msLaura: Modern Mama Laura Hamilton + Dan Baker = Julian Hamilton Baker & Adrian Hamilton Baker "When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her."
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July 28, 2004

Julian's So. CA tour

We went to visit my side of the family down in Southern California during weekend of July 23-25. It was Julian's Debut! We took a flight down, Julian was a good baby on the plane and slept most of the way. He had a little cold, which I was worried about, but I gave him some baby decongestant and he seemed to be OK. My mom picked us up at the airport and met her adorable baby grandson for the first time. It was love at first sight on both sides.

We went over to Julian's great-grandparents house after that and visited with them. It was my grandfather's 86th birthday, so nice to be there to celebrate the occasion. Julian was in absolute heaven with, not one, not two, but THREE adoring females (Mama, Grandmama, and Great-Grandmama) all loving him up, kissing him, petting him, holding him and telling him what a wonderful baby he is. Smiles everybody, smiles! I thought his little face would crack from smiling all day long.

It was really nice to have the baby spend time with my grandmother. Her short-term memory comes and goes, so she asks the same questions over and over, then she realizes that she just asked the same question and gets embarrassed. Conversation is kind of a high-pressure situation for her. But with the baby she can just hold him on her lap and love him up, and he just smiles and loves her back. He doesn't care at all if she asks him the same questions over and over. Hell, he's used to it...I'm always asking, "Who is Mama's most beloved boy? Who is the best baby ever? That's right...YOU!". And then a few minutes later, "Who is *such* a sweet boy?". Like I forgot already! ;-)

My grandfather was apparently a bit apprehensive about the baby before he came...there had been a baby screaming his head off next door recently, and it wasn't so pleasant. But he fell in love with Julian after a few hours too, and marvelled at what a good and sweet boy he was...he had never seen anything like it! "That's one fine young man. Have you ever *seen* a boy like that? No, sir...no way!"

We spent the night there, then went to my mom's house the next day, where we played, read his new nursery rhyme book, walked to the beach, took a nice cooling bath in the sink (which was just the right size for a baby bath), and visited. Mom told me a lot of stuff about what *I* did as a baby, which was very interesting to compare with what the Little Man is doing now. Mom and Julian just love each other, so cute. Poor baby was still stuffed up from his cold, so I spent some time hosing out his nose so he could sleep, and we built up a little pillowy platform for him to elevate his head to ty to relieve the congestion.

Sunday we spent with Dad/Peggy/Lisa/Jimmy, Heidi/Michael/Ricky/Leo/Carlo, James/Chandra and Grandma Wava/Manny. It was his Hamilton Family Debut Brunch! Went to a nice restaurant in Dana Point on the water, but it was hot outside, all the new faces were clamoring to hold the cute baby, and he missed his nap. Finally he lost it and burst into tears, so I took him inside the restaurant to a cool, somewhat empty dining room and let him fall asleep in his sling, which took about five seconds. He woke up again about 45 minutes later, fresh and ready to be held by non-mama people again.

He spent some quality time with his grandfather in the rocking chair once we got back to the house, and was presented with multiple toys to play with by his Aunt Lisa and Uncle Jimmy (who are 5 and 7). Lisa even put on a dog costume for him. See family pics below...

We're still trying to figure out everyone's titles. I call my grandmother Nanny, so is she still Nanny to Julian, or is she something else? Is my mother now Nanny to him, and my grandmother is his Grand-Nanny? Should everyone pick their own names? But what do we start with? My mom doesn't like Grandma Sandy, and it's true... it doesn't really fit her. My Dad is now Grandpa Jim, but that's what we called HIS Dad, so it's confusing. He probably needs a new title as well. I guess we'll figure it out in time.

Julian did just fine on the ride home, we're now an incredible 4-for-4 on problem-free plane flights! He was tired and hungry, so he just slept-nursed the whole way. So cute when he is soundly sleeping but keeps up a little suck-suck-suck the whole time. There was a year-old baby behind us who screamed his lungs out, but my baby was perfectly quiet. At the end of the flight he popped up like a jack-in-the-box and started wildly flirting with all the ladies sitting nearby. I got a high five from the guy sitting in front of us.

People congratulate you like you just won the Super Bowl if you can make it through a flight without your baby crying. Of course, BEFORE the flight those same people are giving you the major hairy eyeball, like you just brought a hand grenade on and have it sitting on your lap with your finger in the pin.

When we got to the airport Dan was there to pick us up, but as he was loading our suitcase into the trunk a very excited Bugs jumped up, pushed down the door lock, and locked us out of the car. Annoying, but quite funny. Dan had to take a cab home to get the spare key.

Baby J had a rough Monday at school. He was still tired from his exciting weekend, and had a very runny nose. He was fussy in the morning and didn't want to take a nap. His teacher asked me to have him checked out for an ear infection when I came at lunch. Zoe was napping all morning, so she wasn't available for him to play with. After I came for lunch he took a two-hour nap, but he was still very fussy. He drank a little bit from his bottle, but mostly just bit it and talked to it.

I decided to work from home yesterday, give him a good restful day, and take him to the doctor. He checked out just fine, ears and lungs all clear, just a stuffy nose. He took a 2+ hour nap at midday, then another long nap later in the afternoon. We went for a walk with Bugs and he slept again in his stroller, then we took a bath and read his new nursery rhymes book. He got fussy at the end and wanted to nurse and go to sleep, so that's what he did. A real nap-a-thon day, just as planned. I love it when that happens!

July 21, 2004

Balance

Well, everything is going fine. I am really happy working part-time, Julian is happy at daycare. It's a good balance, just enough time apart, not too much. I'm kind of amazed at how well everything is working out!

Julian *loves* his caregiver Leela, and he even has a little girlfriend! Zoe is a bit older than him, and kind of a funny-looking baby...she has huge chipmunk cheeks and an oddly long torso, but she is very sweet and gentle. She can sit up by herself, and roll around, but not crawl. Very important girlfriend factor...she can't get away from him! Heh.

Leela says that they never cry if they can sit together. They look at one another, and sometimes when I come at lunch I find them curled up like two puppies. Apparently they never try to poke each other's eyes out, or pull hair, which I find downright amazing, because Julian is constantly trying to touch my eyes and pull my hair at home, and all the other babies are always trying to grab hair or poke eyes as well. But he and Zoe have a mutual understanding, I guess. They are very gentle with one another. It's so damn cute.

Eyes are so fascinating to little kids and babies. They're all shiny and wet, and they roll around, and well...you just want to touch them, I guess! Little kids always want to pet Bugs right on his eyes, and I have to redirect them to his back or neck. But the fingers always wander back to his eyes. It never fails.

So Julian has his first little cold. No fever, it's just a runny nose. I have been suctioning out his nose with the bulb syringe, nursing him a lot, and giving him nice warm baths. He is getting better already. All the kids in daycare have it, but all the stay-at-home kids I know have had colds too, so it's not a big deal. I don't mind if he gets little colds...it gives his immune system something to practice on. As long as he's not miserable, which he isn't. Just a little under the weather.

He's tired. I am making a big effort to get him caught up on his sleep today. I nursed him down at 10:00am and he is STILL sleeping now at noon. I think that's a morning nap record, at least for the recent past. So that's wonderful, I'm glad that he is getting plenty of rest today, and it gives me a chance to get work done without having to keep him distracted with toys, etc.

I got my last(?) sling, an Ergo Baby Carrier. Can I just say, this thing ROCKS! It's really light and sleek, comfy for me AND for him, doesn't kill my shoulders and back, doesn't leave red marks on his legs, and I can get Julian on my back all by myself without having to lay down on the bed. I went for a fairly long walk yesterday with him in it, and my back didn't hurt at all. Yes! I just can't figure out the sleeping hood, which is a flap that you pull up over their head when they fall asleep so that their head doesn't bob around. But I've only had it for one day...I'm sure I'll figure it out.

I always have to keep Julian occupied in the morning while I am getting ready to go to work. Normally I put him in front of a Baby Einstein video, but I don't like to do that every day. So I put him in the Ergo yesterday after I got my clothes on, and I was able to wash my face, brush my teeth, eat breakfast, even pump a bottle of milk, with him happy as a clam on my back! I kept walking by the mirrored closet doors to check him out and he was grinning from ear to ear back there. He thought it was so great to be up high riding on Mama's back, checking everything out in comfort and style.

Such a cute, funny baby. I am really, really enjoying him. This is an adorable age, 5.5 months. He's not mobile yet, but his personality is really shining through. He's such a happy little man, always smiling and laughing and trying to catch peoples' eyes. He is a little charmer. He LOVES the ladies.

Lately he has been doing this hysterical thing where he'll fixate on a woman somewhere nearby, in the supermarket, or a restaurant, and he'll smile at her. Now mind you, she won't be looking at him at first, she won't even be aware of him yet, but he keeps smiling and looking at her. Pretty soon his target will start turning around, feeling his baby gaze burning into her, I guess. Eventually she spies him, and then they both crack up, him because she's looking at him and smiling back, and her because all of a sudden she realizes that this cute baby is giving her a million dollar smile. It's so funny, it happens over and over again whenever we are out in public.

He started drinking his bottle at daycare, which is great. He was having trouble eating for a while due to his new teeth coming in, but now he's chowing down again. He is getting very distractible though...if there's too much interesting stuff going on nearby he can't nurse, he has to be looking around, which is a bit exasperating, especially if I am trying to nurse him in public. He pulls my shirt up, beats on my breast a little bit with his hand, then dramatically pulls his head away with a loud sucking "pop" to crane his head around and look at what's going on, thereby exposing me to the world. Not like I really care that much anymore, but I try to maintain *some* decorum. Then he latches back on, making slurping sounds as he does, only to repeat the whole cycle a minute later. It would be more irritating if it weren't so funny.

Finally, just a word about pumping. Now that he's drinking his bottle at daycare I have to pump about 8 ozs a day of milk. This is the most odious, boring, time-consuming task ever. Sitting there with a machine attached to your breast, squeezing and manipulating it to try to get every last drop out...horrible. It's so dreadfully tedious. Nursing is great, but pumping is just awful. I hate it. Gotta do it though. Oh well, it won't last forever.

OK, must get back to work. Can't believe this baby is STILL sleeping! I went to go check on him just to make sure he's OK. He's fine, of course, but we're going on three hours now! Can you say T-I-R-E-D?

July 14, 2004

First solid food...at daycare

Julian ate his first solid food today...in daycare. He got pathetically hungry yesterday while waiting for me to come at lunch yesterday and wouldn't take his bottle at all. Leela spoon-fed him milk from a bowl, and he took that, so she thought he might take some baby oatmeal today, and he did...three teaspoons. Apparently he was very happy today after the oatmeal, too. But he became somewhat constipated, and I think it's a bit too early, really. But what's a mama to do?

His eating schedule is all mixed up from daycare and teething, and since his eating schedule is mixed up, my nursing schedule is all mixed up. I come to pick him up at the end of the day and there's always one boob that hasn't been nursed on since 6:45am and is like a bowling ball. That's just the time that he seems to be the *least* hungry, so I end up pumping...then he nurses all night long to catch up on his intake.

Working part-time is such a great idea. I just worked two days in a row and it was enough. I'm looking forward to staying in bed with Julian tomorrow instead of getting up at 6:15am to take him to daycare and then missing him all day. But after staying home Wednesday, it will be nice to go back on Thursday.

Julian needs a break at home after two days at daycare so he can catch up on his sleep. He doesn't take very good naps there, I think because there is too much going on. We get up too early, and he likes to sleep in the morning. It's a good change for both of us, but it's not always easy. We are both sleep-deprived on work days.

The schedule on work days is really hectic. Get up at crack of dawn, drive to daycare, potty and nurse baby, drive to work, find parking, work like crazy, drive to daycare, potty and nurse baby, drive back to work, work like crazy, drive to daycare, drive home. Then it's time to walk the dog, make dinner, chore around the house a bit, run errands. I'm just waiting for my first paycheck, that will be sweet. The work itself is fine, I enjoy it, but the tight scheduling is a bit tricky.

I put on the pair of size 8 khaki pants that I was crowing about in a previous post...they were very tight back in April, but I could get into them. I put them on again today and they were baggy. Weird. I feel like I'm losing weight really fast now. I don't get as much exercise, only once a week now that I've gone back to work, and I am hurting for it. My back feels weak. I need to get out and about more, do more exercise at home. So difficult though.

I can't explain the weight loss. Smaller portions maybe? Well, I am lifting and carrying close to 18 pounds of cute baby boy on a daily basis, plus nursing in larger amounts than I used to. I guess that adds up. All of a sudden everyone's commenting on my weight loss, too. I still have a double chin though, what's up with that? Is chin fat the last to be lost? Belly fat and chin fat. Bah, whatever. I'm just happy to be within 10 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.

OK, bed. I can't even believe I'm awake now. I was going to go to bed at 10:00pm, but I stayed awake to read a magazine and then I started catching up on email, and now it's 1:00am and I need to go crawl into bed with Sweetest Baby Ever. He is completely sacked out, exhausted. Me too, but I am stubbornly staying awake for some reason. Because I can? With my luck he'll wake up bright and early tomorrow. Staying up late is always a bad idea these days for me.

July 10, 2004

Mr. Grabby Hands

We have a Mr. Grabby Hands in the house lately. Those miraculous hands. Just a little while ago they didn't do anything at all, really...a pat here and there maybe. Now all of a sudden those Grabby Hands are increasing in skill level pretty much every day. Last week they could slap at a puppy book, now they can reach specifically for the patch of pseudo-puppy-fur on the page. Today they were trying to grab the food off Daddy's plate (see video below). Grabbing things and feeling them out is so much fun!

A real-life puppy is even better. Bugs has become a Fascinating Thing to Julian. He watches him eat, watches him squeak his toy, and reaches out to touch him every chance he gets. Bugs likes Julian too. At first he seemed merely annoyed by the baby, but now he likes him. He licks him, lays down next to him and is very protective if strangers or other dogs are around. They are very cute together.

So yes, today was the first grab for food. Everyone is asking me when Julian is going to start solids, and I have always said, "Whenever he is interested!" So this moment might be coming up soon...stay tuned. I would like to wait until he's a little older, just to avoid allergies etc. And eating solid food is so messy, such a hassle, and I'm also not looking forward to the change in poop. Yech. He has the rest of his life to eat solid food. But hey, if he really wants it, he can have it. Leela, his daycare teacher, suggested that he start a little rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, since he isn't taking his bottle. She thought maybe he would be more interested in taking food from a spoon. That's probably a good idea, since otherwise he gets hungry and very cranky about an hour before I arrive to feed him.

Our baby is laughing out loud! Two very cute videos below show Julian's first episode of Advanced Laughing. Not just a giggle or chuckle, he has been doing those for a long time. This is real side-splitting all-out laughter. Baby busts a gut! What's so funny? Bugs, of course! I was roughhousing with Bugs on the bed, playfighting with him, and Julian was watching entranced. When I looked over to see what he thought of it, he burst out laughing and didn't stop for a few minutes. That silly mama! That crazy dog!

Another recent game is "How many Mamas are there?" We play this in the bathroom while going potty. I stand behind him while he is on his potty on the counter. There is a mirror in front, but also a side medicine cabinet mirror, so Julian can see me from three different angles (there is a diagonal reflection created too). He likes to look at me in front, then look quickly over to the diagonal angle and then the side mirror. I pretend to be surprised to see him each time when I meet his glance, and it's great fun. Every once in a while I mix it up and lean around his side to give him a kiss on the cheek. Wow, yet *another* Mama! Guaranteed to make everyone laugh.

Whew, babies are super-funny! Who knew? It's a daily laugh riot around here. Well, when we're not crying, we're laughing. It's like living with a mini manic-depressive. Such high highs, and such low lows! And you never know which is coming next. No, actually he's a very happy baby. The only real lows have been due to those crazy teeth busting through his gums. This morning he was back to nursing like a champ, so I guess the teething nursing strike is over now that that second tooth came through yesterday. Poor baby. You know his mouth must hurt when he doesn't nurse well. But we're back to normal now.

His naps seem to be back on track too. We had a very Low Point where I was trying to make him nap without any nursing or rocking because I was thinking I should try to "train" him for daycare. It worked a few times to let him cry a little, then pick him up and put him back down, but then it stopped working altogether. We got somewhat disconnected during this period, the daycare thing was stressing me out so much, and I lost confidence in my mothering abilities. Sleep was never really an issue until I tried to "train" him, and then it became a nightmare. He started to refuse to nap, and I was watching the clock, practically demanding that he sleep at particular times without any of his usual routines and comforts. It was all just really stressful and unnecessary. At the Lowest Moment I tried to let him cry it out alone for a while, after a rough day in which there was much screaming and almost no naps.

Well, the whole "cry it out" thing just doesn't feel right to me. It's not my style, and it wasn't working for Julian either. It just made him hysterical. He even threw up milk through his nose, he was crying so hard. I felt pressure to try it, but never again. No way.

The next day I decided then and there that I had been doing a fine job before all this doubt and fear and stress entered into our lives, it was nothing but harmful, and I was going to go right back to what had been working beautifully before...rocking, holding, nursing, wearing him in a sling, keeping him calm and happy and with a full belly, etc. And if he wasn't sleepy at a particular time, no big deal. He could sleep when he *did* get sleepy.

Bingo, he naps fine now. And now that naps aren't a source or frustration and stress, he goes down really easily and wakes up smiling. Not just for me, but for others as well. The only change that I have made recently is to start putting him to bed around 8:30pm, because that's when he seems to get tired every night. Works great, and gives me some grown-up evening time with Dan as well.

The lesson that I have learned is...I'm a much better mother when I feel connected to my baby, listen to his needs and my own intuition, and stick to what I think is right for us, instead of what other people think is right. When I can do that, everything is smooth sailing. Happy mellow baby, happy mama.

Bodily fluids

Julian has been having a bit of a potty strike lately, as I mentioned in my previous post. He likes eating, but it makes him a little constipated. I made some oatmeal and apple puree for him, and he LOVES it, but it really threw him off digestion-wise. Maybe I'm just giving him too much at once?

I went back to breastmilk-only for the past few days and he has been getting much more regular AND much happier on his potty. He pooped and peed on the potty this morning when he woke up with no fussing. I always hold him over the toilet at daycare when I visit him at lunchtime, and today he was fussing and squirming like crazy, I could barely hold onto him! Finally, just as I was about to give up and take him off he took two GIANT poops and a few long pees. Then he was all smiles afterwards. So now I need to figure out whether he's fussing on the potty because he has to go and it's a little more difficult than it used to be, or is he fussing because he *doesn't* have to go? Hard to tell.

But I'm really, really glad we're doing Elimination Communication, it has really been enlightening and informative and downright fun! I can't imagine just leaving him in his diapers all the time to poop and pee anymore, it seems so strange, so unnatural, and really downright disgusting. Especially once you start and you realize that babies are totally capable and totally *aware* of peeing and pooping on the potty...then to ignore that fact and make them go in their pants...ick. Once they get used to that, you tell them two or three years later that NOW they need to stop going in their diapers and use the potty instead? It's really messed up.

I was thinking the other day about how we Americans try to train our babies in so many ways from birth. We assume that they are entirely capable of learning the alphabet with a little encouragement, and of course, there's the non-stop refrain that babies "need to learn to be independent", so you get sleep training and all kinds of things that are really kind of neurotic. Contrarily, when it comes down to a very basic function like elimination, we assume that they have absolutely no preferences, no capabilities, no muscle control, etc. We ignore them completely in this regard. My baby is smart enough to look at flashcards, watch Baby Einstein videos, read books with me, but no way is he capable of knowing whether he is crapping in his pants or on a potty until he is 3 or 4 years old, right? Puppies are smart enough to be potty-trained, but human babies are just too stupid and incapable. Aargh. Really, babies are so much smarter than people give them credit for.

If you mention that your baby uses a potty, many people look at you like you are some kind of crazed rigid disciplinarian. You do...what? Even when most parents *know* a baby is about to poop, they watch them do it in their diapers, wait until they're done and then change the diaper! It's really ridiculous when you think about it. So much extra work. But that's the norm now. Anyways, I could rant a lot more about this, but that's enough for now.

I figured out yesterday that after I pay for all my monthly household bills and daycare costs, I have only about $200 left over from my paycheck. Yikes! I mean, I knew that was the general case, but I didn't know I was so close to just breaking even. I'm really working for the stock options and the 401K and the wonderful health insurance, of course (which adds up to quite a lot!), but it would be nice to have a little bit more cash in hand each month. Dan is going to chip in to give me a little allowance so that I have some spending money, like the loving husband that he is, but I am going to have to be very careful about my expenditures.

I was watching the news the other day and there was a heartbreaking report on the Sudanese refugees who are fleeing the Arab militias in Dharfour. A MILLION displaced people starving in the desert. Skeletal babies with distended stomachs...ugh, it was horrible. But I just read that even if a mother is on a starvation diet, her breastmilk remains relatively stable nutritionally. So I'm wondering *why* there are so many starving babies. I know that when a mother's calorie intake drops, she usually produces less breastmilk, just to save her own resources. Is that what's going on? Or are these moms weaning early? What's the deal?

I also just read an article about a mom in Pakistan with 5-month-old twins. One was breastfed, healthy and thriving, the other was formula-fed...scrawny, yellow, distended stomach...he looked to be in pain. After the photo was taken he died shortly thereafter. Apparently formula is all the rage in the Third World because it's "modern" and "advanced", it's the fashionable thing to do. But there are tons of problems because it's also very expensive, so mothers cut it with extra water and non-nutritive fillers like cornstarch. Also, their water supplies are often contaminated, so the babies get diarrhea and have tremendous digestive problems. Of course, the formula-fed babies don't get any of the wonderful immune-system benefits of breastmilk, so they suffer even more. It's just so sad.

Another common thing in Pakistan is the "breast-milk test". Before a mother starts nursing her milk needs to be tested to be sure that it isn't poisonous. This is done by local doctors, who do "scientific testing" like, they drop an insect in the milk and if it drowns, they declare the milk no good and recommend formula. Just absurd, and not just absurd, but dangerous.

July 09, 2004

First week back at work

My first week of work is over, and it went just fine. A bit hectic...Julian and I aren't used to having to be anywhere before 9:00am, and now I need to be at work at 8:00am, after having gotten J settled at daycare, which takes about half an hour.

The first day was really rough. I cried all morning and didn't think I would be able to go through with it. I tried to pump a bottle of milk for him, but could barely get a few drops out, I was so upset. I had to try to defrost some milk from the freezer. THEN I was looking for my purse and realized that I had left it at Dolce Spazio the night before, when we went to get gelato. Great, just great. I was just calming down in the car when my friend John called to see how I was doing and that set me off crying again. I arrived at the childcare center all snuffly and red-eyed, not the first mom to do so, I'm sure.

But it was fine. I talked with the caregivers a bit about his likes and dislikes, nursed my baby boy, and then left for work. He didn't cry, thank god! I was really worried about having to leave a crying baby. But he was playing happily with all the brand new toys, and entranced by all the new faces and goings-on.

Work flew by! I went to a meeting, caught up a little bit with my boss, went through emails, and pretty soon it was time for lunch. Drove over to see my baby boy with baited breath...he was hungry but not crying! He had even taken a nap, though it was kind of short. Apparently another baby had awakened from a nap and started crying, and that woke Julian up too. I nursed him and he was giving me the "I have to poop" look. Hmmm...I didn't have his potty and didn't know where the bathroom was, and I didn't feel like dealing with this the first day, so I told him to just go in his diaper, which he did...a little bit. I nursed him again before I left, and felt bad that I was leaving him without having taken him potty, another break in our routine. I'm sure he was confused.

When I came back to pick him up, he was hungry again, but not crying. He had taken a nap, and about an ounce from his bottle, but otherwise had refused it. His teeth have been bothering him. he has one bottom tooth all the way through and one *almost* through, which hurts, I'm sure. He hasn't been eating well lately. He latches on, but then pulls off, like the suction bothers him. Leela said that is common in teething babies, they don't eat well sometimes. So that could explain the bottle refusal as well.

All in all, the first day went well. Julian seemed happy, Leela and Madi said he was an easy baby and very cooperative, and I had a good day at work. I missed my boy, but it felt nice to be a paid professional in the grown-up world again. I enjoyed sitting at my desk working without constant interruption and without cocking an ear for a baby cry. It will be even better to get a paycheck again...I am down to my last dregs of savings. All those medical expenses! Even with good insurance, the combination of paying for a midwife/home birth AND a C-section with hospital stay turned out to be quite costly. I'm *still* getting bills.

The next day I worked from home. I was wondering how it would turn out, but it also went fine. Julian took a long nap in the morning, we went to playgroup at lunchtime, and then Grandma Ida came over to watch him in the afternoon when we got back. I spent most of my working time trying to get my laptop online and on the Yahoo! network, but did indeed get work done.

Thursday went smoothly...I got Julian to daycare by 8:00am, but then spent half an hour getting him fed and settled. When I came at lunch he had taken a good nap (yay!), but was still refusing his bottle. He didn't eat very well at lunch either...I wish that tooth would come through already!

He started to do his mini-poop, where he either farts or just poops a little to let me know he has to go. Arrgh, should I bring in his potty from home? What to do? I changed his diaper and then discovered that the restroom was right off the playroom, so I took him in with me. Leela gave me a weird look and said, "Laura, I can hold him while you go to the bathroom!", so I took a deep breath and explained that I was actually taking Julian, because he had to poop, and he doesn't like to go in his diaper. Leela looked confused, but Madi was cheering..."Yay Julian! What a good boy!"

I would think that it would be the other way around, because Leela is Indian, and it is still apparently still common in India to not use diapers and instead hold a baby over a basin or a bush outside at regular intervals. Disposable diapers are being used much more frequently though, so the practice is dying out as the landfills fill up with diapers...not a good thing in my opinion! So hot in India...those babies must have horrendous rashes.

Madi is from Iran. I don't know what they do there, but maybe they do EC? She was all for it, at any rate. Anyway, I held Julian over the toilet and he pooped right on cue, then his diaper was clean the rest of the day until I picked him up to go home. So I think I'll start taking him potty when I arrive and leave each time, that way we can keep up our routine.

Today was my day off. We went to Baby Boot Camp in the morning, my first real exercise all week! It felt good to get out and run a little. I need to get up early on Wednesdays and do my Boot Camp routine with Julian as well. Once a week on Friday is not going to cut it. After Boot Camp, we went to Willow St. Pizza for our weekly mama/baby lunch. Small group this time, only Hannah and Stephanie and me, and Stephanie had to leave to go to a music class with Gabriella. As the babies get older and more mobile, maybe the mamas will stop coming. Julian was OK, he fussed a little bit until I let him chew on a cloth diaper edge dipped in ice water. Tooth still bothering him, he nursed a little bit at the table, but not much. I was wearing him in his Moby Wrap, and he took a nap about halfway through lunch.

I honestly can't figure out why more mamas don't wear their babies in some sort of carrier. Both Stephanie and Hannah showed up with their babies in huge strollers, and they were so cumbersome. They had to find room to park the strollers around the table and up at the front of the restaurant. Then you take the baby out anyway, and the stroller just sits there taking up space. OK, you have some baby gear to carry as well, but what do you need that won't fit in a medium-sized diaper bag?

I don't know, I guess I am just Minimalist Mama. I pop Julian into his sling, grab a diaper bag/purse, and that's it. He stays content when he is next to me, and I have my hands free and don't have to push some giant unwieldy stroller around. I mean, I like strollers for certain occasions, like if we are going for a fairly long walk outside and I'm tired, but if we are shopping or doing anything besides just walking, it's much easier to wear him in a sling. I see moms pushing strollers loaded down with so much crap, they must weigh a zillion pounds. What IS all that baby stuff? You don't need fifty toys and seven different kinds of snacks, four changes of clothes and a queen-sized blanket. You just don't. I guess that's another advantage of the sling...Julian is perfectly happy to be up and looking at things and doesn't need a toy. I bring one toy now, for when we are sitting down somewhere and not moving, but otherwise he is quite content. Well, maybe this will all change next week. You never can tell.

We had to drive to Yahoo! today to drop off a check for my stock options, so on the way I sat in back with Julian and rubbed his gum where the new tooth was about to come in. He was loving that, and presto! The tooth cut right through! It was just *there* all of a sudden. I'm sure it still hurt, but hopefully will feel better by tomorrow now that it has come through his gum. Good, this means we should have a respite from teething for a few months, until the upper teeth start coming in.

Baby's awake, gotta go! This picture is hysterical, I have to post it. It has been making the rounds of my mama/baby mailing lists.


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