Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

She's smiling 'cause she's...

...all better! K's blocked tear duct (in her left eye) has opened all by itself, and I am SO glad we won't need to keep our appointment with the opthalmologist tomorrow! Her eye looks better than it has even since she was born, and I couldn't be happier. It didn't seem to be bothering her much--she didn't seem to rub it very often--but we did go through SO many eyedrops battling the eye infections that resulted. No more refills, yay!

Here is my grandmother, MorMor (grandmother in Swedish), with her four great-grands:
(from top left, Will, 4, Robbie, 8, K asleep on MorMor's lap, and Geneva, 18 months)

And here's one of just K and MorMor:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The end is nigh.

And I don't know quite what to think about it. I've had to feed K formula more and more often while we're together (she's been getting formula at daycare for a little while now) since my milk supply doesn't seem to be satisfying her as much anymore. She'll nurse, start to fuss and get all distracted, decide she's done, and continue to fuss, purportedly because she's still hungry. At least, that's how I've been interpreting her behavior. So I'll fix her a bottle of formula and she'll wolf it down. While we've both been sick, I decided that it was much more worth it to me to take the verboten cold medicine so I could feel halfway human and take care of her effectively, and feed her the formula so I could do so. But this shift has been taking place for at least a few weeks now, so I know it's not just the sick thing. We definitely still snuggle while she drinks from her bottle, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on that aspect. And I've definitely been nursing her if/when she wakes up at five am to nurse, which completely makes sense because she doesn't really need a full meal at that point. I'd actually like to continue those early morning nursing sessions, even though there are several nights per week when she sleeps all the way through. I gave up on the pumping at work fiasco, because there just doesn't seem to be time for that in my typical uber-busy day at the middle school where I teach. And you know? I honestly don't feel guilty for not wanting to pump around the clock. I just don't have it in me. No pun intended. This little girl is growing like a weed, in the 95th percentile for height and the 40th for weight, and she's definitely a lot more active now than she's ever been. So it definitely follows that she's wanting more sustenance. But then again, I nursed all the way to six and a half months, so that's something, too. She's doing very well with solids, though she's not quite at the point of eating solids three times per day. I've read in several places that one's milk supply naturally goes down after a baby starts solids. I think I'm feeling kind of okay about stopping the nursing and switching to formula only. Except for the cost...that's no fun at all. I mean, it's fine, really, but FREE is so much better.

Thanks for listening to all my ramblings about this nursing issue! It all helps me to sort it out in my little brain. :)

In other news, it looks like we're moving! Around November first. Into a great townhouse that's easily more than twice as big as my current house, a 1914 cottage that is high on charm and low on amenities, definitely super-low on space and closet space in particular. Not looking forward to moving as a single mom with a little one in tow, but I know it's doable. A lot of work, but definitely doable. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Down for the count.

Yep, we're sick. Both of us. I had a feeling it might happen soon, considering how many new germs we're both exposed to at the start of a new school year (and daycare year)! I think I caught my bug from K, but she's the one I'm more worried about right now.

I've been battling an upper respiratory thing and now, a cough, yet she's only had the sniffles and a slight cough last week. But last night she spiked a fever, and it was back again today. This afternoon around 4:00, her fever spiked all the way up to 102.9, which really freaked me out. She's never had a fever that high. But I immediately gave her the correct dosage of infant Tylenol, and it started to come down about a half hour later. I also have infant ibuprofen, but I'm a bit nervous because I've never given that to her before, though apparently it's okay now that she's over six months old. I might try it for her next dosage, which will be in about an hour. I called her pediatrician after the high fever, and the nurse gave me some very sound advice, as well as a 10:45 am appointment tomorrow morning, just to be safe. It's reassuring. I doubt she has an ear infection, but it's great to get her checked out nonetheless. My cold has knocked me flat, so I'm not surprised in the least that she had such a high fever. Goes to show that her body is fighting something.

I'll be so glad when we're both back to normal.

Friday, September 10, 2010


The strangest thing just happened to me...tonight I was trading out my summer clothes and putting away the fall and winter ones when I stumbled upon the pair of pajamas I brought with me to the hospital back in March, when I gave birth to K. As soon as I looked at them, the biggest wave of...emotion crashed over me. It was so visceral--I literally had to cover the jammies up with other clothing to stop the intense discomfort I was feeling at that moment. It actually took my breath away. I'm still trying to figure out exactly which emotions I was feeling...fear and anger and intense sadness over the emergency c-section and not being able to hear K's first cry or see her and touch her in those moments right after her birth (wow, this brings me to tears just writing about it), the intense fear I felt as they were wheeling me into the OR and especially as they were forcing the mask (for general anesthesia) over my mouth and nose, my frustration now that my memories of those first moments when they put her in my arms are so fuzzy and hard to recall, and even my sadness over how completely crappy I felt--nauseous and dizzy and unable to raise the back of my hospital bed above a certain point--during K's first day of life. Wow, that sentence really shows how jumbled and overlapping all those emotions still are. And they washed right over me as soon as I laid eyes on those pajamas. I don't think I've ever experienced so many emotions attached to one unsuspecting object...I so did NOT expect that reaction. Kind of like being hit by a train. I honestly thought I had dealt with and resolved my feelings about K's birth...apparently not. Wonder what I should do now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I need a twelve-step program. No, really.

I'm kind of scaring myself lately. I've been told I have an "addictive" personality, and lately I'm starting to believe it. I think I might be addicted to a) shopping for and buying cute baby girl clothes and b) scouring eBay looking for all things Sasha. Sasha dolls are an amazing (IMHO) series of dolls started by Sasha Morgenthaler in Germany in the '60s. My preferred era of the dolls, however, is the '80s, mainly because I'm an '80s child and that's when I fell in love with Sasha dolls when I was a kid. There was this incredible doll- and toy shop in the local mall, and I distinctly recall gazing at these Sasha dolls that were displayed in a huge glass case, particularly the limited-edition Sasha Kiltie, a beautiful redhead with real human hair that wore a pleated dress of black watch plaid, dark tights and black shoes. Sasha dolls' expressions are so wistful and lifelike, and they do (in my eyes) have a very European look to them. I honestly can't get enough. It's baaaad.

Exhibit A, which includes not only the stunning Sasha baby I recently purchased on eBay for K, but the absolutely beautiful doll-sized bed, also purchased on eBay, complete with the softest flannel bedding I have ever laid a hand on:

And don't even get me started on the adorable baby girl clothes I've found recently on clearance. I seriously think I have K's summer wardrobe just about complete, in 18 month sizes. I don't think I've spent all that much, really, not when I've been refusing to spend more than, say, six bucks per item. I've found the most amazing summer clothes, including dresses, for less than five--and even four--dollars apiece. I think my favorite brand of all time is OshKosh Genuine Baby, found at Target. I also am liking the Cherokee brand more and more these days. I must confess, I actually started buying long-sleeved things in nine- and twelve-month sizes back when she was teeny-tiny, and no regrets there. I am admittedly a bargain shopper who makes a beeline for the clearance racks every time, and wow, have I found some absolute treasures. Kohl's is another favorite store, and they carry a ridiculously overpriced brand called Chaps. I found some incredible fall Chaps items that I absolutely LOVE at over fifty percent off (yes, I'm very proud of that fact). My girl's gonna be stylin' come fall!

But seriously? I have to stop looking at the Target website. And shopping at Target stores. And all Kohl's stores, too. The problem is that I do shop at Target for other things too, necessary things like Target diapers, which I love. And some days, I can't seem to physically pull myself away from those clearance racks. Just looking, at least. Gives a whole new spin on retail therapy when you're not exactly shopping for yourself.

So...yeah. If anyone finds a twelve-step program for compulsive adorable-baby-girl-clothes shopping, please let me know. I'd be forever grateful. ;P

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Six months!

Happy half-birthday, sweet girl! She turned six months old this past Tuesday, and I admit it, I was feeling rather sentimental all day. Not so much about her turning six months old, but thinking back to that momentous day six months earlier when my life changed so dramatically. I was wishing that I could remember that moment when the nurses handed her to me for the first time in more detail...I was still so groggy from the general anesthesia that my memories are quite foggy. I do remember seeing her little pink self as they wheeled me past the nursery--she was SO pink. But there's a lot that I still have to struggle to remember, which is very bittersweet for me. But the end result is still so miraculous...a healthy, happy, thriving baby girl who is the center of my universe. :)

She is now rolling over in both directions (she rolled from back to tummy first, which surprised me), sitting up with only a little bit of assistance, she LOOVES to stand and practice stepping whenever possible, and she smiles and laughs all the time. I'm pretty sure the teething process has begun, considering how fussy she's been lately, and we're still battling one blocked tear duct. We have an appointment with an opthalmologist on September 23rd, and at that point he and I will decide what to do next, with a quick outpatient procedure to open up the tear duct being a distinct possibility. I keep using warm compresses and massage at home to try and open it up, which is what happened with her other eye, now perfectly okay. But so far, no go. She really seems to want to crawl...she's scooting herself around using her arms and legs--not moving very fast or anything, but still.

We're experimenting more and more with solids: so far we're up to rice cereal or oat cereal every morning and meat most nights at dinnertime (for the iron). I added pears this morning, which she seemed to like, and we'll add a vegetable on Tuesday. Not sure yet what we'll start with, probably squash or sweet potatoes. I'm following the "only add a new food every three days" rule to watch for allergies. I also have barley cereal which we'll add soon as well. I did have to give in to formula while she's at daycare because I simply was not able to pump as much as I needed to each day...I went through my frozen stash incredibly fast, unfortunately. But when we're together I still breastfeed. Not sure how long that will last, considering that I'm not pumping while I'm at work, either...there's just not that much time for it. I'll just nurse as long as I can, I guess. :(

Daycare is going very well, now that I've gotten used to it...the daycare center she goes to has really grown on me, the more I've found out about how things are done there. It's a bit pricier than the home situations I checked out, but I'm happy with the one I finally chose, and truth be told, K is all smiles when we get there every morning. I've also seen a few of the candid photos they've taken of the kids, and K is smiling broadly in all the ones she's in. I do get the sense she's happy there, which means so much to me. And I really like the women who take care of her as well as how things run there.

I am SO looking forward to the next few months to see what she'll learn how to do next! So many changes in store...it's so exciting!!