Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Unexpected Argument for Baby-Wearing, OR, How I Almost Got Run Over

So I had mentioned on facebook the other day that I had almost gotten run over by a car while walking with Alex. It is finally time to tell that harrowing tale.

Alex was being fussy and was not napping well, and the weather was nice out, so I decided that he and I should go for a walk. I strap him in to the Beco carrier and he and I head out. We do a lap around the apartment complex and just as we are getting towards the apartment, he falls asleep. I decide, “hey, why not walk more and give the kid a bit of a nap.” But ,instead of doing another lap, I head down the street for a change of scenery. After walking for a bit I loop around by the Target near our place and start heading back. At this point I reach here:
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Like any thinking person, I push the button for the walk signal and wait for the go ahead. I also stand near the crosswalk, safely away BUT CLEARLY VISIBLE TO ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION. The lights change, the walk signal activates (which includes beeping loudly, mind you), I pause to make sure no one does anything stupid, and then I start to cross…

Once I get about to about the middle of a minivan driven by someone who looks like this person —who was sitting there at the light, looking my direction earlier—she decides to gun it and try to make a right on red. Through the cross walk. Through the walk signal. Through me and the baby strapped to my chest.

Fortunately I was paying attention and my cat-like reflexes and survival instincts kick in, leading to a series of events.

1. I take a fast, large step to get past the car

2. Mid-step, I turn to get Alex out of the way of a direct hit

3. I put my left hand on the death-van that’s trying to run me over

4. I propel, with one arm, Alex and myself off of the van, flipping through the air like Eddy Gordo from Tekken know, except white and with a baby (and less with the flipping and more with the turning).

5. I land safely on my feet, in a crouch, facing the opposite direction from where I started

6. I’m greeted by two things: (a) the look of pure horror on the face of the driver in the car behind death-van and (b) the sight of the van that nearly killed my son and myself finishing its turn, pausing briefly, and then speeding off.

7. I stand, give the van the finger, and finish crossing—all still with the walk signal.

8. Alex wakes up and gives me a look of, “did something just happen?”

9. I call Corinne as I continue to walk home to complain about the crazy driver.

And that, my friends, is the fun story of how I almost got run over while walking with Alex. Had I not been wearing him, I’m not so sure I would have been able to get both, or even one of us, out of the way. Take note, my story is an unexpected argument for baby wearing. Of course, if my kid slept like a “normal” baby, we might not have been there. Either way, we’re safe, and words cannot express how much I despise Connecticut drivers.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Saga of the Overtired Baby

Alex has some sleep issues.  He has never been a huge fan of sleeping, but because it's pretty important to healthy brain development, we've spent much of his first 4 months of life trying to get him to sleep.  He was finally starting to settle into a bit of a schedule, going to sleep around 7:30pm, waking up around 6:30am (for good, he still wakes up several times a night to eat) and then taking a nap around 7:30 or 8am.  That first nap seems to be key.  If he doesn't get a good first nap of the day, he won't nap well the rest of the day, and then he will be a living terror by the evening.  That is what happened today. 

And lo, the infant was tired, so the parents set forth on a journey to lull the child to slumber. 
The child slept but fitfully, and so, when they had returned, they made fit for bed.
The infant was outfitted in the most absorbent of diapers and the cutest, fluffiest of wool covers,
Tonics were given, and then the infant was nursed to sleep.
This was the ritual on most nights, but on this night, this very night, there was a disturbance.

The child would not eat, but would not sleep. 
When wrapped in swaddling cloths, he fussed, but when unswaddled he batted at himself.
He would not consent to be rocked, but screamed when held still. 
The baby cried when nursing and cried when removed from the breast.
It was as if the world was ending. 
Eventually, he gave way to exhaustion, but the battle was hard fought.
And so goes the saga of the overtired baby.

Normally bedtime takes about 30-40 minutes, instead it took about 90 minutes. 

I hear there are babies that sleep.  All the books talk about how much babies sleep.  At that point I just laugh and laugh until people start talking about soothing drinks.

It's a good thing he's so darn cute. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No Dairy, No Cry

I love cheese.  If you know me, you know this fact about me.   I basically lived on cheese (specifically cream cheese) during my pregnancy.  Unfortunately, Alex does not love cheese, and really does not love it when I eat cheese. 
 What a stinker!

Alex has an intolerance to dairy that makes him very fussy and uncomfortable and have stinky green mucousy poop (becoming a parent means you have to spent at least 20% of your time talking about baby poop - they make you sign a contract before you leave the hospital).  I cut dairy out of my diet and things got a bit better, and then they got worse again, so then I cut soy out of my diet, which is the next big offender.  Cutting dairy out was sad, it meant I had to read labels and couldn't have some of my favorite foods, but mostly just meant I had to find different brands of food.  Cutting out soy meant that I basically can't eat processed food anymore.

Read a label sometime - soy is in everything.  I screwed up on that one so many times because I would make the mistake of assuming something didn't have soy in it.  Cooking spray, olive oil cooking spray, has soy in it. 

I also can't really eat at restaurants either.  If we go out, I get the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays, because they have an extensive allergen menu (which says that I can have the salad bar and oil and vinegar for dressing), or we get sushi and I get the most basic sushi that is just rice and fish (no dipping in soy sauce, obviously). 

Surprisingly, this isn't as bad as it sounds.  We eat out a lot less, which saves us money.  We also make almost all of our own food now, including bread (YUM!), which is both healthier and cheaper.  I eat a lot of rice and beans and quinoa and tons of fresh veggies.  Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything: Vegetarian" has been an amazing resource.  I've stopped just using recipes and started really cooking - making things up as I go along. 

Last night I made a vegan risotto with acorn squash, red pepper, onion, and kale.  I cooked the onion with some garlic first in some olive oil, then added the red pepper, then added the squash, cut into small cubes and a little bit of stock and just let that cooked covered for about 15 minutes (I took this opportunity to nurse the baby).  I added the kale and let that cook for about a minute, then added the rice and some white wine (technically some white zin left over in the fridge).  Cooked that for a few minutes, then started added thing stock, about a half ladle at a time.  I use Bittman's recipe for making our own stock and make a double or triple batch so that we can freeze some, or use it throughout the week.  I made the stock while I was chopping vegetables, and then just ladled directly out of the stock pot into the risotto.  Multitasking!  The risotto took about 30 minutes to cook after I added the rice with pretty continuous stirring (Dan played with Alex).  Season with salt and pepper and then I added a splash of lemon juice for a little acidity.  The squash basically became a puree and added the creaminess that would have been added by butter and cheese.  The fresh stock added a lot of flavor to the rice.  It was delicious!!  I never would have tried risotto without cheese, risotto was basically a fancy delivery method for as much cheese as possible, but this was amazing and super healthy. 

 Pictured here with homemade bread - so good!

We still don't seem to be out of the woods though - Alex is still having symptoms, which suggests that he has another food intolerance.  I thought it might be eggs, because it got really bad after his 4 month shots, but cutting out eggs hasn't seemed to make a difference yet.  I think we need to call in an allergist (and possibly a registered dietician for me).

At least I'm no longer tempted by fried food - it's just not an option anymore.  (Most fried food is fried in vegetable oil which frequently includes soybean oil). 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Caffeine and Duct Tape

Today is the culmination of a very long and difficult week.  Alex, our adorable little 4 and a half month old has not been sleeping well.  This week wasn't significantly worse than usual, because except for 10 glorious days about a month ago, he has never slept well, and 4.5 months of sleep deprivation is starting to catch up with us.
                                       Why would I sleep, Mommy?  There is so much to do!
So we slept in a bit, and I made us vegan banana pancakes for breakfast.  We've already cut out dairy and soy from my diet because Alex has a protein intolerance, and now we're trying to eliminate eggs also, which we think might be causing him some problems.  

The pancakes were amazing.  Unfortunately, the day went downhill from there.  After being happily awake for a little over an hour, Alex indicated he was sleepy.  So we tried to put him down for a nap - this is a fairly normal schedule for him.  He did not nap.  He then got overtired.  So I took him grocery shopping with me and wore him in the Beco.  He eventually fell asleep.  After we got home, I fed him and then Dan was treating us to Sushi buffet for lunch.  After it takes 10 minutes to get a mile and a half, we discover that they're apparently not actually open until 3:30.  So we drive back home (also 10 minutes).  So we've now spent 20 minutes in the car with a screaming baby and no sushi. :( 

When I make us lunch, I find that my daiya "cheese" (dairy and soy free cheese substitute) has gone moldy.

It takes us almost 2 hours to get Alex down for his second nap of the day, because he is still extremely overtired.  

We ended up ordering take out sushi because neither of us could get up the will power to cook, and that took almost an hour and a half to be delivered.

It's 10:30 at night and I'm ready to call this week over.  Here's hoping that tomorrow will be the start of a better week.

Let's start on a positive note!
I did do:
- I found my music for church tomorrow!
- I boxed up my maternity clothes for Chrissy!
- I went to the grocery store and cvs! (should I make that two separate list items?  nah)
- I ordered two new cute (and cheap!) diapers from!
- I finished sending out the job postings for our new organist and choir director!
- I clipped the nails on one of the baby's hands! (He's squirmy, it's hard)
- I did not die from allergies!
(notice shower did not make this list - I'll try harder tomorrow)