Friday, July 27, 2012

Baby Songs

My sister is getting married in January and has a blog where she is writing about all her wedding plans. Her latest post was about wedding songs! Music is a major part of my life and one of my favorite things to do is see live music. So I thought I would talk about my "Carya Songs" (especially since my sister and I have an overlap!) so I can remember all the songs that make me think of her at this age.

I have always made baby CDs for friends with new babies and have a growing library of "baby songs" since about 2000/2002 when my first friends (coworkers) started having babies. Most of these were not in the library prior to 2011 so are very Carya specific-- and are also strangely love songs... Which I guess is appropriate, you can never understand the love you have for a child until you have one of your own. It is kind of like falling in love, with a stranger.

1) Ingrid Michaelson- Keep Warm
I found out I was pregnant Thursday March 31, 2011. That weekend I saw Ingrid Michaelson live and she played this song. I had never heard it before and I started crying because the gravity of my new status set in-- I had this little being inside me and I now had to take care of it and keep it warm. This is my #1 baby Carya song.

"Eyes on the prize and I can't capsize this time
'cause there's somebody else in my boat 
Used to live alone in a tomb I made my own
But now I've gone and given up my coat 
And it's cold outside but I'm just fine

You are mine to keep warm 
Down down down I go

On a road that I don't know
And I ain't got a thing in my bag
Some things you can not plan
Like your hand in mine Just put your hand in mine 
And it's cold outside but I'm just fine You are mine to keep warm

Yeah it's cold outside but I'm just fine You are mine to keep warm 
Sables and wine till the end of time you give me much more than that

Diamond rings and beautiful things Oh you give me much more than that
When you smile 
You are mine to keep warm

And it's cold outside but I'm just fine You are mine to keep warm"

2) Cave Singers- Helen
That same weekend I saw the Cave Singers live and they opened with this song. Helen was a name contender from the beginning as both of Travis' grandmothers were Helen. They were both strong, amazing women and Carya is lucky to have the honor of having this name as her middle name. If people would hear this song when they heard the name Helen I think it would be much a more popular name! I love this song.
"Helen, your eyes are frozen in my brain"

3) Lesley Gore- Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows
This is actually the inspiration song for Carya's first birthday party (parties?!). I have a TON of sunshine, lollipop and rainbow themed things pinned in my pinterest page. A very happy song for a very happy girl.
"everything that is wonderful is what I feel when we're together...."

4) Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Allison Krauss- Didn't leave nobody but the baby
This is Carya's lullaby. She quiets down every.single.time she hears this song. On a long drive recently I think we listened to this song 50 times. And to make matters worse, I still jumble the verses up! *Also has been on the baby lullaby CDs from the beginning!
"go to sleep you little baby..."

5) The Dejas- Beneath You
A local Boston band. I went to see them because a friend of a friend was dating the lead singer and I fell in love with this song. On the album they play it with a banjo and I am a sucker for banjos!
"...if you ever fall down, I will am the ground, beneath you."

6) Jonsi- Go Do
Ok maybe not a baby song, per se, but I wanted this song playing when she was born. It did not happen but I listened to it a ton when I was pregnant! I am sure it got through to her :)

7) The Be Good Tanyas- The Littlest Birds
I have loved this song for a while. It is a good baby song!

8) Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros- Man on Fire
One of our favorites right now. You can even see us singing it in the car together. I am a little embarrassed about this video but I think it would be something (maybe) Carya would appreciate later in life. So it is immortalized on youtube (well until youtube goes away ;-)) for her to enjoy. Crazy parents! I also have another blog (I know, how many blogs can one girl have?!) whose title is in honor of this song.

9) The Lumineers- Ho Hey
I love this song right now.
"I belong with you, you belong with me"

10) Mumford and Sons- Timshel
This is easily my favorite song off their first album and one of my favorite pregnancy moments occurred while this song was playing. Travis and I were cleaning (prepping the baby room/putting laundry away/making paths to essential places in the apartment) and I was being especially hormonal/bratty/snotty and barking orders at him. But instead of snapping back, he looked at me and sang along with the song "You are not alone in this, you are not alone..." Of course that made me cry but it added a nice perspective to the moment.
"You are the mother, the mother of your baby child, the one to whom you gave life..."

11) Seldom Scene- Hello Mary Lou
Please ignore this video, not a popular youtube song apparently! I think this will be a fun song for a little girl raised to appreciate bluegrass and banjos!

12) Sarah Jarosz- My Muse
Peaceful love song.

13) Fiona Apple- Everyday
Yes, a Buddy Holly song but I really like this version too. It has a more childish sound to it.

14) Iron and Wine- Tree by the River
There has to be at least one tree song in this mix! Travis and I are big fans of the new I&W album and this is probably our favorite song off of it.

My mix actually has quite a few more songs on it, but I think this is a good covering of the feel of it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The End

I love this face. 
No, no. Not of this blog. Of nursing. Here is where this blog is going to take a more personal turn. Please feel free to keep reading- but be forewarned- it will be self indulgent and more for me and my memories of this process than for keeping the world updated on the happy little miss. *I will include photos though ;-) 

The last time I nursed Carya was the 4th of July weekend. I am sad because I did not know it was going to be the last time and this whole ending-nursing-thing has been way harder than I thought.

When I was pregnant I knew I would breast feed, I never had a date in mind that I wanted to make it to, I knew formula was just fine (I was formula fed!) and I would do what I could- no pressure and no preconceived ideas. What I could not anticipate was how much I loved (LOVE) breast feeding and bonding with the little miss. Or how much I hate giving her formula. 

Part of my problem with the formula is the cost. I should not have to pay for something that I can make completely free of cost (or should make- and not really free if you count the price of a pump- but you get the point). But this nursing trouble began with daycare. Before daycare, we spent our days together so I nursed her on demand (almost every 2 hours, maybe more often some days) and she was growing well and was satisfied. My supply was good as long as we kept up the frequent feedings. 

On February 19th I had 1 month left of my maternity leave and I needed to get a freezer stock of milk so she had enough for the first week of daycare. Additionally, that first weekend after going back to work I was getting sedated for a root canal and would have to pump and dump that whole weekend-- so I needed milk for then as well. So my plan was to start formula, replace one feeding with a 4oz bottle of formula and pump at that time. The best time to do this was the last feeding. Then Travis could feed her and help to put her to bed (I got to see her all day and was more than happy to have him make his own routine with her). I do not remember the exact amounts I pumped but I never got more than 3oz per boob, even when totally full. It  was not going to be easy to make a freezer stash. But I tried. 

I took fenugreek, ate oatmeal, drank water, drank beer (lovely excuse!), everything anyone said to help- but nothing really did. Fenugreek helped a bit, but after a while (and me taking it everyday- not as the doctor recommended) it gave Carya diarrhea so I had to eliminate that.

Bring in daycare. Best friend and fellow new mom, Kate, warned me to be prepared for Carya to eat way more than I expected, but I had no idea. She ate 4- 5oz bottles off the bat! There was no way she ever ate that much from me, it took me 2 days to get 20oz of milk! But she got hooked. She loved the bottle, loved the speed (I also have a VERY slow let down- sometimes 15min), and slowly began to nurse poorly. She would nurse through the fast phase (1-2min) and be done and want a bottle. So I was left having to pump after her eating.

Slowly it became me just nursing her in the middle of the night and in the morning when she was sleepy and more patient. I pumped 3 times a day at work, on schedule, for 10-20min at a time. I continued all the eating, drinking, looking at her photos, anything to help my milk. 

Then teething happened. On May 26, 2012 the little miss got her first tooth (bottom right)- we had no idea it was coming, I had an idea but nothing concrete- she was not fussy, not overly mouthy -- proof she was going to continue to be the poster child for perfection. Ha! You know the saying, don't count on any kind of routine with babies... yeah  :)

On June 25th the little miss got her second tooth and on June 19th we had our 6mo check up. That was the beginning of the end. Carya had a mini cold the day we had our checkup and she got her shots, she had a bad reaction to the shots and got a bigger cold, a double ear infection and the teething didn't help... She got bitey. Like, really bitey. I could not put my breast in her mouth without her biting me. I tried everything the lactation consultant told me to do and nothing helped. I pretty much stopped nursing then. 
She bites everything, faces, arms, so why not breasts?!
So with the combination of everything, I slowly went from pumping 15oz/day to 10oz and then to we are where we are now: 5oz a day. One bottle. BUT, it is still one bottle I do not have to pay for.... 

Currently, she has started eating more (3- 6oz bottles and the one 5oz bottle, plus solid food!) at daycare and I am coming to terms with my future 5 month relationship with formula. I regularly try for some perspective: I am lucky to have access to high quality formula I can afford and I am lucky my little miss is a champion eater and loves any and all food we give her.

So on that note, here is a photo  of the little miss biting my arm in the back seat of the car while we are driving and the bite marks she left...

I mean... what did I expect?! I should not have let her bite any part of me... I set myself and her up for failure. I will know better for the next one ;-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Format

This blog is not working out for me as well as I wanted so I am changing the format! It will be more of an online journal of what is going on in the life of the Ewen family. The good, the bad and the ugly. I want to remember it all, and already I have forgotten too much.

So adjust your reader- it may get to be a bit more than you want to know- but I am going to start doing this for me!