If only I’d bought futures in batteries a long time ago…

May 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm 2 comments

I’d be rich, really rich.

Who would have thought that in the year 2012, the world, as we know it, would still run on AA and AAA’s (oh, and those super expensive rectangle ones that power the fire alarm and almost always fail in the middle of the night).  Yep, if I’d put my money on that little Energizer Bunny years ago I wouldn’t be so bound to that Jive Software IPO (go Jive!) and would already have opened my bagel store/lil’ white dog kennel, on the beach, in the Seychelles. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

Relaxing to my “Calming Vibrations”

Based on my current (albeit limited) experience as an official mom to a real kid (and not just a dog) I’ve estimated that I average about twenty-six batteries on any given day just to maintain my own sanity.  Admittedly I may be on the high end of “normal” due to the fact that I (accidentally) leave the “Calming Vibrations” Rumble Seat on full throttle all night, most nights, but Rumble Seat aside I would still go through a LOT of darn batteries.

Before I break it all down for you using one of my signature (completely unsubstantiated) formulas, I wanted to first list some of the key offenders to familiarize you with the plight of a battery dependent new parent.

1) White-noise maker set to “Ocean”; 4 AA’s. This little dream maker (literally) has been lulling Rex into his, (at most) 2.5 hour “naps” for the last several weeks.  It has spared us from constantly making that “shhhhh-shhhhhh-shhhhh” sound that they tell you about in all the newborn classes (that I didn’t attend) and allows you instead to focus on more meaningful conversations such as the consistency of his last “poopie”. There are multiple settings on this puppy but Rex only likes “Ocean”.  “Summer Night”, “Rain”, “Waterfall” appear to be too mainstream for his discerning taste.  Sometimes Rex even goes so far as to crank “Ocean” up to its highest setting while he sleeps, not sure how, but he does; gifted preemie I guess.  To be honest at this point, I’m just happy he can hear, long story.

2) Baby Monitor; 6 AAA’s. This monitor offers us peace of mind while we continue to break all the “baby sleep position” rules that they tell you about before you leave the hospital; yep, we’re those parents, would you expect anything less?  Basically the monitor “sounds the alarm” the moment the baby stops moving, or the dog barks at a squirrel, the earth’s axis rotates just so, a piece of dust floats by the sensor, it’s a Sunday…you get the picture. It will also “alarm” when I leave it set to video, a setting that quickly drains those lucrative batteries.

3) Little Lamb Swing; 4 D’s.  For that many batteries I’m not sure why we bother as Rex wants nothing to do with this swing and let’s us know that in no uncertain terms. I guess this was one of those purchases where, just like with the binky, I was living vicariously through our baby.  If they made a “BIG (person) Lamb Swing” I’d be all over it. On that note, if it were socially acceptable for a grown woman to suck on a binky, I’d be all over that as well.

Hard at work in the gym, tummy time and all.

4) Ocean Adventure Gym; 3 AA’s. “Working out” to a baby seems to mean rolling around on ones tummy in your jammies, crying and subsequently spitting up. I’m not altogether sure how this is meant to help them shed that “baby weight” but whatever; I guess it isn’t their top priority. The batteries are required to power the bouncing turtle light up toy that plays the annoyingly repetitive jingle, which acts like baby catnip. You’d think in the very least that with modern technology someone would have at least improved the acoustics on the turtle, but nope, guess not.

5) Portable Breast Pump; 8 AA’s. Yes, 8! The only thing that keeps me stuffing EIGHT AA’s in there is the fact that I can accomplish this excruciatingly awful task (yes, I admit it, not a fan) while changing a diaper, eating breakfast, brushing my teeth and/or even driving. Yep, you heard me, driving. I figure as long as I’m not texting, pumping and driving I’m good. Not sure how I would explain myself if I were ever to be pulled over though…. Eh, at least it would make for a good blog post.

With just those five devices, I have accounted for twenty-six precious batteries of varying sizes.  As a “power user” (or just a neglectful one who forgets to hit the ‘off’ switch) I can expect each set to last (at most) three days. So bear with me as I explain to you why you (kid or no kid) should invest in the sacred battery.

The number of babies born each year is down as a result of the economy, the latest birth count is holding at approximately 4,055,001 (I added Rex in there since they probably forgot to add him since he was early and all).  I think we can all run these numbers in our head but I’ll lay it out for you here:

(4,055,001 * 26(batteries)) * (365 / 3(days))  = 12,862,463,172

12,862,463,172 batteries just to get our American born (I only had time to Google one statistic before Rex needed his one batteries recharged again) kids to their first birthday! (Rex’s first birthday is going to be a “pink party”, stay tuned for more info on that next year!) Multiply that against the rising cost of a “AA” and you are looking at approximately $38,609,043,800 or the presumed cost of Rex’s 45-day stay in the NICU.

Clearly I could have made a killing in batteries awhile back but instead I decided to get myself a dog.  Oh well, at least Dane had the foresight to buy us $200 worth of rechargeable batteries when Rex was born.  At the time we both thought it was a little excessive but clearly have come to use every single one of ‘em.

Aside from going through batteries like no ones business, life at home with Rex has been, uh, (searching for a way to put a positive spin on this one) a learning experience. Apparently babies cry, a lot, which was news to us. We were pretty sure they just sat around smiling and coo-ing and when it came time to change their diaper, were totally amenable to it. Rex’s idea of a “coo” is more like a “hawah-haWAH-haWAH!” or the more subtle “wah-ah-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”.  Both appear to mean “I’m hungry” but that is still anyone’s guess.  Dane and I went so far as to import a product called “Colief” out of the UK, which has really calmed him down (as I type this Rex can be heard screaming in the background, oh well).  As for the diaper change, its still a wrestling match and I’ve been “pottied on” more times than I can count.

Rex continues to keep us on our toes as far as his wants and needs.  He does not believe in repeatable processes so while swaddling him soothes him one day, he will be the anti-swaddle the next day.  I often find myself frantically cycling through about sixteen different positions, two nursery rhymes and a Taylor Swift song until I find the solution for that particular moment. And yes, even though Taylor Swift is like twenty years older than Rex we’d be totally cool with it if he decided to date her one day.

Rex is now 2 ½ months or just over 4 weeks corrected. When people ask me how old he is I have decided that the least path of resistance is to just give his adjusted age.  People will then proceed to compliment me on how mobile I am so quickly after birth which makes me feel kinda guilty since it’s been way longer than 4 weeks but whatever, a little white lie never hurt anyone! He is now over 8lbs putting him squarely in the 50th percentile for his age. He can still squeeze into a newborn diaper, but sometimes after a big meal we have to loosen the adhesive a smidgen so I’ve opted to move him into a “1”.  We have cruised through a couple of pediatricians thus far but I think Rex has taken to the latest one as Rex has “marked him as his own” during a routine physical.  As for the heart surgery, we continue to wait but I just think they are trying to push it into 2013; New Year, new deductible and all.

Rex totally enjoying the fact that mommy is making him into a piece of art. (one of those things you do ONLY with the first kid)

As for the dogs the novelty of a new baby has long since worn off. Myles no longer sits with me during the nighttime feeds; instead he uses it as an opportunity to curl up in the warm spot on the bed where I had just vacated.  (Neither of us have the energy to kick the dogs off the bed anymore)  Myles has even gone so far as to drag me to UC Davis in the middle of the night for an inflamed lymph node on his back right paw. Shaking and whimpering the whole way I was sure it was something pretty major but by the time we got back home (at 4AM) Myles was ready to party. Thank you Myles, there are better ways to get mommies attention. As for Floyd, he generally just steers clear of us all until it is time to lick the spit-up off the floor. At least Floyd serves a purpose.

It’s been a long month but it’s also been a pretty amazing month. I keep waiting for the moment that everyone talks about where you wake up and realize the kid just slept through the night. Maybe at that point I will stop accidentally diapering him absorbent side up? But maybe then things just start moving too fast and so I should just slow down and enjoy the 1, 3 and 5AM feedings. At least I’m there to watch them deliver the paper in the morning.


Entry filed under: Rex. Tags: .

Introducing the “Rexy-Plex”… Sometimes you just gotta slow down and read a book….

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Grand Ma Self  |  May 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Again–entertaining and well-written blog, as always! Rex is too adorable. Remember, all I want for Mother’s Day is a hookup and a schedule with Skype. It is the best a Grand Ma living in Maryland can hope for. I swore I would NOT get YOU a Mother’s Day present–like you insinuated you should get (it doesn’t work that way, dear), but perhaps I might relent and send you a case of batteries. Which would you prefer: AAA, AA or D’s? I don’t think cases come in assorted….
    Happy Mother’s Day, Daughter/Mom! Next year by this time, you ALL will be sleeping through the night. I promise. XOXOXOXO

  • 2. Sarah  |  May 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Hang in there! The worst time of babies is 6 weeks after their due date. After that, the crying subsides and sleep periods lengthen 🙂 love your blog – xxx


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