Archive | December, 2011

Baby Review Intro

13 Dec

When Hubby & I found out we were expecting, Borders Book Store happened to be shutting down & offering huge discounts.  I went with the intention of buying anything baby/pregnancy related that I thought would be helpful.  There wasn’t a whole lot of use left, but I did get an Anne Geddes “First Five Years” baby book, (the same kind I had gotten for MonkeyFace & PunkBoy12+ years ago) and a “Getting Ready for Baby” Organizer.  One thing that stuck out as new to me was “Baby Bargains” (I bought the 8th edition – but the 9th edition is now available).  I seemed to recall seeing somewhere that this was the be all & end all in baby product advice & quickly snatched up the last copy.

As I went through Baby Bargains, making notes & tagging pages – I realized that some of the book’s priorities was exactly the information I was looking for, but others weren’t exactly the same as mine.  Here I’d like to provide my review of the thousands of dollars worth of baby supplies we’ve spent over the last year – and I’m sure, the thousands of dollars worth we’ll spend in the coming years.  I love to rant and I love to rave, what better way than to do it in print so that others can benefit!


Our Experience With Tongue Ties

9 Dec

In the hospital, after I told the lactation consultant about my problems, she mentioned that their frenulums looked a little short.

Keep in mind, even though it was 12 years ago, I have nursed before, so I knew it just didn’t feel right.  I was told your aereolas get bigger with each pregnancy, that they were smaller babies, & every baby’s different – blah blah blah.  They weren’t gaining back their weight like they should, and the number of their diapers were “iffy” on whether they were actually getting enough or not.

I mentioned the short frenulum to 2 of the pediatricians that came in, both said “eh … it’s a little short, but they can reach their lip, so it’s not TOO short.”  We had to go back to the pediatrician about every 2 days for weight checks after leaving the hospital.  They just weren’t gaining like they should’ve been.

My nipples felt like they were on fire, I cringed and even cried sometimes when the girls would latch on.  I tried everything the doctor & lactation consultant was telling me to try & make it not hurt & fix their latch, I was ready to throw in the towel – it just hurt soooo bad.

At about 11 days old, back in the pediatrician’s office, I asked again about the short frenulum, he told me the same thing he told me in the hospital (& I love this doc, he’s been our pediatrician for 12 years with 3 older kids).  Not too bad, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I pushed further, what would it hurt if this wasn’t the problem?  Nothing except for the minor discomfort they would suffer from the procedure.  I talked to hubby, hemmed & hawed & then asked for a referral to the ENT (I didn’t realize they didn’t do it there).

I was afraid the ENT would give me the same crap, but she walked in, said “Yep, they’re a little short, we can snip it right now if you want.”  I asked if there was any harm in doing this if it turned out it wasn’t our problem nursing – she assured me there wasn’t … so sure thing, please do.  I held each of them on my knees while the doc got in there in snipped it.  Their heads were closest to me, at that angle I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing, but she clipped something in their mouths & a second later snip and it was over.  The procedure itself, literally must have taken less than 60 seconds.  Each of them cried, but as soon as they were handed off to their daddy & the 2nd one to me, they calmed right down – seriously, IMMEDIATELY.  I asked if I could nurse them for a couple minutes (magic boobies make everything better), and we really didn’t even nurse that long, maybe another couple of minutes.

While MY pain didn’t go away immediately, I thought maybe something felt a little different.  Within a week, definitely less than 2, I was nursing pain free and wanted to yell at everyone who kept pushing us off.  And that had only been for less than 2 weeks!  My nipples healed, the girls started gaining weight … and the rest is history. J

Olivia’s snip didn’t seem to bleed at all – she was first, so she was handed off to Daddy while I held Sophia, so I didn’t get to see a whole lot … but I didn’t notice any when I started nursing her.  Sophia’s bled a little more, she did have a few drops on her lower lip (which were probably even less than a few drops once you consider it was probably mixed with saliva).  There wasn’t even a follow up appointment required, that’s how simple the procedure really is.

I did some reading on it in the beginning & talked to hubby about it before the doc agreed to refer us.  Apparently, snipping the frenulum used to be a standard practice for ALL babies.  As routine as circumcisions used to be.

It was so funny watching the girls after they had it done … Olivia especially, would stick her tongue out so often.  Silly baby.  She still plays with her tongue a lot – after the procedure I realized that I hadn’t really seen their tongues outside their mouths.  Now when she nurses, I can see her tongue between my breast and her bottom lip – that would have never have happened before.

Sometimes you gotta push for things even when the doctors are telling you no – and especially something like this, something so simple that could make baby & Mama’s lives so much better.

My Child Did WHAT???

8 Dec

So I’m laying in bed, feeding the girls this morning around 8 am when the phone rings.  I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even answer the house phone most of the time.  It’s too much trouble to unlatch babies, place them somewhere safe & try to get to the phone in time to find out that the extended warranty that I never had on my car has expired or that the police protection fund still wants my money.  I usually have my cell phone within arm’s reach & anyone important will call me there.  By the 2nd ring, the phone “announces” it’s from the kids’ school.  “Great!”, I think.  “I’ve got a sick kid & no vehicle to go get them.”  Lemme tell you, I missed my mark by a mile.

“Mrs. Williams, this is Mrs. HolierThanThou, Vice Principal of ABMS, I’m here with Mrs. WhoCares, the resource officer, I have you on speaker phone and I have PunkBoy here in my office with me …”

Speak faster woman!! is all I can think.

She goes on to tell me that a student reported that PunkBoy had a knife in his backpack.  That PunkBoy says he didn’t even know it was in there, that it had fallen out & the student reported it to a teacher.  That they feel “terrible” because they know PunkBoy is not a bad kid, that he didn’t have any ill intention, but he had a “concealed weapon” and they had to take one of three actions.  I now wish I had asked what it being “concealed” had to do with anything – had he been flailing it around, pointing it at people or popping balloons would the punishment have been less??

“Number 1 … we can >I seriously don’t remember what this option was – at this point I was still seriously dumbfounded that my child had taken a knife to school< … Which we’re not gonna do.  Number 2 … we can forward this to the school board … which we’re not gonna do – or Number 3 … we can issue 3 days of In School Suspension … which is what we’re gonna do.”  (These were literally her words – irritating, I know.)  I asked if there was an appeal process, she said no (Seriously now – WTF am I going to appeal?)

Mrs. HolierThanThou (whom I’ve had several run ins with before when trying to get a 504 plan for PunkBoy because of his Asperger’s – and of whom I do NOT like because of how she treated us – she handled this quite well though) tells me that PunkBoy is hysterical.  I’m calm, not going crazy – because it just doesn’t make sense, really – and I hear the “resource officer” (who is actually a police officer, come to think of it) say just within earshot, “… I think he’s afraid of what’s going to happen at home.”  Seriously Bitch?  You have no idea how I handle my home, and I doubt that PunkBoy announced to you that I was going to beat him when he arrives.  You just found a WEAPON on an honor roll student, you’re throwing around words – of which he has no clue of their meaning, he knows he’s in big trouble and you’re telling him he’s going to be “SUSPENDED”.  He doesn’t even know what that IS for God’s sake!

Mrs. HolierThanThou tells me I can talk to PunkBoy and she’s “going to leave the room & close the door” … I suppose a woman who beats her children would need to know there would be no ears listening when she told him what his punishment would be?

I ask PunkBoy why he had the knife & he tells me he didn’t know he did, that it must have fallen in there (along with the knife “falling” in his backpack – PunkBoy also believes that his mother just recently fell off the turnip truck), there’s no use is discussing punishment with him at this point.  I don’t have the whole story, I don’t have time to get it, I can’t look him in the face & tell if he’s lying – AND – I’ve got 2 babies laying across my stomach pulling each of my nipples in opposite directions.  I tell him to just calm down, that ISS is nothing more than going to a room, not talking, & doing his schoolwork away from everyone else (ok, so Mommy spent a day there once quite a few years ago).  I tell him we’ll talk about it when he gets home, we say our goodbyes and I wait for Mrs. HolierThanThou to get back on the phone.  I hear PunkBoy tell her that I said we’d talk about it when he gets home, and then the phone goes dead.

I call back, ask for the VP again.  I tell her I don’t know why it was there, I’m not buying that he didn’t know it was there, and that it could be anything.  He’s at his dad’s on Mondays & Tuesdays, maybe he put it in there because he wanted to bring it here & thought he wouldn’t get caught.  That I don’t think he had ill intentions [she agrees] & tell her that she just needs to explain to PunkBoy what ISS is and he’ll probably calm down – that part of his Asperger’s (which I’m sure, even with all of our meetings, she’s forgotten his has) is the need to know what’s coming next.  Change is NEVER good, even in the best circumstances (Pizza vs Pea Soup can be a disastrous change if you didn’t give him time to adjust to the idea of it).  She reiterates the same thing I had already told him and we go about our merry way.

I call his father & report the news. HillBilly says, “What the hell did he do that for? I guess I’ll have to take all his pocket knives out of his room. Blah Blah blahditty blah”  I say, “I don’t know, I’ll talk to him when he gets home, that I just thought I’d let you know since he was coming from YOUR HOUSE.”

PunkBoy gets home and I ask the details.  I hit the same brick wall as I did on the phone.  He doesn’t know, maybe it fell in there, doesn’t know how long it was in there, but he hasn’t seen it before.  When he lied to me over the summer, he had this way of somehow raising the pitch of his voice towards the end of his sentence – but at the same time, using less breath to get the words out.  It’s so hard to explain, but the only time I’ve noticed him talking like that – it’s been while he’s lying to me.  I realize this is a serious matter, a knife IS definitely a weapon, and the news will tell you even a plastic butter knife will get a kid in trouble these days … but … I’m not crazy upset about it.  He wasn’t thinking – so what – he “not thinks” nearly every day in my house, it’s usually just a hundred times less punishable … don’t hang on the hand rail, don’t touch the baby with those nasty hands, don’t touch the walls with those nasty hands, pick up that piece of trash you just dropped … stupid things.  But he’s had “knife training”, or whatever you’d like to call it.  He has a whittling chip from Boy Scouts, he knows knife safety.  While he’s not allowed to play with them like toys, he knows right from wrong when using one – and he has some that belong exclusively to him.  The problem is, he took one to a place that doesn’t allow them – by accident if I believe that lie.

How do I punish him?  Is 3 days of ISS enough of a punishment?  His father – for once – is acting like it’s a bigger deal than I feel it is … and I think Hubby feels like I should be flying off the handle too.  I’ve not let either of them realize that I’m just not that wound up about it – but seriously, I’m just more upset that he’s lying to me … again.  I thought we were past that.

I’ve implemented “at least a week” of punishment here, but I told him it’s because he’s lying to me, and I’ll decide about the following week in a couple days.  His dad says he’s punished there until after Christmas (Kudos, HillBilly, for not making me out to be the nasty disciplinarian that you usually do!  Thank you!)  He says he’ll try & talk to PunkBoy tomorrow (MonkeyFace says he sucks at talking – so we’ll see).  HillBilly seems to keep coming back to the idea that someone was picking on him & that’s why he took it.

I guess I’m just disappointed in myself.  Why am I not more worked up about this?  This is serious stuff!  Why am I willing to brush it off with minimal punishment?  I learned a long time ago, with him, I have to choose my battles or we’ll be battling all day, every day.  While I believe that he had to have known the knife was in his backpack, I just don’t think he *thought* about it.  He thought he’d move it from one house to the other just like he does medicine … he’s not supposed to have that at school either – and yet we send it back & forth between houses at least once a month, usually more.  I don’t know what to do, or how to handle it properly.  I’ve explained to him how serious it is – “Do you realize that you could have been kicked out of school for the rest of the year for this?”  Ooooo oooooo … that was Option 1 … expulsion. (Thank you, Mommy Brain.)  He’s cried every time I’ve brought it up.  I don’t think he’ll ever EVER bring a knife to school again … but this isn’t the way a lesson involving the school should be learned, I don’t think.  They ingrain this kind of stuff into these kids from day 1.  He deserves the ISS – it’s middle school, if you’re gonna learn a lesson the hard way, and it’s gonna stick around on a records … then I suppose 7th grade is better than 9th.

Mommy.  Fail.

… and The 11 Week Olds Team Up & Win Again …

5 Dec

Before I left work on maternity leave, I told my boss that I was planning to return to work when the girls were about 12 weeks old.  I figured that would give me plenty of time to get them on a schedule.  Isn’t that what “they” say? 3 months & you can get them into a schedule?  I’m here to tell you that “THEY” are full of shit.

For WEEKS now I’ve been trying to figure out when the girls sleep & eat.  I have absolutely no problem having a ‘baby led’ schedule, I’m more than willing to work around whatever they’ll give me … the problem is, they weren’t giving me CRAP.  They wouldn’t nap in the living room bassinet, they wouldn’t nap in their crib, they wouldn’t nap in the bassinet in our room … they. wouldn’t. nap. <–period.  The past week or so, they HAVE given us a solid 5-6 hours of sleep at night.  What AMAZING moments of sweet, sweet slumber.  In bed – ALONE – with my husband.  I thought we were much further away from those moments.  They really couldn’t have come at a better time, ya know, right when you’re thinking, “Holy F***!  What was I thinking starting over with a newborn – much less TWO – when we’re less than a short 6 years from having an empty nest?!?!  Tell me again whose BRILLIANT idea this was??”  Needless to say … our nights were pppprrrreeeettttttty r.o.u.g.h.

So just about the time that this 5-6 hour night stretch started, I was also trying to convince these itty bitty chickies to take naps during the day.  We’d get a 15 minute stretch out of this one, or a 10 or 20 minute one out of the other – but no solid sleeping during the day.  It was really for my own sanity that I was trying to get them to nap, but realistically, don’t they NEED that sleep too?  Their tiny little bodies can’t possibly recharge on what they were getting – and they were NASTY little critters to deal with unless they’re hanging off my boobs!  It’s gotta be the sleep thing I thought!

So, I’m here to report – after a solid week of trying to force naps, of rocking, cradling, patting, rubbing with bouncing bassinets, vibrating beds, rocking cribs and even a free white noise app for good measure – I lose {insert Whammie music here – wah waah wah waaaaah}.

15 minutes ago, with the rest of my family all nestled (yes, all snug in their beds), that since they’re sleeping for me in their crib at night AND giving me a solid stretch of sleep, the girls can sleep in their swings during the day.  Yesterday & today I didn’t have the extra hours to fight with them to sleep in a bed [ANY bed girls, I wasn’t being picky!], and so I said the hell with it & put them in the swings … both days, I got at least a 2 hour nap out of them.  I may have had to comfort a little here or rock a little harder there, but they SLEPT … which means they got some real rest (and I got to make a cheesecake with MonkeyFace! :))

Schedules?  We’ll get there … you can’t even think about making a schedule until you have something to actually put ON it, right?  I’m exhausted from researching why they’re so fussy – gas, colic, gripe water, won’t sleep, gas drops, lactose overload, green poops, probiotics, reflux, blah, blah blah, blah blah.  I’ve read more about all this crap than I care to admit – and what have I learned?  The girls are sleeping at night & they’ll even sleep for a little stretch during the day if I let them sleep in the swings. That’s it.  Once we get this sleep thing down for a couple more nights, I’ll see if I need to continue worrying about the other stuff.  For now, I’m loading them up with more stuff than I ever imagined I’d be comfortable doing … and maybe some of it’s actually working?  I couldn’t have gotten even 20 minutes of sleep out of them, even in the swing, 2 weeks ago.  Guess I need to order more probiotics before I run out!

I give up, girls … if you’ll sleep more than 20 minutes during the day, I’ll be glad to let you do it in your swing.  The Twins Win.

Do This ~ Don’t Do That ~ Can’t You Read The Sign!

3 Dec

We have rules in the house, everyone does I’m sure – Ihope.  Ours seem to be a little more basic, I mean, if you can’t follow the basic rules, how are you going to handle anything more complicated?  The problem is, my tweens & teen don’t seem to remember the rules … heck, I don’t even feel like I should have to CALL them “rules”, but Common Sense is apparently something that needs to be TAUGHT in my house.  We let lots of things slide … if you don’t want to fold/hang or at least take your clean laundry out of your basket because you don’t care about wearing wrinkled laundry to school – neither do I.

  • If you’re the one to fill the trash can, empty it.  This one is too complex for my brood I’m afraid.  Everyone seems to be able to argue that it was either not full enough to empty or overfull & someone else should have emptied it before they got there.  It’s magic.
  • If you use the last piece of toilet paper, put on a new roll.  I’m beginning to realize that I may be the most talented person in the house.  Not only do I seem to be the only person in the house who knows how to master this complicated installation, but I can do it with one hand while holding a  baby in the other hand.  I rock.
  • If you use the last piece of bread, pull another loaf from the freezer. The kids pack their own lunches everyday.  They’ve been packing their own lunches for YEARS.  In the past 2 weeks, I’ve had to go to the freezer 4 times to get a loaf of bread out – which is useless to me until it thaws since I need it at that moment.  I learned that BonkerHead went without a sandwich one day last week as opposed to getting a loaf from the freezer (would’ve been fine for him because it can thaw before lunch).
  • Don’t even think about getting a drink of water from the water cooler unless there’s water in the top.  I’m grateful that we’ve raised water drinkers, I’m not grateful that – in the process – we’ve apparently raised inconsiderate slobs that live under the umbrella of “eh, someone else will do it.”  It’s a filter system, it needs to be refilled, who does this? The Water Cooler Fairy, of course!  Duh!
  • Take your [fill in the blank – shoes, backpack, socks, list, shoelace, iPod, dustbunny, brain…] with you when you leave the room.  If it’s yours, you brought it with you & it doesn’t live in this room … take it back!  The living room is already filled with 2.3 tons of baby crap, there’s barely enough room in here for ME, please take your crap with you when you’re no longer going to share this space.  Which closely relates to …
  • When we get out of the car, take your crap with you.  This one irritates me 100 times more than the last & I see the 3rd row so seldom, that by the time I do see it it looks as if someone’s been camping back there for a week.  Sweatshirts, water bottles, fast food cups, SHOES (How in the hell did you manage to get SHOELESS out of the car & I didn’t notice?!?!)
  • Loading the dishwasher includes all the dirty dishes.  Even the pan on the stove or the glass on the island.  *gasp*  God forbid I ask them to rinse the sink of the plate drippings.  I cook dinner every night, I expect everyone else in the house to take turns doing the dishes.  There’s THREE of them to take turns! How can the 10-15 minutes it takes to you do this chore be soooooo bad??
  • When you do laundry, don’t leave your clothes in the dryer.  Ok, so there’s the occasional time that it slips your mind … but the other morning, while I was upstairs feeding the girls & the kids were getting ready for school, I heard the dryer open & close.  Later, when I miraculously found 5 minutes to wash baby laundry, I opened the dryer to find it full of MonkeyFace clothes!  If that weren’t bad enough, it was on Monday morning and she was headed to her dad’s & wouldn’t be back until Wednesday after school!  The evil in me consulted with Hubby to figure out what I could do to her clothes to teach her a lesson.  After many humorous & brilliant ideas, I lamely threw them on the floor – she’s lucky the dog didn’t decide to use them as a bed.
Can't you read the sign

Instead of "Have you lost your friggin' mind??", I opted for "The dryer is NOT to be used as your hamper or drawer."

This may be a post that I have to continuously add to as I remember other rules and create other signs.  So far … the sign has worked – but it hasn’t been that long … give them time.

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