Friday, October 29, 2010

My advice for traveling with an infant

Last weekend, Desmond, Billy and I went on our first family trip to Chicago to attend Billy's brother's white coat ceremony.  A white coat ceremony, by the way, is a ceremony where first year medical students (usually first year.  University of Illinois does things a bit different: they hand them to second year medical students) are given white coats with their names stitched on them all fancy.  It's supposed to mark the beginning of their academic careers as "doctors-in-training."  Anyhow, we bought the tickets a month in advance and booked our hotel rooms, excited for our first trip as a family.

2 weeks before our departure, I got a major case of anxiety.  I lay in bed with Billy and Desmond crying and hyperventilating, telling Billy that I didn't think that Desmond and I should go.  I was worried sick about Desmond screaming his guts out during the whole flight.  The thought of that happening made my neck hairs prickle up and my armpits start to sweat.  I didn't think I could handle it.  I can barely handle Desmond crying in his car seat.  Billy reassured me that things were going to be OK and I told him that he was wrong.  Obviously Desmond was going to cry because who has been on a flight with an infant that hasn't?  Not me. Pre-pregnancy, I was one of those passengers that would roll their eyes and glare at the poor parents with the infant walking down the aisle.  I would comment on how my luck sucked and prayed to whomever would listen that they wouldn't sit next to or near me.  Knowing firsthand the kind of feelings passengers feel when they see an infant on the plane made me realize that I would be the recipient of several evil-eye curses.  And I did NOT want that kind of bad juju following me on an airplane.

I started reading people's accounts of their experiences flying with infants.  This assuaged my fears and anxiety a little tiny bit.  I had flown once before with Christy and her 1-year-old son Quinn and she made it seem like a piece of cake.  However, I'm not as adept or as confident as Christy and was unsure of my capabilities to pull off a seamless flight.  I started planning like crazy and decided that if the passengers could see that I cared for their flight experience and could see that I was genuinely trying to console my crying baby, they'd have some sort of good feeling about the whole ordeal.

So, here's how I prepared.  I bought a bottle of saline nose spray to keep Desmond's nose nice and moist in the very dry environment of the plane.  I also made sure to pack some Dimethicone drops (for his gas) and his Vitamin A, D and C drops.  I was planning to take them anyway, but there's an added benefit: Desmond seems to really like the taste of them, so that keeps him quiet for a little bit.  I also brought 2 pacifiers: one attached to him and another backup one in the diaper bag.  I generally don't like giving Des the pacifier, but it really does seem to calm him down when he's fussing, so we like to keep it handy when we're out of the house and in public.  I also brought his softest blanket to cuddle him in and to serve as a nursing cover.  I wore some comfortable jeans, a tank top, and a regular top over it.  The tank top/regular top combo allowed me to pull up the outer top (the tank top made it so that my floppy belly wasn't exposed...Not that I care what anybody other than Billy thinks about my belly, but I don't like the feeling of my gut hanging over the band of my pants. ) and then I could pull the tank top down, so that all that's exposed is a swath of breast skin about 3 inches long.  I, of course, brought along my sling (one word of advice, if you're alone, try to wear your baby in a carrier that's made out of fabric and plastic.  I wore my ring sling and it set the stupid scanning machine thing off.  I had to take the sling off, put it through the x-ray machine, and walk through holding Desmond.  Not too difficult, I know, but try to pick up all of your belongings off of the belt while a line forms behind you full of people impatient to get through and to their gates...No fun.)  Finally, I bought lots of ear plugs (small and big ones for women and men, respectively) and put them in a plastic ziploc bag.

As soon as I walked into first class (Yes, I got upgraded to first class on the way to and on my way back from Chicago), I set my stuff down on my seat and before people could start giving me the evil eye, I walked down the aisle stopping at each row to ask the passengers if they would like a set of earplugs just in case my baby turned out to be the terror of the friendly skies and ruined their whole flight.  I would have to say that everyone looked surprised.  Only one couple took my offer and smiled at me, the rest smiled, thanked me, and declined my offer.  I looked at them like they were crazy, but went on my way.  I returned to my seat hoping that I had gained some brownie points with them.  I took Des out of the sling (you can't keep him in the sling during takeoff) and buckled myself in.

As soon as we started going, I started breastfeeding Desmond.  The primary cause of crying for babies occurs because of the change in pressure during takeoff and landing, therefore, they recommend that babies should suck on something (nipple, pacifier, bottle, your finger, etc) to help alleviate the buildup of pressure in their ears.  We started taxiing down the runway...and kept on going and going and going.  Seems like we were 6th in line for takeoff.  Shit!  I was wasting all of my breastmilk on just the taxiing instead of the liftoff part.  I pulled away from Desmond and before he could utter in protest, I put the binkie in his mouth to tide him over for a few minutes.  Finally, I heard the engines rev up and we started going faster and faster.  I started breastfeeding again and said a tiny prayer to St. Jude (the patron saint of lost causes) to help me and Desmond get through this part without any screaming.  And guess who was listening?  (I owe ya' one, Jude)

Desmond slept the ENTIRE flight.  Everyone commented about how good of a baby he was and I beamed with pride.  I ate it up.   And he was just as good on the way back.  I tell you what, this baby was BORN to travel.  He did so well that we just booked a trip to Seattle and I didn't even bat an eyelash.  I'm actually excited to go!

 Seat 1A, baby!  Photo courtesy of the couple in 1B and 1C.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What's the longest you've gone without pooping?

For Desmond, it was 6.5 days.  6.5! 

Some may think that this is TMI (if so, stop reading), but I have a very efficient digestive process.  I probably poop once every 3 days.  Anymore than that and I know that I've been eating really bad-for-you foods or I'm sick.  So when Desmond reached the 4 day mark, I started worrying that maybe it wasn't just super great digestive genetics that I passed down.  I knew that breastfed babies have erratic pooping schedules anyway and that it was normal for an exclusively-breastfed infant to go a few days without pooping, just as long as he was producing a 6-8 wet diapers a day, which he was doing.  But at day 5, I was kinda freaking out.

Des wasn't anymore fussy than usual and it didn't seem like he was pushing to poop a lot.  He didn't seem to be in any pain, but still.  I wanted some poop.  When I called my mom to apprise her of the situation, she told me that the same thing happened to me when I was little.  I had gone several days without pooping and my mother asked one of her friends for advice.  Here is the advice this friend gave:

take a green onion, chop off the bottom root part, and make several small vertical slices in the end that you just chopped off.  Dip that in some vegetable or olive oil and then proceed to slowly tickle the baby's anus.  Yes.  My mom did that.  To me.  And she LOVES telling that story to anyone who'd listen.

I hung up the phone in disgust.  There was no way I was sticking food inside my son's butthole.  Besides, we needed the green onions for the chili I was making that night.  So, here's what I did.  I took the baby thermometer, rubbed some lanolin on it (I didn't have petroleum jelly), and gingerly inserted the end of it into Desmond's bottom.

Des's face when I inserted the thermometer.

I couldn't even look him in the eye while I did this.  I hoped that he wasn't internalizing the humiliation so that it would surface as the cause of some sort of psychological defect during a therapy session.  Just kidding.  Desmond rather enjoyed it.  I inserted it in about a half inch or so, wriggled it around a bit, and pulled it out.  I did this a few times.  Unfortunately, for as much as it relaxed Desmond, it didn't even produce a single fart.  

The next day, we went to Desmond's 2 month pediatrician appointment where his doctor assured me that everything was ok.  And guess what, that night, it was.  I was holding Desmond and all of a sudden, I heard the wettest rumble down below.  I ran to the changing table, took his pants off, unbuttoned his onesie, and saw this majestic sight:

Yes!  Soiled from back to front!  I have never been so happy about a shitty diaper in my entire life.  After this poop, he proceeded to poop once a day for the next 3 days.  We're now back to a drought; it's been 3 days since his last poop.  What I don't understand is how he can poop every single day for a while and then go as long as 6 days while still keeping the same feeding schedule.  The last few days, I've even been feeding him once every 1.5-2 hours instead of the usual once every 3 hours.  Where does it all go?  And why do breastfed babies have such erratic elimination schedules while formula-fed babies don't?  Christy, you probably know the answer.  Can you tell me how it all works?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oh, those were the days...

Every time I call my mother and tell her how fussy Desmond's being, she always says one of two things:

"He just wants boobies."

"Give my baby a warmy bath.  He'll calm'll see."

So, if he fusses, I offer him lunch and, just recently, a warm bath.  I've never in Desmond's life seen him this serene and happy.  Why had we never tried this before?  Well, Desmond used to dislike bath time.  Maybe being exposed to the cooler air in the bathroom or kitchen during bathtime made him uncomfortable.  He would tolerate it for a few minutes, but then freak out.  Bathtime became this sort of rushed thing: take clothes of Desmond, quickly take him into his bath hammock where I would start pouring warm water over him, rub foamy Johnson & Johnson natural bath soap all over his baby bits, flip him over onto his tummy, rub more soap all over, wash off, wash face and head last, lift him up and finagle him into his bath towel quickly, run to the changing table holding him closely so he doesn't get too cold, wait for his screaming to subside, put him on the changing table, finish drying him off, put his jammies on, and then pick him up, rocking him to soothe him.  Phew!  We did it.  No wonder we only do it twice a week, if that.

This is probably not the best picture, but it's one of the few where his entire baby junk isn't showing.  God forbid I attract some sort of internet troll looking for stuff like that.  I know what it's like...I watch Law and Order SVU...dun dun.  

Anyhow, Desmond got his vaccinations today (5 in all!) during his 2 month well-baby checkup.  He was such a good little guy and only cried a little bit.  Well, a lot but only for a little bit.  I bought some generic acetaminophen (TYLENOL has been recalled due to musty odor in some of their products) and gave him the required amount.  All day, he's been on and off fussy and I could just empathize with him, having known firsthand the pain in the ass that is getting a vaccine.  So, I decided that what would relax me the most would make Desmond relax, too: a nice, warm bath.  

Now, my mother has suggested a warm bath several times now, but I haven't wanted to do it.  First of all, sitting in my own dirtyish water kind of repulses me, especially after having labored in my tub for several hours and after having leaked tons of amniotic fluid into it (don't worry.  I clean my tub.  There is no residual preggo goop anywhere); second, I shower every morning, so taking a bath to get clean is kind of redundant; finally, I saw this episode on House about a woman suffering from post-partum depression and, as she was taking a bath with her infant, had a seizure and the baby drowned.  I'm terrified that something similar will happen to me.

Tonight I attended my first Zumba class.  I'm trying to get back in shape and have been taking some yoga classes and wanted to mix it up a bit with a zumba class.  Zumba is basically just a dance class where you dance to latin music.  It's a lot of fun, but 20 minutes into the class and I already thought about quitting.  There were women in their 50s in there who were dancing and keeping up better than me.  I used to be a great dancer and could dance on my toes several hours a day; now I can't even keep up in an aerobics class.  Anyway, so I get home soooo tired.  I've got blisters on the bottoms of my big toes and I can barely walk.  A warm bath sounded like heaven.  

So I ask Billy to grab Desmond, I grabbed the portable heater from our bedroom, and I filled up the tub.  I got in and leaned back.  Billy handed Desmond over to me and I gingerly placed him in the water.  At first, since it was such a new sensation, Desmond startled a bit and started crying, but as soon as I started pouring water down his back and held him against my tummy and chest, he relaxed.  And guess what.  He LOVES the water.  I hold his head, making sure not to get any water into his ears, while he leans back and floats.  We put some rubber duckies into the water and everything was just beautiful.

We have a really cool antique tub without the claw feet.  Pirate HATES getting wet, but he had never seen a sight like that before and was wondering what we were doing.

Strategically-placed rubber duckie...Desmond is really good at floating.

 Look at how happy he is!

He's making an "awww shucks" movement with his arm...or an "off to work we go" jab

As Desmond was enjoying his first real bath, Billy goes, "Do you think this is the first time he's felt like he was back inside?  Do you think he's thinking...'Oh, those were the days?'"

I have no idea, but I would suppose that's part of the reason he's so happy and content.  
Or maybe it's just because he peed in the water.

Monday, October 18, 2010

It gets better...

There has been a lot of attention (and rightfully so) in the media about bullying and discrimination against gay youth.  Knowing firsthand how bullying can affect a child, I am outraged by the lengths that children, teenagers, and adults will go to demean a peer who may or may not be a homosexual in order to fulfill their own perverse sense of morality or to feel superior as a person.  The psychological damage that bullying can cause, even if it happened at a very young age, can last a lifetime and can affect a person's social and physical development. 

As a parent, the stories of these young men who have committed suicide because of the physical and emotional abuse received at the hands of others affect me to my core.  I mourn the meaningless loss of a beautiful, sacred human life; I feel for the mothers whose babies were ripped from existence by such heartless people; and I sob when I see their children's faces on the news.  I have seen what bullying can do to a child and find it morally reprehensible that this form of humiliation is allowed to happen by parents and school officials.  I imagine how I would feel if Desmond grew up to be a bully and harass his classmates and it angers me.  I also imagine how I would feel if Desmond were the recipient of this harassment and it pains me beyond belief.  I have a duty as a parent to instill in Desmond a respect for each and every human being, regardless of what they look like or what they believe, even if it's drastically different than what we look like or believe.  I will not allow my child to terrorize another human being the way these kids had been terrorized and I pray that other parents will do the same with their children so he will not suffer from meaningless abuse. 

Please read this moving post over at if you'd like to learn more about the "It Gets Better" movement. 

On a slightly less serious note, I wish there was a website with testimonials from mothers who had overcome obstacles to nursing, all of them telling new moms who are having breastfeeding issues not to give up, that it gets better.   I would definitely contribute to it.  I've had so many great people reach out to me to tell me that it does get better, not to give up, get help when I need it and I took their advice and now enjoy a (almost) perfect nursing relationship with my son.  All the pain and tears and frustration were all worth it to know that I'm providing him with the best possible start in life. 

Best treat for a baby shower...

These are soooo creepy.  Could you imagine if someone offered you a cupcake with a fetus face on it? 

Find more images like this HERE.

On another note, I used to think baby showers were kind of weird and felt badly about accepting gifts from people for my baby.  However, I have since changed my mind, since we received several great gifts for Desmond that have certainly proved useful.  What I would like to say to people thinking about going to a baby shower is to think about bringing a gift that is useful to the mom.  EVERYBODY else is going to bring baby clothes, blankets, play stuff for the baby, which is FANTASTIC, but I really appreciated the breastfeeding paraphernalia that my friends gave me.  Consider a gift certificate to a place like lactation station where the mom can buy herself a nursing bra (they're expensive!) or nursing pads or a boppy (those crescent-shaped pillows that help with nursing).  I'm sure she'll appreciate it, especially if she has problems with nursing at the beginning. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

We need a vacation already

Wow.  It's been 10 weeks since I've given birth and I've maybe had a cumulative 16 hours without Desmond: a few hours here and there for yoga (more about that later), my study group, and 1 dinner with friends.  Otherwise, he is always within 50 feet of me.  I don't mean for it to sound like such a horrible thing...I love spending time with Desmond and getting to know him, but I have no guilt in wanting my alone time.  I 100% believe in the mantra "if mommy's happy, the family's happy."  There are so many articles out there about "mommy guilt" and I have tons of friends who feel badly about letting their baby cry and cry because they were so frustrated or they feel badly that they're not giving their kid the best food or clothes or classes.  I am at peace with any mommy guilt I have and am committed to making sure that I'm content and as stress-free as possible by doing some of the following things (list is definitely not exhaustive):

Things that make my day better:

I love sitting at bookstores and reading their magazines for free (my BFF Kaip does this as well...I don't feel bad if I buy a drink there).

A lot of people don't like flan, but I was raised with it.  The creamy custard against my tongue makes me so very happy.  

This is from one of my favorite ballets: Giselle.  The Willis, the wood spirits, hop across the stage in parallel lines, all in perfect arabesques.  The sight of it gives me chills it's so beautiful.

Hugh Laurie plays House MD on the series of the same name on Fox.  I have a huge crush on him.

 Spas make me feel like I'm fancier than I really am.  

This is such a geeky, guilty pleasure.  Dune is probably one of the best sci-fi/fantasy series ever.  

I LOVE dancing.  Love it.  This was in Colombia where guys actually take dance classes for real if they can't dance.  Dancing is such an integral part of Hispanic culture (for the most part)...if you don't have any rhythm, you're socially screwed.

Today was tough.  Desmond has decided these last two weeks that he is only going to poop every other day and sometimes once every 3 days.  He spends 75% of his waking hours fussing because he's trying to poop.  It's really taxing having to spend the majority of my day carrying him and bouncing up and down to help him calm down.  Two days ago, my neighbor Rosie came over to say hi.  She wanted to hold Desmond, so I happily handed him over.  She kept on looking at me and asked if I wanted to sit down.  I said that I was OK.  She then says, "Scarlett, you're bouncing up and down."  I was still bouncing as if I were holding Desmond.

It pains me so much that he's in so much discomfort, but when 630 rolls around and Billy comes home, handing Desmond over is such a relief.  Billy is totally understanding about it; even though he works full time and is the main provider for our household, he knows that night time is my time to do what I need to do to keep me sane and happy.  Since I take Desmond with me to most of my meetings and classes, I combine taking care of him with work, whereas it's not possible for Billy to do that when he constantly has to talk to parents on the phone or when he's in an environment where every warble Desmond utters is heard throughout the space.  So, to make a long sob story short, I need a vacation already.

A year ago, Billy and I took a vacation to beautiful Louisiana.  Before I went last October, I had always thought of New Orleans as this super seedy, dirty place with weird Cajun food and drunk, naked people.  However, Bill was super enamored with the place and spoke very highly of it.  As I was researching vacations for "girl getaways," I came across an article extolling the small town of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

The bridge to the entrance of Breaux Bridge.

I looked it up online, told Billy about how quaint it seemed and we booked the tickets that night.  We spent a wonderful night and a whole day in Breaux Bridge, where we ate a Cafe Des Amis and Chez Jacqueline's and drank delicious Abita Brewery Beers.

Jacqueline and her husband Vaughn at Chez Jacqueline's, where we waited for about a half hour for our food to come out but it was worth every minute for the great-tasting breakfast and conversation.


We then drove down to New Orleans, stopping by the Tabasco plant on the way down.

They really do have Tabasco-flavored vanilla ice cream.  It was quite good.

New Orleans is a gastronomic heaven.  I LOVED everything that I ate there, from the jambalaya at Mother's to the gumbo at Jacques-Imo's to the chicken at Popeye's.  However, what I most crave from New Orleans is the cocktails at Cure.  Most who know me know that I don't like "fruity boat drinks".  I'm a scotch neat kind of girl.  I like microbrews and wine, but I love a nice small glass of Scotch.  So, when Billy told me that he wanted to take me to this really cool place where the bartenders were like chemists and made the most amazing drinks, I kind of scoffed at him.  Sounded like some sort of chi chi yuppie hangout where silly girls drank concoctions that were similar to Mike's hard lemonade or fancy shirley temples and guys pretended to be like Don Draper from Mad Men.  

HOWEVER, as soon as our bartender whipped up and invented my own special drink (I told her I was feeling really happy, in a rosy sort of way...and she made me my very own drink with rose water in it), I fell in love.  I could spend hours telling you about the drinks she made me (I think I had 3 or 4) and they were quite possibly the best drinks I've had in my entire life.  It's that good.

The Cure building.  Cure is situated in sort of an out-of-the-way part of New Orleans in a kind of residential neighborhood.

The liquor wall behind the bar contains some of the most obscure bottles of liquor.  This is me with my first rose drink.  Delicious and look at the pretty glass. 

 This was our lovely bartender who kept on making us delicious drinks.  I think we were the last ones there.  

Tulane University's Business School is one of the schools that Billy is applying to for his MBA.  As an undergraduate, Billy spent a semester at New Orleans University.  His brother Dan completed his undergraduate and masters degrees at Tulane.  Billy goes to New Orleans probably 1-2 times a year for the past few years now.  He really loves it and after having been, my original assessment of New Orleans (and Louisiana) has drastically changed.  I LOVE it there and if we end up moving there, I'd be so happy (and fat).  

Wow, I just digressed A LOT.  Point of this blog post is that I can't wait to go on another vacation...hopefully, we'll get good news from Tulane and be able to fly down there (Billy on their dime) for the prospective student social that they throw for the students who received offers of admission.  Until then, I'll make do with watching True Blood.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Personalized gifts

I love them, even though they may put kids at higher risk for kidnapping by strangers (I read a report about it once).

Regardless, I love my baby boy's name and want to plaster it everywhere.

A book that Aunt Kseniya gave to Desmond

A little knapsack that Desmond's Uncle Andrew and Aunt Stephanie sent him.  Adorable, eh?

On my parent to-do list: teach Desmond to say "no" to strangers who approach him and call him by name.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You're better off letting your baby eat off the toilet...maybe.

You're better off letting your baby eat off the toilet...maybe.

As a student of public health (I dare not call myself a public health professional...yet), I would be remiss if I didn't let you in on this little gem of a study (the link above takes you to, a blog that I'm starting to contribute to.  It's pretty cool and a lot fancier than my little ol' blog.  Check it out :)).

The people over at Microban ("global leader of antimicrobial technology") funded and implemented a study that showed that there are more fecal bacteria on some restaurant high chairs than there are on public toilet seats. I'm not the "keep my kid in a bubble" mom. I think a healthy exposure to germs is healthy for Desmond, but this is one example where I'd advocate the use of sanitizing wipes to wipe off the seat.

Another huge cesspool of fecal bacteria?  The ball pools that are found at chuck e. cheese's and mcdonald's.  Blech.

Solution?  Portable high chair that you could take with you and clean yourself.  Genius.  Makes it so that your kid isn't eating crap...literally. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Desmond's genetics

So, since everyone says that Desmond looks so much like Bill, I naturally try to look for features from my side of the family.  He's definitely got a Del Castillo chin (my maternal grandmother's surname is Del Castillo):

Desmond's godfather and my uncle Angel with the characteristic Del Castillo chin.

 Similar chins?  He's got this huge fat pad that sits on top of his chin bone.

Desmond's face is also very long and lean.  He hasn't filled out like most babies his age (that I've noticed) and I hope that it's due more to his Toca genes than for lack of calories (Toca is my mother's father's surname).  

This is my momma for her first communion in Santo Domingo.  She was probably around 7 in this picture.  Look at how long and oval her face is!  She's beautiful!

Seriously, he's got the longest, narrowest face ever!

But overall, I think he looks like Billy.  Just like everyone says.  

Billy and Desmond have the same exact hairline.  It cracks me up.  
Even their ears kind of look alike.

 Look at those cheeks and that bald head!  Billy at about 1 month of age.

See how much chubbier he is than Desmond?  Des is almost 2.5 months old now and doesn't rival these cheeks...

Oh my gosh...I love, love, love this picture.  My boyfriend is so freaking adorable...Billy's about 4 or 5 in this picture and he's holding his little baby brother Dan.  Come to think of it, Desmond and Dan do look a LOT alike.  Hmmm...

This is me and my grandmother (notice her chin)...
Same facial expressions?

 I lost most of my hair as a baby.  I don't think my mother was too happy about it.  This is one of the rare pictures I have of myself without hair and hanging out in public.

Female pattern baldness?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Best weekend in a loooong time

It's been 9.5 weeks since I've had Desmond and I finally feel like we've fallen into a rhythm.  I haven't cried in weeks, I don't dread nursing him (sometimes, I even look forward to our alone time together), and I know what to do to soothe him...sometimes.  I'm living a pretty fulfilled and, dare I say, blessed life (Billy and I would always roll our eyes at the people who would say that they were "blessed."  Now we understand where they're coming from just like we understand where people are coming from when they say that the best thing that ever happened to them was their children.  Sappy, sap, sap...)

So, while I was studying for my general exam, I would get together with my friends Ann and smarty-pants Andy once a week to go over the material, eat, and chat.  We took a break after the test but have recently resumed our get-togethers.  We meet twice a month at a coffee shop around the valley and do our work, eat, and chat.  This weekend we went to The Greenhouse Effect and I brought along Billy and my little shadow, Desmond. 

Greenhouse Effect on 3231 South 900 East

I had a very delicious savory crepe with pesto and chicken.  Just in case you go and wanna know what to get.  Anyhow, it's always so nice to meet with friends...It makes me feel like a functioning part of society.  Just last week I had dinner with two of my great friends, Sherrie and Rebecca, and I did my hair, put some makeup on, and donned a nice shirt (I still wore maternity pants, though, so it wasn't a KILLER outfit).  We went and dined in Mazza and had delicious Middle Eastern food and I had two glasses of shiraz.  We decided to meet twice a month to help restore my sanity (on another divergent note, is anyone going to the rally to restore sanity here in SLC?)...better than taking pills, right?  

Anyhow, as I was talking to Ann at the coffeshop, she mentioned how she was up at Park City at the outlets and got 3 pairs of boots for the price of one.  3 for 1!!!  I almost passed out.  She showed me her kick-ass boots and I looked over at Billy, with "please, please, please" in my eyes, and he smiled.  Yes!  So, we went to Park City and I bought myself 3 great new pairs of boots all for $120!  Billy got a pair of boat shoes and 2 nice pairs of dress shoes.  Six pairs of shoes for about $240.  Unbelievable.  Billy, surprisingly, wanted to shop for more stuff.  He joked that here he was, a man wearing a baby who wanted to keep on shopping when his girlfriend just wanted to go home.  Weird, right?   
Desmond ready for a shopping spree. 

PLUS! I bought two pairs of real-people jeans from Old Navy for $16 each!!!  Old Navy is having a super sale for it's something anniversary and all of their jeans were $16.  I was this close to getting a pair of jeggings (jean leggings...yes, it exists) but I had some crazy muffin-topness going on and decided that I need to lose a few more pounds before I can squeeze my rotund abdomen into them.  Anyway, most important part is that I bought two pairs of real people jeans, albeit at a size I've never worn before, but that's alright, because it's been like 10 months since I've worn regular jeans!  My jeans have zippers!  I actually went to the bathroom, having to pee like all get out, and tried to pull my pants down as if they had a stretchy waistband.  When I realized that I couldn't pull them down without unzipping them, I did a little pee dance of joy before I unzipped them and did my business.  

New boot cut non-maternity pants with a real waist!

Desmond at Old Navy helping me shop.  He's currently that size where his newborn onesies look like muscle shirts but the 3 months clothes is a tad bit too big.  Very few of his hats fit, but I think it's because Des has a very narrow head :)

After we went to Park City, we stopped by Billy's parents' house, where Bruce (Billy's dad) was hanging out all by himself (Donna, Billy's mom, is out of town).  We made Rob Roy (a cocktail made out of whiskey, bitters, and sweet vermouth) and just hung out.  Today, Billy made a killer breakfast and I tried to use up all of our CSA apples.  

 I made an apple cobbler and apple bread with about 1/3 of the apples.  I'm looking into making apple butter with the rest of the apples...But I think I'll stop there.  I'm starting to feel too pioneer womanish for my taste. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Study O.K.'s Light Drinking During Pregnancy. Too Good to Be True?

Study O.K.'s Light Drinking During Pregnancy. Too Good to Be True?

Super interesting article about drinking during pregnancy. I had a few sips of Billy's beer at the Carlsberg Museum and Brewery in Copenhagen and a few sips of wine a few weeks before I was due. I give my mother lots of grief because she allowed my grandmother to give me bottles filled with cow's milk, formula, and God only knows what else. I tell her if she would have exclusively breastfed, I would have won the Nobel Prize by now. I now wonder if Desmond comes out with any behavioral problems, if a few more glasses of wine would have prevented it...hahah!

Just kidding.

Kind of.

Anyhow, bottoms up!

shaving, showers, and sex

I got one question from a close friend about shaving "down there" during pregnancy and for childbirth.  I wondered that, too, and I forget if I asked anybody when I was pregnant.  I wonder why it's so important to women what the state of their pubic hair is, but I guess to some, it's as important as the hair on their head.  For me, it was all about how much I wanted poking through my underpants.  For the last trimester of my pregnancy, I could only manage to shave the bikini line; the rest, I left undistrubed.  Yes, friends, undisturbed for three glorious months.  Well, almost.  2 weeks before my due date I waddled into the bathroom, carefully stepped inside of my bathtub, and armed with soap and a fusion vibrating razor (the men kind...they do a much better job), I blindly shaved "down there."  OK...I know.  DUMB move.  But, I didn't want to go into the delivery room with a full-blown 'fro.  C'mon!  My doula was going to tape the entire thing for me.  I wanted the focus to be on Desmond's head crowning and not on how cuhrazy my pubic hair was.  The reason I did it 2 weeks beforehand was so that I wasn't completely "bare" down there during my delivery (I wanted some coverage, you know...this isn't playboy!)

Here's something that I wished I had 2 months ago:

Taking a shower is one of the few times in the day where I don't have to have Desmond on me or near me.  For the first 6 weeks postpartum, I would have to hunch over so that the water spray wouldn't hit my sore and cracked nipples.  Can you imagine?  Anyhow, drying myself off was a hassle, too.  I would have to pat my breasts gingerly with the towel, avoiding the nipple, and dry off the rest of my body limb by limb.  I LIVED in comfortable nursing bras; I even slept in them.  I don't think I have ever in my life slept with my bra on, but the thought of the sheets rubbing against my nipples sent shivers down my spine. for sex.  Poor, poor Billy.  For the last month of my pregnancy, I wanted nothing to do with Billy's reproductive organs.  Nothing.  I felt like the beginning of a turducken and Billy would be the chicken in the whole thing: I was stuffed!  So, sex was just about the last thing on my mind.  Although I didn't tear during delivery, I did have some small abrasions.  They stung every time I peed, so I figured they'd sting just as bad during sex.  So, we decided to wait another six weeks so that I could heal and so that I could get the go ahead from my midwife at my first postpartum checkup.  I didn't have insurance until just last week, so I didn't go in for a postpartum checkup until yesterday, at almost 9 weeks.  At around 6 weeks, I felt ready to resume my "sexual relations" with Billy...but he wasn't.  He was so deathly scared of getting me pregnant again that he wouldn't come near me.

So, Tuesday I got the Mirena inserted and the song that went through my head was "Tonight's the Night" by Neil Young.  I went home, made a plan to shave my legs (among other things), and put on some of the nicer maternity underpants I had.  Billy came home after having a bad day and still had to work on his essays, which would take ALL night.  I was cramping from the IUD insertion and spotting and didn't feel like getting frisky AT ALL.  *sigh*  So, it's 91 days and counting...

We'll see what the next few days brings :) 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Like Father, Like Son?

This is what happens when I ask Desmond to help me write essays: