Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yay Poop!

Tonight Bundle finally pooped. It had been six days. A couple of weeks ago she stopped going several times a day - or even every day. After three days she had a major blow out and things have been irregular ever since. This was the longest wait, however, and I had actually called the doctor earlier this week. We were advised to mix in one ounce of prune juice with three ounces of formula or milk, once a day. It totally looked like cappucino. Thankfully it only took two of them. If she hadn't pooped by today I would have had to call Doc back.

I have no idea what caused this though. I've heard the theory that the baby is growing and using up every last bit of caloric energy and therefore not having anything to excrete. That seemed reasonable to me when it was just once. My dad loves telling the story of me being constipated as an infant and "popping like a cork". But that doesn't really match Ronnie's issue. I think we're going to be doomed to repeat nqllisi's experience with her daughter: a month of repeated poo strikes and prune juice treatments. I'll ask Doc for his insight at her two month appointment next week. And...I guess we'll just have to see what tomorrow's diaper holds.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Family Matter

When my mom was first diagnosed with MS in 1986 no one knew what it was. Very few people had even heard of it, much less knew what it stood for. At age 11, I quickly developed a short speech to explain it to my friends. Since then we've come a long way. It seems like everyone knows of someone with MS - when it used to be somewhat kept under wraps. Celebrities with MS have come out and advocated for understanding and continued research. You can help. I'm a notorious procrastinator and once again, the walk is this coming Sunday! I apologize for the short notice but donations will be taken until May 29th. I appreciate any help you feel willing to give.
Thanks in advance!

Consider a pledge to end multiple sclerosis and support me during Walk MS: Twin Cities Walk 2009.

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. Please help by making a donation — large or small — to move closer to a cure for MS. Or, why not join me on the day of the event? Become a participant and side by side, as teammates, we will move together to raise the funds that make a difference.

Whatever you can give will help. I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.

Click here to visit my personal page and make a secure, online donation.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Me and Bundle McGee

Friday night Mr. b's band played the fashion show in the Twin Cities. We had planned on me attending this event since he first got the gig, sometime last fall. I've been out a couple of times since having Ronnie, once with the mister and once with the girls, but this was going to be major. We arranged to have the kids sleep over at my sister's house. We took the bus so we could both drink without concern. And it was a ton of fun.

But sometime during the second or third band (each band had two designer's lines shown during their set, here's the first during Mercurial Rage and here are some clips of the entire evening) I got a text from my sister. "What time do you think you will be done? Bundle really needs her mom." Well shit. That put a bit of a damper on things. But what was I supposed to do? I replied that there was still several bands left and that neither of us would be able to drive anyway. So she offered to come and get us.

Ultimately it was no big deal. We stayed until the end of the music and fashion and got a chance to talk to nearly all of our friends in attendance while waiting for my sister to show up. I had stopped drinking - and had only had three at that point anyway - once I first got the word from her so I could safely nurse Veronica once we got home. But it also made me think and I had a bit of a revelation: I am not ready to go back to work.

This was supposed to be my last week of leave. Eight weeks is not enough. So I talked to my manager and I'm taking one more. Sure, nine weeks isn't really *that* much more but I think it's going to make all the difference in the world. I'm still going to have a much harder time going back than after my leave with Kirk. I had 12 or 13 weeks then and he went to Auntie Daycare so I was able to convince myself he was merely hanging out with his cousins. This will feel much more painful and final. I am going to bawl my eyes out on the way to work that first morning.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free Music!

Mr. b's fantastic band, Mercurial Rage, has a new single out today!

Mercurial Rage have been raising the roof around here for the last couple years with their uniquely infectious, ultra danceable sounds. Taking influence from the finest exponents of electronic pop’s first Golden Age (think Depeche Mode, The Cure, and dance-rock bands like Happy Mondays and Primal Scream), The Rage add their own totally unique lyrical stamp and jaunty melodic personality.

Download their awesome three-sided-single here!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Well, now I can go back to work. I don't want to but I have my doctor's OK. How the hell did I afford such a long leave with Kirk?

My post-partum check-up went smoothly. Everything's healing as it should be. I guess there are still some stitches that haven't fully dissolved but they're the inner most ones. I'm pretty sure I tore during delivery - 5 minutes of pushing goes extremely fast and I don't remember them making me pause for an episiotomy like last time. I noticed that Doc was referring to some notes in my file throughout my visit and I finally got a glimpse: it was a summary from the on-call doctor at the maternity ward! I don't know that I even said a single word to her. Doc showed up about 10 minutes after Ronnie was born and while he checked her over, basically all he did was congratulate Mr. b and I and shake our hands.

Since we're absolutely determined not to have an "oops" I definitely wanted to get on birth control right away. Supposedly nursing is about 90% effective, at least until your first period. And the no estrogen mini pill is also about 90% (and won't dry up your milk supply), but combined the two are as good as the regular pill. Doc said I should give the pill a couple of weeks to get into my system and double up on contraception until then. As much as we'd like to get back to normal marital relations, Mr. b and I are both a bit hesitant. I don't remember how long after Kirk's birth we waited.

It seems I had gained a total of 15 pounds from the time of my first ob visit until my final one. And now I'm officially 16 pounds less than that final weigh in. Doc was worried that such rapid weight loss might mean I was too busy taking care of the kids first and forgetting about myself. I assured him I'm eatin' like an eatin' fool. I actually need to make sure I don't go overboard with that. I gained weight after Kirk's birth because while I was nursing some, I wasn't nursing much. But I was ingesting enough calories for full time milk production. I suppose for the moment (the barnacle is attached to my boob as I type this one-handed) I don't really need to be concerned. Everything will change when I go back to work.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Regime Change

We finally found a new daycare. First I was looking into preschools for Kirk but they were all ridiculously expensive if you needed all-day coverage. Then I was looking into centers that had preschool programs as well as infant care but they were all ridiculously expensive. So then I started going through in-home daycares and found that infant openings were rare and precious commodities. We interviewed a lady a couple of weeks ago and really liked her but wanted to do due diligence and check out some other places as well. But our car broke down and we couldn't make it to the next appointment I had set up.

I decided it must be fate. First of all, this new woman is walking distance from us. That's...miraculous actually. And she had given me a phone list of her kids' parents and the ones I spoke to gave her unbelievably glowing reviews. And I was completely and utterly paranoid that we'd loose out on the infant spot if we didn't just jump on it. So Kirk and Ronnie will be starting when I go back to work.

Which means that I gave two weeks notice to K on Monday. I'm going to keep Kirk at home with me and the Bundle my last two weeks of leave. We'll save a little bit of money and it'll give him a more defined transition period. I've been mentioning to him that when his sister is big enough to get to go to daycare he'll get to go with her. And he attended the interview at C's house with us so he got to play with the toys and meet her and seems cool with it all. I know he'll miss his little friends but we can always have play dates.

The thing that I found troubling was that K did not seem in the least bit surprised when I called her to give notice. Granted, it's probably common sense that we wouldn't want to do dual drop-off in the mornings and that we'd want Kirk to be with his sister. But that implies that she would have known that when she gave away our infant spot. She didn't tell either Mr. b or I that we were in competition. That she was interviewing another family. She just announced to me, via email, while I was pregnant that oh, by the way, she won't be able to take the new baby. And that hasn't sat well with me all this time.

Friends and co-workers have been rather vociferous on the subject. But I honestly have only the best things to say about the care that Kirk has been given during his couple of years with her. Yet there have been some other professionalism issues that have come up, all having to do with scheduling. Largely they were the result of miscommunication but it was frequent enough that we actually had to have words about it. And I think that since that point we have been passive aggressively pushed out. Even Mr. b agrees with me on that theory, and he is notoriously unaware of subtext. It's sad and I don't understand why we got that treatment but there it is. So now we'll get to start all over. I'm just glad to have the frantic search completed. I feel really positive about the new place.

Friday, April 03, 2009

What's On My Mind

Ronnie continues to be a champ at nursing. The only position we don't seem to have mastered is laying down in bed; it's good enough that I can catch an hour of sleep before returning her to her bassinet if I'm desperate. She does, however, go through these periods of feeding frenzy every few days where she's chomping at my nipples and demanding boob like every 30 minutes. Usually in the evenings. When I get to the point where I can't take her squirming anymore then I pass her on to her dad. Mr. b has been working on bottle training her. It's slow going but he reminded me that it was hard work with Kirk, too. And she's obviously got to learn.

I'm still not getting much via pumping but I guess I don't care. We can have Ronnie on formula at daycare and I'll continue to pump when I go back to work and that's what we'll have for everything in between.

Kirk continues to be absolutely smitten with his sister. He takes his big brother duties very seriously. If I ask him to watch her for a minute, he'll literally watch her. He loves announcing that she "wants boobie" when she starts to fuss. He's very patient and understanding about the fact that she doesn't do anything yet. He talks about how she's growing and will learn things. It's darling and sweet.

I think we've finally discovered his reversion though. Kirk wants to sleep in our bed a lot again. It's been quite some time since he's done that. If Mr. b happens to be crashed on the couch or downstairs I don't mind because there's enough room, even if Ronnie is next to me instead of in her bundle bin. But all four of us gets crowded! Last night Kirk just brought himself to our bed; I have a vague memory of him showing up and Mr. b just woke up and he was there. The problem was that Kirk apparently thought that if I was awake at 4 am nursing his sister then he could be up and jumping around and telling stories. His father got him put back into his own bed after that.

I took the bundle in for the obligatory visit at work yesterday. I can't believe my leave is already half over.

I'm so ready to start the allowed-to-have-sex-again countdown.

I think I've already lost the miniscule amount of baby weight I gained this time. My pants all fit already. And I haven't even started exercising yet. I plan to start that next week. I can feel the laziness in my muscles. Or at least, I can feel it during those rare moments when I'm well rested. I'm eating like a maniac, however, so I think milk production must be helping. The lactation nurse at the hospital said you need an extra 300 calories a day when you're pregnant but an extra 500 when you're nursing. Damn. I can tell.

I need to investigate the rules for drinking. I've heard that beer can help with milk let down and I'm presuming that means one drink in general and not beer specifically. I figure one drink won't affect the milk. Mr. b has bought me a couple of those flavored Smirnoff thingies and I haven't been able to finish one the two times I've had one. (Of course he bought me tall boys both times and then got to finish them himself so there may have been an ulterior motive there.) I know the phrase "pump and dump" but I don't know the details. At what point does the alcohol hit the milk ducts? Is the milk that's in there when you start drinking fine? What if you can't drain it all or how can you tell it's safe again?

There's a subtle difference to how I view us as a unit now that we have two kids. Before we were a couple that had a son. Now we're a family.