Posted in Parenting

Putting the “A” in E.A.S.Y. : Activity Ideas For Newborns (0 to 3 months)

I remember when I first read about EASY about the time when my son was 6 weeks old, I fell in love with the idea.  I am a creature of habit and do well in a routine so it just seemed natural to get my son into a routine.

I got that under the age of 4 months, we were aiming to feed about every 3 hours and that the awake time that the baby could handle (awake time = from the time they wake up to the time they are back asleep) became greater as the baby got older (for instance, a two week old baby can maybe handle 45 minutes of awake time whereas a 3 month old can stay awake for twice that amount of time).

The one thing I was rather uninspired about is what kind of activities I could do with my newborn.  I mean, they’re tiny and can’t do much.

It turns out, “A” time doesn’t have to be complicated.  (Side note: “A” time only happens during the day).

After burping and changing my baby’s diaper, here are a few of the activities that you can do with a newborn baby:

  • Get her down for some tummy time (try different techniques if your baby hates it – heck, try them even if your baby doesn’t hate it 😉 )
  • Stick out your tongue and make different sounds with your mouth (a “pop” with your lips, clicking your tongue…)
  • Put baby in his gym (like this cool piano gym)
  • Let baby look at herself in the mirror
  • Give him a bath (I do this during the lase “A” time before bed)
  • Sing songs with movements like “the itsy bitsy spider” and “this little piggy”
  • Show her some simple black and white patterns like these
  • Put him under a mobile
  • Give her a massage
  • “Bicycle” his legs
  • Use sensory toys on her like this vibrating dragon, these spiky balls or this musical turtle.
  • Attach a wrist rattle to his wrist
  • Hang a toy over her within reach and encourage her to reach and grab hold of some of the dangling toys (I use this cute elephant)
  • Just talk to him
  • Let her chill out on his/her back on a blanket on the floor or in a high chair/swing… as you take care of things in the house

What are some of the things you do with your 0-3 month old?

Posted in Parenting

Daddies Are The Best

When I became a new mother two years ago, I was kind of lost.  I mean, I knew some basic stuff, but there were also a lot of things I didn’t know.  Like many mothers out there, I questioned myself about many things.  I would worry that I didn’t have enough milk, or that I had too much.  I would worry that my son was sleeping too much, or not enough.  I would worry about the color of my son’s poop or the fact that he hadn’t pooped in a few days.

I’m sure you get the picture.

In this age of easily accessible information, I turned early on to the famous and infamous Dr. Google for help in this parenting gig.  One of my first searches, brought me to an online parenting community filled with forums in which parents could share their experiences/worries/solutions…with one another.

At first, it was great.  I mean, with titles such as “Green poop, help!”, “LO always nursing, low milk supply?” and “Normal or not [see pic attached]?” I felt right at home in a sea of other mothers wondering what the heck they were doing.  Even if the other mothers (because most of the members were moms) didn’t always have an answer (or one that I liked) it was nice to know that others were going through the same things as I was.

And then, things started to become less appealing for me.  There were, of course, the bottle -vs- breast battles, then more battles arose with regards to sleep training, but these didn’t bother me much.  I mean, I was content with the methods I was using and I just didn’t read the posts.

What bothered me, is when I started reading things like “SO [significant other] useless!”, “Worthless husband” and “Lazy boyfriend”.  As the months went by, more and more of these posts popped up.  And it saddened me to see that these ladies turned to the online world to fuel anger towards their partners, because I know the value of a great partner in the world of parenting.

I love my partner.  He is by no means perfect, but then again, who is?  I certainly am not.  But despite all the things that he does (or doesn’t do) that make me want to roll my eyes, he shows, day after day, his unconditional love towards our kids.  And, on numerous occasions, he has become the pillar I could lean on in my role as a parent.

This evening was one of those moments.

You see, yesterday was hard.  Neither kiddo napped for more than 45 minutes during the day and though they were in a pretty good mood, things disintegrated rapidly in the evening.  Immediately after supper, Little Dude went into full-blown meltdown mode.  My partner and I figured that it was because he was tired, so we endeavoured to get him down for the night half an hour before his usual bedtime.  After going through the bedtime routine, filled with toddler tears, he was finally down for the night.

Or so we thought…

No sooner had I gotten my daughter down, did my son wake up in tears.  His dad went in to calm him.  Then, 20 minutes later, he woke up again…and again…and again.  At first, we thought nightmares, but the fact that it kept going on stumped us.  My solution, sleep in his bed with him for the night.

Let me tell you that sleeping in a single bed with a squiggly toddler that wakes up crying every hour or so throughout the night while also getting up twice to nurse the 3 month old does not make for a good night sleep.  Needless to say that I was tired today…and less than pleased to see some liquid leaking out of his ear this morning.

Sh*t, looks like we’re dealing yet again with a damned ear infection.

Anyways, fast-forward to tonight.  I was tired AND in need of some non-mommy time.  My partner got the toddler down for bed as I nursed my daughter in hopes that she would fall asleep quickly.  But, it was not to be.  I tried twice to get her down, but to no avail.  Meanwhile, my son was kicking his wall in his room instead of falling asleep and I was out of patience.

I put her down in her bed crying to take a breath.

My breath came in the form of my partner coming up the stairs asking me if everything was ok and then proceeding to little miss I’m-not-sleepy’s room to help her fall asleep.  For 15 minutes he paced around the house with her to help her doze off before putting her in her crib.

Daddies really are the best!

Posted in Parenting

Updates!

So today was Amélie’s 1 month check-up.  Since her brother had had a mysterious illness over the weekend, we decided to bring him along as well to get him checked out.  It turns out that the pediatrician took more time with Charles than she did with Amélie.

ImageI commented a couple of days ago about how baby girl suddenly didn’t fit into her newborn clothing anymore.  It’s little wonder though as she is now measuring 54.5cm.  That means that in 14 days she grew 4.5cm (or almost 2 inches).  Holy crap!  Now that’s what I call a growth spurt.  She also gained 780g (or 1 pound and 11 oz).  It would seem that mama has got some pretty darned good milk.

As for Charles, well, the pediatrician was absolutely flabbergasted when she saw him and heard what had happened since last Friday.  She immediately told us that it was a pretty impressive allergic reaction (hives) and urged us to talk about it with Charles’ allergist the next time we go to see her.  She is pretty certain that the reaction is in response to the amox that he took to treat an ear infection as the hives started to appear the morning after he finished his prescription.  She’s asking us to continue to give him Benadryl every 4 h until the hives are all gone and had us meet with a pharmacist to see what was the maximal dose we could give him.

Dada and I are both conked out from the stressful weekend and the little guy (who has always been super good about taking medication) now has to be forced to take his Benadryl (we suspect it’s because he associates it with the intense itch his hives cause).  No fun!

To give you an idea of the progression of the hives, here’s what our weekend looked like:

On Friday, they were just small red spots here and there.  As the day progressed, the spots got redder and larger and had raised edges.

P1000858On Saturday, the spread the continued the spots changed again and became the crater-like spots that turned blue that you see in the picture below and his eyelids became swollen after his nap.

By  Sunday, most of his body was covered by either new or old spots.  BUT at least he started to be in a good mood in the afternoon and started to play so we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Finally, this morning, we’re noticing that there don’t seem to be many new spots and the ugly red-bue ones that were there yesterday are gone.  He also actually had breakfast: his first complete meal since Friday at lunchtime (we’ve been keeping him hydrated and have managed to get him to snack a bit over the course of the weekend).  However, because of the insane amounts of Benadryl he’s been taking all weekend, he now looks like a zombie.

Image 1Oh well, we’ll get through this!  I’m just happy nothing worse happened.

So milk and now, it would seem, amoxcillin.  Here’s to hoping we don’t discover any new allergies.

Posted in Parenting

What the Heck?

P1000862
Watching Cars on my computer after I brought him home early from daycare.

Warning: the following post is a rant.

Let’s play a game shall we?

The papa of a sick child with mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch calls his pediatrician’s office.  What happens?

He gets told to either make an appointment for three days later, go to a walk in clinic or go to the emergency room of a hospital.

What the heck!?

The mama of a sick child with increasingly mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch and a low fever calls the free health hotline to try to figure out what’s going on and if the child can wait a few days before seeing a doctor.  What happens?

She gets told to monitor said child’s condition and if symptoms get worse, to go to the pediatrician’s office, a walk in clinic or the emergency room of a hospital.

Sound advice

The mama and papa of an increasingly irritable child with increasingly mysterious symptoms that include raised red blotches all over his body that are hot to the touch, a fever of 103F despite the administration of Tempra an hour previously, loss of appetite and the inability to walk because it hurts decide that it’s time to pay a visit to the local walk in clinic.  What happens?

When the dada arrives with said child, he is told that the schedule is full.  He is told to go to the hospital emergency room if he wants his child to be seen

What the heck!?

The dada drives to the nearest hospital with his child.  What happens?

The triage nurse tells him that he shouldn’t be there with his child,but should have driven an extra half hour to the nearest children’s hospital.

What the f*cking heck!?  Can someone please tell me why the heck i have to give 3500$ in income taxes to our province’s healthcare system if no one is willing to see my 22 month old?

Luckily, she decided that since my son was there, he should probably be treated.

Conclusion?

The doctor didn’t know what he has.

Urgh!

What.

The.

Heck!?

We’re seeing the kiddos’ pediatrician Monday for Amélie’s 1 month appointment.  We’re planning on bringing the toddler along so that we can maybe get an answer to the “what does he have” question.

After some intense googling, my partner and I are starting to think it’s hives.  Anyone else want to wager a guess?

This morning.
This morning.
Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: T Minus 4 Weeks

TTT1.  Wow, already 36 weeks pregnant, I can hardly believe that we’ll be a family of four soon!

2.  In the last week, Little Dude’s two lower second molars poked through.  The poor little guy wasn’t too happy about them.

3.  I finally finished watching The Mentalist (which is one of the reasons that my blogging hiatus took longer than expected).

4.  I’m working on a new group/guest post.  Look out for it this coming Friday.

5.  Last week, I went to the public library for the first time with Charles.  He was thrilled and happily picked out a few books to bring home.  I’m going back with him in a week or so.

6.  Last Friday, my partner, brother and I decided to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (we, of course, watched the movie while eating pizza).  Boy, the movie brought back memories!

7.  Yesterday, it was hot and sticky.  I’m hoping for a day with a little less humidity today.  I can’t really complain though, we’ve had a nice pregnancy summer so far (very few unbearably hot days).

8.  After a two week break, Little Dude went back to daycare yesterday.  He was very happy to see his friends.

9.  Today, for the first time, Charles has been consistently calling his dad “papa” (dad); he’s been calling him “maman” (mom) for the past three months.

10.  Speaking of new words, I’m amazed at the quantity of words he’s learning every day.  I can’t keep up anymore and sometimes, he gets irritated because I don’t understand what he’s trying to say (he wants to validate that we understand him by having us repeat what he says and will repeat his word over and over again until we figure out what he’s trying to say).

Anyone else doing TTT?

Posted in Parenting

Choo Choo!

P1000532
Little Dude riding with his grandpa.

Little Dude has a fascination with trains.  Actually, he has a fascination with pretty much every type of vehicle.  After “mom”, his first words were “train”, “car”, “plane”, “truck” and “bus”.  Every time we go out on the road, I get a play-by-play of every single vehicle he sees on the road.

What’s great about his love for trains, though, is that there is a group of miniature train enthusiasts, the Montreal Live Steamers, who open their doors to the public on every first and third Sunday of the month and allow us to ride on their trains.  It is awesome!  The best part is that they are only about a 20 minute drive away from where we live.

My partner and I went with Little Dude a couple of weeks ago and he was so thrilled to see all of the trains that we decided to go again today.  We were super lucky because there were a lot of trains running today so we got to go riding three times during the short hour that we were there.

Posted in Friday Photo Recap

Friday Photo Recap: The Birthday Edition

Well, it’s 6:26pm (EST).  My son is officially a year old.

Let me repeat that.  Little Dude is 1!  I can scarcely believe how quickly time has flown.

I think my son must have heard the song “It’s my birthday and I can cry if I want to” too many times, because today, he is in all out crankiness mode.

*Sigh*

Of course, that *might* have to do with the fact that he’s teething…again… (yup, red cheeks, trouble falling asleep, excess drool, biting while nursing, swollen gums).  It’s top pre-molar time.

Besides that, he’s doing great.  Yesterday he went with his father to see his pediatrician and everything checks out.  He’s now up to 10.34kg (or about 23 pounds) and 75 cm long.  She’s not worried about the fact that he’s not walking yet as she says it’s not unusual at that age to not feel safe enough to walk yet.  She was pleased with the variety of foods he was eating and happy to hear that we’d gotten answers from our visit with the pediatric allergist.

I thought that I’d recap some monthly photos of him too see his evolution over the past 12 months.

Posted in Parenting

Group Post Anyone?

They say that two heads are better than one.  Following that logic, three, four, ten, etc. heads are better than one too, right?

I’ve been thinking about doing a series of posts called “Musts & Busts” and I need YOUR help to get them done.  Each post would address one specific subject and would list some of the great and not-so-great items we have bought/received/used for our children.  The goal is to arm new (and not so new) parents with our experience so that they know what to look for when they start shopping for their gear (or pulling their hair out because, y’know, their little one is teething).

Anyone interested?

The first theme I’d like to cover is baby toys. For the sake of this post, I’m talking about toys that are manufactured for those under the age of 12 months.

What is the absolute best toy that you bought or were gifted for your little one.  How about the absolute worst?

If you’re feeling up to sharing, just shoot me an email at mommytrainingwheels (at) gmail (dot) com.  I plan on posting this on Friday, November 1st so I’ll be accepting submissions until that date.

Oh!  And, I’ve also officially been accepted in the Top Mommy Blog directory!  So if you like my blog (and if you feel like it) just click on the fancy new button that in my sidebar.  One click = one vote.

Cheers

Posted in Parenting

I Wonder…Could it be a Wonder Week? Aka: Wonder Week # 46

Urgh, I’m so annoyed!  I just finished writing this post which I started yesterday and it didn’t save.  Now, I have to retype half of it…

Ok, tiny rant over…

Well, after a short hiatus caused partly by blogger’s block, partly by juggling three jobs and a family life and partly by good ol’ procrastination, I am back (right on time for Canadian Thanksgiving too!).

In my last post, I mentioned that my son still wasn’t STTN.  Well, he still isn’t, but I’m ok with that.  However, he has been generally cranky, clingy and “mood swingy” (even if my parents won’t believe me and think he’s a perfect angel all the time 😉 ).  I had all but forgotten about wonder weeks until I received a message in my inbox on a particularly headache-inducing day.

“Get ready for wonder week #46”

Ok, so that’s not how the title was worded exactly, but it is what it meant.

“Of course!”, I thought.  Little Dude’s developing skills and fragile mood finally made sense!

I’m not going to go through the signs of a wonder week again as they are pretty stable from time to time.  If you’re curious about what to look out for before a wonder week, I encourage you to read this and this, post (for the record, I’m sure I wrote about these more often, but these are the only two that popped out at me for now).

I am however going to give a little specific insight into what exactly this wonder week (WW) consists of.

According to the authors, who dubbed this WW the “world of sequences”, it is the moment where a baby:

can begin to realize that to reach many of his goals, he has to do things in a certain order to be successful.  You may now see your baby looking first to see which things go together and how they go together before trying to put them in each other, pile them on top of each other, or piece them together.

I’ve definitely noticed my son performing some more complex actions lately.  Here are a few of the things that he’s been doing:

  • Takes off his sock and tries to put it back on (the key word here is being ‘tries”)
  • Places his toys on top of his floating books in the tub
  • Pulls apart two “duplo” blocks and puts them back together
  • Places different sized objects inside containers
  • Pushes a toy towards the couch to try to climb up on his own
  • Can stand up on his own (without pulling up), might take a step forward before squatting back down
  • Dips his cracker/weetabix in a soft food (applesauce, hummus…) and brings the food to his mouth
  • Grabs the phone, puts it to his ear, pushes on some buttons and hands it to me
  • Tries to scoop up different types of food with his spoon
  • Turns on/off the light when prompted

I also seem to have turned my son into a pavlovian experimental subject.  He has not only been conditioned to clap when he hears the word “bravo” but he also when he pulls up and lets go of the object he used to pull up.  He also waves when he hears the word “bye bye” and is starting to wave when he hears “bonjour” (hello).

In the realm of language development, he understands the words mom, dad, look, what’s that, go get, give, come here, no (though he doesn’t always listen to this one)…and, though he is not particularly loquacious, uses the words “maman”, “papa” (or, his version of those words), “ga”, which is short for “regarde” (look) and “quoi” (what).  The last two words are usually accompanied by one of his fingers pointing in the direction of something.

I’m in awe of how quickly he’s developed since birth.  It is thoroughly amazing how much these little ones learn in such a short amount of time.

I should be back tomorrow for TTT and plan of starting to post more regularly again after that.  Look out for a post on themes for some guest posts I would love to see ’round here on Wednesday.

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Canadians!

Take care all.