Thursday, October 31, 2013

Not a Martyr, Just a Mother

Small goals. That's what they told us in the breastfeeding class we took before Willa arrived. It made sense to me. If you focus on the big picture, it can often be too intimidating, seem near impossible to achieve. But break it into smaller chunks and suddenly you're at your big goal before you know it.

Goal #1
Figure out how to breastfeed. What do you mean babies don't come out of the womb knowing how to latch on and eat the food they need to survive? I mean, shouldn't that be instinctual? Apparently, there's more nuance to breastfeeding than just sticking your boob willy nilly in the baby's milk-hole.

Goal #2
Breastfeed exclusively for a month, figure out how the pump works and start occasionally bottle feeding in preparation for daycare. Get past the sore nipples, leakage and clogged ducts.

Goal #3
Breastfeed until I go back to work and continue the occasional bottle feed.

Goal #4
Pump at work for a month. Continue breastfeeding. Realize taking your boobs out at the office even in private behind closed doors is just damn weird and awkward and quickly find a way to expose the girls as little as possible for each pumping session. Pray no one walking by can hear the mechanical pulse of the pump as it squeezes your nipples to extract milk in a way that is more than mildly reminiscent of a dairy farm. 

Goal #5
Continue pumping and breastfeeding until she is six months old. This is my ultimate goal due to the timing of my work trip last month. I wasn't sure how four days away from Willa would affect my supply so I knew six months might be potentially it for us. 

Stretch Goal
Continue pumping and breastfeeding until she is eight months old. 

As of Monday, I am no longer breastfeeding Willa, which means I made it past my ultimate goal. So much yay and squee and hallelujah! But it does mean I missed my stretch goal by a month. I'm okay with that. The last couple weeks I noticed my supply dwindling significantly. So much so that I was having trouble matching the number of bottles she takes at daycare. Since I was going to have to start supplementing anyway, I decided now was a good time to stop. We had made it to seven months. That is a lot longer than I dared to hope for back when she was a few weeks old.

What I didn't expect was how emotional I would get over this milestone. Breastfeeding is a commitment and sacrifice. Conceptually I understood that BW (before Willa), but I didn't really get it until I was in the thick of it. Once Willa and I had learned the art that is breastfeeding, and I knew I could do it, I made the commitment. I was going to do it for as long as I could. 

I sacrificed sleep in order to nurse her whenever she woke up for a late night feeding as I wanted to nurse as much as I could since I was working and was concerned about keeping my supply up. I kept social plans that would have meant a night away from her to a minimum. I only went to Bar Method on Saturday mornings so I didn't miss any feedings in the evenings after work.

I don't say this to make myself out to be a martyr but to illustrate the point that breastfeeding while simple in concept (boob + milk-hole = breastfeeding) is a lot of work. Work I willingly, gladly, proudly did. I believed wholeheartedly I was doing what was best for my daughter, and I would do it again without hesitation.

More than likely I will never receive a thanks for these sacrifices, the work and the commitment I gave so Willa could breastfeed as long as possible. And I am okay with that. My thanks, my reward will come one day many, many years from now. Maybe she'll have kids and realize when she makes those sacrifices that I did the same for her. (Thank you, Mom!)

Bittersweet milestones always have a way of bringing out my emotional side. I'm excited to move onto the next stage and be done with the pumping but sad to leave behind those times during each day when it was just the two of us.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Dogs

What unusual breed was Hooch, the drooling, house-wrecking yard dog in the 1989 Tom Hanks film comedy Turner & Hooch?

He was a Dogue de Bourdeau, aka French Mastiff.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Dogs

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer, or best guess, and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What unusual breed was Hooch, the drooling, house-wrecking yard dog in the 1989 Tom Hanks film comedy Turner & Hooch?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nugget (Month 7)

Dear Willa,

Happy 7 months, baby girl!




The month started with me in California for work. We all survived. Though I think your daddy was more than ready for me to come home, and you didn't grow too much while I was gone.




You had your first family vacation when the three of us went to Boston for a long weekend. It had been four years since the last time I was in the city, and I was way overdue for some Boston time. I was excited it to be back in my favorite city, but mostly I was excited to get to share it with you. It's not a trip you'll remember, but I will.


 

The flights this time went much more smoothly. You were a wiggle worm that would not sit still, but you didn't get fussy and start crying. We were able to keep you entertained or get you to sleep when you were tired. Thank goodness because it was a much longer flight than the one to Denver. 




We didn't pack the days with activities in Boston. Instead, we mostly hung out with my friends. Luckily, we stayed in a hotel downtown so when you got tired, we went back to the hotel for you to nap. On Sunday we rented a car and drove up into New Hampshire so we can see the fall foliage.


 



Last weekend we went to the Dallas Arboretum to visit the pumpkin patch. You were fascinated with all the pumpkins and various gourds. It was adorable.



Love,
Momma

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Holding onto time is like trying to keep water in a colander

Every day I have grand plans. And every day I am humbled by how little I get done. I am reminded that I only have so much time in a day. I have to prioritize and choose what things are going to get done and what things aren't.

It's not guaranteed that I'll be able to be productive after dinner because sometimes Willa needs more attention. And then after she goes to bed, there is precious little time left before I start my nighttime routine.

That means my house is a mess; I'm not getting as much reading done as I'd like; I'll be lucky to finish the baby blanket I'm working on by Christmas; this blog is sitting idle; etc etc etc.

It's not all because of Willa, but she is a large part of it.

I don't like my house being a mess, but sometimes I need sleep more.

Reading and knitting trade off. One night I work on one. The next night the other. As a result I'm not making progress in either as fast as I normally do.

And it's not that I want to neglect this blog. It's moved further down my priority list. Sometimes it's writer's block. I don't know what to write without resorting to parenting cliches. Sometimes I have topics I want or need to write about, but finding the time to commit them to the screen is difficult.

All this to say, I have not given up on you. Or this blog. Please don't give up on me. I will be back.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Cities

Which is the least populous state capital in the U.S.? Which is the most populous?

According to the 2010 U.S. census: least populous, Montpelier, Vermont (7,855); most populous, Phoenix, Arizona (1,445,632).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Cities

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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Which is the least populous state capital in the U.S.? Which is the most populous?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Sutton

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer

Willie Sutton was born in Brooklyn to a poor Irish family. He grew up in times when everything was scarce, including jobs. He began robbing banks and discovered he was good at it. Over the course of three decades he stole an estimated $2 million and his talent at committing the robberies in disguises earned him the nickname Willie the Actor.

Part truth, part legend, the book resembles Willie himself. How much is real? How much is Willie's imagination? It's hard to know for sure. Willie's own books contradict each other. 

But what Moehringer does with this story is art. He takes what should be an unsympathetic character and makes you feel for him. You want Willie to get what he wants... the love of his life Bess. You want him to find his freedom and his happiness.

One thing I found fascinating is that Moehringer didn't name any characters that weren't criminals. Instead they were given monikers like Reporter or Bartender.

Entertaining and well-written, I would recommend this book.

Next month - In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Definitions

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

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What is an onychophagist?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Star Trek

In TV's Star Trek universe, what are tribbles?

Furry little purring creatures that are born pregnant and continue multiplying based on how much they eat - and they're always hungry.

Congratulations Laird Rixford for being the first, and only, to get the right answer!
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Star Trek

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see ifyou were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

In TV's Star Trek universe, what are tribbles?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ANSWER - Tuesday Trivia: Baseball


What famously aggressive baseball player was thrown out at every base - including home plate - in a single game?

Lou Piniella, in 1970, playing for the Kansas City Royals.

Congratulations to Jeremy for being the first, and only, to get the correct answer!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Trivia: Baseball

Tuesday Trivia is a weekly post of interesting trivia questions. Leave a comment with your answer - or best guess - and come back tomorrow to see if you were right. Happy guessing!

<><><>

What famously aggressive baseball player was thrown out at every base - including home plate - in a single game?