my kid sucks

his thumb, y’all!  Gah… you didn’t really think I would start a bliggety off like that, did you?

When Theo was a newborn, I saw him wiggling that little hand near his mouth a few times but never really had the coordination to really get going.  Plus, I never gave him the opportunity.  I ever-so-gently pushed his tiny hand away from his face and inserted his little green soothie pacifier.


Around the time he turned 6 months old, we decided to transition him out of the miniature baby straightjacket swaddle (which we loved for Theo – it never did diddly squat for Dexter) at night, subsequently freeing his arms and hands from said miniature baby straightjacket swaddle.   When that happened, something else did too.  Theo abandoned that soothie faster than you could say “thumbsucker.”

Mouth, meet thumb.  Thumb, meet mouth.

I’m not sure what I had against it…I guess I just figured it would be easier to take a pacifier away than a thumb, and I didn’t want him sucking his thumb at prom.  I never wanted my kid(s) to be a thumbsucker.  I would go as far as to say that it even annoyed me.  I don’t know why.  We don’t try to dissuade him much anymore.  We do say “get that thumb outta your mouth!” as a game, and he’ll pop it out real fast and look at us and laugh (before popping it right back in and going about his business). 

I notice he does it the most when he’s sleepy and when he’s feeling nervous or shy.  There are days when he hardly does it outside of those circumstances.  There are days when he does it nonstop subconsciously as he plays.  To Theo, thumbsucking = self-soothing.  It makes him feel secure.  He’s still little, so I don’t feel the need to take it away (or try to) just yet.

For the record, I still don’t think it’s cute.

If there’s one thing that makes me cringe about thumbsucking, it’s the gross germs.  All the germs that he picks up (and sucks off of his thumb) while he’s playing at the Simon mall playground.  The table he touches at McDonald’s right before he sucks his thumb.  The germs he’s spreading when his slobbery thumb touches things while we are out and about.  I try to hand sanitze as much as possible when we play in public.  We, as a family, have been sick for the last 6 weeks.  So yes.  I have become that mom.  The one chasing her kid around the playground squirting hand sanitizer left and right and towards every kid that comes within 10 feet of him.  Just be glad I don’t carry Clorox Wipes in my purse.  Wait.  I do wipe off the high chairs and tables at restaurants with Wet Ones. Does that count?

I digress. 

Dex has never slept in a baby straightjacket swaddle.  He falls asleep with his pacifier but then it falls out and he doesn’t use it the rest of the night.  We sure do stick it in his mouth when he starts crying for no apparent reason and he seems to like it.  The doc says we should get rid of it now because they are associated with a higher risk of ear infections after six months.  I’m not convinced yet.  There are just those times when I’m glad to have it, and so is Dexter. 

I wonder if I’ll have another thumbsucker on my hands. 

time will tell,

because that means.

I feel like I spend too much time on this blog expressing negativity about how hard it is, being a parent.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m a negative person (I hope not) or because this is my place to vent.  There are blogs out there, like Dear Baby and Enjoying the Small Things, which I love, that are so beautifully and positively written – they inspire me daily to embrace the beauty in the ordinary.  They also portray parenting as something far more glamorous than what it really is.  To me.  To me

That being said, it’s no secret that I love my babies and my husband more than life.  The three of them are the only blip on my radar (too?) much of the time.  But you want truth:  Here it is.  Parenting ain’t no joke, people.  It takes a lot of energy.  It takes it’s toll.  I have a toddler, fast approaching 21 months, and an infant who is almost 7 months.  It’s not easy, but it was never meant to be.  Being a damn good parent, or trying to be, is tough.  There are things that drive me nuts BUT.  These days are so precious and that’s not lost on me.  I know these ordinary days, these crazy-making moments, are what I’m going to miss one day… like…

Theo running up to me and pushing and pulling on my legs while I’m fixing dinner, begging me to pick him up.
Because that mean he wants to be close to me.

The ache in my back from rocking Dexter to sleep at night before he settles into a deep slumber in his crib.
Because that means he still needs me to do that, just as much as I need him to let me.

The sound of Theo running/stomping down the hall while dragging his very loudest pull-toy past Dexter’s room while he is was napping.
Because that means he’s happy, full of energy, enjoying and entertaining himself.

Spending more time cleaning up the mess under the table after dinner than the time it took to eat. 
Because that means I got to sit at the table with my boys, all three of them, and share a meal together.

Wiping runny noses and making last minute doctor’s appointments.
Because when they’re sick, that’s when they need their mommy the most.

Spending countless hours pumping milk, scrubbing bottles, freezing milk, thawing milk, and packing it all up for the babysitter.
Because that means I’m giving my baby the best start possible. 

I could go on, you know?  But the point is this.  I (think I sort of) know how lucky I am.  With that being said, we’ve never had to deal with anything terrible, like life-threatening illness or injury.  Like losing our house in a fire or flood.  Things could be so much worse, no matter what, and I try to keep it in perspective.  I know these challenging, exhausting days won’t last forever.  I know one day my boys will be grown and out of the house.  I’ll think about how it all went by in a blink.  And I hope they’ll come back for lots of visits.  I hope they don’t move too far away from home.  I hope they’ll remember their childhood fondly and not have a clue how hard we worked to make it just exactly what it was.

Because that will mean we have succeeded. 


the case of the disappearing milk supply

With Theo, I had such an oversupply of milk that I had to pump before I went to bed.  Sometimes after he nursed in the mornings, too.  With Dexter, not the case.  Right at six months, my milk production fell off with Theo and I agonized over it until I found out I was pregnant.  Simple explanation, really.  So we started supplementing with formula and I was able to do that and nurse/use our freezer reserves until he was 8 months old. 

I AM NOT PREGNANT.  So why am I having the same dip in supply now that Dexter is 6 months old?  This coincides with me deciding to make him bigger bottles (an extra 4 oz spread out over 4 bottles) during the week, so I’m failing to even make enough milk for those right now.  Forget having enough left over to freeze.  I do still have frozen milk for him (for now) but I’m having to use it just to fill up the bottles.  Talk about stress.  I have a friend that just nursed twins for a year.  She works full-time too.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but my body doesn’t seem to want to feed my babies for much more than six months. 

I’m not giving up.  If it doesn’t improve soon, I’ll start Fenugreek.  I’m just not excited about it since I’ve read that it makes you and your baby smell like maple syrup.  Ew?  And I’m also not excited because I know once I start taking it, there’s no going back.  I’m afraid if I don’t keep taking it in increasing amounts, my supply will just continue to dwindle or dry up.  Anyone have experience with Fenugreek?  Or this 6 month milk mystery?

All I want is to prolong these fleeting, snuggly moments with my baby boy.  He seems to be getting plenty to eat on the weekend so I’m inclined to believe it has more to do with pumping.  Of course pumps are nowhere near as effective as emptying the breasts, so the more he nurses the better off we both are. 

I figured parenting would be stressful, but sheesh.  I didn’t know I’d have to measure and agonize over every ounce of breastmilk.  And hey, you want to talk about someone crying over spilled milk?  Yes, that really happens.  The stuff is gold at my house.  We don’t waste one drop. 

3 days til surgery consultation.  : (