Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The most heartfelt gift

I posted yesterday about Hannabert's First Christmas.  At that time, Hannabert had not finished receiving gifts. One of the housekeeping staff at work had met Hannabert and had taken liking to him.  He often stops at Horn's cubicle to talk fathering (he has two grown children who have both finished college and are working on advance degrees).  He was married and his wife left him and was granted custody of their children (how novel in the 1980s).

He is still pro marriage but not for himself and provides wisdom for new  dads-to-be who work with him  (advocating breastfeeding!).  He saw me yesterday as I was doing my off-shift mentoring (I sit with new legal researchers and provide "advice"), and said that he had a small gift for Hannabert and proceeded to give me a small sum of money for "Hannabert's College Fund."

Wow!  How unexpected and how heartwarming to receive such a gift.

Wordless Wednesday - Bundled up in the cold

At Hannabert's First Clifton Mill light display


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hannabert's First Christmas

First, let me say that Horn and I deserve the "Parent of 2011" award; we forgot all of Hannabert's supplies (clothing and diapers) at home.  Horn thought that I had packed up the little guy's stuff in my bag and I know that I told him that Hannabert had his own suitcase.

Luckily Grandma B had some odds and ends of clothing that had been left down in Cincinnati before and I had one sleeper in my suitcase.  We ended up having enough clothing for the weekend (including a cute outfit for the Grandpa B's family party).

We wanted to get a Santa picture this year and thought that we would miss out as Grandma B's family party had already started before we had even left.  Luckily as we pulled into The Greene to go to Von Maur, we found out that Santa was taking a smaller lunch break than what we thought so Horn pushed me out of the car and had me stand in line while he parked (not really but he did suggest that I do it).

Santa was a hit.

We successfully made it to Grandma B's Family Party and will was a HUGE hit (none of the other little cousins were able to make it).  He received a wonderful Fisher Price Nativity Set. I had just become aware of this set and really wanted one and was planning on getting him one after Christmas.  Thanks to Auntie Linda, Hannabert got to play with his nativity on Christmas.  The hay was delicious.

We opened gifts with my family via Skype despite technical difficulties (my parents couldn't hear us; perhaps their sound was turned off...) before midnight mass.  Hannabert was really excited to seem them on the screen and was more interested in trying to play with Grandpa A than he was in the gifts.  He received some wonderful books, puzzles, and a train.  I was pretty stressed about the technical problems so we didn't get any pictures of him. 

Hannabert was very..."chatty" during mass and we spent most of the mass in the back of the church walking around with Hannabert wrapped in my Lana.  It was nice exercise for me.

The next morning, Hannabert woke to nurse and then I was able to put him back down for a morning nap.  Unfortunately, Horn and I were wide awake so we headed downstairs to make coffee and wait for the rest of the family to wake up.  We found Auntie Beth and Montana (her adopted greyhound) on the couch.  Apparently Montana didn't want to sleep in the basement if the rest of the family was upstairs.  Mom and Dad B were up shortly afterwards and we started the gift opening process.  We decided to let Hannabert sleep in as long as possible.

Hannabert woke-up in time for breakfast and then it was babytime fun!  He was interested in the gifts but had no interest in opening them.  Playing with them, yes.  He got so excited, he even stood on his own!

Christmas 2011 was exactly what Christmas is suppose to be about - being with loved one and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Monday, December 19, 2011

And how he has lost his gain...

Poor Hannabert caught a stomach bug this weekend. I should have known something was up when he didn't scream like we were taking away his puppy (no, we don't have one yet but my partner in crime is woking on it with me) and selling it to Cruella DeVille when we were eating. In fact, Horn and I got to eat an entire meal without Hannabert demanding bite for bite competition.

Hannabert literally spent the entire Sunday nursing. Literally the entire day. I got off the couch twice in 8 hrs. He perked up in time to keep dad awake until 4am but woke up out of it again this morning.

I know his tummy hurts but, even though I explain it in explicit terminilogy, he doesn't understand and can't tell me how bad it feels for him.

I know they make collars that interpret a dog's bark but I can't seem to find any similar type of baby apparrel.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hannabert makes a weight gain!

After falling off the weight chart (which are made by formula companies and thus reflect a baby formula fed rather than a breastfed baby) for the last five months, Hannabert is finally back on it.

Does he look like a skinny baby? We actually have friends who volunteered to vouch for his eating habits.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why don't you ever sleep?

Hannabert was awake all night. Literally awake from 1am until 7am. Happily awake. Playfully awake but awake. Look at him? Does he look evil?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The First Born...

Hannabert is the first grandchild on both sides of the family.  I know that both my parents and Horn's parents mean well but I have to say the most stressful times as parents is when we are visiting either set.  I always feel like the parenting choices (no cereal! BLW! no CIO!) are being judged and our experiences are being chalked up "first time parents syndrome."  I really hate it when my MIL takes Hannabert, who really wants to nurse and nap (which is very much OK in our house) and whisks him away to comfort him.  I know what he wants.  He wants me and I am very much OK with that.  To my parents, I don't like CIO.  Science agrees with me.  We won't be doing that.  I don't care if "we turned out just fine."  I want Hannabert to turn out better than "fine."  Exceptional would be nice.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hannabert at 9 mths

Hannabert turned 9mths today.  We celebrated by taking him to eat at Hot Head Burritos.  He enjoyed playing with his rice, beans, and grabbing the rest of my burrito bowl with his fingers.

The last 9 months have really flown by so quickly.  Other than extreme sleep deficit (greater than the national deficit by far), life with him as been pretty great.  He is happy.  He likes to smile.  He likes to spend time with us (alas I know at some point as a teenager he will insist that we walk 100 paces behind him).  He likes to cuddle and snuggle us in the mornings.  He likes dogs.

He got his first tooth on 11/5/11 - a bottom one.  We try to brush it each morning.  He mostly likes to chew on the finger tooth brush.  

He is an avid crawler (went from sitting up to crawling on his own in a single 24 hr period) and can pull himself up using pretty much any semi-stable object (no necessarily a fixed object).

He loves the fish tank (so much that I told Horn last night he could buy a bigger one with a better base) and visiting the aquarium (both in Cincinnati and Gatlinburg).

Most of all, I know that he loves his dad and me.   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Food storage - small family

I follow a number of blogs including a set of blogs written by moms of families that are much larger than the average modern family.  They write on themes and this week it seems to be how large families store their staples.  Blogger Mom Kim C of  Life in a Shoe talks about her use of what appears to be five gallon size containers to store staples.  I like the color coordinated covers to distinguish the flour from the beans from the rice from the brown sugar.

Growing up, my mother had a group in our town that would purchase a few times a year from a local (by local I mean appx 75 miles away) food co-op.  I remember anticipating the catalog of food goodies.  A lot of "new" choices were successful (natural licorice)  and some unsuccessful (did you know that bird wouldn't even eat the whole wheat spaghetti of the 1980s?).Typical things she would order would be: a gross of toothbrushes (she gave them out at Halloween in addition to a candy item), cheese in great big blocks, chocolate chips, and pistachios.  As a note, 1 lb of bay leave is a very large quantity and I think, some 20+ years later, she still has some...

I always loved going with her to get the order, filling the back of our van and than watching her divide the food into smaller orders, using a baby scale, yardsticks, and bags.  I made me feel like our family was part of something larger.

Now my family is small, consisting only of my husband and my son so we won't be buying 50lbs of flour anytime soon as a 5 lb bag  lasts us through many many batches of beer bread but we do run into our own food storage issues.

As Hannabert (our son) has start the semi-solid food stage, I have been making his baby food (with some jars as back up which my husband primarily uses/packs).  I have found it easiest to make large amounts of food and freeze it in ice cube trays and then pop out the cubes and store them in quart size bags.  I prefer the quart size bags to the gallon sized bags because I felt that the gallon sized bags resulted in a lot of wasted space.

The ice cube tray method has worked great for most purees (excluding the apple plum which kind of turned into a sticky, semi-solid paste) but I am struggling with how to do more "finger foods" in this manner.  He, like most babies (good or bad, agree or disagree), eats puffs but I wanted more of a variety that just those (despite the many flavors that are on the market).  I usually make steamed sweet potato sticks or broccoli spears (I cheated and bought a bag of pre-steamed, frozen ones from Trader Joes) but I am unsure of storage.  Currently, I make them once a week and then keep them in the fridge.  Any thoughts on safe food storage for steamed vegetables?

Friday, November 04, 2011

How will I handle it?

Hannabert is spending the night at GMa and GPa B's house tonight..without us.  Horn seems ok with the idea and I am struggling to be ok with the idea.  I am not ok at all.  I worry that Hannabert will forget me or be angry at me when we pick him up tomorrow.  What if GMa and GPA make him CIO?  Hannabert doesn't CIO when he is at home.  What if he decides that a cup and a bottle are better than nursing?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hannabert is not a sleepy baby

Last night Horn, Hannabert, and I spent the night at Grandma/Grandpa B's house.  GmaB "volunteered" to watch Hannabert so Horn and I could attend a CLE (continuing legal education) during the day (8am to 4pm).

Unfortunately, despite the "trifecta" (Johnson &  Johnson Nighttime Lotion, baby on the chest, and gripe water), Hannabert was uninterested in sleeping.  There seems to be a magic window for Hannabert which is about 1:30am (give us a break, we work until 11pm and if you have a better idea of how to arrange it so that Horn and I have "normal" hours that would allow Hannabert to be in bed at a "normal" time, please, we are all ears).  Horn said that babytime was up until 3am.  Really unacceptable.

Any ideas on how to convince a baby to sleep?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Confession: Volunteering

I confuse, I like the thought of volunteering. I don't have much time and I work two jobs. When I volunteer, I secretly hope that I won't be take up on my offer. I do this by making us (Rob, Hannabert, and I) as a volunteer package (in hopes that they won't want Hannabert) seem unattractive as possible as volunteers. So far, it hasn't worked to our advantage.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Invincible Grandparents

Do you remember when you were little and you thought that your grandparents were invincible?

We just got back from a trip to see my grandmother (Hannabert's Great Grandmother) in the Great North.  She was quite taken with Hannabert (not that I am biased, but who isn't?) and couldn't wait to hold him.

Unfortunately, she had recently fallen down a flight of stairs and had a set of broken ribs and a broken collar bone (opposite sides of the body).  I guess I never thought about my grandmother aging even though I have obviously grown up and gotten married.  I still see her as the grandmother with the acre of house garden, flower gardens, and the ability to make the best salad from fresh from the garden lettuce (she watched over me while I made the salad this time).

What struck me so much about this visit is how much she is still the very same person I remember from growing up.  It made me feel like I didn't spend enough time with her when I was little and I want to make sure that Hannabert does spend nice long weeks with his grandparents so that they can teach him all the neat things that they know.

On our last day of our visit, Grandma was able to hold Hannabert.  It made me realize how lucky I am to have a grandmother who is able to hold my child.

Internet Wanderings

I am uploading pictures to both Shutterfly and Snapfish while Rob handles Hannabert (who, according to my parents and who I believe are being truthful, only slept grand total of 4 hours the entire time we were at work) who is extremely tired.

I figured this was great time to upload pictures from our recent trip to Northern Minnesota and catch-up on some of the blogs that I follow. Then I started playing with the "next blog" button on blogger.  There are a lot of blogs on diabetes including some rather scary blogs about being diabetic and delivering at home in a pool.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My parents are watching Hannabert today.  I have only called once.  I got worried that he fell asleep in the car and they forgot him outside.  I called under the guise of seeing if he had napped.  Yes, my parents successfully raised three children from infantdom to adulthood.  No permanent scars from them (Bekah did hit me with a shovel one winter and I bear the scar of it on my lip.) but I still had to call and make sure.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I cry over spilled milk

Yes, it is true.  I am a terrible pumper.  Just am.  I have tried nearly everything and the pump and I, while on friendly terms, will never be the Breast of Friends.  I woke early one morning to pump before work.  It was one of those magical pumps where I was able to express a whole 3oz!

While transferring the milk into a storage bag, I knocked over one of my storage bottles and spilled milk all over the  floor.  I cried.  Literally cried and yelled for my husband to help.  An extreme reactions?  Perhaps.  I can tell people though I cried over  Spilled Milk.

For some mothers, this might not have been a big, heck, a lot of nursing mothers leak everywhere and they are "spilling" milk into breast pads.  Not me.  Breast milk production did not come easy to me (probably the the hardest part of my most unusual delivery) and it remains the most frustrating part of being a new mother.  I just assumed that milk production would be the easier part of breastfeeding.

Hannabert was in NICU as a result of my gestational diabetes; his blood sugar was somewhere around 20 when they admitted him while I was in recovery after a c-section (in which I was knocked out).  He spent the next four days in NICU while I recovered in Mother/Baby.  I knew that it was important to immediately try to get him interested in breastfeeding but I didn't even get to see him for the first 9 hrs.  My husband took some video  of Hannabert in the operating room so that I could share in the moment.  My husband is wonderful.

I knew I was suppose to pump every two hours to help my milk come in but I wasn't really successful.  That was the beginning of my relationship with pumping.

We are now almost five months into our relationship and I have to say, it hasn't really gotten much easier. I pump approximately 4x a day at work and then need to pump before/after Hannabert eats to make enough for him at daycare.  It is stressful but I am committed to trying to provide only breastmilk until he is six months.   So, for now, I will continue to cry over spilled milk.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Breastfeeding pitfalls.

I have been exclusively breastfeeding/pumping Hannabert for the last 8 weeks or so.  He, as the lactation consultant noted, was "failing to meet potential" at the beginning.  We had to use a supplemental nursing system for his second week.  It was an absolute failure though as he quickly realized that he could use the system like a straw. 

After that, he and I went full force at nursing only and not using any formula.  Now, as he was in NICU and I had some issues with his delivery (I do not have anatomy that is conducive to an epidural) which resulted in having to have a c-section under general anesthesia, I always felt like the "Boob Fairy" (as the lactation consultants call when a new mother's milk comes in) missed me.

I have been stressing over whether or not Hannabert was getting enough food.  My wonderful husband kept reassuring me that if he was wetting diapers more than 6 times a day and gaining weight, he was probably good.

Now that I am back at work and having to pump and was only getting 2 to 3 oz total, I was getting really pretty stressed again.  It really just didn't seem like enough for him.  I had read a ton of breast feeding books but none of them really had very good ways at measuring how much milk was enough milk when pumping.  One, The Nursing Mother's Companion, suggested feeding, then pumping, then pumping exactly 2 hours later, and then multiplying that number by the number of feedings and then determining how much was being consumed in a day.  All other books suggested suing a baby scale, but I didn't really want to spend the money on one (although I was definitely tempted).  I am thrilled that I found the Kelly Mom website which has a ton of resources including a chart where you can calculate what you need to pump at each pumping session.

This chart has definitely eased some of my concerns although I am still stressed about making sure Hannabert is getting enough, especially with lack of support from family members about continuing to breastfeed.  I think that they think they are being supportive when they tell me that I should supplement or that it isn't a big deal to supplement, but I really want to Hannabert to have breast milk for as long as possible without supplementing.

I am currently trying a variety of supply boasters (it doesn't help that I have a co-worker who is able to pump 9oz during each of her sessions) such as Goat's Rue; Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and all other sorts of herbal solutions.  While they might only have a placebo effect, at least I know that I am doing everything that I can do to help maintain/increase supply.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hannabert, Hannah, and the Horn

Well, little Hannabert arrived on Feb 11, 2011 at 3:17pm after a most unusual delivery.  I was induced the night before and my waters broke naturally but apparently epidurals and I do not like each other at all.  Something, according to the anesthesiologist, about unusual anatomy.

Hannabert arrived via c-section and weighed 7lbs, 6oz and 20n inches.  I was under general anesthesia so I didn't get to meet him in person for about 9 hours.  Grandpa B, who made it down for the delivery, was the first one after Horn to hold the little guy.

Hannabert spent four days in Special Care Nursery because of low blood sugar and, as the lactation consultant said, "failure to meet expectations" when it came to eating on his own.  Apparently he liked the feeding tube and the IV of glucose too much to bother sucking and swallowing.  Just as soon as he got on the right track, my blood pressure spiked and Hannabert and I got to stay an extra day.  

As of his two month check-up, Hannabert is smack dab in the 10th percentile at 9lbs 2oz and 22 inches long.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011