Monday, January 30, 2006

Diary of the milk machine

McKenna's first day of school went great. She came, she slept, she pooped (a lot), she drank her bottles, and in other words, charmed the pants off her new friends. She also read books, sang the goodbye song, and did toe ticklers and whispers, according to her daily report.

I have no idea what her new baby friends thought of her, considering that the oldest one of them was seven months and another one was wrought with the worst case of baby eczema I've ever seen, but she sure did seem to make quite an impression on the ladies taking care of her! I believe the exact word they used was "angel"?

And the biggest shock? I DID NOT CRY. I've been dreading dropping her off at school for months, LONG before she was born, but it really went fine. I really have to hand it to my hubby for taking another two weeks off work and acting as a buffer between me going back to work and her going to school. Today, I have a feeling, would have gone a LOT worse had he not done that.

But of course, she drained my milk supply as I expected. I thawed eighteen ounces of milk to take to school, twelve of which she consumed during the day and one that I asked P to give to her tonight about an hour after I had pumped. And I'm pumping, pumping, and pumping some more. My current plan is to pump as much as she needs for the next day (eighteen ounces for tomorrow) and then freeze whatever is left over for a rainy day. We'll see how it goes. I'm sure once I kick up my milk production, it's going to be smooth sailing, but I get so busy and distracted with work when I'm in the field, I really do forget about pumping. It doesn't seem to matter how engorged I get or how big the spot on my shirt becomes from leaking.

Right now I have thirteen ounces pumped, so five more ounces before tomorrow morning and I'm home free. I really really really want to give her fresh milk as much as I can since fresh is best...the antibodies are still alive (freezing kills them) PLUS the added advantage of being able to store it for a few days, so if she doesn't drink it at school, I can save it till the next day...whereas frozen milk, once thawed, has a VERY short shelf life.


Now that my new wake up time (and hers) is 6:30 am, this is going to be short. I need to walk the dogs, watch 24, and GET IN BED! I have a long trip tomorrow to Palestine, Texas...2.5 hours away from home. Blah.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The first day of school

At least, that's what I'm calling it. It makes me feel better.

Monday is the big day. McKenna is starting daycare. DH and I have stretched this out as long as possible alternating taking vacation, and on Monday, it's all over. Starting on Monday, my baby will start being cared for by others.

Yes, it SUCKS.

But I'm trying to make this fun and keep an open mind about it. I've been told by SO many people that kids that go to daycare really regard it as school and look forward to playing with kids their own age, and become well-adjusted independent thinkers. Not sure I really believe that, but there is no choice in the matter. We can't afford for one of us to stay home right now.

Yesterday I called to kind of touch base with them, and they informed me that she must wear pants every day. I guess I was a little confrused because I planned on just sticking her in a onesie every day, but apparently they want pants on OVER the onesie. My husband thinks it's so there will be another barrier between the daycare provider and her BUTT in the event of a projectile poop explosion, which she has frequently.

I really can't say that I blame them! I would too if I were dealing with a number of babies that didn't belong to me. Other kids' poop is less charming when they don't belong to you!

At first, I was like, wait, I need to go get some more clothes, but after thinking about it a little more, I decided to search her room first.

I spent all day today reorganizing her closet and dresser and sorting clothes into areas...there is now an area of clothes in her closet and her dresser for "school clothes". I even set up this days of the week organizer in her closet that I got at my shower with two outfits in each outfit to wear to school and one outfit to put in her bag if she dirties one of the ones up in her "drawer". This place keeps clothes of hers there so that if she has an accident, they are all set with clean clothes.

As for shopping, I normally would NOT pass up an opportunity to buy her more stuff, but after taking stock of what she's got, she does NOT need anything. I forgot that we are talking about the best dressed baby in the neighborhood here...this kid has more pants outfits, shorts outfits, etcetera than I remembered. I've probably got enough stuff for her to wear a different outfit to daycare for a month before doing laundry.

At first I was like, "wait, I don't want her to wear her cute stuff to daycare", but then I remembered that this kid is growing like a weed, and some of this stuff that I'm saving is going to be too small for her soon. If she doesn't wear it now, when will she wear it??? So I just said screw it and I'm going to dress her so cute every day for school. It'll make it more fun for me anyway. If I didn't already have it, I wouldn't go out and buy her special school clothes, but she's got it, she's growing out of it, I might as well enjoy it!

But I have had some sad moments this week. She is now regularly drinking six ounces of milk now at a time from a bottle, and I have only four bottles that will accomodate that. The small Dr. Brown's bottles (the 4 oz ones) just won't do it. So last night, I put them up on the shelf either for when she starts drinking juice or for Baby #2. *sniff* Today we are going to Babies R Us to get more bottles so that I'm not washing bottles every night when I come home from work.

I also had to add an outfit to the outgrown bin I have in her closet now...this adorable yellow sleeper with marigolds on it and a matching bib. For goodness sake's, she wore it ONCE! But her legs are too long for it. I almost put the bib away too since it matches, but changed my mind since I'd like her to at least wear that and she hardly has any yellow bibs. She's getting really big. I can't believe it. She's bigger now in her swing, bigger in her stroller, and my husband thinks that she is getting heavier to hold too. She still hasn't rolled over, but we're working on that.

She is starting a very charming little habit though. We've bought these Baby Einstein videos which are like the coolest thing ever, even though they ARE the biggest racket I've ever seen. They probably spent $100 on baby toys, hooked up a video camera, and played the Baby Einstein CD in the background. Total production costs...hmm, maybe $500 just to film the thing. And then they pop off a million copies at $14.99 each. What a money maker! I wish I had thought of it! And McKenna, seriously, LOVES IT. It's like crack for babies. Anyway, last night we put her Baby Mozart DVD on for her in the living room while she swung in her swing, and we went to fold laundry, and at the end, we could still hear the music playing. All of a sudden, she lets out this screeching SQUAWK! We of course both run in there to see if something's wrong.

Wrong thing to do. She was yelling for us to come and turn the DVD back on since it was over. At three months! She's already becoming demanding! I hit the play button again, and all is well in McKenna's world yet again.

Anyway, that's the status from babyland. We're off to run some errands.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Got milk?

Because I'm so worried that I don't have enough.

The highlight of my week is that McKenna has skyrocketed from drinking three ounces of milk at a sitting quickly to four ounces to a whopping SEVEN OUNCES today.

That's almost a cup of milk.

Yes, I'm a little freaked out that I, the milk machine, will not be able to keep up.

I don't know why I'm surprised. When I pump without feeding her first, I get about eight ounces at a pumping so clearly that's what she needs, but I'm absolutely terrified that she's going to tear through the frozen entrees in the freezer and I'm going to have no choice but to have to dig out the canisters of Enfamil in the pantry for when she goes to daycare.

I'm hoping that this is just a growth spurt and my body will catch up...I've noticed the last few days that I'm not able to get full on anything that I eat. I eat a meal, and I'm still looking for more food. I'm thirsty all the time...kind of how I felt when I came home from the hospital...and I'm starting to leak again before feedings, something that hasn't happened in a while. She is sleeping consistently through the night, so I guess I'm going to have to start setting my alarm for like 3:30 or 4 and get up to pump. It's just hard to do that, because I'm enjoying my sleep SO MUCH!

Monday was my first major fire, and my first day pumping in the field. Bottom line, it BLOWS. I already have so many cords and electrical devices in the car, and now I am adding the pump's cord, charger, tubing, not to mention the tricky trick of putting ON the corset also knows as the hands-free bra and hooking up the breast shields WHILE leaving my shirt on and not flashing the entire world. I know my cause and origin investigator was like, "What the F is she doing!?" the other day. I would have been.

And getting dirty? Being out in a nasty burned house by myself photographing and measuring it? Nope, didn't enjoy it as much as I used to. All I kept thinking was, "When can I leave and go home to see my daughter?"

I can't remember if I blogged about this or not, but I decided when I went back to work at the end of December that I'm going to put off going into management until I am finishing nursing McKenna for the main reason that it involves a two-week training trip to Simi Valley and I have no desire to be away from her that long when she's this young and I KNOW it would kill nursing because I don't think I'd be able to keep up my milk production with pumping alone for two weeks. But any reservations I had about doing it are gone...I want to be out of the field as soon as possible!

Other than this nasty nagging cough that won't leave P and I alone, we have not much else to report.

Oh, yeah. I have a cavity...yet another treat from McKenna.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

My tip on pregnancy for the day

The biggest lesson that I have learned above all with work and pregnancy is this. Anyone out there thinking about having a baby? Listen up.

Never ever have a baby around the holidays.

My human resources department keeps coming up with new and inventive ways to screw with me. Even my boss said that he has never seen an HR department that is more sticklers than these people are. Want to hear the ways?

#1: Vacation time. Our local HR representative had told me back in June that since my due date was so late in the year and my sick time would possibly run into 2006, I needed to use up my vacation time for 2005 before I had McKenna since I would lose it if that happened. In other words, once you're on sick leave, you're on sick leave. I really wish that I could have used my vacation time at the beginning of my sick leave and then used my sick time, but they told me that I couldn't do that, and then a few weeks ago they told me that I was told wrong. But since it was all over the phone, I have nothing in writing to support that I was told wrong.

Hence, the reason why I went back to work for two weeks at the end of December.

#2: Holiday Pay. Apparently when you are on a leave of absence, you are not entitled to holiday pay. You still get paid, but it is one of your sick days. So, while everyone else in my company was paid for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day, I would have had to use my sick time instead of getting holiday pay.

Hence, ANOTHER reason why I went back to work for two weeks at the end of December.

#3: My Return to Work status. The way it works with my company is that with a vaginal birth, you get six weeks off work and nine weeks with a C-section. I had six weeks of sick time at full pay and three weeks at half pay. I had a vaginal birth, so I was off for six weeks at full pay. I could have taken another six weeks off with no pay due to FMLA, but obviously elected not to. I was super diligent about making sure that my boss returned me to full duty on the right day so there was no interuption in my pay. If it was done correctly, I would have received no interruption in pay. If it was not done correctly, our payroll department would have assumed that I was taking time off unpaid and I would have received NO paycheck. However, somehow I was returned to work at half-pay, reasons unknown. This involved multiple calls to HR and them finally overnighting me a check for the differential that they owed me. NO explanation was given to me for why this happened.

#4: Before I could take ANY vacation time in 2006, I had to come back to work for one day on January 3.

And now, the most recent way that I have gotten screwed by my HR department...

#5: I realized when I got my last paycheck that it was the same as my last. After comparing paystubs, I realized that my raise did not go into effect. My boss confirmed that he turned in the paperwork on time and everything. So I call down there on Friday and they tell me that since I was on leave for one month of the twelve in 2005, my raise will be cut down by 1/12 and they have not approved the amount that my boss put in for.

When were they going to inform me or my boss of this? You got me. My boss felt really bad about it...but it's not his fault. Hopefully they will send me a check for the differential that they owe me since my raise went into effect on January 1, but I'm sure I'll have to call them next week about that too.

GRRRRRRRR. That's about all I can say about it right now. I know it's all in the employee handbook that they can do all of this, but GRRRR.

Next time I have a baby, I'm going to orchestrate the trying to conceive process so I'm due in the summer. That's just all there is to it!

Anyway, my first week back at work was VERY slow and VERY uneventful. I got a very small grass fire around the corner from my house on Thursday which I went out on the same day, estimated on site, and printed out checks on site with my coolio new check printer, so my boss was very happy and said that he is recommending it for a 4.0 file (which is the equivalent of a A+) so we'll see what happens. If no major fires come in over the weekend, they are going to pair me up with another adjuster just back from school on Monday so I can show her the ropes. Now that I'm able to climb roofs again, I'm suddenly VERY useful in a training capacity to my office.

You may notice that I made some cool changes to my blinkies and a new section for my coffee flavors of the week now that I am a certified java addict again. I also have a section for what I'm scrapbooking at the moment. Just something else for everyone to read that comes to visit. And since I'm being very diligent not to bite my nails again now that I'm back to work, I'm back painting my nails when I have time. I had a little time this week to do it. When my nails are painted, I'm much less likely to bite them, so there's incentive there.

The princess is doing just fine and sleeping through the night now on a consistent basis. She has been sleeping primarily in her crib, but we had an electrical problem Thursday that took out power to the nursery, so we set up the bassinette in our room again just for the night and she did just fine sleeping in it until we got an electrician out to the house to fix the problem. Nursing is still going great, but P informed me that she's now drinking FOUR ounces at a feeding with a bottle. She was drinking 1.5 ounces of formula when we first brought her home and had to supplement, to give you a point of reference. Fortunately, I have TONS and TONS of milk stored up (somewhere around 134 ounces right now so that's what, about 33 meals?) but I'll probably have to start pumping a little more to get my milk supply going when she starts daycare if she starts running through my milk like wildfire. The sucky thing about daycare is that since the bottles must be premade before I go, any milk she does not drink while she's there has to be tossed down the drain rather than just bringing the frozen entrees on ice for them to store in the freezer and use if needed. I hate that. But I'm glad I started pumping and storing early...I'd be panicking right now if I hadn't started this in mid-November.

And guess what I mastered yesterday? I have added yet one more thing to the list of what I can do in my company car while driving. The list is long and I'm embarrassed to admit that I have learned to eat, talk on the phone, operate my GPS, operate my laptop (but I've only done that ONCE years ago), brush my hair, and put on makeup while sitting in traffic. Now I can pump milk while I'm driving to my appointments. My breast pump has a vehicle adaptor that I bought a few weeks ago, and thanks to my nifty hands-free pumping bra, I can get all set up before I pull out of the parking lot, pull my shirt over the bottles, and pump in peace while motoring around town, and then disconnect everything when I arrive at my destination.

Even though my time management skills leave a lot to be desired, one thing I hate doing is sitting idly in my car in traffic when I could be doing something useful!

Crackbooking is still progressing well. I finished my parents' wedding pages and P's trip to Portland in 1994 this week, and I started my prom pages last night. They are going to take some time since I have so many of them, but the first two I completed look good. I'm hoping I'll be done with those by the middle of next week. I ordered another batch of pictures from Snapfish, and when those arrive, I should be ready to start another round of pages. I have quite a few groups of pictures that are ready to go.

And my allergies are still driving me crazy. I have concluded that Dallas is never going to get rain again. Ever.

That's the status of my world at the current moment! Stay tuned and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Oh, look! A MEME! God knows I haven't done one of these in like, forever.

But this one by
my favorite movie muse really caught my attention.

"There's no crying in baseball!"
~~A League of Their Own

Do you cry at movies? Do you cry when you see them a second time (or third, or fourth....)? What are your favorite tear-jerkers?

Yes, I cry at movies. Yes, I sometimes cry when I see them multiple times. There. It's out there. Now, for my top tear-jerkers that are SURE to invoke tears if I'm having a hormonal, emotional or otherwise PMS-ey day. And some of them are bound to surprise you. My husband P says that he's continually surprised at the movies I don't cry at and the ones that I do.

1. Armageddon. I've probably seen this movie about twenty times, and yet every single time I have to watch Harry Stamper say goodbye to his movie daughter Grace, I cry. It doesn't even change anything for me knowing that Bruce Willis and Liv Tyler dated.

2. Beaches. Okay, so it's a given. I remember watching this movie for the very first time with my friend in ninth grade and at the end, we were bawling like babies. It still chokes me up to hear that music. Cancer SUCKS.

3. The Notebook. I usually don't cry at love stories, but this one got me good the first time I watched it. Got me so good that I rushed out THAT WEEKEND and paid full price for the DVD after watching the Blockbuster copy two more times and then went to Borders for the book. Unfortunately, the movie is better than the book, and I have to say, it's Ryan Gosling that does it for me every time. The Noah in the book couldn't possibly be that cute, could he?

4. Steel Magnolias. Yes, another chick flick. A mother loses her daughter at a young age even though Julia Roberts probably should have taken her mother's advice and adopted.

5. Stepmom. Again, cancer SUCKS, although this time Julia Roberts escapes death and Susan Sarandon gets it. They are talking about Anna, Susan's daughter and Julia's stepdaughter, while Julia throws back a shot of tequila and they both commiserate on how their biggest fear is that on Anna's wedding day she will either be missing her mom or not be missing her mom. Either way, it's sad.

6. Old Yeller. I cried when they had to shoot the dog in the end. ANY movie where ANY dog dies is just a killer for me.

7. The Fly II. Again, ANY movie where ANY dog dies is a killer for me.

8. The Never-Ending Story. When I was a kid, I cried when Atreyou's horse Artax died. It didn't make it any better that Artax came back to life later. Clearly ANY movie where ANY horse dies is also a killer for me. It's a good thing Seabiscuit didn't kick the bucket or I'd have been in trouble.

9. Titanic. 1,200 people die in the northern Atlantic in the middle of the night after thinking they were motoring to America on a boat and for no good reason other than the ship's builders were too concerned with deck space to make sure that their passengers would live. Need I say more? No, but seriously, the scene where the old couple snuggles up in bed together while the water swirls around their bed starts the sniffles, and by the time they go to the scene while the Irish mother is reading to her kids in bed while they wait to drown because steerage didn't qualify for lifeboats, I'm crying.

10. Deep Impact. I can't stand to watch the scene where the parents make LeeLee Sobieski take her infant daughter because they know that they are most certainly going to be overtaken by the huge tidal wave sweeping the continent. Yow.

...and last but certainly not least...

11. The Horse Whisperer. I have seen that movie easily fifteen times, and EVERY SINGLE TIME when Grace gets on Pilgrim and rides around, the tears start to roll. I can't explain it. And the icing on the cake is when she hugs her horse for the first time since the accident and his ears move from back to forward. It's AWESOME.

So, if you haven't seen every single one of these movies, go get them and some Kleenex.

Except for The Fly II. That movie really did stink.

And I apologize if you haven't seen any of these movies and I spoiled it for you, but hey, it's not like they've not been out for a while.

That's it for my maternity leave, folks. As of tomorrow, I am officially a working mother and back in the field. My car is packed, I have a car charger for my breast pump, and my fire jeans are folded neatly on my bed.

It kind of feels like the first day of school...and then again, it does NOT. Even a visit from my replacement A assuring me how excited everyone was about me being back didn't help. I SO wish I could just continue staying at home and getting paid for it forever.

I don't think my company would like that idea too much though. Oh, well.

Tune in next time!

Monday, January 16, 2006

A cup of joe

When I was in college, I drank coffee like it was going out of style. I had one of those little mugs and every morning when I walked to class, I would stop at Bruegger's Bagels and get a refill.

Since I worked full-time, I lived on coffee to keep me going.

When I joined the real world, I stopped drinking coffee. I had bought a small 4-cup coffee machine, but it had no timer and I was too lazy to make coffee in the morning, so I just got out of the habit. Then it broke, and I never bothered to replace it.

But I've noticed that I've been frequenting Starbucks a little more often the last few months, and P has been drinking a cup of coffee every morning when he gets to work, so last night we bought a 12-cup Mr. Coffee at Target since he said the coffee at work is awful.

And it has a timer.

So this morning we woke up to the beautiful aroma of a wonderfully fresh brewed pot of coffee, and I was reminded after drinking a cup when I first woke up of WHY I drank so much of it in college.

Looks like I'm headed back to being a java addict again.

So today, McKenna and I have it on our list of errands to stop by Central Market and pick up some samples of their yummy flavored coffees so we can decide which ones we like and start alternating flavors. We bought just a simple Breakfast Blend by Millstone which was good, but if memory serves, the chocolate mint flavor from Central Market was especially yummy...

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Scrapping status

I'm still very much at the scrapping bit, and it's going well. I went to my first crop party last night and finished up my pregnancy pages, which turned out AWESOME. Tonight I just about finished my parents' wedding pages...just have three pages on the reception to go.

Tomorrow I plan on stopping by Joann's and Michael's to use my coupons and probably selecting some more photos to have printed out on Snapfish, plus a little organizing on our cool new external hard drive.

But the idyllic time that I've had off with my daughter is quickly drawing to a close. I'm going back to work on Wednesday. *sniff* I can't believe this day is almost here. And I have so much to do to get ready...laundry, shopping, etcetera. I have to be field ready by Wednesday morning.

Big news flash on the McKenna front. We finally removed the training wheels and pulled the Baby Papasan out of the crib. I'm pleased to announce that my daughter is sleeping IN HER CRIB all by herself unassisted and with no aids and has been since about 9:30!!!!

Of course, since I've been using the crib for storage since she got home, this required quite a bit of reorg in the nursery, including installation of a stuffed animal bed in the corner of the room.

But I'm so proud of her. I just hope she'll go back down in it after she wakes up later tonight, but if she doesn't, it's okay...we've got time to work on it before she starts daycare, which is why we started this weaning off the bouncer this weekend. Somehow I don't think daycare is going to let her sleep in her bouncer in her crib.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I've turned into a...MOM!

Last weekend, one of my friends C (the girl that saved the day with my shower and the girl that left me in the lurch last year at work after she had a baby but still counted as one of my best girlfriends here in Texas) messaged me around midnight on Saturday and asked if P and I wanted to go with them tonight and watch the Dallas Stars kick the snot out of the Washington Capitals.

I, having lived in Texas for almost ten years, have turned into a moderate hockey fan...mostly, I admit, because the captain of the Stars team, Mike Modano, is seriously smoking HOT. I'm serious. Anyone remember his etched six-pack on the cover of Men's Health a year or so ago? Yow! Brad Pitt, look out! We also happen to have a great arena, the American Airlines Center, for the Mavs and the Stars to play's killer with a great sound system, lights, etcetera. Going to a game there is like going to a concert. It's SO cool. We went to a Mavericks game there last fall and it was the same way. Very enjoyable!

Anyway, long story short, I answered YES, and immediately emailed my brother-in-law to ask if they would mind babysitting tonight while we went, and they agreed.

We get there, get an outrageous amount of junk food, and then are delighted to find out that the seats we have are about fifteen rows back from the floor behind the net. Awesome seats.

We have a babysitter. C and her husband M left their kids, aged 1 and 8, with M's mother. We're all out alone as a foursome for the first time in over a year with NO KIDS in sight.

And what do C and I do? We do nothing but talk BABIES AND KIDS all during the game. Our discussion ranged from the best places to get professional shots to whose child cries the loudest when they are having their fingernails trimmed to toys to sleep positions to first words and when her son started walking to bath habits.

The most exciting moment of my night was when my sister-in-law gave me a coupon to get Valentine pictures taken at the mall (oh, yeah, gotta do that!), and the biggest disappointment was when they told me that McK rolled over for them and I missed it. P and I talked about that the whole way home and plotted exactly when we should start the removal process of the bouncer from the crib...decision was made to start that this weekend.

I've turned into one of those freaks that does nothing but talk about their kid. Someone STOP ME!

And to all my friends out there that I regularly hang out with that are at the moment childless, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me because I know not what I do.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Anne Geddes Baby

I can't help it...this kid is just SO DARN CUTE, I can't stand it!

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A seriously AWESOME day

Today was the BEST day I have had in weeks.

Today I had an appointment scheduled with Portrait Innovations to get McKenna's first professional photographs made. I was going to go to Target, but drove by and saw that this place had a better promotion. I realized AFTER today that it's bait...and their mission is to get you in there, TAUNT you with how freaking adorable pictures of your child are, and get you to open your wallet quickly.

Oh, but what a way to go.

My only request to God this morning when I woke up was that McKenna NOT be crying when we got to the picture place. I did everything possible to ensure that happened. We slept in late, I let her nurse for as long as she wanted, took a bottle to the place, took pacifiers, etcetera.

Not only did she not cry, she was awake, alert, and...smiling. Yes, my daughter SMILED today. There was no mistaking it. I don't know if she just liked the chick photographing her and making crazy noises with her tongue (I must learn to roll my r's) or what, but it was SO worth it. AND she can now hold her head up by herself, as we found when we did the pose of her on her tummy. SO FREAKING CUTE, I can't stand it. I walked in there with the intent of getting only one pose, and walked out with seven poses, $120 poorer. But the pictures I got...oh, they are SO incredible. If I had had unlimited resources, I would have bought them all. They were ALL so cute. And we got two 10x13 black and white shots of my hand and her hand...I was going to describe them, but why spoil the surprise? The pictures will be way cuter than anything I could describe! One of them is so adorable, I'm going to make it the wallpaper on my computer. It looks like something out of an Anne Geddes calendar.

We did see a four-week-old little boy there that made McKenna look like a monster! Was she ever that small? Oh, yeah, maybe at like 32 weeks of pregnancy!

Then later this afternoon, I took her to the pediatrician's office. She wasn't as smiley as she was for the pictures...I think she knew in her little baby brain that something in the form of pain was coming...and really threw a fit when she got her four shots. But she calmed quickly, and that's okay. I think once you watch a doctor put a scope down your baby's nose and put her through surgery, watching her get shots isn't the horrible torturous drama that it would be otherwise. She isn't as big as I thought she would be, but she's 12 pounds, 5 oz, 23 inches long, and in the 90th percentile on weight and 75% percentile in height. I didn't understand percentiles until today, so let me explain that for those that don't know basically means that McKenna weighs more than 90% of kids her age and is taller than 75% of kids her age. The pediatrician was VERY impressed with how she is thriving on breast milk only and said that she has no doubt we can continue to keep it going even after I go back to work.

In other words, I'm growing a little monster!

THEN, later when I was shopping, my boss called me on my cell phone to tell me that I got a 7% raise at work. Which, after taxes, that combined with P's probable raise and the money we will save after we pay off our one remaining car loan, will make the pinch of daycare expenditures not as painful.

AND...we have a babysitter for tonight (my sister in law and brother in law are dying to watch McKenna) so we're going out for a movie! And dinner!

I honestly don't think today could get any better.

As soon as we can, we'll scan the professional pics in of McKenna and I'll post them for all to see. I AM SO PROUD OF THIS KID, I just can't stand it!

Come back later if you want to see the cutest baby pictures imaginable...okay, so what if I'm biased?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The new devil that is Babies R Us

There are certain things in this world that my husband believes are just wrong. He adamantly is opposed to the concept of valet parking. He gets madder than a hornet if I even joke about flipping him the birdie, even if I'm totally laughing and kidding around about it. He insists to this day that I still regard food like I'm in college, and would if he let me scrape off the top layer of mold on the cheese and eat what's under (so not true, but that's what he thinks), and he is a big believer that Wal-Mart is the devil and must be destroyed.

I don't totally disagree with the Wal-Mart statement. I mean, how many times have you gone in there for one simple thing, like MILK, and come out $150 poorer? And with a cartload of nothing but crap?

But now, there is a new devil in town stalking me, and it is Babies R Us.

I'm sure that to a point, every new mom goes through this. They just have to have EVERYTHING. And darn it, there are just SO many cool gadgets out there that you can get for every baby emergency!

I truly went in there for JUST a car adaptor for my breast pump. I came out with not only the adaptor, but a cleaning kit for my pump when I have access to neither clean water or a microwave, a first aid kit, and a bunch of little trial sized thingys for my diaper bags...stain remover, powder, butt paste, etcetera. Unbelievable. They cast the bait, and I was sucked in.

Just like Wal-Mart does. Are Wal-Mart and Babies R Us related?

But my trip to Babies R Us was NOT without amusement. I had three very funny encounters with people there:

#1: Mr. and Mrs. Let's Make the Ladies Restroom a FAMILY Restroom. I'm not kidding. I walk into the ladies room with McKenna and both parents are standing over the Koala changing their newborn who clearly was not happy. They are lucky I'm not weird about stuff like that...heck, I'll pee anywhere...but hello, there is a NURSING room across the hall with changing tables!!! But it was kind of amusing to watch them...they were trying so hard to get this kid changed and I doubt this kid was more than a week old at best. They even had their wipes in a little plastic box for their diaper bag. It was just so cute! I wonder if people looked at me the first week like that, and went, "Aw, how sweet, they are new parents!"

#2: Miss I'm an Expert on Everything Baby and Miss I Want Every Piece of Baby Clothing Now. There were these two women digging through the clearance racks that I'm pretty sure were sisters, and I'm fairly sure that one of them had just adopted a daughter from China. (Reminded me of you, S!) The reasons why I'm fairly sure the daughter was adopted and that it just happened:
-the lady was white and blonde and the baby was clearly Asian with black hair
-the baby was eight months old (I asked)
-they were considering buying all kinds of totally adorable and utterly impractical baby clothing, like pleated dresses in a nine month size
Don't get me wrong, McKenna has her share of adorable dresses, but they are for HOLIDAYS and for PHOTOGRAPHS, not just for wearing every day! It just gave me the impression that she had just adopted this girl and was starting to go shopping for her since most of the time you don't know what age you're getting when the baby comes home.

#3: The Poor Guy in Search of Help. I (me!) was actually asked for my opinion on the Chicco by this poor new father whose wife had just had a baby girl a few days ago and wanted a new travel system. He saw McKenna's in the cart and wanted to know what I thought about it. Of course, Miss I'm an Expert on Everything Baby butted into our conversation UNinvited and had to interject her opinion about how great Chicco products were...even though she had a Graco system. I didn't quite understand that one.

*rolling eyes* Anyway, it was an interesting afternoon out. I also finally got my license renewed after seven months of driving around with it expired (VERY long story there), dropped by my office to turn in some paperwork, and bought some new clothes at Old Navy. I bought my first pair of post-pregnancy jeans. They are three sizes larger than my size that I was wearing when I got pregnant the first time, so I'm not happy about that, and they don't look that great right now, but they are SUCH a nice change from my maternity jeans that I'll live with it. I never thought I'd grow to detest pants with elastic waistbands so much.

Overall, my first day of vacation was wonderful.

And have I mentioned that I'm a milk-producing cow? Literally? One thing I noticed when I went back to work part-time is that McKenna is consuming more during the day with a bottle than I am pumping, which worried the bejeezus out of me that I won't be able to keep up with her when she starts daycare. So, I started setting my alarm this week to get up and pump at night. Ha. It didn't take long for me to start producing milk like a dairy farm! So lesson learned: pumping will kick start things if my milk production wanes a bit. I just have to be diligent about sticking to a pumping schedule when I'm out in the field on fires.

And now...for the Blogging Year in Review for 2005!

Instructions: take the first sentence (or 2) from the first post of each month of 2005. That's your year in review.

WHAT A COOL IDEA! I have shamelessly stolen this from
Erin, who stole it from Ann. And what a year! It’s no surprise that almost every entry deals with my pregnancy.

January: AS IF the month of December could get any worse, my laptop chose TODAY to break down. Nothing has changed there…I still can’t live without my laptop. And guess what, my company finally gave me WIRELESS!!

February: And what a fun trip it was. : The fun trip, of course, was describing my last trip as a non-preggers childless mother…and a great girls’ weekend complete with Indian food, lots of alcohol, pedicures and manicures, and of course, SHOPPING! I love you, S!

March: I have decided that this book is my Bible. I truly believe that if it were not for Taking Charge of my Fertility, I would not have gotten so pregnant SO fast…twice! Truly an awesome book. Speaking of which…I need to get it back from my friend that borrowed it. Not that I need it anytime soon…

April: For the last three days, I have had the worst morning sickness imaginable, and I have not been hungry at all. That’s HILARIOUS to read, because when people have asked me the last few months if I had bad morning sickness, my response has been, “No, not that I can recall.” SO funny how having a baby just kills your memory of the bad stuff!

May: Are you wondering what will happen in four days? I sure was. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen, but happening in four days was the exact moment in my second pregnancy that I had my miscarriage in my first. Scary times.

June: Make them hang wallpaper together. The closest Philip and I came to seperating in the entire nine months of my pregnancy. That was a BAD night…the night we hung the Finding Nemo wallpaper border in the nursery.

July: At the present time, my house is 73 degrees, which matches the temperature that my thermostat is set on. And to THINK that at that point in time in July, I actually thought that felt cool. Ha ha ha. Later in my pregnancy, you would have thought I was burning in hell, I was sweating so hard, and to be honest, my hormones have never quite adjusted to where they were. I still sweat all the time now. But compared to that horrid month this summer with no air conditioning, I’ll take it.

August: I woke up yesterday morning laying on my back JUST like all the books tell you not to do and with the most uncomfortable pain right between my ribcage. Oh, you stupid girl, it’s ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE!!!!!! You just don’t know how much worse!

September: What else could have me up at 3:30 am other than more tossing and turning over work? Funny how now my daughter has me up at 3:30 am on a regular basis…and I actually cherish those moments. How life changes when you become a parent! What I was tossing over, of course, was my decision to pursue the management route, which I’m still going to pursue. But I’m going to wait to do it until McKenna is no longer nursing since I truly believe that a two-week stint in Los Angeles would KILL my milk production, not to mention I would miss my daughter horribly. Nope. Can’t do it right now.

October: Wow. One word to describe the best baby shower ever?! Clearly I was speechless!

November: My ultrasound went great today. Little did I know that what was INSIDE on the ultrasound would be on the OUTSIDE in four short days! Personally, I think McKenna just didn’t like the ultrasound tech, G, poking at her.

December: I'll post a quick summary of what's happened. I can do it quicker now. Baby. Surgery. Panic. That’s about it.

Well, that's all I've got for today, folks! Enjoy your evening!