Fun with a laundry basket


Written on Saturday, December 30, 2006 by Jessica

He doesn't seem to think it's funny, but Daddy and I do. 

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A terrible thought


Written on Friday, December 29, 2006 by Jessica

"A terrible thought has moved into my mind....It's gonna take a hundred thoughts to make this one disappear." --Poe, "Terrible Thought"

I swore off the news a few weeks ago. A family took a wrong turn in a blizzard and got stranded in the Oregon wilderness. If you don't already know the details and would rather not hear them, I suggest you quit reading now. The family didn't have any supplies save a few jars of baby food. After they ran out of gas, they burned their tires for heat and to signal for help. The mother nursed her seven month old and four year old to feed them. After a week, the father went searching for help in his street clothes. I can't even imagine the despair of the situation. Knowing that no one is looking for you. Having two hungry children who don't understand why you can't feed them. Nursing the children while you can but knowing your milk will dry up due to stress and lack of nourishment. And to make matters worse, the mother and children were rescued, but the father died due to exposure to the elements. Imagine what it must be like to be his wife, knowing that if her husband had only stayed, he'd be alive, too. What kind of conversations did they have before he left? Did she beg him to stay? Or did she desperately scream on the inside for him to stay but put on a brave front and tell him to look for help, it was their only hope.

I tried not to think about it. I tried not to cry. But I kept imagining it over and over. It was all so horrific that I swore off the news. No more news for me.

Except I'm a news junkie, and I can't stop.

I nearly swore off the news after the Tsunami, after Katrina, after that jerk shot his wife and baby and ran home to England. I nearly swore off it when that woman was locked up in jail and her toddler was left to fend for herself at home for thirteen days eating uncooked spaghetti and ketchup. I nearly swore off it when I read about the woman who microwaved her twenty-eight-day-old daughter. But I can't stop, so my mind remains filled with terrible thoughts.

Reaching for us


Written on Friday, December 29, 2006 by Jessica

Seth has starting reaching for me. It's one of the best feelings in the world when he puts his arms up in the air to say, "Pick me up, Mommy."

Six months!


Written on Friday, December 29, 2006 by Jessica

I just realized that I made it six months breastfeeding.

I can still remember when I was pregnant, imagining how I was going to breastfeed for a year or more. No pacifiers, no bottles 'til I returned to work. Just me an' my baby. I'd heard that some people had difficulty nursing, but I figured I wouldn't be one of them. I might have problems in the beginning, but I'd get them ironed out and would be effortlessly nursing in no time.

Then the reality of a child latched to my nipples set in. At six weeks, I was in such despair. I didn't know how I was going to survive even three months, let alone an entire year. The pain was so much more than I imagined possible. I couldn't nurse long enough to increase my supply. He was getting one bottle of formula every one to two days. I felt like a miserable failure. (And I wasn't even dealing with anything serious like mastitis!)

But I kept at it, and slowly things began to improve. I worked tirelessly on the latch. We never got it exactly right b/c it always hurt, but it helped to have a decent latch. I took herbs to boost my supply (being fuller made nursing less painful). I alternated sides, nursing on only one side each session. By far, this helped the most. Once he started eating every three hours, it meant that each side would get a six hour break in between nursing sessions.

And now here I am at six months, toting my pump around work, making enough milk to be formula free (yay me!), and knowing I can nurse as long as I like.

Right on track


Written on Wednesday, December 27, 2006 by Jessica

Baby is in the 60th percentile for weight (18 lbs. 3 oz) and 50th for height. 80th for head circumference, though!

He barely cried for his two shots! Little trouper. Such a good boy.

Sitting up!


Written on Monday, December 18, 2006 by Jessica

Seth is sitting up now. Plus, Santa gave him his wish early, and he got to try pureed bananas last week. He's also had pureed bananas with oat cereal, pureed bananas with rice cereal, and mashed potatoes. He didn't like the mashed potatoes at all, not even when I added a little gravy! It's the least sweet food he's ever had. Maybe if they'd been mashed using breastmilk instead of cow's milk... :)

Merry Christmas


Written on Monday, December 18, 2006 by Jessica

Psssst, Santa...


Written on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 by Jessica

...for Christmas can you make my mommy let me eat solid food?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Written on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 by Jessica

I asked for a garage-door opener, and I got it early! Hooray for me. I get to take my laziness to a new level.

Hooray for Baby's Daddy for buying and installing it for me.

What I like about country music


Written on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 by Jessica

Country music is one of my favorite music genres. Here's why:

1. It has songs with titles like "I'm Goin' Thru the Big D and Don't Mean Dallas," "That Was Twenty Years and Two Husbands Ago," and "You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly."

2. It has groups with names like "The Tractors."

3. It has songs with lyrics like:

Well, I was drunk the day my mom got outta prison.
And I went to pick her up in the rain.
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got runned over by a damned old train.
What's not to love?

How much is your ego stroked?


Written on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 by Jessica

Dear Father in Heaven,

Please help me find the person who would pay nearly $4000 for my blog. I'd unload it in a heartbeat.

In Jesus' Name,

My blog is worth $3,951.78.
How much is your blog worth?

What I like about winter


Written on Thursday, December 07, 2006 by Jessica

I don't particularly like wintertime. The cold and endless snow and short days can be depressing. (Fortunately, Baby's Daddy does all the shoveling and plowing, so it could be worse.) Anyhow, I'm compiling a list of its good points to help me feel better about winter.

1. No bugs.
2. You can buy perishable groceries during lunch and leave them in the car until you get home.
3. It's a free-for-all in the parking lots because all the lines are covered by snow. You can park anywhere you want!
4. Christmas.
5. [Your list item here.]

Eight words with two meanings


Written on Monday, December 04, 2006 by Jessica

1. THINGY (thing-ee) n. Female..... Any part under a car's hood. Male.... The strap fastener on a woman's bra

2. VULNERABLE (vul-ne-ra-bel) adj. Female.... Fully opening up one's self emotionally to another. Male.... Playing football without a cup.

3. COMMUNICATION (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n. Female... The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one's partner. Male... Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys.

4. COMMITMENT (ko-mit-ment) n. Female... A desire to get married and raise a family. Male...... Trying not to hit on other women while out with this one.

5. ENTERTAINMENT (en-ter-tayn-ment) n. Female.... A good movie, concert, play or book. Male...... Anything that can be done while drinking beer.

6. FLATULENCE (flach-u-lens) n. Female... An embarrassing byproduct of indigestion. Male...... A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding.

7 MAKING LOVE (may-king luv) n. Female...... The greatest expression of intimacy a couple can achieve. ....Male.. Call it whatever you want, just as long as we do it.

8. REMOTE CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n. Female.... A device for changing from one TV channel to another.... Male... A device for scanning through all 375 channels every 5 minutes.

Pity party


Written on Sunday, December 03, 2006 by Jessica

It's days like today, or rather middle-of-the-nights like tonight, when I feel like chucking breastfeeding. Been treating thrush now for five weeks. Baby shows no sign of it, but I still have an uncontrolled yeast overgrowth on my nipples. I'm sick of boiling toys, bottle nipples, and pacifiers. I'm tired of the endless pain and itching. I also have a plugged milk duct. Boo hoo. Poor me.

I'm thinking of starting Gentian violet. Having no luck with prescription Nystatin and fluconazole (Diflucan). No luck with a vinegar wash, either.

UPDATE (12/6/2006): Midwife prescribed All-Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO). Started seeing good results in just three hours. Feeling much more hopeful.

Yummy toes


Written on Tuesday, November 28, 2006 by Jessica

Seth is forever trying to eat his toes, but he just can't reach. Here, Grandpa is kindly helping him.

Those wine-drinking lushes are teasing my poor baby boy! I better keep on saving for those therapy bills.

Merry Cranberry


Written on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 by Jessica

Happy Turkey Day, Happy Thxgiving, and all that. Don't spend too much on Black Friday.

I'm worse than I imagined


Written on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 by Jessica

Greed:Very High

Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

I found this in an old entry in Big Mama's "other" blog.

National nurse-in scheduled


Written on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 by Jessica

A national nurse-in at Delta ticket counters is set for today. I wish I would've known. The nearest Delta ticket counter is about an hour-and-a-half from here. It's a little too late to just take off and go. And who says Seth would want to eat just then anyhow? (Picture me shoving his face into the milk maker, shouting, "Eat, child, eat!")

On the other hand, I feel a little sorry for Delta. This is turning into a PR nightmare, and technically, Delta didn't kick off the woman. A partner airline, Freedom Airlines, is the one that did it. I was aware of this when I wrote my complaint e-mail, of course, but I still knew Delta would have to be the one to put pressure on Freedom to change its policy. And it's working.

Sorry, Zoe. Come back next week when I'm finally over my righteous indignation. I'll try to start writing about another subject. :)

Update on my Delta complaint letter


Written on Tuesday, November 21, 2006 by Jessica

Delta's reply:

Dear Delta Customer,

Thank you for expressing your concerns.

Delta Air Lines is disappointed to hear about the removal of the passenger onboard Freedom Airlines Flight 6160. As you may know, they are one of our Delta Connection partners. The employees involved were Freedom Airlines employees. No Delta employees were involved in the decision to remove Mrs. Gillette from the aircraft.

Delta supports a mother's right to breastfeed her baby onboard our aircraft. Please let me assure you that we are working with Freedom Airlines on their investigation of this matter. Following the results of this internal investigation, Delta will work with Freedom (a subsidiary Mesa Air Group) to ensure that their procedures mirror Delta's service standards.

Again, thank you for contacting us. We will always welcome the opportunity to be of service.

We genuinely appreciate your support and trust.


Ruth Jones
Online Customer Support Desk
I'm satisfied with Delta's response. I'm willing to fly their airline again, assuming that it actually does put the squeeze on Freedom Airlines over this incident.

Hooray for Vermont moms


Written on Monday, November 20, 2006 by Jessica

They staged a nurse-in.

You know you're a hick when...


Written on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by Jessica

...they cancel school on the opening day of deer season.

Woman kicked off flight for breastfeeding


Written on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by Jessica

Remind me to never fly Delta.

I wrote an email to bitch:

I'm appalled that a family was kicked off a Delta Connections flight because the mother was breastfeeding. The flight attendant and the airline should've used better judgment.

If the airlines are going to start banning breastfeeding women who won't cover up, they'd better start banning women with low-cut tops as well. After all, a breastfeeding mother doesn't display any more cleavage than a low-cut top. The baby's head blocks most everything.

I'm aware that Delta and Freedom Airlines are different entities, but Delta should exert its influence to stop such nonsense in the future.
I have to admit, I've written better complaint letters. What's this business about low-cut tops? Oh, well. I was pissed when I wrote it. I'm thinking about following up with a better-written paper letter.

Update: By the way, I learned about this incident at Working Moms, a new site for (you guessed it) mommies who work.

Daddy's home!


Written on Wednesday, November 08, 2006 by Jessica

I never even mentioned that Baby's Daddy (i.e., Husband) came home on Saturday. He killed a spider for me this morning.



Written on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 by Jessica

STOP THE PRESSES! I received very important CNN breaking news in my mailbox:

Britney Spears files for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline, citing irreconcilable differences.
Someone please shoot me. Why does this deserve breaking-news treatment? I don't give a rat's ass about ol' Brit and her hubby.

Don't they know that today is election day? Isn't there any news more worthy of my attention?

Not about Seth


Written on Tuesday, November 07, 2006 by Jessica

Today I did something I've never done before. I "threw away" my votes on minor-party candidates. In fact, I voted straight ticket for a minor party.

Thank you Representative McDowell (Democratic incumbent in the state house) and Mr. Duggan (Republican challenger) for leading the charge with misleading attack ads that intentionally misrepresented your opponent. You both disgusted me so much that I exercised my right in favor of neither one of you.

Your example poisoned my opinion against the other main-party candidates as well. Good work.

How many of me?


Written on Monday, November 06, 2006 by Jessica

I tried my birth name first:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

This means that there's now only one person in the U.S. with that name, because I adopted my married name a mere six months ago. That lucky person. I'm jealous that she doesn't have to share her name with anyone.

And now for my married name.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I guess that should be updated to 16. The numbers are based on Census Bureau statistics, and as of the last census, I had a different name.

By the way, I'm kidding about all the Census Bureau stuff. They only take a survey, which means they have to be guessing about the names. Wouldn't a more accurate guess come from the Social Security Administration's name database?

Missing Husband


Written on Friday, November 03, 2006 by Jessica

I miss Husband. He left September 10 for a job 300 miles away. It's a short-term job, so it's not as though he's gone forever, but this week has been particularly hard because "They" (evil management) laid off the day shift on Monday. It would stand to reason that a layoff of the night shift (Husband's shift) would soon follow. Hooray!

Except reason is not involved in any decision They make. Husband is still working, and there's talk of stringing along the night shift until next Tuesday. This will not do. Husband has a job interview next Tuesday. He's supposed to come home to kill bugs and play with Baby and say funny things and protect us from any evil lurking in the darkened basement.

Happy Halloween


Written on Wednesday, November 01, 2006 by Jessica

Seth in his All Hallow's Eve attire. He's an ad for got milk? Thanks, Aunt Phebe, for the Superman candy bucket.

Nursing-strike sacrifice


Written on Monday, October 30, 2006 by Jessica

As mentioned previously, I had to make sacrifices during the nursing strike. Namely, I was forced to hack off my index fingernail to use an SNS. See the carnage for yourself:

Seth's union suit


Written on Monday, October 30, 2006 by Jessica

Aunt Teriana gave Seth a union suit (you know, the thermal underwear with a drop seat) and Mean Mommy is making the photo public.

Oh, the indignity!

Naturally, Seth didn't put up with it without a fight. He promptly peed on the carpet.



Written on Friday, October 27, 2006 by Jessica

Here's the view outside my window at work. Nice, huh?

Humor for today


Written on Friday, October 27, 2006 by Jessica

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. The first thing he said was "DON'T!"

"Don't what?" Adam asked.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We have forbidden fruit? Hey Eve, we have forbidden fruit!"

"No way!"

"Yes way!"

"Do NOT eat the fruit! " said God.


"Because I am your Father and I said so!" God replied, wondering why He hadn't stopped creation after making the elephants.

A few minutes later, God saw His children having an apple break and He was ticked! "Didn't I tell you not to eat the fruit?"

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?"

"I don't know," said Eve.

"She started it!" Adam said.

"Did not!"

"Did too!"


Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.


1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.

2. Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your own children.

3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.

5. The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.

6. We childproofed our home, but they are still getting in.



Written on Thursday, October 19, 2006 by Jessica

I haven't kept you updated on the nursing strike. It ended just as quickly as it began, although he continued to be fussy about nursing from time to time. I wrote a cutsie little newspaper article about it for you, but I didn't publish it b/c I wanted to include a photograph of my naked index finger -- the one without a long beautiful fingernail (see article below for explanation).

Anyhow, I'm utterly frustrated. Tonight he absolutely refused to nurse even though he was clearly starving. Here are some reasons babies refuse to nurse (i.e., go on strike):

  • Mommy has eaten something that has given the milk a yucky taste.
    In this case, unlikely. He eats anything I pump without complaint. If he didn't like the taste of the milk, he would occasionally refuse a bottle.
  • Baby has an earache, which causes suckling to be painful. (The jaw motions hurt the ear.)
    This is not our problem. As mentioned above, he eats just fine from a bottle. Furthermore, he shows no signs of any other earache symptoms.
  • Baby has thrush, which somehow makes nursing uncomfortable.
    Actually, he does have a minor case of thrush. The pediatrician wasn't even going to treat it, but I mentioned that my nipples were stinging after a feeding, so she prescribed treatments for us both. Here's where I'm confused. The lactation counselor said sometimes thrush causes breastfeeding to be painful while not affecting bottle feeding, but I'm skeptical. Why wouldn't bottle feeding be painful as well? Furthermore, we've both received treatments for several days, so the thrush symptoms have cleared up.
  • Mommy has slow letdown, so baby gets mad.
    Sooooo not the case. My milk always seems to be instantly available.
  • Mommy smells funny.
    I haven't changed my deoderant or detergent, and I don't wear perfume, so this isn't the case.
Because nursing strikes are more common in bottle-fed and pacifier-using babies, I can only conclude that he has decided he like bottles better. Conventional wisdom says he's getting milk faster from a bottle, so he prefers it, but that just isn't the case. We're using low-flow nipples, and furthermore, I happen to produce a bunch of milk at the beginning of a feeding. I'm certain that I actually deliver it faster than a low-flow bottle.

Bottom line: He's just being stubborn. In the beginning, I said I was more stubborn and could wait him out, but tonight I began to wonder how I can take eight more months of this. Yes, tonight was extreme, but it's a daily occurance that he's become difficult about breastfeeding. Most of the time, he'll nurse for only about five minutes and then refuse to nurse any longer, which means I'm feeding him again in two hours instead of the normal three. And it's really frustrating to have to relatch forty or fifty times in a single session, which is how we go about nursing an entire meal two sucks at a time.

I'm so tired that I'm just blathering on and being utterly boring (or "udderly" boring -- ha! which reminds me, I'm thinking of being a cow for Halloween). I'll go away now. Here's the cutsie article I was talking about, still sans the photo of my missing fingernail:

Tentative agreement reached between management and union

AP - Mommy management and baby union leaders announced a tentative agreement today to end a week-long nursing strike. Baby union's only demand was to be bottle fed at all meals, but Mommy management refused to make any concessions, going to far as to call in scabs in the form of a supplemental nursing system (SNS) and a nipple shield.

An SNS is a device that delivers bottled breastmilk to the baby through a small flexible tube. The tube is usually taped to the breast to encourage a newborn to nurse by rewarding him with small amounts of milk. In this case, the SNS was taped to Mommy management's index finger, which Baby union happily suckled. A nipple shield is a device that fits over the mother's nipple to protect a cracked or very sore nipple while nursing. In this case, the nipple shield tricked baby union into thinking he was suckling a bottle.

Events came to a head on Saturday, when Mommy management threatened to take away the three bottles that Baby union received each day while she was at work. In that case, Baby union would have to be spoon fed instead. However, a lactation counselor-arbitrator ruled this step unnecessary.

Although Mommy management was reluctant to make concessions, the strike was not without sacrifices. Mommy management was forced to lop off her index fingernail to use the SNS.

Breastfeeding doesn't boost IQ


Written on Monday, October 16, 2006 by Jessica

A recent study says breastfeeding doesn't enhance a baby's IQ. However, it does confer many other benefits.

According to the study, breastfeeding moms tend to be smarter moms, and smarter moms tend to provide a more stimulating home environment. This results in a higher IQ in the baby. So if you're a smart mom (or even a not-so-smart mom) who loves your baby and provides a stimulating home environment but couldn't or didn't breastfeed, you needn't worry any longer that you're baby will have a lower IQ than breastfed babies. If you're like me, you probably already have tons of other things to feel guilty about, so cross this one off your list.

Note: In case your wondering, I'm still breastfeeding (with only *four ounces of formula supplements in the last four weeks -- yay!). This article has no effect on my decision to breastfeed, nor does it change my resolve to weather this nursing strike...

*Four ounces in the last four weeks. That's down from a bottle of formula a day while I was on maternity leave! I'm really excited about that.

Nursing strike


Written on Friday, October 13, 2006 by Jessica

It's official. He's on a nursing strike. Suddenly the breast is some horrific beast he wants nothing to do with. He screams when I put it anywhere near him. Fortunately, I'm still smarter and more patient than he is. :) I can still get him to nurse when he's half asleep (that's the "I'm smarter" part) or half starved (that's the "I'm more patient" part). Yes, it's true. I had to wait him out yesterday evening. I let him cry until he was half starved and willing to eat.

Basically, he wants a bottle, but I won't give it to him. He already gets three bottles a day while I'm at work. He doesn't have thrush or pain while eating because he eats from a bottle just fine. It's not a scent issue, either. I'm wearing the same deoderant as always, and I never wear perfume. Haven't changed laundry detergent or fabric softener. The little bugger is just mad that he can't have a bottle.

Mean mommy.

Nursing strike?


Written on Thursday, October 12, 2006 by Jessica

He isn't nursing well, but I'm not so sure it's an acutal nursing strike, because he's not utterly refusing to go to breast. He eats for about five minutes and then gets really fussy -- latching on like he's still hungry but then pulling away almost instantly and fussing. Grandma says he takes his bottles like a champ.

I wonder if the milk flow is ticking him off. His behavior coincides with a precipitous drop in production.



Written on Thursday, October 12, 2006 by Jessica

It's snowing today. Sigh. I knew the snow was coming, but for some reason I thought it wouldn't be here until tomorrow. I don't have my boots, and I'm wearing ankle socks. And I'm not even sure I have a scraper in my car.

In happier news, snow means fewer bugs. :)

The accident


Written on Monday, October 09, 2006 by Jessica

This one is just too funny. It's been out there for awhile, but this is the first I've heard of it. Have a listen:

Thanks, Aunt Eileen.

Update: It's sound only, so turn up/plug in your speakers!

Slumber party


Written on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 by Jessica

Seth and I stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's last night. It wasn't the original plan, though. Sitting on the couch last night, I noticed spots on the wall. What the heck? I walked over and saw I was infested with ladybugs. Not the real ones, which are unlucky to kill, but some lookalikes that have been infesting houses in the area for the past several years.

I've already discussed my phobia with bugs, especially ones that fly or hop erratically, but the big thing about phobias is that they are irrational. Ladybugs don't bother me. I went to sit back down on the couch when I saw a cricket running across right where I'd been sitting! The horror! Oh, how dearly I hate crickets. How to kill it??

First, I ran to get a glass to trap it, but I simply could not get close enough to trap it. Then I ran for a flyswatter, but when I returned, it was gone. I called my in-laws to ask if they had a minivac, but no such luck. I told her about the cricket. "What am I going to do?? I can't sit on the couch! Not 'til I kill it. But it's gone."

As I was bemoaning the lost cricket, I saw something on the carpet by the loveseat. It looked like some fuzzy lint, but as I approached. "Dear god, it's a stinkbug!" My mother-in-law asked if I wanted to stay there that night. Yes, very much.

I stomped on the stinkbug but couldn't bear to leave the cricket running loose, so pulled the couch away from the wall. Gone. So I gathered up my things and my baby and prepared to run away from the buggy house. That's when I spotted the cricket near the couch. He looked a little smaller, which made me wonder if it was yet another, but I banished the horrific thought, grabbed the flyswatter, and beat on it about ten times. Dead.

I began to consider staying in the house, even though I knew I would dream all night that crickets and stinkbugs were crawling on the baby. (I had similar dreams in the face of the minor earwig population.) But then I looked over, and under the baby's swing, was another cricket. Another beating with the flyswatter, and I was out the door.

I really wish my husband would come back home.

Places not to live


Written on Monday, October 02, 2006 by Jessica

One day in tenth grade biology, we had to dissect a giant grasshopper. Thank god it was already dead. I asked the teacher, whose name I can no longer remember, where these hideous creatures came from. North Carolina. That's when I decided I could never live in North Carolina.

Thanks to Ms. Zee and beloved Mr. Hop, I've also crossed Southern California off the list. (Actually, though, it was already off the list due to the San Andreas fault.)

I'm beginning to wonder if I should cross Michigan off the list. My new home, while not exactly infested with earwigs, has its share of the creatures. I hate bugs. I suppose it could be worse. At least I can kill* earwigs. I'm too terrified of grasshoppers and water crickets to get near enough to kill them unless I have a can of WD-40, which works wonders against water crickets. I don't know about grasshoppers, though.

*I can kill most earwigs. I completey mangled one the other day, though, and even though I was sure it was dead, it crawled off when I left the room. Hopefully it crawled off to die.

Mommy, you're silly


Written on Friday, September 15, 2006 by Jessica

Love this one


Written on Friday, September 15, 2006 by Jessica

Daddy thought Seth would find this a comfy position.

Back to work


Written on Friday, September 15, 2006 by Jessica

My maternity leave is over. Yesterday I returned to work. Seth gave me a great big smile as I said goodbye, and then I left the house with tears in my eyes. I'd be a stay-at-home mom if I could, but it's just not an option for us.

Seth's first meme


Written on Saturday, September 02, 2006 by Jessica

3 Things That Scare Me
1. Daddy’s sneezes. They’re terrifying loud.
2. Uncle Bryan.
3. Random noises that often aren’t loud at all, so Mommy and Daddy can’t figure out why I’m scared.

3 People Who Make Me Laugh
1. I don’t laugh, yet.
2. But I do smile.
3. And coo.

3 Things I Love
1. My pacifier. I’m really attached to it.
2. My Soothing Motions Glider.
3. Ceiling fans.

3 Things I Hate
1. Having to stop in the middle of a feeding to burp. This really pisses me off.
2. Being alone. It’s not good enough just to hear Mommy or Daddy’s voice. I have to be able to see them.
3. Gas bubbles.

3 Things I Don’t Understand
1. Why Mommy makes me stop in the middle of feeding to burp. Sure, I feel much better after burping, but that is so not the point.
2. What/Who those disembodied voices are when I’m alone.
3. Why people insist on touching my head. I hate it when people touch my head.

3 Things On My Highchair
1. Don’t sit in a highchair yet.

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now
1. Sucking noisily on my hands in pacifierless moments. My hands are lifesavers.
2. Increasing drool production.
3. Occasionally sleeping four, five or six hours in a stretch. I even slept nearly eight hours in a row the other night.

3 Things I Want to Do Before I Die
1. No life goals yet.

3 Things I Can Do
1. Hold my head up as well as a baby twice my age.
2. Suck my thumb.
3. Smile at Mommy and Daddy.

3 Things I Can’t Do
1. Grasp objects. The articles Mommy reads tell her that I’m supposed to be able to do this, but she’s trying to ignore them. She consoles herself by remembering that I can hold my head up really well.
2. Crawl.
3. Sit up.

3 Ways to Describe My Personality
1. Impatient when anything, especially being burped, interferes with eating.
2. Unhappy when my pacifier falls out (until I find my hands).
3. Happier and smiley-er all the time.

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To
1. Everything. It’s all so interesting.

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To
1. My daddy’s terrifying sneezes.
2. The disembodied voices when I’m all alone.

3 Absolute Favorite Foods
These are the favorites by default because I've never had anything else.
1. Breastmilk.
2. Formula.
3. Water.

3 Things I’d Like to Learn
1. How to grab those stupid toys Mommy and Daddy hang in front of me.
2. How to burp and eat at the same time.
3. How to sit up by myself.

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly
1. Breastmilk.
2. Formula.
3. I had water a couple of times.

3 Shows I Watched as a Kid
1. Daddy and I watch NASCAR.
2. And Van Helsing.
3. And other movies, too, but I really couldn’t care less.

3 Babies I Tag
1. Kiera
2. Thomas
3. Tommy/Brooklynn

Moving day


Written on Thursday, August 24, 2006 by Jessica

Yesterday we packed, today me moved, tomorrow we move in. I've promised to post photos before now, but I've never done it. I really need to post photos, but geez, dial-up is such a pain.

Worst mommy in the world


Written on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by Jessica

In a show of solidarity with S., who wonders if she's the worst mom ever, I thought I'd reveal my secret reasons for believing I'm the worst mommy in the world:

Bad mommy episode #1:
When my sweet baby boy was tiny and new, a mere nine days old, I dropped him. That's right. I dropped my baby, which officially makes me a worse mother than Britney Spears.

In a moment of utter exhaustion, I fell asleep while rocking him. He slipped from my arms and fell to the floor. As you might imagine, I burst into sobs at least as loud as Seth's. Thank god for Bob, who rushed out and took over. He blamed himself, saying he should've been helping more. He conveniently forgot that I'd been declining his offers to help. I don't know how single moms do it.
Don't worry, there's more. Much more.
Bad mommy episode #2:
Just yesterday, the pediatrician recommended I eliminate dairy from my diet for three days to see if that's what is causing Seth's sour tummy/gas. And what did I do today? Bought a quart of chocolate milk and drank it all. I rationalized it by saying that cutting back was better than ignore the doctor completely. (Yes. Believe it or not, a quart of milk in a day is considered cutting back for me. I usually drink a half gallon or even more. Is it any wonder that Seth is having problems?)

Bad mommy episode #3:
My child desperately needs a bath.



Written on Monday, August 21, 2006 by Jessica

Here's Seth in his ducky bathrobe from Great Aunt Eileen.

New profile pic


Written on Monday, August 21, 2006 by Jessica

Because I apparently take all the photos in the family, I have a VERY limited selection of photos of Seth and me. Here's me first thing in the morning (after being up all night, of course) with an always-cute Seth.

Someone buy this girl some makeup.

Boring old template


Written on Sunday, August 20, 2006 by Jessica

Along with a few million other special elite people, I've been invited to participate in Google's beta reworking of Blogger. As a result, I've had to revert to the ugly orginal template. Sorry. Notice, however, that the beta integrates labels, so I won't have to do them manually through anymore.

Mommy the Magnificent: Mind Reader Extraordinaire


Written on Monday, August 14, 2006 by Jessica

Once upon a time, in a life that seems far away, Seth had a plethora of ways to tell me he was hungry:

1. Attempt to devour his hand.
2. Root around the bosom of some unsuspecting (and mortified) thirteen-year-old girl who is holding him.
3. Smack his lips.
4. Try to latch onto air (my personal favorite).

Nowadays, I bet you can guess how Seth tells me he’s hungry. Yup, that’s right. He screams.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t necessarily have anything against screaming as a method of communication. The problem is that screaming can mean so many other things besides, “I’m hungry”:

1. I need to burp but can’t.
2. I need to poop but it seems to be stuck.
3. I need my diaper changed.
4. I’m hot.
5. I’m cold.
6. Daddy pinched me.
7. Daddy tossed me into the air and it scares me. (Okay, Seth never seems to mind being tossed into the air but it scares Mommy.)
8. I want someone to hold me.
9. I want my pacifier.

In any case, I'm starting to get used to dealing with trial and error every time he cries.

Don't cry over spilled milk


Written on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 by Jessica

I had to throw out all the milk I've pumped and refrigerated/frozen over the past two days. Seth was absolutely fine drinking formula. He was fine while nursing. He was completely fine until I reintroduced the breastmilk I stored. After that, he spent the rest of the evening screaming. Do babies get sore throats? I feel awful for feeding him something that put him in such misery.



Written on Tuesday, August 08, 2006 by Jessica

My sweet baby boy is experiencing colic-like distress. It's certainly not true, full-blown colic, but it doesn't leave me any less heartbroken as he screams inconsolably.

We've begun narrowing it down. It's not the formula. (I still supplement b/c my milk drops inexplicably about every third day.) The next step is to begin eliminating foods from my diet since something is probably creeping into my breastmilk and causing havoc. First, I'm going to eliminate caffeine. This won't be hard b/c I quit caffeine about three years ago. I accidentally drank some last Friday and Sunday when I had Sunkist orange pop (that's "soda" or "soft drink" to you non-Midwesterners). Because Sinkist is orange, I incorrectly assumed it didn't have caffeine. Seth's distress seems to have coincided with the introduction of caffeine. (Fingers crossed, as it's an easy fix.)

If his colic continues, the next step is to cut down or eliminate cow's milk. Let's hope we don't have to take this step. I LOVE milk.

got milk?


Written on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 by Jessica

I think the pumping has really helped to increase my milk production. (Ideally, I would allow him to suckle long enough to increase production, but that hurts too much.) I'm going to have to start wearing nursing pads to bed. If not, I'll have to collect a bunch of kittens to follow me around and lap up the puddles of milk!

Mr. Grabby


Written on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 by Jessica

Today I draped Seth over the boppy for his tummy time and put some toys out in front of him. When I wasn't looking, he grabbed one of them. He's such a smart boy. :)

Six hours


Written on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 by Jessica

On Sunday morning, Bob took Seth into town so I could sleep. That's what I did. For nearly six hours in a row. I was still tired when I woke up.

The visit with the lactation consultant


Written on Monday, July 24, 2006 by Jessica

For starters, Seth was on his best behavior. Rather than ravenously attempting to eat his hand (he always attempts to latch onto his hand even as I offer a milk-laden breast in vain), he merely nibbled at his hand, as if to say, "Mother, I'm peckish. If you have a moment, please feed me." Plus, he latched on beautifully. Why can't I get him to do that at home? What's more, he opened his mouth wide, never once lunging at me when I didn't put him to breast immediately. (Seriously, the kid has a strong neck.)

I confessed my sins -- using a pacifier and bottle-feeding with the Haberman nipple -- to the lactation consultant, Judy. She didn't even chastise me. Probably because I looked so ashamed. Her evaluation? Says the latch looks very good from the outside, which probably means he's not suckling correctly. This could be due to nipple confusion or it could be the way he's always suckled. There are ways to train/retrain an infant to suckle correctly, but she said that was beyond her expertise. As the saying goes, "I made my bed. Now I must lie in it." (She didn't say that, but that's my interpretation.

She said my nipples' turing white were caused by Reynaud Phenomenon.

Thanks to S. and the website she referred me to (, I know that I don't suffer from Reynaud's. I do experience nipple blanching -- which can be caused by Reynaud's -- but in my case, I'm actually experiencing compression blanching. I frequently have a compression stripe, which I found I can minimize by trying harder for a good latch.

Judy pointed out that even though we started out with what looked like a textbook latch each time, Seth tended to reposition himself, which was causing more pain. This made sense. Even when I start out with a relatively pain-free latch, I usually end up wincing in pain by the end of the session. (Plus, the little vampire tends to suck harder at the end when the milk doesn't come as fast.)

We also got creative by trying out a nipple shield. Nipple shields are usually intended for use when the baby has latching and feeding problems (such as with preemies), but it seemed to help alleviate the pain a little.

Judy's overall advice?

1. Make sure he opens wide so I can get a good latch. If he repositions later in the feeding, be sure to break the latch and start again. (This is probably my worst problem. As the pain increases throughout the feeding, I tend to grin and bear it, thinking, "It's almost over. It's almost over."

2. If desired, use the nipple shield when nipples become really sore.

3. When soreness becomes intolerable, pump instead of nursing.

I know one thing fore sure. If I ever have another kid, s/he's not getting a pacifier or a bottle (not even a Haberman) until I'm sure nursing is going well. By that time, s/he probably won't even accept a bottle or a pacifier!



Written on Monday, July 24, 2006 by Jessica

Well, my little guy is working on filling his diaper. He's working really hard, too. Lots of grunting and groaning and straining.

A nurse from the health department came a couple of weeks ago for a home visit, and I asked her if it was normal for a kid to have to always work so hard to fill his diaper. I know that every kid has to once in awhile, but with him it's every time. She said, "Well, when I was undressing him to weigh him, he was doing a lot of grunting then. I think he's just a little dramatic."

Wait a second. Did she just call my son a drama queen?

Gotta go. Sounds like the drama queen might be finished.

Breastfeeding flunkie


Written on Thursday, July 20, 2006 by Jessica

I'm a breastfeeding failure. My nipples are horribly sore, probably due to nipple confusion -- which of course is my own fault, because I opted to bottle feed what I'd pumped instead of using the SNS (supplemental nursing system). Granted, we used a special nipple called a Haberman, which is designed to mimic breastfeeding, but it's not the same. I guess I was so grateful to Bob for his help with night feedings that I didn't want to ask him to use the more time-consuming SNS -- which is stupid b/c he would have used it without complaint.

Worse, I gave into pressure to use a pacifier. I didn't want to seem like a paranoid first-time mom.

No surprise that my milk production isn't enough. I make enough in the morning, but it declines all day long until finally he's waking up every hour to eat during the night. (It's amazing how many parenting decisions are influenced by fatigue. I don't think I would've used a pacifier if not for being exhausted. Now I'm paying for it.)

Even though I wasn't looking forward to breastfeeding, I never expected to be bad at it. I read the blogs of lots of successful breastfeeders, and I just don't know how they do it. I want to blame other factors: the c-section, which prevented me from establishing breastfeeding immediately; NICU for giving him a pacifier and bottle; the pediatrician, who prescribed formula while he was in NICU. But it's no use. I'm a breastfeeding failure, and it's no one's fault but my own. It's a miserable feeling.

Little man


Written on Saturday, July 15, 2006 by Jessica

Seth can hold his head up really well considering that he's only three weeks old. Bob's a proud papa b/c his little man is so strong. :)

Sleep when the baby sleeps


Written on Saturday, July 15, 2006 by Jessica

Yeah, right. I can't believe my insomnia has followed me to motherhood. The kid has been sleeping for hours on end, but me? I've been staring at the ceiling. I keep thinking, "His diaper must be so nasty by now. I'll bet he's soaked right thru. Why is he still sleeping? Is something wrong? Is he breathing? [Child makes grunting noise.] Yes, he's obviously breathing. Why is he still sleeping?" I wonder if all first timers are this fretful.

Sleeping peacefully


Written on Monday, July 10, 2006 by Jessica

He's eleven days old in this shot.

What I love about Seth


Written on Sunday, July 09, 2006 by Jessica

Sappy post. I'll try to keep these to a minimum. :)

1. All his hair.
2. His cry. I think it's so cute. I hate to admit it, sometimes I let him cry just a little so I can hear it. (Wait'll he gets some lungs behind his cry. I'm sure I'll change my tune.)
3. His faces. He had about a thousand different faces. They crack me up.
4. He's so little. I'd always planned on an eight-pound baby, so I was surprised when he came in under seven.
5. He yawns and stretches all the time. Three or four times in a row. Love it.
6. How cute he makes his daddy look. What is it about your husband holding a baby that makes him look so adorable?
7. The way he sleeps with his hands up by his ears.
8. His cute little cowlick. It makes his hair stick up all over. I'm sure it'll drive me crazy when I try to tame it when he gets older, but for now I love it.

Welcome Seth Jacob


Written on Sunday, July 09, 2006 by Jessica

I wrote all about his entrance to the world on my other blog:

Welcome Seth Jacob
Birth Story Continued

Follow the links to see some of his first photos.

The care and feeding of trees


Written on Monday, June 19, 2006 by Jessica

S.'s five-year-old daughter is just too cute. This story cracks me up. Here's a clip:

My daughter and I had a very long talk yesterday about what happens when you die. I wanted her to know what was going on with Tasha [the cat they were forced to euthanize], I didn't want to lie to her and tell her she went to live on a farm or something like that. So I tried to explain the cycle of life, how the molecules that were Tasha will become part of all the rest of the earth and how she will live on physically that way and also always live in our hearts. As part of trying to explain I was telling her that the molecules will help other things grow — the plants, the flowers, and such. "The trees too, mommy?" "Yes, honey, she will help feed the trees." She said "Trees like to eat KITTIES?" and there was panic on her face as she looked out our living room window at the large orange tree in the backyard. God help me, I had to choke back a laugh as I imagined the trees lying in wait for unsuspecting cats then swooping them up with lowered branches.
Fortunately for me, I was only reading the story. I couldn't have choked back a laugh if I tried.

Insurance update


Written on Monday, June 12, 2006 by Jessica

It took a whole month for the insurance company (Allstate) to inform us that they were cancelling our policy. We were naively expecting a detailed letter explaining what needed to be fixed and how to schedule a reinspection. Nope. The letter vaguely listed some (but not all) of the problems, recommended that we find another insurance company, and even provided us with information about obtaining a policy from the state. (You know, one of those expensive, last-chance policies that states typically offer.) Basically, Allstate wants nothing to do with us.

We've switched to Auto Owners. They're not writing us a regular policy, but they're charging a reasonable price for a fire policy, which will give us time to fix the issues. Then we can convert to a standard homeowners' policy easy peasy. I can't believe I spent so much time stressing about Allstate. If they're okay with our switching all of our policies to another company -- fine, it's their loss.

How evil are you?


Written on Monday, May 15, 2006 by Jessica

You Are 40% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

New house


Written on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 by Jessica

Bob and I bought a new house. I haven't even bothered to update anybody, I guess b/c I'm just too engrossed in Kidney Bean's blog. I might've mentioned on it on K.B.'s blog simply b/c K.B. is the reason we're buying a new house.

We closed on the house a couple of weeks ago. Today we learned that it didn't pass the insurance company's inspection. Our homeowners' insurance coverage will lapse in thirty days. It'll take a couple of weeks to get the reinspection done, which means we have two weeks to fix the problems. Bob has to tear down a decrepit porch, build some handrails, and build new stairs.

Sufficiently amused


Written on Thursday, March 30, 2006 by Jessica

This article sufficiently amused me for a moment or two.

It answers the question of whether anything is really worth its weight in gold. Diamonds are, but most everything else is not.

Chest cold


Written on Thursday, March 23, 2006 by Jessica

I caught it. I thought I'd survived the quarantine zone, but yesterday I began showing symptoms. Thank goodness my approved medications list includes cough medicine.

Update: Today is Friday, and people are now teasing me about the medicine chest I have here at my desk -- Robitussin, Sudafed, and Tylenol. Bob drove all the way to Indian River to get me the Sudafed. It wasn't stocked at the gas station on the way home because the active ingredient in Sudafed is used to produce crystal meth. In Michigan, all medications containing that ingredient must now be kept behind a pharmacy counter. You can still buy it without a prescription, but it has to be monitored by a pharmacy. Thanks to my cousin, Michelle, who works the pharmacy counter where Bob went. He nearly bought a less-effective version that is stocked in the aisle, but Michelle spotted him and set him straight! Thanks, Michelle! Thanks, Bob!

Quarantine zone


Written on Thursday, March 16, 2006 by Jessica

I'm working twelve hours a day in what should be a quarantine zone.

We're pushing out new software this week and working long hours to make it happen. Everyone here is sick. There's a mini breakfast bar set up with bagels, fruit, juice, and TheraFlu. I'm not kidding.

I don't know how I'm going to avoid it.

Horrific dream


Written on Friday, March 03, 2006 by Jessica

I had a horrific dream last night. Two friends and I were being pursued by two predators. (Do you remember the movie Predator? The predator was an alien creature who hunted humans and kept trophies from each. Early in the movie, the predator kills a guy and pulls out his spinal column as a souvenir. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the hero who eventually kills it.)

In my dream, there were no Schwarzeneggeresqe heroes. We were all killed, and as I lay there dying from a mortal chest wound but not yet dead, the predator pulled out the baby to keep as a trophy. The worst part is that the baby was still alive, too.



Written on Monday, February 20, 2006 by Jessica

I love it when people go to police to complain when they've been shafted while engaging in illegal activities.

A 52-year-old man from the German town of Darmstadt tried in vain to get a refund for 400 euros ($475) worth of what he said was "bad marijuana" from his dealer before turning to the police for help, according to authorities.



Written on Thursday, February 09, 2006 by Jessica

One of my cubemates just offered the other cubemate some jalapeño Pringles, which he pronounced with a "j" instead of an "h." (Okay, so he's not into Mexican food. Doesn't know how to pronounce "jalapeno." No biggie.)

After the other cubemate accepted the chips, he actually smelled them and said, "Nice bouquet." He continued to say something about them while chewing -- I unfortunately couldn't hear -- and then commented, "Strong finish."

It totally cracked me up. He was as serious about these chips as wine tasters are about tasting wine. :) Clearly, I need to enlarge my world so I, too, can get this much enjoyment out of jalapeño Pringles.

Rude drivers


Written on Thursday, January 26, 2006 by Jessica

A local realtor with a personalized plate -- Roxie B -- was stupid enough to pull out in front of me today. This can be none other than Roxie Beach.

Not only did she pull out in front of me -- I had to slow from sixty to thirty in a moment -- she hit her brakes in retaliation when she felt I was following her too closely. Insult to injury. By tailing her for a moment, I was simply letting her know of my displeasure. We could have left it at that, but she had to hit her brakes.

I now know exactly who I'll never deal with in real estate. Come on, Roxie... If you're going to be a marginally prominent business person with a vanity plate, you can't afford to be rude on the road.

Good Dilbert today


Written on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 by Jessica

More on my too-tight diamond shoes


Written on Monday, January 23, 2006 by Jessica

Well, wouldn't you know it? All my numbers are off! Okay, so I'll cough up the truth. I estimated our taxes based on an unemployment statement. (Bob was laid off for two weeks in December.) The unemployment statement included the year's total income from each of the three companies Bob worked for, so I plugged those numbers into our tax software. I didn't realize that at least one of the companies included Bob's pension and annuity contributions as part of his wages. In other words, they reported much high earnings than he actually had, resulting in all the whining last week. As it turns out, we didn't exceed the maximum income for deducting IRA contributions, so we'll be able to avoid the underpayment penalty altogether, and our tax burden is much lighter than previously thought. (Maybe we were even bumped down to a lower tax bracket??) Gee, I'm so glad I whined like a baby...

South Park: great entertainment for kids


Written on Thursday, January 19, 2006 by Jessica

I wrote to CNN Headline News today:

I was dismayed when I heard Isaac Hayes described as the voice of Chef on "kids' show" South Park. South Park is not a kids' show! It's a raunchy, profane, satirical cartoon for adults that fully deserves its TV-MA rating.
Kids' show??

In other news, I refrained from sending an e-mail to eSmartTax to tell them they misspelled "preparation" in the subject line of their latest e-mail to me.



Written on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 by Jessica

I grabbed what I thought was a plain bagel this afternoon. I toasted it and spread on strawberry cream cheese. Then I took a bite. It's garlic! If I'd buttered it, it'd be fine (well, sorta fine), but garlic with strawberry cream cheese. Uck!

Dress code


Written on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 by Jessica

The new employee handbook says we are not to expose any part of our anatomy that is not necessary for work. Damn. No more cleavage.

"Oh, no! My wallet's too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight."


Written on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 by Jessica

Damn government. We have to pay in nearly $2700. We were both withholding at the zero-exemption level, yet we have to pay in a small fortune. Gee, I guess we should have selected that box on our W-2s that said, "Married, but withholding at the higher single rate."

To make matters worse, we're subject to a $150 underpayment penalty. I really hate the fact that the underpayment penalty exists. I'm not purposely underpaying my taxes! We just seem to make more and more money every year, and so even though I withhold more every year, it's never enough.

In the past, I've managed to reduce or avoid the underpayment penalty by maxing out our traditional IRA contributions, which reduced our tax burden. Well, not this year. We made too much money to be eligible to deduct our traditional IRA contributions. This totally pisses me off. The money would have been better off in my 401(k), but I didn't know it at the time. (The only reason I opened those stupid IRAs to begin with was b/c my 401(k) plan sucked so bad. Now we have a much better 401(k), but I need to make contributions into the IRAs to get them above $5000 so I can get rid of the annual maintenance fees.)

The only other way I can reduce my taxable income, and thus reduce the underpayment penalty, is to itemize deductions and somehow come up with more than $10,000 worth. Gee, we don't have a crushing mortgage debt, so we're not paying anything in interest. To go along with our tiny mortgage, we have a tiny house for which we pay almost no real estate taxes. Charitable giving? What can I say? We don't give enough to get us anywhere near $10,000. How the hell am I supposed to find $10,000 worth of itemized deductions?

The Credit Card Prank


Written on Friday, January 13, 2006 by Jessica

I love the Credit Card Prank. It cracks me up.

The miners' families


Written on Thursday, January 05, 2006 by Jessica

I cried yesterday morning when I saw what happened to the miners' families. [In case CNN pulls the article, I'm referring to the Sago mining disaster.]