Monday, July 30, 2007

party time! excellent...?

hubby's friends had a b-day party for their 1-year-old son that we'd never met (yes we're asses). they told us they had all the gear we would need (swing, playpen, bouncy seat, change table, crib, etc., etc., etc.). we decided to make the trip (about an hour away) since we felt bad that we'd never gone before, and also for the purely selfish reason that while the invites for our childless friends' parties aren't exactly fewer, it is slightly more difficult to make arrangements for a sitter with all that gear! ;) you do have to admit it's awfully convenient! and if the baby had a freakout crying session, well, his cries would most likely be drowned out by the other kids high on cake and coca cola.

it took us about 3 hours to gather all our gear, feed the baby, change him, get the gear into the car, feed us, feed him again, change him again, and so on, before we even got out of the house. even with all the promises of their gear, we still had an awful lot of our own (15 diapers, 2 cans of formula, 2 changes of clothes, etc., etc.). we arrived 2.5 hours late but it was ok. no one seemed to notice or, as parents in their own right, they understood.

the party itself was an interesting experience. it was our first time at a 1-year-old's b-day party. there was cold pizza (delivered 2 hours hours prior to our arrival), a vanilla backyardigans b-day cake, and pop. notice no alcohol on this menu. these friends of hubby's, that i had mainly spent time with drinking as a sport, hubby and i were suddenly having conversations about breastfeeding and labour pains and teething. the few childless friends that were there were left listening in, politely smiling at our stories about our adorable offspring, and most likely wishing for a glass of wine or shot of tequila to ease the pain. i can't believe this was us a year ago! have we really changed this much???

it was nice to get out of the house as a family to somewhere other than the grandfolks, and, i must admit, we had a pretty decent time!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

oopsy toddler!

i'm certainly not an expert (yet) on 15-month-old's, but isn't suri cruise a little too old to still be on the bottle?


Friday, July 27, 2007

gorgeous natural toys for creative play

i recently came across natural pod's site featuring the most amazing natural, wood toys i've seen. priding themselves on stocking toys that bring out imaginative play and are sure to become heirlooms, it is truly a purist's idea of heaven! from wooden bicycles and toy planes, to soothing amber teething necklaces and soft organic dolls, there is something for everyone and it can be tough deciding what NOT to buy!

i was also pleasantly pleased to find out the site is canadian, which means i can buy more since i won't be hit with any ugly customs fees at the door!

um, what??

a thousand of these "baby bling" swarvoski crystal pacifiers were recalled after someone realized the glued-on crystals could come off and pose a choking hazard. crystals also contain lead. read full details about the recall here.

who would put one of these in their baby's mouth anyway???

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

look ma, no colic!

after a couple of whiny days, the little man is pretty chilled today! (although he did have a little freakout as i tried to eat lunch. so much so that i missed the purolator man trying to deliver hubby's hgtv player for review.)

it's a relief though. hubby and i have this paranoia that he is colicky, or will develop it if he doesn't have it yet! our neighbours suffered through it for months, as did we since their baby's room was directly across from ours.

however, i've gathered from obsessively reading up on the subject, that colic tends to run in a series of threes (i.e. crying for 3 hours, 3 days in a row, etc), and since today is the third day, it can't be, right? today he was relatively minor compared to yesterday and the day before. so i'm glad, not to mention relieved, about this.

had a pleasant afternoon that began after his minor freakout session at lunch. after an early start to the day, i decided to feed him in bed. feeding him while we're both laying down tends to result in more sleep for both of us. he ate for about half an hour, and afterwards we both drifted off to sleep. when i next looked at the clock, it was 2.5 hours later!! i couldn't believe i'd slept that long. i was about to get up to enjoy a few minutes by myself, when i noticed he was waking up himself... and he was hungry!

i took him downstairs to feed him but he fell asleep again after 30 mins. so i laid him in his crib. and he continued to sleep! this has been the biggest challenge lately! he'll sleep on anyone, anytime, but as soon as he's put down, he wakes up and starts wailing! except at night. which i guess we should be thankful for as the trade-off!

as he started to wake up, i ran a bath for him, and plopped him in before he had a chance to fuss. he was so happy to be in, seemed amused by a couple farts he let out (typical male), that i kept him in longer than usual.

so today has been a good day. i even had enough time for myself where i actually got a bit choked up thinking about how much i love the little bugger and how lucky i am! ;)

Monday, July 23, 2007

*yawn*. on afternoon naps

i have a hard time putting the baby down for naps in the afternoon. he falls asleep easily enough when feeding or when i carry him, but not sooner than a few minutes after i put him down ... wahhhhh! it makes for a fairly long day, i must say, esp. when i'm barely going on any sleep myself. sometimes i'm close to wailing with him.

right now i'm feeding him, again, for the third time in two hours. after his bath, i breastfed him for about 35-40 mins, we threw a load of laundry in (i held him in one hand), then went for a stroll in the backyard... he still seemed hungry and cranky so i made up a bottle of about 40 mL... he lazily drank that (as i began to doubt he was hungry). afterwards i rocked with him in our new glider we finally got on the weekend (ordered before he was born but that's another story), walked around with him throughout the house...and finally he fell asleep. i figured i'd put him down in his bassinet so he'd feel a bit more snug, as if i was still holding him. i went downstairs with the monitor to throw the laundry into the dryer, when i heard his cries come wailing through. and so here i am, again! i don't know if what i'm doing is bad, but man! it quiets him down pretty quick!

but really. he can go a whole day without a nap longer than 2o mins. by the early evening, we're normally so cranky and exhausted that we both collapse. then normally my mom comes to visit and complains that he's sleeping, and hubby soon after. usually mondays are the worst... i wonder if babies can get a case of the mondays?

Friday, July 20, 2007

when will i ever learn?

a too-good-to-miss sale on the tea collection line through a U.S. online site had me splurging a bit this week on some gorgeous clothes i've been eyeing since learning i was pregnant (since i didn't know the sex of the baby i couldn't buy anything then!). i'm a frequent online shopper and normally know the "tricks" of getting around certain shipping costs, esp. from small U.S. sites, because of the typically high customs rates we canadians have slapped on us. i've been hit with some pretty outrageous and unexpected costs at the door (sometimes higher than the total cost of the merchandise!). this wasn't one of those times... but close enough! seriously. when will i ever learn?
so i was in the middle of feeding him when i heard the knock at the door. i thought of ignoring it, but it was persistent so i finally get up with the baby in my arms, just as he lets out one of his famous turbo poops, a loud, violent force of shit that i can feel through his pants as i open the door. i see the UPS guy step back from the smell emanating from this kid, and perhaps i'm too embarrassed since i easily hand over my credit card to cover the charges.

still reeling, i head upstairs to change his diaper, set him down on the change table, and start to remove the diaper when i notice he's still not done!! there is still poop oozing out!! i let him finish, use a dozen or so wipes to clean him up, bend down to grab a fresh diaper, and notice a stream of liquid soaring over my head. i leap out of the way as i quickly grab whatever i can to block the pee from hitting us. i shake my head and wonder, again, when the hell i will ever learn!

greener pastures

hubby had his wisdom teeth (finally!) removed a couple of days ago, so he's been at home with us for most of this week. i was worried i'd have two babies to look after, but he's actually doing pretty well. it's been awesome for me to have an extra pair of hands so i can get some stuff done around the house (tidy up, finish writing my shower thank you cards, laundry...), AND he's been getting up with the baby in the morning to feed him, letting me sleep in, a pretty big luxury these days!

we have this fantasy about quitting our day jobs, buying a small hobby farm in the country somewhere, maybe having a half dozen more kids (ok, that part of the fantasy is mine), and just sort of living off the land. since the baby was born, esp. in the first couple weeks, our only reprieve was to get in the car and drive until he fell asleep, and discover new areas around us where we might be able to do this. totally, completely crazy, but it sounds nice lovely, no? ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

breastfeeding woes gone terribly awry

i've been hearing a lot of stories about women having problems with breastfeeding. when i was pregnant, i dreaded the thought of it (even more than the delivery), although i was determined to do so. the little one had a nasty case of jaundice, thanks to the bruising from the vac-assist. even though his latch was strong, he was extremely sleepy and we struggled to keep him awake to eat.

it went downhill from there. just as we thought we were about to be discharged, we learned his level was getting higher and he needed to be put into the incubator, full-time, except to eat. running on very little sleep, adjusting to a new life, and feeling trapped in the hospital, emotions and stress levels were high. since the baby and incubator were in the room with us, me and my husband were lucky enough to be able to get a private room, but the feeding problems got worse. i was going through a lot of pain when feeding due to sore nipples and engorgement as the milk started to come in; could hardly even sit to feed thanks to a sore tailbone; and the baby wasn't interested, or able, to stay latched long enough to properly eat. i started pumping and my husband and i began to feed the baby with a tiny cup. to our amazement, the baby took to this right away, slowly but surely... but a true test of patience, esp. at 4 a.m.!

after 40+ hours in the incubator and 5 days in the hospital, we were finally cleared to go home!

my husband had taken a couple weeks off - week 1 was basically spent at the hospital. week 2, at home, we began to adjust to our new life as a family and tried to settle into a routine. riding high from our new addition, finally being at home, and lots of visitors stopping by and marvelling at how cute the baby was, made everything pretty groovy. then hubby went back to work and i had to learn to do everything by myself. looking back now, this was probably when reality sank in. i had a screaming newborn on my hands and, for the most part, had to go it alone till late evening. i'd been dreading this adjustment and perhaps the stress was affecting me in more ways than i knew.

last friday afternoon, it came time for the baby's one-month check-up. the pediatrician asked me a bunch of questions about his general well being (i said besides some fierce crying here and there we we fine), then came time for the weigh-in. suddenly the mood turned somber as he told me the baby wasn't gaining weight (in fact, he'd barely regained his birth weight), asked how the feeding was going, how much i thought i was producing, etc, etc. it was then that he informed me we would need to be admitted to the hospital to bring his weight up. i was to go home to grab some items and go directly there. do not pass go, do not collect $200. i was in shock. i left the office, loaded the baby and myself into the car, and foggily drove home. it wasn't till i got home and called my husband that i started bawling.

to make a long story short, i was essentially forced to start supplementing with formula, had to show even more people my boobs, our feeding "technique", etc. the doctor and lactation consultant put me on a med and two herbs to bring my supply back up, and i fed the baby every three hours on the nose. first i'd breastfeed for 10-20 mins. per side (the amount of time i was to do it kept changing according to every doctor and LC that came to see me, then top him up with expressed milk and formula, then pump again for the next session. pretty grueling and relentless. he was weighed every morning and gained quite a few ounces by the time i convinced the doctor and LC on sunday that i could just as easily be doing this at home.

the hubby and i joked about our weekend away, but we had both been scared shitless. it was an emotionally draining experience but it felt slightly better to know there were four other women admitted with their babies that week. unfortunately i never got to meet any of them, but it got me thinking what and why the hell this was happening to so many of us.

anyway, i'm glad to say that my visit to an LC clinic showed he was steadily gaining weight and that our technique was fine, then yesterday's appointment with the pediatrician confirmed he was just about at the weight he should be for his age (a few more ounces to go), and, thankfully, no setbacks with his development had occured. in the meantime, i'm producing way more milk, and we continue to follow the (slightly altered) routine until his next appointment in a couple of weeks. even though we're temporarily continuing supplementing with formula, i think i've finally gotten rid of a lot of the guilt that was plaguing me and bringing me down, affecting way too many aspects of my life. for the sake of my family - and myself - i had to let it go.

life in the slow lane

have you eve noticed how much of a hurry everyone is in? how a normally plesant person can become so rude when they feel you've gotten into their way for the sheer reason of slowing them down?

i used to be one of those people, esp. when driving. it's actually made me refuse to get one of those 'baby on board' signs - so people wouldn't see me speeding like a fiend and judging me to be the worst parent in the world. i normally tried to avoid getting stuck behind those people because i knew they'd be going like 2 km/hour.

well the other day i was driving with the baby to his hearing test and, when i saw the place, put on the signal and proceeded to turn to drive into the parking lot. out of nowhere, the car behind me blares his horn and tears around me, tires squealing. excuse me, asshole! i think. the baby is finally sleeping and i don't really want to wake him by jerking his head violently to the side with any sudden movements!

a big thing, it seems, is that i really have no reason to be in a hurry. i remember the first couple days after recovering from the delivery when i would take him out power-walking in his stroller. i had to tell myself to slow down and enjoy a new leisurely pace. although we now live in a small city by comparison, i lived in toronto for 5 years and continued to work downtown once we moved here for greener pastures and fresher air three years ago, up until the week before i gave birth. i was used to being in a hurry!

i really noticed it yesterday when we got to the pediatrician's office and the waiting room was filled with babies and their parents. my first instinct was to get mad that they overbooked and i stopped myself from inquiring how long till i could see the doc as i realized...i had nowhere else to go! this was my first time out of the house in days and i was pissy that i couldn't rush back to it?!

Monday, July 16, 2007

4:10 a.m. ... What's my name again?

awake feeding baby. why does it seem like it takes twice as long at this hour? since i now spend much of my life on my living room couch, i guess i thought this might be a great time to jot down some thoughts, make a mark for posterity's sake. my old blog, dedicated entirely to food, has been left in the dust. who has time to cook - much less write - about food these days? thus is life with a 5-week-old, one i'm hoping will resume some semblance of normalcy again, one day soon.