This week my dear friend Kristen, who is totally turning out to be my mommy mentor, gave me her pump after reading my kvetchy post about having to plan ahead whenever I want to go somewhere alone, and the cumbersome use of my hand pump, and how electric pumps were too expensive to justify for me. Wow. It’s amazing what some electricity can do. Here’s a bottle of pumped milk – I spent less than 10 minutes pumping and got almost 4 ounces. Next to it is the product of my most recent manual pump. It’s hard to tell because I knocked the bottle over and the milk splashed up, but it’s less than an ounce. That looks like about 20 milliliters, and it was a solid 20 minutes of pumping. Yay for electric pumps. I have a little arsenal of milk in my freezer now.
Here was my beautiful, bubbling, growing sourdough starter, before I had to kill it. It took a while to get going, but once it did it smelled delicious and was a little ferment machine. It had sticky, stretchy legs and everything. So I halved it, fed it, and put it back in the warm spot by the frog tank. It wasn’t doubling. I checked it – without opening the lid I could see that it was just not growing. I opened the lid, and oh, the smell. It had turned to a slimy, runny, stinky mess. It smelled like bad cheese, and had little clumps even though I incorporated it well before setting it out. Down the drain it went, washed away with my hopes and dreams. I sent away for a dried starter, we’ll see if I can make it work.
The Little Pie is standing alone! She is great at pulling herself up if you let her wrap her little hands around your fingers to offer support, but here she was standing with the mountain man, hands clenching fingers, and started stepping toward the ottoman. So he let her have one hand to rest on the ottoman, and then the other. She stood! Then she tried to get mama’s toes in her mouth and fell down. It’s OK, I’m not ready for a cruiser yet.
Uncle Bugg and the mountain man enjoy some snuggle time. I could not tell you how Uncle Bugg is supporting himself. Really I don’t understand the physics of this. The mountain man said that he could only feel Bugg’s front paws, and he didn’t know where his weight was either. Magic.
Oh boy. So here’s my desk. I wrote about it in my post about my unreasonable, obsessive, irrational and personally detrimental need to be over-committed. This is how we live, with piles on the couch because I have no other way. So I decided to do something about it.
In the process I found my driver’s license renewal form. It was in my pile of VERY IMPORTANT PAPERS. Thank you, Rachel Anne, for having such a timely small thing.
And I found this old upright file folder holder thing that I used to use when I had my home office on a tiny built-in desk in our tiny apartment in Seattle, I actually ran a business in 3 square feet. And that included my seat. So this little table, for now, is my “desk”. It’s behind the green couch, and is my repository for all things file-able, my in-progress projects, my box of cards (if you haven’t yet received a thank-you for a baby gift, you’re welcome to come over, grab a card out of the box, and write something. I’ll sign it. Or you can wait a little more. It’s on my list.)
And, after a torturous night and the subsequent torturous day with a baby who wouldn’t sleep, I broke down and bought an Ergo, because I have liked the ones I’ve tested out, people swear by them, and I needed a baby who would sleep. I don’t know what buying an Ergo necessarily has to do with her sleeping, except that she wanted to be held, I needed to get stuff done, and as much as I love it, it’s hard to do chores in the wrap. And I guess I thought if I could get stuff done and if the Pie could sleep in the Ergo, maybe I would be in a less crappy, crabby mommy kind of mood. She did not love the acrobatics of my bumbling attempts to get her on my hip or back by myself, but she was happy once she was in it. The mountain man is going to take her for a walk tomorrow. I might go along, but I am also fantasizing about a glass of wine, some chocolate, a book and a bubble bath.
I used to think that that mommy fantasy was dumb. Now I have dreams about bubble baths. (no, i didn’t wet the bed) I also had a dream that I had pet rats and that my friend had triplets and I dropped one of them.
Here the Little Pie shows off her mad sitting skills. She’s getting good. Maybe even a natural sitter. That girl’s a sitting machine. She can even catch herself and come back to center when she gets leaning, and she can look up and around without toppling. Most of the time. She always has toys at her feet and reaches for whatever I put near her, especially if it’s Uncle Bugg or Uncle Marpo. (And btw, whenever we’re at my mom’s house she puts throw pillows behind the Pie, in case she kertopples. But as any parent should know, the baby will always kertopple in the exact spot where there is no pillow.)
And yes, that shirt says “when mom says no, call 1-800-Grandma.” I have some major issues with the message, but I thought my mom would laugh. And she did. What poor little Pie doesn’t know is that she doesn’t have a Grandma. She’s got an Oma and a Nana, but no Grandma.
And while we were there, she got pretty close to the back-to-tummy roll! She gets herself on her side, kicks her leg over and gets her top foot on the floor! Since she hates tummy time so much she hasn’t learned the tummy-to-back roll. She gets really close but the scream that she emits after a few minutes of tummy time makes me give in and flip her over. I think she’ll be sorely disappointed when she achieves the back-to-tummy and finds herself… on her tummy.
We’re back to swaddling the Pie to sleep. When she’s “free range” she is a little skin-seeking missile. Any time I shift, her arms both flail out, sort of like the Moro reflex, seeking contact with skin. If I’m wearing a shirt I end up with my eyeballs being clenched by a tiny baby fist, desperate to retain skin-to-skin contact at all times. If she’s swaddled she doesn’t have that need for containment, I can sleep a little, I can get away while she’s napping, I can even sleep in my stomach for a little while.
I wanted to get her out of the swaddle so she could self soothe at night, but I think she was waking up more without the swaddle (up to 10 times a night. unacceptable) than with it. The mountain man often asks me how long we’re going to swaddle her. I’m just going to keep doing it as long as it’s working.
And if that means I have to teach her husband how to swaddle her, I can accept that.