Monday, March 31, 2008

The Part Where Claire Learns a New Word

I wanted to write over the weekend. However, a new math formula has taken over my life:

(cranky baby + loads of laundry) * no sleep = no time to blog

But I have a moment now to relay yet another amusing poop anecdote. I don't want to write about this anymore, so I am begging you all for suggestions. Post a topic or a question or even tag me for a meme. Although I find time to write, my creativity has taken a hit due to lack of sleep.

The Part Where Claire Learns a New Word

Flashback to February 21. The fact that the Dude was two weeks overdue and my frustration during that time have already been commented on. Therefore, I will not elaborate on that. The morning of February 21 I went to my doctor to be hooked up to a fetal heart monitor. After 20 minutes I did not need the doctor to tell me that the baby was fine and that I was having zero contractions. I looked at the doctor and informed him that I had had enough and that a C-section might be the best bet. The doctor shook his head thoughtfully. "Okay, Ms. S., I will call the hospital and organize everything for tomorrow. Please go to the hospital at 4pm today for some pre-op labs."

At 4pm I trotted over to the hospital. I had to talk with the doctor and the anesthesiologist. They informed me of the risks of the procedure. Papers were signed. Blood was drawn. Then they also informed me that I would be spending the night there. Excuse me? My C-section was scheduled for 1:30pm. Couldn't I please stay in my own bed one last night? The doctor was very nice about the whole thing.

"Oh, no, we have several things that we have to do and check before the procedure tomorrow?"

"Like what?"

"Well, you will have to have an Einlauf, and sometimes that puts women into labor. Therefore we have to monitor you throughout the evening."

I thought an Einlauf was like an IV. How could getting fluids through an IV put me into labor? I decided to ask. "What is an Einlauf?"

"It is done to clean out your intestines."

My eyes widened with understanding. "Do you mean an enema?"

"Yes, I believe that is the word in English."

"Oh, shit," I said in English.

The well meaning doctor smirked. "Well, yes actually."


Friday, March 28, 2008

Poop and more Poop

I have nothin' . . . to blog about that is. When I got pregnant, I wrote that I did not want this to become a "mommy blog." However, as I do not get out of the house much, and I spend the entire day with the Dude, I do not have much to write about. The Democratic primary is also making me about as tired as 2am feedings, and I do not want to write about that either. So, all I am left with is . . . poop.

As Berlinbound commented, life is about the poop. Or as Jen would say, it is the Heissescheisse. It seems that my most humorous stories these days are about poop. I offer you one now and I will post again over the weekend.

Atomic Poop Death Stare

I have read that infants only cry when they are 1) hungry, 2) tired, and 3) have a full diaper. Hmm, I disagree, at least when it comes to my baby. The Dude has turned out to be a pretty good kid so far (knock on wood). He does not get fussy most of the time (well, not today, as he drove me crazy most of the morning). He is quietest, though, right after we feed him. After having his bottle, I lie him down and he goes into a milk induced trance. Seriously, it is like he is on drugs. Sometimes he will even start cooing and waving his fists. This behavior lasts about an hour and gives me time to do things important things . . . like go to the bathroom or eat.

There are other times, however, when he is a bit too quite. He will lie there with the widest eyes and stare at the ceiling. Not a peep comes out of him. The German and I thought this was fantastic. Then about two weeks ago I notice a smell coming from him as he was in his "trance." I picked him up and realized that he had a very full diaper. The next day, the same thing happened. I quickly put two and two together. VERY quite baby = full diaper. Instead of crying to let us know that he needs to be changed, he is very content to sit with the poop.

This morning he got suspiciously quite again. I was in the kitchen making coffee. "Oh no, what's wrong?" I thought. I went into the living room and looked down. There it was, the Atomic Poop Death Stare.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

One Month Later

About a week ago two Jehovah Witnesses came to the door to invite the German and me to a bible reading and a get together commemorating the death of Jesus. The German does not like anyone coming to our door and inviting us to a religious event. He keeps his religion private and prefers that others do the same. After closing the door, he turned to me and said, “I don’t think we will be going there.” Then he looked confused. “What do you mean they are commemorating the death of Jesus? Who does that??”

I smirked. “It is called Easter you non-practicing Protestant idiot.”

Although, to be fair, I can understand that he forgot about Easter, what with the Dude and all. Also, when you look out your window and see this, you might not be in the mood.


Today is also special because the Dude is one month old today. It has been a LONG month. Thankfully the German has had two weeks off from school. He has taken some of the “night shifts” so that I can actually get some sleep.

Adapting to life with a baby is hard. It has been harder than I imagined. I went from being a go-go-go business woman to a professional diaper changer. It is hard being in the house all day with the baby. I have started talking to myself. Next week I actually have to start teaching again. Don’t worry; it is only 3 classes a week.

Honestly, there are moments when I wonder if having a child was a good decision. For example last night at 4am when the Dude fell asleep while eating and then finally woke up and pooped and peed all over me and his changing table and all I wanted to do was go back to sleep. Yeah, kids are not always fun. But then when he was finally clean and full and he laughed and cooed at me and EVENTUALLY went back to sleep. How can I stay mad at such cuteness?


Happy Easter!

PS I do not want to imply that Protestants are idiots, just the German, who by the way is not happy that I shared this story, but I don’t get out much these days, so it is the only thing I have to write about . . . Also, I thought it was funny . . . And in his defense, the German is a smart guy I think the Jehovah Witnesses threw him for a loop . . . But it was still funny.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Birth of a Fan

One of the frustrating things about being a new mom is how little I can contribute to adult conversations these days. For example, the other day Lawyer Guy came over for a visit. It was great seeing a friend again. He and the German traded amusing anecdotes from their jobs. I sat in silence. Finally I perked up, "The other day the baby pooped so much that it went up his back and through his clothes." Note to self: baby poop is a definite conversation killer.

Because I have gotten a little stir crazy inside my four white walls, yesterday I decided to play dress up; with the Dude.

First, a little introduction: My Motown family loves all things Michigan. My Dad has the UofM fight song as the ring tone for his phone. My Motown Uncle plans his winter holidays around the possible bowl game schedule. Naturally they want to pass this love on to the Dude, even if he his thousands of miles away. I was happy to get a package from my dad and step-mom the other day. What was inside made me giggle.

However, me thinks that the Dude should go somewhere else. But this will only happen if he does really well in school and mom and dad save enough money to support a third world country.


Of course the German thinks that the Dude should stick to the basics. If he is lucky he will get a contract here.*

Isn't it beautiful how many choices the Dude has? However, if he ever admits that he likes the Yankees, we will have to disown him.
*For those who do not know, the green bib is from the German's favorite soccer club Werder Bremen.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sometimes it is hard to be a Democrat

One of the most difficult things about being a new mother is having your entire schedule determined by an 8 pound being, who frankly does not work on a schedule. For someone as controlling as me, letting go of time constraints can be daunting. However, there are still somethings things that I can control.

During our late night and early morning feedings I like to put on CNN. Over the past week I have explained the complex presidential primary system to the Dude. As I explain, he tends to crease his forehead and look totally confused. I am not sure if it is the primary system, or the fact that he has no idea who I am at this point. Could be both.

I came to the conclusion yesterday that being a Democrat is like that Tammy Wynnett song, "Sometimes its hard to be a . . ." Because right now, the party is killing me! With McCain the Republican nominee running around trying to appear presidential and not at all old (my goodness, he is 72!!!), Hillary and Obama are doing a great job of taking each other out. They are tearing into each other, and you know the Republicans are just taking notes to use during the general election.

At this point, Hillary and Obama may want to ask themselves, "What is best for the party?" 6 months ago it was almost a forgone conclusion that the Dems would take back the White House. However, this long fight may be the Dems undoing. Perhaps we should ask ourselves as a party, "Who could beat McCain?" But, in politics egos often get in the way of the right thing.

Now I have to go do the right thing and feed the Dude. Next on our list of topics: why the Euro is strong and the dollar is weak.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Photo

We are making it through our first week at home and I am . . . sooooo . . . tired. I get the "night shift" because the German has to get up and go to work in the mornings. I know that I should sleep in the afternoons when the Dude is asleep, but I find it hard to sleep during the day. At night is another story. Getting up to see if the Dude is breathing lasted all of a day. Now I sleep when he sleeps and only wake up when he starts making sounds.

As promised, a photo. His eyes are not brown though. They are blue. The photo-corrector changed them. Isn't he cute?



Everyone said, "Children will change your life." I just was not prepared for how much it changes everything; everything from sleep patterns to life's priority list. I suddenly see my life in an entirely different light, and I think there may be other changes on the horizon.

In the two weeks since I had the Dude, I have already fallen behind in the Super-Mom sweepstakes. I gave up breastfeeding after a week and a half. Because of my blood problems I was not producing enough milk and I was constantly in a panic about how much he was eating. Since we started bottle feeding him, he is sleeping longer and putting on weight. Although I admire women who breastfeed and really wanted to do it myself, I can see now that the bottle is best for both him and me.

The second damage to my Supermom status: I use a pacifier. I heard a lot of different things about this over the past two weeks, some strongly for and some against. Let me tell you, the Dude's binky is worth its weight in gold! He doesn't use it all the time, but it is great when changing his diapers and he is getting fussy.

Right now I have a question for the parents who read the blog: When will I be able to sleep again? Come on . . . throw me a bone.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Now for you Entertainment Pleasure

Please Welcome to the Stage our newest cast member:

Christopher Charles Sch***** (aka Little Dude, The Dude)

Born: Feb. 22, 2008

Weight: 7 lb 9 oz

Length: 21.3 inches

My call for name suggestions got lots of comments, but I don't think Christopher was one of them. The German suggested it and I think it is lovely. Charles is the name of my Motown Grandpa, Dad-squared and the German's dad (okay so his name is Karl). It is a good family name.

I wish I had a picture to post, but my brain is a little scattered at the moment. The Dude and I came home yesterday. The C-Section was not so bad. In fact it turned out to be the best decision as the baby was definitely overdue. Ironically I started to have contractions 2 hours before the procedure, but the doctors and midwife said it could still be days, so we went full speed ahead.

I did have a small complication. The Monday after the procedure I was looking very pale, was tired and had a headache. The doctors tested my blood and found that my HB (hemoglobin) was down to 5.4 (a normal person has a 12). That afternoon they had to give me a blood transfusion, but not after telling me that I have a very strange blood type (would you expect anything less?) and that they needed to get the blood from Bremen.

I am back on my feet physically, but emotionally is another story. Hormones are crazy and my need for a schedule and control is now being toyed with by the Dude. I worry all the time if he is eating enough, sleeping enough, should I use a pacifier, is his body temperature okay? You get the picture. I know . . . relax. It will take awhile.

The baby is perfectly healthy and beautiful. Because of the C-section he has a perfectly round head. I will try to find the camera over the next few days and post a picture. Cannot promise anything, though, I have mommy brain now.

PS: Yes, he has already urinated on me while changing his diaper. Men :-)