Thursday, April 30, 2009

Call to Action on Breastfeeding

The Department of Health and Human Services is asking for ideas about how to better support breastfeeding in this country.

How did I not hear about this earlier? Go, visit the site, and leave comments with ideas from the women who have first hand experience of what does and does not support breastfeeding in our society.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feeling Lucky

As I mentioned yesterday, I was in a bit of a funk recently. I pulled out of it not because any of the fundamentals changed- I'm still tired, occasionally nauseous, with itchy legs (although that's a lot better thanks to the magic cream). My perspective changed, because several things reminded me just how lucky I am.

I have had a lot of time to think about things lately. This time occurs primarily at Pumpkin's bedtime, when she insists that Mommy come lay down next to her so that she can fall asleep with my hair held firmly in her little hands. I've been reflecting on some posts I have read recently and remembering that I'm actually very happy to be an exhausted pregnant woman with an overly energetic toddler. (Said toddler, by the way, is outside doing yard work with Hubby. On her way out, she shook her finger at me and told me to "go rest, Mommy". How sweet is that?)

For one thing, as a recent post on A Little Bit Pregnant reminded me, there are many women in this world who desperately want to be pregnant and can't be, for a variety of reasons. There are also many pregnant women who have complications far worse than itchy legs. I have had the good fortune to have an easy time getting pregnant and to have healthy pregnancies (at least so far), and I am very grateful for that good fortune.

I am also lucky to be able to enjoy Pumpkin, with all her two year old behaviors, both exasperating and endearing. A recent post on Moxie's site reminded me that some parents have to function under a cloud of suspicion. And some parents lose the plot altogether and descend into abuse. Abuse is not something I can really understand, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about how we as a society might do a better job of preventing it and also about what I personally might do to reduce the number of children who experience abuse. I don't have any good answers to those questions. I think few abusers really intend to become abusive, and that isolation, difficult circumstances, unrealistic expectations of children, and a lack of back up or support often contribute to abuse. I don't know how to fix any of those problems, though. I donate to a local organization called Home Start that works with "at risk" families. I'd like to do more- I'm just not sure what.

I also recognize that I'm lucky that my parenting skills haven't been tested by any of the problems I listed above. I have a wonderfully supportive network of family and friends, a fully involved partner with a similar parenting philosophy, and pretty easy living circumstances*, really.

All told, I am feeling pretty lucky. But I still wish Pumpkin would fall asleep a little easier.

* Which is not to say that I think our society does a good job supporting parents in general or working parents in particular. But this is a happy, upbeat post. Maybe some other time I'll post a rant about the difficulties with being a parent in our society, and how wrong it is that so much of a parent's experience comes down to luck.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Some Times Are Harder Than Others

Just when I thought I was starting to see the end of my extended first trimester blechiness, I'm back down on the sofa with exhaustion. Hubby and Pumpkin are outside right now, kicking a ball around and having a great time. It is great to see Pumpkin having so much fun with her Daddy, but hard not to have the energy to go join in. At least I can watch through the sliding glass door.

The exhaustion hit this weekend, probably because we tried to do too much. We had a party for Hubby's work on Saturday, and went to a parents' swap meet on Sunday (we scored a Fisher Price Little People house that Pumpkin absolutely loves- best $17 I've spent in a while). We also set up Pumpkin's big girl bed (another hit, and the first thing she told her teachers about when she got to day care on Monday). Oh, and Hubby decided to start painting the bathroom, a much postponed project. While Hubby painted, I had to keep Pumpkin out of his way. She and I went to Target for part of the time. She behaved beautifully, but even when she's confined to a shopping cart her abundant energy exhausts me! For some reason, I also decided to sort through and box up some clothes Pumpkin had outgrown.

I was quite frustrated this weekend, because I had to nap during Pumpkin's naps on both weekend days. Pumpkin's weekend naptimes are pretty much the only time I can get big projects done, and my desk needs a serious clean. Also, we didn't get the big girl bed set up until quite late on Sunday, and for awhile it looked like that wasn't going to get done. The big girl bed was my top priority for the weekend, so I was annoyed with Hubby for prioritizing painting over the big girl bed. Poor Hubby- in trouble for doing the wrong chore!

I have things back in perspective now. I'm still exhausted, but much less frustrated by it. If I look at things rationally, I can see that I am getting more energy back. I cleaned the bathroom on Thursday! And last night, after I loaded the dishwasher, I swept the kitchen and dining room floor. It is very, very clear, though, that our systems for getting things done need an overhaul before the new baby is born. Luckily, thinking about how we might schedule our chores and shore up the methods I use to make sure important things like bills and doctor's appointments don't get forgotten is something I can do from the sofa.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Random Things

I'm working on a serious post about 23andMe and their recent drive to market to pregnant women/mothers (prompted by the goings on over at A Little Pregnant). But that's going to take some time.

So tonight, I'll give you some random thoughts, all pretty boring, really:

1. I may have mentioned that I have incredibly itchy legs? If not, consider yourself informed. This is the pregnancy symptom that is driving me most crazy. This is saying something, because I don't consider the 4 months+ of nausea all that much fun, either. I tried the Dream Cream from Lush that Cara Mama recommended, and it is actually helping. Certainly, its the best cream I've found so far- it works better than the over the counter cortisone cream for stopping the itching and may be calming the eczema (or similar rash) that I have developed, too. So I guess it was worth the price and the wait while it was shipped down from Canada.

2. Moxie had a post a while back about cleaning. One of the suggestions there was to use a wet microfiber cloth to clean without chemicals. I actually felt up to cleaning the bathroom tonight, so I gave it a try on the mildew that has been bugging me in our bathtub. It didn't clean the black stuff up fast enough for me- I'm still going to have to break out the chemicals on that. But the weird pink mildew around the drain and on the shelf? Wiped right up. Amazing.

3. I saved the best for last: Pumpkin apparently put herself in time out at day care today. No one saw her do anything, but she said she'd bitten her friend, and went over and sat herself in time out. Her friend wasn't crying or showing any sign of a bite, so I personally think this is just an extension of her current need to "play out" getting punished. The day care teachers were pretty amused.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Dilemma and a Cute Story

First, the dilemma:

We have a birds nest on our trellis over our patio. It is an obvious location, and Pumpkin (who has always liked birds) noticed the mother bird sitting on her nest. She was curious, so Hubby told her about how the Mommy bird was sitting on the egg, and the baby bird was still in the egg but would come out later. Pumpkin loved looking at the Mommy bird and telling us how the baby bird would come out later.

Well, now the Mommy bird is nowhere to be found. We suspect that the egg was stolen by a crow or something- the nest was very exposed. Pumpkin has noticed that the Mommy bird is gone. So far, we have avoided telling her where the Mommy bird has gone. This can't last though. What should we say? I'm inclined to tell her the Mommy bird moved her egg to a better nest. I suspect Hubby will want to tell some version of the truth. What do you think?


Now for the cute story:

Pumpkin has once again been having trouble with biting at day care. We're not sure why she's biting (or trying to bite- most times, the teachers catch her before she actually bites) again now. It could be because she's getting one of her final molars in, it could be because of the developmental leap she's working on now, it could be that one of the other kids at day care started biting and reminded Pumpkin of that method for expressing her displeasure... who knows. We know it is not because she doesn't have the words to express herself. She certainly has the words now. The teachers say that after she bites she pretty much gives herself the lecture about not biting, using her words, etc. She clearly knows she is not supposed to bite. I think she just doesn't yet have the necessary impulse control to stop herself.

Anyway, today after dinner she was playing with her baby dolls ("big baby" and "birthday baby", being her biggest baby doll and the baby doll she was given for her birthday, respectively). She looked big baby in the eyes and said "No biting, big baby. Don' bite . Use your words. You're in trouble." And then she marched big baby into the kitchen and put her down by the dishwasher, which is where we have her sit when we give her time out. I was surprised to see her do this, because she hasn't had to sit there for quite awhile- her more recent at home time outs have all involved putting her feet on the table during dinner, and she just gets moved away from the table for those. Clearly, the dishwasher time out spot has made an impression, though.

Next, she came back and picked up birthday baby. She delivered the same lecture, and took birthday baby to sit in time out, too.

She forgot about her babies for awhile, and played with me instead. At some point, I started bouncing her on my knees. She would laugh and then immediately say "more!" when I stopped. Eventually, I got tired and said that I wouldn't bounce her anymore. She pouted a bit, and got down off my lap. Then she turned to me and said "Use your words, Mommy. No biting. You're in trouble." And she held out her hand and led me to time out next to big baby and birthday baby.

She let me out of time out after just a little bit, though, because she wanted me to come outside and play.


Thanks for the words of encouragement on yesterday's post. Pumpkin actually slept really well last night, once she finally went down. She didn't wake up until after 5 a.m. When Hubby brought her in bed with us to finish the night, she was saying "Don' kick Mommy", which was what I told her when I put her in her crib last night. She went back to sleep easily, though, and slept until almost 7. She woke up, sat straight up, climbed onto my lap, pointed at some shoes on the floor, said "Oh! Those are Mommy's shoes!" and then launched into a description of the morning routine that we were about to start. I think the poor girl's brain is just waaaaay too busy for sleep right now. Still, we're hoping tonight's bedtime routine goes more smoothly.

Monday, April 20, 2009

No Rainbows Here Tonight

Bah! Sleep seems to be harder and harder to achieve in our household these days. Well, except for Hubby. He still falls asleep pretty easily. But Pumpkin and me? We're both struggling. I know why I'm struggling- I'm pregnant and I still have a lingering cough from that cold Pumpkin gave me a week and a half ago. Nothing like itchy legs and a hacking cough to keep you awake at night. I'm not as certain as to why Pumpkin is struggling, so I'll blame the old "developmental leap" standby.

Tonight started off well enough. She was cuddly and sleepy towards the end of her stories. She didn't protest when I turned off the light. But then she just would not go to sleep. She wasn't comfortable rocking in the chair, so I put her in her crib. She thrashed and whined and kicked and eventually put her hands up to get out. Usually, she then snuggles in and falls asleep in my arms. Not tonight. First she cried for Daddy. When he came and I left, she screamed for Mommy. But when I came back, she didn't want me to hold her, didn't want to lay down next to me on the floor, didn't want me to sit next to her crib. So I tried taking her into our bed. She kicked and squirmed and sang the last lines to "I'm a little teapot". (It took me a while to decipher what she was saying: "pour me out", over and over.)

I confess I lost my cool after a particularly vicious kick and took her back to her crib. Besides, I was hungry. She was quiet for awhile, and Hubby and I were thinking maybe we'd just hit on a magic new technique. But then started crying again. Hubby is in there trying to close the deal now. It is a good hour after her usual "go to sleep" time. It is in fact MY bedtime now.

I am convinced that a big girl bed would help. I could have read her stories in bed, and she would have just drifted off to sleep at the end. (A Mom can dream, right?) The bed is on order. It should be here this week. I hope I'm right, because if it doesn't help, I don't know what we are going to do. Please, can I be right? I promise I won't gloat to Hubby and blame him for not agreeing to get the big girl bed earlier.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Zenbit: Rainbow View

Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii, USA
December 28, 2008

Friday, April 17, 2009

1,2,3,4... Pumpkin is Talking Even More

Pumpkin seems to be going through some sort of developmental spurt having to do with memory. We have all the usual signs of a spurt: sleep is harder to get, incident reports from day care are up, tantrums are more frequent.... We suspect this one is about memory because she is suddenly talking about things that aren't happening right at the moment. One night this week, she sat up in bed at about 3 a.m. (she had already joined us in our bed by this time) and started talking about what she eats for breakfast ("fruit and oatmeal", with oatmeal pronounced "oatme-al"). That was definitely one of those "cute in retrospect" moments. At the time, we were just incredibly annoyed to be woken up again.

Today, in the car on the way home from day care, we talked about the following things:

1. Motorcycles make noise, but they won't hurt you unless you get in their way. Pumpkin volunteered that if you do get in the way of a motorcycle, you will get a "big owie".

2. Doggies don't come in Pumpkin's yard. They stay in the neighbors' yards.

3. She kissed a baby at day care.

4. She saw a train at Mimi and Boppa's house. It was long, and had black cars.

5. She and Daddy went swimming (also at Mimi and Boppa's house, but this knowledge was assumed). Pumpkin pushed Daddy under water, and people laughed.

6. 1,2,3 penguins at the door.

The last one should really be "1,2,3,4 penguins at the door" and is due to the fact that Hubby has finally found a children's song that he likes, and he has been singing part of it with her. It was from Feist's appearance on Sesame Street. Now Hubby, a man who insisted on rocking Pumpkin to sleep to Suzanne Vega because he didn't like lullabies, sings this song with Pumpkin all the time. Or he sort of sings it. They've made up new words: "1,2,3,4 penguins at the door, 5,6,7,8 monsters at the gate".

This has also pushed Hubby off the fence about Sesame Street. You have to admit, Elmo gets some top notch musical guests! My personal favorite of the ones on YouTube is the one where Andrea Bocelli sings Elmo to sleep.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Well Baby

We're all feeling a lot better here. I am unfortunately still prone to coughing fits, and when the one brought on by my attempt to unload the dishwasher combined with my lingering evening "morning sickness" to actually make me throw up for the first time in this pregnancy... well, I took the hint and decided to retire to the sofa with my laptop.

Right now, Pumpkin is having her snack with Daddy and demonstrating the new rhyme she's learning at day care: I'm a little teapot. She can do most of the rhyme with very little prompting. It is unbelievably cute. (Yes, grandparents, et al., we'll get this on video at some point.) She's also telling her Daddy that he should "be happy!" He's trying to extend that to "don't worry, be happy", because he loves the 80s.

Earlier today, we took her to the doctor for her 2 year well baby check up. It seemed like a bit of a misnamed appointment, since the entire family is still suffering a bit from colds, but Pumpkin still did great. She took her own shoes off for her height and weight check. She stuck her tongue out as requested, and let the doctor check her ears and listen to her heart without struggle. She also impressed the doctor with her words and phrases- her language skills have really taken off lately.

The doctor gave us a picture book for Pumpkin, as part of some campaign someone is running to encourage parents to read to their children. It is a worthy goal. It is very easy to forget just what a privileged upbringing Pumpkin is getting. She has shelves full of books and parents who are always happy (OK, at least willing) to read to her. She, in fact, has pretty much anything she needs. She's lucky that way.

The fact that other kids aren't as lucky as Pumpkin has been on my mind lately, due to a recent Economist article on the impact of childhood stress on later life. The Economist article is summarizing a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Evans and Schamberg. The PNAS stuy concludes that childhood stress correlates with reduced working memory later in life (working memory is an important component of intelligence), and strongly implies that a causal link is likely. This is far from my field of expertise, but I wasn't completely convinced by the PNAS study that the working memory reduction was caused by the stress. It certainly seems like a strong, plausible hypothesis, though, given everything we know about the effects of chronic stress (the summary of these are far beyond what I have the energy for tonight- check out Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, by Robert Sapolsky for a good book on the subject).

However, I certainly don't think that the conclusion the Economist article reaches is supported by the evidence. The article concludes by referencing studies that have shown that social position is related to stress (the lower your status, the more stress you have in general), and extrapolating:

"So, it may not be necessary to look any further than their place in the pecking order to explain what Dr Evans and Dr Schamberg have discovered in their research into the children of the poor. The Bible says, “the poor you will always have with you.” Dr Evans and Dr Schamberg may have provided an important part of the explanation why."

I think this lets those of us who are higher on the "pecking order" off the hook far too easily. Leaving aside the fact that wealth is not perfectly correlated with status, there is no reason to assume that the stress-related effects seen by Evans and Schamberg are entirely due to low status. There are many other sources of stress in a poor person's life. Not having enough to eat is stressful. Being too cold because your family can't pay the heating bills is stressful. Having parents who are stressed and worried about meeting the family's basic needs is no doubt stressful. Being sick and unable to go to the doctor for treatment because your family does not have adequate health insurance is probably pretty stressful, too. All of these things could be at least partially addressed by programs to alleviate the effects of poverty. We do not know if such programs will help to break the cycle of poverty, but we certainly cannot conclude from this study that there is no point in trying.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Some Bad and Some Good

We're all sick here. Pumpkin was sent home early from day care on Tuesday with a fever, which only broke Thursday night. She has a cough and an unbelievably runny nose. Her nose overflows dramatically when she throws a tantrum (a fairly frequent occurrence over the past couple of days- being sick makes her cranky). This leads her to switch from crying about whatever set off the tantrum to crying "blow my nose!" At least she no longer fights us when we want to wipe her nose. She doesn't like snot coming out of her nose anymore than we do. I credit day care with this turnaround. At least they are the ones who taught her how to blow her nose in to the tissues we hold for her.

Hubby has the runny nose, but says he feels fine otherwise, and just to prove it he spent most of the day today doing chores.

I have been knocked flat by the cold. I have a sore throat, a cough, a runny nose, and absolutely no energy. The cold symptoms and the pregnancy symptoms are fighting it out, leaving me twice as miserable. At night, the pregnancy-caused nausea is least bothersome if I lay on my left side. But then the cold-caused congestion gives me an earache. So I toss and turn and get far too little sleep. I've recently started feeling hungry all the time, as pregnant women do. But the cold has knocked out my desire to actually eat, and made the still lingering nausea worse. So I spend a lot of time staring into our pantry, trying to find something I can stand to eat.

But enough whining. My Mom, who very kindly came over to take care of Pumpkin for her first two days home from day care (and would have stayed longer, except for a prior engagement back home) tells me that she is missing Pumpkin. So here is a cute story from tonight:

Pumpkin got down from eating her evening snack and noticed the large amount of food she'd dropped on the floor during dinner and snack. She said "Uh oh!" and looked at me with her cute wide-eyed, round-mouthed look of alarm. "Throw it away?"

I told her that yes, the food that was on the floor should be thrown away.

So she carefully picked it all up, and took it to the garbage, bit by bit. When she'd finished, she came back over to where she could see me and gave me a huge grin. She was so proud of herself! I was glad to have the mess cleaned up without having had to move from the sofa, so I quite sincerely thanked her for helping and told her to go have her bath with Daddy. Then she announced "poopy diaper!" so I had to get off the sofa after all.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Who's Judgemental Now?

I have been meaning to write a post about Hanna Rosin's and Judith Warner's recent articles blasting breastfeeding and pumping, respectively. It was going to be called "A Memo to Hanna Rosin and Judith Warner" and was going to start off with the true statement that I genuinely do not care how they feed their babies. Then I was going to point out that Hanna Rosin's review of the scientific literature on breastfeeding was casual at best, and that the scientific reviews of the literature on breastfeeding that I have seen come to a different conclusion, based not on any single large benefit but on the accumulation of many smaller benefits.

I was going to hope that no one read her article and decided that since breastfeeding isn't really that important they didn't need to give the nursing mothers at their company time and space to pump. I was going to end with a good rant about her statement that breastfeeding "pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way". I was a working, nursing mother for 20 months. I think I did quite a bit of meaningful work during that time. I got a raise and a bonus this year, so I assume my employer agrees. Furthermore, women have been doing "meaningful work" (i.e., raising children) and breastfeeding since the human race first showed up on earth. Her suggestion that breastfeeding precludes working in a meaningful way was therefore deeply offensive.

I was going to tell Judith Warner that she'd have to physically fight to take my breast pump away from me, because it was an instrument of liberation, not subjugation to me. It allowed me to go back to work without weaning my baby. Going back to work helped me rediscover both my sense of competence and my pre-baby identity. The pump allowed me to take nights away from my daughter and go and get a good night's sleep without having to first wean, thereby saving my sanity. I don't care if other people don't want to pump, but how dare Ms. Warner imply that anyone who does pump is somehow subjugating herself? How dare she judge how I have chosen to achieve balance in my life?

But so many people have posted so many good, intelligent things about this already, and I've exhausted my indignation in comments on other people's blogs.

I do not discount the people who have felt judged when formula feeding. This is a deeply personal decision that is by necessity made in public. It impacts the thing that new parents have suddenly realized matters more than anything else in their life- their child's well-being. It is easy for people to get defensive and judgmental in this situation. I would not have been bothered had Ms. Rosin or Ms. Warner written an article explaining the reasons for their personal decisions. They could even have decried the judgmental attitudes they have encountered. But both moved beyond that, to judging the people who make the opposite decisions. We are apparently anti-feminists, setting the cause of women's equality back in a misguided belief that we are doing what is best for our families. To which I can only say: "excuse me?"

I think I would be considered a successful professional woman by most standards. I work at the intersection of two fields (science and IT) that have long been dominated by men. I have seen the salary surveys, and I know I am not underpaid relative to the men in my field. I enjoy an extremely egalitarian home life with a husband who truly does half (maybe more) of the household chores, is a fully involved co-parent and clearly views me as his equal.

How exactly does the decision to breastfeed and pump negate all of this and make me a subjugated woman?

I think that Ms. Rosin and Ms. Warner are missing the point. Yes, there are still inequalities in our society. Yes, the burden of early parenthood falls unevenly in a couple. This is pure biology- women get pregnant. Women breastfeed. But a fair society would not be one that ignores the biological differences between men and women. A fair society would be one that accepted, even celebrated, those differences and found a way to accommodate them while still providing equal opportunities for members of either sex to pursue their dreams and aspirations. We aren't there yet, but setting up a false "war" between breastfeeders and formula-feeders isn't going to get us any closer to that goal.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Advice for Moms-to-Be

Some of the comments on today's Moxie post made me realize what my number one piece of advice for any Mom-to-Be would be. Actually, this is advice for Dads-to-Be, too, but I never get asked for advice by Dads-to-Be. Maybe they're asking Hubby.

Anyway, the post asked readers to list things that "tricked" them about parenthood, and to name their most odious parenting tasks. (If you're curious, I felt tricked by the whole baby sleep book industry- no one's advice really worked on our particular child, and I now get visibly worked up by the idea that some magical technique can get every baby to sleep through the night. Some babies just don't do that. My most odious task is nail clipping, which is why Hubby does that most times. In exchange, I change most of the poopy diapers.)

Some people felt tricked by discovering how hard it is to stay on top of things with a child in the house, and others put the daily grind of chores/getting things done as their most odious task.

I have to agree- adding a baby does make keeping up with life harder. Much harder. I have daydreams about a service that would just come in and get me caught up on everything already. Or at least do the dishes and fold the laundry so that Hubby and I could catch up with each other.

I realized that what I should have been doing when I was pregnant with Pumpkin was strengthening our family processes and systems. The only way you stay anywhere near caught up is to rely on processes and systems. You just don't have time to keep figuring things out as you go. We have a system for keeping our family calendar up to date (Hubby seems to be a little fuzzy on that one, but he's getting better). We have a system for ensuring bills get paid on time. We had a process for ensuring that I had all my pump parts when I was taking a pump to work. We're still refining the system for keeping track of all the things that need to get done, and we have yet to really settle on a process for getting big projects done quickly. For instance, we wanted to redo our bathroom. The sink was a wall mount style, which Pumpkin was slowly pulling off the wall as she climbed up to wash her hands. We intended to do the work in January. The sink and new light just got installed this week. We haven't got a plan yet for the rest of the work.

Pre-baby, none of these things were really issues. Hubby and I are both pretty organized, in our own ways. We kept track of our calendar and made sure things got done without much trouble. Paying bills on time was easy.

Pumpkin changed all that. We were sleep-deprived, so I could no longer rely on my memory about bills or events. Our evening chores list got much longer even as I needed to move my bedtime much earlier, so we never seem to have time to really plan out projects. And our to do list was suddenly out of control with new things like "set up trust/will" and "research toddler finger foods" (at one point, we had an urgent need to get Pumpkin eating more finger foods so that she could move up to the older baby room at day care). And this doesn't even consider how much time we spent sick and/or taking care of a sick child.

Everyone always tells a pregnant woman to rest while she still can. This is sort of good advice, I guess. You certainly don't want to go into the newborn phase any more tired than you have to be. But you can't really store up sleep. All that sleeping and resting I did during my pregnancy didn't make it OK for me to be sleep deprived for months on end. It didn't make it possible for me to keep functioning as I had before the baby.

The other advice we got was to stock our freezer with leftovers, so that we wouldn't have to cook. This is definitely good advice, although I would add "don't make all the meals dairy heavy, in case your child turns out to be unable to tolerate cow's milk proteins in your breastmilk." You can't "pre-do" everything, and even if you think you're really well prepared, some portion of that work is going to turn out to be wasted because your baby doesn't do things that way.

What you really need to do is get organized. Talk to your partner about how things get done around your house. Tweak the systems and processes you do have and develop new ones. This will be much easier to discuss and do before you have a demanding little baby who thinks that you exist primarily to feed, change, and soothe him/her. And believe me, you don't want to try discussing family work balance when you and your partner are both trying to skate by on only a few hours of sleep. If by some miracle you manage not to have this discussion turn into an argument, you won't remember what you decided the next day.

OK, now I'm scaring myself. I think Hubby and I need to find some time to kick our organizational skills up a notch before baby #2 arrives.

Life Flashing Update

OK, watching the photos of Pumpkin's first two years flash by is pretty awesome, too.