Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not thinking of sending KW a gift? Ignore this post!

For anyone that isn't intending to send a gift, please don't feel like I'm pressuring you into buying anything or even asking you to. This is for those that have already expressed, or felt, the need to do so.

Some of my readers have asked if they can send Kiddlywink a little gift for Christmas. (And some may feel shy about asking. If you do need our mailing address, please leave a comment indicating so and I'll email it to you.)

Sure! Any and all appropriate gifts are appreciated.

If you're wanting to send clothing? Remember, at the moment, it is winter here in the USA.
Kiddlywink weighs approx 12-13lbs/5.5-6kgs.
She wears a US size 3-6 months, Aussie size 00...European clue, sorry. But clothes in a bigger size for a later season are always good too. :)

If you do send toys or items that contain plastic, please try and ensure they're BPA free.
BPA or Bisphenol A = BAAAAD juju for bubbies.

Story books, especially children's ones with stories about your own culture, or a particular childhood favourite of your own are always good.

As a thank you, we'll be sure to send you a photo of Kiddlywink on Christmas morning with whatever present she received from you.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's just a word, isn't it?

Now that Kiddlywink has been born, I find myself quite often feeling the same embarrassment a young man may feel in the aisle of the supermarket devoted to women's needs. That awful sniggering feeling where I know I shouldn't be embarrassed, it's just a word after all, but I still can't help it. I've even been known to bite my lip or smother a smile with my hand. Or blush.

I must admit I am slooooowly getting used to the word as it is prominently displayed on all packaging, but whenever discussing KW's eating habits or possible needs for changes in the equipment she uses to eat, I can feel my mother's eloquent silence on the end of the line while she mentally adjusts to the "correct" word.

When first discussing feeding the baby my husband reacted with a blush and the exact same embarrassed look on his face when I used the socially acceptable Australian word for the silicon or rubber attachments on the business end of a baby's bottle; completely unaware that it was called something different over here. We'll freely use other Australian-English/American-English words interchangeably, like nappy and diaper, but his embarrassment was so intense I simply switched to using nipple instead of teat. I still feel momentarily weird using nipple or seeing it in public. I accidentally used the word teat the other day, and he blushed just as strongly again.

Is it something just in our families? Or is it once again a case of our different cultures finding one word more socially acceptable over another, even though they mean the exact same thing?

ETA: Wanna know what's REALLY odd? I have no problem using the word nipple in conjunction with a woman's breasts, or even accidentally seeing nipples while someone is breastfeeding in public. It's only when connected with the fake version being called nipples that I get embarrassed.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tim Tams Available in America!

Pepperidge Farms bought the rights to repackage and sell Tim Tams to the American market.
Have had various reports of availability in Target and Walmart stores. (Apparently Walmart couldn't keep up with demand for the test samples. LOL)

Looks like I and my fellow Pimps have had our work finally pay off. :)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Intuitive Eating: What My Daughter Has Taught Me.

Something I have had to fight is my fear of waste. Spending a lot of time with my Depression-era grandparents and having had parents raised by them, I find myself now and again fighting the urge to force Kiddlywink to eat more than she wants. When she was young, it quickly became apparent whenever I'd done this. She'd "waste" the excess in her own indisputable fashion. Most often, all over the fool who'd not wanted to waste the last 10 mls in the bottle.

These days it's a little trickier, because she does actually push the bottle away when she's had enough. BUT! She can also do that if it's not sitting right in her mouth, she's frustrated with how long it's taken, or she's accidentally knocked it out while stroking the bottle. So, it's a fine line between trying not to force her and offering it again in case she really does want some more and can't stop complaining about it long enough to realise the bottle's in her mouth already. Extra fun bonus points is when she pauses in between sucking, on and off for five minutes, to bitch about everything. LOL

Watching Kiddlywink as she's grown and matured, both in stature and appetite, has shown me a lot about what actual intuitive eating is. To start with, we had to have her on a three hourly schedule because she wasn't mature enough to wake herself up when she should have been hungry. That's normal for premature babies.

Even then, though, there were times that she would wake up before the three hours and express her dissatisfaction at how slow the service was around here. Other times, she would barely eat half the minimum amount she was supposed to ingest in one meal.

Keeping track of her eating habits allowed us to figure out that no matter what she ate at any particular meal, she would consistently eat the same amount in a day. And as the days wore on and we averaged out the weeks, it became even more apparent: She had distinct patterns. E.G. One meal a day, every day, was always smaller than the others. Leading up to a bowel movement she would eat a lot more the preceeding day. She cluster fed every night before bed: Sometimes eating a full meal's worth every hour for 4 or more hours!

The amount she'd eat in each meal didn't matter in the slightest, because her eating clock was set at her own time and pace. I'll never forget the absolutely disgusted looks she'd give us in the day or two it took us to figure out she was now ready for a four hourly awakening, rather than three.

Here are some other things I've learned, or had reinforced by observing her, and find that they also apply to me.

- Food is more enjoyable when I'm actually hungry.
- Sometimes, when I think I'm peckish, I'm thirsty. And sometimes, I am actually peckish.
- If there are times I feel actually hungry again sixty, thirty, or even five minutes after I finish eating? That's okay; have just a little bit more.
- Some meals I'll eat far less than I'd believe could possibly satisfy me.
- Other times, before I'm satisfied, I'll have eaten a meal bigger than my head!
- There are times when it's more important to have a little snack to stave off the hunger pangs and then go have the sleep I so desperately need. Even if it's of an evening and I sleep through till breakfast. I obviously needed the sleep more.
- Some days I eat less, or more, often than usual.
- Sometimes, I want to drink plain water, but I want it heated. Other times I want it ice cold. Most often, room temperature is nice.
- In the morning my extremities are colder than at any other time of day. I need fuel a.s.a.p. to stoke up my inner fires. Breakfast is one meal I cannot do without.
- Occasionally, I do need to eat a snack during the night.
- T.V. IS a distraction.
- Eating alongside others is extra enjoyable. Even if we don't speak, and are eating different things, sharing our enjoyment is enough.
- A burp is a compliment. As is a contented sigh. It says thank you for ensuring I have had enough to eat.

There's more, but I think you get the general gist of things. I'm also sure, that she'll continue teaching me for many years to come about how to eat, how to enjoy life, and how to love myself and others unconditionally.


Monday, November 16, 2009

I Was Gonna Call First....But!

Yesterday, we went for our first visit to the YMCA in three or so months.

Alaskaboy, as usual, was running late for aqua aerobics. He ran inside the building and through reception really fast. Thus, he didn't see the signs on the front door or reception desk.

G, the receptionist, was so excited when he dropped our membership cards off and told her Kiddlywink was coming along behind--with me of course but the important news was that Her Cuteness was coming--she got busy slathering up with hand sanitizer and forgot to tell him. (How excited? She didn't even log us in. We discovered later our membership cards got dropped on the desk in her lunge for the sanitizer.)

In the two or so minutes it took me to reach reception, Alaskaboy had started his pre-swim rinse.

Kiddlywink and G were in raptures getting reacquainted while I went and stuck my head through the men's change room doorway and yelled, "OY! Pool's closed today for repairs!" LOL


Friday, November 06, 2009

Kiddlywink's Birth Story: Part Three

Part One.
Part Two.

Surrounded by scurrying medical personnel, I'll be forever grateful to the nurse who held my left hand as much as she could throughout the the pre-operative kerfuffle. She must have had a hand made of steel because I know I squeezed so hard at one point that my own hand went briefly numb.

Strapped down as I was, I couldn't brush the tears away as they dribbled their way down into my hair line then into my ears. Eventually the dribbles became a trickle and then a steady flow as the anesthetists poked and prodded, trying to insert an arterial line into my veins. This important piece of tubing would be used to monitor the minutest change in my blood pressure. Unfortunately I was so dehydrated and distressed that they couldn't find a home for the line. Two different attempts were made on my left arm and then they switched to my right.

In the background I could hear the assistants disparaging the supply unit as they'd run out of a certain kind of drug essential for my surgery. Apparently, they'd just used the last of it up in another emergency c-section, but they were incredulous that the hospital could run out of such an important drug. Dr Awesome stopped the bitching by telling them to go with the second most popular drug as they had no choice at this stage.

My attention was drawn sharply back to the anesthetists as they threaded the arterial line into my arm. Yes, into my arm. They missed my veins all together and there's nothing quite as revoltingly painful as feeling a piece of tubing slide into your body where no tubing is meant to go.

At this point the nurse came back from telling Alaskaboy that it was taking longer than anticipated--They'd expected to have Kiddlywink out by now--and she grabbed my hand in time for them to miss-thread the line a second and third time.

Finally, Dr Awesome put his foot down. "That's enough," he said. "Let's just go. We can put the line in when she's out." From the tone in his voice and the look on his face, he was sick of seeing and hearing me suffer. And I'm guessing he could see from my face that I'd reached the end of my courage. I remember thinking at that point that I could keep being brave if they'd only successfully put the stupid thing in, but I had no faith left in the anesthetists except for their abilitiy to hurt me.

And hurt me one of them did again. After fitting the gas mask over my face, (Thank God it was at least a slightly opaque white colour not the awful smelly black ones they had years ago) he explained he was supporting the "some part of my throat I didn't quite catch" so I would keep breathing. But to me, all it felt like was him trying to choke me while crushing my Adam's Apple at the same time. There was none of that gentle hold-my-hand-and-count-backwards-from-one-hundred routine I was used to. Imagine the pain of the biggest ice cube you ever swallowed. Multiply it by about 50 and center it all on the very front of your throat. That was the last sensation I remember feeling before the lights went out.

The very next sensation I felt was my left fingers starting to twitch involuntarily. Slowly but surely I became more aware of my body and my surroundings. I caught a glimpse of the clock and seeing just how much time had passed I began to fret. All of a sudden I could peer towards the doorway and see Dr Awesome and Alaskaboy.

"Hi Baby," I said, in a voice that I barely recognised as my own, so weak and high pitched did it sound. "Is she beautiful?"

His voice I recognised, as well as his pride, relief and joy, in the one syllable that he was able to utter. "Yes."

And then I was concentrating on not giving into the urge for terrified wailing as they informed me they were transferring me to a bed. Considering what I'd been through, I expected a huge, painful process of some kind...but they gathered the corners of the sheets and slid me across onto the bed, smooth as silk.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I settled in for the ride to the ICU, tuning out the gurney driver and the nurse who was administering my meds as they argued over the best route to take. Direction sorted, we set off on a kaleidoscopic journey of lights whizzing by overhead and corners being turned at what felt like break neck speed.

My eyes opened wider and wider as we approached the turn for the elevator. Yeah, that sigh had been breathed too early. The guy misjudged the turn, too busy flapping his gums, and rammed the end of the gurney into the side of the elevator doorway.

Hearing myself make an horrific primal scream, I grabbed my stomach as I slid several inches down the bed. Then my hair stood on end as I heard the vicious tone in Alaskaboy's voice as he verbally tore strips off the guy. Miserable and tired of it all I closed my eyes and sobbed the rest of the way to ICU.

The next twenty four hours passed in a blur. I remember making and receiving phone calls and text messages; sleeping a lot; pressing the pain relief button as often as I was allowed; and even managing to get out of bed at one point.

Then during one of my lucid periods, Alaskaboy was there; with photos of our beautiful baby girl. We'd managed to have a list of about six or so names for a girl, but there were two clear favourites. It wasn't until we saw her picture though that we knew which order to put those names in. Funnily enough, the name we chose for her first name was the last name we'd put on the list. And subsequently never added any more names after that. It was like we'd known subconsciously we had our winner since that moment.

As they were preparing to move me out of the ICU and into the intensive care beds of the actual maternity ward I was able to say goodbye to the nurse who'd helped me through those first critical hours. She'd stopped back in to see how I was doing when she logged on for her next shift.

That left me in good spirits and Alaskaboy's terse warning to the gurney driver had me hoping for a smooth journey. HAHAHA! She was worse than the original gurney driver. She not only managed to ram me feet first into the side of an eight foot wide doorway, (you really don't EVER want to know what Alaskaboy said and how he sounded while he said it) but also sideswiped an elevator doorway on the way to the maternity ward. I managed to keep my mouth shut and my cries deep in my throat during the sideswipe else murder might well have been done.

But wait! There's more. The fun and games weren't over yet! It got worse before it got better.