Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some Anne Pics

Life is busy! No time to blog! But here are a few pictures from the past week or two.

Playing with shapes--she's gotten really good at this!

Can you tell she likes the Sing-Along Elmo that GG got her?

Walking her wooden frog. The girl LOVES frogs.

Reading with GG.

Feeding her baby doll a bottle.

Playing in the water at the park.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Post on Breastfeeding

Articles like this one break my heart. In it, Nicholas Kristof writes about how few babies in developing countries are exclusively breast-fed for the first six months9 percent of babies in Niger, 7 percent in Burkina Faso, and 3 percent in Mauritania. He writes, "The biggest problem is that many mothers believe that breast milk isn't enough, and that, on a hot day, a child needs water as well." That, and mothers often delay nursing because they don't realize that colostrum is liquid gold for a newborn.

Of course, to drink water in an undeveloped country can be, and is, the kiss of death for many babies.

I was surprised to read, also, that only 13% of babies in the U.S. are breast-fed for the first six months. I would have thought it would be more. To me, it just doesn't make sense that so many momsmoms who are able to breast-feedeither switch to formula after the first few weeks or months, or else choose never to breast-feed at all. Why? Why?

Speaking of whys, Kristof writes that we're not sure why breast-feeding is not more common in developing countries. He writes:

"It’s not clear why a human instinct to nurse went awry. Does it have something to do with the sexualization of breasts? Or with infant formula manufacturers, who irresponsibly peddled their products in the past but are more restrained now? Or is it just that moms worry that their babies need water on hot days? Nobody really knows."

I imagine it's a mix of those three reasons, along with who knows how many more.

Whatever the case, it's heart-breaking that babies are getting sick and dying when such things could be so easily prevented.

On a more personal note, Miss Anne and I are no longer breastfeeding. She made it to 18 months and was nursing for only two or three minutes at night when we finally stopped. Yes, I miss it. Does she? I don't know. I'm sure she does, but she hasn't said much. Yesterday, for the first time in over a week, she softly said, "Ba-ba" (which means, "Give me some milk, please Mommy"), but when I said, "No more ba-ba," she wriggled out of my lap and went to play happily with her puzzles. It was one of several bittersweet moments I've had in the last few weeks as our nursing sessions became shorter and further apart.

Hopefully mothers across the globe will become more educated, and the rate of breast-fed babies will increase in the future. Not only is it healthier for the baby, but it builds a wonderful early bond between the baby and her mom.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just Some Thoughts. Nothing Special.

It’s Wednesday afternoon and almost time to go to the office. I’ve been up since 5:00 this morning.

I have a love-hate relationship with waking up that early. I hate doing it, but I love the way I feel for the rest of the day.

When I started this teaching gig, I told myself that I would not get up at ridiculous hours to do school stuff the way I did when I taught high school. How many times did I go to bed at 1 a.m., only to wake up at 4:30 to finish planning my five classes for the day? No wonder I was an unresponsive mess by the time that year ended.

(Note I lasted one whole year. Yep. Just one. Now you know why.)

This morning, all I needed to do was finish making a worksheet I wanted us to go over in class. We used that worksheet a few hours later, and students told me that it really helped them. While I’m glad I had it ready for class, I can’t make a habit of losing sleep in order to do “just that one more thing” to make class go perfectly.

I love teaching. I love having two part-time jobs. I love the way my workday is broken up into two halves, two places, two lives. I love having limited time in which to do things; I get so much more done. I don’t have any sense of having wasted my time this summer, at either my teaching job or at my tech-writing job. It’s been good.

Strangely enough, despite the back-and-forth nature of my new life, I’m rested and relaxed at the end of the day. I feel like I have time to breathe. Anne and I have the most delightful evenings, playing and laughing and dancing and visiting the neighbors. Because I’ve limited my work hours, I’m leaving the office earlier and having time to really cook, and not just use the recipes in the “Superfast Suppers” section of Cooking Light. It’s been good. Something about this new life clearly agrees with me.

This seems to be yet another pointless blog post. So I guess I’ll end it here and head to my tech-writing job. I’m very excited about work these days because I’m getting to learn the ins and outs of SharePoint. Fun, fun! (Really!)

Hope you’re all having a good week, dear readers!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Taking a Break

School is over for the week, and I have a few minutes before I need to be at work. Time for a little writing.

Life is going splendidly. Things aren’t necessarily easy, and my smaller salary has made for some creative family budgeting, but things are good. I’m happy. I’m sure the antidepressants have a lot to do with that, but I’ve also been able to spend a lot more time with Miss Anne this summer. That’s been the best part.

Miss Anne is almost 18 months old now and is reaching new heights of cuteness every single day. She’s talking. I can’t understand a lot of what she says, but she’s definitely talking. She points to the light and says “liii” when she wants me to turn the light on. She points to the door and says “cat” when she hears the cat scratching at the door. (This helps me because I never hear it.)

She’s become an expert at saying “more” (actually, “mo”). She loves Elmo and alternately calls him “Elmo,” “Mo-mo,” and “Mo.” (I think she just likes to say “mo,” maybe because her best friend's name is Mo.) She’s saying a few two-syllable words now, where the syllables aren’t simply repeated (such as “Daddy”). At night, before bed, I’ll rock her and she’ll reach up to my face and point to my eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, neck, and hair, and say, “Eye. Ear. No’. Mou’. Chin. Chee. Neh. Hah.”

It’s the sweetest thing.

She’s also putting her sandals on all by herself and is getting better at putting on her pants. If I help her a little with the legs, she stands and pulls them up on her own. Brilliant, huh?

She loves to dance. She loves to play the piano. She’s awesome.

So, yes, life is good.

School is going well, too. It’s been hectic, but not as hectic as I imagined it would be, considering the class (an eighteen-week freshman comp class squeezed into five weeks). It’s hard to believe the “semester” is nearly over and that I’ll be teaching class #2 of the summer (“Writing about Literature”) in a couple of weeks. Guess I ought to start working on the syllabus for that one, huh?

That’s about it for my update. I’m off to work now. Hope everyone has a good weekend!