Monday, September 29, 2008

A new decision.

Today, I have been convinced that pumping at work is just too stressful. I am very disappointed. I guess I wanted to be super-mom or something. I've been pumping at least twice a day at school. Now I think I will just have to pump in the morning and maybe in the afternoon after school and that will have to be it. I won't be pumping at work. At least I am going to try it. 

As a result, Raina will be getting part time breast milk and part time formula (probably). I have to just keep telling myself that it will all be okay. 

The best convincer (is that a word?) actually was my assistant principal. Steve and I ran into her on our way out today. She said with her daughter she had the caregiver give formula during the day and she breastfed outside of this time. Her daughter is well adjusted, healthy, and does well in school. 

Okay, okay, I know, there are people out there with real problems. But this is a very emotional thing for me. I don't know if its stress or hormones or both. (I might still bring in the hand pump for occasional use.)

The interesting thing is that I did a pretty extensive search on the Internet and I am hard pressed to find any information about part time breast feeding and part time formula feeding. Most of it is either one or the other. So if anyone out there has any ideas, let me know!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No witty title

I've discovered many things this week. The major thing I've discovered is that I just need to relax more. This seems to hold true for most things. When I relaxed about not having any grades yet for my students, magically I came up with some easy assessments. When I relaxed about pumping milk, suddenly I was pumping a lot! 

Raina is doing very well in the day care center. I try to go visit every day at 11ish (my lunch time). Yesterday I didn't make it. (No stress!) I am also visiting her at 1:30 and trying to nurse. Steve said why not nurse her at 1:30 if I can rather than pump. I was missing her by the end of the day so this was a good suggestion. On Wednesday and Thursday this worked out great. Yesterday she must have been crying because when I got there, she was getting a bottle. No biggie! (No stress!) I fed the rest of the bottle to her, had some cuddle time, and then went back to pick up my students from P.E. I didn't even stress about not pumping. (This all sounds a bit silly to most people I'm sure, but I am the type of person who sweats the little things. It's got to stop.)

Last night Steve and I were going to go to a friend's place for game night. I LOVE GAME NIGHTS! We were very tired though, so we decided to lie down for a bit and take a nap. The next thing we knew, we all, all three of us, had fallen asleep for many hours. We woke up at 5AM! I guess we were pretty tired.

Okay, the thing you really wanted, some recent photos and videos of Raina. She is about 3.5 months. (She will be 4 months October 10th!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Talking aloud

Well, today was Raina's first day at daycare! It was hard to leave her there, but I trust the caretakers. I am home today. I go back to work on Wednesday (September 17th). Today and tomorrow are "practice days." I have been pumping at the times when I think I will be able to at school.

Steve checked in on Raina on his break and she was doing great and taking a bottle. I didn't know how much milk to leave. (It's not like I have a guage on my breasts!) But I figured about 4 oz. per bottle. I left four bottles of 4 oz. each.

Okay, this sounds boring to most of you, but it's what I'm dealing with right now.

There is another new baby there today as well. This baby is only two months old. She is very cute. I saw one of the caregivers feeding her and I asked the director what she was eating. She was eating formula mixed with rice cereal! I kept my mouth shut, but I couldn't believe it! The baby is way too young for that rice cereal. It's bad enough, in my opinion, that she is not getting breast milk, let alone the fact that her digestive system is not ready for anything but formula or breast milk! Of course I don't know the reasons behind why this baby is on formula and not breast milk. But there is certainly NO reason to feed a two month old baby rice cereal! I mean, you wouldn't give a newborn puppy steak, would you? No, because it doesn't make sense. Here I am stressing about pumping milk and so on - it's hard work, but it is worth it for Raina. Okay, that's my rant.

Today's my birthday as well. I'm 39 today. I don't feel 39. Of course I'm not sure what 39 is supposed to feel like. People say I don't look 39. Whatever "looking 39" means.

So like I said, I am home without Raina, which seems weird. Initially, I was continuously talking aloud. Then I remembered that Raina isn't here! (You see, Steve and I talk aloud to Raina all the time.) It must have sounded kind of funny when I said something like, "So now mommy's going to make some coffee." Sam probably thought, "Well, okay but why are you telling me?" --Pam

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"A mother who is really a mother is never free."

(quote is by Honore de Balzac)

Parenting is definitely becoming the toughest job ever. I have been feeling guilty because I don't feel things the way people say you are supposed to feel. Raina goes into daycare beginning September 15th (coincidently on my birthday). People keep saying things like, "Isn't it going to be hard?" or "Geez, aren't you going to miss her?" (Or even worse, I hear things like, "Well I didn't go back to work for a year! How come you're going back to work?" Well, moron, I have neither the finances nor the sanity to stay at home, by myself, for a year! Geez!) 

I've been home alone a lot with the baby as Steve is back at work. I have about 3 more weeks to go and I am thinking about how hard it is. I go through the list of women I've known who've had children. Every single one of them has has help - mainly from their mother. (I don't have this option.) Anyway, I have been feeling incredibly guilty because I am looking forward to going back to work and having Raina in daycare. The thing is... the daycare seems like a REALLY nice place and the staff are so wonderful. And, the daycare is on campus! I guess I just need someone to say, "Don't worry, it's okay to not feel guilty." (Steve has said this numerous times, of course. But I guess I need someone else to say it too.)

It is sad that I found reassuring words on the Internet! Anyway, I have to just let go of some things I think. (Such as the fact that I feel bad every time I have Raina sitting there, alert and awake, and I am not constantly interacting with her or reading to her. I want her to be smart and be able to be a good reader, yada yada... I guess it's bad that I'm a teacher.) 

Okay, so I ramble on here. But writing this is making me feel better. I found the above quote on-line. Every time I read it, I think I understand more.

On a lighter note, Steve and I both went mountain biking. I had a great ride! We did our idea of taking turns while the other watched the baby. At one point in the evening, I was like, "Hey, how did it get so late?" To which Steve replied, "Well, mountain biking took us twice as long as usual." Oh, yeah, "a mother is never free." --Pam

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Lip

Raina is 12 weeks old now! She will be 3 months on September 10th. In some ways it goes fast, in others it goes slow. Today I also have a guest dog - Princess. She is visiting our neighbors Kristin, James, and Iris. The last couple of days she has been barking, so she is staying with me today. I think she just wanted company - as you can see from the photo.

Also, Raina makes a face I call "The Lip." She makes this expression when she is about to cry. There are a series of photos above.  (They're all from my iPhone, so they're not quite high quality.) --Pam

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Expressions that are not particularly helpful

"Everything in moderation" It sounds pretty good. How can you disagree? But how about Crack cocaine in moderation? Yeah, I know that's not really what they meant. They meant "Dessert or something less harmful in moderation. Well, Can you have dessert every meal?. Every other meal. Define moderation again... Because for most people that's an excuse to do something in excess and then call it "moderation"

"It is what it is"  This seems to be the new catch phrase of 2008. My administration at school says it a lot. I interpret it to mean one of several true meanings: 1. "Get out of my office." 2. "No" 3 "I give up and so should you!"