Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I mentioned in one of my first posts that my sister and brother-in-law have been babysitting for me since I went back to work. My sister only works part time and my brother-in-law is a teacher, and her schedule is quite flexible so there is always someone home with their son and my daughter. Or there was.

I knew it was coming. Before Caitlyn was even born, I knew. A. (my sister) is the type to change her mind in the blink of an eye. When I was pregnant, she was babysitting for a friend of hers a couple of days a week and one day just decided she was done with it. The official story was that the friend's daughter was in day care most other days and was "always sick" and my sister didn't want her son getting sick all the time. When we made arrangements for her to watch Caitlyn, this was obviously a point of concern for me. I couldn't just have her decide one day that she didn't feel like doing it anymore. So we talked about it. She assured me that she would "never do that" to me. She emphasized that her friend was 1. not paying her, 2. already comfortable with the day care her daughter attended so she wasn't worried about sending her for an extra day or two and 3. that she was really just worried about her son's health... since my daughter wouldn't be in day care at all, we wouldn't have to worry about her bringing other kids germs around all the time. She never mentioned being overwhelmed or feeling like she couldn't handle more then one kid. Not even once.

There has been tension between us lately. I could feel her resentment the day last week that she sent me a bitchy text message about how she couldn't believe I'd forgotten Caitlyn's pacifier because she had things to do and couldn't " hold her all day". I found it especially odd because Caitlyn is almost always fine to play with a toy or just hang out. She's not high maintenance at all, so I couldn't figure out why my sister was OMG SO ANNOYED. I texted her back with obvious sarcasm "oh is she that much of a nightmare to watch? Just give her a toy or put her in the jumperoo" and "have you never forgotten anything". What I got back were 7 back to back messages about how I have NO IDEA how hard it is to watch 2 kids at once and how dare I even say such a thing to her! Oh and "yes, sometimes she IS A NIGHTMARE". Hmmm... are you sure you don't mean your own kid? I took the high road and kept that comment to myself...along with about 6 others, almost all of which included the word "cunt".

Then there was the comment she made to me when I picked Caitlyn up on Saturday. She made some bitchy reference to how I'm only paying her like $4 an hour. And yeah, that week it did come out to about that. But she seems to forget about the occasions where she only babysat one or two days and I paid her the same flat $100 for the week. In my opinion, it was a fair arrangement for both of us. There were weeks I made out better and weeks where she did. And hey, remember how I mentioned that she did it for her friend for FREE?

So it isn't even like she mentioned to me more then just the one time that she was feeling a little overwhelmed. But then today I get a text message that said "I need to talk to you and Rodolfo". And that's when I found out I no longer have a babysitter. We discussed, in detail, before Caitlyn was born that if she decided she didn't want to babysit anymore that she needed to give me a reasonable amount of time to make other arrangements. We haven't discussed that yet, but I really hope she understands that a week isn't reasonable time. She's selfish in that way... when she stopped babysitting for her friend she told her 2 or 3 days before she was supposed to babysit and thought that was plenty of time. Which is why we had the conversation about "reasonable time" in the first place. So I'm wondering how that conversation is going to go.

And ok, just to go to the bitter place, let's smack talk for a minute, shall we? This woman is the same person who wants "at least 2, but probably 3" children. This is the woman who knew at 18 that the only aspiration she ever had for herself was to be a mother. She didn't want a career, didn't bother to even finish high school. She just wanted a dude with a good job to take care of her while she stayed home and shot out babies. That's always been her plan. And, in fact, when her husband pushed her to have some sort of goal for herself, the best she could come up with was that she would L-O-V-E to open a daycare. She went so far as to look into how to get certified and what she would need to do to make it happen. And I know, a few minutes worth of research doesn't sound like anything, but damn, that's because you don't know my sister. For her, that's the closest she's ever come to a career.

So I guess I'm curious what she thinks the reality of any of these things would be. Does she expect it to be magically easier to care for more then one kid when they are both her own and she has to do it all the time? Umm, yeah, not really. Especially since she turns them into overscheduled whiners. And with the daycare thing, did she think she was going to just throw on "Finding Nemo" for half a dozen kids and rake in a bunch of cash without doing any real work?

My problem now is that I don't have a plan. Daycare isn't going to work for me. My schedule is too flexible...my hours are too varied. Most daycares aren't open past 7pm and that's not even close to late enough for it to work. And even if it would, I really don't want to leave my kid at a daycare. Not to say I couldn't find a trustworthy person or place, but in a daycare setting, no matter how good a person is, one kid can't be the priority over all others. And I need to know that my kid is the priority. As far as finding a babysitter that will come to my home or whose home I can take Caitlyn to, well, in theory I would be more comfortable with that. Unfortunately, peace of mind ain't cheap, and a stranger isn't going to take $4 an hour to watch an infant. So right now... I just don't know where I'm at. I considered talking to my boss about working a 4 day week with 10 hour days as opposed to 5- 8 hour days but Rodolfo doesn't seem to think she would go for it (my boss is notoriously family unfriendly).

Just overall this whole situation makes me long for a major change in my career path. I've gotten stuck in this retail rut for 10 years now and I hate it. At 18 I wasn't focused enough to realize that I didn't have all the time in the world and that HEY- SCHOOL IS EXPENSIVE AND THE GOVERNMENT WILL PAY IF I GO NOW BECAUSE MY FAMILY IS POOR! If only I could talk to my 18 year old self...smack her upside her head and tell her not to waste her life and intelligence recommending outfits to people I don't give a shit about and dealing with crazy people who like to shit in fitting rooms (true story). I know that wisdom comes with experience, and nobody is expected to have that wisdom at 18, but fuck, a drop of common sense would have been helpful. If I had a regular job, with regular hours and the money and opportunities I deserve, I surely wouldn't be in this situation right now.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Apples, Pumpkins and Pears


You may have noticed from my tendency to bitch a lot that I've been having sort of a rough time. Not a rough time in the serious "wow, I hope she doesn't take a butter knife to her veins" kind of way. More in the just the generally stressed and agitated way. It's been a bunch of little things, everyday annoyances and such for which I have had no outlet.

I knew I needed to get out of my house for something besides work, and Nadine is just about my favorite person in the world, so we made plans to go to a farm on my day off and do some apple picking. Thursday was a beautiful day for it too, it was warm but not hot, the kind of day where I could throw a t-shirt and a pair of leggings on Caitlyn and she would be perfect for the whole day. So that's where our adventure began.

The farm was awesome. We started out with a hay ride to the apple picking spot. Caitlyn LOVED it. She was fascinated by hay. She kept trying to pick it out of the bales. When she wasn't picking at the hay she was looking around at absolutely everything. She loved the fresh air, the scenery and the animals. Oh man, did she love those animals. After apple picking we went over to where there were some goats and she started squealing with delight. We have a dog and a cat at home, so there was a bit of recognition in her face when she saw the goats and I found that to be pretty adorable. She even pet one. She also really liked the bunnies. After the animals, we balanced her up against some pumpkins and threw her in a pot of flowers for some super cute fall photo ops, grabbed some donuts and cider and were on our way.

The plan after the farm was to go to Target to get a food processor and some supplies that I needed to make Caitlyn baby food with some of the apples. And we did. Nothing too exciting at Target, except when I accidentally stole a dog brush. It was after we left Target that things got interesting again.

Nadine got a call from her boyfriend while we were on the way to her house. His boss gave him some Yankee tickets and he wanted to know if we were up for going. It took us roughly 8 seconds to decide it was the best idea ever, so I called Rodolfo and dropped off Caitlyn, drained my boobs and made it to the stadium in record time. The traffic gods smiled on us that day. On any given trip into the city (for the non-tri-staters, that's New York City) you just never know what kind of traffic you might hit on the bridges. We didn't hit any. We actually met Mike (Nadine's boy toy) there because he works in Manhattan. He took the subway from his job and we beat him there by about 10 minutes, driving from NJ.

The game itself could have been better. The Yankees got killed, 10-3, but the experience was everything I've been needing. It was enjoyable, exciting, stress-free. Nadine and I tend to get extremely goofy around each other and we were extra spastic, I think mostly because we both needed to wind down so badly. We cheered (for the home team, obviously), heckled (Tampa Bay's shortstop, Bartlett- there was talk about his mom, his sister and pears), hated on the people sitting near us (Bowling Ball Tony, Frankie Foreskin and the girl with the bad haircut who spent half the game enthralled and the other half playing traffic games on her iphone), talked about nailing Derek Jeter.

It was the most fun I've had in a long time. That's not to say I don't enjoy my life now, I do. But there is no spontaneity when you have a baby. Everything about everything is planned down to the expectations for food and shit. I'm not complaining exactly, I know what I signed up for when I had a kid, but it was nice to just make fun plans on the fly and be able to actually follow through with them. It reminded me of when we were 20, with no responsibilities, blowing all our money on weekend boozefests. And really, don't we all need a fun throwback night every once in a while?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Breastfeeding is Hard

Today has been one of those days where absolutely everything is pissing me off to a degree that makes me think there might be murder charges in my future. I realized that it's been over a year since I had a period. I mean, obviously I bled after Caitlyn was born, but it definitely wasn't what I would call a period really, and certainly not in the way where my hormones go all rage-y, and I've been breastfeeding since then so I haven't had an actual period yet. I really feel like I'm going to be getting it back soon (I stopped at McDonald's on the way home from work and seriously considered buying 2 hot fudge sundaes and eating one in the car before I got home so my husband didn't know I bought 2), and it's going to be gloriously bloody and tragic. My ovaries are like a hibernating bear and they are NOT happy about being woken up. What's bothering me the most right now is that everything about today simultaneously made me want to quit breastfeeding and keep doing it until Caitlyn is 2 years old to spite everyone who is making it difficult for me.

The back story on why I'm so touchy about this is pretty relevant to why I got so utterly pissed off today, so here it goes:

To begin with, I married an idiot who has been pushing me to quit since almost day 1. First it was the fact that Caitlyn "didn't like" to breastfeed. And by didn't like it, I mean she would cry when I tried to get her to latch because she was jaundiced in the hospital and they convinced me to give her a bottle as opposed to taking her out from under the lights to breastfeed her. She got used to the bottle and was impatient at my breast so she would cry. When I tried to transition her back to breastfeeding after we came home from the hospital, Rodolfo (the idiot) would yell at me every time I even attempted it because she would cry. Even though our pediatrician repeatedly told him this was totally normal and okay and that she would eventually adjust, he would insist that I was causing the baby to suffer and discourage me from putting her to my breast. And I was new to breastfeeding, and didn't have a ton of support so I was feeling discouraged and made the choice to pump exclusively.

I told Rodolfo that I wanted to see how the pumping went so we would rent a pump for the first month then look into buying. Well the first month passed, and I wanted to keep doing it, but he was adamant about the fact that we couldn't afford to buy a pump because I was still on maternity leave. Fine. But now every month since then I have gotten the same bullshit about how we can't afford to buy a pump and what a waste of money the rental is and how we should bring it back and change Caitlyn over to formula (because apparently I didn't get the memo about how formula is cheap now).

Now, in just the last month or so the newest reason I should stop breastfeeding is that Caitlyn should be fat. Not that she hasn't steadily gained weight. Not because our pediatrician is concerned. Caitlyn should be fat because babies are supposed to be fat and Caitlyn is not fat like most babies. And apparently fat babies drink formula. I'm sure he has researched this data very thoroughly.

Caitlyn is thriving. She has hit every milestone. Physically she is on the smaller side, but her growth curve is perfectly acceptable and our pediatrician tells us at every single visit what a great job we are doing and how happy he is with her progress. And as much as I know that my breast milk is all that she really needs, I'm not really hardcore about giving her exclusively breast milk for any specific period of time. She's hit the developmental milestones recommended for starting solids and our pediatrician thought she was ready at her 4 month check-up. We had tried giving her a little rice cereal a few weeks before that, mostly because her poops were super runny and I thought it might help, but she didn't like it and just wasn't ready. A few weeks have passed since those first attempts, so I gave it another try with oatmeal cereal and fruit early last week. She's been doing really well, and I have been giving her oatmeal cereal and a little fruit each day once or twice for a little over a week now. In the last few days I noticed she has been having some trouble pooping, but I just assumed she needed some time to adjust to the solids.

So this morning I was pumping right before Caitlyn was due to eat. Usually, I have a few prepared bottles in the fridge so she doesn't often get fresh milk right after I pump, but she's been eating more and I haven't been pumping as often so today I had to give her the freshly pumped milk. It was still in the bottle that I pump into and I was playing with her, so I handed the pump bottle over to Rodolfo and told him to put it into her regular bottle so I could feed her. He came back a minute later and I noticed he was swirling the milk around before he gave it to me. I told him it was fresh milk so it wasn't necessary for him to swirl it around. Then he told me that he was just mixing in the cereal. Ummm... what?

Apparently, for the last month, every time he has fed her, he has been mixing rice cereal into her bottles. He went so far as to make bigger holes in her nipples to make sure the thicker milk would come through. This bugs the shit out of me for several reasons. First, his reasoning is that my milk "isn't enough" and that she needed more food. And second, even if his dumb ass was doing this before I officially started giving her oatmeal, why the hell would he continue to do it now? She's getting oatmeal and fruit twice a day most days and she's been having trouble pooping, it didn't occur to him for even a second that maybe that's too much for her stomach? And third, who the fuck just starts arbitrarily adding things to their baby's diet without consulting the person who is primarily in charge of those types of decisions? Assholes, that's who.

So now let's move on to the jerks I work with. I'm getting incredibly annoyed with the fact that my pumping schedule seems to be such an inconvenience for everyone there. There are 2 offices I regularly use to pump. The first is the loss prevention office. Our LP agent was in the middle of something today when I needed his office and the other office was being used so I got an annoyed eye roll when I told him I didn't have anywhere else to pump. Whatever. It bugged me but he didn't actually say anything. He just looked annoyed and left. And I prefer to use his office because half the time when I use the other office, someone walks in and sees my tits. Not because I was careless and forgot to put the sign on the door that says "PUMPING-DO NOT ENTER"- that sign was up every single time, but because they are morons and apparently illiterate. So after my boss walked in on me for the third time last week, she suggested I starting using a fitting room (I work in a retail clothing store) to pump. There are a few issues I have with that. First, the fitting rooms are dusty, filthy and uncomfortable. I'd prefer that the milk I'm feeding my child isn't full of dust bunnies or spilled all over the place because there isn't a clean place in there to set down the bottles. Then there is the fact that there is only one accessible outlet in the fitting room and after the one occasion that I did use it, someone stole my extension cord and the cord on my pump isn't long enough to make it without it. I'm surely not going to bring in another one after the first got stolen. So logistics in the first issue. The second issue has to do with time.

I'm officially entitled to 2- 15 minute breaks and 1 hour lunch. When I first came back I was taking the 2-15s together and pumping, then pumping on my lunch hour. But it's become difficult for me to maintain that schedule for reasons related to my giant, engorged boobs. So I started breaking up the 15 minute breaks again. Our company has an official policy saying that employees will be given an opportunity to pump during their breaks, and extra time beyond breaks if it's needed. I used to pump for 20 minute intervals, but I'm pumping more often now, so I usually pump for 15 minutes, which means I need an extra 5 minutes or so to set up and break down my pump parts and transfer milk to the fridge.

I had just come back from my lunch and my boss pulls me aside and says she (yeah, shockingly another woman is being a bitch about my breastfeeding. It would be less annoying somehow if it was a guy) needs to talk to me about my breaks. Apparently, another manager had come to her to complain that I was "taking too long" on my 15 minute breaks. She told me that she knows I'm allowed to take the time but that I should tell them when I'm going to be more then 15 minutes. Which would be a reasonable request except that I HAVE TOLD THEM FROM DAY 1 THAT I NEED AT LEAST 20 MINUTES TO PUMP! Am I supposed to circle the entire store and inform every single manager that I need an extra 5 minutes on break every day, twice a day? What is she, retarded? I was super pissed and it showed. I told her flat out "I'm not the person you should be talking to about this. I know the policy and have read the policy and am in complete compliance with the policy and am doing absolutely nothing wrong. You should be talking to THEM. You should make them aware of the fact that our company's policy allows me for as much time as I need for breastfeeding". I don't think she was expecting that, because she immediately started backpedaling and offered to send out an email to the rest of the management team to make them aware of the policy. That's right, bitch.

It certainly gave me a little satisfaction to see her get so completely throw off guard because she was expecting me to just take her bullshit. I calmed down after that and was explaining to her that I stopped taking the breaks together because my baby is eating more so I need to pump more often to increase my milk supply. Then she started asking really stupid questions- "well, isn't there any other way to increase it?" In my head I'm thinking "even if there is, I'm going to go out of my way to choose the route that is most inconvenient to you". Then she started to tell me "oh, well can't she start solids soon".... OMG bitch this is so not the way you should be directing this conversation!!! It just made me think this is why so many women quit breastfeeding so soon after returning to work. It's practically frowned upon and it's just a shame that more women aren't as clear on the laws and their company's own policies so they have all the ammunition they need if and when a confrontation arises.

My baby and my boobs are my priority and I'm sick of everyone else's opinions on when and why I should stop breastfeeding. You know, except for you guys of course :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010



Today I found a tutorial on how to make your own tampons. I wasn't LOOKING for such a thing, but it was linked in a baby community I'm in. You might be asking yourself, "but why Jaclyn, would that be linked in a baby community?". The answer to your question is that you make your own tampons by shoving rolled up baby socks into your vag. Not kidding. This is the grossest hippie shit I've ever heard of.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bloggin' and Bitchin'


Not Ferberized
So this is my first blog post and I wanted to tell you a little bit about it. I'm going to talk about my life, and my life revolves around my daughter. Just in general I have my own way of doing things when it comes to parenting. I think it's funny and a little bit retarded when people read books about parenting and decide that's the kind of parent they want to be. I haven't done what I would call research in this particular area, so correct me if I'm wrong, but the two main things I hear about a lot are attachment parenting and the Ferber method. From my understanding they are pretty much opposites of each other. One says "be all up on your baby all the time" and the other says "leave that kid alone and let him figure it out on his own". Both of these ideas are stupid if you ask me. First, let's talk about a little thing called EVOLUTION. The reason we have survived for thousands of years is because it in ingrained in us, how to raise our children, how to keep them safe and hopefully have them grow into well-adjusted adults. Can't people just follow their instincts? And babies aren't dolls or dogs. We can't just bend them to our will. They are individuals. The very premise of having a child is to mix DNA with someone you love to create A WHOLE NEW PERSON. And people have opinions, preferences, things that piss them off. Caitlyn, for example, for every single day of her life, sleeps with her arms up over her head. It's just what is comfortable for her. Which brings me to what's really been annoying me: my sister and brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law read all the books. Therefore, he obviously knows everything there is to know about babies, right? RIGHT??? It started when I was pregnant. Their son is 7 months older than Caitlyn and he was a nightmare the first couple of months. He screamed constantly. And it was their fault. He has reflux, they
finally figured out after changing his formula 5 times in the first month of his life (on a side note, I'm not usually one to judge when someone doesn't breastfeed, but my sister wouldn't even TRY...she thought it was "gross"). All those changes caused him to be gassy, constipated, overtired and flat out douchey on an almost constant basis. Especially coupled with the fact that they aren't patient people and found the fastest nipples possible and practically poured formula down his throat (he would eat 6oz in 5 minutes. I wish I was kidding). So they had all these troubles, and truthfully, they still do. He's such a whiner. I love him and all, but they turned him into the baby who needs everything to be JUUUUST right or he won't eat, can't sleep, can't poop, screams endlessly. And they try to give me advice. First it was swaddling. T. (the brother-in-law) would tell me before Caitlyn was even born "you know Jaclyn, you should swaddle her a lot when she is born, babies need to be swaddled, it reminds them of being in the womb and it's the only way Shawn will sleep". Hmmm, really? Then why did you spend months bitching about how sleep deprived you were because Shawn never wanted to sleep? Of course, that's what I said in my head, what I said out loud was something like "well, every baby is different, but I will give it a try". Then I got "well, you know at first we thought Shawn hated it, but it turns out we were doing it wrong. Bring her over after she is born, I can show you the RIGHT way to swaddle". Eye roll.

His newest thing is that he keeps pushing me to let him "put Caitlyn on a schedule" for me (they babysit while I'm at work). Let me explain that I'm not a baby retard. I understand that they do need some sort of regularity in their lives. And she has that. But my husband and I work retail and our schedules change constantly. Some days I'm in at 7am and some days I don't go in till 3pm. It's virtually impossible to keep the exact same schedule every day. So we are flexible, and I think that's a GOOD thing. Imagine what my life would be like if Caitlyn was on a strict schedule and half the time I had to pick her up from her babysitter at 11pm and completely disturb her sleep. Then I'd have a cranky asshole too. So we are realistic about what is possible. Most nights she doesn't go to bed till 11 or midnight. But then she sleeps till 8 most mornings. On days when we need to get her up earlier we do, and then she will go back to sleep till 10 or so. And between 7am and
Clearly Exhausted from a lack of a cohesive schedule.
around 2pm, she takes 30-40 minute naps every 2 hours no matter if she's at home in her crib, resting in her swing or en route to my sister's house in her car seat. Once we hit the late afternoon, she tends to be awake more often. When she gets really tired she takes 15 minute cat naps then she's up again. I don't think that just because she doesn't eat and nap at the same time every day that I'm doing something wrong. Especially since my kid is awesome and sweet and smiles all the time.

Ok, so clearly this devolved into a full-blown rant. But now you know a few things about me, I hate schedules and I'm not fond of book learnin'. That's a start.