Friday, December 31, 2004

Playing in the Sand -- San Diego is Paradise! Posted by Hello

Kellan and Aunt Amanda Posted by Hello

Kellan's First Stocking Stuffer Posted by Hello

Kellan with his Grandparents Posted by Hello

Our Family Posted by Hello

Mommy, Kellan, and Grandma Posted by Hello

Mommy and Kellan in front of the Hotel Del Coronado Posted by Hello

Playing in the Pacific Posted by Hello

Christmas Day at the Beach Posted by Hello

Mommy and Kellan Posted by Hello

Grandma and Kellan at the Beach Posted by Hello

Christmas Presents Posted by Hello

Childhood Friends with my Child Posted by Hello

Baby Bing Posted by Hello

Back to the Midwest

We've returned from my beautiful home town of San Diego and are getting back to the slower (and colder) pace of life in the Midwest. We had a wonderful Christmas together. Kellan was a joy and certainly didn't disappoint his grandparents or aunt Amanda in the adorable department. He was well spoiled of course with more presents than the rest of us combined! He caught a nasty cold on the way out (airplane germs) and by the time we came home, due to a nicely suppressed immune system, he had a painful throat infection, blisters and all. He's nursing every couple of hours because he doesn't want to eat and his meals consist of yogurt and ice cream (doctor's orders!). He should be fully recovered in another couple of days.

Illness aside, we had a fabulous trip. It was sunny and mid-80s upon our arrival and continued along the same lines for the following 10 days. We spent lots of time at Coronado, our favourite beach. Kellan had his first dip in the ocean and play in the sand.

We spent a fun day at Seaport Village. Kellan rode the carousel and enjoyed a trip across the bay on a ferry.

We went to Disneyland of course. As a native Californian, I found my British husband's aversion to Disney on his first visit a very foreign trait indeed. Too 1950s? Too retro? Too silly? Never, not my Disneyland! Too expensive? Ok, I'll give him that. At least Kellan was free. He enjoyed a couple of rides, but was still suffering from the nasty cold, so spent a lot of time just hanging out. His favourite part of the day was meeting a character from Tarzan, the young gorilla, Terk.

Had a nice day at Balboa Park where Kellan rode another carousel. His first time on an up-and-down horse. Well, ok, it was a rooster, but you get the idea.

Spent our last day touring around downtown, a shopping trip to Horton Plaza, and then a lovely family meal at our favourite downtown San Diego restaurant, The Old Spaghetti Factory. I'm sorry to say that this will be our last visit to the restaurant that we've loved for 25 years, a place that we've celebrated birthdays, weddings, pregnancies, and everything in between. Our local Old Spaghetti Factory closes its doors forever this week. We will miss you old friend!

We did lots more, visited friends all over the area, relaxed by the pool, and generally enjoyed our 10 days away. I'm back at work today, though only briefly. I came in for a few hours yesterday as well. Kellan needs to nurse frequently, so I can't be gone long. Luckily, there's nobody here and I'm all caught up for the New Year, so there's no stress in missing a few days. I honestly only came in today to have a few minutes on my own for catching up on email, the blog, and other personal stuff. Plus, it looks good to be at work on a holiday!

I hope that everybody had a wonderful Christmas (and/or other seasonal holiday) and that you enjoy the New Years festivities. Me, I've got a bad case of mastitis, again, so I'll probably be heading to bed early tonight. I'm looking forward to another new year full of new and wonderful experiences. Motherhood is fabulous. I hope that 30 will be too! Happy New Year and best wishes for a wonderful 2005.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Home for the Holidays

Yes, its that time of year, time to pack the entire house into four suitcases, load up the carseat, diaper bag, and every non-expendable stuffed toy, and get on a large fuel powered tin can with wings to fly across the country. First there's the drive to St Louis, stay overnight, then catch our flight for San Diego first thing tomorrow morning. I'm ready to get home, see the lights, smell the tree, eat the fudge, and enjoy some wonderful holiday time with family and friends. Oh, and did I mention that it will be 60 degrees warmer in San Diego this weekend than in Springfield?

We're as ready as we can be for the trip and ten day change in routine. Now just wish us luck, and we'll be back for the New Year. Happy Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Daddy's Boy

Why is it that I spent the first six months of his life at home, nurturing, loving, and giving every bit of my being to Kellan, yet now at 9 months of age, he is Daddy's boy to the very core. Not only does Kellan say "Daddy" and "Da Da" endlessly, but "Daddy" is the one and only word that we're positive he understands. If I say, "Where's Daddy?" he looks immediately at Nic. If Nic's out of the room, he searches the house for him and looks in the direction of Nic's voice (Nic has a habit of talking to himself when in the other room -- don't ask). Last night I was nursing him on the couch. Rather than cuddling and being close as I read about in my LLL magazine, he was pulling at my breast, smacking my face, and yanking my bottom lip out. And the minute he finished, he pulled away and lunged for Nic. "Daddy!". If only Daddy could nurse him, the boy's life would be complete.

We just had our Christmas party at Kellan's baby group. It was great fun. Lots of wonderful food. Kellan loves our weekly meeting, he adores playing with all of the other babies. He's still not crawling, though he is at last making a concerted effort, and the other babies, though much smaller (not younger, just smaller), have started to gain their independence and often crawl right over him. He's getting there though. Rolling is great, but he's realised that there are times when forward motion will get you there more quickly.

We were discussing the issue of circumcision at group today. I am surprised that its still such an accepted practise in the U.S. In Britain, its simply not done. Its not something which is offered or discussed. It has been out of fashion for some time now. I always knew that if I had a boy, he would not be circumcised (I'm not into the mutilation of natural body parts), but apparently would have had to fight for that had he been born in this country. In talking to the mothers today, most of them simply had it done, not actually thinking about the issue, the pain, the future loss of sensation in the penis, or the fact that it is a totally unnecessary act. As a funny side note, because my husband and his brother have some years between them and it was during this time that the practise went out of favour in Britain, my husband was circumcised and his brother was not. Bum deal for poor Nic.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I know its lazy, but being a busy week, I don't have much time to post. So thought I'd direct you to another wonderful blog that I enjoy reading. Lots of moms with lots of stories. Check out DotMoms.

The sleep thing was an issue again this weekend. I don't know that we got more than an hour on Sunday night. My poor husband fell asleep on the couch after breakfast and decided to take Kellan for his nap shortly after I left for work. They both slept all morning (lucky things!). But then, just when we were losing our minds again, Kellan slept like a dream last night, woke two times to nurse, no crying or fussing, and didn't get up until nearly 8am. There are three teeth just about to pop through his top gum at the moment and a molar that's been working its way in for months, so I'm still going on the assumption that its just general teething woes.

Only a few more days at work and we're off for a lovely long Christmas break in San Diego, CA. Kellan's first Christmas. My family are so excited to have us. Mom's got big plans for their mornings. She wants to feed Kellan his breakfast, then take him out for a walk each day, allowing me to get some extra sleep, have a relaxing shower (or bath in their new whirpool tub -- luxury!), and enjoy a bit of time alone with Nic. That is probably the best Christmas present I'll get this year. A little bit of free time while knowing that Kellan is with somebody who loves more than all the world and that he's having a great time. Come on Friday, I'm ready to go home, now!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Go Fug Yourself

For a good daily laugh, check out this website. Fame can only carry you so far.


Yes, sleep, I love sleep, I have had sleep, two whole nights of sleep. Kellan slept all night Wednesday (coincidentally the same day that I posted the teething diatribe) and woke only once to nurse last night. I am refreshed! Its a lucky thing too, as he was soon to have one less parent in the home. My husband wasn't happy with the number of times he'd lost his head to my tired and vicious tongue over the past couple of weeks (and rightly so). I've vowed to keep my fatigue-related bad moods in check in future, but for now am relishing the long peaceful nights of sleep.

I think that the teeth are feeling better, but possibly as important is the fact that we finally put into place a proper bedtime routine just over a week ago. We were letting Kellan nurse to sleep on the couch and basically choose his own bedtime, but he was so tired and nightly meltdowns had become a way of life. We now go to bed around 7:45pm (earlier if he's fussy), read a story, then nurse to sleep. Its worked a treat and he's had nice long nights of sleep, even when there's lots of teething trouble during the course.

Of course, one week from today and we're off to the west coast for Christmas. Time difference, new room, new bed, new sounds (my dad is not quiet, nor are my parent's three dogs). So we may be suffering again over the holidays. We'll see how it goes. I'll try to keep the routine in place, pushing things back a bit to accommodate the time difference, and I can stay with Kellan at bedtime, as he might not go to sleep in the strange setting without one of us there. I'd rather that he got the sleep and spared us the 4-5 inconsolable night wakings. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


I am writing now with bleary eyes, eyes that have been bleary for the past two weeks, a mind that is dulled by lack of sleep, and a desire to know what I can do to ease my son's teething pain. His little cheeks are pink and swollen. He can't stop chewing on his fingers and hand. Each night, after the lights have gone out and we are settled in bed, the pain becomes unbearable and he lets the world know. He is so tired, but the teeth hurt, and he has trouble sleeping. He wants to be in our bed. He wants to be in his bed. He wants to nurse. He doesn't want anything to do with nursing. He wants to lay on his back, his side, his stomach, under the pillow, on top of the pillow, on top of daddy. He can't make up his mind. And through it all is the fussing, the whining, the crying, the lack of sleep. He remains angelic during the day, always happy and easygoing, but at night it all becomes too much for him. I feel so sad that he can't enjoy a nice long sleep. I feel so sad that we can't enjoy a nice long sleep. I am tired, so tired, so very very very tired.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I love my Roger Posted by Hello

Kellan and Roger Posted by Hello


I don't think there is a "too young" for the stuffed animal attachment. Kellan has Roger. He is only 9 months old, but since about 5 months of age, Roger has been his special friend. Roger is a stuffed dog with very soft fur who is shaped in a way that you can sit him up. He was given to Kellan by friends of ours, Julian and Karen, and they had named him Roger (they're silly people). When Kellan was tiny, Roger would sit and honestly looked as if he were watching over Kellan while he slept. This is a boy with tons of stuffed toys in his bed, but Roger was the one that he picked out as being special, and now, at 9 months old, not only can he not sleep without Roger (if he's not in the bed Kellan roots around with his hands searching everywhere for him), but he holds onto him when he comes into our bed to nurse at night, he carries him out of bed in the morning, he plays with him over breakfast, and cuddles him on the couch before bed at night. Why Roger? Maybe the soft fur. Or the ears and tail which are perfect for sucking and stroking. Or perhaps even genetics, as my sister had "Brown Puppy" an almost identical toy which was her childhood companion. Whatever it is, Roger has become a special member of our family too.

I can wave! Posted by Hello


And how could I forget? The wonder child also waves now! In fact, he waves all the time. We think that there may be some unknown royalty in our blood. He waves when he wakes up in the morning, when he eats his meals, when he's playing, when he's in bed, and any other time that his right arm is free. His daddy suggests that a career in window washing may be in his future.

I've got Teeth! And egg on my face, literally. Posted by Hello


Yes, our little boy has teeth, two gloriously white perfect little bottom front teeth. So far there's only been one major nursing bite, and that was weeks ago. He seems to have taken my displeasure at the act quickly to heart. My mother accused me of cruelty for shouting at him "for doing something that is perfectly natural". Yeah, let him do it to your nipple and then tell me how natural it is!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Last Day in November

Its been a hectic week. Thanksgiving was wonderful. We shared the day with some friends from the museum (where I work). And having the long weekend with my boys was just what I needed. I wonder how Kellan feels when he doesn't see me all week. At the weekend we're never apart. I'm with him from the moment he wakes until I nurse him to sleep at night. Does he notice my absence during the week? I worry that he misses me every morning when I kiss him goodbye. He always seems pleased to see me when I come home, but not especially bothered or relieved. His Dad gives him everything that he needs, he is incredibly nurturing and fun. Kellan lights up when Nic walks into the room. But then, as Nic points out, he lights up when I walk into the room as well. He's just a lucky boy with two incredibly loving parents. He's never known daycare or separation from us. He's happy and secure in his life. That's a good thing.

Our holiday shopping is complete, I decided to be "on the ball" this year. With a 9 month old, you've got to get things done whenever possible. But instead of being a mad rush, we were finished with our Christmas cards and gift shopping a week before Thanksgiving. Now that's organised!

I'm still working on that post-baby figure. I'm in a size 6 now, but prior to Kellan I was a 1. Now, I'm aware that my hips have expanded and a size 1 is no longer in the cards, but a 4 would be nice, and no more pudgy bits around my middle, hips, and lower back. Its just gross. So we're not there yet. And the holidays aren't helping. Too much good food. Nor is my husband helping with his weekly cakes, cookies, and ice cream. I am tempted! He's so thin, he doesn't have to worry, but I'm still trying to drop these last 5 lbs or so and its a struggle (she says after just having eaten 4, yes 4, cookies from the break room -- darn staff meeting days!).

Thanksgiving with Mommy Posted by Hello

Santa Posted by Hello

Hiking with Daddy Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Working Mom

I haven't had time to post this past week due to a presentation on my research (a palaeoecological study of the Grey Islands, Newfoundland -- in case you're interested!) that I gave yesterday. It was all consuming for a few days there. I realised that, even being back at work, my focus is still very Kellan centred. I come in and work with the data and sites every day, but in some ways my focus isn't all there. I love my job, but I'm still getting used to this whole motherhood thing. So actually having to present my research to a group of colleagues and scientists, when I really haven't thought critically about it in over a year, was a daunting prospect. I did manage to get enough of my brain into it to give a good show yesterday, but still, it could have been better, it could have been more. Does this division of self ever sort itself out? Will I become whole again in my work, as well as in my mothering? Kellan is everything, he is so much more important than any other facet of life. Guess that this half-brained approach is simply the way of the working mother.

Stay here; start making babies

After the tragedy that was the 2004 "Presidential Election" (yeah right), I found this article to be very appropriate. The GSU Signal - Stay here; start making babies Come on Democrats, we can do it!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A Great Time was had by All -- and then some breast talk

We're back from our four day adventure in Chattanooga, TN and nearby GA. It was a lovely break from Springfield, land of no landscape, and well worth the 500 mile drive each way. Kellan loved the trip. Anyplace that's full of happy tourists eager to smile at a baby works for him. I'd definitely recommend it to anybody looking for a family-friendly holiday destination. I know it sounds cheesy, but there's literally something for everyone. From the steam and incline railways, to the aquarium and children's museum, or Rock City and the Civil War battlefields, its just a darn fun and scenic place. Check out the city's website

Unless you are or have been a nursing mother, you may not understand the following: One of my greatest pleasures during our four day excursion was complete freedom from the pump. The ability to nurse Kellan on demand is something that I've missed since returning to work nearly three months ago. And you know, I think he's missed it too. During those four days he nursed frequently and well. And he was happy. He never fussed, whined, or exhibited any unhappiness during the course of the weekend. Not that he's generally a fussy baby, but when he's home with Nic, there are moments and its a rare day that is entirely fuss-free. Whether it was simply having both of us and our full attention, or whether the brief return to nursing on demand had something to do with it, I don't know. We're off to San Diego, CA for ten days next month though, so we'll see if there's a similar effect.

That will be interesting. My mother feels that we should long since have stopped nursing. In her mind, when solid foods were introduced, nursing should have been discontinued. And when I didn't do that, and Kellan got his first two teeth (a couple of weeks ago), she was in absolute disbelief that I was still going to nurse him. Kellan is 8 1/2 months old now and I fully intend to nurse until he is ready to quit. Should that be at a year, 18 months, 2 years, whenever, that's what we'll do. I'm providing him the best start in life and its what these lovely breasts are meant for. I don't know what the western hang-up about breastfeeding is, but historically women nursed their babies for upwards of two years (usually closer to four). It is a totally natural and entirely non-sexual process. For more information, see the La Leche League International site.

Mommy and Kellan on the Chattanooga Carousel Posted by Hello

At the Chatamauga Civil War Site, GA (near Chattanooga, TN) Posted by Hello

Watch out for that Train! Posted by Hello

Kellan has his own Seat Posted by Hello