Friday, September 28, 2007

Still sick...

Poor little Bean.

Last night was one of the most stressful and sleepless nights we've had since Bean first came home from the hospital. She was so sick and stuffed up and tired that it took about 2 hours to get her down last night, and then she was up every hour and half to just whimper and cry. I never knew having a sick child would be so darn heart wrenching!

Her fever topped out at 101.5 last night, but she's much cooler this morning. I finally got her down for a nap. Now I have to go try and concentrate on a paper while she sleeps.

Here's hoping little Bean gets better soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Calling In Sick

Bean has her first cold.

Last night we put Bean to bed (in her crib!) at her usual time and she seemed fine. She woke up at 9:00 crying pitifully, and completely stuffed up. One of her "colleagues" in the infant room had been out sick with a cold earlier this week, so we knew immediately what we were up against. I brought her to our bed to spend the night.

Poor Bean was up snorting and nursing and whimpering throughout the night, and around 3:00 a.m. she started to develop a low-grade fever. At 6:00 a.m. I gave in and gave her a little bit of baby tylenol so that she could finally get some rest. No dice. She decided that cherry-flavored tylenol suspension means it's time to play, so she charmed me out of bed and talked me into playing "eat the feet" on the carpet.

Husband and Bean are now finally napping on the bed with (a very stinky) Pup. The doctor claims that 99.5 is a "mild" (Ha!) fever and I'm not to worry unless she seems distressed.

Poor Bean is snoring like an old man.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Me: Ugh. Pumping sucks. I can't believe I have to do this for 7 more months.

Co-worker: Well, you don't have to. You can stop pumping if you want.

Me: No, it's not THAT bad. I still want to keep breastfeeding.

Co-worker: Oh, so you just like to hear yourself bitch about it?

Why yes, apparently I do.

Transition: crib

Before Bean was born, I never thought she'd be sleeping in my bed. I've heard horror stories where parents have their 7-year-olds in the bed with them, unable to wean their children of co-sleeping. And I had heard conflicting stories about co-sleeping and the risk of SIDS: some say co-sleeping increases the risk, some say it decreases the risk. So I got Bean a bassinet for our room, and we found a crib we liked for the nursery. I figured Bean would sleep in the bassinet for the first few months, taking naps in her crib (to get her used to it) and then we'd move her into her own room by the time I went back to work. No co-sleeping necessary.

The first night in the hospital my whole plan for Bean's sleep was thrown out the window. They had a little plastic bin that Bean was supposed to be sleeping in down at the end of my bed. She was so tiny in it, and so far away. The plastic bin was so sterile. And I had had a C-section, so I couldn't even get out of bed to stare at her lovingly. No way was she sleeping so far away from me in that stupid plastic bin. I rationalized it by saying that since I couldn't get out of bed to get her when she needed to eat (every 90 minutes or so) that it would force Husband to wake up too, and what was the point in that? So I got Husband to agree that Bean should spend those first two nights in the hospital in bed with me. And once I had had a taste of co-sleeping, I was sold.

Bean has spent at least some portion of every single night in our bed since she was born. As Bean started sleeping longer stretches, Husband talked me into putting her into the bassinet for at least the first stretch of sleep each night so that he and I can actually cuddle each other. That stretch of sleep has gotten longer and longer as she has gotten older, and so now she has been spending just a few hours in bed with us in the early morning. But nonetheless, we're still co-sleeping at least part of the night.

My plan for her to get used to the crib by taking all her naps in there never materialized either. When I was on maternity leave, it seemed just impossible to put her down for a nap in her crib and just walk away. So much nicer to just hold her and cuddle her while she slept. And she seemed to sleep better and longer in my arms than in the bassinet or on a cushion. So she never took a single nap in her crib. Whoops.

Well now it seems to be time to transition her to her crib. I want to do it before she's old enough to make it into a battle. So I decided to give the crib a try. Last Friday we put her down in her crib in the evening and let her sleep in there to start. But at 1:00 a.m. she woke and wanted to eat, so I brought her to bed and nurse, and then decided not to take her back to the crib... The next night I felt so anxious about putting her in the crib that I had her sleep in bed with us the entire night. And the night after that. Monday I was able to put her in the bassinet again.

And last night Bean had her first (almost) full night in the crib. She fell asleep nursing, and I put her in the crib. She slept there until 3:30 when I heard her making noises. I went in to see her and she had rolled over onto her belly and was presssed against the back of the crib. She's never done that at night before, but there's not exactly room in the bassinet. I picked her up and she gave me a gigantic moonlight grin. She was patient while I changed her diaper, and I brought her to bed with me to nurse. And there she stayed until morning. I guess she wasn't in the crib the entire night, but it was a big step nonetheless.

I'm sure this transition is way tougher on me than it is on her. I'm not willing to give up my morning sleep with her yet. She's only going to be tiny for a little while, and our co-sleeping is still really important to me. Especially now that I'm back at work. It's my favorite part of every single day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007


So, I've always known that I wanted to be a mother. It's just never been a question for me. I don't think I can really explain why I have always wanted to be a mama, it just feels like my life would be incomplete if I never had (or adopted) a child. My brain tells me that motherhood is a choice, but my heart tells me that being a mom is the most important thing in my life.

I have many friends who feel the exact opposite. They have no desire whatsoever to have children. And that's totally their decision. Some of them have actual reasons for not wanting to be parents (i.e. would rather spend time on hobbies or with their partner), others can't explain their lack of desire for kids any more than I can explain why I want them.

It seems, however, that having a child or not is more than just a personal choice. In science, of course, there's a huge bias against men and especially women with families. I've always thought that this was primarily due to the tendancy for academic scientists to be fairly single-minded about their work. "If you have room in your life for other things, you don't love science as much as I do." But the family debate touches all professions. In recent years I have been shocked to see the resentment that many non-breeders hold for the latitude given to working mothers in particular... from maternity leave to flexible schedules.

In the not-too-distant past I had a discussion with several friends (including both future-breeders and non-breeders). The discussion was regarding people (implicitly female people) who take time off work to care for their sick children, or who can't work late because they have to pick up their kids from daycare. The non-breeders in the discussion felt that it was essentially special treatment for breeders when they aren't expected to work late, and they felt bitter for having to "pick up their slack." Why shouldn't the non-breeders get extra vacation days for all the days they don't miss work due to sick kids? Why should the breeders get to go pick up their kids from daycare while the non-breeders have to work late and miss out on movie night at their friends' house?

It's pretty difficult as a mom to hear that point of view. I guess I kind of always saw the world through some rose colored glasses, where raising a child really was an effort by the village... breeders and non-breeders alike. I figured that people work together to be part of a functioning society. And while maybe a non-breeder might be pissed that they have to "pick up the slack" for me when I have to pick up Bean from daycare, I'm not really willing to apologize for my priorities. The decision to go back to work ended up being a lot tougher than I ever thought it would be, but I know that I can be both a scientist and a mother... even if that means setting some definite limits on my time at work. And anyway, Bean could very well be their doctor or lawyer or accountant in 30 years, so maybe they should just shut the hell up and let me raise a productive member of the next generation.

I've certainly never wanted special treatment per se just because I decided to have a child. But I am also feeling more and more fiercely protective of my life outside of the lab, and I certainly won't feel guilty the first time I have to stay home from work to take care of a sick little Bean. Even if that means I have to ask someone to start a culture for me or put my blots on film or something.

The ironic thing is that in some ways, women are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Women who choose to go back to work can be criticized for abandoning their children (as the bus driver criticized me) or criticized for not being as available at work. Women who stay home are seen as either priviledged or lazy (or even "taking advantage of the system).

P.S. For a better discussion of the economic complexities of being a mother, whether in the workplace or at home, check out the book "The Price of Motherhood."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ready for armageddon

Those of you who know me might not be surprised to learn that I went a little overboard in preparing to go back to work.

I had read a recommendation that women who plan to continue to breastfeed when they go back to work are well-advised to have a small stockpile of breastmilk in the freezer. This milk serves as a buffer against variations in the amount of milk you pump each day. Some days you get a little more milk when you pump, some days a little less, and so having a supply of milk in the freezer can help you on the days when you're a little short so that you will always have enough milk for the next days bottles.

I took this recommendation to heart from the very beginning. I started pumping to build up my freezer stockpile within two weeks of bring Bean home from the hospital. At the start, I was a little irregular. 2 ounces here, 2 ounces there. But by the time Bean was 4 weeks old, I was getting up each and every morning (usually around 4 or 5 a.m.) to sneak in a pumping session while Bean was asleep. Some of this milk was wasted as we tried to get Bean to learn to take the bottle, and the rest was frozen away. By the time I went back to work, I had accumulated a ridiculous 258 ounces (or approximately 2 gallons) of breastmilk in the freezer.

My milk stockpile, which is all carefully dated and organized into tuppware containers, takes up about 90% of our freezer space. We've got just enough room left for two ice cube trays and a package of veggie burgers. Husband is exceedingly patient and has not once complained about the fact that we can no longer atually store food in there. Nor does he complain about the fact that we are spending the GNP of a small country on milk storage bags.

Obviously, I went a little bit crazy. But I had heard enough horror stories about women who weren't able to keep up with their babies 16 oz a day habits that I was a little, um, overzealous.

On the bright side, I think that all the extra pumping I did while I was on maternity leave built up my milk supply really well, and that I will not be losing my milk any time soon. I've also never pumped less than Bean is eating during a day, so I'm keeping up with her.

And, as a side-benefit, I can't actually fit a carton of ice cream into my freezer, so it's keeping me out of trouble.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Selfish Mommy Day

I am having a selfish mommy day.

This morning I was nursing Bean and when we finished I propped myself up to look at her. She has grown SO much since we first brought her home. She is unbelievably long and round and perfectly plump. She's growing real hair and her eyes have turned from blue to hazel. She smiles and coos and plays with her voice. She gets grumpy if we take a toy out of her hand. She watches us with great interest when we are eating. She is just an amazing little being.

But I can't help feeling like it is all happening too fast!! Of course I should want her to grow and change and develop, but I also feel like I'm not getting enough time to just snuggle my little baby.

So I am in selfish mommy mode. I want to just keep her right where she is for a little while. I can't keep up with her.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good news!

I got a phone call this weekend, and one of my sisters is pregnant! I am so excited for her and my brother-in-law. I know they will be wonderful parents. And it's good news for Bean that she will have a cousin so close in age!

Fall is falling

So, it's getting to be the end of summer, and fall is officially starting here. The weather has turned from sunny to gray, and it's been at least drizzling every day for the last week or so. Last night as I went to take Pup out for the last time of the day, I could smell the wet asphalt in the air and thought "It's fall."

As usual, this time of year is bittersweet for me. The summers are short and fantastic here, and so the end of summer is sad. No more leaving the house without a coat. No more lazy afternoons in the grass at the park (unless I want to get muddy and cold). Our weekend walks become a little less leisurely and a little more brisk. And having grown up someplace where you often wear short sleeves on Christmas day, it's sad when the weather turns cold. But on the other hand, I absolutely love the fall here. It's amazing to see the leaves turn on the trees, I love a good stormy night by the fire. I like eating soup and bread for dinner and curling up on the couch. I have always loved the rain.

This is Bean's first fall, and I am ridiculously excited about it. I am just as excited about bundling her up in a hoodie and her hat and showing her the changing leaves as I was about taking her to the park in a sundress and putting her little toes in the grass. I know most people will say that she won't remember this crap when she's older, but Bean LOVES going outside and looking at the trees. I think she'll love it even more when the trees turn technicolor. And I know she'll like fall even more when we get her some rainboots and she can splash in the puddles, but for now I'm looking forward to just bundling her up and taking her on more walks.

Also, I am a HUGE sucker for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My family has very few traditions. The traditions we do have are all centered around Christmas. So I get all sappy and romantic about Thanksgiving and Christmas starting around, oh... now. Not that I'm one of those annoying people who starts their Christmas shopping in April. Christmas for me has very little to do with all the gift buying. I get excited for the communal cooking and cookie baking, the Christmas lights on houses, hot chocolate with little red sprinkles on top, the smell of evergreens. I know, I know. It's all horribly kitsch. But I'm so excited about including my little girl in some of my familys traditions, and starting some new traditions for my daughter too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A new skill

My daughter is the only person in the world who can fishhook me and not get punched in the face.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


This morning I found a burn mark on my right arm. It's tender and red, but I couldn't for the life of me remember getting burned. I showed the 2-inch red mark on my arm to Husband. "That looks suspiciously like a glove line" he said. "Were you working on a UV box yesterday?"

Why yes, yes I was. I was very carefully cutting out several very important bands on a gel yesterday, and apparently paid no attention to the length of my sleeves. So now I have what is essentially a sunburn on my arm.

I think it's like locking your keys in your car. You do it once, and never again. Next time I'll wear my darn lab coat!

Friday, September 14, 2007


The other day I woke to find that one of our beloved cats had gotten into the bag which holds my pump, dragged out the tubing and chewed it all to hell. It was a sad sad morning because Bean was sleeping in for once but I was engorged and had to use the hand pump (for the record, the hand pump is NO FUN).

So that day we made our way over to a local maternity store to pick up some new tubing and, while we were at it, some milk storage bags. While we were buying our stuff, the man behind us asked me "Got any tips on breastfeeding?" I gave him a pretty generic answer, saying something along the lines of "It's a confidence game. Don't give up. Don't supplement with formula."

I wasn't really thinking much of it until he mentioned his son was just 4 days old. Poor guy!! On closer inspection, this man did have the glazed-over shell-shocked look of a brand new parent.

He went on to tell me they had just come home from the hospital the day before, and that his son had been nursing great until the circumcision right before they left the hospital. But, I thought, at 4 days, mom's milk was probably also just coming in and she was probably engorged as hell which is exactly when Bean and I hit our (thankfully short-lived) rough patch.

I gave him new advice, focusing on relieving the engorgement so his son could latch on well, and told him to make an appointment to see a lactation consultant in person as soon as he could. He promised he would, thanked us for our help, and we wished him luck. He fumbled with his purchases and moved up to the counter.

As we left, I thought back to when little Bean was brand new. How frazzled and scared and ecstatic we were. How overwhelmed and overjoyed. We were tired and happy and just trying not to do anything wrong. We were looking up advice, taking her temperature, counting wet diapers and BMs. We were keeping careful track of how long between each feeding, how often, which side. We were going to the doctor and calling the nurses. I was looking at the La Leche League website, reading our parenting books and keeping a close eye on her belly button. We had so many notes.

It made me realize how far we've come in the last (almost) 5 months, just in being able to trust ourselves a lot as parents. Of course we're still reading books and listening to advice and trying to be the best possible parents, but we're not frantic and afraid. We know our baby, and we know how to be the parents we want to be.

Anyway, it's pretty awesome now to look back and to see not only how much Bean has grown, but how much WE have grown.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Breast is Best

Nursing. I absolutely love breastfeeding my daughter. I can't imagine doing anything but. Bean and I get to take a little break together every few hours and just cuddle and make eye contact and she nurses and is content and it's wonderful. Even our middle of the night feedings are really special, probably the most special. Bean is sleepy and hungry and she rolls her eager little body towards me, and we doze and she eats and afterwards we cuddle and she sometimes laughs in her sleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says Breast is Best. Breastmilk supports developement of a baby's immune system and reduces rates of both acute infections and chronic diseases like diabetes, Crohn's, obesity. Beastfed babies also show lower rates of SIDS and chronic allergies. It's also thought that the complex mixture of proteins, fats, and sugars in breastmilk is the best support for early brain development, and that the intimacy and bonding of breastfeeding supports an infant's psychological and social development. In fact, the AAP identifies breastfeeding as the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants and recognizes breastfeeding as primary in achieving optimal infant and child health, growth, and development. Given all the benefits of breastfeeding, why is it that only 19% of mothers are nursing their infants for a year or more (the length of time reccommended by the AAP)?

It's a pretty complicated socio-economic issue, and I won't pretend to explore it fully here. But one of the biggest reasons women cite for not breastfeeding an infant under the age of 1 was the return to work. Many employers do not support female employees in the quest to express, something a working mother has to do in order to maintain exclusive breastfeeding. Often, a woman will lose her milk altogether if she does not express at work (decreased demand = decreased supply). And while some states have laws requiring employers to provide employees (unpaid) breaks to pump and a clean place to do it, some employers may follow the letter of the law, not the spirit. I also read an article in the NYT last fall that talked about the descrepancies within a company as to the lactation benefits. The article cited Starbucks as a prime example. Women working for Starbucks' corporate office are provided with a cushy lactation room, complete with armchairs. Women working as baristas at Starbucks may be lucky to have a break to sit on the floor of the ladies bathroom to pump. The access to lactation facilities, I think, is reflected in the statistics: the average breastfeeding mother is a young, highly educated, higher-income professional, despite the fact that breastfeeding is actually cheaper than formula feeding.

In addition, pumping pretty much totally sucks, but I'll address that in another post.

Something I think of as an equally big issue in the number of women who continue to breastfeed is the stigma associated with breastfeeding in public. In general, the Western culture associates the breast first and foremost with sex, not with nurturing a child. This association causes most to be uncomfortable with seeing a bare breast in public... for any reason. That means that most women aren't comfortable exposing themselves for the purpose of breastfeeding when they are out and about. This can be really restrictive when you are breastfeeding as very few public places offer a clean private place to sit down and feed your child (a noteable exception being Nordstroms and Macy's which tend to offer "Ladies' Lounges"). You'd be surprised at how little you can accomplish when your baby is eating every 2-3 hours if you only breastfeed at home. And so I think a lot of women, faced with choosing between the discomfort of breastfeeding in public or staying at home, simply choose not to continue breastfeeding. I never noticed, until I was a breastfeeding mother, how rarely I actually see women breastfeeding. I don't see women at the mall, at the park, in stores nursing their babies. I just don't. And the area I live in has one of the highest rates of breastfeeding in the country.

I saw an article which said that photos of Maggie Gyllenhaal breastfeeding her daughter in a park had been posted to a nude celebrity website. I found this outrageous. It's just this kind of sexualization of breastfeeding that makes so many women uncomfortable about nursing in public. And I think it's also why people tend to view nursing a child over the age of 12 months as creepy... Western culture has a hard time classifying the contact as a nuturing interaction rather than a sexual one.

You hear all the time about corporations that end up in trouble when they try to restrict a woman's right to feed her child. Victoria's Secret was the target of a Nurse-In by lactivists across the country after women were told they couldn't feed their babies in the store. Um, hello? Vicky's Secret is worried about breast-exposure? I can guarantee the models in the print ads they have posted all over the store are showing way more of their racks than a nursing mother does. And earlier this year a woman was kicked off an airplane for not using a cover when she nursed her child.

Why is it these places aren't ever kicking people out of their stores or off their planes for having their nasty thongs hanging out of their pants, or for showing off their crotch tattoos? THAT stuff is sexual. Breastfeeding? NOT SEXUAL.

I'm no lactivist, I just personally have gotten a lot less inhibited about nursing in public. Sometimes I use a cover, like a blanket or my Hooter Hider (a nursing mother's best friend!), sometimes I don't. In a restaurant: covered. In my car: uncovered. In a mall: covered. In the park: depends on how crowded it is. I think I basically cover up if I feel like people are going to be close by, or if someone creepy is hanging around.

The way I look at it, motherhood is already breaking down a lot of the personal boundaries I've set up over the last 28 years. So I'm getting a lot less worried about whether or not some stranger sees my boob while I feed my child. I try to be considerate, but if other people are bothered by me feeding my child, that's kind of their hang up, not mine. So screw 'em.

Sleep = good, No sleep = bad

So Bean is still adjusting to her new daycare. She's just about on board with the bottles, but she is not napping. In general, Bean is sleeping about 12 hours at night, and when she's home she naps for about 3 hours during the day. At daycare, her daytime sleep is down to about 3 X 30 min naps. Yesterday when I picked her up, her caregiver pointed out that Bean had only taken 2 X 20 min naps. So I expected that Bean would be a little cranky. I did not expect full blown nuclear holocaust.

It was just me and Bean last night, as Husband got dragged to another lab function. We met a friend for a walk at our favorite park. As our walk was ending, Bean started to get a little cranky, so I pulled her out of the stroller and put her in the Bjorn which seemed to quiet her. Good bouncing in the Bjorn you know. When we got back to the car, I changed and fed her and she was all smiles and giggles.

I then went to put her in the car seat, hoping that if I drove around she'd drop off to sleep and then I could kill a few minutes before we had to pick Husband up. As soon as I put Bean down in her seat, her face crumpled and she started to wail and wail. I pulled all the usual tricks, but nothing could quiet her back down. She was just too exhausted. So I got in the car and started to drive towards Husband, again hoping she'd fall asleep. But no. Instead, she continued to freak out.

I admit that I reached back and let her suck my finger while I drove. And I drive stick. It worked for about a minute, but then she was even more upset than before. By the time we picked up Husband, Bean had been crying for 25 straight minutes, and she continued to cry until we (finally!) got on the freeway, where she promptly fell asleep. I was so fried I couldn't even get out of the car when we got home.

Lessons learned:
1. Baby girl's gotta nap!
2. Freeway driving is, in fact, the only driving that actually calms a screaming baby.
3. No more single parent weekday evenings. Husband is going to have to tell his boss to suck it.
4. No more leaving the house with Bean after 6:30. She's gotta get her nighttime routine and go to bed. I can't handle the consequences.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The quest to avoid Mom Jeans

Before I got pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I was exercising every single day without fail, I was reasonably kind of okay with my body, and I felt really good. I had visions of running into my 5th month of pregnancy, but I crashed and burned towards the end of my first trimester. I was just so tired! So I took a break from... which turned into an extended leave of absence. I still walked a lot, right up until the end, but I just couldn't find the energy for running.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I started getting really excited to start running again. The weekend before Bean was born, I bought a gigantic running bra and some bigger running pants so that as soon as I got the okay from my doc, I could start pounding the pavement again.

I couldn't wait, though... 4 weeks after my C-section, I went out for my first run. It was a pathetic disaster. I had bargained with Husband for the okay to do 3 miles. I thought 3 miles would be nothing. I set out for my first paces and got a huge grin on my face. Ah running, how I had missed you. About 60 seconds later, I was huffing and puffing with burning lungs. That day, I only ran about a mile, and my lungs didn't recover for about 20 minutes. This was far more disheartening than I would have thought. Throughout the summer, I only went running occasionally because it was just too sad to struggle so much for such short distances.

But now, with renewed resolve, I am committed to fighting the good fight, to getting my body (almost) back. To avoiding pleated, acid-washed Mom Jeans. I've hooked up with a friend and have made regular running dates. I'm committing myself to 20 minutes on the elliptical each night to get my lung power back. And last night, I did my first post-partum crunches.

It turns out that having your abdominal wall stretched beyond what you ever conceived possible is maybe not so good for your tummy muscles.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Good science Monday


I just got a call a few minutes ago from my Program Official at the American Cancer Society. The post-doctoral fellowship application that I wrote just weeks before Bean was born is being funded!! Hooray!! I am so glad that I don't have to write and re-submit!!

So many exclamation points!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Boss lady

So my boss is writing a grant right now, based in large part on my project. There is nothing more annoying than when your boss is trying to write for funding.

1. They don't want to write, so they're always looking for an excuse to procrastinate, usually by talking to you... whether or not you're busy. If you're in the middle of an experiment, they just look over your shoulder and ask you to explain what you're working on. Not conducive to you actually getting stuff done.

2. Boss is hoping for new "preliminary data." Somewhere in your notebook, or in the experiments you are currently doing, is the one piece of data that will carry their entire grant and guarantee them new funding. They're sure of it. So if you could possibly comb through all of your old data while simultaneously producing new spectacular data, that would be great thanks.

3. If one of the experiments that they've pestered you about gets screwed up for one reason or another, your boss knows about it. And it's a little embarassing when you have to tell them "Well, I realized I designed my primers wrong... because I'm an idiot."

Of course today it is absolutely GORGEOUS outside, so Dr. DNA is "working from home." Instead of looking over my shoulder while I wash my blots. I'd like to go "work from home" with a small adorable baby on my lap, but I'm actually looking forward to these results and it's probably better if I don't bring my hot work home with me.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Addendum to the Day of Poop

I should have said: Pup's vet visit went okay. The vet checked her out and basically couldn't find anything overtly wrong with her. Their running tests on her her poop to check for parasites or abnormal bacterial loads, but in the meantime the vet prescribed a stool firmer, some pro-biotics (aren't they all the rage now?), and a medication to lower inflammation of the GI track. However, as of this morning (after two doses of medication) she was still having diarrhea. They should call with the results of her tests today, and if it hasn't gotten better by tomorrow morning, we're going to take her back in. Poor Pup.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Day of Poop

So, it turned out that yesterday was the Day of Poop.

When Husband and I went to pick up Bean from her first day at daycare, we walked in to see Bean sitting happily on the floor wearing an entirely different outfit than the one she had on when we dropped her off. Not surprising. Costume changes come with the territory. But what was surprising was that one of her teachers was also wearing a different outfit. Apparently Bean took a huge dump all over herself (special goldfish dress included) AND her teacher's clothes. That's my girl!...

She also only took about 5 oz the whole day (instead of her usual 12), and was complaining (i.e. screaming bloody murder) about taking the bottle. Not unexpected, I guess, as Bean has never been a fan of the bottle.

When we got Bean home, we opened the door to find our house absolutely reaking. Upon further inspection, we found that our dog Pup had had explosive diarrhea all over the nursery. I'll spare you all the gory and disgusting details, but we had one sick Pup on our hands! Since Pup's behavior was totally normal (i.e. she ate her dinner, she wanted to play, she didn't act at all sick), we decided not to drag her to the emergency vet and instead made an appointment for the morning.

Husband kindly cleaned the nursery rug as best as he possibly could, and I fed Bean, who was (no surprise) starving after a long day of refusing to eat. We finally had to give her a bottle because she sucked me completely dry and was still hungry for more. She took the bottle from daddy with minimal complaint.

Now if only we can convince her to do that at school...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Cute Baby On Campus (CBOC)

I started back to work six weeks ago, but we were lucky enough to have grandmas on Bean-duty until this past Friday. Which was a really good way for me to transition back to work. I was more comfortable being able to leave Bean with a family member instead of at daycare and get used to my new work schedule. And Bean definitely benefitted from all the extra one-on-one time with her grandmas. But there's only so long you can delay the inevitable, and today is Bean's first day at daycare.

Bean's daycare is actually a Montessori school not far from home, and we really like the two women who work in the infant room. They are very experienced, both mothers, and seem really loving. There are three other babies starting today, all the same age as Bean, so they'll be good little friends for her as she develops and gains new skills, and they'll move on to the toddler room around the same time as Bean. So if Bean has to be in daycare, it's definitely the best possible situation for her.

I put off getting all her stuff ready for daycare until the last possible minute, because basically I was in total denial. Yesterday afternoon Husband and I finally went out and purchased the things we needed to send to daycare (extra diapers, wipes, emergency supplies, etc). Then finally at 8:00 last night, I asked Husband to help me put together all of Bean's stuff for this morning. Bibs, changes of clothes, labeled bottles, a blanket, some binkies, and the little puppy that she likes to cuddle when she's trying to go to sleep. I tried to be upbeat about the whole thing, and kept referring to today as "her first day of school."

This morning went surprisingly smoothly, despite the fact that Bean woke up about an hour earlier than usual so we were trying to get ready while entertaining her. We put her in her special goldfish dress and gave her plenty of kisses. At 7:00 we packed all her daycare stuff into the car and drove the 2 minutes to her school. Once inside, we began to unpack all her stuff into her labeled cubby and realized we left her bottles of milk at home... the one item that she HAD to have!! So Husband ran home to get the bottles, and I had a couple of extra minutes to play with Bean on the floor. She was cheery and bright, and I tried not to be upset.

When Husband got back with the bottles we put her into the bouncy chair, where she sat happily batting at toys, and left... It was pretty much the hardest thing I've ever done. I cried less than I thought I would, but I was silent on the drive to work. I'm now deciding how long I have to wait before I can call and check on her. I'm sure she's completely fine. Happy even. But I miss her.

Good thing the weather matches my mood.