Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mama Bean ate a milkshake

I slipped up a couple times this week. I got halfway through the McDonald's milkshake before realizing it was a drink-that-wasn't-water. Papa Bean assured me it was more like eating ice cream, but still, it was something taken by straw. And the only thing I am to take by straw is water. But it was tasty. Repentently so. I also unwittingly hopped on a friend's computer during our scrapbooking evening to look at funny videos and mls properties. And then the next evening, I used the 'puter to manage pictures, because that's part of scrapbooking also, the pictures. I kind of think these are okay, because the whole point of the fast was to limit pointless computer use, and both of these occasions had purpose - adding to a social setting, and working on a new hobby.

I have definitely noticed the impact of deprivation, though. For one, my workout program is completely derailed. The best time for me to workout most weekdays is the morning, while Bean sleeps or after his second feeding. But now those morning hours are precious internet time, especially Tuesday and Thursday, when my internetting effectively ends at 1:30 when I leave for work, because I get home after 8:00 pm. This is just one example of how computer use keeps me from doing the things that are good for me. And the silly thing is, as I've now realized, my "essential" internet activities don't actually take much time. I am able to check daily the sites I consider a daily read, and then some. I probably have time for the morning workouts, but compulsively displace it, until there's no time left.

I've also starting linking to pages on facebook much more often. I've always loved the linkshare function, but I'm positively abusing it now. I joked on Friday that it's because I'm afraid I won't come across anything else worthwhile before time is up, but of course that's nonsense. I think I'm trying to justify my internet use, trying to prove that I find and interact with fun and worthy things and people.

My love language is gifts - giving and receiving. I am a materially oriented girl (thanks, Madons). Showing off my web treasures is kind of like showing off my books on the shelf; I'm creating a virtual eLibrary. And I can give it away so easily, because that is the nature of the web. It's what makes community so easy. This fast makes me more aware of my place in that community, how important it is to me, what my role is. I miss the constant interaction with social sites the most - facebook in particular. I feel like, by missing status updates and pictures posts, I'm missing out on friends' lives. Anyway, I know I can make it through the rest of Lent, and probably discover more things about myself. For one thing, none of this has impacted my television use, yet.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mama Bean posts links on Friday - February 26, 2010

I seem to be overcompensating for my internet deprivation by posting every remotely interesting link I come across, just in case I don't see another before my 6 pm time limit. So, not all of these are the most win the internet can offer, but they still caught my admittedly web-ADD eye.

-This video (found it on Conversion Diary) is for moms. It made Papa Bean and I think about our moms, when she gets to the empty nesting part. We're still at the very beginning of this journey, so it's hard to fathom we'll ever get through the things she describes.

-The woman who writes this blog travels the US with her husband and two young daughters in an RV. They previously lived with their eldest daughter in a tiny (382 square feet, or something like that) apartment, and documented it on flickr. I think I found the link from a design blog (?) Anyway, this particular entry is about a weekly simplifying they undergo, to find things they don't need and donate them. I am far too materialistic to do this weekly, but I really dig the sensibility of incorporating simplification as a routine. We already have so much stuff we don't need, and getting rid of it can feel truly purifying. Will ponder a less-than-weekly way to try this in our home. (This lady has also documented her journey with dreadlocks so compellingly, I briefly considered trying them, too.)

-New York Magazine article about ChatRoulette. Don't know anyone who's actually tried this yet. It feels like this was the inevitable next step in Web 3.0 or whatever version it is we're on. We're a fairly tech-savvy family (my ineptitude with cell phones notwithstanding) and I like to think of myself as an earlier-than-average adopter (don't have the financial means to be a truly early adopter) but I think my age shows in my reaction to this phenomenon, which is 25% intrigued, and 75% squeamed out.

-I like the premise behind this website more than I like the execution. It's a catalogue of falacious argument styles people (bigots) use to derail meaningful conversation about their prejudice. When you spend a lot of time on the internet, or even just on mommy blogs, you become familiar with the Flame Warriors, and derailment is their script of choice. I think I just enjoy reading pithy examples of the illogical commentary I often wade through professionally and religiously.

-Codeorgan makes a song out of URLs. The site worked fine for me, and this blog makes a thoroughly pleasant song on it. But it didn't work for a friend, so *shrug* attempt at your own risk of mild disappointment.

-So I guess there was this Superbowl commercial about guys and all the things guys have to endure. It's totally funny. Then there's this feminist spoof of it. It's also totally funny. Jack came to the same conclusion, "Both are funny because both are true. Men and women are different but the same. It's why we like and dislike each other. :)" Sandra also clarified the third wave of feminism seems to have lost steam, and some in the US are pushing for a fourth.

-In the serendipity that IS the internet, my next link also addressed feminism, from the perspective of a grandma who grew up during the 60s, and found the whole second wave more or less overwhelming and confusing. Her account of growing up really resonated with me for a variety of reasons that are too long to go into here, but I suspect many of my peers may feel similarly. (Which is the whole point of link love anyway, on facebook or otherwise; sharing things that strike a chord because we're sure they'll strike the same chord in those we've befriended.) Her blog, Like Mother, Like Daughter is an absolute jewel, and I repeatedly read bits of it out loud to Papa Bean. It's primary topic is not, in fact, feminism or even Catholicism. It's more of a domesticity and parenting blog. She has much wisdom, and I love the web for giving her a forum.

-Speaking of domesticity, I have saved the Very Best Link for last. This may, in fact be the Very Best Link of my whole life, because it (un)folds one of the deepest mysteries I have ever pondered, and brings profound inner peace to my linen closet. Judging by the reaction on facebook, I am not the only person who never understood How to Fold a Fitted Sheet. It's like the very light of Heaven beamed down on me in my living room, as I accomplished this Feat of Wonder for the very first time. Apparently L was blessed to have learned this from her mother, and Aunty E learned it from Martha Stewart. But I learned it from the internet, and for that I am eternally grateful. Excellent follow up tip from K: "I put the flat, fitted, and one pillowcase all inside the other pillowcase. Then I have a little bundle in the linen closet and I never lose the matching stuff." We're all little Marthas in our own way, aren't we? (Now there's a worthy treatise, the feminist implications of Martha Stewart...)

(A final aside: the blogger who created the Fitted Sheet Tutorial of Genius, Molly Piper is married to Abraham Piper, son of John Piper, who will feature in next Friday's Link Love. John Piper is a famous American pastor and author. His son has two interesting blogs. He and Molly have lived through the hell of a stillborn daughter. I find all of their various internettings very engaging, even if I don't necessarily subscribed to their particular niche of Christianity. The power of the internet, and all that yadda.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mama Bean thanks the other Mamas for the happy afternoon

We went to a breastfeeding clinic today, which is a terribly clinic-al name for it. The public health nurses host them every week in a few communities around the city. A PHN called me shortly after Bean's birth and sent me info about them, but I didn't really prioritize it. Mostly because, in the beginning, while breastfeeding was in fact a struggle, it was so much so that the idea of trundling him out and being around other humans felt impossible. And then, when we got a handle on the feeding, I didn't think I needed a clinic. See, it's a terrible name!

What really happens is a bunch of mom and babies hang out and chat. Babies get weighed, we sit in a circle, each mom introduces herself and her creature, and answers some theme-question from the PHN, and can ask any questions she's having (about breastfeeding, or otherwise), and everyone else puts in their two cents worth. It's very Friendly and Community and Enlightening. I am not the only one who wonders about the razor-nails! Lots of moms have one superboob which produces more milk than the other! Mastitis is wicked painful - thank goodness we haven't dealt with that particular battle yet!

I was pretty nervous about going. I'm not the best with new social situations, especially one centred around this mom-world in which I am still such a total n00b. I was scared of being judged. It was silly.

It was actually very interesting to see all the different moms. I was invited by a Big Momma (thanks, L!*) and this name has nothing to do with their physical size. These Mommas are all about big smiles, and big hearts. They are community minders - they Initiate. Initiate introductions, and conversations, and helping. This group has several Big Mommas, and they also have some of the older babies (6 months, and up) so they have lots of good experience and advice. Then there are mama-citas, little moms of little babies (seven weeks old!) and they look just as I imagine I would have looked like if I had braved such a meeting with seven week old Bean. I just wanted to smile and reassure them. Hug them. I needed hugs, during those Delirious Early Days. Some of the moms seemed like they're from California, tall and tan with smiling cherubim. I covet their jeans (and genes, the skinny ones!)

In all, a successful outing. And good advice for ditching the nipple shield, adding another feeding to help weight gain, and using chunky necklaces to distract from the clawing hands of razor-nicking.

*I didn't go to the group in my community, because I knew at this group, I would already know somebody. That was very good. I don't mind the extra drive.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mama Bean wins some breastfeeding battles, and loses others

We ate in bed today. That's what mothers dream of, right? Breakfast in bed? Only this was Bean's breakfast, so maybe that doesn't count. But I have dreamt about it. The midwife showed me this lovely little picture of all the positions you can use for breastfeeding - cradle, football, side-lying, etc. I was so tickled by the Worlds of Possibility to unfold upon my loving breast, as we cuddled and bonded and passed the very Stuff of Life (love and milk, naturally) between us. I did dream, yes, of feeding in bed as hazy morning light filtered through the draperies.

Well, that didn't happen. Which is totally fine, because let's face it, the point is not to create Hallmark tableaux of soft-lit motherhood, the point is to get sugar and fat and protein and water (and vitamins and antibodies, yeah yeah) into the child to allow the child to live. And I have done that with relative ease, nipple shields notwithstanding. But I did continue hoping that, once he was a bit bigger, once he was controlling his head more, once he stopped needing the nipple shield, we could try it. Mostly, I want to stay in my bed as much as possible, because it is comfy and warm and I am a wimp.

So we tried it, and it went okay. I mean, he ate, there wasn't much mess. It was a little awkward, I had trouble burping him. It was not as comfortable, but was as warm, as I hoped. I'm in no hurry to do it again. But at least I know I can.

Morning feedings are my favourite, actually, even when they come earlier than I'd like. First, my breasts are really full, which makes me feel Powerful and Capable and Motherly. Second, this means it feels good when Bean nurses. When Bean came out of me, I thought to myself, "I never knew what relief felt like until now." Nursing on an engorged breast is also a unique-to-mama-hood kind of relief. Third, Bean is still sleepy, so he's calm and lays quietly and just eats, fifteen or twenty minutes straight, and I can doze or whatever. Pet his hair. Fourth, he is warm from his bed. Fifth, I sit and plan my day, which makes me feel Efficient. I hold efficiency at a premium, it's just part of my personality, something I value and strive for and achieve, usually. Less so, now, with the utterly-dependent-creature happening. But I still try. In the morning, everything seems possible. Sixth (is this getting to be too many?) there is, in fact, sunlight filtering through the trees in our neighbor's yard, which causes flickers and flutters and makes everything kind of glow. Glowing is an important part of bringing me happiness.

Bean's two morning feedings and his night feeding are about the only ones I can count on being 30 minutes anymore. The rest of his daytime feedings are getting more battle-some. He eats anywhere from 6 to 20 minutes, and fusses in between. He struggles and kicks and claws with his little razor nails at my breast. I keep them trim, I do, but it happens regardless, tiny little razor nicks all over my boobs. In general, his feeding shenanigans are pretty cute, though. He like to look up and smile and giggle a little. He likes to look around. Sometimes he very blithely returns to the nipple, like a wine taster, the little snob. Sometimes he just opens wide and crashes on, and I love to see that joy. Here is unfettered Love of Food (and me!), and I support his gluttony on all accounts. My favourite is when his little leg curls up over my other breast, like he's wrapping himself as close to my chest as possible. It's basically his coup de grace, I cannot resist, I cuddle as close as I can.

So that's the update on breastfeeding this week. I will try to not make every Tuesday a state-of-the-nipple address. Maybe next week we can talk about poo!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mama Bean loves owls on Bean's diapers

We have been planning to use cloth diapers since before we got pregnant. Papa Bean is cheap, and he knows cloth costs less than disposable. We care about the environment, too, but if you asked him the primary reason, it'd be saving money. I'm not as interested in being frugal or preserving landfill space, but only because I'm lazy. Disposables are so easy! Just throw the pee and poo away! Not so with cloth...

We used disposables when he was a newborn, until his umbilical scab fell off. Then Papa Bean found a local company that rents out a two week supply of a variety of cloth diapers - prefolds, all-in-ones, pocket style. More prefolds than we knew what to do with. I found the kit overwhelming. There were instructions for cleaning them properly, but nothing on what bits to put where to make them work. This was frustrating, but especially because it was still in the Delirious Early Days, and I couldn't handle simple tasks like brushing my hair, let alone assembling a lumpy, fuzzy rectangle into a pee-pouch for my child.

We looked up all kinds of cloth diapering info online, which was layered and complex and conflicting, like all baby-related things on the internet. You'd think we could use this info to make heads and (more importantly) tails of the kit's components, but to no avail. Wet diapers soaked through to clothing, despite seemingly waterproof liners. Poop fountains exploded around legs and above waistlines - oh, the power of the double-gusset! Never buy a diaper cover without them! (Except we did...) When we returned the kit, I was discouraged. Waiting until he was a little bigger might have made the whole experience better - along with some instructions.

It did give us a crash course in the realities of controlling baby ejections with cloth, for much less money than buying one of each style of diaper and being stuck with the ones we don't like. And there were some key things not to like. I'm all thumbs with prefolds, can't pin them properly to save my life. All-in-ones take forever to dry, and Papa Bean is obsessed with hang drying (because the dryer uses electricity that costs money, so even in choosing cloth diapers because they're cheaper, we have to do it the cheapest possible way.) Any multi-part system requires an outer shell of some sort, which either come sized (so you buy a set multiple times as baby grows) or covered in dozens of snaps and velcros equally confuddling as securing a prefold. And they cost $30 or more apiece! At the time, we were changing him upwards of 8 times a day. When you figure for a 2-3 day supply of diapers (lest we be buried in diaper laundry...) it was just too much initial investment, for a very distant cost-savings over the long run.

We found some great deals on size one disposables (They really snag you with those coupons, hey?) which, along with some lovely diaper gifts, took us through Christmas and into the New Year. In that time, Papa Bean found this two-part system called Boobles Bottoms fontour diapers. This system gets around many of our hang ups. They dry quickly, the outer shell grows with the child without mind-boggling snaps, and they weren't terribly expensive. However, some informal polling in various forums found some reports of chafing when the flannel inserts are wet.

Then we found Greenline Diapers. They are really similar to the fontour diapers, but the liner is actually a folded microfiber towel that fits into a special waterproof holder, that then sits inside the cover. The microfiber is super absorbent, but stays soft when wet, and unfolds for easier cleaning and super fast drying (overnight, on the rack.) The holders are meant to keep the covers from getting dirty, so they don't need washing as often, plus they all dry very quickly, also. Final selling feature: price.

We tried the trial pack, a one-day supply of diapers, for $100, and found it very do-able. The covers don't have double gusseting around the legs. They have drawstrings, instead, to make them resize-able as Bean grows. The holders and covers are more water-resistant than water-proof, so they do get damp, which can make Bean's clothes feel damp. And so far, most poop explosions have escaped the confines of the holder, but hopefully this will change when he's on solids and the stuff is more formed, less soup.

We ordered the remaining components for the full system, which is $400 total, plus $40 shipping. This includes enough liners, holders, and covers for 3 days, although for us, changing him about six times a day, it may be enough for 5+ days. Our little pail holds enough liners for three days, so that's how often we'll be laundering, and never in danger of running out of any pieces. It's been really elegant, and we really love it. Plus they sent bonus gifts!

There was some unfortunate confusion when we were shipped someone else's full order, and they received our abbreviated top-up order, but the Greenline folks sorted it out very quickly and professionally. It's a home-based business in Vancouver, so extra fist-bumps for staying Canadian. Plus, they've been keeping it up while caring for a newborn themselves! I highly recommend these diapers if you're considering cloth. Don't bother with the trial pack, just go for the full pack. At $400 you will not find another system for less with enough pieces to keep you out of laundry hell, and that will grow with your bean-let. Plus, you get better bonus gifts with the full pack! Yay Cloth!!

[Just for the record: Greenline didn't ask for or pay for or donate for this endorsement in any way. They're just the diapers we chose, and I wanted to tell the WHOLE WIDE WEB about it (!!!)]

(uh-oh, 6:08 pm...)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mama Bean has posted too many links today. And it isn't even noon. Maybe evening fasting from the internet makes me overshare the next day.

I'm realizing I don't drink as much water as I think I do. Now that it's all I can drink, I seem to be getting much more. I'm also realizing I use beverages as treats, which I suppose is good, in the sense that I realize they are full of sugar and calories. I use beverages to accompany, and add pleasure to the particular activity at hand. Morning drives are more pleasant with coffee. Afternoon feedings go smoother with a bottle of ice tea. Evening television is more relaxing with hot chocolate and marshmallows. It also seems I use beverages as food, which again is kind of good, in that I acknowledge they're part of my nutritional tableau. But what it means is that my cereal breakfast on its own (without coffee) doesn't last me the morning. An afternoon with no ice tea requires a snack. So, while I could be losing weight by cutting out all these calories of things I'm not drinking right now, instead I've supplemented more food. More junk food. Which is like the opposite of what most people do during Lent. Ah, irony.

Being on the computer is a reflex. I repeatedly catch myself in the evenings turning to my screen, or laying my hand on the mouse. That mouse feels good in my hand, it makes my hand feel whole. It's like when you're driving, and the car becomes an extension of your body; the mouse is an extension of my hand, and my will. Without it, I cannot check facebook or google surinam toads (careful, this link is gross), or blog hop for hours, mindlessly. So the question is, what does this mean? Is it bad that surfing is autonomic? Should my mouse be so damn comforting?

I don't really miss drinks or unrestricted computer use, yet. It's only been a few days. I certainly haven't experienced any spiritual epiphanies. But I trust, with time, to get past the navel gazing and into some deeper reflections. Bear with me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mama Bean is powerless. Life has come full circle.

Bean is the most powerful person I know. His wish is our command. When he is hungry, he is fed. When he pees and poops in his pants, he is changed. When he smells, we bathe him. When he is tired, he is wrapped up snuggly and nestled in his bed. When he cries, he is comforted and cuddled. When he smiles, or blinks, or breathes he is loved.

Sure, he is tiny and immobile, seemingly weak. But that's almost part of his power, his seeming utter dependence. Because we are subject to him, we are subject to his every whim. He gets carried everywhere! That's like ancient kings carted through the dirty masses shit right there! The last time I was treated like that was, well, when I was a baby.

It's all downhill for him, of course. The bigger he gets, the more he learns, the more responsibility he acquires. He has to stop shitting his pants, for one thing. Learn to bathe and dress himself. Make his bed. Cook his food, and clean up afterward. Get good grades, and get a job. Fall in love, and make his own babies one day.

And then he'll be in my position. Powerless. And that baby will be the most powerful person he knows. Full circle.

One could argue that, when I get old, I will regain some of this power. I will be fed, and bathed, and tucked into bed. I will get to poop wherever I like, though I won't like it. And nobody's going to think it's cute when I blink.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mama Bean posts links on Friday - February 19, 2010

- Wal-mart is dropping a bunch of name brands, to cut costs, and increase sales of their own Great Value products. At first, it makes sense to streamline and simplify the consumer's life - "Do I really need to decide between 15 different types of toothpaste?" Overall, though, I think the implications could be pretty dire. If smaller stores keep stocking multiple brands, they will incur the greater cost, which must a) be passed onto customers, who will leave, or b) lead to lower profit, if they try to keep their prices competitive (which they can't, because it's freaking Wal-mart.) Stores fail, and people lose their jobs. Meanwhile, as Wal-mart increasingly becomes the only game in town, and is dropping contracts, manufacturers drop employees, and ultimately fail, also. Consumers may be happier in the short-term, and Wal-mart will certainly happily make more money, but basically all this means is a lot more unemployed people. Unless these major brands can do what they've done thus far; find a way to survive. Maintain brand integrity and find new ways to sell their stuff.

- How old were you when you got married? Will age be a consideration when you do get married? Or education, debt-load, career path, etc? Do you think marriage is undersold or oversold by your culture? Your religion? This Catholic blog post discusses the dangers of overselling early marriage (in response to this Wall Street Journal article) by implying it is easy. I liked how he urges us to resist the temptation to teach kids about doing the right thing by overselling it unrealistically. Mostly because he urges us with sarcasm:
And yet, living in an age which seems to believe more than ever in the quick fix, and that if it feels good it must be good, the temptation seems almost overwhelming to tell people that it will all be fun and easy if only they'll do the right thing. Chastity is sexy. Marriage is one big adventure. Having more kids is easier than having just one or two. NFP is a sure thing, and it's romantic and divorce-proofs your marriage too. And please try out our new chocolate fudge diet - it's the fastest way to lose weight.
- Papa Bean is entering a tough profession. I will be charged with building him up, and encouraging him when he goes through times like this. (If I were a pastor, I would struggle with entering a building project, also.)

- I don't love the way conservative Christians organize and categorize gender roles and marriage. On the other hand, I do agree with this summary. I guess because, even if Papa Bean weren't entering the Ministry, I am still charged with building him up and supporting his purpose. And I do need to feel needed. (And vice versa, which may be what this interpretation of marriage is missing; that it is likely both spouses occupy each role, and require the other person's appropriate response.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mama Bean is going to miss coffee. And tea. And the Interwebs.

Today is Ash Wednesday. Growing up Protestant, I didn't celebrate (?) Ash Wednesday, or partake in Lent. I didn't really know about, or understand the practice of giving stuff up (or committing to stuff) for Lent until I was in university. I've never actually followed through on a Lenten commitment before, but we're going for it this year!

Papa Bean is giving up meat. A friend is committing to prepare for and attend church each and every Sunday. I am making two commitments. First, I will not be drinking flavoured drinks. That is, all my beverages will be water, hot or cold, doesn't matter. No coffee, no tea, no juice, no pop. Second, I will be closing my computer at 6 pm every evening.

It's not that I don't like drinking water. I used to be terrible at drinking enough water, really ignored my thirst signals, in large part due to my neurosis surrounding using public toilets. But I trained myself out of that, until drinking large glasses of water throughout the day became second nature. It's just that I prefer flavoured water to plain. And by flavour, what I mean is sugar. I like coffee, because I like cream and sugar and warmth, like liquid baked goods gliding over my tongue and filling my mouth with comfort. It's a soul thing. I like tea for pretty much the same reason. Tea without sugar is vaguely bitter, brown water. Tea with sugar is a bright tie-dyed tableau of rainbow hippie deliciousness. I've always loved instant iced tea, but discovering southern-style sweet tea when I lived in Iowa was death to my pancreas. So so delicious. Carton orange juice can be better than dessert. Pop, especially anything in the root beer, grape, or cream soda varieties, is candy without the work of sucking or chewing. Yes, I like flavoured water because I'm lazy.

So I'm giving it up for Lent, because I know I will miss it, and that will remind me to pray, and consider Jesus. Choosing something I know I will miss makes it more likely I will succeed at thinking more about Jesus during the next forty days. That's the plan, and I'm sticking to it. Papa Bean chose meat, I'm guessing, for the same reason. Oh, how he's going to miss eating flesh.

The Internet/computer fast was inspired by this post at Conversion Blog (yes, I read Catholic blogs, even though I'm not Catholic. I even enjoy them. Does that make me a bad Protestant? Lol.) In particular, her second suggestion hit home: push the limits of how long you think you can be offline. How long do I really think I can be offline? Could I do a whole day? Could I do a whole week? How about all of Lent? What if I only gave up facebook? Or only stopped reading blogs? I figured I could do a whole day, maybe two. But that wasn't going to make much of an impression for Lent. So I thought, for forty days straight, I could limit my internet use to daytime, and shut 'er down after 6 pm. And then I figured I may as well just cut out all computering, or I'll just play minesweeper all evening. Which, come to think of it, is pretty much what I do anyway.

I realize this doesn't set me up the same as the flavoured water restriction to miss the internet, because I will be able to use it every day, and accomplish everything I do now in the hours available. What I've also realized is that internet use is a big distraction from getting other shit done in the rest of my life. So this Lenten commitment is really more an experiment in freeing up some time, and seeing what God can do with it. What will I read? What will I bake? Knit? Will we eat dinner at the table instead of our desks? Will we watch less television? Will I be a better mother? Will I get more sleep?

I'm very excited to see where these commitments take me, and I'm interested to see how others' sacrifices pan out as well. In the interest of full disclosure, my flavoured water fast does not include soup, because soup is food, not beverage, even though it's a very water-based food. And the internet fast does not include television watched on our joint computer, because that is just how we watch our tv, and I'm not committing to a tv fast. Let's not get crazy here!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mama Bean is going to tell you a story. About birth. Bean's birth.

Being the delinquent mama that I am, I haven't really documented this yet anywhere. And I know, despite my self-assured feeling that I will never forget, of course, I will forget. So I better put it down somewhere for posterity. And isn't that what the internet is for? Posterity? Yes.

Bean arrived on October 15th, 2009, in our living room. We planned to have him at home, and were really blessed and privileged to work with the most lovely team of midwives. In our province, midwifery is covered by the healthcare system, so we didn't have to pay extra for it, which was just awesome. Demand is very high, so we were super super fortunate to be accepted for care.

The weekend before was Thanksgiving, and my brother and his family visited us for the long weekend. My sister-in-law grew up where we live, and her high school had a milestone birthday and threw a party. I think seeing my 2-year-old niece and 4-year-old nephew at 39 weeks pregnant did something to my hormones, and that's why Bean came a few days early. On Tuesday (Oct. 13th) my midwife swept my membranes and said I was at about 3 cm dilation. For some reason, I thought it was normal to dilate up to 4 cm for days before labour might start, so I didn't think much of this information. But I should have.

Our guests departed Wednesday (Oct. 14th) and thus missed Bean's arrival by one day, much to my sister-in-law's chagrin. I set about putting the house in order again, making notes of the areas in most desperate need of baby-proofing (man, toddlers find all your weak spots), and thinking about the preparations still needed for The Birth. For example, I hadn't packed the hospital bag yet. I guess I was "nesting" but I didn't really think much of it. As I should have.

Papa Bean and I had together time that night. That's a euphemism for...y'know. Maybe this little fact qualifies this as a TMI Tuesday post. Some might argue any birthing story qualifies for TMI Tuesday. But I know birth is just a normal, exhilarating, miraculous part of life. And so is sex. So we're just going to talk about it like the normal thing it is, on a normal day. It's on all the lists of things to do to encourage labour, so we gave it a try. And boy did it encourage!

I woke up at 2:45 am in active labour. I didn't really have any B-H contractions in late pregnancy, that I recognized anyway, and maybe I slept through all the warm-up labour, I don't know, but when I woke up, the contractions were 5 minutes apart. At first, I thought I needed to go the bathroom, number two style. But that didn't work, and the little light bulb slowly brightened in realization that I should be timing these feelings, and getting things ready.

Here's the thing: nothing was ready. The futon mattress I intended to birth on was still in the basement. The sheets and towels and other birthing accessories were scattered across the dining room table. I woke up Papa Bean, and he, well, he didn't believe me. He thought it was B-H contractions, and I should just try to go back to sleep. So I hung out in the basement, listening to my hypnobirthing music (I think I'll do a separate post on hypnobirthing), making a few notes, and trying to deal. When it had been an hour of 1 minute surges, 4 minutes apart, I woke up Papa Bean more insistently, because I couldn't bring that futon mattress into the living room by myself.

It's 4 am, and I'm gathering items from the dining room and kitchen, making up the mattress with protective shower curtain and cozy sheets, playing the soothing music in the background, stopping every 4 minutes to bend over and brace myself while mooing like an agonized cow. It was a really special time. Papa Bean called the midwives, and I talked to them briefly. They'd just been called to another birth, so they called a substitute midwife, and she was shortly on her way. When she arrived shortly after 5 am, I was writhing (that's the only word for it) on the mattress, wanting to push, but not knowing if I was complete or whatever. The midwife had a silent freak out and rushed around setting things up, then checked me. I was, in fact, complete. It was 5:15-ish. She told me I had to wait until the second midwife arrived.

It was hard not to push.

When the whole team was assembled, we started pushing. This was actually much less painful than dilating. I liked pushing, it felt productive. It's good that I liked it, because I did it for two hours. It was something I had to learn. The most painful part of pushing was in my low back. I needed Papa Bean to push really hard into my back, to supplement my weak muscles. He could not push hard enough. I tried pushing on my side, but I couldn't get the leverage to really push hard. Plus, I was still expelling a lot of energy out my mouth, with moaning. Our hypnobirthing training had taught I shouldn't hold my breath during pushes, but there is just no way around it. I had to hold my breath, to push the energy down through my abdomen, and out my vagina.

I moved to do some pushing on the toilet. The squatting/sitting was nice, but my back was still too weak. I tried hanging off of Papa Bean, too, but again the back pain got in the way of productivity. We returned to the mattress, on my side, before the midwife suggested turning onto my back. This was genius. I read all the books, that moving labouring women onto their backs was a serious setback in the history of obstetrics, but seriously, it was the Only Way. The mattress supplemented for my weak muscles, and I could really start to push.

I also had to learn how to hold my legs back. The midwives helped with this, and periodically checked Bean's heartrate, and all that good stuff. They never gave me any sense of urgency or concern, even though I had been pushing for quite a while, which is good, because it might have freaked me out. I did get tired at points, but Papa Bean's encouragement kept me going, along with sips of powerade (oh, how my throat hurt after all that moaning). He kept asking me to smile. It really helped. Between pushes I would really hunker down into some deep place and prepare myself for the next surge.

Eventually my water broke, and it was nice and clear. I think the midwife didn't realize it hadn't broken yet, because she was peering quite closely at me at the time, and almost got an amniotic bath. Funny, after the fact. It was really great to feel the little quarter-sized circle of Bean's head as the pushes started getting really productive. I could feel his hair! It got scary and more painful, in the burn-y way as his head got bigger, and I got stretchier. The midwife was great at washing and stretching my peri with warm washcloths, which made it much less painful. I still tore, but not as badly as I might have.

I was starting to get pretty tired of the burning when the midwife told me it was really close, probably in the next few surges. I just decided to be done, and bore down really hard, and out his head gushed. Rather than wait for the break and another surge, I just kept pushing and pushing until the rest of him came out in a big rush. It was the most brilliant release and relief I've ever felt!

So there he was on my chest, and I just kept saying hello. I thought I would cry, but I didn't. Just felt very happy and relieved and a little delirious (oh, how delirious we would get...) and drugged up, despite having had no drugs. I remember looking up hazily and saying thank-you. Papa Bean eventually cut the umbilical cord. Stitching me up took longer than I would have liked (I had to hold my legs in a pretty uncomfortable position, when all I wanted was to relax them together, at last.) Bean's temperature was a little low, so that was worrisome. There are many more little details, I can't keep them organized enough to write down right now. He was perfect and healthy and wonderful.

I can honestly say I don't remember the true intensity of the pain. I know when I go into labour for our next child, I will recognize what the feeling is, instead of thinking I need to go poo. I will remember what the pain is then. But I don't remember now, god bless oxytocin. Overall, we were just so pleased with how everything went. It was a beautiful day.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mama Bean has changed a lot since last Valentine's Day

A year ago, I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive. Shortly before that, Papa Bean and I took a walk through a winter-y river park, and talked about when might be a good time to have kidlets. We determined that the perfect time was probably never going to arrive. I was just finishing up my last few weeks working at Starbucks, and preparing to re-enter my actual profession, Chiropractic. I had a three week locum lined up, but no long term position at a clinic secured. Papa Bean was a few months in to his new job at the school position, but was pining for a return to pastor school. We thought we might swing a pregnancy and a baby in the next year or two, providing I found chiropractic work, providing Papa Bean could go to school when he took paternity leave, providing for many contingencies, we could swing it. This would mean getting pregnant in the latter part of 2009.

We got pregnant maybe two weeks later. I fell down the stairs. I was only loosely following NFP methods to track my ovulation, and the fall delayed it, but I didn't know that, so Bean happened. I was only pretty sure by the time Valentine's Day rolled around, so we went for breakfast, and took a test. I remember feeling kind of suspended in time for the rest of the day. The day has taken on hazy edges in my recollection. What a lovely Valentine's present.

I worked the locum at the clinic I would eventually buy into. It was brilliant to return to my career, and love it again. It was scary to imagine having a baby in nine months. It was hard not telling people at our new church. I spent most of March not eating, or vomiting what I ate, or vomiting nothing when I thought about eating. I decided to buy into the practice, re-taking on the debt we paid off when we moved. I stopped vomiting the weekend before I started work.

Pregnancy is a long forty weeks. I think this pregnancy felt longer because so many other huge life changes occurred at the same time. It coincided with my entire lifetime at the clinic thus far; many patients have only known me pregnant. It coincided with our entire time at our church thus far; that congregation has only known us pregnant. I enjoy the fact that I can track progress in Bean's development parallel to progress at my clinic, and growth at our church.

We moved from one prairie city to another for a chance at a better life, where we weren't saddled with unmanageable debt that required 120 work hours per week to pay down, at the true expense of our marriage, family, and friendships. We spent more than six months settling in, finding a home, finding jobs. I feel like our real life in the new Prairie City didn't start until that Valentine's Day, because it heralded in all the other blessings God has brought us here. Bean is the very real fruit of our decision to be here, because we would not, could not have had a child in the old prairie city for several more years. And I am so thankful for the glow his arrival cast on every day of last year. And on every Valentine's Day from now on. He is just the cutest manifestation of Love.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mama Bean posts links on Friday - February 12, 2010

- Another mom blog I read, Conversion Diary, linked to The Domestic Monastery, a lovely little post at about monasticism in the life of the stay-at-home mom. I am not a stay-at-home mom, but this nonetheless spoke to the change in circumstance having a child brings to one's home life. In particular, I liked the comparison between the constant demands of children and the monastic bell: "She hears the monastic bell many times during the day and she has to drop things in mid-sentence and respond, not because she wants to, but because it's time for that activity and time isn't her time, but God's time." This ties in well with another post I recently read on the spirituality of domesticity, which I will blog more completely later.

- Following a fairly awkward annual general meeting at church, I read this summary of the story of Jethro and Moses. It lays out guidelines for approaching a leader with suggestions for improvement (being Jethro) and guidelines for receiving such suggestions as a gracious leader (being Moses). At first, I really zeroed in on the Jethro side of the lesson, because that's the role I'm more likely to play, as a congregant. However, the lessons in Moses' reaction apply to anyone who faces criticism, which is all of us. It was an encouraging read, as we enter an intense time at church. And I think it will be helpful, too, as I navigate the mom-world, with its incessant advice and suggestions, unbidden, but impossible to ignore.

- And on a lighter note, love this BBC video satirizing How To Report the News.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mama Bean misses her pregnancy hair

My hair is falling out.

I really liked being pregnant. I liked growing little Bean. I like wearing maternity clothes, because they're comfy. And I had a perfectly valid reason for my growing pooch, so I didn't have to stress about it, I could show it off! Other than the first three months of sickness and puking, I had very few pregnancy "symptoms." I even slept pretty comfortably until the last few weeks. And my skin! Less oily, but still glow-y, and no pore evacuation sessions in front of the mirror.

I did have some sciatica, which I'd never experienced before, and wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Being a chiropractor, I see people with sciatica all the time, and now I can relate to their torture. When someone gets relief after treatment, I just fall in love again with what I do. I also had heartburn, but not with enough consistency to bother identifying trigger foods, and not really badly enough to want to change my eating in the first place. I just carried antacids with me for a few months. And not the low sodium kind, or whatever it is they recommend for pregnant women. I like strawberry banana Tums, so that's what I use. When Papa Bean and I took an impromptu nostalgia trip to the Far Northern Reaches, I had to try Pepcid tablets - chalky and gross. But super effective. It's a toss up whether I'd use them again. If Bean's head is any indication, I think it may be true that heartburn during pregnancy makes for a hairy baby. He only just lost the monkey ears and shoulders. Seriously hope the back hair doesn't return for him in puberty.

I didn't really notice my hair changing during pregnancy. Well, I noticed little things, like it was shinier, and I seemed to need less conditioner. And it grew super fast, but I knew that was from all the extra growth hormones running around. I kind of figured most of the changes were from a) different climate in our first full summer in our new province and b) an extremely wet summer, at that.

But now I realize it was also thicker, and rich feeling. Rich, like a buttery, dense chocolate cake. I can say that, right? Without sounding super conceited? Because it's gone now, so it's not like I'm bragging about what it looks like now. Now it's flat, and deflated, and just plain brown. No chocolate. No butter. Just hair. And it's falling out, madly, everywhere. It's in Bean's diapers, and in his crib, and all over the floor, and in the drain. Always, always in the drain.

I hate cleaning the drain. I know we could use a little catcher thing, but then I'd just have to clean the damn thing every day, instead of every few months. Or weeks, as is the case now. It's a gross chore, and I pawn it off on Papa Bean as often as possible. He's pretty good about it. Especially during pregnancy (I got away with a lot during pregnancy) but, of course, I didn't need it much then, because I had the lustrous Uber-Hair of Gestation. Now, the drain needs cleaning all the time, and I can't use nausea as an excuse to get out of it.

Speaking of hair, Papa Bean is a wee bit neurotic about grey hair. He is petrified of them. I tell him they give character. He is not persuaded. I used to refuse to pull them out, and make him live with them, live with his character. And I wouldn't let him pull out my grey hairs, which I've been getting since I was in elementary school. I like my character. But now, I pull his out in exchange for drain cleaning. It's a good trade. Especially now that my pregnancy hair is gone. Down the drain. /sigh.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mama Bean is tired of using nursing aids

Nobody told me my nipples would be inappropriate. And I'm a little bitter about it. I didn't know they were too large, and too flat, and too not-what-babies-want-to-suck-on. I have a well endowed chest; my breasts have been womanly since high school. It wouldn't have been a huge jump of logic for someone involved in my prenatal care to determine my nipples might, likewise, be quite large. Don't get me wrong, I loved our prenatal care, and find almost zero fault with it. Just this one little thing, I think, could have been addressed.

Lactating is not the problem, was never going to be a problem. I started leaking months before Bean was born. Every time I snuggled with Papa Bean at bedtime, the abundant oxytocin would trigger let down all over his arm, or the sheets. Of course, this would have been a problem with using nipple shells in the last trimester, as they would have triggered leaking, and that might get embarrassing at work. But I didn't know nipple shields were an option, because I didn't know my nipples needed shaping, because nobody told me.

My large, flat nipples did not perk up when Bean tried to latch on. And he was all sleepy newborn, so it was hard to convince him to keep trying. The first 24 hours, we dutifully woke each three hours, unwrapped and undressed the little creature to wake him up, and tried, in vain, to encourage my nipples to harden enough to stick in his mouth and trigger a suck reflex. Papa Bean stumbled out to Toys 'R' Us to buy nipple shields, but his sleep Majesty couldn't muster the energy to suck on that, either. So then I'd hand express into a spoon and give him that. It was not enough.

In retrospect, I would have kept working the pump until I got the hang of it, to get enough colostrum into the spoon to make that first day and night less absolutely terrifying. In fact, I would have washed and sanitized the pumping and bottle equipment well before the due date. Well, I would have, if I'd known I was going to need it immediately. But I didn't know, as we've gone over, because nobody told me. I thought my enormous breasts were going to make breast feeding so easy. So wrong, was I.

Our midwife gave us an SNS system, which is a large plastic syringe with a long, tiny tube attached, instead of a needle. I pumped before every feeding, filled the syringe, threaded the tube into the nipple shield, and encouraged Bean to suck, while dripping the milk slowly through the shield into his tummy. I did not have enough hands to do this alone, so Papa Bean had to help me, every three hours, for the first week. I recorded meticulously how many mLs we did each time. Then I'd pump again, and boil water and clean everything up. It took an hour, plus diaper changing, rewrapping, and convincing the child to sleep. Then I'd get 90 minutes tops, to sleep until next time. We did this for a week. It was exhausting, obviously, but that's why they're the Delirious Early Days for everyone. I felt especially bad for Papa Bean. He wasn't getting any sleep either, because I couldn't feed Bean alone, so he couldn't function or support me the way he wanted with the house stuff. And he had to go back to work.

After a week, I gave up the SNS because I was sick of it. I let Bean just eat through the nipple shield. It was hard, because I couldn't tell anymore how many mLs he was drinking. I obsessively timed the feedings instead, recording how long he spent on each breast. He got the hang of it, thank goodness. And we've been feeding with the nipple shield ever since.

Bean is four months old now. It's not that we haven't made progress. He used to be very messy, sucking long enough to fill the shield, then pulling off, allowing a tablespoon of sticky milk to fall onto the feeding pillow. I still keep a receiving blanket under his head, just in case, and to wipe my nipple and his face off. And to keep track of which breast I fed on. And it used to take 45 minutes, but lately we're down to 20 for some daytime feedings. It's just that I'm tired of it. I'm tired of schlepping this piece of molded silicon from room to room (or place to place). I'm tired of being afraid that I can't feed him unless I have the precious thing - it's like a security blanket, but for my boob. Bean, however, is not tired of it. In fact, he does not recognize naked nipple as the actual anatomy from which the milk summons forth. They have been softened and shaped, or whatever, by his sucking, but they still don't get very hard or big, so they still don't reach far enough into his mouth to trigger sucking. It seems I'm stuck with the thing.

It does worry me for our next child, too. I know we can carry forward our lessons and skills, so it won't be quite so overwhelming and delirious. But I do suspect I will not escape the nursing aids next time. I just don't think my nipples are good enough. At least the milk comes out. At least we didn't give up. I am truly glad I can breastfeed him the sweet milky goodness all the lactivists and baby-pundits assure me is the best. So there's that. But I will be pleased when he's on solids and we can slowly get rid of this thing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mama Bean has never felt this vulnerable

It's a parenting paradox. At times, I feel incredibly strong internally, from this inner shining stone of Motherhood. But then, I feel incredibly vulnerable to external threats that didn't scare me nearly as much before.

The feeling of strength is bolstered by moments of competency and clarity in the otherwise constant confusion that is my life now. (Apparently, this confusion brings on fits of alliteration!) And also the fact that I am physically bigger and stronger than Bean. He is so small, and so dependent. I must carry and position him as he needs to be, giving a (usually fleeting) sense that I am exerting my Will against his Cute and Cry. And then also, this feeling that I must be strong now. Because he is small. Because I am Mom.

This was almost a mantra in the Delirious Early Days. Mama Bean, you must be strong now, for the Bean. You must be The Mama. The strong, strong Mama. And yet, in those early days, I was terrified of being left alone. Not (only) because I had no clue what to do with Bean, but because I felt utterly defenseless. How could I fight off an intruder while securing Bean's safety? If my arms are full of baby, how can they wield weapons or strike back against evil foes who would do us harm? At night, I would lay awake with eagle ears for any peep from Bean, and any creak from intruders. When I did sleep, I had nightmares about rapists. Not thieves, always rapists.

This has calmed somewhat since the Delirium has passed, but I still feel acutely and uniquely vulnerable in a way I did not before Bean. I am still hyper-vigilant about locking the doors, particularly if I'm home alone. My mind frequently plays out disaster scenes on a loop, like it's rehearsing how I must react in the highly unlikely case that these nightmares actually happen. And there is the paradox again, for in this rehearsal, I am superhu-mom. I resist attack and protect Bean with ease, and strength, and swift, swift violence. In fact, the more violent my resistance, the stronger I feel, and this helps me stop the mind-loop and get on with my day.

Anyway, this post is not meant to be alarming - I am not going crazy. For the most part, my rational, strong mom-brain overcomes the irrational, crazy vulnerability. If it didn't, I wouldn't be able to drive anywhere, with or without Bean, and I certainly wouldn't be able leave him and go to work. So, I report this not as something super maladaptive or compromising to my, y'know, daily functioning. It's just another paradox of parenting that has bemused me since this adventure started.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mama Bean posts links on Friday - February 5, 2010

- Seth Godin is great at devising intriguing and true-to-life categorizations of human behaviour. In Hunters and Farmers he describes the different thought patterns between Hunter-types and Farmer-types. He describes hunting as "long periods of distracted noticing interrupted by brief moments of frenzied panic." I lol'ed.

This may be just another way of looking at the type A/type B personality divide, but I think he offers good insight into what this means for each type in terms of teaching them, working with them, and marketing to them. For e.g. "Farmers don't dislike technology. They dislike failure. Technology that works is a boon." Being a risk-averse farmer-type, this captures why I didn't jump on cell phone technology; it didn't work for me, and now it's too complex for me to be anything but a failure at using it. When the design the simplest, most efficient and perfect mobile-whatever, I will be all over it. And please don't tell me that it's the iPad.

- Rethink College is a short video project from Langara College that encourages creatively pursuing your interests and passions and dreams outside the college box. At the time, I didn't think rethinking college was an option for me. But then, I didn't have this beautiful video to inspire me.

- Finally, I have discovered the treasure that is Her Bad Mother, and this is The Manifesto that hooked me. Well, that and her wit and charm. Plus she's Canadian. And our sons share a name. Her writing gets me all warm and fuzzy inside, with endless refrains of Thank-God-I'm-not-the-only-one ringing in my mind.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mama Bean counts her blessings for small victories in napping

Can I just gloat for a little bit? I kind of hate when moms gloat, on facebook or otherwise, but this is my blog, expressly created for discussing things I might not otherwise discuss on facebook, so I want to gloat.

Bean is a really good night sleeper. He started sleeping "through the night" when he was 7 weeks old, which means I feed him somewhere between 10 and 11 pm, and he sleeps until after 6 am. This was very convenient, as I went back to work when he was 7 weeks old, and getting sleep makes me better at being reasonably human-like, which helps with the being-competent-at-work part. Every other week we get an odd 2 or 3 am freak out, which I can't really complain about. Most days now he sleeps until 8 am, except the two days a week I start work early, and wake him up at 6 am, so I can finish a feeding before I have to leave.

Where we battle a little more is the daytime sleeping. It took awhile to figure out what Bean is like when he's tired (whiny, basically). And it took awhile to figure out how to get him to sleep (swaddle, soother, a few minutes in the glider). When we did "figure it out" I was pretty pleased. And Bean got better naps and seemed pleased about that, too.

But of course, I couldn't just stay pleased, because I have to obsess about what all the baby-pundits have to say, in particular, the stuff about letting your baby self-soothe, etc. I'm all stressed about the when-to-stop-swaddling issue, or the dependence-on-soother issue, or the don't-spoil-them-with-rocking issue. Apparently, it is very important for 3-month-old humans to process how to fall asleep by themselves, and who am I to argue with the baby-pundits?

The thing is, I really like rocking him to sleep, because he's only really cuddly when he's tired. And I like swaddling him, because a) he looks cute as a flannel burrito, and b) it works like magic, to calm him down and keep him sleeping longer. But, in an effort to be the best mom the baby-pundits have ever seen, I have been progressively letting go of the rocking - but not the swaddling! Let's not get crazy here!

So the small napping victories are three daytime naps, since yesterday, where I have put the Bean in his blanket, with a soother, and walked away, as his big brown eyes followed me out of the room. And he slept. Without rocking. This could all change by tomorrow, but for today, I gloat. And, as with most parenting-related gloating, it has nothing to do with me, or my amazingness. It's really all about Bean being the most darling, accomodating little cutie in the history of the world. Who naps without needing me... to rock his little burrito'ed self into slumber... sigh.

It's a victory, right?

ps- I'm not really that interested in being the best mama the baby-pundits have ever seen. It's just, I can't ignore them. I try, but they are maddeningly persuasive. It all sounds right, but they all disagree with each other, so then are they all wrong? I don't understand! Bean doesn't seem to care, but he doesn't have his mama's hang ups. Thank God.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mama Bean is blogging about boobs, so it must be TMI Tuesday

I conceived of this blog during the delerious first days of mamahood. I've kept a blog in one form or another for many years, so I knew I'd be using one to document the monumentalness of Bean's addition to our world. I am also pretty much addicted to facebook. It is often my primary means of staying in touch with family and friends. God bless the status update for helping us all keep track of the minutiae in each others' lives.

However, during those early weeks of mamahood, I noticed a distinct shift in what things I might update my status with. It seemed I was suddenly obsessed with my boobs. And poop. And pee. And I knew, even through the haze of sleep-deprivation and crashing hormone levels, that the majority of my friends didn't want to check their facebook, and be greeted with "Mama Bean's milk came in! Go, nipples, go!!" Because my friends, being normal people who don't have nursing babies and stitched-up vaginas, don't want to think about my nipples or my vagina during their morning coffee.

But I needed an outlet for this abundance (oh, the abundance of fluids alone...) of unsavory information. Hence, the idea for a blog where I could share my TMI (Too Much Information) without inflicting it on my facebook community. If someone doesn't want to think about my boobs or Bean's poop as much as I do (and I do think about it. A lot.) then they can just avoid my blog. But only on Tuesdays (because TMI Tuesday is catchy LOL), leaving all the other days of the week for innocuous posts about how cute it is when Bean, y'know, burps or blinks or... whatever, breathes. He really is just the cutest thing ever.

Anyway, today has actually been pretty uneventful on the boob front, so this post isn't actually very TMI, or even plain old MI. But stay tuned for next Tuesday! Who knows what diabolical fluid-related treats Bean will have prepared by then?