Friday Night Leftovers- Newborn Edition 

•Babies eat a lot. So often. 

•Ryan has finally started to ride his little balance bike around. It’s adorable. He’s always favored his little plastic cars but all of a sudden, he’s pro bike. I love it. 

•I am delighted to be back in the time of pajamas with animal feet and things on the butt. She’s wearing fox pajamas with fox feet right now. (They are way too big but someday they will fit and her feet will actually be in the fox feet and it will be perfect.) 

•Baby carriers are the best. I have been using my K’Tan and it is awesome. Once it fell out of the car seat in the garage and when we got there, I didn’t have it and I had to carry the car seat around and it was terrible. 

•This baby hates having her clothes and her diaper changed. It’s too cold and she prefers to be warm and held and permitted to sleep at all times. 

Why Breastfeeding is Not Free 

Often you will hear the argument that breastfeeding is free. Many more intelligent people than I have written that this is only true if a woman’s time is worth nothing, as it is certainly very time consuming. Which is absolutely true. But I also argue that it has a monetary cost as well- more food. 

For rough estimates, women are advised to consume an extra 500 calories per day. In a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s an extra 25%. (Obviously, these are kind of random numbers and won’t be valid for everyone, but go with me here.) Where do all these “breastfeeding is free” people think these calories are coming from? I have to buy that extra food. 

For example, I just ate dinner. We had ham, rice, broccoli, and cauliflower. It was delicious. I ate my normal amount of dinner. But while I was making dinner, I ate a bunch of fruit. And after dinner, Matt went out and got me a cheeseburger and three chocolate chip cookies. (He actually brought me two dozen cookies. But I only ate three right now.) 

This is not free. 

Best Big Sister

Last night, Elizabeth and Matt were in the big bed and I brought the baby up to them so I could get ready for bed. I put the baby on Elizabeth’s chest and went off to do my own thing. When I came back, Matt told me he hadn’t even known Alexandra was there until right before I came back when he asked Elizabeth how she was doing and she answered “she’s fast asleep!” 

Tonight, I needed to make dinner and clean up the house, so I delivered Alex to Elizabeth. 

   
   
She held her and cuddled her the whole time I was cleaning and cooking. Both of them were perfectly happy and quiet and a peaceful baby was waiting for me when I was finished. 

  

The Name

Unlike Elizabeth, who was named before we knew whether she was a girl or a boy, we had more trouble with Alexandra’s name. Ryan was named with something like two weeks to spare. Alexandra was named with something like four days to spare. 

For her middle name, we told Elizabeth ages ago that she could choose it. Basically whatever she liked, though we retained veto power. After we denied her requests to give baby sister the middle name of either Elizabeth or Rose (her own middle name), she got down to serious work and began investigating other options. She decided on a flower name, to match her flower name. She considered pretty much every flower she knew (I immediately vetoed a couple, like pansy and dandelion) and decided her two favorites were Violet and Lily. Then she spent several months debating between those two. 

Matt and I both each had a name front runner. Neither of us loved the other one’s name but we both liked it and declared that we would be happy with it. (I’m holding back the other name in the one percent chance that we end up some day having another child and using it then. Or a cat or something.) So we decided to let Elizabeth pick from both names. We paired the names with Elizabeth’s middle names by which sounded best together, wrote them on a piece of paper, and explained to her what the plan was. Then we sent her into another room and told her to think about it carefully. At one point, we checked in with her to make sure it was going well and she said “well, I can’t read these first names but I can read the middle names and I like those.” So we read them to her again and she went back into isolation and then emerged a few minutes later to declare that her new sister would be named Alexandra Lily. 

 

(This picture included because this was what we were doing when we decided to let Elizabeth make the final choice on baby sister’s name.)