Sunday, January 6, 2013


How I love, LOVE the Flylady.
She is the initiator of a website ( that includes daily emails from her "followers" for lack of a better word, to encourage the lot of us to keep our households from becoming chaos.
A friend of mine, Katie, mentioned to me that once she became a stay at home mom, the Flylady helped her become organized in her household.
I decided to try it out and am a firm believer.
My 650sf apartment now has a baby bed, rocking mechanism, bouncer, vibrating chair, activity mat, and rock and play and because of my organizing and creativity in geometric placement I do not feel like I am going to go insane. All because of the flylady.
Basically, she teaches you how to keep things neat and orderly and clean(ish) ish being a very important part of the system. So that you look around your house (or small apartment in my case) and feel happy and restful and not like there are a million things to do and you don't have the energy to do any of them.
Some of the great things she's taught me,
"You can do anything for 15 minutes" If you are dreading a job or just getting overwhelmed as you look around, set the timer for 15 minutes and get to it. You can stop at 15 minutes, or what I have learned is that you are usually done in 15 minutes!
"Take a lick at a snake" which means wipe it up quickly and don't worry about it. It looks better than if you hadn't.
"A job imperfectly done still blesses the family" which means that when you keep something pretty neat on a daily basis it is much better than ignoring it until you can clean it perfectly. Plus you're not ignoring it when it is a mess, it is really bugging you!
"Do it for yourself and don't be a martyr" love your family by cleaning up the house, it is mostly for you anyway because you are happier when it looks neat and don't give out chores that you will be really frustrated about the family member not getting done just do those ones yourself. Stop whining.
It has revolutionized my feeling about the apartment and whether we can stick it out here for another year. Which would be the best financial thing for us right now. Houses near us that we'd like to buy are about 1.2 million dollars with about 15k in property taxes. So our little 1300 dollar apartment is quite ideal for our savings.
I also watch you tube videos about people in tiny (98sf) apartments in Manhattan to be more inspired about our so spacious apartment. :)

Emily Almost 4 months - SLEEP! or not.

Welp, Emily is getting much bigger. According to my unscientific measuring, with me the scale and then me with Emily and subtracting out my weight (which I hate to talk about), she is over 15 pounds! Huge really.
And still perfect and wonderful. But she doesn't like to sleep at all during the day. I have been vacillating between thinking, "well, everyone's baby is different and mine just seems to be cranky and not want to sleep during the day, lots of people ask Google why their newborn is not napping, so she's not the only one" and "oh my goodness baby must be on a schedule soon or her brain development is going to lag and it will be all my fault!". The product of too much reading perhaps.
Dr. Sears seems to think that short catnaps during the day are okay, but the Baby Whisperer and the author of Healthy sleep habits, Happy baby and the author of Superbaby all deem a schedule to be of utmost importance. But when should that schedule start!!??
So, at almost 4 months, they'd all agree that the schedule should already have started or be starting now.  So the plan is that once baby wakes up in the morning, she has only 2 or less hours of wakefulness at a time and then is put down for a nap.
Alas, how to put baby down for a nap??? We have been doing it all wrong. We bounce her in our arms on the yoga ball to get her to fall asleep. We had been so proud of our effective methods until I read the baby whisperer and then began to fault us for "not starting out as we wish to continue" and baby is getting darn heavy. My wrists and back begin to cram up when I bounce her too long. So I'm limiting my bouncing time to 5 minutes then 4 etc... to wean her off of it. And then into the bed for a nap. But alas again, she wakes up after 30 minutes of a nap and won't go back to sleep. So I have to bounce her again and put her on my lap in my arms and pat her butt and help her sleep the next hour. Or she sleeps in 30 minute bursts and is cranky for the entire day.
Other than thinking that we are messing up all over. Baby is lovely and I like her a lot.
I just also learned about the "dream feed", which means getting baby to the breast while she is sleeping so that she can sleep a big longer and feel full. It means that I can put her to bed around 9, then dream feed her at 11 and hope she sleeps until 5 or 6 (which she did last night), then I read that she should have already been weaned from the dream feed. Before I'd learned what it was. Argh.
She should have already been weaned from the swaddle too. Argh again. Swaddling her keeps her from smacking herself in the face with her hands and waking herself up. Still. So I can't stop that. But there is a little feeling of failure knowing that I should have stopped that months ago.
This failure feeling must follow you around throughout parenthood.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I was so worried about breastfeeding. Would my overly biopsied left boob do the job. Would it make milk? Would the milk ducts be blocked or would they work? Would it make enough milk for baby?
It did. I read a nice article while pregnant about a woman who had 5 children including a set of twins, who fed all of them on one breast. (She had a childhood accident involving a bad burn on the other side of her chest.) It was inspiring and left me hopeful.
So it started a bit crazy, my nipple seemed flat and almost inverted. The nurse showed me a nipple cover that would give baby something to grasp onto. I used it for her first 9 1/2 weeks and wanted very much to wean her off of it so that I could more easily breastfeed away from my little corner of the living room. I started to try to wean her as per the lactation consultant's advice, and try it slowly giving her the chance to latch first and then take it away once the milk was flowing. I tried that for a few days once a day and then amped it up to almost every time I fed her and then she refused to use it all. She only wanted the boob. She forced me to go cold turkey! Ack.
But it went very well and as long as I remember to put lanolin lotion onto the nipple after every feeding I am experiencing no adverse effects.
Or is it affects? How am I to know? I have studied the definitions and worked my brain silly and still have no idea if it is effects or affects. Alas.
A few days ago Fred and I introduced Ken and Diana to our favorite breakfast place, Barrone and our favorite classy Goodwill, Goodwill. :) I actually fed baby in the car! Wow, and it worked and we stayed out for longer than 2 hours. It was lovely.
Today, as it is Thanksgiving, we are once again venturing away from the home and I will be feeding baby out. I've never tried the boob cover, so will probably use a bedroom. It's nice that she is such a fast feeder. About 10 minutes is it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baby - 11 Weeks

As baby grows bigger we are figuring more out. She doesn't like a wet or poopy diaper for long. It must be changed. She doesn't like to be doing nothing and needs held or entertained, but then not for long and wants to be put down again to play by herself. She hates to nap and almost never does and then when she does it is only for 20-40 minutes and only when being held and rocked. Too bad if you have to go to the bathroom, she will wake up and not go back to sleep. She sleeps for about 2-3 of these small naps a day and that is about it.
But! She does sleep really well at night. From day one she has slept in 5 hour chunks. Usually from around midnight until 5 and then after a feeding, she will sleep again for another 3 hour chunk. So I have not had the sleep deprivation that so many people talk about, because I have gotten a 5 hour sleep every night since she came to us.
I love living where we live. I can put baby in her baby bjorn and walk her to the grocery store or the coffee shop or just a quick walk with people all around. Downtown Mountain View is a great place to be with a baby. I don't feel alone or cooped up because there are so many walkers on Castro street for lunch and so many stores to window shop.
Emily is very beautiful, everyone says. We say whenever we see other people's babies, how beautiful she is and what a good job we did.
I am so happy I found flylady before having baby. I keep things pretty well straightened here. I "take a lick at a snake" as the saying goes and whenever things aren't making me happy I fix them up. If I'm disturbed about the state of the stove, I wipe it down. If there are lots of crumbs on the carpet or the living room floor I vacuum or sweep. If the place begins to look sloppy I set the timer for 15 minutes and do a straightening. I keep the sink empty and clean during the day and most nights I do all of the dishes and shine it up before bed. I've been "flywashed" and clean for myself, not as a martyr but just because I know it will make me happier if things are the way I like them. I have also learned that it takes less time to just fix something up than it does to feel stressed and complain about it. It only takes me about 10 minutes to do the dishes.

Baby - 11 Weeks Old - So far

It's almost baby's first thanksgiving. We'll be visiting a coworker of Fred's and I have only to make stuffing! Easy peasy, I'll be making celery onion and apple stuffing in the slow cooker.
It has been an interesting 11 weeks with baby.
Fred was off the first 3 weeks of her life. We managed pretty well together but I was so worried for when he was to go back to work. Thankfully I only had a few days alone with him at work before Connie came. Whew! She helped with baby when she screamed during the night holding and bouncing her to ready her to eat as I pulled my boob out and placed the little plastic nipple cover on.
Then Bill came for a few days towards the end and they were sleeping in the living room. Connie on the couch and Bill on the folded over 2 inch memory foam cover that we had purchased for our bed. Even cramped, it was a nice arrangement and glad to have them over.
Then a few more days alone with baby and my mom came. Yay! She was able to manage through the plane ride, to her own consternation. She has claustrophobia and stress induced asthma and was worried that she would panic. But she held it together and made it here. Then stayed for 3 lovely weeks. It was nice, we got to walk together with baby and leave fred home with baby and go to breakfast etc... The she went home on the train, not wanting to face the airplane again. Not a pleasant 51 hour train ride so it seemed. Uncomfortable with people falling over you as they sleep and loud snorers. Overly expensive crappy food etc...
And then there were three again. But now it is Thanksgiving week and Fred has off Tuesday through Sunday.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Baby Emily Born! - Part II

After the Epidural was plugged into my back the pain mercifully waned significantly. Whew! It went from about a 9 with lots of moaning to a 5, then a 3 and I could talk through it again and I began to relax. But now I felt absolutely nothing in my bottom half. My legs were mostly numb and I could barely lift them. The nurse came in to rotate me every hour or so and I had a catheter put in. Definitely became the patient. But it was a blessed relief! I was supposed to try to get some sleep but I kept shaking all over, which is a common side effect about half the time. But I did sleep maybe an hour or so maybe twice. Another vaginal exam at 3:30 and I had become 4cm dilated and all the way effaced and then at 5:30 I was 9cm and mostly ready to go. But I guess they keep you waiting a bit to be more ready. The nurse shift changed and this amazing male nurse came it. (At my birthing classes for the hospital the midwife said that there is one male nurse in the labor and delivery section and that he is amazing.) So I was happy to see him. He gave me a great tutorial on how to push with lots of good examples, and actually laid on the floor and showed me how to hunch my body.

Then my doctor came in and we did a few practice pushes to see how things were going to go and the nurse gave me a few more tips. My doula was holding one leg up and the nurse the other. Alas, Fred had run to Peet's to get some coffee for the doula and some breakfast for himself and apparently stopped by the apartment as well! So we texted him to get back quick. He got back at 9:25 and the baby came out at 9:48. The pushing was actually not hard. Of course it didn't hurt at all and it was weird to have no reaction from the body. The nurse had turned the Epidural back to 50% a while before so that I could get some feeling back, but there was almost none. He asked me what my exercise regime had been during pregnancy and I was glad I ignored the advice of "Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" which said exercise meant nothing during pregnancy. I told him that I had been doing 1-2 water aerobics classes a week, once a week strength training through week 36, once a week prenatal yoga, and a great exercise video once a week. He was very impressed. He thinks that's why I was able to push baby out in less than an hour. Which ended up being very good since she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

So, Fred was there and baby came out pretty quick and the pushing didn't hurt and the stitching up the tear didn't hurt (until a little later, whew!) and baby was out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Baby Emily Born!!! -- Part 1

As I sit here at 1:42am and have a pump attached to my left breast and overhear baby waking up, I wonder how long it will take me to finish writing this post!!!
Wow, I've had to rethink everything that is important and reduce my current life down to two goals. Feed baby and Get rest. That has to be it, because that's really all there is time for. So far...

The pregnancy was pretty easy, I didn't throw up at all and my nausea feelings were only for about 5 weeks and merely uncomfortable, not debilitating. I never had to run out of a grocery store or a restaurant from the smells. A few foods began to seem gross to me so I just stopped eating them for a few weeks and then they were fine again.
My stomach got big and stretch marky but not too big and not too stretch marky.
I gained an appropriate amount of weight and am optimistic that with work I can get mostly back to the way I looked before. Hopefully.
And now time was passing and baby was supposed to come into the world, On August 30th.
But she didn't, she hung around and now it was September and the doctor has decided to schedule an induction. This makes me nervous

Break: It is now 2:44am and we have tried unsuccessfully for an hour to get baby to latch onto the breast. Lots of frustrated baby screaming and sad-faced mommy and daddy later. She won't. Alas. After a little collostrum from a previous pumping fed to baby with a spoon and some formula to augment my sad one boob, Fred and baby are back off to bed and I am continuing pumping. The lactation consultant said I must pump every time baby eats so my breast can keep up with what demand would be if we weren't augmenting.

My birth plan was to try to avoid an epidural and work with the body through the birthing process. I read that once you begin the epidural you become a patient instead of a participant in the birth and I wanted to be more attuned to my body, etc... We hired a doula and she was going to help me with relaxation techniques and the process. I knew that getting induced made the epidural much more likely because the contractions would come much closer together and be more intense more quickly than in natural birth. I wasn't sure if I could take the pain.

Turns out I definitely could not take it!!!

The hospital called with a free room on Sunday morning. It was nice to get a full night's sleep before what I knew would be a really long 24-28 hours and then next three months!!! We stopped at the Country Gourmet for breakfast and got to the hospital at 9am. The doctor started the induction medicine that gets repeated every 4 hours until it works. By 8pm it was working. I called in the doula and she got there and helped me walk through and breathe through the contractions as they got stronger and closer together. Fred tried to get some sleep at 11pm on the little fold out chair-bed in the corner. I tried sitting in the shower on the birthing ball and using the hand held shower to relax my back as the contractions came. It was warm and comforting. But by 1:30am, the contractions were 1 and a half minutes long and coming almost every 30 seconds. There were no breaks in between. The nurse did a vaginal exam and there had been no change in my progress!! After almost 4 hours of contractions, my dilation was still only 1cm and I was only 50% effaced. The same as I had been at the doctor's office a week and a half before!!! Since you dilate about a centimeter an hour on average, and I had no idea if my body would go any faster than that I realized that there was no way that I could keep it up without pain medicine.

So, we called in the anesthesiologist. Luckily he was available right then and could come in and hook me up.

Going to save my poor boob for a later pumping time and continue my story later!!!