Breastfeeding: A Little Man Education

You know how bath/shower time isn’t exactly a private affair when you have kids? Well, my household is no exception to that rule. I was attempting to take a nice, hot bath last week when Little Man made his entrance.

He started talking about Pokemon while I covered up as best as I could, which wasn’t good enough, I guess, since he interrupted himself with, “By the way, Mom, can you believe that Cole thinks he has boobies? He’s a boy and he thinks he has boobies!”

“Um.” I tried to think really quick…I knew that men can get breast cancer, so there is tissue or whatever…but then I realized there is no way that is what a second grade boy is referring to.

Little Man continued. “I told him he does not have boobies and only women get them. I told him that he will never have boobies, but my little sister will one day when she becomes a woman. And then she’ll be able to feed her babies or maybe attach a pump to herself and get the milk out, put it in a bottle, and then feed her baby. Or give it to her husband to feed the baby. And do you know what he said?”

Boy. He didn’t miss a thing when I was pumping. “What?”

“He looked at me, made a face, and said, ‘Little Man, that’s so weird!’ Can you believe that?”

Before I could respond, Little Man said, “And I told him, ‘Cole, you are the one who thinks boys have boobies. And you are the one who thinks it’s weird to feed a baby their milk. That’s what’s weird. Mom, can you believe that he thinks I’m the weird one when he acted all grossed out over a little tiny baby eating their food?”

“Well. You know, some families don’t really talk about where a baby’s food comes from. It’s private thing, I guess. And a lot of families just use formula. We used formula with you and mostly formula with Baby Girl. So, you know, he probably didn’t know, but now hopefully he does.”

I wonder when I’ll get that call from a concerned parent who doesn’t like the lactation information their kid came home with. At any rate, the people in charge of the campaign to normalize public breastfeeding have found their champion.


So Much To Come

Several weeks ago, my computer crashed. This happened shortly after giving in to those constant reminders that I needed to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10. Coincidence? Maybe. Or it could just have been that the computer was five years old.

While my husband Sam and I both can usually handle anything that goes wrong with our computers, neither of us were able to do anything this time, as the hard drive had failed. Fortunately, Sam’s friend was able to retrieve all of our documents, photos, and videos. We had pictures from back when I was in college all the way to this past Christmas. Words cannot express how grateful I was that the friend was able to take care of this for us. (If you haven’t already bought an external hard drive and back up your data regularly, you should do so!)

Since our Mac Mini arrived, I’ve been copying over all the files from the external drive and organizing things into folders, which has made for one interesting trip down memory lane. There has been laughter, tears, and a lot of “what the heck was I thinking?!” moments.


Remember how just a few wine coolers were enough for Girls Weekend? That’s quite the drop off from my college days. I came across this photo from a little party Sam and I had in our first apartment when I was a senior and was surprised at how much booze we had on hand.


(That’s not the right date, in case you’re wondering, as that would be just a month after LM was born.)

After the party pictures, I found photos from our wedding and honeymoon. Most were of the typical wedding and honeymoon fare, but a few others were more…interesting. There’s one picture of me with my bridesmaids, one of whom is holding a knife, while another is sewing up a button that came off the back of my dress before the ceremony. Yet another photo shows my sister wearing a huge t-shirt at the reception instead of her dress, and one from the honeymoon shows me red-faced and walking like Frankenstein, as the resort was all-inclusive and I was able to drink to my then lush heart’s content.

Next are pictures of our first home, which we had signed the papers for before tying the knot. Each room has a different theme, including the infamous Irish bathroom with the bright green paint that glowed in the dark. Thanks, Sam.


The realtor was appalled with this and encouraged us to paint immediately.

There were also lesson plans galore. There were units on The Diary of Anne Frank, The Watsons Go To Birminghman, and Romeo and Juliet, to name a few. There were some plans that I don’t remember teaching. One Excel file contained grades for all of my 70-odd students.

Little Man.

I found documents where I tracked all sorts of stuff with Little Man, from how often/how much he ate to the words he knew. One of his earliest words was “No,” and the last thing I recorded was the sentence, “Put your shoes on, Mama.” He was the same age as Baby Girl (20 months) when I entered that sentence. Two things: I don’t remember him calling me “Mama” (sniffle) and he was hella verbal.

There was Little Man’s first birthday, first Halloween, and first Christmas. Then came pictures of him on his first day at preschool. There were a few pictures of him sporting a black cast on his arm when he broke it shortly after his third birthday. And, oh, the vacations. That sweet, smiling face building sandcastles and karate chopping waves. Pictures of him on his first soccer and t-ball teams appeared eventually. After going through more folders, I found a picture of him on his first day of kindergarten. Less than two months after that day, we would find out that he would be a big brother.


Littered among the pictures and lesson plans were copies of my earliest articles as a freelance writer. Wanna know the topic of my first piece of paid writing? Newborn bowel movements, which makes sense, considering some of the things I tracked with Little Man. Everyone starts (and apparently stalls) somewhere, so thank God for pseudonyms! Finding screenshots of some sports articles that were published on Yahoo was nice, though.

While I’m on writing, there were so many short stories and novel attempts. Many of the novel attempts were, from my estimation, halfway finished. I also came across business plans for the consignment store I started and ran for a year before selling it. I was obsessed with planning and, like with the novel attempts, would stay up for days planning down to the tiniest detail, but after I opened it, the wind was taken out of my sails and I eventually loathed going to my store and sold it.

There were also many, many diet plans, meal plans, and exercise plans. We know what that worked out. Between the stories, the business, and the dieting, I’ve come to that conclusion that I’m not much for sticking with things apart from my little family.


Ah, the house plans. Before we bought our current house, one of Sam’s favorite things to do was come up with plans for a house he wanted us to build. Some of the houses would have been amazeballs, and others were just awful, like the one that had my tiny office/writing area off the back of a walk-in closet. Those were fun times, though, planning for what we wanted to be the place where we’d likely spend most of the rest of our lives.

I also came across songs Sam had written. Some files were simply lyrics, but others were recordings of Sam playing the guitar and singing the songs he had written. I may be biased, but some of the songs were among the best I’ve ever heard.

There were also videos of my husband portraying a character we created. The character was a redneck who praised all things Sarah Palin and had a profound hatred for hippies, Obama, and Tina Fey. There were a few videos of him singing songs in character. Another document I came across held song lyrics we wrote that were inspired by quotes from the movie Sling Blade. (Back before we became Netflix zombies, one of our favorite things to do when we had alone time was create funny stuff together.) I also found the folder with videos of him singing these songs, as well.

Baby Girl.

Finally photos of Baby Girl came around. These were more organized than a lot of the other files, since Sam set up imports to go into monthly folders. There was one video Sam took shortly before I had the C-section where the doctor was trying to check on things and Sam asked me how I felt. Since I couldn’t sleep more than a couple hours that night (and we had to be at the hospital at 5AM), I was pretty grouchy and told him to put the damn camera away, much to Sam and the doctor’s amusement. And then came photos shortly after she was born, the day she came home, the first time she sat up on her own, her first Christmas, and her first birthday.

And that brings me to now. So much has changed. More than one-third of my life is on that drive — and all of my kids’ lives and much of Sam’s. There are no more lesson plans or photos of ridiculous parties now (not ones of that caliber, anyway). And no more first birthdays and first steps will be saved on a computer we own. But there is still so much to come.

It Only Took A Year

Almost a year ago, I made one of my first posts on this blog about one of the difficulties of baby-rearing — cutting fingernails.

Between being scared that I’d slice off the three-month-old Baby Girl’s finger with her moving all over when awake and keeping her fists tightly clenched when asleep, it was just no good.

And guess what? In the year that followed, despite getting fingernail clippers that had a magnifying glass on them, it continued to be no good.

A couple months ago, I had to hold Baby Girl down yet again while she was kicking and screaming to trim her little talons. This is the most fuss she makes over anything, including shots.

A couple weeks ago, I held her upside down while playing a game that made her giggle and was able to trim three fingernails. This was not easy, but the main ones she used to claw me with were gone. Progress!

And then today, it happened–I sat BG in my lap and trimmed every single fingernail on that 15-month-old’s tiny hand. Without her screaming.


I fucking did it. Even though my fingers that held hers steady while trimming her nails had to be washed because they felt very grimy afterwards, I’m now winning parenthood a little. And nope, I’m not giving away my secret, because if I had to go through baby fingernail hell for a year, you can, too.

I feel like I deserve a medal. Or at least a bunch of drinks held up in a toast in my honor. And then poured down my throat. (Just no Fireball.)

giphy (13)

Now you know my major accomplishment for the week–what’s yours?

My Husband the Snot Czar

My husband has appointed himself the Snot Czar of our household. This means that not only does he handle his own snot and help with Baby Girl’s (she’s a baby, so he gets a pass on that), he also attempts to take it upon himself to deal with Little Man’s and mine.

Yes, mine. I’m a 31-year-old sort of adult, and my husband thinks it’s his job to clear my nasal passages.

You’re probably thinking, “Ew” and maybe even “Well, at least he cares,” but here’s how he deals with that. Instead of running the dehumidifier or cool mist sprayer, whichever of those is meant for helping with congestion, instead of giving me Mucinex or nasal spray, he would break out the bulb-style nasal aspirator.


Modern-day torture device

The first time he offered, I thought, Why not? He uses it on Little Man (a baby at the time) and it works. How nice that he’d go that far to help me feel better. I wouldn’t do it for him.

Here’s why not: it’s what I imagine it would feel like if the zombies tried to suck out my brain through my nose during the apocalypse. Instead of just sticking the tip in and suctioning a bit out, he rammed the thing up there as far as he could and I’m pretty sure he came within a millimeter or two of puncturing my brain. (That’s what she said! That’s what she said!)

It didn’t work. He insisted that I just needed to be still, stop acting like a child and squirming around, and let him do his thing.

Uh, no. This is worse than a 10-second hug from a stranger! “No, I’ll just wait and let things clear up on their own.”

It’s all fun and games until your husband chases you throughout the house, determined to use this godawful suction thing on you in an attempt to help clear up some of the crud from the monthly sinus infection.

Fast forward a few years (and a couple dozen more attempts to force the nasal suction thing on me) and we have Baby Girl. I was part of this mommy board, which I have since left, and it was recommended to use this wonderful, relatively expensive (as in I paid $30 for the device and filters compared to $2 for the bulb at CVS), non-invasive nasal suction device called the NoseFrida.

Nosefrida The Snotsucker, the doctor developed and doctor recommended nasal aspirator is the new standard in keeping babies naturally snot free. Ingeniously simple Swedish design features a tube that is placed against the nostril (not inside). Parents use their own suction to draw mucus out of their child’s nose. Disposable filters prevent any bacterial transfer. Nosefrida is easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and BPA and Phthalate free. It is superior to the bu pound aspirator, presents no risk or harm to internal nasal structures and is dramatically more efficacious.

Not as cute as it looks.

Don’t get distracted by the cute picture on the box. You see what the mom is doing there? She is gently removing snot by putting part of the contraption against the kid’s nose and putting the other end of the contraption in her mouth and sucking. She is literally sucking the snot out of her kid’s nose. With her mouth. Thanks to a nifty filter, you supposedly don’t get said snot in your mouth.

Since BG hated the suction bulb, I decided to purchase one of these. I gave it a try on the little one once and nearly threw up, so now Sam is the designated Snot Sucker user. Which he’s fine with, because Snot Czar.

See the happy baby whose mom is using the Snot Sucker on her below? That isn’t Baby Girl.


Not me. Not my child.

My child is not happy to have this contraption used on her. She doesn’t care about the extra money, the advanced snot-sucking technology, it being cleaner, or being less invasive. She hates the thing.

This does not deter our Snot Czar from using it, though. And he’s proud of it. When he took BG to the doctor when she was sick and the doc suggested he use the bulb to suction her out, he boasted that he doesn’t use those. He uses a Swedish, BPA-free NoseFrida to remove snot.

He said the doc looked rather horrified and said, “That thing you put in your mouth? You use that?”

Hell yeah he does. If he were to ever get a tattoo, I’m pretty sure he’d get the NoseFrida tattooed on his bicep. He is proud of that thing. (And I checked Google Images–no one has a NoseFrida tattoo yet that I can find, so he’d be the first!)

And not only does he use it on BG, he also tries to make Little Man and me use it. Little Man cried as much as BG when Sam tried to use it when he had a cold last week. I threatened to strangle him with it if he went near me. Leave us alone and let us be sick or you’ll become an embarrassing headline!

Here’s a rather entertaining video of some dads talking about the NoseFrida.


I Hate Baby Books

And this is why I really have to stop at two kids. There is no way on God’s green earth that I’d somewhat fill out a baby book enough for Kid 3 not to feel like he got the short end of the stick.

(Yes, he–Little Harley. Or Bennett. Or Oliver. Or Thomas.)

If you had to give me the choice between filing my family’s taxes and filling out a baby book, I’d choose taxes every time.

Since I have a few hours to myself tonight–my husband is taking the kids out for dinner and playtime–I thought I’d fill in some details on Baby Girl’s baby book. She is 8 months old now, after all. As I flipped through it, I realized that I hadn’t listed any further details/entries since August.


I logged onto her online medical record and went through her old visit records to get info such as weight, head circumference, and length. Then I utilized the search function on the text messages on my phone to find out other info, such as when she first rolled over and cut her first tooth. I’ll have to go through my Facebook archive from my old page that I downloaded to get more stuff.

Then there is really random stuff that I have no idea how to answer. Like “The first toy I grasped was…” and “I blew my first raspberry on…” and “My first word was…” Just kidding about the last one.

I’m not sure that some of my entries are really what the baby book making people had in mind. Like this one:

And I now understand why my personal baby book didn’t have anything in it past the two-month doctor’s appointment. Who has time for that shit?*

For the record, I checked Little Man’s baby book tonight to see how I had done with his. His was lacking in just as much detail as BG’s. So there, it’s not just BG that I get the crappy mom award with. 😉

I’ll probably set an entire day aside soon and print out pictures for BG’s and fill out the rest of LM’s as best as I can. And then, after BG’s first birthday, once I’ve finished hers, I’ll hide them for 20 years, that way when I find them when I get old, I won’t remember what shit I made up and what was real anyway.

*Do not tell me that you worked 60 hours per week while nursing triplets full time and still managed to utilize 395 Pinterest Baby Book projects to get yours done in a timely fashion.