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.