Almost there...

Monday, January 28, 2013

One Year Old

Dude - we totally kept a baby alive for a whole year! Go Team Woodbury!


Athena remains relentlessly average. Most kids walk around their first birthday. Tonight at dinner at Aqui, she took several tentative steps in a row away from dad towards me. That's my girl, ever on time. (I am one of the only people I know who went into labor ON my due date.) There was much cheering from the assembled crowd. Go baby girl! Go!

Meanwhile, I promised her (and myself) that I'd breastfeed for a year. We made it! Whew! It was a hell of a lot harder than I expected. Constantly having to plan every few hours around "and then I can pump..." made things extra complicated. Now having reached my goal, I'm at once torn between relief and fear of letting it go. Once it's gone, it's gone, no matter if Athena needs the extra power of a little fresh squeezed boob to help her get over a bug or just to provide the very best nutrition available. Were she a little more interested in other foods, I'd probably be more ready to go, but she still gets fully half her day's calories from milk, so this is hard. That said, I'm already down to producing about 10 ounces a day, so bringing that to a close won't be difficult, physically. Were she actually nursing at the taps, I suspect I'd just let her keep doing it. But since I usually miss out on putting her to bed because I have to pump, I think I may actually get more connection with her by ending this rather than continuing.

Last Wednesday was an eventful day. We made an offer on a house on Tuesday night, and I spent all day fretting over what we'd do if it got accepted. It was a lot of money. It was all of the money. But we could've done it, and it would've been a great house in a great location and a great investment. Meanwhile, at work I was scrambling to get several things done while my brain said, "What if you get it? Was this the right thing to do? How are we going to pay the bills? What if you don't get it? Are we ever going to find a place or did we miss our chance?" In that sort of state, I find myself flipping through stations on the radio on the way to work, not really hearing anything, but wanting to hear something different because what my head is saying is just too damned loud and I've heard enough. We went over to see Kev and Rachel for dinner. When I walked in, Athena looked up from Erik's lap and said, "Mama!" It's amazing how awesome that is. Anyway, we got a call from our realtor. While we'd offered $50k over asking price, there were other offers that were $150k over asking price, so we were no longer in the running. It's a seller's market to be sure right now.

Athena doesn't like solid food. She likes milk and she likes purees. She will cheerfully eat baby cereal or a thoroughly mashed banana, but hand her a rice cracker and she tries to feed it to you. Crunchy foods are for adults, silly mama. Cheerios? Nope. Happy Tot Puffs? No, thanks. Super mushy boiled carrot? Not gonna happen. She still merrily mouths darned near anything she picks up, unless it's food, in which case she has a bizarre sixth sense to avoid putting it in her mouth. I've asked friends about this puzzle, but none of them haven encountered anything like it so are a bit short on advice other than, "She'll eat when she's ready." Meanwhile everyone kept pressing us on birthday plans. With choruses of "Well you've got to let her destroy a cake!" I finally challenged Rachel to try to make a cake that Athena might try to attack. She made an amazing cake with carrot and peach puree included and red cream cheese frosting. It was delicious. Unless you were the baby. She didn't want anything to do with it. We tried to feed her a spoonful of peach puree with a little frosting, but that still looked too much like solid food, so not even the promise of sugary frosting could woo her to the side of "sure, I'll try it." So we wait. She'll figure it out eventually. There just aren't twenty year olds who never ate more than pureed baby food, so I'm not going to fret.

Meanwhile, on things I was fretting about, we got Athena tested for lead. There was an article in Mother Jones about lead in gasoline and how it correlates to the crime statistics in the last century. It was a compelling read, and had this lovely bit right at the end:
As it turns out, tetraethyl lead is like a zombie that refuses to die. Our cars may be lead-free today, but they spent more than 50 years spewing lead from their tailpipes, and all that lead had to go somewhere. And it did: It settled permanently into the soil that we walk on, grow our food in, and let our kids play around.
Remember what we spent our summer doing? We remodeled our garage. We stirred up and tracked in all kinds of dust, dirt, and whatnot onto the kitchen floor where Athena was learning to crawl. After months of doing everything just right while she was in-utero, and months of avoiding BPA and pthalates in bottles and baby toys and feeding her organic fruit purees and all of that, had I blown it all by causing her to ingest a ton of lead? Well, thankfully, it appears that's not the case. Her blood tests came back totally normal. I tell you though, it's hard to really go with "God made dirt and dirt don't hurt" these days on so very many levels.

It's late, and the day starts extra early tomorrow. I'll tell you all more later, but for now, good night.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Science News!

I simply must close some tabs, so here's some awesome science news!

Vasalgel (or RISUG) is steaming towards human trials in the U.S., and I couldn't be more excited. It's a non-hormonal, non-obstructive, permanent til you want it removed birth control method for men. It's brilliant. Better yet, it may be unexpectedly good at blocking HIV transmission as well. This is a dream come true. If only there were birth control this awesome for women!

Traffic jams. The good news for me is that nothing is as bad as October/November for my commute. There are days now that are bad, but it's not every single day like it was in October. But what causes them? Scientific American has a great little explanation of how it works, and why it takes so long after the accident is cleared for traffic to start flowing normally again.

Vaccines do not cause autism. Preventable life threatening childhood diseases cause babies to die. No really, it's that simple. So why did congress hold hearings on antivax stuff again last November? Because they're quacks promoting quackery and I'm sick of it. Get your vaccines. Get vaccines for your children. It matters that most of us have them. It's not just that those who don't get vaccinated will get sick. It matters for little baby girls who are too young to get the vaccine. And if what happened to Dana had happened to Athena, you'd better be sure I'd be doing more than a web site. I'd probably be in jail for murder.

Meanwhile, I loved this yesterday:
From "I Fucking Love Science" on Facebook
Turns out though that sometimes antibiotics aren't even the answer for bacteria. For C.Diff., a nasty gut infection, the right answer could come from someone with a healthy gut. Or 10 someones. And but healthy gut, I mean... well, you should read the article.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

11 Months - Addendum

Folks have asked about Athena's milestones. She's not walking on her own yet, but we're likely less than a month from that. We'll see.

My very favorite thing she does is when I first see her after a long day, she gives me a big hug and then starts going, "Mwah mwah mwah" on my face. They aren't kisses so much as big open mouthed touches, but the intent is all there and darned if it doesn't just melt my heart every time. I'll kiss her back and we'll trade back and forth for a few minutes.

She's tried chicken and turkey now. Lisa at daycare says she's probably going to be a vegetarian for a while longer. They were not met with joy. She tried cherry apple yogurt and that met with approval. Shortly she gets to try the series of late fruits and veggies like strawberries, corn, and raspberries followed closely by tree nuts and peanuts. So far, she's shown no allergies to anything, so we're hoping for the best.