Monthly Archives: July 2009

Latch/Unlatch: What I Did With My Eldest While I Nursed the Baby

I don’t entirely remember nursing Trucker and watching Cake alone at the same time when he was really little.  Someone else was almost always around in the beginning.

I remember wishing I’d spoken to Cakie about how he could “help” when I nursed by stroking the baby’s feet or singing a song or something before the baby was born.  But I didn’t do that, so instead I had my sweet Cakie trying to jump all over me, a past time to which he had grown accustomed in his life as the only child, while I was trying and trying to properly latch the baby on. [For a visual, see my header.  Though it looks snuggy, it was taken right before he tried to jump on us. Sweet Cakieboy.]

Eventually, I left the room and nursed T in the privacy of the glider in my room.  Now adays, Cakie knows that when I’m feeding Trucker, I pretty much can’t do anything else.  He does try to get me to play with him while I’m nursing and I remind him that he’ll need to wait a while first.  If I had it to do all over again, I would have prepped him more both for the time I would be nursing and about the pump.  A few times a little later on, once Truck and I got better at the feeding routine, I would snuggle up with both boys and a book.

I’ll answer SN’s question about the pump and I have a whole post brewing about this “mommyblogger” business.  Both things will have to happen after the weekend I’m about to have at Sesame Place.

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Filed under b00b food, my second son, my son, Post partum, Trucker

Why Do I Blog? Ask Me Something Besides That, K?

Why?

I just finished reading Bri’s post about BlogHer.  BlogHer seems to be like some kind of grown-up summer camp with booze and goody bags.  It sounds fun, but also uncomfortable.  After all, as much as I enjoy meeting people, especially people whose writing I admire, meeting fellow bloggers also usually makes me a little uncomfortable.  It is like internet dating without the dating.  You know?  My honey is convinced that most bloggers are crazy.  (Yet she chooses to live with me… interesting.) She’s always surprised when she meets them and they turn out to not only be sane, but also pretty cool.  That’s why I find it hard to imagine being in a room packed with bloggers.  Though I guess riding on the F train is probably the same as being in a room packed with bloggers, since everyone and their mom has a blog.  The potential for cool/crazy/competitive would be a little overwhelming to me.

So why do I blog?  I like to write.  And I love the immediate attention of comments.  I like feeling a little published, without all the hassle of trying to get published.  When I was trying to get pregnant, I loved the community and the outlet for my neurosis.  I needed to vent pretty much every day.  On the blog I could do that.  I also like that my blog has helped and/or inspired some folks.  I dig that.

Why do I blog now?  And what does it mean to be a “mommyblogger?”  I’m not really in this to make money.  You won’t find me “reviewing” baby items and then giving them away on prizey, essentially bribing people to add me to their blogrolls for a chance to win a bar of soap.  I don’t have any ads.  I don’t even know if I have enough hits to make any money from ads.  Not that there’s anything wrong with having ads or giveaways.  I just don’t have that in my plan.  I don’t have a plan.  You know, I don’t really have an answer.  I don’t have polls or anything fancy on my blog because I don’t want to have to pay to blog.  I guess I am a mommyblogger, because that’s what I choose to blog about.  I can’t/won’t blog about teaching.  The interesting parts of my job are the kids, and I won’t write about them on the internets.  I don’t want to post any of my poetry, because that is something I would truly like to see published on paper, with my real name attached.  What is my goal here?  Now that the baby is walking and the bfp sticks are sitting forever in their spot in my medicine cabinet?

On that note of aimless wandering, I’m going to copy Bri and Calli. They both put it out there for folks to ask questions and they’d do their best to answer.  Ask away.  Not that I’m extremely interesting or anything.  I can never even think of questions to ask people at parties.  Your questions may give me some purpose in life (by that I mean purpose in blog.)

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I Am On A (Not-So) Lonely Road

Traveling, traveling,  traveling.

I spend a lot of time wishing I were traveling.  I get jealous often, in a not-mean way, of folks like travelher, who make it a priority.  I have entire summers off.  But my partner does not.  And now I have two kids.  So I could travel alone, leaving my honey with two children.  That doesn’t seem very fun, unless there were some way to do it guilt-free.  I could travel with the family for not-long periods of time.  Or I could travel less often.  All of these options kind of stink.  Though, I do remember my mother, who at over age 65 goes abroad at least once a year, all over the world.  I can do it eventually.

For now, we are taking many short trips.  I don’t love this because the part of travel I like least is the actual transit.  When you are going for the weekend, much of the trip is the actual trip.  This month we’re taking three weekend trips in a row.  This weekend we went to my cousin’s lake house.  This coming weekend we’ll be at Sesame Place and staying with my step-mom.  The weekend after, we’re trying out Rehoboth Beach.  (I hear it is very gay, yet family-oriented.  We’ll see what that means.  I’ve never been.)

Though my honey and I are not very adventurous about traveling with the kids, we have picked up a few tips from the few trips we’ve taken.  I’ll share them with you.

1) If driving for less than five hours, leave around bedtime. The kids will (read: might) sleep the whole way, leaving you bathroom-stop and puke free.  Driving back from the lake house on Sunday night, I took a wrong turn which added an hour to the trip.  There was driving rain which caused most of the cars on the highway to put on their hazard lights and slow to almost a stop.  There was lots of traffic.  That trip was much much easier than the last time we drove home from the lake house during the day, when Trucker cried for an hour, we stopped and ate my very last EVER meal at McDonald’s and Cakie had to pee four times.  I think he may have also puked.  Leave around bedtime.  It rocks.

2) Books on tape, get one. If you are driving at night, your whole family might just conk out on you.  We stopped by the public library and borrowed this gem the day before we left this weekend.  It made the driving fly by.

3) Bring a bag of surprises. This is not a new idea, but it is a good one, especially if you’ll be traveling by plane with layovers.  I got it from my crafty and ingenious momtourage friend, Kris.  Fill a small backpack with new toys from the dollar store.  Bring the toys out slowly, building to the big guns (you may not like electronics, but big guns in my family means the portable DVD player.  Other people upload photos onto their ipods or games onto their ithings.)  Kris suggests new race cars for the time waiting in the airport.  M&Ms for the time before take-off.  They are small and keep the little mouths busy.  Even if you are a no-sugar kind of parent, this is a special treat.  Then the rest of the toys slowly, only take out a new toy when the old toy has lost its appeal.

4) Pack lightly. Ha ha ha!  Just kidding.  I once went to South America for a month carrying only a bookbag-sized backpack.  Those days are gone.  But my honey and I spend a lot of time thinking about and organizing baby gear for trips.  We try to get as much of the stuff to be already there as possible.  When we go to Florida, my mom is going to borrow a friend’s car that already has a carseat in it.  We will carry only one car seat with us.  This does make for a terrifying-but-legal cab ride to the airport with Cakie riding with only a seatbelt.  The other option is to drive and park, leaving the other car seat in the car.  We bought this nifty carseat instead of a booster for Cakie when Trucker was born. It is heavy, but it folds flat, so we just bungee it onto a luggage roller for the airport.  We like it better than our Britax, and it is just as highly rated for safety.  Ask if the place you are visiting already has a pack and play, booster seat, etc.  I even usually ask the grands to pick up a box of diapers for us, so we don’t have to carry too many with us.  Though I do always carry more than we need for the flight, in case it gets cancelled.

5) Make the journey the destination. So I said I hate the transit part.  But I try to be zen and make the travel the fun part, too.  If the trip is really long, break it into two parts.  If your car trip is longer than five hours, stop at a zoo or a park in the middle for a picnic and a frisbee toss.  (Or, perhaps if your child has Cakie’s travel sickness, a cookie toss.)  Have a long meal at a restaurant in the middle and let the kids run around outside for a bit.  I try to keep my spirits up during the travel and remember the funny things that happen.  When we went to New Mexico back when I was pregnant with Trucker and before Cake was potty-trained, he announced to the whole plane “I made a poop!  I pooped! I made a poop in my diaper,” as folks were deplaning.  I think people may have even walked off the plane a little faster than usual.  🙂

I’d love to hear what other folks do to ease travel.  For those of you with very small babies, take heart.  They eventually develop what I call the car trance.  Cakie zones out and must be meditating or something whenever we’re in the car for more than ten minutes.  Trucker is just beginning to develop his car trance skills as well.  Since they are not staring at a tv, I’m hoping the car trance is a good thing.

What do you guys do to ease travel with wee ones?

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Filed under baby gear, my hon, my second son, my son, Trucker

What I Have Given Away

The glider.

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I sat in it so many times with Trucker nursing.  Then taking him off.  Then gliding him to sleep.  We’d bought it when A was eight months pregnant with Cakie.  The woman who sold it to us lived in one of those highrises in Bay Ridge that you can see from the BQE.  It had an amazing view.  It had entirely too many toys in it.  And three adorable children. We both made a mental, later audible, note to never ever have that many toys in our house.  The woman wouldn’t even let A carry the ottoman down the stairs in her condition.  It fit in the back seat of our little sedan.  Then it was in our living room.  Then in Cakie’s room.  Eventually it landed in our bedroom between the bathroom door and the bedroom door.  It felt like you had to walk an extra fifty feet to get to the bathroom.  With great hesitation and a little bit of yearning, I posted it.

The man who bought it’s wife was due the next day.  He was skinny and cute and he seemed pleased to be doing this grand act of finally getting the glider before the baby was born.  I helped him carry it to the elevator. I asked him if they knew the baby’s gender yet.  He gave me a look and said, “Yes.  We did find out the sex.”  And I felt a little goofy that I had said gender because really, that’s for the baby to figure out no matter which sex organs it happens to have.  I smiled at the soon-to-be parent and told him I always get those terms confused.  And I felt kind of glad that my cushy-but-ugly furniture was going to him.

The clothes.

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(Please to tilt your head to the side.  I can’t figure out how to rotate the image.)

The first clothes we had for Cakie came from lesbian mom friends of friends who gave us three trash bags full of clothes.  They gave them to us at a party and I spent the whole party wishing I was at home looking at the little baby clothes.  When I did finally get to open the bags at home, I was amazed at how many blue items were in there.  I thought for sure the lesbian moms would have avoided pigeon-holing their son into blue rompers.  The dozens of little overalls thrilled me.  This was all before I realized that most of your baby’s wardrobe is given to you by other people.  And most of those people buy the clothes at places that are not over-priced boutiques.  At least in New York City, if it isn’t an over-priced boutique, it is hard to find baby clothes in colors other than pink, blue or yellow.  I remember putting the little outfits into piles according to size, and putting the sizes into different boxes, so I could just grab the next size up when I needed it.  Of course there were more clothes later.  We got clothes from the showers and birthdays.  When Cakie was born, we received a package a day for almost a month.  Each tiny shirt was a manifestation of someone else’s excitement for us.

As Cakie grew, and his clothes did not, I learned just how much clothing maintenance is involved in parenting.  There is all of the washing and drying —  those hot metal snaps burning your fingers as you reach into the dryer to take them out.  Once the long sleeves become three-quarter sleeves and the pants become capris, overnight it seemed, they get organized again and put away for the next baby.  The closet filled with too-small clothes in little boxes (less-organized now) by size and season, awaiting their second life on our second child.  But would we have a second child?  And what of the sex of that second child?  Would I actually keep the sea of blue if I had a girl the second time?  My blog filled up with worries and BFNs, my credit card filled up with sperm charges, and that closet filled and filled with those little clothes so filled with Cakie’s presence, it was hard to imagine them on another child.

Then he came.  And boy did Trucker come.  He weighed almost twice what Cakie weighed at birth and was born a month earlier.  I had thought they would wear the same clothes for the same season.  But where Cakie didn’t even fit into anything but a white kimono tee shirt when he got home from the hospital; Trucker bypassed entire boxes of clothes.  Though he did wear some of his brother’s hand-me-downs, we needed to actually shop for the lad.  In stores!  I sold two big bags of clothes on the listserve for $20.  I felt like a bandit.  Then, IVPers got pregnant.  And how happy is that?  Sending off a big bag of clothes, including my most favorite pair of plaid pants which only fit each boy for about a minute to the likes of Calli made me feel even better about essentially giving away historical family artifacts.  I sent the Morrissey shirt to England, where it rightfully belonged. And two (or was it three) garbage bags of baby pants (and other things) went to the babypantses.  Even though all three of the strapping young lads who received the little outfits have probably grown out of them, it makes me glad to know that they didn’t go somewhere random.  That those little things filled with the tiny spirits of my children are probably being worn by someone new and equally important.

I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but giving away baby things for the final time hurts.  As a New Yorker, of course, one is glad for the space in one’s apartment when these things go out the door.  But as a mother, knowing that this is the last baby, it feels like I’m giving away something more than onsies.

Now that I’ve thought about it, though, that box of baby baby toys is calling my name.  Trucker got so many new toys for his birthday. We can’t go letting our house end up like that one in Bay Ridge.  Though I understand now, how the woman may have wanted to carry the chair down the hall for her own selfish reasons.  Though her youngest child was old enough to be walking with confidence, she maybe needed to carry that chair out of the building herself.  Just to hold it and then to let it go.

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Filed under baby gear, my second son, my son, NYC What is it about you?, Trucker, TTC

Half-Assed Housewife’s Handy Tip of the Day #2

Don’t throw away those pitiful stumps of tasty cheese that are left over from your party cheese tray.  Stick them in the fridge. (Even if they got a little — er– sweaty.)

The next evening when you are too exhausted from the party to cook, break out that wine bottle with just a little bit left, slice up all the remaining and various cheese stubs and fry up some extremely yummy grilled cheese surprise for you and your honey.  Drink wine with grilled cheese while watching something mindless and hilarious on the tube.  If you have any left-over crudete, you can even have yourself some veggies.

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Tide and Turning Around the Car Seat

My baby is one.

It is bittersweet, I tell you.

I don’t even know how to feel.

The week leading up to his birthday, I was anxious and stressed and a tad angry at nothing in particular.

We had a lovely party with many babies and adults swarming about the apartment eating good cheese and my sorry-attempt-at-copying-Magnolia-icing cupcakes.  Later we walked to the other side of the park to enjoy the They Might Be Giants concert.  Sadly, my phone died right as we reached the gate of the band shell, so it is a minor miracle that I found anyone at all.  I did find the familyo and a few other friends.  Much dancing and clapping ensued.

That evening, Trucker, who had been happy and perky his whole birthday long, got a fever.  He still kind of has the fever.  A baby hangover of sorts, I suppose.  His doctor wasn’t at all surprised, saying that most babies either get sick the day after or the day before their first birthdays.  Harumph.  He’s been very clingy and needy and, well, babyish all week.  I guess maybe I need that right now.

I am very excited to have clean laundry that smells good again (no more perfume-free wimpy-a$$ stuff for us. Hello Tide!)  I’m happy to turn around his car seat and see his sweet face looking at me.  Yes, I did read the report that they should stay facing back until they turn two.  That’s fine if your child is not in the 95th percentile for height.  Mine is and his seat is facing forward, thank you very much.  He doesn’t need his toes in his ears.  I’m happy that he has lived so long and is so healthy and happy.  The fact that he is my last baby and my last baby’s baby year is over is astonishing to me.  I don’t even understand it one bit.  I feel like I gave birth yesterday.  Well, my lady parts don’t, thank goodness, but my heart does.

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Filed under my second son, NYC What is it about you?, Trucker

Half-Assed Housewife’s Handy Tip of the Day #1

Use an ice cream scoop (the kind with the little button the swoops the ice cream out of the spoon)  to put cupcake batter into the cupcake cups.  It comes out perfectly proportioned and you don’t need to lift the bowl or mess with spatulas.

Also, did you know what will happen if you put a cold stick of butter into a bowl with a hot stick of butter that you already melted into the microwave for 30 seconds?

It will explode!

I didn’t know that until about ten minutes ago.

Happy homemaking, ladies.

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