Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Little Weirdo Part 1, The Breastfeeding Diaries

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I know just about every parent on the planet probably thinks their kid is a total weirdo, after all just being miniature people makes them weird enough already, but sometimes I imagine all of us parents have wondered if our little weirdo was more weird than the other little weirdos running a muck out in the world.  I am no different than other parents in this regard.  As Piper gets older and learns new skills, or starts behaving in new ways which are totally novel to me and I'm left scratching my head trying to figure out where she picked up such behaviors, she becomes more and more bizarre, yet in a fantastic way.

Piper just turned 9-months back on the 10th of this month, and while she is super-duper smart and pretty much ahead of the curve on all her milestones, the fact that she's intelligent and capable does nothing to diminish her unabashedly goobery side.  She is definitely a unique little creature, and one of my favorite things about her is her uniqueness, but oftentimes I find myself staring at her and questioning if all those shots of tequila I did in my 20s completely effed up my eggs, hahahaha!  Of course I'm mostly kidding, she is probably no more abnormal than all other 9-month old babies, but geez does she have a personality on her! I wouldn't trade one spec of her personality quirks for anything in the universe, I adore every inch of her, and she keeps us all in stitches with her antics on a daily basis.  Since she is a source of constantly changing entertainment for all those around her, I thought it's probably high time I share her more "interesting" qualities with all my readers.  If you are by chance one of my loyal Facebook followers, some of these antics may be familiar to you as I tend to share them as they occur.  For those of you who are strictly blog browsers or may be completely new here, get ready for some fun!

Let's start with Piper's most long-held weird behavior that she has perfected over time...

Her breastfeeding style!

Don't worry, I have no pics or videos to post regarding this topic, although I wish I did, as she has become, over time, the most "athletic" breastfeeder with skills of a Cirque du Soleil contortionist.  When she was just a wee one, she was pretty typical.  I'd hold her, she would latch and eat.  As time has passed and she has become more in control of her body, she has begun to eat in all manners of positions, depending on her mood, the locale, and I think also sometimes the weather...I'm making that last one up, but who knows why she chooses to eat like she does?  I'll try and be as descriptive as possible here, since I don't have the pics or vids to back all these up, and give each position a title, that should liven things goes...

I seriously recommend this image as a reference to look
back on during the following descriptions!

The Swaying Camel 
(I'm now thinking that giving these descriptive names may begin to sound like sex positions, but oh well, I'm going to run with it!)

This particular position is one of my favs.  It usually occurs during our in-bed sessions late at night, and I must admit that it is quite the interesting of positions.  In this one, she gets up into a camel stance, that is her butt up in the air while standing on her legs and on her head.  When I say head here, I do mean her head. She sometimes sort of uses her arms for balance, but mainly she uses her head, which is odd since she is also using her mouth to eat.  While in this position, she rocks from side to side, or sometimes back and forth, whilst continuing to get her fill.  Sometimes, just for fun, she flops over to her side, taking my nip with her, looks up at me, and giggles with delight cause it's obviously a funny game.  Oftentimes she also gets milk up her nose, as she is standing on her head, and that cracks me up to no end!

I do believe this particular technique is brought on by need for sleep, considering it usually occurs when she is particularly tired, but like I said before, who knows.  It seems the repetitive swaying may help her wind down after a long day, but then again the flopping and giggling seems a ploy to keep herself awake and engage in more playtime.  She's a kook, that is for certain!

The Sideways Tap-Dancing Fish

This technique, as you probably figured out by the name, is not as...what's the word I'm looking for here...showy as the Swaying Camel.  Although it's less flashy, it's still pretty funny and has it's place in her breastfeeding repertoire.  This maneuver is actually a pretty lazy way to grab a snack.  All it requires is me lying down on my back and Piper lying across my stomach.  This position usually follows the Swaying Camel, once her relaxation mode kicks in, although she sometimes still uses this one as a form of play, too. Anyways, with this one she simply must have the opposing nip, the one farthest from her body and the one I'm not trying to offer.  The Swaying Camel begins with me laying on my side and with her snacking on the nip closest to the bed.  From there she likes to push me onto my back, sit straight up, open her mouth wide like a giant bass fish, and lunge at the further nip until she latches.  Then once again, she oftentimes looks up at me with those giant eyes and giggles.  Then she sits up, opens wide, and lunges again.  Once she is done with the silliness of it all, she will then just lay across my chest sideways and get her fill.  This whole time she will be constantly tapping her toes on the covers as she is splayed with her legs towards the opposite side of my body.  She never really sits all that still during any nursing session until she passes out, she must have the rhythm to ultimately relax, so the toe-tapping just comes naturally to her.

The Pick and Pluck

This little number is probably my least favorite breastfeeding maneuver of them all!  Why?  Because it involves Piper trying to pick my nose or jabbing her hand in  my mouth and yanking on my teeth and/or tongue.  I think that I shall not say much else on the matter, as I do have a pic for this one!  Yes, I am actually adding this segment in after the original publication of this post, hahahaha!

Yeah, not a fan of this one!
The Barking Seal

This particular nursing style is not so much a maneuver as a technique she uses to get what she wants at 3am up until the time I get up for work.  In other words, she uses this method all night long when she is restless, which right now is often since she is teething big time.  With this one, she simply remains lying in whatever sleep position she has adopted for the evening.  From there, she squirms and wriggles herself while making this seal-like barking/begging noise until I give her want she wants.  She will not take a pacifier when using this technique, but she will beg and bark until she has me so far on the edge of the mattress my big ole booty is practically falling off the side.  She has no knowledge yet of personal space and "sharing" of space.  She owns all the space, and she knows it!  She also knows I cannot resist her flailing, barking, begging self, so this technique is used often and works 100% of the time.

The Sit-Up and Say Hello

I'll admit this move hasn't yet reached it's full potential, mainly because I have control in this one, but it's still been used a few times nonetheless.  With this one, she simply sits upright in my lap facing me, opens my shirt and literally says "hi" to the boobs, and then latches to whichever one is made available to her.  I say I'm in control of this one because I use it for my own amusement.  I find it hysterical that she will actually try to eat regardless of position, so yeah, I have fun with exploring different methods just for the heck of it.

The Smile and Dribble

No, this one has nothing to do with basketball, hahahaha, but this little maneuver has everything to do with overflowing happiness...pun intended.  When Piper gets what I like to call "milk drunk" she oftentimes expresses this slanty-eyed joy by pulling away from the boob, looking me all goofy-like, and giving me an half-drunken smile while milk dribbles down her chin.  I maybe shouldn't list this as a technique as much as an aftereffect, but it's something she does on a regular basis nonetheless.  She really, really, REALLY enjoys her nursing sessions, so this is a way to show me her utmost appreciation for all things mom-milky.  It does make me feels special that she appreciates me so much, and damn it this move may keep her in the breastfeeding game for longer than I originally intended to play.

The Kickstand

While simplistic in nature, as this move requires her to lay in my arms like a normal feeding session, it updates the typical nursing position by requiring one leg to be kicked up and pressing against the opposing shoulder. I'm not sure what she gains from this position, but to me it seems she uses the counter-pressure as a means to inhale more sustenance from the boob she is working on.  She sometimes mixes it up a bit and changes the exact locale of the pressing foot, but it's generally always up as high as she can get it as compared to the angle at which she is laying.  It's all based on physics, geometry, and a little bit of engineering I'm sure, but I've never been too good with those subjects so I'll leave the exact science to the experts.

The Hippie Drum Circle

This is another of the more simplistic maneuvers, but it has a rhythmical style that is sometimes soothing to us both.  With this technique, Piper gently keeps a beat with one hand on the area just above the opposite boob of which she is eating.  Sometimes it's a slow beat, sometimes she like it a bit faster, but it is always perfectly rhythmical in an coma-inducing way.  It's almost like listening to a faucet drip, but without the annoying drive-you-crazy kind of splatter sound at the end.  It is, like the title suggests, much like a drumbeat.  I wonder sometimes if it effects the flow of the milk or if Piper just finds it simplistically soothing.  Once again, I'll leave the technical questions to the hard-core scientists to figure out.

The Tune-In Tokyo

This little move is probably my favorite and least favorite all rolled up into one...non pun intended!  With this one, Piper like to snack on one nip and yum on the other.  What's yum mean?  This is a term we've used in my family for generations that refers to the rhythmically rubbing of an object in order to help induce sleep. I'm sure a lot of you have heard of it before, but I figured a definition was necessary just in case.  Anyways, this method is a little on the uncomfortable side for me, but it's also one of the most unique techniques I've ever encountered/heard of.  Piper may be the only baby in the world who actually uses it, as I have never met a mother who's mentioned it before.  Basically what it means is that Piper takes the nip she's not nursing on and twists it over and over and over and over.  Sometimes she just lightly plays with it, gently flicking it with her fingers or petting it, but mostly she pinches and twists.  It can hurt like hell at time, but she typically knows my pain threshold based on my winces and whimpers, and tends to back off before I have to physically remove her.  I'm not exactly sure when she picked up this technique, but it works like a charm to get her lulled into sleep, so it's totally allowed regardless of the oddness and comfort quotient.

Obviously from this chart, Piper and I have some skill sets to work on!
Btw, why is that woman holding a spear?

Now on to the rest of this post....

When I first began writing this post is was going to be all about Piper's weird little behaviors.  The original title was My Little Weirdo, with no various parts.  However, after getting into the breastfeeding techniques, I soon realized I should just go ahead and turn all of these nursing styles into their own special entry, and divide the weirdo post into segments, of which I know there will be at least two.  I know I usually include a ton of pics and/or videos with my posts, but unfortunately with this one there just weren't any that would suffice as I do not have the ability to capture all of these techniques on film, at least not in a manner that would be allowable on a blog without me having to put an adult content warning label on it.  You know how some people just can't handle a bare breast without thinking it's porn!  To avoid such a potential fiasco and uproar, I have left this post sans-picture except for the first one and the couple of funny cartoons I found whilst scouring the Internet for breastfeeding examples that might possibly represent my descriptions of styles in some way, shape, or form.  Hopefully my descriptions will be enough to get you all through till my next post, which will include some very hysterical videos of Piper being her uniquely individualistic self.

I'll wrap this segment up with my usual spiel, but just in picture know what to do by now!

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nursing Vampires and Chasing Cats

I recently posted about posting from my phone with short little excerpts regarding immediate life.  Well, this is one of those.

I'm laying here in bed with Piper, who just crashed out for the time being. Let's hope she does not do what she did last night and wake up every hour beginning at 3:30am to nurse her sore face back into sleep. Yes, she's STILL teething, ugh.  I retrained her recently to once again start taking her hoppie (pacifier), but last night I couldn't find it in the bed, as she had chunked it onto the floor at some point, and so therefore I once again played the role of human pacifier.  She seemed to have an easier go at teething today, so I'm hoping it extends through the night. 

Speaking of teething, anyone out there know what it's like to nurse a vampire?  I do now!  It's not as easy as it sounds, that's for sure.  Teeth are no fun in the nursing fun at all!!!  It's a long time till she's done teething, and it's going to take some patience and positive thinking to muster through the pain, but I got this, I hope. 

Anyways, I just thought I'd take a brief moment to capture my thoughts at the moment. I'm working on a more detailed analysis of nursing in my forthcoming post, but that is still a day or two out. It focuses on other things, too, but just a heads up for the avid readers.

On another totally off topic note...

You might have noticed the new ads on the sidebar. I known I said I would never pimp out my blog for advertising, but I thought what the hey!  I'm sticking with pertinent baby/children stuff and giving it a whirl. I'm a social experimenter of sorts at times, it goes with the degree in anthropology I suspect, so there you go. I'm still learning the ropes of the blogosphere and trying new things to build my readership.  Would it really hurt anyone if I try and build the bank account, too?

And a last little bit before I try and sneak out of bed for a snack...

Piper awoke at 11:30 last night to try and wrastle the cat. I snapped some quick action shots.  I so wish I could capture all her enthusiasm on film, but the still shots will have to do for now. She tried to wrangle the same cat this evening by chasing her around the kitchen island, damn that would have made for some good TV!  But alas, she didn't perform for the camera when I finally got to it, so last night's memories will have to suffice for now. 

Good thing Loki is still quicker than Piper, but she better watch her tail cause this girl is fast!!! 

And with that I will leave you all for the night. This new phone posting feels incomplete, but I'll make it work for the in-between times. I'm still learning about what all I can do from this angle, so bear with me as I conduct yet another trial run of my lazy-in-bed typing skills, hahahahaha! 

Take care and goodnight!  

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Little Babe in the Tub

My inspiration for all things in life!
A LOT has been going on around here.  I have spent the last week trying to recover data from my crashed hard drive, the stress of that had left me partially neutered feeling to say the least.  Luckily, I found a great program called Recuva and have successfully recovered all things Piper that I thought were lost, or at least going to cost me money to have a professional retrieve.  So glad I have been able to do it all myself, but it has left me stressed, extremely busy, and not so much in the writing mood.  Now that most things are now back in my usable possession, and I feel like I can once again breathe, I also miraculously feel like writing again.

I've had several new blog entries at work inside my head, and it's going to take some dedicated time to get them all out, but to start with I think naked baby in a bathtub is the way to go, don't you?

One of Piper's last moments in the baby tub!
As you may know if you follow us on Facebook, Piper has recently done away with her baby bathtub and moved into the big-girl tub.  And boy does she enjoy having all that room to splash around in!  She has always enjoyed her bath, but now she's loving it even more since she can now fit more toys, more bubbles, more squeals, and more moving around into her usual bath routine.

My pic trying to prove she has hair!
See how little room she had in the baby tub?
She loves her new scrubby!
And chomping on her octopus!
And sneaking into the cabinets after bath time is over!
And acting like she's innocent!
Look at that ripped body!
Okay, now that I've posted the pics from the last time she had a little girl bath, onto the big girl stuff!

When first deciding to move to the big tub, I knew I was going to need a bath mat to keep her from sliding around.  I found an adorable one with different colored rubber duckies on it that works great.  It also livens up my shower time and keeps me from slipping around, too.  I'm not sure if she has really taken that much notice of it since she always has a bubble bath and all her bath toys are a big distraction.  I'm sure once she does notice it she will find it delightful, though.  As soon as I got done writing this paragraph, I noticed I had a pic of her actually checking the duckies out.  So, of course here it is!

Look, a duck!
Notice the turtle in her hand?  I'll get back to that in a moment!
Every day she gets a bit more brave in the big tub.  This past weekend she has begun to stand up holding onto the sides, and then letting go and standing all on her own.  Of course this makes me a nervous wreck, as I would hate for her to fall and whack her head on the porcelain (or whatever the damn tub material is) and/or the metal fixtures, but I guess she has to learn to stand alone at some point and I eventually have to relax about it.  She has also managed to go under water a few times, and each time she comes back up wide eyed and not really all that phased.  I'm presuming she enjoys it, or is at least not scared of going underwater. I was a water baby, so maybe she'll follow in my footsteps and be one, too.  If so, she'll probably be trying to swim in the tub before too long, like I did as a child.  Right now she practices floating on her stomach and back while I hold my arms below her middle.  She squeals with delight at this maneuver, which gets my goose every time!

Always with the saucer eyes!
She's a happy camper :)
She loves her toy octopus, all three of them that she has!
But she loves her turtle more!
Giving her turtle kisses :)
And trying to bite his head off!
Notice my nervous, gripping hand?
Now I must tell you all about the turtle you're seeing in the pictures.  Piper has fallen in love with her bathtub turtle.  Last week, while enjoying her bath, I told her all about turtles since she had become so into her new best bathing buddy.  By the way, we always have educational time whatever we are doing, so I'm sure she knows more about turtles than she can actually comprehend right now.  Heck, during one of her very first baby baths we got into a conversation about the difference between fingers and thumbs, which led to a discussion of opposable thumbs and why they are special to humans, which led to the discussion of primates and the difference between monkeys and apes, which led to a discussion about new world and old world monkeys, which naturally led to a discussion about plate tectonics.  This is what happens when you have an overly educated science geek for a mom!  Anyways, during our talk about turtles she actually started saying the word turtle.  It has become her new favorite word.  Now anything that remotely resembles a turtle is called a turtle, so we still have some learning to do, but it's a pretty big word for a girl who is barely nine months old.  Even her doctor was shocked she could say it during her 9-month check-up this past Wednesday.  Don't worry, I'm going to get to her check-up stats in the next blog thing at a time!

Turtle says what?
Love this expression!
Pucker up!
So pretty from above!
Piper has always enjoyed her baths, but now she is even more enthusiastic about getting squeaky clean. Now when you tell her it's bath time, she immediately starts crawling to the bathroom, then usually seeks out her turtle on the side of the tub, stands up holding onto the edges and anxiously and excitedly waits while the tub fills up, and then almost explodes with excitement while getting her undressed.  We have a little pre-tub routine we do while getting her naked.  First off, I hum a little stripper-like tune which she finds hysterical. Then once she's all bare and vulnerable, I give her belly zerberts and "eel" kisses.  In case you don't know, zerberts are tummy blows that sound like poots, and "eel" kisses are ones I give her that are open-mouthed popping like kisses, hard to explain but they remind me of eels for some reason.  She giggles and giggles and giggles during this routine, and we've been doing it since she was just an infant.

Toys galore!  And we've added more since.
Still with the turtle in hand!
And Mr. Crab is cool, too!
But splashing is the best!
And water in the face is still surprising!
And it gets the best faces out of her, hehehehe!
Since these pictures were taken, I have invested in even more bath toys.  You can never have too many, right?  She likes them all, but after all is said and done, the turtle is still her favorite.  Much like Pig is her go-to lovey, turtle is her go-to bath buddy.  She would love for me to let her take turtle everywhere, but he is also a squirt toy and I prefer to keep the water in the tub.  Plus, I don't think he'd be such a treat if she got to keep him with her all the time...and she might lose him and that would be a tragedy!

Turtle, turtle!
She so makes me squee with delight!
And I love her silly faces, too!
She also enjoys her bubbles, who doesn't?
So let me think, is there anything else about bath time that I should cover?  For right now I really can't think of much else, at least nothing too exciting.  I could go on about the type of shampoo and bath soap we use, but I'd rather just post the rest of the pictures.   I will have to say it was not so easy getting these pics, as I was nervous handling the fancy cam while also trying to make sure Piper didn't drown on accident.  Having my hands full with the camera left me no hands to keep hold of her squirmy self, and I sure didn't want to drop the camera in the tub, that would be a huge expensive accident, but in the end it all worked out.  I got some great pics, even though I couldn't hardly get her to look at the camera for all the splashing she was doing, and she didn't slip underwater and drown, yay!  Win-win, I say!

Love the camera settings I used on these and how it made the water look.
I'm on top of the world!
Love this shot!
Love this face even more!
See what I mean about the standing?
And still holding the turtle!
And playing in the bubbles!
Such a cute little body she's got!
She's just so fit and dainty, to me.
Going for the washcloth!
And she got it!
And she's right back up to play with the turtle and bubbles!
Once again, it's time to wrap this episode up and get to working on the other posts I have in mind.  I'm way behind and it's going to take me some time to get caught back up.  As much as Piper is learning and changing every week, I'm really going to have to get cracking because everyday seems there is now something new I want to write about.  Speaking of, if you read the post from yesterday about my hard drive crash, the one posted from my phone, well it gave me a pretty good idea.  I think I may start posting shorter entries here and there when there is something immediate I need to share.  I already do this a lot with Facebook, but it would be great to start doing it here as well.  That way I would make sure all my bases were covered and I wouldn't forget to post about something at the time I made a mental note to write about.  Believe me, I'm not going to stop the picture-filled longer posts, but these shorter posts (with pictures off my phone, of course) would help during the busy times, which are overly frequent as of late.  Anyways, that's just a heads-up for when those types of posts pop up in the future.  Yay, more Piper for the masses!!!

And here is what you don't get with the phone posts, at least not yet, my spiel about voting for us over at Top Baby Blogs and Top Mommy Blogs.  And please do come visit us on our other social sites!

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