Life at the Hall

Man your stations

In DC we had snow and in Hamilton we DEFINITELY had snow and we also had an earthquake my sophomore year–but since we have been here, we have had deadly floods, a tornado, and now, A HURRICANE.

The threat to Corpus Christi is much more significant than here. The latest is that the sheer amount of rain that will accumulate (and flooding) as the storm JUST SITS AND DOESN’T GO ANYWHERE is the greatest risk, rather than wind or tornadoes.

As reported (via six degrees on Facebook), “the people of Corpus have a sense of humor…”

Selena is READY.

Local schools are reiterating their closure policies and procedures through social media.

 

I am still a disaster rookie and I would say that we are NOT prepared and have NO PLAN.

Please don’t tell Papa John we aren’t ready. He was bent about eclipse viewing precautions–this will send him over the edge.

Nevertheless, price gouging (gas prices alone went up 4% overnight) and stockpiling has begun.

Yesterday Little Miss and I went to Target for nothing important and did not get gas afterwards because the station was so busy. Then when we went to the grocery store (with no list or thought about “non-perishable foods”) there were no carts at the front because it was so busy.

It was so busy we had to get out of there ASAP after getting the basics like produce and meat but before we could get any dairy, like milk or eggs (OR ICE CREAM).

But the only dairy that we really need and won’t spoil in the event of a power outage, is the baby milk which comes forth from my boobs, as the La Leche Leaguers posted, not missing a beat to use this natural disaster as a soapbox…

 

After the grocery, our final stop was the liquor store. In this case, you could say we pass the preparedness test–we prepare for a storm like our Colgate family friends who lived on the North Carolina coast and for whatever reason NEVER lost power so when a storm was coming and everyone else was buying water and toilet paper, they were at the store getting chips and beer for the party.

Apparently that’s how a lot of people here prepare too–for as busy as the gas station and the grocery store was, the liquor store was JAM. PACKED.

I was there to buy a new bourbon called Bastille for T and when we went to pay, all the people in the very long line let me go ahead of them, “because you have the baby”. It made me feel as ridiculous as Pamela Purse. Ironically, I ended up at the cash register with the French store manager (named PATRICK) and he was saying in his Grandpere way, “I bet your husband has never had a French whiskey before!” And probably for good reason–just because you can make wine does not mean you can make whiskey. It’s too bad–I was hoping this Bastille could become our new house whiskey since Little Miss was born on Bastille Day. But since we are not storm prepared, it might be the only thing left in the house that is not spoiled. Maybe we could use it for gas!

UPDATE FRIDAY 18:00: My husband keeps telling me it’s not a big deal but Little Miss and I just got home from getting gas and milk and eggs and a single box of macaroni and cheese (see above: still a rookie). At the homestead, the pool is empty, the outdoor furniture turned over and both cars under the carport. Stay tuned…

MOMMYHOOD

Sage words

"Motherhood is long, but babyhood is short." —KellyMom, breastfeeding advice website

So true, but so trite right about now–my eyelids need toothpicks.

I'm more on speed with the voice from Lucie's List, a survival guide for new moms in which she shares, "all the sh*! that nobody told me". Her postpartum weekly newsletters are titled not by weeks of age but number of weeks of sleep loss. Today is week FOUR of sleep loss. "If you're not exhausted, keep it to yourself so you don't anger the others."

To date: our Little Miss sleeps all day–through her brother, the blender, and the construction site next door. She snores like a trucker and is a late night snacker. And don't you dare try to put her down–she's a cuddle addict and will let you know she is NOT happy. Standard baby stuff, but this is our Little Miss.

Me? I am feeling paralyzed–the kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't stuff.

  • Damned if I need more than caffeine to resurrect myself for the day. I'm not talking about prescription meds or narcotics–I'm talking about the very real drug of sugar. My name is M and I'm addicted to sugar.
  • Damned if I want to get this baby on some kind of regular schedule but I've recently read that parent-led schedules ruin breastfeeding and those moms end up as breastfeeding FAILURES.
  • Damned if I stay home and breastfeed willy nilly all day long in an effort to have a more settled baby at night (for the record, there is no guarantee). I feel like a prisoner in my own home because I have to keep the blinds closed in the middle of the day (depresso) so the construction workers next door don't see me breastfeeding my child in the living room. I don't want them to see me, AT ALL. It was BAD ENOUGH seeing our neighbor walking around in their house (blinds open, lights on) in his birthday suit. Never. Again.
  • Damned if I pump. The nutty lactation consultant at the hospital (they are all nutty, am I right?) said pumping will not help to establish the milk supply. But I read advice to pump at least twice in the morning to create an oversupply in anticipation of the four week growth spurt. Whether I should or should not is NOT clear but I guess it doesn't matter because the opportunities are few and far between, and I'm unlikely to hook myself up to the vacuum when she is not on a schedule and I can't predict when she will need to feed next. This is the stuff that makes me mental. And I have my doubts about whether hiring a lactation consultant is worthwhile, especially because the one at the hospital was such a peach.
  • Damned if I want to go for a walk. There is a heat advisory today.
  • Damned if I get out of the house for a trip to HEB. Yesterday morning when Little Miss and I went for a quick trip, I was carrying her in our new Sakura Bloom ring sling (to keep away the unwanted advances). As I was looking for chicken breasts, because that is the word of the day yesterday, today, tomorrow and beyond, this Yenta told me I should have a cap on her head because it's cold in front of the case. Thanks. Being too cold in August in Texas is not even remotely on my radar. Just. Can't. Win.
  • Damned if we socialize, especially when it might involve small children, before she has had her first vaccinations. But sometimes Facebook just isn't that interesting.
  • And damned if we have not done a damn thing on the list of aspirational projects we were going to achieve during this (undisclosed employer)-sponsored staycation they call paternity leave. Turns out, having a newborn is no vacation at all.

And here's the rub–I am dealing with all of this A MILLION TIMES BETTER than I did the first time around. It's still early days but I have to remind myself that this is a walk in the park in comparison. But talk to me when T goes back to work.

On the bright side, I checked with the doctor and it's totally okay for me to have a bath before the postpartum check. So the last two nights I've had a nice, long, hot soak (pretty sure I fell asleep in the tub last night) and a cup of mint tea before bed. [UPDATE: mint is BAD for your milk supply] That's when Daddy and Little Miss get their hugs, kisses, squeezes and cuddles, and I'm grateful for the space.

My unicorn answer to all of this is probably not a lactation consultant or a night nurse but like a doula for mommas on the verge. I need someone (not some website like Kelly's or Lucie's), preferably an older, wiser, well-traveled momma, to help me figure it all out AND ace the test. A silver bullet to cut through the bullshit and rock this newborn stage. I am not even a first-time mom and I still feel like what I am doing (or not doing) is questionable at best.

But here in reality, I just need a good book that I can read in my sleep, a binge-worthy television show that does not have gun violence because you can only watch so much Food Network, and a big glass of wine. Okay, you can't always get everything you want. I'll settle for a nap.

Life at the Hall

The days can be like the nights

Little Miss has a sixth sense–she will be fast and dead asleep until her mother a) gets in bed b) is ready to eat or c) sits down to write a blog post, without fail. So my fingers will type fast or I will learn to type with my left hand.

I am "SO GLAD" we joined the pool this summer because I think we went maybe three times before Little Miss was born. I had the swimsuit to swing it–the bedrest thing kind of killed the effort. Now that she is here, I am banned from swimming until my postpartum check, by which time the pool will already be in "no lifeguards until 4:00pm because they are all at school" mode. Also, little babies are not supposed to go out in weather above 80 degrees, and since it barely gets below 80 at night here, the local pool is definitely not an option before the season is over at Labor Day.

For convenience and family appeal, we had a small inflatable pool from Target earlier this summer, the Intex 88" X 85" X 30" Swim Center Family Lounge Inflatable Pool. Country Club Redneck all the way.

Working the lounge pool so hard–so hard it found a hole and because of the heat, a patch would not hold, so into the trash goes that $40.

Then T decided to get serious. He purchased the INTEX 12' x 30" easy set pool from "AMAZON DOT COM", as OJ says. It arrived this morning.

OJ told T: "THIS NEW POOL MAKES ME SO EXCITED!"

After ordering the pool and before it arrived, T watched lots of youtube videos about assembling it because this thing is legit–it comes with it's own filter! We also purchased chlorine, a floater, and a cover. Lastly, it's HUGE–it is almost double the size of the lounge pool. We have left the realm of Redneck and officially entered into Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

They say the water is nice, but Little Miss and I are still ineligible to play. I guess it's a good thing the heat doesn't end when summer does so OJ and I should swim laps until at least Halloween…

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