Friday, April 30, 2010

Hands expression in the office

For the longest time, I've been used to the ease and somewhat relaxing experience I get when I express milk in the office due to my electric double pump. I'd do some breast compressions when I see that the milk flow is dwindling down to help empty my breasts before I switch the pump off.

However, earlier, my husband forgot to pack the flanges/horns of my pump! I only realized that they were left at home when it was time for my pumping break. I didn't know what to do. It's the end of the month and there are a lot of transactions that I couldn't just up and leave to get the horns at home. So, in the end, I did manual (hand) expressions for my morning pumping session. It was tiring for my hands as I was already used to browsing the internet or read messages on my phone when I do my sessions. So it was with a bit of reluctance and bitterness (because I blame my husband for having left the horns at home. hee) that I proceeded to express.

I started out slowly, trying out the various techniques on hand expression that I've almost forgotten since getting and using my electric pump. It was quite uncomfortable as I was bent on my waist, one hand holding the narrow-necked bottle, the other expressing and massaging my breast. It was quite funny as I was thinking earlier that this must be what the cows feel like when they're being milked manually.

In the end, I managed to produce 140ml from both breasts, given that I was becoming lazy towards the end, plus, I wasn't sure exactly how long I was expressing on each breast. Overall. I'm very happy with the outcome.

Come lunch break, I sped off towards home and got the flanges. Thank goodness home is very near the office.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My journey to cloth-diapering my baby full-time

I'm proud to say that for almost 3 weeks now, my baby is almost a full-time cloth-diapered baby.

Since I was pregnant, I've been looking for ways to cut down the expensive baby costs involved in having a baby, namely: diapers and milk. The milk costs is easy to solve: breastfeed. And then, I've found cloth diapers in the internet and tried finding them in the malls. However, I couldn't find a single one! That is, until my Line Manager gave me 2 dozens of Chino Pino hybrid fitted diapers. It's like a fitted diaper, that is now becoming increasingly popular in the US and other parts of the world (and which, I wonder why it's not becoming popular here when it's very economical in the long run), because it is sewed and looks like a disposable and it has velcros for closure BUT it's actually just a prefold made, or rather, shaped nicer.

We made do with those cloth diapers without a cover (because I didn't know there's such at the time). And then I learned about it and bought one. Well. My baby outgrew it quite fast plus, it does get wet after a few pees. At this time, Jack-Jack uses disposables at night at when we go out. It's still cheaper this way and I didn't think it'd be possible to fully cloth diaper a baby.

Fast-forward to around a month or so ago. Like I said in this post about going hippie, I'm slowly becoming more eco-conscious and cloth diapering is the way to go if I want to lessen the trash going into our landfills that cannot be decomposed naturally. But it's kinda bulky if you think about it. Until I went and read again the description of the Thirsties Fab Fitteds in Pinoy Baby Store. I became curious. Thru there, I also found out about cloth diapering options at night! After a few discussions with Rowie on my options, I was bought. I bought two Kissaluvs Organic Fitted and one Thirsties Diaper Cover for night-time use. So now, not only does Jack-Jack wears cloth diapers (the Chino Pinos, still) during the day, he also uses cloth diapers at night.

After this, I researched more on the various choices available in the US thru online stores. And after a few discussions (especially regarding costs), and learning about a way to buy stuff online and ship them here in the Philippines cheaper, I went ahead and bought from Nicki's Diapers a few others to add to my cloth diapers stash. I received them yesterday and I'm ecstatic to use them. I now have six other fitteds (four Thirsties Fab Fitted and two DreamEze Organic Fitteds), three Thirsties Duo Wraps, plus Bummis reusable fleece liners for a stay-dry feel for my Kissas and DreamEze's. These would be used when we're out but... I'm going to test-drive them first if they'd really fit inside my baby's clothes at home. Hee. I can't wait! And I can't wait to buy some more... :D

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My itty-bitty baby is now a big cutie baby

I remember when Jack-Jack was still in my tummy. He was squirmy during the night and likes to surprise me during the day. And now that he's out and learning to crawl (which, makes me think that it's true what they say, their personalities stay, whether they're inside your womb or out), he gotten bigger... and heavier... and cuter!

He has gone thru a lot of changes during the last seven months. From being a tiny newbrown, to a darker infant, to a whiter (or lighter in complexion) baby.

Here are pictures of his stages...

[Newborn... night he was born.]

[October 17, 2009]

[November 2, 2009]


[December 12, 2009]


[January 22, 2010]


[February 12, 2010]


[March 27, 2010]


[April 10, 2010]


He can now roll on both sides, do push-ups, sit up unassisted for a period of time (that is, until he sees something interesting on the floor/mat/bed) and worm his way to whatever he wants to reach. Yes, worm. because he can't crawl on all-fours yet. He just... wiggles his way, but up first then followed by his upper torso. It's cute. :) And, oh! He babbles a lot now. I can't wait for our Baby Lingo workshop so I'd at least have an idea on how he can communicate what he wants.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's our anniversary today!

And what better way to count down to 12MN earlier was to bang the doorknob of our toilet with a hammer to get my husband out. Haha. :)

J got stuck inside our bathroom. The doorknob gave out on him and I woke up to the sounds of knocking and door-pushing last night. We tried salvaging the doorknob but in the end, we had to destroy it. I woke up at around 11:15PM and he got out at around 12:15AM.

Happy Anniversary, love! I'd get you out of the toilet anytime. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

I just realized

That I hate stag parties. I mean, seriously. When my husband, fiancé then, had his, I got very upset and had major issues after seeing some pictures. I mean, I know my husband actually hasn't gone to those girly bars as he doesn't really like them but seeing those pictures...

And now, he held one for his brother who's getting married next month. We haven't really talked about what happened that night and I haven't seen any pictures but... Ngrrr. I want him to tell me about it. I want to see some pictures. And most of all, I want to be reassured, again.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sleeping through the night and Co-sleeping

I confess: I was bought by the "establish a night-time routine to help babies sleep longer" marketing and the sleeping-through-the-night mojos I keep reading about. But, it was because of the studies that accompanied it that a lot of a baby's development happens during nighttime sleep.

And so we began to establish a bedtime routine. We bathe him, or rinse rather with lavender-scented bath salt, massage, then nurse to sleep. The result? Well. We got to sleep earlier, too, or rather, I did, since J would often stay in the living room and use the computer then come up after a half-hour or so and I would usually drift off to lala-land while my baby nurses. And Jack-Jack? He would sleep through the night on some nights, on other nights... Not so much. He'd sleep for 4-5 hours straight, then 3, then 2, and then 1. Sometimes 4, then 3, then 3. There's no specific range on just how many hours he sleeps per stretch. And I often wonder, if my baby sleeps enough, if we're doing right by starting his bedtime routine at around 8-8:30PM or it should be earlier so he'd sleep longer...

I work full-time outside the home and I usually am able to get home at around 6:30-7PM. And as much as I want to take him to bed and let him sleep earlier, say, around 7:30PM at the latest, I couldn't. Why? I'm selfish. I want to be the one who helps him go to sleep. I want to be there for his nighttime wash, especially now that it's summer here. I want to be the last person he sees before he closes his eyes.

And so here comes my problem: I've been wanting to push his bedtime routine earlier so that he'd get more sleep and hopefully sleep through the night more (especially when I heard J's cousin's baby, who's a month younger than Jack-Jack, sleeping through the night, sleeping at around 6:30PM and then waking up at 5:30AM, of which I was jealous envious is the right term actually unless I heard it wrong since my babysitter told me that the baby feeds more during the night so maybe, although the baby doesn't fully wake up at night, she still does wake up during the night) but I couldn't implement it because of my working hours (which is 8:30AM to 5:30PM). I was also a bit worried since he nurses a lot during the night, especially since he usually stirs up after about an hour after his first nighttime nursing to nurse again. And because of this, I was constantly bugging J that we have to go home early when we're out with the baby, that we eat at this time so Jack-Jack can do his routine already, etc.

I mean, we know our lives would change once we have a baby and well... I didn't realize it would be such a big change. We can't hang out with our friends too late into the night anymore without me lugging my pump. I can't drink too much alcohol else it'd pass to my milk and I don't even want to think of the consequences of alcohol entering my baby's young system. I quit smoking (well yes, I already did while I was pregnant but I actually do miss it). Date nights are out of the question (but lunch dates are very much welcome). Movie nights are seldom and it's always "we have to get home by 8!" so it's always a weekend movie and lunch time kind of thing. Creativity in lovemaking takes a whole new meaning (since Jack-Jack is just a few inches away from us... ha!). My patience is being tested daily by my baby since he learned how to roll over and grab and reach for things every diaper change, bath time, clothes changing time...

I was beginning to worry if my baby gets enough sleep even if we're not starting his bedtime routine at around 7PM. He sleeps during the day, too, and when we're out, I'm careful to let him sleep on me when I sense that he's already sleepy even if we're not yet home and not able to do our routine. He'd sleep on my chest, in my arms, and then when we get home and he's still asleep, I won't put him in his playpen. I'd sit down and let him continue his sleep in my arms. And when he wakes up, we change his clothes and off we go to our bedroom.

It's worrisome. This counting of sleep. And thinking if the advantage of co-sleeping that I'd be able to nurse him when he needs to without really standing up (just going to the other side of the bed so he could properly latch on my breast) is hindering his development. I'm easily worried when it comes to Jack-Jack especially when I hear things about other babies that follow the "studies" I read even when I feel that he's actually doing ok and that there's nothing to worry. I mean, he's a happy baby! He barely cries and it's usually when he's hungry I missed his signal or when he's overtired or when his nappy needs a change. So I was so happy when I read this post in AP. And it eased my worry.

I then started searching for more reassurances that what I feel is right and I saw a lot from Kellymom.com. So if you're also worried, read up:

  • Sleep

  • Sleep Studies

  • Comfort Nursing

  • Family Bed

    Happy reading. And... Don't worry. Follow your instincts. More often than not, they're right.
  • Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Pumping mama exposed!

    I was in the clinic for my first pumping session. The curtains were closed and my electric pump was humming away. I heard someone open the ref and got some ice. He was being noisy. And then, after a while, he tried to open the curtains where it was secured by two clips! I was shocked. When he wasn't able to open it, he started to pull the curtain at my right which was hanging near the wall! He almost opened it fully when I muttered a protest. He then quickly told me, "Ohmygosh! Sorry, sister! I thought someone was moaning and I was pretty scared so I sought the source of the sound. Don't worry, I didn't see a thing." I just said it was ok, trying not to laugh. Yes. He was gay. So even if he did see me, it was ok. Besides which, my breast has been exposed lots of times already I don't really mind now.

    To recall on how the pumping area in our office looks like, read my previous post with pictures here.

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    How much carbon dioxide does my blog create?

    That's the subject of an email I received a few days ago. Now, I do wonder since a computer (and all its other brothers like the mainframes where sites [like a blog] are hosted, the cooling systems, etc) uses energy and emits CO2. And the carbon it emits is adding up to the change in global temperature.

    So anyway, Christin, the one who emailed me, is part of the "Make it Green!" group and as part of the group's initiative, one of their activities is to raise awareness of how internet usage contributes to carbon emissions worldwide. And so to neutralise the emissions, they've created the "My blog is carbon neutral" buttons so bloggers can demonstrate that they care about the environment and the carbon footprint of their blogs. With each button/blog, they'd be planting a tree in the Plumas National Forest in Northern California during Arbor Day. For more information on their initiative, click here.

    For now, I'll submit this post and have my blog's tree planted.