"As for me, I'll take one baby marinated in a dish please"

The preying mantis just might have it right

What do the following creatures have in common?

They just might be the most evolved creatures on the planet. That's what.

Yes, my friends, they might just be the most evolved creatures on the planet because they all eat their mates after reproduction.

I preface the rest of this post by saying Ben probably tries harder than most guys. Ironically, before we had our own baby, he was donned the "baby whisperer" by all of my friends because he was so good with babies. In fact, I think he was the sole reason my family was at all comfortable with us having kids. Come to think of it, he was the sole reason I was comfortable having kids. However, I wouldn't go so far as to use my mom's words... "Ben is so good with kids. Krista, I worry that you will leave the car seat on top of the car with the baby in it before driving away." - Thanks mom. Such confidence.

But oh the crazy tides of fate have turned. Gone is the "baby whisperer" and all his wise words and abilities to coax babies to quit crying. In his place, was left with a panicked new dad who watches helplessly after handing off his daughter to supermom (aka, me). This new dad has also conveniently forgotten how to do basic such things like folding the laundry, vacuuming, dusting, cooking and other things that don't involve the iPhone, computer, TV and iPad. Where those skills went? I'm still trying to figure that one out.

What is so scary about this???

In fact, right now, he is so scared of Ellyette that it exhausts me to hear about his Wednesdays with her (the day that he has her all to himself). A typical day? See below:

See time of first post. Note that I start my work day at 10:00 a.m.

He sends me a picture of her sucking her hands (which I did as a baby too (and then on into toddlerhood and probably beyond that, unfortunately)). He also sends a picture to be sure that I know what he's talking about. Because clearly, he's the only one that has seen such behavior....

His response to my attempt at humor. And then another picture of a half-full bottle because either he thinks I'm an idiot or he doesn't think I believe his stories.

His victory at defeating the little one into a nap - in the crib no less. And another picture to prove it. And then one hour later, a plea for me to cut out of work early.

Me checking in after the nap. Then giving advice after seeing the bad news.

Still discussing the baby an hour later.....

Me cutting out of work an hour early (again) so I can quit getting these texts. Although, clearly it wasn't early enough.

I'm wondering if Ben secretly hopes I'll get fired for 1. Being on my phone responding to his texts all day, or 2. Leaving work early to save him from his daughter. Either way, I'd be annoyed to get fired because my husband is scared of his baby.

I might be a little more irritated if I thought he was the only guy to respond this way to his baby. However, I hear war stories from pretty much every mom I know. I think it might be a universal thing, like when a guy becomes sick. They all turn into the biggest whiniest babies at the hint of the slightest sniffle. I know Ben knocks on death's door every time he feels less than stellar. So dramatic men are. Even in the above texts, he uses phrases like,"battling me," "eating her hands," "hates it," "full force," and "starvation." If I didn't know better, I would have thought my house had turned into a war zone full of end-of-time zombies.

To make myself laugh at both Ben and men in general, I read this article often and laugh. Guys are all wired the same. Even guys known as the "baby whisperer."


Breast is Best – is there an epidural for that too?

Whoever decided that rubbing a towel on your nipples to “roughen” them up in order to prepare a woman for breastfeeding must have formula fed. I’m here to say that rubbing a towel on your nipples makes them red and if done hard enough, takes some skin off. It doesn't even deserve a place on the pain scale of 1-10.

Breastfeeding on the other hand, is an agony that starts at the tips of the toes before ripping through ones entire body and finally ending at the nipple. In fact, for me it started so painfully that when I had a clogged duct and had to go into my nipple with a sterilized needle to unclog it, it was a welcome relief from actually feeding.

The mouth that makes my nipples scream in agony every time they see it coming.

While the “experts” would say that most of my suffering was caused by an improper latch, judging by the picture above, my baby has no problem opening her mouth wide enough to clamp onto my raw and chapped nipple. Plus, I’m not going to re-try the latch four or five times when she’s screaming to get her eat on. Nope, I’m going to grit my teeth, clench my toes, squeeze my eyes shut and say to myself, “this can’t last forever. Breast is best, breast is best, breast is best.” And then I’m going to hold my breath and take the plunge.

At first, during the 30 or so minutes I had in-between feedings, I put lanolin on my defeated nipples to help them stop crying. But having the sophisticated palate that my newborn does, Ellyette the howling parahina Hummel, decided she didn’t like the taste of lanolin. Heaven forbid. She had no problems sucking on her hand, her blankets, her clothes, or sucking my milk back down after she spit it up, but the thought of a little lanolin made her rip off my nipple repeatedly and spit it out like a food critic eating pasta at an Olive Garden.

It got so bad that I quit using the stuff altogether and only stared at it longingly until I finally put it into a drawer so I couldn’t even temp myself anymore.
I’m sure the fact that it took my milk five exceedingly long days to come in didn’t help. The parihana sucked and sucked until low and behold a tiny bit of milk dribbled out on day five. And after that it was like a feeding frenzy. She couldn’t get enough. And the harder and longer she sucked, the more I suffered.

It was during those days that I realized epidurals should not be just for labor. While childbirth might get the gold for the most pain ever, breastfeeding is certainly on the podium- I know my nipples certainly deserve a medal for the abuse they’ve taken.


What's in a name?

We named our baby Ellyette Mae Hummel. That's right, Ellyette. Pronounced Elliott. Like a boy. Why did we name our girl this? For no other reason than Ben and I both love it. We think it is a beautiful, feminine name that not many people have, especially for a girl. And while we've gotten some rave reviews, not everybody likes it. And most of people who don't, especially strangers, have no problems telling us so. "Why would you name a girl THAT?" one stranger yelled at me. Yelled. It completely caught me off guard. Who yells at a new mom because they don't like the name of her daughter? Someone who is crazy clearly, so I just sort of mumbled that we liked it and walked away. Someone else told me that she would hate me when she was older because of her name. My response? "Well, if that's the only reason she hates me when she's older, then I guess I've done ok."

Even my mom and mother-in-law (who I do believe mostly like it) have added their little twists to make it more feminized. My mom calls her Ellyette Mae and then spells it for everybody. My mother-in-law pronounces it the French way with emphasis on the ette (like Juliet). Neither of these things bother me too much as I know it is their way of coping with the fact that their first and only granddaughter has a name that is traditionally for a boy. My neighbor however, does bother me with her feminization of the name. She flat out told me that she would refuse to call her Ellyette and would only call her Ellie Mae. I believe her exact words were, “I don’t care what anybody else calls her, I’m going to call her Ellie Mae and only Ellie Mae. Sorry if you don’t like it.”

And that my friends, is where I draw the line. First off, I’m not a huge fan of the name Ellie. But if that is what she wants to be called when she is older, then so be it. But Ellie Mae? In my opinion, that happens to be the most redneck name on the planet. And being that, “Elly May” is also one of the main characters on the “Beverly Hillbillies,” I think society agrees with me.

My neighbor might think she’s funny, but she’s not. And therefore, I avoid her at all costs. Take that neighbor.

As a parent of baby who has a boy/unisex name, I understand if people assume she is a boy when I tell them her name. Most of the time I don’t correct them, even if she’s wearing a dress. However, there have been a few instances where I am left shaking my head and thinking, really?

Take this picture for example:

Is that a boy in the pink Tankini?

As we went up to thank the lady who took this picture she insisted on touching Ellyette's leg (a little weird), but she had just taken several pictures of my parents with the three of us, so we let her. While she is touching her leg she says. “she’s so beautiful, what is her name?” To which I reply, “Ellyette.” She then says, “is she a he?” To which I reply, “no, she is a she.” But that didn’t stop her from calling her a “he” several more times.

What she looked like from an angle of leg touching.

I was not aware that boys had started wearing pink bedazzled tankinis, but what do I know. Although to her credit, she did have a super-size jumbo gas station jug of questionable contents.

But that incident doesn’t even compare to my bathroom encounter… Three ladies were waiting in line to use the toilet while I was changing her diaper at a restaurant. They started telling me how adorable “he” was and asked “his name.” After I told them they continued to gush all over “him” and even went so far as to tell Ben what a beautiful son he had later on in the evening when they saw him at dinner. The thing was, she was naked from the waste down for a good majority of the time they were talking to me. And I appreciate that they weren’t looking at her girl bits, but they were standing over the changing table staring and complimenting her while they were talking to me.

Pretty unbelievable. Hmmmm. Maybe she will hate me for her name when she is older…Oh well, at least I love it.