Monday, February 27, 2006

The mermaid has left the building

Did you think you were going to see that partial mermaid's fin forever?


Now you are stuck with looking at the partial brocade skirt of a very regal lady!

In other words, I've been doing a wee bit of stitching. After I finished my cruise pages on Saturday, I got an email from a pal inviting me over to escape babyland for a few hours and stitch, an invite that I happily accepted. So much fun. As much as I love spending time with McKenna, I have to remind myself constantly that a break every now and then is a good thing.

I don't have much else to report at this moment in time. Work is status quo, the baby is doing great and smiling constantly, I'm waiting for 226 pictures to come in from Snapfish to start working on her pages with, and the weather is supposedly getting warmer this week.

Life is good!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Confessions of an Infant Drama Queen

We've had a tough week this week with McKenna at school. Tuesday I got a call from them asking if it was okay to give her another bottle because she was screaming her head off. Wednesday I get a call from them asking me to come pick her up because she had severe gas and was screaming her head off. Today, no screaming, but I was informed when I picked her up that one of her classmates went home sick with a respiratory virus (RSV). I had taken her to the doctor on Wednesday, and nothing yet, so hopefully it'll be all right.

I had to change the bottles again though at their instead of sending four four-oz bottles, I'm sending five five-oz bottles. Fortunately she hasn't drank all of them this week yet, so each day I'm marking the frozen or oldest ones with a star so she gets those first, and whatever she has left over, I take home for the next day. Tomorrow, since it's Friday, anything that she doesn't drink and everything I pump is going right into the freezer.

She's been fine at home, although she has definitely figured out that the quickest way to get mom's attention is to cry. It's hysterical...we're eating dinner, she's in her swing, and as long as I'm paying attention to her and playing with her, she's all smiles, but the second I turn my attention to my dinner, she's pouting and crying.

Amazing how fast they learn.

I have to admit though, it really warms my heart that she cries for she really knows I'm her mommy. She was fussing tonight really badly and wouldn't let P hold her...the second I held her, she calmed right down. It was the same this week with school.

Maybe this week has just been a little bit of seperation anxiety?

Anyway, we'll see how tomorrow goes. She's having school pictures taken tomorrow, so I'll post one when I get them back if I decide to buy one.

I had a great OB/GYN appointment on Wednesday. I really expected to get an enormous lecture from my doctor about my weight loss efforts or lack thereof but instead of that, I was hugely praised since I've lost ten additional pounds since my last checkup in mid-December. To me, it doesn't seem like a lot, but my doctor was really happy to see it and said that I should really feel good about it considering that I'm a) a new mom, b) breastfeeding, c) pumping/working full-time. Slow and steady wins the race, she reminded me, and the fact that I'm not in maternity clothes anymore sixteen weeks post-partum is great, she said. I'm still wearing maternity dress pants, but it's only because I haven't had time to get out to the store and buy some new pants yet. The maternity pants are falling off me all the time except for the jeans, and I'm not wearing the tops at all anymore. She was most of all very impressed with my pumping efforts. She asked how often I was pumping and how much I was getting at each pumping, and when I told her, she was like, "Wow! Most women only pump at lunch!" and said that I should be able to make it as long as I want with no problem if I keep it up. So that did make me feel good. I was all ready with my "eat shit" response if she harped on me for how much weight I hadn't lost, and it turns out I didn't need it after all.

One quick little update with work...I've decided to go ahead with my plans to move into upper management at work. I just don't want to wait anymore. Yes, the two-week trip to Los Angeles would bite the big one, but I'll just take my pump and pump as much as possible. Hopefully by then, McKenna will be on baby food as well as breast milk, and it won't be quite as traumatic then. I'll come home on the weekend to limit the number of nights that we're apart. The next open posting at work is in May, and I have two exams to take before then. They are going to be doing a massive hiring spree this year of new adjusters, so my boss feels that there should be no problem with me being hired in our office to be a supervisor. I'm rather excited...feels like I'm moving into a new stage of my life.

The other good thing that happened with work today is that we had a very large diagnostic audit at work and on the two files that were audited for me, I got two 4.0 scores, which is my company's equivalent of an A++. It's unheard of. Most people get 3.0, 3.5, etcetera, and not only did I get a 4.0 on one file, I got it on BOTH. My boss was really thrilled and wants to take me out to lunch next week to celebrate and congratulate me. I was really excited too, but it just confirms my feeling more and more (as well as my managers' feelings) that I've gone as far as I can in this job and I have nothing more to learn as an adjuster. It's time to move on to the next stage. I've been an adjuster for ten years as of August, and five of those years have been in the field. Something new would be very welcome at this point in time.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I want to be a soccer mom

The one good thing that has come out of this crap with the Magnum is that it has given us a chance to see just how sweet life could be with a minivan. I knew it would parents had one when I was in high school...but now that I have a child of my own and ten tons of crap to haul around at any given moment, I can really see how much I really need one.

(By the way, the status of my Magnum is that the dealership has agreed to pay for me staying in the car until the car is done, probably Monday or Tuesday. I'm not happy, but I'm over it now that they are paying for the van.)

So P and I have chauffeured the princess around in this Grand Caravan since Friday, and wowsa, it's awesome. So much easier putting her in and taking her out, more room for our stuff, and just really comfortable to ride in!

So, we're going to start looking at buying a new vehicle probably in about a year or so. Maybe. Both of our vehicles are now paid off (well, the Explorer has a few more payments but it's almost there) and definitely worth more to us than they would be to anyone else, so if we did this, it would be a straight purchase and not a trade-in, which means that I would want to have as much money saved for a down payment as possible. That shouldn't be a problem over the next year since we have two tax seasons, two years of bonuses at work for me since I get my bonus every year in March, and if I become a supervisor, I get a nice little chunk of money for sacrificing my Magnum. Ha ha, don't even get me started on that one. But the rationale for that bonus is because most people at my company that have company cars do not have personal cars and thus, my company rewards them for going into upper management by giving them basically a downpayment on a new car.

The other reason for waiting a year is to get as much of our remodeling expenses paid off as possible before we start with a car payment again, and we're almost there since we've been working on it diligently since last summer. But if we do this, we are both agreed that we want a brand-new van with the extended warranty and no miles on it and all the bells and whistles on it since it'll probably be a vehicle that we will have for a LONG TIME. I don't want a used piece of crap...I want something brand-new. If I crap it up, fine, but I want it sparkling new when I bring it home.

So survey time. We're going to be looking at vans in detail over the next year and doing a lot of research. I know there's gotta be some van drivers out there. Tell me what you've got and what you like about it and what you don't like about it. Here is my list of must-haves so far.

My dream van must have:

-two benches in the back and two captain's chairs in the front
-keyless entry
-lots of cup holders

Umm, that's all I've got right now. I've heard that some vans have a remote that will open the doors for you, and that'd be pretty sweet, but I wouldn't say it's a must have. P has mentioned a Kia Sedona due to the safety rating; I have mentioned a Honda Odyssey since I have had excellent history with Hondas.

I do not want anything made by Dodge because I am PISSED at them about this whole Magnum deal.

P has been elected the trustee of the Mini-Van Savings Account.

Other than our revelation that we want to be soccer parents and have a minivan, not much else is going on this weekend. I went to scrapbook at Sharon's house on Saturday with her daughters and my daughter and it was a ton of fun, except McKenna was whiny whiny whiny and I ended up taking her home to hang out with Dad so I could get some cropping done and hang out with Sharon's girls and visit and in general just do girl stuff. It was great though...I got four cruise pages done. And I decided this morning that I am ready to start on McKenna's pages NOW. If I don't get going on them, those pictures are going to take me over. So far I've got her birth, her surgery, her first Thanksgiving, her first Christmas, her first day of school, and her first Valentine's Day, so if I don't catch up, I'm really going to be in trouble soon.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Dude, where's my car?

Warning: the following blog entry is R-rated and may not be suitable for children.

Okay, I have about the MOST irritating saga to report to you about my company car...this is what I've been dealing with this week.

First to start off with, let me inform you that my Dodge Magnum is a TRUE piece of shit. Excuse my francais, but it really really is. I have had more problems with this car than my Honda, my Explorer and BOTH of the last two company cars I had...a Malibu and a Ford Contour. Since I got it brand-new last April, I've been in one accident with it, lost a rocker panel, had to have a recall done, and now...this latest slew of nonsense.

While I was on maternity leave, I noticed that my trunk stopped working. It won't open. This is a big problem for an adjuster that has to get a ladder in and out of the trunk. Everything else, I can reach by reaching from the backseat, but the way. About the same time, I noticed that my rear wiper ceased to work. And then about a month ago, I got a notice about a recall...something about the car being able to roll backwards possibly while it was in park? It's all bad. At any rate, my boss nagged me and nagged me all week to take it in and I finally picked Thursday as the day to do this.

I went into the dealership (Huffine's of Plano, in case anyone out there is curious!) to drop it off bright and early (okay, 9:15 am) on Thursday morning. My thought was, I would just wait in the lobby and work quietly while they were fixing all this crap. The guy that waited on me, B, told me that the recall would take a few hours and the trunk and rear wiper repairs a few more hours after that since they had to find the parts. My oil change was due too, so he offered to do that as well as a courtesy since they can do work with our leasing company. I said fine and that I would not wait for it. Fortunately, a guy on my team happened to be at the dealer getting HIS piece of shit worked on as well, and his Magnum was ready, so he took me back to the office.

About 3 pm on Thursday, B calls me and informs me that they don't have the part for the trunk and can't get it in until the next day (today) and can they keep my Mag overnight? I said fine but that they needed to call me Friday afternoon when it was ready. After scrambling and making lots of phone calls, it was settled that P would leave work early, pick up the princess, and then come to the office to get me. The next morning, I got one of our office managers who lives about ten minutes away to come pick me up on his way to the office so I could sit there and work while I waited for the dealer to call me.

By 2 pm, I'm waiting and I get no call. I pick up the phone and call B. He says that they are working on my Mag and that he'll have to call me back. 2:30, he calls back to inform me that the rear wiper mechanism that they ordered is defective and that I'll have to bring the car back on Monday to have that installed. I sigh, but agree, and tell him that I need my car TODAY since I have no way to get home. He says that he'll call as soon as it's ready. I line up another person to take me to the dealership to pick up the car, who, by the way, is ready to leave at any moment.

By 3 pm, I have no call. I finally call him and leave him a voice mail to call me. He calls back at about 3:45 and says that the car will be ready in about fifteen minutes and that I can go ahead and come on over. I leave with the guy that is taking me over around 4:15 and by 4:41 I am standing in the lobby of Huffine's.

When I got there, I told the guy that dropped me off to go ahead and go since B had assured me that the car would be ready to go, and, for Pete's sake, it's not like the car is undrivable!!!

I walk in, and B is nowhere to be seen. One of the other service girls tells me to go to the cashier and they will check me out. I go up there, and this chick tells me to have a seat because they are writing my ticket. I get settled in the sitting room and start watching Oprah.

By 4:52, I am still sitting there. I walk up to the window again, and tell them that I am still waiting. By this time, I'm starting to get a tad annoyed. The guy tells me that they'll page B. I tell him I'm going back to the sitting room.

By 5:01, nothing. And did I forget to mention that my car is SITTING in the service bay area and has been for about ten minutes at this point? I walk up to the window and tell them I want my car and I want it NOW. The guy tells me that he was ready to check me out ten minutes ago but didn't know where I had gone since I just "stormed off". WTF? THEN, they proceed to tell me that I owe them $40. For what, I'd like to know, since the trunk repairs were under warranty, the recall was a recall, the wiper repair hadn't been done yet, and I had given them the coupon for my oil change!

Finally, B shows up and wants to know what's going on. I tell him that this is starting to be VERY inconvenient and that we have gone from a few hours to now a few days. He apologizes, informs me that he didn't even know I was there (again, WTF?!) and escorts me out to the car.

Here's where it gets interesting.

The first thing I do since I'm carting everything around with me but the kitchen sink (backpack with laptop, printer, cooler for food, purse, breast pump) is to go to the rear and try to open the trunk so I can put everything in it.

Would you believe that the trunk STILL DID NOT OPEN?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

And even more unbelievable, that guy actually tried to act like they had fixed it and he didn't understand why it wouldn't open.

I got so angry in the next moment that I can't remember exactly what I said to this guy, but it must have been pretty good because the next thing I know, he's escorting me to the Enterprise rental car office next door to put me in a rental car for the night. It's still undetermined exactly how long they will be paying for this rental since they CLAIM they will have the trunk fixed tomorrow, but I called my boss and he said that regardless of when they decide to stop paying for the car, he wants me to keep the rental car and my company will pay for it until Monday when all the repairs have been made.

And to add insult to injury, I get a van that has a quarter of a tank in it. I guess it was better than the alternative...a NEON.

Ugh. Those &%#$ #*$(%)@ *#%&%.

Anyway, we'll see what happens tomorrow when B is supposed to call me.

What can I say? I donated blood today, pumped FOUR TIMES at the office, worked an ungodly day, was tired, hungry, thirsty, missing the princess, and thoroughly irritated that instead of getting home around 5 like I hoped, I didn't get home until 6. Oh, and let's not forget that the Dallas Metroplex is under a winter weather advisory today and tonight, so not only was I dying to go home, I was freezing in my little Old Navy t-shirt and sweatshirt!!

One thing I can say is that those jerks at Huffine's are SO LUCKY that we were dealing with my company car and not my personal car or they really would have understood the meaning of the witching hour.

On a good note, we finally have conquered the milk debacle at school. After playing with the quantities and bottles all week, I finally discovered that the best thing that works (for now) is to send four four-ounce bottles with McKenna. I did that today, and she drank ALL of her milk and school did not toss any of it down the drain. Plus, I produced so much milk this week, I was seriously considering changing my name to Bessie and painting black and white spots on me. Every one of her boxes in the freezer is completely stocked, and pumping is not over yet for the day since the princess is snoring in her crib. She was so sleepy when we came home from dinner out that we just put her right in her crib without changing her since she is wearing a long-sleeved sweatshirt and warm pants anyway.

But I'm sure now that I have a plan for the milk bottles to send to school, McKenna will hit a growth spurt or something next week and throw me all out of whack again! Hey, keeps me on my toes.

Anyway, that's the scoop from today.

I HATE those men at Huffine's. Jerks!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My favorite Valentine

And to think next year we're actually going to make more of a fuss over her!

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All in all, she had a great day! We got to the party at 3 to be informed that they don't do parties for infants (okay, then WHY was there a note in my box saying Infant Party at 3 pm...parents welcome to attend?), but she did get a variety of Valentines from her teachers and classmates, and one of her classmates actually gave her a teething ring! I thought that was pretty cute...wish I had thought of it. And then we took her out to dinner...okay, we took US out to dinner and she slept.

And sending smaller bottles of breast milk worked MUCH better today. Problem solved. Thanks, everyone, for all the comments!

Monday, February 13, 2006

White gold...down the drain?

Last Wednesday when P picked up McK at school, their report that they sent home with her said that she drank 2 oz of her milk at midday and then "all" at her last meal. I always send three 6 oz bottles of milk, and I seriously doubt that she drank 10 ounces at one sitting, but all bottles came home empty.

So where did the milk go?

I had given her school express instructions that if she did not finish a bottle, they were to cap it and refrigerate it for the next feeding. The lady that I told that to was like, "Okay, fine."

So today, I ask them, "what are you doing with my milk?"

To my HORROR, they tell me that they are DUMPING IT DOWN THE DRAIN!?!?!?!?!

They quickly told me that they have to by law and that state law in Texas requires that any open container of formula or breast milk must be used or discarded within one hour after taking it out of the refrigerator. Okay. I have yet to find this law on the internet.

But, no harm. I'm going to pretend like I never heard them say that and just tell myself that she drank all my milk.

Guess what they are getting tomorrow? Instead of three six-ounce bottles, they will get one six-ounce bottle and four three-ounce bottles.

So there. I can play the milk game better than they can! Nyah!

And by the way, we are all feeling much better, although the princess did not have a happy weekend at ALL. I think her antibiotics bother her.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Now we're ALL sick

Well, the princess and I are, at least.

About fifteen minutes after I wrote that last blog entry, I came down with the WORST case of stomach flu I've ever had...we're talking the runs, aches, chills, nausea like you wouldn't believe, the whole thing. And SO fatigued...I have definitely caught up on my sleep.

By last night, I was feeling a little better...but still very tired and cold.

I woke up this morning and McKenna's coughing and sneezing and spitting up green crap. So I decided to stay home today and take her to the pediatrician's.

Guess what? She has ear infections in both ears! I never would have guessed! I always thought that kids with ear infections screamed their heads off. Her doctor was amazed that she wasn't screaming about it. She's a trooper like Mommy.

However, I am armed with the Gerber version of Pedialyte JUST in case she gets the stomach flu this weekend...and instructions from her doctor if it shows up.

Just keep your fingers crossed she doesn't get it, because if she does, it means that she will be miserable (I was in tears and I'm an adult that knows it's not the end of the world), I won't be able to nurse her until the diarrhea stops, and it will most likely mean that it's contagious and she can't go to school next week.


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The answer to my mysterious illness...

...and probably a good reason why my milk production has been suffering.

And, no, I'm not pregnant, although all your comments totally freaked me out today and made me buy a pregnancy test to make sure!

I think that I am suffering from extreme dehydration....either that or a weird stomach bug!

With all that I've had going on lately...making sure to pump enough milk, keeping the house clean, training this girl at work, working, etcetera, I have really forgotten about drinking water or anything of that matter. I won't even scare you with how little I've been drinking, but now that I've thought about it and reflected on the last week, it's no wonder I'm barely making enough milk to get by. I'm not even drinking that much diet soda...let alone water.

So my new mission (along with being a milk dispenser) is to rehydrate and FAST. I can't take another night of feeling THIS sick to my stomach. I made cashew chicken tonight and the smell has made me SO sick, I had to run and hide in the back of the house away from the smelly nauseating kitchen!!!


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yo estoy enferma

That's Spanish for, "I'm sick". What an understatement.

I really have no idea what happened. I was fine all day at work yesterday, came home, and got a last-minute invitation to my brother-in-law's house for dinner with them and my father-in-law. I changed McKenna and while I was nursing her, I suddenly started to feel VERY nauseous! It only got worse from there! I started feeling icky, achy, no appetite, like I was going to throw up, you name it. I went for dinner, and ate very little, and then came home and McKenna and I went to sleep in the bed at 7:30. I woke up twice to pump and get a drink and more Tylenol Cold and Sinus, but pretty much just stayed in bed willing the urge to barf away. I thought it might have been food poisoning, but I didn't have anything yesterday that would have caused it..I had yogurt for breakfast and a Lean Cuisine for lunch, and two diet Cokes and a water throughout the day. That's it.

This morning I woke up at hour late. I had appointments scheduled with my trainee all day today, and if there was ever a day that she needed me, it was today. And my boss K is in a training class all day, so he can't help her. Plus, I never ever call in sick to work...occasionally if I just want a day off, I'll do it, but usually I just slog through the pain and dope up on Dayquil.

After looking at me and seeing how pale I was, P was like, "Call in sick".

So I'm home today and I selfishly kept McKenna home from school to stay with me for company. If this thing that I have, whatever it is, is contagious, she's already got it anyway, and if it's something that my body is making antibodies for to fight off, it's better that she stay here with me and nurse and get the antibodies right out of the gate. After I called my boss, we both went back to sleep and we slept in today until about 11. Then I got up and made some tea and toast, and now I'm just sitting here, drinking a diet Coke and willing the nausea away.

The princess is sleeping in her swing.

So that's the status from here. Not much else to report. The milk machine's production is greatly improved from last week and going well.

I am really sad today to read about LauraLeigh's death from the Teresa Wentzler Bulletin Board. I admit that I have not been the most avid blog reader or board reader in the last year since I've been remodeling my house, having a baby and discovering the evil addiction of crackbooking, but today I read Sharon's blog and saw the news. I did not know Laura that well, but we often chatted online about various things, the main thing of late our journeys to conceive a child. She was a very nice girl and had so much to look forward to in life. Laura, you will be truly missed.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The first giggle

I forgot to mention that we had a big milestone yesterday with McKenna...she had her first giggle. She actually giggled out loud at me while I was changing her. It was a riot!

School Days

Well, we survived the first week of school!

-she dirtied two outfits with diaper blowouts and Mommy learned to put dirty clothes like that in a bucket with Oxy-Clean immediately upon coming home so as to avoid repeated washings

-Mommy spilled her milk in the car on Friday morning and just about had a panic attack, but it was fine since McKenna apparently wasn't that hungry anyway
-I was informed that pacifier keepers are not allowed for safety issues
-I went up there once in the middle of the week to nurse her which was FABULOUS and got me through the day without missing her too much
-she slept no more than a total of two hours throughout day every day-she sang lots of songs, read books, and did toe wigglers
-we were invited to her first class party for Valentine's Day!

Overall, the teachers said that it's been a long time since they have had a baby that did THAT well their first week. I personally attribute that to the fact that I started her on a bottle early, had other people feed her (DH, uncles, aunts, grandpa, grandma, friends), and let as many different people hold her as possible. I really think that made a difference. Plus, I took her out to so many different places that being at school was no big deal. I wasn't there that much with her, so I can't say they were telling me the truth or not, but everytime I was there with her, she was content and happy while the other kids were screaming their heads off and fussing. And she was the youngest baby there except for one that was about ten days younger.

And when she comes home, she is EXHAUSTED. She did better last night and Thursday as far as staying awake with us, but she's so stimulated and entertained that she's content just to sit with us and watch television and cuddle. It's GREAT. We did take her shopping Thursday night, so that was fun. And every night this week except for Monday night, she has slept straight through until morning, so we're getting plenty of sleep, even with our new early bird schedule.
I'm still having so much fun dressing her every morning in a cute outfit, and the ladies just make a fuss over her every day when I bring her in, so it's fun for me to dress her cute for school and fun for them. In fact, the first thing I did yesterday when we came home after she was asleep was go in her room and pick out her cutie outfits for next week. It's so much fun. I can't wait to start shopping for her when she gets older and needs more clothes. We are set for the most part for a while, but she's fast approaching 6-9 month clothes, and we don't have much stuff past that mark. I have a few dresses that are 9-12 month but that's about it. I was actually thinking about going to the secondhand store this weekend and checking out their stash so I can start buying a few 6-9 and 9-12 month outfits every so often so it's not a HUGE shopping trip when she runs out of clothes. It's just starting to feel like I'm opening that outgrown bin more often all the time to toss something in there. Which is fine, I've gotten over it now...she's going to get bigger! I just now understand why everyone said to cherish those first few months when she was so tiny.

It was so hard the first few days, but towards the end of the week I did better with her being gone all day...probably because I was super busy with work and also because I knew the weekend was coming. And I have so enjoyed her already. We hung out all night last night on the couch, and today she woke up at 7:30 and I brought her to bed with me to nurse and cuddle. I love that time and I missed it since she slept all through the night this week and I woke up before her almost every day or at the same time.

Her first Valentine's party should be fun! They scheduled it for 3 pm, which is great because I think both DH and I can probably get off work early for it. I had already earmarked a little red velvet dress with a pink shirt for her to wear that day, but when we got the invitation in her bag, that was kind of exciting. And they provided a class list for Valentines, so I'll be doing that next weekend I guess. One of my friends said, "why do they need Valentines? they are babies!" and I'm figuring it's probably for scrapbooks, because I'm totally hoping she gets some from her classmates for hers!

Her classmates are:
1. Jacob: a few months older...he's been sleeping every time I'm there2. Reese: VERY smiley...a few months older too. According to the ladies, her mom decided to stop pumping during the day and just give formula (what I didn't want to do) and apparently Reese hates it.3. Alyssa: she's been sleeping every time I'm there4. Aaron: younger than McKenna and the funniest looking shaped head I've ever seen, but it's so funny looking that it's cute. KWIM?5. Mia: must mean missing in action, because I have yet to see this kid6. Cole: worst case of eczema I've ever seen...usually when I see him, he's screaming his head off and I can't say I blame him, poor kid!7. Landry: VERY smiley and VERY sociable...she's trying to crawl and it's just adorable. She's like seven months and the oldest, so I doubt she'll be in McKenna's class much longer, but it sure is fun to see what I have to look forward to!

The only thing that is NOT going well is milk, although it's getting better. I really expected my pumping to be like it was when I was pretty much nursing all the time. Whenever I would pump when I was nursing if McKenna was sleeping, it was a cinch to get 8-10 ounces out of each boob. Now, I'm lucky if I get 4 ounces at a pumping, and most of the time it's more like 3 ounces. McKenna drinks anywhere from twelve ounces to eighteen ounces a day, so do the math and you can see how much I'm having to pump to get her fresh milk every day for school. I know I have all the milk in the freezer, but fresh milk is SO much better for her because it has the antibodies in it which are killed by freezing and also if she doesn't drink the fresh milk bottles, I can save them for the next day, which with frozen, she has to drink it THAT NIGHT. It's quite a game I'm playing with the milk. I started taking fenugreek again Monday night, and by Friday morning this week, my boobs were starting to respond to all the stimulation of the constant pumping, so that was good, and yesterday I was able to pump about twenty ounces by bedtime, so I felt much better, but it's SO nerve-racking and I have to constantly remind myself to pump EVERY day. It's like I almost want to put a button my shirt, "Ask me when I'm going to pump next" so my coworkers will remind me. All my books say that it does take a few weeks for the milk production to stabilize after pumping, but I just thought that wasn't going to apply to me since I started pumping when McKenna was three weeks old. I guess they were more talking about pumping full-time during the day. Anyway, I'm taking it one day at a time and just trying not to worry, but it's HARD. I so don't want to put her on formula. If my milk supply can just hold out until she's on baby food, I'll be ecstatic.

My wish would be to keep this going until she's a year old and I can transition her from breast milk to cow's milk, but it's going to take a lot of work on my part. But I'm trying. What I'm doing is pumping fresh for the next day Monday through Thursday, freezing whatever I pump on Friday since breast milk really should only stay in the fridge for three days, and then using whatever I pump on Saturday and Sunday for her Monday's bottles and adding frozen to it to make up the difference. And the ladies at school are great about giving her the bottle first that I mark so that way she is drinking the frozen stuff first and THEN drinking the fresh since frozen has a shorter shelf life than fresh. I have little star stickers and every morning I just mark the frozen ones (or the oldest fresh one) with a star so they know that one is the first bottle to give her. They are SO great about working with me. I think they know how hard I'm working to of the ladies said that I should be commended for making the effort and my stepmom even said she was so impressed that I had the stamina and willpower to keep doing this. Oh, yes, I do, it's just whether or not it's going to drive me crazy in the process. My OCD is really kicking into overdrive on the milk...I feel like there isn't five minutes that goes by without thinking about my milk production! It's really sick!

I'm sure McKenna and I will talk about this later in life when she's an adult and laugh about it, but it's really important to me that she get my breast milk as long as possible.

And I guess it's not hurting my weight loss efforts. Since I have been too busy to go to the gym or make any effort at preparing completely clean food, I have been scared to get on the scale, but the dentist that worked on my teeth on Thursday commented at how slim and trim I look considering that I just had a baby three months ago. I just looked at her like she was bonkers.

At least work is being really cool about it, which I guess shouldn't be a shock since under Texas law, they HAVE to be. There are three private rooms at work that I can use to pump when I'm at the office. The training room and conference room have locks on them, so that's great, but when they are in use, I have to use the front interview room that does NOT have a lock, but I've been taping a sign on the door instructing people not to enter and my clerical girl that does a lot of my filing and work has been really good about being a lookout. And surprisingly, my male coworkers (of which I have a LOT) are really taking it in stride and not getting all weird about it. There was another supervisor at work that did this pumping game for a year with her daughter, so I guess they were used to it. One of the supervisors at work calls the pump "Eeyore" and the other guys are like, "Are you making sure to deduct your pumping time from your timecard?" (Totally joking of course.) It's just nice that everyone's fine about it. And when I'm in the field, I pump in the car. The last two weeks I've been working with a female trainee, who I KNOW thinks the pumping thing is weird (she's already told me twice that she put her son on formula and didn't bother to try breastfeeding because she didn't want to do the pumping thing like I'm doing now), and I have one more week with her and then I start working with a male trainee. Fortunately I've trained with him before and he's REALLY nice (kind of like a little brother) so I don't think he's going to have a problem with me pumping, but we'll see. My plan is to pump in the backseat when we're working together in the field and use a nursing cape...I don't know what else to do. I'm going to talk to him about it before we start working together and if it bothers him, I'll just drive seperately so I have my own little pumping room wherever I go. I bought a hands-free bra in the next size up so it will fit over my nursing bra and I don't have to take it off, so that's good.

Anyway, I could babble on and on about milk production since it's my new obsession, but I'll stop that now.

I haven't scrapbooked in over a week...ever since I finished my prom pages. I've had it on my list to do my 1992 Phoenix pictures but just have been too tired to do any scrapping or stitching. By the time I get home, get things all cleaned up from the day and McKenna's stuff ready for the next, make dinner, make sure all my stuff for work is ready, and sit down, I'm exhausted and ready for bed! I'm sure once I get more used to the schedule, that'll change.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Life now as I know it

I totally understand now why working moms say that it sucks, because it does.

McKenna is totally flourishing with school. She is a total delight for the ladies and they tell P every day when he picks her up that she is such an easy baby, so smiley, so happy, eats well, the whole thing, and she is SO visually stimulated during the day, she stays awake during the day and konks out very early at night.

For that, I am glad. I am SO glad she is loving it and doing so well. I don't worry about her at all when I'm gone during the day.

But I miss her so much. So does P.

My life basically now consists of getting up VERY early in the morning, scrambling to get us both ready, and then we leave. She goes to school, I go to work. I spend all day pumping like mad in between working to produce food for the next day. Then, I come home, eat dinner, pump, pump, pump, and hit the sack only to repeat it again the next day. Tonight she fell asleep as soon as she came home and only woke up once to eat, and I was so exhausted from today that I couldn't do anything fun. I would have loved to have taken advantage of the quiet night and scrapped or stitched, but I was just too tired to do anything. The dogs were walking me tonight instead of the other way around.

Last night she woke up at 3 am to nurse after I pumped (I am setting my alarm now) and I actually welcomed it because it was some alone time that we got to spend together.

Only two more days until the weekend. I can make it!

One funny moment today. I had to have some warranty work done to my laptop today, and of course, the guy from Dell showed up at the EXACT moment I had disappeared into the conference room and started to pump. My clerical, C, knocked on the door, and apparently this guy wouldn't wait so I had to stop everything and take my laptop out there to him. When I finished up, C came over to apologize for interrupting, and told me that when he showed up, all the adjusters were like, "We can't disturb Erica...she's in THAT ROOM!" SO funny considering how many guys I work with that are under the age of thirty-five.