Friday, January 28, 2011

Just sleep please

One of my doctor mommy blogger friends posted a great article on sleep this morning.

The article reinforces some of the best advice I was given as a new mom, from two of my favourite moms (thanks Emily & Stephanie!).  The advice was simple...

Every baby is different and you're the mom. Do what is right and what works for you and your baby.  

The sleep equation is hard to figure out. I know Peter and I have spent endless nights trying to mimic exactly what we have done the night before in hopes Rory would repeat the same glorious stretch of uniterrupted slumber. It has never worked. And just when you do figure the sleep thing out (or better said - your baby decides all on their own they will sleep longer and learns to self soothe), it changes. Stupid teeth.

Sleepless nights make for extremely tough days, adding a whole lot of pressure and guilt that never makes anything easier.  Check the article out if you need a little reinforcement that you're doing right by your baby.  Whatever works, works. And then have a glass of wine. In my experience it really is the ONLY thing that does help. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Seven Months

Rory turned SEVEN months on the weekend and we've got a whole lot of celebrating going on here!

Aside from the safe arrival of our little friend Griffin Patrick...

We're celebrating that at 7 months, Rory's first two teeth (that decided to cut through simutaneously)... are almost up.
Thank God.

Rory is also creeping everywhere and very close to a crawl, and has officially starting pulling himself up on things (not sure if we really want to celebrate that).

And we're celebrating that we can finally talk about the new baby cousin that is on the way for Rory! Yeah Sarah and Chad!!

And.... just tonight we received some other BIG celebration news from two friends. But we can't tell you about one. Yet.... but it's FANTASTIC news for great friends of ours. So excited!  The other I am sure is up for celebration publically - Congrats MLG on your promotion and new category!

All this wonderful news is certainly making this cold weather seem warm!


Rory Seven Months Old

Welcome Griffin Patrick Weir!

One of my best girlfriends Emily, gave birth to a bouncing baby BOY last week! I don't have a picture to post yet, but wanted to say how happy we are for her and her husband Brad, and their daughter Clementine. 

Emily has left the sex of both her babies as surprises for the day of, and I think a SURPRISE baby Griffin indeed was! Everyone thought she was having a girl. Although... for arguments sake, when I did the needle/string thing on her, it did read boy. :) 

Welcome baby Griffin, we can not wait to meet you!!

Honestly, the fun of baby Griffin's arrival really sort of makes me want to keep our next (if there is one) a secret?!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

best husband ever

A post natal confession

Like most new moms, bringing home a new baby was everything and nothing I expected all the same time. Shock and awe as I have best heard it described. While my memory is foggy of the first few days... the weeks that followed are well etched in my memory as some of the most incredible and also tough moments of my life.  Sleep deprivation really does trump all, and so does the doubt that sits at the bottom of every new mom’s stomach. That you're doing it right, that you're doing it wrong, and let's be honest, that you can do it at all.

As I have blogged about before. I was induced at 37 weeks due to pregnancy related hypertension and the early signs of pre-eclampsia.  Rory was born (and still is) a beautiful bouncing baby boy, but he was tiny. Border line underweight (5lbs, 8 ounces is the marker and that is exactly what Rory weighed in at).  Tiny babies need special care. They can't lose the 10% of their body weight that is typical in those first few days as babies sleep off their labour woes and wait for mamma's milk to arrive.  I am not going to rehash the stress of caring for a tiny baby, it's all to say... I have spent a great deal of time focusing on the health of my baby and in the process have neglected my own. 

As a side note - Rory has totally caught up to the rest of the babies his age. At almost 7 months, he is in the 50th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height. He is going to be TALL!

I have a few doctor moms following my blog now so here is some warning. This will likely shock you.  I canceled my 6 week post natal check up. It was a particularly tough day, we don't have family here to offer help, and we were already seeing a family doctor and a lactation consultant (separately) every week.  And I just couldn't do any more. I remember being so tired, and honestly thought it just wasn't that big of a priority. So no problem right? I planned to rebook it. Except that day never came. Life just took over.   Almost 7 months later and I still haven't received any post natal care. Ridiculous.  I am not proud of this. This is the exact stuff I have given my own mom such a hard time about for years. Spending too much time fussing over her children, and not enough time taking care of her own health.

So here's the deal. I don't feel great. In fact, I am utterly exhausted.  I feel it everywhere. But the exhaustion I can deal with (and let's face it, I am certainly not the only exhausted mom out there). It's the chest pains I have been having for a few months (with increasing frequency and intensity) that have me a bit down.  It feels like someone is squeezing the left side of my chest. It happens several times a day, it's lasts for about 30 seconds, and sometimes it is so intense it will take my breath away. I have tried to pay close attention to triggers or a pattern of when the chest pains occur, but they seem to happen at irregular times and situations. For instance, I got one while at rest in bed this morning.

So I finally saw my doctor on Monday. I was honest about my lack of post-natal care and the look on her face pretty much said it all. Not that the chest pains have anything to do with post-natal care, but I am sure you see my point. The good news is that my blood pressure is 120/80 which apparently is text book, so at least I don't have to worry about that.

So in the next couple of weeks I am having a slew of blood work done, an x-ray of my chest and an echocardiogram.  It makes me sort of sad to blog about me not taking care of my health. I of anyone should know better. Anyway, for all you new moms... take care of yourselves. Babies can't care for themselves, having mamma around is pretty important for that. You know... historically my body in different ways has told me I need to take better care of it.  If that is what is happening, it definitely hasn't gone unnoticed. I am a fresh with a healthy body and mind focus.  It sort of feels like everyone has been getting a piece of me recently, except me... that definitely is high on my agenda to change.

Here is to a healthy 2011!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy

Today is Peter's first birthday as a dad. True to his style of completely spoiling his loved ones, we have been celebrating his "birth month" with little surprises leading up to this weekend... and finally the grand finale which was having his side of our family join us for a jazzy brunch today.

We love you lots Peter (daddy), you're the perfect dad, and can't wait for all the things ahead for our little family!


Very early morning cuddles. WAKE UP daddy it's your birthday! 

Early breakfast in bed

A jazzy brunch

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting Diaper Fit

So it would appear I have been on a bit of a roll this week with blog posts. Last one... promise. I am hosting my mommy friends tomorrow for lunch, making 2 dozen cupcakes in the afternoon, and prepping a romantic birthday dinner for my husband and I. Lots to do.

So, we have started swimming lessons with Rory, and it wouldn't be right of me (for all you Toronto mommies), not to mention how AWESOME these classes are. It's called Diaper Fit. Lots of locations... lots of fun. Peter is even doing the Saturday class, so get your dads out as well!

Here's the deal, 30 minute aquafit workout for the parents (it's HARD, my legs are killing me), followed by a 30 minute activity/swim class for the babies. The kids float in these cool little boats during the workout part.

All the pools are heated, the classes are small, and the change rooms are clean.  Here's the catch... you need to sign up WELL in advance for these classes. I signed us up in October for the session we are doing with Rory (sessions are 8 weeks and they give preference to the moms and tots already in the class).

We have a serious swimmer on our hands. This kid LOVES the water. And this mommy likes that I just might work some of this baby weight of YET. <3

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A solid update

We`re about a full 5 weeks into feeding Rory solids now and things are going super well. Something that I found quite daunting and intimidating to figure out at first, is actually a lot of fun now. Actually Rory these days is just SO MUCH FUN. He has a laugh and a smile for everyone, especially Peter and I... and last night for the first time he reached for Peter with a giggle and MAJOR smiles when he got home from work. It melted us both.

So back to solids, we have tried tons of fruit and vegetable goodness....

Carrots, peas, parsnips, sweet potato, turnip, squash, leeks, pears, apples, avocado, bananas, peaches, blueberries and today for the first time we tried beets... and if you can believe it, Rory loved them!  Actually, we have a pretty good eater on our hands, the only thing he has really turned his nose up as was the potato and turnip combo. Can you blame him?

I am actually really enjoying making my own baby food. We have yet to use anything from a jar and I am feeling pretty good about that. The colour difference between jarred and homemade food is incredible. Look at this colour!

I`ll try to make sure to remember to blog about what this looks like coming back out. My sister says it`s quite alarming.

Next up this month... zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, mango, and some prunes and apricots are sitting on my counter waiting for a good puree too. 

Two books that have been a lot of help getting us off the ground successfully in our baby food making business....

Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes

and First Meals by Annabel Karmel

Something that I am interested in, but will likely save for a second baby (not even thinking about it), is the idea of baby led weening.

It means forgetting all the purees and weaning spoons and simply letting your baby feed himself. You can check it out here... Baby led weaning  Cool eh... I am hearing about more and more mothers who are doing it with their second baby.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A security blanket shake-down

What's in a security blanket?  Why do some babies form super strong attachments to blankets and stuff animals?  I never had one... but I did suck my thumb, so I suppose that is sort of one in the same.  Anyway, Rory has a blanket, and until today I have very loosely referred to it as his "security blanket" but have often wondered if it was more me fond of that idea than him. Would he care if he just didn't have it at nap time, or at night?

Most "experts" will say, having a security blanket is a good thing for a baby. There is a sense of peace and well-being that comes from how a baby feels when he/she hugs her blanket or stuff animal. It's familiar — its smell, how it feels, its color. If you google it, apparently these security items are a way for a baby to find confidence and comfort by themselves. A baby who has a special attachment to something like a blanket, is finding a way to make the world outside of her parents' protection a less overwhelming place. On a side note, they also mention that comfort objects are common among young babies who spend long hours in daycare. Having something familiar and unchanging to snuggle against helps them while they are away from home. Perfect.

Anyway, if I wondered before if this blue blanket we have was truly Rory's security blanket... I wonder no more. I decided to wash it this morning because frankly it smelled like puke and had blueberry marks on it from the lunch Rory rubbed all over it yesterday. Typically I don't let it leave his crib much, but these teeth are making us do all sorts of new things to comfort him.  So I wash it, I put it in the dryer in what I think is lots of time to catch his next nap. Silly Mommy.

So, I go to get it before I put him down for his nap, and the dryer door is wide open. F*%k!   So, I decide to test the waters... He doesn't really need this blanket does he? 

ALL.HELL.BROKE.LOOSE.  My son melted down into a puddle of uncontrollable crying like I have never seen before. How DARE I even dream of putting him to bed without his blanket?!!! The crying didn't stop until the GD - dryer buzzed and his warm blanket reappeared. And angels sung from heaven.

So which is more or less comforting?  That Rory has a blanket that will calm him regardless of his whereabouts or my proximity, or if we ever lose this thing we're in BIG BIG BIG trouble? 

Can't decide.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A new parent social experiment

Is a 6 month old baby distracting enough that I could possibly pull off prepping a surprise birthday dinner party for my husband right under his nose?  My assumption was yes. Yes, a baby is that big of a handful that it can make my usually super attentive husband completely unaware of the party prepping that was happening right before his very eyes.

Although to his credit, he did mention I had bought a crap load of romaine lettuce.

Still, a successful surprise it was! I love surprises, well actually, I love knowing about surprises and leaving others to be surprised.

So, last night we celebrated Peter's birthday (which is actually next weekend, but I needed to throw him off) by having several of his besties over (or down - as some were in from out of town) for a dinner party extravaganza. I think I cooked enough ribs for 100 people. If you're hungry, please stop by for leftovers today.  Lots of fun.

As a matter of fact, I have a headache to match EXACTLY how much fun I had. Drinking is just not the same when you get woken at 630am.

I didn't take a single picture of Peter at his party last night. Oops. I guess I can't do everything afterall. :)  I did snap this one of Rory (who shouldn't have been up when it was taken) with Peter's best friend Dylan.

And this one of Peter playing guitar for Rory mere minutes before our guests were to arrive. It was just too cute to break up, but as Peter played I got more and more anxious. He was supposed to be bathing Rory as the guests filed in and surprised him when he brought Rory downstairs. Luckily Rory tired of the Irish rebel songs just in time.

Happy Birthday (early) Peter! We love you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A mommy mis-diagnosis

So... Rory is sick. His teeth could indeed be bothering him as well, but as it turns out the majority of his symptoms are from a virus he has picked up. Today... almost immediately after I blogged about his teeth I started to notice a rash all over his tummy and back and face. He had fallen asleep in my arms and as he moved his hand to my face, I was alarmed at how hot it felt. I immediately took his temperature and it was up over 102.3!! So with a racing heart I called our pediatrician. Closed. I then called tele-health and was told there was a 15 minute wait to speak to a nurse, so I left my number and someone called me back. In the meantime, I got a hold of Peter, he took a cab home to meet us and off we went to find a doctor.

So it's a virus... he could have picked it up anywhere and there is not a lot they can give him. Our job is just to watch him closely, keep him comfortable, keep him hydrated, and do what we can to manage his fever with cool baths and Tylenol. Poor Rory. :(

What this all says is... the books are right. A temperature isn't something doctors are willing to call a "normal" symptom for teething because, case in point, a temperature can mean a lot of other things. Watch your babies closely, and hug them tight.

No swimming for us tomorrow. Oh well, we can get diaper fit when Rory feels better. xo

The road to a toothy milestone

Is brutal, for some babies... and barely phases others. Want to take a guess which one of these camps Rory falls into?

We're officially on what seems like a very steep incline to the first tooth milestone. The white caps are visible, I can feel the little buggers if I press on Rory's gum (which you can just imagine how much he loves), but we're heading into night #3 and nothing. According to my mom... this could go on for months and these teeth could still be no-shows. If that's the case, I 'd prefer a quick lobotomy.

Some babies don't show much sign of teething and skip past this hurdle without so much of a squeal. Our poor little Rory though is dealing with the whole enchilada of symptoms. 

  • Drooling (which is the cause of a special little neck rash)
  • Gum swelling and sensitivity ( I know this only after hearing the screaming which resulted from me pressing on his gums)
  • Irritability or fussiness - check, check and check-check-check. (this kid is ALWAYS a happy camper so at least the teething thing was easy to pinpoint)
  • Biting behavior
  • Refusing food - cold peaches went down ok today though.
  • Sleep problems - don't want to talk about it. 
  • Body and bum rash - just terrible.
He also has a fever. Which is probably the thing that has me most worried. It's only been as high as 100.6, but that was enough for me to resort to Tempra.

and finally... the rosiest and warmest cheeks you've ever seen.  Wish us luck tonight.  And if you have teething advice - please send our way.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's on the menu baby?

For those that know me well... you know I talk endlessly about giving up our life in the big city, for a simpler and more family focused life back in the small town I grew up. Almonte. For those that don't, take my word for it... in the DECADE I have spent in Toronto, I have "talked" about it non-stop. And having a baby as you can imagine, has added a lot of fuel to that conversation.

I have a love/hate relationship with Toronto. I always have. After 10 years living in just about every neighborhood in this city, I can tell you that I love EVERYTHING about Toronto with the exception of;  (1) my family is not here, (2) many of my close friends are not here, (3) house and property prices are ridiculous, (4) this city I am quite sure coined the term "rat race", and  (5) we never get any snow in the winter. And for me there is absolutely no point to winter without snow. Oh, (6) the crime kinda sucks here too.

What has taken me a bit by surprise though,  is that in the last several months on mat leave, I have actually grown to love Toronto MORE. A notion I would have told you was absolutely CRAZY back in my super lonely early days of being a new mom. The point is, Toronto has an ENORMOUS amount to offer new parents.  There are activities to do with babies and children all over this city and a lot of it is free. There are hits and misses, but for a mom that has no family here and had no mommy friends in those early days, Toronto and all it has to offer literally has saved my mommy life.  Ok, a bit dramatic eh?  It has at least saved my sanity. That I am sure of.

So this weekend, I found another great Toronto Mommy resource to add to the list. Did you know there are actually restaurants in Toronto that offer homemade organic pureed baby food on their menu?  Rory is 6 months old and eating solids, and I can actually order him his own MEAL?  Too much fun!! And in the case of this weekend, a bit of lifesaver.  We had traveled to the junction to visit with friends and their new baby and explored a bit after we left, all of the sudden we were starving. So I remembered a cute organic eatery in the area I had once been too and off we went to The Beet Organic Cafe.  We sat down to eat and I realized that Rory was about to go into a full melt down if we didn't feed him too. That's when I started scanning the menu for anything I might be able to mash and feed him. To our delight their baby menu answered my panic...

Baby Beet (Vegan) (Wheat-Free) (Gluten-Free) $2
Baby-sized portion of homemade organic puree
Apple, avocado, banana, sweet potato, brown rice

Amazing. Rory devoured the apple and sweet potato. Check this place out...they also have a super cozy changing room and highchairs available for use.

I heart places that do what they can to make things easy for parents. You know, so we can feel like normal human beings out for a weekend brunch.