Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Still Exist!

I swear, I do. And I'm woefully behind on blog writing / blog reading but, you guys? I am SO FREAKING HAPPY. Everything you've ever heard about parenting a new baby is 100% true: I'm exhausted, I'm usually covered in spitup and I only sometimes get to shower, It is spectacular, I'm floored by how much I love my baby, I'm totally happy to leave everything but Rhys on the backburner for the moment. He's the light of my life and I don't know how I ever got by without him. I know, this stuff sounds cliche . . . but it is so gut-wrenchingly true.

I'm giving myself a free pass for the moment . . . on blogging, on housework, on pretty much everything other than staying in bed and hanging out with my baby (which I did, gleefully, all this afternoon).

We have been having adventures, mind you, photos of which I'm posting on Flickr. I'm not taking a blog vacation or anything, I absolutely want to keep the ol' blog up and running! It is more that I'm stopping by to say I can't be trusted to keep up the running commentary at the moment and, if you'd like, catch up with us more on Flickr for the next few months.

Newest on Flickr are the photos we just took at our First! Family! Vacation! to Disneyland. Did you know Disneyland has a Baby Care Center on Main Street? During our three days there, I'd stop by the center to nurse and change Rhys. I could and did nurse him elsewhere throughout the park, but at the Baby Care Center I could nurse without covering up. On our first night there, as I nursed him, Rhys looked up and smiled at me . . . I smiled back. We were sitting there by ourselves, in a little curtained off corner of Disneyland, me half undressed, him in need of a new diaper, smiling at each other like goons. That, right there, was the happiest I've ever been at the happiest place on earth.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Weeks!!

I haven't posted in two whole weeks and there's a REALLY good reason for that . . . Baby Pie and I have been having ADVENTURES!

It started with a sling clinic at The Pump Station where I learned a few helpful Moby Wrap tips but also, and it turns out more significantly, I learned that the Ergo carrier Heart to Heart insert I have is actually comprised of two pieces: a quilt and a pillow. When I'd tried the Ergo with both insert pieces Rhys was right up under my chin, I felt like I couldn't see him and like he was going to get way too hot wrapped up in the quilt padding. I got home from the sling clinic and put Rhys in the Ergo using just the pillow part of the insert, without the quilt, and HOLY HECK, I am now Ergo's biggest fan. Rhys loves it in there, that thing is like baby crack. And I'm almost entirely hands free and totally comfortable.

Which means! We have been getting our outings on! Paul and I took Rhys to a night event at the Natural History Museum which was a total blast . . . like a date night but with a brief diaper change/breastfeeding pit stop. We went to a record store and out for dessert the next night.

Rhys is basically 100% portable now, even when I'm out on my own . . . and since he LOVES the carrier he's a perfect angel baby when we're out. I've figured out what I REALLY need so now I can use my regular purse as a pared down diaper bag instead of dragging around what essentially had become a suitcase. Here's the packing list I've worked so hard on refining: A wristlet containing 4-5 diapers, wipes in a baggie, 4-5 diaper trash bags, a changing pad, a spare onesie/pants/socks and hand sanitizer; an Aden+Anis blanket (as a blankie and a nursing cover), an emergency bottle and formula (although I'll probably stop carrying those soon), a camera, water bottle, snacks for me, wallet, keys and phone). I also keep a backup bag in the trunk of our car . . . about 10 diapers, a full pack of wipes, spare onesie and socks, bottled water, a baby bottle, formula and a few blankets (one fuzzy and warm, one flannel receiving blanket and one extra Aden+Anais blanket that lives in the backseat for when I have to pull over and nurse and for when the car is chilly).

See? I've been working it into a science.

Breastfeeding is finally going REALLY well. Rhys hasn't had any formula in two weeks! He's been satisfied after feedings and I've been able to pump enough so that Paul can give him a bottle here and there. Over the weekend I even managed to leave the house on my own to get a mani/pedi and go to the grocery store. Paul had pumped milk in the fridge and the boys got to hang out! Just a few seconds ago I put my first bag of milk in the freezer . . . start of the freezer stash FTW! Maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to keep up this exclusive breastmilk routine for a full six months. I'm off work for 4 so I know I can manage 4 . . . I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have a big enough freezer stash and that I'll get my supply up enough that we'll manage it for the first two months I'm back at work as well.

The only reason we're exclusively breastfeeding right now? Because I'm stubborn as hell. Those first 4 weeks were really brutal. Rhys ate and ate and ate and sometimes after feeding him for HOURS (I am not exaggerating . . . I have the baby log book to prove it!) he'd still be hungry and I'd have to feed him a bottle and feel like a failure. Those extra long marathon feeds though are what built up my supply. If I'd skipped them and gone straight with the inevitable bottle of formula we'd never have gotten to where we are now.

I do still carry formula in my purse/diaper bag . . . it is just for "emergencies", but as I build my confidence with breastfeeding and as Rhys goes more and more days being exclusively breastfed I'm starting to wonder what kind of emergency I'd really need that bottle for. An emergency in which I don't have access to my breasts? Not likely. Give it a week or two . . . I'll be evicting that bottle from my purse in no time :)