Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Objects in arms are smaller than they appear

Doug was holding Dagny the other day and I realized how small she is. She is growing fine, I think, so no worries there, but I just thought she was a lot . . . bigger. I guess the fact that she currently runs my life has given her mythical size (not to mention weight, strength and volume) in my head.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Feedback!

Dagny smiled yesterday. She has been smiling in her sleep the whole time, but yesterday she looked at me and smiled. Of course, my exclamation scared her smile away, but what a joy to see her smiling! The sleepy smiles always make me laugh (even at 3am), but I forgot how an actual smile makes the heart melt.

In other news, my mom came over today and fed Dagny her first bottle. After many loud complaints, she ate about 4 ounces (of formula, since I don't have the hang of the pumping throughout the day) and I pumped about 3.5 ounces for the freezer. Victory! I forgot how nice it was to be able to go out alone - not that I'm going anywhere.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Doug was right

Allow me to commence the "Doug was right" dance. Nudity not required because I didn't actually disagree with him.

Those jeans, the ones that fit, are definitely too big for the "real life" Steph. An exhaustive survey of my closet revealed exactly zero other pants that come close to buttoning. Doug was right, Doug was right, Doug was right. Damnit.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Back in Blue

On Monday, I put on my jeans!

Granted, they are larger than all of my other jeans - the ones that make Doug say "Steph - those are too big for you" and they are not riding exactly right, but I'm wearing them. You forget how cool it is to wear pants without elastic in the waistband.

The weight loss appears to be continuing, though way slower than Anne's - way to go Anne! I'm attributing the recent loss to (1) no pretzels in my house, (2) no time for snacks, and (3) illness-related water retention going away.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Endorphins

Whew - endorphins are low here, but I got to walk around the block (plus some extra cul de sacs) last week and it was great. Dagny and I got many funny looks since I had her in the double stroller, but it was lovely anyway.

I don't know how it works for everyone else, but if I don't get moving (profuse sweating and showering afterwards required), I get depressed. With the lack of sleep here, it is hard to get any exercise in since I need the sleep more, but when Dagny starts sleeping more, I'm right back onto those silly workout videos.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dark Days

This week has sucked. Don't get me wrong, it started out fine. Annika went to school on Monday while Dagny and I went to Sams Club and I got to have lunch with Doug, then Doug's Mom picked Annika up for an evening away after her sports class on Tuesday. Dagny and I even went for a walk around the block AND Doug and I were going to watch a movie that night (like real adults!). Then we got a call from Doug's Mom - Annika was throwing up and they were on the way.

Because Dagny is so small, we were worried about her getting sick so Doug took total charge of Annika. He made her a bed on the floor, gave her a bowl to throw up in, turned on her shows, cleaned her up again and again and again, and slept with her in her room. He is good at throwing up (not scared to do it, like me), but it really makes him sick if someone else does it. I'm the opposite, but I'm breast-feeding the baby so we didn't want throw-up virus germs on me. He was a saint. Then, late that night, I got a fever. Not the throw-up virus, but mastitis. Fever and chills plus the sweating.

Naturally, we have PILES of laundry because of the vomiting and Dagny's propensity to do her business so it escapes her diaper. I was trying very hard to get the house together, do some laundry and pay the bills (Thursday is bill-paying day, because the subs in Doug's business get paid on Friday), plus the two kids and the fever. Unfortunately, there were several meltdowns. Last night when Dagny wouldn't go to bed until midnight and insisted on nursing continuously from 6pm-12pm, I was at my wit's end.

Today, however, when we woke up this morning, Doug had left breakfast out for Annika. Then, Katie called and said she would pick up Annika to play and for lunch AND my Mom insisted on coming over to bring me a heating pad. She made me lunch and folded/put away 3 loads of laundry. My drugs finally started working (with much help from Jen) so my fever is gone and hopefully the other symptoms will go away soon.

I'm so very lucky to have such a great family (despite the complaining I do about them).

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wisdom from Annika

As I was helping Annika out of the car at Target today, she turned to me and said "Mommy, be happy". Just like Doug, this one - keeping me in line.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Love at First Sight?

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I just finished a book about a woman who fell in love with a monk (who was, obviously, not her husband) the first time she saw him. Apart from the whole infidelity thing (which also bothered me), I had a hard time believing that the man and woman fell in love after meeting each other only once. I can understand if they had spent an afternoon together or an evening, but one meeting? Seems to me that love at first sight is really just lust. Nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned lust, though.

Granted, I am biased. I met Doug at the first Lollapolooza concert, when he came walking by our blanket with his friend Mike, who was also my friend Mike. I don't remember anything special about the meeting except that I met Mike's nice friend and hung out with them on their blanket for a while during the afternoon. It was only through repeated exposure over the next year or so (same friends, same concerts, same parties, he liked my scar) that I realized that Doug was as great as he is.

I just don't think you can realize the fullness of someone else at first sight.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Stuff my husband has taught me about parenting

1. A biscotti is a good teether
2. Chocolate milk is a good excuse to stop for Starbucks
3. It's easier and more fun to take the kid(s) on an outing than to stay home
4. There is no reason not to run screaming in circles around the kitchen or dance to the music (yeah, yeah, yeah)
5. Hot chocolate CAN be called latte if it makes the kid happy
6. Sometimes, you just gotta stop for ice cream - it's full of calcium and calories, you know
7. Is is OK to run through the sprinkler with your clothes on
8. A sand trap is pretty close to a sand box
9. No one wants to sit in the crying chair
10. A two year old doesn't know there is any other answer to "who is in charge?" except "Daddy" (or Mommy)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mmmmmm . . .



So, I am breaking the "no alcoholic beverages before 5pm unless there is another adult in the house" rule RIGHT NOW. There is no reason for the lovely Guinness that I am now enjoying, except that it looked yummy and I thought it would be better than corn chips for my snack as I pay bills this afternoon. I justified the rule-breaking by the following: (1) there was only 1 can in my fridge, (2) I'm hydrating, (3) Annika is up in her room screaming because she doesn't want to nap, (4) only a woman far wussier (I know it isn't really a word) than me will get drunk on one Guiness, and (5) it's full of B-vitamins for the nursing, don't you know.

My friend Kevin went to Ireland years ago and donated blood while he was there. After you give your pint, they give you a pint - of Guinness. Gotta love that about the Irish. I think I'll stick with juice and Nutter-Butters after blood-donation, though.

Books

Last week I took the girls (HA - the girls!) to the library and we checked out Annika's 5 books and the first "Mrs. Pigglewiggle" book (author is MacDonald - I had to ask a librarian for help). My sister suggested revisiting this series as Annika's introduction to chapter books. So far, we've read "The Show-Off Cure" and it is going well. Apparently, the droning of my voice is relaxing because Annika has fallen asleep with minimal distress after both installments. She does not appear to be retaining anything from the story, but I'm hoping that eventually the morality messages will seep in without her noticing. Today - "The CryBaby Cure". Boy, could I ever use a crybaby cure! It is temper tantrum city over here.

Once we finish the Pigglewiggle books, I'm looking forward to "Encyclopedia Brown" but it may be too advanced yet.

I discovered two marvelous things this week: (1) I can listen to Doug's Audible.com selections on the i-pod while nursing at night instead of just sitting in the dark, and (2) Dagny prefers to be swayed to the beat of actual music rather than the music in my head (thank you Dwight Yokum!). I listened to "Who's Your Caddy" by Rick Reilly this week and will have to wait for Doug's computer to be repaired before I can add other books to the i-pod. Stupid laptop and crappy Best Buy warranty. The Reilly book was fun, though, and now I know what the guys are laughing about when they talk about not "putting your mouth on my ball". In the meantime, the tunes are keeping me happy.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I'm too sexy

Little-known facts about breast-feeding:

1. All bra, all the time.
2. Hormones give you hot flashes.
3. Pregnancy weight doesn't come off until you stop nursing.
4. Full, porn-star looking breasts are actually hard as rocks and hurt.
5. Larger breasts get in the way of life.
6. Even if you are covered up, some people will avoid you like the plague when you are nursing. Others will want to examine the baby - up close.
7. Leaking is the rule, not the exception.
8. Your shirt is always covered in milk or spit-up.
9. Shirt = burp cloth for baby. High fashion is out. Heck, low fashion is out.
10. Nursing shirts don't work because it is harder than you would imagine to thread your breast through the flaps and slits which are supposed to cover it up - especially with one hand while holding a squirmy, crying baby.
11. The nursing holds they teach you in class only work if your breast extends a certain distance away from your body.
12. While eating, the baby will unconsciously rub your side with her hand.

OK, that last one was a good thing, but the rest - not so much.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A New Woman

Dagny slept for two 4 hour blocks last night.

Granted, the second one was from 2-5am, with another hour tacked on from 5-6am after she had some fussing (she didn't start the hungry cry, though, so I went back to bed), but that means 8 hours of sleep for me! I feel like a whole new woman. She won't do this reliably, but it sure was nice last night after having her feed from 5:30pm until 9 without stopping except to cry and spit up on me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pat

There is a woman with whom I used to work who was pleasant, cheerful and nice, but thoroughly incompetent. This woman (we will call her Pat - not her real name) was the bane of my existence. She was the reason I took the cardio-kickboxing class and started running again. I used to dread the moment she walked into the office. She eventually got fired because she lied to the boss as she had been lying to the rest of us all along, and she went away. Interestingly, though, my stress level did not decrease - in fact, it increased.

Later, with several years of hindsight, I realized that though this woman was dumb and un-dependable (and a liar) she was not the horror I had made her out to be - she was simply the lightning rod for my stress. Doug and I continue to call anyone who is the lightning rod for our stress "Pat".

We have some friends who are having relationship problems. The husband has made the wife his "Pat" - the woman can do no right. Similarly, when I was crazy after I had Annika, I made Doug my "Pat". It's so easy to make someone your scapegoat. I have to fight it every day and focus on what I can do to make something better rather than blaming it all on "Pat". Do you have a Pat?

Reminder



Someone had a super-terrific, extra-fabulous, marvelous time on Halloween. This is not necessarily the best photo of the night, but it accurately conveys the excitement. Doug took Annika trick or treating and he said that she ran from house to house, yelling "race me, race me" and that her cousins pooped out after only a few cul-de-sacs, but she was eager to keep going. She is adorable.

The reminder is - if you say "sure, you can have a sip of Mommy's water", you might get some peanut M & M the next time you sip said water. Just sharing, you know.