Supplementing

Bah! I’ve been working on this dumb post for two whole weeks now!  Why is it so hard? You would think talking about this would be easier than the decision to ultimately do it.  But it isn’t.  Instead of writing this, I have been posting about Ike pretending to drive my car and things we forgot at Target.  Awesome, by the way, I am a world class avoider.  I’m really very good.  I should write a how-to book.    I wanted to find the right way to tell the whole story, honestly, and without judgement from anyone who may not share my views, I’m very frightened of the internet police.  Well, I think I got it half right anyway.

We finally bought a canister of Similac Infant formula.  Wait. No. That is not honest.  We bought a canister of formula FIVE MONTHS AGO.  I freaked out, cried, yelled at my husband, and then buried it behind canned tomatoes and oatmeal packets in the pantry.  Because nobody saw us buy it, it was a momentary lack in judgement, EBF enthusiasts please don’t come and arrest me.  I really am doing the best I can.

It’s out now, on the counter in all it’s plastic-y mass-produced glory, for everyone to see.  I think it taunts me when I’m not looking.

Honest time.  I didn’t actually “decide” to start supplementing.  That sounds like it was an actual choice that I was privileged to make.   We were almost out of milk.  Even the meager reserves in the freezer. And Ike was consistently drinking all of the milk I expressed at work PLUS the little that I got when I pumped at night.  AND was immediately showing me the milk sign as I walked through the door in the afternoons.  AND WAS NOT SLEEPING AT NIGHT! Ike’s “normal” sleeping usually includes one night feeding thing and either an early morning feeding thing or a “hey it’s time to get up and make breakfast” thing.  But it had gotten a bit out of hand, in the manner of:

8:00pm Put Ike to bed

10:00pm Ike was hungry

12:00pm Ike was still hungry

1:35am Ike was hungry again

2:40am Ike needs to nurse

3:55am Ike is now in bed with us because he is busy nursing until the sun comes up

5:00am Ike would like on of you to please get up and fix him some eggs and toast.  Like NOW! And then a bottle pls thnx.

Five months ago, Isaac and I had decided, together, that we should test out the formula BEFORE it was the only thing available to a starving baby.  To be sure that his stomach reacted okay and he wasn’t allergic to anything in it.  This was just before I freaked out and decided that I would pump enough milk for him even if it meant staying up all night!  At this current point, even that was not going to be a feasible solution, well it wasn’t that feasible to begin with.  Anyway, good thing we made that plan, that sensible one of testing out the formula not the insane one of me never getting any sleep ever.

Why?

Well, because Ike does not like formula.   I mixed up a bottle, all strong and brave, and handed it to him.  He sucked a little, looked at me, and let it all dribble out the side of his mouth.  Then he smiled, threw the bottle down, and showed me the milk sign again.

Why had that not occurred to me? It should have, because the stuff smells very unappetizing and I am not willing to even try it myself.   All five months it took me to get on board with this concept, I never thought that Ike might need more time with the idea.  Why? Idk, I’m a selfish jerk I guess.

I have to admit, seeing him refuse to drink the formula made me feel a little bit happy.  BUT it did not solve the milk shortage problem.  TO THE MESSAGE BOARDS, the internet has all the answers!

The interweb mommies pretty much agreed that to get an older baby to drink formula for the first time you have to introduce it slowly.  So we mixed it with breastmilk.  He drinks it. He doesn’t love it.  And he won’t drink it at all for me.  Unless I hand him the bottle and go somewhere he cannot reach my shirt.  He refuses bottles altogether from me at night. For now, that is OK with me.

We started with a 1:3 ratio of formula to milk.  He drank it, reluctantly.  We’ve moved up to about half and half.  He drinks that for dad.  Dad has even managed to get an ounce or two of straight formula in him at night.  Dad is apparently the “formula king” and Dad is currently the more favored parent in the house.  Mom is not happy.

So why supplementing?  

Why not check a milk bank or pump more or try harder?

Well, to me, I was trying as hard as I could.  I was pumping as much as I could without compromising my work and my little piss-poor excuse for a good night’s sleep.  Three times a day, with an 8 minute walk to the room each way (and that is at speed walkers pace!).  Once I consider lunch, but the other two are inevitably inconvenient as it is.  And then another at least two hours AFTER Ike goes to bed.  Around 10-10:30, which if I went to sleep immediately after and Ike only woke up once would give me about 6 hours of sleep.  I never get six hours of sleep.

As for the milk banks, to be honest, I’m not completely onboard with the concept.  My milk is best for my baby.  Yes. Got it.  Stranger milk?  Not so sure.  They don’t know my baby.  I don’t know their diets, or habits.  Do they drink their 3 glasses of milk every day?  Do they eat the spicy indian food that makes my baby’s poops electric orange?  Then the milk is pasteurized to boot.  It’s not “all natural” anymore after processing, and if he’s going to have processed milk, it may as well be within strict guidelines and hard and fast nutrition FACTS.  The pediatrician put it very bluntly when she directed us to use formula to help Ike get back to his birth weight (we did not listen by the way, but that’s a different story).  She said that breastmilk varies in its nutrients based on a mother’s diet.  Formula while not perfect, is at least consistent.  What’s on the label is what is going into the baby.  I’ve worked very hard on my diet, I have eaten more dark leafy greens and drank more milk than I even did when I was pregnant.  How do I know that a person selling their milk is doing the same?

So no milk banks, no crazy pumping before all else notions.  Just rational, logical problem solving.  He needs more to eat.  I am doing all that I can.  I do not want my baby to be hungry.

We are two weeks in, he is doing fine.  He’s not being poisoned from the formula.  He still wants to nurse A LOT.  This is our solution and it is working for us.  Most of the time.

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A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Target (and once inside too).

Ike and I had to make a Target run the other day.  We needed the following:  eggs, bottle liners, makeup remover wipes, and a sink plug.  Since that is more than three things, I made a list.

Off to Target we went.  And we stopped at Starbucks once inside.

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OH! Target has these things now!  Ask for one, use it, it’s amazing.

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Especially if you are like me and have spilled coffee on your baby.  More than once.  And you can put it anywhere on the cart, like for example out of baby’s reach, because more than once the coffee ended up on the baby of the baby’s own doing. I’ve been begging for this sort of thing for about three years now.  And it would be nice to have one on the airplanes, like in the armrests or something.  Also for baby related coffee emergencies, as well as stranger-related coffee emergencies.  Also, more than once.

That’s enough about coffee, where was I going with this?   Oh yes, we went to Target for 4 items.  This is what we bought.

  • Clearance baby socks with little orange monsters on them
  • Nursery Water
  • Clearance iphone case
  • Eggs
  • Makeup Remove wipes
  • Hand soap
  • Clearance ELF nail polish
  • Garbage Bags
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Four divided plastic tupperwares
  • A sippy cup
  • A Sale gold bangle
  • Two baskets from the One Spot
  • A Peach Green Tea from Starbucks

So we went in for FOUR items.  We purchased FOURTEEN items.  We forgot TWO of the items we needed.  AND WE HAD A LIST!

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We failed Target.  But Ike did get eggs for breakfast in the morning.  With cheese even.

 

Gosh Darned Sunday Drivers!

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heck both ways before entering a busy street.

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oh the baby store is having a sale.

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-Turn

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hat’s that guy so mad about, I used my signal.

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aha 75% off sippy cups!

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That was fun, oh hmm, where were we going again?

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o you remember?

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e neither, let’s go to the playground.

 

Clearly we have had a fun filled weekend.  Nothing big to write about.  I kind of love it, it’s been very relaxing, not having 50-thousand things going on at once.  We’ve had time to go to Music Class, and take walks, and cook banana pancakes for breakfast.

Oh one exciting thing did happen this weekend…Someone met Rihanna yesterday, and has been talking about it for days.  And days.  Rihanna said she was beautiful.  Which of course she should have already known by now.   Apparently it’s a big deal coming from someone outside of the family.  That is also famous.  And beautiful herself.

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Happy Fall

This weekend we had a busy travel schedule.  Isaac, Ike, and I ended up on 4 planes in 4 days!  And Ike was a trooper! He did so good on our crazy travel long weekend.  Ok ok.  He MIGHT have torn up an entire free magazine and MAYBE he dumped over a full cup of lemonade (with ice) and POSSIBLY he had a bit of fun with a passenger or two in front of him, but all of the evidence is totally circumstantial.  Ike? Oh, he pleads the 5th.

Our flight schedule went like this.

Thursday 10/16/14 ATL-MSY 12:00pm

Friday 10/17/13 MSY-ATL 07:00pm

Saturday 10/18/14 ATL-SBN 08:0am

Sunday 10/19/14 SBN-ATL 5:00pm

We had to go home to New Orleans for a family funeral.  It was very sad.  But there was a little bit of light, we will be adding a member to the family sometime soon.  My cousin got engaged last week, I am so excited for her.  Isaac has already made himself at home in tormenting him along with all of my uncles.  How soon we do forget.

We were in New Orleans Thursday and Friday, came home unpacked and repacked for Indiana first thing Saturday morning (I forgot a bunch of stuff).  Isaac’s little cousin was in a folklorico recital.  It was so good!  And he was a natural at being the center of attention.

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He did awesome! I was totally impressed.

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Ike said “It’s too stinkin loud! Can’t a baby sleep around here?”

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Ike got in some good fall outdoors time in Indiana with the beautiful changing leaves.  That happens here in Georgia too, but not in as spectacular of fashion.

Pics of fall from Indiana featuring baby Ike.

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PS.  That little awesome person is 11 months old today!  His first birthday is going from a fun little planning activity in the far off future (i.e. Pinteresting random ideas during lunch) to a looming deadline that is happening in exactly one month!  Also, the invitations are out, so it is definitely going to happen PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT NOW!  I better get off my butt and do some work.  There are thousands of construction paper leaves to cut out!  Why? You’ll see next month!

A Learning Explosion

Over the last 10 days it seems like Ike has learned endless new skills.  It all happened in the blink of an eye.  Slightly more than a week and he has gone from zero to 60 right under our noses.

SIGNING!

Ike has started to pickup some of the signs we have been showing him for a few months now.  He watches My First Signs every morning with Daddy and we try to practice them whenever we can.  Naturally, he has picked up the ones pertaining to eating first.  He is a child after my own heart.

Ike can make the sign for “all done”, “more”, and “milk” all on his own.  He had been doing the “all done” for a little while earlier, but he wasn’t really aware of what it meant.  I think he just liked to wave his arms around, because I would take him out of the high chair and he would proceed to try to climb back up it to get the food from the tray.

Now?  Now Ike waves his arms and then tries to free himself of the high chair immediately.  I think he gets it.

The milk sign is by far my favorite.  Although, there have been several instances that he has shown me at most inopportune times.  Yesterday he asked several times in church.  Our church (my mom’s church) is very inconvenient for slipping out to nurse him.  I hope this doesn’t make him think that the sign is not “milk” or that I am ignoring his needs.

CLAPPING!

Ever since our playdate with baby Jake I have been trying to teach Ike to clap.  Because Jake was just so adorable when he did it at the park.  He sat up all straight and proud and would clap, then wait expectantly for his sisters to reply with their own clapping and clamoring about.  He just ate it  up.

So Ike and I play patty cake.  All the time.  And he likes to make my hands clap when we play, but this weekend he used his own hands to clap.  He was very impressed.  And in church yesterday he clapped along with everyone during the songs.  I was very impressed!

CRAWLING, the proper kind.

Ike has been crawling since he was a little over six months old.  But his crawling was actually more of a scooting on his belly to get to places he absolutely had to go (such as to the iphone that someone left on the floor).  The scooting started out as an awkward swimming-on-land thing where he would slap both hands on the ground in front of him and pull the rest of his body forward while his legs flailed helplessly behind him.

The water-less swimming technique morphed into the much more efficient army-ranger-training style elbow scooting by eight or so months old.   He is pretty fast at this crawling and has figured out how to make his legs more useful and less like dead-weight.

As of about a week ago, he is up on all fours and barreling around the house.  Which means, I am racing around ahead of him to close doors and remove crumbs and scraps of paper.   This all four/belly off the ground crawling too had to evolve.  He started without much coordination between his hands and his legs, in which a left arm would also enjoy the company of a left leg and vice versa resulting in sort of dancy-type shuffle thing across the floor.  He has managed to get opposite-opposites down and can get from the living room to the second or third stair in about the time it takes me to get off my lazy ass and chase after him.

WALKING OMG!

Ike had taken a few steps starting about two weeks ago.  Only three max.  And only for Gabby.  As of yesterday he walked from one edge of the couch to the other, about 10 or so steps!  He still needs to be coaxed.  And he doesn’t walk for me (obviously he knows this will break my heart and he is trying to spare my feelings).  But he can do it.

He faceplants regularly which pisses him off to no end.  I think this may be a deterrent from full fledged strutting about.  No hurry baby!

BABBLE MIMICKERY

Of course he babbles, and has for a while.  And he says some noticeable words, but this week he has mocked some words I didn’t know he could say.  Like “I did it” and “it’s ok” “yeah”.  Next thing I know he’s going to be ordering a four course meal!

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Whoa now buddy, you don’t need to learn that skill yet!

With all of these new found skills comes?  NO MORE SLEEP! He is up at least three times a night, usually once before I have a chance to even get into bed myself.  He seems to be having nightmares, waking up in a wailing fit of fear.  It’s becoming much more difficult to calm him, and for me, only nursing works to get him back down.  He has been in our bed a lot lately, because 3, 4, 5 trips to his room are just too much for me.  I think that may be making things worse.  Hopefully this phase will pass, although I don’t see this picking up new habits slowing any time soon.

 

Forts

A lot of scary/sad/depressing stuff is happening this week.  I am choosing not to address that stuff here.  Because I don’t want insearch to become my outlet for all things ranty or sappy or all woe is me.  That’s not why I started this.  It’s a place to enjoy my son growing up.  So we are okay in the Salinas house, we are going to take care of our family and keep moving forward because that is the only choice.

And Ike? Ike is going to build forts! Or find them.  He made one out of a high chair when we went to his sister’s birthday dinner.  I’m thinking we will have to  build a proper living room fort soon, I need to go find some extra linens.

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Also that day, Ike decided he needed to change the tire on his stroller.

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This is such a boys’ boy!

The Carseat Conundrum

Did you know that you are now supposed to keep a child in a rear-facing carseat until they are AT LEAST two years old?  Did you also know that the average sized child grows out of the infant seat by their first birthday? I didn’t.   I did not know either of these things when we chose our Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat and purchased TWO extra bases (one for Dad and one for Mawmaw).  He never rides with Dad; and Mom and Dad didn’t allow Mawmaw to take him anywhere for about… oh, until just now.

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Tiny Ike in the Giant Keyfit.

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Giant Ike in the Tiny Keyfit.

The Keyfit was $200, each extra base was $50.  Now true enough they were all registry gifts, but still!  The Keyfit was great, in theory.  We could cover the whole seat to keep baby warm.  Brilliant! We never did that.  We could carry the baby around and not wake him up when he fall asleep in the car.  He does not sleep in the car, he screamed.  It has a stroller frame that it can snap into with a huge basket for when I need to run errands.  I didn’t use it.  Because Ike never  liked being in the car seat.  It’s a relatively sleek and simple seat and it will fit nicely in the cars.  It doesn’t.  I have the biggest car of the family an SUV and even still it hinders the passenger recline immensley.  It comes in blue!  And as my husband says “blue is for boys.”  Ike could not care less what color the stupid seat is just take him out already!  He was just not an infant car seat sort of guy I guess.

Now Ike is 10 months old, weighs 21 pounds and is practically hanging out of the infant seat.  WE NEED A NEW SEAT ASAP!  No problem, Mei was kind enough to give Ike her old Graco Nautilus seats.  Two of them.  Perfect!  Oh wait.  They don’t face rearward you say?  But. Oh.  They just recently decided rearward was safer for longer times  you say? Well poop.  Okay I’ll take them back to the garage.  I believe there may be more baby related objects in the garage than there are in the house.  And that is saying something!

All of this rambling to say.  We need to buy a convertible car seat.  They are expensive.  And bulky.  And there are about 14 ba-jillion kinds.  And do we need to buy two?  Since my mother does take Ike places now.  And I also take Ike places.  And he will be starting school (SCHOOL!) next spring and my mom will be picking him up and I (or Isaac) will be dropping him off.  Holy poo on toast.  Times two! Possibly Three!

I have extensively researched convertible car seats for about two weeks now.  By research I mean, I have taken a poll of all the moms that I know and read approximately two articles on the internet.  And then a friend sent me to the NHTSA site.  And now I have narrowed my choices down from 14 ba-jillion to about 457.

My top options are.

1. Britax Roundabout

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Pros.

  • This one is the least bulky of the seats.
  • And it’s the one of most economical.
  • It has pretty good reviews on Lucie’s List.
  • Easy to remove, washable cover

Cons.

  • 3 Stars on “Ease of Use Rating” by NHTSA
  • Looks a bit cumbersome to install in the car (you have to remove the pad and cover to install the seat belt).
  • Not the most breathable fabric, could get hot in the summer.

2. The First Years True Fit Si

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Pros.

  • 5 stars on “Ease of Use”
  • Good reviews on Lucie’s List
  • Cupholder (I think that may be useful later?)
  • Easy to remove, washable cover
  • No rethread straps for easy adjustment
  • Has flip bar tether thingy for kickback protection (not sure exactly what all this means, but it sounds safe).

Cons.

  • Super bulky with extra head rest thingy
  • Heavy seat (18.5lbs)
  • Cannot find in any stores to check out before purchasing!
  • Comes in unfavorable colors (read. RED YUCK!)

3. Recaro Pro Ride

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Pros.

  • 4 stars on “Ease of Use”
  • Has extra safety testing above what is required by NHSTA
  • Sits up higher than most seats, so baby can see out the window.
  • Has high height limit for rear facing children.  I have read that children outgrow the height limits on car seats long before the weight limit.  We are experiencing this with the Keyfit, Ike only weights 21 pounds, the limit is 30, but he is getting too tall for it.

Cons.

  • Not reviewed on Lucie’s List
  • Even bulkier than The True Fit
  • Even heavier than The True Fit
  • Most expensive seat
  • C over is not machine washable (deal breaker!)

4. Graco My Ride 65

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Pros.

  • Recognizable Brand
  • Economical – least expensive seat considered
  • Lightest seat (15.8lbs)
  • 4 star ease of use rating per NHTSA

Cons.

  • Not reviewed on Lucie’s list
  • Some reviews say the height restriction does not allow use in rear facing position until age 2
  • Material seems hot and not breathable
  • Difficult to remove cover for washing
  • Difficult to install into the car

In closing.  I have no idea what to do! HALP!

This post was shared via One Project at a Time linkparty on abowlfulloflemons and Thrifty Thursdays on livingwellspendingless.