Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our little...toddler?

Seems just yesterday that I posted about Cassandra staring to crawl, but now she is toddling about like a drunken sailor. (An adorable, soft, sweet-smelling drunken sailor.) Crawling is still her main mode of locomotion, but not for too much longer. Sigh. They grow up so fast.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hanging up the flanges

I have been counting the months down until Cass would be one year old and I could retire my Medela pump-in-style (photo above). (At one year old she is old enough to have cow's milk.) Seriously. I remember starting to count down when she was about five months. I have used this pump for two children, ensuring that they both had breast milk through at least the first year of their lives. Brad's math estimates a total of 17 gallons for Cassandra alone. I am proud of this (which says a lot as I don't say that often when it comes to myself.) There is no judgement here if you chose to do something different or if you were not able to nurse and/or pump. I was lucky in that I have a private office where I could close the door, strap on my hands-free pumping band, and pump away.

When I stop pumping, I will find a whole lot of time. No more having to prep and wash flanges and bottles. No more scheduling meetings around pumping schedules or sneaking away to the bathroom at an off-site meeting to find a private place to pump.

But, now that the time is here to hang up the flanges, I have mixed feelings. Believe me, pumping is no fun. But, my ambivalence has something to do with my baby getting older and physically needing me less and less. About being done nursing forever. Granted, we're not done nursing yet and I hope to leave that totally up to Cass, but stopping pumping is a lot closer to stopping nursing than it is to having a newborn who needs you and only you for her physical nourishment.

I realize this is a 'family' blog of sorts and all this talk of breasts and nursing might make some of my five readers uncomfortable. (Hi Dad!) But, I've honestly become a bit of a zealot over the years about how nursing is one of the most natural (and best) things we can do for our children and it drives me nuts that just talking about it taboo.

And just for fun -- the photo below. It doesn't look a thing like me. I have eighteen different bags that I take to work, one of which is the pump. The others include my lunch, my briefcase, my purse, etc. etc. Also I'm not blond and usually not that happy-looking either....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A visit to the ENT

We took Cassandra to the ENT to see if she is candidate for ear tubes. (With about seven separate infections in the last six months...she qualifies.) Unbeknownst to us, she actually had an infection at the time of the visit, so we left with prescription in hand.

Zander had the tubes put in when he was 11 months old. (I worried about the surgery for the removal of a stuck tube here, here, and posted photos after the procedure here.)

I'm much less stressed about all of this the 2nd time around, but of course that could will change. Anyway, ain't she cute? She just loved spinning in the big chair.

Funny or disturbing (or both)?

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's Alive!

Here's the scene: It's after dinner and I'm hurriedly cleaning up before going upstairs to nurse Cassandra when the doorbell rings. It was a strange time for a visitor (for us at least). Zander even said, "Who could that be?" So, we went to answer the door.

When I opened it I said, "Oh, it's just a package." I could see the UPS delivery truck pulling out from the bottom of the driveway. Clearly Zander didn't see the truck though because he said, "But HOW did it ring the bell?"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The 'Blizzard' of December 2009

So, we're currently in the middle of a blizzard here. And while I understand we are using the term 'blizzard' because there is a possibility of up to two feet of snow, somehow I always pictured high winds and struggling to walk as part of a blizzard. But, what do I know...I spend the majority of my formative years in humid sunny South Florida.

Granted, I might *not* be saying this tomorrow on day two of being cooped up in the house, but so far it's been pretty darn cool. There's something totally awesome (like really like I mean it) about alleviating the pressure to go anywhere and DO anything. Instead we've had a wondefully leisurely day enjoying each other, playing games, sledding, napping, and so forth.

Here's a picture of the deck when the snow was apparently about 1/3 of the way done:

Some sledding. Cass was a champ -- she loved it. Zander got cold fairly quickly.

Post snow red faces:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hanukkah 2009 or Meet "Red Fire"

Meet "Red Fire," Zander's big Hanukkah present this year:

Its name comes from a decal of the same.

And although we wrapped up a few of Z's old toys for Cassandra, mostly she loved the wrapping paper itself. Children are so easy at her age when it comes to presents. Truly, she doesn't need toys.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ghost Town at Sundown

This is the first chapter book that Zander read by himself, cover to cover. (He's listened to a few of the Magic Tree House series on CD before and regularly checks out the books during trips to the school library, but this was the first one he completed on his own.)

Wondering whether he was really comprehending it, I would casually ask him questions about the story. He told me all about a piano that played by itself, a cowboy named Slim, and a song named "Red River Valley." I was amazed for sure. He was so proud of himself for finishing it though -- came running up to me when I picked him up from after-school care to tell me had read "all ten chapters!"

I feel somewhat strange posting this here, as believe it or not, we I try not to brag on the children too much. But, I wanted to commemorate this milestone.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fastest Year of My Life

My sweet baby turned a year old on Friday. I can't believe it. Everyone always said it would go fast, and it has. Fastest year of my life.

I was all set to update -- for the record -- how her sleep has improved (since I complained about it so much here). Alas, the last few nights have been pretty bad on that front though. She took a few wobbly steps yesterday and often developmental milestones can disrupt sleep. So we're hoping that is part of this recent wake-up every few hours phenomenon. In addition, she's working on some new chompers and continues to struggle with the endless runny nose -> ear infection cycle. Poor thing has so much snot. We've got an appointment with the ENT to decide if ear tubes are in her future.

In other news, this phase of baby-dom is pretty darn cute. Ask her to dance and she lifts her arms, waves them back and forth, and shakes her body side to side. Ask her to say Zander and she distinctly says, "Zzzzzzzzzzzz." Ask her to put her Taggies blanket in the crib and she drops it right in.

Ask her to say "Mama" and she still distinctly says "Dada."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Family Resemblance, Part II

In my office I have lots of photos of Zander and Cassandra. For reasons I'm not entirely sure, I also have a baby picture of me on the cork board. (I'm thinking maybe we had one of those "guess-which-baby-is-which-staff-person" games or something.) Anyway, my mom is visiting and noticed a resemblance between me as a baby and Cassandra...

I'm on the left or on top, depending upon how your monitor is displaying the photos.

I wanted to cheer. In fact, I think I did. *Everyone* says the children look like Brad. Once -- after meeting Zander -- someone in my office said, "He must look like your husband because he doesn't look a thing like you!" But as these photos show, there is some of me in there too!

P.S. Family resemblance, part I is here.