Mama Geek

It has been too long.

5 Months, 1 Day: Penny sat up, on her own, at Storytime. I was so impressed that I squealed…totally scaring all the other babies and causing Penny to fall right over.

Other accomplishments include…well, everything. She is so much fun, every day just keeps getting better.

Still not sleeping through the night, which I really don’t mind since I love the look on her face when I get her out of the crib in the middle of the night. The nighttime feedings are so peaceful, 90% of the time, that I can get through the other 10%.

But, that means that now I have to go answer her cries.


At yoga today, Penny rolled over, grabbed a toy, and rolled back onto her back (…) to play with it.

I laughed out loud, falling right out of my cross-legged position.

Yes, toys – particularly crunchy ones and plastic links – are now awesome in our household. They entertain while in the walker, while on the ground, while in the car seat – they are just amazing. For everyone.

For Penny – oh wow listen crunch rattle clink!

For me – both more time to make dinner and the entertainment from watching her. To see her grab that weird crunchy elephant square thing, look it in the face, then shake it to hear the rattle inside and smile – it absolutely makes me glow from the inside.

I knew I would love having a baby, but I never knew it would just keep getting better. 4 months is amazing. I can’t wait to see what next week will bring.

It is amazing how quickly time slips by. Penny is getting so big – and so much fun. I can not imagine having to leave her during the day. I would miss so much, like how she smiles when she wakes up from naps, or how she has gotten so good at grasping her favorite toys and pulling them to her. She gnaws on anything she can get to her mouth – soft toys, plastic links, the hand of whoever is holding her.

She has met and exceeded all the four month milestones, especially the one about being able to stand up with support. While rolling over has been accomplished (front to back, back to front, either side), she really does not like to stay on the floor for too long. I was helping her stand for hours a day, barely supported. Even the bumbo chair was too constricting. So, I bought a walker (even though it seems to be the devil according to What to Expect the First Year…though so is most anything, which is why I really only glance at it every few weeks). She loves it to an unprecedented degree. Even on the lowest setting, her toes just touch the ground, but she can occasionally propel herself backwards. However, she seems to enjoy feeling tall and really plays with the toy bar and the little toys I put on her tray. She has entire conversations with the bears attached to the toy bar and has better hand-eye coordination every day. No matter what the books say, I think that this was the best purchase for this baby.

Welcome to Penny's Office

Welcome to Penny's Office

I loved Reading Rainbow as a child. Loved, LOVED, L O V E D Loved. There was this one episode with this book with this boy in Africa who makes an arrow and pierces the clouds to make it rain (and oh please does anyone know what this book was? I took it out from the library a million times but I can not find it now!) that I still remember so clearly (of course, without the title).

I also loved Geordi LaForge on Star Trek: TNG. I am still an avowed Trekkie (Trekker, whatever, I am not that weird).

Aaaand I think that I love Levar Burton a bit more today – because of something he didn’t even say. Because this article on the Onion is absolutely amazing.


Even better.

I just looked on the Reading Rainbow website and they have a list of every single episode and the book that was read. So freaking cool.

And the book I have not been able to find: Bringing the Rain to the Kapiti Plain. Must. Buy.

On the Squeaker front, she is awesome. So amazing. She now has enough control of her hands to grab things and pull them to her – and her favorite thing is the pink butterfly hanging from her carseat, which she loves to chew on. As of today. And of course today was the day I dropped it onto the ground. Twice. And stepped on it once.

I thought the newborn phase would be my favorite – I had no expectations past the beginning. And every day, it gets so much better.

I can’t wait to show her Reading Rainbow. And Star Trek.

One of my biggest hopes for my daughter is that she be fearless. I do not want her to ever walk into a room or situation and feel guarded, nervous or scared. I want her to have confidence that whatever comes, she can handle it with grace and aplomb. I have some ideas about how to handle this in the future – how to ensure that she gains this quality which I wish I had in greater quantities, and which it took many years to acquire. And, I want this for every child I have.

I want to give her a way to conquer every fear she ever has – whether it be of heights or animals or crowds. I hope to teach her to tell a story about the fear, to give it proper respect and then push it away.

For now, I hold her high over my head and laugh to show her that it is fun. I spin her around and let her delight in the wind. When someone gets too close or something is too loud and startling, I smile and let her see that it is all ok. I know she is only three months old, but I delight in the fact that she is not scared by anyone, by animals, by other kids ‘playing’ with her by pulling her nose or grabbing her legs.

I never want her to put herself in a dangerous situation needlessly – but I want her to have the courage to face any she finds. I want her to walk into a room and talk to anyone. I want her to be independent and strong, courageous and beautiful.

I know she will be.

I hope that I am able to be a part of that.

So, we went on vacation. And Squeaker got so much bigger. She talks – a lot. And she really got acquainted with her beloved Daddy, who she now follows with her eyes whenever he enters a room. I hope this lasts – he had to go away for a bachelor’s party this weekend, so he is gone for two full nights.

But she is so much bigger. She just – and I mean just 15 minutes ago – pushed herself into a standing position from a sitting one while I was holding her sides. And she looked so surprised at her new vantage point. She has been able to stand well, and straight, for a few weeks now, but it now seems like a willing thing, rather than an “oh my legs locked” thing.

And she is tall. Her clothes fit lengthwise, but look baggy. She keeps getting taller. The newborn clothes are almost a thing of the past – they snap tightly – but the next size still hangs off. The sad thing is that we have sooo many adorable summer dresses in 0-3 month sizes, but they are still huge. I actually have an inkling many will fit her next spring at this rate – the armholes are so big – we may just need leggings underneath.

She is still addicted to the pacifier – now known as the chew toy, as it was named by some friends. Also, baby crack. But she needs it a lot less, especially at night, which is great. I hate that darn green rubber thing, with its proclivity to fall and bounce into dark spaces or under cars in parking lots. I can’t wait for her to be fully done with it – I am starting to use it less even now, but still make sure to keep it around when we are in public. Why should the entire grocery store suffer because I am taking away the chew toy?

She loved the beach, especially all the young cousins around. There was always someone to watch, and you could just see that she wanted to be able to play with them. Especially her 10 month old friend who loves everything about the beach, will put everything from seashells to horseshoe crabs into her mouth and who crawls directly into the waves – and probably would keep going across the Atlantic if that whole lack of air thing wasn’t an issue. Next summer, we are definitely spending a week on a beach again – perhaps in the Outer Banks, where there will be nothing but family, sand and ocean to occupy a one year old’s time.

Today, though – she is 3 months old. And every day is more fun than the last.

So, colds have circled the family – from Huzby to Me to Squeaker. While the worst part is by far Squeaker being uncomfortable, one thing that I did not expect was that a cold could have so drastic an impact on my milk supply. My breasts deflated – literally – as did my emotions. It was – scary. I had been dealing with oversupply since my milk came in, so at first I thought that my milk was just leveling off. The block feeding had worked! But then…I didn’t feel the need to pump. And then, I couldn’t pump…even after I didn’t feed her one night for 10 hours. My milk had dropped off so much that I could barely feed Squeaker, and was worried that soon I wouldn’t be able to even do that. Yes, I had plentiful supplies in the freezer, but if I had to rely solely on that, it would not last long at all. Maybe a week or two.

I never expected to have a problem with breast feeding. My family are over-producers to say the least – though I had gone to the Leche League meetings just in case, read all about the possible issues and spent basically the first two weeks of Squeaker’s life naked from the waist up.

And…that is what it took to bring my milk back in. I fed Squeaker any time that she seemed the slightest bit hungry. It was almost helpful that she had a cold, because she wanted to drink frequently to sooth her throat and her feelings. For over a week, I offered her milk around the clock. And slowly, my milk returned. Finally this weekend I was able to pump again, and now can pump one five ounce bottle every day again – enough that I can leave her with someone else once in awhile, and so that we are stocked for some weekends we have coming up where I will be away for extended periods.

I never want to go through that again – I kept the free samples of formula that we received early on, but never want to have to use it. I understand that some women do not or can not breastfeed, but I love feeding Squeaker. I love how she looks when she realizes that I am taking out the boob – her wide open eyes, her fluttering lips, her sighs of satisfaction. I love how sometimes while feeding she looks up at me and gives her sideways Elvis smile. I love when she gets milk drunk and passes out contentedly afterwards. I want to continue doing that as long as she wants to – up to a reasonable point of course. But until then…I thank nature for letting me feed my baby.