This week’s questions were provided by KEZ from Sinner Following Jesus. Go say hello and thank her for her questions. They are a fun bunch! I’m not the only one who thinks so, Twitter was all a flutter last night with people talking about how great these questions are!
Also, just to let you all know, the questions are posted every Monday morning. See that Ten on Tuesday button on the right? Click that. The questions and previous weeks are listed there. Lots of those archive links are screwed up. One day when I have about 4 spare hours or an intern, I’ll fix those.
1. How did your parents decide on your name?
Well my parents were going to name me Megan but decided not to since it rhymed with my last name. They picked out two names that they liked (were they from a book, mom?) and asked my brother what he liked. He chose Chelsea.
2. Do your initials (First, Middle, Last) spell out anything fun/funny?
Nope. I used to be CRR, now I am CRH. Although my dad’s initials are KAR and his old license plate used to be THE KAR. Then he got a truck. His name is Kurt A. so his new license plate is A TRUK, which is Kurt A. backward. Leave him a comment and tell him how clever he is.
3. Did you take your middle name from childhood or did you take your maiden name as your middle name? (If unmarried, what do you plan to do?)
I kept my middle name for a few reason. First, I believe that marriage is when two become one. A woman leaves her family and becomes one with her husband. It’s very symbolic to me to drop that name and take my husband’s name. Secondly, my maiden name was 10 letters long. That’s just ridiculous.
4. Are you or will you name your children thematically (ie. same first letter, all of same origin…)
No. I don’t like themed children. The only thing that will be consistent with our children is that they’ll have middle names that have family significance.
5. Did you decide on baby names as a little girl? Did you stick to them or change your mind?
I liked several names throughout my life but never settled on one. I always knew I’d want to choose names with my husband. I’m glad, too, because I think Jansen is a pretty awesome name. The girl name we picked out is awesome too, but I’m realllllly scared that it’s about to become popular. I’ve heard a few baby girls with the name lately and it really makes me angry. I thought we were being so original.
6. Does your family have any names that have been passed down through generations?
Jansen, Stephen, and Stephen’s dad all share the same middle name, Bridges. That’s the only one.
7. Do you look at the meaning of the name or just the name itself?
I don’t look at the meaning. I don’t really care what a name means as long as I like the name. That may be because Chelsea means “a harbor” and I never really identified with that. Although Stephen and I recently discussed how we like the idea of naming a child after the character you want them to have, like they did in the Bible. But mainly we just want to choose unique names that sound good with our last name.
8. Do you name pets with human names (Sally, Henry) or with pet names (Fluffy, Mr. Bo Bo)?
Our dog’s name is Rookie. I assume there are no humans by this name.
9. Are there any names that you have an affinity or dislike for based on a childhood experience/someone you once knew?
None that I extremely love or hate, but almost every name has a connotation to it. That’s one reason we really wanted to choose unique names for our kids.
10. What are some of your favorite names? Why?
Well I can’t tell you some of them because we like to keep our baby names a secret. But I have always loved the names Kate and Jane. Something about the simple elegance of those timeless names. But I’ll never use them because our last name is only one syllable and that just sounds weird.
-My weekend was great, but very busy. That’s why I don’t have time for a real post.
-We will discuss my weekend later in the week. It involved Mardi Gras.
-The new pumping schedule has been working well. I seem to have maintained my production, and may even have increased it. I don’t know how that works, but I’m not complaining!
-Jansen now has mixed feelings about apples.
-My cuticles are out of control. So is my toenail polish.
-I still haven’t done my taxes. I think I need to get on that… especially because we’re sure to get a nice return this year since we had Jansen!
-ToT will be posted shortly.
Thanks for your words yesterday. Whether by comment, tweet, or email. It means a lot and I’m thankful for your encouragement, and even more thankful that there are several of you going through the same thing.
Proportionally speaking, the amount of toe lint Jansen gets from his socks is like if we pulled a scarf out from between our toes.
Thanks to my husband’s wonderful gift of the Kindle, I’m reading another book! I must say, this is one of the very few benefits of pumping. I’m forced to sit still! I’m on my 4th book since I had Jansen. I know that probably isn’t much to many of you, but that’s huge for me. I’ve read The Girtfriend’s Guide to the First Year, Half Broke Horses, The Glass Castle, and now I’m reading Pioneer Woman’s Black Heels. I recommend all of them! I’m almost done with Black Heels, what should I read next?
Jansen gets to attend his first baseball game tonight. He’s pretty pumped about it. I am too. I plan to give him a quick rundown of the game and discuss his future options regarding positions. Obviously he’s too young to make any decisions on the matter… he doesn’t even know if he’s right handed or left handed yet.
I think it’s safe to say that Jansen is a super fan of apples. He loves them. Almost too much, I think! He had them for the first time last night and he cried between each bite. It was pretty ridiculous but also cute.
An exclusive pumper, or an “EP” as we in the business like to say (mostly because we’re on Twitter and “EP” takes up only 2 of our 140 characters instead of 16), is a woman who exclusively pumps her breastmilk and does not nurse. I don’t discuss this often on my blog because, well, there are several dudes who read this and for some reason, breastmilk gives men the heebie jeebies. Probably because most men think that breasts aren’t for work, they are for play. Or maybe the idea of juices coming from a human is too much to handle. Well get over it. Or at least skip today’s post. This is what is happening in my life and I’m going to talk about it.
There are several reasons for making this decision. I assume the most popular is that you want to provide the benefits of breastmilk, but for some reason or another your baby won’t latch properly. So instead of fighting with your newborn every few hours, you throw in the towel and let Medela do all the work.
That wasn’t exactly my reason. When I came home from the hospital, I was in serious need of some boob drainage. I had two massive bowling balls attached to my chest and I couldn’t concentrate on anything but the throbbing pain of my skin being stretched to its limits. I don’t remember the circumstances but I couldn’t nurse. Maybe he wouldn’t eat enough? Not sure. That part is fuzzy. All I know is that Stephen encouraged me to find refuge in my pump, and that’s exactly what I did.
I nursed exclusively for weeks but I knew I’d eventually have to start pumping. I had a mere 6 weeks for maternity leave and I needed to build up a stockpile so Jansen would have food while I was at work. So after I nursed, I’d pump. As I did this, I realized how efficient pumping was. I knew how much I was producing, it didn’t hurt as bad, it encouraged more production, and most of all, my Medela Pump in Style didn’t have ADD.
We got to the stage where Jansen would be awake while eating. He no longer closed his eyes for the duration of his meals. Turns out, this kid is a curious little one. He looked around and took it all in… taking me along for the ride. It wasn’t enjoyable in the slightest. But the worst part is that his feedings took forever. I was getting frustrated just sitting there for up to 45 minutes while Jansen wretched his neck to see a ceiling fan, yet still not knowing how much he’d actually eaten. Frustration combined with postpartum hormones is a nasty thing. I started resenting Jansen when he was hungry. NOT AGAIN! And I have one of those amazing babies that only eats every 4 hours, so it’s not like Jansen was being unreasonable. So I started to bottle feed when I was in a hurry or away from the home. It was SO EASY.
That’s when the thought crossed my mind. Is it crazy? Do people ever do this? Is there any reason why I shouldn’t quit nursing? I had honestly never heard of such a thing. I figured that even when I went back to work, I’d nurse when I could and pump when I couldn’t. I asked The Google. Apparently exclusive pumping is a real thing and people do it all the time. Instantly a weight was lifted off my shoulders. This was my answer.
I had a goal to breastfeed until Jansen was 6 months, but I knew that at the rate I was going, I wouldn’t last that long. I wanted to provide breastmilk, not just because of the benefits but because it’s cheaper than formula. Pumping would allow me to do that.
It’s been bittersweet. I hate how much time I spend with that stupid machine. I hate that I still go through phases where it hurts as bad as it did when I started. I hate that it’s unreliable, sometimes producing 4 ounces and other times producing 8. I hate that I have to take supplements (Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle) in order to maintain production. I hate that people give me back-handed compliments like, “Good for you! Formula is terrible.” I hate that even though I spend approximately 3-4 hours pumping every day, I still have to supplement with formula.
But I also love it. I feel like a provider, like this is a way for me to show Jansen how much I love him. (I know that probably doesn’t make sense to anyone but me. Pumping is a labor of love.) I love that I save money. I love that it forces me to sit still and read for a bit. I love that it gets me out of my office for an hour at lunch, even though I sit in a shady parking lot with homeless men occasionally tapping on my window. I love that I am still losing weight (I think… I don’t believe in scales) but I’ve also been able to keep my pregnancy boobs. See? Bittersweet.
Did you notice yesterday that it was Jansen’s six month birthday? Which means that I reached my 6 month breastfeeding goal. As the day approached, the topic weighed heavily on my mind. Do I quit? Do I keep going? How do I quit? How long to I keep this up? Was there even a right answer? No. No, there isn’t. Because inevitably there are 20 women on one side of me telling me I’m doing great and giving me a “pass” to quit, but then there are 20 on the other side that are on month 9 with no desire to slow down. There are women who think breastmilk is the equivalent of immortality potion. But there are women who don’t think twice about giving their baby formula from day 1. And while I know their thoughts and feelings shouldn’t matter to me, they do.
Stephen and I laid in bed on Tuesday night discussing my options. I decided that I’m annoyed because it’s win-win and lose-lose. I’m thankful that it is my decision and not some outside source (lack of production) making me quit. What it all boils down to is this: I’m not mentally prepared to quit. It’s too hard. It’s too permanent. And it’s basically saying that my baby is growing up, and I’m just not prepared for that right now. So I’ll just cut down to 3 pumps per day, and not worry about the amount of production. (Although there is absolutely nothing worse than putting in the time to pump and only getting 4 ounces. It’s a terrible feeling.)
I didn’t feel great about my decision but I had a slight hint that I was making to right one. I woke up yesterday for my early morning pump. I got 9.5 ounces. At lunch I got 6.5 ounces. My third pump of the day was 5.5 ounces. Okay God, message received. You’ve made it abundantly clear that I’ve made the right decision. I’m going to keep on until you’ve made it abundantly clear that it’s time to quit. I’m going to be thankful for what You’ve provided and try not to whine about it. But also, I’m going to whine a little because it makes me feel better. I’m going to try to stop comparing myself to every other mother in the continental U.S. and just concern myself with the Hurst family. Because we all know that this is only the beginning of Mommy Guilt and Child Comparison and I think we can all agree that it’s well-wasted on a topic like this.
Today is Jansen’s six month birthday! I honestly cannot believe he is half a year old. Where the heck has the time gone? Sometimes I mourn the loss of my teeny tiny baby and his stick legs. But as sad as it is that he’s growing quickly, I love this stage. Seriously, he is so much fun!
On Saturday we tried sweet potatoes for the first time and of course we took a video of it. It’s long and probably not exciting to most of you, but I don’t care.
This week’s questions are from Stefanie at The Stallings Life.
1. What type of cell phone do you have and how would you rate it?
I have the LG Dare. It’s alright. I’d previously always had the freebie phones so this was quite an improvement. But it’s starting to get slow and it’s not very user-friendly as far as the internet goes. I check my email, Facebook, and Twitter on it but it’s a pain to actually send something out. I think Stephen and I will probably get iPhones this summer when our contract is ready for renewal.
2. What has been your most serious injury?
I broke my arm when I was little. I fell off a trampoline… while I was just standing there. As far as pain and length, I’d say my herniated disc is my most serious injury. It’s one of those things that never goes away. Also, the aftermath of childbirth was pretty painful. Oh, and the beginning of breastfeeding. But I wouldn’t call that a serious injury even though it hurt so bad it made me cry.
3. What is one movie you hate and why?
I hate a lot of movies that people love. Two examples: Anchorman and Love Actually. I also hate movies where bad things happen over and over… like Meet the Parents. They give me anxiety.
4. How many email addresses do you have?
I guess 4. My work email, my personal email, my junk email, and a family email address that gets forwarded to my personal email.
5. What website do you waste the most time on?
Probably Twitter. As much as I was anti-Twitter, I’m thankful that I became an active user before I had Jansen. I don’t need parenting books or Google, there are so many other moms on there going through the exact things I am going through. All I have to do is tweet a question and hoards of mamas come to my rescue. It’s been especially wonderful to get to know Erin (@stateiamin) because she’s also an exclusive fulltime pumper. (Follow me @rootsandrings.)
6. Which mexican restaurant makes the best salsa?
I don’t think I’m the best judge of salsa. I’m a Texan who hates spicy food and cilantro. I know, I know. I want to like spicy food, I just can’t. I’m a wimp. I just take one bite and I get snotty and all I taste is hot. So my favorites are the non-spicy ones that are light on cilantro. I do like Papasitos because they serve their salsa warm.
7. What is your dream car?
I don’t really have one. That’s not true. My dream car is as follows: Big but not too big, practical, paid off, no rattling windows or random parts that you’ll never be able to locate, good gas mileage, lasts 20 years without giving me any grief, self cleaning – both inside and out, sunroof, DVD players in the back, great trunk space, and no small cracks the collect crumbs.
8. If you could spend up to $100 with no strings or restrictions or guilt, what would you buy?
I’d prefer to put it in our Vacation Fund envelope since we have a few vacations planned this year that involve plane tickets and rental cars. But if I had to spend it I would probably buy another pair of TOMs ($50), a massage from the massage school ($30), a bottle of OPI ($7), a bottle of Choco Vine ($9), and a tall Java Chip Frappachino with peppermint ($4). (You SAID guilt-free! Realistically I think diapers should be in there somewhere!)
9. What is your favorite board game?
I don’t really know. I like Cranium when I’m on Stephen’s team and he lets me do the creative (drawing, sculpting, etc.) questions and he handles the smart ones (trivia, music, spelling, etc.)
10. How often do you change your hairstyle?
About once every never.
Thanks for all of your comments last week during the birth story. Twenty years from now, when Jansen is in college and I’m at home missing him, I’ll reread these posts and your comments and probably cry myself to sleep. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it and while I’m shocked that it’s so long, I’m thankful that I didn’t leave out any details.
So now that you know what Jansen was up to about 6 months ago, I’ll let you know what he’s up to these days.
Jansen will be six months on Wednesday. I didn’t really think that sounded too old but then I realized that we are halfway to a year. He’ll be half a year old! Time flies and it’s kind of making me angry.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a tooth! Jansen has been doing this thing where he sucks on his lower lip all the time. Y’all told me a couple weeks ago that he could be teething. I thought that maybe it was a possibility but I was waiting for “the signs.” You know, all those things that the experts say to look for. Pink cheeks, low fever, buckets of drool, out of control crying… all that. Well, we had none. We had an occasional bout of fussiness but he’s a baby, I didn’t think it was abnormal. Last Wednesday I thought I felt something on his bottom gum while he was frantically chewing on my finger. But I shrugged it off and thought it might be a little cut or something since he chews on EVERYTHING. But that bump never went away and now it is a tooth! A teeny tiny white sliver through his little gum and it is razor sharp!
We started solids last week! I thought we’d skip rice cereal because there is no real benefit to giving it to your child. I figured we’d go straight to pureed food. But in a weak moment at Kroger, I bought some rice cereal and tried it with Jansen that same night. The first night was not great. The first bite was the hilarious face pucker… like we were feeding him poop or something. The second bite was better. He’s so used to eating through a bottle so he was sucking on the spoon instead of just swiping the food off. But he liked it so much that he was shaking his arms in excitement and lunging toward the bowl. It was pretty hilarious. Hopefully Stephen will help me upload the video from the Flip so I can show you the cuteness.
I spent Friday evening making baby food. Sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and apples. (Yes, I plan to make the majority of Jansen’s baby food.) We tried sweet potatoes thinned with breastmilk on Saturday and he wasn’t a fan. He kept opening his mouth and eating it but his face showed that he wasn’t a fan.
We tried it again yesterday without thinning it when Jansen was having a bit of a hissy fit and we had no idea what else to do but shove food in his mouth. He loved it. Whoo hoo!
Jansen went to his first Mardi Gras this weekend. He’s so hip.
(ToT will be posted shortly.)