Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Have I mentioned I don't like surprises?  It's true.  I generally do not like to be surprised.  If you tell me that I'm going to be surprised, then I usually like it - but often that makes people think there's no point.  I disagree but there we are.

Lately, I'm feeling down about the surprises in my life.

Wiggles seems to be self-weaning.  I feel like I read too many of the You-Must-Breastfeed-Your-BABEE-until-he's-at-least-two-or-you're-an-awful-person websites.  It's really effected my outlook.  In a bad way.  I mean, I said going in that I'd try my best to breastfeed and we'd just take it as it went.  I knew from friends' tough experiences that it's a team effort and a lot can go wrong.  I lucked out in that my teammate (Wiggles) was/is a champion breastfeeder and we were off to the races from the start.  I've often been asked how long I'd breastfeed and I always answered - we'll take it as it goes.  But, the goal is to make it 1 year.

Well...that may have been what I was saying, but now faced with the reality that we may be finishing up sooner than later...I realize that I was thinking something else.  I was thinking we'd keep breastfeeding our way to his 1 year birthday, and THEN we'd start this whole weaning thing.  And that we'd probably keep up with morning and/or nighttime feedings for the next 6 months or so.

And as much as I've wanted to the freedom of not being chained to a baby or a pump every 3-6 hours...I feel sad.  And I'm a bit surprised by all of this.  And I worry that my baby isn't reeealllly self weaning at 9 months.  I mean, according to those websites it seems unlikely.  They make it sound like babies want to breastfeed until they're 5 and it's our messed up society that prevents them.  Maybe.  But I've been doing everything right...and just following Wiggles' lead.  And he's leading us to less booby time.  And I'm learning to realize that's okay.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I was talking with a fellow PhD student the other day.  We've had several classes together and technically are on the same timeline - ish.  He's a nice enough guy and I like him, but he said something the other day that really irked me.

He's teaching a class this summer that I had the pleasure of teaching last summer.  As such I provided him with my syllabus/schedule and most of the class materials, well, because he asked.  And because I got similar help from another student last summer.  So it definitely seemed like the right thing to do.  I ran into him in the hall and he said he wanted to talk about the course.  We chatted a bit about it and then he said the part that irked me: "I hope the students don't bother me too much, because, quite frankly, I don't have the time".

There it is.  I know he's not the first, nor will he be the last person to teach a course with such an attitude.  But I really hate that attitude.  And I've certainly been bothered and annoyed by students.  I'm sure most teachers have.

But - not everyone gets to teach in the summer.  It's bonus $ that is not at all guaranteed and you kind of have to fight for it.  As such, it's also not required.  So...if he doesn't have the time, why did he sign up to teach?  I'm sure because he needs the money.  We all do.  But...come on!  If you sign up to teach a class because you need the money, you also need to make the time to actually teach.  And put up with students "bothering" you.  I think I'm especially irritated because it's an upper divisional course and, at least when I taught it, the students are actually interested in learning something.  Such a rare opportunity!  I hope he makes something positive of it, but worry his attitude about the whole thing might get in the way.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Moving On

Well, let's be honest.  Twice on Tuesday hasn't been working out for me.  I was concerned about this and pondered why it was such a problem.  And concluded that it felt too forced.  And the result was that it was making this blog feel like an odd foreign place.  I generally just like to write about what I'm thinking, as I'm thinking it - most especially when I'm trying to work through my thoughts.  Something about typing them out in Blogger really helps me sort through things.  That's why I started this blog.  That's what's kept me coming back to it.  So, I'm moving on from Twice on Tuesday.  It's just not what this blog needs to be for me; at least not now.  And I'll try to refrain from judging myself too harshly over it.  :)

So, speaking of baby poop...oh.  Well, it sounded like a nice segue.  Because I'm worried about my baby's poop.  Or distinct lack there of.  Dear, sweet Wiggles, for all his wiggliness, is a constipated baby.  He's been having a really hard time of it.  For probably about 6 weeks at least at this point.  It all started when we took him off the Zantac that was just supposed to treating his reflux.  It seems like it was doing something to lubricate his bowels as well, because both times we've taken him off have correlated with poop troubles.  Of the sticky, clay-like, and difficult to pass kind.  The first time we took him off he also had reflux symptoms again, so he went back on and the poop issue cleared up.  The last time we took him off he didn't have reflux symptoms so he's still off the Zantac.  And the poop issue persists.

It's so heart breaking.  And incredibly frustrating for us.  I'm sure he feels it 10 times more.  We feed the boy straight prunes.  For days.  Nothing else.  Whole containers of it.  And eventually, finally, after 2-3 days of that, he'll poop.  2-3 times.  Getting softer as they go.  Until we get to the consistency we want his poop to be, and try feeding him something else.  And he doesn't poop again for 3 days.  Sigh.  I would just like to feed him a healthy and varied diet of fruits, veggies, and cereals!  It would be nice to be contemplating introducing meats to his diet.  But at this point, I'd just like to be able to feed him more than prunes!!!!!

We took him to his pediatrician for the poop issues and some (presumably) unrelated congestion that's been around for about a month now.  He's on antibiotics for that, and we were warned they might cause a laxative effect - which in his case would be a good thing.  They seemed to the very first day he took them...and since then...nada.  So we're adding miralax to his diet and upping the dose until we get him pooping soft poops in a regular fashion.  Ugh.  The pediatrician still thinks he'll outgrow this - that his system is having a hard time because he was breastfed.  I'm not so sure.

In fact, I'm downright unconvinced.  Since it correlates to when we stopped Zantac...I'm inclined to think there's something else going on here.  Either that his body adapted to where it needs Zantac to regulate...or he has something else going on that the Zantac inadvertently was treating.  The trouble is...Zantac is juts an antacid!  It doesn't actually do that much and we weren't giving him very much either - not enough to think the syrup in the medicine was helping.  But maybe it was?  Maybe the peppermint flavor was doing something for his bowels?  It's crazy...but I find myself wondering.

So if anyone out there has experience, thoughts or advice on this matter, I'm definitely all ears.  My little guy is 8 months old, and having a ridiculously hard time pooping.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Traveling with ze Baby

I realized the other day that I never shared one of my more recent adventures.  I traveled with Wiggles to a conference where I presented a paper.  The trip up was uneventful - standard plane ride and the baby was pretty well behaved.  He didn't sleep at all mind you.  Not in the airport.  Not on the plane.  But we made it and no one gave me the stink eye that I saw and he eventually got a nap at the hotel.

The next few days, again, uneventful.  Finally, comes the morning to head back home.  We get dropped off at the airport with just enough time for me to grab some lunch and find a quiet corner to eat it.  I appeased Wiggles by feeding him puffs between feeding myself my food.  We were both fed and happy, hit the restroom one last time for me and a diaper change for the baby, and hit our gate about 10 minutes before boarding should start.  I was feeling AWESOME.  It was definitely too good to last.

Around the time our flight was scheduled to depart we finally get an announcement in the gate to sit back down...there's a mechanical problem and it'll be at least 15 more minutes.  The short version of this story is that ultimately the plane was determined to have a bigger problem and wouldn't be leaving for at least 7 more hours.  Now.  At this point I'd been in the airport for roughly 2 hours and had timed the flight to coincide with Wiggles' nursing schedule.  So I'm nursing the little guy when this announcement is made and everyone rushes to the customer service kiosk to get on the next flight out.  Maybe other mothers are superwomen...but I can't just pack up mid-breastfeeding and find my way to the line that fast.

Oh the despair as I looked at that line and contemplated another 7 hours in the airport followed by a roughly 3 hour flight.

Ultimately...that's what happened.

Wiggles and I got the great fun of spending 10 hours in the airport, followed by a 3 hour flight before getting home that day.  You know what though?  My son is a Trooper.  He was so good the whole day.  Again, he didn't really sleep mind you.  He did manage 3 20 minute naps throughout the entirety of the 13 hour adventure...which is certainly not enough and he was definitely deliriously tired when we finally made it home. But - we made it.  And it was definitely a bonding experience.

Even if the anxiety from the whole event caused me to cancel a planned trip for the month following.  Mr. Random, Wiggles and I were supposed to fly back home to visit some folks and attend a wedding and I was seriously losing sleep with anxiety at the idea.  I mean - it went fine enough, but it is definitely NOT an experience I want to repeat.  And definitely not so soon.

I did get comped a $300 credit for my troubles.  It didn't seem like enough then.  It still doesn't now.  I feel the anxiety coming back just reliving the day, so that's all I'm going to say about that!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Twice on Tuesday

I'm really bad at this Twice on Tuesday thing!  I probably should have picked a different day of the week because Tuesdays are probably our busiest around here.

I had planned LAST week to write about how thankful I am for access to medicine and things like IV's.  I'm pretty sure (but haven't looked it up to double check) that dehydration is one of, if not the, biggest baby killers worldwide.  It's a big deal.  So I'm extra super thankful that we have access to medical technologies that helped my baby when he was dehydrated.  He wasn't even that dehydrated, but enough for us to be worried and I'm so thankful.  And I'm happy to report he's made a full recovery!

I'm also really thankful for Mr. Random lately.  Our marriage has been feeling rocky, but somehow through it all I find myself glad to be working through these issues with him.  I wouldn't want to be working on these things with anyone else.

We need to find a regular babysitter so we can actually go out on dates again.  And really, he needs a LOT less stress in his life.  Period.  Not sure what else I can do to help him with that...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sensitive Topics

I believe I've blogged about this before.  But it's come up again and I've had more thoughts about it, and since this is the place to collect my thoughts, it's time for an update!

It's a sensitive topic and I hope I don't offend anyone with my opinions.  If I do, well...I guess it can't be helped. This is what I really think, for better or for worse.

I have a family member, a cousin, who is about my age, single and also female.  She's been hearing the tick-tock of her biological clock for awhile now and we've talked about it from time to time in the past.  She's an only child, this cousin, raised by her mother and conceived via artificial insemination.  Does her manner of conception matter?  I didn't used to think so.  In fact, as a child, it never really occurred to me to question it.  She just didn't have a dad and that was just how it was.  I never wondered where he was, or how she came to be without him. Now, however, I feel the lack of a father figure has been kind of a sad lack for her life.  She doesn't think so - but I do.  Because she's never had the opportunity to build a daughter-father relationship.  She's only built a somewhat odd relationship with her mother - who, by the by, is not so keen on the men folk.  She's straight, I think, but a bit of a man-hater.  This has rubbed off on her daughter.

So, what am I blabbering on about?  Well, this cousin is nearing 30, still single, and wanting children.  She wants to have children via artificial insemination.  Now I'm getting to the point.  The idea of her having kids via artificial insemination doesn't sit well with me.  To be clear, I do believe that everyone should have the right to decide for themselves, but I guess I just don't agree with her decision.  I don't think that I have any right to tell her that or to prevent her from following her plans, but the fact remains...it seems like a poor decision to me.

But why?

I've struggled with understanding the why for some time.  Is it because I'm traditional?  Ingrained with societal ideas of what a "family" ought to be?

It might be all of that or none of that.  I'm not entirely sure.  But my new thought on the matter was this: one problem I have with it is her lack of relationships with others.  I feel that a parent's relationship with their child (and this is based on my very, very limited experience parenting one baby boy) is not automatic.  Parts of it are...but parts of it have to be worked at, built up between the individuals involved.  And I feel that my ability to successfully build a positive relationship with my son has been very much enhanced by my previous experiences building relationships with my siblings, both parents, and finally my husband.  I use lessons learned from that variety of experience to guide my efforts with my son.  My cousin, sadly, does not have that variety of experience.  She doesn't have 2 parents, any siblings, or a spouse.  Her significant relationship building has been with her mother.  And that's it.  Does that mean she'll be any less successful?  Not necessarily.  Does that mean she shouldn't have kids?  No...I don't think that either.  The real problem I have is that I think she's selling herself short.  This is the easy way out for her.  Rather than putting herself out there and trying to meet someone and build that new relationship...she's opting to stay in.  And have kids all on her own.  And I think that she thinks that relationship will be automatic. And easy.  And I think she may be surprised at what she finds.


So, there's a stomach bug going around and we got it.  All three of us.  We got it bad.

Wiggles wound up with a trip to the ER for an IV.  Mr. Random and I wound up with multiple trips to the porcelain throne for violent expulsions of our digestive systems.  I learned that I need to chew my dinner better.

Anyway, that's all behind us now!  The semester is winding down...mostly...for me, while it's ramping up for Mr. Random because he's on a different schedule than me.

All in all...I'm feeling more positive.  Things are looking up.  And I'm feeling a lot better about the cats.  It looks like one was already adopted and the other one looks very happy in the picture they posted.  While it still sucks and I'm still sad about it - I don't regret it.  It really feels like we made the right choice by all five of us, and that helps a lot.

About this Blog

I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

Or see my first post here. That's why I started this blog.