Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sometimes good enough is...good enough

I have to keep reminding myself that I just had a baby a few weeks ago.

It isn't that I actually forget, for course. Not with Peach reminding me that he needs to eat every couple of hours ;)

What I do forgot is that I can't get everything done in the amount of time allotted to me each day. And I still have never been good at saying "no" to requests. So of course I was the first parent to volunteer to bake 4 dozen cookies for the oneg tomorrow night. I was actually hoping to use my new favourite chocolate chip recipe that I found from my new blog-friend, Hilary. And yet as the week progressed, and the fatigue progressed, it became clear that baking from scratch was going to be too labour-intensive.

Thank God for Nestle Refrigerated Cookie Dough. It just doesn't get easier than this!!
Admitedly, they won't be as delicious as completely homemade. But they will be a marked improvement over store-bought. Not fabulous, but good enough.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


That is the current weight of my almost 7 week-old son!

Eleven pounds, twelve ounces.

That's over three pounds in the past month. And it is music to my ears!!

Like most of us reared in the 50's, 60's, and 70's, I was fed formula and did not see other women nursing their babies. In fact, the first woman I recall breastfeeding is MrsGiraffe's sister, TanteBee. TanteBee was one of those new-fangled mothers who worked outside the home, used her maiden name as her middle name, and used her breast to feed her babies.

In other words, it was weird. At least, that is what I thought as an impressionable ten year old.

I was fed formula as were my siblings. My parents were fed formula as were their siblings. If it was good enough for us, it would be good enough for my babies. As a girl, I pretended to feed my dolls with toy bottles. If it was good enough for me, it was good enough for them. As I grew up, I figured that nursing must not be natural. After all, there were many books, classes, and support groups devoted to teaching women how to breastfeed. If it was natural, it should come -- naturally.

And yet...we humans are mammals. And the classification of a mammal is a vertebrate animal characterized by the production of milk in the females. The mammary glands are used to nourish the young. So in fact, nursing is natural. A natural, but lost, behaviour.

In the animal kingdom, and in more primitive cultures, young females observe mothers with their nurslings and are later surrounded by supportive and experienced nursers as they, in turn, become mothers. Our books, consultants, and classes are poor substitutes for these observable behaviours.

I nursed our first two children, but I never felt successful. I worried constantly that I was not producing enough milk -- an all too common misconception for it is extremely rare for a woman to be unable to produce enough milk to feed her baby. One of the pediatricians told me that my first-born son was not getting enough to eat. Not getting enough to eat?? You never tell a yiddishe mama that her poor little boychik isn't getting enough to eat. And so we supplemented with formula in order to satisfy him. Is it any wonder that I did not feel adequate? After I returned to work, I found it difficult to find time to pump and this did affect my milk supply. Beernut nursed for eleven months and Poppyseed nursed for seven. It did not occur to me to regard breastfeeding as anything other than a source of nourishment for my children.

I wanted my experience to be different with Peach. So I began to read the experiences of other mothers and have discovered that nursing goes beyond the feeding of a child. It can have profound physical and emotional impacts on the mother. It can have spiritual ones as well. The human body is an amazing creation. My milk is perfectly suited to the growing needs of my child. Human milk, for instance, contains a high percentage of lactose and fatty acids -- both required for the rapid brain development of a human infant. Contrast this with cow's milk which contains a high level of protein -- required for the rapid bone development needed by a calf who is mobile just hours after birth. The amount of milk my baby needs on any given day will fluctuate and my body will respond to his needs by manufacturing the right amount. The miracle of life does not end with birth...

Peach's weight gain is validation. Validation that I am making good choices about how I am mothering him - and in ways that differ from how I mothered his siblings. The selection of a supportive pediatrician makes all the difference in the world. Our doctor visits are like private La Leche meetings as he encourages my efforts.

And, of course, don't forget the water!! Though I have backed away from the 4 litres a day that I had been consuming during the waning days of gestation, I find that 2-3 daily litres keeps me satiated.

Every generation relies on the advice given by the medical community. Recognizing that trends change, I know that my parents made informed choices based on the information that they had available to them at the time. Just as I am doing with my children and they will do with their children. Just as my parents probably question some of these choices, so too will my children question mine.

In the meantime, my nursling is currently content and with a dreamy smile on his sweet lips as he sleeps happily in his bassinet -- which is next to my bed -- knowing that I am near and ready to respond to his needs.

Lailah tov...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Colour Appreciation

Earlier this week, I had the occasion to see into the future. I took my almost 4-year old daughter shopping and had visions of shopping trips yet-to-come as she gleefully went from store to store. At the Gap, Little Miss Poppyseed picked out this outfit:

It really is a cute outfit and she was really excited to get it in anticipation of being the Shabbat Star at school next week.

Not long after we had ducked into Macy's to find a bathroom, I heard a sharp intake of breath behind me.

"Oh! My! God! Look at those bags!"
{We had just entered the purse department}

"And they have jewelery here too!"
{She was beside herself}

On our way out of Macy's, we went through the shoe department where Poppyseed carefully pointed out her favourite shoes. Most of which, I might add, were by designers such as Ferragamo, Coach, and so forth. She is going to have some expensive habits, I'm afraid.

Stopping by Mrs. Bearsley's for a mid-shopping cookie, Poppyseed spied the cupcakes. I pointed out that cupcakes were pretty messy and given her track record, would stain her outfit.

"I could eat that one," she reasoned, "it matches my new outfit perfectly!"

So it does, my dear daughter. And so it does.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Homework Hassles

Which one is longer: a second or a minute? Seems like an easy question, no?

Not so fast! This question was on Beernut's homework and I must be honest when I say that it stumped me.

Before you jump in and remind me that my mathematical abilities have always been on the weak side, let me inform you that this question was not on a math worksheet but on a language arts worksheet.

I don't mean to make life harder. It's just that the word 'second' and the word ' minute' have an equal amount of letters. Which means that neither is longer. They are the same.

But I am thinking that maybe I am overthinking this. Or maybe I just think differently.

Beernut answered "a minute" and I am hoping that is the answer that is being sought.

Meanwhile, is it any wonder that I took so long to complete my homework as a kid??

Monday, May 21, 2007

I am woman -- hear me moo!

My entire life revolves around sustaining my newborn son. All I think about, read about, and talk about is milk! As amazing as it is that the female body can nurture life, so too am I amazed that my body can nourish that same life. Every one to three hours, my young son seeks me out, motivated by hunger, loneliness, sadness, or fear. And I alone have been able to provide comfort.

That changed yesterday as we find ourselves anticipating my eventual return to work. PC dragged the pump out of storage and I prepared a bottle for my little guy. Peach finished close to 2 ounces in no time -- but he was not happy with the substitute apparatus. He looked so sad...and I felt so sad. Sad because already he is growing so quickly. And this signified his first step of separation. With bottles, he is able to be nourished by others and no longer needs to be with just me.

I took him into bed for an afternoon nap. He nuzzled right up to me and gazed up with his big blue eyes. He smiled and drifted to sleep. And all was safe in his world.

I LOVE the Internet

I really, really do! It allows me to "travel" without leaving the comfort of my own home. It allows me to "window shop" in my jammies ;)

So I have found lots of fun new websites like this one: Mason and Matisse, which has really trendy (read: expensive)stuff for babies. If I were going to get something for Peach from this site, it would be these supercute Robeez Soft-Soled Shoes.

And how did I find this website??

From Adventures in Babywearing -- which is having an awesome product giveaway, which you can read about here.

And how did I find this website??

From Delightful Blogs.

The internet is like a journey of tangential wanderings...

The Best Intention

"Did you set the alarm?"
"We should set the alarm..."
"No, I'll get up on time..."

Famous last words.

Needless to say, we overslept by over an hour this morning. And were amazed that the older kids were still asleep.

"Why won't they do this on the weekends?"
PC showered while I fed Peach.

PC then went to awaken the kids...and yelled back into our room, "They're up!"

And then I hear the following:

"Beernut, you didn't come and get us."
"No, Daddy. We were very quiet so that you and Mommy could get your sleep."

A very sweet, but ill-timed sentiment!!

P.S. Beernut actually made it to school before the tardy bell.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Is This For Real??


Diet Coke Plus is everything you love about Diet Coke, plus several essential nutrients you want and your body needs. Each 8-ounce serving of Diet Coke Plus provides 15% of your daily value of Niacin and vitamins B6 and B12, and 10% for zinc and magnesium.

Is it just me or is this really disturbing?? Diet Coke is junk food! There isn't supposed to be any redeeming value to it. Just a refreshing taste. If I want health benefits, I'll eat my veggies!
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It's the Little Thngs

Sometimes it is the simple things that strike us as so funny...

Or it might be the lack of sleep since Peach was born...

Anyway, my dear friend "Kay" (who lives in Jerusalem) sent home with my parents a CD -- and she included the gift receipt!!

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For some reason, this totally cracked me up.

And then I realized that a UPC is a UPC and I could probably return it to my local Tower Records. Of course, my local Tower Records has gone out of business. Plus, I LOVE the CD. But it was considerate of Kay to give me the option of getting something else in case I didn't like what she had selected.

I really appreciate the gift giver who is more interested in my enjoyment as the recepient than her feelings as the giver.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mother's Day 5767

Spending the past 4 and 1/2 weeks at home on maternity leave has definitely awakened some latent domestic inklings. The proof is in what I was hoping to receive as a Mother's Day present.


When PC mentioned to one of my friends that he was getting me a mixer, she calmly explained that no woman wants to get a mixer as a Mother's Day gift.

And so he surprised me with this:

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Postscript -- I must mention here that DadGiraffe, who is normally clueless about such matters, actually recognized that his son-in-law's lovely gift was from Tiffany's!

Time Flies...

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

It's All Fun & Games 'til Someone Gets Hurt

As if life with a brand-new baby (child #3) isn't hard enough...

Last week I received the following email:

I am plonit bat plonit, I'm ploni ben plonit's Mom. He talks about Beernut a lot. I was wondering if you got the flyer about the Pump it Up night and if Beernut would be going? Ploni was hoping Beernut was going to attend. Please email me or call me if you need any additional info.

Well, this was a great email to receive. Beernut does not often get such positive feedback from his peers. It so happens that this young friend is in Beernut's social skills class and loves Nintendo as much as Beernut does. We were so thrilled that we thought it was a great idea for Beernut to attend the party...even though it was on a school night.

Given that Peach was just shy of two weeks at this point, I stayed home with the baby and Poppyseed and sent Beernut to the party with our (fabulous!!) sitter. Not five minutes after they arrived, disaster struck.

Apparently, and no one knows exactly how this happened, Beernut's face somehow got in the path of Ploni's older brother's foot. And knocked out his two front teeth. Beernut has something of a blood phobia -- and gums bleed. A lot. He was hysterical in the background while I was on the phone with the sitter. I was so sleep-deprived that I could not recall if his upper teeth were baby teeth or permanent teeth.

A trip to the dentist the next morning showed that they were in fact baby teeth. Good news. However, his two front lower teeth (which are adult teeth) were now loose. And the dentist also feared that Beernut had sustained a slight jaw fracture. So off we went to the oral surgeon -- who determined that no fracture was revealed on the panoramic xray. However, Beernut would need to be on a soft diet for a MONTH in order to allow the lower teeth time to get over the trauma.

It's going to be a loooooooon month!!