Sunday, July 31, 2011

Feeding Frenzy

I can’t believe how much happier I am now that my Little Mister is out rather than in. Let’s just say that I was a less-than-chipper-Gege during the last few months of my pregnancy. Even with the current lack of sleep, loads of dirty diapers and clothes, and the first few days of the Breastfeeding Olympics, the change in my attitude- heck, even my outlook on life- has been tremendous. I no longer want to cold clock total strangers for being idiots anymore. (Well….sometimes….)  My legs and feet actually look like legs and feet rather than tree trunks and boat paddles. I’m not sitting all day long at work thinking how much my tail and pubic bones hurt anymore. And, most importantly, I don’t resent My Mister for “doing this to me” nor my baby for refusing to be born.  (Seriously- I begged and pleaded with him to come out only to hear, “Not gonna do it,” in his best Dana Carvey/Bush Senior impression.)

I’m happy to report that I no longer have to contort myself in order to get him latched on.  For the first few days, I had to use a breast shield to assist with latching. While in the hospital, the only way I could get him fed was with the help of the lactation consultant who calmed him down by jiggling him and sticking her fingers in his mouth.  My Little Mister would go from insanely cute sleeping little baby to head spinning psycho child in a flash, screaming at the top of his lungs, “I AM AWAKE! WHY IS THERE NO BOOBIE IN MY MOUTH?!?” 

At home, I was so frustrated since the breast shield made the whole process take longer which made the screaming go on and on.  If only he would CLOSE HIS MOUTH, he would get some food.  My eyes twitched while my arms jiggled him from side to side as I wrapped him around my back in a standing football hold, trying to dance with him futilely trying to get him to calm down, all while biting my tongue so I wouldn’t yell, “THE FOOD IS RIGHT THERE- JUST CLOSE YOUR MOUTH SCREAMING LITTLE BABY! GAH!!!!”

My Mister, who is super supportive of breastfeeding, would finally tell me to just give him a bottle (he could see how frustrated and tired I was and he wanted to help, plus I had pumped milk at the ready) but I was too stubborn absolutely determined to make breastfeeding work.  I prayed that the Lord would let just this one thing go well for me since my whole pregnancy (while a healthy one, which I’m thankful for) and delivery did not go the way I had planned- just PLEASE let this one thing go well for me.  Well, thankfully, after a few days home, I no longer thought we should have kidnapped the lactation consultant to be our indentured servant when we had the chance.  With a little bait and switch with the bottle (I’d let him suck about 5 times on the bottle- just enough to take the edge off- before switching it for the real deal), we were able to conquer breastfeeding.  Whoohoo!!!!

The great thing about this whole ordeal is that I have yet another area of expertise where I am able to practice what I preach. Something I always tell my clients is that, “From the feedback I get from other women, once you get over the first couple weeks or so, you have it made.  While breastfeeding is one of the most natural things to do, it’s not always the easiest thing to do- especially as a first time mom with no experience.”  As I struggled in that first week, I kept reminding myself that this was normal- all I had to do was get past the first couple weeks and we’d be golden.  Now when I counsel my clients, I can tell them, “From my EXPERIENCE…..” and that is a wonderful feeling.

Ok....I've got so many things I need to catch up on blog wise. Hopefully I'll be able to utilize my maternity leave effectively and get some of them out there. Lots of pictures, stories, new projects I've made, and more baby stuff, too. Peace out, homies.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Arrrrrrrrrrgh…..Why is There a Monkey on My Head??

I’m so very pleased to let y’all know that our little bundle of joy has finally made his appearance. He’s been a long time coming (an almost interminable time in pregnancy years), but I now have a new Little Mister in my life.  I'm so very blown away at how much and how quickly I could fall so totally and completely in love with such a perfect, tiny little human.  He makes us laugh at all his cute little faces and it never gets old when he decides to poop on my Mister just as he's changing his diaper. 

My labor and delivery was exactly like my pregnancy- nothing went the way I thought it would.  A word from the wise- just because you may have a “perfect” birth plan in place and take all the right classes and watch all the right videos, the reality of birth overrides the best of intentions.

I’ve been really busy with feeding the little guy.  I never thought something so small could consume so much all throughout the day.  I also now nominate breastfeeding as a new Olympic sport.  Let’s just say I’ve had to get creative in order to get him to latch well.  However, once he does latch, boy-howdy! Can that little guy go to town!  At this rate, I’ll definitely lose all the pregnancy weight and then some- he’s sucking me dry!

Ok- I don’t have much time before we have to go train for the Booby Olympics again, so I have to wrap this up.  Without further ado, here’s my Little Mister in his Sock Monkey hat I made him. 

A little monkey for our little monkey

ACK! Have you ever seen anything so cute in your life?????  (I’m, of course, not in any way biased at all. Cuteness Spotting is my secondary Olympic sport, after Breastfeeding.)

The following picture is from the first time I tried the hat on him- I didn’t stretch it out* before forcing it onto his cute little noggin.

Arrrrrrrrrrgh…..Why is There a Monkey on My Head??

I laughed so hard I was crying. I am definitely going to have fun with this little child o'mine. :)

* Alterations made to the Sock Monkey Hat pattern: I used Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Cotton size 3 in white, red, black and a dark brown. (Sorry for the non-specific colors...I'll update when I have time.) I held the thread doubled for the hat but single for the eyes and mouth.  I used a Susan Bates size G hook, which is slightly smaller than a Boye size G. (I like using Susan Bates for cotton but will normally use Boye for everything else.) I made the first 3 rows according to the pattern. Then I did a red row with increases.  I then did the brown rows without increasing. Because I had fewer stitches per round than the pattern indicated, my second ear flap location does not follow the pattern's count- just figure out the center and place it there. For the mouth, I chained 12 instead of 15. Since it's cotton, be sure to stretch it out prior to forcing it on a newborn's skull, otherwise you'll have a pretty cranky (if not insanely adorable) little one on your hands. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm here! Baby is not....

Why hello out there!  Happy Independence Day!! (Ok- I started writing this yesterday but didn’t get it finished. Boo me.)  I’ve wanted to do an update for a while now but, in addition to not having the time and energy after work, the words just didn’t seem to want to come for me.  Mainly because I’m STILL pregnant and most of the words that would come are along the lines of, “I’M SO MISERABLE! When is this baby ever going to get here?  My butt hurts sooooo bad!”  

Yeah…..lot’s of complaining and, as much as being a sullen-still-pregnant woman has become my reality, it really doesn’t lead to a very entertaining read, ya know? (But seriously, if I turn into a 42 weeker, I may quite literally go insane.) 

I do want to say thank you to all of you who have been asking about me!  I've got lots of emails, Ravmails, and comments to respond to. Thank you so very much- I really do appreciate it. :)

As of last week, I am officially on maternity leave. Can I get a HALLELUJER out there??  Since I’ve been off, I’ve been able to just rest, keep my feet up (or “flippers” as my Mister now calls them. He offered to buy me some clown shoes for comfort.  After the impulse to smack him upside the head subsided, I almost took him up on the offer), and even get in a little crochet. Woot!

I’ve designed and crocheted something I’ve wanted to do for a long time- a Mobius wrap.  Here’s a pic of it on my sis. 

More pics- and the entire story, including the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, AND the pattern- are coming soon.  (Yay! I actually have time to spend on the internets now!  Unless the little one comes tonight….then….well, the next post will not be about crochet.)

Something that I wish I was able to show you right now is my Geekling’s blanket.  Unfortunately, I’ve not finished it since I had other things on my plate. Now, however, that will change and I hope to work on it this week.  (Again, unless he decides to show up tonight.  I’m hoping if I say it enough times, he’ll get the hint and finally make his debut.)  I’ve not stressed too much about not having it done since it’s about 500 degrees outside and I’ll definitely not be able to use it as a receiving blanket.  That being said, I felt bad about not having a blanket made to bring him home in.  As much as I really appreciate all of the blankets I’ve received from my baby showers (Yes! Plural!  I had 3 showers- I’ve got the best family, friends, and coworkers in the whole world!), I just felt like a bad crocheting mom by not having something handmade for him.  So, last week I whipped up this little number.

What looks like a simple dark blue/light blue ripple blanket is actually a nerdy math blanket that is also cute.  The stripe pattern is the Fibonacci sequence and is something I’ve wanted to do FOR-EVAH!  One of my favorite TV shows growing up was Square One- it was a math themed show on PBS.  I learned so much about math with that show!  One of the highlights was the show-within-a-show called Mathnet.  It was a math based spoof on Dragnet and was both educational and very entertaining.  Each weekday they'd have a little piece of the math-based mystery revealed until the grand finale on Friday. 

Well, one of my ultimate favorite episodes had to do with the Fibonacci sequence.  A rich man died leaving a fortune and one of the clues was his parrot who would say, "1, 1, 2, 3. FIVE! Eureka!!"  It has always stuck in my head and I've been thinking of different ways to incorporate it into my crochet.  This blanket was a perfect opportunity! 

Pattern is the Easy Ripple Afghan with the Fibonacci stripe pattern starting with 8 (8, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1).

Until next time- enjoy some Mathnet!