Wednesday, February 28, 2007

This post contains lots of random thoughts

I finally got my hair cut this weekend. Overall, I was very disappointed. I asked the stylist to cut my hair to my shoulders and to add a few layers. My hair is nowhere near my shoulders, and I don't see many layers. I would have asked her to cut it shorter, but it took her FOREVER to cut off the inch that she did. I was sick of sitting in the chair, making awkward conversion. When I got home, John asked if I had even had my hair cut. GRRRR!

I also dyed my hair this weekend. I usually dye my hair a dark auburn color, but I was ready for a change. I decided to dye my hair a deep copper color instead. BAD MOVE. My hair looks awful. If you saw me on the street, you would laugh and point your finger at me. John says it looks fine - but I know its hideous. But I love him for acting like it looks okay.

Even though I am not pleased with my new hairdo, it felt good to pamper myself (even if the results were not so hot). Tomorrow I am going to go shopping for some new clothes. I was thinking about going to the thrift store, but I always have such a hard time finding the right size. So, I am going waste lots of money and go the the mall.


Porgie is getting ready to crawl. She pushes herself up on her knees and then moves backward. She gets very frustrated with herself and starts crying. Even though she whines most of the time, it is still adorable to watch.

For the past few days, I have been trying to take a pictures of her up on her knees. She moves so damn fast, its hard to capture the moment. This morning I started snapping lots of pictures, and I finally got a few good ones.

My little baby is growing up. sniff sniff


Recently, I was reading an article in Parenting Magazine about stay-at-home-moms who are top sellers on eBay. One woman actually made over $100,000.00 last year. Isn't that insane? I was talking to John about it, and I think we might start selling some of our old crap on eBay. It will be like having a yard sale, except I won't have to move my lazy ass off of the couch. YAY!

Have any of you ever sold stuff on eBay? If so, was it fairly easy?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Coasters are awesome!

So, I finally took some photos of my wonderful coasters. They are totally awesome! I know that you guys will all be begging me to make you a set for your living room, but I can't. I have an eight month old baby to care for, you selfish bloggers.

Now don't laugh. This was the first swatch I attempted to make. When I finished it, I was beaming with pride.

This was the second swatch I made. I thought I was doing the single crochet technique, but it turns out that I was doing it wrong. I think I invented a new technique. I think its fabulous. What do you think?

Finally, I managed to teach myself the double crochet technique. I was very impressed with my skills, until I realized that it was shrinking. Why is one end bigger than the other?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Naps are for suckers!

Porgie has been having some napping issues lately. It started last Saturday, when she absolutely refused to take an afternoon nap. I fruitlessly tried to make her take a nap for more than an hour. She was wide awake and ready to play.

For the next hour, I complained about how fussy she was going to be. I told John that she would have a meltdown by 6:00 pm. I was certain that she was going to transform into a little monster.

I was completely wrong. She was fine. She played and cooed and laughed until 7:30 when she went to sleep for the night.

The next day, I faced the same struggle during the afternoon nap. Once again, she stayed up until bedtime, without much fussing or whining. John kept saying, "Maybe she doesn't need two naps anymore." I looked at him with fury and hate. I (me, Christy, mommy) NEED her to take two naps. She wears me out. I need that time to relax and to go to the bathroom and to maybe even eat lunch.

Fortunately, she took both of her naps today. When do babies usually go down to one nap per day? Surely it can't be at eight months. Personally, I think she should continue to nap twice per day until she enters school. That sure would be nice!

On a different note, the crocheting is coming along nicely. Despite my ignorance, I have continued practicing. I should take some pictures of my creations. They are pretty funny to look at - they are misshaped and sloppy.

I should totally crochet all of my Internet friends one of my signature "coasters" (a misshaped square). You'll love it!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Being crafty and shit

Well, it is official. I am a total jackass. Yesterday, Porgie and I went to the local craft store. I went there to purchase some scrapbook supplies, but I ended up buying a book, some yarn, and a crochet needle. Yes, I decided to teach myself how to crochet.

I was extremely excited about making Porgie a blanket or booties or a whole damn outfit. The possibilities were endless. As I drove home, I had images of me effortlessly crocheting, while Porgie innocently played nearby. It was a lovely day dream, just lovely.

I must inform you that I often talk about being crafty, but I rarely ever follow through. For example, John bought me a sewing machine shortly after Porgie was born. I was going to make curtains and baby clothes and Halloween costumes. To date, I have never sewn a damn thing. I can't even figure out how to use the machine. I definitely should have paid more attention in home economics class.

When I got home, I eagerly started reading the crocheting book. It sounded easy enough. I even managed to make a basic chain. However, by page 4 I was completely lost.

Why am I so lame?

Friday, February 23, 2007

ALTE (apparent life threatening event)

I am going to share a story with you about reflux/sleep apnea. If you are a chronic worrier or a parent of a newborn, you might not want to read this story. However, I want to tell this story so that my readers can better understand my obsession with checking on Porgie while she is sleeping.

Porgie was a very difficult newborn, especially for a first-time mommy. Almost from birth, Porgie spit up large amounts of breast milk/formula. If I feed her a 4 ounce bottle, at least 2 ounces of that bottle would end up on my clothes and furniture. Also, she would arch her back and cry when I put her down after a feeding. Worried that something was wrong, I took my baby to the pediatrician's office. Porgie was diagnosed with reflux.

In order to alleviate her discomfort, I had to burp her after every 1/2 ounce, sit her upright for at least 30 minutes after each feeding, let her sleep on her side or tummy, and feed her small, but frequent meals. Porgie was obviously miserable when you put her down to sleep. She would often wake up crying after only 10 to 20 minutes. No one was getting much rest at my house.

When Porgie was about a month old, her reflux caused her to experienced an ALTE (apparent life threatening event). I was laying in bed one morning, and Porgie was curled up next to me asleep. John had just left for work. It was about 5:30 in the morning, and I was trying to fall back to sleep. I was in a semiconscious state, listening to Porgie breathe. I heard her take in a deep breath and then there was silence.

I sat up in bed and grabbed Porgie. She was stiff as a board. She wasn't breathing. I started screaming her name and frantically patting her on the back. No noise, just silence. I stood up and started bouncing her vigorously. It almost seemed like she was choking, so I shoved my fingers in her mouth. There was nothing in her mouth.

As I ran into the living room to call 911, a million thoughts were racing through my mind. Maybe 40 seconds had passed, but I was certain she was going to die. As I grabbed the phone off of the couch, I heard Porgie gasp for air. I sat down and started patting her back again. She started crying. It was a beautiful sound.

Porgie was hysterical. There was nothing I could do to calm her. She cried and cried and cried. I sat in the rocking chair with her, while she quivered and shook with fear. I kissed her over and over again and I cried too. Porgie cried herself to sleep in my arms.

I was a weeping, sobbing wreck. I didn't know what to do or who to call. I considered taking her to the hospital, but she seemed to be okay. What could they do for her now? I decided to wait until her doctor's office opened, unless she started acting funny again.

From 6:00 to 8:00, I watched Porgie sleep. I kept one hand on her abdomen the entire time. Feeling her chest rise and fall with each breath was comforting.

At 9:00, I rushed Porgie to the pediatrician's office. They checked her oxygen saturation and asked about a million questions. The doctor believed that this episode was triggered by Porgie's reflux. She explained that sometimes milk can back up into a baby's throat, creating a bolus. The milk doesn't have the force to be vomited out, so it just sits in her throat. This bolus prevents the baby from breathing.

To make an extremely long story short, the doctor decided to place Porgie on an apnea monitor. Before Porgie went to sleep each night, I placed two electrodes on her chest and hooked her up to the monitor. I would often be jarred awake at 4:00 am to the sound of the alarm beeping. With every beep of the alarm, my heart would jump into my throat. I lived in a near constant state of fear.

Porgie had a few more episodes similar to the first, but nothing nearly as dramatic. By the time Porgie was four months old, the doctor determined that she was no longer having the reflux/apnea episodes and the monitor was removed.

Although 4 months have passed, I still worry excessively about Porgie at night. I check on her at least 3 times before I go to bed. Then I usually get up at least once during the night to check on her again.

The fear that my baby might stop breathing is overpowering.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I gots me some smarts

When Porgie settled down to take her first nap this morning, I started working on a wonderful post for you. It was witty and smart, with lots of adorable baby pictures. But you will never see that post. After working on it for about 45 minutes, I accidentally deleted it. I am a jackass.

I seem to be doing a lot of stupid things lately. So, I'll share some of my stupidity with you.

1. After writing a new blog post, I proofread my writing three times before I click the publish button. However, I always see a mistake as soon as I view my blog. Then I have to go back and edit the post again. If you see a typo, just know that I proofread 268 times, but I just didn't see that stupid ass mistake. Sorry.

2. The other night I was making spaghetti. Keep in mind that I never cook. When the pasta was ready (but still boiling in water), I asked John how I should scoop out the noodles. He looked at me like I had three heads and told me to go get the strainer. So that is what that bowl with holes in it is for. WOW, I am losing my freaking mind!

3. This one happened awhile ago, but it is so ridiculous that I have to share it with you. John and I were at our insurance agent's office. Somehow, we started talking about college. I was telling our agent about an intersession class I had taken. Suddenly, John busted out laughing. Apparently, instead of calling it an intersession class, I called it an intercourse class. What the hell is wrong with me?

4. The other night, I was getting ready to go to bed. I turned out all of the lights and headed toward the bedroom. I thought I was walking into my room, but instead I slammed right into the door. That one really hurt.

5. This one really shows my stupidity. Last night Porgie slept through the night again. I woke up at 5:50 and started worrying about her. I could not go back to sleep until I checked on her. So, I tiptoed into her room and peered into the crib. She was sleeping peacefully. I turned around to leave and ran into her book stand. I woke her up.

When I was pregnant with Porgie, I think she absorbed all of my brain cells. She keeps getting smarter and smarter, while I keep getting dumber and dumber.

Okay, maybe my first post wasn't witty or smart, but it definitely contained cute baby pictures.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Things are going swimmingly

I finally signed Porgie up for a swimming class at the local YMCA. I had never been to a YMCA before, but for some reason I thought it would be relatively cheap. Apparently I am an idiot, because the YMCA is expensive. We looked at the price for a family membership. It was $780. SEVEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS!!!

Needless to say, we didn't get the family membership. Instead, I signed Porgie up as a program member for $100. I had no idea that the YMCA was for the rich bitches. In order to get your money's worth, you would have to go to the Y everyday. Whatever. I am not paying $780 to play in the pool with Porgie. I'll just put her in the bathtub instead.

I have to admit, I am pretty excited about the swimming class. I can't wait to see Porgie's reaction to the pool. Also, I can't wait to put her in the adorable bathing suit I bought her. Don't worry, I'll take plenty of pictures.

On a different note, I am getting ready to buy new window treatments for my living room. Currently, we just have some ugly vertical blinds. These blinds came with the house - I despise them.

I have no shame. I didn't even clear off my tables before I snapped this picture.

At first, I wanted to put up roller blinds and simple sheers (I want to let in the natural sunlight, but still have privacy). I wanted roller blinds because they are the safest option for Porgie. However, I'm worried that the cats will snag the sheers and ruin them. So, I have been thinking about foregoing the roller blinds and sheers, and just putting up white curtains, like these.

I have the hardest time making decisions. What do you think I should do?

Monday, February 19, 2007

She sleeps like a baby (albeit, a very restless baby)

Here is that latest update on the sleep situation at my house: things are crazy and unpredictable. Porgie is an enigma.

Last week started out very rough. She was waking twice per night. On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday she woke up like clockwork at 12:30 am and then again at 5:30 am. Each day, she had trouble going back to sleep at 5:30, and would coo in her crib for about an hour before finally falling back to sleep.

Then all of a sudden she slept through the night on Wednesday. I woke up at 6:00 am in a state of panic. I nearly fell out of bed and ran to her room. I had a horrible feeling that something was terribly wrong. Porgie was sleeping soundly. I was so proud. I tiptoed out of her room, and went back to bed.

On Thursday night, she woke up crying at 2:30 am. I made her a bottle, but by the time I had walked to her room, she was asleep. So, I went back to sleep too. Porgie didn't wake up again until 7:30 am. Once again, I was extremely impressed.

Unfortunately, Porgie has regressed. On Friday and Saturday, she woke up at 1:30 am and again at 6:30 am. Last night she was up for 2 hours in the middle of the night. Needless to say, I continue to feel the affects of sleep deprivation.

On a side note, I have a confession to make. I miss having Porgie sleep with me. I miss rolling over at night and looking at her sweet little face. I miss touching her fuzzy little head. I miss kissing her at 4:00 am. I miss the sound of her rhythmic breathing. I miss her little body curled up next to me. I miss my baby.

Some days, I can hardly wait until she wakes up in the morning. When I hear her stir, I run to her room and hold her tight. I kiss her and tell her how much missed her the night before. She is so precious. My love for her is all consuming.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My appearance has gone into the crapper

Ugh. I need to do something with myself. I feel like I am falling apart. Since having Porgie, my body has changed in many many ways. Most of them are not good.

Let's start with the extra weight. I feel like a blimp - enormous and round. My waist is gigantic. I feel like I have a tire wrapped around my midsection. Also, I have gained weight in my legs. I even got a few stretchmarks on my thighs (after Porgie was born, not during my pregnancy). It is really gross.

Let's move on to my boobs. When I was pregnant, my breasts never really grew. I was able to wear my pre-pregnancy bras for the entire nine months. However, once I got a good milk supply established, my breasts looked awesome. They were notably bigger. However, when I stopped pumping, they quickly deflated. Now they just look saggy. I have old lady boobs.

Let's move on to my skin. I don't know if it has something to do with our house or the New Jersey weather, but my skin is super dry. My knuckles have even begun to crack and bleed. If I don't lather my body with lotion everyday, my skin will itch all day long. It is very annoying.

Let's move on to my hair. Shortly after giving birth, all of my hair fell out. Well, maybe not all of it, but it definitely thinned out. My hair used to be thick and full. Now it is flat and thin. It probably doesn't help that I only shower two or three times per week. Porgie screams the entire time I am in the shower, so I avoid bathing like the plague. I would take a shower while she is napping, but I am too afraid of accidentally waking her up.

Let's move on to my clothing. After I stopped pumping, my ass became huge - HUGE!!! I only have three outfits that I can comfortable wear. So, I just don't even get dressed some days. I schlep around my house in pajamas ALL DAY. I am turning into the world's biggest loser. I am totally lame.

Let's move on to my teeth. I really need to go to the dentist. I know I have some cavities, but I just don't feel like wasting a Saturday at the dentist's office. And I don't want to pay their insanely expensive prices. Maybe I'll just let my teeth fall out! Then, my mouth can match the rest of my homely appearance.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

I am throwing a pity party for myself. Guess what? You're invited!!!

I have never been a very social person - I tend to be pretty shy around new people. Also, I have a hard time maintaining friendships because I hate talking on the phone. I think I have a slight anxiety disorder regarding phones. For some strange reason, I get extremely nervous when calling people. It is bizarre. My husband thinks I am insane. I probably am.

Anyways, I am a little lonely here in New Jersey. I haven't met anyone I would consider a friend. Whenever I take Porgie to the local park, all of the other moms hang out near the swings. They obviously already know each other, and I am too shy to approach the group. Additionally, their children are all in the 2 -4 age range - way older than Porgie.

I have looked into playgroups in the area, but they are always going to places like Chuck-E-Cheese. What the hell would Porgie do at Chuck-E-Cheese? It is times like these, when I wish I still lived in Kentucky.

Okay, I am done feeling sorry for myself. Let's move on...

********** A list of interesting developments **********

1. I think Porgie is getting ready to crawl. She has been rolling across the floor at lightning quick speeds. Also, she lifted herself onto her knees twice yesterday. This only lasted a few seconds, and then she flailed her limbs out straight again.

2. John has gotten home early from work everyday this week. I have gotten in the shower at least 4 times. I feel refreshed.

3. Porgie slept through the night on Wednesday. I was so proud. I called all of my friends and family to report the spectacular news. They didn't care - but you care, right?

4. I haven't lost any weight, because my husband keeps buying me sweet treats. I have an addiction to candy. If it is in the house, I have to eat it. I actually went to bed with a stomach ache from eating so much candy - I am like a fucking 4 year old.

5. Porgie might have an earache, but I am just not sure. She had some eczema behind her right ear, which she scratched on a regular basis. Over the past few days the eczema cleared up, but Porgie continues to scratch and pull at her ear. She hasn't been fussy or out of sorts. In fact, she has been in a pretty good mood lately. So, I am just not sure about the earache thing. What do you think?

6. We had an ice storm on Tuesday. I have been stuck inside my house for 4 days, and I think I am going crazy. I WANT OUT!!!

I hope you have a great weekend. I am probably going to sit at home, sulking about my boring life.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What does domestic mean?

I am not a very domestic stay-at-home-mommy. I don't clean very often, I rarely cook, and I only do laundry on Sundays. Sometimes I wonder why my husband puts up with my lazy ass. Somehow, John gets stuck doing a large majority of our household chores, despite the fact that I have not worked in more than a year. Am I lucky or what?

I think this all started about 7 years ago, when I was in college. During this time, I was going to school full time and working at night. I didn't have time to cook or clean. Without grumbling or groaning, John did 90% of the household chores. Keep in mind that he was working full time. He is a pretty nice guy, huh?

After I graduated and began working as a teacher, John continued to manage our household. I started to feel kind of guilty, so I made an effort to help out more around the house. I even took on some major jobs, like painting the entire upstairs of our house during my summer vacation from school. It felt like our domestic relationship had finally evened out. I did most of the cleaning and laundry, and he cooked and did the dishes.

Last January, John's company relocated us to New Jersey. Because of the move, I was forced to quit my job. I was about 4 1/2 months pregnant with Porgie. During this time, I had high blood pressure and was told to rest as much as possible. I followed the doctor's advice, and rarely moved my ass off of the couch. I didn't clean much, and I never cooked. Once again, John saved the day.

I could tell he was getting pretty tired of doing all the housekeeping, because he would often talk about how I could start cooking and cleaning after Porgie was born. This notion was quickly tossed out the window when our daughter was actually born. Being amateur parents, Porgie's arrival was very overwhelming. For the first several months, I rarely even got dressed. I didn't have the time or energy to tend to the house. John was exhausted too, so the house stayed pretty much unkempt (it is still unkempt - neither of us clean regularly anymore). However, he did continue to make dinner. He's my superhero!

Now that Porgie is a little older and much easier to care for, I am starting to feel guilty about neglecting my obligations as a stay-at-home-mommy. I know that I should be vacuuming every day (we have 2 dogs and 4 cats), cooking dinner (at least a few nights per week), and keeping up with the laundry (maybe doing a load or two everyday). I guess I have been spoiled for too long, because I am having the hardest time getting motivated.

I am trying to be a better wife and mother, but it sure is tough.

Please vacuum the carpet mommy. I want to throw my sippy cup on the floor, without worrying about the spout being covered in dog hair.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How I introduced solids... Please note, I am not an expert. I am a jackass.

Before we get started, I want you to know something very important. I know as much about introducing solids, as any first time mother. With that said, let's get started.

As you already know, Porgie developed eczema as a newborn. According to her pediatrician, this puts her at a higher risk for developing food allergies. Therefore, the doctor recommended that Porgie not have solid foods until at least 6 months. Apparently, babies who are given food too early are also at increased risk of developing food allergies. So, I am going to play it cautious and recommend that all babies wait until they are 6 months old before eating solids.

Before starting solids, I read this book. It has a wonderful chapter on introducing solids and finger foods. Also, there are lots of kid friendly recipes in the back of the book. However, this book is geared toward vegetarians. I should probably mention that I am a vegetarian, and I will be raising Porgie as a vegetarian too. All this means for you is that I will not be discussing how to introduce meats into an infants diet.

My Routine vs. Solids
I was very stressed out about introducing solids. I was confused about how many ounces of veggies I should feed her vs. how many ounces of formula I should feed her. No one really explained this to me, and I found it very frustrating. My biggest fear was that she wouldn't get enough calories during the day, thereby waking me up even more during the night to eat.

With this said, I stupidly tried to keep our daytime bottle feeding/napping schedule the same, while squeezing in a meal of solids somewhere during the day. This did not work. Porgie wasn't hungry enough to eat the solids, and I was growing increasingly frustrated. So, I changed our schedule completely - even naps.

Prior to introducing solids, Porgie was taking three naps per day. She had a strong sucking to sleep association, and would only take a nap while drinking a bottle. This is what a typical day prior to solids looked like:
7:30 - up for the day
9:30 - feed 6 oz bottle/nap
1:00 - feed 6 oz bottle/nap
4:00 - feed 6 oz bottle/nap
7:30 - feed 6 oz bottle/ go to sleep for the night
In the weeks leading up to introducing solids, Porgie was starting to refuse the 4:00 nap. I stubbornly tried to make her take a nap anyways. When I realized that our schedule was going to have to change due to the introduction of solid foods, I decided to put Porgie on a 2 nap per day schedule. This is what her new schedule looked like:
7:30 - up for the day
9:30 - feed 6 or 8 oz bottle/nap
12:00 - 2 ounces of fruit
2:30 - feed 8 oz bottle/nap
5:30 - 2 ounces of veggies
7:30 - feed 8 oz bottle/go to sleep for the night
This is the feeding schedule we still use, except I now feed her a little fruit in the morning too. Her sleeping schedule is basically Moxie's 2-3-4 schedule.

You will notice that I went straight to two solid meals per day. Some people recommend starting with only 1 meal, and slowly working your way up. Porgie NEEDS a pretty rigid schedule to be a happy baby. Not wanting to change our schedule multiple times, I just took the plunge, and started out with two meal per days. This worked out great for Porgie.

First Foods and Picky Eaters
I was very fearful that Porgie would develop food allergies. Therefore, I was very cautious about introducing new foods. I only introduced one new food at a time, and feed it for at least 5 days before moving on to a new food. This gave me ample time to watch for signs of an allergic reaction (rash, wheezing, stomach ache, diarrhea, etc.).

The very first food I gave Porgie was rice cereal (1 tablespoon of cereal added to 3 tablespoons of formula). The first several times I feed her, it was very cute. However, the cuteness quickly wore off. It turned out the Porgie didn't really like rice cereal. She started crying every time the spoon came within 10 feet of her clamped little mouth. VERY ANNOYING. After trying for five unsuccessful days, we moved on to oatmeal. I encountered the same results. So, I stopped trying to feed her cereal. It just isn't worth it. She was miserable and so was I. However, you should definitely try to feed your baby cereal. It is a great source of iron, especially for breastfeed babies.

Porgie's doctor recommended that I start Porgie on green veggies first. She explained that some babies who start out on fruit, will never want to eat vegetables. I blindly followed her advice, but in hindsight I think this theory is a crock of shit. Babies like what they like, regardless of the order you introduce foods. Go on and introduce fruits first if you want to. It won't matter in the long run.

Following doctor's orders, I started Porgie on sweet peas. She hated them. Next I gave her green beans. She hated them. I was starting to think that Porgie didn't like any food. But then I tried carrots. She LOVED the carrots, would eat the entire 2 oz. jar. It was amazing. This was an important turning point for Porgie. Meal time finally started being fun, instead of frustrating. Here is a list of the other foods I tried and Porgie's response to them:
sweet potatoes - LOVES
squash - LOVES
bananas - HATES
apples - HATES
pears - LIKES/HATES (depending on the day)
peaches - LIKES/HATES (depending on the day)
prunes - LIKES (works great for constipation, but causes diarrhea if she is not constipated)

For two months, I attempted to feed Porgie 2 or 3 meals of solids per day (not that she always ate. She is a little stinker!). Just in case you haven't heard, your baby's poo will match what she eats. For example, Porgie likes carrots, so many of her poo poos are bright orange. Have fun!!!

Finger Foods
At the end of the seventh month, I decided to try some finger foods with Porgie. We started with bread. I would toast a slice of bread and cut it into 4 strips. At first, I was terrified that she would start choking, but she didn't. She gagged occasionally, but has never really choked - thank goodness! Porgie loves feeding herself and it is very liberating for me as well. I was growing pretty tired of the whole "baby sits in the highchair, while I try to navigate food into her mouth before she slaps the spoon away and gets carrots all over the floor" routine.

When I seen that Porgie could successfully feed herself bread, I made her some flax seed waffles to eat too. Yummy! Next, we tried various pasta noodles. She had a hard time getting the floppy pasta noodles into her mouth, but she managed to eat few bits.

Now, I find myself constantly giving her some of whatever I am eating - pieces of banana, sips of rice milk, slivers of apples, yogurt, refried beans, mashed potatoes, etc. I no longer wait 5 days between introducing new foods, although I know that I should.

Since Porgie started feeding herself, she has began grabbing food off of my plate. For example, last weekend I was eating a burrito and talking to my husband. A few minutes later, I noticed that Porgie was chewing on something. I had no idea what she could be eating, so I frantically pulled the object out of her mouth. It was a piece of the tortilla. She had ripped it off of the burrito when I wasn't looking. She is a sneaky little devil!

Should She be Eating This?
I have decided that Porgie can try anything I am eating - however, I am trying to be vigilant about not giving her too much dairy (because babies really shouldn't have dairy and also because of her eczema). We don't eat foods with eggs or honey, so that really isn't a big concern in our household.

It feels good to have Porgie feeding herself. I want to wean her from the bottle at about 1 year - that is less than 4 months away! (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!) So, hopefully we are on the path to three square meals per day, with no bottle.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck with your feeding adventures.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma

For the past several weeks, Porgie has become increasing vocal. She has been cooing, screeching, and laughing. I have had lots of fun listening to all of her weird noises. However, this weekend something amazing happened. Porgie said, "ma ma!" It is so adorable.

She has been saying, "ma ma ma ma" all morning long. I know that she doesn't realize that I am her mama, but sometimes she will look at me and say, "ma ma" and my heart swells up with love.

She is the light of my life. I love her to pieces.

Friday, February 9, 2007

If you want my opinion...

Like every child, Porgie has lots of toys. Some of them are wonderful and engaging, but others are pretty lame. What? You want to know my opinion about which toys to buy? Okay, but only because you asked so nicely.

Newborn stage - Your baby is a lump. She just sits on your lap with a blank expression on her pretty little face. You hold her 90% of the time, but every once in a while you have to go to the bathroom. What are you going to do with baby?

Option # 1 - Put her in this swing. I LOVE this baby accessory. My grandma bought Porgie this swing, and I wouldn't have made it through the newborn stage without it. This Graco swing is all fancy and shit. The seat reclines, it has 6 speed settings, it has a timer, it plays classical music, and it also plays nature sounds. The swing is especially great for calming a fussy baby and putting her to sleep. My baby has literally taken hundreds of naps in this swing. Go out and buy one - NOW!

Option # 2 - Put her on her baby gym mat. This toy was given to me by my sister-in-law, and I used it everyday during the newborn stage. When I was pumping, I would place Porgie on the mat. She would play quietly for at least 10 minutes. We called it the barnyard gym, because it has a farm theme. It plays various children's songs, while a cow rocks and moos. Also, you can change out the toys that hang down. Every time we changed the toys, Porgie would have a renewed interest in playing on the baby gym. Great product!

Option # 3 - Put her in the bouncy seat. This seat was given to me by my cousin, but Porgie was a little too old for it. Whenever I put her in it, she got bored after about 2 minutes. It has lots of nice feature, like a vibrating seat, an interactive mirror, and music. I think Porgie might have enjoyed this toy more, if we had started using it from the very start. So, I have mixed feeling regarding this bouncy seat. ONLY buy this product if your baby is a few weeks old - older babies will cry uncontrollably when strapped into the seat.

3 to 6 month stage - Your baby is getting bigger. She can hold her head up, grab for things, and stick everything in her mouth. She is starting to get bored with the swing and baby gym. This is the perfect time to introduce some new toys to your baby.

Option # 1 - Now is the time to buy an exersaucer. We bought this toy for Porgie when she was 4 months old, and she instantly fell in love with it. It has lots of fun toys for a growing and developing baby. Porgie favorite feature is the "noise maker" (that is not the technical term). It works like this - there are five buttons featuring pictures of different animals. When the baby pushes a button, she will hear the sound that animal makes, the name of the animal in English and Spanish, and then classical music. This exersaucer will entertain your baby for up to 30 minutes in one stretch, allowing you to finally wash those dishes that have been piling up for days. Porgie is 8 months old and still plays in this toy several time a day. Exersaucer = love.

Option # 2 - You could buy your baby this loud thing, but it really isn't worth it. My mother bought this toy for Porgie, and it is pretty annoying. It has balls and ramps and spinner things, none of which your baby will play with for very long. It also plays music that will make your ears bleed. It is awful. Please don't waste your money. This toys sucks!

Option # 3 - If you want to teach your baby how to be an aggressive driver, this car is for you! We bought Porgie this toy for Christmas, and at first I hated it. It is soooo loud, and the songs it plays are extremely annoying. Also, there are various buttons the baby can push to hear a voice. One of the buttons will shout, "get out of the way". SERIOUSLY. However, Porgie does like this toy. She will play with it while John and I eat dinner, without fussing or wanting to be picked up. So, I have a love/hate relationship with this toy.

6 to 9 month stage - Your baby is getting even bigger. Will she ever stop growing? Once again, she is getting bored with her selection of toys. So, it is time to fork out more money for colorful plastic crap.

Option # 1 - If you or husband like to play music, these drums will be a nice addition to your family. My husband plays guitar, and Porgie likes to pull the strings. Being the good mommy I am, I went out and bought these drums for Porgie to use when daddy is playing the guitar. She slaps the drum and smiles. It is adorable to watch the two of them playing together. The drum plays 4 different songs. Also, your baby can apparently chase the drum when she starts crawling (I wouldn't know because Porgie isn't crawling yet). This is a fun product, that your baby will thoroughly enjoy.

Option # 2 - If you want to buy a keyboard for your 6 to 9 month old baby, be ready to hear a lot of noise. John bought this toy for Porgie, but it is intended for older babies. She likes to chew on the xylophone sticks more than anything else. However, she will wildly slap the keys and make a great deal of racket. Even with the noise, it is still cute to watch.

Option # 3 - Okay, Porgie hasn't actually used this Activity walker. I bought it because it looks fun. However, when Porgie starts learning to walk, I will report on the usefulness of this toys.

I know you're thanking me for my fabulous opinions, so you're welcome.

EDITED TO ADD - If your baby is older than 9 months, you should be telling me what to buy.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Eczema is a bitch!

Porgie has eczema. Periodically, a horrible rash will appear somewhere on her sweet little skin. Although Porgie is only 8 months old, she already has a long history with this pesky skin problem.

When Porgie was about a month old, she developed a rash on her forehead. The doctor said it was a newborn rash, nothing serious. I started putting Aveeno lotion on her bumpy little forehead, but the rash wouldn't go away. I knew it was itchy, because Porgie would rub her face back and forth across my chest.

After a few weeks, the rash had spread to her back. It wasn't just a little patch - it went from her neck to her butt. I called the pediatrician's office. A nurse told me start washing her with Dove soap and to use Eucerine lotion. I followed her orders, but the rash didn't go away. Instead, it spread even further.

At two months old, Porgie was covered in one big rash. It was on her face, her back, her stomach, her arms, and her legs. I made an appointment and went in to see a doctor. Immediately, he diagnosed her with eczema. He was surprised by the severity of her rash. He said that newborns do not typically have eczema so badly.

He prescribed her a lotion, which was very strong. It contained steroids, and could cause serious complications if it was used too liberally or for too long. My husband didn't even want to use the lotion, but I put it on her anyways. I couldn't imagine how horrible it would be to have an itch, but not be coordinated enough to scratch yourself.

Within days, the ezcema was all cleared up. However, Porgie continued to get rashes on her back and legs. I would just use regular lotion or hydrocortizone unless they got really bad. Then, I would pull out the steroid lotion.

Currently, Porgie has a rash on her scalp, behind one ear, and on the back of her neck. She is constantly scratching them and making herself bleed. I am nervous about putting the steroid lotion on her head - too close to my baby's developing brain.

I wish there was something I could do to get rid of this awful skin problem. My baby is miserable.

Look at that awful rash on her forehead. My poor baby.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Let them eat cake... I mean bread

Porgie is growing up so fast. She started eating solids at 6 months. By solids I mean liquid vegetables. At 8 months, (my baby is 8 MONTHS OLD!) she is actually eating solid food.

I have started giving Porgie pieces of toast to eat. She loves the stuff - its like the baby equivalent of ice cream or something. She excitedly crams it into her mouth, and whines for another piece. It was scary at first, because I thought she would choke. She gags a little sometimes, but nothing dramatic. Eating bread has turned into my favorite baby occupying technique. When I really need her to be quiet and calm, I just hand her a piece of toast. She shuts right up. It is amazing. Next week I think we are going to try cheerios. I can't wait!

Also, Porgie is now drinking from her sippy cup. She can't drink from the cup independently (she doesn't tilt the cup back far enough), but if I hold the cup she will gulp the water down. She is getting so big. It is amazing to see how much progress she has made in such a short period of time.

Because my baby is growing so fast, I have to take a mintue to look at times gone by. I hope you enjoys the pics.

8 months pregnant with Porgie
I don't even remember when Porgie looked like this.
Porgie can lift her little head.

How cute is she? That hat is awesome!
My baby was a ladybug for halloween:)

She is sooooo big!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Sleepy times, sleepy times

Things on the sleep front took a nose dive. I have decided that Porgie will cry no longer than 5 minutes - ever. It breaks my heart, and causes her too much distress.

Unfortunately, Porgie had a rough weekend. On Saturday night Porgie fell asleep at 8:00 pm in my arms (like always), and I transferred her to the crib. An hour or two later, she woke up screaming. By the time I got to her (only a minute or two), she was hysterical. I brought her into bed with me, until she fell asleep. Then I transferred her back to the crib. This happened several times.

Last night, Porgie would not go to sleep at 8:00. Over the course of 3 hours, I transferred her from our bed to the crib 843 times, roughly. She was fussy and out of sorts. Finally, I was so frustrated that I just stuck her in the swing for 30 minutes and went into the other room. When I came back, she was sound asleep. Then I had the horrifying task of transferring her to the crib. It was scary, but I didn't wake her up. I collapsed into my bed at midnight. It was a rough evening.

She has also decided that she will no longer put herself to sleep in the crib. Instead, she just cries until I pick her up. I honestly don't know how people do sleep training. I only really let her cry one time, and now she seems to genuinely hate her crib. It makes me so sad. I thought Porgie was going to start being a good sleeper. I am so naive.

On a positive note, Porgie has been taking really good naps lately. She has been routinely sleeping for 1 to 2 hours in both the morning and afternoon. Occasionally she will wake up after 30 or 40 minutes, but typically I can count on at least an hour and a half for each nap. It is lovely!

Also, Porgie has only been waking one or two times per night (in the middle of the night - I don't count wakings that occur before I go to sleep). This is a big improvement. Just a few weeks ago she woke up at least 3 or 4 times per night.

I hope all of you are getting a good night's sleep.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The book nazi

I am a book Nazi. Up until this point, I have been very particular about which books I read to Porgie. In fact, I think it is safe to say that I have an obsession with children's literature. I blame this obsession on my college education. They taught me to be unwavering in my standards regarding reading.

As an elementary teacher, I loved reading to my students. I loved when my students read to me. I loved when the parents read to my students. I just love reading! When I packed up my classroom to move to New Jersey, I counted my books. I have a lot. In fact, I have over 500 books for children! I bought most of these books with my own money - just ask John.

Shortly after Porgie was born, I started reading her books from my collection. Unfortunately, she does not like most of my books. They are just too long and boring (I taught third grade). So, she will have lots of books to read when she gets older.

Instead, Porgie loves simple, repetitive books. I went out and bought her some great children's books, by authors like Eric Carle and Mem Fox. At first she liked them, but overtime she started getting bored. When I would sit down to read to her, she would whine and flail around in my arms.

I decided it was time to get some new books. Last week, I took Porgie to the book store and we looked at lots of different books. I would read her a few pages and show her the pictures. She seemed rather bored and disinterested in nearly every book I wanted to buy her.

Then I saw a board book with Elmo on the front. I showed it to her, and she smiled. I started reading the book, and she excitedly slapped the pages. This book was awful. The writing was boring and ignorant. There was no plot or theme, just Elmo Elmo Elmo. I didn't want this book. I wanted the literature with rich words and engaging story lines.

As I watched Porgie grin with delight, I had to buy the damn Elmo book. Now at bed time, I try to read Porgie the books I like first, but she will whine and whine and whine until I read that stupid ass Elmo book. I have to read it THREE times every night. Why Porgie? WHY?


Dear Mom,
I am the new boss in this town - get use to it!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Matters of the waist

I am not an obese person, but I have always struggled to maintain a healthy weight. I was a very chubby child, and I was often picked on – in school and at home. My grandfather often made “funny” remarks about my weight. These memories are always rattling in the back of my mind.

In high school I wore a size 12. In college, I wore a size 14. During student teaching, I ballooned to a size 16 (I don’t handle stress very well). After graduating from college, I went back down at a size 12. I was comfortable with this size.

When I was pregnant with Porgie, I gained 40 pounds. My doctor assured me that this was normal weight gain, so I didn’t stress about it. When Porgie was born, I instantly lost 20 pounds. At my six-week check-up, I had lost a total of 30 pounds. All I needed to lose was 10 more pounds. I was pretty proud of myself.

I was pumping for Porgie, so I didn’t want to diet. I feared that it would cause a decrease in my supply. So, I happily ate whatever I wanted. Breastfeeding is an amazing thing, because I was able to maintain my weight, despite all the junk food I ate.

In December, I stopped pumping. However, I continued the same old eating habits. Guess what? I have gained about 15 pounds! 15 POUNDS!!! None of my clothes fit me anymore because I am once again a size 16. I get disgusted every time I get dressed in the morning. I have bought a few new outfits to fit my huge ass, but I refuse to buy a whole wardrobe. If I buy clothes, I am afraid that I will not be motivated to lose the weight.

So, I need to go on a diet, but I just can’t seem to find the motivation. Additionally, I never get any exercise. It is too cold to take Porgie outside, and I am not an exercise video type of girl. I am a let’s go for a long walk type of girl.

Something has to be done and I am not looking forward to it.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Why is pumping a dirty little secret?

I know I jump around from topic to topic, but I am scatterbrained lately. Please forgive me.

After reading a few blog posts about breastfeeding yesterday, I started thinking about my own experiences. I am amazed that my health providers never talked about pumping while I was pregnant. All I ever heard was that breastfeeding is best for the baby. There was no discussion about breastfeeding struggles.

So, I never even considered using an electric pump. I attended a breastfeeding class, where the instructor assured me that buying a pump wasn't necessary. I naively believed that breastfeeding would just come naturally. Why doesn't anyone talk about what to do if breastfeeding doesn't go well?

After Porgie was born, I was having difficulty with breastfeeding in the hospital. The nurses would talk about my baby blues, and how babies can sense when you are stressed. They kept telling me to "just relax." This is the dumbest advice that anyone can give.

I really wish that someone had recommended a breast pump, instead of formula. It seems like doctors and nurses preach that breastfeeding is best, but they are all too quick to give your baby formula. What the hell is up with that?

I just thank God that my OB recommended the breast pump. If it wasn't for her, I am certain that Porgie would have been given formula for her first 6 months, instead of breast milk.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Co sleeping - the friend I love to hate

Now for a little more history regarding my offspring.

About 3 weeks after Porgie came home from the hospital, she refused to sleep. My newborn would stay awake all day and half of the night. The child seemed to never sleep. It was scary.

I tried everything I could think of to get her to sleep. Sometimes I would drive her around in the car, sometimes I would put her in the swing, sometimes I would lay her on my chest, sometimes I would lay her in the bassinet, and on and on and on.

The kid would not sleep for more than twenty minutes during each of her naps. And she cried a lot. A LOT. I kept asking people for help, but they acted like I was crazy. “What? Your newborn doesn’t sleep? Newborns sleep up to 16 hours per day.” WHATEVER, my baby did not sleep.

After a month of horrible sleeping patterns, I could finally get Porgie to sleep on my chest for about an hour, three times a day. This was very inconvenient because I couldn’t move. I lay perfectly still while she slept. Even with this weird napping situation, I was thrilled about her actually sleeping.

However, her night sleeping continued to be a nightmare. She was waking me every hour or two. At this time, she was sleeping in a bassinet next to my bed. One sleepless night, I decided to put her in bed with me. This was out of sheer desperation to get some sleep. Something remarkable happened. Porgie went to sleep and stayed asleep for 3 or 4 hours. Needless to say, we started co sleeping.

At first, co sleeping was a like a miracle. She was only waking me 2 or 3 times per night. This was a dream compared to waking me 6 or 7 times per night. My family warned me that I was spoiling her, and that I would never be able to get her into her crib. I didn’t care. I was finally getting some sleep and it felt good.

Overtime, I expected that Porgie would wake me up even less. Unfortunately, this never happened. For the next 7 months, she woke me up 3 times a night. When my husband finally intervened last week, I was so thankful. However, I think I just made a huge mistake. I am truly the biggest idiot in the world.

Porgie woke up at 3am screaming. I made her a 4-ounce bottle, which she gulped down. I left the room and she started screaming again. After a few minutes, I made another 2-ounce bottle and when in to feed her. Once again, she gulped down the formula and continued screaming. I left the room and listened to her cry off and on for about an hour. During this time, John got up and left for work.

Being alone in the house with no support, I couldn’t take the crying. So, I went back in to comfort her. I didn’t want to take her out of the crib, but she was so upset that I had to. I sat in the rocking chair and rocked her for about 20 minutes. She calmed down, but she was wide wake. I didn’t know what to do with her, so I put her back in the crib. She cried for another 1 hour.

I was at my breaking point. I couldn’t take anymore crying. At 5:30, I brought her into bed with me, where she quickly fell asleep. I also quickly went to sleep. When I woke up, I hated myself for taking her out of the crib. I knew John was going to be mad, so I decided that I wasn’t even going to tell him. Maybe it was just a one time thing. Next time, she will go back to sleep on her own in the crib.

This morning at 10:30, I tried to put Porgie down for a nap in her crib. She cried and cried and cried. She cried for 30 minutes, until I got her out of the crib. Now I know that I really messed up. What have I done? How do I fix this?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Because I have nothing better to do

It is midnight and I am listening to Porgie play in her crib. She woke up about an hour ago, and decided that she wanted to coo and laugh and roll around. She is not crying or upset in the least bit. In fact, she sounds quite happy. I, on the other hand , cannot go to sleep until she is asleep. I am neurotic like that. So, I thought you might enjoy looking at some photos of my bouncing baby girl.

Porgie at 2 days old


Porgie at 1 week


Porgie at 1 month

Isn't she too cute in this picture?


Porgie at 3 months

She obviously thinks John and I are crazy...


Porgie at 5 months

She was shocked and delighted that the Democrats took control of the house and senate.


Porgie at 6 months

She is practically all grown up. sniff sniff