My Breast Pump Talks to Me, and Other Tales of Sleep Deprivation

I’ve heard from other pumping moms that I’m not the only one who hears words and phrases from my breast pump. In fact, I talked to a dad who swears he hears things too when his wife is pumping. It’s a good thing I’m not alone in this, because otherwise I would diagnose myself as delusional.

This is my running list of what the pump says:

  • Strike a pose
  • Let it go
  • Turn the page
  • David Bowie
  • Tutti frutti
  • Liquid gold

Sleep Deprivation 101

You know you’re sleep deprived when…

…you stare at a red light for a few seconds and think, does that mean I should start driving?

…you stop caring how many episodes of Peg+Cat the 3yr old has watched.

…frozen meals start sounding like a good dinner option. That, or just chips and salsa.

…it takes too much energy to change the radio station when Mannheim Steamroller comes on for the 349th time.

…even though you wrapped the presents, you can’t remember what you’re giving your mother or brother-in-law for Christmas.

The 2014 Librarian Gift Guide

Do you have a librarian or book lover in your life? This gift guide will help you pick out a wonderful and unique present for her. Need a birthday gift? Anniversary gift? Christmas present? Check out these great gifts below (and husband, if you’re reading this, I’ll take one of each!).

Need more ideas? Here’s two other librarian gift guides from years past: Librarian Gift Guide Part 1 and 2.

Check out this Mockingbird bird house. How meta! ($120)Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 12.50.04 PM

Card catalog curtains? Yes, please! ($17.95)

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Get comfy with a good book and good book pillow. ($9.99)

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This map of literary Britain and Northern Island would look great framed on an office wall. ($18.82)

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And what about t-shirts? Every librarian needs a few good tees to show off her love of books! I love this ode to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. ($26)Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 1.00.54 PM

And finally, I love this reasonably priced duvet from Ikea. ($19.99)

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Get on Board the ZooLights Train

The train is back just in time for ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo!

The ZooLights TrainOur 3-year old is a big fan of trains and he was thrilled to learn that the train was ready for ZooLights this year. Pro tip: get to the zoo at 4 p.m. when ZooLights opens and go directly to the line for the train. Even though the first train doesn’t leave until close to 5, your wait time will be dramatically decreased. We only waited 15 minutes for the train after arriving around 4:15. And yes, it’s dark enough by 5 to enjoy the full experience.

Don’t expect a long train ride, though. I heard a few teenagers complain, “I waited in line for that?!?” but I don’t think the train ride is geared for that age group. It’s a long enough ride for toddlers and parents, including parents carrying a very small baby in a baby carrier when it’s 20 degrees out.

It was really, really cold the night we visited and the indoor animal exhibits were a nice break from the chill. Even though most of the animals are hiding out of sight at this time of day, we were able to see elephants, monkeys, fish, turtles and bats. Even though you walk a lot to see all of the lights, bundle up! I had five layers on top and two on the bottom and I was still cold, even though I was carrying a baby. We opted to leave our stroller in the car (even though there is stroller parking for the time you’re on the train) and by the end of our visit, my husband was carrying our 3-year old, who had just had enough. Next time, I’ll bring the stroller.

Once again, the light tunnel was my favorite. The light exhibits are truly spectacular. I wish the artists that put together these exhibits would come visit and put lights on my house! It’s amazing how festive lights make me feel. And even though it was cold on the night we visited, it wasn’t raining! It’s the season of counting our blessings after all.

You have one more day (December 11) to enjoy a BOGO offer on ZooLights admission. Just ask for the deal at the gate by mentioning one of the sponsors: Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, the Oregon College Savings Plan, or Banfield Pet Hospital.

*Disclaimer: I received complimentary zoo and train tickets for my family during media appreciation nights at the zoo. All opinions expressed are my own.

Christmastime is Here

An infant and no-napping 3yr old have put a slight damper on my Christmas plans. I had a whole list of things we were going to do this month, based on my lists of years past. (A Very Merry Portland Christmas from 2013 and Spreading Christmas Cheer Part 1 and 2 from 2012.) I even had a schedule planned out for each weekend. So far, we’ve only made it to ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo and visited Santa and his reindeer. This weekend we have plans to decorate a gingerbread house and go on the Polar Express.

My aspirational list also includes:

And someday, maybe even next year, I’m taking Future President to see The Nutcracker.

Coffee Needs Water to Brew

This morning I turned the coffee to “on” without pouring water in first and watched as nothing happened for a long, agonizing few seconds before realizing the carafe was sitting by the sink full of water.

I am SO TIRED.

This morning I posted on Facebook about the delirious, midnight essay composed in my head about the patriarchal conspiracy that is the pro-breastfeeding movement that’s meant to keep woman so sleep deprived we’re slightly insane and never fully function as normal humans after having kids.

I told my husband and he said, “How does sleep deprivation benefit men?” Oh, honey. Just nod and smile.

Of course I got sympathy from other moms. We’re all in this together but exhaustion is so isolating. How is it possible to explain to your husband that it’s not always possible to sleep when the baby does? That dinner doesn’t magically appear? That laundry doesn’t fold itself? That the world’s noisiest baby keeps you up all night even when he needs nothing?

I have tried everything I can think of: swaddling tightly in that Velcro straight jacket, using the humidifier, leaving a light on, putting a hat on him, burping him and burping him. Nothing helps. He grunts and groans most of the night.

I’m serving the eviction notice this weekend.

Thankful

Today I am thankful for family. On Saturday at Junior’s baby dedication, we’ll have family at church from Idaho, Colorado and California.

I am thankful for the pecan pie I bought at Costco because I didn’t have to make it and it was delicious.

I am thankful for stretchy jeans and flowy tops because I ate my share of carbs and then some.

I am thankful for the stranger at the Turkey Trot 5k who told me I was inspiring for walking with my 3yr old in the stroller while carrying my baby and the nice, empathetic comments I got from other moms when I had to stop half way to nurse. The kindness of strangers has restored my faith in humanity. And now I’m heading out to shop, where I’m sure the worst of humanity will appear.