Archive for ‘the Breastaurant’

March 1, 2013

Le plus ca change…

by Decemberbaby

Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

I’m on antibiotics. Again. For mastitis. Again.

I think I might also have a sinus infection, which would explain the feeling of *holycrappleasestopinflatingthatballooninmyheaditsabouttoburst!!!!!* I get every time I sit up. The doctor assured me that the Keflex I’m now taking for the mastitis should knock out any sinus infection as well.

In the meantime, I’m learning a few things:

1. I’m only fat because food tastes good. No, seriously. Right now I can’t smell anything at all, which means I can’t taste anything. And absent taste, food has no particular purpose, so why eat unless I’m feeling hungry? And is that why people gain weight when they stop smoking? Because suddenly they can actually taste their food?

2. I’m a very lucky woman to have so many friends and family to call on in times of need. I’d like to send a shout-out to L, who picked N up from school at lunchtime and drove him to my parents’ house; to M, who fed N lunch and got him settled for a nap; to my in-laws, whose devotion to our children is such that they didn’t even flinch when asked to pick up K from school and N from my parents’ house and then come here and babysit all three kids for 4 hours; and, of course, to Mr. December, who kept me supplied with hot packs and tea and blankets all through the feverish shivering hours of the evening and night.

3. Antibiotics are magical. I can imagine only too well what a week or more of this suffering would be like without them. A couple of hundred years ago a fever like this would have had my husband and children fearing my demise. Now it just means yet another visit to the doctor and a heart-to-heart conversation with my pharmacist. What a time to be alive.

4. We (as in Mr. December and I) need to teach the children to knock. Moreover, I think we need to repeat our lesson on what constitutes an emergency worth waking a sleeping parent (Hint: if there’s no fire and not more than a litre of blood, it’s not an emergency. Either fix it yourself or WAIT.)

5. We have finally established circumstances under which the phrases, “I want you to look at my breast” and “can you please massage the underside of my breast for me?” can in no way be construed as a come-on.

6. Shit happens. We all know that. But it only happens on the floor when mommy is very sick and just the act of bending over to wipe said floor makes her howl in pain. Well played, universe. Well played.

I’ll see you all when my sinuses clear.

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February 29, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: “What was I doing again?” edition

by Decemberbaby

It’s probably not news to any of you that as a mom of three kids under four, I only have about two brain cells to rub together at any given time. Hence I’m sure you’ll forgive me for having absolutely no clue what I wassupposed to be doing over the last two weeks. If you don’t mind, I’ll just go and check my last WIP Wednesday post for some clues. Hold on, I’ll be right back.

(Musically inclined readers can imagine a muzak version of the “little spanish flea” song here. Or click play below.)

Okay, I’m back. That was… interesting. ‘Cause I’ve had a few projects on my mind, but not exactly the ones I posted about last time. Nevertheless, here’s my update:

Still in Progress: Weight Watchin’

My total weight loss now stands at 13.6 pounds, or an average-sized three-month-old baby. For some reason I don’t feel it, and I don’t think I look it either, but better down than up. Right?

Stall in Progress: Photo books

No, that’s not a typo. My photo book project has stalled – I haven’t touched it in two weeks. I think I’m going to set aside half an hour every day, while I’m nursing R and can only use my mouse hand anyway, to work on the photo books rather than web surfing aimlessly. By next week I hope to have R’s section (a whole four pages, whee!) finished.

Still in Progress: Kids’ table

I took a break from the table for a while because my router broke, then the long clamps I needed were locked into the garage during the raccoon incident, then I was frustrated by my inability to completely flatten some wooden plugs (in the screw holes), and then I got sidetracked by a couple of brand-new projects. But we’re having some young guests for shabbat this week, so I have to get ‘er done. I plan to finish the construction and sanding by Friday, when we’ll use it in its unfinished state (with a tablecloth, of course). Finishing can come later.

Completed! Baby quilt (see last post for photos)

I did accomplish something, you know. The quilt was about 9 hours of work all together. Now, if I could just coordinate with the new parents to drop it off for them…

In progress: library doors

The kids’ books are currently housed in a cube-style shelving unit. Lately N has taken to pulling the books out one by one and dropping them on the floor until he finds the one he wants. In an attempt to stop this behaviour, I’m building doors for the cubes. Each door will have a book ledge on the front so that N can see a few books displayed there, and will close with a magnetic catch (the kind where you have to push the door in order to open it.)

Anyhow, the MDF (free! from my scrap stash) has been cut, I’ve started painting the door panels, and I’ve built three out of the four book ledges (would have built the fourth, but I was missing a piece.) I don’t anticipate making much progress this week on account of I’m having guests for Shabbat.

I think that’s enough for one week, don’t you? Now humour me and tell me what you’ve been up to… pretty please?

January 17, 2012

Some days are like that. Even in Australia.

by Decemberbaby

6:30 a.m.: Wake up to R screaming shrilly. Her temperature is 104F (40c).

6:32 a.m.: Dose her with Advil, walk her around a bit.

6:41 a.m.: R falls asleep. Put her in the swing.

6:42 a.m.: In the kitchen getting myself a glass of water.

6:42 a.m.: “Eeeeeeeeemaaaaa… Eeeeeeeeemaaaa…” Good lord, K is awake.

6:44 a.m.: “mamamamamamama!” … and she’s woken N up as well.

6:48 a.m.: Step out of denial and go to greet the kids with a smile. Almost fall asleep standing in their room.

7:00 a.m.: Kids won’t go back to sleep. Get them up, washed and dressed.

7:15 a.m.: Kids have been given food and drink. I lie down on the couch.

7:17 a.m.: “eeeeeeeemaaaaa…”

7:21 a.m.: “eeeeeemaaaaa…”

7:24 a.m.: “eeeeeeeeeemaaaaaaaa…”

7:30 a.m.: It’s too quiet in here. Open eyes, almost have a heart attack. K’s face is inches from my own and she’s just standing there, staring at me.

7:31 a.m.: I beg my child to PLEASE. let. me. rest. PLEASE. I may or may not be whining.

7:32 a.m.: Said child nudges her way onto the couch and insists on lying down with me. I cover her with the blanket and close my eyes.

7:36 a.m.: Almost asleep, drifting in that beautiful spot where you’re aware of how deeply relaxed you are.

7:37 a.m.: “eeeeeeeeemaaaaa…”

7:40 a.m.: Only ten minutes before part-time nanny arrives.

8:00 a.m.: Where is the nanny? No matter, I’ll just sleep a little more.

8:20 a.m.: Mr. December appears and asks where the nanny is. Points out that it’s time to take K to school.

8:22 a.m.: After looking at K and hearing her sneeze and cough, I decide that she should just stay home.

8:30 a.m.: R wakes up hungry. Simultaneously, N fills his diaper and needs a change this instant.

8:31 a.m.: Feed R.

8:32 a.m.: In a tacit acknowledgement of just how rough my day is going to be, Mr. December changes N’s diaper before leaving for work.

8:45 a.m.: Mr. December leaves for work.

8:45 a.m.: Sell my soul to Disney – turn on Youtube and find a Winnie-the-Pooh movie that the kids haven’t seen yet.

8:50 a.m.: Put R on the floor to play with her hanging toy. Settle in on the couch with N on my lap and K snuggled into my side.

8:51 a.m.: Fall asleep sitting up. Wake up periodically to make sure everyone is still present and accounted for.

9:51 a.m.: Wake up, see N sucking his thumb, declare it to be naptime. Give N some milk and then put him to bed.

9:53 a.m.: K refuses to nap. Seriously? Just go to sleep, kid.

9:55 a.m.: Whatever. R and I are going to my bed. K can play quietly by herself for a little while.

9:56 a.m.: In bed. asleep.

1:00 p.m.: Wake up. Realize that K has been playing by herself for the last three hours.

1:02 p.m.: Go to check on K. She’s passed out on the living room couch.

1:05 p.m.: Get N out of bed, change diaper, feed him lunch.

1:25 p.m.: N doesn’t really want lunch. He wants to play with his food. Remove food from table and set him free.

1:37 p.m.: K wakes up. Her pull-up is bulging and saturated gel beads are falling out of it. Instruct K to go directly to the bathroom and take the pull-up off over the potty.

1:39 p.m.: “Eeemaaaa…” K is crying this time. “I need your help…”

1:41 p.m.: Put R on the floor mat for tummy time. Arrive in the bathroom to see a huge pile of pee-soaked gel beads on the floor. N is playing with them.

1:42 p.m.: Sweep N off the floor. Wash his hands. Put him in the hallway and close the bathroom door. N screams.

1:43 p.m.: K is still miserable. Run a warm bath for her. While K is in the bath, clean up gel beads and roll up bath mats to be washed.

1:51 p.m.: Pull N off of R. Repeatedly. I now understand exactly how she got sick.

2:03 p.m.: N is miserable and can’t seem to function. Put him back in bed.

2:04 p.m.: N is crying. I’m sure he’ll fall asleep in a minute.

2:07 p.m.: N is now shrieking. He has thrown up all over himself, his bed, the floor, and parts of the rocking chair.

2:08 p.m.: Run for some cloths to sop up the mess on the floor so I can get to N without stepping in puke.

2:09 p.m.: Get K to vacate the bathtub. Run fresh water to warm up the bath. Strip N’s clothing off and dump him in the tub.

2:10 p.m.: Mop up N’s floor and strip his bed. Take the soiled bedclothes downstairs and start the laundry machine.

2:11 p.m.: Oh, that’s where all the kids’ clothes are… in the dryer. And in the basket on the floor. Waiting to be folded.

2:15 p.m.: N has perked up and is vocally demanding more bath toys.

2:30 p.m.: N is finally ready to get out of the bath. Soap him up quickly, get him out, put on fresh pajamas. Hmmm… something still smells. It’s me. Change clothes.

2:42 p.m.: R is screaming. Tummy time is so over. Her fever is back too.

2:46 p.m.: Dose R with Advil, call a nurse friend for advice, pray that I don’t have to take R to the doctor today because how on earth will I manage three sick kids when I’m sick too?

3:00 p.m.: Give N and K freezies to keep them hydrated.

3:09 p.m.: N is seeking another freezie.

3:19 p.m.: The freezer door alarm keeps going off. Get up and close the freezer door again. Instruct N that freezie time is over.

3:30 p.m.: Let the kids watch the rest of that Winnie-the-Pooh movie.

4:30 p.m.: Movie is over. K requests music. Put on CD from our music class and pull out the instruments. Attempt to fold laundry while K and N use drums and claves to drown out the CD.

5:00 p.m.: Somebody’s stinky. It’s N. Diaper is full – apparently this gastrointestinal virus goes both ways. Change his diaper and his smelly pajamas.

5:25 p.m.: High schooler from down the street shows up for her regular Tuesday evening gig. Leave her with the kids. Take dinner out of the freezer and heat it up. Attempt to clean up the kitchen.

6:00 p.m.: Sit kids down at table. Offer N some plain pita.

6:03 p.m.: N throws up all over himself, the highchair, the floor, and the table leg.

6:04 p.m.: Grab clean cloths for the floor. Whisk N into the bath and leave him there while mopping the dining room floor.

6:10 p.m.: Finish cleaning up puke. N is happily playing with his toy elephant. Suddenly remember that N’s mattress protector needs to go in the dryer.

6:20 p.m.: Mr. December comes home. Get N out of the tub and give to his father for dressing.

6:25 p.m.: Nurse R.

6:30 p.m.: Try to put N in bed. N screams. Hold him and sing while he struggles to get down. Give up and put him back in the crib.

6:35 p.m.: N still crying. Maybe he’s thirsty… give him some pedialyte to drink.

6:40 p.m.: R screaming. Leave N, take care of R. Somehow in the brouhaha get K to go brush her teeth and put on a pull-up. Babysitter empties dishwasher.

7:00 p.m.: Both big kids in bed. Mr. December wants to go downstairs to his man-cave. I give him The Look. He stays upstairs and holds R while I eat my dinner. Sigh. Falafel would be so much better if it was hot.

7:30 p.m.: Mr. December finally gets to do his thing. R and I hang out in the living room. Alternate folding laundry with feeding R, rocking R, holding R, and trying to put her to sleep. The rest of the evening is a blur.

10:34 p.m.: Laundry is still not folded. R has fallen asleep twice and woken up twice. I realize that I should be loading the dishwasher instead of blogging. There’s clean clothing all over the living room, the kitchen is a mess, I think there’s a melted freezie under the couch, and I just heard N whimper.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

January 15, 2012

*sigh*

by Decemberbaby

You know, I was all geared up to be productive this week, and then our nanny called to say that she can’t be here on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. My week is starting to fill up with mountains of laundry instead of sewing and scrapbooking. At least I was organized enough to make a few freezer meals last week. I think we can have a hearty dinner every night this week without having to do anything more than boil some pasta. Who’d’a thunk planning would pay off?

I’ve discovered an upside to digital scrapbooking that I hadn’t thought of before: I can do it while breastfeeding. All it takes is one hand to click and drag, so I can work on the kids’ baby books every time R needs to eat, which is often. Did I mention that she’s doing the three-month growth spurt thing right now? She’s feeding every 90 minutes. She’s got the chubby thighs to prove it.

Where was I? Oh, right. Scrapbooking. I managed a few pages this weekend – nine pages, to be precise. I’ve abandoned N’s book for the time being because Mr. December (rightly) pointed out that I should make a sample book first to make sure that the pages turn out the way I want them and that the print quality is good. Hence my new project: a photo book for my grandmother. It will have a two-page spread for each year of each child’s life, followed by a section of photos of all of us. Here’s the cover of K’s section (which, incidentally, is finished):

And yes, there is a red watermark that reads “trial version”. I paid for the software license on Thursday night, and I’ve yet to receive the email with my license key number. That hasn’t stopped the company from sending me two emails confirming that I’m on their mailing list, though. I guess that’s something else to follow up on this week.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s menu plan post – I’ll reveal exactly which frozen meal I’ll be defrosting each night.

January 5, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday – 3 minute edition

by Decemberbaby

3 Minutes, because that’s how long I have to churn this post out before it’s not Wednesday anymore!

I’ll just cut to the chase:

Completed: scavenger hunt and camping cake

Two of the items on my “in progress” list were specifically for K’s party, which was last Thursday. Here are some pics of some scavenger hunt items, well-hidden and ready for discovery:

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As for the cake, here it is:

Strawberry chocolate-chip cake; chocolate icing topped with pareve oreo crumbs and brown sugar "dirt"; candy rock firepit, pretzel stick firewood, and gummy flames; flake bar logs; fabric tent with bamboo skewer frame.

 

Still in progress: A kippah for K

The kippah is actually the reason this post is late. I didn’t get to it this week – my intended sewing time became sick time. But I wanted a kippah to show you, so tonight I went downstairs and started cutting, ironing, and sewing. I’m still not quite done, but I had to stop in order to go to bed.

(Why am I posting now if I went to bed two hours ago? Well, R has other ideas about how this night is going to go. I’m fortunate that she’s good enough at nursing now that she can lie on a pillow while I type with both hands.)

So the kippah is more than halfway done. It will probably take me another 20 minutes to finish, and I’ll have a pic for you by next Wednesday.

 

That’s it… and I didn’t make it within 3 minutes – interruptions by a crying R made sure of that. So… Happy Thursday!

November 9, 2011

Work-in-Progress-Wednesday: the underachiever edition

by Decemberbaby

It hasn’t been easy to get around to blogging. Oh sure, I spend plenty of time at my computer, but only in pursuits that require no more than a mouse click. It’s hard to think coherently and type when I’ve got a ten-pound leech attached to my breast (and I mean “leech” in the most affectionate way possible. She’s really adorably cute and cuddly, she just gets in the way if I want to, oh, I don’t know, do anything.)

Then there’s the issue of the big kids (they certainly look big compared to R!): K has been overly emotional and also congested for the last four weeks, and N has been losing his balance and falling so easily that he’s earned himself the nickname “Stumbly Wumbly”, and today I finally took them to the doctor and discovered that they both have ear infections. The only thing that could – and did – make me feel any stupider was forgetting to ask the doctor to check my ears, which have been feeling full and vaguely achey for the past two days.

Enough whining. It’s been four weeks since I gave birth to R and this house is a shambles. Yes, I have help, and the kitchen and bathroom and floors and tabletop get cleaned and laundry gets done, but nothing more fundamental or long-term has gotten done in quite a long time. It’s time to change all that.

I’ve promised my friends and family that I won’t overdo things, which is why this week’s WIP Wednesday is titled “the underachiever edition”. Let’s get on with it:

Completed! Personal info binders

Yes, I wrote about these a long time ago, but I never actually filled them with stuff at the time. I’m proud to announce that as of yesterday, each member of our family – even R – has a neatly divided and labeled section of a binder in which I’ve filed photocopies of important documents and cards (health cards, SIN, etc), school reports, health information and immunization records, etc. They’re done and organized, and now I know where to find the stuff when I need it. Oh, and I got to check off that item on my to-do list.

In progress: Culling the shoes

I have a lot of shoes. I don’t mean to, but I do, and not in the way of fashion-savvy shoe addicts. I just… seem to have a lot of shoes. Mr. December doesn’t understand why, and when I explain to him that I need sport sandals to run after the kids in the summer but dressy sandals to wear with sundresses to a party, and closed running shoes most of the time but it’s really nice to have a pair of crocs to wear when my feet hurt, and snow boots and also rain boots because I believe in being properly shod for the weather… well, his eyes glaze over and he snaps, “whatever, just please make some room in the front hall for other people’s shoes!”

So that’s what I’m doing this week. I actually plan to try on all of the shoes since my feet seem to have expanded during my second-last pregnancy, and some of the shoes in question might not even fit anymore. I’ve also promised myself that I will not keep any shoes that are uncomfortable or still give me blisters after being broken in, regardless of how much I paid for them. Frankly, Toronto real estate is expensive and if the shoes are taking up space in my small house they’d better be comfortable and good-looking.

I’m too lazy to take a picture right now, but I’ll try to do it before I finish culling. Or maybe I’ll just post a pic of all the shoes I’m getting rid of, and then my local readers can tell me which of those shoes they’d like to take off my hands (uh, feet.) I’d be much happier to pass them on than to throw them out.

In Progress: the laundry sink

My laundry sink has been out of commission for the last few months, ever since our part-time nanny decided to clean up the space under the sink and plenty of long-forgotten fabrics and clothes ended up in the sink, awaiting my decisions about what to keep.

This week I plan to make those decisions and reopen my laundry sink for business. My sanity and my baby’s poop-stained sleepers demand it.

 

So… are you planning anything productive this week? Please share in the comments and/or link to your own blog.

Happy Wednesday!

October 31, 2011

How I lost 9 lbs, 4 oz in 2 and a half hours

by Decemberbaby

I woke up at 5:30 on a Wednesday morning. This was nothing particularly new, and I figured I’d go pee (for the fifth time that night) and then have a snack before going back to bed. I was having mild contractions, but this too was old hat and I refused to get my hopes up that this might be the real thing. I used the bathroom, had a glass of milk and went back to bed.

I couldn’t sleep – the contractions were intensifying and it was impossible to sleep through them. I decided I really needed a cup of tea, so I made one while the bathtub was filling. I nudged Mr. December awake and told him I had paged the midwife. “Are you sure this is it?” he mumbled, opening one eye just a crack. “Yes, I’m sure.” I snapped back, “And she’s on her way right now, so for God’s sake, get up and PUT SOME PANTS ON!” I’m pretty sure it was my tone of voice that convinced him.

I got into the tub with my iPod (cleverly sheathed in two ziploc bags) playing some solo piano music and breathed through some contractions. I sipped my tea. Mr. December appeared at my elbow with deviled eggs and I ate half of one before the next contraction demanded my attention. The midwives arrived and checked me – I was somewhere around 7 centimetres and fully effaced. The baby’s heartbeat was good. I breathed through some more harsh contractions.

I remember from N’s birth, feeling out of control with each contraction and feeling physically wrung out in between. “It’s not actually about the pain,” I blithely told people later, “you just have to manage the intensity!” It may have been true at the time, but this time I raised my head from its resting spot on the edge of the tub and announced to the midwives, “This time it’s about the pain. This f***ing hurts!”

That being said, I was completely silent during contractions. Mr. December got the birth on video, and it looks like I’ve just decided to rest on the edge of the tub for a minute or two. It looks peaceful and serene. I can assure you I didn’t feel that way. But it didn’t feel scream-worthy, and besides, my two kids were asleep in their bedroom a mere fifteen feet away from where I laboured.

Right, the kids. We tried to give them (and my parents) some extra time to sleep, so we didn’t call the parents until about 7:00 a.m. They arrived eventually (later I learned that my mom had almost fainted at the thought of me in labour) and began ushering the kids out of the house. N was too sleepy and snuggled against my dad to notice me as he passed the bathroom, but K saw me and doubled back. I asked her for a good-luck kiss; she sneezed on me instead. And then the kids were gone, and suddenly I needed to roar. It was around 7:45 a.m.

The student midwife asked me to shift position so that she could hear the baby’s heart. I did, but as she was maneuvering the Doppler scanner, I pushed her hand away and got back into my position over the side of the tub just in time to roar through yet another contraction. When it was over, she asked me to try again. This time I managed to lie there through a contraction, but it was more painful than if I had been on all fours. I wondered whether it would feel better to do some mini-pushes through the contractions. I tried, but it just wasn’t going anywhere. I was roaring through contractions by this point, and the midwives gently asked me to turn around so that they could have access to the baby.

Suddenly I got the unmistakable urge to push, and I did. My water broke but nothing else happened, or so it seemed. I pushed again and got that “pooping out a bowling ball” feeling, but instead of relief as the whole head slid out (as it did with N), I felt it stop halfway when that contraction ended. Seriously, there’s nothing worse than that head-half-in-half-out feeling.

One push later the head was out – what a relief! – and I knew what would come next: a single push and the feeling of little arms and legs as the body slid out of me. That didn’t happen. The body felt stuck. As the next contraction hit me, I yelled, “Jeez, will you guys just PULL!?!?” The midwife did some maneuvering with the shoulders, and our baby was born. It had only taken a minute, tops, from the birth of the head to the birth of the rest of the body, but it felt a lot longer than that. It was 8:13 a.m.

I turned around and sat while they put the baby on my chest. It hadn’t cried yet – had it breathed? – and the midwife rubbed the baby vigorously until it did. At this point I looked at Mr. December (still manning the camera) and held the baby up, butt-first. “Call it, honey,” I instructed. “Is it a boy or a girl?” “A girl.” came the reply.

Our girl was quite cold and wasn’t breathing the way she should be, so the midwives took her to the “warming station” they had devised and gave her some oxygen and wrapped her up next to a hot water bottle. They had asked if I wanted to get out of the tub and go with her, but I decided I’d prefer to deliver the placenta in the tub and then take a shower. See where my priorities were? I was stinky and couldn’t wait to get clean. Mr. December was with the baby anyhow, and our midwives are lovely, and I figured they could do without me for five minutes while I worked on feeling a bit human again.

By the time I got back to the bed the baby was warm and pink and ready to try nursing. She latched beautifully, after I was reminded that newborns need a lot more support and guidance than older nurslings. How quickly I’d forgotten!

The midwives checked me for tearing and found only a very small one that required no stitches. Someone brought me breakfast, and the midwives left Mr. December and me to snuggle with our daughter as they gathered in the dining room to eat and debrief. A while later they returned and completed the newborn assessment (she was 22 inches long and weighed 9 pounds and 4 ounces – a pound and a half bigger than N, and two and a half pounds more than K!). Around 11:40 that morning, the midwives were on their way to the clinic to get on with their day.

This birth didn’t quite have the magical feeling of N’s. Because the baby’s shoulders were getting stuck, or maybe because she was so big, pushing wasn’t quite the relief I remembered it being. Also, there are a few pretty unsavory details I’ve left out (suffice it to say that your body deciding to empty your intestines before labour is good; your body making the same attempt during labour is really, really gross). That being said, I’m still glad we decided on a homebirth again. The atmosphere was so peaceful – there were no interruptions to break my focus – and having the midwives to support me throughout was absolutely priceless. They handled what could have been a very bad situation (shoulder dystocia) so calmly and efficiently that Mr. December hardly noticed that anything was amiss, and even when they had to take the baby from me to get her breathing, they asked my permission to take her and offered me options. They even cleaned up and left us with only a bag of laundry, a sealed bag of garbage, and a placenta in my freezer (we need to plant another tree).

And now our baby girl is here, and our life is forever changed. Oh, and I feel positively svelte.