Friday, July 31, 2009

How to Apologize

(a lost art in our society?)

Here's what not to do: don't apologize, while simultaneously rejecting responsibility. Do not say. "I'm sorry about that.... of course, it's not MY fault." For one thing, if you have nothing to do with it, why are you in the position of having to apologize in the first place? Think about that, it doesn't make sense. Second, whomever you are apologizing to likely doesn't care whose fault it is.

I've had this happen twice recently. The first time was upon being discharged from the hospital, following Robert's birth. Now, maybe Don and I did something wrong, didn't follow some un-written procedure, I don't know; I have never been admitted to a hospital before. But somehow, we managed to leave without getting any of the prescriptions my OB had written for me. (I had a lot, because the birth was pretty complicated: an antibiotic, a stool softener, prescription-strength ibuprofen, and Percocet.) I didn't think about it until later, but we were returning to the hospital every two hours anyway, so that I could breastfeed Robert*, so when I saw my OB behind the nurses' station, I said, "You know, I never got those scrips you wrote, could I have them now?" (Basically the only one I really wanted was the stool softener, because I didn't realize it was the same as the over-the-counter ones. I didn't think I needed the abx, and definitely wasn't going to be taking the painkillers.) Oy, the drama that then ensued. Apparently, Percocet is a controlled substance, and now they had a prescription for it floating around loose somewhere. He could only re-write the other ones. He apologized for the inconvenience, but said, very definitely, that this was "not his fault". OK, one, obviously it's at least partly his fault. Otherwise, see above: why are we having this conversation**? Second, I am standing here in the hospital, exhausted, in tremendous pain, an emotional wreck because my baby can't come home with me. I DON'T CARE whose fault it is, do I? I just want the meds I'm supposed to take. If I'd actually wanted the perc, I'd probably have thrown a fit right then and there.

Anyway, I'd more or less put that incident out of my mind, until dinner the other night. Don and I went to Chili's, and got some pretty terrible service. Not that I expect much from Chili's and its peers in terms of service, but still. Right now they have a "two for $20" deal, in which two people can share an appetizer and a dessert, and each get an "entre", for twenty bucks. Not a bad deal at all. So we ordered our appetizer and meals, and waited. And waited. Our cheese fries were very slow in coming, and we were getting antsy because Robert was awake and getting fussy. Then our meals arrive, still with no appetizer. We ask the girl who brought our dinners (not our server) about it. Before she returns, our server shows up (for the first time since she took our order) with the cheese fries. "Sorry about that, but somebody should have ran these out to you a long time ago", she said. No, YOU should have "run them out" before. I don't care what Chili's policy is about food running***, YOU are our server. Don't put this off on the rest of the staff, and by the way, thanks for the implication that these have been sitting under the warmer lights for the last fifteen minutes. I mean, it's going to be obvious as soon as we try them, anyway, but it's a visual I didn't really need. For whatever it's worth, it's Wednesday night, after nine oclock. The place is not exactly hopping. If she had come by our table at some point after taking our order (maybe to refill our iced teas, since we were sucking on the ice cubes?), she may have noticed that we had no app yet, and gone to check on the kitchen's progress.

What's the point of apologizing-- the very act of taking responsibility for something-- and simultaneously trying to distance oneself from it? It just doesn't work. Be big enough to apologize graciously, whether you think it's "your fault" or not. If something is genuinely out of your hands, whomever you are apologizing to will probably, grudgingly, realize this. They may even say so. I had that happen at the bank a lot; somebody's account would be frozen, or they'd have fraud, or be hit with a gazillion fees, and I would have to apologize as I tried to sort out their problems. I never said, "this isn't my fault, you know". Because to the customer, it is. To them, I was not "Mara", I was "The Bank". Just as the OB is not just Dr Zoidberg, he is The Hospital, and the Chili's waitress is The Restaurant. If you are representing an institution, stop worrying about your personal level of responsibility, and step up to it.

Another thing. "I'm sorry..." has two meanings. One, as discussed above, takes responsibility for some circumstance, e.g. "I'm so sorry your steak was over-cooked, let me compensate you in some way, perhaps with a complimentary dessert." The other, of course, just conveys sympathy; "I'm sorry your birthday cookout got rained out", "I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis", etc. People, if somebody is using "I'm sorry" in that second way, do not say, "well, it's not your fault!" If I say, "I'm sorry about your car accident", I know it's not my fault (assuming I wasn't there at the time). I am not apologizing for it-- I am not God. I am merely conveying sympathy, and implying that I mean the first kind of "I'm sorry" is kind of stupid, really. "Thank you" is a much more appropriate response.


*Don't even get me started on how they discharged me, while keeping him. That's a whole different rant.

**How was I supposed to get the scrips, anyway, if he didn't hand them to me? He had clipped them to my chart. Were we supposed to "check out" somewhere, instead of just leaving upon discharge? Was somebody else, a nurse maybe, supposed to formally go over everything? Maybe discharge procedure needs to be part of the hospital tour?

***I've worked at restaurants where the rule is, if there's hot food in the window, whoever's available takes it out ASAP. Period. I know other places have dedicated food runners. Whatever. On a night that slow, she should have been running her own food, regardless.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

TV, con't.

There are a few shows on Food Network that involve handing contestants a bundle of random ingredients, then judging what these hopefuls can create from them. "Chopped" is the show that comes to mind, but I think there are others, or at least, it's also a common practice on "...Next Food Network Star". I really don't understand this. How is what one can make from, say, a tin of anchovies, maple syrup, and ground venison in any way indicative of one's culinary chops? In what real-world scenario would a chef be faced with random, mis-matched foodstuffs, and be forced to use them to feed a crowd? In real life, chefs and home cooks alike tend to plan menus ahead of time, shop for the necessaries, and keep a well-stocked pantry for any incidentals. Even if I have a raid-the-pantry-dinner night, it tends to be based on ingredients that were meant to go together. I could be a fantastic cook, and still have trouble marrying raisins to capers, or beef stock to vanilla ice cream, on the fly. I just don't see how these contests reveal a person's actual culinary abilities.

On all of the home-buying shows on HGTV, potential buyers complain about places that are way nicer than our house. This is very depressing. We have 850-ish square feet, in a very poor layout. (I think that is an adequate amount of space for two-three people, IF it has a neat, nifty floor plan. I could design a place smaller than this one, that would work better.) We have two bedrooms and a very small bathroom. It is sad to see a place twice this size, with a BIG bathroom (like, with a counter around the sink), whose residents are exclaiming that they can't wait to leave this dump. Oh, well. It also always cracks me up that they always discuss "entertaining". Seriously, are Don and I the only people who don't "entertain"? We do "have friends over". The difference is that "entertaining" seems to require a formal dining room, a big kitchen, and a big deck outside, while "having friends over" requires a sofa and delivery pizza. And yet, we are entertained, and entertaining. Huh. Maybe someday we'll grow up and suddenly need to throw a fancy dinner party? Or have cocktails on the deck, instead of beer in the kitchen?

Advertisers tend to aim their commercials at the particular demographics watching X show/channel at Y time. Hence, tons of toy commercials on Nickelodeon, none on MSNBC. I think I tend to have "old person" viewing habits, as I see a lot of commercials for prescription drugs, arthritis creams, and the AARP. Since I've been home with Robert, I've noticed that the advertisers seem to think that anybody watching TV during the day is either (a) unemployed, (b) overweight, or (c) both. So, many commercials for educational opportunities, like online university courses, tech schools, etc; and for weight-loss programs. There are also a lot of "hurt? can't work? call us!"-- type ads for law practices. I feel kind of offended by these assumptions, but then, who does watch TV in the middle of the day? If I had a bit more energy, or a son who didn't need to nurse every two hours, I'd probably not turn it on, either.

What really pisses me off-- especially when I was pregnant-- are the commercials for stuff that I can't actually get where I live. This is not something I experienced until leaving Dallas, because Dallas has everything that might be advertised, ever. But here, Sonic is always advertising their yummy drinks and smoothies. There's no Sonic here. Same for Dairy Queen and their darn blizzardy milkshake things. The Olive Garden. Ace Hardware. I could go on, but for God's sake stop teasing me with extreme closeups of a chocolate milkshake when there isn't a Dairy Queen for several towns down the highway! Bad tv, bad.

Note to self: get Netflix moving again.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two Months Old

Robert had his two-month doctor visit this morning. I was so tired that I almost drove us to my OBs office, instead of the pediatrician-- they're in adjacent buildings. Robert is, of course, totally perfect. The nurse admired his chunky thigh rolls; the doctor, his precocious head control and overall strength. Naturally, once Robert was naked he peed all over his blanket and spit up on the table. We were just covered in unsavoury liquids by the time the nurse came back to measure him. Isn't 'unsavoury' one of those words that just looks better when spelled all British-style? Anyway. My Chunky Monkey is 14 pounds, 7 ounces today, and 24 1/2 inches long. He seems to be stretching out a bit, as his weight came down from "off the chart" to "90th percentile", while his length went from 90th to 95th. Good grief. I guess I really can stop worrying about whether he's eating enough, huh? To think that I've grown all that good baby on breastmilk alone. Speaking of which (or not), Don really likes Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey flavour (going with the theme here), but he doesn't care for Chubby Hubby. It seems to me as though he ought to enjoy Chubby Hubby, out of principle. Or maybe, that's why he doesn't like it? We started Robert's vaccinations today, having skipped the Hepatitis B series so far: we opted instead for a don't-have-sex lecture*, as they're surprisingly effective at this age, although I hear that changes with adolescence, which is when the vaccine starts to actually make sense. So, first shots, very traumatic, no less for me than for him. We have to go back in a month, for more.

ETA: I saw a baby younger than Robert, when we were at the pediatrician's office. It's the first time since he was born, that I didn't have the youngest baby around... it's a tiny little milestone of sorts, like when you start a new job and for some time you're the newbie, but eventually someone else gets hired.

*Don't worry, we also covered "...and don't share your needles!"

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Many weeks after I started looking for the first eggs, we finally have these! The chickens are free-loaders no more. Unfortunately, they've become fully free-ranging birds, so it's almost literally an Easter-egg hunt; they're not laying them in their coop but out in the yard. Now that I know we have layers, I'll have to scour the back yard every day; nothing like an overlooked egg in ninety-degree weather!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Watching Too Much TV

... Because "multi-tasking" is still limited to "changing chanels while breastfeeding."

"HGTV" used to stand for Home and Garden Television. When was the last time they had a gardening show? It's all housing, all the time. The most overused phrase on that channel is "Old World", closely followed by "Tuscan" and "Provencal". I don't think anybody should be allowed to describe any space as any of the above, unless they can either locate Tuscany or Provence on a map of Europe, or prove that they've been there. Painting a wall yellow in no way makes a modern, American dry-wall McMansion somehow resemble an ancient stone farmhouse with two-foot-thick walls.

Meanwhile, the most over-used word on Food Network is "caramelized" and its cohorts. Can't we ever just saute or brown something anymore? Cooking something in a pan on the stove does not automatically mean that it is caramelizing. Sometimes I feel like Inigo Montoya: "I don't think that word means what you think it means!"

The Weather Channel is actually a lot more interesting than one would imagine.

I basically understand commercials for products that help people get more vegetables into their diet, like V-8 and its counterparts. I love most veggies, but most folks barely tolerate them, or at least that's their bad reputation. Also, even for veggie lovers, most vegetables have to be prepared in some way, which takes time and effort. But WTF is up with these new "drink your fruit"-type ads? NOT getting it. One, fruit is delicious all by itself. I know very few people that need to disguise their daily fruit intake as something else just to choke it down. Second, fruit is edible in its totally raw state! No prep, no cooking. Just grab and eat. It's literally no more work than opening one of these new juice drinks. My daily fruit intake during this time of year is limited only by the unfortunate effects of eating too much, if you know what I mean. So what, exactly, is the advantage of these pricey, sugary, low-fiber, plastic-bottled beverages?

Still addicted to NCIS. Thanks to a few marathons, Don is too, now. When I find that I like a show, I like to really get into it: see every episode (preferably in order), understand the back story, get the inside jokes. This is why I love to watch TV shows on DVD (besides the commercial-free-ness): to get the additional content, director's commentary, actor interviews, all that. Yummy.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tomato Season

Products of the least-worked veggie garden ever. Don tilled it, I planted it, and then we completely abandoned it for about three months. When I finally had enough energy again to go downstairs and take a look, it was covered in weeds, and loaded with tomatoes! I think I've found a new gardening style: "neglect"! The garden itself is visible out the window, the little patch by the fence. (It has since been weeded and mulched, obviously.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I stick my tongue out at thee, sir

Robert is going through another growth spurt, I think, but not a physical one. Rather, he's leaping forward in his mental development. He seems to be able to see farther, focus more carefully, and pay attention to something for much longer, than he could even a week ago. He plays what we call "the faces game": I stick my tongue out at him; he does the same. He grins at me, I smile back. I laugh. He laughs. Etc. Repeat for maybe five minutes at a time. It probably doesn't sound like much, but in its own way it is amazing; suddenly, he recognizes the relationship between the tongue in my face, and his own. He can stick his tongue out, not to lick something or as an unconscious reaction to hunger, but intentionally. When we first brought him home from the hospital, he barely opened his eyes during the first several days. Everything he did then, was reaction, reflex. So much growth, so fast... he is moving from merely reacting to external stimuli, to actually acting from within. He's thinking.

While this is fascinating and fun to watch, it's also exhausting; so much is going on in his little head that he can't seem to deal with it all, and it makes him cranky and difficult to handle. It's harder for him to settle down, and to sleep. He has a new cry to go with his new thinking phase: a loud, pissed-off, angry, wailing, scream. A purposeful cry. He is trying to learn to suck his thumb. This is harder for him than I thought it could be; some babies do it right after birth. He can purposefully un-fist his hand, wriggle his thumb, and open his mouth, but when it comes to making contact, he just smacks himself in the face... repeatedly. The only times he's succeeded, so far, were when he was asleep on his side, and it just happened. I guess those instances were enough to let him know that this is something he wants to do, so it seems that whenever he's awake and his arms are free, he is waving them furiously, and hitting himself in the mouth. At the moment, he is asleep with his arms tightly swaddled. He didn't get much sleep last night (nor did I, of course), and seems to be catching up. I'd be thrilled except that he's missed feeding time, and pretty soon I shall explode like a milk-filled pinata.

Monday, July 20, 2009

0% Segue

I have been wondering when we should start reading aloud to Robert. My guess was, when he's three or four months old? I wanted to start him on Harry Potter right away, get him good and indoctrinated when he's still young. (I actually considered starting Philosopher's Stone out loud while still pregnant, the way some people play Mozart to the womb, but decided that I was being crazy. Plus I wanted to re-read Half-Blood Prince before the movie came out, and didn't want to start Robert at the end of the story; he might have gotten confused.) Don bypassed me, though, and my careful considerations. I came into the living room the other night and found him reading My Side of the Mountain aloud to Robert, who seemed to be enjoying it. (He was staring off into space and not crying or fussing... that counts for a lot after eight at night.) Don explained that the baby seemed to like hearing him talk (all deep and rumbly!), but he ran out of things to talk about, so he grabbed the book instead.

Do all babies float? I am naturally bouyant; I can tread water or float on my back with very little effort. This was true for me even as a child, when my percentage of body fat was hovering around zero. Don is the opposite; he sinks like a stone. It takes all of his effort to just keep his head above water. I've noticed that Robert floats in the bathtub, and wonder whether he's taking after his mama already, or if it's just a baby thing. He is about 1,000% fat, after all-- all thigh rolls and neck folds.

Don and I spent some time this weekend reclaiming our garden. I planted it when he was in Illinois, and then... we did nothing. Didn't weed, didn't water, didn't fertilize, nada. The weeds overtook the space, but everything we planted took off, and we've actually been harvesting a decent number of tomatoes and etc. The fact that it's been such a rainy year probably helped; nobody's garden has needed watering. Now the space is mostly weed-free again. I've got some plans for fall crops, and bigger plans for next spring, that we'll need to get started this fall. My big issue is this: how long are we going to be in this house? I want to put in an asparagus bed, but it takes years for them to start producing. Worth it? Not worth it? I don't know. I think I'm going to do it, on the grounds that I'd hate to be here in ten years, still dithering over the asparagus, and wishing that I'd planted some at first opportunity.

Friday, July 17, 2009

What the baby books don't tell you

When Robert first came home, he averaged one poopy diaper per feeding, i.e. one every two to three hours. In fact, he has the tendency to fill his diaper while nursing; I don't know if that's typical or not. He gradually dialed it down a bit, thank goodness, to maybe every other meal. Then, he even went a few nights here and there with no poops at all. Then... he went all Wednesday night without poop. All day Thursday. Then all of last night. He seemed happy, content, not bothered at all, so I didn't worry to much... and then, this afternoon, he finally went. After maybe 40 hours. Oh, my God. OHMYGOD. The next time this happens I am calling Don home from work to deal with the diaper, is all I'm saying, because this is no job for an amateur.

I have never seen a baby look so darn pleased with himself, as Robert did at that moment.

About an hour afterwards, once I'd gotten him all clean, dry and in a fresh diaper and outfit, cleaned up the changing table, and changed my own pants (don't ask)... he went again. And now, I think he's working on another. OY vey.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We visited Don's mom, and we survived. The drive there took thirteen hours, we spent two days visiting, and drove the same thirteen hours back. I have now breastfed and changed diapers at various truck-stops and highway rest areas in West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

Robert was a real trooper. He was wonderful on the drive out, sleeping for most of the trip. Unfortunately, this lulled us into a false sense of security for the return drive, during which he shrieked from the eastern end of Kentucky through West Virginia. I think change the altitude was hurting his ears (it was certainly affecting mine), because he settled down again once we got through the mountains. He was wonderful with his grandmother, who basked in his smiles and talked to him constantly, many decibels louder than most would consider necessary. (You know how sometimes, some people start needing a hearing aid, but are in complete denial about it? So they just turn the TV up louder, talk louder, and constantly ask everybody else to repeat themselves? I think a hearing check should be a mandatory part of either the yearly physical or drivers' license renewal, or both, starting at some arbitrary age like 65.) Until this spring, when Don stayed there for weeks when his dad was dying, he never visited for more than three days or so. He said that he just couldn't handle being with his mom for longer than that, and that a longer visit would damage their relationship. Having finally gone with him, I have to say that I agree. It's one of those situations in which the easiest, best thing to do is to just nod, smile, agree and humor someone, which you can only do for so long.

The cat and dog handled the trip like the pros that they are. With the exception of the cat continually trying to sleep on the car seat (on the baby) at first, they were no trouble at all.

This was my first time to see Don's ancestral homeland. I mean, um, his home town. He's described it in great detail during our nine years together, so I was really interested to finally see it for myself. He was in full reminiscing, story-telling mode from the moment we turned off of the Interstate; every house, farm, creek, and wooded area had some bit of personal history attached. Actually, the whole town and its surrounding area can be described in one of two ways: as having an important memory for Don, or having not been there back in the day. "That (subdivision, new school, etc) used to be a cornfield" came up rather often. It is one of those Midwestern, farming communities in which half of the town is related to each other some ways or another, and to the residents of the surrounding towns as well. I read in the town's paper that the county fair was starting the day we left (unfortunately, because I would have liked to go) and it listed the eighteen contestants for Fair Queen. One, from a few towns over, had Don's last name, so I asked if he was related... I was kind of joking because Don's last name is one of the most common in the country. Turns out, he was. Of course. This girl was his father's cousin's daughter... or something like that.

For someone like me, who grew up in the suburbs (and in the eighties/ nineties), Don's childhood seems fuller and richer, almost idyllic, like something from a book or the movies. All of the things that my family would have to go on vacation to do, like fishing, camping, boating, or even just playing in the woods, Don did at home, all summer long.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

6 weeks old today

And he's started really smiling.

One more comment found to freak out one's husband:
"If we have another baby, I might try for another natural, drug-free birth..."
Poor guy. I relented and said that the epidural is at least a strong option from now on, depending how things go. But I'm an eternal optimist... just because labor and birth the first time around was absolute hell, doesn't mean that it will be next time, right?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

How to Freak Out a Husband

"Look at him... he's so cute. He's wonderful. Let's have another, ASAP!"

"You know, I really did think he was going to be a girl for awhile there. But since he's not, we can move on to Plan B... let's have five *more* boys, and then one girl. Weasley style!"

In other news, Don and I are going on a road trip soon, to take Robert to visit his grandmother. (I mean Don's mother, the baby's grandma). She keeps making these "jokes" about keeping Robert for herself, that aren't really "funny", at least to a hormonal new mama. And she seems a little confused by the idea that, since Robert is breastfeeding, he does not require any other foods and/or formula. Yes, mama's milk is ALL HE EATS. There is nothing anybody needs to buy from the store for him to eat. We are taking the dog and the cat along for the trip, as we usually do, so we'll be driving for ten hours with a dog, a cat, and a newborn who nurses every two hours. Although come to think about it, ten hours is how long it takes for just Don to make the trip, stopping only for gas, so it will probably take us, what, fifteen? Wish me luck. I wonder if there's a way to feed Robert on the road, without taking him out of his car seat, injuring my back, or being indecently exposed to passing trucks. I'm trying to remember why this seemed like such a good idea when we planned it out and promised to come visit...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Friday, July 03, 2009

This is your brain on parenting

Before the hospital discharged me, Don and I had to attend a short class on baby care. It was 'optional', but you know how these things are, and it included a lunch. The class essentially boiled down to 'how to not kill your baby and/or yourself': SIDS, shaken baby syndrome, post-partum depression, as well as a video about soothing fussy babies. One topic the nurse covered was 'babies accidentally left in the car: they DIE', and she suggested that, whenever we put the baby in his car seat, we also put a purse, cellphone, or similar in the backseat, that we would retrieve before leaving the car. Part of me thinks that this is pretty clever, because sure, nobody is going to leave their handbag in the backseat if she's going shopping or whatever. But a bigger part is wondering, who is going to forget the baby but remember the purse? Since he was born, Robert occupies about 90% of my brain-space. I am literally thinking about him all the time, even, apparently, when I'm asleep. (I wake up to nurse him, about 30 seconds to a minute before he actually wakes up hungry. I don't know how.) If you try to talk to me about other, supposedly interesting things-- Iran, Michael Jackson, or lyin', cheatin', Republican senators-- I will attempt to be polite for maybe a minute before bringing the conversation back to the baby... did I mention that he's started smiling for real? I'm surprised that my friends are still answering my calls, to be honest. So the idea that one could forget the baby in the car baffles me. Forgetting anything else, yes... I keep walking into the kitchen and wondering what I came there for (I generally assume that I wanted some orange juice, so we're going through it pretty fast), but forgetting Robert, even for a second? I wonder what percentage of those cases involved mothers, as opposed to fathers or babysitters, because I can't be the only new mom whose mind has been completely re-wired by her baby.

Someone just knocked on my door, offering me an invitation to a talk on how to survive the End of the World. I was, unfortunately, both changing Robert's diaper and completely topless (you fellow nursing mothers will understand) when I heard the knock, and would have ignored it completely if I hadn't thought that it was either FedEx or a neighbor. (We keep getting presents. It's amazing. The thank-you-card guilt is starting to keep me up at night.) So I answered the door wearing Don's undershirt, inside out and backwards, holding a half-dressed baby. Having read the flier, it seems that becoming a Jehovah's Witness is key to survival, which is too bad because I was hoping it was more of a Peak Oil sort of End. I know a lot of people get pissed off at religious people going door to door, but I think it's sort of nice, as long as they're not pushy. I mean, they're trying to save me. That's nice, right? What the heck do they get out of the deal, besides bragging rights or whatever at church? I wonder how many people are so easily influenced, that a flier on their doorstep changes their religious beliefs? It can't be that many.

Robert has just officially* outgrown the 0-3 month size and is now in 3-6 month. All I can say is that I'm glad we're planning on having more babies, because half of our 0-3 stuff hasn't even been worn yet. Maybe the next one will be a seven-pounder? I already have goals for the next pregnancy: GAIN LESS THAN 50 POUNDS. HAVE SMALLER BABY. HAVE EASIER BIRTH.

I have finally found a baby carrier that I like. We have a front-pack carrier, a Baby Bjorn, but I could never seem to get it adjusted right, even with all the straps and buckles. It just seems so high-tech and complicated; Don said that it looked like something you could use to rappel down a mountain. It is big and made of nylon, and doesn't breathe. I also have a Hotsling, but don't like it, either. The hold just seems so precarious that I have to keep one arm still wrapped around the baby, and he seems so squished-up in there. It hurt my back and was really bad for my posture-- I seemed to sort of hunch over the baby. Tuesday, though, I bought a Mei Tai carrier, and I think our search is over because it is awesome. It holds Robert upright, which he prefers, and balances his weight across both of my shoulders, like the front-pack. But, it is soft, flexible, and breathable, made of cotton. There aren't any buckles, the straps just tie wherever you need them, which is so much easier. We used it this morning at Whole Foods, solving the problem of where to put the food when the car seat is taking up the whole cart. It feels very secure, and Robert feels lighter in it, than in the other carriers. I think it disguises how big he is, because one woman thought that he was tiny! She asked how old, and when I said that he was five weeks on Wednesday, she asked if he had been a preemie. Uh, no. I told her that he had been ten pounds at birth and was now almost thirteen, and she said that was bigger than her 10-week-old, and he must just look small in the carrier. I guess we are the Goldilocks of baby carriers... I'm just glad that the first two were second-hand. Can't wait to try it at the Farmers' Market tomorrow!

Breastfeeding update: it's getting better. Feeding Robert is now only irritating/ uncomfortable, down from 'incredibly painful'. My breasts don't hurt as much between times, and my supply seems to be regulating somewhat. I think the thrush is going away. Still can't fathom nursing him anywhere but at home, so we're still really limited in where we can go, and for how long. Need to work on that. I think in another few weeks we'll really have it all together.

*By putting a hole in the toe of one outfit. I was in denial about how snugly they were fitting him, even though Don kept saying, "I really don't think that fits him anymore". 0-3 months, my ass.