Well... this is a new one for me, I think, blogging while pumping. I'm on campus. Kev is home with Caroline. This has been our arrangement the last three days and will be our arrangement most days starting a month from now. We figured that some practice was in order for all of us. Caroline needs to get used to not being with mommy much of the day (and not having on-demand access to boob- what a lucky girl she's been these last almost 8 mos! though still lucky- so much quality time with daddy!) Kev needs to get used to balancing baby and home and personal commitments (hard task for sure). I need to get used to pumping away from home and being focused in my time away from my loves. As I have a paper I need to write in the next several weeks and had a sermon to write for this weekend this seemed a good time to practice. Likely our practice will continue next week. Who knows maybe right up till it is for real? Kev should probably weigh-in with a report, but my sense is that so far, so good. She has had some rough stretches, but she did when home alone with me too. We are slowly, but surely accumulating a milk supply (hard to do when one's average yield is 2 oz per pumping- maximal yield 3+). I am discovering places to pump. Today's choice won't work in the fall, but seems fine for now. I am also discovering that it takes time to pump away from baby. Yesterday I looked at pics of sweet C on my iPod and it went faster. Today I thought I'd blog. (Just checked- almost to three oz! i haven't gotten this much in one go in DAYS- mind you- 40 minutes or so of pumping!) Bedtimes have been bumpy the past two nights. I've been totally exhausted and have just ended up bringing C into bed with me and going to bed early. Kev hasn't found much practice time (playing at church on Sunday) so I'm hoping to go home a bit early today to let him practice and planning to take C to presbytery with me tomorrow to give him lots of focused time to himself. (O.K., done pumping for now- 2.5 oz... better... but not as great as I hoped. bit by bit...) Our plan had been for Kev and Caroline to meet me on campus midday each day this week for a feeding and a hand off of whatever milk had been pumped since I left home. Wednesday I just went home with them early as they came a bit later given her nap schedule and it didn't make a lot of sense for me to pump and bus it home in the afternoon. We figured this would help build our supply. Right now (there has been a bit of a pause since I last was writing) I'm waiting for them to pick me up early again. Everything I'm doing on campus I can do at home and this will give Kev a chance to practice. But yesterday... I took the bus to campus and took the bus home and they checked in midday and all was fine. I think we're going to be fine. If only I can start filling up that freezer with milk!
But perhaps I shouldn't worry that much about having a full freezer. Our girl is eating more and more solids these days. We've started using a teether that her cousin Gracie loves so much that Mamie bought one for us- it is a teething/feeder- a cool (as in chilled) base with a sturdy ring on it to which a mesh bag in which you place fruit (or other food I suppose) for gnawing on. The baby gets the food in safe bits through the mesh and has relief for the gums. Caroline LOVES this thing. This week she has used it with both watermelon and banana. She has eaten a lot of both of these fruits this week. She can eat almost a whole banana in a day if we let her. As this has a binding function we switched to applesauce yesterday to try to move things along, soften things up... and she happily took to that. (Mamie just reminded me that applesauce is in the BRAT diet... so we may need to get some other fruit...) We did try avocado this week as well. She wasn't terribly interested, but we'll try again. We have some carrots ready to cook up for her to try. She has fed herself some- watermelon bits, banana bits... She often takes the spoon from us as we put it into her mouth and puts it the rest of the way in, sucks it clean and chews on it a bit before we reclaim it. We usually reclaim it when she starts inserting the wrong end into her mouth (am I the only mom with soft palate puncture phobias- oh, not a phobia, just a heightened concern about the soft palate...) It is fun, if messy, this venture into more solids. We still haven't tried cereal... I know... we really should.
So, just last week I was saying that it seemed her desire to walk was hindering her growth as a crawler... but SHE CAN DO IT NOW! Rather than just melting down when we set her down on the floor in her nursery and walk away (temporarily) to get or do something, she fusses a bit and sets to crawling out to find us. She makes fast progress. She still has moments of trying to crawl with straightened legs, but for the most part she's really crawling now. And she seems quite pleased with this. (I watched her a bit this afternoon and see she still has a bit of an unusual method... but it works... more or less.)
We think she might have a future as a drummer, perhaps with congregation number 2, she found a metal canister (that I had been using as a yoga brick when expecting her) while exploring the living room the other evening (she is QUITE the explorer these days... with a real fancy for cords and paper...) and immediately turned it into a drum. She often drums on her feeding chair or while seated on my lap at the dining room table she drums on the table (unless of course she can pull a place mat off the table (preferably with stuff on it it seems), that is MORE appealing than drumming, but drumming is pretty appealing. We brought down one of the drums Kev owns a while ago and she made some good sounds on it. She keeps a fairly steady beat.
It continues to seem like she sings along with us from time to time, or matches or echoes pitch quite well. Perhaps this is wishful thinking on our part, but we don't expect it and yet both hear it... so maybe.
This week also has seen a real increase in her babbling, particularly in her stringing together of single syllables- favorites being "bababababa" and "dadadadada", but i've heard more "mmmmm"s this week than ever before (mostly on the way to crying) and lots of other complex sounds too.
She is soooo funny. She makes the funniest faces. Right now I'm home with her and she's sleeping on my lap, she's even making funny faces in her sleep.
Mamie wants pictures of Caroline standing, but we don't actually have many good places in our house on which she is able to pull up, certainly not on which she's able to hold herself up for very long. This doesn't make for great picture taking. She can pull up on the couch if I hold a finger to steady her. I don't pull her up, I just let her hold on to me and she pulls up all on her own strength. Soon enough we'll get a picture. Soon enough.
I succumbed to the bug that Kev had late last week early this week. I was nowhere near as sick as Kev, but he did the lion's share of care of Caroline Monday-Tuesday. So in addition to his three relatively solo days with her this has been a daddy intensive week. Lucky baby. Lucky daddy? I think so... but perhaps he'll let you know himself. He had a clever line this afternoon and I asked if I should blog it. He said "Yes." And then thought a bit and said "Or I could guest blog..." Great minds... didn't I say at the beginning of this post that perhaps he'd want to speak for himself this week?!
That's all the news I can think to share for now... pics and/or video and possibly a daddy post will follow.