Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I should have known... cough drops

If there is one thing that I have learned in my time breastfeeding it's that supply fluctuates.

So when my supply dips I try to just give myself a little mental pep talk, "It's ok, we've been here before, it came back, we can do it again." And indeed, my supply has come back. Gone are the days of overfilling my 20oz collection bottle, but that was way more than I needed anyhow. If I can get 15oz, I'm happy.

But lately I've been lucky to eek out 10oz. I've had to thaw milk at night to get him to bed. I'm trying to give myself the pep talk, but I've never been here before. And one of my neighbors asked me if I was still breastfeeding last night and when I said yes, she said she back, "Oh, so you haven't dried up yet?" Her words, although innocent, are not appreciated at this time.

But as I tried not to freak out about my meager production this morning, I thought of something I hadn't suspected before: my stupid Halls cough drops. They contain menthol and, yes, they will zap you milk supply. I should have known that.

Stupid cough drops. They weren't even helping me. I wasn't eating that many, probably 4-6 per day for the last week (ironically, I would suck on them while nursing Michael to keep from coughing and waking him), but those on top of work stress, Claritin, and a baby that isn't suckling strongly (because of the ear infections) are not great for supply.

So I think I've finally identified all of the trouble makers and I'm hoping that I can bounce back from this. I have faith that I will but I'm stepping up efforts anyhow. Michael seem to be at 'full suck' and I think that's really helping turn things around. We need to fix this because I know that neither of us are ready wean.

In other news, my baby is afraid of toast. Yup, toast. We got done with our attempt at purees tonight and I decided to toast a piece of bread and cut it into a couple of strips for him and see what he would do. He squeezed the toast in his fingers and just got so upset. Torture. We figured he wanted out of his seat so I took him and checked his diaper too (cause he was so upset I thought it was worth a look but it was clean). So next we put him on the floor on his blanket and let him play. I laid the toast on his leg to see if he would pick it up and he just freaked. My kid does not like toast. He did not get that from me.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Send in FEMA

This week has been a disaster. I don't even know where to begin. I thought about doing a post mid week saying that if one more thing tries to kill me this week, it just might succeed.

Michael, untop of ear infections and diaper rash, also bought home a cold (or something). I got it first (DH is sick with it now too) and couldn't figure out if it was just allergies or a cold or strep. I never saw my tonsils so I did not pursue the strep diagnosis (since I would have to miss work and pay to do that) but I did pursue it as an allergy attack. And that was somewhat effective.

I finally broke down and took some Claritin (just plan Claritin, no "D"). I researched that it was "ok" to take some and it would not effect my supply and you know what, I feel like I'm not making milk in a way that scares me and sends me into a corner to cry. I totally regret trying to do anything to make myself feel better--which it only half way helped. I still feel like I'm swallowing shards of glass every time I swallow.

I've also been really dehydrated (despite downing massive amounts of water). It was so bad on Thursday I had to leave work and run to the grocery store to get some Gatorade G (I feel stupid calling it "G"... sounds like I'm trying too hard or something). I didn't dock myself the time at work because if I hadn't have gone to get it, they would have had to call me an ambulance (seriously); I had some kind of major electrolyte imbalance going on. And let's not forget that I would have some sick time to take if it weren't for my company's shitty maternity policy (or lack there of).

And that brings me to the other extreme disaster this week: my job. I've been a foul mindset when it comes to work since learning about my shitty maternity leave and then some goals bullshit that I had to do on maternity leave pregnancy induced disability and FMLA. A project that I'm working on is tanking. It's tanking for a number of reasons, some of which are my fault (some of which are NOT). We sat down and had a talk. The word "unacceptable" was used a couple of time. I don't care. (By the way, the probability that someone from my company knows that I have this blog is 99% and it's probably just as likely that they snoop on my by reading it. Not cool... another reason I'm not so hot on work right now... it's invading my life.)

Ok, that's not true, I DO care. I do not want to get fired, but I also do not appreciate a lot of BS going on at work lately. I do not appreciate the way the new management is handling things. I do not appreciate a lot about the current situation. It would be best for our finances to keep me working but me and my husband both agree that there would be a lot of good things about me not working too. So I will work hard to keep the status quo, but I'm fucking sick of killing myself for my fucking job and I'm not going to fucking do it any-fucking-more. My sanity and my child are more important. And if anyone I work with has an opinion contrary to that, I DON'T CARE.

In other news, we went to my brother's house yesterday to have a surprise birthday party for my mom. It went ok, but I forgot to bring something to eat so I went ahead and ate some cheesy potatoes, a cannoli, cake and ice cream (real healthy, I know). After weeks of having a virtually spit-up free baby, today was not so great. But it reminds me that I'm avoiding these allergens for a reason and it's not ok to cheat. I'm thinking the cheesy potatoes were the culprit because my SIL makes them with cream of mushroom soup, which contains Soy Protein Concentrate (which I definitely would have skipped if I would have known that yesterday). I should have just stuck to the desserts.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I hate TV

No, actually, I love TV, a little too much.

I have just been loving that it's the summer and TV has gone to re-runs and reality shows (I hate every reality show since The Real World 7). TV can have a way of ruling life around here and I hate that. But in the summer, there is nothing that has to be watched and nothing drawing us to the glowing tube night after night.

I guess it's worth re-mentioning that we get our TV over the air. Cable is not available at our home and we didn't want to get wrangled into a satellite contract, so instead we took advantage of the new (at the time), digital broadcasting, hid an antenna in the attic and get our TV that way. We save a lot of money doing this, the picture is great, there are no outward signs that we use an antenna, and we have fewer channels which keeps us from getting hooked on a bunch of crap we can live happily without anyhow. We have a DVR so we can still pause and record our TV when we want to watch something.

We also get Netflix. And now that Netflix will play instantly on our Wii, we watch more stuff that way than anything. We have been watching the best show ever all summer, Arrested Development. We finished the last episode last night and then cursed the idiots at FOX for cancelling it. Best.show.ever.EVER.

Anyhow, I'm dreading the return of the fall lineup. We have try to keep the number of shows we watch to a minimum, but still. With the baby we don't really get much time to watch TV anyhow, so I hate that when we have free time we feel compelled to catch up on a TV show. And we don't let Michael watch TV so we have to wait until he's in bed.

Today Michael was desperately grabbing at the Super Nintendo (yes, we keep our my old Ninentdos out to play with... original and Super). I'm dreading baby proofing the entertainment center. Then it occurred to me, why don't we just get rid of it? Put the DVR and Wii in our room and ditch the TV in the living room?

It will free up space, we won't have to worry about baby proofing, and we will be less tempted to watch TV in general... hopefully. We haven't done it yet, but I'm really thinking about it. Can you imagine a family/living room without a TV? I know this isn't an original idea, but it doesn't seem to be a popular choice these days. Now let's see if I follow through.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Flats

So when I picked up the trainers the other day I also picked up a package of Gerber flats.

I know, Gerber diapers=Crap, but I thought to myself, "It's just a single layer of birdseye, how badly could they screw it up?"

Apparently pretty badly. Smaller than normal, doesn't lay flat, ragged around the edges. I'm pretty sure the birdseye itself is poorer quality compared to Little Lions or another premium brand.

But I got them with the intention of using them to get more coverless time (he out grew his prefolds months ago, he's too big for almost all of his fitteds, so it was down to the 3 tie-nappies I have for cover less time and that just isn't enough). And a dozen flats for ~$13 can't be that big of a mistake.

I chose the Diaper Bag Fold, with another flat pad folded in for extra absorbency. (These flats are pretty small and Michael is pretty big, so I couldn't get the Kite or Origami folds large enough for work for him.)

Despite the quality of the Gerber flats, they work pretty well. I see why people love flats. It fits well, was absorbent, and very air-y. It was also easy to pin*. Michael even tolerated wetness in them better than he normally does with natural fibers. I still wish they were a better quality flat, but not a mistake buying them.


If I ever get any better flats to replace them with, they will make excellent rags.

*Quick reminder, I hate snappis with a passion, but even if you like them, they should NEVER be used without a cover over them. They bite.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ever wonder what's wrong with you that you don't even know about, yet?

I'm sure people with unexplained infertility wonder about this all the time. Most of the time when I start to think about other problems yet to be discovered I start saying "LALALALA" to myself and try to forget that I'm a worrier.

We ran out of flaxseed the other day. I though I could make it to the weekend, but I couldn't. I had a terrible sore throat all day because of it. What does that mean if I get a sore throat if I don't down flaxseed every day? Will I ever be able to go without it again?

And Michael is doing better but still a bit of a mess. I never saw another eye booger from his eye infection after Tuesday night, so I think maybe we were lucky we got to it fast. I'm crossing my fingers that the ears are getting better. I haven't seen him bat at them in a day or so and he seemed much more lively tonight. He also cut his second tooth sometime today or yesterday night. I have a co-worker whose nephew got an ear infection for every tooth. I hope that Michael isn't going to do that, but it does seem a strange coincidence that we haven't had any relief from these ear infections until that other tooth popped. I know, that probably makes no medical sense, but I'm about done with medical sense these days. Michael's worst problem appears to be his awful looking butt. It doesn't appear to be a yeast issue anymore... it's just RAW. I feel terrible. I think we made it worse because we took the aloe juice out of his wipes solution because I was worried the yeast would feed on it. Now I cringe when I see his tush. And I don't think daycare was following my instructions and applying his cream like I asked... grrr.

But back to the stuff that I don't know is wrong with me. I have a sore throat because I've been lacking on the flaxseed for a couple of day (I believe anyhow). And tonight I noticed that Michael doesn't want to swallow/suck. I think his throat hurts too. I can't help but think if my throat is hurting due to the lack of flaxseed, then his probably is too. What the hell does this mean? Should be concerned? So I sent my husband out for more flaxseed tonight. I'm already feeling much better only a couple of hours later. I'm hoping that when it hits my breastmilk tomorrow morning, Michael will too. Right now I'm pumping to keep my supply stimulated.

In other things about my health that scare me, I've finally setup a dermatologist appointment. I've only been putting that off for 4 years. Did I mention that my grandfather died of metastatic melanoma? And one of these days I'm going back to the dentist... that's only year over due. You don't want to know the last time I got my eyes checked.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tighty-whiteys

Is there anything cuter than a baby wearing undies? This seriously makes me wish that we did elimination communication.


I was trying to get a good pic of the plumber's crack. He's way too into moving to pose for me.


But even though the Gerber trainers are cute, the absorbency is horrible and they don't have snaps for easy offs when real messes happen. I think you can see where I'm going with this.

By the way, those are 2T trainers. He's been wearing 24months clothes for awhile and 2T shorts. We are going to have trouble finding pants that fit his waist and legs this fall.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ear infections, yeast and pink eye, oh my!

Michael finished his antibiotic for his ear infections on Saturday but was still batting at his ears, so I remained suspicious that the infections were still lingering.

Then on Sunday I noticed a little bump on his butt. From the gazillion hours that I have spent learning about cloth diapers I knew that this was probably a yeast rash that was probably caused by the antibiotic. Last time he had an ear infection I gave him some supplemental probiotics and everything was just fine. This time I got lazy and skipped it, and now we are paying. But I caught it super early and had clotrimazole on hand from the early, rocky days of breastfeeding and I put that on him. By the next day, the rash appeared to be completely cleared up.

MIL actually came and watched him Monday because his daycare had a scheduled teacher workshop day. MIL kept up the clotrimazole and the rash remained at bay.

So I dropped him off this morning at daycare and asked them to keep putting the clotrimazole on him and I would be back early to take him back to the pediatrician for an ear recheck.

I come to get him and his eye has massive eye-boogies coming out of it that no one seems to have noticed. Then I get him to the dr. and see that his yeast has reappeared all of a sudden. (And we are bleaching his diapers for the time being to kill the yeast, FYI).

And the ear infection is still going on in both ears, and it's apparently pretty bad still. I got a new antibiotic prescription for his ears, and one for his eyes and got told to keep doing what I'm doing with the rash. (And I know, it's not desirable to use the antibiotics, but it appears to be indicated here.)

Then I went to pick up the meds and had to wait quite awhile. I browsed the baby stuff and picked up some Gerber training pants because I couldn't resist. We are trying to give him more "cover-less" time for the rash since complete naked time is a little daunting. I've been dying to get him some real trainers (even though we are not training yet at all) because they are so cute. So these ought to hold me over for a few months... maybe. Otherwise we have been using our tie-nappies which are great for air flow and very gentle. (tip on the tie nappies: you must boil these with blue Dawn to prep them... I washed them on hot a zillion times and it did nothing. Boil.)

So after walking around with Michael in my sling for a half hour, my back was about to give out and our prescriptions were finally ready. I checked out and got into the car and wiped another massive eye booger away and then decided to double check the prescription bag. They forgot the eye drops! So I called them from the parking lot and they realized that they forgot it. I unstrapped the kid from his car seat and toted him back in again. Checked out again. Back to the car. Home. Finally.

Got home, gave the kid his medicine. He promptly spit up his antibiotic and in case it wasn't all out with the first spit-up he did it again. Fantastic.

Gave him a couple of droppers of the probiotic in apple juice. No spit up this time.

He went to be early. Fantastic! I passed out on the couch while my husband made dinner.

Anyhow, I don't know what we are going to do tomorrow. We could probably take him to daycare since they don't seem to really care about pink-eye infections in the babies, but I don't like sending him if it's really bad... not to mention the other problems. I have a client meeting tomorrow that I have to go to, so DH may have to stay home. I find myself wishing my MIL was still around and we could get her again since she seemed to do a good job on Monday. Oh well. We'll get through.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

I think about breastfeeding a lot... probably because I spend a lot of time doing it or pumping. It is a huge part of my life right now. I was enjoying Juile's post on breastfeeding the other week and reading through the comments and I saw one where the mom said that she didn't have problems doing it, but didn't like it and quit for that reason. But the part that struck me about her comment was that she said that feeding her child was just such a small part of being a mother.

I was really taken back by this. I mean, she's right. I am probably more obsessed with breastfeeding than I should be. But at the same time, regardless of your feeding choices, feeding, eating, and the interaction from those activities is still, I think, a pretty big part of parenting. Beyond the breast/bottle feeding time, many experts emphasize how important it is to eat meals together as a family, at the table, TV off. Cooking is so important, the act of teaching your children to cook itself. And think about the many cultures in the world, they are often defined by their food as much as their geography. Eating is part of our heritage. Even grocery shopping. We are having baby-wearing success these days with our sling and I was wearing Michael while picking out tomatoes the other day and I saw him watching me and thought to myself that this is so trivial but still so huge. Just watching me pick tomatoes is such an important learning experience for him. And last but not least, the health of a person is strongly dictated by the choices made here too. Our lives revolve around eating.

But back to the breastfeeding. It has always been a HUGE part of mine and Michael's relationship. First, the kid was a hungry baby. For the first couple months of his life I was always feeding or changing him. Sometimes he would actually want to play and I would feel a little lost because I didn't know anything to do with him that didn't involve the digestive track. And there were all the difficulties feeding him that had to be overcome and I still am very sensitive about all of that. Then he started daycare, it seems like we are always fighting to get him to eat at daycare (he's been doing better with his sippy cup the last couple of days in case you were wondering). And the pumping... so much of my self-esteem is centered around feeding him and a bad pumping day just about makes me want to cry even though I've probably produced enough milk for him. And the allergy issue... I have to think about everything I eat because of it's affects on Michael (that's going pretty slowly right now... so far it appears that ALL legumes and most tree nuts are causing problems). Yes, so breastfeeding = HUGE to me.

And all of my 6 months of experiences here definitely have led me to form a complicated opinion of breastfeeding. Without a moment of hesitation I will profess to loving it. And I really do, it is just so awesome in so many ways. I think nearly (emphasis on nearly, because I know there are lots of exceptions) every mom should try to provide breastmilk (preferably at the breast) for their babies. I think it is a baby's right to receive it (sorry if this offends people, but it's my opinion). That said, I definitely understand that it is NOT for everyone. I mean, did you read the last paragraph? If I didn't love doing it, I would definitely not be doing it. Feeding choices are important, but a happy mom and baby are the most important.

This makes me think of my 3 SILs:

SIL #1 - When I told her I planned to breastfeed she said, "Oh, you won't do it for long, it's really annoying." A couple of months into breastfeeding she made a comment that she "could not" (read: unable) breastfeed. So this leads me to think she had negative breastfeeding experiences, but I've never really talked to her about it.

SIL #2 - Could not feed at the breast and exclusively pumped for more than a year. Now that I pump at work, I'm in awe that she did that. Wow. I could not have done that, at all.

SIL #3 - Made up her mind that she wasn't going to do it and never tried once.

I respect SIL #3's decision but at the same time I wish she would have at least tried. I think they are trying for #2 right now and I'm kinda hoping that we don't talk about this topic because I don't think I can talk about it without clearly showing my pro-BFing, lactivist attitude. I want to tell her to do it and how great it will be and all the wonderful things about it... basically I don't think I can say much about it without showing that I don't completely agree with her decision on her first child. Another thing is, I don't want to sell breastfeeding to her and then her actually try it and not like it. Breastfeeding can be HARD! I don't want her to be angry at me because I sold her an ideal and then she tries it and isn't happy. But if she does decide to breastfeed, I want to be there for her and help her and be a resource that she feels comfortable coming to, even if it's to ask, "Do you think it's ok to quit?"

But mostly, I just get pissed off at 'society' when I think about breastfeeding. If it wasn't hard enough to begin with, it seems like 'everyone' is telling moms to breastfeed and not supporting them in the least. They make it taboo to nurse in public. So many people see BFing a child past the first few months to be ridiculous (not to mention the weirdo looks extended breastfeeding gets). Mis-informed physicians. Shitty maternity leave. It just seems that there are so many road blocks on the horizon. Of course, that's not to say that formula feeding doesn't have it's critics (and that's an understatement). I hate the a-holes that equate formula to poison. Formula is the appropriate or best choice for lots of families. But society wants mothers to breastfeed and then freaks when they see a nipple. Society can say they want moms to breastfeed, but it will always be more comfortable with a can and bottle.

I don't have a nice way to wrap this all up into a neat little package. Breastfeeding is complicated. Parenting is complicated. (Getting pregnant is complicated.) We are all fighting our own fight and doing the best that we can. How someone feeds their child up to that person. My hope is that more of them choose to breastfeed. I think it's everyone's responsibility to look out for the right of parent to make that choice and support them in it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Feeding drama, again

Michael's ear infection must be getting better because he was eating much better on Saturday and then he seemed to be 100% on Sunday. And he ate so much this morning while I was trying to get him to go down for his morning nap (he naps from 7:00-7:30 before we leave for work) that his tummy over-filled and he spit up several times from that.

So I was hoping that today would be a good day for eating at daycare.

Um, yeah, right. I called before my lunch pumping session and he hadn't eaten anything yet. I had a lunch thing and I told them I would call back after and see if things had changed. I called back and he'd had an ounce and was sleeping. So I asked daycare to call me after he woke up if he wouldn't eat.

He did not eat again and it was 2:30 at this point. So I went up there and attempted to feed him.

Michael is a very distracted boy (which I'm sure is playing a part here). We were in the back room, a place that he isn't normally, and he could not focus on the task. I finally got him to eat a little, but then he wanted to explore and play so I gave up and took him back to the baby room.

I had him on the floor while talking to one of the workers and he started doing the milk sign. I was wary of investing more time in trying to feed him because I'm not sure that he completely understands the sign and didn't want to try to feed him in vain again. But, since he still hadn't eaten much, and I was there, and he was signing I figured should try again. And the kid actually ate. Not much, but he got started right away once I got him back there. And a couple of minutes later he wanted to play again. (It doesn't help that they store the spare toys in this room, so he was going a little crazy because of that.)

After I left, he wasn't very happy and they said that they had to hold him most of the rest of the day. He'd just woken up from a short nap and I tried to get him to take a little bottle before we left because I knew he'd get fussy in the car, but he refused the bottle.

So on the way home, fussy on cue. I snaked my arm into the back seat to rub his arm to comfort him. He grabbed my finger to chew on it. That damn tooth finally cut though! I am hoping that this was the big problem this afternoon and maybe tomorrow we can get him to eat a little more.

But in other feeding news, we had some solids success. Sunday I think he finally started to realize that flavors are tasty. We tried to spoon feed him some pears and he wasn't into it as normal, but he seemed to be onto the fact that his messy fingers tasted good. Later I gave him a piece of (home-grown) cantaloupe to teethe with and he was really excited chewing on it. Then we were giving him his raspberry flavored amoxicillin later and instead of fighting us, he was shoving the syringe in his mouth. So I had DH run and get the baby pears out for me again and he let me spoon feed him a little. Success! Perhaps he isn't doomed to never eat solids.

I'm doing both the whole foods baby-led weaning style and spoon-able "baby food". He really has seemed to like the food he puts into his mouth himself the most, but with daycare, if I ever want them to feed him, I don't think I feel confident letting them give him whole foods... particularly not when the person feeding his is responsible for watching several children at the same time. And it seems to be working to do both styles concurrently.

Here's hoping that he starts eating better... until the next tooth.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I am destroying my child

Yes. He's doomed.

We took M for his 6 month well visit yesterday. I would have probably taken him into the pediatrician's already this week due to his severely decreased appetite that I was blaming on the teething, but I held off since the well visit was scheduled.

And it turns out the both of the poor child's ears are infected. Yeah, that would probably explain the loss of appetite and crying over the weekend. Poor baby... glad I didn't fool around and went to the tylenol. But seriously, I thought breastfeeding was supposed to help keep these stupid ear infections at bay. It must be those bottles of expressed milk he gets at daycare. I'm just a bad person for putting my baby in daycare where he learns things and has fun and interacts with other babies I guess.

But the not eating thing has really had me concerned this week. His appetite dropped off over the weekend and because of that I haven't been able to pump much all week. And he's not eating what I have been pumping at daycare, and then he's not eating much at night either. It's just very concerning.

I told his ped this and he said, "Well, he's got plenty of reserves."

What a jerk. Yeah, I know, my baby is big (and HEALTHY). He weighed in at 23 lbs and 14 oz and was 28.25 in long (97+ and 95th percentiles, respectively).

So I said back, "Well, it's really a matter of dehydration."

I'm no dr, but I shouldn't have had to say that and I think he was kinda being an ass with his statement.

Let me tell you how much fluid my nearly 24lb baby has been taking during the day this week:

Monday: 6.5 oz in 9 hours
Tuesday: 6.5 oz in 9 hours
Wednesday: 4 oz in 8 hours (picked up a little early because of the pictures)
Thursday: 1.5 oz in 7 hours (Got there late because of the well visit)
Friday: 0 oz in 4.5 hours (I left work early and took him home)

(Does my concern seem unfounded to you?)

I'm no dr, but that does not seem like enough fluid at all. My ped is an asshole. Me and daycare have been doing everything we could this week, but he just feels so bad. Even though my boss kinda gave me hell for leaving early to get him I would much rather take it from him than take a dehydrated child to the emergency room.

But also, my ped gave me more flak for not feeding him solids yet. What is this guy's problem?! The child just turned 6 months. We have been trying, but we aren't forcing. You see, by not feeding him solids at 4 months, I have ruined my child. He will never eat solids. I will be breast feeding him until he is 5. I am a terrible mother. I should hold off nursing him and make sure he is good and hungry and then force him to eat. By not doing all of this, I'm destroying my child, according to my pediatrician. (Although letting him get dehydrated is A-OK, you know, since he's fat, and being fat is just as good as taking in fluids.) God forgive me for trying to make food fun and for letting my baby decide if he wants to eat or not.

Anyhow, we are back on antibiotics. It seems to be helping a little so far. Hopefully he's back at capacity soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nursing and Teething

It finally happened. The thing that scared me most about breastfeeding... BITING.

He did it, he bit me. Twice (cause I was dumb enough to put him back on after the first one).

It actually wasn't that bad. The early weeks of nursing were an order of magnitude more painful. But I did quickly pull him off and tell him, "No. That hurts Mommy." But he just smiles when I do this so I don't think he's getting it. I think the best course of action will be to just pull him off quicker when he is finished eating, before he gets bored and chewy. Advice appreciated.

But the teething thing. Ugg. I thought he was cutting his first tooth a while ago because his gums keep changing and looking like something is going to pop though and he'll show some other signs too, but no, I was wrong. But this is definitely the real thing this time.

It was AWFUL Sunday. He was crying so hard, it hurt so much. We had to give him tylenol. He passed out. We had to dose him again before bed, and then he woke up in the middle of the night and I had to do it again (it's not like we didn't try other routes, it was just that bad). But since then he's dealt with the pain pretty well but it has caused him to loose his appetite and he's been more sleepy. And the damn tooth still hasn't popped up yet. Come on already.

I also, mostly for the hell of it, bought him an amber teething anklet. The idea behind these is that they release succinic acid in the skin and it is a natural pain reliever. And as a bonus, the one I got was "Reiki charged". I know, it's probably hooey, but it's cute on him and "can't hurt". Besides, I think acupuncture helped me conceive, so this isn't too much farther into hippie territory. And the crazy thing is, I think it's actually helping. (<-- When I talk like that, I should probably try to get more sleep.)

We had his 6 month pictures tonight. We got a lot of smiling, happy baby photos despite the condition of his gums. Much better than the 3 month disaster. But I was much smarter this time. We took lots of toys, a small bottle with milk (cause when he is hungry, he wants food NOW) and we planned the outfits better. My excellent planning included putting him in a diaper with giraffes on it and letting him have some relief chewing on Sophie the Giraffe. About 2/3 of the way though, that proved to be a good plan and a very cute pose.

And something cool... I've been doing the baby sign language symbol for milk since he was born, off and on. But lately I've been doing it pretty heavily. I thought he was doing it back but I also that that maybe I was just wanting to believe that he was doing it. But when I picked him up from daycare today they asked me if I had been working on it with him because they hadn't tried that one on him yet and he definitely signing milk for them. Yay! I'm so excited. I think maybe the feeling is something like hearing them speak their first word. Big milestone.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The contingency plan

DH has found some property that he'd like to buy. It's farm-able land that we could rent and it's in a good location for us, so that we could also build on it someday when the time is right. A very good investment for us.

The only thing is that we don't really have the money for the monthly mortgage payment on it right now. We will have the money pretty early next year after we finish paying off my parents (we borrowed part of our down payment for our house to avoid PMI and not have to rent for another year).

We can swing the payments out of our savings until then, but I was REALLY looking forward to ditching that payment. Once we were done with that, then we could have finished paying off the car by the end of the year and then our ONLY debt would be the mortgage on the house. I fantasize about that day.

But aside from me giving up my dream of having spare cash to actually use on something that we can enjoy (we haven't taken a vacation in 3 years and that was our belated honeymoon), my stomach was tying in knots about what would happen if I lost my job (hubby works for the govt... not really worried about him losing his)? I don't really expect to lose it, but I truly don't feel as secure as I did a year ago. And it makes me nervous.

How can we afford our life if I lost my job? Having a baby to provide for has definitely made me more worry more.

We live pretty lean, except for our grocery budget. I'm still not sure how to trim things up there. But otherwise, the low hanging fruit of our budget has definitely been picked. So finally the other night we sat down and discussed how we could make the worst work.

We talked for a couple of hours. I feel so much better now.

At this time, if I lost my job, I don't think I'd try to get another one. I'd rather take the time I have with Michael... even though I don't want to be a SAHM, but I'd rather do that than try to get established at a new job with M still being so little.

We would probably sell DH's truck for the cash since we have have my old car as a spare for him to drive.

And then the big thing... we would probably try to get his job transferred to down near his parents. If I'm not working, there is really nothing holding us here. DH would probably be promoted if he took a transfer. And his grandma's house is vacant and could be fixed up. We could sell our house here. We could live on one income, with money to spare. Free babysitting à la MIL. I could hang out with DH's friends' wives (the ones that don't annoy me) that stay at home and do play dates. Go for baby #2.

As resistant to that life as I have been, it is really starting to appeal to me. Maybe a little too much. Plan B doesn't look so bad right now.