30 June 2005

old enough to know better

Being a first time mom at 39 is a little strange, to put it mildly. I was way past the point where I assumed I would never have children. Or get married. When I did that two years ago you would think I might have reconsidered the kid thing, but in truth, I really didn't, at least not consciously. I would have been content to try a litter of puppies but it was clear CD thought kids would be a good idea. He's the smartest person I know, so when he has an idea, I try to pay attention.

Throughout my pregnancy I had the pleasure of being referred to as of "advanced maternal age". Insulting as it sounds, it does open the door to a few technological marvels. We knew the little parasite would be sporting "equipment" back in September when I was just 12 weeks along, courtesy of Chorionic Villus Sampling, or CVS. This was justified to my insurance company simply by declaring I was of advanced maternal age. It was like waving a magic wand.

The thought of having a baby a few months before my fortieth birthday seemed less scary over time. More and more women are having babies at 40 and beyond, and living to blog the tale. It was the idea of being 55 with a 15 year old that terrified me. This partly comes from growing up with an "older" father. He retired when I was 12 and passed away when I was 16. I would like my children to torment CD and me a good long time, and with any luck, make me a grandmother.

As I did, Oliver is growing up minus a few grandparents. Both of my grandmothers passed away before my second birthday so I don't remember them at all. My paternal grandfather died before my parents met. Only my maternal grandfather, from whom Oliver takes his middle name, was part of my life. I did not see him frequently but he made a strong impression. Oliver will know only grandmothers and one step-grandfather. He has not yet met his Granny who lives across the pond. We're working on it. Here's a picture of him in the hospital, with his Nana, as she wishes to be called.

If we decide to make a sibling for Oliver, and the jury is still very much out on that, it will have to be fairly soon. I better skip the ice cream tonight and pretend to be trying to lose that last five pounds.

29 June 2005

Sleeping like a baby

I should issue a "whine alert" today. I'm not sure I can get through this topic without a little complaining.

My dogs know how to conserve their energy. They sleep as much as possible, snore loudly, and generally rest up for their next meal. That's the life. I have Clumbers because they understand me. The couch is very comfy, thank you. Now be a dear and fetch me a snack?

I used to sleep, BO (before Oliver). Blissfully. For hours. Since conception, Oliver and my body have been conspiring against me. Early on, he joined forces with my bladder. By the end of the pregnancy, it was no bigger than a walnut. Since birth, Oliver has decided to take the job of ruining my sleep all on his own.

Now the problem is waking to feed the hungry baby at 3:00 am. Sometimes at 2:00 am. And at 5:00 am. Or 6:00am. While Oliver is starting to sleep longer stretches, he's still very inconsistent.

When I try to get back to sleep it's the snoring, the quadrophonic snoring, that makes me crazy. Four beasts who like to snore, all in my bedroom, and I'm not talking about the cat!

Sleep when the baby sleeps? Right...with a husband who doesn't like to eat dinner before 9:00 pm. That theory, extolled in all the baby books, is pure bunk. I doubt any of the authors who suggest such silliness actually raised a child.

I need to learn the art of the nap. Wish I had inherited that skill from my mother but that gene seems to have missed me.

28 June 2005


Penguin and Piper both want to wash Oliver. Maybe they think we are not doing it well enough. I really should have a picture. Any exposed flesh is vulnerable but Piper is especially interested in his toes. It may be because they are not always available, like his face and hands tend to be, and are therefore coveted. In any case, I have to watch lest the poor boy be plastered with dog spit.

There is a fairly elaborate scheme of dogs washing dogs in our house. Chewy and Piper wash each other's faces daily. Chewy and Piper wash Penguin regularly too, though Piper does it more frequently. She especially concentrates on getting the goobers out of Pen's eyes. Perhaps they are a dietary supplement. Penguin only licks humans. She allows herself to be licked, but does not lick any other dogs. Ever. Further proof she's really just a human in a furry white Clumber suit.

27 June 2005

This Eph says, "Moo!"

In spite of the odds against us due to my breast reduction surgery, Oliver is breastfed. It was the cost savings and health benefits that sent us down this road, but it is the convenience that keeps me there. Now that I am back at work, I'm pumping three times a day (in an oh-so-lovely server closet). This week we are sending Oliver to daycare with five ounces in each bottle, instead of four. Until very recently, every drop I pumped went into the next day's bottles. Each day held a few moments of panic. What if I spill some? What if I can't pump enough for tomorrow and I have to mix in a little formula? Hardly the end of the world, but these are the thoughts of a woman obsessed with her milk supply and its' seeming fragility. I still don't drink coffee. I hesitated over going back on birth control, even the mini-pill. I take Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle capsules as though my life depended on it.

We have weighed Oliver daily since he came home from the hospital. This started because he lost nearly a pound in his first three days of life, but persisted due to fears about my milk supply as a BFAR mom. Over time, the ritual has evolved into a measure of my success as a mother. Two days at the same weight or worse, a half-ounce loss, and I am a bad mommy. Days like yesterday, when he gained two and a half ounces (despite pooping three times) and I must be doing okay. He's averaging a very respectable ounce per day, according to our Excel spreadsheet, yet I experience fear and anticipation every evening around weigh-in time.

So ENOUGH! Weekly weigh-ins from now on. It remains to be seen if this will result in less stress, as I hope it will, or if I will just worry more because I don't know for sure.

When I wear purple, does that make me a purple cow? I'd rather see than be one.

26 June 2005

If you find doghair on your kid, it came from Oliver

This week I found myself saying to another daycare parent, "If you find doghair on your kid it probably came from Oliver." I can't say he's not shedding. The hair he was born with continues to thin a bit. I'm talking about the white hair we all carry around with us, constant reminders of the three Clumber Spaniels waiting patiently for us at home.

Maybe if we used the vacuum cleaner a bit more CD wouldn't have a layer of white felt in his boots and we wouldn't have white tumbleweeds blowing about the kitchen. But where's the fun in that?

25 June 2005


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