Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well that sucks.

Just a couple days ago I was telling my wonderful husband that I was scared things were going too well and I was wondering when the other shoe would drop.  Consider it dropped.

My husband's company decided to throw a wrench into our perfect little world.  Completely out of the blue this morning they laid him off.

He just started this job in April a couple weeks before Evelynn was born.  It was perfect.  No travel (his old job had him traveling nearly 50 weeks a year). He was doing what he loved and he got a 30% raise. Essentially the same amount both of us had made combined.  GREAT!  I quit my job when Evelynn was 3 weeks old.

So, this morning I was loading the dishwasher when I heard the garage door open.  Um.. After last week's break-in I pretty well jumped out of my skin. Then I heard the door open and it's a good thing there wasn't a knife near by. But then Mike came around the corner I was ok, if a little confused. His office was 30 miles away. What was he doing home at 11:30AM?   He'd been told to clean out his office. Not. Good.

So, what do we do now?  Well, he got a little bit of severance, not much. And he gets to file for unemployment. Joy.  But he was told to consider himself lucky. See the VP of another plant in the company wants him to go to North Carolina and interview with that plant on Monday.  Um. Ok. So, the job they want him to apply for is essentially doing the same thing he does now, but not a management position. So it pays less than he makes here but the cost of living there is more.  We wouldn't be able to live on it, especially not with all the medical bills from Evie's birth still hanging over our heads. Besides that, we'd have to move half way across the country away from our friends and even farther from our family.

He's searching Monster and Career Builder and Linkedin, and any other job site he can find. We'll see if anything surfaces. But so far there doesn't appear to be anything around here. So chances are we'll have to move. I just hope we can move closer to family rather than farther away.

I don't want to move. I love my house. We JUST renovated the bathroom and I LOVE it. I don't want to give it up. I have trees planted in the front yard that are supposed to grow with Evelynn. I have plants stolen out of my Mom's yard at her old house. I'm comfortable here. And I just got rid of tons of junk so it's much more comfortable now. Besides that, the house isn't ready to go on the market. We need new carpet and new paint all over the house. I hadn't planned on doing any of that for a while.  I always thought it was stupid when people painted their house just to put it on the  market. I always thought if I painted, darn it I was going to enjoy it for a while. Guess not.

This sucks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Too Smart for My Good

Evelynn is going through a phase where she is just a pain in the bootie to feed. And I'm not even talking about solids (see post below).  No, my smart little girl has figured out that if she spits out her bottle and listens for bubbles, when she goes back to it, the milk will come out faster. She likes milk.  She likes milk NOW.  So, she spits that bottle out a lot.  Of course that means that she ends up with more of a mess all over her face and clothes.  And she exclaims, "Ah! Ah! Ah!" while she waits for the bubbles- not so pleasant or cute in public. It takes an extreme amount of patience to give her a bottle these days and has become very frustrating for her daddy and others not accustomed to it to deal with since it's so confusing. You think she's hungry but then she's constantly spitting the bottle out but then she cries when you stop feeding her.

But all of this is bearable.  The real problem is that I am still nursing and want to continue for a few more months at least. Evelynn doesn't differentiate between the bottle and my breast very well.  When my milk isn't flowing as fast as she'd like, we play the off and on fussing and waiting for bubbles that never come game.  Which leads to the latch on and attempt to turn head game.  Not. Fun.  I am dreading her getting teeth mostly for that reason.

We've been working on a solution for this little problem.  So far we've discovered a couple things.  1.  Fast flow nipples.  She likes them and Man can she power through a bottle when we use one of those.  BUT, as I said, I'm still nursing.  They really make her frustrated when my milk isn't nearly as easy to get.  So,  I'd rather stick with the slow flow.  2. Taking the bottom off the bottle.  We already use Playtex VentAire bottles which have holes in the bottom with little silicone washers to prevent leaks (most of the time).  But they don't re-pressurize fast enough for Evie.   Taking the bottom off keeps it even with no bubbles and a steady stream of milk.  But of course then you're holding a full bottle with no bottom.  If she moves or grabs the bottle, like she loves to do, milk goes everywhere.


Friday, September 25, 2009


Evelynn tried her first solid food tonight. She's four months old and the doctor told us we could start her on rice cereal to help with her spit up. So tonight was the night. I was covered in spit up and had had enough.

Things started out promising
I thought for sure she would love it... yeah, not so much.

Mommy! Why do you keep putting that in my mouth?
Things weren't going well, so I tried mixing in a teeny spoonful of pear baby food. That didn't seem to help much, so I figured, why not let her try pears straight.

Wow that was bad. Her little face was so funny when she tasted it.  It just sat there on her tongue and her face got all red.  Then she spit it all out. Every other bite from there out ended up on her bib. She didn't even eat half her cereal and was a red, crying, shaking mess by the time we gave up.

Poor baby. I guess we'll try solids again in a few weeks.

Breastfeeding vs formula

I thought I was done posting for the day but Evelynn has fallen asleep in my lap and I can't bear to move my sweet little snoozer so here I sit.

When I was pregnant I told myself "Of COURSE I'm going to breastfeed!"  It's without a doubt the best food for baby.  Plus it comes with all that great snuggly bonding time.  Not to mention helping quickly shed that baby weight.

But after the first month I started to realize something wasn't right.  My daughter hadn't regained her birth weight by her first check up and she was crying constantly.  We called her pteridactl baby. I pumped during the day and by evening would have around 4oz of milk in a bottle that my husband would feed Evie.  She'd take all of it and want more.  I knew I was probably only producing an once or two at each feeding.  That's when we realized, she wasn't a fussy baby.  She was hungry! So I called the doctor and he said it was okay to supplement with formula. It was like a tremendous weight had been lifted.

That was the first time I'd even considered that formula was okay for my baby.  But then I started thinking about it.  I heard from my mother that my brother and I were exclusively formula fed.  And I would much rather have Evelynn full, happy, growing and healthy than just be able to brag that she was exclusively breast fed. With the full support of my family and physicians we decided to supplement.

Typically Evelynn nurses until both breasts are emptied and then takes a bottle of formula to make up the difference.  Sometimes she doesn't need the bottle at all and we don't force it on her.  Sometimes she takes an 8oz bottle after nursing.  It just depends.

Since we have started giving formula our lives are dramatically easier and much more pleasant at home.  But when we're out people seem to think what I feed my baby is their business.  There are so many women and sometimes even men out there who condemn me for my choice.  I just want to say to them, "It's great that you (or your wife) didn't have the same issues I did.  I would love to be able to exclusively breastfeed.  But I can't."  I certainly respect their choice.  Why can't they respect mine?

Typically when I have this conversation I get bombarded with "solutions" to my problem.  I've heard everything from staying in bed and nursing all day to special teas.  The only thing that I have found that actually seems to help is pumping for 20 minutes after each feeding to make sure my breasts are completely empty.  Then pumping every hour that she doesn't nurse.  You'd think after all that I would be overflowing but, in fact, I've never pumped more than 4 ounces at a time.  Additionally my supply is ultra sensitive.  If I don't empty my breast one time the supply is drastically cut almost immediately.  You can see how all this would make it difficult to leave the house!

Anyway, I'm sure that's a little TMI.  I just wanted to get that off my chest (no pun intended).  I'm tired of being judged by my fellow mothers. I wish we could all just support one another and respect well intentioned and thoughtful personal decisions.

To Serve and Protect?

My house got broken into sometime between 8PM Monday night and 7AM Tuesday morning.

A person or persons crawled under my garage door (it was open 6-12 inches to let the cat out) opened my car door and stole several small electronics.  My husband, baby and I were home at the time. My neighbor down the street had her car window smashed and her purse stolen that same night. The thieves later tried to use her ID to clear out her bank account. Thank goodness they were not successful.

I live in a small, quiet neighborhood in a small town. It's mostly young families and older people here, and there are only 2 streets and around 20 homes. It's the kind of neighborhood where you wouldn't expect this kind of thing. Ever since it happened I've been on a mission, not only to catch the thieves and get my stuff back, but to make sure it never happens again.

This week I've spoken to the police department several times, visited and called pawn shops and written letters to all my neighbors telling them about the incident and asking them to keep their eyes open.  I'm also gathering details on starting a neighborhood watch program.

It's been good to have a project and make me feel like I'm at least doing something about what happened. And it's been great finally meeting some of my neighbors.

One lady called this morning and told me some rather distressing news.  She actually saw two young men in hoodie sweatshirts at 5:30AM Tuesday morning on foot in our neighborhood. They seemed out of place, especially given that it was the middle of a thunderstorm at the time, so she called the police. The cops never came. And they never called to interview her either. Not even after two police reports were filed about incidents that occurred that very night.

I realize that petty theft doesn't amount to much on the crime scale. And if this was a bigger city I'd assume the police were out chasing down murders and rapists and the like. But this is a small town. Petty theft and drunk college students are what keep our police force in business. A murder would have been front page news for months. And 5:30 on Tuesday morning when the bars close at 2AM makes it unlikely they were checking college kids.

Yay! Another Time Suck

So, I'm starting this blog because I need another way to waste time. Not really of course. But, I have been keeping a diary since I found out I was pregnant and have continued to write in the four months since Evelynn has been born but I seem to have more time and free hands for typing lately so I thought I'd start keeping an online journal of my baby's milestones, short stories of our adventures and general musings. Plus hopefully things I've learned. And I'm sure there will be posts about whatever topic has me riled up at the moment. I look forward to sharing these stories with you.