Friday, December 21, 2012

A year in review

So this post is about a month late, but since being back at work full-time I find that I barely can find time to shower, let alone blog. And since I work in an office, the showering has to take priority over the blogging. We celebrated the Babe's first year back in November and it's amazing how far we have come. We went from being terrified parents to... okay we are still are little terrified at time, but at least we seem to have a bit more knowledge under our belts. In the spirit of the holidays and the recognition of what little time everyone has, I'll share my observations in a bulleted list for ease of reading:

  • If the baby is crying, it's probably hungry. Especially if it's under 6 months. For months I would try to figure out the routine of sleep, eat, play and try to source the Babe's crying to gas or boredom or overheating or underheating but in the end, almost always, if I fed her she would stop crying.
  • Stop worrying about the damned laundry. And the dusting . And the dishes. Those old women who keep telling you they are only babies for such a short time? They are right. You will never look back 20 years from now and say “I wish I spent more time with my Swiffer.”
  • Go out often before you and your baby get on a schedule. Because once you are on a schedule, it’s reruns and laundry while the Babe naps. The allure of a full night’s sleep is always enough to keep me housebound.
  • Go out with your husband/wife/domestic partner more. We had trouble with this. We never wanted to inconvenience anyone, so we rarely asked people to babysit for us, and when we did, we often felt guilty. But the times we did manage to go out together, it was magical (and often involved a cocktail).
  • Babies have a sense of humour. Have a new couch? The baby will spit up on it, 10 minutes after you burp her. Have your hands full of packages and the baby? She will choose to use that moment to climb you like a spider monkey climbs a tree, forcing you to drop everything, groceries included.
  • Stop worrying about cleaning. Seriously.
  • Surround yourself with positivity. I hooked up with an amazing group of women in pre-natal yoga. They were my rocks, my sounding board, my peanut gallery. They never hold back on their opinions and they will drop everything to help me. Latch onto the people who help you be a better parent, through positivity and support, because it will make all the difference when you’re going through the hard times of the first year.
  • Stop wearing your nice clothes, because you will cry when they get spit up/pee/the other one/coffee/formula on them. Wave at them from afar and know that like every long distance friendship, you will see them again someday.

Lastly, know that you know your child. Listen to your mother , your doctor, your friends, but know at the end of the day you know your child and go with your gut. 
Happy New Year everyone!

Photo credit: Natalie Coutu

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mothers and daughters

So I am watching Joy Luck Club, a personal favorite of mine, and I feel there's something I haven't spelled out in my blog. I am a motherless daughter raising a daughter.

I haven't written this post because it is hard. It is not something that I want to write. But it is something that is so consuming, such a part of my everyday life, that I feel like a fraud by not writing about it until now. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that I don't have wonderful amazing mothers of all ages to call on when I am in need. Because I do and they are fantastic and have gone above and beyond for me and our family. But there's something different about it being your mom, the one who raised you, the one who knows your milestones and says "I remember...".

I miss that experience of asking my mother how she handled a newborn, when I first teethed and how she handled my teenage rebellions, of which there were many. Because at 18 I wasn't thinking about asking her how to parent, how to be a role model, and how to be a wife. At 18, I had other priorities. And then, quickly, it was too late.

And to the complicated-ness of our situation that my Dad is no longer with us either, and as a only child there are no brothers or sisters to round out the mix. Any frame of reference to myself as a baby is gone. I deal with it in the only way I know how, voicing my feelings when I am able, cocooning when I am not. A quiet sigh from my mouth as The Babe marks another milestone. A absent reach for the phone to call a number that no longer exists. A swell of happiness when a family member tells a story of my cousins and I as babies. A random drive by of our old house to spark childhood memories. There is something about being able to ask your mom for help and advice that is so calming; I see it in my friends, how they can go from frantic to peaceful with one phone call (and the reverse also, I must admit). It is hard not having that.

Between the time of year (holiday season), the fast approach of The Babe's first birthday,the change of pace by returning to work, and of course, The Joy Luck Club, my emotions have kicked into hyperdrive. Don't worry, the next post will most likely be a return to bathroom etiquette or mealtime woes ;)

But for now, hug your mom or your daughter.

~ H

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Working mom

I'm in my second week back at work and the consistent question I get from friends and family is "how are you doing?". Well, I'm doing o-kay. Not great, but not terrible. Just okay.

I like the work. The work is interesting and right up my alley. It's a new role for the organization, so I have a lot of input as to what my day-to-day looks like. The people are welcoming and friendly and tell me they are happy I am there. Which makes it so much easier to be there.

Where I am struggling is between 6-8am and 4:30-10pm. Because if I thought it was hard to get it all done when I was on maternity leave, I had it all wrong. I continue to be surprised to find, that after picking The Babe up from daycare, coming home, making dinner for her and for us (the adults), playing, bathing and nursing The Babe, cleaning up from dinner, making lunches while my husband puts her to bed, that after all that is done it is 9:15pm and it's pretty much time to go to bed. Those are also nights when I don't have any social commitments. The mornings are also an interesting mix of doing my makeup while telling The Babe not to rifle through the bathroom garbage, a verbal bargaining system to get breakfast eaten, and a dance around a hungry beagle just waiting for toast strips to be casually tossed on the ground.

I want to have special powers where I can freeze time, get everything clean and made, and then restart the time so I can have some semblance of quality time with my husband and The Babe. So far it seems to be limited to weekends, which seem to be filling up pretty fast with grocery trips, family visits and birthday parties. I realize some of this is my own making, but some of it just seems to be the way it is when you work outside the home. I guess I just need to figure out how to balance this stage of our life.

Fingers crossed I get it figured out before we start living off takeout and frozen dinners...

~ H

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My last day

Of maternity leave that is. I have spent the last few days savouring my time both with the Babe and without her. We have gone swimming, taken a few walks, had some playdates with playmates and some major tickle fights. It has been lovely just focusing on enjoying her. It should have been like this the whole time, but a lot of the time I let life get in the way of my own happiness and put tasks over games. It's funny how when you have a countdown on, your priorities change.

I also took some time for me while the Babe integrated into daycare. I used up gift certificates on a manicure and lunch with a friend. I bought new (work) clothes and watched a movie at home. I had my hair coloured and I went to see a show with my husband. Because as of Monday morning, it's just work, family time and soccer for me. It was great to have some alone time and I definitely achieved a lot more shopping without a little one to distract in the changeroom!

The anxiety is still there. Less so about daycare because the Babe seems to be really enjoying herself there. She is napping there and is always climbing on something when I pick her up. More anxious because I miss her already. And because I'm worried about sick days (after reading another mom's post about using up all her sick AND vacation days when her kids got sick) and about the state my house will be in after the first two weeks at work. I desperately want to know that I'll be good at my job, because I so dislike the first week where you're figuring everything out an don't quite have a groove. In my varied work history I have had difference levels of personal/professional disclosure in the workplace and I'm interested to see what the balance will be in this new place.

I want to be able to handle it. I really do. I want to know that I'm making the right decision (I realize I'm repeating this sentiment in a number of posts). But tonight I know that I have spent the last two weeks giving the Babe all my quality time and she will be headed to daycare knowing her mama loves her and misses her during the day.

Wish me luck!

~ H

Monday, October 1, 2012

Back to work

So it's official - I start a new job in two weeks. I'm excited, anxious, worried, relieved and so many more emotions. How will The Babe do in full-time daycare? How will I do leaving her with someone else for more than just a one off? Am I doing the right thing by going back to work? Bah, so many questions!

Due to the fact that my new job works indirectly with kids, I choose not to discuss the specifics of what and where the job is. It is significantly closer to home, cutting my commute from a three hour round-trip to one hour, and it has benefits which was a major factor as my husband is self-employed and is covered under me. The commute was the major reason I began looking for a new role; I couldn't justify spending so much time away from my child if it wasn't be spent at work. The location of my new role is also close to a rec centre, which means I can get some exercise in as well (in theory).

But the mommy guilt, and a few faces who shall remain nameless, have me constantly questioning whether or not choosing to be a working mom is the best thing for my child. How can I know this? I can't! All I can do is try and see what happens. I know that I am passionate about the work that I do, as well as being passionate about my child, and I am content when I am doing the things I enjoy. I love being a mom, but I also love having something for myself and I'm excited to have new things to talk about over dinner.

I'm scared that the Babe won't receive enough attention and care at daycare. Is that a common fear amongst working moms? I trust the daycare provider and I know that socialization is huge for the Babe in order to be a happy human. I'm just nervous to not be with her, because it's been just the two of us during the days for the last ten months. How can I hand her over to someone else and say "here, please don't break her"? When I think about it, I am often reduced to tears.

Whew, deep breath. I just have to try and see what happens.

~ H

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time to find a hobby

Sorry for the delay in posting. My time has been stretched even thinner due to me deciding to, wait for it, play a team sport! I know! Those of you who know me know that I do not have a history of playing on teams. I tend to be a solo exerciser, either running or swimming or occasionally (alright, rarely) heading to the gym to workout. However recently a friend invited me to her soccer team's open practice just for the workout and I ended up really enjoying myself.

My husband and I have talked at length about the importance of putting the Babe in team sports when she is old enough. He grew up playing baseball and hockey and I like the idea of the sense of community and responsibility you learn when playing on a team. But it seemed a bit hypocritical of me to want her to excel in team sports when I myself play none. Well, not anymore!

I had my first game over the weekend and while I didn't magically turn into Christine Sinclair when I hit the pitch, I did manage to not score on my own team or knock one of my teammates down. It was scary heading out onto the field with all these women who have been playing for years and seem so comfortable in the game. It was also scary to try something new and not know if I was going to fail miserably. (Those who know me well have heard about my dalliance into softball and the injuries that followed.) But I did it, and I played almost the whole game until a prior injury sidelined me for the last 10 minutes. So I considered it a personal win and I'm looking forward to my next game. In the meantime, I am watching Youtube videos and borrowed DVDs to learn more skills and positioning so that hopefully next time I don't get hit in the ass with the ball. Again.

~ H

Friday, September 7, 2012

Daycare - the internal struggle

Oh daycare. My daily struggle with my values, my preconceived notions and my Scottish frugality. We are getting to the point where the maternity leave end date is in sight. Which brings forth the question: where are we going to send the Babe to daycare? We have already secured a spot at a nearby centre, but I'm always second-guessing the decision. We chose this daycare because it is close to home, a Montessori-based learning model which will come into play when she's older, has three different rooms so she can stay there until she's 5-years-old, and most importantly I got a great feeling about the staff there when I toured the facility. They rock the babies, hug the babies and give the babies the attention I think they need. So why the second guessing?

It's a little expensive, it's close to home but far from work, and then there's the heartache that comes with the thought of leaving the Babe at all. Everyone told me it's difficult to go from spending 24/7 with your child to heading back to work and leaving them for 8+ hours a day with virtual strangers. But I just didn't know it would be this hard. And I haven't even sent her yet! I myself attended several home-based daycares as a child and for the most part thrived in all of them. There were one or two where it just wasn't a fit, but I'm sure that terribly normal. So I'm not so nervous about the idea of her in a daycare. My husband did not attend daycare, so he doesn't have as much of a frame of reference. There are so many internal debates happening in my head right now it is hard to get another thought in. Back to touring another daycare today, something close to home and just as expensive as the first. Why another you might ask? I like to keep my options open and compare prices. It's the Scottish in me ;)

~ H

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sleep makes you do crazy things

Like bake twice in one day on a summery day. Because you have that much energy so you just say "why not?". A few weeks back we won an online contest for a full sleep consultation from the locally located Winks and Whispers. I was overjoyed! As you can read in previous posts, sleep is, sorry, was, a moving target at our house. Some nights the Babe woke up once for 10 minutes, sometimes four times for 8 minutes each, sometimes twice for an hour each time. I thought I was dying from exhaustion.

After an electronic questionnaire, an hour-long phone consultation, and receiving our personalized sleep plan in the mail, we were ready to go. The goal? To eliminate ALL nighttime feeds AND remove the Babe's soother altogether. I was unsure if it would work, but by this point four cups of coffee was making me jittery and I felt at times like I was losing my mind. But. It. Worked.

It worked so easily I could hardly believe it. The Babe has slept through the last three nights, only waking last night for a 2-minute cry and then back to sleep. I feel like I felt before I was pregnant! I even like my husband again (just joking) ((kind of)). I am so proud of her and of us because it really has been a joint effort between my husband and I.

Now, time to get started on all those Pinterest goals I set during the middle of the night ;)

~ H

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First camping trip

The Babe's first camping trip started off with a bang. Literally. Less than a kilometer past the Vedder Road exit in Chilliwack we blew a tire on the motor home we borrowed for the weekend. Awesome. At least we had food to get us through the two hour wait for BCAA roadside assistance.

When we arrived at our campsite, we rushed to get the Babe down for a nap in the hopes this will start two days of good sleeping. It works, somewhat. She wakes frequently to feed the first night, but goes right back to sleep each time. Can't say the same for me. Staying in a motorhome with my husband, a baby, another couple and a beagle that snores louder than most humans is a bit much to take.

Plus, camping with a baby is hard. Much harder than either myself or my husband anticipated. Because she can't walk or sit at the picnic table unassisted, we were holding her much more than any of us, her included, would prefer to. She's becoming fiercely independent and would rather be crawling and exploring than sitting and playing with Sophie the Giraffe. So being in the pack & play didn't entertain her for long.

Feeding a baby in a motor home is the same as trying to feed a baby in a restaurant which doesn't have high chairs. She sat on my lap as I tried to navigate the spoon towards her mouth while looking at the back of her head. Easy right? Oh, and the motor home is borrowed so I was also trying to get her not to smear food all over the upholstery. Point: Mom. Yes!

I forgot how cold 6:30am is out in the wilderness. I did not pack properly for the Babe and ended up wrapping her in my sweatshirt and a fleece blanket until I could beg a ride to the Walmart a half hour away and buy her the only thick baby sweater they sold, a Joseph & The Technicolour Dreamcoat-esque style one, only in baby girl neon colours. I also bought too big pants, 3 pairs of socks, and two hats. We only had one night left. Safe to say I felt a little bit of Mommy guilt.

We made it through the weekend. Kudos to the couple we were camping with, who do not have kids yet, but didn't say a peep about all the nap times, which meant not entering the motorhome for two hours, or the one hour pack up and hike to the beach with a shit ton of stuff, only to go in the water once, determine it too cold to stay in, and then get out and hike back up to the campsite for, you guessed it, nap time.

Will we do it again? Not this year, as the short summer appears to be drawing to a close. Next year? The jury's still out on that one. But I think the Babe had a good time, so that's all that matters...

~ H

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cutting teeth

It's been a sleepless week or so over here, as the Babe is cutting both her front teeth at the same time. I feel as though I'm walking around in a haze; the most consecutive sleep I've had in about two weeks is three hours. Friends have commented that I seem a little off, and I feel a lot off.

It sucks going to bed every night filled with dread, instead of relief. Wondering how long you've got until those piercing wails wake you up. Hoping tonight is the night your baby decides to join the club of sleeping through the night, only to be disappointed. We had a good thing going for awhile there, only one or two quick feeds in the night and then back to sleep. But now with the teeth, it seems we have entered a new phase of 1am party time. I'm not having it. It's not party time. It's sleep time. Get the memo Babe and go back to sleep.

This lack of sleep is also doing wonders for my marriage. It is hard not to be snippy to one another, just because we're so damned tired. I'm hopeful that once these two top teeth fully break through that some sleep is in our cards. Fingers crossed.

~ H

Friday, August 3, 2012

Your relationship magnified

I haven't yet posted about what happens to your relationship once baby arrives because I hadn't asked my husband if he was cool with that kind of a post. The kind where I tell the truth and say that somedays, not everyday, but somedays having a baby can make your relationship more work than it was before. Your problems, quirks and quarks can easily explode in the pressure cooker mix of lack of sleep, confusing baby cries and self-doubt. An innocent question such as "did you feed her on both sides?" is received as "obviously if you had fed her on both sides she would not be crying now. You should know that by now. You're a bad mother." Yelling and tears quickly ensue, as hormones are running rampant. But we've never had that happen to us ;)

There's the soother debate, the legal guardian "discussion", and the realization that a cleaning fairy does not magically appear when you have a baby. These used to be things we could talk about calmly, but our voices seem to get louder now. All of sudden staying home with the baby can turn into staring at an unkempt house and wanting help. A lot of help. And a maid and a cook. When your partner comes home, those observations have now turned into a list, a discussion and sometimes, a fight. You've read my previous post on lists - I love lists! But when there's things on the list that are not fun or hard to do, those often spark heated debates, more heated then before.

Maybe it's because I'm tired and sore a lot. Maybe it's because not working is unfamiliar to me and I am sometimes resentful of my husband getting to have more child-free time than I do during the day.

I now repeat what I hear in a heated conversation, so my husband has a chance to defend himself or clarify what I *think* he's saying. I try really hard at home. I hired a cleaning lady to come once a month. And I've resigned myself to the fact that the laundry will never completely be all done. Oh well, you can wear the same pair of underwear 4 days in a row right? ;)

~ H

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Come support the Children's Hospital!

Today's post is to let you all know about a fantastic event happening this weekend in Port Coquitlam. Some friends are putting on a humongous garage sale with all proceeds going to the Children's Hospital. I have seen the stuff coming in and there is something for everyone! There will be also refreshments for sale, because it's going to be warm one.

The garage sale runs 9:00a.m. until 2:00p.m. and early birds will be charged double! The address is 3345 Flint Street, Port Coquitlam. For those of you familiar with PoCo, it is across the street from Kwayquitlam Middle School.

"My mom bought this at a swap meet and look at how happy it makes me! Come spend your dineros - it's for the kids people!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Social norms

Today and tonight I had discussions with my daughter about what is socially acceptable. For example: it is not socially acceptable to scream in someone else's car. It is socially acceptable to stare at people in Costco as long as they don't catch you staring. It is not socially acceptable to pull the LAN cord out of the modem for your own enjoyment, especially at other people's houses. It is okay to scream during boot camp, if your mom needs a break. It is not okay to make raspberries with a mouthful of applesauce. It is socially acceptable to choke on your food, but not to throw up in your mom's hand.

And most importantly, it is not socially acceptable to poop in the bathtub. The first time it is funny, yes, and the second time even warrants a little giggle. But the fourth time is just wrong. Wrong!

~ H

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Having trouble staying motivated

With life. With fitness. With sleep training. With budgeting. Apparently with blogging too, judging by the date on my last post. I love starting things. Developing a new project gets my blood pumping. But I always need an extra push to stay motivated. At work I don't seem to have problem, but perhaps that's because no one can fire you from your own life. Add a baby into the mix and now I almost always have an excuse not to finish things. Didn't do the dishes? The Babe was fussy. Forgot to work out for the last week (okay month)? The Babe was teething so no one was getting any sleep, hence the lack of energy to exercise. Haven't blogged in a week? That's because I can't sort out what to blog about. And the Babe was fussy ;) Maybe it's because I'm a Taurus, or a Dog, or a little scatterbrained. Or all of the above. But when the adrenalin wears off, I'm usually the first to hop off the productive bus.

So I have asked for help, because motivation doesn't always solely come from within. I've signed up for stroller boot camp, ugh. Every week for the next month I'll be twisting my mouth into a grimace at a local park. Please help me group fitness instructor, to return to a summer body I can love. I've made a budget and asked the husband to help me work the system I've created. Please help me BabySteals by not posting anything cute or exceptionally well-priced for the next month. I'm blogging tonight while the Babe sleeps, so there's two things done. Please help me readers, by commenting on my posts ;p

~ H

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Making baby food

I love making baby food. It is calming and it brings me peace. I can't eff up the recipe because there's usually only one or two ingredients. I can't overcook it because it has to turn to mush anyways. I like knowing what I am feeding my baby, where it came from and how it was processed. I like that we are trying new combinations, introducing meats, and even cheese! I love that the food is starting to smell like food and less like barf.

The only thing I don't like is the fear. The fear the Babe will hate it. Even worse, the fear she will be allergic to it. We've had one reaction, and now I'm always on the lookout for the slightest pink tinge on her skin or upset stomach. But so far, so good, and she only hates one food - butternut squash. Which isn't my favourite either ;)

~ H

Monday, June 25, 2012


I tend to be pretty straightforward on this blog. I try to be as transparent as possible, because I believe that with honesty comes understanding. But sometimes that can come across as pessimistic. It is always easier to talk about the bad over the good. So today's post is about the good.

The Babe is clapping now. She can even do it on command, if she's not too overstimulated. She can make sounds like "bababa" and she's turning her rolling into her mode of transportation by incorporating a tummy swivel to face the direction she wants to get to. I look at her doing all these things and my heart swells with love. I am proud of her because she is working so hard.

I try to shower the Babe with love. Everyday I tell her I love her and I give her lots of kisses. Sometimes she turns her head at the last minute and they become slobbery ones from her end, which makes me laugh. We start each day with a kiss and a hug because no matter how many times she woke me up the night before, I want her to know that I am happy to see her. I hold her. A lot. Which I am sure could be hotly debated but I don't mind. I like holding my baby, I like having her close to me. Soon enough she will be at daycare all day and I won't get to hold her as much. The Babe is also a big smiler so I try to smile back all the time. I love her positivity and I want to mirror that behaviour.

Yes, teething and solids and sleeping are difficult times that we are trying to make it through without losing our minds. It's not all sunshine and roses and baby coos. But sometimes, maybe even more often than not, it is a little person who looks up at you and smiles and you just melt.

~ H

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Being on time

Pre-baby I prided myself on being someone who was consistently on time. To appointments, family functions and coffee dates with friends. I believe being on time shows a level of respect for the person you are meeting and that you understand everyone's time is valuable. I'll admit, I often judged people who were late, thinking "I got here on time, why didn't you?" And then I became a mother, and those thoughts went right out the window, along with my consistently on-time reputation.

I struggle to get to places on time now. Often. It seems no matter how much time I leave the Babe and I, something throws a wrench in our plans. Making good time getting dressed? A misplaced tiny jacket will foil that. Got her into the carseat with five minutes to spare? That's when a dirty diaper will need to be changed. Getting all my clothes on, her clothes on, teeth brushed and hair tied up in what I thought took 15 minutes? A glance at the clock and I realize my morning routine actually takes 30 minutes. Now I'm running late. A frantic text or phone call goes out, but it's clear I am no longer the timely person I once was.

I get it now. I understand. I am making strides to help lessen the amount of times I am tardy. I make appointments far in advance and put them in my calendar for 15 minutes earlier. I pack the diaper bag the night before (also because of an incident where I found myself with no diapers or wipes in the diaper bag, fantastic). I also do what I feel is the most important thing - I apologize when I am late and hope for understanding. Just because I am still getting the hang of this heading out with baby thing, does not make other people's time any less valuable.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Our waterbaby

The first swimming lesson ended with tears. Tonight's lesson, two months later, ended with tears also. But the difference was that tonight's tears began in the last two minutes of the lesson, when the Babe's tiredness could no longer be ignored. She went from being the only baby who screamed the entire lesson to the happy demonstration baby. She's been dunked over five times and she can make it around the lazy river more than once without crying.

The best part? Her Dad's face when they finish their lessons, successfully and happy. I signed him up so that they could have this time together, just them, without me being directly involved. The first weeks were rough and we questioned whether or not to continue. I questioned whether this was helping or hindering their relationship. But with the splashes and smiles I saw tonight, I'm really glad we stayed with it.

Next week is our last class and I'm a little sad that it is over. We will see if there's another session, and if so, we'll probably sign up again. If not, I'm eager to find another father-daughter for my two Babes :)

~ H

Monday, June 4, 2012

Solids - an update

So we tackled solids a few weeks ago and it's been an interesting run so far. I keep forgetting to buy fruits and veggies to steam, so we often go an extra day on the same item before trying a new one. I've found that making the food is easy, unless you boil all the water out of the pot. That's okay, I didn't like that pot anyway (yes, I did, it was my favourite pot). Remembering to bring food with us when we go out is not really happening so I end up just breastfeeding still. The Babe hates squash and is allergic to cinnamon. The allergy was discovered during dinner when I wiped her face and a red mark appeared where the food had been. Another 811 call ensued, this one less frantic, and we agreed to not try cinnamon again for a few months. She likes carrots and is okay with tart apricots. We've learned that feeding her activates my husband's gag reflex, so mealtimes are a solo sport for me. And dance music makes the food go down faster (doesn't it for everyone?).

Most of all I have learned to be patient. As my husband keeps reminding me, she's only had breastmilk for the last 6 months, so I try not to get discouraged when she doesn't love something the first time she tries it. She is a slow eater, which is something I have learned to appreciate and I've stopped trying to rush mealtimes. We chat, sing songs and in between bites I get her to smile. Today she sneezed with a mouthful of carrots and yams. It was hysterical. Tomorrow we try pears with apricots, and yams for dinner. By Thursday - chicken!

~ H

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The to-do list

Ivan commented on my last post that people never finish their to-do lists. You know what? You're right. I think I have figured out why. I wrote a to-do list and finished most of it, but then realized that I had done other things that weren't on the list. Yes, I have to take back the recycling, tidy the island, vacuum the upstairs and move a flat of pop downstairs. But I also have to make dinner, walk the dog, and load and unload the dishwasher. Those last three aren't on the list because they happen everyday (okay, making dinner happens every second day). But they should be on the list because I still have "to do" them.

So I have begun revising my to-do list writing. I wrote the first list at night, after the Babe went to bed. The next night I transferred what I had not completed to a new list AND I added additional tasks and errands I had completed but weren't on the first list to that first list and I checked them off. Walked the dog - check. Make a salad for a luncheon - check. Moved extra rolls of carpet from my office to under the stairs - check. Felt like I accomplished something - check check CHECK!

It amazing that just writing things down makes my anxiety lessen. If I write down that I'm going to take back the recycling, I feel relived because I know I'm going to do it. If I don't get to it today, that's okay, I'll move it to tomorrow's list. If I don't do one of the tasks for five days, I'll ask someone for help because there's clearly an issue there. Sitting down to watch bad TV doesn't make me feel guilty tonight because according to my list I hosted a class and a luncheon at my house this morning, walked the dog and moved a flat of pop this afternoon, and managed to feed the Babe dinner in her highchair before giving her a bath, a massage and reading her a story.

And then I leave the lists on the counter so that my husband can see them. Because I need outside acknowledgement that I'm getting things done. And so that he can also see the things I've added at the bottom for him to do ;)

- H

Monday, May 28, 2012

More hours in the day

Lately I have felt as though I'm not getting it done. Any of it. My house feels like a bomb went off inside of it, the dishes appear from out of nowhere, and all of a sudden it's time to make dinner again and the thought of cooking a meal is exhausting. I thought we would have gotten the hang of this by now. I thought it would be easier by now.

I have talked to other moms and I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. But why does it feel so overwhelming all of the time? Is it because we moved into a fixer upper that needed more fixing than we realized? Is it because on top of normal housework we also have a dog that sheds like crazy and needs to be walked more than I am walking her now? When did the thought of vacuuming become so tiring? As soon as the Babe goes down for a nap I'm in the kitchen, wiping and sweeping and before I can finish she's up again. I try to work grocery shopping into a walk, but more often than not I forget one key ingredient and it's frozen pizza night again. And I only have one, very good baby. How do people do it with more?

The problem becomes compounded by the fact that I am a very social person and would rather be walking with friends than cleaning. So there are a lot of instances where I have the time but I choose to spend it with other moms getting caught up on what the babies are doing. I become my own worst enemy. This week my mission is to finish the to-do list, and if it means being a little less social than that's what I need to do. Because my sanity may end up depending on it.

~ H

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We have a roller

And I don't know why I wanted her to roll in the first place. Because now she can roll, but only back to front. Which means at 11:30pm and 3:30am we hear screaming coming from the nursery and it's one of two scenarios. One: the Babe is on her front and desperate to get back to her back, or two: she is on her front and has shimmied over in her crib so that both her legs are hanging out of the crib and she is stuck that way. I probably shouldn't find it as funny as I do when I find her this way.

The rolling is bittersweet. I'm happy that the Babe is progressing through her milestones and keeping up with her little buddies. However, (and I'm actually getting a little emotional writing this) it makes me sad because she's growing up, bit by bit. My husband makes fun of me because I tend to mourn things early, such as the end of the weekend. I'm halfway through the workday and I'm sad because although the weekend has not yet begun, I am already anticipating the coming of Sunday night. I feel that way about the Babe. She can't even sit up yet, but already I'm sad that she's no longer a tiny baby.

That being said, if she could figure out how to roll all the way over and not get stuck and cry, I'd be okay with that.

~ H

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Starting solids

We started solids a week ago - well, solids only in that we started giving the Babe rice cereal and then oatmeal, though they are both quite liquidy (liquid-ish?). She will be six months next week and she had started showing interest in our food, so we figured it was go time. I strapped on her bib, sanitized her spoons and expected her to understand that eating cereal means putting your chin up instead of down with an open mouth. No such luck.

She didn't love rice cereal, so after two days we switched to oatmeal and she seemed to hate it less. I spent the next 30 minutes holding the spoon in one hand and her stuffed caterpillar in the other, dancing it in the air while trying to get her to swallow her mouthful. More of the cereal ended up on the Bumbo and her bib than in her stomach, I'm sure of it. This week I attempted squash mixed in, but that was met with a grimace and a locked jaw, so we've paused on the squash for the moment. I'll try again in a day or so, and perhaps attempt food in lieu of a feeding rather than in addition to. Fingers crossed!

~ H

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mom Day

Happy Mother's Day to all my faithful mother or/and daughter readers! Today the Babe giggled, ate all of her oatmeal (yes, we started solids but that's another post soon), skipped her second nap which resulted in a grumpy afternoon, and gave me some awesome smiles.

I also took a moment to remember my dearly departed mother and stepmother who passed away in 2001 and 2009 respectively. Both fantastic women who I miss dearly.

~ H

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First family vacation

Traveling with a baby is an interesting task when you arean A-type personality like me. Not having complete control over a situation canthrow me into a bit of tailspin. So when it came time to jet off to Cancun fora week of sun and relaxation for our first family vacation, you’d betterbelieve I had packed, re-packed, consulted baby travel blogs, stockedup on infant pharmaceuticals and even quizzed my husband about how to best survive theplane ride. Fun right?

To fit with my aforementioned personality, my husband willoften accommodate me and leave the house extremely early, carry everything Ithrow at him (and I do mean throw) and listen to my one-sided conversationsabout all the possible scenarios we could encounter.  So when we boarded the plane, he knew that myanxiety level was high. Red alert high. And when a gum-popping, loud-mouthed19-year-old sat down next to us, chatting with her friend about how manytequila shots she was going to do once they reached their resort, he knew mylevel had just bumped up a notch. Cue the Babe starting to cry and my seat neighbor rollingher eyes. I saw her. She was facing away but I saw her! Since we had begun totaxi to the runway, I began clawing at my nursing tank, scrambling to get theBabe latched for takeoff. I wanted to ensure her ears popped so we wouldn’tstart the trip with a screaming baby. I also oftenexpect my (poor) husband to read my mind. As I fought with my nursing coverwhile trying not to smack the Babe’s head on the armrest as she kicked the girlnext to me he asked if he could do anything for me. “Fix the cover!” I snarledand shot him a dirty look. Now you know how the rest of the six-hour flightwent…

However, once we settled in at the resort, found out ourroom was only 50 paces from the beach and one of the restaurants, and I got theswing of nursing and napping (the Babe, not me, well one day it was me too) onthe beach it turned out to be a very relaxing vacation indeed. We had one dinnerout with the group when the Babe went to bed thanks to long-range walkietalkies and a clear view of our room. I got a night out with the group ofdrinks and dancing thanks to the husband and my Ameda breast pump. We had familyswim time in the pool and the ocean and the Babe loved both types of water.This calmed our fears that she hates swimming altogether. I read 4 books (yes4!) and the husband got to partake in the group sports he loves and I… don’t.I overpacked heroutfits, underpacked her sleepers, had enough sunscreen for her but not enoughsunscreen for us. Sidenote: resort sunscreen is mucho expensive.

We agree: the first family vacation was a resounding success. Welearned a lot – bring a few spare crib sheets because handwashingdiaper-explosion victim sheets sucks; stroller naps on the beach are awesome; andbabies will get covered in sand no matter what. Also, seven days is the perfecttime away number for us – long enough to chill out, but long enough to miss your own bedand washing machine.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Packing for baby

We are getting ready for an upcoming trip and packing for baby has been... interesting. First of all, I started picking out outfits over a month ago in my excitement and now four of them don't fit. We also have to pack all of her diapers as we have opted not to leave the resort we are staying at. Which means lugging 70 diapers and 120 wipes with us. Awesome.

I used to be an over-packer, but have since learned to go with less. However the first trip with baby has me reverting back to my old ways when it comes to the Babe's stuff. I also want to be sure that I have all the supplies I would need in case of: fever, allergic reaction, sun coverage, rain coverage, hats if it's hot, a sleep sack if it's cold, and everything in between. Because heaven forbid I do laundry for the week - I will be on vacation!

We're taking the stroller, the Ergo and a pop-up tent for the Babe's lounging and sleeping pleasure, opting to leave the carseat in the car. We bought the bulkhead seats for the plane and have requested a pack 'n play in our hotel room.

My A-type personality has come shining through and I have embraced my hyper-organized ways.

~ H

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What happened to my sleeping child

And who is this night beast that replaced her? A week or so ago, we had our nighttime routine down pat. Bath, feed, sometimes story and then bed. Usually met with little to no fuss. One dream feed at 10:30ish and a wake up feed between 1-4 and up at 7:30am. Yes, I could handle that.

Now we have bath, feed, sometimes story and the first putdown. Forty-five minutes later comes the first scream. Pick up, comfort, put down. Nope, that didn't soothe her. Let's try more food. Okay, bedtime for real this time. Forty-five minutes later we repeat the process. Then two hours later. Then forty-five minutes after that. Again and again until 5am when resistance is futile and I pull the Babe into bed with me, more for my sake than hers.

Growth spurt? Probably. Teething? Most likely. Five-month sleep regression? I really hope not. But how do tell which one it is, if any? Wait it out? Beg her to sleep? Go back three steps and set the bassinet up in our room again? No! Not the last one. I am determined to keep our room an adult-only zone between the hours of 10pm-7am from now on. Should the actions from me be different if it's a growth spurt as opposed to regression? Egads, why don't they come with manuals?

Wish me luck on the sleep front...

~ H

Monday, April 23, 2012

How I manage

Or don't for that matter. Today was a day that started off with so much... potential. I had two batches of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies made by 10am. We were on time for yoga, and even had time to stop for coffee on the way. We arrived at yoga feeling ready to face the day. And then, explosion! Of the diaper variety. Okay, no problem, just reach into the diaper bag to grab a fresh diaper and the backup sleeper. And reach, keeping reaching, pull everything out and yep, no diapers in said diaper bag and the backup outfit was used as a backup on Saturday. Now I have a soiled child, a red face and nothing to put her in. Luckily we are at Mom & Baby yoga, so there are diaper and outfit offers aplenty.

Fast forward 30 minutes and the Babe has soiled her second diaper, leading me to ask for yet another one from understanding moms. Okay, still not a completely terrible day. Fast forward two hours and I find out the daycare I enjoyed visiting may or may not be breaking the rules by having too many kids, the Babe has decided the Ergo is not for her and wants to be carried, and I am running very late for an already-postponed party planning meeting.

How do I manage? I sit in rush hour traffic, silently wondering why I didn't know more rules about daycare and if I'm doing damage to the Babe by the way I'm carrying her in the Ergo while
counting how many I have now kept someone waiting. Add gridlock and a tub of leftover cookies to the equation and I find myself not managing anymore. By the time I get home I can feel the tears welling up.

And then, while changing her out of a disposable diaper and into a cloth one, the Babe starts laughing. Full belly laughs for three whole minutes. This has never happened before. She tends to be more of a grinning child. And the bad day just melts away. I can do research into daycares and carriers but at the end of the day the Babe laughing means she's happy so I've done my job today.

I think I'll have a cookie to celebrate :)

~ H

Photo credit: Nancy Read

Thursday, April 19, 2012

First 811 call

Fellow moms and dads, you know the feeling. Your baby just did something that felt... not right. Maybe it was a strange cough, an appearance of what might be a rash, or in my case, an unusual shaking. It's something that you think could be worth going to the doctor for, but you're not quite sure if you're just overreacting. So, in B.C., you can call 811 and reach the Healthline where you can talk to a nurse directly. Many of my mom friends have done this, with mixed results.

Today the Babe was nursing and her whole body began to lightly shake, more of a vibration than a jerking motion. This has happened once or twice before and I just chalked it up to eagerness to eat. But today it was more pronounced and she continued to shake for a couple more seconds once I unlatched her to see if it would stop. It did and she fed some more and then was back to normal. I checked her eyes to see if she could track me and she could and she was all smiles. But I felt uneasy, so I called 811 and asked to speak with a nurse. The nurse I spike to was quite nice and obviously didn't want to scare me by her initial avoidance of the word "seizure". I assured her that had already crossed my mind, so her saying it wouldn't scare me. After a brief chat, she suggested getting in to see our family doctor as soon as possible, just to be safe.

I was able to get in to see our doctor within an hour (thank you considerate receptionist!) However as I expected, the doctor said the Babe seemed fine and that all of her motor skills are good. The doctor is now going to consult with a pediatrician just to be sure. But I don't completely feel out of the woods yet, because the doctor wasn't really able to diagnose the Babe, given she was not displaying the earlier actions.

So we wait, and hope that, as one mom posted on my baby forum post, that it may have just been a muscle spasm similar to doing V-sits at the gym. In the meantime, as a reward, tonight's bathtime was extra long to make up for the rough day.

~ H

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The second swim

In the hopes of having a slightly less scream-filled swimming lesson on Friday, my husband and I took the Babe to the pool solo tonight. We thought having both of us in the pool might make it easier for her. The first sign of trouble was when she started screaming en route to the pool and then fell asleep five minutes before arrival at the pool. Once she was changed and in the pool, the crying commenced immediately.

However, we staying the pool, vowing not to give up. And after a pass off to me and the introduction of a rubber duck, the crying stopped. And then started. And then stopped, but for longer this time. Finally, after some more passes between Mom and Dad and an enthusiastic aquafit instructor in the other pool to provide distraction, the Babe calmed down. She calmed down enough that my husband felt comfortable floating her through the lazy river portion of the pool. Three times! We were in the pool for over half an hour and by the end the Babe even managed... a smile?

No, at least not in the pool. But she didn't scream again and she even managed a smile in the shower afterwards. Perhaps on Friday we can hope for a repeat performance, or even fingers crossed, a smile in the pool for Dad.

~ H

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bonding through feeding

Now that the Babe and I have gotten over our latching issues, are not cluster feeding and have settled into a bit more of a routine, I'm enjoying breastfeeding immensely. There are no words to describe the feeling when that tiny hand rests on your chest while your baby is feeding. It is calming; it feels like home to me, to quote a song from Dawson's Creek.

Though sometimes, as noted in a previous post, the feedings can happen in less than appealing locations, I'm sure breastfeeding in the back of the car is easier than finding somewhere to pull over and mix up a bottle of formula. And when we're at home, feedings give me a chance to silence my mind for a few minutes. To concentrate completely on my child and the nourishment I am providing for her is a blessing and I am happy to do it. I can understand why many moms are sad when it's time to wean their babies. I also love the connection I feel with the Babe when she's feeding - that mental and physical closeness we share at those moments.

However, it will be nice to have a few glasses of wine in succession again ;)

~ H

Friday, April 13, 2012

The first swim

Or should I say, the first swim from hell. Today was the Babe's first session of Starfish swimming lessons. In an attempt to enhance father-daughter bonding time, I asked my husband if he would do the class with her. He agreed, and after some more conversation, the entire mom group I am part of all enrolled their husbands as well. Friday nights between 6:15-6:45 is now Daddy & Daughter Swim Time (we all have girls coincidentally).
At 3:30pm this afternoon I knew we were in for trouble. The Babe was fussing something fierce, was sleeping sporadically and wouldn't take her bottle. Fast forward to 6:20pm and she is the only baby in the pool having a full-on meltdown. We took her out, she calmed down. He went back in with her and she freaked out. I ran her to the women's change room, breastfed her and took her back out, only to have her scream the majority of the rest of the lesson.

We took our screaming demon to the change room, only to find there were no family change rooms free. When one became available, her screams became hysterical and I'm sure one woman thought we were harming her. We pretty much ran out of the building, not even saying goodbye to anyone.

After a silent car ride home, we agreed that next week will be different. A good nap, a good feed and perhaps maybe, in turn, a good second lesson.

~ H

Photo credit: Juli Kolby

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cold season

The Babe has her first cold, along with myself and my husband. It's dreadful. She wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, presumably because she's congested and can't breath well. And now when she sneezes, well, stuff comes out. I feel terrible, because we exposed her to this and now she has it. We can't give her anything except saline drops to clear out her congestion, and while my husband can load up on Neocitran and cold medicine, I have to stay clean because I'm breastfeeding.

The only side benefit is that the Babe and I are hanging out spending lots of time in bed trying to rest and get healthy. Which means lots of cuddles and tickles and general silliness.

~ H

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Switching to cloth

Are we nuts? We have gone this long using disposables and NOW we choose to go to cloth? The reason is because we had always wanted to use cloth, but thought we would wait until the Babe was making a significantly less amount of number 2's. Then we realized, she may not do that for awhile and we decided to wait until she was sleeping through the night. But she's still not doing that either. So we ordered the disposable liners and at 2pm today there was liftoff! So long land-filling disposable diapers! Except for at nighttime and when we're going out, because realistically, me remembering a wet bag of diapers in my diaper bag is not going to happen and will result in too many cloth diapers headed for the trash. I'm eco-friendly, but I'm also forgetful.

I'm not so high and mighty to say that this is the end all, be all for us. I know there is a chance we may throw in the towel and say it's not for us. But I want to try, to at least give it a chance, because I do value the planet and my impact on it.

So we've done the research and chosen to go the wet diaper pail route. It seems kind of gross, having all that standing water full of poopy diapers, but it also seems like the best way to avoid stains. A friend bought us special soap for washing the diapers and I've chosen to put them in the dryer, because again, I'm realistic about the space I have to hang-dry diapers.

I will keep you posted on our successes, challenges and impressions along the way.

~ H

Monday, March 26, 2012

Made in the USA

Today a friend and I made the trek down south the Bellis Fair for a little Target and Costco madness with our babies. While both babies had meltdowns during the 30-minute wait at the crossing heading down there, Her 2-month-old slept the majority of the rest of the time while the Babe, now 4 months, screamed bloody murder most of the time she was in her carseat. And she can scream. I enjoy a good States shopping trip as much as the next girl, but today's excursion showed me those trips may become fewer and far between the older the Babe gets.

She just gets bored, and I don't anticipate that lessening any time soon. Plus, to go with two babies and two moms means little to no room for groceries if we had brought both strollers. So since the Babe is enjoying her Ergo now, I opted to leave the stroller at home, which meant I was carrying the 15-pounder for quite some time. And I know she's only going to get bigger (read: heavier).

So I relished in the cheap dairy, bought two cases of my pop rather than one, and opted to take advantage of the Benefit Brow Bar at Macy's and let Sarah groom my bushy mom brows back into stylish arches (best $20 I spent today). I finished off the day with a gigantic Costco ice cream bar and treated my friend to one too. Those things are dangerous at $1.50 each! Because I don't know when I'll be back again.

~ H

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One mans trash

I can't recall who first introduced me to the Cloverdale Kids Swap Meet. But man, am I glad they did. The swap is this coming Saturday. This huge swap meet happens once a month and it's crazy! Crazy because of the deals I have gotten, $10 for 5 pairs of baby shoes, and crazy because the attendees are usually on a mission and you have to be able to hold your own in a crowd. Luckily, I have navigated the Chinese subway system at rush hour so I feel adept at handling these crowds.

There are two buildings filled with vendors, mostly selling used baby and kid clothes, toys, supplies and more, and there are also some tables of new items such as hair accessories, tutu ls, personalized books and other items. Bring small bills and lots of them. My first time I brought a singular $100 bill and ended up having to beg money off my sister because no one could give me change, not even the ladies at the front doors. They have an ATM but it is an independent one so it has higher than average service fees. Also, bring your own reusable bags as only some vendors provide bags and they aren't too sturdy.

Expect to pay $1-$4 per piece of clothing, but come ready to negotiate. Most vendors are local moms just looking to part with their stuff for a decent price. Of course, better deals can be had if you buy more items, and some vendors will let you leave big stuff you have purchased at their tables so you can keep shopping. But you can always leave and come back in at no charge for the day.

The swap opens at 9am but the seasoned shoppers get there around 8:30-8:45 to line up because the good and big stuff goes quick. I showed up to the January swap at 8:50 and as I got to the front of the line I saw a guy walking out with a gorgeous wooden rocking horse. It definitely pays to be early.

Admission is $5 and parking is free. The swap is held on the Cloverdale fairgrounds and there are signs as you get close. Maybe I'll see you there - I'll be the one with the blue Ergo elbowing other moms out of the way so I can pick up a change table pad and some sun hats for the babe.

~ H

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Feeding when you have to

An ill-timed day has resulted in this post coming to you from the backseat of my car, parked in an semi-filled parking lot, while I breastfeed the babe. Our early morning wake-up resulted in an earlier nap, which lead to a longer playtime, which then lead to a 2-hour nap (hurray) which ended when we had to leave for the dentist. The appointment was so quick I thought we could make it home to feed, but 10 minutes into driving I knew I was kidding myself. And here we are. Strangely, I'm becoming more and more okay with this, as I realize it's just a part of having a baby.

Let's just hope I don't get a ticket for indecent exposure!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Amber necklace vs. teething drops

This is my first interactive post where I'm looking for feedback. Ask your friends, your mom, your teacher, whoever, for suggestions on easing teething in little babies. And then tell me! The babe is in full teething mode and is having some serious mood swings and sleep issues, both of which I believe are tied to the teething.

Last night I fed her to the brim and between boobs I even added some infant Advil to ease the pain and hopefully carry her through the night. Did. Not. Work. We were up every two hours until 7:00 a.m. This cannot go on, for her sake and for the sake of my sanity and my marriage. So I am taking suggestions. Any suggestions. Even if they sound crazy, as long as they aren't harmful to the babe.

~ H

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shame, shame, double shame

Tonight I had a mini-breakdown (less than 10 minutes spent crying) about what I felt was a selfishness on my behalf. Prior to being a mom, I relished my alone time and often spent hours on the computer, or longer ago, time in front of my sewing machine working on a project. Now, it seems as though every time I have a spare alone minute and I just get settled in front of the computer, television, sewing machine, Kitchenaid mixer, etc. then bam! the baby monitor starts flashing the red lines and the babe's screams echo through the ducts to wherever I am. And for a moment, or a long while, I am mad at her. Insert shameface here.

I know I'm a good mom, and if ever I forget it my husband is quickly there to bolster my spirits and remind me. But I do feel ashamed that I so crave time to myself, frequently, and that the craving results in anger, however short lived, towards my daughter when it is interrupted. I love that little baby with all my heart and of course she is more important to me than updating my credit card information online or finishing the stitching on a table cover. My frustrations easily mount these days when I'm working on little sleep and a sore body and I often find myself lashing out at those closest to me (read: my husband and our fat beagle).

To remedy this I am attending an extra yoga class this week and allowing myself as many Walmart Skor cookies as I like (maximum 6, because there are 6 in the container). I am also trying to communicate better with my husband, not a strong suit of mine but I'm working on it.

~ H

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Mommy Hook bit me

It's been a rough week. The babe is exhibiting major signs of teething, but also some signs of possibly fighting a cold or other sickness. She went from one dirty diaper a day back to 5-6 and now screams bloody murder when placed on her change table after her bath, as though she knows bedtime is next and she's not having any of it.

I've also been anxious and stressed out more than usual, which I can attribute to the upcoming anniversary of my mom's passing (2001). But I've also been extra clumsy, unable to exercise as much as I like, and finally, to top it off, when taking my ultra compact and lightweight City Mini stroller (which I would highly recommend to shorter moms as I am 5'2") out of the cargo hold of my SUV the Mommy Hook attached to handle bar scratched me deep enough to draw blood.

Frustration nearly got the best of me and I almost tossed it clear across the parking lot, a common action of mine when frustrated. I have been known to break things, on purpose, when my stress level gets too high. It's usually a kitchen item that my husband and I disagree on anyways, but that doesn't make it healthy. This time I took a deep breath, placed the Mommy Hook below the stroller in the cargo basket and put a bandaid on my finger. Serenity now, zen mommy, serenity now.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Yep. Teething. She is 3 months and has begun pre-teething and I'm expecting a breakthrough any day now. Drooling everywhere for the last month, and now she knaws on my fingers any chance she can get. It freaks me out because I have heard that breastfeeding is most likely over as soon as babies get teeth and I would like to keep breastfeeding for at least a few more months. Part of my reasoning is because we are going on vacation to Mexico at the end of April and I don't really want to be making bottles and questioning the water I'm making it with.

It also makes me sad because she's still so little; she can't even hold a teething ring properly to ease her pain. I am giving her frozen washcloths and bought a bottle of locally-made teething oil to hopefully help her. But nights seem to be getting worse, and I'm not sure if it's the teething or if she's fighting something else as well. She starts screaming as soon as I put her on the changetable after her bath and it's a fight for at least another hour. Last night there was an addition of a screaming bout at 4:30am. We have a very tired household today.

Needless to say, her schedule is totally out of whack and I'm pretty much letting her sleep wherever and whenever she wants because she's having a rough go of it. Poor babe.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Adult time

One of the benefits of putting the babe to bed before 11pm means the husband and I get a little time to ourselves. Nothing too fancy, but we try to watch a show or a movie together, or just sit together in the living room while I read and he uses the iPad. Tonight, however, he busted out the big guns and got the hot tub going.

You see, we have recently moved into a house with a hot tub. But because I was pregnant and then recovering, I couldn't really use it. Plus, we had a really cold January and trekking outside after midnight wasn't appealing. But tonight he took a radio out there, I poured a glass of wine and we just relaxed. It was so nice just to chill and chat and look at the stars. It makes us both a little more understanding of one another when we're bickering - because man, do we know how to bicker sometimes.

Cheers to adult time! I need to make it more of a priority if I want to be a happy wife and have a happy husband.

~ H

Monday, February 20, 2012

Schedule update

A mom asked me today how my sleep schedule was going and I realize I haven't posted an update. While every day is a new day, for the most part the babe is on schedule and happier for it. We try to work on a 3 hour rotation - wake up, eat, play for an hour to an hour and a half and then nap. She tends to go down for a nap quite well, as long as I'm paying attention to her cues (ear pulling, eye rubbing, long blinks or an overall fussiness). She has a pacifier, which I also use to put her down. We know this means we'll have to wean her off of it, but she needs it so we're fine with it.

I started this post at 5:30pm this evening, and at that point the babe was staying true to my word. Fast forward two hours and she was in the middle of a major breakdown. Screaming to the point of losing her voice, gassy, angry and so upset that we forgo the bath because we thought it would upset her too much. After an hour of pacing and patting, followed by rocking and an attempt at co-sleeping, she finally petered out next to me in our bed and I eventually transferred her to her bassinet when she was good and asleep.

Today is an off day. I knew that by noon based on her demeanor, so I was prepared to throw the bedtime routine out the window if necessary. The biggest part of this scheduling, for us, is knowing how to be flexible for her. I am constantly reminded that my A-type personality and desire for conformity has no place in her life. I have to roll with it, whatever it is, and just know that one bad day doesn't mean we've failed; it's just one bad day.

Oh, and she's also just discovered her thumb. Awesome.

~ H