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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

birthdays

Happy birthday Suzy, and Masooma and Allan! Even though I don't think Allan knows about my blog. But anyway, hope you all have a wonderful day and that all of your wishes come true! What a great week to be born. ;)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Do you feel rich?

Accoring to this article on MSN Money, if your household made over $91,000 in 2005, then you are "upper class", in the same category as Bill Gates, by the census bureau's standards. Most of my friends and family fit this bill. Yet I don't feel we have an "upper class" lifestyle. Maybe this is because most of our income goes to income taxes, property taxes, then mortgages, then high prices for gas and insurance, leaving us with little left over for hat shopping and yachting trips. But maybe everything's relative, living as I do in the shadow of Beverly Hills' billionaires, I would naturally feel quite poor by comparison. What do you think of the census bureau's figures? Comments, please.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lactivism

I breastfeed Lauren. But much as I am quietly a vegetarian, it's one of those things I try not to foist upon others. I'd rather lead by example, in both cases they are choices I made based upon my own beliefs about what is best for me (and Lauren). I would not presume to start a conversation with someone wherein I preach the wonders of either "lifestyle". And besides, for breastfeeding, some people can't do it, so imagine how bad they'd feel if people judged them for not doing it. But if asked, I'd tell you all about my experiences. So I'll pretend you asked.

I figured "why not try?" with breastfeeding. Not to mention, formula is so expensive! So a few minutes after Lauren was born, she latched on and started eating. And eating. And eating. She was a natural. No problems with her not gaining weight. The contrary, she is a nursing expert.
In fact, she nursed so much the first few days that she sucked a blister on one side of me, which started to bleed and caused me a lot of pain. I didn't know then that there is something called a nipple shield, which fits over your areola much like a bottle nipple, and protects from some of the pain. You have to visit a lactation consultant, who measures your areola and gives you the correct size. Evidently these used to be widely available at drugstores, but now require a healthcare provider's prescription.

I share this info with you because when I found out about them, I had a midnight journey around Los Angeles, visiting Sav-On, Rite-Aid, Albertsons, Vons, and finally Kaiser pharmacy, and then the labor & delivery section of Kaiser hospital (I had Lauren at UCLA but was also a Kaiser member), where I was by then in tears and in a lot of pain, bleeding through my bra, in vain search of this nipple shield. I was finally told that I needed to come back during 9-5 business hours and make an appointment with the lactation consultant. Anyway, once I got it the next day and used it for about a week, the blister healed and it was no big deal. No pain ever again. And no, even though Lauren has 8 teeth, she doesn't bite me. It's physiologically impossible for a baby to extract milk while simultaneously biting. She gets right down to business when she's given a chance to eat.

Anyway, she breastfed while I was on maternity leave, and then I bought a Medela Pump in Style pump on Craig's list to use at work. If you tell the nurses at the hospital that you're planning to nurse, they'll give you a set of hoses and attachments for a pump, for free. Then you can buy any used pump and put your own brand new, clean, sanitary attachments on. You're pretty much buying the motor and case. They're about $150 used or $300 new, iirc, and worth every penny.

When I was back at work, I pumped 3 times a day at first, then 2. Ryan was on paternity leave for the month of June, and then her grandmothers came up to babysit for the rest of the summer. They fed her the pumped milk in bottles. It's important to get the baby used to a bottle when they're...I forgot the exact age but it's in baby books...3 weeks, maybe? Before then, they'll get "nipple confusion" and after then, they will reject bottles and go on a hunger strike for the breast. Anyway, Lauren did just fine but I was a little TOO successful at pumping, and would come home every day with say, 30 ounces, and she'd eat only 15 or 20. (Am I making these numbers up? I can't remember specifics). I started freezing the rest in Medella bags. Lauren was gaining lots of weight, extremely healthy, and thriving. Meanwhile, I had a co-worker whose baby (a few weeks older than Lauren) was underweight and needed to have supplemental formula. We have the same pediatrician, so when I offered, the friend asked our doctor if her son could take my extra milk. The pediatrician thought it was a great idea, and the baby started gaining weight.

Eventually, though, I had too much milk even for both babies, so I found milkshare. Through this group on yahoo, I found someone with an adopted baby in Arizona, and donated some milk to them.

Brief rants: #1 It is a shame that in this country, breasts have become so sexualized that people freak out when they see them doing their natural purpose, with a baby attached and nursing. In most cases when you see a baby nursing in public, you see much less of a breast than you would, say, looking at a photo of Britney Spears in the tabloids on line at the grocery store.

#2 It is almost criminal how much milk banks charge for milk ($3 an ounce! An OUNCE!) and yet they get mothers to donate their milk for free, so someone is making a big profit out of people's altruism. So much better to directly find someone who wants your milk and just give it directly to them.

Okay, I could go on about this more but it's getting too long.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mmmm salad!

I just got back from lunch with Mona & Peter and Lauren at Tender Greens. We were deciding where to go, and I'd wanted to try that place. My parents have this rule when they're in a new town, they look for the restaurant with the longest line and go there, figuring it must be good. By that logic, this should be one of the best places around. And it was delicious! I ordered a large grilled vegetable salad, and when I saw how big the portions were, I told Mona that Ryan would be having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Sorry, darling, I ate it all myself. It was that scrumptious. The 8 kinds of grilled vegetables were not the usual boring eggplant, peppers, onion and mushroom. I think I ate grilled parsnips, fennel, cauliflower, and some other things that just blended in and all tasted delicious. At $10 a plate it was more than I usually spend on lunches but yet it was so good I didn't mind.

side note: they need to do a better job with their google rankings. i couldn't find their site by a search, i just found a bunch of reviews of the place, but then i found it on the back of their takeout menu. it's also unreadable unless you have the latest flash player, which this laptop i'm borrowing right now doesn't have.

Monday, February 05, 2007

10 month Lauren observations, 5 days late

Lauren turned 10 months old on Thursday! She's really getting into the toddler phase and leaving the baby phase. She likes to crawl around, pull herself to standing, and explore everything. Her personality is really coming out. She loves going to parties or crowds or even the grocery store. She's got a "type"-men about her grandpa's age. When she sees someone that reminds her of him, she flirts, giggles, waves, does the "hey you" rock star pointing and tries to get their attention. She still loves her reggae music, and she loves being silly, especially at a certain time after dinner and before bed, where she will get the giggles and play little jokes, stealing glasses or pretending to attack us. She thinks the funniest joke on earth is when we tell her she has stinky feet and pretend that the smell is so offensive we are about to pass out.

She is learning to crawl up the stairs because I started putting things there to keep them out of her reach, and she wants to get them. (Such as a pile of our tax paperwork which she wants to chew.) Last night she made it up 5 stairs before she tumbled and started to fall backwards. Since I was right there to catch her, she thought it was hilarious and started a giggle fit as she fell. Usually when she falls, I just tell her "you're okay" and don't make a big deal about it. But her Daddy is more sympathetic. On Friday she fell and bumped her face on the side of one of her toys and cried and when I told her she was okay, she pouted and said "Tell Daddy, tell Daddy". So we called her Dad and as soon as he got on the phone with her, she cried again but then smiled after he talked to her.

She is doing better with eating. She eats the following foods: rice cereal, oatmeal, multi-grain cereal (all organic Good Earth or Gerber baby cereals), these baby food flavors: carrots, banana, apple, green bean/brown rice, spinach/potato, sweet potato, winter squash, "summer vegetable/pasta", pastina (not a big fan yet but she tries it and mostly spits it out and plays with it) and teething biscuits (we call them "cookies" and she really likes them)

She has also had these "real" foods: baked potato, rice, cheerios (actually organic "Oatios" brand. She LOVES them!), plain yogurt (not a big fan), apples (in a feeder, she loves them!), bananas, and carrots (mainly to teethe on), and spaghetti and tomato sauce cut up in tiny pieces.

Her portions are not big yet and she still often gets bored with food easily. The only food she could continually eat, as long as I was willing to give her more, is applesauce. She also uttered the phrase "eat dat" and tried to grab a handful of spaghetti her Grandpa was eating, but she was unsuccessful.

Wheels!

I haven't posted for awhile but guess what? I am FINALLY MOBILE! As in, I have a car again! Yay! It is just like our black car only 1 year newer, dark blue, and 4 doors. It is so great to be FREE to drive where I want, when I want. Not to mention, no more yoga-like moves getting into and out of the back seat of the 2 door car. I'm sure we will take that car eventually, but whenever possible, we'll use mine. Which means my old car has become Ryan's. Oh, and we sold the Taurus on Craig's list for an extremely cheap price to be nice to some poor person. So cheap that we paid more in sales tax on the blue car than we got selling the Taurus. But now it's someone else's problem!