Saturday, September 18, 2010

Whose Life is This?

We've been in Switzerland for close to 4 years and this is one of the first years I've had where I feel like our life has dramatically changed. Everything was quite ordinary, even once we had a new child, until we returned from the States. Suddenly we are up every morning at 6:45 (both of us, including PC who is notoriously bad at getting up early). I eat a small breakfast, then make a znunni for Julian, and get his breakfast ready, and on certain days of the week, I prepare the milk and formula that we take to Krippe for Emily. Then we all drop Julian off at school which is a stone's throw from home and proceed to the Krippe across town where Emily goes. Since Julian started school, we've been forced to be a lot more structured in our day. This leads us to be totally exhausted in the evenings and weekends. It's not a BAD thing certainly. I realize now that, despite our working and taking our kids to daycare, we were still very spoiled, sometimes getting up late during the week, or just taking super long vacations whenever we felt like it. Now our whole existence revolves around Julian's school schedule. Normally we like to take a big fat vacation that lasts a whole month or more. Now I find myself pondering a short vacation to take during Julian's herbstferien time. It has to be short because we only have a few days. So it must be close by.

It's amazing how one small thing can change one's life so dramatically.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What a Difference Three Months Make

2,191 little hours. I'm reading back over my posts and sort of shaking my head at how far we've come. Or maybe not far, but where we are compared to then. Emily drinks from a bottle. In fact, she only drinks from a bottle because she is no longer breastfed, except occasionally at night. I had a huge work project which required me to be in the office from 8-8 every day for 3 weeks (SUCK!). I managed to pump the whole time and Emily was in the Netherlands with her grandparents, but as soon as she returned, I shunned the pump. Just thinking about the pump made me get jittery. I didn't even want to look at it, I was so DONE with pumping. I said I would breastfeed only in the evenings which has been ok for at least not drying up, but I have nowhere near what Emily needs. And once you decide you will no longer breastfeed every time your baby needs to eat, it's pretty much a slippery slope to no longer breastfeeding. And I'm ok with it. I wanted so much to breastfeed and to do it right, and I did. Despite a lot of difficult circumstances, I exclusively breastfed Emily for 5.5 months. Now we're all busy with other things and life has gotten a little more hectic - it is time for me to let it go, and so I have. It's been good for all of us.

Only one complaint - the SLEEP. I have no idea whether this is related to the breastfeeding, or the jetlag, but girl has the worst sleep ever now. I am totally pooped. I don't even want to put her back on the Contented Baby Schedule because I am TOO TIRED TO FUNCTION. Putting a baby on a schedule requires work. I'm just crossing my fingers this will also pass once she cuts her teeth. Maybe not...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Four Months

So krippe is going as bad as I expected. I have to run to the daycare at noon to feed Emily. What kind of daycare requires the parents to come in and take care of the kid? This is like a restaurant where you have to cook your own food - ridiculous. If I had the spare time to just blow off work I wouldn't need daycare.

On the bright side, Emily is 4 months old, which means I can start solids if I want. I'm not sure we're going to start because she doesn't seem ready. She's always fussing and gassy, which makes me wonder if her digestive system is mature enough to handle solids. Also, she isn't interested in eating as evidenced by her aversion to anything but a breast in her mouth. The only advantage would be that at least the daycare people can feed her if she starts solids. I'll give her a spoon of rice cereal today and see how that goes. If she hates it, I'll wait one more month.

Despite his sleep problems, I really miss taking care of Baby Julian, who would eat just about anything in sight.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Emily Photos

She is my pride and joy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Breast is Really Best

You know, I wanted breastfeeding to go well so badly that I think I may have doomed myself. I never thought this would be a problem since Julian took to the bottle so well and so easily, but Emily will not eat from a bottle. No way, no how. The minute we try it, she stiffens her body, flails her arms, gags, coughs, screams, and turns her head. It's like we're torturing her, only you can tell she's hungry because she starts rooting and sucking on her fist. She absolutely hates bottles and believe me, we have tried every bottle under the sun. I thought at first it was a matter of finding the right nipple or the right flow but now, after using every bottle between Europe and the US, we are pretty sure she's just a little too smart and willful for her own good. This is what we have tried:

  • First Years Soothie bottle (she won't take the Soothie pacifier either. Oh why did I order that starter set that came with 8 bottles?)
  • Playtex Drop-Ins Latex AND Silicone Nipples (good thing I ordered 16 bottles of these, eh?)
  • Playtex Orthodontic Nipple
  • Nuk Orthodontic Nipple
  • Bibi Orthodontic Nipple
  • Tommee Tippee
  • Avent
  • Medela
  • Playtex Vent-Aire
  • Dr. Brown's
  • Nuby (the nipple with the weird little bumps? Dunno why I thought that would work)
This kid is NO JOKE. I can't believe the amount of money and time we have spent on bottles. There doesn't seem to be a bottle brand left to try! And it pains me so much because after hours of screaming, if I just breastfeed her? Her eyes roll back and she acts like she is eating a Boston Cream pie after dieting for 8 months or something. It is really strange. I am also very nervous as I have to go back to work and she has to go to daycare. Ahahaha...sorry krippe people. I'm so so sorry...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things No One Likes to Hear

If you're a parent, you should just never talk about the following:

  • How great your child sleeps
  • How much sleep you're getting
  • How smart your child is!
  • How they're already solving quadratic equations
  • How much weight you've lost since having the baby and how you're back to your pre-pregnancy size
I'm not saying these apply to me or my kids necessarily. I just hate hearing it from other people. Other than the weight thing, I'm convinced that how well a child behaves and how well it sleeps is not an accomplishment. It's not the same as "Hey, I climbed Everest!" These sort of things are all dependent on luck, in my opinion. To some extent, even losing all the baby weight is a bit dependent on luck (provided you haven't gorged yourself all through pregnancy) because of things like genetics and metabolism.

My point is that all too often, parents tout the qualities of their child without realizing that this sort of talk sends other inexperienced and perhaps slightly more unfortunate parents into a panicked frenzy. "Wait, so and so's daughter sleeps all night already? But mine still wakes up every hour! Oh no, I have failed already as a parent!" A difficult baby does not equal failure. I can see from how different my kids are that it is not due to lack of effort or attention that sometimes kids are difficult. My first is a very different creature from the second. He was always, from the moment he was born, spirited. He was anxious, impatient, grumpy, and would fly into a rage if he didn't get what he wanted. As an older child, we have to work to get him to control these impulses and that, in my opinion, does warrant some praise. However, his tendency to cry at the drop of a hat, wake up non-stop up until he turned 1.5, and his, let's say, overzealousness (he could never sit still, especially when we went out to eat) are due to his personality, not anything we did (although we did contribute the genes, so in a sense it is because of us but there's nothing you can do about that). Having a second child who is much calmer, I realize that this too was not a result of anything we did, but just luck.

Monday, April 26, 2010

This Morning

I took my lukewarm cup of coffee and my daughter in the Baby Bjorn and stood on my back porch. I drank my coffee and listened to the sound of the rain falling and birds chirping. It was a good morning...

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