Monday, August 11, 2008

ending world hunger

there's always all of this talk about people starving in the world, and it turns out the solution is quite simple. want to end world hunger? have a baby! it sounds counter-intuitive, i know.
one of the reasons i was resistant to the idea of having kids was the state of the world. if there already isn't enough food for everyone, why bring yet another mouth to feed to the table?
well, it turns out that if you're hungry, having a baby is the answer to all of your problems (but only if all of your problems are being hungry).

because when you have a baby, all people do is bring you food. it's awesome! our freezer and fridge has remained packed for the last three weeks! and i'm not talking hungryman frozen dinners. we've got homemade lasagna, chicken parmigiana, pasta, casserole, quiches, breads, fruits... even beer. our friends sourena, suzi, and leo brought us tons of indian food from our favorite Indian food restaurant, uncle chuck and aunt karen just brought dim sum, and the doyles brought my fave- a thanksgiving dinner with turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, stuffing, and gravy!

and since a baby isn't supposed to eat grown-up food, we don't have to share any of it! it's all for us!

and while we're on the subject of food going in, let's switch it up and talk food going out. this past week, and part of the week before that, dj chubby cheeseneck has been touring with her back-up band, the barfmaster5000. we thought that maybe just maybe we'd need to look into a pediatric antacid to help with reflux, because it seemed she would feed, spit up, and completely lose her little baby mind. she was reacting as if she was terrified of what had just happened and would shake and cry for the next twenty minutes, inconsolable.

and when you're a parent and you ask the pediatrician about this and they raise the concern of reflux or regurg or whatever all you can imagine is hot molten milk lava bubbling up from the pit of their little but noxious stomach and scalding their pink and tender throat in a harmful and damaging way that will leave not only real physical scars but lasting and far reaching emotional damage projected well into adulthood culminating in bitter resentment aimed at you, the bad parent.

yep, all one sentence. go back and look. and check it out, only one comma, at the end. sometimes writing is like being on a ride at the fair, one where you kind of get scared but you don't want to look like a pansy in front of the other kids so you just hold on and try not to throw up, and then pee in your pants on the way home just thinking about it all again. whee.

and we're back. so we worried and worried some more, and eventually mommy thought about it and realized that it might have to do with the position bebe was in during feedings, and how she might be getting lots more air than she should, thus irritating the digestive process and causing the eruptions. and like all mommies in the history of mommies, mommy was right! wives and girlfriends, not as right as often. but mommies, right on!

it seems strange to me that breast feeding is such an integral part of a baby's development, not to mention how important it is as a bonding experience between mother and child, and yet the readily available resources for the proper technique are close to non-existent. i mean, if you didn't already know this- proper breast feeding technique is not instinctual. and if you're someone who was able to get your baby to feed from your nipple in a manner that did not cause skin tears, scabs, massive amounts of gas flowing into the baby, or at the very least hours of frustration and discomfort, then pat yourself on the back. provided you're a woman, and the baby was yours to feed.

because even in a culture of natural, non-invasive birthing (of which we became a part), the amount of emphasis placed on proper breast feeding technique could itself be placed on the tip of my nipple. and i have small nipples.

there was a class on breast feeding that we took at the hospital. it was forty-five minutes long and consisted of watching a video and being instructed on the different ways to hold the baby for optimal nipple access. and we're pretty sure the woman who taught it was on speed. afterwards, back in our room, we found it impossible to get into an 'optimal' position using any of the furniture they provided. are you kidding? it was like. 'it's very important that you figure this out. to help you, we've painted the windows black, taken all of the light bulbs out of their sockets, blindfolded you, and punched you very hard in the ribs. the punch is just to simulate the frustration you'll feel at your total inability to accomplish this task. we don't expect you to try very hard. also, you're actual baby is crying somewhere in the room because it's STARVING TO DEATH and to help you find it we're going to spin you around three times and play recordings of other crying babies through a complex speaker system wired throughout the room. good luck, and don't forget to get a good burp, or else you're a bad parent.'

when lb finally complained to a nurse, her answer was 'oh, you just need the proper support!' she then proceeded to use every pillow in the room (and they don't skimp on pillows at this hospital) to build a kind of pillow fort around my wife and my baby, finally allowing the proper amount of support which only a pillow fort consisting of twenty seven pillows can provide. and i have to say, it was pretty f-ing cool, and it seemed to work. if i had any kind of imagination i might have said my wife looked like a giant marshmallow robot invader hovering upon tufts of puffy white clouds and powered by the hungry slurping sounds of a near nine-pound major domo who commanded her to... sadly, imagination is not one of the many gifts i was given.

anyway, the nurse made it sound so easy, like for when we get home and run out of pillows and start using pots and pans and rolls of toilet paper and old phone books and who knows what else. we would never build a fort as cool as the one that nurse had made. clearly, she had lots of practice. but that seemed to be the institutional answer (build a fort!) and we were basically left to figure it all out on our own. afraid she was doing damage to both her nipple and our child, liza called the only readily available resource- la leche league. they set up an appointment where they could observe how she fed beatrix and offer tips or suggestions to make the process run more smoothly.

the propaganda focuses on getting a good latch, getting a good hold, getting support, and if only it was as easy as all of that. i thought that the kid sucked on the nipple, milk came out of the nipple and went into the kid via the sucking, and that was that. it turns out that was not all that, and there's a lot more to breast feeding than you might think. we (lb) read lots of birthing books and covered a lot of pre-birth ground, but i wish that someone had suggested a book on breast feeding for our reading list, because if you don't know how complicated it can be, and how often it doesn't go right (at least not without some serious trial and error), you end up feeling like a broken human milking machine who can't provide for the little life you made by giving it the one thing that everyone says is all that it needs.

i, on the other hand, prefer to blame the baby, as in, 'oh, look, the baby doesn't just know how to do it! the baby's having trouble. AGAIN.'

and speaking of the baby, guess who's four weeks old today? that's right-

beatrix! looks thrilled, doesn't she? this is actually her new favorite position.

and this is her old favorite position.

hiding from the baby paparazzi. baby, what baby? no babies here. just feet.

our friends kate and jack came to visit over the weekend. since we had a girl, i can safely say jack is the coolest little boy i know. if i could fit into his sneakers, i'd be stealing the kid's shoes.

funny story about jack- while he was visiting, he held out his finger for his mom to inspect. she asked him what was stuck to the end of it. he said 'a booger.' she asked him what he was going to do with it. he looked at it for a second, then stuck it back in his nose.

jack's an ace when it comes to cheese.

jack barters with liza for a sip of her water while mumma looks on.

good times.

no idea.

and after jack and kate, we saw cousin adrian. like the latest batman movie, bebe continues to play to packed houses, all weekend long.

hmmm...she's pretty sturdy. i'll give you ten bucks for her. provided, of course, you have all the original paperwork.

alright, alright, twenty three seventy five. tops. and i'll need a receipt.

bebe charms, once again.

after ade, we got a visit from uncle chuck, aunt karen, and cousin carly.

uncle chuck inspects as carly looks on.

uncle chuck gives his smile of approval.

carly's turn.

uncle chuck gets ready to drop a mean elbow on bebe marie...

bebe senses it and sneaks a counter-jab to the armpit- disaster averted! that's my girl...

beebs often has trouble burping. this time we called in a professional. aunt karen, at the helm.

bebe was so satisfied with aunt karen's burp work

she decided to give aunt karen a little something extra, at the other end.

quick, what's that over there!


ahh. thanks aunt karen!

on a totally non-bebe note, i've started up another blog that will consist of poorly taken pictures by yours truly. i have a back log of thousands so i'm thinking i can really stretch it out. the first batch has already begun to post and consists of some black and whites taken during the road trip liza and i took in the summer of 2001. unbeknownst to me at the time, the camera i was using (a manual minolta 35mm with varying lenses) was malfunctioning from the beginning of the trip to the end. i think a corroded battery contact was to blame, thus throwing off the exposure- wildly at times. some of the results are cool, others are sad. i took lots of pics at the oklahoma city memorial, and only a few worked out the way i wanted. which was too bad, because in a pre-9/11 world this was one of the scarier things we could all imagine, and the memorial was moving and beautiful and thoughtful. i've done what i can to salvage the best of the batch, and i have lots of color that came out fine, which i'll get around to putting up later on. as luck would have it, posting every three days from the third of august, this series will end up on the eleventh of september, seven years from the day our trip essentially ended.

anyway, since the other blog will be photos only, i'll occasionally post notes here as a guide to what's going on there. i think a simple explanation/description should usually suffice.
i've added the link at the top of the page, check it out if you want...

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