Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sunny Afternoon

I got my hair cut!! You can tell how I feel about it by my expression in this picture:
Terry left for VA early this morning, so today was our first truly solo day in Ithaca. We spent part of the afternoon outside on the lawn. You can tell how we felt about that (being outside, not being without Terry) by our expressions in this picture:
Here you can tell how Valerie feels about tummy time:And here is the forest fauna that stopped by to check us out:

Monday, August 25, 2008

100 days!

On Saturday, Valerie was 100 days old! I didn't remember until after she had gone to sleep.

Little V., you dig a hole in our hearts and then you fill it with yourself.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Green Poop

And now I become that boring person who yammers on about her baby's bowel movements.

A couple nights ago we had a new development in parenthood - green poop! For a few days leading up to this event, her BMs were becoming more frequent, smaller, and more "seedy." That seemed odd but not a big deal. However, the green poop event was accompanied by some serious fussiness - to the point of out-of-control crying at Grandma's house. So I went to the Internets.

This is what (among other things) I found:
"Babies that receive too much of the thin foremilk and not enough of the richer hindmilk sometimes have problems with green stools and tummy aches. If you have been switching breasts a lot instead of letting baby get a good feed on one breast, you may have problems with this."

There were some other possible explanations, but this one sounded the most plausible within our context. The solution? Block feeding.

What did we do before the Internet??? I guess we read books, or asked people we knew. Now the expertise - both lay and professional - at our fingertips is increased exponentially. Pretty amazing.

Oh, and it's working! :-)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

happy v-day!

In honor of little V being 3 months old today, I ended up throwing caution to the wind and just spent the day with her. No academic work, and no fretting about it either.

At three months old, she's so perfectly cute!!! She loves looking at ceiling fans and lamps, practicing sitting, and smiling at us. Her personality is really starting to show - she's kind of shy, and overall a calm and patient baby. When she does cry, she does this adorable thing with her mouth, just the cutest little sad face - it's irresistable! Her hair is getting quite long on top and at the neck, but she's getting that hilarious little bald ring around the head that babies get, where their heads rest against the bed.

My favorite things to do with her are to sing, and to practice sitting - I lay her on my lap with her feet against my belly and her head on my knees, and lift her by her hands singing "sentadita, sentadita" (seated, feminine diminutive in Spanish) and then I lay her down singing "hechadita, hechadita" (lying down, same). I really need to get some pictures of that soon, she looks like such a big little girl sitting up!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

nursing relationship

So I said that nursing was my favorite thing about being a mother; I wanted to elaborate a little bit. With all the drama around her birth, I had this feeling that my milk wouldn't come in. It just seemed like too much to hope for, that something would go right, the way it was supposed to. But then it did! I was amazed.

Then, the bigger surprise was that nursing was hard. I expected it to hurt somewhat, but I didn'dt realize that there are important things one must do in order to minimize the pain and maximize the amount of milk baby is getting. I was very thankful for the lactation consultants and nurses available around the clock at the hospital.

Eventually, though I did get really tired of having strangers staring evaluatively at our latch-on. REALLY tired of it.

Somewhere I heard or read the phrase "nursing relationship," and that's really what I love about it - the completely particular and unique connection I have with my baby, just the two of us. I can do one thing for her that nobody else can. Nursing is something we do together, and I think that's why I also like the term "nursing" more than breastfeeding, because it's so much more than just little V. eating. It's me loving her, and her trusting me; me comforting her, her needing me. And it's like its own miracle, that she can turn milk into muscle and bone and brain, into the softest sweetest skin, bright eyes, and the cutest smile we've ever seen.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Sometime in the last few weeks (it's all a bit of a blur, really) I asked Terry the following questions:

1) What do you like best about being a dad?
2) What do you like least?
3) What has been the most surprising or unexpected thing about fatherhood?
4) What has been most surprising to you about me as a mother?

And of course, he turned the questions around to me as well. Here's how it breaks down:

1) Him: when she falls asleep on my chest.
Me: nursing
2) Both: interrupted sleep!
3) Him: nothing - had no clear expectations (!!!)
Me: breastfeeding was harder to learn than I expected, and the lack of sleep a lot less difficult to cope with than I expected.
4) Him: how well I (eep) have been coping with the lack of sleep
Me: how well he's handled diaper changes!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

12 weeks old today

This afternoon I was driving back from Kate's (natural food etc. store) where I had just bought a Neti pot for a nasal cleanse (I have found this to be very effective for dealing with an incipient sinus infection, which seems to be brewing at the moment). I was thinking about health, and food, and the upcoming semester, and Valerie, and how I was ever going to finish my degree with this baby here. We've invested so much in it already, though, that there's no way I'm walking away from it. How many hours and miles has T. logged driving back and forth so that I could have the luxury of reading social theory til it comes out my ears? I'm afraid to actually do the calculations.

Anyway, it occurred to me that the one thing that will get me to the other end is going to be self-discipline. Normally I'm pretty happy to follow Terry's spontaneous impulses, but I think I'm going to have to step it up a bit and impose a greater degree of order on our lives. I haven't told him about the plan yet though :-).

(Note: this onesie doesn't even fit her anymore!!!)