The Menschkin
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Of work, leisure, and laughter
Wow, it's been a long time since I last wrote. In the last two months, Tim left his previous job, found a new job, and started work. In between, we had seven blessed weeks of TWO full-time parents. It couldn't have happened at a better time. For anyone with good prospects of finding another job, I might even recommend it, especially if your current job happens to suck.

Petra has passed the second mommy-reward milestone: fits of laughter! I tell you, this is amazing. The first one happened one day when I put her on my lap with her feet pointing away from me and looked, upside-down, into her eyes. She thought that was funny and started laughing, and that got me going, and it was a mutual giggle fit of at least 30 seconds. *Very* cool. She's progressing in all sorts of ways: working her way toward sitting up on her own, grasping things and manipulating them somewhat, putting everything in her mouth, babbling (with consonants and everything! My favorite sound so far is "eeeeaaaaaawwoooooooommm!" Sort of like a long "meow," but with the M at the end).

On the difficult side, we're facing our first low-milk-supply problem. Petra is ravenous in the evening, just when my milk comes the slowest and most scantily. She doesn't go to sleep without filling her tummy, and the results for bedtime are predictable. We've started supplementing with a bottle of pumped milk, followed by me pumping later to keep up supply (that is, both our stored milk supply, and the amount of milk I produce). I'm also taking fenugreek. Lots of it. This has the interesting side effect of making my sweat, and milk, smell rather strongly of maple syrup. Apparently mammary glands are modified sweat glands, so one way to know you're taking enough fenugreek is to notice that your usual odor has been supplemented by a nice touch of maple. Petra doesn't seem to mind, and it's maybe helping, so that's fine.

The adjustment to Tim working has been difficult, after having the luxury of near-full-time available help. We've started having a babysitter come at least one afternoon a week, while I'm around, so I can get things done that I can't do while caring for Petra. Maybe I'll finally get to finish the curtains that didn't get done before Petra arrived. We have yet to find a babysitter who's available to work evenings, and that's hard. I'd really like us to have a regular date night, having been informed by my sister (though not in so many words) that this is the kind of thing that can save your marriage from the effects of having a young baby. Maybe I should use tomorrow's babysitter time to call more candidates!

In other developments, I've begun knitting for fun. This has the dual effects of making me get less done, and making me get more rest. It's a good tradeoff; it keeps me from running myself ragged as I used to do too much. I've asked several of my nearest and dearest whether it would be possible to knit them Christmas gifts that would not actually be white elephants. Now I have a list of knitted things people actually claim to want! That's a new, and welcome, state of affairs for this crafty person.

I've been meeting new moms in my neighborhood as fast as I can, by walking around all the time with Petra in the stroller. It's great. Sort of like dating, but without so many of the associated pressures and awkwardnesses. More on that later, maybe.

Gotta go. Time to pump.

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