Monday, May 30, 2011

Breastfeeding is awesome… because I’m a cheapskate

A few weeks ago, little JT started to have some pretty loose stools. So we send a little sample to the doctor, who calls back and tells us that he could be having trouble with cow’s milk, and I need to cut dairy from my diet.
Two weeks later, the issue hadn’t improved. Out goes another sample. Now doctor suspects his little tummy isn’t too happy with soy either. (Which, of course, I’ve been consuming in huge amounts to replace the milk.)

Naturally, our first question is, “What the heck would be feeding him if he was formula fed?” Turns out there are formulas out there designed for babies intolerant of both milk and soy. Also turns out they’re 50% more expensive than the regular stuff. (As if formula was cheap to begin with.) We continue with the breastmilk, and I make a generous donation to our church’s food drive when I clear the pantry of all the stuff that has milk or soy in it.

A few days into my dairy-free, soy-free diet, little JT finally seems to be improving. (He’s still cranky at times, I suspect because he’s thoroughly exhausted from his inability to sleep long periods the past couple weeks.) And suddenly a change in diet seems like no big deal. We have to cook everything at home now (something that we really needed to do more of anyway) and invest some time reading labels at the store, but if baby is feeling better, I’m happy.

I’m also happy that I didn’t give up breastfeeding a month ago like I so desperately wanted to do. Yeah, yeah, it’s got tons of health benefits for mommies and babies, no new mother leaves the hospital without hearing that a million times. But it’s nice to see the immediate (money-saving!) benefits too.

The biggest question is -- what do I buy myself as a writing reward if not chocolate??

Monday, May 23, 2011

Future Gamer's Lullaby

We love video games in our house. Also, I do weird things when I'm tired. With both those things in mind, I composed the following lullaby:

Hush little baby, wait and see
Mommy's gonna buy you a 360

If it gives a ring so red
Mommy's gonna buy you a Wii instead

If that Wii is just no fun
Mommy's gonna buy you FFI

If that game gets way too long
Mommy's gonna buy you Donkey Kong

And if that new game falls apart
Mommy's gonna buy Mario Kart

And if you're always beating me
Mommy's gonna buy you a PS3

And if that PS3 runs down
You're still the sweetest little baby in town

(And, by the way, the cost of all those things is still way cheaper than a diamond ring or a cart and bull!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Favorites Again

My favorite blog posts this week:

“sign” language -- Teach your kids to write early -- and get interesting notes from them.

Super Ninja Twin Mom: I will save the day as soon as the kids are napping. -- This should be a comic book series. Hey, I'd read it!

My Mother, The Strongest Woman I Know -- I hope when times get rough I can be this strong too.

An Ode to the English Language -- Ah, English, how you baffle us!

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 Things I've Learned About Writing with a Baby

1. My three-month-old son does not care if he's listening to Eric Carle or my latest manuscript aimed at preteen girls.

2. I am going to be awake at 2:30am regardless of any of my own effort. Might as well use the time to edit that last scene.

3. When my high school computer app teachers told me to stop typing one hand because it was a useless skill, they were lying.

4. The coffee shop is still an awesome place to write -- hey, everyone, come distract my baby with your oohing and aahing while I get this last paragraph written!

5. It is good to pursue a career where coming to work with mashed carrots on my shirt doesn't matter so much.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Brevity is the soul of... something

Was going to write some long-winded thing about how you can always find time to write if you really want to. Think I'll take my own advice.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My First Mother's Day

I kind of saw Mother's Day as like a bonus birthday. (I always wanted my birthday to be in May. Nice weather, school wasn't out yet but really close, no major gift-giving holidays right around the corner.) Then, it occurred to me that I'm not the only mom around here. In fact, we have four moms this year: me, two grandmothers, and a great-grandmother. So my thoughtful other half gave me Mother's Day on Saturday instead. While one set of grandparents watched the baby, we went out for breakfast, shopped at the mall, rode bikes, and generally lounged about the house. For my gift, I got some lovely flowers planted in a hand-painted coffee mug, which he helped the baby "carry" in.

Now Mother's Day itself felt like mission impossible. Despite the fact that we'd gone shopping on Friday, it occurred to us Saturday evening that oh, yeah, we have our own mothers and his grandmother to buy gifts for. I'm not kidding, we managed to walk all around a mall that advertised Mother's Day everywhere and not once did it cross out minds. We were so on top of it last year, we spent ten minutes just picking out the perfect cards.

So, here's how it goes down. I got the idea to get our mothers each an anthology that corresponded with the theme in JT's room at each of their houses. My mom would get Winnie-the-Pooh (that's her theme) and my mother-in-law would get Curious George (jungle theme). My grandmother-in-law would get a picture frame, with a set of photos. The bookstore opens at 10am, we're meeting for brunch at 11am.

8:30 Baby gets cereal
9:00 Hubby orders photos for 1-hour pickup online.
10:00 I go to the bookstore and buy the gifts and cards. (Thank you, reserve-online-pick-in-store thingy! You're a lifesaver!)
10:15-10:30 I get home and put gifts in gift bags (leftover from baby shower). We change the baby, put the baby in his car seat, toss a can of ready-to-feed formula in his diaper bag, and we're off.
10:45 Pick up the photos
11:10: Congratulate ourselves that we are merely ten minutes late and we actually have gifts and cards with us.
11:30 Remind ourselves to shop more than two hours before going to see our mothers. Wonder in JT will be any more cooperate at the restaurant when he's a toddler.

And More Late Friday Favorites

Here, have some inspiring posts from other mommies. And a belated Happy Mother's Day!

Dear Teen Me from Author Rhonda Stapleton -- Uplifting post from a pro writer/mommy.

A week without -- This inspired me to post my 100-word piece last Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Your Mommy for Real

A short piece I wrote for the flash nonfiction category at a recent writing conference:

"On the day you were born, I wasn't a mother yet. Not really. It was the day we took you back to the hospital. The day I prayed through every sickened knot in my stomach as traffic crawled through the snow. The day I forgot about bruises and tears in my body and sprinted inside with your little car seat. The day I paced the hallways of the children's ward like nobody existed except you. The day I cried in your daddy's arms and thanked God when we heard: 'He'll be okay.' That was the day I became a mother."

In full disclaimer, the baby had jaundice. Severe enough that it warranted going to the hospital, but mild enough that the doctor (when he finally saw us) didn't feel the baby was ever in any serious danger. At the time we went in, however, we only knew the following:

1. The pediatrician had sent us to the hospital for jaundice.
2. Severe jaundice could lead to brain damage. (We had no idea what kind. We had mental images of our baby in a permanent vegetative state.)

So, yeah, it was tears and prayers all the way to the hospital. I didn't really know what it felt like to be a parent until I knew what it felt like to fear for my child.