Tuesday, December 14, 2010

two weeks in photos

letting it all hang out on thanksgiving

from left to right: grandpa tom, fletcher, random scary old lady, great-grandma katie

walker, making it work

daddy loves sleepy baby

video games tire him out

an oops photo that i have decided is "artistic"


does his cap fit yet? maybe not.

yum. cat.

whoooaaa, dude

a drink after a hard day's work


Monday, December 13, 2010


I can't help being jealous of Fletcher, in the best sense of the word. He has no concept of "what other people think." He is exactly what he is, and he has no reason to ever pretend or lie. When he smiles, laughs, or looks happy? He's happy. We should all be so open and unafraid.

He's more than six months old now, and I believe he's learning cause and effect. When he drops the toy from the highchair... it falls. He's probably learning which of his actions will create a response from his father and me. It's possible that he cries now for things that he WANTS but doesn't NEED.

Whenever he cries, I try to give him what he wants, and some people on the outside might think that I'm a first time mother who is spoiling her baby. While there is a critical voice lodged in my head that says I'm doing everything WRONG, I feel strongly on this. I feel confident on this.

I have limits and I trust my limits. I will not give my baby anything that could possibly hurt him, no matter how much he wants it. I will not take him out of his carseat when we're in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, even if that's why he's crying. I will not always come to his aid when he wants to reach a toy, because I know it's important for his development that he learns to move and crawl.

But if he wants something – be it attention or distraction, comfort or nourishment, or help falling asleep – I'm going to give it to him if I think it's in his best interest. I'm obsessed with babying him. He won't be a baby for long.

He sits on his own now, for minutes at a time. He's going to figure out crawling soon. Andy picked out his first "little puffs" finger food that dissolves. He's growing up, and every day my eyes sting with the overwhelming pride I feel just looking at him.

Maybe someday he'll stick his hand in the snow and cry, and I'll be the one who rushes over to cuddle him and take him inside. I'm going to baby him as much as I can. And maybe I'm going to hope that my little apple falls a bit farther from the tree.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'm driving along in the dark last night, on a narrow road made bumpy from all the semi-trailer traffic it gets. There's a gentleman ahead of me driving 30 mph in a 40 zone, so I zip on past him. A short distance ahead, I reach the patch of road where there are no houses, no industrial park, no streetlamps to light my way. That's okay; I know this road really well.

Then my headlights go out.

It's pitch black, as in I can't see the road, can't see the side of the road, can't see frigging anything. I don't know if I'm going off the road or into the middle of it.

I'm hyperventilating. I'm pushing buttons and pulling levers with wild abandon. It turns out windshield wiper fluid on a frozen window does NOT help in this situation.

I look in my rear view and note that the geezer is still driving so slow that his (functioning) headlights are an awfully long way back.

An oncoming car flashes its brights at me. Part of me thinks, "Crap! That person thinks I'm a ditz!" The other part of me thinks, "Turn those brights back on! I'm blind, here!"

I finally reach a four-way stop, blessedly lit with streetlamps, and I pull over. It takes two full minutes to find my hazards (maybe I am a ditz) and then I wait impatiently for my husband to arrive.

When he does, it feels like my Superman has come. My car is still demented and neither of us knows what's wrong with it, but it doesn't matter as long as I have my hero. I follow his car home, where I am safe.

But then, this morning the service rep on the phone says that I probably had one light burned out for some time now and just never noticed. Right. Everyone thinks I'm a ditz.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

more breastfeeding woes

There are many things I would tell doctors if I could afford to tell doctors anything.

That sounds a little like a tongue-twister. ("Quit chuckin' my wood!")

Like so many others, I am currently a patient of Dr. Google. She is a doctor whose knowledge is half informed and half misinformed, and her accepted form of payment is time.

She is similar to those doctors who have gone to medical school in that I sometimes receive helpful tips, but usually I walk away unfulfilled, head full of random words, puzzle pieces not quite fitting together.

My most recent visit to Dr. Google involved a spider's web of symptoms that may or may not be related. No diagnosis fits. The topic was breastfeeding.

List of symptoms! It's like being pregnant again! Only not. Don't get excited.
1. No more let-down reflex with the breast pump. This started in October.
2. Burning sensation in breasts. Is it a symptom? Or a result of the torture I put them through every day (see symptom No. 1)?
3. Less milk. Is this due wholly because of symptom No. 1, or only partly?
4. Crabby baby. Is it a personality change? Is it a problem that Dr. Google has not diagnosed, such as ear infection or constipation? Or is it related to the breastfeeding situation?

Dr. Google went on and on about thrush, mastitis, plugged ducts, and more. None of it fits. I simply may be broken. Don't tell my doctor, but I may seek out the help of a real lactation consultant if my chest bursts into flames.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I wish confidence came naturally, like love. Instead, I need to hear that I'm doing fine as a mother. I need someone to tell me that it's okay when my presence doesn't comfort him when he cries. That I'm not a failure when I can't fix it. That I'm not a mess for crying with him. That nothing is wrong with me when he won't nurse. That he still loves me when all my efforts make the crying worse. That the anxiety everyday when I leave is still acceptable.

I'd like to hear that it gets easier, comforting a baby who can't tell me what's wrong. But I don't want to be lied to.

Parachute. Ingrid Michaelson. Listen to it.
Don't believe the things you tell yourself so late at night
And you are your own worst enemy, you'll never win the fight
Just hold onto me, I'll hold onto you
It's you and me up against the world, it's you and me

I don't need a parachute, baby, if I've got you
Baby, if I've got you, I don't need a parachute
You're gonna catch me, you're gonna catch if I fall
Down, down, down.