The Missing Links

In Breaking News

Earthmother is out of commission today due to a root canal, so I will be commenting on the latest news about plastic baby bottles. I was up at 6:30 today feeding the Bun, and I caught a teaser on my local news about the possibility of dangerous materials in some plastic bottles. So I did a little research, and the result: an independent panel “will meet next week to review whether exposure to a chemical commonly found in plastic products like food containers and baby bottles causes health problems.” A separate group of experts claim new laboratory tests show five leading bottle manufacturers may have the dangerous chemical in their bottles and it may leach into what baby is drinking. Here’s the link, but the upshot is: you have to wait a week to find out what they find! Loverly.

I hate alarmists.

Following the Trend

I am especially piqued these days by the following weblogs, and their commentary on the Mommy trend and also the hipster-parenting blogging trend.

Her Bad Mother strongly warns against becoming a mamanista.
This Girl’s Gone Child gets in Time Magazine, much to her chagrin.

I have to do a little more research into this subject. I am not trying to be a cynical parent, I think I am out of the demographic to be a hip parent, and although I am experimenting here with the mommy blogging thing, I may not easily fit into the Babble scene of mommy bloggers. Mostly because I am not an urban parent anymore, though I thought I wanted to be. Update later.

I actually have work today (hooray), so I must shower and pump a bottle (not one of the brands mentioned in the CNN story above) — even though I am not actually leaving my house. One should still be clean and nicely dressed when working at home.

There’s probably a site I can link to about that, too.

Tip of the Hat

First Things First
I have to give props to Earthmother, my sister-in-law: her website (which is a bit older than this blog) was on top of the google hits for “earth mother” this past Saturday. Go, WonderSisInLaw #2 (she is only #2 because WonderSIL #1 married my brother in 1998, and I didn’t marry DearDR until 2001). This site is a wonderful resource for (among other things):

  • natural childbirth
  • chirorpractic
  • vegetarianism
  • So, go Earthmother. I will direct people to your site. I read your latest article, and I would have weighed in, but the comments were off. Turn them on! Please.

    And I am blatantly ripping off one of the funniest bloggers I read, Dad Gone Mad, whose sister is WonderSis. Thanks, DGM! Like the Hot Wife t-shirts. When I feel like Hot Wife myself again, I will order one. Along with a DGM shirt for DearDR.

    And I will be ripping off Earthmother pretty soon, too, to tell my tales of pregnancy, chiropractic, and labor (not as natural as I wanted in any case….)

    Afterthoughts
    Aside from me and Earthmother, is anyone else raising vegetarian children? (Well, at this point Bun is a breast-milkatarian).

    And I think I just spotted robins outside my window! Spring could be on its way! Halelujah!

    Dora the Annoying

    I have about 10 minutes here — probably less. But the hubs decided he wanted to catch up on the new Dora DVDs that Monkey got for Valentine’s Day. So he is currently trapped in the hell that is Dora’s Pirate Adventure — the musical. I think even Monkey may be annoyed by this episode.

    I know that Dora is supposed to be good for language development, according the the folks here anyway. And I can see why — all that repetition. And, also, my toddler can count to ten in Spanish, which I can’t even do (which is a sad commentary itself).

    The Top Seven Things I Can’t Stand about Dora the Explorer
    (Yeah, I couldn’t think of ten things. Although I will the next time I watch Dora, I guarantee it.)

    7. The music. Oh, dear God, I can’t stand the songs. They get stuck in my head. And there is nothing more annoying than the repetition of “We Did It”, especially when I can’t get to my iTunes. The map song is pretty annoying too. I mean, yeah, he’s the map. Does he have to tell me 50 times?
    6. Boots. What is up with that monkey? Why does he wear boots? Why is he so materialistic (see episodes “Bouncey Ball” and the one about his toy firetruck).
    5. The way they look out of the TV to solicit guidance. “Do you see the [insert object/place here]?” Yeah, numbskulls, it’s right behind you. Stop looking at me! Turn around! I swear my nightmares are populated by blank, round eyed characters staring at me waiting for me to tell them where the volcano is.
    4. Those volcanoes. Where does Dora live that there are so many freaking volcanoes. And why do they expel balls rather than lava? WHY?
    3. Dora’s big head. It is completely out of proportion to the rest of her — and other characters’ heads are not dispropotional to nearly the same degree. Even Diego’s head isn’t so big.
    2. Swiper. That sneaky fox is a raving kleptomanic. If he’s so intent on swiping things, why does he immediately throw them away with a snarky, “You’ll never find it now”? And why does saying “Swiper no swiping” three times stop him?
    1. She needs my help. Dora always needs my help. Good God, what would she do without me?

    I’m not as worried about Monkey watching Dora as I am DearDR. I mean, he seriously wanted to watch the Pirate Adventure episode. I handed him Bun (who was getting a bottle after three hours of feeding on me), and left him to it. About 10 minutes in, I heard him say in a flat voice, “It’s a musical.” Later, sucker.

    Well, it’s my turn with the Bun again. Still awake after the bottle. Sigh. Someday, I will get to watch a DVD — that is not Dora or Blues Clues — all the way through.

    Breast is Best

    But a pain in the ass

    I knew before I had children that I would breastfeed. It just seemed like the natural thing to do. That’s what boobs are for, after all.

    And while I generally don’t mind breastfeeding, there are times that I definitely do. Fortunately, for my babies anyway, I think formula is way too expensive to be used 100% of the time. Breastmilk is FREE. Or, depending on what you’re spending, not.

    For example, time. In terms of time, nursing is not cheap. I discovered that I could read during nursing with Monkey. And since reading is my all time favorite thing to do (to the point of dysfunction/addiction), this was fine with me. With the Bun, I prefer DVD watching to reading. Which is why I re-joined Netflix. I have also discovered that I can actually almost sleep while nursing Bun. It’s more like dozing, but it’s definitely better to half-sleep than not sleep at all. I just wake up all the way at some point, rearrange Bun and I in the bed when she is done, and fall all the way back to sleep.

    Reading, watching TV and almost sleeping: the short list of things you can do while nursing. Also, reading to Monkey, talking with DearDR… that’s about it.

    I cannot go shopping while nursing. I cannot clean while nursing. Cannot do laundry while nursing. And that list could go on and on.

    Maybe breastfeeding is a little more expensive than I thought. But I think I’ll keep it up awhile longer anyway. At the same time, I am looking forward to when Bun starts solid foods.

    But sometimes really slow

    The other issue I am having this time around with nursing is that there are times that Bun just wants to eat and eat and eat. I get a little impatient with this. Is she not eating enough? Am I not producing enough? Can I just give her a bottle of formula after fours hours of on-and-off the boob? (The answer to this last question is yes, already.)

    We had a morning like this today. I wanted to get up, do my morning thing, feed her, get showered and get out the door. It didn’t quite work out that way. I think we finally left the house around 11:30 a.m.

    And then she was the perfect sleeping baby in the car, in the store, and home again. I even had time to unpack the groceries and eat lunch. So maybe the marathon sessions, although exasperating at times, are working in my favor.

    Upon reflection, I realize that the nights that she eats from 7 p.m. to 10 or 11 p.m. (on and off), we do get quite a bit of sleep until the next feeding.

    The only thing I am still trying to figure out is how to pump to store milk and then still feed her. It seems that when I pump, the next time I feed Bun she does not get filled up. My sis-in-law#2 (husband’s sis), a champion nurser herself, suggested that I was pumping so much that I wasn’t replenishing the hindmilk — the good, fat milk — that Bun needed to be satisfied. She suggested pumping right before the feeding, a thought I cringe at because pumping is hell on my nipples.

    To do at home
    As a final note on breastfeeding, I will say while I advocate for the freedom to breastfeed anywhere you like (discreetly, of course), I will add that I am excruciatingly self-conscious about nursing in public. I would just prefer not to, thank you.

    But if you want to, go ahead! I don’t even care if you flash me. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.

    A moment of quiet

    Both the children are sleeping. My husband is out with his father. If he were here, we could be getting jiggy with it, but he’s not. I have laundry going because one always must have laundry going.

    I confessed to DearDR that I am afraid of sex right now. I am afraid it will hurt; I am afraid I will disappoint him. I am afraid of getting pregnant again. At the same time, I think we need to start moving toward some type(s) of intimacy. Kissing, petting, spooning… other ways of orgasm. Because the way we are living, it’s just getting more difficult (I would say harder, but that would look like a pun) to move toward intimacy.

    Sometimes, when we have problems, I feel like while we are good at acknowledging the problems, we aren’t so good at solving the problems. We communicate well (much of the time), but that’s all we do in some cases. Like the sex issue lately. Last night, he heard me out, and acknowledged my fear. I offered him some relief last night; he said, “why don’t we do something tomorrow afternoon?” That would be now. And he’s not here. I asked when he would be back from his shopping trip with his dad, and he said he didn’t know.

    We have to start doing something, but we can’t do it alone. Know what I mean?

    In the meantime, I am trying to get in the habit of pumping milk once a day. Are you familiar with the electric breast pump? Not the most comfortable way to get milk out of the boobs. Efficient as all hell, I will say. But fun? Comfortable? Not so much.

    I don’t get it

    I don’t understand why or how Justin Timberlake is sexy. Maybe I’m not connected to the pop culture zeitgeist (a strong possibility). Maybe I’m out of the Timberlake demographic (again, a strong possibility). But for pete’s sake, for this guy to be the sexiest thing music has to offer the girls of today — well it just makes me sad. I don’t like his music, I don’t like his look and I really didn’t like the hand-held video camera segment of his performance at the Grammy’s.

    Yes, okay, I watched the Grammy’s. I haven’t watched in years and years. The last time I tuned in it was because the White Stripes were going to play, and after they did, I stopped watching. This year I watched because the Police were playing together again after 23 years.

    Now, Sting, in that sleeveless black vest? That’s damn sexy. As one of my gay friends pointed out, he’s had work, and maybe that’s true. But it’s not obvious work like Pam Anderson’s torso and Kenny Roger’s eyes.

    This ends the random thoughts segment of today’s post. Onto more important things. Like laundry.

    Who am I again?

    Two posts, two titles that are questions. Just noticing.

    The discussion (read: fight) last night with DearDR is about how I treat him, how I address him. I guess I asked him to do one thing too many, and the proverbial straw was asking him to pick up our toy and book strewn living room. Which I did a while later, and it took me all of five minutes. Digressing.

    As in many marriages, especially in many marriages after the arrival of a new baby, the sex life at this time could be called non-existant. I have no desire for sex. As I said last night to DearDR, the only thing I want these days is more sleep.

    While it is true that sex in any form hasn’t happened in quite some time (I think New Year’s Day, maybe, was the last time?), also missing is intimacy. We don’t cuddle. We don’t hold hands. The goodbye and hello kisses performed at the front door seem perfunctory. Hell, we don’t even talk all that much.

    My husband is engaged in studying for his licensing exam — he is going to be a clinical psychologist. I can still call him doctor in all fairness because he has his Ph.D. But we can’t call him a psychologist until the license is earned. Most days of the week, he spends about three hours in his studies. Usually on the couch in our living room. (To his credit, he is studying. I am usually around these days, nursing beside him quite a bit of the time.) Anyway, his exam date is April 27. He works part-time as a therapist, usually from 2 p.m. until 8 or 9 p.m.; he is off on Fridays, and on Saturdays he works most mornings, from 9 a.m. to 1 or 2 p.m.

    When he is studying, I do not interrupt him. I bring him a cup of coffee if he wants, but I do not ask for anything from him for these three hours. It’s verboten, and I respect that. To say my husband is easily distractable would be an understatement. DearDR could be the poster boy for adult ADHD.

    Story to illustrate my point: One day we were driving down to the Strip District. DearDR was lamenting his inability to focus on anything for any period of time. We had been talking about this failing of his for a good five or ten minutes. As we pulled up to a red light, DearDR interrupted himself, saying, “Oh, look a train!” We both watched a train on the overpass above us. After the light turned green, we made our turn. After a moment, DearDR said, “What were we talking about again?”

    Anyhoo, here is my schedule: The first feeding of the day is usually around 8 a.m. (DearDR, to his credit, gets Monkey out of bed, changes and dresses her, and gets her to her daycare. He usually starts studying around 9 a.m.) After that morning feeding, I have breakfast, coffee, and so on. If Bun will sleep peacefully in her bassinet, I will let her until her next feeding around 11 a.m. (you know the drill). After her 2 or 3 p.m. feeding, we take a nap together. At 5 p.m., Monkey gets dropped off, by the in-laws. Some nights we all have dinner at the in-laws house (which is right next door); some night I have both Monkey and the Bun and I am by myself trying to get dinner, feed Bun, bathe Monkey and get her to bed. Some nights, 5 to 8 p.m. is brutal. I always feel like someone is not getting what she needs. Sometimes she is me.

    Now a word from our sponsor: I’m sorry, this post is rambling, and go on much too long. The upshot is: Who the hell am I and what happened to my sex drive? I used to have a healthy libido. nay, more than healthy. DearDR and I used to be well matched in the bedroom.

    But five years and two kids later, we have become the cliched couple, him wanting it and me, decidedly now especially, not.

    And I hate it and I don’t know what to do.

    And I have to go now.