Monday, February 28, 2011

Meal Plan: 2/27-3/5

I have a whole other plan I want to talk about.  Maybe tomorrow.  But for now, my meal plan. 

Sunday: Chicken Manicotti.  This, y'all?  This was the best thing I've had in a long time.  Baby Girl ate as much as her daddy and I did.  And it's easy as long as you have enough baking time between getting home from work and dinner time.  We don't, so it was a great weekend meal for us.

Monday: Beef Tamale Skillet Dinner.  Hopefully the third week is the charm, eh?  It sounds delicious, but we just always forgot to pull the ground meat out of the freezer!

Tuesday: Chicken Quesadillas, using leftover meat from here

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Braid

Thursday: Tortellini Soup

Friday: Sweet Soy Glazed Chicken and Onions

Saturday: My niece's 4th birthday (birthday isn't until 4/4 but she has twin sisters whose birthday is 4/9, so we're celebrating the older one's 3/5 and the twins' 4/30)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Stigma of Nursing

When I was pregnant, it didn't feel like there was a choice to be made--I was going to try my damnedest to breastfeed my baby.

Once I had her, even though I hadn't planned on it, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best breastfeeder in the world.  And, honestly, I was the best breastfeeder that my baby had ever had or needed.  I filled her needs, eventually*. 

I still, however, got jealous of those women.  Those ones who had thousands of ounces of extra milk to donate, to save, to take a bath in.  I also was jealous of those women who were fine to go out at night and "just give the baby a bottle".  I always felt like I needed to pump if I wasn't going to feed her directly and, well, if I could just make it work to feed her directly....I'd, of course, prefer that.  So I haven't missed a bedtime in almost 19 months.

I've worked my ass off to nurse Baby Girl.  I've sacrificed a lot.  And I like to celebrate that sometimes.  She's beautiful and intelligent and funny and hasn't been horribly sick (yet), so I must be doing something right.

Why, then, did I begin to feel guilty about nursing her once she hit a year old?  I was SO proud of how long I'd nursed until then.  But now?  I fear being chastized.

I was one of those women.  Before having Baby Girl, I'd always said, "If the kid can ask for it, they're too old".  I never planned on nursing this long.  My kid can say "milk, PLEASE", even.  She's been able to make the sign for it for half her life.  And yet, I still nurse her, as much as I'd been against it before having babies.  Just goes to show you can't judge anything until you're in the situation yourself.

Where is that line?  When does it go from "wow, you're a fabulous mommy for doing what you do and would be a failure to yourself and to your kid if you stopped"** to "oh.       gross."?  I haven't figured it out yet, but would love to know.  And why is it there? 

I still look at the 7 year old nursing and think, "not me", but when will we stop?  I have no idea.  I was just talking to The Hubby about this.  We'd like to have another baby...someday.  And I don't want Baby Girl to still remember nursing and dive in and take it from the baby.  Or to resent the baby for taking away her nursing.  The plan is to let Baby Girl lead, but at 19 months and still nursing twice a day...I don't know if she's ever going to give it up.  And I don't really know if I'm totally ready for her to, either. 

* My milk didn't come in until day 5 or so and, therefore, we were subject to a couple of weeks of weight checks.  She finally returned to her birth weight right at 2 weeks of age, so we didn't need to supplement.

** No, this is not the way I feel about it.  I get that feeling from other women, though, and, honestly, I would've felt like a failure if I hadn't been able to.  But I don't judge other women either way.  Seriously.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Weekend of Growing Up

This was a wonderful weekend for our family.  We had a fabulous time spent together, playing, cleaning, eating--we did everything as a family.

Two things happened this weekend that really show how much Baby Girl is growing up. 

You know she calls me "Mom-mom"?  It's always actually bothered me a bit.  She can say "daddy", but "mommy" just never came was always "mom-mom".  It's adorable, yes, but why am I not mommy?  I've always called myself mommy and The Hubby has always called me mommy (well, you know, since Baby Girl was born...that would just be creepy otherwise) and she's always called me "mom-mom" in response. 

But this weekend she started calling me mommy.  And you know what?  I sort of miss "mom-mom".  I didn't think I would, but now "mommy" sounds odd coming out of her mouth.

For the other part of the story, I need to go back to last weekend.  Baby Girl has been really interested in going into the bathroom whenever we do.  She'll sit on her stool and read while we go potty and she always wants to watch us, so we let her whenever we don't have guests.  She loves to watch Daddy make "bubbles" (lol--he would probably kill me if he knew I wrote that here) and always needs to wash her hands when we do.

Since she's been interested, we thought we'd get her a potty, just to get a little more comfortable with having one around.  We definitely aren't pushing her to potty-train anytime soon--she's not even 19 months old yet!  We picked up the potty on Sunday, February 13th and she's practiced sitting on it off and on all week.  On Saturday (2/19) Baby Girl told me she had to go potty (not unusual), so I took her into the bathroom, took off her diaper, and sat in there with her.  She asked for her book and sat there reading.  She stood up and wanted to play and I explained that if she didn't have a diaper on, she either needed to sit on the potty or needed to put the diaper on.  She then started to grunt a little and I sat her back on the potty.  She tried to get up once more (I don't think she's ever actually pooped when she isn't laying down or standing up--she's not a squatter), but I gave her my finger to squeeze and she sat there and pooped on the potty! 

I have no idea what this will mean--I don't expect her to fully potty-train or anything, but it looks like we're officially on our frightening!  After telling my mom this story, she told me that I was fully trained by the time I turned 2 and that I was really easy to train--I was ready and once I was trained during the day, I was done at night, too.  So hopefully Baby Girl will be the same.  If not, that's totally okay--I don't have any expectations.

What a big, big girl....I cannot believe she's over a year and a half old and working her way toward 2.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Doctor Updates

(Dude...this is long.)

Wow.  I was looking back through my old blog posts and realized I never posted an update to our specialist appointments we had at the beginning of December.  I must've been a bit burnt out from NaBloPoMo (or whatever the abbreviation is!).

Since her 15 month appointment, we've now visited three specialists and the pediatrician three times (at least?). 

Specialist #1, The Cardiologist:  On December 1st we had an appointment at a center run by the local Children's Hospital because of the heart murmur that has persisted.  Our pediatrician told us he was really sure it wasn't anything, but thought we should get it checked out.  Good news is that he was right.  The cardiologist told us that it's not problematic and that we shouldn't even mention it on medical history forms.  We left that meeting feeling really great!

Specialist #2, The Endocrinologist: The same day we went to the cardiologist (in the same building), we visited an endocrinologist, who was supposed to look at her development.  He asked us a lot of questions and looked over Baby Girl and determined that there wasn't any reason for concern unless we started noticing more signs of her approaching puberty (pubic hair, armpit hair, etc.).  We still haven't and, in fact, her baby boobies seem to be more in proportion than they were.  Great doctor visit again!

Pediatrician visits: Ear infection after ear infection.  Enough said.

Eighteen Month Pediatrician Visit:  Still planning a whole post on her development, but should give the important stats.  Weight: 23 lbs 4 oz. (30th percentile) Height: 31 inches (35th percentile)  Head circumference: 75th percentile (although we're done with head measurement now)  She got some vaccinations and handled them really well, as usual.  She'll get one or two more at her 2 year appointment (2 year??!??!?!!??!!) and then that will be it until she starts kindergarten (again...kindergarten???!??!??!?!!?!).  The doctor was impressed by her development but did think we should talk to a specialist about our suspicion of a milk allergy.  He told us "Before we'll through, we'll have you at every specialist in town".  Let's hope that isn't true.  He figured it wasn't a big issue, but thought we should get her tested.

Specialist #3, The Allergist: This morning The Hubby and I took Baby Girl to see our allergist (I started going to him years ago, then he went and visited him not long before Baby Girl was born), who was also the person that our pediatrician was recommending to us.  We got there at 9:00, checked in, then were taken for Baby Girl to be weighed.  She was a little freaked about standing on the scale and cried some, but was fine by the time I took her off.  We went back to the room where we found....TOYS!  They weren't great quality (much to the dismay of The Hubby, the Etch-a-Sketch was broken), but Baby Girl was excited to play with them all.  We gave some background to the doctor's assistant, then to the doctor himself.  The assistant asked us to get her disrobed (or nakey, as Baby Girl calls it) from the waist up, then came back and had us lay Baby Girl across my lap.  Begin tears (from Baby Girl...not me.  This time.).  She didn't even know what was coming, but still started crying.  The assistant then left to allow the reactions to happen.

We were looking at her back during the 15 minute wait and saw 2 pretty large spots that were reacting and then one much smaller and another that was BARELY red. We assumed one of the big spots was milk. When the doctor came back he said one of the big spots was a control and the other was eggs. The smaller spot below the egg one was milk and then the very smallest was peanuts. She didn't react to tomatoes, cod, soy, chocolate, and some others. The doctor mentioned that the reason she doesn't seem to like eggs (the only way we've gotten her to eat them is by covering them in ketchup) might be because of the allergy but said that as long as we don't notice a reaction from things made with eggs, we can continue to cook with them and proceed as we are--just don't try to force her into eating just eggs anymore.

As for the milk, he said we could keep giving her milk and milk products as we are now and give her cow's milk when we're ready as long as her reaction doesn't worsen. He says it isn't doing any harm to keep giving her milk.

He also said that there isn't any connection between allergies and breastfeeding. Bummer!  Sort of glad no one told me that in the first few months of nursing.

Lastly, he said we should delay introducing nuts until she's 3 because she has other food allergies.  Not a huge deal, I suppose (although I love peanut butter and that makes me a teeny bit sad that she can't have any until then!).

We'll go back in a year to get her retested.

Whew.  And that's it.  For now.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A surprising first

Yesterday I decided to delay our arrival home by a few minutes.  After breakdowns in the car (by both of us), we needed a little fun without thinking about sickness...too much.

We stopped at the library.

This may not sound like a big deal to most.  And you might think that the kid who had a book-themed first birthday party would have amassed many books on her library card, but that isn't the case at all.  This was Baby Girl's first trip to the library.  And it was everything I had hoped for.  She was ready to run and just completely enamored by the number of books.  I first picked up my reserved book and then guided her toward the kids' books.  She trotted up the aisle, touching books and then finally grabbing one off the shelf.  She looked at me and said "book?" and I told her she could sit down and read it.  And so we did.  We sat in the middle of the small aisle of books and flipped through the book.  She then decided she was done with that one and left it in the aisle.  I put it back for her but told her that they needed to go back where we found them when we're done.  So she went racing through the aisle again and eventually stopped at another book.  She sat and read it for awhile, then looked at me and said "back?".  Good girl.  We put the book back where it belonged and then I guided her to the aisle I was aiming for--I wanted to get either some Llama Llama books or the If You Give a books.  None of the Llama Llama books appealed to her (they're a little long, especially when her attention is scattered while surrounded by books), so I grabbed a few of the If You Give a books.  I asked her if she was ready to check out our books.  I put her on the counter and told her all about what we were doing and she was loving the "beep" when the book was scanned. 

All in all, it was definitely a bright spot to a pretty awful day yesterday (we aren't even getting into the many meltdowns we both had and my poor baby getting quiet and saying "Mom-mom?  Mom-mom?  Cry?"). 

We'll definitely be returning to the library soon!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Okay, I give

I was planning a post in my head all about how my daughter has taught me to go with the flow, especially when it comes to sickness.  In her 18 months of sicknesses (and there have been plenty), she has very rarely acted sick.  So why should I stress so much about us getting sick and passing it around the household?  Is it worth the weeks of stress (since the incubation & contagious periods can be so long) and not enjoying my daughter (and, more importantly, not getting her kisses) to then just get sick anyway?  Or even if we don't end up getting sick...was it worth it?

But now?  Ugh.  Now I'm totally over it.  I'm beyond stressed out.  I'm scared to death that my daughter is going to get sick.

Why?  Because my husband has pneumonia.  Seriously???  Pneumonia?  I always thought pneumonia was something you got after being sick for weeks--I thought it was something that "settled in".  But no, not for The Hubby.  He started coughing a bit and feeling a bit phlegmy on Sunday night, but we just assumed it was a cold.  The panic set in for me at this point, but that realization that I need to just relax came last night as I got my snuggles and smooches from Baby Girl.  He went to work, not feeling great, but again just assuming it was a chest cold.

He wasn't able to sleep laying down last night so he slept in the recliner (Best. Purchase. Ever.).  I brought Baby Girl downstairs to him while I showered (since she woke before I could get in the shower) (and now I'm kicking myself for doing).  He told me he wasn't going to work and was going to go to the doctor. 

I got a call from him while in a meeting, so I called him back around 3 after the meeting was over.  And that's when he tells me that he has pneumonia.  And he had a fever of 103.6. 

And I lost it.  I just feel so incredibly done right now.  I don't feel like I can handle anymore.  Of course I will, but I just...I'm so tired and stressed out.  I want to cry.

I still can't hear out of my left ear.  It's been two weeks now (been almost a week since I took my last antibiotic).  I don't have any more pain, but it's just a reminder that I'm still sick.  Baby Girl has been waking up snotty every morning for about a week and has been coughing overnight, but it hasn't developed into something else.  Yet.  The kids at the daycare are all coughing and sick, so I assume it's only a matter of time.

And now I get to be a single parent.  Much less stressful when I can take her to the sitter's and still go to work during the day (well, at least it's a different stress...I still stress about her and home, but I don't have to spend the day occupying her and watching her get sick...I get to occupy myself with the immense stress I'm under here at work).  It's not The Hubby's fault that he's sick, but damnit, I just....need a break.  And I need to not feel the need to stress about keeping Baby Girl and myself healthy. 

I'm so done with this.  With all of this.  I've had an overwhelming feeling of "I'm done" for awhile now...and that was independent of the sickness.  This just feels like the straw that will break my back. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan: 1/30-2/5

Have lots of posts, as usual, but no time or energy to post them.  This one is an easy one since we plan out our meals anyway :)

Sunday, January 30th: Cheesy Potatoes with Smoked Sausage
Monday, January 31st: Mexican Mac & Bean Skillet
Tuesday, February 1st: Breakfast (scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, waffles)
Wednesday, February 2nd: Saucy Slow-Cooked Chicken Thighs with rice & veggies
Thursday, February 3rd: Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas (from the $5 Dinner Mom cookbook)
Friday, February 4th: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Saturday, February 5th: out (we have a couple of birthdays to celebrate, so we'll be out with someone that night, we think!)