Monday, December 29, 2008

Teething Bites

All Miles wanted for Christmas was his 2 bottom teeth, and he has both now. The fear is that more are on the way...tooth eruption has turned our 7 month old into an orally fixated fuss bucket; we escaped colic, not teething pain. With unpacking from a week in Ohio and various other domestic challenges staring me in the face, my blog will yet again suffer the "photo only" cop out.

We had a wonderful holiday break, to be chronicled shortly, and I look forward to one more week home alone with my 2 boys. It will be a little lovely taste of what it is like to be a stay at home mom. :)

(Eric took these photos during Miles's photo shoot with Uncle Ryan and Aunt Heather. We attached some sort of gadget of Ryan's to our own point and shoot, and with Ryan's studio set up, Eric's photos are pretty good! He is chewing on a Christmas napkin--and did you notice his chub? Yum. I'll post Ryan's photos when they are developed at a later date. I cannot wait to get some more of his photos up on our black and white wall at home!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays (part deux)

Happy Holidays!

We wish everyone a restful holiday season...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays!

We made the drive from Georgia to Ohio, and are enjoying a blustery blizzard. Miles is sleeping on his grandmother's shoulder, and the Vince Guaraldi Christmas album is playing...(ah, little Linus)...

Miles experimented with avocado and his Happy Bellies cereal this morning. It was a hit! Opa took pictures that we'll post at a later date. He hasn't been as delightful as he was in Boston as tooth #2 is working its way up through the gums. It's like we have a colicky baby all of a sudden. But we have many more hands to help comfort him than at home.

Miles came home from the ELC with a gift for US from Santa! A framed Christmas picture (and a CD with lots of the photo shoot). There is also a picture of Miles enjoying his Happy Bellies cereal...
Uh-oh. Now Gloria Estefan's Christmas is playing. I am off to make some musical changes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cuttin' Teeth

This will be brief. No, really brief. Not "Ali brief," but brief brief.

Rumor has it, that my mother-in-law's months long conjecture may now becoming true--Miles is cutting his first tooth! You have to click on the photo to enlarge it to see the little white bump.That, or he has some sort of oral abscess. (It's not easy taking pictures of an infant's gums.)

And for your enjoyment, outtakes of our attempt at a Holiday card photo with our camera's self timer. The boy won't smile for the camera, and even if he did, the mass of cotton shoved in his mouth would obstruct the gummy grin. We finally got an okay photo without Miles's hands in his mouth, and with the holidays approaching, it will have to do.

I.O.U. posts on:
PT/orthopedic surgeon visits
Baby product essentials.

They're coming...promise.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Journey to MA

(These are 2 of my favorite new pictures. No story with them. Just a proud Mom.)

I feel like I am still picking Thanksgiving turkey out of my teeth, when all of a sudden, everyone I know is finishing up their Christmas cards and sending out e-mails about the last day to ship holiday gifts with UPS. I wish I was Evie from that old (junior varsity) show "Out of This World." Any takers? Evie could freeze time by joining two fingers, and then proceeded to manipulate the "frozen world." When she clapped her hands together, time resumed as normal. Of course, this set the stage for all sorts of comedy of errors. As tempting as it would be to catch someone mid sit, and then pull the chair away from their body and unfreeze time just to watch them qualify for an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos, there are much more noble things I would do with the power (read: NAP).

Much has transpired since I wished you all happy tryptophan comas. We spent a long weekend in MA as our Christmas gift to my side of the family. Leading up to the trip, I bothered myself with far too much anxiety about traveling with Mr Miles. It was flawless. (Here we are at the airport.)The little bugger snoozed both there and back, and besides the fact that my right bicep is now more toned than the left, we got back unscathed. We had a great trip, sprinkled with lots of guest appearances. Miles got to meet one set of his great grandparents (Nana and GP-J), and AunT was up from Miami, and Grunkle Seth had recovered enough from Beaver Fever to accompany Aunty Shirley to my parents house for a visit. And, for the first time, Miles may not have had the blandest diet of the lot! Poor Grunkle is still workin' the BRAT diet, but Miles started eating organic carrot mush! I adopted the baby food mill that my mother used to make baby food, and we mashed up some carrots to add to his cereal. The boy couldn't get enough, and Pappi was surprised to find that carrots are fibrous and come out a lot like they go in...although surrounded by an unmistakable sour dough bread smell. I think our next journey will be with organic squash or sweet potato. I realize we may be starting the whole journey into solids later than most, but I don't feel the need to rush, knowing breastmilk is doing its job for the most part. For Christmas, I think Santa (i.e. MomA) is going to gift me with a Beaba. I have been coveting this piece of equipment, which is pretty incredible, given my distaste for gadgets that clutter the kitchen. It does it all for making your own baby food: cooks, steams, grinds, purees, and defrosts. Plus, it is BPA-free! I was going the Magic Bullet route, until I heard that it contains BPA. The Beaba has been around in Europe for some time, and is now making waves in the US.

Although not apparent in these pictures, Miles witnessed his first snow (out of the womb) and downright bitter temperatures.
I also got to see my friends Daniel and Mary's new (surprise!) baby girl, Mia. Although she was a pound more than Miles at birth, she felt super tiny as I cradled her in my arms. It's amazing how the memory decays. I miss all of the brand newborn gurgles and slow motion waves and yawns. We had a great visit, and Daniel reminded me that even though the two of us go back to, gulp, NURSERY SCHOOL, that Miles will still have to be a gentleman and ask permission to go out with Mia. Ha ha.

Two timing Miles also met another girlfriend. He is all about Big Love, and taking on as many of the honeys has he can. He had an unexpected visit from his friend baby C, who is just the epitome of a "happy baby." They decided to go to baby "first base" and hold hands. Next, we are awaiting the arrival of Mama D's girl "Frankie" in March. It's a girlapolooza.

Full album of pictures for those interested (namely, the family):

There is more to report, but I have some lactation tea waiting for me, along with a DVR'ed episode of my boob tube addiction: The Biggest Loser.

Forthcoming blog teasers :
-Product alert! Schlocks are now being sold
-Cooky foot (nighttime foot casts)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lactose Tolerance

Alison slowly crawls into bed, knowing it is only a brief respite from her job as a milking station to 2 entities: Miles and/or the Medela pump.

Eric: You smell like milk.

Alison pauses for a few moments. It’s been over 6 months of breastfeeding…is this really a surprise? How to respond?

Play dumb with a smattering of facetiousness: “Really? I wonder why?!?”

Proud: “Oh, thank you! I produced the creamiest jug yet, tonight.”

Embarrassed: “I am so sorry; would you like me to take a shower to get rid of the odor?”

Scared: “Oh no! Do you think I have some sort of disease?"

Ali: Eric, I don’t know how to respond.

Eric loves milk, but it must be skim, cold, pasteurized and come from a bovine udder. I know your next thought—have either of you tried it? Believe it or not, we haven’t. a) I really don’t like milk to begin with, and b) I have such a hard time getting enough for Miles that I hate to say it, but I don’t want to waste a drop! I did taste Miles’s rice cereal, which is made with my milk, so I guess by some sort of transitive property of lactose, I have tried it.

I continually have “what if” conversations with Eric:

  • What if we were stranded on a desert island and had only water. Would you drink it? Could I live longer if I drank the milk, too?

  • What if I only ate all organic food. Could I call my breast milk organic?

  • What if you had to drink one of the following: milk straight from a cow (not like him latching on the cow, but like out of Farmer Brown’s bucket), or Miles’s milk from a bottle—what would you choose?

To be fair, I think we both are still amazed at the whole keeping a baby alive with the personal milk bar. I used to make comments about Miles being constructed of bagels and lemonade, but it was a hard concept to nail in that the reality that my body CREATED Miles was filtered by weeks of nausea as well as an inability to truly “see” the baby grow while in utero. (Remember my whole visual thing?) There were ultrasounds, and as exciting as they are, I find the whole looking at a screen away from your baby/belly to see rough images of your baby kind of disconnected and unreal. If they could make see-through abdomens, it would be a whole different story.
Feet then...

Feet now!

Breastfeeding is more of an active process for me, and I realize that I am keeping Miles alive in a new, unique way. Every time I see his growing chubby cheeks, I shake my head in amazement.

During my nursing school stint, I had an interest in lactation consultancy. I swiftly reconsidered as I passed out in a new mother’s room while the consultant was talking to her about appropriate latch. (Sign anyone?) Granted, it was a related to blood sugar and locked knees, but “coming to” in the mother’s hospital room while the nurses and patient were taking care of me, handing me OJ and wiping me down with cool cloths was sign enough. During some wild and crazy day dreams, I think about starting an Atlanta-based milk bank where moms with an oversupply can bank their milk to be used for other babies. I recognize that there must be some insane regulations involved, but I hear so often (not in my house, though!) women who have freezers full of milk that they will never use.

Does anyone else find it simply amazing that women are able to keep entire beings alive with their breasts? Seriously…it blows my mind. My little 4lb nugget is now a supersize 15lb whopper, and all because of breast milk. I also find it interesting that my body produces different “flavors” of milk depending on the needs of the baby. Miles’s preemie milk bar was producing far different offerings than what I am producing now. It is even apparent in any milk that is stored in the fridge. Too much detail? Just stop reading (you should have learned after reading my initial posts). There are crazy layers and colors. Simply astounding I tell you…

I cannot quite reconcile how people are offended by seeing breast milk (e.g. in an office fridge). I know that the cow’s milk we buy has been processed, and that cow’s don’t need to put up nursing curtains when they are milked like women do when they pump at work, but the more I think of it, the crazier it seems. (And let’s be honest, there are many office refrigerators with far more offensive residents than bottles of pumped milk. How about old Tupperware containers filled with unidentifiable lunches coated with a light dusting of fuzz?)

If you didn’t catch it before, Miles has started rice cereal and loves it! He is just eating it once a day, and only about 2 T, but we are slowly working our way toward vegetables. He is also starting some PT next week for his foot, and our pediatrician’s office initiated an application for a GA program called “Babies Can’t Wait” to assess him for some other developmental delays, such as sitting up, rolling over and using his arms to prop himself up. He also started his every 4 weeks Synagis shot to ward off RSV. He may qualify given his premature status. It isn’t a vaccine, but a monoclonal antibody. RSV is a nasty, nasty respiratory illness that I don’t want to contend with. I cannot say I enjoy the amount of shots that this child receives, and I still struggle with the decision to go with the unaltered vaccine schedule, but the public healther in me says it is the right thing to do for my child. Miles is just getting over his FIRST illness—a minor cold. Hey, 6 months without being sick is pretty remarkable! We are thankful for such great health. (And I bet you that darn breast milk had something to do with it.)

Speaking of being thankful, we had an amazing Thanksgiving. Eric ran the half for fun, and I bailed. I am no running hero, and just wasn't prepared. March is my new goal for a half marathon. AunT and Mr Nick drove all the way from Miami to be with us. Videos of his impromptu morning concert, and an "uncle feeding" below. (The next one is a picture of a picture...pretty cool!)

We also had a truly delightful dinner at Mama D’s house (who is cooking her own little one, to make her debut in March!). Finally, one of my best friends from growing up, "Daniel my brother," was blessed with the birth of his first baby girl on Thanksgiving! Congrats! (Miles is going to have a hard time picking a prom date).