Friday, March 30, 2007

CT scan results claim she's normal

Isabella's CT scan results are already back, from yesterday. pretty fast, especially for south texas time. all normal, which wasn't a surprise for us. she just has a large noggen. she's going to beat the crap out of her mommy and daddy combined, intelligence-wise.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I wish I had never gotten on the scale

Don't know whether our scale is accurate, and as a general rule, I don't get on scales, but I did tonight. Yuck. I don't like what I saw. I'm not telling what it said, but for sure, no problems of being under weight. I don't want to be obsessive about weight, but I just want to be healthy.

Isabella's appointment for a CT scan, South Texas style

Somehow our alarm clock didn't fire off like it was supposed to this morning. Thankfully, Troy woke up at 7:10. We sped off ten minutes later and arrived at Edinburg Children's Hospital around 7:40 AM. When we arrived, hardly any employees were in sight. I saw one woman working and told her we were told to come at 7:30, for Isabella's 8 o'clock appointment.

She asked whether we brought the insurance card and doctor's orders like we were asked to do. Doctor's orders? No one said anything about bringing doctor's orders. What doctor's orders. She called Dr. Martin Garza's office. Doesn't open until 8:30. She said the CT scan cannot be performed without doctor's orders. Hey, don't look at me, no one handed me any doctor's orders or told me that I had to have them in hand. She pages the doctor. Some ten to fifteen minutes pass before the doctor calls the hospital. No problem, he said; he'll fax the order over to the hospital.

Another ten minutes or some passes, it's around 8:20 or 8:25, still no fax with the doctor's orders. Ten at 8:31, this gal calls the doctor's office again. Finally someone answers the phone. Spoke with an employee at the office, and according to the gal waiting on us, was a bit rude. Spent a lot of time not understanding why I didn't have a copy of doctor's orders in hand. Who cares? We're at the hospital and need it now! She said she's fax it over. Nothing happens for five or ten minutes. So, I call Dr. Garza's office on my cell phone, and the office said the copy of the doctor's orders have been faxed.

Meanwhile, Troy had to leave, so he could go to campus and teach a class. I had to call for a friend to pick Isabella and me up once the CT scan was finally performed, and, thankfully Junko was available. An ankle bracelet was put on Isabella and we were asked to head to radiology, where I waited another ten minutes or so.

At about 9:10 AM, she finally got her CT scan. She wore a lead apron on her body, and I wore one too. I was advised that Isabella had to keep her head extremely still for the scan. Like I have total control over that. I stayed in the same spot and attempted to maintain her attention on me. Within less than ten minutes the scan was complete. Whew. What an ordeal for just a five to ten minute scan.

To end on a positive note, the receptionist said that insurance should be covering the entirety of the CT scan. No deductible. No copay. Yay.

How I finally got my painful clogs out and blocked ducts open last night

Don't read this entry unless you're interested in reading about my breast issues and perhaps want some amusement.

Some time in the afternoon yesterday, I noticed that I had some right breast tenderness when I picked Isabella up and held her. But, I didn't think too much about it. It happened again in the evening, but the soreness was more painful. I examined my right nipple. Nothing was wrong with it. Again, I let the problem go. Then, around eight o'clock, the pain couldn't be ignored. Ohmygoodness, there were several REALLY hard parts on the inside of my right breast, towards the side where the right breast meets the left breast all the way towards the bottom of the right breast.

I tried to massage that area, pushing from the edge of the breast towards the areola and nipple. Pushing with any degree of force really didn't feel good. Mommy attack, mommy attack. Lumps? Cancer? I called my sister. I asked her whether it's possible to have blocked ducts on the inside of the breast. Yup.

I tried to massage the impacted area, as hard as my pain tolerance would allow. Then, I took Isabella to the breast. Babies are better at sucking out milk that's trapped somewhere than anything else, such as a breast pump. When she was done nursing, little progress. After I put her to sleep, I continued to massage the affected area of the right breast, more vigorously. Owwwy, owwyyyyyy, owwwwwyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Used the breast pump in attempt to get that milk out. Not enough milk came out of that breast. Kept massaging that breast. Literally spent hours working on that breast. I noticed a little white dot on my right breast. Didn't think it was a yeast infection. Finally took a warm to hot shower. In the shower, I continued to massage that breast. The little white dot became a little more pronounced. Ended up picking at it a bit. Sometimes, in general, we have dead skin that starts peeling, and I was seeing if this was the case.

Between picking at it and the warm shower, I think I uncovered the opening, because after I got out of the shower and I was still trying to massage that part of my breast, milk started spraying out of that particular opening. Just that opening. All that milk was trapped because somehow that opening was closed! Funny thing. When I put pressure on that part of my breast, pushing for the external part of the breast towards the center, milk sprayed out of just that opening! Milk was spring a foot or so. No kidding. This continued for some ten to twenty minutes. In hindsight, I should have saved that breastmilk, but I was just letting it go into a burp cloth. I kept going until that part of the breast was pretty much drained of breast milk. All signs of hardness (which was hard as rocks before) was gone when all was done. Thank goodness. The area was still sore, but no more pain. Yay.

Then I went nighty night, only to wake up early for Isabella's 7:30/8 o'clock appointment for a CT scan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Food - When to Toss It

All of the following tips are lifted from the April 2007 issue of Parents magazine, p. 34. These are tips for how long kids' leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator.

Throw out perishables that have been unrefrigerated for more than two hours, including freshly cut fruit or vegetables.



Yogurt can be covered and stored for up to seven days. If yogurt's eaten out of the container, throw what's remaining out, because bacteria from the child's mouth can multiply in the container.









Chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, and the like should be consumed within one or two days. Leftover pizza should be eaten within three days.






Strained meats or meat combos should be kept only one day. Veggies and fruits are safe for two to three days. If the baby is fed directly from the jar, the remainder should be tossed.






Dump anything that's left in a bottle. Otherwise use prepared formula within two days.

Green beans were on today's menu

Isabella tried her first vegetable today. Green beans. Also used a different spoon that's softer on the gums, rather the plastic spoon I was using before. She seemed to take a few swallows of the stuff.

I took a tiny taste. Yuck.

Glad she fancies it.

2007-3-28

yuck color!



Isabella's legs are too fat for the Bumbo Baby Sitter


I know a number of people who own some version of the Bumbo Baby Sitter. Works well, especially when the baby cannot sit on her own. When the baby is not capable of sitting up on her own, she can't sit in a high chair for feedings, yet.

The Bumbo Baby Sitter's recommended for ages 3-16 months. It retails for $39.99. There are excellent consumer reviews on Babies 'r Us.

Isabella barely fits in the Bumbo Baby Sitter. I was resolved not to get one. But, when I was at Target today, I decided to try putting her in one anyways. Maybe the fit is supposed to be snug, but her legs nearly seemed to fat to fit into the thing. We'll make it without that thing until she's ready for a high chair.

Eating changes and how it's affecting her night-time sleeping

2007-3-28

Well, this little munchkin of ours has a growing appetite, yet once again. We started introducing baby rice cereal a week ago tomorrow. Not a lot of progress on consuming the cereal, by the way. Soon after I put some in her mouth, with a spoon, she sticks her tongue out.

I am sure there are plenty of opinions out there on what I might try. I make sure there's more breastmilk than cereal, so it's not too grainy for her. Once in awhile, she seems to swallow a tiny bit, but more drizzles down her mouth than anything.

Back to the increased appetite, I've noticed especially in the evening, she gets hungry and irritable faster. During the day, I often nurse her every two hours and forty five minutes to just over three hours. But, in the last three or four days, I'm nursing every hour and a half to two hours when it's close to her bedtime.

2007-3-28

Usually, once she's asleep for the night, she's sound asleep. Short of fire crackers being lit next to her sleeping space, she sleeps deeply. Not the case last night. She fell asleep around 10 pm. Just after midnight, as I was about to lay down to sleep for the night, I bent over to try and kiss Princess Isabella. She was already moving her head from one side to the other. Then she started screaming! I waited about ten minutes to see whether it would dissipate and she'd go back to sleep. NOPE! I was tired and she was tired, so I broke down and nursed her. Nursed her on both sides, put her back to bed, and all was well, until morning. I was planning on waking her at 6 o'clock to nurse her, before going to work. But, she also woke up then.

Long story short? She slept 6 hours in between feedings. Not bad, but that's two or so hours less than the last few months of what she was getting per night. I believe her body's changing and she wants more to eat. I was going to wait until tomorrow to introduce her first vegetable, but I may go ahead and do that tonight. Plus, I'm thinking of trying to give her some rice cereal before she goes to sleep. We shall see how things go!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Day #2 of baby cereal, still doesn't like it

I know, I know, it can take quite awhile for babies to get used to trying new food. This is day #2 of trying baby rice cereal. Nursed her first, so she wouldn't be so starving and frustrated to try. She made a disgusted face every time I brought the spoon up to her lips. Will try again tomorrow.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Isabella's first encouter with food other than just breastmilk - rice cereal

This afternoon was the first time Isabella's had anything else to eat besides breastmilk.

Baby rice cereal mixed with some breastmilk.


Ready, set . . .
By the way, Junko was kind enough to come over on short notice to take pictures of me feeding Isabella. Poor Troy couldn't be home for this event; he had to teach and do some work at school.

Looking pretty good, after a nap, don't you think?


Well, okay, actually eating takes some practice.


She's doing pretty well, swallow a tid-bit every now and again.


Ofcourse, more of the cereal drizzled down her face, neck, and bib than she was consuming.

She's trying to decide what to make of this new food.

At least some of the time she opened her mouth without sticking her tongue out, thus making the cereal easier to go in.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Isabella's 6 month check-up and her studio session

Isabella paid a visit to her pediatrician, Dr. Martin Garza, for her 6-month check-up and shots today. Her stats. are:
weight: 16 lbs., 1 oz.
length: 25.5 in. long.
head: 18" circumference.

She's moved from being in the 30% weight to over 50%. But, her head is gi-normous. It's over the 97%. Dr. Garza wants to image her head - do a CT scan of her head, to make sure that nothing is pathologically wrong. She has an appointment for 8 AM, on Thursday of next week. Ugh, so early.

Isabella was in good spirits, at the doctor's office, until the needle went into her leg. I tried as best as I could to distract her. After her shots, I picked her up, and she was consoled. But, putting her in the car seat in that examining room was a bad idea. Bad association with that room. So, I put her in the car seat in the waiting room.

One of our favorite persons, Manda, came wih Isabella & me for Isabella's 6-month portrait studio session at Sear's. Unfortunately, we waited an hour past our appointment time. By then, Isabella was super tired and she had had enough of the studio. We couldn't make her stop crying, not even Mommy! We were able to get two pictures of Isabella, one laying on top of me (with a green cloth separating her and me) and one sitting against my legs while I was still laying down. I wanted to choose one of those pictures, to remember just how interesting that picture-taking session was. But, the gal taking the pictures said that policy dictates that at least 9 pictures have to be taken before we're allowed to select even one. Bummer! Long story short, we were able to take only two more pictures, one in which Isabella was crying. No pictures to take home today.

Speaking of which, got to run. Munchkin needs to be put to bed. Nighty-night!

Monday, March 19, 2007

my face feels swollen

I hope I remember to ask Isabella's pediatrician, when we go for her six month check-up, what allergy medications I can take while nursing. My allergies are REALLY bad. I've been in a bit of a panic about being able to breathe. My nose feels stopped up, I've got junk in my throat, and my eyes are a bit swollen. Doesn't help that the weather never drops low enough to kill all the pollen for a season. And, on top of that, I'm highly allergic to dust. Troy and I haven't exactly given priority to our chores around the house. It's been a couple of months since our home has been vacuumed or mopped; those are his chores. But, I've had trouble keeping my chores, cleaning bathrooms, too. I was sorting through papers on Troy's side of the bed, and after tossing a high mound of papers out, my body is rebelling.

We need a Mary Poppins to come and help us out with housekeeping. A gal who has come once or twice to clean our house doesn't have any time available. Aaaaaaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkkkkk. We need help, our my body's going to move from protesting to exploding.

Isabella is 6 months old today

Isabella is 6 months old today. Wow, can't believe how quickly time has passed and how much she has grown. Gorgeous Princess Isabella.


2007-3-19

She was quite talkative here. She's preparing for her debut.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

"The Tale of Peter Rabbit"

A week ago tomorrow, Manda gave us a book, Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit, to read to Isabella. Isabella's heard this story told many times, since that book came into our possession. Thanks, Manda-Manders. Always a sweet, considerate friend, buying gifts for Isabella. She seems to like the story a lot.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Who wouldn't want to look at this cute face every day, every moment?!

2007-3-16

Classical music really does help Isabella go to sleep

2007-3-16

I've been ruined by philosophy or I've become much more modest in my claims. I put her down at around 1 pm, after I had been observing Isabella's tired cues - rubbing her eyes, grabbing her ears, yawning. At first, she rolled onto her belly and was holding her head up high. Not much protest. Then around 1:30, she started crying and screaming. I thought to myself, if she continues to cry as such, I'll pick her up at the top of the hour. But, I was pretty certain I hadn't misread her cues. Felt her diaper. Still dry. At 1:45, when her cries were not quieting down at all, I put on some classical music. Within five minutes, she went to sleep.

2007-3-16
She looks like such an angel when she's sleeping. I don't want to do anything but watch her sleep.

The philosopher in me knows that I can't prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the music put her to sleep. Perhaps, just given some more time, she would have gone to sleep on her own. I seriously doubt this would have been the case. Many of us have hear the sort of seemingly inconsolable cry that doesn't end with a sleeping baby. Thus, I still believe that in Isabella's case, using music consistently as part of her bedtime routine has paid off.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

PARENT - Job Description

My mother-in-law sent this to me. Anyone who is a parent will especially appreciate this.

PARENT - Job Description

This is hysterical. If it had been presented this way,
I don't believe any of us would have done it!!!!

POSITION:
Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop

JOB DESCRIPTION:

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an,
often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent
communication and organizational skills and be willing to work
variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent
24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including
trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports
tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least
temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue
repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule
and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case,
this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying
wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges,
such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck
zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate
production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan
and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental
outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an
embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety
testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated
devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the
end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and
janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION:

None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without
complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills,
so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE:

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a
continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION:


Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A
balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption
that college will help them become financially independent. When
you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about
this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish
you could only do more.

BENEFITS:

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition
reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered;
this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth
and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.


Forward this on to all the PARENTS you know, in appreciation for
everything they do on a daily basis, letting them know they are
appreciated for the fabulous job they do... or forward with love
to anyone thinking of applying for the job.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is your baby getting ready for solid food?

I got an e-mail from babyweekly with the following tips for looking to see if a baby is ready for solid food:

Most babies are ready to try solid food when they're about six months old. However, each baby is unique and your baby's weight or age alone does not determine her readiness for solid food. Some clues that your baby is ready for solid food include the ability to hold her head steady and sit with support; reaching for and showing interest in food; opening her mouth when she sees food; and no longer thrusting her tongue out during feeding, a sign she's able to keep food in her mouth and swallow it. The first time you try solid food, mix some infant cereal with breast milk or formula. Do not use cow's milk or any other kind of milk or liquid. See if your baby will take half of a very small spoonful. If she turns her head or cries, she is not ready. Try again in a week or two.

Isabella is over five and a half months old now. She can hold her neck and head up when she rolls on her tummy. She can sit with a lot of assistance. She can stand for a few seconds with a lot of assistance. She loves to watch us eat. She is okay at holding her head really steady when we sit her upright. We'll see what happens, soon. We'll try giving her some infant rice cereal at 6 months.

Our little cutie pie, getting a good look at Mommy, while on the tummy time mat

2007-3-13

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Isabella caught learning on her own!

2007-3-7

Isabella's very much interested in these black & white cards. Not only does she enjoy looking at them, she can grab them now. Likes to put them in her mouth, she does.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I think some times mommies who haven't had little babies to take care of in awhile forget how hectic life really is

I think people mean well, but sometimes I get the strong feeling that mommies who haven't taken care of little babies, every day and all day, for some time, forget just how busy and hectic life is.

In fact, one of my friends thinks that making my own baby food won't be a big deal. It will just take a tiny bit of extra time. She doesn't understand that finding time to cook our own food (Troy & my food) and actually eating is difficult. I'd like to see some of these people try working, while taking care of a little one full-time and taking care of household stuff.

So, I'm going to try and list my schedule of activities today . . . Keep glancing at this post for updates throughout the day!

6:30 AM
Nurse Isabella . . . fell back asleep sometime thereafter.
7:35 AM Moved Isabella from our bed to her own sleeping space.
8:10 AM Alarm clock sounds (we have it set on radio), allegedly waking Troy up to get ready
for the day, but instead, waking me up.
8:20 AM Alarm clock goes off again. Troy only makes a peep. I'm awake now, thinking I can
eat and take care of some stuff while Isabella's still sleeping.
8:30-9:10 AM I start brewing Troy's coffee for the morning, I wash out our two containers
that house filtered water, I soak the new water filters (for 15 minutes), I get
my breakfast ready (pour yogurt into a large bowl, wash and cut strawberries,
cut pineapples), and eat breakfast. As Troy's having his breakfast, I wash all
the dishes we've both used, so I can use the sink to fill the water vessels with
water, once the filters are ready to go.
9:10-9:20 AM I feed our fish, Benny. And, I dump the kitchen trash and the Diaper Champ
bag (STINKY!!!)
9:21-9:45 AM Check e-mail and blog.
9:46-10:09 AM Took care of miscellaneous tasks.
10:10-10:46 AM Nursed Isabella and cut her fingernails.
10:50-11:40 AM Heated up lunch, ate leftovers for lunch #1, and attempted to entertain Isabella with black & white flash cards.
11:45 AM Changed Isabella's diaper and laid Isabella down in the Pack 'n Play in hopes she'll take a brief nap, while I read material for work (lectures I must prepare).
12:50 PM-12 noon I do some reading for my Intro. to Phil. class.
12:10 PM My sister calls.
12:15 PM Isabella makes clear that she's not intending on taking a nap. But given what I've read about sleep training and stuff, I don't pick her up right away.
12:30 PM I pick Isabella up from the Pack 'n Play and calm her down.
12:40 PM I check her diaper and she has pooped. Poor dear. I change her diaper. Usually after a big poop, Isabella's usually hungry. Though she hadn't gone that long from the last feeding, I decide to go ahead and nurse her again.
12:45-1:23 PM I nurse Isabella.

I think you get the idea of how my days are here. What do I do all day? Literally, I spend a LARGE chunk of time nursing, changing, entertaining, and taking care of Isabella. It's a wonder that I find time to cook, tidy the home every now and again, do laundry, take a shower, or anything else.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

pulling hair, one of babies self-soothing mechanisms

In the March 2007 issue of Parents, in the Q + A section, on p. 64, it talks about how, for an 8-month-old, pulling mommy's hair (or anyone's for that matter) is a self-soothing activity. It recommends not reacting in any big way, because then the child will end up enjoying eliciting such a big reaction. What is recommended, while waiting for this stage to pass, is to distract the baby with something else. If that fails to work, then say a firm "No pulling hair" and put the child down (on the floor or in the crib). The point there is not to hold the child anymore. Being consistent and predictable in your behavior means losing one's place in mommy's arms to the child.

I've heard some mommies say that babies are REALLY smart and they know what they're doing when they pull hair. The mommies figure the babies know what they're doing because they giggle. Babies do NOT know any better. I repeat, babies don't know any better. They can giggle at any sort of big reaction from the parents. Don't project your cognitive abilities on to your little one; dude, that's aiming a bit too far.

Breast Milk, how long you can keep it

I have the hardest time remember these stats. I figure posting it would provide easy access.

This is from the March 2007 issue of Babytalk magazine, p. 55:

BREAST MILK
how long you can keep it
At room temperature (66-72 degrees Fahrenheit)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
recommends no longer than one hour,
but La Leche League says research shows
that room temperature breast milk is safe
to drink for up to ten hours.
In a refrigerator The AAP recommends
two to three days,
but La Leche League says up to
eight days is safe.
In a freezer compartment inside a fridge
Up to two weeks.
In a freezer compartment with a separate door
The AAP recommends up to one month, but
La Leche League says three to four months is safe.
In a separate deep freeze Up to 6 months.

introducing foods to the baby

From the March 2007 issue of Parents magazine, p. 141-142, is the following excerpt:

Challenging her taste buds

Toddlers get bored eating the same foods everyday. And they like trying new tastes, so give them the chance. "A child's food habits form betrween ages 1 and 2," says Jatinder Bhatia, M.D., a nutritionist and chief of neonatology at the Medical College of Georgia, in Augusta. Expose your child to a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, and meats. Don't give up if she pushes away her plate. A child may need to see a new food up to a dozen times before she'll try it.
Eliminate choking hazards by cutting your child's food into small pieces and avoiding peanuts until she's 2. If you have a family history of allergies, it's probably best to stay away from nuts, fish, and shellfish until age 3, says Hugh Sampson, M.D., Parents advisor and chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City.


What I found particularly interesting is that it can take up to 12 introductions before a baby or toddler will try a food!

preferred organic baby foods

We haven't started giving Isabella baby food, yet. Her pediatrician recommended waiting until she's at least six months; so wait we will.

But, I figure I'd post information I've read in various places, so I could remember (and all you mommies out there can too, if you're interested) this stuff.

From the March 2007 issue of Parents magazine, p. 164, their staffers believe their babies prefer the following organic baby foods:

BRAND WE LIKE . . . PRICE

Gerber The wide variety of products, $1.40 to $1.50
from cereal to applesauce for 2.5- or 3.5- oz containers;
to chicken & wild rice $2.60 for cereal

Plum The exotic tastes in this $2.90 to $3.50
Organics frozen line, including for 2 4-oz. containers
red lentil veggie &
super greens

Happy The frozen trays pop out, so $5 for 12 cubes
Baby you can thaw just what you (.85 oz. each)
need