Tuesday, July 14, 2015

27 & 28 Weeks / Many More Firsts!

I didn't post last week because we were on an airplane headed for Chicago!
Oh baby, you experienced a whole lot of firsts!

First plane ride (you didn't cry. We weren't that mom & baby that people dread being on the same flight as).
First trip to the USA and out of Canada.
First baseball game - first Jays game AND first away game.
First river cruise (to check out the architecture along the Chicago river).

The day before we left you went for your first swim in a pool.
You LOVED it.
You love to splash and kick your legs like a frog. 
We've gone several times since then and have more swim dates coming up.

In other developments, you can hold yourself in the crawling position on the ground for about a minute. You can't move yet but I suspect that will come sooner than we think.
You've also discovered that you can pull yourself up to standing by grabbing onto us. I think you're going to crawl and start standing up before 9 months. 


You continually amaze us all with how quickly you learn and grow.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

26 Weeks / Half a Year

I say it every month but somehow, in the blink of an eye, another month has gone by. 
We've known you for half a year.
For 6 months we've watched you grow stronger, watched you hit milestones, watched your personality start to shine through.  
You can sit up on your own for a good chunk of time before tipping over.
You've finally figured out how to eat food off of a spoon. You've had rice cereal, butternut squash, sweet potato, pear, apple, blueberries, pumpkin, banana, prunes and oats. You seem to be a fan of everything so far. 
You love banging on surfaces. We think you're going to love the fact that your uncle is a drummer. The noise you will make.
You love tangling your fists in my hair and yanking what precious little of it I have left out. When I nurse you, you also use that opportunity to reach up and grab fistfuls of my hair. You're lucky you're cute.
You've started to turn into a chatty little baby, babbling and oohing and aahing. You say na-na, ya-ya, and da-da (ma-ma once....only once, but I count it!).
You're still in size 2 diapers and have just a little peach fuzz on your head. 
You laugh when we give you loud kisses and when we smack our lips. You like peek-a-boo now too.
You've been sleeping in your own room for about a week. I miss you not being right beside me but you're only steps away. 
You've also been going to bed around 8:30 at night now, which is nice. 

Oh, kiddo.
There aren't words for us to truly convey how much we love you.
You've given us the best 6 months of our lives so far.

We can't wait to see what the next 6 months bring!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

25 Weeks / Into Your Crib

Last night you slept in your crib overnight for the first time.
We're trying to get you into a routine, so that you go to bed a little earlier - selfishly this is because we want a bit of evening time to ourselves but also we want to make sure you're as well-rested as you can be.
We gave you a bath at 6:45, then changed you into your PJs, dad read you a story and then I nursed you. You fell asleep so quickly and peacefully.
Unfortunately you also woke up again at 8:30 and your dad held you and sang to you for half an hour until you fell back asleep (even though you cried for a lot of it because you only wanted to soothe yourself on my boob).
When your dad and I climbed into bed at 10 pm I couldn't help but feel a pang on sadness when I looked at the empty bassinet beside me. For almost 6 months I could peak over at you any time I woke up and listen to your breathing and know that you were safe. 
I only got up to look in on you once overnight (not counting the two times I was up to nurse you).
You slept soundly in your crib and woke up happy.

We're hoping for another 7:30 bedtime tonight!

I'm so happy you're content in your own bed and I love having some time alone with your dad but I missed you beside me.

I hope you always remember that, when you're bigger and can crawl out of your toddler bed, there will always be room for you beside us in our bed.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

24 Weeks / An Ode to Single Parents

*written on Tuesday, posted today because I forgot to post it*

For the past few days I've been running the show solo. 
Well, technically that's not true since I have amazing friends, family & in-laws who have been around to lend helping hands. But not having my husband here... I have a whole new respect for single moms and dads.

John is in Seattle climbing Mount Rainier. We drove him to the airport for 6:30 am on Thursday and are anxiously awaiting his return late tomorrow evening. 

Thankfully my kiddo is a happy baby and things haven't felt too overwhelming. She had a few over-tired fusses but nothing serious. 

But this time with my content kid has made me appreciate how lucky I am to have a partner in this parenting adventure, as well as a very supportive family.

Big thank-you's go out to my mom, my sister, my dad, my mother- and father-in-law, John's aunt, and my book-club ladies for the company. 

Single moms and dads - you have my utmost respect.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

23 Weeks / Life These Days

You are 23 weeks old today. It sounded like you said mama today too ... I'll post that video later, once I can get some unbiased ears to listen to it.

But I thought we were due for an update so....

Things you like:
  • Saying "la-la" and "ya-ya" and generally baby babbling which only just started a few days ago
  • Pulling out my hair
  • Rolling around and sleeping on your tummy
  • Chewing on anything you can get your hands on
  • When your dad asks if you smell and then sniffs your neck and tummy and toes
  • Baths
  • Petting, pulling on, and just watching our dog, Reese

Things you don't like:
  • Wearing pants (but who can blame you)
  • Rice cereal, carrots, ... or just any food off of a spoon
  • Napping for more than 30 mins during the day
  • Being anywhere but home after 8 pm when you get tired
I can't believe you have been with us for almost half a year. 
We love you SO much and feel lucky to get to watch you grow up a little more every day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

22 Weeks / New Adventures!

My sweet little baby is officially 5 months old. And looking bigger and bigger everyday. 
We decided to try out some rice cereal this weekend. 
The Canadian Pediatric Society currently recommends waiting til closer to 6 months to introduce foods other than breast milk but she seemed ready. She watches everything we eat and drink with such curiosity. She can sit up in her bumbo chair and support her head and neck perfectly while doing so. 
So on Sunday morning we mixed up some cereal with my milk, got our little girl ready in her seat with a bib and embarked on a new adventure!
It went about as well as you can probably imagine.
She seemed pretty intrigued by the spoon but hasn't mastered the art of swallowing with sucking quite yet. Most (all?) of the cereal ended up on her chin, on her bib, and on her toes. 
Monday morning went about the same. Eventually she'll get the hang of it. I'm not pushing her to have very much of it as it's more for fun & practice than nutritional value right now. 
Check out the most adorable video of baby's first foray into food below. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

21 Weeks / Too Busy to Sleep

Oh my monkey.
You're rolling both ways now - back to front and front to back. But only to the right. When I put you in your crib now it usually results in you smushed up in one of the corners. Time to get some crib bumpers me thinks.
You're getting better at sitting up on your own too. But not really. You like sitting up with us but if we let go to see how you fare you happily face plant into the couch/bed/other soft surface. You'll get there soon enough though.
You like having people hold you so you can walk your feet through the grass. 
You like sleeping on your tummy with your bum in the air. 
During the day you don't like napping anywhere but on your mommy and daddy. 
(As I type that sentence you FINALLY just fell asleep on the couch beside me, as captured in the photo below ... but you keep waking up to watch Kelly & Michael it seems. I know if I put you in the crib you'll be wide awake. You're a funny one)
You're discovering more and more every day. You enjoy your exersaucer even more now that I finally put batteries into it and it makes crazy jungle sounds. 
You're starting to bounce and move side to side in it now too.
You're also very interested in anything your dad and I eat/drink. I bought you a sippy cup because you're not a fan of the traditional bottle. So far you just chew on it but I'm optimistic that one day you'll drink from it.
I also bought you rice cereal because of how interested in food you seem. I was going to wait until 6 months but we're going to try a little bit next week after your 5 month-a-versary. 
 I'm excited for you to try new things but not excited for the reality of constipation (your poor little GI tract is going to have to learn how to process more than just breast milk) and 'human poos' that I've been told smell like ... well, poo. Different from the non-offensive milk poops you have now, anyway. 
Are you reading this in the future? Are you embarrassed that I'm talking about your poos? Don't be. Everybody poos. 

We love you so much and feel so lucky we get to watch you grow each and every day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

20 Weeks / Important Life Lessons

Full disclosure - this post is a day late because of the long weekend. I forgot yesterday was not Monday and was, in fact, Tuesday.

Awhile ago, when I was googling any and every thing mom-related, I read an article written by a mother who resented being told that someday she would wish for what she was currently complaining about. 
Like, "oh, don't complain about having to carry your kid all the time. Someday they won't want you to pick them up and you'll wish you could have that time back."
And I got the author's point - let me complain! I'm tired! My back hurts! I haven't showered in almost a week! Just because you complain doesn't mean you don't cherish the moments with your kid, good and bad.

Then the point really hit home last week.
I was trying to get Evelyn used to napping in her crib during the day because someday we'll eventually transition her into it at night (she'd be fine, it's us who want to keep her beside us) and it would allow me some hands-free time during the day to just do whatever.
I tried a few days in a row with minimal success. She'd fall asleep nursing and then, when I felt pretty certain she was asleep I would gently lay her down in the crib...
and then the eyes would fly open.
I tried giving her 5 minutes to settle herself but it either ended with her crying or happily looking around at all the toys in her room. 
There was no sleep to be had in the crib.
And not-so-great day naps translated to fussy evenings.

So eventually I gave up, somewhat frustrated, and let her nap on my chest again because at least it guaranteed a longer, more restful nap. 

And while I was complaining about having less time to prep dinner, etc, I realized I can't really complain about these moments that are no doubt fleeting. As long as she sleeps better nestled on me then we'll cuddle chest-to-chest. 
She won't always want to cuddle. Someday she'll be too big and too grown up to want to.
And truthfully, there is nothing more I love than having her fast asleep on my chest. I get to kiss her head, watch her sweet face, feel her breathe, and feel my heart swell with more love than I ever, ever thought possible. 

So just know that I DO cherish every moment and I know that some day, probably sooner than I realize, she'll be grown up and independent and won't need me.

I cherish every single second.
But sometimes I also want some me time. 
If I complain, just let me. 
I only half mean it. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

19 Weeks / Mother's Day

My first ever Mother's Day was wonderful. 
Last year I was pregnant with Evelyn and we celebrated a sort of Mother-to-be Day but there is  nothing quite like being a mother. 

Though I don't have as much insight as mom's who have been around the block with more than one kid, here's what I've learned in 4 short months about motherhood. 

Being a mother means loving someone so much that there aren't words to describe it.

Being a mother means knowing someone intimately while knowing nothing about them at all, seeing more of who they will become every day.

Being a mother means some days you don't get time to take a shower or have the energy to change into clothes.

Being a mother means feeling frustrated and heavy-armed when your child wants to be held all day but then deeply missing the weight of them when someone gives you a break. 

Being a mother means trying unsuccessfully to convince your child to nap independently but not really minding when you realize they just want to sleep snuggled against you. The dishes and dinner can wait.

Being a mother means coming up with ridiculous songs to make your baby smile.

Being a mother means saying no to invitations to go out because your baby gets tired and fussy at 8 pm and needs to go to sleep.

Being a mother means falling asleep earlier most nights than you have in years because you wake up throughout the night to nurse your baby, to listen to her gently breathing, or just to look at her.

Being a mother means tough days that make you want to cry.

Being a mother means folding tiny laundry and wondering how your baby has already grown out of her clothing.

Being a mother means watching your child discover and learn things while your heart bursts with pride.

Being a mother means looking at your baby and seeing features that look like you and your partner.

Being a mother means secretly being proud when your own mother says, "she reminds me so much of you as a baby - didn't want to nap and miss anything."

Being a mother means loving your partner in a completely new way, watching them love their daughter and knowing that together you made such a perfect, beautiful little creature.

Being a mother means appreciating all of the sacrifices your own mother made and understanding the depth of her love for you, and loving her in a completely new way too.

But mostly, to me, being a mother means loving your baby with every inch of your being, even when they make you crazy, and realizing that you would do anything, give anything, to give your child a happy, healthy life. 

Happy (belated) Mother's Day to every mother out there - biological moms, step-moms, foster moms, adoptive moms, aunts who love their nieces and nephews like moms, grandmoms, etc.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

18 Weeks / My squealing piglet

This post is a day late because *someone* didn't want to go down for a decent nap yesterday...
which left me with not a lot of time to try and do the things I wanted to do.
Like write this blog post.

But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. 
I like that I no longer spend my days trolling the internet for gossip, funnies, and social media updates. I mean, I obviously do it when the bug is asleep but that's not the point here. 
I spend my day trying to make my daughter laugh and making sure she's stimulated and that her tummy is full and her bum is dry. 
I also spend part of each day trying to lull her into a nap in her crib so I can have at least a fraction of hands free time. 
This week has already felt long (it's only Wednesday...) but I think that's a combination of inconsistent naps plus the following new developments:

1. Baby Ev has learned how to squeal. Loud. In my ears. Often also while pinching my arms/neck/whatever skin she can get her tiny little hands on. She squeals when she's happy and when she's ready to be picked up out of her exersaucer and when she sees the cat and.... pretty much at all times.

2. Baby Ev is going through the 4 month sleep regression. Admittedly her night time sleep schedule has started to get better again (a good 4 or 5 hour chunk followed by 3 hour blocks) and she has consistently gone to bed around 9 pm for almost the last week. This has meant more mommy-daddy time to enjoy a glass of wine on the couch sans baby before we start falling asleep on said couch, usually by 9:30. The sleep regression has left us with a fussy baby who cries almost inconsolably for 30-60 mins every night around 8 pm until she falls asleep. It is frustrating and heartbreaking as there doesn't seem to be anything we can do for her. I gave her tylenol one night when it was bad in case she was hurting. Thankfully it hasn't been that bad again since. Bad, but not that bad.

3. Baby Ev sings us awake from her bassinet at 3 am and then wakes up ay 6:30 every morning. While I enjoy spending the time with John before he leaves for work, I'm really starting to miss my bed. This explains why we've been falling asleep by 9:30 and also why the days feel longer. They start earlier. 

Thankfully she's cute and entertaining and generally happy. 
Here's hoping the rest of the week flies by so we can enjoy a nice weekend with Daddy (and he can have HIS ears squealed off instead).

If you're on Instagram and want to see daily cute pictures of my little bug follow us @NineTenEvelyn :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

17 Weeks / Wonder Woman

You'll be 4 months old in 2 days.
I was going to wait until then to set up your exersaucer but I couldn't wait and we set it up yesterday. You loved it right away - the toys to move around and chew on, possibly even more so the freedom it allows you to stand and move around and look at things. 
You are already so strong. 
just when I thought you were getting so big you did a complete back-to-front roll this morning. 
3 times in a row!
The trick, I think, was a combination of putting a teething toy just out of reach and letting you be pants free. 
Let's be honest, everything is better without pants. 

My strong girl. You amaze me every single day. 

Also - if you're on Instagram and want to follow my daily picture diary of my little bug follow us @NineTenEvelyn 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

16 Weeks / Tidbits

Ev's new friend was born yesterday just before midnight. My best friend endured a gruelling 36 hour labour sans epidural (they tried 3 times and it wouldn't take) then eventually had to be taken in for a c-section. But baby Mackenzie was born healthy and strong and is absolutely beautiful.
Big props to T for hanging in through an incredibly tough birth!

As I showered today, I thought about how things have changed, almost 4 months post-partum.
Pro: I fit back into my clothes! Although maybe not now after 3 large cookies and a lot of chocolate today. It's like having a totally new wardrobe. I haven't worn a lot of these items in a looooong time. 

Con: my hair is falling out at an alarming rate. I understand this is quite common but I don't know how I still have hair left on my head.
This is how much hair comes out of my head per hair wash. Not pictured: the amount that comes out when I brush my hair, run my hands through my hair, or when Ev grabs a fistful of it.  

Pro: Ev is starting to nap for longer during the day when I put her in her crib. 
She usually only sleeps for decent periods of time when she's on one of us, so having that hands-free time during her naps really allows for actual free time.
Con: on Sunday she napped for an hour in the crib and I puttered around the house because I didn't know what to do with myself.

Almost 4 months old!
Her new favourite things include looking at and touching my phone, the thermostat, and cups/mugs.
Here she is enjoying an empty coffee mug this morning. 
That's my girl.

15 Weeks Old / This Post is a Week Late

Last week, when I should have posted but forgot to, you were 15 weeks old.
And it was exactly one year to the day when I found out I was pregnant with you.You were just the size of a poppyseed then. Hard to believe.
I was at work and my period was due to start that day according to my ovulation app (they really do have an app for everything).  I was working a 12 hour day shift and on my evening break I figured I would run to the store and grab a pregnancy test just to see. In all honesty my thought process was, "I'll take the test and then when it comes up negative I can stop and grab a bottle of wine on the way home." 

So I peed on the stick in the breakroom bathroom on my break.
And what you see in the picture above was what I saw when the 2 minutes were up.

My heart jumped into my throat.

I was so excited. 

I wrapped the test in paper towel and kept it in my bag for the remainder of my shift, all the while smiling and squeeeeeeeeeeeing on the inside. I'm surprised my coworkers didn't ask why I was so happy.

John picked my up from work and strangely asked if I had gotten a tan as he said I looked different. I joked that I was glowing.

When we got home I told him I brought him something from work (usually this would be something courtesy of the amazing kitchen staff). I handed him the paper towel and when he opened it up I watched as several emotions crossed his face simultaneously. 

We laughed, we cried, we made a face that is best described as "holy shit, what have we done?" 

And you know what we did?
The best thing we've ever done.
We made you.

We've known you existed for a year and we've known you in the outside world for 15 weeks (*16 cause this post is late).

I didn't get to have that wine for another 10 months but seeing that test come back positive made for one exciting evening.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

14 Weeks / Of Days To Come

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend!
We celebrated with both of our families and enjoyed lots of food and chocolate, as is to be expected.
I got to thinking about the holidays and how much more fun they are going to be in the coming years. 
I can't wait to hide Easter eggs and have our sweet little bunny search around trying to find them, while I eat most of the chocolate I purchased for the hunt. 

Same with Christmas. I'm excited for the belief in Santa and for the excitement when she heads to bed on Christmas Eve. 

And the cute Halloween costumes (and, again, more candy for me).

The magic of the holidays is going to come back full force and then some. 

Speaking of holidays, today is my dad's birthday!

Happy birthday Dad!
I plan on making up holidays in which I sign the kids out of school to spend the day exploring Toronto Island, much like you did for Robin and I. 
And I expect Ev will be signed out an additional day to do the same with you ;)

We love you!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

13 Weeks / You Are Amazing

You officially turned 3 months old yesterday. March went by quickly!
In the last week I feel as though you've grown up even more. You're so full of smiles and laughs. You are discovering what your hands do. One night when you were a bit fussy we went for a walk around the house and you wanted to look at the thermostat. Then you reached out to touch it.
So now I make sure we have toys dangling above you or within your reach so you can keep discovering. You like hitting the dangling toys and making them move. 

You are still a little drool faucet at times.
And on Saturday you almost rolled right over from your back to your front! Once you have a bit more head & neck strength you'll be rolling like crazy!

I love watching you grow and develop and become more aware of yourself and your surroundings.
You are amazing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

12 Weeks / How You've Grown

This little goose is 12 weeks old.

I didn't post last week cause our power was out for most of the day, which meant no internet and lots of reading and playtime instead.

In the past 2 weeks my little baby has discovered she can squeal and she likes it. She's drooly as can be and likes eating her hands. We also get the occasional giggle. 

She's also mastered the art of rolling onto her side so I imagine she'll make it all the way over onto her tummy in no time.

Then it's out of the bassinet and likely into the crib since there isn't really room to roll around in there.

I'll miss her sleeping beside me and may find myself camping out on the floor by her crib when the time comes.

She's growing longer and heavier. She's almost out of her 0-3 sleepers and fitting into the 3-6 month clothing.

Though it doesn't seem possible, everyday we love her more.

Kiddo, you are the best thing to happen to us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

10 Weeks / The Most Important Message

A good friend recently had a daughter of her own and it got me reminiscing about the day my little bug was born and how wonderful life is now she's in the world (Thanks Elton John for the sentiment).

But the first few weeks were not all rainbows and sunshine. I cried almost every day over various things. I cried the first time I looked in the mirror at my no-longer-pregnant body. I was going to miss those kicks and wiggles that were only for me. I cried because I wondered if life had just changed for the worse. I cried because I dreaded the nighttime when it was dark and quiet and I was awake trying to keep my baby content. I cried because I felt like I was already failing my child because my milk took 5 days to come in and she was hungry.  

Then one night, laying on the couch in the dark living room at 3 am, watching a Kardashian marathon, a friend sent me a message asking how motherhood was going. She confessed that she, too, found it difficult to adjust to life with a newborn. She told me that it was normal to cry. And she told me the most important message we need to remember: 

You're doing a great job.

So I passed this message onto my friend because she too is now adjusting to a new way of life that will always have those days that feel long and difficult, and she needed to know. 

And we as parents need to pass that message along to others who are recovering from labour, who are exhausted, who are completely overwhelmed. The parents feeling alone at 3 am, as if they're the only person in the world awake with a hungry, crying baby. The parents feeling like there's no way they can raise a child. The parents who feel completely and utterly in over their heads.

Thank you to the mom's who have reminded me of this important message when I felt like I was failing.

Pass it on. 

We're doing a great job.

P.S. if you find yourself wondering if you're suffering with post-partum depression please also know that there is another important message: There is NO shame in asking for help. The strongest parents are the ones who take care of themselves too. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

9 Weeks Old / The Post-Baby Body

Little bug you are 9 weeks old! Look at how much you've grown in a month! You're 11 lbs now and still growing. Look at those skinny little arms and legs at one month. You're filling out and starting to look different. Some days I see a bit of myself in your face but you definitely look more like your dad.

You do seem to have inherited my spine, however. I joke I have a stego-spine because to me it sticks out like stegosaurus plates especially when I bend over. We can feel yours (don't worry, not in a worrisome way) and your dad joked that now we know you're mine.

Speaking of body parts, I thought I'd use this week's post to talk about some of the changes my body has gone through on the wonderful journey into motherhood.

For example, My hands and feet got swollen towards the end of our 41 weeks together to the point where I had to take off my wedding & engagement rings lest they grow into my skin. Most of my shoes were a tight squeeze if I could even get my feet into them. It's only been in the last 2 or 3 weeks that my rings fit the way they use to again.
But it's a reminder that there is a natural ebb and flow to life, even with the fluids in your body.
Just because your shoes don't fit doesn't mean they won't ever fit again. And if they never do, you get yourself some new, even better shoes.
I think that could be a metaphor for how to look at life.

I developed a pretty serious linea nigra that I doubt will ever fade.
And my stomach, which I always complained about but was once flat and had mild muscle definition, is now loose and undefined.
But it's a reminder that my skin and muscles stretched to make a home for you.
I'm proud of that.

My breasts grew. And just when I was getting used to the new size, my milk came in and they grew even bigger. And now when you sleep for longer periods overnight I wake up with what a friend called "porn star boobs". Holy heck the engorgement! Sometimes you're not even fully awake and I'll pull you out of the bassinet to nurse for my own relief!
The first few weeks of breastfeeding were painful and I bled one or twice while pumping. Then late last week I believe I had a blocked milk duct which made it hurt all over again.
But I love being able to breastfeed. There is something so empowering about knowing that my body is capable of providing you with all you need to survive right now.
I'm proud of that.

(Please know that if you are unable to breastfeed or choose not to for whatever reason, you're still giving your child all that they need to survive! Be proud of that)

 My body is bigger, looser, saggier, and different than this time last year.
Though there are days I long for that pre-baby body back, I know that with a bit of hard work I'll see it again.
And I'm proud of what this bigger looser, saggier, and beautiful body gave me.

It gave me you.

Now back to the squats and lunges with my 11 lb weight (that's you).
My body gave me you and you're going to help give me a tight tush for the summer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

8 Weeks Old / Guilt-Free Confession

8 weeks old! In a few days you'll be 2 months old. Since you were born on the 30th and there aren't 30 days in February, we're going with the 28th on this one.

In the last few weeks you have definitely been smiling REAL smiles and we've gotten the occasional giggle. It's more of an excited yell but to us it's giggling.
And oh  boy are you getting talkative. I have so much fun playing copy-cat and mimicking your sounds. You seem to enjoy it too.
We've been practicing tummy time more often (like we're supposed to be - oops) and your neck is certainly getting stronger. You don't always like when I strand you on your tummy but you're lifting your head up more and more and for longer. You still like looking at lights and objects that light reflects off of. You also like when we click our tongues and smack our lips. Probably because you've discovered this past week that you can smack your lips too. It's cute and hilarious when we wake up in the morning to the sound of you smacking your lips as if to say, "c'mon, guys, I'm awake and hungry and ready to play!"  

Believe me when I say that we love you more than you will know - until you have a child of your own.

Now, let me confess something to you.

The other day on Facebook, I saw a list on a friend's wall that suggested 10 Ways to really help a new mom (click HERE to read the list. It's fantastic).
While pretty much every item on that list rings true (with regards to the napping, I disappeared from a get-together-to-see-the-baby we had before you were even a week old to crawl into bed and sleep while everyone oohed and ahhed over you. I recommend every new parent do this), I felt like #8 was included on that list just for me. There have been only a few times I have been away from you for more than half an hour and those times involved me going to the grocery store.
I enjoyed grocery shopping long before you were conceived but now... it's almost like going to the spa.
It's time where I can stroll through the aisles without worrying about whether you're still asleep in your car seat, whether your car seat is really safely balanced in the shopping cart, whether I'll be able to grab items if I also have to hold and bounce you.

Yesterday, your dad watched you while I went grocery shopping, got us lattes from Starbucks, and spent $75 on wine at the LCBO. I treated myself to two bottles over $18 among others because gosh darn it, I'm worth it.

It made me realize that while I don't feel like things have changed, my life has changed dramatically.

My "me time" used to be all the time. With the exception of when I was working, I could sit back and watch tv when I wanted to, lay back and devour book after book, spend lots of time in the kitchen making dinner, wandering around the neighbourhood and stopping in to stores to browse and shop. When friends invited me to their parties I only had to check to make sure I wasn't working. When we didn't feel like cooking, your dad and I would say hey, let's go out for dinner. And we'd head out.

Now I watch tv when you're napping. When you're awake Im busy making noises to make you smile and bouncing you around. The TV is background noise.
Now I sneak in reading time when you take your morning nap, before we've abandoned the bedroom for the living room.
Now I throw ingredients into the slow cooker while you're happily occupied looking at things in your bouncy chair (this has promise as you're able to sit for longer in your chair now before you start fussing).
Now if I want to go out I plan it carefully to make sure we're not out for too long and to make sure I can get your stroller in because carrying that car seat around is not an option. It is heavy. And honestly, sometimes it's just easier to stay in than get you ready to go, get you into the car seat, into the car, then out of the car, etc. Especially since it's been -20 degrees most days. I imagine this would have been a slightly easier process if it were spring/summer.
And going out with friends? If it's a day party, yes. An evening? Pass up an opportunity to go to bed at 10 pm if you go to sleep earlier than 11:30? No way.
Now if your dad and I want to go out for dinner we have to plan ahead and make sure someone is available to watch you. We went out for dinner on Valentine's day and I'll be honest... by hour 3 I was itching to get back home to see you.

But boy was it nice to go on a date with your dad. We both got to eat our food at the same time! This is hard to do at home when one of us is holding you and keeping you happy.

It seems like the days of just making plans on the fly, or picking up and heading out are over for awhile.  

Being a new parents seems to mean giving up your time to be selfish. Not entirely but that freedom to be self-indulgent is certainly reduced.

I miss my selfish time but honestly?

I'd give it all up,  a hundred times over, to spend hours making you smile.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

7 Weeks Old / My Google Search History

If you have young children, I'd bet money that at some point you've googled some topic or another that more or less boils down to wondering if you're killing your child.

I was very guilty of abusing the Google machine in the first few weeks of my child's life but I can't say that I've reformed my ways entirely.
I google things less often but I still google them.

I thought it would be fun to check through my search history and share the things I've googled with respect to caring for a newborn.

So without further ado ...

  • When do babies sleep through the night? 
  • When will my milk come in?
  • Does Guinness help your milk come in?
  • How do I know if my baby's getting enough milk?
  • Why is my baby crying?
  • When do babies get colic?
  • What do you do all day with a newborn?
  • What are the rules around drinking and breastfeeding?
  • What colour should my baby's poo be?
  • How can you tell if your baby is dehydrated?
  • Is it normal for the soft spot to pulse?
  • When does the soft spot close?
  •  When will my baby smile?
  • Is green poop okay when it's usually yellow?
  • How often should my baby nurse?
  • How long should my newborn be sleeping?
  • 3 week growth spurt
  • 6 week growth spurt
  • When should I expect growth spurts?
  • Is my baby fussy cause she's growing?
  • Should I still be waking my baby every 2-3 hours to nurse?
Etc, etc.
I've curbed my googling A LOT since the first few weeks but I'm still guilty of secretly googling things when I start to worry. It can be scary ('your child is dehydrated! Bring them to the ER immediately!') and it can be incredibly reassuring ('your kid slept for 5 hours straight? Don't wake them to feed, they're fine. Consider yourself lucky and go back to sleep!').
Yes, my child did sleep a solid 5 hour stretch one night and it was glorious. No it hasn't happened more than two or three times. But yes, I know how lucky I am that I even got that much continuous sleep. 

And yes, when I wake up in the middle of the night before she does I still put my hand on her chest or poke her to make sure she's still breathing. 

I can't google that kind of reassurance for my first-time-mom worries. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

6 Weeks Old / What Will Your Favourites Be?

Oh baby baby, how you've grown and changed in just 6 short weeks.

You've been smiling and cooing and it has become my life's mission to make you smile and coo.
You love laying on your back (a game we call 'bug on the rug'), especially on the change table. You kick your legs and stretch your arms and look all around you. 
I make the weirdest animal noises I can think of (my personal favourite being the wild cat/cougar). I tickle your toes and ask you any question I can think of. 
You seem to like the monkey noise and the wild cat noise best. You also really like your toy Mortimer the Moose (from Rimouski, as per your father) with his crinkly feet. But I don't know what a moose sounds like.

I wonder what your favourite animal will be.

Last week I tried to read you a book but you were fussy and you started crying. I don't want you to think reading is no good. I want you to love books like I do.
We're taking you to PEI this summer for a wedding and a road trip to basically-New-Brunswick-Quebec for another wedding the weekend after so you and I are going to read Anne of Green Gables. 
Then we're going to read Harry Potter. 
And Charlotte's Web.
And all of my favourites.

I wonder what your favourite books will be.

Some nights, waiting for your dad to get home, we decide we've watched too much tv and we dance to music instead. You seem content with whatever song I put on. Taylor Swift, Missy Elliot (a resurrected love post Super Bowl cameo), Alt-J, Lil Wayne, Robert Delong....
The first week you were home you used to get fussy in the evenings. One night your dad danced with you while the Single Ladies video was on. You stopped fussing and were transfixed. 
We think you're a Beyonce fan.
Today in the car while listening to the radio I wondered what your first concert will be. I hope we go together.

I wonder what your favourite songs will be.

I don't want you to grow up faster than you need to but little bug I can't wait to really meet you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

5 Weeks Old / Essential New Parent Reading

Today, little bug, you are 5 weeks old.
Everyday you get closer and closer to smiling and giggling. I can't wait until I hear your first giggle. I think it will break my heart.
You seem to see more now. When you look at me and your dad we think you're really looking at us now. 
This has become my goal now, to make you laugh and smile. 
I think my quest to make you smile and laugh has dropped my IQ a bit. Case in point: I somehow decided that you needed a high society name. And that name is Lady Noodle-Wigglebottom. 
Your mom is a certifiable nut.

It's crazy to think that you're a month old already.
In that month you've already grown so much.

And I've cried so much. But thankfully good cries, not post-partum crying. I've been lucky.

In honour of some of my cries, here are a few of the causes as well as some funny reads to balance it out.


A Day at Home with a Newborn

They Should Have Warned Me

and a response to that about postpartum depression:

I'm Glad They Warned Me

When Love Feels Heavy 

And to MY mom, who passed along a love of reading, a respect for all people regardless of their beliefs, a knack for the silly things in life (I'm convinced she tries on clothes at Lulu Lemon just to give them a fake name to write on her changeroom door), and a desire to give my own daughter the same amount of unconditional love she gave to me - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA BEAR!
I love you xo

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

4 Weeks Old / A Day in the Life

Somehow 4 weeks have gone by.
On Friday the little bug will be a month old.
It's amazing how much she's grown and changed already. 
She turns her head when I speak into each ear and she loves looking at lights. And at the glasses in our hutch. Either she's already curious about alcoholic beverages or she likes the way the light reflects off of the glasses. Either or.

Everyday she gets closer to a real smile and giggle. I know it's coming. The giggle feels like it's just waiting to burst out when we play belly button pie.  

Anyway, I thought this week I'd try to do a day in the life, sort of a photo diary of what we do most days. 

So here it is. 
Prepare yourselves for the adventure.

Sometimes we sleep very well (remember kid, you sleep this well forever and we'll talk about that pony), other times we never sleep more than 2 hours at any given time. Over the weekend we were up more than we slept but Sunday night the bug went down from midnight until 4:15 am. It was a glorious rest. 
She usually wakes up around 8 or 9 am and is up for a few hours before falling asleep again. 
We watch Breakfast Television, CityLine/Kelly & Michael, then (confession) Let's Make a Deal while we play tickle games.

Expressing her judgement at the shows we watch

At some point I head to the kitchen to make some breakfast and fill up a mug of much needed coffee.
We have breakfast in bed, mostly because we can. 
I think I've mastered the feed-the-bug-with-one-hand-and-eat-my-breakfast-with-the-other move.

Bran flakes and yogurt, the breakfast of one-handed champions.

My sister comes over a few days each week to provide me with adult company and to help out with the bug so that I can get some housework done and so that I can have a bit of me time. 
Plus every now and then she brings me McDonalds. 
It's wonderful. 

Aunt Robin also learned that babies instinctively know to pee as soon as you take their diaper out from underneath them. 

We do a combination of reusable and disposable diapers which means those reusable bad boys need to be washed frequently. 
Thankfully baby poo is not offensive in the least.

Also thankfully - John tends to do this chore most often as a trade-off for not being the feedbag who wakes up at all hours of the morning. 

Most afternoons we catch up on some shows in between feedings, playing "look at things", and diaper changes. On Mondays we catch up on The Bachelor from the week before. This week we also took an outing to get candy. 
It made for a nice afternoon.

Candy and terrible TV prove that two wrongs can make a right.

Then we repeat. Feed, change diaper, watch TV, play. Start dinner.

Fit in one cry everyday, either watching parenting commercials or thinking about how much I love this kid.

Throughout the day I also try to make time for the pup. Poor girl hasn't been getting the same quality of walks/plays as she used to. The cold weather hasn't helped any.

Bad pet parenting 101: open back door, leave open a crack so the dog can let herself back in when she's done.

John gets home around 6:15 pm. We catch up on our days (spoiler alert: mine is fairly consistently the same) over dinner, then cuddle with our bug on the couch. Some nights we give our girl a bath. Some nights we indulge in an adult beverage.

I missed you so much, old friend

We make our way to bed around 10-10:30 and the bug usually goes down around 11:30-12. 
Then after a few early morning feedings, we repeat.

And that, more or less, is our day.
Thursday we have a doctors appointment and hopefully the weather will warm up a bit so we can get back outside for some walks.