Are You There Sanity? It’s Me, Mom.

I’ve been on hiatus lately. It just seems like everything is moving at warp speed, and before I know it I haven’t written in months!

Things are changing, and they’re changing fast.

Our once happy, hungry, sound-sleeping little boy has taken a 180, and it’s really been quite disastrous. A month or two (or three?) ago he became a picky eater. Which I guess is fine since it’s mostly just during dinner. Maybe he’s tired from a long day at daycare, and they tell us he eats well when he’s there, so we cut him some slack. Anything to avoid another meltdown/more food thrown to the dog/floor than into his mouth.

And that’s just it. The meltdowns. We are picking our battles these days, and winning few of them. At 20 months, our son is well on his way to the “terrible twos.”

You gave me a yogurt when I clearly wanted oranges? SCREAM!

I am telling you I want to go outside, yet you are forcing me to put shoes on? SCREAM! CRY!

I want to throw my toys into the trash bin, and you say I can’t? SCREAM! CRY! BANG HEAD ON FLOOR!

I’m sorry, sweetheart. How awful of me to not yet understand all of your toddler speak, be a mind reader, or want you to get hurt. Clearly you know what is best for you better than I!

And then there’s bedtime. The time my husband and I both dread the most. We had a good routine: bath, stories, a quick cuddle/song, and into bed still awake. He would fall asleep on his own a short time later. No screaming, no crying, maybe just a little whine and off he went.

These days? You would think his crib was actually a tank filled with sharp objects or electric wires! Any motion towards the thing and he screams bloody murder until you leave the room with him. It takes multiple attempts and tactics to calm him down enough to get back into his bedroom, where we then have to rock him and sing to him until he is FULLY asleep before placing him in his crib. If he is the slightest bit awake and you try to put him in there, FORGET IT! Back to square one.

Don’t even think about letting him cry it out. He is far too big for that. He will scream and cry at the top of his lungs and then climb, head first, right out of the crib and onto the floor, where he will scream some more. It is exhausting, and there’s no telling what kind of night it will be. His normal bedtime used to be around 7:30-8pm, and now we’re lucky if he is asleep by 9. There have been a couple nights where he didn’t fall asleep/calm down until almost 11. Just recently he’s been up in the middle of the night too, suddenly realizing he is trapped in the shark tank and must escape!

So yes, I realize it may be time for the toddler bed, as this has been going on for over a week. It’s just that the internet has told me it’s best to wait until a child is closer to 3 years old, so I needed validation (from everyone else besides Google) that it is, in fact, time to make the move.

Today is Wednesday, and we are going to wait until Friday to go for it. While this may mean a couple more nights of rocking and consoling, it also might mean a couple less nights of getting out of bed multiple times, as I have heard the first few nights in a new bed can be a challenge. It also gives us a couple more days to finish baby-proofing.

Again, things are changing. They always are. Just when you think you’re mastering the parenting game, something new comes along to put you back on the amateur train.

It’s stressful, and it’s tiring, and it’s a hard dose of reality, but we’ll get there. Luckily we aren’t the first people on earth to get thrown into the realms of parenthood, and there’s plenty of advice (warranted or not) and encouragement out there.

I’ll be sure to give an update on how the bed transition goes, and please feel free to share your stories of head-banging reality checks with everyone willing to listen. We all need to hear it. I mostly get by these days with reading blog posts and web forums of other moms going through exactly what I am, so I hope this post is of some help to someone out there. Heck, it may even make some moms think “wow, at least my kid isn’t that bad off!” and to you I say, piss off! 🙂

bad M

The Skinny

Since I had my baby 6 months ago, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’m talking more than baby weight. I now weight less than I did before I got pregnant. I know you’re probably thinking lucky you! or bitch. But it really isn’t all that great. I’m concerned.

My pants no longer fit. I look stupid in clothes. I have no ass, making it uncomfortable to sit down. I’m always tired and always hungry. And, as I posted before, can’t run very far anymore.

So I went to the doctor. I thought it was just from breast feeding/pumping, and that my baby was just taking all of my nutrients. I also figured I was just tired all the time because my baby still gets me up at least once a night. Well as it turns out, I most likely have hyperthyroidism. Which explains the weight loss, the tiredness, and the inability to run more than a single mile. Basically my thyroid is overactive, making my metabolism super fast and I have too much (or is it too little?) thyroid stimulating hormone, or TSH.

I am scheduled to see an endocrinologist, but I couldn’t get an appointment until mid-August–on my birthday. What fun! Until then, I guess I shouldn’t run, which sucks because I’m set to run a half marathon in October.

I did some research, and it turns out that this is common after pregnancy, and it could turn into hypothyroidism (basically the opposite) and then clear up on its own. I’m bittersweet about this find because a) I don’t want to gain a lot of weight, and b) I would be happy if it cleared up on its own, preferably soon.

So I guess I just have to wait and see. I should also probably stay off the internet, too, because now I think I might have cancer/am dying. My friend is going through the same thing, so I’m going to tell her to see her doctor. If you are going through something similar, I suggest you do too. Better safe than sorry!

Tips for Traveling Without Baby While Breastfeeding

This past week I went to Detroit for 3 days and 2 nights on business (glamorous, I know). I was super nervous about being away from my 5 month old baby and having to pump and store all my milk plus take it on a plane.

Here are some things I learned that might help if you have to be away from your baby while traveling:

1. Call the hotel and request a refrigerator and make sure you tell them it’s for breast milk (if there won’t already be one in the room). I did call the hotel 2 days before I left and requested a refrigerator. The woman on the phone told me it shouldn’t be a problem. Upon arrival at the hotel, no refrigerators. They told me they would bring one to my room as soon as one became available. Great. I called the front desk 3 times that day and never got one. Finally the next morning I called again, still nothing. I went to the front desk and told the woman I needed it for breast milk and to please let me know when one was available. I ended up getting one about an hour later. I think because I finally told them what it was for they realized my dilemma. I was keeping my pumped milk in a cooler with ice, but ended up throwing away 33 oz because it was in the cooler overnight and I didn’t think it was fresh. Bottom line, tell them what you need the refrigerator for!

2. Bring a cooler as a carry on. You are now allowed to bring breast milk on an airplane without having to worry about the 3 oz rule. I ended up with about 80 oz and had no problem getting through security. I did bring ice packs with me that I kept in the hotel freezer. Breast milk is fine in a cooler with ice packs for up to 24 hours. I also asked if the people at Caribou Coffee could fill my cooler with ice once I got through security and they kindly obliged. I carried on my cooler and my breast pump. You can carry on a breast pump and it does not count as a carry on because it is considered a medical device. Also, the cooler not only kept my milk fresh, but it kept my travel beverage cold too, bonus!

3. Get a battery pack. If your pump does not have one already, I would recommend getting a battery pack for those times at the airport, convention center, wherever that there isn’t a private room with an outlet. This brings me to my next tip.

4. Have no shame. It would be nice if every place had a clean family bathroom or private room specifically for nursing mothers, but unfortunately this is almost never the case. I ended up having to pump at the airport in a dirty family bathroom next to a used needle dispenser in Detroit that smelled like 10 people took a shit in it. I also had to pump in the regular women’s bathroom in a stall while sitting on the toilet because the family bathroom was occupied and I didn’t have time to wait or I’d miss my flight (I had already waited 10 mins and no one came out of the locked room). Luckily the stall had a broken lock. I know you’re thinking um, why was this a good thing? Because it might not be as dirty as the other stalls because women might have used the ones with locks over this one (at least this is what I told myself). I was able to keep the door closed by hanging my heavy cooler behind the door.

5. Don’t stress out. I was very nervous about a) having a place to pump when needed, b) carrying on breast milk without issues, c) having a place to store my expressed milk, and d) being away from my baby for the first time. As long as you aren’t afraid to ask questions (Is there a family bathroom here? Can you keep my ice packs in your freezer?) and can relax enough for let down, you will be fine. I wasn’t relaxed until I made it through security on the return flight, but now that I know what I know, my next trip (which hopefully won’t happen for a while, and preferably when I’m done nursing ) will be a piece of cake!

I hope you find these tips helpful for your next trip away from baby. Feel free to post in the comments anything I missed or if you have questions!

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