Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A breastfeeding rant, beware

I understand sometimes breastfeeding doesn't work. Sometimes babies have a hard time, for whatever reason: given a bottle at the hospital and lack of general support, in the NICU for prematurity, underweight and not able to transfer enough, cleft palate, moms going back to work full-time.... I see it all and I get it. Something that blows my mind and I just can't comprehend is these stay-at-home moms who are "too busy" with other obligations to breastfeed. Like I had one mom with something like three other kids, and argued with me forever about how she only was going to breastfeed the first month and then switch to formula because she wouldn't have help after that, and breastfeeding complicated her life too much. If you get past the first month (usually the hardest one) and breastfeeding is going well, why on earth would you consider formula EASIER?! It seems like it adds a ton of work to your load... buying the formula, preparing the bottles, feeding the baby, washing the bottles, etc. Especially if you have already got the breastfeeding thing down where it's just whip it out and feed the baby, carry on with daily life. Not to mention if you have older toddlers/preschoolers running around with their snotty noses, bringing home all sorts of who-knows-what into the house for the baby to catch, seems like you'd want that extra immunity protection.

Can someone help me understand why a stay-at-home mom would choose not to breastfeed due to time constraints even if things start out well in the beginning?!

Also... if you are too busy to nurture and cuddle your baby, why even have one? If you have too many other kids that you leave your babe in a carseat all day and prop up the bottle every few hours, why bother? (and what is with the carrying your baby in a carseat thing?! I will never understand. Those things are heavy, cumbersome, bad for babies' heads and development... why can you not just carry your baby in from the car if they aren't sleeping? And who doesn't want to hold their new baby ALL THE TIME? I know I did. I would fight with Tim in the beginning to hold him during Church, but most moms I see at Church just leave their baby in a carseat the whole meeting and occasionally look down and make a face or hand them a pacifier. Don't get it, at all).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So there were three parties for Theo. Actually two of them were pool parties, one thrown by Ash Mae and Carl to celebrate the next stage of their life and one by David Clark to celebrate friendship. But they were very close to Theo's birthday. We got pictures of neither, but be assured that they were great fun. We did get a few pictures (although not as many as we would have liked). Here are some:

Memories of last birthday
Surprise! The new baby came. Not really, this is our friend Jon and Tallia's baby


Yes, that is bike grease and ice cream with frosting. We are awesome parents.
Thanks to everyone who came: Ethan, the Bryners, the Ricks, Becca Ricks (no relation), David, Andy, Austin, Austin's friend and anyone else who I am forgetting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

600th post, or how I'm going back to school

Why, hello there, folks! It's me, Cait. Coming at you from the American Fork WIC clinic where I still have 20 minutes left of work but essentially I have absolutely no work left to do! And I feel too ill to make any more phone calls to newly breastfeeding mothers/I've called everyone and anyone I can think of and either a) they think breastfeeding is gross and plus their mom didn't make enough milk and please don't bother them again, or b) it's going so perfectly wonderful, and why the heck are you calling me? One day, I will post all about the funniest things people say about breastfeeding. Until then...

The latest news that you are all dying to hear (oh wait, you probably only care about hearing about my pregnancy). After months of deliberation, Tim and I have decided to send me on to school next fall. To get a PhD. In Sociology. It's something I considered for a long time, something that was always in the back of my mind through undergrad and has haunted me since. Haunted me because I didn't want to go back to school for 13 years, I wanted to do something practical like midwifery (but now I realize that I'm only very slightly interested in being on call all hours of the day and being up to my elbows in a woman's bodily fluids), and I did not think I was smart enough/motivated enough to do a PhD. But, now revisiting the issue two years out of school, I'm desperate to get back, and more than motivated. And hello, my calculated undergrad GPA is practically a 4.00 and if past success on standardized testing is any indicator, I should do more than fine on the GRE (taking a practice one Saturday.... so time shall tell). Plus, I've got heaps of research assistant experience and excellent recommendations.

The real challenge now is finding the right program with the right professors and the right research areas and the right living arrangements and the right cost of living and the right financial package and the right eateries.... no, ok, not eateries, but GEEZ, I didn't realize that applying to a PhD program was so complicated. It's nothing like applying to undergrad where you pick a good school and go with it. You have to contact professors and find aligning research interests and go visit and do interviews (sometimes) and write long personal statements about how you will be a good fit at their school. Applying to a PhD program is more than GPA and GRE and how brilliant you are... it's how good you "fit." But how do you even know if you fit somewhere? I'm still exploring the question.

Pretty much, it boils down to if I get into Berkeley, I'm going there. Unless I don't get in, in which I will be applying to 7 other schools I could potentially get into (many of which involve very cold winter climates, so please Berkeley, accept me!).

Also, applying to grad school is expensive. Like it's going to cost us close to $1000 at the end of the day. But no complaining, because once I'm in, I should have a fairly attractive financial package that will pay health insurance, tuition, and a stipend of living expenses (somewhere around $20,000? I think?)

Tim is thrilled with getting to be a stay-at-home dad for longer. I was pushing him hard for grad school and he wants to go but was stressed out with finishing school, taking the GRE, getting recommendations, and everything this fall. I'm more than prepared to apply, and it feels like the right decision for both of us.

So, my days consist now of researching programs, checking out the married student housing and on-campus childcare options, e-mailing professors I've never met and hoping I'm not bugging them, and spending hours trying to figure out just what the heck is going to be on the GRE (it changed last month, so the 2011 study guide book I was using is outdated, apparently... no more antonyms or analogies??)

Isn't it weird to think that three years ago when I was pregnant with Theo, I was applying for my undergrad internship? I'm getting so... old.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Theo Turns Two

See it on the other blog. Our internet has been down, and is still kind of spotty. But hopefully this starts another surge of blogging.


Cleaning and running in the morning. I had class while Cait shopped, went to the doctor and prepared for Theo's surprise party. We had people over, it was great. Post to come.

2 Years

Here's photos of the last year. They show very much of what Atticus likes.

And so, two years:

Vs One Year:

He may not have gained much weight, but he's sure grown up.