Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Consolidating three naps to two

Ah Sleep. It really never ends does it?  Just when you think you have hit baby sleep gold... things change. They are fascinating little creatures aren't they?

I was sitting on our play mats today with Rory, and we were babbling back and forth together, and then he stood at our coffee table and I immediately put my hand on his waist to a support an impending fall, and know what he did?  He took his hand and shooed mine away.  It's a common occurrence these days.  What a little person he has become.  We're 9 months in and this kid is shooing my hand away and giving me looks to say "I got it mom, I don't need your help OK?"  Assertive independence at 9 months, I wonder what's in store at 9 years?

Anyway, back to the sleep. Things change by the month and the merry-go-round begins again.  So we're figuring it out, playing with schedules and saying our sweet sweet prayers to the baby sleep God for a sleep break-thru.

Specifically, our most recent troubles have been in the form of three simultaneous things;
  1. The return of daylight savings
  2. The arrival of Rory's 3rd tooth (an eye tooth at that)
  3. And the apparent need to begin a transition from 3 naps, to two. Brought about by the continuous fighting of his late day nap and his early wake times.
So it hasn't been easy, but we're there.  If you want the ugly details, let me know. But it was a simple return to basics. Sleep training. And a re-read of my favourite sleep book of all time - Marc Weisbluth - Healthy sleep Habits, Happy Child.

Warning * He's dry, doesn't sugar coat anything, and sometimes way too blunt for the average sensitive mom, but it's been our bible.

And his advice has worked through every single sleep change. Which makes him kind of like the baby sleep God to me.

If you're looking for some sleep advice, check him out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Babies in Motion

So, we joined a new program to welcome the arrival spring and in the spirit of trying a few different things before I pass the parental leave baton to Peter at the end of May.

The class is called Babies in Motion, and it focuses on gross motor skill development for babies. It's held in this huge colourful room in a gymnastics gym, and the room is filled with tunnels, tents, balls, bouncing castles and tons of toys that encourage baby to crawl, walk, jump, flip, rock, roll, laugh, and then sleep all afternoon from utter exhaustion.  Sign.me.up.

Today was our second class and it really is just way too much fun, so I thought I would blog about it for you Toronto mommies. Oh... and out of all the classes we have done, it's by far the best bang for my buck.  Whether we can credit this class (given we have been twice) with any of the huge motor skill developments Rory has made in the last two weeks, we're not sure... but it certainly isn't hurting.

Here are some highlights.... definitely worth the trek over to the east end once a week if you're into it.

 Poor Rory totally a bad hair day.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Baltic Cup

We're coming up to a first year anniversary at 42 Baltic Avenue. Can you believe it? Remember when we moved in 2 weeks before having a baby? Ya, I don't remember much about it either.

As each season passes, we fall more in love with our neighborhood and specifically our street. We know all our neighbors by name. I know, crazy eh?  Even crazier is we like them all. When does that ever happen?

And just when we thought this street couldn't be any more perfect for our little family... a notice flew through our mail slot in early January, and again two weeks ago as a reminder, announcing the Annual Baltic Cup Road Hockey Tournament.  A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Who wouldn't love a block that gets together each year to give a collective "you suck" road hockey salute to the city counsellors that approved this bylaw and these posted signs.

So today was the day, and we were blessed with gorgeous sun and a street full of happy kids and parents. These people know how to do up a road hockey tournament right. Complete with goodies for the kids, and a bbq and cooler of beer for the bigger kids.

We of course got decked out in our Leafs gear. Peter even ended up being a good sport about  wearing the jersey despite his ridiculous allegiance to a far crappier team.

Isn't he the cutest little Leafs Fan? Thanks for the jersey Gram and Grumps.

Me and Rory jersied this kid below in the red.
Then I had to take Rory for a time out. Better known as his afternoon nap.

Action shots

Hockey love on Baltic Avenue.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nine Months

Where did nine months go?  It's incredible how fast it has all gone. Everyone tells you that, but when you're "in it", you're "in it"... and those long sleepless days and nights feel anything but fast.  But looking back now, and watching this little guy change by the day, it really is incredible how he has grown and changed each month.

So so so fast. And we really have loved every minute.

But let's be honest, it's way easier to love those hard days in retrospect, isn't it. :)

 (Thanks Sarah and Chad for the awesome shirt and jeans! They fit now!)

Rory has had a record week. He has started doing FIVE new things. It's blowing our minds.

He now can get into a sitting position from crawling, then he learned to pull himself up onto his knees, then to standing, and when the toy he was using for support started to slide across the floor, he took four steps while pushing it.

And then this morning when Peter and I went to get him, he was STANDING in his crib.  We lowered it before Peter left for work.

Thank goodness for these mats.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Car seat graduation day & March Madness

So, Rory has finally graduated into a big boy car seat. I say finally, because I am quite positive this milestone is a little late coming. A couple months is still just a little late right?  Right... so he may or may not have been transitioned exactly at the moment we realized he was over the height restriction of his infant carrier. But he has grown VERY tall ...VERY fast.

Not even 9 months ago, this is what we brought home in the infant carrier. The tiniest baby ever.

Also in our defense... spending the last of the really crappy winter weeks snug as a bug in his carrier snuggy, was was more fun for him than having to be dressed in a jacket every time we went out for a quick errand.

Nevertheless, his graduation day has come… and he LOVES his new seat. What better way to break in a new car seat than at 4.5 hour drive on a sunny Sunday back home to Toronto via Lanark County?!

Daddy made sure the straps were all sorted out at the right height before installation.

And clearly the extra space and velour is a hit with this kid.
It took him 5 seconds to fall asleep for a VERY peaceful ride back to Toronto.

We're just back from a fantastic March break visit in Almonte. We celebrated St. Patrick's Day and my nephew's 3rd birthday.  Check out the cake my sister made. My nephew is OBSESSED with diggers. This almost blew his mind. Actually it blew every one's mind. My sister is the best mom ever.

Did I mention she had surgery like two weeks ago?

I helped a little with the cake too. Just a little.

And a March trip would not have been complete without a St. Patrick's celebration. Rory's jersey was brought over from Ireland last summer by some of our family who made the trek for the Byrne family reunion.
He was just over 6lbs when we brought him home for the reunion (at 6 weeks old). I never thought he would be big enough to wear it for St. Patrick's Day this year.  It's probably going to be too small for him by next week.  

Time flies and everything grows.

(Shamrock socks courtesy of Father Bill on Rory's baptism day)

Our little leprechaun

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thinking about baby number two

Don’t get excited, we’re not there yet. Actually, we’re not even really close to being there, but the topic has come up a few times in different circles in the last few weeks, and I would be lying if I told you that the idea doesn’t occupy a spot on the never ending list of things I stress myself out about.

So, it all started with a pretty casual conversation about baby number two with my mom-girls over our weekly coffee date a couple of weeks ago.  “Are you ready? Will you ever be ready? Have you talked about it?  When are you thinking?”  And then… a few of them with actual plans… “I want to get pregnant this summer”.  Huh?!


Weren’t we like JUST pregnant?  Are we not still raising BABIES? Are we not still all suffering from post natal urinary incontinence, hormonal imbalances and sleep deprivation? 

Yes, Yes and YES!!!  Stupid teeth.

The conversation was further exposed by the physical I had last week and the gentle probing from my own doctor about birth control, a second child, and if my husband and I had actually done the math on when we need to get pregnant to have children spaced apart to our liking.

Obviously. Not.

On top of those conversations… I swear I have been asked at least a half dozen more times in the last couple of weeks. If? When? Start now?  Why not? Are you thinking about it?  You should do it!

Is there something specific or magical about the 9 month milestone that somehow starts these conversations?

So, the truth is… Although a serious conversation about the subject has yet to be had… For the first time just recently, I can actually picture us with another child. Believe me when I tell you… this is a giant leap for my hormonal anxiety ridden and exhausted mind.   Things are actually super good these days. At some point in the last eight and half months we truly have hit an easy stride. Being parents is fun. Rory is hilarious. And we are a happy happy family. 

So ok then… why wouldn’t we right?   

How hard could it be if were to have another baby like Rory?  I mean, by all accounts Rory was a text book/angel baby.  He never had colic, he learned very early how to soothe himself to sleep, he started sleeping through the night at 3 months old (I know, you want to poke my eyes out right now), and he has smiles and laughs for everyone. So... let’s do it again then right?

Not so fast.

We have twins in our family.

And there are a few things I want to do before having another baby.

(1)   Re-claim my career, or some semblance of.
(2)   Lose the baby weight from the first go-around (down another 6lbs – getting there!)
(3) Consider where we will PUT another baby if we stay in this house
(4)   And just enjoy Rory and Peter and all the special moments we have just the three of us until the time/day/moment feels right.

So there you have. Someday, maybe, I am not sure, probably, thinking about it. Not thinking about it.  Forget it. For now.

Here are some tips google gave me for deciding;
(1)   Consult your partner.  – have only done in jest
(2)   Don't rush. – (The experts say anywhere between 24 and 35 months is the sweet spot). Great we have LOTS of time, contrary to my doctor and my anxious coffee mommys.
(3)   Weigh the sibling factor. (Providing a sibling for your firstborn is
not a sufficient reason for having another baby.)  - I think we’re ok there.
(4)   Visualize life with two.  – would rather not right now. Guess that’s not in favor of “ready”.
(5)   Visualize life with one.  – We’re living it.
(6)   Think ahead.  – It’s all I do. See reference above to anxiety and stress.
(7)   Consider your resources.  – does that mean my bank account? If so, another strike in favor of “ready” for now.
(8)   Reframe the question. (How would you feel upon learning that you couldn't have another child?) – Uh, too heavy. Let’s keep this light for now ok?
(9)   Make a choice.  – Eventually
(10) Revisit said decision and do it.  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What happens when mommy is away

So I left Peter and Rory alone for 4 hours last night and guess what the two of them got up to? They cut Rory's hair!!!! As the three of us lay together in bed this morning Peter twice said to me "Doesn't Rory look cute". Finally it occurred to me he was actually talking about something specific, and I turned and looked more closely to discover my BABY HAD BEEN GIVEN HIS FIRST HAIRCUT WITHOUT ME. 

What. a. brave. man.  

I am in utter disbelief. I am part amused, but mostly just in shock. When I asked Peter why?? He said he was afraid Rory was starting to look like the misfits with one piece of hair growing longer in the middle. 

So this was Rory before...

And this is Rory after daddy's barber school. He looks pretty happy about it, doesn't he. :) Or, it could be because I took a bottle out of his mouth to take this picture.

Why does a haircut make him look so grownup?
I am never leaving them alone again. Without taking all the scissors first.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On the move

I've been getting super sentimental lately. I will catch myself in these moments of laughter at something Rory is doing and then the notion of returning to work hits me like a ton of bricks. In a few months I won't get to crawl around on my belly with my little boy as he explores our living room. It makes me sad to think about it. Sad and nervous.

I honestly didn't expect to love my maternity leave this much. In fact, in those early days I didn't think I would last the first 6 months.  It hasn't been easy. There have been hard and super lonely days, and it was a lot of work creating the wonderful network of mommy friends that I have today. And probably the biggest hurdle of all, was letting go of my own expectations of the career girl that I have always pictured myself being. It's almost like I had to give myself permission to embrace my year with Rory. And to just be a mom.

Regardless of how I got here, I love every single day that I am home with this kid. I really do love being a mom.  Yesterday, as we sat just laughing at each other on the floor, I did something that I think us as new moms don't do enough of. Silently in my head, I commended myself for the job we have done with Rory so far.  If the purpose of a year of maternity leave is to nurture your child into a young person that is ready for the outside world without you, I am pretty happy where we are netting out these days. I think Rory is going to be just fine in a few months time when I go back to work. Better than fine.

Which means I will be too.

Until then, we get to spend rainy days like today doing ridiculous things like playing in the mirror together. This is where being a mom is pretty freaking awesome.

And the next thing to conquer....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Like a band-aid

So, I’ve returned to the gym.  I am sure most of you are asking in your heads “what took her so long”.  I ask myself that all the time. Lack of sleep, energy, motivation, it is winter, it is cold, we’ve all been sick for what feels like months,…and oh there is the issue of what the heck to do with my kid while I pound it out on a treadmill. 

Plain and simple, I have no one that I can just leave Rory with for an hour to scoot off to the gym.  I know, I know, the story is getting old.  

So, I woke up one morning in January and decided the ‘no-child-care’ thing was a lame excuse not to be hitting the gym. So I did what I promised myself I would start doing more of… I got over it and I found some options. It’s sort of my new approach to life these days. You can sit around and complain about things, or just sort them out. Life’s too short not to just get on with it. Right?

I talked to a couple of my mom friends about supporting each other in fitting back into our post pregnancy spring/summer clothes so I would have a partner no matter what. They were game, so together we ventured out to find a local gym that has on-site child care.  I dreaded the idea.  We all did.  But it was way easier doing it together for the first time.  We did an hour body pump class and although we will never know what happened in that hour, when we came back, the babies were all smiles. And covered in mum-mums. 

And I felt fantastic. And feel more fantastic with each visit.

I can’t say enough about the JUMP program that GoodLife Fitness offers.  Rory actually smiles and REACHES OUT for these women when I bring him to the gym now. I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel.  He gets some social time with his new girlfriends and I get to sweat it out.  As Charlie Sheen would say – that’s winning for me these days.  Alone time, exercise, a well socialized and very happy baby, and eventually fitting into my summer dresses that I wore before my wedding. 

Wish me luck. I am banking on the gym trips and a 30 day cleanse to have me looking like a new woman by the time the snow melts in my front yard.

Other than that the only news I have to share is Rory's graduation from Baby Music Class. Too cute. Certificate below.  A bit ridiculous, but makes me feel like a good mom. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A picture of a rainy saturday as a parent

A Saturday Favourite... 
Coffee and people watching on Queen Steet East.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rub a dub dub

I can't remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass  

~ The Counting Crows