Health stuff:  I took Ike for the ultrasound of his noggin this morning. Of course it will be a few days before the radiologist reads the images and gets the information back to the pediatrician’s office, so we don’t really know anything yet, other than that he is still the offspring of a big-headed father, so I am not too nervous about that.  Just glad that his fontanel is still open enough that they could do an ultrasound and not have to knock him out for an MRI.  Still no word from the hepatologist’s office in Cincinnati about the latest round of bloodwork. Not sure if I should call them and ask, or assume they just wanted it as a new baseline and I’ll hear from them after we repeat it next month.  Again, not too nervous about it since the doctor was so reassuring.

Halloween stuff:  Our Beggar’s Night (do they still call it that, or is it back to Trick or Treat?) was postponed due to the icky weather, so we’ll be dressing Ike up to hand out candy on Saturday instead of last night.  We did go to a friend’s kids Halloween party on Friday, but it was so warm in the house that he only had his Tigger outfit on for a few minutes.  Didn’t even get a picture, so we’ll have to try that and the panda outfit both on Saturday.  He’ll surely drool and/or spit up at least enough to justify that wardrobe change.

Mike and I did go to an adults’ party on Saturday.  He recycled his Dick Cheney mask from several years ago, and I cobbled together a Toddlers & Tiaras costume using my sister’s tutu from the box of old dance recital costumes in my parents’ basement, the tiara from my bachelorette party, pigtails, excessive (for me) eye makeup and one of Ike’s future sippy cups.  Plus my I FUCK LIKE A GIRL t-shirt because, well, seems legit, right?

There was beer, and plenty of it:


I’ve misplaced my sippy cup, but I think I like this better!


Aren’t we cute?

Supply stuff:  have been having a fairly significant dip in my pumping output, and have been trying many things to get back on track. Thankfully Ike has only had to have one or less partial bottles of formula on really low days to tide him over.  I hate that he’s had any, but it’s not enough to diminish the benefits of breastmilk, I’m sure.  I ended up breaking down and buying a new pump.  The one my friend loaned me had already been through three babies, so I think I was lucky to have gotten as far as I did with it.  The new one is helping, though I’m still not ending up with much of a surplus every day.  I think it’s partially hormonal (maybe my period is about to come back? Eeeeeeeek!), and partially stress-related, and was exacerbated at first by a failing pump.  I started calcium/magnesium supplements, which I should have done while I was off dairy anyway, have been trying to add an extra pumping session at work whenever I can, and am drinking Mother’s Milk tea like a fiend until my fenugreek and blessed thistle arrive via Amazon.  Hoping I’ll be able to ramp back up to get a few extra bottles in the fridge again on a regular basis.  They never hang around long enough to be worth putting into the freezer anymore, so I just try to rotate FIFO at my parents’ house, and anything left on a Friday, of which there was almost none last Friday, can come home for the weekend, letting Mike take an overnight shift on occasion.

Development stuff:  my mom said that Ike’s been showing off a new consonant, and it’s M!  He’s been saying MEH, which cracks me up, because…that’s so my kid.  Not that I really think he means it like I would like to interpret it, but funny all the same.


So perhaps there’s a chance that Mama will end up being his first word after all.  I haven’t yet actually heard him say this myself, but I can’t imagine that my mom would tell tall tales.  She also noted that he enjoyed seeing his first snowflakes yesterday.  They usually walk her dog every morning, but since it was so miserable outside they just took her out in the yard instead of taking the stroller around the block. A few flakes fell on his face and he smiled.  Hopefully we won’t have a totally snow-free winter like we did last year, and he’ll be able to really enjoy some snow as he gets bigger over the next several months.

That’s all for now, I suppose.  Oh!  Tonight I get to go meet and visit with my friend’s sister’s newborn baby girl.  I think she’s only threeish weeks old, and I cannot wait.  I have a total newborn addiction anymore.  So grateful to be able to enjoy things like this now.  There was a time not so very long ago when I would never consider doing such a thing, because it would just have made me too jealous and upset.  Yet now I’m excited and looking forward to hearing her birth story and passing on some cloth diaper geekery (and supplies).  Fun!

Hope you’re all faring well if you were in or near Sandy’s path.


Hepatology Update

Yesterday was exhausting, but overall went well.  I really liked the hepatologist, and the fellow that works with him seems thorough as well.  They did take more blood, which will be checking for potential anemia which could explain the slightly elevated bilirubin, and we have to repeat the tests in a month, but they believe that he may be part of the 10% or so of the population that just naturally has slightly elevated liver enzymes, and he’ll likely continue to outgrow it.  He was very reassuring, stating that Ike’s overall a very healthy baby, so just keep loving him and feeding him and enjoying him.  Very sweet; the sincere way he spoke about him makes me realize that he probably spends an awful lot of his time working with and treating very ill children, so I feel very lucky to not be dealing with more severe issues.

Bonus for Mama – he thinks that even the mucusy poo has nothing to do with my diet, so on our way home we stopped for a very late lunch and I had cheddar cheese soup, guilt-free.  Then later that night I snarfed to the two pieces of leftover pizza – one cold from the fridge, the other hot out of the toaster oven.  The roof of my mouth and my tongue still feel seared, and I could not be happier about it.  I’m apprehensive that allowing dairy back into my diet will have me gaining a bunch of weight back, but frankly right now I’m not going to obsess over it.  It’ll just be nice to have a few days where I don’t have to stress about what I can or cannot eat.  If in three or four days’ time we don’t see anything getting markedly worse with Ike, I think I can comfortably get back to my normal eating, be it better or worse for me and/or my weight in the long run.

More later, hopefully.  I need to try and focus on the piles and piles of work that are, um, piling up.

Digestive Drama, Continued

Ike’s repeat LFT still showed some elevated levels (AST & ALT above high normal, and bilirubin still slightly high), so this afternoon we are off to Cincinnati to see the hepatologist.  Boo.  I really hope they do not want to do anything more invasive than blood tests.  The finger sticks are hard enough to take; I don’t know how I’d handle anything more involved, honestly.  But of course I want to get this settled and figured out, if at all possible.  Will be asking about my diet, too.  Part of me wouldn’t hesitate at all if they said to go ahead and eliminate gluten and corn, too (or anything else), and part of me is dying for them to say, go ahead and eat dairy and soy again if you like.  Mike had to use a Groupon for Jet’s pizza before it expired last night, and I very nearly actually cried when I saw the boxes in the kitchen.

His four-month checkup at the regular pediatrician’s office went fairly well on Friday, though.  The vaccinations again seemed to make him sleepy for a day and a half or so, but he seems to generally take them well enough.  No fever that I noticed or that seemed to bother him, so that’s good.  He’s near the middle of the pack in height and weight, but his head circumference is nearly off the chart, so they want to order – get this – an ultrasound, to make sure that there is no fluid where there shouldn’t be any, or anything else of concern.  I am tempted to bring Mike into the office so they can see that it’s likely just familial big-headedness.  I don’t really know the scale for hat sizes, but Mike says he wears a seven and a half fitted hat, which I guess is big?  I again don’t feel like I can refuse the recommendation, like we should do it just to rule out anything of actual concern, but JESUS.  Enough with the ultrasounds already.  Given that he was scanned weekly from a six weeks’ gestation embryo through the first trimester, plus an NT scan, plus growth scans and plus BPPs, then the abdominal ultrasound, there better not be research coming out in the next few years that’ll show any real risk from the procedures.  Eek.

This also surely means that we’ll be meeting our ridiculous health insurance deductible again this year.  Perhaps I should make an appointment with a dermatologist, for shits and giggles.  And maybe Mike could get the MRI for his hip that had been recommended but declined due to cost a while back.  Le sigh.

Wish us luck, if you can, and I will try to update again this afternoon or this evening.

Actually happy during stomach minutes

Four Months

Staying in the Frame

Per jjiraffe’s request, here are some photos of me looking like me.  Not all are current, but I think they are in the spirit of what we’re going for with the project.

Very chinny, very postpartum puffy, but soooo happy!

Picking up our rally ticket!

Sadly, the above is pretty accurate for how I usually look (this was taken Saturday).  Way, way overdue for a haircut, no makeup, jeans and a hoodie (if I’m out of the house – otherwise, subtract jeans and the bra and add yoga pants/sweats).  Big smile that makes my eyes totally disappear.

Here’s right after Ike was born – I LOVE this one:

Brand new, still in the birthing center, only hours old!



Four Months

Dear Baby Ike,

Today you turn four months old.  I probably said the same thing last month, but still, it’s hard to believe that much time has passed since you were born.  You are getting so big, and are very strong, though not quite so coordinated yet (of course).  When you drink from a bottle you love to “help” whoever is feeding you by putting your hands on it as you drink, but a lot of the time you get very excited and end up mostly pushing it right out of your mouth, which of course upsets you greatly.  I try not to laugh too hard about it, but you are one funny baby, in so many ways.  You are ‘talking’ up a storm these days, cooing and laughing like crazy, and I believe in just the past few days we have heard your first consonant – a hard G.  So as much as your father and I would like your first not-quite-real-words to be Mama or Dada, I think we better brace ourselves for it to instead be some version of Grandma/Granny.  Or even Grandpa, as he has also been home with you during some of the days while Daddy and I are at work. He is teaching you all about football, which I know your dad will appreciate (I will get on board eventually if you show an affinity, I promise, but you’ll probably have to teach me!).  Grandma continues to enjoy all the time she spends taking care of you – she even went out and bought a great little tummy-time mat with a tiny wedge pillow and some attached toys that seems to be greatly reducing your hatred for time spent on your belly.  She even reported that you did a little scooting yesterday, which is great progress.  You don’t seem like you are in any hurry to start rolling over, but I expect that to change shortly as well.  Before long you will be partially independently mobile, and I’m not sure we are ready for that!  You’re also nomming everything you can get your hands on; I’m hoping that doesn’t mean your first tooth is already imminent.  Probably just your way of exploring the world at this stage, though I will have to keep an eye out to be sure.

You have not been sleeping all the way through the night as consistently of late, and while it does make for one tired Mama, I also savor those dark, middle-of-the-night, sweet moments with you.  As you drift back off to sleep I get to hold you in my warm lap with your head against my chest, rock you a little, inhale the scent of your head as deeply as I can, and try to memorize the sound of your sleepy sighs.  Because you are so active and aware while you’re awake these days, I don’t get as much cuddle time during daylight hours.  So while in a few months I may reach a breaking point of sleep deprivation if your current pattern holds, for now I truly don’t mind waking up with you a few times every night.  So long as they keep growing coffee beans, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one keeping that industry going, those quiet times with you every night will continue to be sweeter than the sugar I never remember to add to that morning coffee anymore.  Not to even mention the half-and-half I haven’t had for months.  It never ceases to amaze me how much being your mother has changed my life; I don’t miss all the little things that I used to think I could never do without nearly as much as I assumed I would. I fully admit to not wanting to leave you to go to work unless I’ve gotten a great big smile from you that morning, and while Daddy is always more than happy to have boys’ time with you so I can have a few hours to myself or with friends, I have no shame in telling people that I won’t make firm plans until I have seen that smile again, and can then leave knowing you’re happy, at least for the moment.  Your very existence has given me infinite things to look forward to, and I know that life with you will only become more fun by the day.



Our kind of indoctrination

So This Is WordPress

And what have I done?  I broke the cardinal rule of blogging. Thankfully I am not getting dooced, but ’twas really dumb all the same, so I’m moving everything that used to be here, where I can password protect individual posts (password will be readily available for the asking so long as I can be reasonably sure that you’ve no malicious intentions) instead of going with a blanket password protection for the whole blog.

This whole thing has left my brain a little sore.  I don’t think that I have heaps of readers and/or commenters, but I do hope I can manage to…well, manage, the migration without losing anyone who would still like to read my drivel.  The little RPL/ALI community that I’ve come to know and love has been absolutely invaluable to my progress, so the last things I want are to inadvertently exclude anyone else in the community from this blog  or to inadvertently exclude my blog from the community (but I do need to, you know, stay employed and shit).  So, I figure I should send a blurb to LFCA, ask Mel to update my blogroll link, let PAIL know…anything else you can think of?  Also – if any of you have moved from Blogger to WordPress and have any helpful hints, I’d love to hear them.  There appear to be many more options, bells, whistles, etc. and it’ll likely take me forever to figure out how to take advantage of most of them. I think I figured out the import thing; looks like most of what I want to be here is, so I suppose I’m off to a decent start!


I did a dumb thing a while back, and so may be going password protected for a while here shortly.  Please leave a comment here or send me an email at ame dot dame at gmail dot com for a password.  I’m definitely not trying to exclude any regular readers or commenters – just a minor corrective action, so to speak, for now.