Archive for the ‘Just thinking’ Category


November 27, 2008

A post about everything I’m thankful for could go on for days, so I’ll summarize.  This year I’m giving joyful thanks for my family, especially my wonderful husband and son; my friends, old and new, near and far; my interesting and fulfilling career; the Internet, for enabling us all to keep in touch; digital cameras, for allowing Patrick’s fans to watch him grow up; the slow cooker, for saving us from eating frozen pizza every night; health insurance, for keeping our baby expenses somewhere near affordable; the baby swing, for helping Patrick sleep when I have to get stuff done; magazines, for featuring articles short enough I can actually read something in its entirety these days; the washer and dryer, for obvious reasons; and I could go on and on.  But there are family and friends to visit with, a baby to cuddle, and lots of good food to eat.  So quit reading and go celebrate!


Hitting the bottle

November 15, 2008

And now for an update on Patrick’s feeding situation.  As you know if you’ve been reading here for a while, he lost more weight than he should have in the week after he was born, and since then, we’ve been supplementing his breastfeeding with formula.  I had hoped eventually to go back to breastfeeding exclusively, but that was not to be.  For whatever reason, no matter what I tried, my body couldn’t even come close to meeting Patrick’s nutritional needs.  I ended up making both him and myself miserable trying to make it work, so I was tremendously relieved that when I met with a lactation consultant, she confirmed my belief that breastfeeding just wasn’t the right thing for us and basically gave me official permission to give up and get on with my life.

Still, I haven’t quite given up entirely.  Since Patrick’s pediatrician said even a little breastfeeding is beneficial, I still do it several times a day, but I know he gets most of his calories and nutrients from formula, which takes a huge weight off my mind.  I’m so grateful that high-quality formula is readily available and that he seems perfectly happy with it.

Micah has asked me what has surprised me about having a kid, and I have to say that the difficulty of breastfeeding was something of a shock.  Even after taking a six-hour class about it and reading plenty of instructional literature, I was unprepared for the reality of being physically unable to feed my child.  I can understand why advocates of breastfeeding don’t want to set new moms up for failure, but I wish I had known that this could be a real–and frankly quite dangerous–problem.  As it was, I ended up dealing with one of the most frustrating and demoralizing experiences of my life (and I’ve been to grad school–twice–so I know from frustrating and demoralizing).

In the end, I have to remember what we’re trying to accomplish here.  When, as part of the six-hour class, we were asked to reflect on our breastfeeding goals, I think I came up with something that seemed reasonable at the time but now appears hopelessly ambitious, like breastfeeding for six months.  Now I think I was framing the question incorrectly.  My goal should not have focused on my desire to breastfeed but rather on my desire to raise a happy, healthy son.  When I consider matters from that perspective, I feel completely confident I’m doing the right thing.


Magic Eye baby

November 11, 2008

Remember those optical illusion pictures called “Magic Eye”?  The ones you had to stare at for several seconds to make a 3D image appear?  And when you finally did catch sight of it, it was perfectly clear–but then it disappeared in an instant.  I’ve had a similar thing happen while looking at Patrick.  I’ll be watching his face, and all of a sudden I’ll see someone else–Micah, my brother, myself (that last one only if he looks especially worried).  Then, just as quickly, he’s back to looking like a complete original, the incomparable Patrick Word Bennett.


Babies and ontology

September 27, 2008

These days I’ve mostly been thinking about how long until Patrick wants to eat again or about when I might sneak in a nap, but I’ve also indulged in a few more esoteric reflections. 

“Having a baby changes everything” is the tagline for an ad campaign and, of course, refers to how having a baby presents you with more opportunities to spend money, but I think one of the most interesting ways Patrick has changed things is that he has made many people into things they weren’t before.  It’s pretty cool that as of 8:50 a.m. on September 13, our siblings were suddenly aunts and uncles, our parents became grandparents, and, of course, Micah and I were transformed into Daddy and Mommy.  (By the way, for purposes of these musings, I’m bracketing the question of when life begins.  After all, I’m on leave, and there’s a limit to how deeply this philosophy librarian will think for free!)

Ooh, use more big words, Mommy!

Ooh, use more big words, Mommy!

Blessed silly

September 15, 2008

Last week on the Writer’s Almanac, Garrison Keillor read Paul Goodman’s poem “I Planned to Have a Border of Lavender,” and I was struck by the line “it has blest me silly.”  This perfectly captures the way I feel right now.  We have been given such an amazing gift with this little baby, and having so many wonderful people to share him with is, well, I don’t even know how to say it.  That’s why we have poets, anyway: to describe how we feel when we don’t even know where to begin.


August 17, 2008

I’m considering adding another B to B3’s nickname, so that he can be called Bonkers Baby Boy Bennett.  Remember how I used to worry incessantly because I often wouldn’t feel him move for a few hours?  Ah, the good old days.  Granted, that still happens every now and then, but mostly he seems to be active all the time

I admit, it is kind of fun to imagine what he’s thinking.  I picture him saying things like, “Wake up, Mommy, wake up!  I have the hiccups!  Isn’t that funny?” and “I’m bored….C’mon, let’s dance!” and “I’m in training for the 2028 Olympics.  Gymnastics!  Soccer!  And those equestrian events look fun–can I get a horse in here?”  Um, no, son.  No horse for you until you join us in the outside world.  Sorry.

These days I wonder to myself which is stranger: having another human being living inside you or basically taking for granted that you have another human being living inside you.

Sit and rock

August 16, 2008

August always makes me a little bit sad these days.  For the first thirty or so years of my life, almost every year I spent at least a week–and sometimes the whole month–of August visiting my grandmother at her summer cottage on Chautauqua Lake in Maple Springs, New York.  Now that Nana is unable to travel, and the rest of the family is scattered around the country, my mom had to make the difficult decision to sell our share of the house to a cousin.  In the future, I look forward to taking Micah and B3 to that part of the world to share with them the many wonderful memories I have of places like Midway Park*, Peterson’s Candies, Panama Rocks, and the Chautauqua Institution, but I wish we were still able to go there every year.

Among the many “lake” traditions was spending time on the cottage’s beautiful wraparound front porch, where all you had to do was “sit and rock.”  I was pleased to get one of the rocking chairs from the house, which now resides in our reading room.  Sitting and rocking is about all I’m capable of these days, so it’s nice to be able to do it and be reminded of one of my very favorite places.

* Those of you who know Midway will understand how much I laughed when I found it featured on this site called  The Midway roller coaster is the farthest thing imaginable from “ultimate.”