Steve's Question

Steve asked this question during our daily email entitled "baby drop off successful" :

"You have now been at work for about 2 months. After spending her first 5 months with her 24/7, are you glad that you went back to work? Or do you wish that you had just become a full time mom?"

Instead of answering him I wrote back saying that this might be an interesting blog post. The statement you see above this was all that I have had since oh about 9AM and it is now after 3PM. I cannot say if I have been just that busy today or just ignoring this browser window sitting idle down there next to the Start button.

Am I glad that I went back to work? Or do I wish I had stayed a full-time mom? GAWD.

I truly am glad that I went back to work, but there are days that I miss her so intensely that I spend a great deal of my day flipping through the picasa links. There are days when I go to hand her off to Michelle or Sarah and inside my head there is a voice that says "Go, Run, NOW!," but there are other days that I drive to work so filled with purpose, that I cannot wait to get there to share my latest and greatest program idea.

I have a great gig going here and I know how incredibly lucky I am to have this flexible position. My boss understands that Caroline and Steve come first and that anything work related will be secondary at best. I like what I am doing, but it isn't the most challenging work I have ever done. I provide limited assistance to the people that I work with and spend some afternoons being constantly dragged onto the dance floor by older gents looking for a partner. I enjoy coming up with new program ideas, but most times feel that someone else is constantly pushing their agenda and thus my ideas to the side, but I suppose that isn't really anything new. This morning I wanted to talk about National Caregiver Month - November in case you wanted to mark your calendars - and the powers that be just went on and on about emergency preparedness, all the while reminding me that she was leaving in 20 minutes.

Let's not forget the dinero either. The money I am making here is not breaking the bank, but it is definitely helping and making a difference and for that I am very happy. It was incredibly stressful with the house closing, the Home Depot runs, etc and I am glad that the extreme penny pinching and how much was that coffee accusations are long behind us. That being said, we did learn to live entirely off of one income and thus my money has been mostly for the fun things just as we had intended, which makes me feel perty darn fancy.

I enjoy that I am able to come to a place that does not involve changing diapers, calming a gassy baby, or singing the Hokey Pokey. At the same exact moment though, I frown and pout at my desk when I look at the clock and realize it is naptime and someone else is patting her tush and getting her sleep and they definitely are not singing her those silly songs that I brazenly share here for what reason? I practically skip out of here when it is my turn to get her because I cannot wait to see her little face and eat her belly to hear that squeal giggle thing she does. When it comes time to take out that pump only to have phone ring or hear another client knocking on my door for a walk-in appointment, well those times are not pretty at all. I try to spend that awful pumping time catching up on the beanie board, reading sundry here, or here, and even lately here, and looking longingly at photos of the little Miss.


I get sad when I think that someone else might be seeing her firsts, that maybe those first steps won't really be her first steps afterall. I get to miss her though. I am in no way saying that stay at home moms don't appreciate the time that they have with their kids, of course they do. I am just saying that for me, I love missing her and knowing that I get to see her at the end of the day. Those first few minutes she is home and I cover her in kisses are the absolute best and my heart overflows and all is right in the world. Those days are like meeting her all over again.


So to answer your question Steve, yes, I am glad that I am a part-time working mom. I am both proud and elated that I was able to spend such wonderful quality time with Caroline before transitioning back into the working world and no, I do not regret my decision or question it. (OK, I do, but only when she is sick ONCE AGAIN and any parent would ok!?) It hasn't been easy, but what part of parenting is? If anything it has helped me to be a little more easy going, to let things slide a bit more because I have taken this big step in letting her go. I know that band-aid would have been much more painful to rip off if I had stayed at home and while I would NEVER question another mother's decision, this was the right thing for us, for now. I don't know how I would feel if there was another McBaby, but that is a question for us to answer down the road. For now, I have a nice balance and who doesn't like feeling all nice and balanced?

the going rate for a cup of lemonade

I turned left onto our street this afternoon and saw what I often refer to as the "bike gang" riding in circles across from our house. I had Howard on and couldn't really hear what they were yelling at me, but it seemed quite important as they were throwing their arms up in the air and blocking my path. I cannot read lips, seriously I can't. When people mouth something to me they may has well announced to the world that they are sharing a secret or perhaps bashing someone/thing. What could I do but turn the radio off and slam on my brakes, adrenaline pumping through my body. What was so important? They were saying "Lemonade" at the top of their lungs. Seriously? Lemonade.

I brought my stuff inside, retrieved the baby, and thought, you know what - Sick Steve could probably use some of that lemonade. I grabbed a single out of my wallet, I let Caro carry it (which she loves, she eyes it, grabs it with her LEFT hand and then shifts her body so she can get her right hand on it too), and we walked over to check out the merch.

As I approached the "stand" (a card table covered in various items including a county time lemonade container, a pitcher of lemonade, and an "ice bucket" - really a huge mug that read "Chug It,") there were I kid you not, a dozen kids of various sizes, shapes, and ages milling about. I heard one of them say "that lady is coming." Ok, since when did I become old enough for pre-teens to call "that lady?" Isn't that term referred to the mean ladies in the neighborhood who watch you from their window through barely parted curtains, waiting for you to step on their lawn so they can turn the sprinkler on you???

I had Caroline hand them the single after they announced that the going rate for a cup of lemonade was a quarter. Feeling generous, despite the fact that they stopped my passage to my house and made me so nervous that I thought one of their friends was in fact choking to death on the lemonade stirring spoon, I told them to keep the change.

As we walked away a little boy told the rest of the group that earlier another LADY had given them SEVEN dollars for a glass of lemonade. SEVEN BUCKS? I mean really? and I thought I was being generous? Guess not. I guess the going rate of lemonade actually has nothing to do with how much the stated amount is?

Hope the little bike gang enjoyed their last two days of summer. I have to be nice, though because I am hopeful that I can pay them less than the going rate to shovel me out come winter.

In school related news, I had an icky moment when I dropped Caro off at school on Tuesday. I am still kind of wrestling with it. To set the scene, as you walk into school you walk by the office at your immediate right and then you hit a long "hallway" with open "classrooms" along the right, storage and kiddy sized restrooms on the left. We are in the 5th room, so we walk by several other classes before we get to Caroline's. Typically I am greeted with smiles and good mornings by all the staff members, but I also get to peek into their rooms and see not only what the kids are doing, but how they are doing re crying, being held, etc while their mommies and daddies are not watching. GENERALLY, I would have to say that staff are being appropriately responsive. On this particular day though one of the teachers was filling out an attendance form at the wall while one of the kids was crying. She said, "If you stop crying you can go home" and LAUGHED this evil little snickerish laugh. Then she looked up and saw me and just did this oh $hit expression. I shook my head a little, but I was stunned and really sad for that little girl. I placed Caroline without incident in the open and warm arms of her teacher, but I am still thinking about that other EVIL teacher and I still wonder if I should have said something to her, to the director, to anyone. Like I said, this seems like an isolated incident, but WHY oh WHY do I only have the guts to voice my concerns here and not in the moment, if I even should have? So if I see something like this happening again, how is a girl to respond?

Avocado = Evil (as least to Caro)

Caroline was sucking my hand yesterday while I checked my email and finished an assignment for work. Even now, almost a whole 24 hours later, my hand is still red where she was chewing and teething.


I did up some bananas, which she really enjoys, and put some off to the side in small strips to freeze for future use in her self feeder. We used some of them yesterday and she LOVED it. I loved it too until she starting frantically shaking the feeder, sending a spray of banana juice everywhere. Lovely. It seemed to do the trick though with the teething and she was quite content.



Caroline adamantly refused her second meal yesterday, which happened to be avocado. Steve and I just looked at each other, perplexed. She used to LOVE avocado. L-O-V-E. So much so that I just made another batch of little frozen avocado cubes. Simply the presentation of the avocado on the baby spoon was enough to send her into hysterics. Surely she is too young for food aversions? That was her last meal before she developed her awful fever and she had not had it since. She seemed disinterested in it early last week when she was still getting over her virus and wanting to get her to eat at whatever cost we switched the evil avocado out for peaches or something a bit less threatening. Yesterday though was not disinterest. It was not "no thank you mother, I would actually prefer something a bit sweet tonight if it isn't too much trouble." It was "get that avocado slop away from my face this instant or I swear the vein in my forehead WILL actually pop, just try me, I DARE YOU." It was not pretty. So we switched it out with peaches again.

I guess we should not be all that concerned. I mean she never complains about the food we give her. Typically she opens her little mouth up as soon as the spoon makes its initial approach. Babies aren't supposed to like everything right? That is why the cereal boxes have little paragraphs with headings like "try try again," right? So I am not going to be all that concerned, though I am sad that she does not like the avocado anymore, mainly because I love them. It does make us a bit leary about introducing other non-sweet things. We have been following the Super Baby Food diet and according to the timeline for food introduction we will be able to offer a whole new range of foods within the next week; asparagus (that ought to go over well), green beans, carrots, celery, peas, and summer squash. Some of those are kind of sweet, so they might stand a chance. Maybe someday she will forget the disdain she has for avocados and give them another try.

Whenever I put Caroline down for a rest I employ a vigorous walking, singing, bouncing dance that as she gets bigger is becoming a bit more challenging. Lucky for me my arm strength has improved and the little Miss is also falling asleep faster and without a fight... most times. I sing special songs to her and gently pat her tiny tush. Yesterday there were "I'm so tired Mommy" screams I swear I have never heard before. They reached new heights, both in strength and pitch, but I sang her special Caroline song to her, which always calms her down, this time improvising a bit about her day so far:

Caroline, Caroline, Caroline I love you
And I love you, I love you, I love you
Caroline I love you

Woke us up around midnight
Hey what the, turn out the light

But we love you, we love you, we love you
Caroline we love you

Woke up again around 4:30,
You must have been mighty thirsty

But we love you, we love you, we love you
Caroline we love you

Opened your eyes around quarter to eight
Such a smile upon your face

oh how we love you, we love you, we love you
Caroline we love you

I love singing her this silly made up song. I love watching her eyes slowly close. I love the way she holds onto my fingers with her hands, only releasing her grip when she is completely conked out. I love the little breathing thing she does right before she gives into the overwhelming sleepiness. I love to gaze at her in this peaceful state; her perfect little pout, those chubby chipmunk cheeks, those long lashes. The hardest part of putting her down has nothing to do with waking her up, but instead with letting her go. We place her softly on her left side, shhhing, and patting a few more moments. For naps she gets all cozy in a soft fleece blanket, which provides just enough weight to keep her asleep for a more solid nap. Then we tiptoe away, but we wish we could just stay there by her side and watch her breathing and dreaming those sweet little baby dreams.

We have had a strange couple nights. On Friday she was up at 11:30 and then on and off all night. Saturday she slept right on through. Monday was Friday all over again, up several times during the night. Growing? Teething? Probably both. This morning I opened my eyes at 6 am to not whimpering, but banging. Caroline was just lying in bed wide awake amusing herself by pounding her legs repeatedly into her mattress. Over. and Over. and Over. For about 15 mintues. I listened, watched, and smiled both because she is so dang cute and also becasue she slept through so well.

Her poor father eventually got up to get her. The misery continues for Steve while he tries to fight through the insipid virus that overtook our house last weekend. Just when he thinks he might be all done, it rears its ugly head again. Hopefully this is the tail end of it and he will be feeling much better soon. We are crossing our fingers that it is gone before this weekend and the BC Home Opener on Saturday!

Jipped? or Lucky?

Way out West in Sundry land, Linda was recently talking about how she felt about not having that "it's time" moment before her son's arrival. Though her situation was completely different than mine, and I thank GOD for that all the time because after reading her blog entry about the birth I nearly lost it when I arrived at the hospital with high blood pressure and heard the word magnesium. I instantly looked at Steve and told him in what was surely a profanity ridden statment that there was no way I was ok with magnesium and no discussion of how much better I would feel would convince me. I didn't care what they promised, there NO WAY was I ok with this magnesium idea. Steve of course asked me where I had even heard of magnesium and you can just imagine his reaction when I informed him I learned all about the horrors of Magnesium from that woman's blog I had read "cover to cover." There was some eye rolling on his part, but we never did have to deal with the magnesium. Thank GOD! Anyway, I digress. For whatever reason I was able to avoid the magnesium, though I don't know how because my bp was high until they sent me home and must have stayed elevated for days thereafter because I realize looking back on the whole thing how completely out of it I was for the first week or so.

I also feel slightly jipped that I never had that "honey, it's time" moment with Steve where we called the doctor and timed contractions and practiced all the relaxation things we had learned in our class. I had always imagined it would be so much different than us going in to get on the fetal monitor and being induced. I had horrible visions of my water breaking while driving home from work or worse yet at my desk. None of this ever happened and while I am quite thankful in many ways that it didn't, I still feel kind of jipped. Since I didn't need a C-section, and therefore am not faced with the popular VBAC dilemma, perhaps down the road there will be an opportunity for that moment, who knows? Just typing that sends shivers up my spine and brings back all the things I had been so worried about with Caroline's birth, which began at home with us trying to determine when to call the dr, when to drive to the hospital, what to do when we got there, and the many prayers of please god have mercy on us and allow this birth to not coincide with rush hour traffic on 95N. Maybe we had it pretty good after all?

In other news, Caroline is feeling much better and her rash is almost 100% gone. I wish I could say the same for Steve, who frantically showed me his inner arms yesterday afternoon covered in a very familiar looking red spotting. He had the fever and now he has the spots, so at least we know he is on the mend. Poor Steve can't seem to catch a break with all her little illnesses.

Rob Pirelli, never forgotten...

Rob's Service was this afternoon in Franklin, MA.

Boston Globe Coverage

NECN Video Coverage


Steve and I were fortunate to be able to attend the service with Anne and Liz. Special thanks of course to Sean and Courtney for making that possible by watching Miss Caroline poolside for the afternoon.

The streets were lined with banners, children wearing red, white, and blue waved flags, the fire engines ladders were crossed to showcase a large flag hung between the two, and there was a stillness and respectful quiet in the hot hazy air. A woman sat at the corner handing out water from coolers brought in for the crowds and mourners. A camera rolled from the steps of the church, attempting to capture the sadness, but how could it?

I was fine, really I was. Steve and I found seats toward the rear of the church just in case Liz had brought her son. Anne arrived and we sat reflecting for a few minutes before I went out to see if Liz had made it yet. Out on the steps I saw my freshman year roommate, Laura, whom Rob had cared for so much. Seeing her was difficult, but it was when I saw Liz crossing the blocked off empty street that I lost my composure. All those nights with her and Rob, Rob standing by us during some very challenging times that first fall away, just came flooding through me at once and we walked hand in hand into the church as if the years had faded away and all the time since we had all been together just vanished. Rob had figuratively and literally reconnected so many people and you could see just by looking around that this was the case not just with Liz, Anne, Frank, Johnny, Laura, but with so many other people as well. We had all made time for the boy who ALWAYS made time for us.

Rob was remembered perfectly by the celebrant; an honest man, a humble man, whose eyes sparkled. Just as he had always made time to chat with us about this or that, he had made time after mass to talk hockey with the priest...of course he had. Rob was always there. Throughout freshman year over the many hills and valleys, and then through other years at Wallaston's, chance encounters on campus, at the Marino Center (generally in the evenings in the smelly weight room), at the rink, and then finally senior year when we shared our frozen leaky apartment. Rob was there for the slow tortured demise of a relationship and the exciting beginnings of a new romance that continues to this day. He offered comfort, he shared smiles, but he was always, always there.

He was particular. You didn't mess with Rob's stuff. You dared not mess up his perfectly made bed, though Anne and I did just that one night with the cat after coming home late. Even when he must have been seething that we were messing up the sheets, he looked on and laughed, and even took our photo. You did not DARE put a rented movie into his DVD player and for the love of GOD turn the television off through the TV remote, NOT via the cable. We talked about silly things and serious things and had a roommate gift exchange during Christmas. The Tigger mug that was gifted to be by my secret Santa Rob still resides in my cabinet, where it is the mug of choice for cocoa and tea.

The sadness is still overwhelming for everyone who knew Rob. There were tears and anger all mixed into a big pot of despair and injustice. Grown men wiped tears from their cheeks. Audible sniffles were abound. This could not possibly be reality?

But it was, it is.

So I, the world's worst keeper-in-toucher that ever was, have resolved as a way to combat the guilt and sadness I have been feeling for being so out of touch, have resolved to not lose the connections that I made again this past weekend. I owe Rob that much. He brought us together, way back when and now, and as a way to honor him and what he was in my life, it would only be right to keep it that way.

We miss you Robby. Your smile does sparkle still, if only in photos and in my mind, and it will go on and on.

Comments

I have been searching for a solution to the commenting issues that people continue to have with this site. I am now using an alternative commenting tool and I hope that this alleviates the difficulties people have had in the past. So try it out and let me know if this is any better.

Happy commenting...

Brady, witching hour, and the not so comfy bed

Please indulge my tangential thinking this morning...

UNO

I must share my celeb fantasy league launch to fourth place from way way down the list secondary to the birth of the Brady Boy! Thank you Bridget and Gisele for the points, please let's keep them coming. 'nough said. I also at the urging of Steve picked up Timbaland yesterday. He assures me this was a good move, though I did have to part with one of the mini K-Feds for him.

DOS

Caroline is feeling much better. Her rash is still there, but not quite as red and pronounced. Poor girl. She was up this morning at more of her usual time, 4:30AM, for her first meal of the day. I gathered her into me to snuggle down to sleep, but sleep was elusive. She wanted to play, and by play I mean pull my hair and poke me in the eyeball repeatedly. Nice. After days without that special time between dark and dawn, I have to admit I was a bit giddy to get back to sleep with her next to me, but this was not in her plan for the wee hours. oh no. This morning that special hour was more like the never ending shhing, shimmying, patting, and pleading for sleep hour. She eventually fell back asleep, but only when I took dizzying deep breaths, pressed her head into my shoulder, and patted her tush with vigor. Fast forward to 7:15 when the entire fam was still fast asleep 30 minutes AFTER the first alarm went off, with the Today show already on to "assist" with wake-up. Clearly we were not in the mood. Caroline was so out cold that when I moved to sit up she didn't even stir. She and Steve miraculously got out to school on time, though I was a bit late myself this morning. Motherly sacrifices.

TRES

Can we PLEASE discuss our bed?? I love our bed. It is often the singular thing that I look forward to during the many car rides home. Our bed with all its pillow-top goodness is the comfiest and most sleep-inducing place on the planet. Now that we have the house, I have found it even more difficult to push sleep off, what with walls in Weekend Getaway and a luxe bedroom set that makes us feel like REAL honest to goodness grown-ups. My issue is that when we moved into our freshly painted house there was no way no how that the box spring was making it up the stairs. I could not even watch the movers make the one and only attempt for fear of paint scraping and wall wrecking. We ended up sawing it and folding it in half. Since then the most glorious bed has been much less than glorious. It sags in the middle, coincidentally where your hips lay, both vertically and horizontally. So not only does your body sink deeper at the hips, but you constantly feel like you are being sucked into the black hole that is the dead center and least supportive part of the bed. MAN! Somehow this does not bother Steve, though based on my grumblings this morning he is researching a split box spring. I suppose the reason it bothers me so much is because I love our bedroom refuge. I want to love it, but I just can't. I mourn the loss of our comfy cozy can't keep your eyes open bed. A new box spring needs to be prioritized on the to do/buy for house list. We have a new bed coming for the spare room tomorrow and I suppose I am wishing we had included a split boxspring in the delivery. DARN.

Videopalooza

We have been slacking on posting videos lately, so without further ado here is July to Present...

Caroline Reads Green Eggs and Ham


Third of July - infatuated with the fire



First Solids - back in July - Sweet Potatoes - she loved them



Trying the self-feeder with ice



Caroline discovers the rug while playing with Tigger, check out the tush action, we are in very VERY big trouble



Sitting up and Stacking - this is a pretty long one - she was still learning how to use the stacker, but she gets it - just takes some time =) But LOOK AT HER SIT!



In her new bouncer, watching the kitty - she spent more time spinning on one foot and lifting her feet off the floor than bouncing her first time in the bouncer



Splashing

on the mend...

Caroline is at school today, though I did drop off today just in case one of us needs to go and get her. Sarah reminded me that I can call to check in on her, but I am trying very hard not to because if I hear she is having a tough day, I know will want to just run and get her.

She has been fever free for almost 48 hours now! One would think that by now she would be desensitized to armpit temp checks, but oh no, heaven forbid you attempt to hold her arm against her body for even the measly 30 necessary seconds. I seriously was checking her constantly throughout the weekend, but each time we raise her little arm to slide the thermometer against her skin we are met with screams and one angry little still covered in red spots little girl.

disclaimer: While I am in total acceptance of school's policies regarding illness (I don't want other parents dumping their sick kids at school either) and I understand that whether or not she is there we must pay the fee for any scheduled day (holidays, vacation, sick days included) this policy now annoys me for the following reason.

Caroline catches a virus presumably at school (where else would she pick this up right?), is sick all weekend, has to be "fever free for 24 hours" before she can go to school, needs to take her first sick day, and we still pay the full amount for the week... The entire reason she missed school, thus creating utter chaos in our house, is because she got sick at your school and I have to pay you for the privilege?

??????

There will be many more viruses, colds, ailments. I know this and accept it. I know that her immune system is going to rock the house when she hits kindergarten. I know that this is how things are and it is easier if we just accept that, but really, I have to pay for the immunity??? If that is the case, can I please just pay you now in advance and not have to watch her suffer through this? It is just too sad to watch.

I have photos of her splotchy red little smiling face from last night. Splotchy or not, we were just happy to see a smile.

In other happier news - Nectarines are yummy - avocados are not a big hit as of late - coming soon - BANANAS- which are currently becoming nice and ripe and mushy. We tried some avocado on her high chair tray as a finger food over the weekend (when she seemed to be feeling better), but she was not all that interested. I hope to try oatmeal again too, but I am scared after what happened last time.

We are rearranging our weekend to get up to MA for Rob's services. My entire senior year apartment has been in touch via email and phone and we are all planning on attending. It has taken on kind of "Big Chill" feeling. I have only been in touch with each of them in spotty ways since graduation. Courtney and Sean graciously accepted our desperate request to enterain the little miss while we are at the funeral mass. This is even more gracious given that it is their anniversary weekend... we definitely owe them one...

No call from school yet and it is after 2pm... here's hoping...


Caroline in the Office

Caroline spiked a fever again yesterday afternoon, whilst asleep and while I was up to my elbows in steamed peaches and pears ready for the blender. I called the pediatrician and they wanted to see her because it went back up to 101 and the tell tale rash that signals the end of the virus was present, but the fever was back - interesting... Conclusions are that Caroline is at the tail end of Fifth's Disease, one of the echo viruses that children get once and don't often get again. I am sure she picked it up at school. She is here with me at work today and I have actually been ticking things off my list somehow despite her presence. Caroline is the HIT of the Senior Center! She looks sick still, with the sad little rash, a nice gash in her face from a nail that must be like a talon though I cannot seem to locate it, and a puffy little face... poor poor Caroline. Fever free so far today - let's hope she doesn't spike again so that I can bring her to School on Wednesday...

She LOVES the keyboard... Here is a message from her

wvfdddnirdre49i9eeejhvm vmvminodcv4vcnv4vsccdx9

I realized a bit too late that it is not cute at all that she likes the keyboard. I have had to log on again at least 3 times since she got to my lap. Brilliant Mom!! whoops... so much for lap typing...

And I am so psyched about my new Celeb Fantasy Pool... though I am not doing too well today, I drafted Bridget and Gisele and I am certain that Brady baby will be arriving any day now... I also got Joel Madden and one of Brit's kids... FINALLY a use for my US Weekly knowledge and the Access and Extra that I am forced against my will to watch each evening =)

Rough Waters...

Caroline woke up on Saturday morning after a rather LONG night's sleep (slept in until after 7:30) and felt a bit warm. A quick temp check revealed that she was spiking a temp. We jumped into crisis mode administering Baby Tylenol and tepid bath stat. It was so so sad. She was whimpering and would scream if moved and our poor baby girl was not feeling well at all. Caroline maintained her appetite though and was willing to drink some water, which was a relief to everyone. We were actually able to get out for a little bit, which we were thankful for because it was such an amazing mild day. She seemed to do better while we were out, but her temp kept going up and down from 99 to 101, back to 100, up to 102. We got through it, she slept through the night, but after her morning wake up at 6 she slept in again until after NINE o'clock. Her fever broke early this afternoon when we checked the Baby Tylenol dose and realized we were not giving her enough. To Steve's credit he suggested this earlier, whoops. We had our little girl back by the Little League World Series and she took a nice little nap with us. Poor little Caroline is on the mend. It is tough that it happened on the weekend, but we were so thankful that we weren't trying to figure it out during the week and that we could help each other get through it. No sign of a tooth yet.

Robert Pirelli

That story on Boston.com, just under the headlines there, that one about the Franklin soldier...

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/breaking_news/2007/08/franklin_soldie.html

That story is about my roommate, Robert Pirelli, whom I shared my senior year with, along with three other Huskies from 2000-2001. We met our freshman year when he befriended my roommate Laura. He became a common presence in our room and we in his, he lived just above us on the second floor on the other wing of Stetson West. Liz and I would frequently seek out our "Robby" in the evenings because he had somehow managed to have a double room all to himself, which meant lots and lots of space. We typically caught him en route from shower to room, but he never cared, he always stopped to talk to us, even if he was only in a towel, he was just that confident. We'd invite him out and he would say no, but remind us to be safe. People say that boys and girls of that age cannot be just friends, but I assure you that Rob did not buy that and neither did we. Rob and I haven't really been in touch since graduation, but I have been thinking about him more and more with this endless War in Iraq. He has been enlisted since 2003 and in Iraq since March. College educated and ambitious, Rob could have done many other things with his life, but no one was surprised to learn that he had enlisted and nor were they surprised to hear that he was a Green Beret. Rob played hockey. He was a goalie and even when his parents tried to get him to play another position, he just strapped couch cushions to his legs and off he went, undeterred. Rob was the kind of male friend every father hopes his daughter makes in college. If a boy dared to wrong one of his friends, he was right there, ever the protector. I always felt confident and safe with Rob at my side and even when we lived in off-campus non-university housing, if Rob was home, I never worried. It wasn't all puppies and lemondade, we were roommates afterall, but Rob was the kind of person that you couldn't, just couldn't stay mad at. Ask Steve about the first time he came to pick me up at that apartment and I made him wait 10 excuriating minutes upstairs with my male roomies. He and John were quite imposing, until later when he got to see the real them, especially Johhny walking around drinking caucasians, though you would never catch Rob drinking. He never did. He would go out with us, laugh at us being fools, and walk us safely home. He had greater aspirations in life and he wouldn't want any misbehavior to get back to the powers that be. And he was funny. He knew how gullible I was and used it to his advantage many many times. He drank more milk than any person I have ever known. Rob had an infectious smile and a hearty laugh. He worked out in the gym religiously every single day. He was the perfect picture of health. He was a good soul, with a tragic ending and the world seems less bright without him in it.

Thinking and remembering Robby today... Sending thoughts to this brave soldier's family and to Anne, Johnny, Frank, Liz, Kevin, Bruce, Laura, and all the people everywhere who were so fortunate to have their life intersect with his for even a passing moment.

Please end this war....

Moments like these

In case you wondering - Beeritas = AWESOME!

Miss Caroline had her "best day ever" at school yesterday. When I walked in the door and located her in the recently consolidated classroom (after x time they put all the kids into one or two rooms instead of having one left in this room and two in that one, makes sense!) she was sitting in the arms of previously identified stressed out caregiver who shoots daggers out of her eyes. I took a breath and was greeted with a broad sincere smile from said dagger shooter, "Sarah said she had a GREAT day today!" I smiled with both relief and joy and as Caroline's eyes met mine, they perked up so full of life and recognition that it took my breath away. I shouldn't act as if there is a verbal complaint about her every afternoon, because there isn't, but we have never been greeted this way before. I grabbed her bag and off we went, my smiling happy girl and I, down the hall and out the door. Caroline had my keys, her new favorite thing to hold in situations such as this, when Mom has pants on that don't have pockets, OH the humanity. I watched her as we walked through the corridor and headed toward the front door and breathed in all her baby goodness. The sunlight caused her to look up towards the sky and she caught my eyes once more, dropping my keys, squealing, and reaching her hands out to grab my face in her hands. I didn't even care about the keys, they could wait, this moment was way too important. We stood there on the sidewalk staring at one another, me kissing her face all over, her burying her head into my face, my neck, my shoulder. Sucking on shoulder commenced, keys were retrieved, and we were off to the car. I always hold her out in front of me and growl against her belly before putting her into her seat, just to catch a glimpse of that gummy little soon to be tooth-filled grin. All strapped in and ready to go, I handed her the "car bear" and I watched her look at it with such recognition and wonder, before she immediately put its ear into her mouth. This good mood lasted all through the car ride home, all through dinner, through her avocado and rice cereal meal, all through bathtime, and time with the neighbors. It lasted right on through bedtime, through first wake-up call, through morning routine... Beyond her good mood, these days give us the opportunity to take a breath and really take all the Caroline in, to enjoy the wonderful little girl she is becoming, full of life, curiosity, and sweetness. The simple task of picking her up from school can be so breathtakingly beautiful...

Christening... repeat after me... christening

Just noting my gross mispelling of christening in a previous post as "christianing"

Mom and Kerry - step away from the red pen. I promise that now that I have hereby corrected said error that your editing lightbulb may henceforth turn off (for the time being anyway) and hopefully that sad eye twitch that you undoubtedly developed as a result of my horrible spelling will go away soon.

Wherever did I get that spelling from? It doesn't even make sense...

That being said I just ordered some snazzy invites for her big dip in the baptismal bucket. Can I belie this sacred tradition anymore than I already have? Lord...

Beeritas, Pot Pie, oh my...

Caroline had a great weekend at the beach with Kiki, Papa, Auntie K, Auntie C, the girls, William, and oh yeah her Mommy. The boys seemed to have a fun time golfing, with the exception of getting quite wet on Friday from what I understand. I really hope that they are able to make this an annual event!

Caroline seemed to enjoy meeting the DFCI and Children's crews, especially JEA17 who read her a story while I finished shoving Au Bon Pain salad down my gullet. The traffic was ridiculous to get up the city - almost 2.5 hours!?!?! Luckily for us the ride back was not quite as bad. She did wake up both nights that Steve was away at 2 and 3 am... I am attributing that to teething. She slept till 5 on Monday and then only until 3:30 last night. Those teeth better make their appearance soon!

There are lots of photos from her fun weekend, but alas, they have not been uploaded completely yet. Now wait, before you revolt and start throwing tomatoes, things have been quite busy around these parts this week.

Monday we ran errands and tried oatmeal cereal. She liked the oatmeal fine, but her tummy diagreed wholeheartedly and I spent the greater part of the afternoon pushing her legs back and forth and trying to console my poor sad gassy girl. We will have to try it again later. Once the gas was gone she had a great rest of the day, playing, smiling, squealing and even taking a glorious nap that afforded us our first meal at home just us in WEEKS if not MONTHS. We did not know what to do. I was particularly pleased with my meal too... Chicken pot pie, it took less than 30 mins to make and it was so so good... I think it is a Cook's Illustrated or America's Test Kitchen recipe courtesy of one of the beanies. Kelly, tell Marc this puts the other version TO SHAME... try it immediately!!!

Quick Chicken Pot Pie
Serves 6 to 8

Pillsbury Golden Homestyle biscuits were the winner of our taste test. Serve this pot pie right out of the skillet or transfer the mixture to a large pie plate and top with the baked biscuits.

1 package refrigerator biscuits
Table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 rib celery , chopped fine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas and carrots or same size package frozen mixed vegetables
1 rotisserie chicken , skin discarded, meat shredded into large bite-sized pieces (4 cups)
4 teaspoons lemon juice
Ground black pepper

1. Remove biscuits from package, place on baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Bake according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
3. Stir in flour and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is light brown, about 6 minutes.
4. Slowly whisk in broth, cream, and thyme and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
5. Stir in vegetables, chicken, and lemon juice and simmer until vegetables and chicken are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Season with salt and pepper. Top with biscuits and serve.

Yesterday Steve dropped Caroline off at school and I got a call from Sarah on my cell at around 9 am. She said that Caroline's ear was really red and enflamed and that she had a slight temp. I called the pediatrician and scheduled a visit for the afternoon. It was so hard to stay at work thinking that she might be sick. I made Sarah promise that she would call me if Caroline got really upset or if her fever got worse. Thus began a crazy plan to organize pick-up, transport to appointment, and the remainder of afternoon. Steve had the carseat in his car, but was unable to get her for the appointment because he had conference calls and a new person starting yesterday. Terrible timing. So I went to his office to pick up the seat, (the car was locked and someone had to come and let me in to retrieve it), made my way to school, literally took her and her bag and ran out the door, flew to the pediatrician's office, all to learn that Caroline is teething. Yup. T-E-E-T-H-I-N-G. What can you do. When your caregiver calls with concerns you must trust these concerns because you are not there to assess the situation for yourself. Though it was quite complicated to arrange and a complete royal PITA, we both agree that we would rather them be hyper vigilant than pick her up with a raging fever which went unnoticed all day. She was in SUCH a great mood the rest of the afternoon.

Caroline and I got home around 5 because I put in a little extra time to make up for the appointment, which I used my lunch break for, but went WAY over the hour. Steve made dinner and we packed her up for DATE NIGHT with Gavin, Finn, and Allie and their parents for the concert on the green.

The Dads are busy setting up a poker night and then they will all watch the babes another night so the Moms can get together... maybe something crazy like dinner and a movie --- I know we are living on the edge. We swapped house stories - basically trying to top one another. "We have a green countertop." "Our trim took months to paint because it was previously MAUVE." It was fun and I am hoping to see the Moms for a walk on Friday afternoon. We may finally be breaking through the new parent isolation... Both Gavin's Mom and Finn's Mom want to make their son's first foods, so I am sharing my knowledge and resources with them, which Jen and Ryan so nicely shared with us.

So you see - this is why we have no photos yet. They have been uploaded, but not corrected for lighting and red eye and thus you must be patient and wait just a bit longer. It won't likely happen tonight either because our neighbor friends Tom and Ann are coming over. We are making beeritas, another recipe found on the beanie board. Apparently they sounds strange, but taste great...

Beeritas

6 pack light beer
one can of frozen limeade
sliced lime

As for their pups Edwin and Fletcher, I think they are gone and I also think that their foster parents are quite relieved. We'll find out tonight!

It's only Thursday, but it feels like Friday or Saturday to us. That is because we are literally leaving the instant we get home this afternoon to drive up to MA for Steve's Golf Weekend. Ok, so the instant is not exactly true. I plan on changing both Caroline and I into warmer clothing (secondary to the non-stop arctic AC of course), packing up Caroline's meals for the weekend, and oh yeah feeding her =) So not exactly the instant, but perty darn close to it.

We finally booked Caroline's Christianing. It is September 16th and her Auntie C and Uncle Brett are officially listed as her godparents on the certificate. We need to attend a pre-baptism class the Tuesday prior, but it shouldn't be too bad. We will need to have the baby with us at the 2 hour long class, but think of the fun we can have scaring the everliving poop out of the soon-to-be I am so organized I am doing this class ahead of time so that I can have my child baptized mere moments after birth parents. HA! Thrilling!!!! In all honestly, I am quite sure that they will all be so taken with our Caro that they will not even mind if she is cranky and whiny or saying AHHHHHH the entire time.

MORE NURSING STUFF FOLLOWS - you've been warned...

Ok, so I need to make more milk. Today I pumped 4 oz twice, which is better than I have been able to do lately and I did it each time in 30 minutes or so, which is not bad. My pump kicked the bucket. It was making this air-filled hissing sound and I was ending up with a bottle of milk that looked like the first pour from a college keg. Seriously - who knew I could create milk froth? So on Tuesday night when I would have much preferred to spend time with Steve and Caroline OR the adorable PUPPIES (EEEEEE!!!) next door we packed it up and went to babies r us to try to salvage the pump. It helped, but by getting new pieces it made it clear who the real culprit was and there was no store to get that piece - babies r us be damned! I will check with my nursing place about ordering one in the future, but ugh! Here I was this morning running all the way up the street to Target to purchase a shiny new one and then racing to work. Upon closer examination the old piece was way in need of replacement and hence I have found it much easier to pump today, which means that I should totally be able to increase my supply to meet her growing needs in the next couple days.

When we were thinking about bottle feeding vs. nursing way way back we were nervous about nursing only because of the cost of pumps. The super fantastical version are over 200 and even 300 buckaroos! So I frugally purchased a good solid manual pump. I totally forgot it once and had to purchase another, which became my spare and eventually completely replaced my first one. Now I have a third model of this same pump. In trying to save money I have instead spent over 100.00 on simple manual versions. I was kicking myself this morning - if we had just bought the Cadillac would nursing be easier and would I be spending money to replace pieces already? I have since decided that I like that I can bring it anywhere, that it makes no noise, that is affordable enough to be replaced INSTANTLY. What's 35 bucks every 3 months??

OK enough on that --- whew - like you really care about pumps...

THE PUPPIES!!!! I wish I had photos - they are hands down the cutest things ever. Our neighbors Tom and Ann are acclimating them to people and the world before they go off to a guide dog training program. (Brendan would call this doggy slavery) One is Fletcher and the other is Edwin and they have that puppy smell and waggy little tails and if Steve isn't already begging for one he will want one for sure now. ADORABLE!!! I literally saw that they were outside and ran immediately for the door with the babe in toe and walked right into their yard to play.

We are planning on stopping into DFCI and Children's on Friday to do a meet and greet with the babe... can't wait! AND we are excited to see some of the girls this weekend at the beach while the boys play.

This morning went so smoothly that I stopped to pick up the dry cleaning on the way to work after dropping Caroline off at school?!?!?

Typically my morning when I am the "dropper offer" entails:

- brushing my hair back into a ponytail yelling at it to STAY (why oh why is your hair not your own when you attempt to shower at night and save time in the am? It is a totally different make and model when I do! It mocks me through the mirror - HA! you thought you could save time - hahahahahaha)
- feeding the baby (which I absolutely relish)
- spooning cereal into my mouth with wreckless abandon while fighting with a tiny infant arm relentlessly batting and grabbing at it
- making my lunch
- examining her veggie of the day for consistency and altering it as needed
- throwing clothes on
- applying minimal make-up
- strapping her into her seat
- kissing her on the head before slamming the cardoor in her face - there is no gentle way to do this!?!

Once we are on the road I can have her to school in 10 minutes or less. I tend to dawdle a bit at drop off and chat up Sarah and Michelle to get their take on how her day was yesterday.

SIDEBAR - Communication with school ... it rears its head again... Yesterday I picked her up and when I opened the front door, I could hear her screaming. Moms know their baby's cry and this was a full out meltdown. Bells, whistles, and sirens were going off in my head. As I approached the door (it is a little half door, enough to corral a child, but low enough that you can reach over etc) I saw her beet red sad crying face as she sat all alone in an infant seat. The person caring for her - who I had NEVER met - saw me coming and immediately went over to her and started wiping her tears. I wanted to say - get your mitts off my kid, if you cared enough to wipe her tears you would have done it BEFORE I arrived, but instead I said - how was her day while simultaneously picking her up and calming her down INSTANTLY. Her retort was that I clearly was not giving them large enough bottles because she had been sad since she fed her at 4:30. Hmmm, interesting observation since I was now holding her and she was no longer crying, though still doing the sad I can't catch my breath yet post cry thing, and playing with my face and hair. I am proud of my retort to that which was, hmmm, she seems fine now, not hungry at all. She just looked at me (GLARED AT ME, shooting DAGGERS with her eyes, D-A-G-G-E-R-S, as if to say lady, do you have any idea what kind of day I have had?) and shrugged. UGH - Sidebar over - I had to mention it because my drop off dawdle this morning was asking Sarah her opinion of yesterday and the milk thing. Sarah says Tuesdays are always hard for Caroline. She assured me that by mid day today she would be happy and much better and that her Tuesday reaction is totally normal, doesn't make me feel 100% better, but a little bit. She too thinks Caroline could use some more milk (HOW can I possibly make more?!?!?! - call to Breastfeeding Resources is already in)

Ok so where was I???

School dawdle, right... After drop off I run back to the car and race all the way to work where I inevitably arrive 10 minutes late to move my in/out magnet to in despite 110% of my best freakin' effort ever. I am not a timely person, we know this - BUT when I put in the effort to actually be on time, could I please please be on time just once????

Despite the terrible weather this morning I was ontime and as stated above stopped to get the dry cleaning. What a miracle!!!! Could this ever be replicated??!?!

Big storms rumbled through this morning just before it was time to awaken the princess who was sleeping soundly in my arms. The time between her initial wake up (which coinicdentally has now stretched to nearly 5 am on average making it nearly impossible for me to fall back asleep) and her actual wake up in my favorite time of the entire day with my family. I am usually between Sleeping Steve and just getting Comfy Caroline. This is the time that I reflect; on when her back was not nearly as strong as it clearly is now while I gently rub it to lull her back to sleep, when she was still so small and helpless that I would have to position her just so to lay next to me and hold her steady in my pins and needles dead asleep arm, to when we were somewhere else and the walls were like windtunnels and I would bury her under the blanket with me and watch her every breath through her tummy, to a time when I was wide awake at the same hour with a belly the size of Chicago and those little kicks would reassure me that all was well, to the days when it was just us and we could not possibly know how much our life would change for the better. I love to sleep, but that time between dark and dawn is the most special and reflective time of the day to me now. I know that 50 years from now I will probably find myself awake at this time again for different reasons and I will recall, with tears I am sure, the way I passed that strange hour with my family and most especially how I spent so very many of them with my little girl breathing slowly, head back, mouth open, looking like the most perfect thing God ever created righ next to my own heart.

And she can do this, and this, and you should see her when she...

So as you read yesterday, Caroline is six months old, half a year!!! According to my NestBaby sign in screen there are only "181 days until my child's birthday."

HOW can this be?!?!?!

I haven't updated all the things Caroline can do now in awhile and given that we just reached her big six month mark it seems pretty timely...

Caroline can:
... sit up unassisted for either a nanosecond or a few minutes depending on the attractiveness of the toy in her hands or if there is a camera wielding parent singing her name
... stick out her tongue when in "I am seriously concentrating here" mode
... suck her bottom lip in
... say GEEEE with a raspberry
... see that if an object is picked up and passed behind her it is likely to end up on the other side
... let you know when she isn't happy that you took her toy away
... roll from her tummy to her back and her back to her tummy which often happens when we leave the room for a split second
... become impossible to wrangle during diaper changes - she is all over the place grabbing at anything she can find to pass what she must see as a slow tedious process
... toss objects from her highchair which results in the super exciting game of parent fetch all through dinner
... smile and laugh on cue
... put her feet in her mouth
... suck food off a spoon with vigor - sweet potatoes (yum!), avocado (ehh), Bartlett pears (not so good), peaches (double yum!), and Bosc pears (jury is still out)
... eat two meals with solid food each day (we alternate between veggies and cereals)
... sip from her training cup (though she really likes it more as a teether) she drank 2 oz yesterday
... take a blanket off her head to play peek a boo
... NAP - oh she is such a good napper!!!
... drink upwards of 4 oz of milk in a sitting
... rub her eyes to say "I'm tired"
... face plant into the blanket and stick her little delicious bum up
... wiggle her way to a toy just out of reach
... use her left thumb to self soothe
... sleep on her side or even her belly (though it isn't her fav)

wow... and I am quite certain I am leaving things out...

Caroline got a great report at the pediatrician yesterday. In addition to all the weight and height stuff the doc was impressed with her strength and warned that before she sees us again at 9 months we are likely to have a crawling baby... EEEEEKKKK!!! She advised me to put away all the knick knacks and get to baby proofing ASAP. Sadly this includes the removal of her mobile and a strong recommendation to lower the crib down to the lowest level because after sitting up, comes getting to sitting on her own, then sitting to standing at which point she could CLIMB out of her crib and fall to the hard floor...What a scary scary thought. I am sure much research will be done about gates also in the very near future. Here is when having her room in the middle of the stairway becomes a scary proposition.

The pediatrician was impressed with her transition to solids as well and encouraged us to take a CPR course if we are fearful about moving her forward to finger foods soon. I took a course in college, but a refresher might make me a bit more confident. She also reminded me that gagging is part of the learning process and that we should be prepared to have to help her recover a few times along the way... joy... Between 7-8 months we can introduce some meats, yogurt and cheeses, and even teething bisquits and zwiebeck (?) bread. Suddenly it's like holy cow, our baby is becoming a kid. Just like that...

Steve is going with the boys to the Cape this weekend for golf, though the weather doesn't seem to be cooperating with this plan. As long as they are together they are sure to have fun. Caroline and I will also be at the beach maybe with the girls that match up to some of the boys, which would be fun. Maybe Carly and William will come and we can scare the bejesus out of mom-to-be Amy =)

As a side note - It seems that the most recent poll about formula is the most popular to date. I am not sure why that is, but I am glad that people took the time to consider this issue and vote. THANKS!

6 Month check-up

Just a quick post today to share the great news from the pediatrician!

Caroline is doing great. She is now over 26 inches tall and is tipping the scales at just over 14 pounds! Her doctor was impressed with all her new little tricks and she suspects that she might even be crawling before her next visit at nine months, Lord help us!!

She had three shots and is sleeping soundly in her crib right now. Poor thing...

More updates on Tuesday - I have to get ready to run into work in a bit for the support group I facilitate.

MADRAS SHORTS
Caroline is wearing a onesie and her adorable little madras shorts today which I decided she has not worn enough. Sarah and Michelle literally gasped when they saw her. Michelle said "I can't wait to have a baby to dress up this cute." Mom beamed ear to ear; mission accomplished! My response to them was that this is true and you suddenly don't care so much about you wear so long as your baby looks the absolute cutest she can possibly look. It is painfully difficult for me to send her to daycare in onesies and pants. I am satisfied however that she is not coming home with pretty party dresses stained with avocado or sweet potatos. Very satisfied!

Sassy Satin

In the car on the way to work I was thinking about that. I looked down and saw my pressed black pants (much in need of a dry cleaning as I can make out the faint milk stains on them from their previous wearing - nice) and my sassy satin shirt. I looked into the rear view and saw my simple low pony with the ever present flyaways. I was wearing tinted moisturizer, bronzer, blush, even mascara! In comparison to my usual at home wardrobe of shorts and a t shirt with an unwashed pony today's outfit choice was clearly more sophisticated, polished. If nothing else work has given me an opportunity to be a little selfish, to take the extra 30 seconds to apply the mascara, to dare to wear pressed pants and SATIN. This is a good thing. I am SUPER psyched that I can wear all my pre-preggo clothes, but now I look at them in new ways ie can I pump in that top? I guess what I am trying to say is that after 6 months I am feeling like my clothes, albeit the same clothes I have had for quite some time with a couple new friends, are so foreign to me still. Is that strange? It is a real treat to get to wear them and sometimes I feel not so me, even though these are my clothes... does any of this make sense???

DEBATE

There was a long debate on another site I frequent that I often refer to as the beanies. This is a group of women who originally met while planning their weddings on theknot, moved to an msn board called the beantown brides - hence beanies - and have since relocated yet again to a new site... I digress. These women have been in my life for 4 years now and while we are all married now and are clearly not picking floral arrangements, attending dress fittings, or choosing a honeymoon destination, we are still quite connected across the web, as connected as you can be through a website I suppose. Some of us have purchased homes, some have had babies (Caroline was one of THREE babies born in quick succession), and we continue to have lots to discuss completely unrelated to weddings. It is a highlight in my day to catch up, to laugh, to enjoy the successes and offer support to my fellow beanies. The reason I give the back story is to illustrate that this community has evolved over time and typically is a picture perfect example of women supporting women.

Yesterday a comment was posted about the NY Times article detailing that hospitals will no longer provide formula samples to new mothers to take home. This simple post spawned a four page debate about breastfeeding, leading to some excellent discussion, but also some hurt feelings. While I chose to nurse Caroline, I would never think less of a woman for choosing not to.

I am quite happy to hear that the hospitals are no longer going to send women home with formula. It gets to be SO overwhelming! I think hospitals are doing a good job (though more needs to be done) these days educating new moms about the different feeding options, offering lactation consultants, classes during your post partum stay...

Each time I see my parents they hand me the coupons that the formula companies have sent to their home in error and I mean EVERY time. I save them. Did I accept the formula from the hospital, you bet I did. Did I accept it when it was given to us at our prenatal class, heck YEA I did. Why? Because I was fearful that I would FAIL and not be able to nurse and I would need this formula at 3 in the morning and instead of sending Steve out into the cold night to locate a food source for Caroline, this formula would literally save us. She has had one bottle of formula that I know of in her life. I am proud that I have been able to supply the other gazillion oz of milk she has eaten in her nearly 6 months and that her new chubby little thighs and chipmunk cheeks are because of my hard work. (patting self on back!)

So here is why I think the hospitals are making the right move to STOP offering this. The benefits of breast milk are well-known, 'nough said right? So why are the hospitals allowing these companies to inundate new mothers yet again with their products? $$$$$$$ And it makes me angry on some level! I am all for choice - let the mother make her own decision - but handing her a free canister of formula doesn't seem to advocate choice does it? When you leave the hospital, nursing mom or not you get your goody bag courtesy of Enfamil or Similac (we actually use the bag for day care and it is awesome for this purpose - so I guess that kind of ruins my argument huh?) BUT they don't send you home with the formula and a pump do they? Insurance often doesn't cover the cost of a pump does it? Pumps are expensive which is why I still to this day, dedicated nursing mom that I am, have a simple affordable version. Why aren't some of the pump companies advocating the way the formula companies are? If a mother expresses an interest in nursing why can't they offer that mother a pump in her goody bag? $$$$$ Once you buy the pump and supplies there is very little upkeep you must do - maybe you buy replacement parts or freezer bags, but you aren't going to be investing 30.00 a week on their product for at least a year... Can't the pump manufacturers do something here to offer a choice?!?!?!

The debate on the forum quickly moved away from this topic and onto the decision to nurse or bottle feed. I often feel like my nursing is not nearly as accepted as bottle feeding. I have begun to get questions about how long I intend on nursing and I sometimes feel like people are uncomfortable around me if I need to feed my child. Whereas a bottle fed baby's mom can whip out that bottle without any looks, I need to hide my child under a blanket right? Wrong. Bottle feeding moms feel the same shame that us nursing moms feel. They feel like people look at them the same way we think people look at us. Isn't it all just too ridiculous? The debate raged on and though it seems to have tapered down, the sides needed to declare a truce. Do you see my point? WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN - Why oh why can we not just support one another... it absolutely baffles me...

So nurse your baby - bottle feed your baby - just feed your baby and love your baby --- that's all that REALLY matters and if you and I make different decisions that doesn't make one of us wrong or one of us right. Period.