Posted in Parenting

Reality Check (This Should be Fun)

It occurred to me recently that there are a few differences between my pre-baby conceptions of life and my post-baby reality of life.  I thought it would be fun to write them out here for everyone to laugh at see.

I’m going to become pregnant really easily like my mom.

Yeah…no!  It took my partner and I 18 months and countless ovulation tests before I got pregnant with Charles.  Though, to be fair, becoming pregnant with Amélie and Elliot was as simple as:

  1. Stop breastfeeding and condoms
  2. Have one cycle
  3. Bam!

I’m going to have quick and med-free labours just like my mom.

Apparently, I didn’t learn anything when my first conception flew out the window.  I had an 18 hour labour with my first complete with my waters breaking in bed at 3am, having pitocin administered at 8am, begging for an epidural by 1pm, actually getting it around 3pm and finally pushing the little bugger out after 45 minutes at 6:36pm.

Amélie’s birth went by more quickly shaving off 10 hours from my previous labour.  Though I still did get an epidural.

As for Elliot’s birth (I’m working on a post for it), well, that one was quick.  Though, I did still ask for an epidural.

I’m not going to bed-share with my babies.

Well, to be fair, I didn’t bed-share with Charles.  Amélie, on the other hand, I slept with on the first night we came home from the hospital and a few others after that, especially during night-long feedings during growth-spurts.  As for Elliot, well, I bed-shared with him at the hospital and then a few more times at home after that.

I’m not going to yell at my kids.

Hahaha, ha, HA!  Yeah, have you ever had a 3 year old?

But seriously, I do try to not yell, but sometimes my bag of tools gets depleted.

I’m going to nurse until he’s 6 months old and then stop once his first tooth comes in.

What I failed to realize in this instance was that teeth can cut before the 6 month mark.  And of course, Charles’ did.  At 5 months, to be exact.  The good thing is that since I really wanted to reach the 6 month mark, I kept nursing him and quickly got over the fear I had of nursing a toothed baby.  This led me to nurse both Charles and Amélie all the way up to their first birthday.  I plan to do the same with Elliot!

I’m never going to buy a minivan.  Instead, I’m going to be a cool mom and have a SUV to accommodate my growing family.

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Meet the (very dirty) “mom-mobile” aka, my fourth child.  I seriously love this thing.

I’m going to be very by-the-book.

Though I am very by-the-book (and a little over-the-top, according to some) with regards to car seat safety, I also have to consider the following with regards to the introduction of solids:

  • I chose BLW over purees;
  • I didn’t follow the 3-day rule;
  • I didn’t follow the suggested order of food introduction;
  • I even *gasp* introduced potentially allergenic food like peanut butter, eggs and salmon before the recommended ages.

However, all of these decisions were reached after doing a whole lot of research.

My kids aren’t going to get any screen time before the age of 2…

p1010247
I guess the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is appropriate here.

…And they’re not going to play with tablets either.

No, of course not [insert ironic tone].

I should note, though, that we have drastically reduced the time our little ones spend with tablets because Charles, in particular, would become very grumpy and irritable whenever we would allow him even a bit of time in front of a tablet.

Charles is going to start rolling over/crawling/walking/talking very quickly.

Because, duh, he’s my firstborn child so of course he’s going to be perfect!

For the record, he rolled from front to back at 5 months, from back to front at 7 months, he crawled at 10 months, walked at 12 months and at 18 months could only say “mama” and “water”.

I am going to cherish every moment.

And, to quote Katherine over at Welcome to the Nursery: “unicorns [will be] literally prancing around […] with me”.

Because, seriously, as much as I cherish motherhood in general, I can’t say I much cherish being peed on, or vomited on, or bitten, or kicked, or, or, or…

I hope you guys had fun reading these!  Feel free to laugh with me and then share some of your own!

Posted in Parenting

BLW Awesomness

I did BLW as a method of introduction of solids with Charles and, besides the stress we had with regards to his milk allergy, loved it.  The second time around, with Amélie, I find myself enjoying it even more.  Despite the presence of her four chompers (which allow her to take on some pretty hefty bites of the food she’s eating), I’m not as stressed that she’s going to choke this time around (which, I feel I should add, doesn’t make me any more vigilant when she’s eating).  I know that she’ll just spit out pieces that are too big (even if she has to gag on one piece a few times before actually spitting it out).  I haven’t had to sit on my hands and count to five like I did with Charles.

I am also amazed at how quickly she too to eating solids.  She is now on three solid meals of day (what can I say, she is one hungry baby!), she knows how to put the business end of a spoon in her mouth and she is able to pick up small pieces (like quartered grapes) and put them in her mouth.

But you know what makes BLW even more awesome?  The pictures!

Posted in Random thoughts

Dear [Insert Name] – Short Letters From A Frustrated Sleep-Deprived Mama

Dear SUV-driving stranger that parked beside my car yesterday morning,

I know that sometimes it is hard to find a parking spot.  Trust me, I do.  For instance, yesterday morning, I had to park on the outer edge of the parking lot and walk a good 5 minutes with my heavy 6 month old in her bucket seat and tantrum-prone toddler instead of right beside the medical clinic because, well, there were no more parking spots right next to the clinic.  So you see, I totally understand that when you find a spot, you take it.  However, it would be nice in the future, if you could just park a liiiiiiiiitle further away from my car because, quite frankly, it was hard as heck getting my toddler into his seat in the minimal space that was left once I opened my car door.  It was also hard as heck getting enough of my arms inside of the car to manage to buckle him up.  I also wanted you to know, dear driver, that I made sure to keep my fingers between my car door and yours just to make sure that you very lovely SUV didn’t get dented.  I cannot, however, guarantee that I will be able to safeguard the bump-free surface of your vehicle when my kids are old enough to open their doors all by themselves.

Sincerely,

The mama who had two kids to juggle and a tiny space to juggle them in

***

Dear Yahoo,

a couple of nights ago, after battling it out with my infant daughter to get her to fall back asleep for over an hour and a half, I decided to hang out in my living room with my iPad to pass the time as I waited for her to wake up for the umpteenth time in a minimal time frame.  To be quite frank, I was past the zombie-tired stage and was wondering how I was even still standing (truth be told, I was sitting, but hey, what difference does it make?).  As I was looking through the photos of my kids on my iPad and deciding which ones I would upload to my Google+ page, I noticed that there was an icon that allowed me to upload them directly to a Flickr account.  I thought it was the best idea ever so I prepared myself to create a Yahoo address to get the job done.  I was stoked until I saw that I had to insert a mobile phone number that would be used in case I forgot my password (emphasis on had to).  Let me tell you, dear Yahoo, that I do not own a cell phone.  I’m sure there are others that live in the Stone Age that choose not to have one like me.  You probably don’t care that I won’t be a Flickr user, but I wanted to let you know that I will be staying with Google+.

Sincerely,

The mama who doesn’t own, want or need a cell phone (and who can remember her passwords like a big girl all on her own *gasp*)

***

Dear pediatrician,

I know that you care for the well-being of the kids that come through your office.  Really, I do.  I also know that you are swamped in paperwork, an ever-rising workload and are likely feeling more and more unappreciated by parents who are frustrated with the healthcare system.  However, it would be nice (like really nice) if you could update your knowledge of introduction of solids just a liiiiiitle bit.  I was, to be honest, a bit disheartened when, upon mentioning that we were doing baby-led weaning with Amélie, that you had absolutely no idea what I was talking about (it was apparent when you concluded that it meant I was doing veggies and fruits with my baby girl).  I was equally disheartened when you ignored the fact that my daughter was exclusively breastfed for 6 months before any solid food got into her mouth (instead of getting rice cereal as early as 3 months as seems to be the custom here) while looking at her curve and telling me that I had to give her iron-fortified cereal and veggie purees twice a day because she had dropped (barely) under her growth curve.  Perhaps, even, if you don’t have time to read the new research that is starting to show that the only foods that are off limits until the age of one are fresh milk, egg whites and honey, you could at least keep an open mind when I tell you about the variety of foods that my daughter has had (including cooked egg yolks, avocado and toast strips).

Sincerely,

the mama who has successfully raised a two year old who is an awesome eater and is attempting to do the same with her 6 month old daughter

***

Dear itsy bitsy spider,

I’m so sorry that, upon reading a story to my toddler that included a dog who was afraid of a spider, I giggled like crazy and concluded with my son that the doggy was silly to be afraid of spider.  I’m sorry that, I told him how unscary spiders were because they were so much smaller than us humans.  When I saw you this morning, squashed between the nimble fingers of my triumphant toddler (“look mama, a spider!!!!!!”) I was very sad that my desire for my son to remain unafraid of your kind resulted in your death.  I promise that the next lesson will be that we must be gentle with spiders.  May you rest in peace.

Sincerely,

the mama who didn’t want her toddler to be afraid of spiders

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday: 10/03/15

TTT

1.  Wow, I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done one of these.

2.  Bear with me, I’m still trying to find a balance between crocheting, baking and blogging.  I’m thinking I may decide to blog on fixed days just to help me get back into a rhythm.

3.  The weather is finally getting warmer around here.  We’re up on in the pluses (just barely) for a couple of days this week.  It’s a welcome change from the frigid months we’ve been having.

4.  The changing weather has gotten me primed for Spring/Summer sports.  I want to buy a balance bike for Charles so I’ve been reading quite a bit to see which one would be best for him.  Do you have any suggestions?

5.  Following my post on winter car seat safety, I reinstalled the base for the bucket seat in both cars and, following one of the tips I’d read, I tried getting the toddler in his seat without his coat.  To my surprise, it actually wasn’t all that bad and he actually prefers it that way (I no longer hear him whine that he’s too hot!) so I’m going to keep my kids out of coats during winter in the future.

6.  Amélie has been rather miserable the past two days.  Her top teeth are just about to cut, so I can’t really blame her.

7.  Speaking of teeth, and what they’re used for, the little miss is ROCKING solids!  Let me tell you, she knows exactly where it goes and she is not happy when we sit her in her chair without food.  So far, she’s had steamed broccoli, cucumber “fries”, applesauce (on a loaded spoon which she grabs), avocado, banana and toast strips.

8.  Now that baby girl can stay in a seated position unassisted for long periods of time, I have started bathing her with her brother in the big tub (no worries, I always have a hand on her).  The first time they went in together, Charles was so happy and he remained calm for as long as his sister was sitting beside him.

9.  This Sunday, we are going to a sugar shack (yum!).  Now that Charles isn’t as allergic to dairy (the only thing we have to still steer clear of is fresh milk), it’ll be even funner than the first time we went.

10.  There are only two classes left in Charles’ winter swim session :(.  When the new session starts, both he and his sister will be taking lessons (Charles is old enough to be in the water without parents now).  And after seeing how happy baby girl was in the tub, I can’t wait to see how she’ll be in the pool!

Happy Tuesday!

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Sleep & How To Find It.

**Warning: this isn’t a how-to post.**

I wish it were, but is isn’t.

No, instead, it’s more of a question.

Or an accumulation of many questions.

And thoughts.  Yes…those too.

Let me lay it out for you (no pun intended).

I’m tiiiiiiiiiiiired!

Seriously.

The little guy is starting to make me question my parenting.  I suppose it’s a good thing because it means that I actually care about the quality of my parenting.  Of course, it also means that something is amuck. Or perhaps it isn’t.

*Sigh* why can’t parenting be easy?

Here’s the thing.  Little Dude is ten months old.  He eats three nicely-sized meals per day at daycare on top of nursing from three to five times in a 24h period (more on the disparity of nursing frequencies in another post).  On a typical day, he sleeps  45 min. to an hour in the morning and about 1.5 hours in the afternoon.  He’s generally up by 6:30am and down for the night at around 7:30pm.  I think we have a good routine going that is conductive to sleep.  He seems to disagree.

You see, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that he has slept through the night.  And by slept through, I’m not talking about the theoretical “in the books” definition of 6 consecutive hours.  I’m talking about going to bed at 7 pm and waking up for the day around 6:30 or something along those lines.

The fact is, the Charles wakes up minimally once every night.  On some nights, he wakes up twice.  Now, I know that some of you must have it worse than I do and, in all honesty, it didn’t bother me for a while as I was on maternity leave.  But now?  Now I’m back to work AND I actually need to function.  Of course, when the little guy wakes up, the big guy is usually fast asnore (for those of you who are sleep-deprived like me asnore = asleep + snoring).  He generally stays that way too unless I let Little Dude try to sort himself out for more than 15 minutes.

A night-waking usually looks something like this:

  • Charles wakes up.
  • He starts stirring and semi-chattering.
  • He moves into whiney mode.
  • Whiney mode turns into yelling-at-his-parents mode.  (Ahem: “RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA!  RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA!…“)
  • Yelling mode turns into semi-crying mode.
  • Semi-crying mode either turns into whiney and then sleep mode or FULL-BLOWN CRYING mode.

Generally, when he wakes up twice during a night, he’ll be able to put himself back to sleep during one of his night-wakings.  Generally.  Sometimes, however, both night-wakings require that I get out of bed (because, of course, the big guy is certainly not going to take the initiative and get out of his toasty bed to try to calm down a screaming baby in the middle of the night – of course, can’t really blame him for wanting to stay in bed ;)).  So, I leave the comfort and warmth of the bed, blindly grab my bathrobe and pull it on before I freeze to death, make my way to my son’s room, pick him up, sit in the rocking chair, stick a boob in his mouth and let him suck his way back to sleep.

Right now, I want him to sleep more.  But I don’t know if I have reasonable expectations.  I mean, is it reasonable for me to expect my son to be able to go through the night without nursing and without waking?  Is he waking up because he knows I will come in and nurse him or is he waking for another reason?  And if he is waking because I created this habit for him, what do I do about it?  Do I kindly wake my snorer and ask him to take care of the little man or do I just let my son banshee himself back to sleep?  I mean, how am I supposed to know if he actually needs that nursing session in the middle of the night or not?

To be frank, if I knew that he needed one MOTN feeding I would be fine with it.  I’d go with the flow.  But if he doesn’t need it…well..I’ll take my sleep.

Insight?  Anyone?  Please?

Posted in Parenting

I’m Allergic to Dairy.

Actually, I’m not.

But it feels like it.

Here’s the thing though, I’ve been dairy free for a little over a month (I think) now.  As hard as it was in the beginning, it has now become normal for me.  I don’t look longingly at cheese anymore.  I don’t miss milk or ice cream or yogurt anymore.  I’ve become adept at recognizing the hidden milk names in the ingredient lists and am starting to know which products are safe to eat.  Instead of looking at what I can’t eat, I look at what I can eat.  And there is PLENTY that I can still eat.

However, I wonder when I will be eating dairy again.  You see, as you can imagine, I’ve been reading a lot on food allergies since I first “diagnosed” my son when he was six months old (need I remind you that he hasn’t been officially diagnosed because our appointment with the allergist is at the end of October?) and there is a lot of research.  Among this research there is – you guessed it! – contradicting information.

Some sources say to try again after a few weeks.  Others say to do so after a couple months.  I’ve also read to wait until the age of 1.  And then there’s all of the other foods that I’ve opted not to try yet.  This includes nuts and strawberries, to name a few.  A part of me is afraid that he’s going to have a severe reaction but a part of me wants to try the foods out anyways.  Although “common knowledge” dictates to wait until the child is 2 to introduce peanuts and tree nuts (some say to wait until the 4th birthday for kids who have allergies or who have parents with allergies) new research has revealed that the sooner you expose your child to a food, the less likely they are likely to develop an allergy to that food.

I was thinking of reintroducing dairy in my own diet first to see how my son reacts to it.  If his eczema doesn’t come back and his stools stay nice and solid (I’m sure you’re all very happy to read about my son’s bowel movements haha), it would be a good sign that he’s on the right track to eating dairy himself.

What to do, what to do?

I’m reluctant to speak to our pediatrician about this.  I’m also reluctant to reintroduce dairy in my own diet lest my son develop bad eczema again by his next appointment at the end of the month and she indirectly accuses me of being a bad mom again.  Perhaps I should just wait and talk to the allergist about it at the end of October.

Thoughts?

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

What’s Your Parenting Method? (CTFD & 8 More)

Apparently, there’s a “new” “revolutionary” parenting method that is rockin’ the Web these days.  Affectionately known as CTFD (Calm the F*** Down), it apparently stemmed from the idea that parents these days are much too competitive when it comes to their children and need to learn to CTFD when they realize that *gasp* their child isn’t doing something that another child of the same age is doing.  Because, apparently, every parent’s child needs to be more advanced than the other parent’s child.

By the way, my 8 month old is already doing algebra whilst standing on one hand.  What is your 8 month old doing? 😛

Anyways, I thought I’d try my hand at this and list some more REVOLUTIONARY parenting methods because, you know, I’m an overachiever and want to push the envelope even further than the inventor of CTFD and give parents an arsenal of methods to use.  I’m even going to leave out cuss words because, y’know, we wouldn’t want our children to develop bad habits, now would we?

Ready?

Mommy Training Wheel’s Ultimate Guide To Stress-Free Parenting

  • 1.  JSAN (Just Smile and Nod)
  • Like when the lady at Walmart decides to harass you and make you feel like you’re a bad father for bringing your son into the store without any socks on.  (Happened to my partner the other day!)
  • 2.  LTYH (Listen to Your Heart)
  • Pretty self-explanatory.
  • 3.  DWWFY (Do What Works For You)
  • You want to nurse?  Great!  Choosing formula?  Awesome!  Half and half?  Super!  Exclusive pumping?  Stellar!  Co-Sleeping? Sure thing!  Baby in his own room?  Sounds good!  Rock/nurse  to sleep?  Excellent!  Put down awake?  Cool!  Cloth diapering?  Disposables?  BLW?  Cereal and purées?  Babywearing?  …  If it works for you, GO FOR IT!
  • 4.  SYAI (Say “Yes” and Ignore)
  • Like when you MIL insists that she is going to be able to spoon feed her grandson when he’s never been spoon fed before.
  • 5.  TYG (Trust Your Gut)
  • You know that something’s not right with you little one, but the pediatrician won’t listen?  Insist, insist, insist!
  • 6.  TADB (Take A Deep Breath)
  • Feel like you’re going to lose it?  Take a deep breath?
  • 7.  PBDAR (Put Baby Down and Regroup)
  • Baby still screaming no matter what you do?  Took a deep breath but still feel like you’re going to lose it?  Put your banshee-like baby down in a safe area and go outside so you can’t hear him/her anymore for a few moments.
  • 8.  DLMO (Don’t Linger, Move On)

Did you screw something up?  Perhaps you yelled at your kid in a fit of sleep-deprived-last-nerve-trampled-splitting-headache rage?  Learn from it and move on.

So, what method do you live by?  Do you have anything to add to the list?