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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A toddler and a baby: The love. The torture.

I feel compelled to write this post not just for everyone's immediate amusement, but for posterity's sake. Eventually, there will come a time when Audrey and Trevor have a relationship that looks very different from the relationship they have right now. And when that time comes, I want to remember things as they are now. 

Because right now, shit is CUTE AS F***. Seriously, oh my god.


When Trevor was two days old and had just come home from the hospital, Audrey decided to serenade him with some tunes on her Doc McStuffins guitar. When I asked her what she was doing, she told me she was "playing guitar for baby Trevor."


A few days later, Audrey decided that the sleeping Trevor was looking a bit shabby, so she wanted to spruce him up. She took some brightly colored hair ties that she wears as bracelets and put them on her baby brother, one by one. Thankfully he did not wake up.


Audrey always wants to "hold baby Trevor." She demands this of me at least once a day. I generally allow it as long as she is sitting down, and as soon as I put him in her lap she becomes absolutely giddy with excitement. Oftentimes, she will then shout "LOOK! I'M HOLDING BABY TREVOR!"

It's precious.

It doesn't matter whether Trevor is enjoying it or not -- she's still happy.


She loves Trevor so much that she can't resist sharing her favorite things with him. This includes burying him under many large Elmo dolls ...

"Here Trevor, you can play with Elmo," she said. 

... and even giving him her treasured binkie when he gets upset, despite the fact that he hates binkies and has no interest in sucking on one. 



She wants to kiss him and cuddle him all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. First words out of her mouth when Jesse gets her from her crib every morning: "I want to go see Trevor."

She and I will go downstairs while Trevor stays sleeping for a bit in the morning. As soon as I go upstairs to get him, she tails me and screams that she wants to "say hi to Trevor!" This includes hugging him, pressing her face against his head, and kissing him repeatedly.

We cannot go to bed at night without her first giving him a kiss on the lips. If he turns his head, she will keep trying until she gets lips.

I was afraid she would be jealous of how much time I spend holding Trevor as he breastfeeds, but nope -- she just hops up on the couch to snuggle against him while he eats.

Selfie interrupted by smooches.

More kisses for her brother.


She knew, just KNEW, that he wanted to play with crayons while he was sleeping.

So she provided them.


She always wants to snuggle Trevor. No jealousy, no tantrums, no "you're MY mommy" ... she is just thrilled to have a little baby brother. Sometimes her snuggles are a bit ... aggressive, though:

"Oh God please don't, not another snuggle!"



She wanted to try on all her shoes.

Then she wanted Trevor to try on all her shoes.

This poor kid; I can already see 8-year-old Audrey putting a bunch of makeup on him and dressing him in drag during sleepovers with her friends.

Lookin' good there sir.


Whenever Trevor "plays" with something (I put "play" in sarcastic air-quotes, because let's face it: he's too little to really play with anything. He just looks at stuff and flails around), Audrey wants to play with him.

This means climbing into the exercise gym with him:

I had to stop her when she tried to lie down next to him, though. It was getting a bit unsafe in there.

She also insists on regular Tummy Time, as this amuses her greatly. Sometimes, he will be nursing or asleep and she'll come up and shout "TREVOR, WAKE UP! WE NEED TO PLAY TUMMY TIME!" While he's on his tummy, she will bring toys over one by one and show them to him. Tummy Time isn't over until she says it's over.

Someday, she won't want to play with him to save her life. But today is not that day.


She was playing with stickers. I guess Trev was looking a bit shabby again.

"I put the monkey sticker on Trevor's head."
"[sigh] Yes, I see that."

Luckily, she had stuck it like 500 other places beforehand, so it wasn't very sticky anymore.


She comforted him when a part of a movie she was watching scared her. She naturally assumed that Trevor was scared of it too, so she swooped him up and told him it would be okay.

For real. She did that.

When he cries in the car, she tells him "it's okay Trevor, it's okay."

When he cries at home, she brings him binkies, blankets, toys, anything she likes because she figures he likes it too and so it will make him stop crying.

Even her torture comes from a place of love. She has never once harmed him intentionally. Never.

When he was a newborn, she wanted to stand on a stool and watch him have his baths every single night.

When she threw a binkie at me and it bounced off me and hit his head, she sobbed for several minutes in true remorse as she hugged him, filled with sorrow because she had inadvertently hurt him.

Audrey loves her damn brother. And I love her all the more for it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pumping milk: My secret shameful video stash

I don't really know how to write this post without ending up on some sort of government list, so I'm just going to do my best to avoid putting certain words next to each other, and hope for the best.


I'm back to work now, my maternity leave having ended a week ago. This is why there haven't been any posts in so long -- life is absolutely frantic chaos at present, and will be until we get a better routine in place.

But, being back to work means that I am now relying on the double electric hands-free breast pump to get the milk out of me, rather than relying on sweet little Trevor.


Can you guess which one I prefer?

Pumping milk out isn't exactly a 100% clinical endeavor. It requires your body to cooperate and produce the necessary hormones in order to work properly. If you're overly stressed, cortisol will prevent milk from letting down. If you're completely distracted, it will take longer for the pump to convince your body to let loose the milk torrent. Because if it were super easy to get milk flowing, we'd all be soaking through our shirts constantly.

Nope, in order to pump milk successfully, I've discovered that what I really need is some high quality video assistance.

Porn, essentially. Pumping porn.

The frighteningly close analogy between pumping milk and, uhhmmm, 'enjoying oneself privately' occurred to me yesterday, as I turned on the pump and then immediately watched a video of Trevor smiling at me while I played peek-a-boo with him. As soon as the video started, I smiled at Trevor's sweet face, felt my heart fill with love, and then felt the milk start to do its thing in response to the flood of oxytocin. 

And I thought, "my god, this is exactly like watching porn."

If I didn't have the video, I would have to resort to closing my eyes and picturing Trevor doing whatever it is babies do when they're hungry and require milk.

This random internet baby knows what's up.

Or maybe I could read some milk letdown literotica?
The baby was hungry, that much was clear. It had been hours since he last ate. He let out a sharp cry, turning his head roughly to one side with his toothless mouth open, rooting, but was left frustrated. He stuck his tongue out, and then immediately clamped his mouth around his own closed fist, sucking aggressively.
Do you think there's a market for stuff like this? I could write more. 

And then there are the videos themselves. I have three of them, and I often watch more than one to get the milk flowing well before moving on to other tasks (once it starts, you don't really need to pay attention anymore and can just let the pump do its thing). The three I have are very different, and they appeal to me in different ways. There's the peek-a-boo one, which makes me feel very happy and loving because he's doling out smiles and cooing like the cutest baby on earth:

Ohhh boy, here comes that oxytocin!

And then there's the other "chatty cathy" video of him, where he spends the video making baby talking sounds before shoving his fist in his mouth:

Fist-in-mouth is Trevor's preferred means of telling me he's hungry.

And then there's video 3, which is just pure hunger. He's crying a bit, opening his mouth wide, and sticking his tongue out. I always watch this video second, after letting one of the others get me in the mood first.

The sound of a baby crying, of course, being famous for causing milk letdown in lactating women.

The problem now is that I'm starting to get sick of these same videos. They aren't really doing it for me anymore -- I've watched them too many times. I need more variety. I need to make new videos.

I need to catch him when he's super hungry and rooting around on whatever is nearby. Crying. Sucking on his fist.

And I need videos of him being really cute and sweet -- making faces in his sleep, smiling at his toys, telling me all about his day in that precious little baby way ...

I need to store all these videos in a folder on my phone.

And oddly, I feel like I then need to hide this folder so that people can't find it when idly browsing. Because it's my porn stash, and it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHY I HAVE SO MANY VIDEOS OF HUNGRY BABIES ON MY PHONE LEAVE ME ALONE YOU NOSY BITCH.


Bodies are weird, man. Weird.