I am a big fan of toys that evolve with baby. All three of these toys are appropriate for multiple stages of development.
Teething at its easiest doesn’t impact a baby at all. Teething at its most difficult can come with fever, fussiness, restless sleeping, lack of appetite, spitting up, vomiting and more. Most babies experience something in the middle of the spectrum.
We got Pho (Vietnamese soup) with Papa (Charlie’s grandpa, my dad) today. I like to make my broth pretty spicy (like sweaty forehead and runny nose spicy). Charlie was adamant about trying some, so I let him. He LOVED it and kept going in for more! A soup man and a spice man. He is my son pho Sher!
I first visited The Right Start when I was pregnant with Charlie. The Right Start is a national chain. I have been to a few locations, but the Sherman Oaks store is my favorite. This store is much smaller than its counterparts, but don’t let its small size fool you. It is packed chock full of amazing product. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed by all of the items available for mommy and baby. Luckily for me, Sierra, one of the employees, is familiar with the deer-caught-in-headlights look of a parent to be. She immediately took me under her wing.
I know he is not saying it in reference to anything, but I still can’t help but find it super cute when Charlie says, “da da.” He woke up yesterday from his nap saying, “da da” for the first time. He hasn’t stopped ever since.
Breast feeding is not something I could have easily written about in real-time. The mechanics of breast-feeding were very easy for Charlie and me. He latched on right away and I absolutely loved the connection of being his source of nourishment. I did not get sore or cracked nipples. I did not have to fight him to get him to eat. My breast-feeding challenge was mostly supply and secondarily, clogged ducts. I got mastitis 4 times! Mastitis is a very painful condition that comes with flu-like systems resulting from one or more clogged ducts. Despite Charlie being a great feeder and me loving to feed him, my milk was not on board.
First of all, I had one boob that grew to a small D cup and one boob that was a medium size B cup. I felt lopsided for my first 6 months post-partum. I had a hospital grade pump and would pump multiple times a day in between feeds, but it didn’t help my milk supply one bit. By pumping more often I did have a greater supply of milk, but it did not help generate more milk per feed or pump cycle.
I am friends or acquainted with over 35 women who had a baby or are expecting this year. This was before I even joined my mommy and me groups. Needless-to-say, I had a lot of exposure to breast-feeding moms. It would kill me when I would talk to them or go to a breast-feeding support group only to find that I was one of the only if not the only one with a milk supply that sucked. When I pumped I would only get 3 ounces, maximum. I had friends who could pump 10 – 12 ounces at a time with babies the same age, older or younger than Charlie. It had nothing to do with how old he was and how much milk he needed.
I used to blame it on having a preemie, but one of my closest friends had a baby 7 weeks early and her boobs are milk factories. My boobs were just underproducers. I had to pump 4 – 5 times a day to make 3 bottles worth of food for Charlie. Many of my other mom friends only had to pump once, maybe twice. I know we are not supposed to compare in the world of parenting, but sometimes it is hard not to. Especially, when it comes to the well-being of your child.
My low milk supply also left me feeling super guilty as a mother. I was supposed to be able to provide him the nourishment he needed. I understood that I could supplement with formula, but at the time I was convinced that I would be a bad mother if I didn’t exclusively breast feed.
Today is my mom’s birthday. My half birthday.
My mom died 2 and half months after I turned 21. She had inoperable lung cancer. Throughout the past 11 years I have missed my mom, sometimes to a point where I cry so hard that I cannot breathe. Getting married without my mom by my side was as bad as I thought it would get. Then I got pregnant.
There are so many questions that I had for my mom during my pregnancy. I had a very difficult pregnancy and wondered if she did as well. How did she carry my brother? Was her pregnancy with me any different? My dad is still alive, but his memory is not trustworthy. A dad remembers the big picture. A mom remembers the details, especially about her kids. Mostly, I was and am sad that she would never get to meet her grandnson.
I was on bed rest for 6 weeks. I am lucky enough to have a mother in law who loves me like I’m her own. She came down from northern California to help take care of me. Sadly, all it did was make me miss my mom more. While we are close, I can’t curl up in my MIL’s lap. Don’t get me wrong, she would actually have been okay with it. But, she wouldn’t know how to tickle my back and play with my hair like my mom did. Before bed rest, experiencing pregnancy without my own mom to share it with was difficult. Once I was on bed rest I realized that this parenting journey would make me miss my mommy on a whole new level.
It was super difficult having a colicky baby. That coupled with missing my mom incessantly (and post-partum hormones) probably made the first 3 months of Charlie’s life my most emotional to date.
While we were at the hospital our experience was action packed. We were constantly seen by doctors, nurses, family and friends. People were telling us how to take care of Charlie and when to take care of Charlie. After day 3, we came home. Luckily we had already purchased a car seat.
On the way home from the hospital we stopped off at The Pump Station to rent a hospital grade pump and to feed Charlie. If you live in the Los Angeles area, are having a baby, and are planning to breast feed you should definitely visit this store. I don’t know what I would have done without them. I went to their breast feeding support group for the first few months of Charlie’s life. I don’t know if I would have been able to continue breast feeding if not for them.
We also stopped at Target to buy essentials like burp cloths, diapers and wipes. Because Charlie was a preemie we literally had nothing prepared for his arrival.
When we finally got home Charlie was fast asleep. Larry and I put him down, looked at each other and both said out loud, “now what?” We just had a baby. Life is supposed to be completely different, right? Wrong. We sat around waiting for him to wake up.
For 2 weeks we had the easiest child in history. He would wake up to eat and then sleep for 4 -5 hours at a time. We were supposed to wake him up to eat, but he wouldn’t. He loved his sleep. The rest of March with a baby was a breeze.
This picture basically embodies our 2 week honeymoon. We took this pic of him sleeping next to a water bottle to show how small he was.
But then came April…
This video blows my mind every time I watch it. I hope you enjoy it as well.
Keep an ear out. Charlie was born on 3-10-10. Throughout the video my husband said it was 3-3-10. In his defense, we hadn’t slept in over 24 hours.