Monday, May 29, 2006

Our trip to the aquarium

Today, for our day off (us from work and McKenna from school) we went on a family outing to the Dallas World Aquarium. It was kind of like an indoor zoo...the aquariums, of course, an aviary exhibit, outdoor penguins, bugs, snakes, reptiles, a jaguar exhibit, sharks, and a really neat rain forest exhibit that was so cool, and would have been even cooler had we not been tripping over a million people walking through it. We promised each other next time we go, we're going during the week so we can have a little more quiet. I figure next year when McKenna's walking should be a GREAT time to do it!

Aside from McKenna's hungry meltdown in front of the monkey exhibit, them having absolutely NO place where I could nurse in close proximity (it was either formula or I would have to sit on a commode to nurse her), and us not fully charging the camera before we left the house, it was fabulouso and we had a great time. We got plenty of pictures before the camera finally died and then took some with our cell phones, so as soon as I get some of them transferred, I'll post a new one of the baby.

We really had a great weekend as a family. We spent lots of time just hanging out together with, church, family dinners, and then today. It was just a great weekend and I just can't believe how much she's changing. She's now eating THREE meals of food every day in addition to nursing...I've been giving her two cubes (one cube = approximately 2 tbsp) for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and she's been eating it all up. And she can almost sit up all the way by herself now...SO close.

I don't really have much else to report. I'm just running around now doing laundry and cooking for the week. I can't believe we have to go back to work tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a great long weekend!

Friday, May 26, 2006


As you all know, I've been slowly introducing McKenna to solid foods starting oh, about a month ago. So far she's eating the following:

sweet potatoes
brown rice

About a week ago, I bought her some new pacifiers. I bought a few silicone ones and a few latex ones. Peaches were introduced on Monday...she's eaten the equivalent of a ice cube size portion every day except today. Today was mango day. I've been spacing them out by four days so if something weird like this happened, I would be able to nail it down.

Yesterday I went to pick her up from school and she has a nice little rash right around her mouth...where the pacifier sits. She's not really a serious binky kid, so my first thought was that she had developed an allergy to peaches. One of my friends (thank you, E) pointed out that peaches usually aren't something that babies develop an allergy to which is why they are a great first food for babies. She suggested that maybe McKenna is allergic to latex?

I haven't been keeping track of when she's had the latex pacis and the silicone pacis, and I didn't notice any kind of rash Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday after she ate the peaches. It was just Thursday. Yesterday she had a latex paci and today a silicone one. And I sterilize her pacis every night.

The only other thing I can possibly think of is that I just changed shampoos and we're still nursing, so she could possibly be rubbing her face against my skin that has some residue of this shampoo on it.

Honestly I have no clue. I'm allergic only to sulfa husband is allergic to nothing.
Today it changed to just a slight rash (kind of hive-like) under her chin and just a little bit on her cheeks...kind of almost feels like baby acne.

Thoughts? Let me hear them!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Back in the field

I wanted to post a very quick update regarding my career plans to move into upper management. As I posted earlier this year, I was going to go ahead and post for the management training program with my company and start the process this spring. However, one of the prerequisites is to pass a test.

I took that test in mid-April and found out a few weeks ago to my great disappointment that I did not pass. I was utterly shocked and completely surprised since I thought that I did really well. I requested that the test be regraded. My managers complied with my request, and I found out on Friday that the grade is standing.

I can take the test again next month but it doesn't matter...the next time to apply for the program is in August.

Which means I'm left with a really LONG summer of field work.

Yes, it sucks. I have been waiting to share it in my blog until I knew for sure what was going to happen.

Anyway, that's the scoop there. I still can't believe I failed and it hurts to even read it, but there it is.

In other news, McKenna's latest addition to her culinary repertoire is peaches. We took her to the farmers market here in Dallas on Sunday and bought a ton of fresh produce. So far, the peaches seem to be a hit. I'm giving her mango on Friday...already have the mango ready to go in the freezer. And those toofers....they sure are getting big! I'll try to get a picture posted very soon of her and her new teeth.

Other than that, not much going on. I've gotten three fires in the last week, and they are keeping me super duper busy. I also donated blood today.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


What do you get when you simmer very ripe peeled pears for an hour and then process in the food processor? Not applesauce, but PEARSAUCE! (But it looks just like applesauce!) I tasted it and it's really delicious, not to mention it made my kitchen smell like a bakery, and McKenna (after the initial nose wrinkling at a new food) ate it right up. Score! I stopped at Tom Thumb tonight and picked up four very ripe pears to add to the one I bought a few days ago, and they seemed to be a hit with the princess.

Unfortunately, I'm having to give up on my wishes to give McKenna nothing but organic food. There's just not enough stuff out there around here and I don't have time to dash to Whole Foods or Central Market every four days to get stuff for her. For right now, I'll just try to do the best I can, wash the fruits and veggies very well, peel the skins, and once I have her foods kind of down, I'll start making trips over there to get all her stuff at once. At least her rice is organic and the sweet potatoes I bought the other night are organic. It's just so hit or miss.

Okay, so I admit I'm probably having WAY too much fun with this baby food endeavor, but it is just great to make her food and just gives me SUCH a great feeling. I have no idea if I'm saving a lot of money or what, and I don't really care that's just so neat to be able to make her food from scratch and actually see her eat it.

Although...the trade off here is that I suspect McKenna's starting to wean herself just a bit. I noticed both times that I nursed her today that she finished in about ten minutes and wasn't terribly interested in just hanging out and snuggling. She just wanted to finish and move on. It was the same way this morning. She still drank all her bottles at school and ate both cubes of sweet potatoes that I sent plus pears tonight for dinner.

If things continue to go well with the food the rest of the week, I'm going to increase her bottles to 8 oz next Monday and start sending TWO meals to school with her during the day. She's just growing like it's nobody's business! I love it!

So, she's six and a half months now. I still have quite a few foods that I can introduce over the next few weeks. I'm sticking pretty strongly to the guide in the Super Baby Food book that I got as far as when to introduce foods. I'm going to ask her pediatrician on Friday about plain yogurt, but if that's a no-go, I'm going to work on adding apples, nectarines, peaches, mango, papaya and oatmeal to her menu over the next couple of weeks. This is of course assuming that I can find them! I'll just see what I can do!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Can I brag on my child?

I know that these "wow, McKenna's eating" posts are getting old, but I'm just so proud of this kid. This is the last avocado post, I swear!

Today when I picked up McKenna at school, one of her teachers confided in me that the morning teachers are WAAAAY impressed that McKenna's eating avocado. Most of the other kids won't even eat applesauce, and MY DAUGHTER is eating AVOCADO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And tonight when I gave her dinner, she ate ALL of her bananas and barely spit any of them out. She's learning! I can even see her chewing sort of! She will open her mouth, accept what I have to give her, savor it and swallow.

Ahh. I love it.

And even though my milk is coming back very nicely, this kid is drinking a LOT I'm giving her formula with no problems. I'm trying to do her daytime bottles half and half, but tonight after I nursed her, she was clearly still hungry, so I mixed a little formula and voila, she drank it down. It's not bothering me anymore...I'm doing all I can do and she's getting every drop of what I have.

I. Am. So. Proud. Of. McKenna!

And she's close to crawling or something resembling crawling. I came in this morning to find her playing with her baby monitor this time. Ay caramba!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Now I like avocado too!

Who knew that avocado mixed with lime juice and a little salt is really good on Doritos?

Fortunately, P came into Kroger tonight and helped me "avocado shop" for McKenna tonight and we picked out some really good ones that were just ripe enough and not rotted, which is a good thing, and after he stole some to make his version of guacamole minus the pico de gallo (which is just plain NASTY), we now have seventeen avocado meals in the freezer. Ahhh...I love making my own baby food! I have a pear ripening now, I bought two more yams to make some more yam meals, and I'm eyeing plain yogurt for maybe next week...not sure on that one yet.

Anyway, P talked me into trying it, and now...I like avocado too!

Oh, guess what...McKenna is cutting two teeth. She's got two little toofers poking through on the bottom.

And this even funnier! I changed her sheets the other night and as I usually do, I changed all her toys and stuffed animals in her crib. I usually put some stuff in there to give her something to look at if she wakes up before I do. This morning when she woke up, I could hear her making some strange sounds on the baby monitor...sounded like tapping. I went to investigate.

Keep in mind that last night, she was sound asleep on her stomach at one end of the crib...her toys are at the other end.

I found her this morning at the OTHER end of the crib (at least two feet down) on her back happily playing with her toys. And not just any toy. I had a stuffed teddy bear, a stuffed Elmo and a stuffed Barney for her to pick from along with a variety of baby genius toys from Baby Einstein.

She went for Barney. God help us.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The petite gourmet

I think it should be a rule that mothers have to eat what their kids eat and vice versa.

However, my child is eating avocado as of about an hour ago. AVOCADO! And she actually ATE IT!

I am not an avocado eater at all. I don't like guacamole and I don't care for the slippery bland mouthfeel of plain old avocado. Not to mention that something that could turn gray after you slice it to me is just gross.

But all my little baby food books said that avocado was a great first food for babies and since my niece S eats it, well, I had to give it a try. Plus I've read in more than one place that some people swear you could live on avocados. They are that healthy. Not sure about that, but that's interesting to think that one would actually want to eat nothing but avocados.

Not being an avocado eater myself, I was quite mystified by this thing. Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? What is a perfect avocado for buying? The first one I bought the other night apparently was too ripe and by the time I sliced it for her, it was rotted inside.

Avocado #2 was less ripe, but still pretty ripe, and thus we weren't able to get more than two tablespoons of actual avocado puree out of it. One meal plus one in the freezer.

I can't wait to see what her teachers say on Monday when they see this green thing in her dish that I bring to school...I guarantee that the other kids in McKenna's class aren't eating avocado. The teachers are always grumbling that they can't get the other kids McKenna's age to eat anything, applesauce, rice cereal, whatever.

But MY daughter is a eating champ. I have to admit I had my doubts last week when I was trying to get her to eat bananas and she was throwing a fit and spitting it out. But this week she's eaten what I've sent to school EVERY day, her teachers have pronounced her a "good eater", and yesterday she ate three tablespoons of food...yams in the morning, brown rice and bananas in the evening. Today so far she's had brown rice and avocado.

And she's still nursing like it's nobody's business...which means my milk is BACK! I'm a dairy maid once again!

I'm so proud of my little girl!!!!! Next up, pears!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Why is a woman never satisfied?

This is the question that has stumped my husband for years. He's still wearing the same wedding band from the day we got married. It's been resized once.

Me, on the other hand....I have made a wee bit of changes.

We got married and I had a plain yellow gold setting with baguettes on the sides of a small round diamond for my engagement ring and a channel-set anniversary band for my wedding band.

Then, probably in about the year 2001 or so, I decided I didn't like my setting anymore. We went back to the same jewelry store where he got my engagement ring and traded in the stone for a bigger diamond a little more than twice the size (and a better quality one) set in a yellow gold Tiffany-setting. No baguettes.

Then, in 2003 after I lost all my weight, I went back to the same jewelry store yet again (the Dallas Jewelry Exchange loves me) and had both my solitaire setting and my wedding band resized. I also bought a plain simple white gold band to wear when I was working fires.

When I reached about four or five months of pregnancy, my fingers swelled so much that I could not wear my wedding rings anymore. It was just too uncomfortable. At about six months, my fire ring wouldn't fit either.

And here we are, about a year later and six months after I delivered McKenna, and I still can't get the rings on my finger without really working them on. Granted, I still have about thirty pounds of pregnancy weight to go, I admit, but darn it, I'm sick and tired of not wearing my wedding rings!!! I love my solitaire and I want to wear it!

So today, I decided that I had put it off long enough. We went back to the Dallas Jewelry Exchange again. This time I decided I was ready to switch my settings to white gold since all the jewelry I wear is silver. We bought a simple thick setting for my diamond with a small heart below the mount. I was going to buy a thin white gold band (a new one) to be my permanent ring, but the only one that looked good with the solitaire setting was an exact replica of my fire ring, although not as scratched as mine of course.

So my fire ring, the new setting, and my old Tiffany-setting with the diamond are at the store being worked on right now. My ring size has gone up from about a 7 1/2 to an 8. They are going to buff and polish my fire ring so it looks brand-new again...and now it won't go on fires. I get to pick them up tomorrow. I can't wait! It's a combination birthday present and Mother's Day gift.

And I made sure and asked the jeweler who was going to resize the ring if the setting would accomodate a bigger diamond in the future. P just rolled his eyes at that. Hello, tenth anniversary!

As for the resizing since I'm sure once I'm finished breastfeeding I'll lose more weight, I decided that I'm just going to hang tight with the size that my fingers are right now (they were a 9 when I was really heavy) and after I've finished having children and have lost my pregnancy weight once and for all, I'll take them back in then and have them resized for the last time.

At least, that's the plan. I guess if that doesn't work out, I'll just get another setting!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Superwoman is dropping her cloak

My baby girl is six months old today.

McKenna had her six month check up today. Her pediatrician is ecstatic to see how well she is absolutely thriving. She is 18 lbs, 11 ounces...almost exactly ten pounds heavier now than she was the night she was born. She is 26.5"...almost six inches taller than she was the night she was born. She can almost sit up by herself. She is rolling around at abandon. She is mesmerized by her little friends at school, particularly one girl named Alyssa who is going to the big girl's side of the infant room Monday. She loves her activity center, both at school and at home. She has her umpteenth ear infections in both ears and is headed for tubes in her ear faster than a speeding bullet. She is now eating bananas AND sweet potatoes (soon to add brown rice cereal to her menu), smiling like a clown, and playing with her monkey toes. And to boot, she has survived getting any of the crud that has befallen her poor mother.

Good job, McKenna! You've survived six months with your crazy obsessive mom and your laidback funny dad and in the house of the many animals.

And we've survived HER! In so many ways, it feels like we were at the hospital last week and I was calling everyone I knew to tell them I was a mom at last. These first six months have absolutely flown by. In many ways, they have been the hardest six months of my life, but not nearly as hard as I expected that they would have been prior to delivering McKenna. Every day with her is a joy and a blessing and I love her more than anything in this world.

So, you are thinking, what's up with the dropping the cloak?

Today I was whining and bemoaning my milk battles to McKenna's pediatrician, and telling her how much I hated it but that I was just going to have to start adding some formula to her bottles to take to school. I have tried everything, y'all...fenugreek, mother's milk tea, more pumping, more nursing, you name it, and it's just not the same. I can feel it. I'm not going to be a dairy maid like I was before until I have kid #2. I might surprise myself, but I just can feel it. My boobs don't feel as full anymore when I pump or when I nurse. My appetite is not what it was. And I'm not constantly thirsty.

Dr. W listened quietly with a wise smile on her lips and let me vent about the fact that I just can't make my boobs produce ANY MORE MILK than they are, and the evils of formula, and then proceeded to give me the lecture on how I should not feel guilty about giving her formula and how as a working mom, I should feel SO proud that I have managed to give McKenna nothing but breast milk.

I just hung my head and nodded quietly.

Her response?

"Superwoman's cloak got really heavy all of a sudden, didn't it?"

He he he.

What she thinks is that since I'm having no problem feeding McKenna on nights and on weekends is that my body is adjusting to the permanent feeding schedule and just isn't responding as well to the pump anymore. Makes sense.

I'm going to continue to do what I'm doing and continue to give McKenna my milk as long as I can. The important thing is that she's getting what I can give her, and I DID reach my original feed her with my milk exclusively for six months. For a working mother, that's pretty amazing.

So, poll time...what formulas did you all have good luck with? I've heard Carnation Good Start is pretty of my friends liked the Costco formula...I gave McKenna Enfamil Lipil the first week when she was jaundiced, and she wasn't a big fan of it.

At least I'm going to make McKenna's baby food! Superwoman is still alive and kicking!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Four days until the baptism!

And I feel like such a responsible godmother!

Our verifications forms are signed and on file with my niece's parish. We went out tonight and bought her baptismal gown and her first crucifix pendant as a gift. McKenna's dress is at the cleaners ready to be picked up and worn to Mass on Sunday. I don't know what I'm going to wear yet nor does P, but we are ready to go. I just need to stop and get a card and a gift bag tomorrow for the gifts.

And I'm excited! This is my first baptism! Well, other than my own, of course, and I don't remember it, obviously.

We probably went a little overboard with the gifts, but we didn't get my niece anything when she was born, so we're playing catch up. Plus, do you know how hard it is to find a baptismal gown for a one-year-old? We were SO lucky that we found what we did!

This is a special day and I doubt we'll ever be godparents again since my sister and I aren't speaking and my husband's brothers and sisters are finished having children. I consider the role as godmother to be a serious one and I intend to not only set a good example for my own daughter by going to church regularly and getting more involved with my parish, but also for my goddaughter, S.

And as coincidence would have it, Sunday is my birthday, so I will never forget her baptism day!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

ER, can I help you?

The answer is a resounding YES.

Before you read this, please know that P, McKenna and I are all FINE.

But last night P and I checked ourselves into the ER for emergency treatment.

Yesterday morning, we both woke up and were fine. About 9:30 am, both of us started to have severe diarrhea. We didn't even realize that we both had it until we were talking later in the day and realized that we were both sick. P came home from work early, and by the time he came home, I was throwing up. It continued for the next two hours, and I finally begged P to take me to the emergency room. It was so bad that I couldn't keep anything down, not even a few sips of water.

I'll spare you the details, but fortunately my brother-in-law agreed to keep McKenna for the night and P and I went straight to the ER and were put on IVs of saline to rehydrate with meds for the nausea and diarrhea. We are both better now albeit very tired and headachey and not very hungry, but last night before they put me on that IV, I literally felt like I was going to die.

Thank GOD there is an ER five minutes from our house.