Saturday, February 04, 2006

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.


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