Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Missing Man

Today is my partner's birthday. He has finally come to the ripe old age of twenty-four, and is spending the day away from us still. I've taken to calling him 'my sun-and-stars' from 'Game of Thrones.' I think it fits more than 'babe' or 'dear' for us. He used to call me Pookie, but that has since faded to either cutie or sexy lady. It may seem more of a traditional relationship, him being the sun (and me being the moon), but I don't think he will ever call me the 'moon in his life.' We have gotten to talk more frequently, and I am really excited to see him soon.

I miss him.

I have gotten so much encouragement from my friends as I settle into this temporary lifestyle change. Between my new work friends and the much needed texts from the Swer, last night was not quite as hard. Z decided to sleep for three hours in a row, thank the uppers. Got to take the Sean=mobile into the shop, the brakes are fine, oil change completed, and nail removed from the tire. And it was payday today, so tomorrow after skating I can go grocery shopping.

A day off from work is one of the best things on the planet. Z and I only made one trip out of the house, and the rest of the day we spent either playing on her floor mat or napping. I missed two packages and two phone calls during this day of rest, but fuck it. I needed the break.

Happy Birthday my love, come home soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dinner and an 8 hour shift

Had dinner with some coworkers last night. Super fun just having adult friendships. Just hope to get in more adult time as the days go up.

I only need to survive 5 more hours until I can go get my baby.

I just came up with another argument for why my work should let me pump. If I don't pump, I could get a plugged duct (which I've had, not fun) and have to miss work if it develops into mastitis. Again, it doesn't make any sense to deny me a break. I only need one during contact sections.

Last night I nearly lost it. Z was doing 2 hr sleep shifts, and I just couldn't deal with it when at 4am it became a one hour shift. I had to just put her in her swing and yak at no one while I cried for ten minutes. Then we just kept 2 hr sleeping until noonish.

I'm surviving. Just surviving at this point. Tomorrow I will do all the chores and out of the house errands I have been avoiding. Maybe grocery shop. And maybe go to gvsu for the 'Deaf for a day' that my friend is putting on.

Just keep going. Soon this phase will be over.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Skype Date

Finally got a chance to Skype with my partner. He only has two more jobs and a 20 hour drive until we get to have him home again. That means this weekend I will be bumming it alone, but that's ok.

It was nice to talk to him, but I still feel disconnected from him. If we weren't in the same place, I don't think we   could have a relationship. The long distance thing is really too hard for me.

Z has been back to the sleeping in two hour shifts again. I'm really ready for any suggestions besides letting her cry. I can't stand to listen to her cry-it-out.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mondays and the last day of work

I made it through another night with Donnie and Z. She was up every hour for a feeding. Apparently she missed the warm stuff. But I got in a nap and lunch before heading off to work. I only have help for one more night before I'm on my own again.

Work wasn't half as bad as Saturday. Good day.

I feel super disconnected from my partner. I miss having someone at home that I've chosen to have in my life. Z has been a cutie pie, giggling, grabbing toys, kicking and scooting. I'm just waiting for her to start crawling. It is going to be such a chore to baby proof the place. I just want him home so I can share the baby stuff again. It's like when I was pregnant, and I wanted to share her because she isn't just my baby.

Oh well. Only seven more hours until I come home to my baby, and hopefully only six more days until I see my partner and have my family back together.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Midland and Back Again

Well, we made it to Midland without too much of a hiccup. It wasn't a fun journey, with the screaming at the end and the screaming at the beginning. I managed to do a mid-car feed (me hanging the boob over and Z eating, not comfy), but it worked alright. She slept for maybe an hour of the ride. Better than none of it.

First trip to Midland
It was a really easy night in Midland, Z got a new playmat to enjoy, we visited some of my old teachers and family friends.

Fishes playmat...we definitely have a fishy theme 
Work was straight up hell. Straight up, blood on the floor, urine on the floor, naked crying hugs bruises and punches straight up hell. I had been planning to go out with a friend afterwards since Z was still in Midland, and ended up with a few of the ladies at the bar. But! I managed not to drink, booya temptation, suck on that. It wasn't hard to go to sleep after the night I had. I showered at home, I pumped, and I went to sleep for a good seven hours, and just laid around in bed for another two for the hell of it. Leaving her in someone else's arms was the worst though. I knew that if I kept saying 'goodbye' I was going to have to call in because I couldn't leave her. And when I got off of work I really just wanted to talk to my partner and vent about my day. I miss them both so much.

This was her expression as I said 'bye bye.' 
Now I'm just waiting for my baby to get home. Come on come on come on!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Breastfeeding Battles Continued

Two weeks ago I went on a huge rant about not being able to pump at work and all the hoops I am jumping through with all the stupid that has been happening.

First - I need a manager to cover my shift. So two of my managers are being really awesome about it, working with me on a time to get it done, and then getting it done.

But one manager and I had this conversation:

Manager: "Hey, is there anything you need before I head out?"
Me: "Yeah, can I get you to cover for me for fifteen minutes while I pump?"
Manager: "Actually no, I am out at 5 and it's past that."
Me: "Ok?"

And she proceeds to walk out the door.

Really? Ask if I need anything, and then just deny me? Wow, way to not spare fifteen minutes for your coworker. Mad.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Night 2 complete

We managed another night without my partner. I took off the pillow top of the bed which made the cosleeping much easier. But that wasn't the exciting part of the night. My father came to visit and watch Z while I was at work. No big deal, I left him plenty of milk, Z was asleep and I was out the door.

At 8p of my shift I get a call. Z hadn't eaten since I left the house, 2p, and was screaming. So I go into full panic mode, Donnie asks if he can bring her to me to let her eat at least a little bit, I talk to my coworkers so I could get a break. Not cool. My last ditch attempt to help is texting my partner about how to help Donnie.

He said turn her away, sit her up and then offer the bottle. It works, and she eats a whopping 2oz. Not a lot, but enough for her to make it to 1130p when I get home. As soon as I was home, she was wonderful. Smiling, slept pretty ok, and we picked up my van from the Ford place.

Not happy that it will cost me $800 to fix my gauges, but at least the recall is taken care of and it doesn't rattle anymore. One thing at a time.

Now we are on our first drive to Midland. I'm sitting in the back updating from my phone, Z is smiling at me, Donnie is driving, and we still have two hours ahead of us. Since Z hates the car seat, I was hesitant to take her anywhere outside of GR. But so far so good.

Hopefully only a week until we see Sean again. This can be done.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Single mom for a week

My partner got a job in construction, and he left this morning for North Dakota.

For the next 10 days, I am going to be a single mom. Tomorrow grandpa Donnie is coming to visit, and Friday we are going to Midland (first time ever). I'm nervous about the drive since Z still screams sometimes when put into her car seat. It has been hot hot hot here. Z hates it. We've been running around in shorts and Z in naught but her diaper.

I'm nervous of my night alone with her. She has fallen asleep, but I'm not ready for bed yet.

And I'm leaving Z on Saturday in Midland while I come back for work. Then my family will be bringing her back to me Sunday before my shift. I have a lot of stuff on my mind, and I don't want to be without her.

My goal is to collect my thoughts at the end of each day. To remind myself that we need the money, and if this job goes well, I might have to make a choice to go on call at work.

We did too much today. First we took my van into the shop, so I'm driving the Sean-mobile, and then a nutrition class, and a mall walk with a friend and grocery shopping. All alone, just me and Z. Stressful, and I need to make sure I sleep tonight. I made some weird dinner of packaged pasta and streamed veggies, but I have oranges in my house again so I'll survive.

And I turned on the AC two days in a row. I figured we can spend the extra on the electricity to keep Z comfy. And me too on that note. I'm already feeling overwhelmed. Breathe. Breathe.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

COOKIE MONSTER

I have been trying to pretend to be a baker of late. I started with some from scratch brownies (awesome), banana bread (meh), and home made bread (YUCK). But this time I thought it was time to start trying something new - and it helps with milk.

Note: There is no breast milk in these cookies. These cookies are made with ingredients that help boost milk supply for nursing mothers, very homeopathic stuff.

This recipe comes from the lovely Alexa, who came to the breastfeeding group until she had to go back to work.

Milk Making Monster Cookies

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F

Cream together:
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 stick butter
12 oz peanut butter (I actually used a whole jar 18oz....oops)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add:
2 teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2 cups of oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1/2 cup M&Ms
1 cup ground flaxseed (found at meijer actually, I was surprised)
3 Tablespoon Brewer's yeast (I didn't use this, mostly because I'm lazy and didn't go to the health food store)

Level with an ice cream scoop
Flatten with a glass dipped in sugar
Bake 10-12 min

According to Alexa there should be about 72 servings, but I didn't have nearly that many. But I am also not a very good baker either. I ended up with twenty four cookies, but they were giant. And it was crazy. And my mixer couldn't hold all the stuff and over flowed.

Cookies! I suck at baking!
I'm definitely going to put this under user error, because I didn't stick exactly to the recipe, and baking is not one of my strong skills. These cookies were super dense and chewy, and I liked that a lot.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Heat Wave in March and Z Four Months Old!

St Patrick's Day Nap!
If you know anything about Michigan weather is that is does the stupidest stuff. And since I live near the coast that also means we get the lake effect snow.

And people still drive like idiots.
Stroller out of the box finally!
But we went on our first family walk this past week, which was super nice because it wasn't just my partner, Z and I, we also had Manda.

My partner being a handy man.
Z and Daddy outside with the final touches.
I am loving the weather and walking outside with Z. It makes it so much easier to get out of bed when there is sunshine, and I can get at least a morning routine with her. 

Our family picture. Don't get too many of these.


Manda and Z 
I totally love my baby and our little mini family unit. It is pretty easy to just chillax. Z is now four month old. We have been putting her in all sorts of summer outfits and just letting her run around in just a diaper. She gets so overheated, its crazy. 

Can I just go on a rant about baby clothes? Yeah, they are STUPID. I can't even explain that my baby can fit stuff that says 3months, and stuff that says 6months, and then this bullshit in between called 3-6 months? Well, I sure hope so since she is 4 months and that is right in the middle of that stuff. But she has outfits for summer that are 12 months that she is swimming in. I just don't understand baby clothes. I'd be better off just getting her little pantaloons and just having her wear those and say "EFF OFF SHES A BABY JUST ENJOY THE CUTE."




Saturday, March 17, 2012

Soberversary

Today is my sober-anniversary.

The first day that I went totally without booze.

A year ago today I had two lines instead of one.

I can't thank my daughter enough for making today possible for me.

One year sober.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oh, Come On!

That baby must know how to work us over.

First she lifts up her upper body, then alternates to lift her hind quarters up. Alternate, and repeat while parents and godparents are watching.

Manda is here, and has made the past week awesome.

We have been trying to watch her crawl for almost an hour this morning.

It's almost 4am.

CRAWL Z CRAWL GET IT OVER WITH SO I CAN START BABY PROOFING

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Wearing Pro

I have become a self-styled baby-wearer. I have three carriers, but only two that I use on a regular basis. First is the MOBY, next is the Seven Slings, and last is the Flip. I like wearing Z because it makes her happier, and it keeps my hands free. But I'm in the market for a new one...so I figured I'd map out what I like about each carrier that I have so far and what I want in the next one.

Z is unimpressed.

Flip by Infantino:
Pros:

  • Buckles and Straps - you can see exactly where and how to adjust this thing.
  • Versatile - I am able to wear baby facing me, away from me, or as a backpack
  • Gender ambiguous - This carrier isn't overly feminine, and doesn't look weird on my partner
Cons:
  • Feeling - This carrier puts a lot of pressure on the crotch area, possible hip issues for baby
  • Angry baby - Z doesn't like it. She cries when being in it for too long. Maybe as she gets older I'll be able to use it more.
Conclusion? Might be better for an older baby, but Z doesn't like it.

Seven Slings
Pros: 
  • Convienent - This thing is one piece of fabric that essentially acts as a tube, and I don' have to tie it before hand.
  • Light - The sling is super breathable 
Cons:
  • Weight distribution - This thing puts all of Z's weight on one shoulder, and makes it hard for longer wearing
  • Bunchy - This sling also get's super bunched up easily, which is just annoying.
Conclusion? Only good for short trips, not for longer term wear.

I win versus fussy Z. Sleepy time.
MOBY
Pros:
  • All Fabric - The moby is all fabric all the time, which is super comfy
  • Easy Ties - I like that there are different ways to wear the baby with this right from birth to almost toddler age
  • Breastfeeding friendly - It it pretty easy to breastfeed in this thing, and you get pretty good coverage and support, but it doesn't leave both hands free during feeding
  • Weight Distribution - When this is done right and I stretch the shoulder sections out Z's weight it evenly distributed across my body, way nicer.
Cons:
  • Stretchy Fabric - Because the moby is made of such stretchy fabric, I find that it feels loose if I don't make it super tight to begin with.
  • Heavy - The fabric of the moby is really heavy and not breathable. So first it makes it super hot, so I have dress Z and I down way much (even in the dead of michigan winter) and two makes it hard to throw into a bag to take along.
  • Not portable - You can't just bring this along. I usually tie it before had and then go from there, but taking it with not wearing is a pain in the butt.
Conclusion? This is my favorite carrier so far. Best for long wear, but I don't think it will be appropriate for summer.

I've come to the conclusion that I need a woven wrap that is light weight and a ring sling. And since I am back to work and we just got our taxes back (holy balls do you get money for babies), might be time to spoil myself just a little bit. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DIY Necklace and a Gift

I decided to give into the mom crafty trait that happens when you are trying to save money and make neat things. Warning - this post is super image heavy.

That's right, I made something all by myself. The idea came from this necklace I had borrowed from my mother years and years ago.
Heart necklace
Z has taken to scratching the crap out of me while nursing, and so I have decided to give something for her to get her finger in beside my earring or my hair. That little stinker has the strongest grip, the other day she had my earring and it took me and my partner five minutes to get her little fingers out of there. The problem with this necklace is it is a bit short and the thread is a bit thin. It cuts into me when Z pulls on it, but it is much better than losing my neck hairs.

After my IUD appointment (that's right, 10 years baby free for me! Whoot whoot!), Z and I headed out to the local Michael's. I paid six dollars for leather thread, and two dollars for a shell pendant. This would double as something for Z to chew on while teething.

BTW, she is a huge drool bucket and everything she can wrap her fingers around she puts into her mouth to nom.

My supplies. 
I bought the shell pendant for all the times I wear a brown shirt, mostly because I either wear brown or black on a normal day. I used the top color of thread and used the tutorial from Anktangle to make this final  project.
Brown faux shell necklace!
Also I found a fun doughnut pendent on Etsy.

Black with copper, blue and green accents.
So I used the same tutorial and made this little thing. But I used a different knot, which can be found at satincord.com.
Z playing with the necklace and some serious cleavage.
Of course, I also got my Valentine's gift a little late. It's too delicate for everyday wear, but it was exactly what I wanted.

Yay for date-night jewelry!
That's all - I'm turning into a real girl, and being a little bit crafty in my own way. I'm not opening up a shop or anything, but it has been one thing I've done for myself after my terrible week last week. And now Z is back to sleeping in two-hour shifts...I needed something fun to do for just me.