Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

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  • DO SOMETHING GOOD
  • Thursday, August 31, 2006

    Opposite Of Yesterday...

    Um, yeah...today was the opposite of yesterday, regarding the kids. It'll get better, I'm sure. One day.

    Unfortunately, tomorrow is Hubby's day off (he's watching the kids) and I don't see it changing much for him.

    I'm sure he'll have much to tell me tomorrow when I get home from work. And he'll be waiting at the back door for me. Heh...

    Wednesday, August 30, 2006

    I Can Breathe Now...

    Okay, I'm home. I can let out a deep breath because Baby Jack and Baby Liv were just fine while I was at work. Today was very hard for me, especially when I left this morning, crying and choking on my tears on the way to work. However, I made it through without calling home. I didn't want to wake the babies, just in case. I was also able to pump my milk twice, too. That helps.

    But the work day is over. And instead of blogging anymore today, I'm going to snuggle my babies, relieved that they were in great hands today with my Dad and my MIL. They both slept three hours each for their naps and they weren't as fussy as I expected. Relief is all I feel right now and today could be a good sign of days to come.

    Tomorrow is a new day. Don't uncross your fingers!

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006

    Here Are The Stats...

    Today, the kids had their 4-month and 18-month check-ups, albeit almost a month later than they were supposed to due to doctor scheduling. Let's compare how much they've grown.

    At 15 months old, Baby Jack's stats were:
    Height: 30.5 inches
    Weight: 21 lbs. 2 oz.
    Head Circumference: 18 inches

    At 2 months old, Baby Liv's stats were:
    Height: 22 inches
    Weight: 11 lbs. 4 oz.
    Head Circumference: 15 inches

    Today, at 18 months and 3 weeks old, Baby Jack's stats are:
    Height: 32 inches
    Weight: 22 lbs. 12 oz.
    Head Circumference: 18.25 inches

    Today, at 4 months and 3 weeks old, Baby Liv's stats are:
    Height: 24.5 inches
    Weight: 14 lbs. 4 oz.
    Head Circumference: 15.75 inches

    My, oh, my! How they've grown! And they're just going to keep on growing! Great job, Kids! I'm sorry you had to get shots (Baby Jack had one and no more until he's 4; Baby Liv had four-OUCH!), but it's for your own good. Someday, you'll thank me for not letting you get a deadly disease. I love you!

    (Keep your fingers crossed for no side effects from the shots, please!)

    Monday, August 28, 2006

    48 Hours From Now...

    ...I'll be sitting at work, thinking about my babies. They'll be in good hands, though. And that's all that matters. I'll be pumping Mama milk and going to useless meetings and listening to all the office politics that I missed out on during my maternity leave. However, it'll all fall on deaf ears because the only thing I'll be thinking about is the 2:45 bell that dismisses me.

    And then it's home to my wonderful babies!

    The kids have their doctor visits tomorrow afternoon. Baby Liv will get four shots and Baby Jack might get one, I'm not sure. Of course, their four-month and eighteen-month check-ups are almost a month later than they should be because of their doctor's booked schedule. It'll be fine, though. I'm sure Baby Liv is about fifteen pounds now. And Baby Jack looks like he's grown several inches, too. I'll post all about their visit tomorrow, probably when they go to sleep for the night.

    After that, I'll try to get my own share of shut-eye. I'm going to need it, especially because I'll be trying to get back into the daily grind and new morning routine in this house.

    Gah!

    And I'd like to wish my dear friend, E, a happy anniversary! Thirteen years is quite a while to go without maiming one's husband. Just kidding! Enjoy your day, E, even if you fake it!

    Sunday, August 27, 2006

    Wherever We Go...

    ...whatever we do, no matter how old we are, we are still someone's children and we are all fragile, indeed.

    Hug your loved ones a little tighter and a little longer today. We are all so vulnerable. And sometimes we need each other more than we know.

    Just a thought for the day...

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Roach Research...

    This guy was very keen on doing his Ph.D. He was in search of a subject
    on which no one did any research before. As he was thinking over it, he
    found a cockroach on the table in from of him. He decided instantly to
    do a research on the roach.

    He picked the roach and put it in the centre of the table and said:
    "Run".

    The roach ran.

    He pulled out one leg of the roach, put it again in the centre of the
    table and said: "Run".

    The roach ran.

    He pulled one more leg of the roach, put it again in the centre of the
    table and said:"Run".

    The roach ran.

    This way the roach tried to run even when it had just one leg. He
    pulled last leg of the roach, put it again in the centre of the table
    and said: "Run".

    The roach could not!

    Our Professor was satisfied with his study and started writing his
    thesis:

    "When you pull out all the legs of a roach, it cannot hear anymore".

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    The Mama Song...

    Baby Liv sings the Mama Song, day and night. She only has eyes for her Mama. As flattering as that is and as warm and fuzzy as it makes me feel all over, she does have to get used to the comfort of others. It's bad enough she's having trouble adjusting to bottle-feeding while I'm not there. She experiences nipple confusion and will scream for twenty minutes straight and do one of two things:

    a) she'll cry herself into a frenzy and then pass out cold
    or
    b) she'll realize that the bottle is what she can get food from at that moment and proceed to eat

    The former occurs most. And I can't wait for her to adjust. It's hard on me, so I know it's hard on her. She wants her Mama and I want my baby, but sometimes it can't be that way. Livie's going to be thrown into a new routine, unbeknownst to her, because I'm going back to work next week. And she's not going to like it one bit...for a little while. Then, one day, she'll be fine and all will be well again in her world. She'll still sing the Mama Song, though, and I will always be flattered by it (when I'm not ripping my hair out because of it). Heh...

    There's just something very precious about a baby who only wants her Mama. It makes me feel really, really good. My children are my biggest accomplishment to date, you know. I've never done anything more rewarding than that. The joys always outweigh the frustrations.

    The Mama Song...ya gotta love it!

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Me, Too!...

    Baby Liv had her first taste of rice cereal the other day and she loved it! She even grabbed the spoon as it came toward her mouth. I wasn't shocked at her reaction because it was, in a sense, flavored booby juice. She wanted more, more, more! Sigh...my little girl is growing up, little by little. What really shocked me was something else I wasn't quite prepared for.

    Baby Jack wanted some rice cereal, too. So what's a good Mom to do? You betcha...I gave him some, just a few spoonfuls! Booby juice and all. And he loved it, too! I remember when he stopped eating rice cereal. He just wasn't interested in it anymore. Now, he wants it and I'm beginning to think that he wants it because SHE'S getting it. Go figure. Sibling rivalry is just beginning, although maybe it began the day she was born and it just took me this long to figure it out.

    And, yeah, I gave him a few spoonfuls more yesterday, too, while I was feeding it to Baby Liv. Yes, booby juice and all. It can't kill him, you know. But my Mama milk is liquid gold, so if he wants any more rice cereal, he's going to have to eat it with his soy milk or regular whole milk from now on. Mama milk doesn't grow on trees, you know. It comes from my boobies, which I like to refer to as my "guns," especially because I'm fully loaded, armed, and dangerous. Heh...

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Sigh...

    One week from today, I'll be sitting in meetings and setting up my classroom for this school year. I can't say I'm thrilled about it. I'll be adjusting to a new morning routine and so will Hubby and the kids. Yikes! It makes me nervous just thinking about it.

    I'll be pumping Mama milk at 10am and 1pm, hopefully replacing what gets depleted while I'm at work. My boss is great about this and very supportive. He's even given me the Honors class and homeroom. I'm happy about that. It's my turn to have them, anyway.

    I'll have two classes a day, each one 132 minutes long. My first class will be my Honors homeroom (132 minutes all at once, and I'll pump at midpoint) and the other one will be G*d only knows what kind of class(split in the middle by lunch and art, computers, etc.). I'll pump again during my break.

    It won't be easy adjusting to all of this. I have to get back into the groove of being a teacher and also taking off my Teacher Hat and putting on my Mommy Hat before I get home. It's not an easy task. Luckily for me, being the over-achiever and great organizer that I am, I only have to change dates on my lesson plans. I saved them from last year and I don't have to reinvent the wheel. I can just change the dates and hand them in. They're all written and saved from last year, so that's one less thing to worry about. Heh...as if I'd worry about it at all, anyway. Because of me, our test scores went from a 34% meeting or exceeding state standards in 2003 to a 71% meeting or exceeding state standards in 2006. I think that's pretty damn good for someone who was on maternity leave for half the school year in 2005 and one-quarter the school year in 2006. I am meticulous when it comes to work, really. I don't fuck around. Needless to say, those lesson plans I wrote (and the curriculum for the entire 8th grade English program I wrote all by myself) must have worked, so why fix things if they aren't broken? (Insert large pat on my back here.)

    I'm really going to miss my babies. Yeah, they'll be with my MIL and my Dad, but that doesn't mean I won't ache for them when I'm not there. Yeah, they'll get to bond with others (family, more importantly), but that doesn't mean I won't miss our bonds when I'm at work. I'm their Mother, the only one they have. No one can come close to that, either. They can only substitute for me at that moment. I'll miss out on cuddling Baby Jack when he falls and I'll miss out on many of Baby Liv's firsts. Words cannot adequately describe how I feel right now; only tears can. Coming home will be the only thing that saves my sanity. I expect them to be upset with me, at least until they adjust to their new routines. I'll leave at 7:30am and be home by 3:30pm. No extracurriculars for me, thank you. It's not going to be easy for anyone, especially Hubby, who's never had to watch them both for longer than three hours...ever.

    Look at me. I haven't even started work yet and I already can't wait to come home. I think I'll go cry now.

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Don't You Hate When That Happens?...

    Yesterday, the babies were napping and I went to take one of the dogs out in the yard. I sat down on my bench swing and began contemplating my feelings about going back to work.

    I felt something hit my neck and went to brush it off, thinking it was one of those damned "helicopters" that keep falling from my trees. I didn't see it come off and it felt like it went down my shirt, so I instinctively looked down my shirt.

    Aaarrrggghhh!!! There was a yellow jacket down my fucking T-shirt!* Immediately, I took off my shirt, mind you I'm outside in my backyard and I'm flipping out, ever-so-quietly because I didn't want to wake my babies. I looked at my shirt on the ground and didn't see the yellow jacket. I feared it was stuck in my hair, so I took my hair clip out and continued to freak out on the inside. I checked my bra. Nothing. I felt all throughout my hair. Nothing. I checked my shirt on the ground. Nothing.

    I know I saw it. It scared the piss out of me. I remembered thinking, as I saw it in my shirt, "How the hell am I going to get this off without being stung?" And the dog, of course, thought it was playtime. Realizing I was outside without my shirt on, I ran into the house, frantically calling the dog to get inside, waving my arms and swearing like a madwoman.

    I brushed my hair upside down to make sure the yellow jacket hadn't gotten stuck in it. I must've turned my shirt inside out a dozen times to make sure it wasn't in there anymore. I took off my bra, checked under my nursing pads, everything. I even stripped naked to checked my whole body for any signs of a bite or that dastardly yellow jacket. Nothing. It had to have flown away during all of my hullaballoo.

    It took me ten minutes to put my shirt back on and I continued to feel "buggy" the rest of the day. So, what was the first thing I did when I ran into the house, prior to my full-body inspection?

    I locked the back door because you never know if those damned yellow jackets will be able to open it. Explain the logic in THAT.

    *This will give me nightmares for years, people. Heh...

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    My Sister Will Say He Looks Just Like Me...

    ...middle finger and all. Heh...
    Am I right, Orphie?

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Happy Babies...

    Yesterday, I took the kids to my Mom's and they had a blast. The pictures below tell more of their fun than I could ever write. See for yourself:



    Ya gotta love happy babies!

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    Baby Jack Has The Best Seat In The House...

    ...literally. Heh...

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    Wet Is Good...

    Heeding my Mom's advice in her comment the other day, my Dad and I had Baby Jack play in the sprinkler to help him conquer his fears. I think it's helping. See for yourself. Thanks, Mom!





    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    The Picture Definition Of Patience...

    Java likes to stay close to Baby Jack because she knows where the food is. Heh...

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    The Fear...

    Baby Jack is afraid of the tub and bathing. He used to love going into the tub and now he has such an aversion to it. I know it's all a part of his natural development, but I don't know how to get him to like it again. I can't exactly get into the tub with him, especially if I have to take care of Baby Liv, too. Baby Jack just holds onto the side of the tub and stands for his whole bath. And the crying and whimpering is so sad. I don't want him to develop a permanent phobia of water and the tub. I've even tried getting him in the kiddie pool outside. He holds onto the side and doesn't move. And he cries and whimpers for that, too.

    I know it's probably just a phase, but when should I expect him to get over it? It's been several weeks. I've tried new toys, tubbie books, and now I'm going to try Sesame Street cherry-scented bath foam, which looks a lot like shaving cream. I'm almost out of options. We've even tried letting him play with the water as it comes out of the faucet. He won't move his feet a single inch. Maybe a shower...I don't know. I guess I could try it. And a big fat thanks to Melissa for answering my email about this. I'll try anything!

    I just want him to like the tub and a bath again. It's not like he's ever seen the water go down the drain. We've never let him see that. Once we "graduated" him to the big tub (out of the little newborn/infant tub that he was in forever), he became scared. He did fall once and swallowed some of the water his first time in the big tub. That's probably why he's scared of sitting for his bath now. For all I know, maybe that's what gives him nightmares lately. Since Hubby feels that starting from scratch by putting Baby Jack back in the infant tub (inside the big tub) won't cure this dilemma, I'm not sure what to do to allay his fears.

    How do I get him to like water and the bath again, without it being a five-minute wipe down? It's so hard to wash and rinse his hair if he's standing. Gah!

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Pump, Pump, Pump It Up...

    Well, I've been pumping breastmilk for about a week now and I'm building up my stash for when I go back to work at the end of this month. I guess it's going okay. I can only pump twice a day, really. It's always in the mornings, too, because that's when I'm most full. It's not easy, especially with two babies, but I'm doing my best.

    I even went out yesterday. I was gone a whopping three hours, shopping for school clothes. I came back with five tops and no pants. I'm too old for the young people's clothes and too young for the old people's clothes. I just don't fit anywhere in between, so I'm bummed about that.

    While I was gone, Hubby had to give Baby Liv a bottle of Mama milk. She didn't want anything to do with a bottle for the first twenty minutes, then she drank it all right up. She realized she was hungry and this was the only way she was going to be able to eat at that moment.

    Foreseeing that this might happen, I bought her a few more bottles with boob-like nipples; the bottles also discourage air intake. I'm hoping she won't be too gassy when she gets a bottle. Of course, I'll still be nursing her when I'm home and on weekends. And, really, I'm only going to be gone seven hours a day, tops. So, by then, she'll hopefully be used to having a bottle of booby juice when I'm not here. And maybe, just maybe, she'll enjoy being fed by someone else other than me. Currently, she only wants her Mama and I'm okay with that.

    Yesterday, Baby Liv was staring at me while I was eating. She was licking her lips frantically, too. She may be ready to experiment with baby cereal soon. I'll wait on that until after she sees her doctor at the end of the month. Baby Jack started cereal at four months old, so Livie just may be ready soon. Oh, the joys of diaper changing once she's on solids... Heh... I also think Livie's going through some sort of growth spurt. The past couple of nights have been hell. She's nursing every two hours, all night long. I'm beat!

    I think I forgot to mention that the fenugreek is helping boost my milk supply. Or maybe it's the extra feedings and extra pumpings that are tricking my body into making more milk. Whatever it is, I'm not changing it. I gotta fill my freezer and I've only got a couple more weeks to do so.

    Wish me luck!

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Go, Dog. Go!...

    Go, dogs. go!
    Go on skates, or go by bike.
    Go by foot; run, skip, or hike.
    Go by scooter. Go by skis.
    Bundle up so you don't freeze.
    Go by blimp, by boat, by car.
    Go, dogs, go! It's not too far.
    Stop, dogs, stop! The light is red.
    Go, dogs. Go! It's green ahead.
    You're almost there. Stop at that tree.
    Climb that ladder to...
    ...a dog party!

    Would you believe I've read this board book to my son hundreds of times already? I know that the board books are abbreviated versions of the regular sized ones, but I don't think I'd have any trouble memorizing those, too. Yeesh.

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Only In Chicago...

    This picture needs no caption. Heh...

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Sweet Revenge...

    I stole this from Poopie's blog. I thought you'd get a kick out of it, if you haven't seen it already. Now, THAT'S my idea of a smart woman. Heh...

    Friday, August 11, 2006

    Aren't They Lovely?...

    Baby Liv in, yet another, "Chub-kini"
    Baby Jack after my niece Blondie fed him Haagen Dazs Mayan Chocolate ice cream
    Heh...

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    P-Mail...

    Ed was a successful computer programmer and a happy family man. His
    life was blessed with a loving wife, 2 kids, three cats, and a dog. Ed
    loved taking Rusty the dog for his evening walk and was proud when his
    son, Little Johnny, began asking to go along on Rusty's evening walks.

    Little Johnny was an observant and curious child and one evening asked
    his father, "Daddy, why does Rusty always sniff that phone pole when we
    take him for his walk?"

    Well, Ed wasn't sure how he should answer his son. How DOES one explain
    the way animals mark their territory to a 6-year-old? Stalling for time,
    Ed asked, "What do you think he's doing Johnny?"

    Johnny frowned in concentration, then brightened and said, "I know! I
    know! He's checking his P-Mail!"

    Heh...

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Planning for D-day...

    In exactly three weeks, I will be going back to work. You can guess that I'm pretty blue about it. I've been at home since April 8th, which was the first day of my Spring Break, and also the day Baby Liv was born. Since I'm a teacher, I had the whole summer off anyway, but that's no consolation. I'm leaving my babies, not just one, but two.

    I suppose it was harder to go back to work after Baby Jack was born because I'd been home seven months and he was my firstborn. However, going back to work this time around is just as hard because I'm exclusively breastfeeding Baby Liv. We have a bond no one else can match. And it makes me sad to think that I'm trading part of it in for a paycheck.

    Before you ask, the answer is no; I can't afford to be a stay-at-home Mom. We need my income. I wish I could stay home, though, but it just isn't feasible. And it breaks my heart to leave. If you've ever been in that situation, you totally understand what I'm feeling. If you haven't, then you should count your blessings.

    A very, very tiny part of me is okay with going back to work because I'll only be gone seven hours a day, travel time included. Plus, I'll have something else to do outside of the walls of my house, something I did before I was ever a Mother. It'll be nice to see some of my colleagues again. I suppose it'll make coming home that much sweeter. Yeah...I'm soooooo trying to convince myself to feel better about it all.

    Now, I have to pump my milk and stockpile it so that Baby Liv can reap the benefits of having nothing but Mama milk. I don't want to go the formula route, so I'm going to do my best to make this happen. I even contacted one of my favorite lactation consultants, Kim, at my hospital for advice on the best times for me to pump. I tried pumping a few times the other day and got very little milk. I, of course, cried. I called Kim to ask how I could possibly create a stockpile and be able to nurse Baby Liv at her usual times. She said the key was to trick my body into thinking that I had to produce more. She gave me the best times to pump and I'm going to try it. Of course, that means nursing Baby Liv at her usual 4:30am and pumping afterward, as well. And pumping again after her next feeding. She said if I did that everyday until I have to go back to work, I'll need a bigger freezer to accommodate all the milk I'll have in it. I may even try pumping before I nurse her at times, just to make sure I can save enough milk. Baby Liv will never be hungry; she can extract milk way better than any breastpump can. Kim said it takes about 72 hours before I'll notice the difference in my supply. Melissa has also been a great help to me, as well. Thanks, ladies!

    So, that's the plan right now. Pump my brains out in the early and mid morning and save it for D-day. If you haven't figured out by now what I mean by "D-day," the "D" stands for "Depression."

    On top of it all, I've also had my first visit from Aunt Flo this morning (my period, duh) since Baby Liv was born. And I had to run around trying to find a tampon, too, since it's been a year since I've had a period. I'm a fucking wreck, I tell ya. I'm blaming all the fenugreek tea I've been drinking to increase my milk supply (even though Kim says I don't need to drink it since there's nothing wrong with my supply). After all, it did say that it would cause uterine cramping, however I didn't expect to get my period from it. Maybe it was caused by the advent of pumping milk. I don't know. It's also made my piss and sweat smell like maple syrup. Gah! I guess I better tell my niece not to drink the tea that's in the fridge. It might cause her to lactate and menstruate! Yeesh.

    Somebody give me a winning lottery ticket worth millions, please.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    My Babies Are Growing Up...

    Sniff, sniff, sigh...

    Today is the day Baby Jack turns 18 months old. It is also the day Baby Liv turns four months old. My babies are getting older. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. I wish they could be babies forever. No matter how old they get, though, they'll always be my babies.

    Happy Birthdays, my sweet angels! Your Mama loves you more than anything in this world! I think we'll celebrate today with extra hugs, kisses, and cuddles. You guys won't be this little forever.

    (Insert sobs here.)

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    In Honor Of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month...

    That picture should say "breastfeeding," really. And guys stare at us Lactating Ladies because they're just jealous. Heh...

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Have You Had Enough Yet?...

    "Chubby Fat Baby Feet"

    "Stinky Feet"
    "Our Neighbor"
    "Rain Gauge"

    "I Love My Mama"

    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    It'll Take Forever...

    ...to post all my favorite pictures, so I'll start with these:

    "Chub-kini"

    "I 'One' The Sandbox"

    "Waterdog"

    "Heavenly"

    "Fine Motor Skills"

    "Nature Walk"

    "Sleeping Like A Baby"

    There are so many more. It's going to take me a few days to post them all. Heh...

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    I'm Baaaaaack...

    I'm rested. I'm relaxed. I'm home. And I'm so glad to not be in the car anymore.

    There's nothing like time away from your own home to make you appreciate it more. While I thoroughly love going to the house Up North, I also totally love coming home. The woods in the middle of nowhere is a great place to be, bugs and deer and bears and all. However, I love the hustle and bustle of my city and the creaking of my own floors to welcome me back. Did I just write that?

    It's good to be back. Vacation was great, although I could've been a wee-bit happier with less rain and less heat and humidity. The heat there, however, was nothing compared to what the folks back home were having. Yeesh.

    And I have good news...I never once came across any ticks, unlike last year when I felt one behind my ear in the shower and nearly died from grief. Or the one I found in my bra last year. Yeah...that was no fun. This year, though, the ticks left us all alone and I'm pleased to say that neither I nor anyone in my family appeared delicious to them this time. It must be the booby juice. Heh...

    After I sort through all my pictures, I'm going to be posting some doozies. I'll give you a hint on one of them...I'm going to title it, appropriately, "Chub-kini." And I'll bet you can guess who the subject of that photo is.

    No, smart asses. It's not me. Heh...