Squire Squirrel

You know when you are living something and it seems so surreal that you have difficulty even imagining that this is REALLY happening? How about those moments where the only thing keeping you going is what an amazing story it will make later? Or how you and your neighbor will laugh to tears in twenty some odd years recalling said incident??

On Friday afternoon I had one of those moments and the entire time it was happening all I could think of was how perfect it would be for the blog.

Here's the timeline:

Friday
11:00 AM - gather up baby and bag and begin to head out to grocery store to pick up items for Buffalo Chicken Chili . I usually place the baby on the top step while I lock the door, but this time hesitated because a squirrel, we'll call him Squire, was about 4 feet from her in the grass. A note on our neighborhood squirrels. They are plentiful, there are many casualties, they have no fear. Two ran right under Caroline and I while we lounged on a hammock not long ago and ever since then I have been a bit terrified of these nasty little rodents. I tried banging on the door to scare it away, but it just sat there. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was all curled up, seemingly sleeping. I was watching its little back rise and fall, so I shrugged, thought it was strange, but went on merry way. Squire actually looked kind of cute and sweet snoozing away under the hydrangea.

12:00 PM - return from store and spy Squire in a similar pose, but about 2 feet from last resting place. Why isn't he sleeping in his tree I thought?

1:00 PM - look for Squire out the window. Still there, but in slightly different place on lawn.

2:00 PM - look for Squire through window. Squirrel is no longer there. Phew.

3:00 PM - happen to glance out window at incoming rain storm and see across the yard Squire had not in fact left the yard, but had relocated to the other side, just out of view. Realization hits that Squire might be in crisis.

4:00 PM - Look up number for Animal Control. Follow links to wildlife rehabilitator in area. Call neighbor to come look at Squire and help me decide what to do.

4:01 PM - Share with neighbor the devastating news that animal hospital has recommended we put Squire in a box and bring him in. Yes, a box. OH, and be careful adult squirrels that are injured bite.

4:01 - 4:30 PM - Stand in yard with box, shovel, and terrified expressions. Contact with shovel causes movement which produces shrieks and running.

4:30 PM - Steve arrives on scene and manages to lift Squire up gently with a snow shovel, only to accidentally drop him over the edge of the box. Panic ensues. More shrieking. More running.

4:35 PM - Success. Squire is safely in box. Box is taped. Neighbor and I put him in the back of her car and drive to animal hospital. En route we realize that there is a wild squirrel in her back seat.

4:40 PM - Arrival at animal hospital. Squire's box is carried in. Forms are completed. We are informed that Squire will be rehabbed if possible or euthanized immediately. Sadly, we don't think poor Squire even made the drive with all the convulsing and droopiness we witnessed earlier. Attendant asks if we want the box back. Blank stare. Inside I am screaming - "are you kidding me. I never want to see that box again!"

So we tried to do the right thing. We absolutely hated that our rescue efforts necessitated a shovel. We made quite a scene in our neighborhood. Squire was probably hit by a car, they told us, as they often get clipped and make a run for it, go into shock, and well you can imagine the rest. I doubt little Squire Squirrel made a full recovery, but I find some peace in knowing that his suffering ended, one way or another.

We got together later that night with our neighbors and toasted Squire, wherever he is.

When you buy a house you are never prepared for all the responsibilities it will carry, which now we know apparently include animal rescue.

Father Daughter Baseball Bonding

This morning Steve sent along a cut and paste version of this article's last few paragraphs. If you are a Red Sox fan (and these days who isn't???) you have probably already read the latest installment of the "Sports Guy."

The last few paragraphs are about how he woke up his baseball hating little girl to see the final outs of the series and watch the Sox "celebrate" their victory. Steve told me months ago that if his beloved Red Sox won the series he would be waking Caroline to see the final moments. So in Game 4 when things were starting to wind up and Steve's blood pressure was rising in anticipation, he looked at me and asked, "should we wake up Caroline?" In the end we didn't, but I think it is only because he wants the kind of moment that the Sports Guy describes, where he can watch with her, see her smiling, and know that she will always remember that her Dad woke her up to see the final outs with him and all that celebrating. (IRL waking Caroline would have involved crying and tush thumping and he may have actually missed the last out - never wake a sleeping baby right?) Something about this team makes me think that he might have a shot at this moment again in the very near future, but until then we must prepare her for nearly nine months of baseball watching per year. I don't doubt that Steve will teach her the entire roster, all their positions, and some of the team history so that she too can amaze us with her baseball knowledge. (I can see the look on Uncle Hokie's face now when she answers those Aflac questions) I will do my part by stopping at the 2004 celebration artwork on our staircase and pointing out all the players, being careful to remind her that even though you cannot see him, Trot Nixon is in there.

Keep your eyes peeled for our little Sox fan
here.

standing, crawling (backwards), eating

Caroline stands and plays with her piano



Caroline feeds herself potatoes, bread, and hummus



Caroline crawls backwards and gets stuck in the corner, temporarily of course

McMilestone

No not crawling...

Caroline pulled herself up to standing on an upside down toy basket!!! She then realized she had done something miraculous and proceeded to fall... backwards... and slammed her poor little head on the kitchen floor. She's ok and we are both proud and petrified.

Snooty baby to both swim and dress up

New song alert, written while putting Caroline earlier this week. She was a very junky snooty girl.

To the tune of Smelly Cat:

SNOOTY GIRL

Snooty girl, snooty girl

where are these snoots from

Snooty girl, snooty girl,

It's Hannah's fault

Caroline and I, along with a few other Moms and babes from our Mom's group are signed up for a Mom & Tot swim class. (I think Jen and Ryan took a similar class further south?) The other Moms were so kind to schedule the class on a day that we could be there. On Friday mornings at 11 AM Caroline and I along with Denise/Ellen, Alicia/Aaron, and Christin/Michael will be splashing around together, at least for the next 7 weeks. So excited!!! With the weather FINALLY getting cooler (I'm all for warm weather, but it's nearly November, I'm ready for warm cozy sweaters for me and cute tights for Caroline) our normal outdoor activities are in jeopardy, so the class will get us out of the house to a structured activity with other moms. YAY!
Our big "Halloween Spooktacular for Babies and their Entourages" is Saturday night! There are almost 50 people (!!!) coming and it will be so much fun to see all the babies dressed up. I haven't seen some of the Moms attending for a really long time. We hear Ryan will be making an appearance as a lion! =) I am not sure that the cuteness of getting all these babies together dressed up in costume is actually legal. The photos are going to be edible.

Last night we put the baby to bed and sat down to watch BC take on VT in Blacksburg. It was a rough game for my BC loving hubby, but it seemed that as soon as I put the little hat I am knitting Caroline down for the night Matt Ryan turned it on (perhaps finally learning how to get some more time in the pocket) and he began scrambling for a come from behind win that left the Hokies stunned! scThey scored all 14 of their points in about 2 minutes which sent my husband through various emotions; apathy, anger, dismay, shock, hopefulness, elation, with just a touch of stomach churning nausea. I did my steady best to be the fan he needed me to be, complete with running around the family room, jumping on him, high fiving, cheering. He was devastated that his secret lover Marc was not available for text consult. He is now out West for a wedding and had an elaborate plan to watch the game out there after his 10 pm arrival, which included "going black" and not allowing any outside communication. Eagles won 14-10 (should have been 14 - 3 if you ask me) and the crops are saved. So Go Eagles. I won't say what a game, because overall it was terrible, but what a fouth quarter!

Adios frozen food cubes

Hasta la vista "mini prep processor."

We are in the midst of a mighty transition from those frozen puree cubes (that I dutifully and lovingly prepared I must add) to time consuming, messy, but so much fun it honestly hurts finger foods. In the interim, we are relying on some jarred food to cover us because there ain't no way no how that I am spending the hours on end with Caroline that it would take for her to feed herself tiny pieces of banana and bread. HAHAHA. No.

You can tell by watching her how much she really wants to feed herself, so making more purees for her would be a waste of my time because they would probably end up being wasted either from outright refusal or the unavoidable window of opportunity closing as we move full speed ahead to chunkier, and let's face it people, more appetizing options.

So what's this kid eating now? Pretty much everything except citrus fruit, juice, whole milk, strawberries, eggs, and beef. I am laying off the juice as long as humanly possible. She loves water so much, has no idea that juice even exists, so why mess with it??

Here's an example of her daily menu:

Breakfast:

Jar of Earth's Best Pears and Mangoes (it is so yummy that I almost always sneak a taste) mixed with cereal (she eats them all now)

Lunch:

Chicken/Turkey puree, peaches, yogurt

Dinner:

Self-fed diced steamed veggies, pasta, bread, cheese with as much veggie puree as she will tolerate ie before she literally gags, spits it back out, or knocks your hand away with brute force.
Snacks:

Cheerios
Banana with Cheerio powder
Kiwi fruit
Bread with hummus
Zwiebeck Toast
Cheese

It is definitely more work with the finger foods than I had planned for. It is unreal to watch her eyes light up when you place something down on her tray and see her body swing into motion to get it from tray to mouth. She'll even eat things that she turns her nose up to in puree form if they arrive in her mouth via the magic food producing tray. Caroline is certainly showing signs of being quite an independent young lady.

Sarah and Michelle report that the sled photo was a success and that they got three photos of a smiling clapping Caroline to work with. They let her go first since she is the baby afterall. I can't wait to see the proofs.

She wore her Red Sox pjs last night, so it looks like we will be alternating between her two pairs for the near future given the game's outcome. Go Sox!

Behind Bars

NABLOPOMO. That means National Blog Posting Month. I keep reading rumblings of this in some of the blogs I frequent. I hemmed, I hawed, and I signed up. So in November, during NABLOPOMO (hereby to be referred to as post month), you can plan on seeing a new Caro filled entry each and every one of the month's 30 days. (I just had to do that 30 days has Sep, Apr, Jun and NOV thing) You might be wondering "Weekends"? Yes, weekends too. You might be shaking your head because "oh yeah Thanksgiving!" Yes, Thanksgiving too. You are probably (and rightly so) already doubting that I can adhere to the daily post challenge. Yes, it will be a tough challenge, but I think I am up for it. I set my Outlook to remind me each day I am at work, so really it's just those other days, the ones where I am home that will be challenging, but I have a strategy. So stay tuned for that.

After work yesterday (which quite literally means after I left work ontime, picked up the dry cleaning after waiting in a TEN person line, picked up the baby, and drove back home) Steve and I lowered Caroline's mattress to almost the absolute lowest setting and removed the cutest crib bumper ever. It was strange to see her naked crib. I was hit by two realizations.

1. That outlet behind the crib is way too close and she could so inquisitively and quite innocently reach her hands out to touch the socket. YIKES! I put an outlet cover on and moved her crib as far away from the wall as I could because nothing says "touch me!" more than a barely out of reach outlet.

2. She can see us now. Before we could put her down for a nap or for the night and kind of linger, waiting by her bed in a commando crouch, ready to jump up and commence tush tapping as needed. I even used to peek in on her through the bumper, you know pushing it down like mini blinds. "She's got her thumb" I'd whisper, before creeping away. Our cover is blown. If she doesn't go down for the count, the commando style lingering will surely be exposed and THEN WHAT WILL WE DO???

I put a small stuffed bear and her little "Carter One Size" giraffe in the corners of the crib because sans bumper it looks a little sterile and uninviting. I figure I will rotate the non-threatening toys until we find one that has the potential to entertain her for even five minutes while we pry open our eyelids at that glorious hour known as 5AM. Perhaps you know of this hour? Perhaps you refer to is as "ungodly?" or "when I get up if I am taking an early flight?" ha ha. Not so in our house. The 5am routine continues and this morning I said screw it and pumped while I fed her. This led to a complicated out of bed bounce routine before I could manage to charm her back to sleep for about an hour. I don't really mind the hour she wakes us up, we're certainly used to it by now. We do however mind that she wants to sleep when it is time to get up if she doesn't get back to sleep right away as part of her morning "I've been up for two hours therefore I must sleep now" routine. Who likes to have to wake an angelic sleeping baby up?

So today is officially her real school picture day. We had two backgrounds to pick from; winter wonderland aka sled in front of snowy forest or happy holidays aka rocking chair in front of fireplace and tree. We chose the sled, mostly because of the nine month photo shoot and my scary experience with the rocking chair. All that leaning forward leads to tumbling out of the chair, so we chose the safer route with the little sled. Caroline looked really adorable this morning, all decked out in a cutie outfit and ready to rock the camera, hopefully horizontally to assist Kiki and Papa fill their photo frame.

Signed, Management

Attention Parents: Your morning Wake Up Call will now be an hour earlier than previously scheduled. Management reserves the right to alter said time at their own discretion.

Steve retrieved the little Miss at 5:00 this morning. Caroline's new wake up time makes us slightly nervous because daylight savings time is looming and we "fall back" so 5 would really be 4. GROAN! She has been getting to bed a little earlier, last night around 7:30, which may be why she is getting up earlier, but who knows. The one thing we can 100% count on is that her wake up call will be totally different this time next week, so what can you do? My only complaint is that when she wakes up on the early side like this I don't do my morning pump session in hopes that I can coax her gently back to sleep with us. If I try to feed her, pump, and then get her to sleep I usually end up with a wide awake, though super smiley, baby and at 5:30 AM that just doesn't fly with me. I doubt I could sleep with the whoosh whoosh of a pump whirring mere inches from my head either. I was able to get her back to sleep until 6:50 this morning, when the alarm went off and I frantically poked Steve to turn on the weather. Weather on the 1s Steve, weather on the 1s!!!

Goodbye adorable bumper, you were exceedingly cute

So at 5:00 Steve rubbed his eyes and plodded down the stairs to help his daughter greet the day and I lay in bed waiting to hear the rip rip of the diaper change. He called to me, "Ker, she's sitting up." I forced my own eyelids open and even without glasses I could see her, sitting up, sucking her thumb, just hanging out. As Kiki pointed out yesterday, it is only a matter of time before we find her standing up in there. I got some great footage of her climbing Mt. Steve yesterday afternoon, pulling herself up on him with only elbow assistance. I told Kiki, I feel like we are in a time of great change and I feel an urgency to get moving on the gates and protective corner jobbies.

With her sitting up and pulling to standing, I can no longer deny the need to remove the bumper which she could use as a step stool towards climbing out of the crib. I have visions of this move, followed by a painful fall and perhaps a little jaunt towards the door where she will discover the STAIRS. So the adorable bumper must go. Goodbye bumper, we so enjoyed your cuteness.

Squealing for School?

Caroline was so happy this morning when I dropped her off. We got to the school front door and she laughed and clapped. As a Mom this makes me happy. I much prefer a happy "I'm stoked for school" baby than a "please Mommy don't make me go in there" baby.


The Great Protein Protest of 2007

We also seem to have found a way around the Great Protein Protest of 2007. I mixed her chicken with yogurt and peaches yesterday and she ate it all, opening up for more. There was also lip smacking. For dinner we were not quite as successful with the garden veggies, but have reached a place of compromise that seems to be working; spoonful of veggie, shredded cheese, sip of water, spoon, and so on. Caroline also got a quick intro to pasta last night. I cooked up a little pastina and put it on her tray for her to play with. In the time it took me to drop a spoonful down for her, go to the kitchen with the spoon, and come back she had already explored it a bit and there were little starred pasta pieces around her mouth. She loves to feed herself. I think we are on the move now toward chunkier foods. Teeth are not necessary apparently, though you would think they would be. She won't be able to chew food with teeth until her molars come in. Those first baby teeth are really for biting purposes, so until molars come in babies use their gums. If you watch her eat a cheerio you can see and hear her crunching the cereal between her gums. So soft diced veggies and fruits are probably ok for her to feed herself with supervision of course. We are transitioning. Though I will miss the speed of the puree meal, the messy fun of finger foods has its benefits too, namely that Mom and Dad can both enjoy their meal and not feel like they need to hoover it down in 2 seconds. I used to eat so slow. Ha, good times. I hardly chew anymore.

"I love _____ on Thanksgiving"

Why so much focus on the eating? Well, she is long and lean, but I want to be sure that she is getting enough nutrition. School says that to date she has been less than thrilled with her lunch and I know they don't have the time I do to focus and mickey mouse around with her. So if she isn't eating her lunch with them, she is missing out on all those supplemental calories. If this new yogurt solution works, I can at least relax knowing that she is getting all the nutrients she needs, even when I am not hovering over her singing the Adam Sandler Turkey song with insert your food here _____ lyrics. "I wish _____ only cost a nickel!"

I feel like I could write on and on about all the changes, but really I should save some material for later this week right?

newest weapon in her cute arsenal

Caroline has a new weapon in her quest to maintain her status as sweetest Caroline ever. She may have inherited my grumpy napper gene. I cannot nap because when I do waking up takes forever, I feel foggy and out of it, and I am a grumpy gus. This past weekend I noticed that she too wakes up on the grumpy side and needs a little extra time and love before she is back to her smiley self.

When retrieved from her crib or baby seat napping location she is not a happy girl. Grumpy and sad and even sometimes tearful, she now lays her head down on your shoulder or chest and sits quietly, usually with her thumb. Caroline is the ultimate cuddle bug and even if those wake up times are not her favorite, they sure are mine. There is nothing like having this little girl want to snuggle with you.

Go Sox! Caroline never doubted you for a minute.

McUpdates

(pulling a bit of inspiration from Bill Simmons here)

Caroline fell asleep moments ago at 8:22 pm after twenty-five minutes of shhing, bouncing, bum thumping & back rubbing, done both in my arms and in bed. She must be her father's daughter, game seven just began at 8:23. Twenty-five minutes might not seem like a long time to some parents, but our girl usually goes from last feeding to out cold in under ten minutes. Lately we have been doing less rocking and bouncing, opting instead to give her a good dose of love before placing her gently on her side in her crib where she will futz for a a few minutes before finding her thumb and poof, she's out. Tonite was hopefully our once a week bounce fest, culminating in a few tears, lots of thumb sucking, and a little sigh that signaled she was on her way BY HERSELF to dreamland.

(ONE TWO THREE - go Dice-K!)

10 Things that are a-changing here in the McHousehold...

1. Caroline's eyes appear to have reached their final destination. We haven't noticed any changes in them for weeks now. We think we have a hazel green eyed girl and man those doe eyes are just too much. It must be the combo of their unique color, the mile long eyelashes, and the Bambi-ness of them that makes them too hard to say no to. We are in trouble with this later I am sure.

2. Caroline's hair appears to be a bit lighter, more the color of her eyebrows and less like mine, though still dark. It is also getting thicker and long enough for her to play with. We often catch her twirling her hair around in her fingers and she seems to have more interest that ever in playing with other people's hair.

3. Not only has she mastered cheerios and bananas, but pretty much any other diced food that you place in your palm for her to practice her pincer grasp on. This weekend she successfully grabbed kiwi, itty bitty pieces of roast chicken, grated cheddar cheese, and pieces of bread. This move is also practiced quite often on lips, ears, and noses.

4. Tahini was on my list of "allowable 8 month foods" so while Steve and I enjoyed some hummus and pita this afternoon and our child began flailing her arms in excitement we shrugged our shoulders and gave her a taste. SHE LOVED IT. We are still testing this theory, but it seems that whatever we are eating is infinitely better than what is being offered to her and thus she will not only eat it, but open up again for more.

(YAY Manny, 1-0 Sox, 2 on, 1 out)

5. Veggies are the devil and protein is their evil twin. I tried so hard in the beginning to get this kid interested in veggies and we had success until we reached the green veggies. No peas or green beans and most recently broccoli can take the trip to Caro's tummy solo. I hide the peas with carrots and apples and I tried to make the broccoli more appealing with some cheddar cheese. I think we may have just reached a point where she wants to feed herself and unless she really really loves it, she won't eat it in puree form. Seems like she is ready to move to chunkier foods and more table food type items. She can take or leave carrots, but a small diced carrot that she can put in her own mouth might be infinitely more appealing. We'll see. It's a work in progress, I want to give her body time to adjust to all this new food.

(Bases loaded for Drew- Steve sitting forward cracking knuckles: "Talk about chance to be a hero" and then "back to normal."

6. If I posted a video of Caroline moving and somehow made it play in reverse you would be amazed to see the speed of this kid's crawling. For now, all our footage is of a backwards crawling speed demon. It is so sad because you can see that she is focused on something in front of her and when she starts to go for it, she suddenly propels backwards and away from said object. This leads to many tears and lots of frustration, but her mother and father tape it dutifully. Backwards crawling is sure to lead to forwards crawling, which we expect to happen any moment now.

7. Is there anything more adorable than a baby amid pumpkins? I think not.

8. Sunday is Football day and Caroline caught sight of a fan clapping on the tube and immediately joined in.

(Lowell makes a great line drive catch - Fred Flintstone is up)

9. Forget all those toys, the empty Cheerios box is infinitely more interesting. We have joked about wrapping up empty boxes for her for Christmas (with a couple real gifts tossed in of course) and after watching that amuse her for over 20 minutes, we are absolutely doing it. What will be more interesting, the boxes or the paper???

(Beckett's in the pen)

10. While putting her to sleep tonight, I rolled her to side gently, patting her back, shhing, and she rolled onto her stomach. This used to be a booyah moment because once she was on her tummy she was done... until now when she moved back onto all fours and moved swiftly into a sitting up position with her back up against the crib bars. My jaw hit the ground, speechless I turned to Steve and told him "she's sitting up," but I didn't actually believe it until I looked back and saw her sitting there, sad little tears streaming down her face. We have entered scary uncharted waters. The child cannot be placed into a "must sleep" position any longer. My Dear lord, we are in trouble.

Da-Da-Da

Ok, she says it, happy now Steve =)

We are delighted that Caroline has added da to her ever growing babble vocabulary. She has been saying it since last weekend, I just neglected to mention it here. She quite obviously does not yet connect da da da to her real dada, but in time I am sure that will come. Sadly, I think for me alone, she has all but dropped ma! WAH!


Last night was leftover night so we had a hodge podge of apricot dijon chicken thighs and homemade minestrone soup. Caroline had leftovers too; peas, carrots, apple sauce, pear, and some banana as a finger food with crushed cheerios for grippage. I discovered that those slippery banana chunks are best dealt with by coating them in powdered cheerios. What a dream snack for our girl! Believe it or not she has improved her dexterity since that video last weekend. The video was of her very first cheerio self feeding session and since then she has gotten so much better. She is so eager to pick things up and eat them that you have to check her mouth to be sure she has swallowed.

So far we aren't seeing a clear cut preference for left or right hand grab action. Steve would like to say that she utilizes her left more. I think that she reaches with both, more with her left, and definitely executes better with her left, but she is still pretty good with her right hand so we'll see. Time will tell and she will make up her own mind.


Today is my day off with Caroline and we have some errands to run, but mostly we want to get out there and enjoy the day, which should be interesting once the rain comes. It was 80 degrees here yesterday. 80 degrees! I had started to put away all her summer clothes, but it looks like they might get a few more wearings, so yay for dresses!

Happy weekend and happy belated birthday to RYAN! Caroline and I cannot believe he really has been here for a year?! Caroline is super psyched to get to spend some time playing with her old friend on Saturday.

The world's newest couple

With Caroline there is always something new, something happening, something to share with the world. She provides seemingly limitless material for this blog. When I come to work and see my seniors, who often live alone leaving their homes only to go shopping or come to the center, I wonder what they might blog about. The newsmongers could craft some really opinionated posts about the state of the world. The pinochle players could strategize and share the outcomes of their daily games. The line dancers could share the new step they learned. The exercisers could talk about all the energy they seem to have since they started the class. What about my bereavement group? I see them in and around the center, not all of them, engaged in card games or attending special programs. I don't see everyone though, some of them I only see in my group and I wonder and worry about how they are doing out there on their own.

We had a family musical group performing here today. I came out of my office to peer down on the show and spied two of my members sitting together at a table, his arm gently rested behind her shoulder, his thumb grazing her shoulder every so often. My jaw hit the ground and I called Steve to tell him that two of my group members were "hooking up!" His reply was "gross." I am sure it isn't like that, I mean goodness they are both in their 70s. Later when I was helping hand out refreshments and pour hot water for tea, they stopped me to say hello, asked how Caroline was and just smiled at me like two chesire cats. I didn't want to say anything that would make them uncomfortable, so I just told the woman that it was so good to see her at a program and wasn't it wonderful? He leaned over and said that I would be seeing a lot more of her around here because she would be with him. My eyes welled up with tears for them, she told me how she had not planned on finding someone ever again, had no interest, but that they had just fallen for one another. They talk about their spouses, but mostly they spend time together and they are so obviously smitten! Another group member later told me that he announced to his pinochle crew that he was in love. In love. Again. IN LOVE.

I have so much (too much?) to say about Caroline, but it is refreshing to see proof that later in life there are still opportunities for these miraculous moments and things can still happen that grab your heart and remind you what being alive is all about. My cup runneth over for the world's newest couple.

Some visuals and the photos return

After their VERY brief hiatus, the Picasa links are back thanks to Mathgirl. She made me aware of a nifty little something google can do that allows me to post my photos as McCashew and not use my email. Colleen is right, Google rules!

Recent videos for your enjoyment...

In the Exersaucer, playing first, mugging for the camera and then a little discovery which is so worth hanging in there for



Eating Cheerios, BY HERSELF~~~ Oh, we didn't mention that? Yeah, it's insane! She can pick small finger foods like cheerios and bananas up and get them into her mouth.



Hitting a pot, she broke a wooden spoon tonight, right in half at the top?!?!

The sit down

A blog note

In the interest of maintaining whatever privacy we have left, I have removed the Picasa links from this page. I have replaced those links with a more anonymous Flickr Photostream, which you can view above. Friends and family are of course invited to continue viewing our public Picasa gallery. My name was attached to those links & perhaps that is not wise to just float through cyberspace unguarded. So... Sorry Steve, we now have a photostream, but hopefully by now you know how to get to Picasa. =)

I know you are all dying to know how my sit down went with school.

I met with one of the school director's yesterday afternoon. I made some small talk with her first, she's having a baby in March so it was easy to make friendly conversation. I was really impressed with the way I handled myself. I eased right into my concerns with little effort and as we sat down I saw a visible sign of oh sugar as she bit her lower lip. I started by telling her how satisfied we have been with their school overall, how we adore Sarah and Michelle and that it brings such great relief to see her light up when she sees them in the morning. My suggestion to provide more feedback was met with two comments; 1) the teachers are supposed to write a short note and 2) if I want to discuss her day with the teachers themselves I should feel comfortable calling in. I explained that the notes we receive are limited to her level of fussiness and if she was not fussy the comments section is three blank lines. I further explained that we are not always able to call in and that I know the teachers are busy and I'm not completely comfortable calling in and taking their attention from the kids. I am sure a mention of the empty note will get to her teachers. I am going to try to call in at least once a week and see what has been happening, how her day is, and to connect with the teachers about Caroline. I gave the example that Caroline holds a bottle on her own, which we only discovered when Steve picked her up a couple weeks ago. No one ever told us, who knows how long she has been able to do that?! Her response was excellent and brought me much relief. It is their policy NOT to share any information that might be related to a "first" and staff wait for the parents to tell them of said "firsts" before discussing them. What a GREAT policy. I can already feel my blood pressure slowing imagining that she is crawling all over the carpet there today and we are not there to witness it.

The second issue brought little satisfaction. She reiterated their illness policy and said that often parents do not tell them that their children are sick. Often the older children will tell the teachers that their mothers gave them medicine this morning and the teachers will go about 20 question style trying to figure out what ailment this kid brought in with them. There is a huge grey area, I know this, but I noted that there are certain children who seem to always come to school sick and how we feel like we are fighting a never ending cycle of sickness. She empathized, her own two children are also at the school and bring home whatever is going around. She reminded me how great her immune system will be when she gets to preschool, but that did little to comfort me. She liked my suggestion of fostering parent communication, but reminded me that the real offenders are not going to participate. If nothing else, I am hopeful that it will shame them in some way. I expressed my disappointment that we had not received a note in our boxes reminding parents of the illness policy, perhaps with some cold and flu signs etc. I suppose that is the social worker in me. Sure it sounds like another piece of paper to stick in the boxes, but in my experience reminding people of these things makes them take them more seriously. I even suggested that they perhaps include information about the importance of flu shots for children. Who knows what she will do with it. She was receptive, but understandably not able to make any changes that will make this much better.

I left on a good note, telling her that our overarching opinion of their service is positive. They got Caroline on a routine, she naps, she is a happy bubbly little girl, what ill will could I really harbor? I just wanted to voice the frustration I had felt while trying to comfort my poor sick baby with croup and I wanted to do it in a way that was not just a litany of complaints. I think she appreciated my tact? Who knows.

Caroline woke us up this morning at 4 am. Joy. She is not completely back on track yet from the weekend I suppose? She ate and then instead of falling back to sleep she wanted to play. She kept looking over at Steve smiling and squealing, reaching for him, clapping her hands. Cute, but not at 4:30. Nothing would get her sleepy. I put her in her crib for a bit, where she whined for about 10 minutes, sucked her thumb and eventually started rubbing her eyes. I heart the video monitor. Some quick bouncing after that and she was fast asleep. The whole family slept a bit late this morning, but she still got off to school on time. We definitely have found our morning rhythm.

We thought today was picture day. We got notice a couple weeks ago letting us know what day her classroom would be sitting for their holiday photos. Every kid gets photographed unless you request them not to and then parents can purchase the photos if they choose. So we figured sure, it might be an awesome photo. Go for it. I knew it was Wednesday and I was so paranoid about forgetting. Now what to dress her in right? We needed to find a balance between adorable photo worthy outfit and frilly little pink jobby that I would literally cry while applying stain stick to this afternoon. She looked really cute this morning and when Steve dropped her off Michelle stated, "Wow, she's dressed up." Picture day is NEXT Wednesday. What's the over under on us totally blowing off picture day next week or better yet, getting the proof of her wearing the somehow never matches secondary outfit reserved for accidents?

Grabbing for key tags

I think we have a grabber. I know there really is no reason for alarm quite yet, but Caroline's quite grabby. Say for instance you are writing your shopping list, as I was earlier this week, when suddenly the pen you are writing with is swiped ruthlessly from your hand. Or perhaps while you are reviewing her daily chart from school she begins crumpling it into the tiniest ball ever seen before chowing on the corners. ew.

She wants my keys, my phone, pretty much anything that clearly is of interest to me or Steve. I let her play with my keys, though I try to get her more interested in the gajillion key tags.

How many key tags do you have?? I have 13 that I lug around, of which I use 3 regularly. Why do I maintain tags for places like the library we belonged to in MA, the gym in the town we previously resided in, a men's store where Steve was wracking up "points" with tux rentals?? I cannot toss these tags. I just have that silly sinking feeling that the second that tag is gone, I will suddenly feel an urge to head to the Hallmark store and buy 7000 cards. I have tried rationalizing it to myself that I can just remove the tags, but keep them in an envelope in the office somewhere for retrieval before shopping trips, but I know I will never remember to do that. That being said I have purchased shoes at DSW without even realizing that I do in fact have a DSW card. I didn't even realize I had one until I sat here just now counting my cards and there it was.

I think I keep certain cards on there for sentiment. Perhaps I believe that someday I will be a member of that library again? Or that I will once again pick up adorable gifts at Barbers? Or browse through racks and racks of gorgeous fabric at that cute little store? or once again shop till I drop for myself finding steals at the Loe?

The same is true of keys. Until this past spring I had keys to god knows where on my chain. I finally stripped down to a car key, a car starter, our front door key, and a key to my parent's house. That took some doing and I know I still have the other keys hidden away in a drawer somewhere where they now provide company to my old Nissan key, past apartment keys that were never turned in, luggage keys, and who knows what other kinds of keys.

I don't tend to think of myself as a pack rat, but my key ring says otherwise. If you must call me one, then at least call me an organized one! I found insurance papers within two seconds this morning. In Caroline's case my overabundance of key tags is a good thing; more things to chew on and explore and less of a chance that my sharp car key gets into her mouth. How exactly might one go about disinfecting a key ring??

Our daughter the seal

It has taken me this long to gather my thoughts about this past weekend in a way that does not include profanity and/or screaming in all caps.

Here goes...

Caroline was so perfect on Thursday night that it was abundantly clear we were in for the happiest of happy weekends or we were witnessing the calm before the storm. Turned out to be the latter. Caroline came home with a runny nose from school which should have set off all the bells and alarms. Awoooga awooga!

We spent some time that night with our super nice neighbors Tom and Ann and Caroline played quietly on her mat for the entire visit. She got right to bed and all seemed well, until we were awoken by a sad baby at midnight. She was easily consoled, but woke up each time we tried to lay her down in her crib, so tired Mommy and Daddy said enough and cuddled her into bed with them, where she slept quietly until early Friday morning.

Caroline and I met Steve for lunch, sniffly nose and all, and we all prepared for a weekend with a somewhat sick baby. We were utterly unprepared for what hit us later that night.

Croup

Oh you haven't heard of it? It's awesome! Your baby goes to sleep, feverless, but perhaps with a runny nose, and wakes up barking like a seal, absolutely unable to catch her breath, wheezing, junky. Oh it's a blast. We were so scared, but luckily I had heard of croup, so we knew what to do and got her into a steamed up bathroom right away which helped calm down her poor inflamed upper airway. Steve read up online to make sure this was not a "call the doctor immediately" illness and gathered more hints and tricks to help dissipate her symptoms to get her back to sleep. Many of the information he read suggested sleeping in the same room with your baby to monitor their breathing closely, so family sleepover night #2 began. It took some time, but we eventually got her calm enough to lay down and with the assist of a mound of pillows to support my arms, she fell asleep... until 1am. Croup all over again, this time we did both cool night air and the steamy shower. I seriously had one of my first "power Mom" moments. Have you heard how mothers can do extreme things when their babies are in danger, like lift cars? I stood outside, barefoot, on a night they thought would bring frost and did not even shiver. STEVE SHIVERED! I stood there with my barking seal baby wrapped in blankets and hardly noticed how cold it was?! me! The coldest person on the planet, except for my mother of course. She was up until nearly 4am, when she must have become completely exhausted and fell asleep again until about 6.

We called the pediatrician first thing and they got her in right away for treatment. We were send home with one dexamethasone (a steroid) to crush up and give her with her breakfast. The steroid was to bring the swelling in her airways down so she might not be as bad that night, but we were left with a stern warning to expect another rough night.

Our neighbors had a get together to commemorate Octoberfest Saturday afternoon/evening, complete with awesome firepit action. (Greg, you will have pit envy!) We spent some time over there and Caroline fell asleep by the fire, breathing in that cool evening air, which we were hopeful would curb the croup. There was no crouping, but there were three wake up calls at 11pm (we'd been asleep for about an hour), 3:30, and 6 making way for family sleepover night #3 and at 6 she was up for the day. Steve took her downstairs and I caught two more hours of much needed sleep. Thank god for that. He napped later that afternoon very briefly, but not nearly enough.

So we survived croup, barely. If this had been mid week I honestly do not know how we would have functioned. As I lay in bed on Friday night with my sick baby snuggled close, my eyes burned with anger and hatred for school and Caroline's fellow "classmates" and parents. I was so mad that I literally could not rest, despite my tired swollen eyes. I had those fake in your head conversations with the Directors about exactly where they could put their "tuition." Are we paying for childcare or immunity? And if it's immunity, why pay them when I can surely buy it in a petri dish online somewhere?

Here we are Monday night and she is so far (knock on wood) sleeping soundly upstairs, wearing her Red Sox pjs in hopes that the Sox can pull off a win. She still has a little runny nose, but she is much healthier than she was on Thursday, just in time to go back to school and subject her weakened immune system to more germs.

I have calmed down and I have three suggestions that I will be offering up along with our payment this week. They are not all related to illness, but they would make me feel a lot better. Why not just air all my concerns at once right?

ONE

There is more to my daughter's day that meals, diapers, and naps. Tell me what kind of day she had! Add a mood indicator to the bottom of the form, perhaps based on the pain scale to tell the parents what kind of day their child had. Kind of grumpy, circle the frowny face. Overall pretty happy day, circle the smile.

Pain Scale

TWO

Since the people we drop off with aren't the people we pick up from and can never ever answer any questions about her day, tell us ONE thing she did. She read a book? GREAT! She went outside for an hour? Fabulous! She played with that germ factory Hannah? not so good, but thanks for the warning.

THREE

Start a Parent Communication board for each classroom for parents to share information. "Johnny has a runny nose." "Michael had a bug." "Hannah is as usual sick sick sick." In fact, let's just save Hannah's mom the trouble of writing out the litany of ailments which her daughter brings with her to school. We'll just leave up a permanent magnet that reads "SICK!" Steve added that parents could also share accomplishments and other fun things. "Johnny got another tooth." "Michael's walking." "Hannah busy creating a superbug!" If parents actually used this it would at least give us all a heads up on what might be coming our way. That runny nose we thought we were dealing with might have been given a bit more attention if we had read that Johnny had croup. Our kids are all getting sick constantly, so why not warn one another of the potential things that our kids might be bringing home?

I plan on presenting my ideas to the directors on Tuesday. I don't plan on a positive reception, but instead of complaining about her constant sickness, at least I thought of ways to make things better.


So in review; Caroline was sick. She had croup. She sat in a steamy shower and on the freezing cold stoop. There were three Family Sleeovers. She was up A LOT at night. Mom couldn't pump any extra milk. Caroline is better.

Peaks and valleys. Peaks and valleys.

Three is for Leather

If I had not been at a conference yesterday all day I would have been able to post this on 10/10, our THIRD wedding anniversary. Is it possible that I blinked and it has been that long? I have everything I could ever need in life and feel so incredibly blessed to have a partner like Steve. He is a handsome, kind, sports lunatic of a man and I simply adore him. Seeing as how I plan on being with him forever, I suppose three years is a drop in the bucket, but we aren't so newly married anymore and yet despite that, here we are. It sort of makes me proud! Some things are different, but I think our relationship has grown and matured with us. The wonderful memories of the fanfare and fun on 10/10/04, which could never ever be replicated for us, are more enjoyable and delicious to recall on nights like yesterday; us, some wine, and the Gray's FINALE from LAST season (I know, but give us a break, the kid and all). I should also add how incredibly lucky I feel to have a shiny new stunning wallet - courtesy of our traditional gift giving tradition. It's tres beautiful. Am I terrible wife because his gift got delayed in shipping?

Don't worry he'll have it soon - geez!

I was both teary eyed and grinning ear to ear looking at these moments from 3 years ago. What babies we were?! What babies The McCarthy's were!? Such good warm memories...


























Moderate altitude

This morning as I lay in bed half awake listening to the distant ba ba ba ing of my daughter, it occurred to me that our current good morning routine is about 1001 times better than our previous "OH CRAP she's awake, move! move! move!" drill. These days I peek over at the monitor with one eye and see her on her back, feet in the air, thumb in mouth, babbling away. Rewind the tape to just a couple months ago (if even that long ago?) and you would have seen a screaming baby demanding that you "send a parent at once, skip the loo dude, for I am starving and require your assistance." Even when she is hungry now and waiting for me to get everything set up in the morning for our simultaneous pump and eat, there is so much more dare I say patience? and on some lucky days melt your heart smiles?

Sitting up straight is a rarity too, not that Caroline is incapable, girl's got some serious core strength! She just prefers to lean forward to touch EVERYTHING and to reach for things that were previously inaccessible. When we put her on her activity mat, she wants to dig through her toys, pulling them one by one from the basket. If she spies something more interesting, usually something we have, she drops whatever she is holding and shakes her arms in excitement.

Caroline may not be moving persay, but we can't quite figure out how it is that she starts on one end of the blanket and ends up at the television, pulling her diaper caddy out for closer inspection. She seems to be moving backward by squirming? She is spending more time pushing onto her belly, rolling onto her back, and to tummy again, but she is stuck at two places; she cannot seem to master tummy to sitting nor getting her right leg to move allowing her to fall forward to her belly. NOT FOR LACK OF TRYING. I am becoming more and more reliant on the blessed pack n play for assistance with baby wrangling. Caroline doesn't seem to mind, as long as she has some entertainment in there with her.

Yesterday we observed her plucking the tiniest stacking cup from the stacking cup tower, placing it down and removing the next tiniest and so on. She used to just grab the whole stack, shake it, sending the pieces flying.

At the grocery store she sits in the seat now, surrounded by a safari truck cushion/activity center. Once safely strapped in, she plays with the little zoo guide, keys, walkie talkie, bears. I usually FLY through the store in anticipation and avoidance of a crying jag that is not only embarassing, but also so terrible for her. Yesterday she was content as could be, smiling at everyone we walked by, entertained by her safari mat and aisle after aisle of colorful boxes and jars. A shopper chatted with her in the deli, explaining to me that she is going to be a very talkative little girl, so expressive, and she should know afterall because she is a speech therapist. I try to take things that strangers say with a grain of salt, but she may be right, Caroline is so expressive and seeing her out of the corner of my eye watching me selecting lasagna noodles, garlic bread, pastina for her, she was taking it all in. I stopped my shopping a couple times to nuzzle her adorable mug and she squealed in delight. Shoppers would wave to her and she would whip her body around to get a second glance.

Our family sat together on the floor for a just a little while last night. Caroline did that sucking in laugh she does when I pretended to chew on her side. She grabbed our faces. There were many ba ba bas. She wants to touch us now too. If you are sitting with her she will move herself to touch your arm or grab your leg, sometimes flopping onto her back so she can peer up at you upside down (a favorite pastime). Steve said she is a little girl now. We are truly seeing glimpses of the little girl she will become or is already - I don't know which is true?

After her tub and pajamas, I sat with her and read her stories, culminating in Green Eggs and Ham as is protocol around these parts (kudos to auntie for getting through sans book). While I read to her about the house and the mouse and box and the fox she gently rubbed my leg with her fingers while sucking her thumb, at times watching the pages, other times the cat, still others laying her head back to see my face.

A bedtime snack and it was off to sleep, without so much as a single peep, just a sweet milky sigh of contentment.

Parenthood is full of hills and valleys and the best you can hope for is a moderate altitude. I will resist the urge to prepare for the the valley that must lie ahead , but instead appreciate the contentment and joy that we have been having; this place where parenting seems to have reached its highest peak.

Weekend Recap

I am a wordy woman. I am at times an inefficient communicator. Am I capable of summarizing an entire weekend in 15 sentences?

What a surprise for Kiki and Steve to see Caroline rolling up to the tailgate!

Caroline wore BC apparel (duh!) and her madras shorts, with lots of sunscreen because clearly New England has not yet captured this mysterious thing called fall.

Uncle Hokie enjoyed watching Caroline's latest tricks which include squirming to reach an object out of reach, clapping when she is happy or excited, and moving BACKWARDS!

Finally, Baby Christian and Baby Caroline meet! She slept and he adorably said ba ba (baby) while sweetly and gently touching her tiny fingers and toes.

Caroline's parents got to experience an entire night out to celebrate their third wedding anniversary and be Kerri and Steve, not just Caroline's Mom and Dad.


Mom wore strappy heels, leg elongating jeans, and a fitted dressy T that made her feel like a hot mama.

Spellbound Petite Syrah; try it!

The new PF Changs is WAY better than the old one!

Three years later the Sox are once again playing the Angels on our wedding weekend (as pointed out by Neil) and we may or may not have BRIEFLY busted in (peeking in the door isn't busting in is it?) on a wedding at the Sheraton, enjoyed delicious dangerous drinks at our old favorite spots, and perhaps just maybe this mom enjoyed one too many cocktails, but she had an absolute BLAST.


Auntie k got the babe to bed with ease and it was clear the next morning when we came to pick the bonded duo up for breakfast that Caroline not only knows her auntie, but has such amazing affection for her.

Auntie made note of a couple "Caroisms" that as her parents we tend to take for granted, especially my favorite one where she gently rubs your arm while she is eating.

A thousand thanks to Auntie k for making such a special weekend possible. Caroline says ba ba ba ba, which loosely translated means I love you.

Stevie's in heaven with the Sox, the Pats, and his Eagles ranked unbelievably 4th in the country.

Knocked Up

Not me! The movie - geez!!!!

I feel it necessary to note that this movie was everything we hoped it would be. Not only did Knocked Up have the distinction of being the first movie we have watched in a long LONG time, but it delivered (HA!). I mean clearly the winner of best comedy and best hissy fit at the Teen Choice Awards was so obviously meant for US Weekly reading newbie parents like us!

Everything you heard is true, yet ye to On Demand or your Netflix que at once!

*** Per Adrienne, queue - not que - oy - my spelling atrocities continue - Thanks A! ***

I think we enjoyed it even more because of the recency of our own pregnancy experience. You'll laugh (a lot) and maybe might even shed a tear (or two). This was especially true for me at the climactic ending and you'll be happy to learn that the DVD offers a bonus alternate montage - I heart bonuses!

Though this flick clearly won't be making much Oscar buzz this year, it is a winner for its ability to get two parents to stay up past 10 laughing their tired butts off.

What are you waiting for - go get Knocked Up!!! (HA!)

PS. How much do you love IMDB?

Stuff I just discovered:

Judd Apatow (the writer/director) and the oh so familiar Leslie Mann/Debbie (also Hooters girl from Big Daddy, love interest from 40 year-old Virgin and The Cable Guy) are married in real life and their two real daughters played Debbie and Pete's girls Charlotte and Sadie. What cuties!

Released from my milky chains

A pumping update, for those not interested in reading anymore about nursing or pumps please accept my apologies for writing so much about it. I write about what is happening and this is where we are at right now.

SOOOOO.... The Magical Milking Machine is the most fabulous thing ever. Yesterday I pumped nearly 4 oz mid morning and FIVE oz early afternoon. My last pump of the day was ehh, but I went home with two full bottles. WOO HOO! That combined with the nearly full bottle at home made me incredibly a bottle ahead going into Thursday. This is typically the day in the week where I am biting my nails, sweating, and hoping against all hopes that somehow I will collect enough to top off that third bottle for Caroline's last day of the week at school. I am just wishing we had this wonderful device earlier.

Now I can also begin to consider the possibility that I might someday FREEZE some of this milk again!!! Ask any nursing Mom with only 6 oz in their freezer how it would feel to know that they might possibly build upon those 6 oz again? or what it might be like to say spend some time away from their baby without immediately thinking, but the milk? how will we have enough for school next week? or the elation they might feel imagining an evening away to see a movie, go to dinner? While we are feeling crazy... what about an entire night away?????

Wooo - hold on - let's not get too excited!

Really I cannot adequately describe the RELIEF I am feeling. It has been incredibly challenging to keep up with the nursing while working. The pressure I have been feeling (which I fully admit and understand I have put upon myself!) has been so intense and no Mom wants to feel way I was.

So why did I put the pressure on myself the way I did?

I still don't completely understand my formula aversion, afterall I was a formula baby myself and I like to think that I turned out ok, no worse for the wear. I suppose that in this world we live in today, choosing something natural like this, that might provide some benefit to her (and also to me) later on in life seemed like the best choice to make. Knowing that this milk could grow with her, meeting her changing needs as time went on, and potentially protect her from illness made it a really attractive option to us.

Steve for his part has been an incredible support all along. When Caroline was Cash we agreed that we would try nursing, but I am certain that if I had said I wasn't interested he would have wholeheartedly embraced my decision. I know that if I came home today and said, you know what I think I've had enough, he would support my decision. When I explained to him how I was feeling about potentially not meeting her nutritional needs, he immediately jumped up and reserached options for us to make this work. I am so grateful to have such a supportive and hands on partner in parenthood.

Life was challenging for us as of late....

"Hey, you wanna go here? "
"Ok, but the baby will need to eat and I don't want to bring a bottle, we need it for school."

AND WE DID! I seriously would start the week with a small stash from Thursday and once a day pumpings from Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and this would be enough for Tuesday school and part of Wednesday and from there it all went downhill and my little supply was gone and I was left staring sadly into a fridge of barely half full Medela bottles.

Trapped by milk I was
Slave to the pump, it felt
Freedom rising up

We are writing a new chapter here and it feels so wonderful!

Bessie and the www drought

The pump has arrived and all is good in the land of nursing. Caroline and I picked it up Monday afternoon from a local home care supply place, who by the way had cautioned me that it may take as long as THREE whole days to arrive. Three days would have been Thursday my friends, not MONDAY, a full week after it had been ordered. The final cost of my miraculous milking machine - $561.00! Five hundred and sixty-one dollars!!! A difference of $242 from the regular retail price!

Instead of focusing on the sad state of the cost of health care in this country, I will be thankful that my beloved BCBS came through for us on this one. Steve can finally see some reward for the astronomical cost of having "Family" medical insurance through his employer.

Truthfully, we are incredibly lucky. In my business, it is a rarity to hear someone say something positive about their insurance. A great deal of my time is in fact spent working with clients to locate funding sources to assist them with the cost of medical equipment, medication, and various other medical necessities that are deemed "uncovered expenses." The fact that BCBS got hosed on the deal is really their own fault isn't it? I mean if they would just allow women to purchase the pumps retail and submit for reimbursement none of this would have to happen.

As I said last time, seems like this measure is in place only to discourage women (new moms at that, who are both sleep deprived and incapable of remembering to eat lunch) from accessing this benefit. I think I would have been really discouraged if we had tried to get this pump way back in the Spring. (That seems so long ago now) Discouraged as I may have been, I have a feeling that Steve would have traveled anywhere to get that pump for us if I hadn't have been able to do it myself.

So how is my $561.00 miracle?

I was not anticipating immediate results of any kind. Increasing your supply can take time and that is especially true now that Caroline is (gasp!) an older baby.

So we tried it…

… Monday afternoon with good results (about 2.5 oz from one side)
… before bed that night with much better than usual results (2 oz)
… again Tuesday morning with ehh results (about 2 oz)
… at work Tuesday producing about 7 oz combined over two pumping sessions, awesome
... Tuesday night before bed (just over 2 oz)
... Wednesday am (3 oz!)

So what do I think?

I definitely feel more Bessie-like, what with the motor humming and tubes. It has been a much more pleasant experience than my manual pump and really does take less than HALF the time. That in and of itself is worth feeling like Bessie for. I am hoping that this week will be the bright beginnings of a beautiful new milk supply. I hate feeling the intense pressure to produce the following days milk and when I feel that pressure I create less. So perhaps with renewed spirit and attitude and more milk flowing I can make that happen.

My Internet service was down yesterday afternoon and I was lost. I actually typed this post in Word to copy and paste once it came back, but it never did, which made me realize how much time I spend online, both for work and recreational purposes. A lot of my work is completed online; researching resources for clients, looking for grants, searching for housing options for aging parents, sending caregiving information from the web to people via email. I suddenly felt very isolated without access to my Gmail account. I noted a heightened desire, NO need, to read all about Boston news. My inability to update McCashew was making me frustrated and grumpy.

Despite my lack of www accessability I got a lot of work done, but also am starting off this morning with a mile long to do list that was waiting on Internet resources.

Caroline Today:
Caroline is wearing a long sleeve pink onesie today that says "selective listener."

Story from School:
One the aids at school, Emily, brought her over to me at pick-up yesterday and told me that Caroline is her favorite. I jokingly whispered back, "I don't think you are supposed to have favorites." Emily said, "I know, but I can't help it, she is just so cute." If that doesn't make a Mom happy...