feeding her at home, and that can make my supply drop, which means I'll be able to pump even less. I'm worried about not pumping enough for her during the day, and worried about depleting the freezer stash making up the difference. I know that I need to not jump to worst case scenarios, and I'm trying to just relax about it and go with the flow... I guess it just upset me more then I realized to think that maybe I have not been doing as great with feeding her as I thought. I'm sure this month was just a fluke, but it still made me feel crappy. [...] I do know we need to feed her some more at daycare though. [...] Anyway, I'm sorry I got all freaked out, and I hope you understand."

He did.
Understand, that is. 

We're sending more in each bottle, giving her more at a time, plus the two nursing sessions in the morning and two in the evening, to see how that takes care of things. I'm going to make a huge effort to drink more liquids, and eat more healthy fats (to give my boobs more fats to choose from for making the milk) like avocados, nuts, fish, olive oil. I have faith that this will take care of things... but I've also resigned to NOT being able to breastfeed her exclusively until 6 months like I originally hoped/planned. I've compromised with the doc and we'll start baby cereal (well, oatmeal, because that rice cereal is crap and has no nutritional value) mixed with breast milk at 5 months... then we'll start baby food (well, we'll probably do a combo baby food and BLW) at 6 months as I always planned. But I do still plan to give her breast milk exclusively to drink for a while yet, and breastfeeding until at least a year.

I just keep reminding myself that I have a happy, healthy daughter and that this too shall pass. But encouragement is welcome. I was/am nervous to write about this, put it out there, afraid of judgment or disagreement with our decision. No one will ever agree with me completely though, and I/we are doing what we think is best for Gwen. In the end, as long as she is healthy and loved, it will be okay. As my own gentle encouragement, I've added countdown tickers to the bottom right side, to 6 months and to a year. Its actually very heartening to see that we have only 1 month, 3 weeks until 6 months... thought it is insane to me that it is only that long until my daughter is 1/2 year old.

As an aside, I'm reading Nie Nie now, and it heart wrenching and inspiring and depressing and uplifting all at the same time. I got there from the Pioneer Woman's post, which was also referenced at Friday Playdate where she talks about heros, and men who are heros in everyday life. It made me picture Trav last night, who had retrieved Gwen after she woke up about 20 minutes after I put her down for the night... I wanted to grab a drink and a snack for while I fed her some more. When I came out of the kitchen, he was standing in our darkened dining room, rocking our crabby, snuffly daughter who had fallen back asleep... secure in his arms. It made my heart flutter.

Now I have to get back to work... being out on Thursday, the back on Friday, then a three-day weekend since I was out on Monday has me all thrown off and made me less productive today. So off I go...


father's day thanks

Happy Father's Day!
... to all the dads out there, new and experienced.  :-)

To my own father: Papita, I love you. Thank you for all you've done for me. For getting lost together, and finding our way together. You are wonderful.

And most importantly today, to my husband: Trav, Thank you for having my back on this amazing journey. For keeping me sane on days like today, when Gwen is a crank, and for loving our little girl so much.


illness, weekends and wishes

It's almost the weekend again, and I haven't even written about last weekend. This week has flown by, with lots of things getting left behind.

Yesterday was no help... I was home because my poor baby was sick! Fever of 103* sick. I woke at 12:30 Wednesday night/Thursday morning to my girl crying. Now normally when she wakes in the night she fusses a bit, grutses, but doesn't really cry. This was real... so I headed quickly to her bedroom. As soon as I picked her up I knew something was wrong, she was hot to the touch and clearly uncomfortable. So first I popped her on the boob and settled her, then I broke out the thermometer. When I saw her temp, well it was all I could do to restrain myself from sprinting with her to our bedroom and yelling at Trav that my baby needed to go to the emergency room. I did restrain myself though... poor Trav did NOT need to wake to that. I did call the on-call doc from the pediatrician's office though, and was told to do acetaminophen every four hours and call the office in the morning for an appointment. By the time we were in the exam room at 9:45 am her temp was down to 99*, but it shot back up to 103 by 1 o'clock. Luckily after that it worked its way back down and stayed down. Besides the fever, she threw up once (different then normal baby spitting up) and had two diapers that got way more then they signed up for... as did the onesies she was wearing at the time! But none of that since yesterday around 9am. The doc says its a stomach virus (there's one going around at the moment), and that we should just keep doing the generic tylenol, plus smaller feeds more frequently (easier on her tummy). As of 4:30 this morning, her temp was back to normal, and it appears to be staying that way, sans medicine. So we cautiously optimistic that she's on the mend. Her daddy is staying home with her today, and so far, so good!

The best part of it all, was how sweet my Gwenie was, even though she felt bad.

Both of those pictures are from yesterday. My lovely girl was still giving me smiles all day, even when I could tell that she was uncomfortable. We are so lucky.

So! Last weekend. It was a busy one. Saturday was my Pop's memorial service. It was really nice. In fact, the whole day was just Good. Gwen slept the whole 2.5 hours up, was a peach during the service (people kept saying, "wow, we couldn't even tell there was a baby attending!") which was a beautiful memorial to my Pop, it was wonderful seeing everyone... including faces I haven't seen in about 15 years, and the lunch afterward was nice too. The church that my grandparent's attended there, that the service was held at, has ice cream socials a few times a year to raise money for the church and as a way to bring everyone together. They make all the ice cream themselves, and it is wonderful! There had been one maybe a day or two before my Pop's service and my Gram had told them that they should leave us any leftover ice cream... well they did one better, they made extra, specifically for our luncheon. It was sweet, and wonderful, and just the taste of it brought back so many memories. In any case, the ride home was pretty easy as well... little miss wasn't so keen on being in her carseat anymore by the end of the ride, but I just slipped into the backseat next to her and she was easily distracted.

Sunday was rather more crazy, though still nice for the most part. Gwen and I headed up to the Lehigh Valley for the baby shower of a childhood friend of mine, turned cousin (by marriage). Its supposed to be a 1 hour 20 minute drive, but thanks to some torrential rain and a bit of traffic, it took closer to 1 hour 40 minutes. That however, was NOTHING next to the ride home. First it rained torrentially for the first 20 minutes of the drive, then I hit so much stop and go traffic on 476. Finally, just when I thought I was in the clear, we encountered an area of the Blue Route with two lanes flooded out!

That meant, of course, that everyone had to get down into one lane to pass that section. Luckily, after that it was easy going the rest of the way home... but the damage was done, and poor Gwen was stuck in her carseat for what turned out to be another 2.5 hour car ride. She was not thrilled.

On a nicer note, the babyshower itself was a very nice time. It was great to see everyone and I loved the chance to wish Megan well. Plus, we ended our drive with a rainbow:

Not too bad.

This weekend is luckily looking easier. We do have a drive in store, I have a hair appointment by my parents... but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to decide whether Gwen will be joining me or not. And Sunday is Father's Day, so we'll be celebrating with Trav, and staying close to home!

Other bits and bobs: 
I won another giveaway!  :-)  This time its some seed bombs from IArtU. Can't wait to "bomb" my neighborhood! Lol.

I've also been longing for some things lately, and I thought I might as well record them here...

- A nice lightweight, long sleeved sleep sack (for Gwen... obviously).
These are harder to find then they should be! It seems like all lightweight ones are sans sleeves, and all long sleeved ones are heavy, fleecey things. When its hot out and we have the A/C on in Gwen's room, I don't want something that is going to make her hot... but I want her little arms and legs covered, because overnight her skin gets chilly. I found one here (Urth Child - organic too!), but they are 35-freakin-bucks. I can't justify that.

- The BB Slen wrap in Blueberry.
I wrote about my interest in wraps before (here)... and I did some research and found the BB Slen. Its supposed to be one of the best wraps for the lowest price, and a great wrap for beginners and for back carries. But, at around $100, again, can't justify it. Especially since I do like my Mei Tai:

As does Miss Gwenivere:

And its even more comfortable now that she is big enough to wear her with her little legs out, as opposed to tucked in. We went for a nice walk in it the other night (about 35 minutes) and we were both comfy the whole time. Gwen alternated between looking around at things, and chewing on the side of the carrier!! Lol.
Still, that BB Slen would be awesome... ::sigh::

- That the Harry Potter movies would be now...
Not going to happen? Oh well, 5 more months.

On that note, I have to get back to work. Since I missed yesterday, and am off Monday (for Gwen's already scheduled 4 month check up and shots), I have three days worth of stuff to get done in just one. Time to get to it.


4 months

Dear Gwenivere,
Today you are four months old and I can't believe that a 1/3 of a year is gone! How time flies. I almost wish I could put on the breaks and make you grow slower!

This month has been busy... we started it with getting your pictures done by Brandy, had a party for your daddy (who turned 30), traveled for a memorial and a babyshower, not to mention the whole work/daycare/time together at home balance we have been figuring out. I think we've been doing pretty well, and I adore every moment I get to spend with you... relishing your smiles, grins, and coos. There are still some mornings... especially Mondays, after a nice weekend together, when I tear up watching your Daddy's car drive away with you. But you have been doing very well at daycare, so that makes it easier.

Daddy has started dressing you in the mornings... I pick out the outfit the night before, but he picks the right socks. And he has turned that into an artform, making cute outfits even cuter. He is such a girl's daddy, and it is so neat to see. You are his sweetest girl, as you should be, and I love to watch the two of you. Or better yet, listening from the other room as he talks to you while getting you dressed... it makes me grin. It has been great seeing how much closer you guys are getting now that you have time together in the mornings, and since he is the one to pick you up from daycare.

This month you've learned some new things, like rolling over from your back to your tummy, which you do almost every time we put you on your back now. And you're really starting to lift your upper body in little baby push ups. Very fun until you decide that you no longer want to be on your belly and scream to be turned.

You have also started this hilarious thing I call the vampire... where you are so eager to get kisses, that you sort of dive forward at the person holding you, mouth open so wide that you are scrunching your nose, and make this "aehhh" noise. It looks like you are preparing to bite someone's neck (hence the vampire), or maybe eat my nose. Either way, its darn adorable!

And you aren't the only one that's learning. Mama has picked up some new things too... little bits of wisdom, like:
- See the big picture: No one is perfect in getting the exact balance between work and family everyday, or getting a balanced plate at every meal, etc etc. But if you can look at the big picture, the full day or week or month, and say that I think I struck a good balance and got what I needed, well that is a success.

- Give 100% at work... then leave it there, and come home and give 100% there too.

These bits have helped me to not be so hard on myself, and have really helped me to enjoy the days more.

Your joy is just so contagious though, and it makes early mornings or tired evenings easier. How can I not be thrilled to see your smiling face, even if it is 5:30am at the time. I have never ever been a morning person, but suddenly waking up then really doesn't seem so horrible. And seeing you grin at me at the end of the day just washes away any frustrations that have built up until then.

Not that it is always sunshine and puppies and rainbows. You have your frustrating days too... when you get overly tired and fussy, and you are a big crankypants. Days when putting you to bed takes 1.5 hours, and you still wake 30 minutes later. But even on those days, I mostly get frustrated because I just want you to feel better! And it makes me sad that I can't always make you content.

As for sleep, I hope I'm not jinxing us... but you have been sleeping wonderfully! You go down (in your crib) anytime between 7:50 and 8:40, and sleep there until between 5:15 and 6 (normally 5:30). Its been wonderful!

Gwenie, you are my beautiful, smiley girl. You are my fiery redhead. You are my sweet love. And I'm blessed beyond words to have you.

Love and kisses,



Stylin in her new collar, which arrived yesterday:

(Ignore the mess around her! Lol.)

Isn't it/she purdy... :-)   I love it!



I just determined this morning, that I have about 91oz in the freezer right now... go boobs!!!  :-)  That made me very happy.

Pumping still sucks it, but I'm only worrying about doing 3 sessions at work now... and am getting about the same amount total (as I was when trying frantically to squeeze in 4 sessions), and am a lot more relaxed for it. So that's good. Plus its a lot easier since I do them the same time everyday, so much easier to remember.

I'll admit it... I judge. I try not to, but I can't help myself with certain things. But I'm calling myself out. Here, in particular, are things I'm judging lately.
  • Not even giving breastfeeding a shot.
    BF is farking hard... so if you give it a real shot and for whatever reason can't do it... or if you have medical/emotional/psychological/physical things that prevent you from doing it... well, that's different. But if you just say from the start, I'm not breastfeeding, its your choice but yes, I'll judge you for it.
  • Starting your baby on solid foods at 4 months (or even earlier... I saw pictures of a girl I know feeding her 3 month old baby cereal).
    Unless your baby is have weight gain issues that require intervention... well, that is just too dang early! Countless studies have shown it, and I just don't understand why you would rush into that.
  • I definitely judge the man who was walking down the street masturbating the other day.
    But I'm pretty sure you guys are with me on that one. (What? Didn't hear about that one. I started off my Monday a.m. with a walk into work, on a very main street in Philly center city, where I had to pass by a man thoroughly enjoying himself. I passed a cop a block later and informed him he might want to check that out.) 

On another note, now I'm going to let you judge me.
Last night Trav and I had the sex for the first time since wee one came to join us. She's almost four months... so, yeah. Plus, I could probably count on fingers how many times we had relations during my pregnancy. So basically my husband is a saint. During pregnancy, first it was the morning sickness and the exhaustion, then the flu, then the exhaustion, then the completely unweildiness of the belly. After her birth it was the 6 weeks of postpartum bleeding, the sporadic bleeding since, the bedsharing, the exhaustion, and the hockey playoffs which have been bringing Trav to bed an hour after me many nights.

All that, plus the fear.

Yeah, I was sort of terrified that it would be no fun, painful, not cool. 2nd degree tear and stitches in my nether region, people. So I shot down his advances, and couldn't bring myself to make my own.

But last night the fates aligned, and I'm happy to report that, other then a few small twinges, it was not painful. It was, in fact, fun.   :-)  And that's all I have to say about that.

I'll probably have a post about food soon, since my mama has the best coleslaw recipe EVER and I'm in the mood to make it. Be on the look out, because people, its the bomb.

I love THIS article, and it is why I do, and will continue to nurse in public with no qualms.

It is a beautiful, natural thing. I'm not exposing myself, and I'm using my breasts for their intended purpose... so there.  Lol.

Now, advise from you, fellow internet goers. I'm interested in wraps. I have the Mei Tai and love it, but feel like its not as versatile as I'd hoped for... since I don't feel comfortable doing a back carry with her yet (another month or two and I'll give it a go), and you can't do an outward forward carry with the MT. Also, I have to wear her so low if I want to bf her in it that it wouldn't be comfortable. Not to mention, I can't tie the MT on, then pop her into it later. But you can do all of the above with a wrap.
I talked to a friend who has a Moby, and she loves it... but I heard it can be hard to get them tight enough (since they are a stretchy wrap) once they get past 15lbs. Her daughter is only a month, so I can't ask her about that. Gwen is already, I'm guessing, around 12... so I don't want to invest in a Moby and have her outgrow it in a few months. I've heard woven wraps are much better for that. So, it you're a babywearer... recommend your wraps!

On that note, I'm off to eat some lunch. Ciao.


winner winner chicken dinner!

I won my very first online giveaway!! I'm so psyched. Thanks to Heir to Blair, Daisy will be getting this adorable collar (from Bird-E-Studios) in the mail soon:

I love it.  :-)  And I'll definitely post pictures of it on Daisy when it arrives.

More later. 


Just to start your weekend off with something cute...

This morning Gwen was laying on Trav and my bed while I got dressed. She was talking up a storm, and I was talking back. All of a sudden she got quiet, so I looked up from buttoning my shorts and saw this:

Apparently all that talking was hard work! Lol. Literally, she was awake and cooing... and not two seconds later, fast asleep.
Ahh, the life of a baby.  :-)

Have a great weekend!


I meant to post this stuff yesterday, but it was a bit of a rough day and I never got around to it. My starbucks treat got screwed up in the morning, I was out of oatmeal, the milk I had in the office went bad, I ran an errand with didn't have the result I wanted, then got rained on, and when I was out I scraped my arm on a construction fence, hard enough to draw blood. In addition to work stuff, all that just didn't leave me with the time or energy to post.

BUT! I'm here today, and its already a much nicer day.

So, lets talk about the weekend. Its already fuzzy because I have mommy brain and forget things 3 seconds after they happen... just call me a goldfish. But I do know it was relaxing!  :-)

Saturday we headed to my parents for some grilling and relaxing. Gwen played footsie with her Uncle Ethan. 

Daisy and Lady ran around like crazy beasts, jumping on each other and playing with Lady's frisbee, until they wore each other out completely.

It was nice, not too hot, not too humid.
Ethan rode back down with us since he was taking the bus down to DC the next morning to visit with friends.

After he left, we headed over to see Willy... with a pit stop at BBrUs on the way there and Carter's on the way back. Willy had surgery on Thursday to remove a spot of melanoma from his leg. He came through just fine and the doc did a great job. We had stopped by to see him on Friday after work, and he was doing even better on Sunday... plus he was able to remove the bandage. We did take a picture, but I won't subject everyone to it since its a bit Frankenstein-ish. But, for those who are curious like me, I'll stick it at the bottom of the post after the break.

I will give you photos of Gwen from the visit though!

She loves her Pappy so much... and the feeling is mutual! :-)

Monday we headed to Ro & Pat's place so that Ro & I could hit up the movie theater for Sex & the City 2... my belated birthday gift to her. The boys were on baby duty, and Gwen was apparently a bit fussy, but otherwise it was fine. We both enjoyed the movie a lot. There were a few parts I thought were a bit cheesy, like the were trying to recreate the moment from the first movie where Samantha feeds Carrie the yogurt in bed... but all in all, I actually found this movie a lot more relatable.

In other news, Gwen rolls now! Back to tummy, consistently. I don't have a picture of it... but I do have one of her doing tummy time.  :-)

And we got our 3-month pictures back! They look great, and I already picked out a few to order.

3 month gallery HERE... password is our last name  (email me if you don't know it, but want it. and let me know who you are!!)

Well, I have to get back to work, but Happy June y'all!!

(Stitched up leg picture below)