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    New Daycare

    September 14th, 2009

    G started at his new daycare today. It’s too early for me to have a well-rounded opinion, but first impressions count, and today’s was pretty good!

    I had a knot in my stomach all day: it felt just like dropping him off at daycare that very first January day. I wonder if I’ll feel that way each time he starts a new school or a new room. I don’t know why I was worried: being neglected perhaps and not getting enough care and attention.

    As S and I left, we braced ourselves for G crying. Yet nothing… or at least we heard nothing as we walked past the door.

    I called mid day to check-in on him and had the following phone conversation:

    Me: Hi I’m calling to check on G — it’s his first day today.

    K: Oh, the police is here with a dog… [insert long pause here, at which point I’m thinking “Are you about to tell me something’s happened to my child onlywithin 3 hours of me dropping him off?”]… doing a demonstration and all the kids are outside watching and having a great time.

    Me: Ughmn, G is in the infant care program. Is he out with the dog too?

    K: Oh, lemme check… Nope, he’s inside. Here’s the director!

    The director and I proceeded to have a much calmer discussion.

    When S and I came to pick G up in the afternoon his face lit up when he saw us. He pointed to S and said “Dada”. (Now, he says “Dadadadada” a bunch, but today I’m pretending it was in context ;p)

    Overall, today was a pretty good day. I’m pleasantly surprised because I really expected this week (and into next, to be honest) to be quite rough. I was expecting Screamfest 2009, paired with no naps and little eating. Instead, we got a well-fed kid who took 2 naps (albeit short) who was hanging out in Ms. J’s lap, surrounded by two classmates and smiling when we arrived. So yeah, score for Day 1. I can only hope the rest of the transition goes as well.

    One of his new teachers made my heart pitter-patter when she handed me a list of his daily activities: when he napped, how long he slept, when he ate, and when his diaper was changed. And I didn’t even have to ask!!! I have a small crush! They also gave us a collage of G playing in his new digs to commemorate his first day. It was sweet! What’s even better is that he’s not crying in either photo. I don’t know if that was the exception or the rule of his day today, but I’m pretty happy.

    P.S. As S and I were signing out (signing in and out each day is something we’re going to have to get used to), we saw that the new place does Parents Night Out. Once a month from 6-11pm, they keep the kids for $30 (TOTAL!) so the parents can have a night out. It’s the same teachers as during the day, but they get to stay longer. This is huge! S and I are excited about trying it out. Not that we wanna party ’till 11, but I smell a movie night, or perhaps socializing with people that like to eat dinner after 6pm.

    So that’s the review of our first day.

    Let’s talk about body image

    September 13th, 2009

    … or perhaps my lack there of. In summary, I am really, really unhappy with the way I look. And it’s my fault. Completely.

    For the past year I have not been eating well, or in moderation. I’ve used breastfeeding as an excuse for over-eating, and my supply issues as a reason to not work-out.

    Well, my figure is now rewarding me for the neglect with some nice poundage and flab. I hurry past the mirror heading to the shower to spare myself the disappointment. I look longingly at bodies of mothers at work and my mom’s group, envious of their willpower and ability to look fit.

    But I am doing something about it. I promised myself that when G turned 1, and I started weaning I was going to do better for myself. I was a week late getting started, BUT I’m working out now daily. I’ve convinced S to do Jillian Michael’s “30 Day Shred” with me. I can find 20 minutes each day to work out, and we typically start after putting G to bed and dinner. We’re now on Day 10. It’s tiring, and I’m sore; liposuction has never sounded better, but I’m proud for making it 10 days. I’m really dedicated to making it through the 30 days.

    Obviously there’s not much of a difference quite yet in my appearance, but I do feel better about myself. It’s certainly psychosomatic, but I’m not hating the mirror as much as I used to. Let’s see what I’ll have to say in another 20 days.

    Meanwhile G’s been enjoying his mom and dad’s new toys (aka hand-weights). He got really mad trying to pick up a 5lb weight and not being able to. I mean really mad. It made me crack up. And take a picture.

    Yeah, that’s how I feel at the end of every work-out too, Kid. Or having to work out for that matter.

    Little feet

    September 12th, 2009

    When G was born, the hospital inked his feet. I saved the paper.

    Well, now that he’s 1, I thought it’d be fun to do it again to see how he’s grown. I’m thinking of doing this every year… or at least as long as he’ll let me.

    I’m really hoping he’ll be a lot more cooperative Year 2, ‘cuz doing this with a one year old required two people and resulted in one agitated baby.

    PS. Now I know why I’ve been needing to get him new socks!

    A visit to the nutritionist

    September 11th, 2009

    We saw the nutritionist this past Tuesday. I dragged my feet writing about it, because honestly it was beyond underwealming. I didn’t get much out of it. I’m not much of a reader (if it’s more than a web-page long I loose interest… seriously), but I guess I had done enough poking online that I received no new information from our visit.

    In short: no clues as to why G goes on hunger strikes. No suggestions on what we can do to reverse them or shorten their duration. Am I frustrated? Yes. We’re at the end of the road here as far as people with letters after their names go. The only thing I can hope for is to continue tracking what’s going on around G when he goes into these phases and see if there is any environmental correlation.

    None-the-less, there were a few things that the nutritionist mentioned that might be of interest to those of you reading. Changes in eating patterns may occur in youngin’ if:

    1. they are teething
    2. they are coming up on on a developmental milestone, or have just reached one. It’s apparently a lot more fun to do the new activity then eat.
    3. their eating environment is too distracting
    4. their parents make a big deal about eating. Ok, I AM guilty of this one here. I do try to be as casual as possible about giving him dinner, and never push food on him once he indicates he’s done, but I’m sure some of my concern is apparent to him
    5. the parents don’t eat at the same time. This is also something we are guilty of. S and G get home at 6. I get home a bit before that and have just enough time to feed Neko, clean the litterbox and put away my pumped milk. G goes to bed between 7-7:30, so his dinner time is as soon as he gets home around 6ish. There is categorically no way I can have dinner ready for G, as well as S and I in order for us to all eat together. As much as I’d love to, it just isn’t going to happen. However, eating together is important for two reasons:
      1. the child doesn’t feel stared at, so anxiety levels don’t creep in
      2. the parents model eating behavior, and display how to eat, as well as that the food the child is about to have (provided it’s the same as the parent’s) is not poisonous, but rather edible

      So S and I are doing the best that we can. Ironically, we all eat best together when we go out for dinner.

    6. there has been a change in the home. This can be a big change directly impacting the child (such as a new home), or an indirect change (parent starting a new job). Any change to a set routine will require an adjustment period.

    So while some of these items do apply to us, they don’t change over time, so there’s no reason why G would have good periods and bad periods. We are doing our best to address them.

    Since G is starting a new daycare on Monday though, I expect we’re about to enter a new phase in eating revolt. I’m ready for it this time though and know to expect it. Honestly, I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t happen.

    Some other things the nutritionist mentioned:

    • establish a dedicated eating space and eating etiquette. It’s bad for kids to run around the dinner table while they’re being fed. The primary reason is because they never get enough and it reinforces a habit of eating on the run (ha! pun)
    • for G’s age group, the daily caloric intake should be around 900-1100 calories. This I already knew btw, from http://www.ohsu.edu/academic/picu/PedTPNguide.htm (I’ll spare you the article: just read section IIA). Based on G’s weight and age, right now he should be consuming between 630 and 750 kCal daily to stay on a normal curve. To increase growth, increase that intake 50-100%. So yeah, my kid is supposed to have the same portion size as me. Unreal, right?

    We also talked about adding fat to his diet. Again, butter on bread, or mixed in with his cereal. Olive oil mixed in with his pureed food, or used for dipping his veggies or bread.

    So yeah, while S and I pant to the 30 Day Shred (more on this in a later post) each night, I’m supposed to be fattening up the kid. Can we trade places?

    Who’s afraid of the big Grand-daddy?

    September 9th, 2009

    Meet my dad. We call him Grandpa V.

    He’s a logical guy, with a stern demeanor. However he’s a softie when it comes to G and laughs around him in ways I’ve rarely seen growing up. I love my dad, and am thrilled that he’s so excited about his grand-son.

    G on the other hand doesn’t share the same sentiment. Over the last month or so, whenever my dad approached him, G’s bottom lip would pout out and was followed, within a few seconds, by a yelp, then a cry, and then some more crying. Tears are included too in that package deal. What gives? Yes, Grandpa V has a beard… but so does Daddy. Grandpa V has slightly longer hair than (most) guys in G’s life, but it’s not like he hasn’t seen long hair before. I mean, c’mon – I was channeling Cousin It until I cut my hair a few weeks ago. So I don’t get it. It bums me out too because I’m SO excited that my dad is so in love with this little guy and is such a softie for him: he was never that way with me or my sister. I know this bugs him on the inside too.

    He doesn’t do it with any of the other grand-parents.

    I’m trying to show G that my dad is not scary. I sit next to my dad, holding G, showing him he’s alright. G comes around, and yet 5 min later… crocodile tears.

    It doesn’t help that we live far away from the grandparents. It’s just our fact of life. I’d say “Dad, I want you and G to spent more time together”, but 350 miles tend to stand in the way of that. I’m thinking of making a Skype video call part of a weekly routine, but I don’t know that it’s the same thing – besides I can make G sit still only for so long before he wants to crawl away to a stacking cube and lick it.

    So any ideas? More than welcome. Meanwhile, Dad – we love you. Please don’t be sad!

    Movie Monday (uhmn… he walks!)

    September 6th, 2009

    Ok, I take it back. My kid is now officially cruising AND taking his first supported steps. This morning… nada. Then we went to a playdate where G’s friend M was running circles around G. I should mention that M is but a week or two older than G. I guess G was feeling a bit behind, because when we got home he decided to try out some of M’s moves. Thanx M!

    I stood there with my jaw agape with my hands over my mouth (tearing up mind you) as I watched my munchkin push and step with his car. Then it hit me “Camera’s right there, Record! Record! Record!” So here are a few precious moments of G walking.


    PS. Don’t you dig his new shoes? They’re on sale at Amazon right now!

    Guess who’s standing now?

    September 5th, 2009

    That’s right! On Wednesday (9/2), in honor of Grammie and Pop’s last day in town, G decided to stand. Since then he’s also made a couple of steps on his own. I am far from calling it cruising, however, as the steps (at least the ones I witnessed) didn’t appear intentional, nor were repeated. But we’ve got a young man who’s ready to stand and deliver!

    Doesn’t he just look SO proud of himself?

    Party, party!

    September 4th, 2009

    G’s birthday party was a lot of fun! I’m thankful that so many of our friends and family joined us to wish him a Happy 1st.

    Someone must have snuck behind my back and told G about being “fashionably late”. The day of his birthday, G took one of the longest naps he’s ever done. His went down at 8:30 and woke up at 11. His party? Yeah, that started at 10:30. I agonized over when to start it. His morning naps typically started no later than 8 and at best went 2 hours long, so I figured he might be a “little” late to his own party. Not an hour late ;p Still, I am grateful that everyone was so patient!

    In honor of G’s first Big Boy food being Greek, we had lunch catered by a very tasty Mediterranean restaurant. I made tasty sugar-free muffins for the wee-ones whose parents didn’t want a sugar-high, and they turned out very well. (I used this First Birthday Cake recipe, btw). The sugar fiends of us, meanwhile enjoyed monstrous cupcakes from Costco (have you seen these things? Each is the size of a child’s smash cake!)

    G was a very big boy and didn’t cry while we all sang him Happy Birthday. I on the other hand, did! Can’t explain it. Maybe it’s because my little dude is growing up? Who knows, but I’ll just say I was glad I wore sun-glasses that day.

    I didn’t get to take many photos. Actually I didn’t get to take ANY photos. It’s ironic, because leading up to the day I had nightmares about my camera not working, being stolen, so on and so forth. And yet that day, I took no pictures. Thankfully S did. I’m also shamelessly stealing some from other friends and family that also did.


    See more birthday party fun:

    Foto Friday

    September 4th, 2009

    This past week G had a whole lotta family love around him. I’m kicking myself because of a Legacy project I missed out on the opportunity of doing. Right after everyone left, I thought to myself “Wouldn’t it be cool, if all of G’s (great-)grammies, grand-pa’s, aunts, uncles and cousins recorded their voices reading him a story? Each voice, a different story.” That way he’d remember everyone in between visits and it would be a great keep-sake for when he’s older.

    My dad’s mom passed away when I was very young. She had cancer. Before she died, she gifted me a set of ear-rings that had been passed down in my family a few generations. That evening was taped, and it’s my favorite recording of all time. It’s so amazing for me to hear her voice and get to know her through that sound. I’d like G to be able to have the same experience.

    So… it’s a project in the works, but meanwhile, here are a whole lotta photos from the past week.

    Family Portraits

    See more family photos

    Play-time w/ Aunt P, Grandma and Grandpa

    See more playtime fun

    Let the cow milk flow!

    September 2nd, 2009

    We’re weaning.

    G is now a year old, and with the exception of maybe 10oz total of formula “experimentation”, I can say that this little man has been exclusively breast-milk fed. This is something I never thought I’d come to say. Even before he was born I knew that every day I could provide for him would be a blessing. I knew that supply issues, having ran in my family, would greet me as well. That assumption did not disappoint. I’ve taken numerous supplements and meds, woken-up each morning at 2am to pump (just to maintain supply), hydrated myself silly, and spent 2.5hrs of my work day in the mom’s room pumping. I have no qualms with saying that I’ve given breastfeeding my best shot. I am proud to have gotten here. It was pure stubborn-ness, but we got here.

    I began introducing dairy to G about a week and a half before his first birthday. My freeze-stash was depleting and my supply took a dip again. I saw no reason to try to fuss with my meds dosage, so I started with 1oz of whole cow milk in his bottles mixed in with his Mamma-Juice. I’ve increased it by an ounce each day. He’s now consuming 14oz of cow’s milk working his way up to 20oz. I will continue nursing him mornings and evenings as long as my supply will let me… or G will co-operate.

    I can’t say that I’m not enjoying the liberty that weaning is affording me. I’m more productive at work. I can sleep more than 3 hours in a row, so I’m rested more than I have been all year. Above all, my anxiety levels have greatly come down. I don’t know if I can ever describe what it feels like to know that you can’t give your baby something they need. Especially when you know that 1) they’re under-weight; 2) refuse to drink formula (those 10oz were a battle, believe me, and we tried all sorts of different brands and ratio mixes w/ breastmilk). Interestingly enough, now all of that stress is subsiding, I’m enjoying the nursing time we have together more than before.

    The one thing that did take me aback, though, was G’s one year Well appointment. During our discussion on nutrition and weaning, G’s doc was happy he was responding so well to WCM, but also advised that in addition to the moo-juice, he’d love to see me continue nursing until G turns two!!! The look on my face must have been something priceless (perhaps a mixture of awe and shock), because S stumbled to clarify. Honestly, I was thinking “Are you kidding me? Have you any idea what it took to get here?” I’m not against extended breastfeeding, believe me, I just never saw myself being able to do it. And I was resentful, because I felt like I just ran a marathon, only to be told I had to run the distance one more time before I could be rewarded. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure we’ll make it another full year, but we’ll take it each day at a time.

    Meanwhile, I am gradually  dropping how often I pump at work. This week, I’m down to 4 sessions; next week 3; then 2; then 1. I will continue to have that mid-day pump for as long as G and I do this together. I’ve heard too many horror stories to make drastic changes, plus if we’re going to continue the morning and evening feeds, I don’t really need to dry up. This milk will be frozen and used only for times I’m not around for him. It’s just strange that now that I’m weaning, because I still pump as often, my freezer stash is growing. Who knows how long that will last, but I’m not taking it for granted.

    On a side note, once G is fully transitioned to WCM, I only have to send empty bottles to day care. The new facility takes care of the milk. I’m looking forward to that!