March 2007 Archives

A good bad day

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I had been looking forward to today for a several months because Ellen and I had split costs to fly our sweet Raven down from Portland so we could celebrate her birthday here all together. Raven and I were going to hang today, get our nails done, and watch the sunset together while drinking wine until Ellen could join us after work. We were then going to have a fabulous dinner together.

But remember how tired I was feeling? I guess I was coming down with a cold, and unfortunately it hit me last night. It was clear that I needed to lay low today. I was incredibly bummed, but had to say I wouldn't make it to dinner...I still at least got to hang with Raven slow-paced, and did manage to enjoy getting our nails done together. But that was about it. By the time Ellen came to pick up Raven (both dressed perfectly for a fancy night out), I was losing steam fast. Ellen brought tiaras for all of us, so I insisted on a quick picture even though I had no make-up on and felt so tired. I hope they are having a blast now...

Actually, Raven and I have the same birthday! But since I've had more than my share of great birthdays, I really wanted to focus on Raven this year. Sigh. I did enjoy getting calls & emails from friends I hadn't heard from for so long. And best of all was this amazing beehive cake Rachel made!! Can you believe it? She and CC delivered it this morning as we shared breakfast. It even had little edible bees flying around. Awesome. Thanks sis!

Tesla's first boo boo

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Hit her head on the coffee table.

A day to yawn about...

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When I'm super tired, I have little energy to talk/write/blog about it so I realize that I somewhat misrepresent my life with Tesla as if I'm not tired and all is a breeze. I love every minute of it, no doubt about that...but I do have moments when I'm really really tired. Like today. Telsa seems to have her first cold (I say "seems" because I just can't tell what is a cold vs. the teething thing). Anyway, she has a snotty nose that she hates getting wiped, and she is super fussy. She didn't sleep much at all last night so neither did I. At 6am, I finally went into the living room where Dav was trying to catch quality sleep and said, "you go in the bedroom; I need to sleep here." Thankfully he did since I was close to delirious by then.

What amazes me is that in the morning, I take a shower, somehow come to life, and am able to go to work. I wanted to write about this fatigue because I feel I should balance out how I "blogument" life with Tesla...for me to remember, and for anyone curious about what it's like with a baby. Obviously it's different for every parent and overall Tesla is easy. But when I have rough nights, the fatigue hits me. And it's not just the one time fatigue as if you partied too late and have to trudge through the next day. The difference is that it's non-stop. I don't get to make it through the day so I can rest later or count on sleeping in late. Tesla is full of life so there's no slowing down. When I get home from work, no matter how tired I am, she needs some hugging, then dinner, then a bath all in time before she gets too sleepy. By the time I cook our own dinner, clean up, check email, I'm ready to crash. I've yet to make it through a movie. I never used to fall asleep without knowing I was doing so; now I frequently wake up realizing I've missed half of whatever we were watching on TV.

What I'm trying to communicate is the main difference from before: there is no resting. I just have to live through the fatigue until my body adjusts. The word stamina comes to mind. It's a long stable marathon. I stay pretty active in spite of this, but I am having to be and learning to be stricter about my time. It's very tempting when friends invite me to this and that. And sure I could go to everything but I'd lose my balance big time (I get emotional when too stretched). I've already felt overwhelmed at times. I enjoy it and need my friends, but everything is a much bigger deal now. And although I'm not looking for sympathy, I do feel it's important for folks to know that mommies do so much behind the scenes. Until you're the main caregiver a baby, it's quite impossible to see how much goes into the constant attention needed for a baby...I don't think even Dav knows all the tiny things I do even though he's attentive.

So there you have it. It's hard to write all this because I don't want to seem complaining. I truly do love being a mommy and love the care giving part. I do want to, however, include a bit of the reality.


In the end, all that counts is how darn cute and lovable Tesla is. No matter what, it's so worth it!

OMG

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My baby is standing! She pulled herself up.

Mommy stuff: milk supply

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This is not your general post [and it goes into boobie detail], but it's still news to me and a part of my life so it's here.

A few weeks back, I noticed my milk supply suddenly dropped. Where I used to pump out easily 3~4 oz very quickly, I found one day that pump after pump session, I could only squeeze out 1 oz. even after a lot of trying. I would literally have to squeeze my boobs. I had become lazy, since my supply - even after a few months back at work - wasn't a problem. I pumped, but not on a regular schedule...and gradually I had gotten complacent. Then boom...my boobs just weren't producing. I stopped feeling the let down of the milk.

I had about a month's supply frozen, and with Tesla almost 9 months, that would mean I could tie her over to 10 months with my milk. My goal has been a year based on research that the benefits of breast milk are still significant for the first 12 months. She started eating solids at 6 months, but I wanted her to have the breast milk benefits until at least her first birthday.

Anyhow, I felt more guilty than freaked out. 10 months would have been more or less fine; I just wanted to actively decide that Tesla was ready instead of having to stop due to low supply because I didn't pump regularly enough. After a year, I'll play it by ear, letting her feed for comfort, but easing away from actually 'feeding' on the boob. I wanted that choice for her vs. my boobs calling it quits due to my own negligence.

So I pumped more consistently. Every whimper I heard during the night I fed her (to encourage stimulation). At work instead of pumping for 5 minutes and rushing back to work, I sat there for as long as I needed until absolutely nothing came out...and I did that 3~4 times a day.

It was like coaxing a dying fire back to life. Slowly and gently. I'm happy to say I'm back in the swing. Not as crazy as before. I don't think I can do 4 oz. anymore. But I can do 2...and over several times a day that means enough for the next day while I'm at work. And I still have the frozen reserve. I feel the let down again...even a little bit of engorgement.

I did email La Leche League of San Francisco for advice when it first started. I just got a response. (which was just reference to an online site). I sorta knew what I had to do, but was curious if there was some trick. Waiting for over a week is definitely NOT the answer. Stimulation I think is the most important. Even if nothing seems to come out, just pump pump pump.

Dumb mistake - lesson learned

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I got a box of goodies in the mail today and the box was full of soft filling. I thought it'd be cute to put Tesla in the box so she could play (and I could get some cutey pictures). She immediately dug into the filling stuff...and soon after got immensely upset. Her grandma, when leaving today, said she had just eaten so I thought she wasn't hungry and would just "play" with the stuff, but I think Tesla was furious that what was in her mouth didn't taste good. I freaked out...she was very very upset, and I kept thinking of all the chemicals that must be in her mouth. I got it all out, but some was stuck to the top of her mouth...so I hauled her to the bathroom and brushed her upper gums (no teeth yet in spite what I though earlier). She was really mad by then. I gave her the boob which worked...she was super tired and just not into my games obviously. While she fed, I tasted the box filling; it was from Method so I didn't think it would be styrofoam. I don't know what it was, but it tasted like rice at first, then paper later.

Anyhow...lessoned learned. Don't put baby in box full of fun soft things. To a baby, it's food, but it wasn't food. I knew she would dig into the stuff; I just didn't realize how fast she'd actually try to eat it.


Toni and Ari

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Toni and Ari came over for dinner on Saturday. Dav is away visiting his sister, so although he missed them, I was dying to catch up even though it was brief. Got to see her tiny belly that is Baby G, and hear how they are doing. I think they are getting into the groove (and excitement) about becoming parents. I'm thrilled. I can't wait to share our trip. It's just different talking to fellow parents...who know the ins & outs of having a baby. Like when we're hanging at our neighbors M&J's who have a cutey 2.5 year old...our babies will be snoozing, we'll have music on, a nice dinner going, conversation flowing...but as soon as there is a peep from either baby, we're ALL back on PARENT alert. It's like we all have bunny ears. And we all understand if we have to take a break to console our little babies. So...I'm looking forward to welcoming T & A...more parents who will want to hang out at home on a fresh Friday night!

p.s. it's quite amazing...so many babies on the way. One friend was in labor today and probably had her baby by now but I haven't heard details yet. THREE more women close to me are pregnant. One is trying. Babies galore indeed!


Tesla in action

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Many of you have seen most of these pictures since I blog pretty much about nothing else but Tesla nowadays. However, Patrick made this super inspirational video. Check it out.

What a gift.

And I can't believe how much she's grown [cliche, but true!!]
Not even 9 months - the time it took to bake her in my belly - she's already about to climb out of her crib, crawls quickly, gets into everything, expresses her personality... I continue to be in awe.

Cafe Gratitude

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My lovely neighbor, Michelle, and I went to lunch together and walked to Cafe Gratitude today. The weather was beautiful and we wanted to feel wholesome. By chance, it happened to be their 3rd year anniversary so we got to see singing, live music, and have a piece of the birthday cake. Tesla, as usual, was active, wanting to touch everything, so having live music entertain her was perfect!

I let the owner know I took pictures and got a video of her and her husband blowing out candles and kissing. Hope they stop by to see it!

The weekend

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Admittedly, I'm getting slack about blogging...which bothers me since this is my diary and I do want to document for myself (and Tesla) about my daily life. But the more active she gets, the busier I am. Feeding, cleaning, & playing with her. Blogging is taking the back seat slowly but surely.

Anyway, we had a good weekend. Friday, after saying bye to Tesla's grandma (last pic), we headed to M&J's - our cool neighbors with a toddler cutey girl. We're hanging out together more and more. For Friday, we had dinner at their place - at their toddler's cute small table - then we all filed over to our house where we shared a babysitter so us adults could have some Friday fun. It's so nice to have neighbor friends...makes the kid thing so much easier & fun. In fact, the very next night, we all had dinner at our place, and as our babies slept away, we shared wine and giggles over silly YouTube videos.

Sunday, Dav and I had a slow brunch, then headed to our neighborhood park with Tes. She was napping when we arrived, so we waited. Then we had some swing and slide fun.

Caught up with dear Rachel for some tea...it's hard to realize how much time goes by between hanging with good friends. In between, I'm so busy that I don't realize how much time flies by, but when we finally sit down, I feel how much I miss our regular girl talks...Luckily, Rachel is very understanding. : )

Back at home, I gathered stuff that Tesla has outgrown...to give to a friend who is expecting any day now. It's so strange to pack up her gymini. I remember so clearly when I got that for her...and she was still a bit too young for it. We watched her slowly notice how fun it could be for her...and now she is way past being content just lying on her back. Amazing...

Thursday mamas

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When I was still on maternity leave, I enjoyed hanging out with other mamas, letting our babies interact, and us catching up on all the issues of new motherhood. In particular, Katia from my Burning Man group organized a Tuesday gathering. I used to join & hosted once. But now that I work, I have only Thursdays off, so I proposed a mamas gathering this past Thursday. I loved seeing how much Lucia and Leanne had grown. They were standing up! And Leanne's mommy, Stacey, is preggy with #2!! Wow. Elida stopped by too on her way home from work. Super nice to see her laugh with the babies.

Life is indeed marching on...so fast.

Lumos Labs

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logo.gifCheck this out. This is a new service that provides brain games. Yes, since mommy-hood, my memory has been shot so this is good. But the real reason I'm blogging this is that Lumos Labs was launched recently (in beta now, but they are serious and already have funding) by my dear 2 housemates. I've watched them gather a team, work to get funding, quit their regular jobs, find an office, and then launch. I am very VERY proud as I know how hard they work. And they are brilliant, truly smart, hard-working, so I have a good feeling about this. Kunal is the most sincere (and cool) finance & business guy. Mike is the brain dude...Stanford neuro-scientist. Oh, and Dav assisted with his programming fu.

What is cool is that their games are original and fun. I confess that I haven't played enough to personally document my progress yet, but geez...I have so little time - give Tesla a dinner and bath, or play a brain game? For now, I choose the former. But in due time, I will very much need to give my brain some exercise., and I will indeed look to Lumos Labs.

So, please try em out. I lo(i)ve these guys. More importantly, they are getting recognized. They initially thought this would be for the baby-boomers, but they are also getting a lot of interest from child psychologists who work with children with developmental delays. Their games WORK.

lumos_1.jpgArea of Cognition: Memory

Memory Match trains your working memory, an important factor in many cognitive processes. This memory task is very challenging initially but becomes easier as your memory improves with training.

lumos_2.jpgArea of Cognition: Attention

Birdwatching improves attention and the ability to process visual information. These abilities are important in many everyday activities including driving. The task gets progressively more challenging to accommodate your improvements in visual attention and processing speed.

lumos2.jpgArea of Cognition: Processing Speed

Raindrops is designed to improve processing speed through a numerical reasoning task. It emphasizes both speed and accuracy. Processing speed is important in a wide variety of cognitive functions.

lumos_3.jpgArea of Cognition: Memory

Monster Garden improves your memory and attention with a spatial memory task. As your spatial and working memory improves, you will be able to navigate through progressively harder levels.

Frontline

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My favorite TV show is Frontline on PBS. It's well-done, informative, and in-depth. Exactly what I want from a TV program. Our Tivo started recording a 4 series set called "News War: Secrets, Sources & Spin" reported and co-produced by Lowell Bergman.

I'm watching the 1st of the series, and they showed the desk of Walter Pinkus, a national security reporter for the Washington Post. Seeing his desk...OK, I forgive Dav's. : )

I highly recommend Frontline.