Tag Archives: nursing

Razor sharp

Paolo had a little surprise for me yesterday morning.  During his morning nursing session, I quickly learned that he is starting to cut his first tooth.

I should have been tipped off by his crazy behavior on Friday night. We were at our favorite pizza place (Side bar:  Ames has a FABULOUS napoletano-style pizzeria, Vesuvius.  The wood-burning oven was imported from Italy and the cuisine is superb: simple, fresh, and delicious.  We are positively addicted.) for dinner. We were enjoying our delicious meal of insalata caprese, pizza margherita, and a beautiful Italian chianti, while we were waiting for the live music to start.

Paolo had a whole different plan. He usually likes to go out with us.  I mean, we go to kid-friendly places that are usually loud enough where he can make noise without disturbing anyone.  And he entertains himself by trying to new food and then throwing most of it on the ground, drinking from grown-up cups, and just playing with whatever toys I bring along.

Well, not on Friday.   He was not interested in eating, drinking, or playing. Only shouting and banging the table.  So we lasted about 30 minutes before we called it a night and came home.  Then, after a fitful night of sleeping, Paolo woke up hungry.

That’s when I discovered the new tooth!  I tried to take a photo, but I quickly realized that would be impossible.  It has barely cut the surface and is razor-sharp.  I’ve spent the past two days training Paolo how to not bite me, and I think it’s working.  I’m so excited for my little guy, his very first tooth!  I just hope the discomfort of this tooth passes quickly: we leave for our trip to Italy in just a few days.

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Whoa baby

How can something this adorable produce the stinkiest gas in the world?

The pediatrician informed us that one of the reasons Paolo is such a happy baby is that he doesn’t suffer from gas pain. And how did we know this? He is excellent at passing gas.  A pro. (Before I had a baby, I would have thought this was too much information, but not now.)  Having been exclusively breastfeed until recently, Paolo was able to free his stomach of any excess air without making a stink (literally), only some noise.  Which was funny.

Oh my how things have changed.  Since we introduced rice cereal,

Paolo still frees this tummy of excess air, except that now he makes a stink. An adult, make-your-eyes-water, non-baby-like stink.  It is unbelievable. I chose all natural, whole grain, organic rice cereal as his first meal.  And look where that got us.

So we picked up some regular cereal two days ago,

in the hopes that this would produce less potent gas.  We’re still waiting to find out.  All I know is, traveling with a baby that makes this caliber of stink can really get you some funny looks on an airplane.  I’ve been told to just wait until he really starts eating “grown-up” food. Good gracious. We’ll need gas masks to survive.

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Shots

Today we took the baby for a round of vaccines.  He got two shots and one orally.  I make Giuseppe hold him during the shots and then I take him immediately after to comfort and nurse him.

Today I witnessed the most amazing act of baby toughness. As the nurse was administering the shots, Paolo DIDN’T CRY.  He scrunched up his little face and whimpered.  And then, nothing. He snuggled me a little bit, nursed for about twenty seconds and then smiled.  And that was it. Incredible.

I know I sound like I think I am the first woman to have a baby, ever, in the history of the world.  But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t not feel that way.

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Too soon

Paolo is turning five months next week; I had planned to exclusively breastfeed him until he was six months old.  That, however, has not worked out. As of late, Paolo’s eating schedule has been quite irregular.  At times, he is hungry all day and other times, would barely eat during the day. The one constant is that since I have gone back to work full time, he wakes up to eat 3-4 times every night. (I don’t mind waking up, but once or twice a night would be ideal.)  I finally called the pediatrician last week, and she told me that this usually means that the baby is ready to try his first solid food.  I not was exactly ecstatic to hear this, so I waited a few days before breaking out the rice cereal.  I was secretly very happy that this was his first reaction to the cereal:

So, given this reaction (which is normal, I know) and the fact that I’m not sure he even swallowed anything, I didn’t give him more cereal for a few days. Then, he had a check-up with the pediatrician on Friday, she let us know that it was definitely time to give him solids on a regular basis.  His teeth are ready to come out, he’s near sitting up by himself, and he’s getting bored with just milk.  Basically, he’s ready for solids.  Sniff, sniff.  I didn’t realize how quickly this day would come. I know that he will continue to nurse and will receive his nutrients from me, but I just didn’t expect to introduce solids already. Sniff, sniff.

This morning we gave him another serving of rice cereal.  At first, he wasn’t enjoying it one little bit.  (And I was beaming on the inside.)  Then, he started to like it. A lot. It took some work to get the food in, but he was really excited and loving it. Paolo started to lean into the spoon and going for it.  He finished the entire serving and was as happy as could be.  Then, he had a nice long nurse (which made me happy) and then a nice long nap (which made both Giuseppe and I happy).

I had planned to give him another serving this evening.  His evening meal was planned for 7pm, but he started fussing at 6:30, so I nursed him a bit and then he fell right asleep. For the night.  I guess he’ll get more in the morning, but I wanted him to have some cereal this evening to see if he would wake up less to eat.  It’s crazy how he has started waking up so much at night, and I hope this helps to get his daytime eating schedule back on track.

And now that he is started on solids, I have my eye on this nifty baby kitchen appliance:

The Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker from Williams Sonoma.  A coworker raves about it, and it looks awesome.  It’s “a steamer, blender, warmer and defroster in one compact appliance.”  I love it.  I am, I think, when he is ready, going to introduce first sweet potatoes, then avocado, then bananas.  (Very slowly and one at a time, of course.) Any suggestions?

This is all happening too fast for me!  Solids! Wow.

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A professional wardrobe

What, exactly, is a professional wardrobe?  Here in breezy SoCal, it’s more about fashion and Ferragamos than pumps and pantsuits.  And I can tell you exactly what it is NOT when you are hauling around gobs of baby weight: easy.  It is the opposite of easy. I have never been a “full-figured” gal, and I can you one thing: it is hard to lose this baby weight.  When your identity has always been a little tied into your body image, (potentially NOT the healthiest thing in the world, but I am putting it out there anyway) there are days when you feel like shouting from the rooftops, “UNIVERSE! Please, I get it! I will, from this day forward, appreciate the body that God so graciously gave me!”

(I suppose I am being a bit liberal with the use of the universal “you.” I should probably use the correct pronoun, “I.”)

I work in a highly fashionable area. Geography alone pretty much dictates it.  (Last year I worked in Newport Beach; this year, Laguna Beach.)  You can imagine what I see everyday…this is not your average American crowd.  

Enter Brook, at her “healthy” new mom size, trying to be creative on so many levels. I can squeeze into some of my pants and skinny jeans.  (Not saying it looks good, just saying I’M IN!)  So I am trying to make those work with a variety of pre-pregnancy, maternity, and nursing clothes.  Oh the nursing clothes.  It is incredibly difficult to wear something EVERY DAY that allows me to pump and nurse without actually taking off my top.  (How appropriate would that be at the office?  There’s a visual for you.) And I’m trying to pull this off without really buying new clothes. Doing so would signal defeat.  There is no way I want to go up a size (or three).  And then there is the issue of trying to stay on a budget…

On the upside, there is an element of fun when I get dressed for work.   I get to wear big earrings, fun necklaces and bright lipstick: all things that are nearly impossible to wear when I home with the baby.  (Unless I want to risk Paolo ripping the jewelry from my ears and throat.  And the lipstick would end up all over him from my constant kisses.)  At least I can still accessorize.

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New trick

Paolo has started rolling over from his back to side and tummy.  It’s his latest trick. And he looks so cute doing it:

In our family bed, he had started partially rolling over toward to me when he was hungry.  But that was only when he wanted to eat, and he learned how to position himself just so for optimal nursing.  It’s funny; when he wants to eat, he reminds me of the little baby birds on the Discovery Channel that can make their mouths super huge for their mamas to drop food in. That is how Paolo is. I think he figures that the bigger he can make his mouth, the faster the milk will come in.

(Notice his lil chubby arms and legs. Doesn’t it look like there is a rubber band around his wrist!? Love it.)

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Breaking the rules

So this morning I arrived  to work thinking that I have on very cute and coordinated outfit. I have on a red, brown, and white dress over a brown slip, brown knee boots, and little white cardigan with pearls to top it off.  Cute, right? Well, in theory, yes. Until I got to work and realized that I do not have on brown tights, but black ones. Yes, BLACK ones.  Nice.
 
I guess this is what I get for breaking baby rules.  Giuseppe and I have broken the major modern sleeping rule of putting baby to sleep alone in his crib and instead have a “family bed.”  We usually put Paolo down to sleep in his cradle, which we have situated at the foot of our bed.  BUT when he wakes up to nurse, we bring him in the bed with us, where he sleeps and nurses soundly until the next morning. Granting all of us a better night’s rest. 
 
How does this relate to my mismatched stockings? Well, since the baby sleeps in our room, I do not turn on the lights when I get dressed because waking a sleeping bebe is one rule that I do not break.  So I stumble around in the dark trying to find a matching outfit.  Which, unfortunately, does not always work out. 
 
Is it worth it? Absolutely. 
 
Especially since I have gone back to work, the night time nursing seems to be something that Paolino is demanding even more.  Since he was about 6 weeks old, he would wake up once during the night and then sometimes once very early in the morning to nurse.  Sometimes he would even sleep straight through the night.  When I went back to work, though, I noticed that he was waking up two to three times every night to nurse.  And the days that I am home with him, with the ever-ready supply of baby food, he goes back to one nightly nursing session.  I think he is trying to catch up on his nursing time during the week nights. (He’ll take the bottle, but definitely prefers to nurse with me.   Which I am happy to do, but the timing is not ideal for my beauty rest.) The days I have work, I am usually awake a lot longer at night as opposed to the days when I can stay home. So I arrive to work a little sleepy. Wearing unmatching outfits.
 
But I have a snuggly, happy bebe and that makes everything worth it.  Even breaking the rules.

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Inspired

I have been inspired to return from my hiatus from blogging.  Since Paolo has been born, my absolute favorite thing to do is anything that involves snuggling/playing/talking with him.  (Please notice that laundry, house cleaning, shopping, cooking, or blogging are not on that list.  Although, lucky for Giuseppe I still fit them in every once in a while…)

So that is basically all I have been doing for the past 16 weeks.  Well, not if you count each Monday and Wednesday in January, as I was back to work those days, or EVERY day this week: That’s right, I went back to work full time this month.  I know FULL TIME.  FULL TIME. One more time: FULL TIME.  I always knew that I would want to continue to work when I had babies and I knew it would be hard, but whoa.  Leaving my little one has been incredibly treacherous.  Although, I should preface this with the fact that I have been truly enjoying my job and am happy to be there when I arrive.  (AND! They let me take breaks to PUMP at work!  I am so happy that I don’t have to put Paolo on formula!  GO TEAM BREASTMILK!) All the same, saying good bye to my little schnuggly man  is not, hmm how do I put this….easy.  We’ll leave it at that.

The state of California has helped with our transition of me going back to work.  (Yes, it’ s been a transition for all of us, Sofia included.)  On Monday, Giuseppe began his six weeks of Paid Family Leave for Bonding Time.

Which. Is. Fabulous.

So, instead of having to leave the baby with a nanny right away, Paolo can stay home with his Papa’.  Which actually is working out great.  (Except for the very beginning, when I was working part time, and Giuseppe would call and put me on speaker phone to calm down the baby.  Let’s just ponder how that made me feel….Not one little bit guilty. Ha.)  But things have been going very well; Giuseppe is a natural.  Have you seen “Meet the Fockers”? You know that breast that Robert de Niro dons to feed his grandson to avoid nipple confusion? Giuseppe wants one.  Seriously.  (It turns out that Paolo does prefer breastfeeding; he’ll take the bottle, but only VERY grudgingly.)  How’s that for a fun photo. Giuseppe with a fake boob.

So, yes I am back from the blogging hiatus.  I have been inspired by other mommy-bloggers.

That, and I started this entire website as a sort of modern photo book.  This is something I that I want to keep, something I want to show my children as they grow.

So I am back.

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