Friday, December 26, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I'm pretty sure I told this story one year for Story League. I was in Borders and walked by it and BAM! I was shot right back to middle school Story League meetings. I grabbed the mosquito book, and then began looking for some of my other favorites from childhood.
I am slowly beginning to build up Norah's library, very slowly because books are expensive. I'll have to make more of an effort to run down to the used book store. And as I was walking around Borders today, I became more and more excited to read to Norah, to teach her to love to read.
Anyone want to share some of their favorite childhood or adolescent books?
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Oh Norah. On Wednesday I taught you how to bonk. Bonking is something your Grandpa Al does with his kids, me and all your aunts and uncles on that side. It is a gentle butting of foreheads, a special sign of love, and I wanted you to learn it. So on Wednesday I began bonking you, and within 30 minutes you had caught on. I was pretty impressed to be honest. And now, if the mood is right and there aren't too many people around, I can lean forward toward you, and you will lean your head toward mine, and give me a bonk.
Friday, December 12, 2008
So I poured some Cheerios into one of Norah's bowls, and sat it on the floor in front of her where she was playing with some blocks. I gave her a few from my hand first, so she would know it was something she could eat, and before long she was picking them up with her thumb and forefinger and putting them in her mouth. Of course, she got frustrated quickly and would grab handfuls of Cheerios and then drop them on the floor (another thing Norah is mastering: The art of dropping crap on the floor and then crying that it's gone). I think out of 50 Cheerios, she got maybe 3 into her mouth. But the ones that did make it from her fingers to her trap were met with cheers and clapping from Mama.
So there we were, sitting on the floor amidst some Cheerios, and since I like Cheerios I picked some up off the floor and ate them too. And it was then, when I sat on the carpet eating possibly fuzzy cereal, that I realized how utterly undignified I have become in the past 8 months.
I often wear a pair of pants one day, sleep in them that night, and then wear them again the next day. Sometimes I don't brush my teeth until noon, even if people come to my house. I am not fazed by having another person's snot on my shoulder. I have a vast and intimate knowledge with Norah's poop-in-progress faces and sounds, and when changing her diaper, I regularly check her poop to make sure everything is coming out ok. Last week I saw a chunk of cheese on Norah's cheek when I was putting her down for a nap, and I picked it off her cheek, and without thinking, I popped it in my mouth.
Yeah, that last one is pretty bad.
And I suppose I could get all worked up about these bad habits. I suppose I could make an effort to get up early every morning and brush my teeth and make my bed and...change my pants. But I really think this is just part of motherhood, and for now, I am content to sit on the floor and eat fuzzy Cheerios with my daughter, clapping and cheering as she perfects her pincher grasp.
Monday, December 8, 2008
2. I had to take my sick baby to the doctor with me this morning. Ear-rr-rr-ly this morning. Not for her, though she probably needed the appointment more than me. We had to go get my fat blood checked out again.
3. Even though I had not yet gotten the results from the lab, I left the dr's office and headed straight to McDonald's where I devoured an egg, bacon, cheese bagel and a cup of coffee. Fat blood tastes so good.
4. Then we went back to the dr's office and were finally seen by the dr himself at 9:30 even though my appointment was at 8:45. Alot of good that waiting did me, since the lab still hadn't finished my bloodwork.
5. Teeth! Quit torturing us! Please!
Monday, December 1, 2008
I went that night, and vowed to say at least two words. Two words would be twice as many words as I said the previous week! Progress! So I got all gussied up and was feeling good about myself and my confidence in my trendy boots.
And then I proceeded to unceremoniously bawl in front of a room full of people I have known for approximately 15 days.
I didn't tear up. My eyes weren't misty with emotion. There wasn't a few cute tears tracing lines down my cheeks. All of that is too romantic. I bawled. Make up smearing, nose running, chin trembling, can't talk, gasping for breath BAWLED. It was terrible.
You see, the topic of the night was fear and as soon as I started reading through the handout I said a silent curse-word to myself because I knew right then that I was going to have to talk about Wendi and I was going to cry.
As I tried to explain that night, but was choked off by my waterworks, Wendi's death scared me terribly. Her death was a real punch in the face to me, a woman still under the adolescent impression that I Am Invincible. I have a long life ahead of me. I am a cautious person, not prone to high speed chases or pistol duels. But Wendi died, in her youth and with no warning. She wasn't old or sick. Obviously there is no guaranteed safety in life. And oh, I am indeed vulnerable to death's sting.
But even more scary, if Wendi could die, then that means Norah could die as well. And oh dear God, I can barely even say those words out loud.
Wendi died a week after Norah was born, a cruel blow to our absolute euphoria when we were all pleasantly exposed. And I have reacted by holding as tightly to my baby as I possibly can. I think if I hold onto her tight enough that I will be able to protect her, to keep her safe. Yes, I know that is illogical and false. But knowing that does not change anything. Logic has no power in the face of such love and fear.
I have absolutely crazy bouts of anxiety in regards to Norah. Sometimes I lay in bed, awake, terrified that someone has gotten into our house and is going to steal my baby and I will not know and the only way I can get any rest is if I sleep in her room where I can protect her. Sometimes I will be driving and will be hit with a vision of us flying off the road and crashing into the trees. Don't even get me started on SIDS. I suppose my anxiety may not be any more crazy than other mamas', but I cannot fully explain the gut wrenching feelings I get about her.
I was telling Rusty about this one night, and he asked me if I thought it might be a result of me not trusting God with Norah. I think that is certainly a likely cause, because I don't trust Him with her. I don't care how futile that might be. If God allowed Carol to lose her baby, then who is say that He won't allow me to lose my baby? And how can a truly good God allow that? A question as old as sin, but suddenly, the trite responses aren't answering it well enough for me.
And that brings me to an embarrassingly un-graceful outburst at women's group. I am afraid of the question of God's goodness. I am afraid of trusting God to take care of Norah. I am afraid of losing my baby, of having a gigantic irreparable hole ripped into me. And I suppose my crying that night, and my writing this now, are ways I am trying to deal with those fears.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I know some women who never really get into the Boppy thing. They are more than fine just settling in Boppy-less and feeding their babies. But me? I found it nearly impossible to feed Norah if I wasn't comfortable myself, and regular pillows, no matter the number or configuration, never felt right. The Boppy? A velvety soft God send.
I have this particular one, because it matches Norah's room decorations, but they are all the same thing regardless of the cover. Plus it doubles as a place for Norah to hang out.
Now here's the real meat of the post. Soon after Norah was born I tried to nurse for the first time, with no success. She sniffed around and latched on a few times, but didn't stay there. My mom was there helping me, and she didn't seem worried so I wasn't worried, and tried again later, but still with no success. That first night she didn't nurse at all. The next day, same story. She would sniff, try to latch on, but never really got to eat. The nurses asked me how things were going, but I was determined to do it myself. The day continued, still no eating, still not accepting help from the nurses, and it's pretty likely that breastfeeding would have ended up being a serious source of frustration and failure for me if it hadn't been for the timely arrival of one, Jasmine Brown.She walked in, told the nurses we needed a nipple shield, and helped me nurse for the very first time. It was an incredible feeling, Norah all nestled in and content, and we owed it to the fact that Jasmine is one of those friends who can see your boobs and not make you feel awkward about it later on.
I had never heard of a nipple shield in my entire life, so when I got home (and after I laid on the couch for a few days) I started researching them and was confronted with a thousand different warnings. Nipple shields are bad! Your baby will never latch on without one! You'll never really nurse! Burn all nipple shields!
So I promptly freaked out. But Norah, stubborn from the day she was conceived, was all about the shield. She wouldn't eat without it. So I made excuses for a while, and if anyone asked how breastfeeding was going I reluctantly admitted the dependence on the shield, and vowed to myself that I was going to stop using it at 6 weeks.
We used that thing for 6 months. Eventually I just stopped caring about it. Norah was eating, she was healthy and happy and that was most important. If Norah needed a piece of silicone to help her eat, then fine.
For now, that's all I have. I am about to start using some vitamins that increase your supply, so I may update on how effective they are later on. Until then, happy nursing!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
--Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz
I started going to a women's group at Jasmine's church two weeks ago. I spent most of the morning before the first meeting fretting about my hair and my pants and my bag and would I need a Bible? And what about a notebook? And what if they all think I am weird? And what if they ask me to play stupid ice breaker games where you have to make up two lies about yourself and I can never think of believable yet hilarious lies? And what if I just go ahead and puke now and get it all over with? I spent at least half an hour arguing with myself over whether I should call Jasmine and tell her I couldn't go. I did go, but was just a big ball of anxiety the entire drive there.
I get nervous around new people. It's like I suddenly become very large and gangly and don't know what to do with my limbs, so I fidget and fumble around trying to find a way to get my suddenly gigantic hands into my now too small pockets. I worry that people will scrutinize my clothes and my hair and that infuriating blackhead that has been on my chin for the last 7 months. I worry that my comments will be met with the agonizing silence that often accompanies a bad joke. I worry that people will leave thinking "Dude. That Sadie girl was weird."
So I often waste an entire first meeting with people, fidgeting and distracted and very very quiet.
I very much like to stay at home or with people I already know. It's easier. It's more comfortable. I feel safer.
I like to be alone, because when I am alone I am always right. I am always the best, the prettiest, the wittiest, the smartest, the one with the best clothes, the one with the perfect-est baby. When I am alone, I can do my thing without worrying that I will upset or offend or get in the way of anyone else.
But because Jasmine is the kind of friend who refuses to let me sit at home, wrapped up in my own cool thoughts and fused to the couch, I have learned that being alone has its place. And so does being with others. I have learned that always being right leads to arrogance and inflexibility. I have learned that always being safe gets boring. I have learned that being alone lends me to self-righteousness and self-absorption. It is good to be with others. The family of God is a messed up, crazy family, but heavens, it is good to be in this family.
So I went to women's group two weeks ago. It was uncomfortable and mildly terrifying. I fidgeted alot, I think I maybe only said one word, I worried about my clothes and my hair and that stupid blackhead. And apparently, my internal and hidden feelings were clearly visible on my face (how embarrassing).
I am apprehensively excited about this week.
Now that I am no longer pregnant, strangers open doors for me much less frequently. Weird, because when I had two available arms I rarely had to open doors, but now, when I am lucky to have one available arm what with the baby, diaper bag, stroller, blanket, extravaganza that I usually lug around, people seem oblivious to my need.
So, the intrepid mother that I am, I have learned to open and close doors with my butt.
The other day I was returning home from yet another rainy shopping trip. I pulled into the garage and started taking out my 8 bags of stuff. Fully loaded, I shut my car door with my arm, but didn't get it all the way closed. So I swung my butt into the door, a fluid motion that closed the door and kept me walking toward the house, but apparently my butt is alot bigger than I thought. Not only did I shut the car door. I also left a rather large dent in the door.
I'd better be careful what kinds of doors I open with my butt from now on. I would hate to bust the glass in the Gap's door.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Jasmine tagged me in a 6 random things meme, and I am not one to stop a perfectly good meme, so here we go (though narrowing down the long list of random things about me to just 6? Could be tough).
1. When I was pregnant I only threw up three times. Twice because I accidentally gagged myself while brushing my teeth. The only food aversion I developed was to chicken salad sandwiches. I nursed a serious love for steak, cereal (but only at night) and that pudding that is layered-chocolate and fudge. Toward the end of my pregnancy I ate at least one pudding cup a day. Then I had Norah, and I still had a bunch of pudding cups, so I tried one and EW. Abosolutely disgusting now that I am no longer knocked up. Pregnancy is weird. There is still one lone pudding cup hiding in my cabinet. I will probably eat it one day, thinking that it will be tasty and I will be sorely disappointed.
2. I cannot bring myself to buy the same kind of shampoo twice in a row. I am very brand specific when it comes to chapstick, toothpaste, deodorant, baby wipes and to some extent, lotion. But the shampoo kills me. I simulataneously dread and love shampoo shopping. I dread it because I can never decide what is most important to me: shine? texture? volume? straightness? moisture? curl? will my hair ever be curly? anti-frizz? Why can't they just make shampoo that will give you perfect Blake Lively hair, no matter where you started? And why do they have to make the bottles so pretty and cause me to freak out with the possibilities? However, everytime I buy a new bottle, I can barely control myself long enough to finish the one I already have in my shower. I just love using new shampoo.
3. I love making Norah's baby food. I have only bought one jar of canned baby food, and it was prunes. I never thought that I would be the mom that actually enjoyed making baby food given that I hate making grown-up food. Motherhood has done strange things to me.
4. I harbor a deep admiration for Somerset Maugham and like to pretend that we are friends, on a first name basis. I have read The Razor's Edge probably five times, and each time I fall in love with Larry and Isabel and Edward Templeton.
5. When I was little I never matched. Seriously, never. Not much has changed.
6. I think I would like to own a bookstore/coffee shop/junk store so I can sell all the things I love: old books, coffee and tea, and old used crap that someone else threw away.
I tag: Noah, Matt, Lauren, and Katy.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I am apparently still out of words. I thought they were back, but I was wrong. Oh well. So I stole this from my friend Noah, just to put something up here, so people don't think I am dead.
(On a completely unrelated side-note, my computer is acting very strangely. While I am typing, the cursor will randomly move to another place on the screen, which is really obnoxious because it messes everything up. I'm not sure if my stomach bulge is accidentally pressing the mouse again, or if my computer is just old and weird. Do any of you know anything about mouses? Mice?)
Anyway, here's the deal.
Leave your name and:
1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
3. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
4. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
This should be fun. However, if 9 million people start responding to this I will probably stop, because really, I have lots of things going on in my life and I don't have time to sit around responding to 9 million people. Or maybe, I just lose interest in things very quickly.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
And for the most part, I handled her cold well. Until last night. The culmination of fever, nose bleed, putting the humidifier in her room,, and her waking up at 10:00 shrieking from a disgusting dirty diaper made all those stupid anxieties that I have gotten better about, come firing right back at me.
What if her fever spiked in the night and I didn't know it? What if her nose really started bleeding? What if she was humidified to death? If I could get through just one week without worrying about that baby, it would be a miracle.
I was all worked up last night, and stayed up watching Dr Drew for far too long, so when Norah woke up at 7 and was ready to go, it was all I could do to roll out of bed and bring her back to my room. I tried to keep her occupied while I snoozed, to no avail. So we got up at 8. Bleh.
All of that is leading up to this: Since I was awake and ER was not yet on, I read my Bible for the first time since...I have no idea. I read aloud to Norah. And then I pulled her in my lap and I held her in her green and pink parrot jammies and I prayed, out loud. And then I cried, for the love and grace that God extends to us sinners, for Him welcoming us back when we have been gone for so long.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Several people told me I should keep the lip ring.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
For example, no one ever explains how you are supposed to go to the bathroom in a public place when you are laden with a non-walking child, a diaper bag, and a shopping cart cover and when the store prohibits carts being brought into the bathroom (as if you could even fit that gigantic cart through the tiny door frame and hairpin hallway turns!).
So you, being a woman with less than perfect bladder control since you have had a child, will decide it just has to be done, despite the obstacles. You will hang your bag and cart cover on the tiny, practically useless hook. Then you will undo your pants with one hand, holding your non-walking child with the other. Then you will do your business, all the while holding your non-walking (but conveniently squirmy) child in front of you. Then you'll stand up. Here's the hard part: How do you pull your pants back up with only one hand? And if you get that far, then you will really be stuck with the zipping and the buttoning. So you will make the executive decision to leave the stall with your pants undone, saunter over to the changing table where you can safely deposit your child, and then, sans baby, put yourself back together. And if anyone happens to be in the bathroom when you do this, you can comfort yourself by remembering that time when a roomful of strangers saw you naked from the waist down.
After putting yourself back together you will change your baby's diaper with no trouble, because you are quite adept in the changing diaper arena. But when you reach to throw the diaper away you will accidentally knock your cart cover into a puddle of something (surely just water) on the floor. So much for protecting the kid from germs. And finally, you will want to punch your own self in the face when you leave the bathroom, winded and breathing heavily, and see a sign that reads: Family Bathroom Located in the Pharmacy for Your Convenience.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
You are six months old. An entire half year has gone by since your birth. It seems that nearly every woman around me is pregnant and this makes me a little nostalgic for the days when you were a newborn, when you were tiny and wore preemie clothes and did nothing but sleep and eat. Sometimes I hold you like you are supposed to hold new babies-sideways in my arms-and say silly things like “Oh my little newborn! You are my littlest newborn! All you do is sleep and eat and you are smooshy and tiny!” and you, for whatever reason, think this is hilarious. You tolerate me for a few minutes, but then you begin doing your crunches, lifting your head and straining to sit up.
You aren’t my little newborn anymore. You are my big girl who can sit by herself, eat solid food, and has a gigantic personality. Oh, I just love you.
I would like you to take a moment to appreciate the technologically advanced era into which you were born. Back in my day, we didn’t have fancy phones that took video and pictures. We didn’t have online journals for people to spill their junk. In fact, we didn’t even have electricity! (Ok, that last one was a lie). But really, I have never seen a video of myself as a baby. However, I happen to have a few videos of you as a baby, and I would like to share one, so that one day when you are all big and grown up, you can look at this video and see what you were like when you were mostly bald, and toothless, and wore a diaper.
I like that video because it gives an accurate picture of what you are like. You are crazy. And loud. And hilarious. It took everything I had to keep from bursting out in laughter and ruining an otherwise glorious live shot of your vocal cords in action. And, your hair grows straight up from the top of your head.
Norah I just know that one of these days you are going to start crawling, and you aren’t going to give me any warning. You’ll just stick your legs underneath yourself, and start moving. Probably toward the cat because you lo-ooo-ve the cats. I am requesting now, that before you start crawling for the first time, you give me a little warning shriek of some kind, just a little something so that I know I need to prepare myself. When you do these big things, like rolling over for the first time, or sitting by yourself for the first time, and you don’t give me any warning, I get so excited that my heart starts to hurt and my voice turns all squeaky. So, prior to the crawling, let me know. You’re close, you stick your face in the carpet and put your butt in the air and you move forward a little bit, so I know it’s coming soon. (By the way, mobility with your face stuck in the carpet is not the way to go. You really don’t want to have carpet burns on your face when I take pictures of you crawling.)
We are also working on saying “Mama” because jiminy cricket, I am the one that changes all the sweet potato diapers, so I am the one who gets to be named first!
Recently, Norah, we have been spending a lot of time with Jasmine and Garrett and Isaiah, or collectively, the Browns. I need you to know what a good part of our lives they are, because when you are 15 years old and I am (…let me count here…) 37 years old and we are both still alive, it will be in large part because of Jasmine.
I won’t lie to you Norah, being a mama is hard work. The daily cycle of feeding, diapering, playing, napping and starting all over again can really make me feel very disconnected. Like I am all alone in this big world of parenting. That’s pretty silly, given that I have plenty of people here and at home in Roswell who are with me, who love me, and who will help me when I need it. Jasmine reminds me that I am not alone, and by her reminding me of that and by her willingness to help me when I need help, I remember that I can also call your G-Ma or your Gia or your Grammy if I need someone. She reminds me that it is good to stay connected with the people I love, like your Aunts Sara and Audrey and Amie or your Uncles Tristan and Ben. Having a good friend nearby to help keep me grounded and in reality is making me a better mama and I am so very grateful for that.
All my life I have wanted a friend with whom I could really share my life, and because Jasmine and I are in the same life stage, live close to one another, and share some uncanny likenesses, I feel like she and I can share our lives. And part of that involves helping one another raise our kids. She snuggles with you and makes you laugh (dude, you love Jasmine) and I like to give Isaiah the cucumbers from my plate.
Norah, I sincerely hope that when you are big, you will find a friend like Jasmine. She has become priceless to me.
Little girl, you are 16 pounds and 27 inches of pure love. You have started sucking your thumb and holding your ear just like I used to do, and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. It amazes me, that even though you are only 6 months old, you and I have some similarities. I hope that I can be a woman that you will want to be like.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Saturday- Sadie is cooking and facebooking. What is the world coming to?
I recently found out that I have high cholesterol. After hearing the news I first convinced myself that it was a fluke, that breastfeeding and pregnancy had caused a spike and clearly I was fine. Then I convinced myself that there had been a mistake, and like Jasmine said, I was getting the results for some 56 year old man's tests and he was would get a phone call saying his breastfeeding was going fine.
Sadly, no. I truly have high cholesterol, way too high for a woman my age and in my physical condition (you know, all athletic and muscular and in shape...) so I really do have to make some changes in my diet. THANKS ALOT GENETICS! You have given me sideways growing hair, dark undereye circles and fatty blood. Next time I see you, remind me to kick you in the shin. Gone are the days when I called Ramen noodles and Oreos a well-balanced meal. In the name of Not Having A Heart Attack in 10 Years, I am really trying to eat more veggies and fruits, more whole grains, less red meat, so on and so forth.
Don't let me make you think that I have to go on some kind of tasteless, cardboard diet. In fact, the foods I have been eating the past week are really delicious: Roasted sweet potatoes, baked chicken and wild rice, asparagus, whole grain bread, dark chocolate. I just have to cut back on steaks, burgers, fried foods, whole sticks of butter and heavy whipping cream. Sad, I know.
But the really ironic part of this whole fat blood thing, is this: Last week I was making this huge deal about how I don't like to cook, I hate to cook, the very thought of cooking makes my heart cringe. And you know what! I don't intend to change! I can be a good wife and mother without loving to cook. It is an outdated and sexist system that makes women think they are only worth their skill in the kitchen! And just for that I'm not going to cook anything that takes longer than three minutes to prepare! HAHAHA!
Funny thing is, heart healthy food does not come pre-packaged. So we find ourselves with Saturday's status, when I was standing in the kitchen with a spatula in one hand, typing on facebook with the other.
Monday- Sadie is going to punch the guy behind her if he calls his wife one more mushy name like "angel girl". PUKE.
I was having a homework emergency and needed to use a book that is on hold in the school library. So I trekked all the way to school only to find that the book wasn't actually there. Never one to waste a trip to the library, I sat down at one of the computers to try and wade my way through some statistics homework using the infinite wisdom of Wikipedia. I hate statistics, for the record. I enjoy my major, think psychology is awesome and good and particularly enjoy abnormal psych. But anything having to do with statistics? Death on stale toast. Which is why I intend to use my degree to stay at home and psychologically analyze my children.
So there I was, drowning in z scores and Spearman-Brown split half reliability scores and SEM when the guy behind me answers his cell phone. Annoying enough, since I lost everything I had just read about reliability coefficients in that first ring, but when he answered it with "Hey Angel Girl", I knew it was going to be a rough conversation to live through. He proceeded, talking to his wife in a high pitched love-y voice and called her Baby, SweetFace, and Angel Girl one more time before mercifully ending the conversation.
I contained my simultaneous nausea and rage since he had stopped talking, and was just about to decipher other wonky coefficient when his phone rang again. Again with the Angel Girl. And this disgusting name calling continued until I, in an effort to refrain from reaching behind me and jabbing my finger in his eye socket, updated my facebook status.
Never in my life have I been so sickened by another person's pet names. But it was pretty bad.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
And I couldn't help it. My heart leapt from my chest, jumped across the highway and splatted itself on the windshield.
Now I am in love with a used car.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
That is nearly six months of feeding Norah roughly every three hours from 6am to 8pm and once or twice from 8pm to 6am. I really hate math, but if you would like, go right ahead and figure how many breastfeeding sessions Norah and I have been through. It would be an approximation, of course. As I said before, I really hate math, so I will approximate that Norah and I have been through A Stinking Lot of breasfeeding sessions.
Given that I have been through A Stinking Lot of breastfeeding sessions, I would like to share some of the things that have helped me survive these past six months, six months of being Norah's number 1 source of food, because honestly, in spite of all it's good, breastfeeding can be really hard.
So now that I have babbled on for way too long, I offer:
First, the issue of breastfeeding in public.
Norah has an obnoxious habit of getting a mouth full of milk and then dumping it down my side, so I am often sticky and have breastmilk pants. I am fully stocked with burp rags because of her penchant for puke so I always try to stick one underneath her head to catch her dribbling.
That's it for Part 1! Next I'll discuss my Boppy, my breast pump, and my wonderful precious and fabulous nipple shield. For now, happy nursing!