Monday, July 30, 2007


I have grown to really like breastfeeding. I didn’t think I would; you’re constantly damp, it can be very inconvenient, and you constantly have something sucking at your chest. But, it feels right. I can’t think of any other way of explaining it. With all that’s wrong in the world, putting a baby on your breast just feels somehow right, like this is what I was meant to do. It’s a very subtle feeling though, I just started noticing it. Before I was too busy, I’d sit down to feed the baby, but my mind was elsewhere, I wanted to get up, to go here, to go there, breastfeeding was more like a stone dragging me down. Now I just sit. I know she’s going to eat, and I know how long it takes, and there’s nothing else I can do, so I sit, and I realized how nice it is. I know its hormones. Breastfeeding releases tons of hormones into your body to make you want to do it, and to feel good doing it. I understand that, I welcome it. I love my baby more knowing it. I have to say I was very ambivalent about this whole baby business, and I think that breastfeeding her has really helped move me from, yeah this is my baby to I love my baby. How can you not love someone who, by the simple act of feeding, helps you to relax and feel like you are doing something amazing. It also helps that she is now able to express some of her appreciation of my boobs. In the morning when she sees them she starts kicking her legs and waving her arms with this huge grin on her face like they are the best things in the world. Not even the boyfriends that I had as a teenager loved my boobs like she does. When she’s hungry she also will try to curl around my boobs, or grab them with both her hands and her feet and then tuck her head in so that her whole body is wrapped around me and my milk giving nipples. Then, while she eats, she will caress the boob that she’s eating from with her free hand, and I can almost hear her thinking, “my precious.”
Breastfeeding also comes with a great sense of accomplishment. Since she was born, my baby has almost doubled in size, and the only thing she eats is what I make for her. I can look at my growing, thriving baby and say, I did that, she is living and growing because I am making enough for her to grow on. I never thought I would say it, but I think I will be sad when she gets close to six months and we start feeding her solids. And then, when I wean her, how will I get my relaxing hormones? They should bottle the hormones and sell them, they are great! I can be pissed off, super mad, want to yell and scream at the world, but then I breastfeed and all is well. Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep I want to wake up the baby so that she can eat and relax me (I don’t, of course, I’m not as crazy as I look).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Some people should know better

So Zora had a rash earlier this week and we were supposed to host baby group so I decided to take her into the Embassy nurse to have the rash looked at. I wasn't actually worried about it, but it had spread a little, and there were other babies coming so I figured better to be safe than sorry. We went in, everything looked fine, nothing to worry about, etc. etc. But as we were leaving and she's looking at our chart, she says to me, "interestingly enough Measles starts off as a rash that starts around the hairline, then spreads down the back and stomach, but everything is fine, nothing to worry about." And I think she also mentioned that as a baby Zora does not yet have her measles immunization so I shouldn't leave her with anyone who has a rash.
Now, why on earth would you tell a first time mom this? I have decided not to worry about it because really her rash was already getting better by the time I took her in, and it's pretty much gone today, but if I was someone else, this could have thrown me into a panic. Or at least freaked me out a little. She really should know better.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Finger

Driving here is terrible. I personally don't think it's as bad as driving in China, fewer people for one thing, but Vlad disagrees. The trouble here is that most people know how to drive, they just don't think road rules apply to them. You still have the expensive car effect (if you drive an expensive car, the cops won't pull you over, and you can do whatever stupid moves you want, because you are Somebody) but there are more expensive cars, and everyone else has Ladas which will drive through almost anything. Combine those two things and you have chaos as the general road rule. On any given day you can look out our window (it overlooks a fairly busy traffic circle) and see people driving backwards, driving the wrong way down the street, or, most common, using the far left lane to make a sharp right. Since I've come back to Baku with the baby I've started driving in this mess. Which is not as bad as it sounds, the way I cope is that I don't use side or rear view mirrors at all. If I am in front of you, I expect you to watch out for me, if you are in front of me, I will watch out for you. I think this is generally how people drive here. I still check blind spots (bad habit I can't seem to break) and I still wait for a clear space before barreling out into traffic, but for the most part I get along ok.
I have recently discovered, however, that people here do not know what the middle finger means. This has been VERY liberating for me. I thought that American movies had spread this offensive piece of sign language all over the world, and that if I gave people the finger it would cause nasty confrontations that would not be wise with a child in the back of the car. BUT NO! I can use the finger at will, which is great because I generally find the use of the horn to be annoying, people here over use it. They blow their horns at the slightest provocation and I mean slightest! So as I drive around now I liberally use my finger, and I don't have to worry. It's great because I feel better, even though I know that it doesn't mean anything to them, it relieves some of the impotence that you feel when you are the only one trying to obey traffic rules, and I just like it. I've been thinking about following one of my Aunt's examples and growing out the nail to my middle finger really long so it makes more of a statement......

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Getting Bigger

Ah... my baby is growing up. Friday night we moved her to her crib and out of our room. It's weird that I'm sad about this, I never really wanted her in our room to begin with, but Vlad thought it would be a good idea. And to tell the truth, she seems to be sleeping better on her own, although it has only been two nights (I think I was secretly hoping she would scream the whole night so we would move her back into our room). It was only a week or two sooner than I had set to move her anyway. She was going to move out at four months, but we took her to see the nurse for a check up and she was 15.25 pounds! She had already outgrown her bassinet! So, out she went. There is freedom, though to having a baby move out of your room. I can read in bed again, I can look for something in our room after Zora has gone to sleep, and I can turn over at night without fear of waking her up. On the whole it's a good change, it's just a mixed feeling seeing her grow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I have always thought that nothing good ever comes with watching a sunrise. If you are seeing the sunrise (in normal places, not Alaska) it either means that you are up WAY too early, or you have stayed up way too late. In my day, I have seen sunrises on both ends of the spectrum. Riding back to my apartment on the subway in Tokyo watching the sun rise through bleary club darkened eyes is no good. And waking up to go to work (or even to take some plane) is no good either. In either situations the supposed beauty of the sunrise is lost to me.
As I was feeding my daughter this morning in the pre-sunrise dark of the morning I thought about my sunrise aversion. If I liked watching sunrises waking up at five to feed her would have some benefit. But, no, I don't like sunrises, and as the sun began to rise, I was even less happy to be awake (if that's possible). We're definitely going to have to have that talk.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

what the F@#%!

I admit it I am a BIG FAT WUSS when it come to my sleep. I don't like it being interrupted, not at all. And I have to say one of the biggest, most concrete, thing I worried about during pregnancy was the lack of sleep that the newborn would bring. And I have to say Zora was actually pretty good about it. Almost from the beginning the child was sleeping at night for long stretches of time. At first I was waking her up in the middle of the night to feed her because the doctor at the hospital was worried that she had lost too much weight. BUT, after a week or two (it might have been as many as four) she looked like she was thriving and I stopped waking her at night (at four weeks she had gained 3lbs from her birth weight) to feed. And she started sleeping five to six hours at a time. Then we moved to Baku and she was jet lagged, and the sleep issues were severe (she would sleep for almost 24 hours, then be awake for almost 24 hours). But I persisted and she found her schedule and started sleeping completely through the night, not the wimpy "medical" definition of sleeping through the night. You know, the one where if the baby sleeps from 12 to 5 it's considered sleeping through the night. No, she was sleeping a full 10 hours, from 9pm to 6am, on her own, no special coaxing once you put her down at night.
But then, suddenly, she snatched it all away. I blame myself, we bragged to other new parents that she was sleeping through the night, and for the last week or two she has started randomly waking up two or three times a night. What's worse is, she's not hungry. She will go right on back to sleep without eating, she is just UP! Vlad wants me to feed her so she'll go right on back to sleep. He doesn't seem to see this for what it is.... A TRAP! If we get into the middle of the night feeding routine, she will only want to keep doing it. We must resist! We will prevail!
Maybe I need to have a heart to heart with Zora like I had with the dog.... (When she was a puppy, the dog almost got choked out one night, and after that she realized that she really didn't need to get up to go out at night)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

responsible adults

MAN! I hate being all grown up! It was bad enough when I was eighteen and people were entrusting their kids in my care, saying as long as you take an adult with you... but now I'm actually responsible for other people! ACK! This past year has been very bad for my adult responsibilities creeping up on me. First the dog now the baby! It's not that I want these decisions made for me. It's my dog, and my baby. I just don't know how you are supposed to decide. Especially when both decisions are bad, or have negatives.... but then I guess all decisions have positives and negatives. If only one of the possibilities had negatives, then I guess it would be easy. I keep thinking about that Peter Pan song. "I won't grow up, I don't wanna wear a tie, or a serious expression in the middle of July!" I want to know how this happened. How did I get to be the grown up and the responsible party?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Domestic Help

Having a maid is not as easy as you would think. First of all you have someone else in your house a lot touching your stuff, which is not so bad as it sounds at first, but then you have to find her (I use her because most domestic help is female) something to do on a regular basis, AND often times she puts stuff away and you have to spend time searching for things that she has neatly put away somewhere.
I think part of my main problem is that I almost feel like this person is doing me a favor by cleaning my house (even though I'm paying her) so I don't want to be evil and nitpicky because she's doing things so I don't have to. So even when she's doing things, like picking up after me, and putting my stuff away (for some reason this drives me NUTS!) I don't want to tell her to stop because technically it is her job, and I don't want her to think that I'm mean. I should just grow a pair and have her do stuff because I AM paying her. I think the other problem that I have is I don't know what I want done. My husband definitely has ideas of what he wanted done, but other than vacuuming, dusting, and washing the clothes.... I don't know. Maybe I should find one of those online guides to managing a household staff.