Thursday, December 17, 2015
What can I say? After Silas goes to bed, the last thing I feel like doing is opening my computer and trying to master my prose. Instead, I continue to make my way through the endless supply of Netflix and Hulu and go to bed at 10 pm. I also occasionally leave the house at night, which makes this blog even harder to keep up. I suppose it's all choices when it comes down to it. I choose to visually blog through Instagram, so if you're wondering where I've been, you can find me at Island_Heather.
However, I suspect that no one reads this little piece of the web anymore, having given up on me ages ago. And so, just like in the first place, this little blog is for me. A place to record, a place to remember. And, like Silas, sometimes I need to be reminded to "USE YOUR WORDS". So, here I am again!
Silas is 18 months old. Time flies, blah blah blah and all that. But in truth, it doesn't just fly. It soars by at lightening speed, dragging James and I along on the wild ride of watching our boy grow up.
What a trip.
Silas has been walking for 6 months, so obviously we are way beyond that stage now. He's getting pretty close to mastering going up and down stairs like a full sized human (no bum scoots), he loves to climb on and off chairs and can get on and off our big bed. He *also* has figured out how to get out of his crib (not safely, mind you), and I thank my lucky stars for the fact that the sleep sack seems to discourage him of this at night. No one is ready for a big boy bed. And I mean no one. We're also working on jumping. He hasn't quite gotten both feet off the ground yet, but gleefully yells "JUMP!" and so at least gets it. (Jump sounds like "zzzzump!")
After a slow start to teething, things really picked up. He now has 10 teeth, and is working on about 6 more (his upper and lower canines, and those darn lower laterals, which should have come in before his first molars did, but have yet to pop through). He handles teething *pretty* well. He tends to have a few nights of waking up once, or very early mornings before a tooth comes through. That's currently our situation, in fact. I thought he was going through the dreaded 18 month sleep regression, but I think maybe it was just teething (or possibly the shortest sleep regression ever?). After about a week of *really* early mornings, the past couple of nights have been great. He generally sleeps from 7:30 - 6/6:15 which I can't really complain about, Although.......I am looking forward to the days when he will sleep from 7:30-7:30.....eh? Not too much to ask.
So, clearly he sleeps well and his mobility is on point. Let's talk about his personality.
Basically, it's the BEST. He is so funny. He's got a cheeky side, but it's adorable. There is a twinkle in his eye and he likes to play "jokes" on us. His favorite - he offers something, then just when you go to take it, he whips it back and laughs. #TODDLERJOKES It's pretty funny.
Last night during our post -dinner walk, he wanted to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and lay down to look up at the sky. Ok, no problem. Then he wanted me to as well. So, what does a mom do? She lays down next to her toddler in the middle of the sidewalk and looks up at the night sky.
Silas and I like to play "Hide and Seek". He doesn't get the part where he hides, so I run and hide and he comes to find me. I jump out and yell "BOO!" and he laughs and laughs and laughs. It's fun, though our place is so small I have run out of clever places to hide haha!
It's not all rainbows and ponies.....
He can definitely be a little whiny when he's tired or teething and mom doesn't have a lot of patience for that noise. I find when I am feeling edgy from him being extra whiny, it helps both of us if I just get right down to his level and give him a hug and validate his feelings. It helps him, and it helps me stay patient and loving and not give in to irritability.
He has also learned the fine art of the tantrum, which at this point are nothing major, but it's probably a sign of things to come. He really enjoys a good head throwback, which at times means he smacks the back of his head on the floor. Silly toddler. We're working on that. He can still be distracted pretty quickly, and as with the whining, I really try to just let him know I love him and give him a hug and say "You seem frustrated/upset/mad. It's okay, but let's stay calm".
He's still so cuddly, and is happy to hug and kiss. He has recently started getting toddler violent (CLASSIC) and will occasionally hit or bite when he's frustrated or not getting his way. He will kick his legs during a diaper change. These little episodes of violence are just him asserting his will and he doesn't really have the vocabulary to tell us his woes, so he uses his body. It's kiiiiind of adorable and really hard not to laugh or smile. I tell you, a parent's job is to keep a stern face during these kinds of things and it's hard to do. Little fists, little feet, little teeth. We love you.
He loves his digger, dump truck and toy broom. He has recently started really loving his stuffed animals, especially yellow duck (nighttime snuggles), huggy bunny and Reginald Bear.
He is *obsessed* with our broom and vacuum and I eventually had to put a moratorium on playing with the vacuum, because he was driving everyone crazy wanting it out of the cupboard all the time. He is terrified of it when it's on. Like his mom, he apparently isn't the biggest fan of loud noises.
He will watch some shows now too and actually remain engaged. This is a God send in the mornings when I am trying to get ready for work. He loves Curious George, Masha and the Bear, Little Bear, Barney, and Chuck and Friends.
He *loves* his books! Reading is a passion and between Grandma, Nana, myself and daddy, reading is a large part of Silas' days (so I don't feel bad about the screen time!)
He still isn't talking a whole lot. He will say things, but rarely repeat them when asked to, unless it's fun to say like "BOOM!". I am starting to notice that he is attempting more words though, and I just need to listen really hard to hear them through the toddler babbling. "MOM!" is still his favorite.
This kid still nurses several times a day. I made a weak attempt to start weaning him by trying to cut out the morning feed. I lasted three days, and it actually went pretty well. He would take a bottle and cuddle with me. But then the very early mornings hit and I resorted to bringing him to bed with me and it was back to Boobs McGee. When I am around, he wants his nursies and get's *quite* annoyed if I try to deny him. So, what the hell. He's not ready and it's not causing a problem at night so I'll just keep going until he's two or so. Since he doesn't do dairy, it's probably a good thing anyways. World Health recommendations FTW! Immunity boosting milky moos!
And what about James and I? We're always a little tired, me probably moreso. Even when Silas sleeps through until 6:30, it is often that I wake up a few times a night. Someone needs to sleep train me! So, I am usually really tired by 9:30, and you know what? That's okay. That's just life right now.
I'm starting to feel a little....broody. Like, we might be ready for another baby soon. I don't know if that will be in the cards for us, but I'm starting to line my ducks up. Some days I'm like "No way, one is great!" and other days I get misty thinking about how good a big brother Silas would be, and I want to give him a sibling. So, we'll see. I just know that we are so blessed to have our one perfect healthy child, that I can't really ask for more. We are grateful.
So, let's just see what happens, shall we?
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
I've been back at work for 2 months now! It was something that I had been absolutely DREADING...I can't recall if I wrote about that at all, but I remember just not being able to even imagine leaving my sweet little baby boy in the arms of another while I slogged off to work (even if those arms were the loving ones of two wonderful grandmas). But you know what? Being back at work has been great. I feel....balanced.
Sure, there are days when it's tough. I miss Silas every single minute I am away from him, and yet I relish the "adult" moments of my day more than I used to. Perhaps the novelty will fade, but I am really enjoying my client meetings, checking my emails at coffee shops (must stop spending all the money on this and find a better solution, but damn it's enjoyable for now!), and getting myself gussied up for the day. Oh, and making a full paycheck again. That's nice too.
Our mornings can be a little challenging, depending on if you know who woke up on the wrong side of the bed (aka, got less than his 10 hours straight of sleep). He has been known to cling to my legs while I attempt to put on my make up, scream while I quickly run a straightener through my hair, and suck on my bronzer brush while I put on mascara. And yes, I have left the house with banana stains on my blouse more than once, only to discover it after the point of no return.
But? Coming home to those little arms that wrap tightly around my neck in what has to be the WORLD'S BEST HUG is what I look forward to every afternoon. My kid? Yeah, he gives the best freaking hugs ever. And open mouth kisses. And it makes coming home that much more amazing.
So, we've all ajdusted. Silas gets to spend time with his wonderful grandparents, who have all done amazing jobs stepping out of retirement and into caring for a toddler (which, let's be honest, is like looking after a mental health patient at times). I am SO grateful he is with loved ones, and it's really special that he gets to have a close relationship with both sets of grandparents, who of course have different but equally excellent qualities that will benefit him. It's a WIN/WIN/WIN.
Now, since Silas turned one in June, he's come a long way. He started walking just before turning 13 months. A step here, three steps there, and then ten steps turned into all the steps and we had a full blown walker on our hands the week before he turned 13 months. I LOVE that he can walk now. It makes going to the playground so much better....he can enjoy all the elements of play, can go down the slide BY HIMSELF, and make decisions on what direction he wants to go. The world is his oyster!
We spent a grand two weeks at the cabin, and Silas enjoyed exploring the grounds, watching the deer and chipmunks and birds, "driving" the boat, and swimming in the lake. He was SO brave, even though the lake was a little cold, he LOVED it. It was so lovely. He slept well at night, napped, and we had a super lovely and relaxing time (edit: as relaxing as it can be with a toddler!). It was so special to share it with him....even moreso now that the decision has been made to put the cabin on the market after 60 years in the family (This is a whole other, completely devastating post).
His newest words are "UP"! "DOWN"! and he only yells / growls them, but I am 98% sure that is what is is saying. His comprehension is amazing. He can follow simple commands such as "Get Mommy's shoes!" or "Go pick a new book!" and it is so cute.
Right now, my favorite times are watching Silas and daddy at swimming lessons! Silas so clearly LOVES the water that it fills my heart with joy watching him enjoy it. His grins are wide and he is learning how to kick his legs and float on his back like a champ. I grin like an idiot on the side lines and feel so proud I could burst. It is actually ridiculous. It's really nice to watch him with his daddy. I love my two water babies :)
I can't believe Silas is 14 months old now. He is learning so much, and he is such a pleasure to be around (most of the time). He loves watching other kids, and he is so open and cheery when "interacting" with them at the playground (smiling, waving etc). It's so fun watching him develop these social skills.
He got a potty last week and he has already peed and pooped in it a few times! I am not pressuring him to learn, just wanting him to start connecting the dots a little bit. It would be nice if he was potty trained sooner rather than later because he hates having his diaper changed so much! The boy is far too busy to take the time for that and it's practically an Olympic sport - baby wrasslin'! He is mostly fine for others when they change it, but for mom, awww hell nah. Anyways, my goal is potty trained by two, but we'll just see how it goes.
He's been sleeping through the night since around 10.5 months, when we night weaned. Of course, this is occasionally not the case, but overall he goes around 10 or 10.5 hrs. We have tried putting him to bed around 8/830 in hopes of breaking the 5 am curse and it works about 85% of the time. Of course, then there are the nights he goes to bed at 730 and sleeps until 630 and you think "AHA!", so you do it again the next night and he wakes up at 515 am and once again you realize that there is no point thinking you have them figured out, especially when it comes to sleep. And anyways, guess who is usually awake by 530 anyways? ME. ALWAYS ME. But yeah, when he "sleeps in" until 630, it's like we hit the jackpot. Ideally, I would like him to sleep from 730 - 630, and nap from 11:30 - 1:30 or thereabouts but we all know toddlers have ideas of their own so I don't get too caught up in worrying about all that (anymore). Some days he has one nap, other days it's two. Whatever. Ain't nobody got time for stressing about sleep anymore.
Temper tantrums - they happen a little here and there. He stamps his little feet and can let out a frustrated yell like the best of them, but he is easily distracted at this point, so you can divert these quickly. Some days it feels like I'm dealing with a tiny crazy person, and I know it's only the beginning of toddlerhood so I just have to take a deep breath and laugh it off because what else can you do? It's not like you can reason with them! I learned that. I'm a quick learner.
Silas' favorite foods are currently raspberries, blueberries, strawberries.....you guessed he likes berries right? You'd be correct. Berries are like crack for him. He wants ALL OF THE BERRIES. I swear he would stuff himself silly if I didn't ration them out to him. He also enjoys spagetti and meatballs, rice (which is not messy at all hahahahahaha), stirfried veggies and chicken, his daddy's Shreddies, and oatmeal. Oh, and Arrowroot Biscuits, which are not all that great nutrionally, but what the hell. What's life if you can't have a cookie now and then?
His favorite toys are his maraca shakers, his dump truck, toy broom, and little Noah's Ark felt animals. Also, anything he is obviously not allowed to play with such as knives and garbage cans. He's super enjoying his VW van tent I set up last weekend that we totally don't have room for in our living room (CONDO LIFE Y'ALL) but he loves it so we don't want to put it away (Also, we can't get it back in the bag).
I love him. His happy little gap toothed grin makes my world. He's my sweet little nut.
How did we get so lucky?
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Monday, March 30, 2015
I think I nurse Silas more than he actually needs it during the day because it's the only time he will slow down and lay still in my arms. He's otherwise way too busy exploring EVERYTHING with his relatively newfound mobility. This kid can CRAWL, yo. And pull himself up. And he's FAST. When he sets his gaze on something in the near distance of our condo, he is OFF like a shot. This usually involves shoes. He cannot WAIT to get the those shoelaces untied, inspect the soles, or maybe even give it a little taste. Just the tip, just to see how it feels. I childproofed our place a month or so back, moving cleaning products etc up to higher ground, so now the only real "watch out" is the dog food.
Silas loves his books. LOVES THEM. He can now sit with a pile of his boardbooks he has pulled off his bookshelf and turn the pages, pointing at things. This "reading" is adorable. He cannot yet be trusted with books that have real pages made of paper as those tend to get crumpled in his little fist, but board books? Have at. He doesn't even try to eat them anymore. As a result, our bedtime ritual of reading has become a lot more pleasant since he doesn't cry when I try to read him a story rather than FEED him a story. In fact, he sits on my lap, turns the pages (sometimes a little too fast, but hey), and points at things on the pages. I love our bedtime routine of nurse, read, lights out, cuddle in my arms with a few songs, and then put him into his crib sleepy but awake. The last few nights he even went to sleep with no crying or fussing - perhaps we have turned a corner? Because listening to your baby cry at bedtime is THE WORST, and while he is not left to "cry it out", even a couple of minutes of this makes my motherheart feel like it might break.
That being said, I'm happy we decided to sleep train. Silas is still up once a night for now (but HAS slept through on a few occasions, so when I decide to night wean, hopefully it won't be too taxing), and is an early riser (usually around 5:30/5:45), but it's a vast improvement from what was happening. And I do believe we have helped him learn how to fall back asleep on his own if he wakes up in the middle of the night and it's not for his scheduled feeding or teething pain or something else mysterious. I do hear him sometimes, a squawk or two, but then he's quiet. This morning, he slept in (ha!) until 6:30, and instead of calling out for us, he pressed the button on his aquarium and listened to his music for 15 minutes before getting bored of that. I bring him into bed with me most mornings, in hopes of another hour or so of rest.....I love my little cuddles while he nurses. Sometimes it is peaceful and restful, and sometimes my face is getting whacked and my nose getting fishooked. But I love opening my eyes and looking into his beautiful blue eyes, no matter if the inside of my nostril is bleeding.
I decided last week that I needed to chill out (significantly) about his daytime sleep. I was getting hung up on timing, length, where etc that it was majorly stressing me out. When my mom tells me I need to chill out, it definitely means I was obsessed in a bad way. Part of the problem is the sleep training literature out there defines naps as an hour or less "DISASTER NAPS" and they scare you about getting timing right, making sure it's in the crib, because naps on the stroller or car are not restorative. After freaking out about this for weeks, I needed to let it go. I decided to let Silas sleep when he needs to sleep, where he needs to sleep, and not stress so much about there where and how. If that's in the stroller, great. It means I walk until he wakes. Good for my ass, good for my kid to get fresh air. If he naps ON me, nursing to fall asleep, that's okay too. I'll take it. Because sleep is sleep and it doesn't affect his crib sleeping at night. It's just important to let him rest when he needs it. It's that simple, at least for now. And let me tell you, the weight is lifted from my shoulders. I feel so much better about just letting it be. And guess what? His nighttime sleep is unaffected either way.
Moving on from my favorite/worst obsession........
Silas says things! He points at stuff and says things! WHAAAAT! He can say "Mama" (though this seems rare boohoo), "Dada", "Duck", "Dog", "Book", and most recently, "Crow". Or, at least we are pretty sure that these are the things he is saying. He sings a little tune once in a while - "Ahhhaaaa aaaahhhhhh!". He claps. He scrunches his nose up and grins a goofy wide grin at us. When we play Hide and Seek and he's crawling like a crazy man to catch me, he laughs and snorts. He brings us so much joy with his big, happy personality. I couldn't imagine being blessed with a more amazingly warm and wonderful baby, even when he expresses anger or frustration. It's adorable.
He is finally cutting a tooth, after months of pre-teething. It's a little sharp line in his mouth that I can see and feel! I'm both proud and scared for my nipples, because I have a feeling he will be a biter (nervous laughter). This doesn't seem to be bothering him too much, so I am still uncertain about what his teething symptoms actually look like because it was WEEKS ago that he seemed super fussy about his mouth....but perhaps they hurt him more BEFORE they cut through the gums? As usual, it's a guessing game with these little creatures who can't really tell you what is actually up.
I love taking Silas to the park. He enjoys the swing, the little yellow digger thing, and the other kids. He is a little shy now around strangers, but warms up very fast if they don't force an interaction with him. I have seen him show empathy when other babies cry by getting upset for them, and I have also seen him react to a baby "yelling" at him by getting VERY upset by the loud noise. These emotions are familiar to me, so boy takes after mom in this respect. He is definitely in the stranger danger phase, and if I am around, wants me. That being said, he loves going off with his dad, or grandparents, and has no problem so long as I am also not in the room.
My heart melts when I watch his face, so open and trusting and happy. I wish that he could go his whole life not knowing betrayal or fear or sadness, but I know that this isn't life. I just hope I can teach him how to treat others as he wishes to be treated and that in return, people are kind to him.
My heart is big with love for my little boy. The days are long, but the years are short they say. This couldn't be truer. His first birthday looms and I just can't believe that. Soon he will be walking away from me, and not towards me. Soon his little arms won't reach for me, his eyes won't search for me, and he will be independant and it will be both amazing and heartbreaking. This is motherhood in a nutshell.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
We have been here a week now, and we are feeling pretty relaxed!
The owners of Villas Las Olas have been incredible to us. Dave drives James to the best surf break every morning and they surf for a couple of hours. This is awesome because a) James doesn't have to walk for 40 mins on the beach b) we didn't have to rent a car for the whole trip, saving mucho dineros and c) I like that he doesn't have to go surfing alone - I worry about everything from rogue waves to sharks to localism (none of which are at all likely, but I border on the irrational side at times).
We have had fresh bakes brownies delivered to our door by Lisa (BEST. BROWNIES. EVER. OMG), invites to dinner (fresh blue fin tuna, dorado, homemade ice creak sandwiches), and last night we watched Dave play guitar at Casa del Pintor, where I ate the most delectable Chile Rellenos.
Coffee at our door every morning at 7 am, rides to markets to stock up on groceries, dogs that follow us to the beach and offer companionship and security.....the list goes on. I definitely chose the right place to stay for these three weeks. We would definitely come back.
We have wandered the streets of our little neighbourhood, been greeted by dogs and children who want to touch Silas' white skin. We have found great little bodegas to stock up on basics like milk and beer. We even found a little unmarked cafe called Naef yesterday, an oasis in the heat.
I am in love with our routine .....James surfs in the early am, Silas and I check out the sunrise and beach, play and then he naps (like he is right now), while I read or catch up with emails. The rest of the day is to do as we please, just trying to watch for signs of tiredness in our little man, and spending time together as a family.
Silas naps are still better here, but I often have to help him get past the 30 or 40 minute point, when he stirs and sometimes can't get himself back to sleep. So I am writing this next to him while he slumbers, ready to soothe him back, in hopes that he will get at least an hour and a half. It usually works, but I am trying not to sweat it if it does.
I have kind of abandoned his travel crib, which is really hard to bend over to put him in without waking him up. He sleeps on the double bed in my room, protected by a wall of pillows, and I have taken to sleeping in the single bed next to him. He is not great at night, generally waking every 2 or 3 hours.....this was to be expected considering the travel, but I am okay with it and feel overall relaxed and am holding out hope he will revert back to his good habits soon (sleep coaching will be in effect when we get home.... Not looking forward to it, but I have a plan for him).
Sleep and sharp fingernails....the two worst things about being a parent! Haha!
Anyways, so all is well here. We are loving life in our small Mexican beach town that is starting to feel like home.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Posted from Punta Mita Mexico, Emiliano Zapata.
We woke up at 3 am on Saturday June 17, and got to the airport for 4:15 am, 2 hours before our scheduled departure. Ugh. So early, right?
So finding out we were delayed due to mechanical reasons for 3 hours was a very VERY unwelcome surprise. I was running on about 2.5 hrs of sleep as it was so I was feeling pretty cranky.
So with 5 more hours in the airport to kill, we went to find a quiet spot to call home base. We walked the airport with Silas in our new Upppababy stroller (thanks mom and dad!) and were so happy to have it. Silas slept in it and it was such a lifesaver.
WestJet gave us $45 in meal vouchers, so once 7 am rolled around, we went to White Spot and had a decent breakfast, and spent the rest of the money on salads from Spinnakers for our flight.
The time passed relatively quickly, and before we knew it, we were on our way.
Silas was awesome during the flight. I debated on taking a pillow with me, but I am so glad I sis as he slept for a fair bit of the flight, and it kept my arms from falling off.
Once we got to PVR, the customs line went quickly and smoothly. Before you knew it we were met by Lisa and we were enroute to Villas las Olas, with a quick pit stop at Mega for groceries.
Silas didn't fuss once in the 12 hrs. NOT EVEN ONCE. Such a rock star.
So we've been here for 2 days now, and we are feeling mucho tranquillo. The beach is 500 m away - soft white sand, warm but refreshing clean blue water, and virtually desserted, aside from Pelicans.
James goes surfing every morning around 8 am with owner Dave and a couple of other old timers. Dave drives them to the best spots and they catch waves for a few hours before returning mid morning. During this time, Silas and I head to the beach for a walk and to dip our toes in the water and watch the sun make its way across the horizon.
I visited a farmers market in La Cruz with owner Lisa and her two friends Jamie (a widow) and Linda (a fabulously sassy 80 year old), which was marvellous. I bought a baguette, berries, locally make yogurt, hummus, empanadas..... So awesome.
We've eaten fish tacos on the playa, swam in the ocean, watched the sunset, and napped. We've explored a small section of the neighbourhood we are staying in, and been woken by a nearby rooster.
It's been, so far, really relaxing. I am enjoying the thought of three more weeks here, just letting the tension out of my shoulders and back and not worrying about sleep schedules.
In fact, naps have been so much better here. He's averaging over an hour each nap...thank you heat? We have a nice cool, shaded bedroom with a ceiling fan that is perfect for naps. Sleep at night has been okay too. I have been putting Silas to bed in his travel crib, and just bringing him to bed with me after his first wake up around 1 am. I probably shouldn't do this...bad habits and all.....but its kinda nice not to have to get out of bed to nurse. He stirs once or twice and its quick to get him settled again with me next to him, so our rest is....restful. I deserve a vacation too after all!!
Well, its hammock and book time, suckas.
Thursday, January 08, 2015
Silas is 7 months old! And while it seems like he has been with us for far much longer than that (perhaps it was that twinkle in our eyes?), the time continues to fly by with such speed there are days that I truly wish it would slow down.
While I will admit to looking forward to the times when he and I can have real little talks using words rather than raspberries and noises, and I would rather enjoy getting my sleep back, they tell me this time is short, so I try to just breathe and embrace the days with all their joys and all their challenges (case in point this week with my 3:45 am wake up call that ceased to turn off - there goes my sleep! But the silver lining is that there was no crying, just wakefulness. I guess he just likes being with me).
So what have I learned in the past 7 months? I'll sum up a few points with a list. I feel like these are the things you forget, so one of my new years resolutions is to blog more.
I'll get to it.
Heather's Lessons in Motherhood - The First 7 Months
1. The minute you sit down with a hot cup of tea and open your laptop to blog, your baby will wake up. It literally just happened. BRB, yo.
2. Sometimes babies CAN put themselves back to sleep. This literally just happened. Apparently you can teach them how to do this, and APPARENTLY consistency is key and APPARENTLY it eventually works.
3. Do not compare your baby to your friend's baby. Because chances are, their baby sleeps better than your baby and it might make you question what it is that you're doing wrong. Newsflash: You're probably not doing anything wrong. In FACT, your baby is doing what most normal babies do. It's HER baby that's the sleep loving freak. Damn her sleep loving babies. (just jokes.....I love her sleepy babies anyways, the adorable little sleepy sleeptertons)
4. You will think your baby is cuter than all other babies. Your mom thought the same about you at one point. Babies are cute because if they were not cute, no one would know what to do with them when they are not acting cute.
5. You will feel eternally grateful for local Facebook Mommy groups at 3 am, because the posts make you realize that parenthood has it's challenges for everyone. Conversely, you will feel exceptionally sorry for the mom who's baby nurses 10-12 times a night at 6 months, and you will begin to feel grateful for your little 2 - 3 night time interludes. But there you go comparing your baby to other babies.....Point 5b: Only compare your baby to other babies when your baby is better at whatever it is that you're comparing your baby to.
6. Your patience will be tried in ways that you never knew and yet you will also become the most patient version of yourself (see: rocking a non-sleepy baby for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 4 am and not really getting too worked up about it - perhaps realizing, yet again, how lucky we are in Canada to have 52 weeks of maternity leave). Your body will hurt in ways you didn't think possible. Most notably your arms. And shoulders. And back.
7. Your baby will make some crazy noises and some crazy faces and you will love every single one of them. Except maybe the whiny ones. And it's okay that those get on your nerves a little. Hello, next 18 years of your life.
8. Thirty minute naps are now the enemy. But your baby wakes up smiling and happy, so who really cares? Go for a walk instead. He will likely have a good long nap in the stroller or wrap and DESPITE what the "experts" say about napping at home, you know its more important that he sleeps, period. And fresh air is good for everyone.
9. If you Google something, ANYTHING about babies, you will find two completely opposing points of view. I learned this in pregnancy, so I should have known it would continue into actual motherhood. There are no right or wrong answers, just stuff that's happening to everyone, everywhere. And 3 am is not the time to do your research or to try a new technique, alright sister?
10. You will feel SO proud that your son can lift two blocks off the ground and mash them together, or untie shoelaces, or put a couple of grains of rice into his own mouth. Things that we as fully developed adult humans take for granted, but we had to learn how to do these things somewhere along the line.
11. As much as you love your baby more than anything in the world, you will question whether or not you want another one at various points along this journey. Mostly at 3 am. And 4 am. And 5 am. And 6 am. But by 10 am, you're ready to have 4 more of these beautiful little drooly monsters. Because the love you feel is out of this world.
12. Your husband might think he's on board with the concept of "baby led weaning" until he realizes what it actually entails and he hates mess so much. Messy hands, messy faces, food in the hair. And quinoa....man, that shit gets everywhere. Your dog, however, will love this.
13. You will worry your baby will choke but will eventually learn to trust your baby's superior gag reflexes as well as your own ability to not give him things that will make him choke. But you will likely question the sanity of baby led weaning several times when you stare into his gummy little mouthhole and wonder how the hell he's supposed to eat cucumber strips.
14. When people tell you their babies are sleeping 12 hours a night in response to your story about how your baby is having shitty sleeps lately, resist the urge to punch them. Only punch them with your mind and keep smiling. Appropriate out loud responses should include: "Oh, you're so lucky!" " I can't wait for that to happen". Appropriate internal responses should include: "I hate you". "So much". You should learn to internalize the internal responses.
15. The first rule of Baby Sleep Club is Don't Talk About Baby Sleep Club unless your baby is also experiencing shitty sleeps. If your baby sleeps through the night...trust me, NO ONE wants to hear about it. Except you. I will remember this when it eventually happens. And probably throw this rule out the window and brag to everyone about how AWESOME it is to get real sleep again, suckas.
16. Your son will eventually find his penis and get rather aggressive with it. It's okay to tell him things like "Be gentle to that, son. If you're good to it, it will be good to you".
17. Bathe with your baby. It's such a simple joy and an amazing way to get skin to skin after they become more mobile and don't want to like serenely on your chest anymore. Be prepared someone is going to pee in the bath and it's not going to be you.
18. People will judge you for taking too many pictures of your baby. Those people are idiots. You can go ahead and judge them right back for taking too many pictures of their pet, their food, or you can simply judge them for not having anything better to do than to judge you on your enthusiastic documentation of your offspring. Because they clearly have never spent 22 hours of the day breastfeeding a ravenous baby with nothing better to do than to edit one (or 10) of the 68 photos you took that day of your beautiful little milk drinker.
19. Newborns are actually easier than 6 month olds, despite the insane learning curve. Because they can and will sleep anywhere. Once your baby is 6 months old, the pressure to schedule, train, and adapt your little soldier into the model baby is intense. Basically, you will learn to stay off the internet and trust your own baby and your own instincts. But you will ignore that advice and Google the shit out of everything anyways. And your baby will still be awesome, and you will figure out what works best for you and your baby. And then it will change the following week.
20. Your life will change forever. A lot of it is for the better, but some of it is for the worse. It's okay to say that. You will no longer have spare time to pursuit your endless search for a hobby that won't stick (ukelele, knitting, guitar, decoupage). You will no longer sleep well (I think we covered that in several of the above points). You will no longer be able to go out at the drop of a hat, or put your needs first. Travelling will become much more cumbersome and possibly not even at all relaxing (check this page in about 2 weeks time when we are in Mexico for three weeks with a baby who MIGHT be teething) but it will still be fun and amazing because this is a wondrous time through the eyes of your child.
HOWEVER, you will also experience, for the first time, what it's like to be wholly unselfish - parenthood will try you and challenge you in ways you cannot imagine, even if your baby is a super happy awesome baby like mine is. You will experience a love that cannot be compared to your pet (sorry, Pico. And sorry to any parent who I ever tried to compare this love to - it's Just. Not. The. Same). Your heart will soar with smiles and laughter your baby bestows upon you. Your baby will love you the most for a while, if not forever, so enjoy it while it lasts. Because you are his everything for now and he is your everything forever.
In a nutshell. Motherhood is an amazing, wonderful, terrifying, hard, fantastic, precious gift that I wouldn't trade for the world. I'm so happy Silas picked us.
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Amazing. Wonderful. Glorious.
So I had my three teaser nights of what it would feel like to be somewhat rested again, and then things got worse. Of course they did. Silas would wake up after 2 or 3 hours of going to bed (very unusual to not go at least four or five hours at the beginning of the night), and then would wake up again every 2 hours afterwards. Or every hour. Or an hour and 45 minutes. It was all over the place. What am I saying? It IS all over the place.
I spent the first few days of 2015 feeling pretty grumpy about this. And I felt so SO tired, like the walking dead. James wondered out loud if maybe I was about to get my period back after all this time and was I PMS'ing, so I ate him. RIP, husband who dared to speak of this.
So here we are on the 6th day of 2015 and I have to say that while sleep is still a shitshow, I at the very least am back to my calm self. On the 4th, I found myself feeling so frustrated with Silas' lack of daytime naps as well as his crazy nighttime sleeping, that I was feeling impatient and snappy with my baby. Who of course understands none of these things. Why does mommy have crazy eyes?
I literally had to pray for patience and calmness and by the next day, I was back to my regular steady self. I felt ashamed that I was upset at my 6 month old for doing what he can't help doing. And while I continued to cuddle and smile at him and feed him and love on him during this time, I was also a broiling pot of impatience as I rocked him again and again and again while he refused to sleep like he had just days before. WHAT THE? WHY? SLEEEEEEEEEP. NEEEEEEEED.
So. I explained my frustrations to James, and we decided to take a walk. I had been feeling very shut in the past couple of days as apparently I had gotten used to endless the sunshine in December, and the hardcore rain was just such a drag, man. So I put Silas in the Ergo and opened up the umbrella, and 30 minutes of fresh air later, I felt calm and collected and as patient as ever.
So what's up this round of the Sleeping Games? Is it another growth spurt? A wonder week?
I *think* Silas might be teething. Increased drooling, disturbed sleep, chewing on fingers, and I think I spy a couple of little buds in there, ready to cut. Of course, the internets tell me that this could last approximately 37 years, so I have no idea when I might get 6 hours of sleep in a row again. Probably never.
I am having a little anxiety about our upcoming trip to Mexico. Three weeks in a different country, a different climate, a different routine. I am going to do my best to stick to whatever routine we have nailed down in the next 10 days while we are there, but it's still a totally different environment and I don't know what to expect. The last vacation we took when he was 2 months old, he was so chill and it affected him only in positive ways. In FACT, this is when his sleep when from waking every 2 hours through the night, to sleeping his long stretches. So I am not going to lie when I say that I am secretly hoping that all the sunshine, fresh ocean air (not that we don't get enough of that here), swimming and just general awesomeness of Punta Mita will encourage Silas to make the next leap into sleeping his longer stretches again. And that he will once again be napping 1.5 hours rather than this 30 minute bullshit. Also, I JUST realized that this vacation will probably be more work for me than it would be at home, because home is easy and Mexico is not necessarily easy? I don't know. I ramble and I digress. BUT I REMAIN HOPEFUL THAT SILAS WILL DECIDE TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT WHILST IN MEXICO AND BEYOND! YESSSSSSS.
Don't get me wrong, my baby is a happy one and I like spending time with him. But a girl needs some time to herself. To blog. Or watch SOA. To leisurely poop. Or just stare off into the distance remembering what it was like to sleep.
Yes. I know that this too shall pass. And it's really not that bad. I'm thankful for the local Facebook groups that let me know that other babies sleep far worse than my dear one, who is up 2 -3 times a night, and not 10. Sorry, mothers of other babies that are up 10 times a night, but your terrible plight makes me feel better. But if your baby sleeps from 7 - 7 straight through, I don't want to hear about it. Keep your well rested and sane thoughts to yourself.
Friday, December 26, 2014
I know he is too young to even begin to grasp the concept of Christmas, beyond perhaps the feeling of excitement of wrapping paper and lights, but our first Christmas with Silas was very special for us.
This time last year, I was just out of my first trimester and starting to relax and believe that we were really going to have a baby, finally. I let myself imagine what next Christmas would be like, with a 6 month old.
And it was everything I imagined it would be. Fun for us to watch him open his gifts (with a little help from us), fun to realise he was mostly taken with the wrapping paper rather than what was inside, fun to take him to church and have him look around and smile and charm those around us, fun to have the newest member of the family loved on by everyone in his life.
Silas handled it all in stride....sure, yesterday's naps were all only 30 minutes (so not what one would refer to as "restorative"), but he remained happy and smiley and lovely throughout the day.
He had his first Christmas dinner in the highchair at Nana and Grandad's and even though he was a little too tired by then, he ate a lot of the food off my plate - turkey, yams and carrots, mashed potatoes - protesting loudly when I wasn't feeding him fast enough and banging the table like a little hooligan. MORE FOOD PLEASE! This one has my appetite.
Next year, he will be a year and a half and hopefully have some words, will be walking and probably a lot harder to keep away from the tree. Each stage is such an adventure and a gift!
Merry Christmas from us to you.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
We are still experiencing a rolling-over strike. He prefers to play sitting up, but will play on his tummy happily for 20 or so minutes.....but then get really pissed off when he doesn't want to be on his stomach anymore. He. Just. Won't. Roll anymore. Hates it. Won't do it. CAN do it. Won't. Someone might be a little stubborn just like his mommy and daddy.......
He's been eating three solid meals and day (sometimes he hates his high chair and won't eat calmly until I feed him on my lap...hopefully this is a passing phase and once we start the baby led weaning approach, he will feel more in control), and is nursing 6-8 times a day. Sleep is decent. He generally goes to bed between 6 and 7 pm, up to nurse between 11 and midnight, again sometime between 2 and 3 am, and then awake around 6:30 am. Occasionally he wakes up around 5:30, and can put himself back to sleep about 50% of the time (the other 50% of the time, he comes to bed with us because that is farrrrr tooooooo earrrrrllyyyyyyy).
Our loose daily schedule looks a little something like this....
8 am - oatmeal or rice cereal with fruit puree
8:30 am - play with toys
9 am - nap (anywhere from 30 to 90 mins)
11 am - nurse
11:30 - tummy time/ play time
Noon - lunch (avocado, yogurt, meat..whatever...)
12:30 / 1 pm - nap (30-60 mins)
Nurse when wakes up
(If it's nice out we try to get outside for a walk at least once a day....last nap of the day ideally around 3 or 4 pm for 30-60 mins but this doesn't always happen)
5 pm - dinner
5:45 / 6 pm start bedtime routine
6-7 - bedtime depending on level of tiredness
It's working out pretty well. I'm fine with him napping on the go (in a stroller, carrier etc) so long as he gets the sleep he needs. I feel pretty good about it. Now....if only he would start sleeping 8 hours in a row.....seriously, anytime now.
Silas' current favorite toys are his plastic blocks (he has just figured out how to dump them out of the bucket, but not put them back in yet), his rather hideous mousey with wonkey eyes, and links. He loves his cloth books that crunch, and likes to eat his board books (mmm tasty!). He will sit quietly when James reads to him, but he's much more grabby when I try to read to him, but we read every day, nonetheless.
Still number one on his list of interesting things is Pico. She is everything. He watches her and smiles at her and she is not into him at all. Poor misplaced Pico. We give her love and attention but it's not as much as she is used to, so she would be smart to let Silas do it for us.....hahaha!
Well, the boy is awake right on cue from nap #2, so I gotta go!
|Dec 14, 2014|
|Photo by Erik Lyon|
Thursday, December 04, 2014
First off, it was a total zoo, and as I put my name down, noted that it was a 2.5 hour wait, even though I was there about 15 minutes before it started (wuuuuut). I decided to stick it out, and ended up getting him in after about an hour, so it wasn't so bad after all. Secondly, the deal was a $5 suggested donation, and this got you several pictures snapped with Santa, and a week later, the photographer would send you a free web photo (not suitable for printing, but good for Facebook etc), and you can buy other shots as you wish. I took some pictures with my phone, but intended on buying another shot or two off the photographer...until I saw the price! Each download of a print is $25!! HIGHWAY ROBBERY! I don't feel bad for taking pictures with my phone now! Seriously. There is one print I really think is quite cute - Silas is laying his head on Santa's arm and looks quite angelic, so I *might* cave and buy that, but REALLY. That seems steep, yo. But who am I to put a price on art!? ;)
Anyways, Silas enjoyed his experience with what was arguably one of the best Santa's I have ever seen (granted it has been SEVERAL years since I have been very close to a Santa, but nonetheless). This Santa had a real beard, was super smiley and sweet and just adorable. Silas wasn't scared, more curious than anything. There are no big wide grins from my sweet man, but a few tentatively sweet smiles. Just adorable. ADORABLE.
|This is one I took with my phone, and ran through Instagram. Love how he's holding Santa's hands.|
|Another one I took with my phone. Sweet little man! Also, SANTA'S FACE!|
|This was the free webshot we were sent today. Chins for days.|
|And this is one of the ones I might buy if I decide to give in to extortion.|
|THIS ONE. I die. Such a little angel.|
The rest of the weekend, we exposed Silas to the Santa Claus parade downtown (he loved the lights on the floats, the music, the people - there was a lot of arm flapping in his snow suit), and then we took him to the Oak Bay Light up on Sunday night, where once again, he got to see Santa and had a great time.
|Santa! We meet again!|
|With daddy and Nana (who was a lot more jolly than she looks in this picture, I swear)|
|Oak Bay Avenue all lit up!|
|Post Truck Lights|
|Everyone looks mesmermized by this post truck.|
|Santa Claus parade - my favorite float.|
|Daddy and Auntie Liv!|
|Beautil Victoria at Christmas time :)|
Monday, December 01, 2014
You can go away now.
SO TIRED. It's been two weeks of up and downs at night with the small boy. All these new daytime skillz have meant a regression in the nighttime department. I used to be able to put him to bed and count on at least 5 or 6 hours in a row but now...I might get 4, or 5, or 3 or like last night....2. And then the witching hours of 1 - 4 am, when he decides he's going to wake up every hour, and be terribly hard to put back in his crib. And so I give up at 5 am and bring him to bed with us just to get a few solid hours.
I know it will pass, but I gotta say, I'm ready for those mythical 8-12 hour sleeps they say come on between 6 - 8 months with *most* babies. Hopefully Silas is one of THOSE babies because maaaan, lack of sleep is getting me down. And I know I don't even have it that bad compared to some moms. To those moms, I say BRAVO. I don't know how you do it.
I wish coffee didn't give me the shits, yo.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
We started Silas on solid foods last week and because it's so damn fun to watch him try new things, I've just been having a ball with it.
After a few days of plain organic brown rice cereal and breast milk (once I was convinced he knew how to swallow things), we moved on to slightly more interesting stuff. He's had egg yolk mixed with banana (yeah that was weird for everyone), pureed organic butternut squash, guacamole, a small amount of porchetta (unsure of that!), mashed black beans (big fat nope), homemade unsweetened applesauce, hardboiled egg, and a few mouthfuls of my smoothie here and there (mango, banana, spinach ). So far he's liked the rice cereal, applesauce, banana, and butternut squash the best. The hardboiled egg went down a little easier mixed with applesauce so I think I just have to perfect my textures with the proteins a little more. At this point I think he needs his foods to be on the smoother side or they just come right back out, so we'll work on that. Either way, my little man is growing up!
Sidenote: my plan was to do baby led weaning but it's way too nerve-wracking for me! I'm going to have to work up to that for both of us I think.
And, as excited as I was for him to try new things, it's meant that we have officially moved on to real poops and smelly protein farts. Like, whoa. Just....wow. The circle of life.
In other news, he also finally REALLY learned to roll this week. As in, he has done it so many times now that I am now convinced it wasn't just some figment of my imagination or an freak accident. I realized that I was rushing to his aid as soon as he got frustrated on his tummy (because mommy hates the sound of whining OKAY), but that if I just dried my hair or something while he was getting frustrated, he would eventually roll over on his own. And I didn't have to listen to it. Just watch it. And it is amazing. YOU GUYS SILAS IS AMAZING HE IS THE FIRST BABY TO ROLL OVER IN THE HISTORY OF BABIES.
So today I'm making some oatmeal and he rolls over and the next thing you know he has a fistful of cords and all of a sudden it's time to baby proof. F#@k!
But I'm a proud mommy. He can roll, shimmy and shake his way around a carpet like nobodies business. And he is SO giggly during playtime. Real giggles for mommy when I pretend to eat his hands or blow on his tummy. Real giggles for dad for just being dad (and also having facial hair). It's so wonderful to hear his little laugh!
All of this development has meant a sudden change in his otherwise pretty good night time sleeping habits. About a month ago I started putting him to bed around 7 30, and he would wake up around 1 and 4 and the up for the day around 7. That was pretty good, though I was looking forward to ditching one of those night feeds eventually. But we were on the right track.
For the past 3 nights he has been up every 2.5 - 3 hrs. On a good night, he's up at 11:30, 2:30, and 5:30. On a bad night he wakes up at 10, 11:30, 1:30, 3:45, 5 am....you get the picture. I get that this is a major developmental time in his life so it's normal but.....I'd like to go back to him sleeping 5 or 6 hours and then 3 or 4.
I bring him into bed at 530 or 6 with me and we have a good cuddle. He is into touching my face a lot (touching = soft caresses and also punching) before he eventually falls asleep next to me. I love it. I love my baby morning cuddles even though it means less sleep for me. One day I'll sleep again. Probably.
Monday, November 10, 2014
And with this, he is all of a sudden not needing to nurse as frequently as I'm used to, so we are able to go 3 or 4 hours without me needing to worry about feeding him. It took me a couple of days to realize this, because it literally happened just. like. that! I was confused as to why he wasn't wanting to eat - I thought maybe he was "over" breastfeeding (which makes no sense, obviously) and then it finally occurred to me that I was just trying to feed him too frequently. I don't feel too dumb about this though - he DID carry on feeding every 2ish hours for well over 4 months! This new turn of events is nice. It's easier to get out of the house (not that it ever stopped me!).
In fact, in the last few days I have enjoyed some much needed "me time". On Friday, James took Silas over to his parents house while I got my hair done (cut and bronded - toned down, dark blonde, thankyouverymuch). That took about 3 hours, and then I got lunch, and came home to the exciting tasks of laundry folding, vacuuming etc (It's actually amazing what you can get done when you are not worried about a baby). By the time he got home, I had 7 baby free hours (I had to stop and pump half way through this and got a bottle's worth! SO! This is what it is like when you don't feed a baby every 45 minutes...you can actually pump!).
|Getting my hairs did.|
|A little shorter, healthier and less blond.|
|Swimming with dad at Oak Bay Rec!|
|Looking a little concerned about this turn of events.|
Silas is SUPER interested in what I'm eating and drinking these days, grabbing for my mug or foods. So, today he got his first taste of rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. It was literally about 1/2 a tsp, and it went over pretty well, so we'll try some more tomorrow. It is so fun watching his face register these new flavors. I think we'll stick with rice cereal for a week or two, then try yams or sweet potatoes, and avocados and then move on to meats. I'll continue to breastfeed as well, but this will give him a bit of variety and learning. So fun!
|First time in his high chair!|
He's still not really rolling over consistently. He can move like the dickens though - he is a serious kicker and can resposition himself using his legs when he is on his tummy to face whatever he desires. He is so strong. He kicks like the wind when his diaper is getting changed, or when listening to music on the floor. He's our little breakdance man. SO FUNNY.
Silas loves other babies - he is full of smiles and wants to touch, especially his buddy Theo. I looked after Theo for a few hours for Melissa on Saturday, and placing them side by side on the floor was just too much cuteness. Silas was all over Theo, in the most adorable way possible. He was grabbing his arm, and wanted to touch his hair........I died. But only after I took about 10 pictures.
Here are my two favorites:
|EEEEEEK! SO CUTE!|
|SILAS AND THEO FOREVER!|
Silas also loves Pico, SO MUCH. He watches her and smiles at her. She is getting better and will occasionally lick his face or hand, and allow him to pet her. He will "pet"her and then grab her fur, which she is not a fan of. It's very sweet and I use her to keep tummy time tolerable. If she was more pliable as a dog, I'd use her as a roll over bribe, but she's not having it at the moment.
James said that so far, this is his favorite age. You can really see his personality emerging - so far, he's a sunny, happy boy with a sense of humor all of his own. He finds it HILARIOUS when I pretend to eat his hands, or give him a tickle or sing to him. He's friendly, and easy going. He likes the pool (he has been swimming 3 times now), and he will happily be held by others, though he turns his head around to look for me. We lock eyes and smile and it's okay.
He is our pride and joy and if we don't have another baby he will seriously think the sun shines out of his ass. BECAUSE IT DOES.