Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Make Milk. What's *Your* Superpower?

Aww, darnit, I missed the Breast Fest virtual nurse-in back in October, brought to the net by the League of Maternal Justice (what an awesome name). Thankfully, I've never had someone tell me (illegally) to cover up or leave someplace while breastfeeding in public, but many other moms have. When you stop to think about it -- what's so sexual about a lump of fat and mammary glands? A mom should not have to feel embarrassed because of other people's sexual hangup.

So, here is a beautiful video montage of happy, nursing babies brought to you by the LOMJ.

And yay to YouTube for seeing the light and reinstating the video (see here).

BTW, this reminds me of a conversation with DH last week when all of us were sick.

DH: Why aren't you helping me make the bed?

Me: You're doing a great job.

DH: *I* was at work all day even though I'm sick.

Me: *I* was at home with a sick baby making him food from my very own body!

DH: {silence}...

Yep, what can he say to that. *evil laugh*

Monday, January 28, 2008

Note to Self and Thoughts on Paradise

Do not eat after the baby anymore so at least there will be a chance, however small, of me not getting sick at the exact time he does. If I have to get sick every time he does, the next 16+ years before he heads off to college are going to be full of sick days.

It so sucks trying to take care of a sick child while feeling like death warmed over. Little Bit was attached to my hip or boob most of last week and over the weekend. The daycare ladies are going to have a time with him today.
On other notes...
I caught "The Blue Lagoon" on cable last week while I was sick. I was too young when it first came out to see it and hadn't seen it yet. I thought it was actually kind of a sweet movie (leaving aside the ending which totally didn't make sense). There is something appealing about the romantic idea of casting off society and living in paradise with just your mate and your child. Though the scary part is that if someone gets hurt, you're going to be in serious trouble. And I know that I like my luxuries too much -- no cable? no internet? no chocolate?!? Well, that, plus Little Bit and I would be fried to a crisp without vast quantities of sunscreen.

Oh, man, the tropical scenery of the movie makes me want to go back to Hawaii. It's been a few years since we were there on our honeymoon. *le sigh* The blues of the water, the warm sand, the colorful fish, the rich greens of the foliage, and the sound of the gentle rains before dawn are all still vivid to me. DH took a picture of me relaxing after our morning snorkel one day, and I have such a contented look on my face. Living on "island time", you have to slow down.

We want to go back to Hawaii soon. Taking Little Bit along will definitely change the experience. I think we'd see about getting a local babysitter sometimes, but mostly it would be fun to swim with him in the ocean and show him the sights. Is it crazy to consider flying 9+ hours with a toddler?

While surfing the net, I found out about a guy named Tom Neale who lived by himself on a deserted South Pacific island for 16 years (over three different trips). He wrote a book about it. Interesting. However, if you look at the dates on Wikipedia, he left his wife, his four-year-old and his three-year-old for three and a half years on the island, then came back to civilization for awhile, then left for the island again when his oldest child was ten. That time he stayed for ten years. Great father, huh?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Welcome and unwelcome visitors

We have all been sick with a nasty little virus/flu, just in time for my parents' visit. At least we weren't too sick at first. Little Bit got to play "soccer" up and down our entrance hallway with his grandparents. He showed off some of his dance moves. (We need to get video sometime.) He gave his grandparents hugs; they loved that.

Little Bit developed a touch of pneumonia. He only wanted to be held by me and he refused all food except breastmilk. DH still had to go to work, while DS and I mostly slept. I finally feel mostly human again now.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Seriously?!!! High BPA levels in infant formula cans. WTF?!

I feel so pissed and scared. We fed Little Bit both formula and breastmilk. Apparently, the ready-to-eat formula we gave him had a large dose of toxin in every serving.

And did you know that cosmetic companies can put anything they want in their products without showing that it's safe? I've already switched DS from his carcinogenic Johnson&Johnson baby wash. Time to check all my cosmetics here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Don't F@#! with God

This article cracks me up. Apparently, there's lots of asskicking in the Old Testament.

Let me do it!!

Little Bit is definitely well into the "Let me do it!!" stage. ;-) He reaches for the wipe/napkin I use to wipe his mouth and hands at mealtime. Then, he wipes his hands, pats his mouth, wipes his head (!), and also sometimes wipes the table. He loves to help. He finds paper or something on the floor and marches over to the trashcan to drop it in. Just like his cousin Bethany, he loves to clean, though he doesn't do it in such fancy duds. He insists on taking the Swiffer from me and industriously running it over the floors. Last night, while Swiffering the carpet, he picked up and handed me my dirty clothes that I had dropped on the floor earlier. (You can be sure I'll be reminding him of that when he's a teenager.)

When he's finished with his breakfast, now that he sits at the table in a regular chair most times, he picks up his plate and carries it over to the kitchen counter. If there are still bits of waffle on it, they get dumped as he reaches over his head to place it on the counter. I guess they teach them to put away their plates at daycare. Or maybe it's just that he is also well into imitating big people. Mom and Dad put their plates on the counter, so he should too. While Lil' Bit and I both brushed our teeth the other night, he bent over and pretended to spit out toothpaste just like his mom. It was kind of sweet.

At least having a toddler reminds DH and I to keep the coffee table de-cluttered because DS (Dear Son) will always grab the items within reach. As soon as he's discovered, he takes off at a run with DH or I running behind, saying, "Come here!" or "Give me that!" Once he's cornered, he uses the clever gambit of throwing the item so he's not actually caught with it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Random things

  • Little Bit now has his own step-stool. Starting last Thursday night, he stands on it in front of the sink "brushing" his teeth (more like holding the toothbrush in his mouth, then wanting mom to turn on the water again) like a big boy.
  • He has discovered the most annoying set of syllables/sounds known to humankind. Yesterday, he kept making an "uh-hhuh" sound, which at first I thought was him trying to say, "outside" because he kept bringing me his shoes and pointing outside. However, he kept doing it, with a particular whining sound that goes right to the base of my brain, all afternoon long. DH thought it was amusing how much it got on my nerves.
  • Little Bit is no longer afraid of his Christmas pony. On Saturday morning, he was rocking on it (with dad's help to steady him, of course). The pony makes neighing sounds and shakes its head and tail when you press the ear. Lil' Bit thinks that the ride is over as soon as the horse stops making noises.

  • On Friday, my new Christmas toy from DH finally arrived (it was on backorder). It's the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet. It's so cool. I can surf the internet anywhere there is a wi-fi hotspot (or I can hook it up by Bluetooth to my cell phone for internet access). It's basically the size of an I-phone. Its OS is Linux based, so there are a ton of open-source applications written by the community for it. I can do internet calls over Skype (with or without the webcam), I can listen to mp3s and watch videos. I can update my blog. It has a GPS receiver and map software. The touchscreen is gorgeous, full-color. I also really like the slide-out keyboard. Though for serious typing, I think I need to get a Bluetooth full-size keyboard. I plan to use it for a lot of PDA functionality, maybe for work/meetings, and for just plain old surfing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Texas Children's is awesome

Little Bit got his ear tubes yesterday with no problems. We had to be at the care center 2 hours before the procedure, but there were lots of toys in the waiting room. Little Bit had a great time running from toy to toy with the other children. Watching him play kept me from worrying.

The doctors came to ask us all the necessary questions and to meet Little Bit. They were all great in talking to him. As we all walked toward the surgery rooms, one doctor asked him if he wanted to ride in the wagon. He eagerly climed in, and she pulled the wagon. We turned a corner, and the doctors told us to give him a kiss. It was time for us to part. With that, the doctor took off at a very fast clip, zooming down the hallway with Little Bit hanging on, his eyes big as saucers, suprised, but having fun. (Going so fast in the wagon keeps the children from realizing that mom and dad aren't following, so I'm sure thats why she did that.)

The procedure itself takes only 15 minutes, so we didn't have long before the doctor came back out. He walked us to the recovery room. Seeing Little Bit asleep in that hospital crib, hooked up to all the monitors, with a tube keeping his airway open...well, thankfully, we hadn't even sat down before he stirred. He cried and was disoriented. The nurse let me try nursing him right away to see if he tolerated breast milk after the anaesthesia. I am so, so thankful that we are still nursing. Little Bit drew comfort in my arms as he shook off the effects of the drugs. I think it helped quite a bit. When we left the hospital, he was lying in my arms, still a little disoriented, but just watching everything. He threw up in the car ride home and slept a lot yesterday afternoon, but otherwise was just fine the rest of the day.

He didn't sleep through the night last night, even though I was hoping he would finally start doing that after ear tubes to relieve the ear pressure. Ah, well, someday...

Monday, January 7, 2008

They's only boobs, ya'll!**

DH was changing Little Bit into pajamas, while I settled into the rocker to get ready to nurse him. Little Bit laughed his little happy anticapatory laugh that he does when he's about to eat. DH commented to me as he handed Little Bit over, "He's thinking, 'Booooobs!!!"

Little Bit looked up at me and chimed right back, "Boooooos!!"

I knew it wouldn't be much longer before we had to curb which words we used around him. :-)

**Courtesy of a funny story from The Bloggess.

Ear Tube Surgery

Little Bit goes tomorrow for ear tubes at Texas Children's. I know that he will be in great hands, but I can't help being a little nervous. His new ENT is in the Medical Center and is supposed to be one of the best.

Anyway, the ear tubes should help Little Bit -- no more fluid collecting behind his ears (muffling his hearing) and fewer ear infections. He has started saying more words, but we've been a little concerned about language development. I really hope he doesn't get emergence delirium when coming out from under the anaesthesia. His crying just cuts through me, and if he's inconsolable, I may be too.

Friday, January 4, 2008


This is so true:

"The love I feel for my children is pervasive, suffusive, without end, the joy they bring me indescribable. And yet I can't seem to remember that from one moment to the next."
from Gwen, Woman on the Verge: It's Hard to Remember

I can still be so exasperated when he starts throwing food on the floor or tossing toys into the air, but some moments I am overtaken with how much I love our little guy. Those precious moments - rocking him as he snores softly or catching a running hug - I keep strung together close to my heart.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Our little monkey was climbing on top of low cubbies at daycare today when he flipped off and smacked the bridge of his nose on the edge of the cabinet. The top of his nose is swollen quite a bit. He's starting to look like a Romulan, don't ya think? His left eye is going to be quite a shiner tomorrow. Poor little man.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sadness and Thankfulness

So, I bopped over to the Mama Drama blog this morning to see if there were new posts. Jenny (toddler mom) posted this about a blogger who lost her seven-year-old son Jake just before Christmas. I don't know Katie, the mom, but my heart aches for her. I was sitting here crying at work. It brought back all the feelings from when our dear baby boy almost left us forever. Our niece Stephanie wrote briefly about it (scroll down) on Mama Drama.

Little Bit was two and a half weeks old. He was sleeping, and DH was home from work, so I took the time for a shower. The first miracle was that DH was home when it happened. Little Bit woke up in acute respiratory distress. DH had taken adult CPR training at work where they had talked about infant CPR. While I called 911, DH went through the steps of checking his airway, trying the suction bulb, etc. Little Bit was still struggling and started to turn blue, so DH gave him a small rescue breath. The doctors told us later that DH surely saved Little Bit's life because it was still another 5 minutes before the amblance arrived. That breath was enough to help Little Bit get some oxygen.

We had the ambulance take us to Texas Children's Hospital. That night they put Little Bit on the first respirator. I couldn't watch while they sedated and "tubed" him. Things went downhill very quickly. By mid-day the next day, the doctors in the NICU were struggling to keep his blood oxygen level up. When they had me sign the papers for a blood transfusion and said that he wasn't dying "right now", but that we needed to stay at the hospital, the floor fell out from under me. I knew that they fully expected our little baby boy to die. There are no words to describe that moment.

Somehow, they were able to stabilize him. But he was still in very grave condition. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald house in the hospital so we could be nearby. One of the dedicated NICU doctors who was on when he first arrived, stayed until he was in a slightly more stable condition. She stayed for 36+ hours. Little Bit was still so very ill. As Stephanie wrote in her blog post, "One doctor described him as being 'on the edge of a cliff, and we just don't know if we're going to be able to keep him from falling.' "

DH and I turned to friends and family for support. When the word went out, there were people all over the country, including several churches, who were praying for our son. I really believe that those prayers were heard. Several doctors used the word "miracle" for how quickly Little Bit turned the corner and began to get well. They thought he would be on the oscillating ventilator for a week, then step down to the regular ventilator for awhile after that. However, by a few days later, he was off both. Two weeks later we took our healthy baby boy home

After every test, no matter how unlikely, the doctors never could figure out what had thrown his lungs into distress. The head doctor of the NICU said that they couldn't take credit for his recovery. All they did, he said, was provide Little Bit's body with support until he could heal himself.

Our story had a happy ending thanks to the wonderful people at Texas Children's Hospital and to much prayer and a few miracles. But that pain and fear of almost losing Little Bit is never really far from me, I think. The bumps and cuts of normal toddlerhood can send me into panic mode.

My heart just cries for Katie. She and her family are in my prayers. I'm going to hug my baby boy extra hard tonight.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

DH and I tried some celebratory eggnog with brandy last night. Not having had brandy in eggnog before, we didn't know what kind to get. The Spec's employee recommended one that "wasn't rotgut", but also wouldn't be a waste of fine brandy. He got it right. I must say, I have a new favorite drink. The brandy added just the right depth to the eggnog.

In fine Southern tradition, we had black-eyed peas today for good luck and prosperity in the coming year. I talked to my parents this evening: Dad said they had black-eyed peas, collard greens (for money in the coming year), and ham. (Not sure what that's for. Maybe ham in the coming year?) Dad said it hadn't worked so far, but maybe someday it will, and they would get some extra cash and prosperity. I find it amusing that in such an urban place as Houston, the grocery store shelves were almost bare of canned black-eyed peas last night.

We went shopping today for new shoes for Little Bit. If he grows into his feet, he's going to be very tall. This time, instead of just buying shoes the next half size up by myself (which were too big), I knew we had to take Little Bit along. Different brands of kids' shoes do not actually measure the same. We found several cute pairs (not in Little Bit's size of course), then found a pair of white sneakers, size 6 1/2 that were *just* right. The sneakers have lights in the heels and lights on the top velcro. I never thought I would buy this kind of shoe for my child. They seem kind of over-the-top.

Little Bit protested mightily while we tried on the new shoes, but once we showed him that they lit up....well, he sat in the shopping cart gazing in fascination at his feet, kicking the heels together so they would light up. OK. Kid's shoes with lights in them aren't so bad.