Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New wrap coming/wild animals

I ordered a new wrap for the baby. The navy blue Moby wrap is too stretchy to work for us much longer. Also, I wanted a thinner material for the warm weather that is part of living in So. California. It is made from cloth from the Czech Republic, and it is called Vatanai, and I am ordering it in the 4.5m length in the Naglikti color (blue whales and fishes pattern). It is a woven cloth, so I will be able to tie the baby onto my back and it should be easier to clean up the kitchen and cook with him back there. We shall see. ;-) At any rate, I placed my order yesterday, and the Canadian middleman said that they could get it in 1.5 weeks from Europe, so hopefully it will get here by mid January.

There is a news story this morning about a tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo yesterday. One young man was killed and two others were wounded by an escaped Siberian tiger named Tatiana. One disturbing part of the story was that apparently there was nothing wrong with the door to the enclosure. So the 300-pound tiger must have climbed or leaped out over the fence or 15-foot moat.

At my house here we have 5-foot rod-iron fences that do *nothing* to keep out the wild coyotes. I do not have dogs, but I have found dog-type feces in the backyard on occasion, as well as disemboweled rabbit carcasses. Also, the next-door neighbor witnessed two coyotes attacking and consuming a neighborhood cat in her backyard (I had warned the owner previously not to let the cat go outdoors). The point is made to me that my kids are not safe in my backyard, even though we live in a suburban environment. Now we are not safe going to zoos. It's not safe to swim in the ocean (sharks). I don't think we are at the top of the food chain anymore. :-(

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picture day

Here are some pics from today. Baby A is 6.5 weeks and a little over 10 pounds. His medicine made all the difference. He still coughs occasionally, but he is SO much better. And he is easier to care for; his personality improved a lot. Before he couldn't be awake without crying/nursing. Now he is content to look around at things/me. And I felt thin today in my size 6 jeans, and wanted to share. ;-)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Baby has a cough

Baby A is the sickest one now. :-( We went to the doctor again today and they gave him a script for Erythromycin. I hope this helps him. He has trouble breathing through his stuffy nose while nursing, and he tends to pop off a lot earlier than he used to. He coughs and gags, sometimes spitting up from all the coughing. The doctor said his lungs were "crackly". He has not had a fever, though, and he continues to gain weight well. He was 10 pounds today, up from 9.5 pounds last Monday.

The other boys still cough, but not very often. My cough is still bringing stuff up from the left lung. I might go to the doc again this evening, depending.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Bad news and good news.

The bad news is that my fever came back yesterday, I had body aches and a bad headache and not much appetite again. I even threw up a little, but I think it was from the violent coughing. Baby A threw up all over me twice yesterday. And J threw up at preschool after lunch.

The good news is that I fit into my size 6 jeans this morning. I need to get a pic, but Baby A is due to wake up any moment and I don't have time right now. I ate a decent dinner last night (roast chicken, fresh green beans and Japanese sticky rice), and ate the same as leftovers for lunch. I'm also being better about staying hydrated. And my milk supply was up last night and today, so I think I must be on the upswing. My supply was probably jolted because he was on a fussy/constant nursing jag the past few days and my supply was down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Barak Obama update

I'm in a hurry this morning. Baby A is in his car seat and starting to wake up. I'm recuperating from a fever yesterday, still coughing and sniffling.

My friend called yesterday. You remember. The one who was on Harvard Law Review with Barak Obama. DS-17 asked what that was and I said it was a prestigious school newspaper. ;-) Her news is lately she has been doing a lot of speaking engagements around the Los Angeles area. When organizations call up wanting Senator Obama or his wife to speak, they are often not available, as they are in Iowa or some such place. So they offer one of his old law school buddies to talk instead. And that is what she has been doing. She will get 2 days off for Christmas, then she has been asked to go to Iowa for 10 days and help campaign over there. I can't wait to hear how that goes.

BTW, everybody else in the family is sick. The baby least so, thankfully. Good thing I am breastfeeding. It was REALLY hard to take care of him yesterday when I was feverish. I had trouble eating, my body ached all over, I was hot and cold and he wanted to nurse all day (as usual). So I breastfed him and we slept together on the recliner. Luckily DH came home early and I stayed in the recliner. He had to handle everything. It was all I could do to take care of the baby. I feel better today, but I'm going to take it easy so I don't have a relapse.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hanukkah, A Wonderful World

The biggest shock came this morning. I woke up at 7am, realizing that I had just slept another 5 hour stretch. Baby A slept 5 hours, fed, then slept another 5 hours. The most he had slept before this had been 4 hours then 3 hours then 2 then 1, 1, 1. I was so much more rested this morning. The really surprising thing was that we had gone out last night to the Hanukkah party at the local synagogue and he had slept for 2 hours in the Moby wrap. I thought that was great, but I was going to be in for a busy night since he slept so well just prior to bedtime. The party turned out to be fun. We lit this giant menorah that is on a main street near me. The kids got "gelt", which was actually real money. A lizard man came to entertain the kids with a presentation of lizards and snakes. And there was a little video of the story of Hanukkah for the children. And there was food. The best part was seeing a wonderful group of the kindest people you could ever imagine. This is not my regular synagogue, and that is why it is so nice to pop in there occasionally for parties and such, because I don't get to see them all that often.

I got tears in my eyes driving in my car today when a nice version of "A Wonderful World" came on the radio, sung by Louis Armstrong. I listened to the words closely and I found them moving.

I see trees of green........ red roses too
I see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
Theyll learn much more.....than Ill never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

Saturday, December 8, 2007

getting chubbier

In the top picture, he is sleeping in his bassinet. Note the white blanket. I crocheted that myself over these past months. I did not put a border on it, as I ran out of time when he came 3 weeks early. I used a shell and cluster pattern.

The lower pic shows him in the Moby Wrap. He is really getting bigger now, he is about 9.5 pounds. That is 50% bigger than when he was born.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The importance of loving our babies

I have a theory. Babies deprived of love/cuddling early in life can develop major personality faults.

The reason I mention this is that there was another shooting yesterday. A 19-y-o boy shot a bunch of people in a mall in Omaha yesterday and then shot himself. He left a note saying he wanted to go out in style. Anybody who decides to kill innocent strangers is someone with no feelings of empathy. I think the term for that type of person is a sociopath. How does a boy get to that state? I bet he had a bad relationship with his parents.

I am not saying parents take the blame for everything. I am sure there are organic problems in the brain that can cause people to "go off". But my point is that hurting a baby early in life leaves a scar so deep that it can't be healed. Babies left to cry unattended learn not to trust the world. They learn that the world is a cold, uncaring place. Wouldn't this person be more likely to grow up angry and violent than a baby raised in a secure, loving environment?

I remember 2 toddlers who were adopted from a Russian orphanage. This might have been 10 years ago, perhaps in California, I don't exactly recall. The children had attachment problems and were very difficult to parent. The adoptive parents were too embarrassed to admit that they could not handle the kids, and decided to murder them instead, giving them oleander leaves and claiming the boys ate them when they were outside unsupervised. So tragic.

People running covert operations would be well-advised to hire as assassins young men who were abandoned by their family. They are the ones who will be willing to kill strangers on orders from someone higher up.

What about ladies who have to go to work when their baby is 6 weeks old and needs to sublet that portion of their baby's day to hired help? I don't know that is such a good idea. I suspect data may show that babies thrust into daycare at such a young age may have problems with bonding and anxiety later in life.

Which brings me full circle to baby-wearing. My affinity for baby-wearing is not simply because I like having a baby hanging off me for most of the day. It is the easiest way for me to be sure that my new baby is receiving the cuddling/security that he needs to grow dependent and bonded to his primary caregiver, me. He can then grow independent later, when that is developmentally appropriate.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My cough is going away

I don't know if you remember that I complained that the kids gave me a cold when I came home from the hospital with the baby? I was never able to throw it off, and in the last 2 weeks things got worse and worse. I was coughing all the time. Poor little A would be sleeping on my chest and he had to deal with me going through loud coughing spasms right by his ear. I was hoping to avoid antibiotics because I really did *not* want to have thrush this time, like I had with my last 2 kids. There is no good treatment for thrush that I know of, or at least none that worked for me.

So I complained to my OB yesterday and they had me come in so they could listen to my lungs and stuff. I obtained a prescription for a Z-pack and took the first 2 pills yesterday afternoon. This morning when I woke up it was like a miracle had occurred. I felt 75% better. Yay! And my sore left breast is suddenly better, too. I must have had a low level of mastitis in the duct sinuses behind the nipple. Latch ons felt SO painful on that side. And now they feel normal. So hopefully this will take care of things for us without causing bad side-effects with yeast/fungus. I can hope.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'm still learning

I'm still learning about nursing and taking care of babies too. Yes. After 6 babies and 19 years. Here is my newest stuff.

The picture above shows me trying to perfect my use of the Maya Wrap. I have been going onto the website called to find more creative ways to use the baby carriers I already have. Little A loves to be carried, so he seems to appreciate it. At least he cries a lot less than when he is put down between feedings. I read that it is best to keep the baby as high up as possible, and the rings as high up without them being directly on the shoulder. I must be doing something right, because I was never able, with any of my prior kids, to get them in the upright position in a ring sling. Little A loves being upright and he settles down so nicely whenever I am able to do it, so it is worth the effort for me. And it is easier on my back/shoulders. This is an old-style Maya wrap. No padding. But it works great and I feel so frugal using the same carriers for child after child.

The Moby Wrap is great too. I used it yesterday for my first LONG walk. I used to go for long walks, 1+ hours, through the hills where I live. I stopped after the second trimester. It was so great to get out yesterday, the weather was sunny and brisk. And there were a bunch of people out decorating their houses, so it was particularly fun. The Moby was good for the long walk because it was on both shoulders. I did find out something on that website that ticked me off about the Moby wrap. The moms said that it doesn't work too well for babies over 15 pounds because the wrap is made of stretchy material (t-shirt type material) and it sags. I am bummed to hear this because I SPECIFICALLY bought it to carry a heavier child because it goes on both shoulders. I guess I should have done more investigating beforehand. :-(

This picture also shows my newest thing. I saw on that website one lady who mentioned that she wears Old Navy tank tops under her shirts so that when she breastfeeds, she lifts up the outer top and pulls the tank down below that breast. A light bulb went on when I read that. Having my cold tummy hanging out all winter while bfing is a major pet peeve of mine. I ran down to Old Navy Saturday night and found that the tanks were on sale for 2 for $10. I got 6. You can see the long tank top below my other top and I am so happy now with the breastfeeding. This will help when I have to NIP (nurse in public) as well. I am getting less and less sore now, so I will probably get into more situations were NIP comes up. The tank top gives me SO much more confidence to do that. That way people walking behind me in the grocery store won't get a gander at my bare ribcage in the frozen foods aisle. Brrrr!