Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Am Slowly Going Crazy

Forget baby brain... how about Christmas brain?! Wow. I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the last week. I've made check lists in an attempt to remember everything, but sometimes even with check lists things fall through the cracks. For example, my girlfriend Kim had John, Evan and I along with a couple of my other besties for a delicious lunch today. We had a great visit and as we left I gave her a small hostess gift, a bottle of wine in a festive bag.

During the Christmas season John and I travel with wine. Since we visit so many people we like to have it on hand. Pretty much everyone we know enjoys to sip on vino so it's a safe bet for a thank-you and Merry Christmas wish.

After leaving Kim's we got home and I felt like enjoying a glass myself. I asked John to grab the half empty bottle from the box of wine (half empty because I enjoyed some of it last night... tis the season). Well he couldn't find the bottle... It took a minute, but I soon realized what I had done. I immediately called my girlfriend and sheepishly asked, "Did I give you a half empty bottle of wine?" Being the wonderful friend she is she laughed and confirmed my fear. Then we burst out in laughter together. Thankfully Kim is a new mom too so she understands my absent mindedness. At least now I know what I'll be getting her next year... The other half. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marveling

I’m typing as my adorable son talks to his Sophie giraffe. It’s early morning and he is so happy. He’s playing contently on the floor. Every once in a while he’ll look my way and give me an ear to ear grin. Life is so good. Honestly, things are great these days. Evan is sleeping so much better and it seems like he’s growing by the minute. He can get from one end of the room to the other in record speed if he sees something he wants. He does this inch worm thing to move forward and it is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen! He’ll be full on crawling before I know it. Sometimes I tear up looking at him. I can’t believe how he’s developing, I can’t believe John and I are responsible for creating him, and I’m so excited to see what the coming days, weeks, months, years are going to bring. Happy snowy Tuesday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Sleep Situation.

We’ve turned a corner in the sleep department my friends!

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before I had my girlfriends over and of course there was a lot of baby talk. God love my two girlfriends who don’t have children for bearing through it. I was telling them all about Evan’s sleeping habits, the getting up every two hours (or less) through the night, the resisting naps and stress it was causing me. That’s when my one girlfriend said to me, “Josie, you have to let him cry it out”. Of course there are many opinions on this. The strongest come from those who disagree with it as a method of sleep training. I myself have struggled with it. I read one book that was dedicated to sleep training and it suggested letting the baby cry out, but not without checking on him every 5 to 10 minutes to let him know you haven’t abandoned him. I’ve also read books that say the crying-out method is wrong and you should go in and sooth your baby back to sleep either by patting him on the back or singing, etc. Now I’m no expert, I mean, I’m only 6 and a half months into this mother gig, but I believe all babies are different and what works for one might not EVER work for another. That’s why I don’t hold judgment (or at least try not to) when it comes to mothering.

If you’ve followed my sleep woes you know that Evan is the type of baby that can really fight sleep and when he’s fighting it is hard to calm him… I believe some would describe him as “spirited”. When things were bad and he was resisting sleep NOTHING would calm him down. Not rocking, not singing, not a soother. Even if I fed him it would only offer temporary relief from his blood curdling scream. I was getting so desperate and I was becoming so sleep deprived I listened to my girlfriend when she told me to let him cry it out. I did it that very night (two Friday’s ago). I closed the bedroom door, turned on the humidifier for white noise, kept the monitor OFF and went to bed. I did set my alarm periodically through the night so I could check on him though. I woke up at 1am, turned on the monitor briefly and heard nothing so I went back to sleep. At 3am I did the same thing and heard nothing. I woke up at 4am (on my own this time, without the alarm) and decided I should physically go in and check on him. When I walked into his room his head popped right up! I quickly exited and went back to my room to let him fall back asleep.

I have no idea how many times he was up that night or for how long. I don’t know how badly he cried because I didn’t hear any of it. The next night by some miracle he only woke up twice! That’s compared to the 4-5 times he was waking up just two nights before (and for three weeks before that). Since then John and I have kept up the dream feed and 10pm and then I do another dream feed at 3am. He’s been waking up for the day shortly after 6am. As far as the monitor goes, I have kept it off! I keep the bedroom door open instead. As my mom pointed out she didn’t have a monitor for me or my brother and got by just fine without it. I do still use it for naps of course because I can’t always hear him when I’m downstairs.

Speaking of naps he seems to be going down easier for them now as well. Like magic, the night after I let him cry it out he went down for his nap without a fuss. I read him a story, sang to him, put him down and walked away. It was really that easy. Now he still resists sometimes, I find it gets harder to put him down as the day goes on, but there has been a drastic improvement.

And there you have it… my sleep update. It will probably be different in a couple of days so I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To Purge or Not To Purge

I decided it’s time for a good closet purge. I started with mine of course, and found a lot of oldies that will become someone else’s goodies. I also found a lot of maternity clothes which forced me to think… Am I going to need them again? I mean maternity clothes aren’t cheap; should I be storing them away for future use or should they go in a bag to good will with the rest of my stuff?

I get the question all the time, ‘Do you think you’ll have another one?’ and I never know what to say. Before Evan came along, when I thought about having a family, that family always consisted of at least two children. Now I’m not so sure. My first 6 months as a mother has been amazing and inspiring, but it's also been very challenging and difficult at times. I think since becoming a mother I have experienced a whole new realm of emotions I didn’t even know I could feel. Maybe when Evan’s two the tough stuff will be a distant memory and all I’ll think about is how wonderful it felt to have a newborn in my arms. Or maybe not. My motto is never say never so I won’t, but right now I’m quite happy with my one beautiful little baby... Then again as I look at the pile of maternity clothes sitting on my bed I still can't seem to make a decision on what to do with them. Perhaps this is one of those examples where actions speak louder than words.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Best Attempt At An Update

I have lots and nothing at all to talk about. I mean a lot has gone on here in the last couple of weeks. Evan started rice cereal (he loves it). He turned 6 months old (crazy)! He got his second haircut to date (he looks like he’s about 5 now). We’re working on weaning him off night feeds, oh and we’ve started our Christmas decorating (thought I would throw that in there)! So ya, lots going on and at the same time I haven’t felt very inspired lately to write… What’s up with that? As always at this time of year I’m blaming my lack of motivation on the change of season. The fact that it’s colder now and dark at 5pm is just so yucky. It makes me lethargic, anyone else? Today however I'm feeling pretty good, despite the fact that Evan had another bad night last night and it's freezing rain outside. I think I'm happy it's Friday, I need this weekend!

Speaking of weekends, last sunday John and I decided we would take Evan to his first ever Christmas parade here in Barrhaven to get him in the Christmas spirit. We bundled him up and made our way to the parade route. Only problem was we were at the end of the route and the parade itself didn’t start until 5:30pm. By the time 5:40pm rolled around we realized it was far too cold and was going to be far too late by the time the parade got to us so we packed up, pretended like we saw the parade, convinced Evan it was the best thing ever and went home. Ha!

This year for Christmas both my family and John’s family have agreed to simplify things. Instead of all of us buying presents for everyone we’re drawing names! Yes, I’m a big fan of this! Not only does it make Christmas shopping less hectic, but now we can spend good money on one gift instead of stretching our dollar on gifts that our family members probably don’t really need or might not even want. Evan and I are going to get busy shopping next week! Can’t wait!

The Christmas spirit is definitely running through my veins. Last weekend I finished my Christmas potters which I love (see pic below)! And next weekend (maybe even this weekend) I’m going to get busy decorating inside! Yay! I’m really looking forward to this Christmas, and future Christmas’ with Evan. I look forward to starting our own family traditions. John and I have started a whole new chapter, and the best part is we’re writing it. Our future can be whatever we want it to be! How is that for optimism at this yucky time of year?!

Potter before...


Potter now...


All bundled up for the Christmas parade we didn't end up watching...


As you can see Evan loves his rice cereal...


Bananas not so much...


Evan getting his second haircut to date...


Doesn't he look like a big boy with his new haircut and awesome Adidas track outfit...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fever Alert!

I started the process of weaning Evan off his night time feeds this past weekend. It was going well until last night when I went in to find my little guy burning up. He was so hot to the touch it startled me. I instantly went in and woke up John. He got the thermometer and we took his temperature. Luckily he wasn’t in any kind of danger zone as far as his temperature went, but I was still upset. Yes, I was upset, never mind Evan, let’s talk about how his fever made me feel. The fever has now gone down, and for the most part he’s okay. A little more fussy than normal, oh, and he’s pooped three times in the last 24 hours so I’m assuming he’s about to cut his first tooth. This is exciting, but also nerve-racking. I wonder what kind of night we’re in store for tonight.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Making Friends

As a grown up there are a few places you can meet new friends. First and foremost I would say you meet new friends through your partner. You usually attempt to befriend the people that matter to the guy or girl you’re dating so there’s that. Then there are the friends you make through work, but beyond that how do we as adults make new friends? If you’re into sports, or yoga, or any other group activities you can meet friends that way, but how about just picking up new friends in say, the grocery store? I attempted this one day months ago and apparently it didn’t go that well.

It all started with Evan’s first doctor’s appointment. John and I started chatting with this woman who was there with her daughter. She was a lovely woman and our friendly banter made our waiting time go by quickly. That same week we bumped into her while we were out and about on a Saturday and once again we exchanged friendly conversation. I said to John afterwards that if we saw her again I was going to ask her to exchange numbers or something because she seemed really cool and I thought maybe we could hang out while I was on maternity leave. Her children are older (6 and 10 or something like that) and she’s a stay at home mom so I figured she could share some of her motherly wisdom with me. Then came the third run-in at our local grocery store no less. Turns out she lives just minutes from where John and I live. We laughed about how funny it was that we had bumped into each other again and that’s when I did it! I said we should hang out; I wrote down my name, number, and email address and gave it to her. I didn’t end up asking for her information in case she felt uncomfortable, I just said if she ever wanted to have coffee or something to give me a call. That call never came. And coincidentally I haven’t bumped into her since. Maybe she’s spotted me in the grocery store and hid until the coast was clear, who knows.

I used to say I don’t need any more friends because I was quite happy with the ones I already had. Then of course I met some fabulous women who have become very dear to me and I realized that was a stupid thing to think. Why would I not be open to bringing more wonderful people into my life, to learn from them, laugh with them?! True, John and I have a hard time juggling quality time with the friends we’ve got, but that’s no reason to shut out potential new friends.

So I gave it a shot and was shot down, no biggie. It was a social experiment and I didn’t die of embarrassment so I’d give it another whirl if the opportunity presented itself. Watch out, I could be coming for you next!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome Back… Not Really

She left for a while, a long while actually... 15 months to be exact and I didn’t miss her one bit! Now she’s back, and making up for lost time.

A gold star to the first person who guesses who, or rather what I’m talking about!

*See comments below

You ladies crack me up! Gold stars to all of you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Child Care

I was supposed to head back to work next week! However, I decided to take more time. It just feels too soon. I’m so happy I made the choice to extend my time at home and I’m so fortunate that I work for a company that values family and understands that its employees need to put family first.

That being said I am looking for a nanny for when I do go back into the office in January. So far I haven’t had much luck. John and I decided to go with a nanny instead of daycare simply because we feel Evan is still so young and doesn’t have a set schedule yet so we would prefer for him to stay in the comfort of his own home.

I have to admit I’m getting a little nervous that I’m not going to find someone in time. If any of you have any suggestions for me on how to find a good nanny I would really appreciate it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

City Slicker

Yesterday Evan and I were running errands around town and he was being so great. He was in the back, taking in the scenery when all of a sudden I smelt something foul. I was actually on my way into work to pay a little visit and I honestly thought about turning around. I was sure Evan had just had a massive poop explosion! The smell was overwhelming. I was having visions of what I was going to find when I lifted him out of his car seat. Was this going to be another mess worthy of cutting his outfit off and throwing it out? Then, I casually turned my head and noticed a tractor in the field we were passing spreading manure. I was relieved, but I also felt like a bit of an idiot. When I told my dad the story he told me I have officially become a city slicker (I grew up in the country) since I couldn’t differentiate my sons ‘brand’ from manure. I swear though, I think Evan’s brand does smell a bit like manure. Ha! Sorry, I should have warned you at the beginning of this post that there was a high gross factor.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Change

I remember when the change back to standard time was awesome because it meant an extra hour of drinking in the bar. Oh how times have changed. This Saturday night was lovely, but it was a far cry from a raging party in one of my favourite downtown establishments. Instead I was with my most wonderful girlfriends in my home town of Almonte. We made personalized mini-pizza’s, I enjoyed two glasses of wine and we were all at home, in bed by 11pm. Unfortunately the extra hour didn’t even mean an extra hour of sleep because Evan was very awake at 6:21am which meant I had to be at least moderately awake as well (he was also up through the night at 11:20pm, 1:30am and 3:30am). Now it’s 8:19pm on Sunday and I’m in bed ready to shut my eyes, hopefully for at least two full hours before Evan’s cry from down the hall pulls me out from underneath my sweet duvet.

I’m glad I spent my teen years sleeping in until 2 in the afternoon. Perhaps that’s how I’m managing to function now, I’m using the sleep I banked as a 16 year old. Note to self, remember this when Evan’s a teenager… don’t be too cruel pulling him out of bed on weekends, he’ll only be that age once and he’ll have responsibilities that will tear him out of bed for most of his life.

Times change, and so far I’ve enjoyed them all, from the wild nights out, to the cozy gatherings, to sleeping the days away and now early mornings with my son. It’s hard to believe sometimes that I’ve been living this life of mine for 31 years. A lot has happened, I’ve been through a lot of time changes, and I look forward to many, many more.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Evan's First Halloween

Inspired by the tremendous will of the Chilean miners Evan told us he wanted to be one for Halloween... Who were we to argue with him?







Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shots… And we ain’t talkin’ about the fun kind.

Evan received his 4 month vaccine yesterday. Late, I know, but his doctor was away for a month. I was a bit nervous about the appointment, but Evan was a champ! We waited for an hour in the waiting room and he was easy peasy. He was very happy looking at all the people coming and going. Once we got in to see the doctor he put on his best “look at me face” and our pediatrician ate him up. He couldn’t get over his hair style which I thought was quite fun. When it came time for the needle I stood back and let John and the good doctor do their thing. John kept Evan distracted by poking his face and that seemed to work like a charm. He smiled through the whole thing. I swear he didn’t so much as flinch. I don’t know if it was the baby Tylenol I gave him before we went in or if this kid is just tough, but I was thrilled by how it all went. We also had the chance to weigh him and he is [drum roll please] 16 pounds! Yay! That puts him in the 50th percentile. That’s my boy!

Hair do or hair don't? At least the doc got a kick out of it...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting Dressed

My girlfriend Emily came over this weekend to visit. Her daughter Clementine will be 2 in February and she’s due with her second child in January. While she was visiting Evan was sporting his pajamas. In fact he wore his pajamas all day. It was a lazy day so I figured why not! Emily asked me if he wears onsies most of the time, the truth is he doesn’t. Most days I actually look forward to dressing Evan which kind of surprises me. I didn’t think dressing a little boy would be that much fun, but it is. There are a lot of cute outfits for little guys these days. My girlfriend Marie-Lou has got great taste and a love for shopping which has resulted in some great scores for Evan like the tie shirt below… and yes, those are suspenders on his jeans!





Sunday, October 24, 2010

Boob Talk

Somewhere between the excruciating pain I was experiencing and now I fell in love with breastfeeding. So much so that I don’t want to give it up.

The pain I was dealing with when my nipples were cracked was like nothing I’ve felt before. I would start crying before Evan even latched anticipating the pain. I would dig my toes into the ground when he finally did latch and would burst into a stream of profanities. In that moment I never thought I would get to the point where I am now. Breastfeeding no longer hurts, in fact I find it very relaxing*.

I’m heading back to work soon which means I have to wean him and I’m sad about it. I’m going to try to keep my milk supply up so that I can at least continue to give him his bedtime snack. Believe it or not I think it’s the middle of the night feeds I’ll miss the most when the time comes. As much as I would love to sleep through the night I know that once he doesn’t call for me any more at 1am…3am… 4am that a special bonding moment will be over. There’s nothing sweeter than seeing the outline of his shadow as his warm body forms to mine in the dark of the night… Then again he looks pretty cute in the daytime too… Ya Evan, you can go ahead and sleep through the night any time now. Ha!

*For those of you dealing with nipple pain, I think what finally healed mine was the Dr. Newman nipple cream. It took me far too long to actually get the prescription and use it, but once I did it honestly took affect within days. My advice to you is, don’t wait! If you’re hurting get the cream now!

Here I am bottle feeding Evan. Did I ever tell you that the first time I fed Evan formula like this I sobbed. I felt so guilty about it I almost couldn't do it. I still feel a bit guilty, but not so much that I'm reduced to tears. Thankfully.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It Gets Better

If Evan is gay I will love him. It seems like a ridiculous statement, but the reality is there are many parents out there who do not love their children because they are gay. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being that child? Being abandoned by your parents, taunted by your peers, it would be enough to break even the strongest person, let alone a vulnerable child. Of course there are many gay children who grow up with loving parents, but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes the bullies hate overpowers the parents love. Sometimes a bright future can’t be seen through the dark cloud they find themselves in. In the past few months several gay children as young as 11 years old have committed suicide because they were bullied. If only someone could have been there in their moment of need to tell them it gets better.

Now That’s A Poop Explosion!

Evan’s poop schedule has completely changed. For the first three months he was pooping every day, sometimes numerous times a day. For the last month however he only poops every few days which I’m told is normal (I hope so, I’ll be checking with his doctor when we go in for an appointment next week). Anyhow, it would seem that when Evan finally does get around to pooping, 3 or 4 or 5 days worth comes out all in one shot. Now if you ask John he might describe it differently, as he was the one that was home alone with Evan when he had a poop explosion that would have warranted a flak jacket.

No word of a lie Evan was COVERED in the goopy brow(ish) stuff from HEAD to TOE! The reason I know this is because John took a picture of it. I guess he didn’t think I would believe him if he told me so he wanted the photographic evidence. It was so bad that instead of pulling his onesie over his head John got out the scissors and cut right down the middle to get it off. Now here is the difference between guys and girls, or maybe I should just say the difference between John and me. Not only did he take a picture of Evan covered in poop, he also left the diaper, the soiled onesie, and the towel he used to clean it up with strewn over the kitchen counter! Who does that?! I’m sorry, but I don’t leave all of the diapers I change when John is away on display for him to clean up when he gets home! I was disgusted, and at the same time (oddly) mildly amused.

Evan, when you’re older you can read this and know that you got your dad good, in a way that only a cute baby can.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Finally... An Update!

I am absolutely full of emotion these days. I haven’t written anything in a while, I know. I can’t seem to find the time in the day, and when I do I can’t seem to be bothered to pick up the computer. I’m tired which makes me that much more emotional. Here’s the thing. Evan’s sleeping hasn’t gotten any better. It all started after he hit the three month mark. In fact I think it started the day after I wrote about how we had hit our groove as mother and son and things seemed to be easier. That’s when he threw me the sleep curve ball. For the last 8 weeks Evan has been taking these short naps that last anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. Once in a while he’ll sleep for an hour, but for the most part he’s only been taking these quick cat naps. When he wakes up he’s cranky and generally so am I because in that short amount of time I can’t seem to enjoy a nap myself or get anything done. It just makes for a long day. Then there’s the night sleep issue. He’s getting up as much as he did when we first brought him home from the hospital. My dear friend Kim actually sent me an article (see below) on sleep regression and it describes perfectly what’s going on with Evan. At least it’s ‘normal’ and not something I’m doing wrong. So here’s what’s happening, Evan is sleeping pretty well from 7pm to midnight or 1, but then he’s up every hour and a half until morning. It’s exhausting me. I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping he’s going to grow out of it soon. I’ve spoken to a few moms (one just this weekend actually) who have been through the same thing and for some of them this stage lasted for months. I’m preparing myself for the worst and hoping for the best. Of course it’s not like I’m miserable. Even though Evan’s sleep schedule isn’t what I would like it to be he is still the most wonderful baby in the world. Those times when he wakes up cranky I just need to feed him and then he’s happy once again. He’s smiling so much and he’s chatting up a storm. He’ll just sit there and talk and talk and talk. Sometimes he throws in a squeal like he’s telling a really great story. It warms my heart every time. It’s happened. I can say without a doubt that I love this baby more than I love myself. I would do absolutely anything for him and I know that is the way I’m going to feel for the rest of my life. If I’m truthful I can tell you that it took about 4 months for me to feel this way. Every mom bonds in a different way and at different times. With Evan I needed to see more of his personality before I could really connect with him and feel the kind of love I’m experiencing now. He’ll be 5 months tomorrow and his personality is shining through. It’s wild really, it amazes me how quickly he’s developing. The whole thing is such a trip; being a mom, watching this tiny human grow before my eyes… This is life. This is the ultimate life experience.

Enjoying a beautiful fall walk with my dad in Almonte...



Evan and I with my mom and dad...


My baby and my baby...


What a dude!


Sleep Article:

Countless parents come for help with their 4 month old’s sleep. Why? This article will explain why “good” sleepers sometimes turn “bad” around the 3 or 4 month old mark.

How newborn baby sleeps in the early weeks:

When a newborn falls asleep, she immediately goes into deep sleep (also known as REM sleep, but I will avoid too much technical talk because that’s one reason I made this website, so you won’t have to learn the whole history of sleep if you don’t want to (or can’t stay awake to!)). If you are interested in knowing more about our biological rhythms and how we do sleep in more detail, I highly recommend the book, Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems). Newborns spend a lot of their time in deep sleep, which is why it is hard to wake them up (even to eat!) in those early days.
4 month old sleeps (and sometimes as early as 3 months or as late as 5 months)…

We all go in and out of light and deep sleep. As adults, we might change positions, look at the clock, or reposition our pillow. Up until now, you may have rocked your baby or simply given him a pacifier and he slept for hours without waking up. Well, at 3 or 4 months old, your baby is now sleeping more like an adult. Now when she falls asleep, instead of entering deep sleep, she enters lighter sleep, first. That’s why if you help her fall asleep, then put her down, she is likely to wake up because she isn’t in her deep sleep, yet.
4 month olds enter deep sleep…

Initially in the night, your 4 month old will enter deep sleep relatively quickly, within 30 minutes (this changes as we get older). However, as I said, we all cycle in and out of light and deep sleep. A child’s sleep cycle is about 45-50 minutes. So, your baby will briefly awake 45-50 minutes after she has been asleep. To put that in perspective, if you are holding your baby to sleep, you would need to hold her for at least 30 minutes to make sure she’s in deep sleep and then she might wake up 15 minutes later. Sound familiar? Overall, though, your baby’s deepest sleep is in the early part of the night, so after that first sleep cycle, she might sleep just fine for a few hours. So, you’re golden right? Just hold her for an hour? Nope!
4 month old sleeps the rest of the night…

The technical definition of “sleeping through the night” is 5 hours of continuous sleep (i.e. no feedings) and many babies can/will do this by 2 or 3 months old. The beginning of the night is your baby’s deepest sleep and after the first 5 hours (if not sooner, depending on just how challenging he is), he will cycle between light and deep sleep, but not as deep as the beginning of the night. This is where the problem of sleep associations really come into play. If your baby needs your help to go to sleep in the beginning of the night, sometime after midnight or so, he will continue to need your help every 1 or 2 sleep cycles (that means every 45 to 90 minutes or as I often hear, every 1-2 hours).

Between 4-6 a.m., approximately, is the lightest sleep of the whole night (parents’ complaints alone make this true, in my experience, aside from my reading). In the very early morning hours (about 30 minutes to an hour before waking up), he will again go into the very deep sleep.

Although babies commonly wake up early, be sure it is truly their waking up time and not just this lighter sleep and that they are having trouble sleeping. You might notice they want a “nap” just 30 or so minutes after “waking up”. What you experienced was a night waking, not starting the day.
4 month old sleep regression

You might have heard about the 4 month sleep regression and wonder if your baby will go back to sleeping well. Some parents will be one of the lucky few whose baby will go back to sleeping well in 2-4 weeks, however, not all of us will be that lucky. For example, I find that babies who need a pacifier to sleep where you are replacing it many times per night do not stop needing that pacifier to sleep. You might get lucky and not have to replace it 10 times (maybe “just” 3-4), but maybe not. It is usually better to solve the root of the problem than to hope you are one of the lucky ones. So, maybe wait a few weeks, but if things aren’t better, plan to make changes. I talk to parents of 8 month olds and even 20 months old who are still waiting for their “baby” to grow out of their sleep problems.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

There Are Good Men Out There

Yesterday morning Evan and I walked to Shoppers to pick up a few things we needed. We were greeted at the door by Boy Scouts who were giving away apples and accepting donations for them if you were so kind. I enjoy apples so I happily made a donation and entered the store. Now before being greeted by the apple bearing Boy Scouts I noticed a good looking young man walk into the store ahead me. I’m really bad at guessing people’s age, but I think he was probably around 19… maybe early 20’s. He ended up in front of me in line at the cash and I couldn’t help but notice he was purchasing two boxes of condoms. All of a sudden I felt this smile creep onto my face, I was shining from the inside out, I was so proud of this young man. Not only did he have the good sense to be practicing safe sex, but he had the confidence to purchase JUST condoms. He didn’t throw them in amongst items he didn’t really need like deodorant and toothpaste (like even I do to this day… I know, ridiculous! I do the same thing with Tampons… I’m silly!). I was so impressed by this young man I thought to myself, if I were in front of him in line I would offer to pay for them as a way of rewarding him. Of course then I thought about how that could potentially embarrass him (and make me look crazy). I even considered saying something to him, like, “Hey, way to go!”… Lame Josie, lame! I WILL embarrass Evan, I’m already an uncool mom. Thankfully I had the good sense not to say or do anything. He made it hard though because to top it all off, when he received his change from the cashier he asked if she could break up the bill for him so he could make a donation to the Boy Scouts at the door. That’s when I fell in love… for what he stood for. I thought to myself, this young man gives me hope. Let’s face it, guys get a bad rap a lot of the time, but there are some good ones out there and I hope one day my little guy will grow up to be one of them.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Did that just happen?

This morning I got up to feed Evan at 5am before heading down to my basement to work (I’m working from home right now). When I went in he was rubbing his eyes so I was right on time for a feeding. After giving him his pre-breakfast snack I put him back down for more sleep and came downstairs. That’s when I heard him on the monitor, but he wasn’t crying, he was chatting. He was having a great old time all by himself in the dark, in his crib. I was nervous that the cry for me was coming, but it never did. He talked to himself for about 30 minutes before he talked himself right to sleep. How amazing is that?! I really hope this is the start of something new, it’s a whole other level of self soothing and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Get. It. Off.

I am so sick of wearing a bra! Bra, bra, bra, 24/7! I’m starting to feel claustrophobic!

For those of you that don’t know what I’m ranting about; a lot of breastfeeding mothers have to wear a bra around the clock because of leaking issues. Last night I had enough, I needed to feel free so I took off the nursing bra and pranced around the house like a 60’s hippie! When it came time to feed Evan I did it sans bra. Unfortunately by the time his feeding was done my top was also finished. There was a stain the size of a watermelon thanks to the dripping faucet of boob juice.

When I’m done breastfeeding I’m burning my nursing bras and going braless for at least a week! I don’t care that it will be cold out, I’ll wear an extra sweater just to have the comfort of NOT wearing a restricting elastic band around my rib cage!

Other than that things are great! Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Break Out The Champagne!

John and I said months ago that when Evan slept for 8 straight hours we were going to pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate. At the time Evan was actually sleeping well and had already done 7 straight hours, then he entered a different stage and our hopes of ever getting a taste of the bubbly were dashed. Well on Friday night he did it! Out of nowhere Evan slept from 9pm until 5am! He actually went to bed at 7:30pm, but he stirred at 8:30pm and eventually soothed himself back to sleep. Then when he woke up at 5am I fed him and he went back down until 8:30am, so it was even sweeter than just 9pm to 5am. Of course it’s now Monday and he hasn’t done a stretch like that since, but we got to drink that champagne so I’m happy!

I actually really am happy. Evan is such a wonderful little person. He’s got a real personality now and I like it. He’s very curious and he’s a very good listener. He loves to sit and watch people talk. He’s also strong willed, which is my positive spin on his temperament when he’s hungry or overtired. He loves it when I sing to him and he never faults me for my pitch issues. He can’t get enough of the outdoors, if he is having a fussy time a quick trip to the backyard calms him in an instant. He loves when I wash the creases of his neck during bath time, but he’s not a big fan of getting out of the bath… As I get to know him better I fall deeper in love. Somewhere between giving birth to him and this moment right now I became a mother. Of course technically I was a mother from the get go, but I didn’t feel like one. Now I do. I think it’s a combination of confidence and of getting to know my little guy. And with this I have some exciting news, his name finally feels right. It fits, he’s an Evan through and through. My Evan, forever and always.

Here's Evan in his new favourite thing (this week) the Bumbo chair! Thank you again so much Belly Laughs!



Family fun in Almonte...


Play time with his buddy Rory!


More fun, this time with his friend Ashton!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Evan Just Rolled Over!

My baby boy just rolled over for the first time! Wow! That was amazing! He was so happy afterwards. He rolled from his tummy to his back and when he landed he looked up at me and beamed, as if to say, “Mommy, are you proud?” Of course I picked him up and kissed his little face off and told him I was incredibly proud of him. Then I put him back on his tummy and grabbed the video camera hoping he would do it again so I could capture it for John, but he didn’t have another roll in him.

My goodness, these little creatures are really something to marvel at. I’m in awe.

On a completely different topic I wanted to share with all of you a little something I did for work. I don’t know if any of you are Lady Gaga fans, but recently she posed in a meat bikini for the cover of Vogue Japan and stirred up quite a bit of controversy. Here's the cover...



Well luckily for me my job allows me to do fun things like rock my very own meat bikini! Check it out…



I have to thank Christine from Tripp Photography for taking the shot and doing wonders with photo shop to make my post baby body look pretty darn decent if I do say so myself.

Sorry if I’ve turned any of you off enjoying a juicy steak for a while.

Yesterday I wore a meatkini, this morning my son rolled over for the first time; I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Life is a trip!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sleep Training

I’m doing it. According to the book that is guiding me through this process it’s 5 days early, they suggest starting at 4 months and Evan won’t be 4 months until the 19th, but his freak outs have hit an all new level so we’re in training and I hope what we learn works for both of us.

Sunday was the breaking point. John and I had to do the most ridiculous things to get him to sleep for his nap. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but we actually howled. Yes, like wolves, to get him to stop crying. The shhh shhh shhh wasn’t working, the rocking, the bouncing, the swaddle, the soother, nothing would calm him. For some reason the howling was the only thing that made him stop crying. John discovered it... Don’t ask me what made him think of trying it. I was reluctant because a) It sounds ridiculous and b) I don’t want to teach Evan that howling is okay. That being said I was on my last nerve Sunday trying to get him down so I tilted my head back and gave him my best wolf howl. I don’t know if he sensed my reluctance, but it didn’t work. I eventually had to call in John, the “big dog” to do the job. I thought to myself, I just howled at my baby… I have hit rock bottom, time to start sleep training.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Obsessed

I think all new moms are obsessed with sleep. Today is my second day back to work, and I am trying to convince myself that I really don’t need much sleep to function or be happy. As the saying goes, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Now if only that’s how I really felt.

Before Evan I could barely remember what I had for breakfast by the time dinner rolled around. Now I remember (obsess) about every detail of our day, mainly his sleep schedule. I know that Monday night Evan slept from 9:30pm to 2:30am, then woke up for a half an hour feed and went back down until 6:20am. He ate for 7 minutes and then went back down until 9:30am which made my first day back at work easy peasy. I felt rested and I was able to do my on air thing without the sounds of a baby in the background. Last night Evan was not so cooperative. First of all he fought going to sleep yesterday. He fought it hard. This kid has found his voice, you would not believe the octave’s he can hit. I always thought working in radio (and wearing headphones) would cause premature deafness… now I’m thinking Evan will do that for me. When I finally got him down last night, closer to 10pm, I read my book and crashed around 11pm. Through the night Ev was up at 1:20am, then again at 3:30am and then just after 5am. As I heard him cry for me from his crib the word “why?” floated around my head. I’m better off just telling myself it’s unexplainable and convincing myself that sleep is overrated. Errrrr, but then the “why?” creeps back into my head. I want to know why he’s crying so hard when I try to put him down. I want to know why he’s waking up so much. I want to know if it’s something I’m doing and what I can do differently. I want to know that he’s okay and not… oh… possessed by some demon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Gotchya!

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about making it to the wonderful 3 month mark and how everything was getting easier and Evan was getting more predictable… Well he must have read that post because he is playing a wild game of “Gotchya” this week!

For some reason my little guy has been abnormally fussy and sleep? Ha! He’s fighting it like it’s the devil! Actually today seems to be a bit better, but Tuesday, Wednesday… yesterday, he was not acting like himself. He nearly had me in tears a few times. The things that would usually occupy him (like his Baby Einstein Play Mat) weren’t doing the trick, he wanted to be held and getting him down for his naps and bedtime sleep took every bit of strength in me. He would cry his purple faced, bloody murder cry and wiggle his body like a squirmy worm. Just when I thought he was sleeping and it was safe to put him down his eyes would pop open and he would start balling again. As I paced back and forth with him I thought about what an awful parent I was. I was nervous he was going to get used to being cradled to sleep. I had this overwhelming sense of failure.

In my need to seek help I reluctantly picked up a book that one of John’s clients gave us. I threw my books to the side over a month ago because they were stressing me out, but now the stress was bringing me back to them. Thankfully this book is for me! It’s called The Sleep Easy Solution by Jennifer Waldburger and Jill Spivack. I started reading it and those feelings of failure dissipated. They didn’t tell me I was a bad mom for allowing Evan to fall asleep in my arms before putting him down, in fact they say in their book that before four months do whatever works! On page 130 they write, “There are no bad habits in the first 4 months. Do whatever you need to do to help your baby sleep.” THANK YOU! Maybe today is a better day because I read that yesterday. Reading that made me relax and stop fretting, so Evan is probably feeding off my new and improved energy.

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend; I know I will, no matter what!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back To Work Jitters

As the kids are getting ready to head back to school this girl is getting ready to head back to work. I can hardly believe it, the last three months have gone by at lightning speed.

For those of you that don’t know I work for a radio station called The New Hot 89-9. Now I’m not actually heading back into the studio, I’ll be working from home for the next two months; it’s a way for me to ease back into the working world. I’m very grateful that my job allows me to take these baby steps. Just the same I am a bit nervous. I’m nervous that I’m going to be losing prime sleeping time should Evan have a rough night, I’m nervous that he won’t cooperate and will cry while I’m on the air. I’m nervous that it means I’m one step closer to actually leaving my baby and physically going into work.

As one friend pointed out to me yesterday I am going to be eternally torn now, missing Evan while I’m at work and thinking about work while I’m with Evan. I’ve had moments of doubt about heading back before the year that I could take to be with my little guy, after all you only get one chance at this, but I love my job, I really love it and it’s a big part of who I am so I’m going to try my best to make it happen, and hopefully I won’t feel all that torn… Maybe I’ll even feel better?! Like my life is even richer with wonderful moments, people, experiences… we’ll see.

Here are some fun pics from our last few days of summer (that sounds so sad).

Evan's first boat ride...


Cottage living is so good...


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Try, Try Again

What I’ve learned this week is not to give up on toys… or yourself.

We really haven’t used Evan’s swinging chair that much because he would just cry when we put him in it, but yesterday afternoon he was fussy for no explainable reason so John suggested we try the chair. I looked at him like it was a ridiculous idea because we both knew he would just cry more once we put him in it, but I humoured him. Lo and behold it worked, I mean it really worked! He sat in that thing as content as could be for half an hour. It allowed me to fold two loads of laundry and tidy the house while John prepared our dinner. So know that if your baby doesn’t like a toy one week he might like it the next and it could allow you some YOU time.

Speaking of YOU or in this case ME time, I went for a bike ride yesterday all by myself and it was awesome! It was tough, it definitely made me realize how out of shape I am, but I still really enjoyed it. I started biking again just two years ago. Before that I hadn’t really biked since I was a kid and it’s amazing, the feeling of cruising on two wheels with the wind in your face. It’s so fun! When I got home I went straight to the backyard and did a small ab workout and some yoga. Today I feel beat up! Ha! It’s a good feeling though, I know my body is repairing itself from the first real (challenging) physical activity I’ve done since Evan was born.

Every day is a new adventure when you become a parent. Your child learns new things and impresses you with how they’ve changed even from the day before, and you impress yourself because it ain’t easy to be a mom and to still make time for you, you have to try and try again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just Like That!

In the last three months many moms have told me that once I make it to the three month mark things will start to get better… easier and wouldn’t you know it, they were right!

On Monday I was chatting with my mom telling her all about our busy weekend (filled with visits, shopping, hosting) and she said to me, “Josie, you’re getting your life back.” It’s true, at three months I seem to have found my groove. Evan is more predictable so I’m less anxious about how each day is going to go and I feel so much better, almost like my old self. Take yesterday for example, I met up with a friend down by the canal and we did a strollercise class together which was too much fun. Then we went to Starbucks for a latte and a treat. When Evan and I got home John was on his lunch so we all hung out for a bit. Then Evan went off to bed and I baked a banana bunt cake with orange icing. Seriously! The last time I attempted baking I burnt myself and all I had to show for it were some rock hard cookies (that was over 7 years ago!!!). Thankfully I seem to be much more capable in the kitchen these days and my dessert turned out perfectly! Not only did it turn out, but I had fun making it! Let’s see, what did I do then, oh yes, I showered and got ready for my night out. My best girlfriends and I planned a picnic by the canal (hence the dessert), since it rained yesterday we all met at my girlfriends apartment downtown instead which was lovely. I was so happy to be with my girls. The last time we got together like that was before I was pregnant, so needless to say it was long overdue and it reminded me of how much I love my friendmily and how they can make me laugh like no one else! I felt like my old self yesterday and today too! It probably helps that Evan has been sleeping so well the last couple of nights… that always makes everything better. Here’s to the three month mark!

Play date with his buddy Preston...


The cake that cost me $70 to make! (I had to buy a bunt pan and a mixer... ha! It was well worth it.)


You can make it yourself, just follow these easy instructions (Thank you Trudy!):

Banana Bunt Cake with Orange Icing

Cake:
1/4 cup soft marg or butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (3)
1 tsp grated orange rind
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk*

Orange Icing:
1 and 1/2 cups icing sugar
2 TBSP yogurt
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp orange juice

Cake: In bowl cream butter add sugar and beat well. Add eggs and beat well. Beat in vanilla, bananas and orange rind. Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda and beat into egg mixture and add buttermilk*. Spray Pam into a 9 inch springfoam or square pan and spoon in batter. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Icing: In bowl combine icing sugar, yogurt, orange rind and orange juice and mix until smooth. Spread over cake and enjoy!

*To make sour milk, add 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to 1/2 cup milk and let stand for 10 minutes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Travelling With A Baby

Last weekend John and I went to visit his family in Toronto. We left on Thursday and didn’t return home until Monday. That’s one, two, three, FOUR sleeps away from home sweet home. It was hard for me. We had a lovely visit, don’t get me wrong, and John’s family was wonderful and so excited to have Evan there, but it was tough on me and tough on Evan too (I think). For example, he was in the car a lot, which he hates! On the way there he cried about every 45 minutes. Sometimes we would pull over, but we couldn’t do that every time, so we dealt with his purple faced bloody murder scream as best we could. Once we were in Toronto we were driving a lot also, we had a lot of visits to pack in so there wasn’t much choice. I tried to keep his naps as regular as possible, but it wasn’t easy and he was up three, sometimes four times through the night.

When I first had Evan people told me, “Oh you’re going to love having a newborn, they’re so easy to go places with”… ahhhhh, ya right! Sure you don’t need to worry about food (if your breastfeeding), but there’s the diaper bag plus back up diapers, there’s several outfits (because puking is now a guarantee), there’s the spit blankets, the stroller, the Bjorn, the crib, the monitor. Now true, our little bambinos don’t need all the mentioned bells and whistles, but… well I need them okay?! Now I’m asking myself, am I an uptight mother? Truthfully, I rather not go anywhere these days and when I do I need my… ehem, Evan’s stuff to make sure I’m prepared the same way I would be if we were home.

On Monday morning we left Toronto at 6am. That was the right thing to do because Evan slept for 2 hours, got up, ate, and then went back down for the last 2 hours of the drive. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like when he got home, but he eased right back into our home life routine. On Monday night he slept for 5 hours, got up for an hour feed, then went back down for four! Same thing the next night! Oh and this kid is rocking his naps too! It’s so nice.

I want to be that mom that can travel with my baby like it’s no big deal, but I’m not. I’m sorry, I’m just not. I like the comforts of our home and our routine here. I never thought I’d be a homebody, but for now I am. For now…

Friday, August 6, 2010

He's a Big Boy!

On Monday evening I put Evan down in his own room is his big boy crib and walked down the hall to my room to sleep for the night. I sat on my bed, looked at his empty basinet and had a moment. Our little boy is growing up so fast. He’ll never sleep in his basinet again, I won’t go as far to say that he’ll never sleep in our room again because I know the boogie man will scare him in there more than a few times, but right now I’m a bit emotional over this latest milestone. What’s making it easier is that he seems to really like his crib; he’s had a great week! He’s been sleeping 5 to 6 hours, getting up for a big hour long feed, and then going back down for another 5 to 6 hours. This has been pure bliss for me! I feel wonderful! I know however that his schedule could change again at any time so I’m just doing my best to enjoy it while it lasts.

Having him sleep in his own room certainly has its perks. John and I don’t have to tip toe around anymore for fear of waking him and I think he’s getting more independent. For example, this morning he was talking to himself for a good 10 minutes before he actually started fussing for me to come and get him. Speaking of which, getting him from his crib has become one of my favourite parts of the day. Even if he is squealing, once I enter the room and unwrap him from his swaddle he’s all smiles and giggles. I let him stretch and kick around before I pick him up and he just loves it. He really is the joy in my day.

Yes, things are very good around here right now which is quite the contrast from last week when I had another mini meltdown. Let’s see, what was I freaking out about? I was stressed over my nipple issues, contemplating using formula to give my boobs a break once or twice a day, worried about him getting his 2 month vaccine shot, but most of all, stressing myself out over his “schedule”. Since then I have thrown all books aside and have taken to simply reading my baby as best I can. I’ve stopped waking him up from his day time naps after an hour and a half and in fact the day I stopped doing that he had one of his best night sleeps yet. I’ve decided at two and a half months I’m not going to lose (any more) hair over scheduling, there’s plenty of time for that in the coming months.

We all just do the best we can and sometimes books and advice can be overwhelming, at least that’s what I’ve found. So for now I’m just trying to relax and enjoy my baby while he is a baby because before I know it he’ll be out of his crib and into a real bed!

Evan with my brother and his girlfriend...


Evan loves his bath time!!!


More QT with uncle Jake...


Swimming in the ocean, chatting with the octopus...


Impressing us with his new trick... SITTING!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's Next?

Please, take my jewelry, my designer sunglasses, just leave me my hair!

We women go through a lot to bring these beautiful babies into the world. There’s the nausea, swelling, and general aches and pains while you’re pregnant, then when the little nuggets arrive there’s the sleep deprivation, cracked nipples and for some, BALDING. Yes my friends I’ve discovered that I have a bald spot. Now most women that I know care a great deal about their hair. They spend good money to get it styled or coloured, they buy product to keep it healthy and shiny, and they put in time every morning to make sure their hair is looking good when they leave the house because if the hair is bad, it doesn’t matter if the outfit is great… hair is a true extension of our femininity… at least that’s how I feel. When I discovered the bald spot I honestly was in denial. I pretended like it wasn’t really there or maybe a part of me believed if I didn’t look at it again until the next day hair would magically reappear overnight. No such luck.

Last Thursday John watched Evan so that I could go to the spa and get my hair done. I was counting down the days as I hadn’t highlighted or cut my hair in so long! Of course my stylist noticed the bald spot. Sweet thing didn’t say anything until I mentioned it… Then she assured me it would grow back, although I could see the doubt in her eyes. She told me she had seen new mom’s who had thinning, but none with an actual bald spot. Great! Oh and of course it couldn’t be at the back of my head where no one would ever see it, nope its right in the front. Normally if I wear my hair down I part it in the middle, not anymore. I’ll be rocking the side part for the foreseeable future. I’ve already decided if I don’t see growth on the ol’ bald patch in the next month I’m going for a hair transplant consultation. Below is the photographic proof. If you see me in the grocery store please pretend like I didn’t share this with you.

There it is...


The side part, my new best friend...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If I Do Say So Myself...

I think John and I made one hell of a cute baby!

Here are a couple of pics from our shoot with Christine Tripp.



Monday, July 19, 2010

Who Do You Trust?

Friday was a busy day and also a very confusing day. It started with our photo shoot at Tripp Photography. Evan was really good… he wouldn’t sleep for us so we didn’t get any of those “peaceful sleeping baby” shots, but I think I’ve snapped enough of those on my own. Ha! I can’t wait to see Christine work her magic!

After the shoot we went to Westboro for the lactation drop-in class. Thankfully we got there early so the consultant saw us first. They work on a first come first serve basis so if you get there late you could be waiting a while. The consultant was really sweet and immediately identified the problem. Apparently my milk lets down very quickly so in an effort to keep himself from choking Evan has been pulling off my nipple and pinching it. Ahhhhhh… makes sense! The consultant told me to start feeding in a lying down position with Evan on top of me so that gravity helps reduce the speed of the milk flow into his mouth, then as the feed goes on I can gradually move my body into a seated position. Brilliant! Now she also said that my nipple woes probably have nothing to do with yeast (aka Thrush) and that this new method of feeding should help. She did however suggest an ointment for my nipples to help along in the healing. It’s a cream that Dr. Newman (a well known Toronto based pediatrician) created to help mothers like me. Only thing is you need a prescription for it, so when we left the class I got on the phone to my doctor. Unfortunately he was away on holidays and Evan’s pediatrician’s office was closed. I really couldn’t imagine going another day with the nipple pain I was experiencing so I went to an Apple Tree Medical Centre. Thankfully I got in right away. I told the doctor what I wanted a prescription for, but he wanted to take a look at my nipples first. I barely had my bra off before he concluded that it was yeast. Then I told him I treated Evan and myself for Thrush a month ago. He asked what we used and I told him Gentian Violet. He told me he would never prescribe that because it’s been proven to cause cancer. WHAT?! He told me to never use it again and wrote up two prescriptions (neither which were for Dr. Newman’s cream); one that I have to give Evan orally and one that I have to apply to my nipple twice a day. So who do you trust? Who do you believe when everyone is telling you something different? Being at my wits end I decided to go with the advice of the last doctor. I went straight to the pharmacy and we’ve been on the medication since then. My nipples are getting a bit better. I hate giving Evan medication so early on (especially since he doesn’t have clear symptoms of Thrush), but the doctor told me we have to be treated at the same time or it’s pointless.

Thankfully that very busy and confusing day was followed by a wonderful date with my honey! Yes, my mom and dad came in to watch Evan and John and I enjoyed a delicious dinner and WINE (Wahoo!) in Little Italy followed by gelato in the Glebe. It was our first official date night since we’ve had Evan and it was really fantastic. We decided it’s something we should do at least once a month because you really don’t realize until you’re alone together how long it’s been since you’ve truly connected.

So all in all it was a great weekend and now this Monday, despite the rain, is proving to be pretty darn good too! Here are some recent pics of our 12 pound 2 ounce beautiful baby boy (we weighed him at the drop-in class… can you believe he’s over 12 pounds?!).

Evan with his Nana Jean (John's mom) during her visit last weekend...


My cousin (aka "Big Evan") with my baby (aka "Little Evan")...


Evan with his proud Grandpa (my dad) at his retirement party...


Even though this one is blurry I just had to post it...


Here's our little old man hanging out at my girlfriend's cottage (thanks for the hat Melis!)...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not So Much...

Okay, maybe it’s not all good here… I mean Evan is good, mommy is not. Last night I broke down when my nipple split in half. I’ve been dealing with nipple pain for a while now. For some reason I still haven’t gone to a lactation consultant. Like I said in a previous post when I was complaining about nipple pain, I apparently like to hurt. Well that was the old me, this girl doesn’t want to hurt any more. Last night at our 3am feed I pulled my nipple from Evan’s mouth to discover it was completely split. No wonder it was killing me. I called the Ottawa Public Health number today and spoke to a nurse. She said from the way I described the pain (shooting pain throughout my nipple and breast and a burning sensation, along with cracking/splitting) that it sounded like thrush. I told her we had already dealt with thrush, but we only did a 3 day cycle of the Gentian Violet which she said was not enough. She also said Evan does not have to have the white spots in his mouth for me to be suffering from it so purple mouth is about to make a return. I’m really not looking forward to dealing with this purple dye for the next 7 days, but I realize now that I have to get a hold of this thing because it’s ruining my life. Melodramatic? Why yes, I am.

I know what you’re thinking, yesterday I was saying that everything was great and now I’m saying that my nipples are ruining my life, well welcome to the early days of motherhood; one moment things are great, the next you're balling your eyes out.

So tomorrow is a big day! At 11am we’re going to get professional photos taken of Evan at Christine Tripp’s new studio in the Glebe (needless to say I won’t be applying the Gentian Violet until later tomorrow afternoon), then off to Westboro for a lactation class. I’m hoping we have a better night tonight than last night because big days are tough on little sleep.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

All Good Here

Evan is such a good baby… I’ll tell you just how good he is. For the last week Evan has slept anywhere between 4 and 7 hours IN A ROW at night. Awesome!

The other thing that makes Evan such a good baby is that he is a good traveller. We discovered this last weekend when we drove to St. Catharines, Ontario (6 hours from here) and back. John was the best man in his friends wedding so he flew to Toronto on Thursday morning. That night Evan and I stayed with my parents at their place. Early the next day, my mom, dad, and I loaded up the van with my dad’s bike gear and Evan’s bare essentials (which took up most of the available space). It worked out nicely that Evan and I could hitch a ride with my folks as my dad was starting a bicycle tour from Niagara on the Lake the very same weekend.

On the way there we left early. We stopped every two hours for a feed and a diaper change and Evan slept in between. Glorious! My dad took off for his bike tour on Saturday morning. My mom stayed with us so that she could look after Evan when I went to the wedding reception. It was so wonderful to get away for a few hours and know that Evan was in the very capable, caring hands of my mother. I was able to enjoy a delicious meal, a bit of wine, some great adult chat, heck I even hit the dance floor! I was home by 11 and didn’t mind one bit. I had the perfect night and got to come home to my perfect baby boy.

The way back home was a bit different, but still good. We left a bit later in the morning and stopped to visit my dear friend Kim, her husband Peter and their new bundle of joy, Rory James Shaughnessy. Rory was born two and a half weeks early and weighed in at 5 pounds 8 ounces. I have to tell you, I could not believe how small and utterly adorable he was in person. Kim had shared pictures with me, but it wasn’t until I held him that I could truly grasp his size. He was light as a feather… unlike Evan who is almost the size of a 2 year old now.

Then we were off again, Evan didn’t really get fussy until the last hour… it was a bit rough, but who can blame the little guy for wanting to get out of that car seat?! I was a bit squirmy myself.

When we arrived home I was thankful to have our first big road trip behind us. Now that I know it’s possible we might just plan a few more trips this summer!

Evan's first wedding!


Rory hanging out on my mom's lap...


Can you believe there are only 6 weeks between them?!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shopping!

I am dying to shop! I’ve been saying that when I get my old body back I am going to spend a sweet load of cash on myself and have a brand new wardrobe to show for it. What I found out yesterday is that I am not ready for that Pretty Woman shopping spree… not yet.

My mom generously offered to accompany Evan and me to the mall so I could look for a dress for an upcoming wedding. The first store I went into I started pulling items off the racks like a starved shopaholic. Before I knew it I had 12 items in my hands. Shorts, tops, skirts! Clearly I got off track very quickly as I only had one dress to try on. I hit the change room feeling excited, I was on a high. That feeling quickly faded. Even the skinny mirrors couldn’t save me. Everything felt tight and in some outfits you could even see the indent of my scar. Ewwww, how depressing! The dress I grabbed was a disaster, I thought it would be roomy, but it was skin tight. I did end up purchasing a few items, but I still have nothing to wear to the wedding. Apparently those jeans I’m fitting into gave me a false sense of the shape I’m in.

Summer is usually such a fun time for fashion and dressing up, however so far this summer I’ve more or less worn the same three outfits. I go for comfort and functionality over fashion… it’s not so fun, and now that Evan is spitting up (another new thing he started doing just in the last week), I really don’t want to wear my “good” clothes. I know these are small sacrifices, but I’m still keeping a tally. When Evan wants money for the latest whatever, I’ll remind him of the summer his mother had to forgo her designer jeans and colourful hand wash only tops in favour of black, machine washable, stretchy skirts and tanks.

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Ever Changing Evan

Last week Evan began a new phase; he was sleeping well through the day, had great play times, but then when evening came he started to get fussy. He wouldn’t really cry, he would whine and he would do that until 11pm… midnight… 1am… depending on his energy (not caring how much energy I had). Once he went down for the night though he was good.

Now Evan is sleeping less through the day. He’ll have two naps, one in the late morning and another in the early evening. When he’s not napping we’re either playing (which is the word I use for me talking to him while he stares at me or the sky) or he’s fussing. Yes, my son has spent the last week and a half mastering the art of the whine. It sounds like a cry, but it’s not a cry because there are no tears and he can turn it off in a second. It’s just a little something he does now to keep us on our toes, literally. While Evan is fake crying we’ve got to keep him moving. We go from the football hold to cradling him to putting him in the Baby Bjorn, to putting him on the floor, to rolling him on his tummy, to getting back up with him, to taking him for a walk… he’s only content in any given position for minutes at a time so as I’m sure you can imagine it gets quite exhausting. It was thanks to this new whine turning into a full on crying fit that I finally broke down and tried a soother. I was going to try to not do a soother, but you know what, who cares?! No one asks the Prime Minister of Canada if he (or she) used a soother when they were 6 weeks old… And if they did ask and the Prime Minister said yes, would we have any less respect for them (political views aside)? No! More importantly I suppose, would we have any less respect for their mother? Hell no, she raised the leader of our country! Do you see what I’m saying here people? If a soother brings more peace to my day then I’m using it. Plus, Evan seems to dig it. Happy mom, happy baby… happy baby, happy mom.

Oh, and… (I can’t believe this wasn’t the first thing I wrote about) Evan slept for FIVE STRAIGHT HOURS on Friday night. It was amazing. Since then John and I have been trying to repeat exactly what we did that evening, with no luck. He’s back to 2-3 hour intervals. That’s okay, the five hours of straight sleep gave me an idea of what’s to come. Pretty crazy to think though that before Friday night I hadn’t slept for four, let alone 5 straight hours in over a month!

Evan’s physique is also changing daily. He’s getting so big! His legs are getting chunky and his cheeks, they just keep growing. He’s got little rolls in his neck now, which I find lint in from time to time, and his eyes are getting really blue. Oh, I love him so much. Looking at him yesterday I had a moment. He’s only 6 weeks old, and I was already pining over what he was like in the first week and the fact that he will never be that small again. I started questioning whether or not I was present enough in that first week… whether or not I took enough pictures… it was a good reminder to stop thinking about tomorrow because you can’t get today back.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm Hurting...

Excuse me while I moan… I’m hurting all over. The biggest source of my discomfort right now is my neck and shoulders. It makes sense, but it’s not something I thought about while I was pregnant with Evan. I didn’t realize what a toll breastfeeding would take on my body. Since he was born Evan has kept a very healthy eating schedule. He eats every 2-4 hours, and the whole eating process can take up to one hour, so when you think about it, that is a lot of time I’ve spent over the last 4 weeks looking down. Not that I’m gawking at him the whole time, but obviously I can’t help but look at my little guy as he happily eats. There’s also an issue of posture. I try to keep a good posture while breastfeeding, but it’s hard to get him propped at just the right height and angle so I compensate for that by contorting my own body. As a result I’ve had a few major knots in my lower neck and shoulders. Luckily for me John is a RMT (Registered Massage Therapist). For those mom’s who aren’t as fortunate I highly recommend spending the dough and getting regular massage therapy during your pregnancy, but even more once baby is born! It is well worth the money, trust me.

Also on the subject of breastfeeding, my nipples are sore. They’re more so now since Evan’s been eating closer to every 2 hours, for the past two nights. I’m not sure if it’s normal for my nipples to hurt 4 weeks in. I should probably see a lactation consultant, I don’t know why I haven’t done that yet, apparently I like to hurt. Oh and can we talk about the pain when your latched baby decides to squeeze out a number two all while continuing to suck. OUCH! Evan poops almost every time he feeds and he squirms like a worm while he’s trying to get it out of him. While he’s squirming he’s ripping my nipple in every direction. Eventually I have to rip him off. What I’m left with is something John has called the “torpedo nipple”. If you’ve seen a nipple that has been pulled and pinched you’ll probably agree it’s the perfect name.

Here’s my last moan, all of a sudden my abdomen hurts as much as it did the week after my surgery. I don’t know what I did, but it’s incredibly tender. I’m even finding it hard getting out of bed again and standing from a seated position. What’s up with that?! They weren’t kidding when they said it would take 6 weeks to heal. Like most women, and certainly like most mothers, I don’t think I’ve been resting as much as I should be considering I underwent major surgery. I’ll try to put my feet up a little more over the next couple of weeks and see if that helps. (I know right now I won’t do this…)

Okay, that’s enough moaning and groaning for today. Evan is starting to stir, he must be hungry. Hit the trenches, here comes a torpedo!

Random pics for your viewing pleasure...



Evan with his "I [heart] Dad" muscle shirt on...




Tummy time...