Author Archives: Jennifer

About Jennifer

On December 10, 2007, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy - 7 weeks early! We were so lucky that John Patrick was completely healthy and home within a week. Since then, our lives have been blessed with dirty diapers, sleepless nights, and tons of spit up. And I wouldn't change a thing!

He’s 8 Months Old Already?

John Patrick has just recently turned 8 months old. I am still in a state of disbelief. Where did the time go? But I do have to say – he is more fun every day. Here are all the cool things he is doing:

1.) Sings off-key very loudly (a wonderful skill I passed along to him)

2.) Crawls backwards

3.) Transfers toys from one hand to the other

4.) Attacks my face. No kidding, he literally attacks it. He grabs my hair and pulls my face to him and tries to bite my lip.

5.) Bounces on his dad’s lap until he does ‘the horsey’. (You can probably tell already who the boss is in our house.)

6.) Plays with a rubber ducky in the bath

7.) Makes word sounds like ‘maaaaa’ or ‘blaaaa’

8.) Eats EVERYTHING – loves anything at all, any fruit, any vegetable. He’s not one to turn down food (Please refer to picture above.)

9.) Gets really excited when he see me or his dad and looks for us when he hears our voices

10.) Plays in sandboxes (his favorite)

Happy 8 months my chunky monkey!!!

Jen

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Weaning

Since I’ve been so tired there has been a lot that has happened in the last few months that I have neglected to blog about. So I’m going to try to catch up a little. One big thing that happened is that I weaned John Patrick.

Since every baby and every mom are different, Mary Kate thought it would be a good idea to share my experience in case it helps anyone else out there in the blogosphere. Great idea!

A little background: Since John Patrick was a preemie, he was introduced to the bottle before the breast. It took him two months to get the hang of breastfeeding – remember that? So I did a lot of pumping at first. But once he finally clicked with breastfeeding, it was all downhill – for awhile.

Introducing formula: At three months I decided to slowly introduce formula. I knew that I would be going back to work in another four weeks and I wanted him to get used to eating formula with me, in case he had any kind of bad reaction to it. I knew that he would probably have to take some formula at his nursery. He clicked with it really easily. It almost seemed as if he didn’t even notice a difference. (I decided not to take that personally.)

Going back to work: Now I should preface this by saying that going back to work was EXTREMELY difficult for me. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to leave him (although that was a part of it). But it was mostly because my boss decided to punish me for a couple of months for having a baby and my work environment was unbearably stressful. This was the point in the last 8 months that I almost had a nervous breakdown. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, in any part of my life. It was really horrible.

Through all this stress my milk supply consistently decreased everyday. No matter what I did (pumped more, drank special teas, breastfed more at home) it didn’t matter. First I went down to 50% breast milk and 50% formula at his nursery. Then it went down to only one bottle a day. I felt guilty because at this point John Patrick was only 5 months old. I had it in my mind that I would definitely breastfeed for a full 6 months.

Then I finally realized that the stress of breastfeeding was also making me crazy. I was literally trying to be EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY (nurturer / nourisher to my son, the model employee for my boss, organizer / household manager for my husband). I finally just snapped. And I realized that I just couldn’t do it all.

Just letting go: Once I decided that it was ok for John Patrick to take formula and that I had done the best I could (I did last 5 months with a preemie who originally had no intention of ever breastfeeding), things just happened naturally. My body produced less and less everyday. John Patrick became less and less interested in breastfeeding. Till finally the only nursing I was doing was before bedtime. I don’t even remember the last time I nursed him but at some point he stopped wanting to be nursed then too. And my body stopped producing about the same time.

For me, I didn’t have hormonal issues or engorgement. My issues were more psychological. But as I soon as I stopped putting so much pressure on myself, it just happened naturally. And he’s a big chunky healthy boy so I’m over feeling “guilty”.

Everyone experiences something different when weaning (if you decided to breastfeed). I guess my only advice is don’t be your own worst enemy. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.

Good Luck!

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Breastfeeding, Daycare, Mom Issue, Take a Moment, Work

I’m So Tired

Warning – Whinny Post Alert!!!!

I’m so tired.  And I’m tired of saying, “I’m so tired”.  And my husband and friends are tired of hearing “I’m so tired”.  But I’m so tired.

I just can’t seem to recover.  I have been exhausted since my second trimester.  So basically, I have been exhausted for a year now.  No one tells you that.  And it’s not that I don’t ever sleep.  I sleep.  But not the same quality of sleep I had before.  I don’t think I’ve just woken up on my own since I gave birth.  There is always something or someone waking me up.  Admittedly that the “someone” is the most adorable human being ever – but nonetheless, waking up to his screams is quite a jarring experience.

The other day I was complaining explaining to someone that I feel like I work two full time jobs.  I work all day and then come home and try to be a good mom.  Then I physically drop at 9:30.  Most nights I don’t even have enough energy to read a couple of pages of a great book I’m trying to read.  This morning I noticed that my eyebrows are out of control.  I just haven’t had time to pluck.  My house is a mess and dirty.  I haven’t updated John Patrick’s album since he was three months old.  And I’m sure most of my friends think I’m a big selfish hermit because I never call anyone anymore.

Did I mention that I’m so tired?  Ok, and admittedly, feeling sorry for myself.  Believe me, I KNOW that I’m not the only working and tired mom out there.  But how do you all do it?  And am I ever going to feel rested again?  Sometimes I just daydream about checking into a fancy hotel, drawing the curtains shut, turning the air conditioner down really low, and sleeping for a good 14 hours.  In this dream, I wake up on my own because I have had enough sleep and it’s a slow process, not a jumping out of bed and running to get a bottle process.  But then I realize that even one night away from my pumpkin would make me miserable because I would miss him so much.  So I guess it just leaves me with…

I’m so tired.

Jen

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Walk of Shame – Cheap Diapers

I’ll admit it – we’re drowning in baby expenses – food, diapers, wipes, swimming lessons and daycare. Add to that New York City rent, working at a nonprofit and well, you can do the math. It’s tight. So last week when I went to buy diapers – again – I got cheap. There were Duane Reade generic diapers on sale for $5.99. So I bought them.

You can guess what happened… That night I woke up to the cries of a very uncomfortable baby. He had soaked through his pajamas and bed sheet. Here’s where the really shameful part comes. After this mishap, you would think that I learned my lesson and got him better diapers. Nope, I couldn’t make myself waste the $6 so I sent them all to daycare for them to use on him there.

The very next day when I went to pick him up he was in a different outfit. His teacher informed me that he had soaked through his clothes and sheets during nap time. I acted shocked by this turn of events (even though I knew full well that would happen).

Finally, I went to buy the Huggies diapers and threw out the Duane Reade generics, but I did hang my head in shame the whole walk to CVS.

Jen

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Swimming Lessons

Saturday John Patrick had his first swimming lesson. He really enjoyed it. It was his first time in a pool and he took to it like a fish in water (so to speak). Well, he didn’t cry anyway.

I was really nervous about my 6 1/2 month baby having swimming lessons but it’s been really great. It was really all about getting him used to the water in a fun way. Now I feel like we can go to the public pool across the street and wade around in the kiddie pool. He’s had the proper introduction. (Kudos to Jim for signing him up and ignoring my reservations.)

It was interesting because I saw a couple of five year olds having swimming lessons as well and they were hysterically crying and afraid of the water. I’m hoping that getting John Patrick in the water at such a young age means that he won’t be afraid of the water later. If nothing else, it was fun.

Here’s John and Dad on their first swim together: (I know, I know, he’s the spitting image of Jim.)

Our first swim together

Jen

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Best Friends

John and Tigger

Click here for other amazing Wordless Wednesday participants. Click here for other Baby, Toddler and Beyond Wordless Wednesday Pictures.

Jen

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It has arrived…… the first tooth!

Since John Patrick started solids almost a month ago, I’ve been so focused on his eating that it was his daycare teacher who first noticed that he had cut a tooth. To make a long story short, here are all the symptoms I thought were caused by “carrots” but were indeed symptoms of teething: (don’t ask me why I thought it was carrots)

  • diarrhea
  • lots and lots and lots of pooping
  • fussiness
  • getting up multiple times in the night
  • diaper rash

Reason #56 why daycare has been a positive for my family. They actually know what they are doing!

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Daycare, developmental milestones, Take a Moment, Teething