Saturday, April 29, 2006

March of Dimes Walk America

Today P, McKenna and I walked six miles to help raise money for March of Dimes.

Of course, all the money was raised BY ME beforehand...I raised about $1,500. Thank you to everyone who chipped in. Thanks to your donation, I am getting a $60 gift card to Foley's as a thank-you from the March of Dimes in addition to the wonderful feeling of fulfillment that I feel for doing the first truly charitable thing in my life since I was in high school aside from donating clothes to Goodwill.

The walk itself went really well. We of course were late (big surprise) and didn't start on time, but we weren't the only ones who were late due to the lack of parking. We actually started walking at about 9:30 and ended at about 11 am. At every checkpoint, we were rewarded with fresh water, Powerade, bananas (there's those bananas again) and apples. The walk was at White Rock Lake in Dallas, so it was very pleasant and breezy with the air off the water. One of my coworkers showed up that I haven't really ever spent any time visiting with, so we got to talk and chat the entire walk. It's amazing how you can work for YEARS with someone but never really get to know them until you are thrown together in a situation like this.

McKenna did great...we put her in her stroller and only had to stop once for a diaper change. No fussing, no crying, no screaming. As soon as the walk was over, it started to pour but we made it to my company's tent in time to avoid getting drenched, and had lunch...I nursed McKenna right after we ate...and all three of us (even McKenna) got t-shirts.

We got home, and all three of us took a nap. I can't remember the last time I took a nap in the middle of the was delicious!

And now I'm resting, gearing up for a night of scrapping, and thinking about how much my legs ache. Six miles...whew! I believe that meets my exercise requirement for the weekend for sure!

Thanks again to all the donors.

Friday, April 28, 2006


I am, of course, quoting the Gwen Stefani song, "Hollaback Girl".

McKenna is now eating solids. I started her on solids last night with very well mashed bananas mixed with a wee bit of breast milk.

I wouldn't say she gobbled it right up...I mean, she is a baby...but after giving me a few "are you crazy, mom?" looks, she opened her mouth and let me give her some.

It went a lot better than I expected. I truly expected to be wiping projectile banana puree off my shirt. She at least ate a little...and tonight ate even more.

After she ate, we took her out to dinner with us, and she was just as smiley as she could be. She's usually not that smiley late at night when she's tired. But she was content.

Maybe it was the bananas.

The lactation battle is still raging. I wouldn't say I'm winning, and I wouldn't say I'm losing. I'm just happy to be right now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The lactation battle rages on

Okay, just a warning...YES, this is another whiny post about my milk production. There. You've been warned.

This time it's serious.

On Thursday, after I woke up, got McKenna off to school, and took my first round of meds being one tablet of amoxicillin and one tablet of Vicodin, I noticed that my one and only pumping session for the day was...uhm, a little light. Usually if I pump once during the day, I can usually produce about 6-7 ounces without breaking a sweat. This time, I got less than an ounce.

To be quite honest, at the time, I was too sick and feeling so crappy that I really didn't care and I didn't think much about it other than to stop taking the antibiotics in case that was the culprit and plan to book some extra pumping time next week, being NOW.

However, it hasn't gotten any better. Not at all. And McKenna has depleted about half of my frozen stash in the freezer.

I'm starting to realize that this could be the beginning of the end of my breast-feeding partnership with McKenna. I'm going to fight it, of course, and I HATE IT that it's happened, but I guess I should be grateful that I was able to keep it going for the first six months. Initially, that's all I was planning on doing anyway.

I called a La Leche consultant today and talked to her about the problem. I think I have a pretty good game plan. For starters, I don't think I've been taking enough fenugreek to make it really work. I've heard a lot of people mention that when they take fenugreek, they smell like maple syrup and so does their milk. I've never noticed that smell, but I never really worried since my milk supply was never an issue before. So I'm going to take more of it. I bought two boxes of mother's milk tea, which is a special herbal blend created just for lactating mothers to help boost milk supply. I'm going to pump as much as possible after feeding McKenna, and encourage her to nurse more at night when I'm with her, even if that means waking her up to nurse. I'm going to try to go down to her school at lunchtime as much as possible the next two weeks so I can get more stimulation from an actual baby and not an electrical appliance pretending to be a baby. I'm going to eat oatmeal every day for breakfast. I'm going to drink as much water as I can. And this week I'm going to have McKenna sleep with me in bed so she can nurse a little bit more during the night. The consultant is thinking that my body is starting to put on the brakes with the milk since it's sensing that I don't need it anymore since McKenna nurses maybe 3-4 times a day during the week.

But if things haven't started to turn back around by the end of the night Friday night, I'm digging my powdered formula out of the pantry and am going to start adding that to her bottles so I can stretch my tiny milk supply out as long as possible.

I guess I should feel really good that I was able to do it this long. The La Leche consultant was very impressed that I was a full-time working mom and had given McKenna nothing but breast milk from the day she was born with the exception of that tiny period the first week where she took a little formula. I know I've given her a wonderful gift and a wonderful start in life. Ten years from now, she won't remember that I wasn't able to nurse her for a full year.

But I'll remember. And I guess that's why I feel so crappy right now.

Keep your fingers crossed that I'm able to fool my body into relactating.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sick yet again

My daughter is a germ factory, I have come to the conclusion. Between that and my depressed immune system since she was born (I've taken a survey and a lot of ladies have reported to me that they were sick a lot more in the first six months of their baby's life than ever before), I am a welcome receptor for any creeping crawly that she happens to bring home with her.

I started feeling icky Sunday night but chalked it up to allergies. Got worse Monday...sore throat. Got even worse Tuesday...more sore throat and fatigue. By Wednesday, I was full of aches and chills, but went to work because I had a very important test at work to take. Wednesday night I went to Care Now with a 103 degree fever.

After testing me for strep and mono and taking blood for additional testing, the doctor pronounced me with some undetermined viral infection and sent me on my way with a prescription for an antibiotic and Vicodin to the tune of $182.

The antibiotic I took once just in case it was bacterial...the doctor couldn't conclusively rule out strep...but it dried up my milk yesterday so I stopped taking it. The Vicodin was much worse. It brought on the worst migraine I've had in five years and made me SO nauseous I was dry heaving and puking in the bathroom last night.

So I've learned my lesson. Next time I have a fever, just ride it out and see if it goes away.

At least I've gotten two days off from work, and since it's better for McKenna to spend as much time as possible NOT being breathed on by me, I've sent her to school so I can sleep and couch and recuperate. I miss her, but she would be SO bored and miserable here. I know she's having more fun at school. Mom's just too tired to play properly. But she's doing fine (of course she is, she's got the benefit of my supermilk to ward off the virus!) and so is P. I'm the only one AS USUAL who feels like the walking dead.

I think I'm going to live, and I DO think it was viral because it has seemed to have run its course in due time, but can we say YUCK!?!?!?

(S, if you're reading this, don't worry about tomorrow...unless I'm crippled with a migraine or running another high fever, I'm still planning on coming.)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Think outside the jar

I read that on Amazon. I love that. Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? Welp, McKenna is going to be six months old in JUST a few short weeks (I know, can you believe it?) and with her six-month-birthday comes a whole new beginning...starting her on baby food.

Personally, I can't wait. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE nursing this kid, and I'm actually considering doing extended nursing during the next year as long as she wants to do it, but I can't wait to start cooking for her and I really can't wait to escape my breast pump, also known as EEYORE due to the donkey-like resemblance in sound.

So tonight I ordered three books from Amazon...Super Baby Food, Blender Baby Food, and Simply Natural Baby Food. I really really really wanted to start her on baby food this weekend with the Easter holiday, but her pediatrician convinced me to wait a few more weeks. So I will. Two weeks and five days to be exact.

Why I'm excited, I don't quite know or understand. Her poops are going to smell God-awful. I'm going to go through bibs at the speed of light. Mealtime now will take a LOT more work than just getting comfy on the couch and turning on a DVRed episode of Law and Order while I fight to stay awake. We are going to have to buy a little deep freezer since we have no room left in our freezers thanks to the breast milk taking up two shelves. Katie and Simon are going to become McKenna's best friends once they figure out that she drops things that taste good.

But I AM excited!

I had a request in my blog for a recent picture of the princess, so how can I not oblige? Here's my baby in her beautiful Easter dress...thank you, Grandma!

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Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Jukebox Hero

I just finished putting the spine on the's completed and waiting in my closet for more pages. I went ahead and put the page in with the blank back. I'm going to add more pictures to it later instead, but I want the book closed up and assembled so I can take it to my scrapbooking retreat next Saturday. Gotta show off! I'm VERY proud of myself that I just started scrapping less than six months ago and I already have two albums to show for it. So what if I've gotten no stitching done whatsoever?

I shamelessly stole this from Natty's blog...and then I have to get off here and CLEAN MY HOUSE!

RealJukebox hero...

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

I don't have any music loaded onto my computer, so I'm using my MP3 player. Currently I have about 200 songs to pick from, so this should be interesting

How does the world see you? : "Spirit In The Sky" by Norman Greenbaum...not sure I agree with that. I don't have a problem with heights per se, but I wouldn't say I'm a skydiver or anything. Although I've kind of always wanted to try that, so maybe this is accurate!
Will I have a happy life? : "Breathless" by the Corrs...sometimes when I look at my daughter, I am breathless because she makes me so happy...
What do my friends really think of me? : "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne....I'd have to agree on that one for sure!
What do people secretly think of me? : "When Doves Cry" by Prince...I'm definitely a whiner, no doubt about it.
Can I make myself happy? : "Picture" by Kidd Rock and Sheryl Crow...scrapbooking is no doubt one of the things that makes very happy at the moment.
What should I do with my life? : "Like a Prayer" by Madonna...yes, Father Joe, I promise, I'm going back to Mass! *smile* No, but seriously, I am going to start setting a better example for McKenna going forward by attending Mass regularly.
Will I ever have children? : "Rosanna" by a matter of fact, this is one of the names I suggested for McKenna and P nixed QUICK. I think he just couldn't get the image of Rosanna Arquette out of his mind.
What is some good advice for me? : "Why You Wanna Break My Heart" by Tia mother has broken my heart by not wanting to be a part of McKenna's life and I don't understand why.
How will I be remembered? : "And We Danced" by the Hooters...I will NOT be remembered for my dancing skills. Think Elaine from Seinfeld. I didn't even dance at my own wedding.
What is my signature dancing song? : "Take A Chance" by ABBA...yes, I'm taking a chance all right...a chance that my husband might leave me if I ever dance in his presence. It's THAT bad.
What do I think my current theme song is? : "All She Wants to Do is Dance" by Don Henley...well, I do LIKE dancing, I'm just horrible at it. So there you go.
What does everyone else think my current theme song is? : "At Last" by Etta James...yes, at last I'm going to start training to become a supervisor! It only took my companies ten years of nagging!
What song will play at my funeral? : "Maria" by Blondie...ha! Maybe Ave Maria.
What type of men/women do you like? : "Ain't Even Done with the Night" by John Cougar...I'm very much a night owl...I like everyone at nighttime.
What is my day going to be like? : "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson...yes, because of McKenna I doubt I'll get any cleaning done today. She's being obstinate.

And with that, I'm off to clean and do laundry. Have a great weekend!

Another completed scrapbook

The highlight of my day today was when D, my crack dealer, called to tell me that my Creative Memories order had arrived. I actually let out a war whoop when I saw that she had called...I knew that my order was scheduled to arrive today, so when I saw her call on my cell phone, I knew that it was here!

The biggest thing that I was waiting for was my petal pink coverset for McKenna's first album. I spent time tonight putting all her completed pages into page protectors and putting them in the album. Then I rushed and finished up her third month. Her first album is now complete.

My only thing that is left is trying to figure out what to put on the back of the last page. I was going to just wait and start her fourth month with that page, but I'd rather just close up that book and start a new one with month #4.

I'm debating writing a sweet letter to her and summing up everything that she did during the first three months.

But anyway, the album is done and it looks GREAT! And that's all the McKenna pictures I have printed out for now! I guess it's time to start on something else for now!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Greetings from New Hampshire

...and tomorrow, McKenna and I are coming home. With a LOT of new stuff. I'm really not setting a good example for McKenna with my shopping habits.

We have had a great time here visiting my dad and stepmom, but as I predicted, the shopping was INcredible. Such fantastic deals!!! Everywhere! When I packed my stuff, I pretty much knew that I wasn't going to be coming home with everything tomorrow. American Airlines only allows two 50# bags per ticketed passenger, and since McKenna is not a ticketed passenger, we had to squeeze all our stuff into two suitcases. And to check a third bag costs $80.

So tonight, my stepmom and I worked on getting all my stuff into two suitcases (one of them is not the one I brought) and then when they come out to visit us in May, they will bring the other suitcase full of some of the stuff that I brought, and will probably ship a box full of the other stuff.

The vast majority of the things that we bought were for McKenna, although I got some stuff too. Here's a quick list...about $500 worth of clothes ranging in sizes from 12 months to 3T for McKenna that I got for less than $200 (a LOT of them were bought at secondhand stores and on incredible sales), two pairs of jeans for me, about six t-shirts for me, a new pair of New Balance sneakers for me, an Ocean Wonders mat with mobile for McKenna, quite a few toys for McKenna, four jars of jams, a 2 quart Pyrex measuring cup, a pasta cooker, a potato cooker, a walker thingy for McKenna, tons and tons of stuffed animals and Beanie Babies on sale, a Dooney and Bourke wallet on sale for $26, a black and off-black Dooney and Bourke bag on sale for $66 (gift from dad for my birthday next month), some hats for McKenna, some bibs, a L.L. Bean t shirt and hat for P (we were at the actual store in Maine!), and postcards and stickers and other crap for scrapbooking. All in all, a GREAT shopping trip, and she's definitely set for quite a while. I made it a rule about a month ago that I wouldn't buy anything else for her smaller than 12 months, and I think pretty soon I'm going to have to make it a rule that I don't buy anything smaller than 18 months! She's now solidly in 6-9 and 9-12 month stuff. Almost everything that I brought on the trip that was 3-6 month stuff was either too short, too tight, or was on the way out.

And she did GREAT on the plane, by the way. I'm not hopeful for how she's going to do on the plane ride home since we take off at noon, but we'll see how it goes. On the plane here, I nursed her at takeoff, she fell asleep in my arms after that, and slept all the way until we landed. The worst thing about the trip was that American, even though I checked the Chicco AT THE GATE, failed to put it ON the plane and I had no stroller or car seat for McKenna. Talk about being fit to be tied. It was a really ugly scene. They gave us this Evenflo piece of crap to take her to my dad's house in, and then American showed up at my dad's house at 5 am with the Chicco. Talk about a mess.

The trip overall has been fantastic. Thursday we spent the day shopping at the outlets in Kittery, Maine...Friday my stepmom took me around to all the great secondhand stores in Portsmouth (their Children's Orchard blows ours away in Dallas)...Saturday we went to Freeport to go to THE original L.L. Bean store and all the outlets surrounding it...and today we walked on the beach in Portsmouth, went out to lunch at a great seafood restaurant, and then walked around downtown Portsmouth. This has been my first trip to photograph after learning how to scrapbook, and I really think I did a good job capturing the trip with my camera. The crack dealer always told me that after you start scrapbooking, you'll take pictures totally differently, and boy, was she right. I was taking pictures of the most random inane stuff because I was envisioning layouts in my head, and every time I had an opportunity to get a free brochure, business card, catalog, or anything of that sort, I did I can use them in my layouts. So we'll see how they all come out. All I can say is, God LOVE whoever invented digital cameras. The best thing about digital cameras is that you don't have to develop every picture...if some of them come out bad, you just hit the delete button!

I finished a book here...The Deep End of the Ocean...watched two movies...Walk the Line and Fever Pitch...and even managed to get in two hours of stitching on In the Arms of An Angel the other night. But it's been exhausting being here taking care of McKenna full time without P. I really truly did not realize how much he does to take care of McKenna until I was here without him. Don't get me wrong, it's been fantastic spending all this time with McKenna. Very reminiscent of the time I was with her on maternity leave, except it's more fun now. She's more smiley, and every day we were here, she was doing something new. For example, she can almost sit up by herself now. She can (and wants to) sit in a high chair at the table when we eat, and she's expressing a lot of curiosity about just what exactly we are putting in our mouths at the table that she can't have. After I bring her into bed with me in the morning when she wakes up, we go back to sleep together as normal, but now when she wakes up before me, instead of just squawking to get my attention, she either pats me on the face with her hand to wake me up or pulls on my shirt to wake me up. She can now roll completely over by herself. She can scoot around on her butt so she can see a different direction. And she, seriously, idolizes me. I know it's normal for kids to really have a thing for their mommies, but she just stares at me nonstop when my dad or stepmom are holding her! It's incredible! And she wanted to nurse a lot while I was here, which means that I got a MUCH needed vacation from my breast pump. However, because I had to constantly be on duty with her, it really wore me out from time to time, and I have a feeling I'm going to need a few days to recuperate once I get home to Dallas!

So here's a shout out to my husband, who probably won't read this blog until way after we come home...P, we love you, we miss you, and I don't know what I would do without you. You are a wonderful father and husband, and I promise, no more vacations without you!

See you all when I come home! Send good thoughts up north for a GREAT flight home tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

We're leaving...on a jet plane...don't know when we'll be back again!

Well, that's not true. We'll be back Monday night.

McKenna and I are leaving tomorrow afternoon to fly to New Hampshire to visit my dad and stepmom...and PLEASE pray for me that I survive this three hour and forty-two minute flight with a breastfeeding five-month old without wanting to drown myself in a couple of airplane bottles of vodka!

I'm nervous about everything...getting her on the plane, sitting comfortably with her in my lap, maneuvering around DFW, maneuvering around Logan in Boston, getting the Chicco off the plane, you name it. I'm NERVOUS!

But I'm sure once we get there and get settled, all will be well. See you all when I get back!